Sunday, September 30, 2012

Welcome Home Patterson Family

Well, here we are; home again, home again, jiggity jig.  We broke camp and were on the road by eight o’clock Eastern Time in an attempt to beat the rain to Summerdale.  Aah, the sweet smell of success; we pulled into Rainbow Plantation at just a little after noon Central Time and was back in our stall plus all set up by one o’clock.  We beat the rain by a couple hours and now it’s as if we’d never even been gone. 

Jim and Ellie had invited us over for a travel day meal.  It was so nice to see them once again and the meal was delicious, but as always, the company was the best part.  It was a great evening of chatting, chewing, and chuckling.  Thanks, guys, for your hospitality and the wonderful meal.

Today is Sunday, so that means worship.  It will be nice to be at our own church in person once again.  Internet services are better than nothing, however, you can’t beat the real thing.  Later this afternoon we’ll join Norm and Linda for another “travel day” meal.  Norm e-mailed and he’s preparing quite a spread.  We’re looking forward to seeing them again as well. 

Now that we’re settled in, it’s time to start “rebuilding” the coach again.  I need to start with the bedroom closet and reinstall the clothes rack so we can get the clothes off the floor, then it’s onto restringing the day/night shades so we have some privacy, next we will be replacing the A/C shroud, refrigerator vent cover, and the bedroom slide topper, fixing the gas fireplace so we can relax in comfort while watching the logs burn, and on, and on, and on. 

How about all those chores that have to be done as well?  Like washing and waxing both the truck and the rig, both need a deep cleaning inside as well, getting caught up on the laundry, doing the filing, etc., etc..

Then we’ve got a Bocce Ball court to layout, crafts to do, visiting to catch up on, reading to do, and so on and so forth.

Tired yet?  Here I am sitting in my recliner while thinking about all of the above and contemplating running away from home.  In the words of Maynard G. Krebs, “Werk??!!!”  Yep, welcome home Pattersons, welcome home!!!

May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Spending The Day Outside

Being that we had a beautiful “camp site” with no other campers in our section of the park, we decided to spend the day at home.  Judy and I partook of our morning beverage on the “patio” overlooking the lake.  We fixed a nice breakfast of blueberry pancakes with real live maple syrup liberally poured on top.  Then, after doing a few chores, we went back outside to play several games of Bocce Ball.  Next we whipped up some nice raspberry iced tea, grabbed our Nooks, and sat back outside on the “patio” for some relaxing and reading. 

The first picture is from the road looking into our site while the next one is looking from the waterfront back up through our site.  What a big back yard!!!  You can double click on each picture to enlarge it.

DSCF7240  DSCF7245

This next shot is a zoomed in view from our chairs on the “patio” looking toward the lake with the second photo being taken from the waterfront looking across to the island where we watched the sunset on Thursday night.

DSCF7242  DSCF7244

And speaking of the sunset, here are a couple of photos of last night’s sunset.  You just might enjoy that last photo more by double clicking on it – it was a beautiful sunset.  What a great “camp site”.

DSCF7250  DSCF7248

Mike and Gerri arrived around twelve thirty.  We sat out enjoying each other’s company while chit chatting and sipping our beverages.  Then we threw some dead chicken on the grill.  Dinner was picnic style at the picnic table with the main course being the honey grilled chicken.  After dinner, we let our food digest for a few minutes while engaging in some more chit chat.  Then it was “let the games begin”.  The four of us played a couple games of backyard Bocce Ball.  Mike and Gerri had never played before, but it wasn’t long before they perfected their throws.  The guys won the first game and the gals won the second.  A good time was had by all.

Then, a little more chit chat and beverages.  Before you knew it, it was time to say, “So long for now.”  They are planning a trip to Rainbow Plantation between Thanksgiving and Christmas and we’d love to return to this COE park again in the future.  There are several site seeing opportunities in this area that we’d like to do and Mike and Gerri have signed on as our tour guides so, we’ll be back.

Today we’re heading to Sweet Home Alabama.  Hopefully we’ll arrive before noon Central Time so see ya from ‘Bama tomorrow.

