Monday, November 26, 2012

My Three “Grand” Sons

Here they are, the latest and greatest photos of our grandsons from oldest to youngest.  First is Hiawatha (Rocco) with Pocahontas (girl friend Evelyn).  They’re “fixinto” celebrate a Thanksgiving feast with the Pilgrims.

EV-lyn and Rocco fixinto to chow down with the Pilgrims

Spiderman (Radek) had a hard Thanksgiving Day of fighting crime throughout the neighborhood.  His dad says, “I told you Spidy was tired!”  Is that turkey in that thar bowl?

Spiderman (Rocco) after a hard day of fighting crime

Our youngest grandson, Josiah, is holding a vigil in anticipation of Saint Nick’s arrival.  Wonder how many days his mom can hold out?  Belle, the guard dawg, is somewhere around, I’m sure, and will alert the residents when the jolly ol’ fat man arrives.

Josiah and Mom getting ready for Jolly Ol' St. Nick

These lads are growing like weeds.  Now we just need to glean some updated pictures of our four grand daughters.  Thank God for Facebook, a neat way to “steal” pictures of our Off Spring’s Off Springs.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (I Thessalonians 5:28)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Take Me Back

Oh My Gosh, I must be getting old.  You know you’re getting old when you’re out of touch with “whasappenin”.  For instance, we watched part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television yesterday.  It wasn’t a parade at all.  It was just a big production with lots of “big names”.  The only parading was the marching up to the performance area.  And most of the music had nothing to do with Marching, Thanksgiving, or Christmas.  A parade is made up of floats and bands playing music as they move along down the street.  This was just Hollywood moved east and it wasn’t even very good Hollywood at that.

Then there was Black Friday proliferating itself onto Thanksgiving Day.  Wouldn’t you think that 363 days a year is enough for shopping without dragging people away from their families and friends to work on Thanksgiving Day and/or Christmas Day?  But, like dumb sheep gone astray, we go along with “them” and support all this non-sense by running out with a drumstick in one hand and our credit card in the other chasing after that elusive sale.

Speaking of all this mayhem, what’s with dragging out the Christmas “stuff” at the end of August?  Who puts up a Christmas tree on the day after Labor Day?  Traditionally, we put up our tree the day after Thanksgiving having let the turkey settle in our stomachs for a few hours first.  Even six weeks of having a Christmas tree in the house is more than enough, I can’t imagine four months of it. 

The whole darned thing has gotten way to commercial for me and I see shades of my father growing in my mind.  “What’s with this generation, anyway?”   Take me back “country roads” to a time with more sanity.  To a time when a Thanksgiving parade consisted of Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts and High School Bands and a Fire truck with a Jolly Ol’ Fat man throwing out candy canes.  A time when there was a clear distinction between Back to School, Halloween, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas.  A time when hot chocolate, skating parties, family gatherings took precedents over wandering the halls of the malls.  A time of “over the river and through the woods” to feast with family.

Oh well, I suppose that’s all nostalgia now.  So I guess it’s Happy HallowThanksMas, everyone.  However, try to slow down and enjoy the holidays.  So, put down that credit card and enjoy that traditional turkey sandwich – if that’s at all possible.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (I Thessalonians 5:28)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Turkey Day Cometh

‘Twas the day before Thanksgiving, when all thro’ the house, everyone was stirring, especially my spouse.

Yep, today we will start preparing some of the dishes for tomorrow’s feast.  We need to pace ourselves, ya know.  Cranberry sauce likes to be served cold and, even though I like my apple pie served warm, it’s alright to eat it at room temperature.  However, when it comes to sweet potato casserole and stuffing, they MUST be served right out of the oven hot.  So guess what we’ll prepare today?

Other than that, we’re just laying low and letting Judy finish healing.  We went out yesterday morning attempting to get some Christmas shopping done.  A couple hours was about all she could stand before she was worn out.  Her body is still fighting whatever virus she has, so short bursts of energy is about all she can handle at one time.  I’ll be sure to nap her tomorrow before we head over to Jim and Ellie’s for fun, football, and turkey.

While we were out, we did pick up a Papa Murphy’s pizza for dinner.  They have a good Mediterranean thin crust white sauce pizza that we like and the neat thing is that you can bring it home to cook when your ready to eat.  I fixed it for my bride around four thirty and then we had a nice Cadbury Ice Cream bar for desert.  Who could ask for anything more?  Pizza and Ice Cream; life is, indeed, good. 

So, other than all that,

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Rough Life

Oh my goodness, does this ever take me back in time.  Rocco looks so much like I did just a few short years ago.  I could almost swear that that is me on my friend’s dad’s John Deere.  “Old McRocco had a farm – E I E I O”

Rocco Takes The Helm

And here’s Lola and Rocco doing their Grandma, Grandpa imitation along with Amie’s rendition of us.  They think that full time RVing is a 24/7/365 camping trip.

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Yep, we live a rough life, that’s for sure.  As you know, from our earlier post, we are slowly making the transition back into a more traditional lifestyle.  One step at a time though, we close on our lot in January and will probably build a small cottage style home within the next couple years.  But, don’t expect us to grow up any time soon – we’re still Toys R Us kids at heart and have lots of playing left to do.

Judy’s been fighting a cold over the past week.  She woke up with a fever several mornings in a row, but this morning she’s feeling much better, thank goodness.  Other than that, things have been pretty much the same; clubhouse activities, church activities, housekeeping activities, Ta Do lists activities.  Hey, that doesn’t sound like playing, does it?  Well, while Miss Judy has been down, but not out, we’ve been catching up on a lot of reading.  I must say, we really, really, really enjoy our e-readers.

What’s next?  Why Thanksgiving, of course.  This year we are celebrating Thanksgiving with Jim and Ellie at their place.  Jim is going to grill the turkey and make a pecan pie while Ellie is making a special broccoli casserole as well as other complementary items.  I’m making an Amish stuffing and Judy is making a sweet potato casserole, some cranberry sauce, and an apple pie.  Somehow, I think we will have plenty to eat.

Well, thar ya go!!!  Another day, another dollar (spent that is).  Hope y’all have a great Thanksgiving with family and friends.  Don’t forget to take time to thank God for all His goodness.  We are soooo blessed to live in such a great country with freedoms that surpass all other nations.  And, no matter what our current circumstances are, we still have a lot to be thankful for.  Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!!!!

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (I Thessalonians 5:28)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Bringing You Up To Date

This morning it was refrigerator weather outside – 40*.  With the wind factor, “they” are saying that it’s equivalent to freezing – 32*.  That’s just a little bit of Brrrrrr in the air for us here in L. A..  But, the tide is turning and we’ll be back to more seasonal temperatures by the weekend.

Okay, what have we been up to?  Pretty much the same ol’, same ol’.  The truck has been vacuumed out and washed, however, the interior still needs more cleaning.  It’s getting near time to change the oil and fuel line filter as well.  Judy has been busy with her crafting projects.  Due to the state of the economy, she’s killing two stones with one bird; that is, she’s getting to continue on with her crafts while making Christmas gifts at the same time.  

As for me, I’m “fixinto” get started on another painting.  Last summer we went to Frankenmuth, Michigan with Shirley and Warren.  While we were there, poking around in some of the gift shops, we saw a one thousand piece puzzle of a New England Cottage overlooking the waterfront.  We liked the picture so we set the puzzle box up in order to make a picture of the cover.  After working with the photograph in Picasa, I have it cropped and straightened to the point where both Judy and I like it.  Norm has a printer that prints on “canvas paper” so he is printing me a black and white copy on canvas that I can use as a sketch.  Now all I’ll have to do is apply paint.  Let’s see how this works out.  Here are a couple of pictures – one is the sketch format for painting.

NE Cottage  NE Cottage BW Sketch

We continue to get together with friends and attend the four o’clock social several times a week.  Sunday night was “Soupper Supper” at the clubhouse.  This is where around 15 to 20 people make up a large pot of soup to serve.  The rest of us bring a bowl and a spoon and donate $3 a person.  Then we get to “test” as many soups as our little hearts desire.  There are a lotta great cooks out there in Rainbow Plantation Land.  Yum, yum and we all had a great time.  By the way, the donation is given to charity.

Well, I guess that brings you pretty much up to date for the time being.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (I Thessalonians 5:28)

Friday, November 09, 2012

From Darrell’s Chair

Yes folks, we’re still alive.  Yes folks, we’re still here in L. A. (Lower Alabama) on our ERPU lot.  And yes folks, things are beginning to “spool up” here at Rainbow Plantation.  Gary and Millie, the park managers, arrived back on Saturday and Larry and Babs (the cook) will be returning this week.  Judy has been busy working on her Christmas projects, attending Stitch and Chat and the Quilting Guild, and volunteered at the clubhouse doing seat cushion covers.  Darrell has been busy doing, umm???, doing what?  I don’t know, but I can tell you that I never get finished. 

We’ve both been doing a fair amount of reading.  I finished reading the Anna Pigeon series by Nevada Barr.  I must say that I wasn’t overly impressed with the last three novels in that series – the subject matter and some of the language was not what I care to be reading.  Hopefully, if Nevada Barr writes another novel in the series, she’ll clean it up a little.  Judy has her favorite authors as well.  She enjoys Debbie Macomber / Karen Kingsbury type of novels.  I’m quite sure she would like Jan Karon’s Mitford series.  I started reading them last year, but got bored with them after the first four novel.

I still need to get the topper awning over the bedroom slide repaired.  First I have to pull it off the coach and then I’ll need to take it to an awning shop to have it stitched (none of the girls at Stitch and Chat have a sewing machine heavy enough to do the job).  Then it will need to be reinstalled.

Some of the highlights over the past few days were getting together with Paul and Margery to go to L. A. Barbeque for lupper on Tuesday afternoon.  Good meal, great company.  It gave us an opportunity to get to know them even better.  We really enjoyed it.  Then last night we joined in with about 70 other SKiPs for dinner at the clubhouse (SKiPs is what they call Escapees members – abbreviated SKPs which equals SKiPs).  Anyhow, Medical Air Services Association (MASA) provided a free fried chicken dinner to those who would listen to their spiel.  Two favorite words of SKiPs is “free” and “food”; put those two words together and you have yourself a trifecta.    

Can you believe it?  It’s only a couple of weeks to Turkey Day.  And then it will be, “Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, coming down Santa Claus Lane.”  I don’t know about you, but I’m already bored with the Christmas season.  We’ve seen Christmas “stuff” showing up long before the pencil boxes disappeared off the store shelves this year.  Someone said we are celebrating HallowThanksMas this year.  Someone else said that it should be against the law to display candy corn and candy canes on the shelves at the same time.  Sounds reasonable, but we don’t need any new laws or regulations – we’ve got enough already.  What’s more?  Black Friday is now going to start on Thursday; Lord I hope we don’t choke on a turkey bone getting to the store on time.

We finally got through the longest, most expensive, nastiest, and most divisive election campaign of our life time.  I had said that it would be nice to get that behind us so we could have a couple of weeks vacation from election “stuff”.  Well, wouldn’t you know it, on Wednesday morning after the election, George Stephanopolos was talking about what the Republicans would do in 2016.  Really????  Give it a break already!!!!

Well, speaking of giving it a break, I guess it’s time to bring this post to a close.  So all y’all have a great day.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (I Thessalonians 5:28)

Monday, November 05, 2012

Autumn Leaves

“The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold
I see your lips, the summer kisses
The sun-burned hands I used to hold

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall”

Fall type of weather is beginning to manifest itself here in the southland bringing back memories of our childhoods.  As the cold brisk air began moving across the land, the leaves would begin to change colors painting the trees in bright yellows, reds, oranges, and golds before making their final journey to the ground.  The smell of fall would permeate the air with the scent of the decaying leaves.  Soon after that the leaves would be raked into piles along the side of the street where fire would be set to them with a new aroma penetrating the atmosphere. 

However, along their way to the side of the street, there would be huge piles of leaves in the middle of the lawn where us kids would play in them.  The piles would be so high that we could jump into them and burrow under them to be completely hidden from site.  We could move them around and make the outline of a play house where we would set up housekeeping.  We would spend hours just frolicking in the leaves and having tons of fun.   Now, I said all of that just to share some more grand kid pictures from New Hampshire.

Leaves, leaves, and more leaves; everywhere you look there are leaves.  And where’s there’s leaves, there’s kids.


“Aaaah, the sweet, sweet smell of fall.”


Where’d Briana go?  I just know she’s in there someplace.


There she is, and she’s found a katt in the leaves.  Wow, this is better than Cracker Jacks – it’s Tigg.


Fall in New England, how gratifying.  Our grandchildren are now living out the sweet memories of our past.  What could be better than that?  Life is Good!!!

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (I Thessalonians 5:28)

Sunday, November 04, 2012

And Even More About Grand Kids

Here’s the New Hampshire Brood.  They, too, are decked out in full regalia for celebrating that candy rustling season.  Lola, Briana, Rocco.


Scary looking bunch, aren’t they?  If this bunch showed up on my doorstep, I’d turn over all my candy in a heartbeat. 

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And here they are counting their loot.  Even Tigger the katt got a little prize.

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“Oh no, the candy’s all gone!!!”  Or is it, someone has a tummy ache from eating too much booty?


All we can say is that our grandchildren are growing faster than weeds.  Briana is in High School this year and Lola started school this year.  Rocco is still terrorizing day care.  Go for it Rocco, they need toughening up.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (I Thessalonians 5:28)

Friday, November 02, 2012

Exciting News

For the Pattersons, that is.  We’ve entered into an agreement to purchase a lot here at Rainbow Plantation.  The lot has a paved driveway and parking pad for the RV as well as a concrete patio for sitting out in our loungers to enjoy our afternoon tea.  Obviously there are full hookups with electric, water (both a well and city water), and septic system.  Also, there’s a 12’x12’ shed on the property that will be converted into Judy’s Studio.

Here are a series of pictures of our new lot.  This is the view from the road.  The lot is 100 feet wide by 221 feet deep which makes it approximately one half acre.


Next is a couple of views looking back towards the road taken from near the RV pad.


Here are a couple of shots of RV pad – there are two RV hook ups.  That’s the current owners fifthwheel and their friends motorhome.


And then there’s Judy’s Studio with the cotton field out back.


And we’ll finish with the current owners, Keith and Roberta Bisel, and the new owners, yours truly!!


Pretty cool, huh?  In the future, we’ll most likely build a small two bedroom cottage style home somewhere in front of the concrete patio, but for the next couple of years we’ll just continue living in the RV.  So, if you’re down by the bay, drop in!!!

Well, I guess that’s pretty much all the excitement we can stand for one day.  

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (I Thessalonians 5:28)

And More About Our Grandkids

Here’s the Murfreesboro brood.  This first picture is of the troops awaiting for the puck to drop.  Radek just loves hockey – Grandpa calls him Little Huck, short for little hockey puck.


Here’s a few pictures of Catia, Kalina, and Radek carving their pumpkins in anticipation of the arrival of the Great Pumpkin.  “Good Grief, Charlie Brown!!”

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Rather than ravage the neighborhood while pillaging for candy, they attend the World Outreach Church Hoedown.  It’s safer and the kids have a great time.




Have you been bubbled lately?  Our grand children have.




And, here’s Huck (AKA Radek) all decked out in his Spiderman costume complete with hockey stick, just what all good Spidermen carry these days.  You just never know when a hockey game just might break out.


Next up we’ll feature the New Hampshire brood.  We “steal” our pictures from Facebook, but Amie’s Facebook page, our source for grand kid pictures, has disappeared so it just might be a few days.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (I Thessalonians 5:28)

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Master Josiah E. Fortner

“So, how’s that youngest grandson of ours doing?”  You may ask.  Well, see for yourself.

“I’m cute, I’m lovable, and I’m spoiled rotten!!’


Here he is with Belle the Wonder Dawg.  “Nice pillow, Josiah.”


And this is what happens when Belle the Wonder Dawg gets up and leaves.


“What just happened?  Ermagherd, I’m naked!!!  Avert your eyes.”


Kiss me, mama.  Kiss me.


“Whatda mean the Patroits lost?”


Halloween cookies with momma.


“I wanna cookie, I wanna cookie!  It’s just not fair.”


Well thar ya have it folks.  Good Day!!!

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (I Thessalonians 5:28)