Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Morning

Is It Tuesday Yet? 

Yes, Katie, it is Tuesday morning. 

The little blonde weather girl is predicting severe weather conditions throughout the day, however, our NOAA alarm hasn’t sounded as of yet.  Fortunately for us, most of the weather appears to be following it’s normal pattern of traveling in a Northeast direction along the western shore of Mobile Bay.  We’ll definitely get some heavy rain before it’s all said and done.

Yesterday I finalized my very first painting and here’s the finished product.

    End Of The First Class End Of The Second ClassThe Finished Product

There was still more that I could do to it, but the goal was to learn how to paint so it’s time to quit tweaking and move on.   This painting was done in oils, but Gil, my instructor, wants me to try acrylics next.  My next painting will be of a seascape and/or a light house; I need to pick something out today in order to be ready for tomorrow’s class.

Today, Judy and I are volunteering on a quilt making project at the clubhouse.  There is a need for baby blankets in Africa for new born infants.  There will be a production line in hopes of producing around 150 blankets.   More on that tomorrow.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -  

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Spectacular Sunday

Let me say this about that.  Sunday is one of the top ten days of each week!!  Yesterday was a great day of Worship, Football, Reading, Napping, Figure Skating, and Ice Cream.

We are attending a Southern Baptist Church named Church Of The Eastern Shores.  This is not your father’s Southern Baptist Church.  The music is very contemporary, the Pastor dresses casually, the sermons are lively, entertaining, and challenging, and the Holy Spirit is moving among the congregation.  It provides us with a great worship experience each Sunday.

As for the football, We’d rather watch college ball over professional.  There are waaaay toooo many overpaid prima donnas in the AFL/NFL.  But, Sunday is pro-ball day, none the less, so we tune in to root for our favorite teams.  Go Pats, oops, the Patriots played on Thanksgiving day and whooped the Lions.

I’ve been reading the old classics and am currently reading George Orwell’s 1984.  This is a fun book that was written in 1949.  It’s scary to see how many of the “predictions” came true with the advent of the computer age.  Anyway, this is another book that I first read during my high school days and is rather light reading.

It is truly amazing how Miss Judy and I have learned the art of napping from our furry kids, Katie and Alex.  Our quick katt napp ended up being a little longer than we had anticipated, but Miss Judy did get up at 4:30 yesterday morning (silly girl!!).  I hadn’t slept all that well since what I thought was a sinus attack might really be a cold setting in.  I guess we needed a little extra sleep.

Later in the afternoon we watched A Holiday Celebration On Ice with music by the Mannheim Steamroller.  We love Mannheim Steamroller music and the show featured the skaters that we remembered from the 1990’s.  Very nostalgic to say the least, brought back memories of when we lived in Maine and Mannheim Steamroller Christmas music is the best.

Well, worship and social time are the book ends for any given Sunday.  Everything in between is subject to our whims, but we begin the day with Worship at our church and end the day with the Ice Cream Social at the clubhouse.  So, last evening, we joined in with a hundred of our closest friends for more fun, food, and fellowship (food being ice cream).  Then it was home again, home again to put the cap on our day.

Now it’s on to today.  What’s on the agenda?  If it’s Monday, then it’s arts and crafts.  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Quiet Day At Home

What a difference twenty four hours can make.  Friday morning we woke up to 74* weather; yesterday morning it was 32*.  The cold front has just about passed through so warmer temperatures will be returning, thank goodness!

We began yesterday morning with Larry’s biscuits and gravy for breakfast at the clubhouse.  Always a great way to start the day.  Then it was home to do our daily chores before decorating the house. 

Normally we decorate the house for Christmas on Black Friday, but we actually went shopping; therefore, we didn’t get around to setting up the tree until “Broke” Saturday.  As a side note:  Surprise, surprise, the crowds weren’t too bad at all on Black Friday.  Of course, we waited until eight o’clock when all the hardcore shoppers were all done with their shopping (they had all gone to Cracker Barrel by then).

