Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fall In New England

Today is Halloween so Happy Halloween everyone.  Boy, has it gotten commercialized since I was a kid.  Yes, we could buy our costumes waaay back then, but most of us made our own.  “They” did sell different kinds of make up just for Halloween and that is generally what we used.  With a little “war paint”, some old clothes, and a lot of imagination we were all set to raid the neighborhood pillaging for candy. 

When I was a youngster, October was a fun month in the great Pine Tree State.  It was filled with cool brisk days and the smells of dying leaves permeating the air.  The leaves would be raked up into big piles on the front lawn where us kids would jump in them, roll in them, and cover ourselves with them.  Eventually the leaves would be moved to the side of the street and burned adding another unforgettable smell to our memory banks.

Colors and Smells of Fall

It was the time for that final harvest where the apples, cabbage, pumpkins, squash, and turnips would be gathered up and stored in the barn or cellar. It was a time for that famous New England Boiled dinner with it’s distinctive smell filling the entire house.  It was a time when apple pies and pumpkin pies would be sitting on the counter cooling while our mouth’s watered.

For us kids, Halloween signaled the end of a season for the morrow brought on the winter coats, scarfs, boots, and mittens.  It was almost as if Mother Nature just knew it was time to turn on the winter winds right after us kids gathered in our winter’s supply of candy.  Who could forget the hot apple cider with cinnamon and the home made plain doughnuts hot off the stove?

Times were so much more simpler back then.  Families were close by to celebrate the changing seasons together.  Crime was nil and hardly anyone locked their homes, cars, or whatever.  Most stores were closed on Sundays giving families a day together for worship and play.

The Home of My Youth

It was the time of the Baby Boomer generation which meant that there were lots of kids in the neighborhoods playing together.  Make believe and imagination were used instead of computer games and television.  Cowboys were the main stay on the two or three snowy stations that the old black and white TV received (we thought NBC stood for Nothing But Cowboys).

Ahhh, what memories, memories, memories Halloween and the month of October conjures up.  The 50’s and 60’s were a great time to be a kid in New England.  If I could pick anytime to relive, that would certainly be one of them – I guess I just did!!!

Take care until next time - - - - -

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Not Much Happening

The humidity finally moved out and yesterday was a very nice day with the temperatures getting up into the seventies.  Today looks like more of the same. 

Judy and I visited the Foley Senior Center to watch the Advanced Tai Chi class perform and get an overview of the Beginner’s Class.  The instructor will be away for the last three weeks of November so we decided to wait until the first of December to join.  It looks like a lot of fun so we look forward to starting.

My books were ready at the Fairhope Library so we made a quick trip over and back to pick them up.  While we were at it, we stopped at Walmart so Judy could pick up the ingredients for some bran/brownie mix cup cakes – Ellie had made some and they are yummy (oh yes, nutritious as well).  Just don’t eat too many at one time or you’ll be busy for awhile!!!

We spent the evening reading, playing on the computers, and watching a little television – ya gotta love them recliners!!!  Other than that and working on the “Ol’ Ta Do List”, not much new is happening around the Patterson household.

Take care until next time - - - -  

Friday, October 29, 2010

Out And About

We went shopping t’other day and bought, among other things, a couple of pounds of cod fish along with some clams for a nice New England Chowdah.  Then the search was on for a purpose to have a get together.  Ahhh, found one!!!  Norm and Linda will be returning from the Chapter 26 Rally on Sunday – that constitutes a travel day (even if it is only sixty miles).  It is now deemed that Sunday afternoon will be a football/chowdah day.  You havta plan these events vewy, vewy carefully, ya know?  You’ll need to check in again Monday to see how the festivities turned out.

Yesterday morning I scoffed up Miss Judy (not by the scruff of the neck) and we made a trip into the thriving metropolis of Foley (and who says we don’t get out much?).  The mission was to check out a couple of senior groups while looking for cheap exercise opportunities.  It’s hard to believe that we are old enough to qualify for membership at the Senior’s Circle and/or the Foley Senior Center, but we just barely make it.  You have to be 50 years old or older so we can just squeak in the door of either one of these fine organizations.