Until Then, May God Bless  - - - - - - - - -

Friday, September 28, 2012

Making Our Way Home

It was a long but uneventful travel day.  Just after entering Georgia, we remembered that the Georgia Winery, one of our favorite wineries, is located at Exit 350 in Ringold, Georgia.  So we pulled off the interstate and pulled over to the side of the road to park the rig; the winery is only about a 100 yards off I-75.  I walked across the lawn and into the store to pick up four bottles of Judy’s favorite wine – Chattanooga Blush and Niagara.  Then we were on our way again.

There is a Flying-J about 30 miles further down the pike so we pulled in there to get the truck a drink of good old number 2 diesel and us a couple of slices of pizza for lunch.  Back on the road again for another three hours.  We pulled into the COE Holiday Campground on West Point Lake at about three thirty.  What a beautiful clean campground and with my Old Geezer’s Pass it is only twelve bucks a night.

Mike and Gerri had invited us for dinner so all we had to do was plug their address into Mrs. Landingham and we were on our way.  Gerri served us one scrumptious meal to say the least; we left stuffed to the gills.  It was good to catch up with them again and to see their beautiful home.  They have the neatest back yard; it’s a playground for the birds.


Unfortunately, with six hours of driving under our belts and a full belly, we began nodding off so we had to crawl out to the truck and make a bee line toward our PJs.  When we got home, we were treated to the remnants of a beautiful sunset across the lake.  By the way, these pictures are taken right from our site.

DSCF7233  DSCF7234

We’re not sure if there are any other people in the park; possibly just us and the two workamping couples.  The campground is closing for the season on Sunday so things are extremely quiet.  We’ve invited Mike and Gerri to come for a visit and are planning to burn something on the grill. 

The thought of having this whole campground to ourselves for the day is more than we can pass up; therefore, we’re going to give the truck the day off and just stay put.  We’ll drag the lawn chairs out and just sit on the beach while sipping iced tea and reading our Nooks.

One more sleep and five hours of driving and we’ll be home again, home again.

Take It Easy and May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Catching Up With Gene And Judi

It was only about 35 minutes from Raccoon Valley to Gene and Judi’s.  We passed a barber shop on our way to their house, so I made a U-turn and stopped in to get my ears lowered.  It isn’t the worst haircut I’ve ever had, but it is right up there.  And slow, this guy was so slow that I thought it would be time for another hair cut by the time he finished.  Oh well, it feels better anyway; I just hate it when my hair gets long and I can’t play a guitar anyhow.

We arrived at Gene and Judi’s and they gave us the grand tour of their house.  It’s nice and comfy, just what you want in a home.  Peanut the katt has adjusted quite well to his new surroundings as well.  Judi had prepared quite a lunch spread of BBQ’d pork and turkey, baked beans, a bow tie pasta salad, and coleslaw.  Chocolate chip cookies followed with a nice tall glass of iced tea to wash it all down.


After lunch the four of us jumped into the car for a tour of the Maryville (pronounced Mare-vall, or else they’ll know you’re from away) area.  It is a nice clean college town with plenty of shopping, a bunch of nice churches, and lots of neat neighborhoods.  “Mare-vall” has been recognized as a good retirement location by several different magazines.

Then we returned back to Gene and Judi’s for some more visiting.  With the Great Smoky Mountains right in their backyard, they are happier than a tornado in a trailer park.  It sure was good to see them again.  We look forward to our paths crossing again; maybe during the Christmas season in the Murfreesboro / Nashville area.

Today we turn due south heading for LaGrange, Georgia and a visit with Mike and Gerri Jones.  It will be a five to six hour travel day so we’re planning an early start; therefore, it’s time to go through the check list and make tracks.  See ya from south of the border; the Georgia/Tennessee border that is.

Here’s a parting shot of a contented sleeping katt.


“Hey, I was sleeping!!!  Whadcha haveta go and do that for?”  (the flash woke him up)


May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Side Trip To Maryville

What was I thinking?  Wash the rig on a travel day?  You’ve got to be kidding!!!  That just ain’t happenin’!!!  It was a short day, three and half hours and we arrived at Raccoon Valley just after noon.   After we got set up, the Golden Girls prepared us a nice home cooked travel day meal – Yum, yum.  Then we picked up a few items at Wally World before returning home for reclining, relaxing, and reading.  It felt “oh so good” that there was no way that I was about to give the rig a bath.