Oh Tannenbaum

Other than decorating, we managed to just enjoy ourselves in front of the fireplace drinking hot chocolate (with peppermint schnapps) while reading, playing on our ‘puters, and watching a little college ball.  A nice quiet day at home with the two of us (and the katts); just the way we like it from time to time.

Something New For The Katts To Play With Warm And Cozy Next To The Fire

Take Care Until Next Time - - - -

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Art Appreciation Class

Way back when Hector was just a pup and when visions of fulltiming was sugar plums dancing in our heads, I had this vision of what I thought fulltime RVing should look like.  Part of that vision was based on a commercial that would air during a show sponsored by Camping World called RVing Today which we watched every Saturday. 

This commercial showed a retired couple traveling about the country in their motorhome doing all sorts of different things.  One scene showed them sitting outside the motorhome on a nice fall day reading, another showed him fly fishing, while another showed her at the end of a dock doing a painting.

Well, being the romantic that I am (on occasion, that is), that commercial gave me nice warm feelings about the fulltiming lifestyle.  Right then and there I knew that I wanted to achieve some of those things, especially the painting part.

So, the summer before we began fulltiming, I started collecting watercolor “stuff” in an attempt to train myself.  That didn’t work out well at all.  My most significant accomplishment was learning how to mix various shades of black watercolors (with watercolors if you don’t mix the colors properly they turn to black in a hurry).  My last endeavor was to attend a water painting class held here at Rainbow Plantation last winter.  It was at that time that I decided that I should donate all my acquired watercolor “stuff” to my daughter-in-law who is, in fact, an artist.  

Now fast forward to a couple weeks ago.  Our next door neighbor, Gil, told me about an art class/group that he was going to start so I decided to go over to the first session and see what it was all about.  I was hooked, especially since Gil told me not to buy anything, just come over and try painting using his paints and brushes. 

Below is my first endeavor, the first photograph you saw in our journal entry a few days ago.  The second one is of how things looked after class number two.  There’s still a lot more to be done with this painting, but it’s coming together.

End Of First Class   End Of Second Class

As you can see, the trees in the middle of the picture need a lot more work, the waterfalls still need some more work, and everything on the right side of the picture has barely been started.  The goal on this, my very first painting, is to learn technique; not produce the perfect painting.  If I produced a first class painting on my first attempt, what challenge would that be?  I might just as well hang up my paintbrushes (or, in this case, Gil’s paintbrushes).  At least, I’m off to a good start and having a lot of fun; Gil is proving to be a good and patient instructor.

On the home front, Judy is continuing to work on her quilting and beading projects while picking up a few more craft projects along the way.  When you’re sitting still for awhile, it’s good to have fun hobbies to help occupy your time and Miss Judy has more than enough to keep her busy.  We will show you pictures of her various “basket weaving endeavors” after Christmas; need I say more?

The fulltiming lifestyle is a great way to live.  You get to travel some, make lots of new and interesting friends, and take time to work on your favorite hobbies along the way.  How did we ever find time for a full time J-O-B?  One day just flows into the next and before you know a week has flown by.

Ba-bye for now.  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner

As always, we had a great Thanksgiving dinner with our friends here at Rainbow Plantation.  We rolled out of bed, had our coffee and ‘puter time, and then got busy with our contributions for the Thanksgiving meal.  Judy made her cranberry sauce and two pumpkin pies while I stuffed celery with cream cheese and olives and stuffed dates with peanut butter then rolled them in powdered sugar.

Centerpiece At The Front Of The Clubhouse

Linda did a wonderful job decorating our table and all the dishes were superb.  There was more than enough food in which to stuff ourselves.  We had mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, carrots and broccoli, coleslaw, cranberry sauce, stuffed celery, and stuffed dates to accompany our turkey and gravy.  For dessert there was pumpkin pies and a chocolate eclair cake.  Needless to say, we imbibed in a little fruit of the vine with our dinner.  Everything was so wonderful; can you say yum, yum?