The Senior’s Circle membership would allow us to participate in a water aerobics class at the YMCA while the Foley Senior Center has Chair Yoga, Tai Chi, and an exercise program.  Well, I havta tell ya that I’m into that aerobic imagery, myself; i.e., I just imagine myself doing aerobics (that’s about as far as it goes for aerobics and me).  Now, I can get involved in anything that has a chair in it, especially a nice reclining chair and a little meditating while sitting doesn’t hardly hurt a body at all.  However, what we (Miss Judy and I) were interested in is the Tai Chi class.  Yep, I’m a wuss and like to take my exercise real slow and easy.  So, it looks like Foley Senior Center wins out.

Unbelievable!!!  Today is being celebrated as Black Friday shopping day.  We haven’t even craved the pumpkin yet!!!  Nor have we stuffed ourselves with turkey yet!!!  Oh well, what can I say.  In keeping with the Black Friday tradition (and great sale prices) we purchased our Christmas present from – a brand spanking new shinny Cuisinart Coffee maker. 

Our Mr. Coffee coffee maker is on it’s last legs and this coffee maker was on sale at a 55% discount with a $10 rebate on top of that and no sales tax or shipping costs.  So for the price of two cheap Mr. Coffees we get a deluxe coffee maker with a carafe that won’t spill the coffee all over the counter when pouring a cup.  Amazon made us an offer we couldn’t refuse - you just can’t beat that deal with a stick!!!  So it’s “Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle All The Way!!!”

Being that the last couple of days have been extremely muggy and it was a rainy day yesterday, no outside “Ol’ Ta Do List” items have gotten stricken from the list.  However, both ovens are now squeaky clean; it had been quite sometime since they had been cleaned and they were in need of the attention.

I did finish reading “To Kill A Mockingbird” yesterday afternoon and started a new book entitled “The Greatest Generation”.  Also, in continuing with my theme of reading old classics, I ordered three more books from the library – they should be ready for pickup on Tuesday.  They are: “Catcher in the Rye”, “The Great Gatsby”, and “1984”; all of which I originally read way back during my High School days.  They should be fast reads.

The weather for today will be much cooler and dryer so it will be up on the roof for me.  “This is the way we wash our roof, wash our roof, wash our roof.  This is the way we wash our roof so early in the morning.”  Following that I hope to get the windows washed off as well – stuff from washing the roof tends to streak the windows.

Well, that’s it for today.  So take care until next time - - - - - 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It’s Wake Up Time

Alex jumped up on the bed and announced the start of our day with a great big MEOW!!  Thunder was rumbling in the background and there was the occasional pitter patter of rain on the roof. 

Miss Judy reluctantly arose and put the kettle on – “Judy put the kettle on, Judy put the kettle on, Judy put the kettle on, and we’ll all have coffee!!!”  I rolled out of bed as soon as I “woke up and smelled the coffee!”  And thus, our day was underway.

Being here on the eastern edge of the Central Time Zone gives us early morning sunrises (it sho’ nuff gets dahk early in the evenin’ though).  This morning, with the clouds lingering over head, we were treated to a very pretty sunrise.  “Pink sky at night, sailors delight; pink sky in the morning, sailors take warning!”

Looking Out Of Our Back Window

I slowly wandered over to the sofa and looked at the clock on the wall to see what day it is.  Yep, it’s Thursday!!

Who Cares What Time It Is?  But It Is Helpful To Know What Day It Is!

In the meantime, Alex was sitting on the back of the sofa waiting for birds to show up for their breakfast.  “Wet birds don’t fly at night, Alex!”  And Katie was applying her morning face in the mirror.

No Birds, Alex? Looking Good, Katie!

Our Thursday has begun.  Not sure what the rest of the day will bring, but there’ll be a couple more cups of coffee before anything of importance gets started.  I guess that’ll do ‘er for today.  Take care until next time.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Weather ‘N Stuff

That last few days has been extremely “muggy” around here.  At least we’ve been spared all the horrendous weather that has been plaguing our country’s mid section.  Sunday night brought us some hardcore thunderstorms, but, other than that, it has been relatively calm.

NOAA is predicting a warmer, dryer winter for the south.  After last year’s extravaganza that will be very much welcomed.  We nearly froze our derrières off last winter.  Also, the area where we park the truck turned into a mud hole; so warmer, dryer will fit our fancy just fine.