Today we’re off to Maryville to visit Gene and Judi and see their new digs.  After seven years of fulltiming, they put down roots in Maryville which is about thirty minutes due south of Knoxville.  They have family in the Nashville area (just a little over three hours away) and, as those of you who know them know, they love hiking the mountain trails which are right in their back yard.

Way back when I was managing a manufacturing plant in Marietta, Georgia, we passed through Maryville on our way to the Pigeon Forge / Gatlinburg area.  We commented that it looked like a nice place to retire; right at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  It will be so nice to see them again; it’s been almost a year since we last got together with them at Demo’s Family Restaurant in Lebanon, Tennessee.  How time flies.

May God Bless  - - - - - - -     

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Get Along Home Judy, Judy

It was an uneventful travel day – Yay.  We stayed overnight at Fort Chiswell and will be making our way over to Raccoon Valley this morning for a couple of days where we plan to do a “once over” wash of the rig while there. Then we’ll turn south through Georgia before making our way onto Rainbow Plantation.

Judy has caught a whiff of the barn and we’re both ready to be home.  “Yes, the katt came back, she didn’t care to roam, so the very next day it was home sweet home.”   So, those of you who are currently hanging around Rainbow Plantation can plan on seeing the whites of our eyes sometime Saturday afternoon, however, our eyes maybe a little red from all the banging over the roads we’ve been doing.

May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Monday, September 24, 2012

Poor, Poor Belle

With all the pictures of Josiah and all the attention he’s been getting, Belle the dawg is feeling left out.  So here’s a picture of Belle in hopes of appeasing her.

Belle The Dawg

Remember a little over a week ago that I mentioned finding some very flavorful provolone cheese at Trader Joe’s?  And then I flashed back to the time that Ronnie Knight introduced the Patterson family to The Baltimore and the Big M sandwich.  Well, after writing about that, I got a hankering for a Big M sandwich and went about rounding up the required ingredients.  I already had the provolone cheese and found some very tasty Tyson’s Black Forest Ham in the sandwich meat case.  A nice Genoa Salami turned up at the deli so now all I needed was some Kaiser rolls.  None was to be found so I substituted with some Ciabatta bread.

Spread some French’s yellow Mustard liberally on the top and bottom portion of the roll, toss on two pieces of provolone cheese, add three slices of ham, and top it off with three slices of salami and, oh my gosh!!!  The Big M Sandwich is back.  I cannot tell a lie, ‘Twas Tasty!!!  ‘Twas Tasty, indeed.

Well, this is it.  We are heading out on the final leg of our 2012 journey and will beginning to make tracks back to Alabama.  It seems like it has been forever since we occupied our “camp site” at the Plantation.  We are looking forward to our arrival – tentatively Saturday.  So, this morning, it’s pack up the wagon, hitch up the mule, and “Wagons Ho!!”  “See Ya Down The Road.”

May God Bless  - - - - - - - - -

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Baby And Katts, But No Baby Katts

Yesterday was a sort of quiet, take it easy kind of day.  We drove into Alexandria to spend some time with Josiah and his parents.  Josiah is becoming more and more alert.  The first couple of days, all he wanted to do was sleep.  Now he has figured out what food is and is quite eager to get some. 

He stayed awake most of the time we were there and was taking everything in.  He’s not a fussy baby at all, but Grandpa did get to hold him while he was crying.  After several minutes of walking around the room he was quieted right down.  He just wanted a change of scenery, I guess. 

After having lunch, and visiting for just awhile longer, we headed home to spend the rest of the day with our poor deprived little pussy katts.  The Feliway infuser that we purchased does seem to have some effect on them.  Katie was lying on the sofa, stretched out on her blanket, purring and “making biscuits” on Alex’s blanket.  “Making biscuits” is a term that Jeanne Webster uses when her katt, Katie, kneads on things.  Both pussy katts seem a lot more relaxed and happy.

Today is Sunday; therefore, it is worship.  We’ll drive back into Alexandria to worship with Joel and Mary as well as show off the newest member of the family to their friends.  Once we get back home, it will be time to start packing our bags as we’re hitting the road, heading toward home, tomorrow.  It will be “over the mountain and through the woods to Rainbow Plantation we go.”  We enjoy all the times we have with our families, but we’ll be glad to be home; it’s been almost six months since we left Alabama and we’re looking forward to returning.