Our Table Milling About Before Dinner

After dinner, it was home for a quick katt nap and to watch a little football.  Hope you all had a wonderful day with family, friends, and food as well.  We agree with Terry (Guiler Travels) about Thanksgiving being one of our favorite holidays of the year.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Let Us Give Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

Yep, it’s Turkey Day once again.  Time for us to sit still for a few minutes and give thanks.  I know it’s hard to stop and give thanks with all the busyness that surrounds our lives.  The world today keeps us busy in the “want” mode so much that we have very little time to stop and give thanks.  Even today, Thanksgiving Day, many of the stores are going to be opened so that we can go out and fulfill our “wants”.  In any event, let us make an effort this Thanksgiving Day to find a little time to give thanks.

Judy and I will be celebrating our Thanksgiving dinner with our family here at Rainbow Plantation.  The club will be providing the turkey and gravy for over 200 guests at the clubhouse.  Each table plans its own menu with each person contributing a dish for the meal.  We will be joining Norm and Linda along with her daughter, Amy, along with her husband, Trent, and their little girl, Lilly.  Also joining us will be Don and Gloria and, our new friends, Paul and Margery.    

Katie, Alex, Judy, and I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and hope you have a great day with family and friends.  And be sure to take some time to thank the Lord for all His blessings on our nation and our lives.  God Bless. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

“Let Me Tell Ya ‘Bout My Grandkids”

Being the fine grand parents that we are, let us dote on our grand kids for just a little bit.  Even though we are very, very young, we still have six adorable grand children.  Three of them live in New Hampshire and three of them live in Tennessee.  So, let’s begin with the New Hampshire brood first.  All the pictures below are up to date having been taken within the past two months.

Marc is our second oldest child and is married to a wonderful woman named Amie.  As you know, from above, they live, play, and work in New Hampshire.  Their oldest (and our oldest grand child) is Briana.  You remember her?  She went touring with Grandma and Grandpa this past summer.  Briana is 12 years old and is now in the seventh grade where she writes on the school newspaper.


Lola is their number two weighing in at 3 years old; and she’s extremely good at it.  She can create two more messes before you can clean up the first one, that’s how “good at it” she is.  We call her our pay back child; she’s paying her parents back for all the wacky things they did to their parents while they were growing up.  Ya gotta love it when a plan comes together!!  Lola is an artist, just like her mom, and is able to sketch pictures of people that show their identifying likenesses, not bad for a three year old.


Last, but certainly not least, is mild mannered Rocco.  Poor kid, with two older sisters he doesn’t stand a chance.  Lucky for him that the family moved into a nice large house last month so he now has a bedroom of his very own.  Rocco is 18 months old.


Now moving south to Tennessee.  Matthew is our youngest child and he also was wise enough to choose a very wonderful wife, Jackie.  And, as you know, they live, play, and work in Tennessee.  Their oldest (and our second oldest grand child) is Catia (pronounced Ka-tia).  She turned five last December and just started school this year; just loves it.  Catia, just like her dad, is involved in various sports; remember the tee ball and soccer blog entries?  She says that she has the silliest grandpa in the whole world – I can’t imagine how she could have arrived at that conclusion.


Matt and Jackie’s number two is Kalina.  She is just a fun loving free wheeling two year old who, also, is very good at her job.  At first she was not very happy about her older sister going off to school and leaving her behind, but now she looks forward to having “her space” all to herself and “helping” mommy look after baby Radek. 


Well, we finally get to our youngest grand child, Radek who is almost five months old.  He is another Patterson grand son with two older sister’s and seems to have his older cousin’s laid back temperament.  Radek has already attended more professional sports games (football and hockey) in his first five months than his grand father has in his entire young lifetime.


As those of you who have been following our blog know, our daughter Mary sought out and found a great man named Joel.  They became husband and wife on May 1st of this year so, hopefully, there will be more grand children to come in our future. 

The Bible teaches us that children are a blessing from the Lord and Psalm 127:5 says “blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.”  Proverbs 17:6 says that “Grandchildren are the crown of the aged.”  Well, we’re not exactly aged, but we are truly blessed and have certainly received a crown of glory.

Can you say, “Amen” to that?  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Budding Artist

So, what do you think?  Can you teach an old dawg a new trick or not?  Well, it appears that it can be done, however, only if the old dawg wants to learn a new trick.  This old dawg had his first oil painting lesson yesterday and with determination as well as a lot of instruction and patience, I may be able to pull it off.