Yesterday was shopping day and, as usual, our first shopping trip back in ‘Bama always leaves us with “sticker shock”.  Groceries are expensive down here in the southland, but couple that with a sales tax of 8% on food and you rack up one heck of a tally.  In any event, the nuts have been gathered, brought in, and stowed for a long fall’s day.

Today it’s back onto the “Ol’ Ta Do List”.  I’m going to start a several day washing/waxing event.  I’ll start with washing the roof of the RV, then move onto the RV itself, and finish with washing the truck (not all in one day).  Then it will be “wax on, wax off”.  Hopefully I’ll have that all behind me within a week or so (there’s some rain in the forecast which will slow me down a little).

One of these fine days we want to make a run to the beach with lawn chairs and books in hand.  We just love strolling on the white sandy beach as well as sitting and watching the birds, waves, and people.  It’s nice and quiet this time of year lending itself to a nice reading environment.  We’ll never forget our first encounter with the Gulf Shores’ beach back in October of 2006.  It was the main attraction that drew us back to this area.

Gulf Shores, Alabama - 2006Gulf Shores, Alabama - 2006Gulf Shores, Alamaba - 2006Gulf Shores, Alabama - 2006

Thar ya have it for today.  Have fun today, but try to stay out of trouble.  Until next time . . . . .

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Friends And Food

Have I ever told you that one of the best parts of this lifestyle is the people you meet along the way?  Just a million times!!!  Another one is the freedom that we have, but that’s not what this journal entry is about.

Two weeks ago Gene, Judi, Judy, and I drove over to Defeated Creek Campground in Carthage, Tennessee to join a whole herd of Escapees for a Happy Hour.  While we were there we met several new friends for life.  One of those couples was John and Sandy who are relatively new fulltimers having begun their trek in January of this year.  You can read all about their journeys on their blog entitled Mothership RV.

John and Sandy

Having said all of that, John and Sandy arrived at Rainbow Plantation yesterday afternoon.  Jim and Ellie organized the traditional travel day meal.  Our evening began with a Happy Hour on the patio with appetizers and wine.

Jim, Ellie, and Sandy All The World's Problems Are Solved - What Do We Do Now?

Then we shared a nice spaghetti/chicken casserole with a garden salad and garlic bread followed by a piece of homemade apple pie for desert.  We even had some apple wine to sip with our pie.  The meal was yummy.

Ellie Demos Jim's Electric Pepper Mill - Ya Gotta Luv It!!!

But, the best part of the evening was sharing time with friends.  There was plenty of lively conversation and lots of laughs.  You’d have thought that we had all lived in the same town and known each other for years.  That’s a great thing about RVing people; there are no strangers.  The evening came to an end waaaaay to sooooon.  The good news is that Jim and Ellie and John and Sandy will still be around for another three weeks.  Yay!!!  We enjoy spending time with our new playmates.

Until Tomorrow . . . . . .

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Typical Fall Sunday

After church we had a quick lunch and then I made a mad dash to feed the fire ants before the rain began to fall.  The fire ant insecticide that we purchased at Lowes calls for watering it down after application.  With rain rolling in for the afternoon, I figured it was a good time to spread it on the lawn.

It didn’t take long to feed the fire ants, so I was able to quickly retire to my recliner for an afternoon of football.  It was a good day with the Titans and the Patriots winning their games.  While the games were on, both Judy and I played on our ‘puters (“there’s no multi-tasking in RVing!!!”).

So, that was pretty much it for the day – exciting, huh?  Today we start working on the infamous “Ta Do List”.  Judy has a couple of activities that she wants to attend at the clubhouse and we have another “get together” scheduled for this evening, so be sure to check us out again tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s a copy of an email that I had forwarded to me.  It doesn’t fully define our political views, however, it certainly gives one something to think about:


1. Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart every hour of every day.
2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!
3. Wal-Mart will sell more from January 1 to St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) than Target sells all year.
4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target +Sears + Costco + K-Mart combined.
5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people, is the world's largest private employer, and most speak English.
6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the world.
7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger and Safeway combined, and keep in mind they did this in only fifteen years.
8. During this same period, 31 big supermarket chains sought bankruptcy.
9. Wal-Mart now sells more food than any other store in the world.
10. Wal-Mart has approx 3,900 stores in the USA of which 1,906 are Super Centers; this is 1,000 more than it had five years ago.
11. This year 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur at  Wal-Mart stores. (Earth's population is approximately 6.5 Billion.)
12. 90% of all Americans live within fifteen miles of a Wal-Mart.
You may think that I am complaining, but I am really laying the ground work for suggesting that MAYBE we should hire the guys who
run Wal-Mart to fix the economy.