Well that’s it for today – - Oh Okay, if you insist.  Here’s today’s baby picture.  A future Red Sox Fan.

Future Red Sox Fan

Praise The Lord, May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Trip To Fredericksburg

Yesterday was a busy day.  We went grocery shopping in the morning and then took a “afternoon trip” to Historic Fredericksburg, Virginia.  More about that in a minute, but first here’s the daily baby picture.  Josiah is not only cute, but he’s extremely smart as well.  “Josiah, how many days old are you?”  See how many fingers he holds up?  That’s right, four days old.

Four Days Old

Then there’s the Father / Son picture – A Proud Dad

A Proud Dad

Okay, it’s onto Fredericksburg.  Today Fredericksburg is a quaint little town made up of cute little shops where one can “shop until they drop” for sovereigns and antiques.  We began our tour at the Welcome Center where we watched a short video of Fredericksburg’s history.  Then we walked the streets, but didn’t go into any of the shops.  After grocery shopping we were pretty well shopped out and we didn’t need any antiques.  But Fredericksburg is a colorful unique “artsy crafty” little town as you can tell from the pictures.

DSCF9536  DSCF9538DSCF9539  DSCF9542

During the Civil War, Fredericksburg hosted four different battles in its immediate area with one right in its own backyard.  Hosted probably is not the most optimal word being that the battles were, in reality, thrust upon them.  The town is strategically located half way between Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Virginia, which were the two Capitols during the Civil War, along the banks of the Rappahannock River.  Also, several railroad lines converged in the town making it an important supply point for the Confederate War effort; therefore, it became a target of the Union Army.

The Battle of Fredericksburg (December 11-13, 1862) was fought right on the streets of Fredericksburg.  It pretty much reduced Fredericksburg to rubble.  The Union Forces, led by General Burnside, set up camp at Stafford Heights, on the east side of the Rappahannock River, and began building pontoon bridges to cross the river.  This was a costly battle for the Union Army.  First they were slaughtered while attempting to build the bridges across the river.  Once the Union Army was able to cross the river and gain access to the town, the Confederate Army maintained the “high ground”, known as Marye’s Heights,  behind Fredericksburg.

General Burnside’s battle plan called for a two pronged attempt.  One at the south end of town on Prospect Hill against Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson and the other on Marye’s Heights.  The prong at Marye’s Heights was intended to keep the Confederate Army occupied while defeating Jackson on Prospect Hill, but Jackson was able to maintain position and route the Union Army back into town.  Therefore, the battle on Marye’s Heights became the major event.  The result was a resounding Confederate victory that left the fields around Fredericksburg blanketed with Union dead and wounded.

We were surprised that the battlefields were devoid of all the monuments that we’ve encountered at other Civil War battle sites.  The National Park Service does maintain the drive from Fredericksburg south to Prospect Hill.  The pictures below are from “Stonewall” Jackson’s position on Prospect Hill.  Pyramids were erected along the rail lines to mark points of historic interest for the traveling passengers. 

DSCF9545  DSCF9546DSCF9548  DSCF9549

We mentioned that the Union Army set up camp at Stafford Heights on the east side of the Rappahannock River.  Headquarters were established at the Plantation Chatham.  Chatham was built in 1771 by William Fitzhugh, who was a delegate to the Continental Congress, on bluffs overlooking the town of Fredericksburg.  Chatham occupied 1288 acres and employed hundreds of slaves to operate.  General Burnside was able to watch the battle take place on Marye’s Heights from Chatham.  As the battle  progressed, Chatham became a field hospital for the Union Army. 

DSCF9550  DSCF9559DSCF9562  DSCF9561

We didn’t visit the other battle sites – Chancellorsville (April 27-May 6, 1863), The Wilderness (May 5-6, 1864), and Spotsylvania Court House (May 8-21, 1864).  Maybe we’ll visit these sites in a return trip to the area.  There’s so much in this area to see and do.

So, From Virginia; May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Friday, September 21, 2012

Baby Comes Home

Josiah went home on Wednesday afternoon so Grandma and Grandpa had to go visit him in his own element.  Here are a few more pictures of the newest Patterson Grandson.