Here’s about an hour’s worth of work.  This picture isn’t even half done yet.  I’m still working on the trees and will need to work my way down.  Gil is proving to be a really good instructor and has found at least a part of an artistic bone in my body.  I must say, that I’m really enjoying the class, but I have a lot to learn about mixing colors and technique.

First Painting About 1/3 Done

Gil has three rules:  Rule #3 – Never criticize yourself, other people will do that for you.  Rule #2 – If someone says that that isn’t quite right, tell them that’s because you’re not done with it yet and then go fix it.  Rule #1 – Give the Lord all the praise for your talents and always keep Him first in your life.  Not bad rules to live by. 

I can’t wait to get back at it again Wednesday.  Being that we have four more months here at Rainbow Plantation and that the class meets twice a week, I should be able to learn enough to paint a few paintings during our travels beginning next April.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Summer Place

One of our greatest joys of this life is the freedom to walk along the beach, smell the salt breeze, and listen to the waves as they roll ashore.  We are fortunate indeed to have a nice quiet RV site nestled under the trees within a short walk to the beach along the Penobscot Bay in Maine.

Our Summer Place

The Belfast City Park is just “down the street” from my brother’s house.  The park occupies 15 acres right on the shores of Penobscot Bay.  The park offers lighted tennis courts, an outdoor swimming pool, picnic areas, a baseball field, basketball courts, horseshoe pits and a playground.  But our main attraction is the access to the beach.

Beach At City ParkLooking North Toward BelfastLooking South Toward Northport

One of my warmest memories has been looking out across the bay and seeing monument light standing firm announcing the entrance to Belfast Harbor.  There’s security in seeing that monument ever present on duty.

Monument Light

Belfast was once home to several manufacturing plants which actually polluted the harbor.  During the 60’s efforts began to “clean up” the waterfront and today it’s a beautiful shoreline with docks, parks, and walkways provided for recreational use.

Belfast WaterfrontA New Park Where A Poultry Plant Used To StandA View From One Of The Walkways

Being that we have family in Maine and New Hampshire, we’ll be spending time in Belfast each year.  Here are a couple of parting shorts of the Harbor.

Belfast HarborBelfast Harbor

Penobscot Bay conjures up many fond memories of family outings; clam bakes, cruising, fishing, parties, etc., etc..  The rugged Maine Coast has a lot of beautiful little cities, towns, and harbors, but Belfast will always remain on the top of my list since it is “home sweet home”.  So, needless to say, we look forward to our return to Maine this coming July.  

Well, thar ya go!  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The First Rally

It’s ‘bout time that us katts take over the keyboard again.  This is Katie and Alex here.  The story you are about to hear is true, only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

We are into year five of this “traveling at will” gig.  It was July 28, 2006 when we moved into our palace on wheels.  The wheels began rolling on October 14th of that same year.

Our first stop was an overnighter at Circle B Campground in Angola, Indiana.  From there the ol’ man had a brain storm.  Let’s email Norm Payne to see if he and Linda were hanging out around the Louisville (pronounce Lew-a-vull), Kentucky area.  Within the hour he had his answer.

Norm emailed back saying they were at Tom Stinnett RV in Clarksville, Indiana, just across the river from Lew-a-vull, along with Rich and Diane Emonds.  “Come down, the water’s fine!”  So, the very next day we caught “the last train to Clarksville” to join up with the Paynes and the Emonds.

Norm and Linda Payne Diane and Rich Emond

Now, when we arrived, they were parked in a public parking lot, but our rig was a little long so we moved over into the corner which was one of Tom Stinnett RV’s parking areas for displaying product.  They gave us permission to spend the night.  As one of the salesmen was showing potential customers some RVs, Alex was sitting on the table watching all the going ons.  One of the ladies caught a glimpse of him and said, “Hey, there’s a katt in that RV!”.  She didn’t know ours wasn’t for sale.  That was funny!!