This should be read and understood by all Americans - Democrats, Republicans, EVERYONE!! 

A. The U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.
B. Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.
C. Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.
D. War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor" and they only want more.
E. Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.
F. Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke.
G. The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before.  You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.

You have FAILED in every "government service" you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars.  To all 535 voting members of the Legislature, It’s now official - you are ALL corrupt morons!

It’s a sad state of affairs to say the least.  Washington, D.C. is out of control and waaaay out of touch with “we the people”.  “We the people” need to be very diligent in the upcoming election as well as the next two national elections (2012 and 2014) in order to make our voices heard – Loud And Clear.  It takes three national elections to “clean house” of all the dead wood as only one third of the representatives are up for election/re-election at a time.  Our votes are the only way to obtain election reform in this great country of ours.  For information as to where the candidates stand on the issues see Project Vote Smart.     

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Not Much Today

Yep, my reading skills was always better than my math skills.  It has actually been over 40 years, not 50 years, since I read “To Kill A Mockingbird”.  At “over 50 years” ago I didn’t even care that books existed.  In any case, I’m enjoying the book.

It’s official, we are now all set-up with the lot all trimmed and primmed and that’s a good thing ‘cause the “Ol’ Ta Do List” is growing with the Job Jar bursting at the seams.  I get tired just looking at it so it’s time to begin “aimin’ to” get started, however, today is Sunday and that means worship and football.  So, I’ll be sure to get going the first thing in the morning!!!  :-)

This will be a quiet week around the Plantation as the Chapter 26 Rally is taking place over in Chumuckla, Florida.  There are 33 rigs scheduled to attend, but we’re staying behind.  We’re rallied out and our pocketbook needs a rest as well.  Plus, as you just read, we’ve more than enough to keep us busy for a long, long time.

Well, that’s it for today and be sure to give your fur kids some loving.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Getting Into The Groove

Miss Judy went to line dancing followed by a beading group while yours truly stayed at home and took care of the morning chores.  Also, the tripod has now been installed on the front of the fifthwheel and the picnic table is out of the shed, set up, and ready for our use. 

I spent the rest of the day baking some beans and reading.  It’s been over 50 years since I read “To Kill A Mockingbird” and I’m enjoying it immensely.  Librarians across the country have given the book the highest honors by voting it as the best novel of the century.  Harper Lee, the book’s author, has received many literary awards as well as the Pulitzer Prize for the novel.

Judy spent the afternoon visiting with the neighbors and working on her crafts.  We rounded out the day with a “Sundowner” (pot luck dinner party at sundown) at Ron and Ruth Phinney’s house which is in our backyard (there were over a hundred people in attendance).  Yes, things are slowly returning to normal and we’re getting back into the groove.  We just love it here at Rainbow Plantation.

Ron and Ruth's New Home Just A Few People!!!

Today we’ll start by attending the weekly Bagel Social at Paul and Ruth Fuller’s house, mainly to visit Fillmore’s friend Andy, the black standard poodle. :-)  Then who knows.  I may, reluctantly, stick my fat little paw into the job jar and start scratching items off the “Ol’ Ta Do List”.

There are many ways to approach a “Ta Do List”.  One is to take all the items and prioritize them by importance or you could take all the items and group them by areas (inside/outside, front/back, etc.) or you could sort all the items alphabetically or you group the items into like tasks (carpentry, plumbing, electrical, etc.).  This is called “fixin’ to” as in, “I’m fixin’ to work on the Ta Do List!!” 

Fixin’ to is a southern term that means getting ready to begin to start.  It has a sister term which is “Aimin’ to” as in, “I’m aimin’ to do just that!!”  Aimin’ to has pretty much the same meaning, however, it’s generally directed toward a single item where as “fixin’ to” refers to either a single item or a group of items.  It does become confusing as to when to use which term, but don’t worry about it – you can use either term freely and the people around these parts will know what you mean.