All ready for the trip home.  “I think I’ll just take a nap, Momma!”

Going Home

And look at this beautiful little face.  Who couldn’t love a face like this?


And even Froggie wanted to get into the picture.

Josiah and Froggy

Grandma took the baby Fortner quilt with us.  We promised to show you pictures of the “finished” project once Mother and Son got to see it first, so here are the pictures.  It is a Paddington Bear “pot holder method” quilt; it’s called “pot holder method” because each block is sewed into a “mini” quilt and then joined together into one big quilt. 

Josiah Fortner Baby Quilt - Front  Josiah Fortner Baby Quilt - Back

Another project that Grandma had worked on was making a mat for the toy bars.  Here is the mat with the bars connected to it.  “Isn’t it great to have such a handy Grandmother, Josiah?  Think of all the fun you’ll have lying on that mat whacking the toys with your cute little fists.”


Today we’re planning another sightseeing outing so you’ll just have to tune in tomorrow to see what we found to see and do. 

In The Meantime, May God Bless  - - - - - - - - -

Thursday, September 20, 2012

National Museum of the Marine Corps

Yesterday, just for tickles and grins, we drove on over to the National Museum of the Marine Corps which is only a few miles from Prince William RV Park.


The Museum opened in 2006 with exhibits artifacts from all the wars in which Marines have participated beginning with the American Revolution (1775) through the Vietnam War (1975).  There is a tribute to 9/11 and the Museum is working on exhibits for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The Museum hosts on an average of 1,500 people per day.  The admission is free.


The main entrance leads you to Leatherneck Gallery and the Gift Shop.


We watched a short film about the spirit of the Marine Corps that explains just who a Marine is.  Once a Marine, always a Marine; Semper Fi – Hoorah!!! 

Then we began our tour down Legacy Walk beginning with the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War.  This picture below depicts the Battle at Harpers Ferry during the Civil War. 


Next was the World War I exhibits.

DSCF9497  DSCF9504

Then we enjoyed listening to the Marine Band playing several of John Phillip Sousa’s marches.  We enjoy bands, concerts in the park, and that sort of thing.  At one point I had a dozen LPs of the Coast Guard Band.  Do you remember LPs?  For those of you who don’t, they were just big CDs or huge MP3 disks.


Next we toured the World War II exhibits.

DSCF9512  DSCF9514

With the actual flag that was raised on Mount Suribachi at Iwo Jima on display.


The World War II display was followed by exhibits for the Korean War.

DSCF9518  DSCF9519

And last, but not least, exhibits of the Vietnam War. 

DSCF9522  DSCF9524

The last exhibit was a timeline tribute to 9/11 with a piece of I-beam from one of the Towers.  There were clocks on a wall with events of that morning placed in chronological order.


The Museum was a nice tribute to the Marine Corps and well worth the time to visit it if you are in the area, however, it pales in comparison to the Pacific War Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Hoorah and May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Welcome To The Family, Josiah Everette Fortner

I bet you can’t guess what we did yesterday?   We went visiting!!!  We made a trip to Inova Fairfax Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia to visit a very special little guy and, oh yes, his parents.

I warned you that there would be more baby pictures in the coming days.  Well, here they are; he’s the sweetest little baby boy ever (well, along with his cousins Rocco and Radek).  Introducing Master Josiah Everette Fortner.  Just look at that head of hair!!  He and Grandpa are both in need of a haircut.

Master Josiah Everette Fortner

And here is Mother and Son.

Mother and Child

Of course we need to show Father and Son as well.

Father and Son

Here’s a very happy Grandmother with Josiah and Tigger.

A Happy Grandma

Naturally you have a proud Grandfather as well.

A Proud Grandpa

And here’s Grandpa, Grandma, and baby Josiah – just one big happy family.

Happy Grandparents

What can I say, it’s our blog and we’ll post what we want.  And today we want to show off our new Grandson.  We’ll come down off or cloud nine in a day or so but, in the meantime, you’ll have to put up with a couple of biased Grandparents with the best, cutest, smartest Grandchildren in the whole wide world.  Seriously, we are very fortunate to have seven happy and healthy Grandchildren.  Praise the Lord!!!

May God Bless  - - - - - - - -