Well, to make a short story long, Norm had gotten a call from his sister and brother-in-law saying that they were passing through the area as well.  So Don and Gloria Martin showed up to join the entourage.   On top of that, the main purpose that Norm and Linda were there was to meet up with Dirk Harrington and help him check out his brand spanking new Dutch Star motorhome.

Gloria and Don Martin Dirk Harrington

Now there were nine people joined together for a mini-rally at Tom Stinnett RV.  What do Escapees do at a rally; why go out to eat, what else!  The Paynes, Emonds, and Martins all had Honda C-RVs so there was a mini-parade roaming around the streets of Clarksville looking for a place to light for dinner.  They ended up at Don Pedro Mexican Restaurant where the meal was okay, but the fellowship was great.

So, there you have it, mom and dad’s first rally.  Oops, we forgot to change the names to protect the innocent.  Oh well, none of them were innocent anyhow!!!  Dad will be back tomorrow.


Katie and Alex

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Cook Returns

The katts let both Judy and I sleep in this morning.  It felt kinda good, too!  There really isn’t anything new to report on as we spent the day at the Plantation doing pretty much the same ol’ stuff.  Judy has been working on her quilting project while I have been working on the “Ta Do List” and reading.

The highlight of the day was the return of “Larry the Cook” and his wife Babs.  You know, like “Bob the Builder” or “Joe the Plumber”.  Well we have someone far more important - “Larry the Cook”!  Escapees travel on their stomachs so it is absolutely necessary for the Plantation to have “Larry the Cook”.  Larry does three meals a week; Tuesday night dinner, Thursday night dinner, and Saturday morning breakfast.  He’s on duty right now, as I write this paragraph, cooking eggs anyway you want them, as long as you want the fried or scrambled, that is.

Today is the monthly Craft /Yard Sale.  Tables are set up in the clubhouse where crafters and yard salers can display and sell their wares.  It only lasts a couple of hours, but you can find some really nice things to choose from.  We have a lot of very “crafty” people living amongst us.

Well, as you can see, a routine has settled in upon us, however, it is a routine that we can live with and enjoy.  Rainbow Plantation makes a nice winter destination especially when you need to hunker down and let your emergency fund heal and, hopefully, grow a little.  There are lots and lots of great people and lots and lots of fun things to do.  Further, there are lots and lots of functions with friends, food, fun, and fellowship.

So, when y’all coming to join us?  The more the merrier! 

That’s all for today, folks.  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Friday, November 19, 2010

Yet Another Farewell

Yesterday was haircut day.  I visited my old friend Charlie’s Barbershop in downtown Summerdale right next door to Summer Scoops Ice Cream Parlor.  There’s only one stop light and two businesses in downtown Summerdale and I just mentioned both of the businesses. 

While I was off getting my ears lowered, Miss Judy went to yet another basket weaving event; this time making fleece hats.  She’s one busy little girl.  Once she came home she got busy working on her next quilting project and I got busy washing the truck.

After lunch it was Judy’s turn in the barber’s chair; only women don’t call it a barber’s chair, but it’s getting the wig cut none the less.  When she returned it was back onto the quilting project while I did some reading.  I’m reading a book entitled, “Condi, The Condolezza Rice Story”.  Now there’s a woman who could be president.

Later in the afternoon we walked over to Chuck and Kathy’s to check in with them.  We knew that they were getting ready to pull up stakes one of these fine days and was curious as to when they’d be heading out.  As it turns out, today is that day. 

What’s this life coming to?  Just one eating frenzy after another.  As we sat and visited the time just rolled on by.  Finally the subject of supper came up and Kathy suggested that we go out to eat somewhere.  So “off we go into the wild blue yonder” for another eating extravaganza, this time it was Mellow Mushroom for some mighty fine pizza. 

As always, it was good to spend time with good friends and we look forward to seeing them again somewhere down the road as we’re out “Wandering America”.

That’s it for today so, Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Thursday, November 18, 2010

If It’s Wednesday, It’s Home Group

Our Wednesday night home group shares a meal together (I know, another food extravaganza) with each week having its own theme.  Last week was Mexican and this week was “Gas Station Food”.  Everyone was to bring something for the meal that they purchased at a fuel station. 