The bottom line is that I’m fixin’ to start working on the “Ta Do List” and today may be that very day when I actually begin.  You’ll have to check ‘er out tomorrow to see what actually transpired!!   ‘Til then . . . . . . 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Gettin’ ‘Er Done

Wow!!  The weather has been absolutely positively fantastic ever since we arrived back here at Rainbow Plantation.  The days start in the 50’s with the temperatures moving into the 80’s by afternoon with very low humidity.  That’s just the way we like it and it’s just perfect for sitting out in our lawn chairs with a nice cold glass of tea.

We have made good progress in getting settled.  The lawn has been mowed, the “Patterson” sign is up, all the solar lights have been put out, the fire pit is out, and the lawn chairs are set up.  I still need to install the tripod to the front of the RV, feed the fire ants, bring the picnic table out of the shed, and trim the grass around the shed and shrubs.  Then it will be time to reach into the job jar to start working on the never ending “Ta Do List”.  There will be more than enough to keep me busy for a little while.

Judy and Ellie have been going to the line dancing that takes place on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at the ridiculous hour of eight o’clock – Woohoo!!  They claim that it gives them some exercise, however, Jim and I think we should discuss the benefits of line dancing over breakfast at the Foley Coffee Shop.

The Line Dancing Event

Yesterday we went out to get Judy’s hair cut, pick up some basket weaving supplies for Judy’s beading, kitty supplies for Katie and Alex, and a few grocery items for the larder. 

I, also, picked up a 12k bottle jack and some more fire ant “food” at Lowes.  Rain is in the forecast for Monday so I’ll be sure to put out the fire ant “food” just before the rain so it can soak into the ground – this is supposed to be the good stuff (only needs to be put down once a year).  Ahhh, the chores of a homeowner!!!

Here’s another sunset picture taken from our front yard.

'Twas Prettier In Person

And with that, we bid you farewell for today.  Until tomorrow . . . . .

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fruits and Nuts

It’s that time of year once again, the Political Season.  Time when all the candidates take to the air waves with their political advertisements.  And this year we certainly have a bumper crop of fruits and nuts.

This year has got to the nastiest campaign year I’ve ever seen.  Most television commercials are telling us how big of a scoundrel the opponent is.  He/she is a thief, a thug, an extortionist, a witch, and, yes folks, New York even has a whore.

The sad thing is that candidates use this type of advertising because it works and that’s scary!!   The fact that it works means that the American public is buying into this horse hockey and making their selections based on it.  No wonder Washington, D. C. and our state governments are in such a mess.  

There is little to no truth what so ever in the negative advertising.  The candidates are exploiting insignificant issues in their opponent’s history by exaggerating and/or embellishing the facts which pretty much means they are all a bunch of liars.  We don’t need, or want, any of them representing us.

Speaking of representing us, do you think that these people are sacrificing themselves in order to work on our behalf?  Think about it!!  They are spending multi-millions of dollars to gain a seat in government.  Would someone do that for your and my betterment?  Not!!!  They are looking out for their own interest - it’s all about return on investment.  They are spending millions and millions of dollars to increase their own bottom line (net worth).  Within a few years in Washington most of them are multi-millionaires with full pensions and health benefits for life.

It’s no longer “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country”.  It has become ask what my country can do for me and screw the rest of it.  Therefore, it has come to the point where political ads are designed to get us to hate the opponent more than you hate the candidate him or her self.

I don’t know about you, but I want to know where the candidates stand on the issues.  Whenever a candidate starts “bad mouthing” their opponent I tune them out.  I don’t need them to point out the weaknesses in others, but to outline their strengths and tell us what they stand for.  However, it ain’t happening.

So, the question becomes how can we level the playing field?  There’s an independently operated web site called Project Vote Smart which is made up of people from all parties and is designed to inform us where the candidates stand on the issues.  The following is taken from their website:

“On common ground at a unique research center high in the Montana Rockies, a struggling group of Americans, who you are unlikely to know and will probably never meet, have begun a battle. A battle to protect all of us from the selfish interests that strip us of the most crucial component in our struggle to self-govern -- access to abundant, accurate, and relevant information.

Here at Project Vote Smart, Americans young and old volunteer their time, take no money from special interest groups, and have committed themselves to an extraordinary effort that, if successful, will provide their fellow citizens with the tools for a reemergence of political power not known for half a century. Their idea is one you may have thought of yourself. It is a deceptively simple concept but enormously difficult to achieve and would not be possible without the collaboration of citizens willing to lay their partisan differences aside for this one crucial task.”

I encourage everyone to turn off their televisions and visit the Project Vote Smart website.  Take time to study the issues and know where the candidates stand on each of the issues.  If a candidate is refusing to take the “courageous test” then email him/her and let them know that they won’t be receiving your vote.

There will be no campaign reform coming from Washington anytime soon so the only way to reform is through our collective voting.  Therefore, it is very important to be an informed voter and Project Vote Smart is a good start.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Life At The Ranch

Yesterday was a half “get set-up” day and a half “goof-off” day.  We would piddle around the house for awhile and then find a chair to sit in for awhile.  I got the clothesline attached to the back of the RV and Judy did a couple of loads of laundry – just love that “dried outside smell” on our clothes.  It’s good to be home!!!

Sunset At The Plantation

I went to the library and picked up a couple of books that I had ordered a few days back.  I’m planning to read some of the old classics this year beginning with “To Kill A Mockingbird”.  Fairhope has a great library that I use a lot while we are here at the Plantation.

Jim and Ellie Meacham arrived in the afternoon and will be staying for a month so we’ll have some additional playmates to play with.  It will be good to just sit back, relax, and get to know them better.  We all feel the need to just lay low and take it easy for awhile after a summer of “Wandering America”. 

Norm and Linda Payne hosted the four of us to an exquisite dinner at their place.  Why do we ever go out to eat?  There are so many great cooks amongst ourselves and the ambiance couldn’t be any better.  It was “Oh So Goooood!”  Thanks guys, we really enjoyed our evening together.

Jim, Ellie, Linda, Judy

Today we need to start organizing the “Ta Do List”.  Ye Ol’ Job Jar is bulging at the seams.  One of the first things that I have to do is mow the lawn.  I should have thought and called ahead to let the office know when we were returning so that they would have at least mowed where the coach is parked – Oh well!!! 

After the lawn is mowed, it’s get the lawn “stuff” outta the shed to make room for the bikes.  Judy wants me to wash off the patio because it is covered with “black stuff”.  By then, it should be time to find a chair somewhere that needs to be occupied – maybe even sit outside with Alex for awhile.  By the way, all of the above isn’t even in Ye Ol’ Job Jar.  That is just part of the routine set-up chores at the Plantation. 

Well, enough is enough.  I’m not sure how much I will get accomplished – after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  However, after I swill down this remaining cup of coffee, it’s off to the shower and on to the chores.  See ya later!!! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Home Again, Home Again

We’re here!!  Well, duh!!  Everyone has to be someplace.  So where’s here?  It’s Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig. 

Just south of Montgomery Judy caught a real strong whiff of the barn so now we’re home!!! 

Four hundred and seventy-two miles and three pits stops later and here we be – right back where we started from six months ago!!

So, there’s just one thing left to say.  Welcome home, Patterson Family, welcome home.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Grandkids Kinda Day

Yesterday morning we rolled out of bed with our house guest still sleeping.  She came to shortly after we fired up the ol’ coffee pot (“wake up and smell the coffee!!”).  After a breakfast of homemade pancakes followed by a movie, it was time for Grandma and Catia to make an apple pie.

Grandma's Little Helper Sampling The Wares

Then it was off to the playground to see if we couldn’t wear the little munchkin out.  No way!! 

The Monkey Bars A Monkey Behind BarsI Get Around Ya Horse!!Up, Up And Away What Goes Up Must Come Down

Okay, so Grandma and Grandpa wore out first!!  The rest of the crew showed up around lunch time and we sat around the fire eating a taco casserole and home made apple pie.  Here are some random pictures that highlight the afternoon.

"I Want Hat!" Two Little Girls On Grandpa's LapI Think I Lost My Hat Radek JamesBig Sis With Her Little Brother Big Sis With Her Little SisterSome Enjoy The Fire While Others Watch Football On Their Phone Up And At 'Em

Our time here in Tennessee has drawn to a close.  Today we begin rolling down the highway.  The destination is Rainbow Plantation, but it is 472 miles from Cedars of Lebanon State Park to the Plantation - that equates to nine and a half hours of travel time.  Therefore, we’ll be stopping somewhere around Montgomery, Alabama to spend the night.  Then we’ll arrive at 318 East Traveler Street around noon time tomorrow.

In the meantime, we hope all your travels are safe.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

12 And O

After coffee and computers yesterday we shampooed the carpets.  We like to borrow Matt and Jackie’s Hoover carpet shampooer.  It’s nice and heavy and does a great job on the carpets.  With that chore behind us, it was time for Catia’s final soccer game of the season.  Let’s pick up the announcer’s dialog:

“Here we are back at Riverside Stadium in beautiful downtown Murfreesboro on another gorgeous day.  Today the Nationals will be taking on the Chaos.  Both teams are 11-0.  The Nationals have been a good solid team all season, but the Chaos is known for their late quarter rallies that leaves their opponents devastated.”

“So, Kirk, what do you think the Nationals’ strategy will be?”

“Well, if I were Coach Cliff I would start Catia Patterson on offense in an attempt to run up the score and then place her on defense for the last two quarters to keep the Chaos from a late game rally.”

“The pregame ceremonies are underway and there’s the Nationals’ Super Star, Catia Patterson.”

Opening Ceremonies Super Star Catia Patterson

By the way, Catia’s sister Kalina and brother Radek were on hand for the last game as well, however, Kalina was more interested in making a fashion statement with Grandpa’s hat while Radek was turning circles in the parking lot with his chick magnet sports car in hopes of impressing the girls.

I Want Hat!!! Everything's Better With Blue Bonnet On It!!!Hey Babe, Wanna Go For A Ride? Where'd I Put Those Sun Glasses?

“Okay, the game is on.  And Catia has taken the ball to the net and she scores on the opening play of the game.  It seems that the Coach is following your game plan, Kirk.”

Score!!! Good Offensive Play

The game continued on with Catia scoring another goal before the end of the first quarter.  The Coach continued to follow Kirk’s pregame advise and put her on defense for the second quarter.  At half time the Nationals maintained a 2-0 lead.

“It’s the beginning of the third quarter and Coach Cliff has benched Catia.  The crowd is going wild.  They’re chanting, ‘Catia, Catia, Catia!!’  I wonder what the strategy is behind this move, Kirk?”

The Bench "Catia, Catia, Catia"

“I’m not sure either.  Maybe he’s attempting to get her rested for the fourth quarter.  I hope it doesn’t ice her.”

“Well, it doesn’t seem to be working as the Chaos has scored on the opening play of the second half.  Has the rally begun?”

Chaos On The Move Are They Rallying?

Before the end of the third quarter the Chaos had tied the game and the National fans were sitting on pins and needles.

A Nail Biting Game What's Going On, Grandpa?

“It’s the beginning of the fourth quarter with the scored tied.  Coach Cliff has put Catia Patterson back in the game on defense.  Is that a wise plan, Kirk?”

“Yes, I think it is.  At this point they don’t want the Chaos running up the score and with Catia on defense she can keep the ball at the other end of the field allowing one of her team mates to make a score.”

Great Defensive Play Go Team!!!  Yay Team!!!

And, folks, that is just what happened with the Nationals winning the game 3 to 2.

“Well there you have it, Ladies and Gentlemen.  The Nationals have made it 12 and 0 preserving their perfect season and becoming the Murfreesboro Soccer Champions.  What do you suppose is in store for the future for Super Star Catia Patterson, Kirk?”

“We’ll just have to wait and see.  She’s a free agent and only time will tell if she plays for the Nationals again next year.”

There you have it.  Thanks for indulging a Grandpa’s vivid imagination.  These soccer games are the reason that we rushed back to Tennessee from Michigan. 

After church last night we had a stowaway who came for a sleepover.  None other than the soccer sensational, Catia.

The Stowaway Is It Time To Get Up?

Today we’ll have another family gathering around the fire; there will be more pictures.  Hope you don’t get tired of seeing pictures of our grandchildren because, “It’s all about grandchildren” – ya know.

Until tomorrow . . . . . .