We found that the Foley Depot (corner of highway 98 and county road 65) has an excellent BBQ and we were able to purchase a nice tasty BBQ’d pork butt – voila, our contribution.  That was a whole lot better than the Slim Jims and Rat Cheese that I had threatened to bring as we left last week.

The evening menu consisted of fried chicken, fried creamed corn nuggets (ya gotta love these southerners, they’ll fry anything!), beef enchilada, chicken enchilada, pizza, sub sandwiches, and the BBQ’d pork.  There was ice cream and packaged donuts for dessert (we passed on the donuts).  The two enchiladas were extremely huge – each one would easily feed four people without having anything else and they were good.

What a great bunch of people, we are truly blessed to be a part of this group.  If we didn’t know better we think that these people were fulltime RVers. 

After the meal we all joined together for a Bible study and prayer time followed by some more socializing afterward.  Wednesday nights will definitely be one of the highlights of our weeks while we are here in Alabama.

Yesterday morning Judy went to her beading group while I attended an art class.  That’s something that I would love to be able to do and Gil makes it look so easy, but, alas, I just don’t seem to have an artistic bone in my body.

Now it’s onto Thursday.  Judy has another basket weaving endeavor while I have my “Ta Do List” to work on (I guess the Ta Do List is my hobby).  Whatever!!!  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Slow Day In Summerdale

I was in absolutely no hurry to crawl out of bed this morning.  It was so nice and snuggy, buggy warm under the covers that they held me firmly in their grip.  I had to literally peel myself up off the mattress and push myself out to stand in front of the coffee pot with hopes that a little java would pump some energy into these old bones.  Aaah, that’s better!!!

It seems that no matter how hard I scrub the roof there is still more dirt left behind and after a rainy day (like we had Monday) it manages to streak the sides of the coach.  We have a rubber roof and it is porous which holds real fine dirt in the pores.  So I spent some time yesterday on the ladder wiping off those darned black streaks.

Katie is all excited.  She’s been watching television this morning and all they are talking about is the engagement of Prince William to Kate Middleton.  So why does this interest our girl katt?  Because Katie heard that she will be known as Lady Katherine which is Katie’s formal name (Lady Katherine of Rose Cottage).  Katie thinks that that is a purr-fect title.

Portrait of Lady Katherine of Rose Cottage - Katie

Something is rotten in the state of Washington, D.C. (Duh, no s---, Sherlock!).  Congressman Charlie Rangel of New York has been found guilty of 11 ethic charges.  What I feel is sooooo wrong is that he gets to keep his job.  If I had conducted myself in that manner, my company would have fired my a— leaving me out on my ear with no pension and/or benefits.  But, he gets to keep his job and eventually leave congress with a full pension including health benefits.  We the people are being secured once again by our representatives. 

“They” have long since forgotten that the purpose of government is to provide a framework of law and order in which its citizens can go about their daily lives while leading a quiet and peaceable life.  Instead they have become Ali Obama and the 535 thieves looking for ways to steal from the poor and give to the rich – themselves.  Disney should take over Washington; after all, it is a fantasyland.

Okay, enough of that little rant.  As you can see we weren’t all that busy yesterday.  Hopefully something more productive will show up today.  So, Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Scraping Up Roadkill

Okay, so we went an did it again!!  Yep, another day, another get together, and another eating extravaganza.   This time a group of us caravanned over to The Roadkill Cafe in Elberta, Alabama to bid farewell to the Byrnes and Meachams who will be leaving Rainbow Plantation and heading west this morning.

There were 16 of us in all:  John and Sandy Byrnes, Doug and Anne Craw, Chuck and Kathy Donley, Don and Gloria Martin, Jim and Ellie Meacham, Norm and Linda Payne, Paul and Margery Zeller, and ourselves.  What can I say?  It was another good time with good food; all the roadkill you could eat buffet for eight bucks a plate.  You’ve heard of the 4H club?  Well, this is the 4F Club (Friends, Food, Fellowship, and Fun).

Linda, Norm, John, Sandy Chuck, Kathy, Margery, PaulJim, Ellie, Judy (I'm the one standing behind the camera) Doug, Anne, Gloria, Don

The buffet includes a salad bar, main entrees with southern fried chicken and a second meat (yesterday was smothered pork chops) with a good selection of veggies, drinks, and dessert.  We had coupons for buy one meal and get a second one for half price which made it six bucks each.  Ya can’t beat that with a stick!!!

The Buffet Eager Eaters

Other than that, Miss Judy spent most of the day at the clubhouse.  I did the housework and played on the ‘puter.  Being that Monday night is a non-television night, we spent our evening reading and playing on the computers.  Oh yes, I programmed our weather radio so that we won’t have to listen to weather warnings from Timbuktu.

We promise that there won’t be any eating extravaganzas today, but tomorrow?  Who can tell.  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Extravaganza

We had a wonderful time of worship at church yesterday morning.  The Senior Pastor was away dedicating a new facility at one of the other “campuses” so the Pastor of Discipleship preached.  He did an excellent job.  This a remarkable church in that during this time of economic upheaval they are building new facilities – one on the main campus and the one that was being dedicated yesterday.

Now, what we’re about to tell you next is going to totally astound you beyond all belief.  This is so incredible that we just know that you’re going to find it unbelievable.  You’d would just never ever expect this from Escapees, especially the Escapees at Rainbow Plantation.  Well, here it is, hang on to your seats – Last night we held another eating extravaganza at the clubhouse!!!!! 

It was the annual Soupa Supper.  For a $3 donation, per person, you got a bowl and a spoon so that you could travel from one table to another while sampling as many soup dishes as your little belly could hold.  At five o’clock sharp there was a hungry crowd on hand waiting for the “start gun” to go off.  The “start gun”, in this case, was a couple of numbers by the Shanielles (Rainbow Plantation’s own bathrobe ensemble).

A Hungry Bunch Of Escapees The Shanielles

There were 22 different selections to choose from and they were all very good.  Judy sampled five different soups while I sampled six, but we did ask for half scoops (or less).  There’s no way that we could have handled full scoops of that many soups (we’d have had a very busy night). 

Soup's On!!! And More Soup!!!

And, as if that wasn’t enough, the Soupa Supper was followed by the weekly Ice Cream Social with the Red Hats on hand selling cookies and brownies to accompany the ice cream.  We had to pass on ice cream but did partake in a couple of cookies (one each, that is).  More Friends, Food, Fun, and Fellowship.  Who’da thunk!!!  We told you that you were going to find it unbelievable.

After the eating extravaganza we waddled on home.  Our jammies and recliners were calling us.  We clicked on the telly and watched Extreme Home Makeover rebuild the school that was washed down highway I-24 in Nashville during the flood last May 1st while occasionally flipping channels to check in on the Patriots vs. Steelers game.  After Extreme Home Makeover completed their task, we locked in on the football game – Patriots won, Yay!!

Then it was off into never, never land for a few hours of shut eye.  Today is going to be a rainy day, but Miss Judy has line dancing and beading this morning with another basket weaving endeavor this afternoon.  I’ll just find something on the “Ta Do List” that can be done inside.  We do have a short trip planned for mid day so be sure to check in again tomorrow to see what we are up to.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Plantation Life

They say time flies when you’re having fun.  Well, we must be having lots of fun because yesterday just flew by.  We stayed in the park with Judy working on her quilting while I washed the rig yesterday morning. 

At noon we attended a Memorial Service at the clubhouse honoring veterans and Escapees who have passed on.  The ceremony was very well done with Odell Smith leading us in patriotic songs and hymns.  He sang acappella and has a a beautiful baritone voice.  The ceremony was followed by, what else, food and fellowship.

How do you spell Escapee?  With four F’s; Friends, Fun, Food, and Fellowship.  If you are bored or lonely while staying here at Rainbow Plantation, it’s your own fault.  There are soooooo many nice people here at the Plantation and more than enough activities available to keep you vewy, vewy busy.  That’s why time seems to fly by.

Later yesterday afternoon Paul and Margery stopped by for a visit.  We’ve known of them through our friends Randy and Terry so it was nice to finally meet them and get to know them.  They are fulltimers from Pennsylvania who travel in an Allegro motorhome.  You can read all about their adventures on their website – Living Our Dream.  They will be here for a few more weeks so we look forward to getting together with them again.     

Well, it’s time for us to start getting ready for church so that’s it for today.  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Blue Angels

John and Sandy picked us up at 1030 hours and we headed east on highway 98 with the destination being Pensacola Naval Air Station.  Each November the Air Station hosts its annual Air Show featuring the Blue Angels.  When they are not performing during the summer months, the Blue Angels practice at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola.  Right after the Annual Air Show they head to Arizona for the winter months.

We arrived on the flight deck at 1150 hours and walked around some the static displays.  There were demonstrations by military aircraft as well as performances by private “stunt” pilots that began at 0930 hours and continued right up until the Blue Angels show time at 1400 hours.

The Blue Angels demonstration began with “Fat Albert” going through his paces.  “Fat Albert” is a Lockheed-Martin C-130T Hercules that also serves as the Blue Angels support/cargo plane as they travel about the country.  It has some very impressive performance attributes for an aircraft of its size; mainly its ability to land and take off from short unprepared runways. 

(Be sure to place the cursor over each picture for more information regarding each maneuver.)

Demonstrating A High Performance Take Off Flat PassParade Pass Parade Pass

The Blue Angel Team is made up of six F/A 18 Hornets that have been downgraded from the Naval Fleet which means that they are among the oldest F/A 18s in the Navy’s inventory.  These aircraft are no longer combat ready and are used exclusively for Air Show Demonstrations.

Blue Angels Ready For Departure Blue Angels' F/A 18 Hornet

Once in the air, most of the show alternates between maneuvers performed by the Blue Angel Diamond made up of four aircraft and maneuvers by the two Solos.  The Diamond goes through a series of formation loops, barrel rolls, and transitions from one formation to another.

The Diamond Formation Diamond Roll: The whole diamond formation rolls as a single entityDouble Farvel: Diamond formation flat pass with aircraft 1 and 4 inverted Diamond Dirty Loop: The diamond flies a loop with all 4 jets in the carrier landing configurationEchelon Parade Diamond 360: The Aircraft are in their signature 18" wingtip-to-canopy diamond formation

The Solos fly near the speed of sound while executing high-speed passes, fast rolls, and extremely tight turns.  They, also, make some slow passes and slow rolls as well.

Opposing Knife-Edge Pass Section High-Alpha Pass: (tail sitting)

One of the Solos joins up with the Diamond to fly several maneuvers utilizing five Angels.  The pictures below are of the Line-Abreast Loop – the most difficult formation maneuver to do well with 5 jets flying a loop in a straight line.

Starting The Line-Abreast Loop Completing The Line-Abreast Loop

Then toward the end of the show all six aircraft join together to fly in Delta formation.  The last two pictures are of the Loop Break Cross and the Delta Break.  After the Delta Break the aircraft fly in six different directions and perform half Cuban eights (turns) then cross at the center of the performance area.  They were moving way too fast for us to get any good pictures of them crossing, but it was an impressive sight.

The Delta Formation Another View Of The Delta FormationPerforming the Delta Roll Fleur de LisBegining The Loop Break Cross The Delta Breakout

Before we knew it, the demonstration had come to a conclusion with the Blue Angels returning to terra firma.  I made a series of pictures capturing one of the Angels landing.

The Approach FlairingTouch Down Breaking

This is the fifth or sixth time that we’ve seen the Blue Angles fly - It never gets old.  It takes a lot of expertise and training to fly an aircraft like that; very impressive to say the least.  And on top of all of that, the weather was absolutely fantastic; a great day for flying.  Hope you enjoyed the photographs of the Blue Angels Air Show demonstration.

Now it’s back to w*rk for a few days.  The weather is calling for rain on Monday so I need to finish washing the rig.  But, we do have another outing planned for right after the weather returns to “normal”; hopefully by mid week.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -