Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

No, we did not fall off the face off the earth. We are both busy here, but not like last year. We have a full crew of volunteers and all is running smoothly. Ed and Hazel have moved on to Lampasses to be with family. Stan and Stacy, 2 singles not together, have taken their place. We have Ted and Karen with us again this year, and new friends Carol and Everett. Bob and Diana have been here the longest. Everyone works well together. There is only a week left for us, and then we head south to warmer temps.
Christmas Eve will be the volunteer party for the residents. Tomorrow some of us begin cooking the goodies. I plan on making some fudge, and chicken wing dip. Maybe some other treats as well. I know we will have a nice array of good stuff to eat. Someone will read the Christmas story and then The Night Before Christmas. Some games are planned, as well as a Dirty Bingo. We always have a good time.
I have been down with quite a bad cold. I missed about 3 days of work, and now about 10 days later I am feeling more like my old (oops...not really old) self. I still am really tired in the evening, and fall asleep watching TV. That never happens. Tom yes, me no. Tom and some of the other folks were kind enough to fill in for me. I wasn't the first to get it, and I wasn't the last. Lots of folks have come down with it. I just hope that most of it will be gone for the holidays. We have been delivering quite a few meals lately.
It is mighty cold out tonight. I know it's not as bad as up north with all the snow, but we have have had unusually cold weather for this part of Texas. We've had snow, the earliest in 48 years, freezing temps, very high winds. But like they say here, stick around a bit and it'll change. Sure enough, it does. Trouble is it changes back. We can stick it out for another week.
We'll get out our e-mail card in a day or so. Best of the season to you all.

Friday, November 14, 2008

At the CARE Center

We are finally here at CARE. Our friends Ed and Hazel arrived on MOnday, and we have been doing things together every day since. Monday nght I fixed pizza for us all, and Tuesday Ed had I went over to the blood drive to to our thing. Tom and Hazel both take colesteral meds. We went up to Lufkin on Wednesday to the candy factory. Afteer a trip to Sam's we went over to there motorhome to have snacks and margaritas. They fired up the margarator, and we all had a good time. Yesterday we took off for Houston to some RV dealers. They are looking for a diesel motorhome. Tom and I love to look. Emily isn't going anywhere. There were some beauties there, though. After coming home we went and made banana splits. YUMMY!!
Today we all had our orientation at CARE. Since Ed and Hazel were on the schedule for this evening, we figured it was the time to do it. Tom and I are on starting Monday morning. The folks we take over for leave that morning. From now on we will all be busy, and not off at the same time. Not that we won't be together doing chores. We have found out that we won't be as busy as we were last year. That means we will be able to spend more time with the residents. Most of them just need someone to talk to about things. We have recieved bunches of Escapee hugs, and smiles all around. It's nice to be back.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

GreatTime With Great Friends

Yesterday Ed and Hazel came to Livingston to vote. They found us at the laundry, we had to do something while Emily was getting fixed. We went back to our site and sat and talked for awhile. The decision was made to run into town to try this BBQ place for lunch. The smoker was going out back, and we placed our order. We took everything back to the CARE Center, because Ed and Hazel wanted to visit with all the folks. Everyone was so happy to see them. They had to leave about 2:30 so they could get back before dark. The drive takes about 4 hours. They'll be back to stay on Monday. The plan is to hang out till we get down to volunteering. We'll have a great time. Margarita time!!
The call came that Emily was ready to come home about 2:30. When our friends left we walked home, got the car, and took off to the fix-it shop. Joel West did a great job. The weld that holds the air bag to the chassis broke, and the bracket cut the propane line. He replaced the gas line, and bolted on the air bags so they won't come off again. He also did some work for a recall on the refrigerator. This morning we had nice hot water, and I cooked oatmeal for breakfast. It's nice to have Em back together again.
It was good to Ed and Hazel. It'll be really great to be with them at CARE again. They are such good friends.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Back To The Opry

When we arrived in the park last week, the first place we visited was the CARE Center. One of the first things they asked was if we wanted to go to Liberty to the Opry. Of course we said yes. Last night was the night. The theme was "Legends of County Music". We heard some great music from some great musicians and singers. The house band is soooooo good. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
We went to Chili's to eat before the show, as the service at Ann's Seafood, where they usually go, has not been so good the last couple of times. Maybe we'll get there ourselves. We are not crazy about Mexican food, but we were able to get food we liked, and where full when we left. Dessert came at the Opry. I had coconut cream pie, and Tom had lemon meringue. The best coconut cream I've ever had.
We went off to vespers this evening. They always have communion. Volunteer speakers do a fine job of keeping the services going. Last week Tom helped serve, and this week there were so many folks that more cups had to be filled to make sure everyone got served. That's a really good thing.
Tomorrow we have to get Emily ready for the visit to the fix-it shop. The refrigerator is our main concern. We have the freezer empty, and I'll defrost it tomorrow. We have to be there by 8 in the morning. It's up and at 'em. And don't forget to vote on Tuesday. Let me tell you, we are surely the minority here in Texas. They are so Republican. They are also very ready to tell you so. Even if you don't ask. You gotta love them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Cold Start to a Busy Day

Today when we got out of bed it was a sunny warm 36 degrees. Mind you, I'm not complaining. Home was the same, but snow sleet and freezing rain. Knowing it would warm up was enough for us.
First we went to take the tour of the Escapees Grounds. They have an old trolley that takes groups around and a guide to tell you what you're looking at. They trolley has broke down, so we just toured the headquarters building and the mailing facility. It was very interesting how they take care of every one's mail. For those of you who don't know, it is a mail forwarding service for Escapees. Somewhere around 11,000 folks. It's like a city post office. The whole tour took about an hour and a half.
We stopped off at Emily to drop off our jackets, then went on to CARE for lunch. Today was roast pork, yams, cabbage, salad, dessert, and beverage. Not bad for $5. We saw some more of our old friends, and they were glad to see us. Miss Terry can sure cook up some great food. While we were there they announced they had made $6,000at the yard sale over the week-end. What a great turnout.
I finally got a dentist appointment. It was at 2:30, which gave us time to chat with folks. I didn't even see the dentist. The dental assistant took an X-ray, and cleaned out the crown and put it back on. I was finished and back home in under an hour. Not bad for being there for the first time. I had visions of waiting for hours.
Back home I got out my sewing machine and finished a project I have been working on all summer. I'm glad it's done. I love it when something is finished and comes out so great. Now it's on to something new.
The sun is setting really fast. It gets dark quickly here. All of a sudden you have to turn on the lights. It's almost time for dancing with the stars, and we are hoping that Cloris goes home. She has done a great job, but like Tom says, she must be getting terribly tired. For an 82 year old she has done a fantastic job, but it's time for her to go. We won't be watching the Phillies tonight. They have been postponed because of the weather. We'll have to wait till tomorrow to watch them celebrate. Am I counting my chickens? We'll wait and see.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

It's Good To Be Back

Thursday afternoon we arrived back in Livingston. We set up, had lunch, and went to visit the CARE Center. We received good Escapees hugs from some of our old friends, and were invited to go the the Liberty Opry with them on Nov 1st. Of course we said yes. At 4:00 everyday they have "meet and greet" at the activities center. We went over and said hi and checked in over there.
Friday we went over to Care because they have breakfast for 3.00 every Friday. You can have eggs, biscuits and gravy, potatoes, sausage or bacon, sometimes oatmeal, toast, juice, coffee, and cereal if you want that. In the afternoon, root beer floats on at 2:30. Some of the folks were there and happy to see us. We had a nice chat with Louise and Gwen. On Nov. 15 we are scheduled to go to work over there, so we will be here till then.
On the 4th of Nov. we have to take Emily out to get fixed. We hope it only takes one day. That just happens to be election day, and we hope you all vote. I won't get on my soapbox, but I think it is important that everyone votes. It's a privilege not all people have, so just do it. Tom and I have already voted by absentee ballot.
Today Tom worked on cleaning the awning. I did some cleaning inside. Now it's time for Penn State to play Ohio. WE ARE__PENN STATE. GO LIONS.
I can't forget to mention that as we were taking a bike ride the Thursday night, we found Fay ans Jay from the class of 2007. We stopped and had a nice time catching up. Lulu their little schnauser, was happy to see us, too. They did all the necessary things to become Texans. There are certin benifits to becoming Texans, much the same as becoming citizens of South Dakota like we did. They managed to do it in one day, and left this morning to go to a work camping position down south of here. It was sure good to see them.
The game just started, so I'm off to watch. Catch you later.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

On Our Way to Livingston

Today we started out toward Livingston, Tx. We will be arriving tomorrow sometime. It will be so good to see our friends again. Emily has a really bad propane leak, so we have an appointment for her to be fixed. To some it's like the doctors of humans. We can't get her in till the 4th of Nov. It's a good thing we can get by will electric cooking and showers at the campground facilities. At least we know where the leak is, and what they have to do to fix it. There are a few things we have to take care of, such as cleaning the awning and defrosting the fridge.The CARE Center will be one of our first stops. Just to let them know we are there, and willing to help them out if need be.
It is so great to be within range of a Verizon cell tower. Now we can catch up with our e-mails and phone calls. Once we get to Livingston I will catch up everyone on the parts of the trip I have not shared. It will be almost like being home.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Abita Springs Is a Great Place

First I'll start with saying, if we could stay another week, we would. This little town is so friendly. No matter which road you take out of town, there is something to see or do. Last night we went to the Abita Opry. Mind you, it's not the Grand Ole Opry, but the talent was super. They had 4 groups that played for 1/2 hour each. They are not allowed to over, because the whole show is taped for TV. They are strict on time. The house band started off, and finished. They play mostly Blue Grass. One group played what most folks refer to as Dixieland jazz. The group from New Orleans played what they called New Orleans Blue Grass. It was a cross between Dixieland and Blue Grass. The other group did old Blue Grass. Early sounds from Appalachia. They all did a great job.
When we arrived, before the doors were opened, we could sit in chairs out in front of the Town Hall and listen to a group who played on the porch. I guess it was just some folks who were jamming together. One was an assistant pastor from a church in town. They did a few old hymns, and some older country songs. When they allowed folks in, we could go up to a counter and get some of the food for sale. Hot dogs w/chili and the works, Home made Gumbo over rice, and lots of different desserts. We both chose the Gumbo, and home made bread pudding. Man, it was good.
Today we went down to New Orleans. We took the causeway, which happens to be the longest bridge in the world. It is about 26 miles long. It sure was quicker that going around Lake Pontchartrain. We stopped first at the visitors center, and was given instruction and suggestions from a very nice lady. She gave us a map and showed us where to park, and how to get where we wanted to go. On we went to the French Quarter. I really hadn't changed much since we were there about 6 or 7 years ago. We ate beignets at Cafe Du Monde in Jackson Square. We enjoyed all the street musicians, and the art work all along the streets. We took a rest up on the levee, and watched the river and called our Mothers. We had really good reception there, and we have almost nothing at the campground. We saw some big freighters leaving for the gulf.
After coming back down and checking out some of the shops at the French Market, we stopped for a sandwich, and started home.
What a nice time we had. Coming back to Abita Srings is definitely in the card. It's a nice stop on the way to Texas. There is so much we haven't done yet. There is always next time. We can come back when ever we want. What a life.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Abita Springs Brewery

One of the many things to do here is go on the brewery tour. There is no--get that--no charge. You go sit on the patio and wait till they call you. They call you into the bar, then you get any beer you want. Just walk behind the bar and hit any of the taps there. If you don't like beer, like me, you can have root beer. They make that, too. First a fellow who called himself the janitor tells you a little bit about the company. A brew master comes out then and tells about the mixing of the ingredients. After that he took us into the back where they do the brewing. We saw these giant stainless steel towers, and he explained how the procedure works. It was kind of hard to follow for me, but sort of interesting. We were not allowed to go where they do the bottling. They say that it's a safety issue. They explained that sometimes bottles break unexpectedly, and glass goes flying. Employees wear masks and such for protection.
What makes the beer so special is that Abita Springs in on a aqua fer. They don't have to treat the water with anything. They just filter out the dirt and make sure there are no impurities. Other than that they use it right from the ground. Most other beers have additives in the water. Abita Beer also does some great things with special beers. They made a special brew after Katrina, and donated lots of money for reconstruction. Now they are working on a new holiday brew for donation to a local project. Nice way to pay back the patrons and the community. Oh by the way, the root beer was terrific, too.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Let's Try This Again

I am writing a short entry today. I tried to do a nice entry yesterday, but because of bad internet connection, I had to write the whole thing twice. It still would not post. It was just gone. Needless to say, I was very frustrated. I just quit.
I will tell you more about the Trace when I find out if this goes through. We are now in Abita Springs in Louisiana. It is just about an hour north of New Orleans. Very close to Lake Pontchartrain. Today after we arrived and got set up we went into town and bought tickets for the Opry on Saturday night. This is local talent that does Blue Grass, country, and all kinds of local music. We are expecting a great night of music and they tell us they sell gumbo and bread pudding before the entertainment starts. Our kind of fun. There is so much to do here that we will probably be quite busy during our stay. We have plans to do a swamp tour, and of course visit New Orleans.
For those of you who know about it, we have just had some Blue Bell ice cream. Man, that's some good stuff. Tomorrow it may rain, so we may just have a down day. If this goes through OK, I'll catch up and let you kinow what we have been doing for the passed week.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Three Hour Tour

This morning we got up early (even set the alarm) and had to be out front at 8:15. The shuttle pulled up, and off we went. The first stop was at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel to pick up more folks. Our tour was now started. The driver took us to the historic area old Nashville. We didn't stop there, but past the Fort Nashborough. We went by so fast we couldn't take photos. Then it was on to the State Capital. We went through the park, which had some wonderful places to stop, but we didn't. Then we went up and down Music Row. That was really interesting. Not what I expected. Then we went on to the Ryman Auditorium-The Mother Church of country music. What a fabulous place. Just thinking of the talent that has been up on that stage boggles the mind. Tom and I walked all over the building, except backstage. Tom got some nice pics. A fellow was taking pictures of folks on the stage, with his camera or ours. We took advantage of his patience, and he took 2 for us. Neat, right? On we went to our next stop, The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. We could have spent a whole day there. The exhibit on right now was the Hank Williams Family. They called it Family Tradition. That whole thing was great. The second floor was where we would have spent more time. They had suits and dresses of the stars, and lots of memorabilia. All over the walls were all the Gold and Platinum records of anyone who ever had one. I found one of Alan Jackson. I know there were more, but not enough time. I told Tom we had about 10 minutes left, and we were both disappointed.
Our last stop is a place called Ledgend. It's a bar near the Ryman, and someone was sining, but we don't know who. He was pretty good, though. We were only there for a few minutes. Everyone on the tour got a free soft drink. We went outside to get some pics and look at some of the little shops on the street. Then it was time to go.
Now for the critique. We were disappointed in the first part of the tour. If we had taken more time on that, we wouldn't have had as much time for the good stuff. So I guess all in all it was OK. We haven't decided if it was worth $45 each yet, but we have decided to come back again and do it more on our own. We really want to walk around downtown and just see more of the city. The old town was so neat, and we would have spent a whole day down there. They had what looked like some great places to eat, and just browse around. We'll take care of that another time.
Tomorrow we leave here and head for the Natchez Trace. We may not have electric many nights, so if we don't answer e-mails or write the blog, you'll know we are dry camping. Tom will now add the pics, and we hope you all enjoy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Grand Ole Opry

For the last few days it has been raining here. First not so much, but yesterday it rained all day. But last night it was great. We went to the Grand Ole Opry. We saw Whispering Bill Anderson, and Jeannie Seeley. They were great. They may be up in age, but they can still belt out those old country tunes. We also saw George Hamilton IV, and there was also great songs from Jack Greene. Some of you folks who were around in the fifties would remember their songs. They called them teen ballads. We also saw 2 bands not to well known. We thought both were good, but The Road Hammers from Canada brought down the house. I'm sure we haven't heard the last of them. The other was The Del McCoury Band. They did blue grass. The ending was the best. We got to see Charlie Daniels. Man, can that guy play the fiddle. The whole night was wonderful.
Tomorrow we are doing the tourist thing. We have tour tickets to see some of Nashville's famous places. I hope we remember the camera this time. We should be gone all morning. Stay tuned for our review.
Today we did some fun things. We did laundry this morning during the rain, and then we went to see Darrel and Judy. They had stopped to see us in Pennsylvania and are work camping here at the KOA. Camping world is right near by, so we stopped by to go through the store. We also went through some new motorhomes. Nothing we liked better than Emily. Then we went to the grocery store. We have to have food for the Natchez Trace. We leave here on Friday morning, and will be dry camping for a few days. On our way to The Big Easy. Good Food!!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Breckenridge Rv Park

Breckenridge Rv Park is in Crossville, Tenn. It's a nice little park, but really friendly. This is the park we chose to be our home park for Coast to Coast. The total cost of staying here for three nights is 4 dollars. That's right! 4 dollars. We got the first night free. I suppose because it is our first time here, we didn't have to pay for the first night. If anyone has questions, you would have to ask Tom because I don't really know all the ins and outs of joining Coast to Coast, but 4 dollars is OK by me.
On Friday night we went over to the Cumberland State Park for supper. There is a great restaurant there that has a buffet every night. The building itself was really a nice place to sit down and eat. They have wall to wall and ceiling to floor windows so it's like your eating outdoors. The food was wonderful. Tom even liked the catfish. They have lots of meats, veggies, potatoes, soup, a big salad bar, and plenty of desserts. They are famous for their homemade banana pudding. It's made with vanilla wafers, and they put piles of meiranige on top. DELICIOUS! We came away filled up right proper.
Yesterday we took off to try to find the local flea market. After a stop at the post office to mail our absentee ballots for the November election, we finally found our destination. It was fairly good sized, and we picked up a few little things we needed. At least that's what we told ourselves. We stayed away from the funnel cakes. I think that's something we don't need. On the way home we stopped at a bakery thrift store, and bought some good bread. It was really warm out, and we had a really nice day.
Today we planned to stay home and just rest for a bit before heading out for Nashville tomorrow. I made some fried breast of chicken with mashed potatoes and country gravy. I added some corn, though I would have liked something green. None in the freezer. When we sit for awhile we will stock up a bit more. It's hard to travel and cook big meals. There is plenty left over to have a good meal when we stop tomorrow.
We don't have that far to go to get to Nashville. We plan to take a tour and maybe get to the Grand Ole Opery. We'll see how it goes. The plan is to stay for a few days before heading out for the Natchez Trace. That will be dry camping for awhile. It's supposed to be quite beautiful. Then on to New Orleans for a couple of days. Maybe. That's what nice about this life style. If you don't like where you are, you just move. Even if you like where you are, you can go find somewhere else you like. We love it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Seeing Some of Tennessee

Today was a great day. We started off by going to the Bristol Motor Speedway. What a place! We took the tour, which lasted a whole hour. Since we were the only folks for the 11:00 tour we had one on one with Janet, our guide. She took us up to Burton Smith's luxury suite. What a view. What a room. For those of you who are not race fans, he owns the track here, plus a few more. We were able to walk up the banking of the track. It was hard to walk up. She also took us up to Victory Lane. The van we were in took the track at about 60, and you could tell we had the wrong tires.
The complex also has a drag strip. We took a run down the lane there, too. We were very pleased with the tour, and suggest it to everyone, fan of racing or not.
After we left the track we headed out for Jonesborough. It's the oldest town in Tennessee. What a neat place. There are so many old buildings there. Old hotels that daste back to the early 1800's. Presidents have been there, and many people of note. Today the town is getting ready for their annual Storytelling Festival. All the churches are going to have dinners or lunches, they have these huge tents all over the place. If we had known about the festival, we probably would have gone over the week-end. We did the shop stopping thing, and had some good ice cream.
On the way to Jonesborough, we passed a BBQ place with a packed parking lot. We decided to stop on the way home. We ordered pork BBQ sandwiches. They also have beef, and ribs. Tom got fries, and I ordered onion rings. They served huge portions. The sandwiches were great, as were the fries. The onion rings were nothing special. The place is called Pardners. We would also put them on our list. We like to go to places that local folks think are good, and the amount of cars there was a good sign.
We packed a lot into one day, and now it's off to Crossville to see a Coast to Coast park there. We'll be there a few days, so we will do some more touring. Man we love this. Exploring and finding great places.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

On Our Way

Well folks, we are finally on our way. Last night we stayed in Harrisonburg Va. at the Wal-Mart. We didn't have such a good night. I don't sleep well if it's not dark. Tom did ok, but not as well as he usually does. We went in and bought a few things we needed plus a rotisserie chicken.
When we got back to Emily we sat down to a nice warm dinner. I had a bite of chicken and a bite of bread and butter. I felt something in my mouth. Out came one of my crowns. Now, if I hadn't been in the dentist's office the day before, I wouldn't have felt so bad. Tom had some stitches taken out, and I drove. Now we have to find a dentist that takes our insurance. We will most likely wait till we get to Texas.
Today we arrived in Bristol, Tenn. Tomorrow we plan to take a tour of the Raceway. They have a nice program that takes you all over the speedway and the drag strip. We'll let you know more about it tomorrow. We have made reservations at our home park through Coast to Coast. It's in Crossville. The plan then is to visit Nashville for a couple of days since we will be staying so close-by. We may even get to go to an Apple Festival over the week-end. Yummy!!
Some of you know we had to get a new computer. Tom has it up and running, but once in a while it does some funny things. Everyone knows they are touchy little buggers. That is why I haven't added to the blog for some time. He was busy taking things out of the old one, and putting them in the new one. Not too much cussing. We think now things are OK. Time will tell.
We are hoping to find some warmer weather soon. We are really happy to be on the move again.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Rainy Day.



Yesterday I talked about all the hot weather. Well, today it's raining. It's coming down steady, but not to hard. We thought maybe we could get to the soccer game, but then the rain started and we stayed home. I lifted the bed and started to sort things out. We had hopes of fitting a small folding table under there, but to no avail. I found a place it fits nicely with the ironing board, so all is good. From there I went on to the linen closet, and on to the bathroom cupboards. I took out everything we haven't used this past year, and it either goes in the trash or to the house or whomever wants it.
Penn State comes on in a few minutes, so you know what we will be doing for the rest of the afternoon. WE ARE---PENN STATE. Go Lions!!!!
It is so quiet here. What a difference after last week-end. We went to watch Connor play at 10:00. It;s so funny to watch 6 year olds play. They all just run around after the ball. All in a little bunch. They only play about 5 minute quarters, so we weren't there long,and the game was over. Then home we came. I started to cook when we got back. I made my bacon-cheesy potatoes. They all like them. I also made hulushki with kielbasa. Yummy. Susan, our neighbor, brought some fillets, and there was also salads and desserts. Ed and Jane added the corn on the cob, and some of their Italian bread with toppings. We ate too much, of course. Sunday we had leftovers. Everything was just as good, if not better, the next day. Ed and Jane always are so nice about having get-togethers. They have a big area with a couple of picnic tables under cover in case it rains. Some folks left on Sunday night, and some left early on Monday.
Well, it's almost time for the game, so I'm off to sofa city. It's just so hard to hear with the rain on the roof. Good thing it's on TV.

Friday, September 5, 2008

HOT!!!

It has been so hot here for about a week. To have temps up in the high 80's is unusual for this time of the year. Usually when the kids go back to school it's warm for about a week or 10 days, but not this warm. We are absorbing it as much as we can. Soon it will all be over. There has been a nice breeze with it all. though.
Next week is the RV show in Hershey. We are planning to go if the weather holds. Tomorrow we are expecting Hannah here. The rain is supposed to start sometime over night. Rain is to stay around all day. It will be a good day to get to the stuff under the bed. We have to sort through it all and get out stuff we haven't used for the past year. Some cleaning is in the cards also. In the morning we'll go see Connor play soccer if it doesn't rain. That's unlikely.
We are still having problems with our Jaxon staying alone. Of course we are still working on it, but sometimes it seems impossible. He is such a good boy otherwise. Wish us luck.
Next Saturday we have a wedding to attend. We have a place to board him. I hope it works out. It will be an over-nighter. We'll see what happens.
The campground is really quiet tonight. I guess folks have stayed home because of the weather. The pooled was closed on Tuesday morning. Always the day after Labor Day. It would have been nice this week. Another thing is there are no kids around. The kids are always walking by with their fishing poles and nets. Not so anymore. I guess summer is over. I see some leaves falling, and plants are dying. Fall will be here soon. That's why we go south. We follow the warmth. Another few weeks and off we go.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Saddness and Happiness



One morning last week we received a call from our cousin June in Houston. She called to tell us cousin Bob (her husband) had passed away. We were heart broken. He had seemed to be getting better when we last saw them in April. We are so glad that we made time to visit them while we were at the CARE Center last fall, and in April on the way home. He was so happy to have us there. His funeral was on Saturday, and because June and the family had brought him home to upstate New York, we were able to attend. It was a beautiful service and a fond farewell. May he rest in peace.
Our happiness is that we picked up Connor on the way back to Emily. We also picked up Jax because he had stayed will Robin and George. Connor stayed till Monday night. Both Mom and Dad are teachers, and he doesn't start school till today. Of course he was excited to be going back. He is in 1st grade now. He is quick to tell you. We all had lots of fun. We made som'mores and had a colored fire. I will explain in another post. He is a great card player. He loves to play Uno Attack. He can beat us both. We also played games of Wack A Mole. We all love that one. I took him up to the pool for some swimming. We spent the better part of the afternoon up there. We had a very good time. Tom and Connor took some nice long walks around the camp ground with Jax. He said he went to places he never went to before. I think he just forgot.
Connor spotted a downy woodpecker at the suet we have hanging from our tree. He came and went all day. Our neighbor Joan has lots of titmouses over at her feeder. Or is it titmice? I think I'll take some pictures. They were around ours one day and never came back. The chippies have a grand old time at our feeder. Stuffing their little cheeks full of the stuff and hustling off to store it away.
We took Connor down the mountain last night. We know he probably won't be back up to stay again before we leave for the south. He has so much fun here. Now he has school, soccer and practice. He'll be too busy to even think about coming up. We'll catch a couple of soccer games before we go, and that will make him happy.
Jax is looking very fuzzy and nice nice now that his hair is all back. He's cute as a button. We are training him to stay home alone without much noise. WE HOPE!!!! I gathered the info on how to do it from the computer. He seems to be doing OK. We don't want to get kicked out of campgrounds because of a barking dog. We go out for a walk every night and leave him home. We hope to graduate to taking the car soon. We wish we knew his history. He must have been left alone for an extended periods of time. That is the only fault he has. He is your typical lap dog. He doesn't beg for food, and is great with kids of all ages, and loves to play with other dogs. He just wants to be loved. Well, he has that.
Only a few weeks till we get going. We want to take the Natchez Trace on thr way. We hope the darn hurricanes stop. We'll be back in Texas in October. Can't wait.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pirate Days at A Bay

On Friday we took off early in the morning for the 1000 Islands on the St Lawerence River. When we go there we stay at Merry Knoll Campground in Clayton, N.Y. It's a really nice place to stay if you want a view of the river. The showers and game room aren't the best we've seen, but we don't use them, so I can't say anything bad about them. The pool is nice, as is the playground, with it's pirate ship play house. Connor had lots of fun there. We were there for Pirate Days.
Pirate Days is a big event at Alexandria Bay. We didn't realise how many people would be there. Connor was invited to join the large group of kids who had come. We all were given goodie bags with all kinds of great stuff. The kids were all given a paper plate with different things to make a craft. They could make a pirate ship or anything they wanted. It all started with a shoe box. They had glue and straws and pirated flags and all kids of crafty things to make it with. Connor made a little park with his stuff. You have to use your imagination as he explains about it. It was pretty cool, actually.
After that we went down to see the pirate ships. They were docked at the village docks. Connor was asked if he wanted to sit at the wheel for a picture. He was thrilled. Some of the pleasure boats at the docks were decorated, and the owners were all dressed up. One had a big treasure chest of "treasure" that the kids could chose from. We thought it was great that they would all get into the day just for the kids. Connor chose some chocolate doubloons.
In the afternoon came the pirate invasion. The big ships came into the bay, and tried to take over the bay. The villagers fought them off, with lots of cannon fire and sword fights. There were so many people there. We never expected it to be such a well attended event. Traffic getting out of town was busy, but not to bad.
In the evening after supper, we went into town for ice cream. In Clayton is this little store called What's the Scoop. When you ask for a small cone you better be ready to eat what you would normally get in a large in other places. I had this really delicious oatmeal cookie dough that was soooo good. Connor had play dough, which he thought was neat. Tom had moose tracks. We would have sat by the river to eat it, but it was rainy and cool.
Anyway, our trip was cut short. Connor woke me up at 3 in the morning. "Honey, I just threw up!" I was changing sheets and helping the poor kid get through the night. So instead of going to visit my Mom for a couple of days, we had to bring him home. He wanted to stay, and keep going on with our plans, but he belonged at home. He is fine now, but had to travel home with a bucket as his best friend. I felt so bad for him. Well, he had a good time for 3 days, and that is what he will remember.
Today we slept late, as did Jax. He had a really busy week-end. All the kids wanted to pet him, and he was eager to comply. It was kust a day to catch our breath. It sure was nice to be on the road again. Not moving since the beginning of May is getting to us a little. We have set a date of October 1 to be on the road back south. That gives us about 6 weeks. We'll be ready. Nothing like being on the move.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Busy Day

Today we were at the house again. Tom had to change the oil in the Tracker, and he usually cuts the grass when we are there. I help Robin pull up carpeting in one of the bedrooms. What a job. Then we took up all of those pesky little staples that hold down that yucky padding. We rolled up the carpet and put it in the hallway. Next it goes up to the attic. It's a nice carpet, only a few years old. We have a place for it to go when we have a chance.
We have been doing some yearly maintenance on Emily. Things like cleaning the fans, checking inside all the equipment for leaks and making sure there are no nests of any sort in there. You folks that are RVers know what I mean. Today on the way home we got new filters for the generator. Tomorrow that gets done. When we get back from up north, I will give Emily a good cleaning.
We took the camera with us today when we left. Of course the hawk wasn't there. Neither were the swallows. We'll keep trying till we get some pics. We have the rest of the summer.
We expect it to get a little cooler by the end of the week. Maybe even some rain. Just what we need for the trip. We'll just have to make sure we have umbrellas. The sun can't shine 365. We'll make the best of it and still have fun.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Summer Days

Well folks, the last time I wrote the blog was some weeks ago. Our daughter always puts a bug in my ear to update. She mentioned it a couple of days ago, so here I am.
We've been pretty busy going down to the house a couple of days a week to help Robin do some work. While we are there, I do laundry and Tom helps paint or other manly stuff. On Thursday we cleared out the china closet and buffet. There are some things I just can not part with. My Mom has given us some nice pieces and so had Tom's Mom. Up to the attic with the lot of them. We have been really good at throwing things away. It is so much easier when we realize we haven't missed it in the passed year.
Connor was also with us for a couple of days. We gave him a treasure hunt kit at Christmas time, and I made treasure hunt maps and Tom and I hid some coins that come with it. It has an invisible marker to mark the "X" on the map. There is also a special compass with a special light on it that when you shine it on the map you can find the invisible "X". Really cool. He just loved it. We went on 2 treasure hunts. While we were out hunting,we met some folks coming the other way. He told them we weren't really pirates, we were just pretending so we could find the treasure.
He will so love our trip next week. We will be taking him up to the Thousand Islands in upstate New York. In Alexandria Bay, on the St Lawrence River, they have Pirate Days. The children fight off the river pirates that try to invade the town. Then they have a big festival. We'll stay in Clayton at Merry Knoll Campground. It's right on the river, and you can watch the big tankers that use the St. Lawrence Seaway. It's one of our favorite place to go. The area is really so lovely. We've never been there for Pirates Days, so it will be a first for all of us.
Yesterday here at camp they had the annual fishing derby. All the kids register, and the horn blows at 12:00. They fish in the big pond. At 2:00 it blows to signal times up. Several prizes are given out. I was able to get a picture of Kyle, who was the winner for the biggest fish. He caught a 21 inch catfish. He is the grandson of our neighbors Dave and Bev. They were all so excited and proud of him. All of the kids had a great time fishing, whether they caught fish or not. The adults had fun watching and advising.
To finish, I have to say something about birds. Robin picks on us because we think it's so cool when we see a bird for the first time. Well, on the way out of the campground the other day I saw a magnificent red tailed hawk. He was sitting on a bale of hay like he was the king of the hay field. Of course he was. I hope we get some pictures of him for the blog. We have also seen some really nice swallows . Pictures will come tomorrow....we hope. Sorry they can't be in today. We had forgotten our camera when we went out. Check back tomorrow to see if they are in.
That's all for tonight. We'll be back tomorrow.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Beautiful Summer Days.

We have had some beautiful weather the past few days. Nice and warm with a nice breeze. The other day Tom gave Emily a good wash down, and I did some cleaning inside. We have been going down to the house to get things squared away. We take the trip about once a week to do laundry and help Robin out with some of the things "Dad" has to do. We still have a long way to go. She has changed things quite a bit. Some of our stuff she wants to keep, and some of it she wants us to get rid of, and some of it we will store in the attic. Anyone want a dining room set? Tom says I have enough fabric to start my own store. I'll have to make myself some shorts for the coming year.
Today I gave Jax a nice bath. I took an empty storage bin out by the outside shower and we had at it. He did pretty good with the water. He was happier when we finished. He thought the blow dryer was great fun. I found out his hair is very fine. When he gets wet he looks like one of those Chinese Crested. Those bald dogs with just hair on the feet and tail and the top of it's head. I brushed him and he loved it. He looks so shiny and he's so soft.
Tomorrow we are heading to Upstate New York for a graduation party for our great neice. They have come in from Wyoming because all of the family is there. It will be nice to see everyone. Tommy and Jenn and Connor will pick us up early in the morning since we are on the way. We'll come back in the evening.
The camp ground has filled up again for the week-end. You get some folks who are quite noisy, and some you don't even know are there. It is so different during the week. Over the 4th, last week-end, our neighbors Ed and Jane had a big dinner for the folks around our section. What good food. They cooked a big beef roast, sausage and peppers, and some seafood. There were lots of other favorites to chose from. We had a great spinach salad that Peg brought, and a delicious cake they had someone bake. Everything was sooooo good. Sunday I made breakfast for the same bunch. We had pancakes, bacon, biscuits and sausage gravy, 2 kinds of muffins, and an egg casserole from the recipe of Don and Ruth from CARE. Everyone was full and happy as they left. It was a great holiday week-end, Fireworks and all.
Our baby robins left the nest over the 4th also. They had left a mess, so I scrubbed the deck really good. I took the nest down and threw it away. Next year they can build somewhere else. Once was enough.
This week we will be taking some pics of the lilly pads down in the ponds just for Froggy Donna. They have bloomed so beautifully. I'm sure she'll like them. Man, this is the life.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Some Really Nice Days

It has been incredibly beautiful for the last few days. Nice and warm, but not humid. We have had some new wild life come around. The robin's nest on our deck is now boasting 4 new babies. We have had fun watching the parents come and go with food. Man! Are they ever busy. Yesterday the babies started to peep like crazy. Just little noises. I imagine in a couple of days they will be making plenty of noise.
Connor was here with us for about days. As we were walking the dog , we spotted a great blue heron down the ponds. Something scared it, it took off. Connor was just amazed at it in flight. "Honey, that was awesome." We had seen it a couple of years ago, so I guess it comes back every year. Yesterday we got some shots of the muskrats that inhabit the ponds, also. The ground hog has been out and about. Posing for some pics as you will see. The hummers are very hungry, as are the finches. It's fun to watch the squirrels try to get at the finch food. We have it hanging from a wire coat hanger, and he can't get to it. He even tries to hang upside-down. To no avail.
I took Connor up to the pool the other day. He had a great time. I thought he would have been cold, but he stayed as long as we let him. We went to play bingo that night, but he was so tired from swimming and walking and the good old outdoors, he wanted to come home. I had won a game, so home we came. The night before we had made ice cream. He wanted chocolate this time. We put in some peanut butter chips, and boy was it good. It makes enough for 2 nights.Yummy!!
I have been making some of my tote bags for the yearly flea market here at camp. I have 6 new ones so far, and Robin says I have about 6 at home. Of course, I will be selling my necklaces for C.A.R.E. along with some other things. Tom is going down to Tom and Jenn's to help paint. They have put up new walls in 3 or 4 rooms, and everyone is going to help paint. I'll try to make some gas money. Sunday Tom and Connor are taking Tom to a baseball game up in Binghamton. It's his Fathers' Day gift. The Mets have a minor league team there. It'll be just me and Jax.
Speaking of Jax, he is really part of the family now. He gets along really well with George (Robin's dog). He loves Connor, and vise versa. Playing ball is his favorite game. He loves everyone. We are planning to start trying to go places without him. He has a problem when we leave him. We'll see how he does. Not knowing his history or what he went though before we adopted him, is kind of hard. He was fine when we left him with George and went out for dinner. Maybe by now he knows we will come back to him. I hope.
Tom will post some pics, and that will be enough for today. It's an inside day. Rainy off and on. That's OK. It's good for the flowers and tomatoes.



Pictures

Friday, June 13, 2008

It's Been Hot

Last week it was so hot! Very humid and up in the high 80s and 90s. Storms came through and cooled it down on Wednesday. Now it is back to HHH (Hazy,Hot,Humid). Tomorrow it is supposed to rain again, then in the 70s for most of next week. I like it hot better.
Jax is feeling very much at home. He wants to be with Tom most of the time. I often wonder what he went through before he came to live with us. He doesn't like to be left alone. He plays with his ball now, and makes the most of the room he has to run in the motorhome. He likes to sit on the dash where he can see so much. Our daughter Robin just finished her work for her Masters', and we are going to dinner. We are leaving Jax with George (her doxie) until we come back. They get along, which is a pleasant surprise. We'll see how that goes. I hope everything will be OK.
So far we haven't had the urge to move. The peace and quiet here during the week is wonderful. Jax sleeps till about 8 in the morning, so we don't have to get up early. I planted some flowers this week, and they are taking hold nicely. Everything is so green and pretty. We have a Robin's nest up in the rafters of our deck. She used to be afraid when we came out the door. Now she just sits there and ignores us. I imagine the eggs will hatch any day now. Maybe we'll get some pictures. It's in such a high place it may be hard.
Anyone who visits the northeast this summer, come see us. There is always room here at How Kola for another RV. Just a few miles off Exit 194 of Route 81. We would love the company. By the way, How Kola means Welcome Friend. Nothing fancy, but we like it.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Busy Day on Friday



On Friday we got up early and set out for the valley. We had to have Jax at the groomers by about 9. Then we set off for Wal-Mart. After a little shopping, we headed for the house. Tom cuts the grass for Robin when we go down. At noon we had to sign papers for preperations for the closing on the house. By 1 we had to pick up Jax. He doesn't look like the dog we left there. I had to be at the hospital for my yearly mamogram at 1:30. Then came the vet appointment at 3:00. After the rabies shot and a really good check-up, and a heart worm test, and over $200.00, we took off for the credit union. Needless to say, we were about 5 minutes late. Be that as it may, we no longer own the house. No more sticks and bricks as they say in the RV world. After all that, we came back home, arriving after 6. Jax layed down and went right to sleep. We both grabbed a sandwich and settled for the evening. All three if us were exhausted.
One thing is we think we know what kind of dog we have. Both the grooner and the vet say he is part poodle. We knew that. They both think the rest may be Maltese. So...we have a Maltapoo. They said the fur is so soft and silky that would be their choice. Well, now he has no fur. The groomer said we have to start from scratch. We both laughed when we saw him. He is such a nice color. Kind of silvery white. Every night he has slept at the bottom of the bed. Last night he must have been cold, because of no fur, so he climbed up between us, snuggled under the covers, and stayed there till morning. He's such a good dog.
Today Robin came up and brought us food. She usually comes up on the week-end at some point. Today she brought pizza, stomboli, and a cheese-steak for Tom. The stomboli was huge. We have enought for tomorrow and half of Tom's sandwich. So we'll eat good again. She wanted to roast some marshmallow, so I started a small fire and we had some. Then off she went. The last day of school for her the 10th, then we will be at the house more just helping her get things situated. There is some stuff we have to get rid of, and some things we want to store in the attic. We won't need much room. We've lived in Emily for a year, and don't need much of anything we don't have here.
We have added some before and after pics of Jax. I'm sure you will see the difference in him. We love him no matter how he looks. And he loves us back.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Two Nice Days in a Row

We just had the nicest couple of days. Today has been nice, but cool. Tonight they expect frost in some areas. Crazy weather. The week-end was really nice. Not just the weather, but we had such a good time with Connor. After his T-ball game we took him to pick up Jax. He was so excited. The dog is great in the car, and loves to ride. He had better. We played lots of games and went for some nice walks. We also went down to feed the fish and the ducks. We can't wait for school to get out for the summer so Connor can come when ever he wants. He loves it hear.
Jax is the greatest little dog. He loves to sit on our laps, and sleeps at the bottom of the bed. He doesn't bother us all night. He is just beginning to feel really comfortable here. It was like he was afraid to play. Today he started to play with his treat. It's been sitting there for about 5 days. He listens when we tell him no. It must have been hard for someone to give him up, but he is so loved here I know he will be happy. Friday he will go o the vet for a good check, and his rabies shot. He also gets to go to the groomer. I hope he looks better when he comes home. His ears are so matted, and his tail is a mess. It will probably have to be shaved right down. I know it will all grow back, but he will look funny til it does. We get some pics out over the week-end.
We'll try to get through this cold spell. Then it will be the week-end again. Heck, it's always the week-end for us. What fun.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mission Acomplished

I told you all I would let you know how the search for a new member of the family is going. Well, we have a cute little guy that we are going to name Jaxon. Jax for short. No one seems to be able to tell us what breed he is, but we don't really care. He's white with floppy ears, and not to big. As soon as he is neutered, we can bring him home. When that will be is at best, in a few days. The vet comes in and does the surgeries on no schedule. We found him at the SPCA near the house. They people who had the first hold on him did not come to get him. I guess we were just lucky. Of course, we will have to wait and see how we all work out together. He needs to go see the vet for a rabies shot, and to the groomer for a good bath and to get his tali taken care of. It is all knotted and tangled. He may have some poodle in there somewhere, and some terrier. We'll take some pics so you all can see him.
Not much else to tell you. Just more rain and cold. Same for tomorrow. This week-end is supposed to be really nice. Let's hope so. Connor is coming to spend a couple of days with us. He loves it here. Can't wait.

Jaxon

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Time Alone

Here I am all by my self. I think I hear a song there. Tom has taken his Mom down to Hershey for a doctor appointment. It's about 2 hours away, and it will be a good time for them to talk. I stayed home. I'm a romance movie nut, so I watched Never Been Kissed. I love Drew Barrymore. I think something like soup for supper. Tom won't be home much before 6. Maybe I'll take a walk in a little while--if it doesn't rain. It has been sprinkling on and off all day.
Now to let you know how our mission is proceeding. Yesterday we went to the Luzerne County SPCA. We saw the cutest little dog. It has one hold already, so I don't want to get too excited. He is so calm, and loves to be held. He climbed right up on Tom's lap. I think he likes men better. The folks who have the hold, have till today to adopt him. If they don't come, he's ours. We took him outside, and he did his business like a good boy. I really hope we can have him. He needs to be fixed before we can take him home. He has a couple of baby teeth that didn't fall out yet, so they will take those out when they have him under for his operation. I don't know what day the vet comes to do the procedures. Cross your fingers.
As I'm sitting here, the hummers are coming to feed, and so are the finches. Yesterday for, the first time, we saw a cat bird. It's a little chocolate brown bird with a dark chocolate cap on it's head. Also some rust color under his tail feathers. He stickes pretty much to the ground cover, so it's hard to catch a picture. A few minutes ago, I saw a Pine Siskin. It looks very similar to the female Gold Finch, but is more brown with stripes. It seems like every day we see a new type of bird. I think we"ve figured out the bird we heard the other morning. A pair of Blue Birds have been hanging around. That is another first for me. We saw a Killdeer up by one of the ponds on the hill yesterday morning. I guess you can tell I'm into birds. I have a book that I mark everything in. I have my binoculars out all the time. Folks probably think I'm really nosy, but I'm just watching the birds. I hope Tom can get some pictures of them to post.
I'll keep you up to date on the dog search, wish us luck.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Enjoying the Home Front

Let me just tell you--It's cold and rainy, and not at all like the Texas we left. I think we have had only 3 nice sunny days since we got back. It gets down in the low 40s at night. This week (the week before Memorial Day remember)it isn't supposed to get out of the 50s. Butch is opening the pool. Who would go swimming in this weather? Maybe June will be better.
Tom and I have been enjoying going to T-Ball games. Those kids are so darned cute. Half way through the game they loose interest, and start playing in the dirt, or talking to their friends on the other teams. At the first practice Connor was the only one who knew how to run the bases. That just tells you how much they know about baseball. They'll learn. The coaches have lots of patience.
The campground gets a few more regulars in every week-end. Our friend Joan came in night before last from Georgia. There are changes every year. They come and go. Some folks have been here for over 20 years. We have only had 2 fires. Can't have them in the rain. One good thing, it just keeps getting greener and greener. Everything looks so nice. The hummers are back, and we have lots of finches. This morning at about 4:00am, we had some new bird singing. The same few notes every couple of seconds till about 10:00. Then the rain came. I put our window hummer feeder out the other day. We had them come right next to us and feed all day the day before yesterday. Next week the campground should be filled up for the holiday. The bingos will start, and we should be back to normal.
Yesterday after the ball game we went up to the Lackawanna County SPCA. Most of the dogs were so big. There wad one cute little white one, but that was set to go to a rescue for someone. There was also a very nice beagle. He was too old for us. I don't think we could take a dog that won't be with us for long. We want one maybe 2 or 3. Tomorrow we go to town for the dentist, and will visit the Luzerne County SPCA. It's close to the house, and won't be put of the way. Maybe we'll get lucky. Time will tell. We'll take our time and get the right one. It's hard to see all of those poor animals just waiting for a home. If we were still in the house, it would be different, but we have to have a small dog for Emily.
Later today we are going down to see Tom and Jenn's (our son and daughter-in-law0 and of course Connor's house. They bought it after we left last June. We'll have some supper with them, and meander back here. We have a full week coming up. What with appointments we have to make up since we've been gone, we will be catching up for awhile. It is good to be home, though.

T-Ball and a Few of our friends at How Kola

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Map of our trip

It rained all day yesterday so I (Tom) decided to play around with google maps.It shows our path from 6/11/07 to 4/29/08. Click on View Larger Map for more detail.



View Larger Map

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Back at Camp

We are settled in here in How Kola. It's a really nice quiet beautiful campground in northeast Pennsylvania. It will be our home base from now on. We expect to travel as much as we can with the fuel prices as they are. We have made plans to go to the FMCA eastern area rally in Virginia in June. We have volunteered to help run the trams. Then in August, we have made reservations to take Connor to Pirate Days in Alexandria Bay, New York on the St. Lawerence River. On our way home we will stop and see my family in Waterville. Other than that we will probably stay put. It is so peaceful here. The trees are all in bloom, and the birds have all returned--except for the humming birds. We have even seen some Orioles. Some ducks are here, soon there will be ducklings. Same with the geese. I suppose when school gets out for the summer it will be a little busier. Soon we will be playing bingo on Saturday nights, and getting an ice cream cone to eat while we walk home. Folks will be staying on the week-ends and we will be having little get-togethers. I think my Margarator will get plenty of use. Campfires when weather permits are one of my favorites. I LOVE roasting marshmallows. We'll be spending some time down at the house. Our STUFF has to be taken care of. All you RVers know what I mean. The attic is huge, so what we don't want to save for the future we will get rid of one way or another. Maybe sale or give-away. We should be free of STUFF by the end of summer. I am still on my mission for a dog. Nothing yet. We'll keep you posted on how things go.


Pictures of How Kola

Friday, April 25, 2008

On The Way Home

On Tuesday we left Livingston. We had plans to do the Natchez Trace, but had to change plans because of the flooding there. We have made our way to Knoxville, Tennessee. Quite be accident we found the Escapees' park in Raccoon Valley. We were about to get off the exit for another campground when we saw a sign. Folks here are just as friendly as at other SKP parks. We went to happy hour yesterday afternoon, and to the jam session last night. We were treated to some great music by some of the regulars, and some folks just passing through. One great banjo player named Dave, who comes by most Thursdays, and a little old fellow who is about 84 who plays the steel guitar. He also knows the words to any song anyone plays. They even had a dulcimer played by a lady just staying the night. We really enjoyed the music, which lasted 2 whole hours. We have decided to stay here for a few days to rest up a bit before the last haul toward home.

Today is our anniversary. Where did that 38 years go? We went out to dinner at a place called The Golden Girls' restaurant. Tom had beef tips over rice, and I had the fried catfish fillet. It was good, but nothing really special. The folks were very nice, and the building is a log house recycled. I'm thinking I should have had the ribs. Oh well, maybe next time. Tomorrow morning is the park weekly breakfast. One of my favorites-biscuits and sausage gravy. Most SKP parks have a breakfast during the week. We just happen to hit this one just right. We will miss the ice cream social hour on Sunday. We surely do love our ice cream. We'll be in Kentucky on Sunday. Connor has asked us if we would go through Kentucky on the way home. I said yes, and I would call him when we get there and buy him something that says Kentucky. Before we left he was into the United States, and loved to say Kentucky. I guess he is remembering. We also have to stop for some groceries and such. We are shooting for May 1st to be home. Not much longer now. It will be good to get hugs and kisses.
We have had some trouble with our computer. The screen has gone, and we have a TV hooked up to it. Tom seems to think there are other problems, too. We will have to get our desk top at home up and running to make sure we don't lose what we have in this one. It will give Tom fits till we are home. It doesn't seem to bother things I do, but you never know with these computer buddies of ours. We'll check back in with you all when we get home. Oh, by the way, I'm on another mission. I really want a dog. I have missed having one. It's been a few years now, and George, Robin's dog, doesn't travel with us. She won't part with him for that long. We'll let you all know how the hunt progresses.
It's been a beautiful day. We hope it is springtime at home, too.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Visiting with friends and The Opry at Liberty




We got tickets to the Opry. When the owner, Bruce, called back, he offered to seat us with the folks from CARE. It was so nice of him to ask. Not only did we get to sit with them, they had 2 seats in the van empty, so we also got to ride with them. We stopped at Ann's Seafood, and had a great meal. Tom had a steak, and I had a seafood platter. I brought some of mine home.
The theme for the night at the Opry was Ladies of Country Music. Everyone who sang was as usual, terrific. We had bought our pie before the show, and at intermission we enjoyed it. I had coconut cream, and Tom had lemon meringue. Wonderful. I know that this might sound familiar to those who read the blog , but it is worth repeating. At $20.00 for tickets and $4.50 for home-made pie, you get a great night of entertainment and delicious refreshments. Then add the company of friends, who could ask for more. It just happened to be my birthday, and it couldn't have been better if I had planned it out in detail.
We had dinner at CARE on Tuesday, and will go again tomorrow. Then on Friday they have that big breakfast that we are looking forward to. For $3.00 you can have bacon, sausage, eggs any way, oatmeal, biscuits and gravy, toast, jelly, coffee, tea, and juice. Sometimes they add ham. If you go away hungry, it your own fault. Can't wait.
Tom and I have been watching how much we eat, we are trying to lose what we gained while here in November and December. Now they are feeding us again. It's a good thing we don't eat there everyday.
We will be here for a few more days. We would like to take the Natchez Trace on the way home. With all of the flooding of the Mississippi River, we hope we still have the opportunity to do so. We will have to keep an eye on the weather. Hopefully, it won't rain that much more.
Oh, by the way, I made a beautiful piece of jewelry in craft class the other day. I was so thrilled with the way it came out. Maybe a picture will be added.
We love it here in Livingston. We are very comfortable here, and happy. What a great group the Escapees are.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Back at the CARE Center

Tom and I have finally returned to CARE. We spent the last few days in Wichita Falls, Tx. The reason we stayed so long was the weather. For three days severe thunderstorms with hail and possible tornados were in the area. We didn't dare move once we set up in the park. We went into Wal-Mart as soon as we got settled, and bought a weather radio. As soon as Tom got it up and running, it started to beep. Well, beep isn't the right word. Screech is more like it. Very bad storm cells were all around us. We packed a bag with all of the important things, and set it by the door. In our sights was a Holiday Inn hotel, and that was our place to run to. Luckily we didn't have to go there. Yesterday we woke up and the sun was shining bright, so off we went.
Last night we spent at a nice little campground in Tyler, Tx. It's only about 160 miles from Livingston. We arrived this afternoon, and it was so good to be back. Tonight we went over to a program at the CARE center, and saw some of our friends. Tomorrow we may go to the Opry in Liberty. Last December we enjoyed the show there with Ed and Hazel. We plan to go the Ann's to have supper before the show.
What is really neat, is that the CARE Center is having a bus trip there tomorrow, too. Of course they are going to Ann's to eat also. It will be so nice to get tickets and go with them. We called, but no one was there. We'll give another try tomorrow. First , we are having the pancake breakfast that they have the second Saturday of every month. If we get up and move in the morning. Then we have to do the wash. What a great way to spend a few hours of a Saturday. In the laundry. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.
We'll be here for a week or more before we head on up north. It's time to sit and relax for a bit. We have had a hectic few weeks. We are just so blessed to have the chance to this. What a good time we are having.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Grand Canyon




As we traveled from Boulder City to Williams, we crossed over the Hoover Dam. That was really something. It can be a challenge sometimes due to the construction of the new bridge that you see in the pictures. Soon you will be able to by-pass the dam. Then we started to climb. Emily did good going up through the mountains. We saw snow in some of the gullies beside the road that don't get the sun. The scenery again was amazing.
Williams is a small town on old Route 66. It has many hotels and motels just for the tourists going to the Grand Canyon. At this time of year it isn't crowded. Gas was more expensive, I suppose because of being the only town around. We had a nice campground that overlooked a field with a small creek flowing through. There was a family of prairie dogs that lived in the banks of the creek and in the field. We really enjoyed watching them. They were so busy and playful. At one time we saw a hawk come in. Of course the prairie dog look-out was doing his job and they all took cover. We tried to get a picture of the hawk, but he was too far away.
The Grand Canyon was everything you hear people say. I think Tom took over 200 pictures. We walked quite a bit, then took the shuttles from stop to stop. The one route was to be closed the next day to start construction of the new road. It really needs to be replaced. If only for safety reasons. We were lucky that we got to see that part of the canyon. It's hard to find words to describe the beauty. It's just awesome.
After going through the town checking out the stores, we decided to leave the next day. After a bout with a frozen hose, and some really cold nights that we weren't used to, it was time to go get somewhere in lower elevations.
It was on to the one of my favorite places on our trip. The GC was awesome, yes, but Monument Valley was God's Country. I just fell in love with the place. So many old westerns were filled there. Where ever you go , you can buy John Wayne stuff. You can get toilet paper with his picture on it. It says on the outside, "It's rough, it's tough, and doesn't take crap from anyone". We laughed at that one. They have those life-sized cardboard cut-outs of the Duke all over the place. I hope the pictures we took give you an idea of the beauty there. We paid $10 to drive through the Valley. The road was pretty rough, but well worth the time and the money. It is a 17 mile drive, and takes as long as you want it to. We stopped and had the lunch we took with us. The Navajo Nation evidently doesn't allow cell phone towers. we had no service while we were in the campground or the Valley. For about 3 days we were out of touch. The campground was fabulous. We were surrounded by huge red rock cliffs, and could look out our windows at the monuments, or just sit outside with that gorgeous view. We will return to that wonderful place. It truly is God's Country. That's the only explanation I'll accept for a place such as this.
Enough for this post. I know I have to catch up. Being without service and traveling for 3 days, I'm behind a little. We have done a lot in the past 2 weeks. What a good time we are having being tourists.
http://picasaweb.google.com/tnank101/GrandCanyonMonumentValley

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Hoover Dam at Lake Meade

While we were at Lake Meade in Nevada, we visited Hoover Dam. From our campground it only took a few minutes. They needed 7 bucks to park, but it was in a parking garage under cover of the hot sun. We got the senior discount (thanks to the white hair), and paid $9 each for the tour. You get to see a 15 minute movie about the building of the dam, and a tour to see the turbines. When you start the tour, an elevator takes the group down into the ground, like going into the mines in Pa. Tom took some great pictures, and we hope you can get an idea of how huge the dam really is. In one of the pictures you can see 2 pick-ups down below. They look like match box cars.It was an amazing thing to see. Back at home, we sat out and watched the airplanes come into Vegas. We were right under the landing pattern.
The next day we spent sometime in Boulder City. They have some nice shops to browse in. Here in the western states we have visited, they have reverse osmosis machines to get water. Most times a gallon costs 25 cents. Just fill up your container. We filled up and went on back to the park. I had promised Jim Mullay, our friend from Vegas, that I would make him some halushki when we came to visit. I cooked it outside. I was very successful. It was pretty good.
Saturday we went to Jimmy's. He had fixed us a lite lunch, and took us on a tour of Lake Las Vegas. This was a dream of the developer. He wanted a little piece of Italy in Nevada. Let me just tell you...he did it. It was a beautiful place. Jim treated us to Italian ice cream. It has a special name, but I can't remember. It was delicious. On the way back to his house for supper, we stopped at a store that sells all organic. It was called Whole Foods. He picked up a cake for dessert, and we left for his house. He fixed a terrific brisket, and his special chipolte mashed potatoes. Some asparagus was added, and then the chocolate cake. He's a great cook. His Mom was with us, along with his friend Kurt and his Mom's friend. We enjoyed the time we spent there. It is always good to see Jimmy. He was in our wedding back in 1970. He and Tom were childhood buddies. We said good-bye, and left with some leftovers and hugs. The next day we left for Williams, Arizona. Because we were going to the Grand Canyon, we drove over the dam. What a ride. That's another days' post. We are on extended network here, and I have to make it short. Tom will add the pictures when we are sure we won't lose them because of a bad connection. We are on our way east. I guess folks think it's time we were home. We'll get there when we get there.
http://picasaweb.google.com/tnank101/HooverDamLakeLasVegas

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

On The Road Again




To begin with I have to explain why there have been no posts lately. When we moved from Pahrump, we went to Lake Meade. We dry camped for 5 days. For those of you who don't know, that is having no hook-ups. We had a very limited time for the computer, and only ran the generator for about an hour at night. We left there 0n Sunday morning. Now I can start the posts again.
I had called Clark and Marie, and asked them to come over for supper on Monday night. I surprised them by fixing some kielbasa from home (it was given to us by our friend Jimmy who lives in Henderson-another post maybe tomorrow). We all enjoyed the hamburgers and hot dogs that we grilled. They said good-bye around 8, and off they went home. They enjoy so much having friends come to visit.
On Wednesday we left for Boulder City. We stayed at the Lake Meade National Recreation Area. What a beautiful area. Our campsite was overlooking the lake, and the wonderful mountain scenery. What was really something to see, was how low the lake is. We have heard about the low snow levels and the amount of water Las Vegas is now using has really brought the lake down. As you look at the pictures you can see where the water levels should be. As of yet, the snow in the upper Rockies has not melted. Because of the snow this year, there is hope the levels will rise higher than last year. Many folks have taken upon themselves to replace their grass lawns with desert landscaping, and the golf courses have sprinklers only on the greens. This alone has saved tons of water. Let's hope the good folks keep conserving. It would be a shame if something as gorgeous as Lake Meade disappeared.
We had our mail sent to Boulder City, and went off in search of the post office. With the help of Nelly(our GPS) we found it with no problem. We also went around the town to visit all the little shops. Lot's of the little towns around the West have neat shops. We have been to so many in the last few weeks. We don't buy much, we don't have room to carry stuff. We just love to look.
Of course the casinos called us. Wait, I mean me. Tom doesn't like to go, but bless his heart, he goes because I like to. We played for a while and didn't lose anything, so I guess we should be happy with that.
I'll save the rest of our time there for tomorrow. Wait till you see Hoover Dam.
http://picasaweb.google.com/tnank101/LakeMeadNRA

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Burros and Old Friends


As we followed old Route 66, one place we wanted to see was Oatman, Arizona. Oatman is this little OLD town that is out in the middle of nowhere. Wild burros roam the surrounding area, and come into town for visits and to munch carrots. The main street in town, consists of many of the old buildings converted in to little shops. To some folks it would be nothing but a tourist trap, but to us it was something special. The old hotel, that was first built in 1903, still stands. It suffered a major fire years ago, but was redone. In 1939 Clark Gable and Carol Lombard used the hotel for their honeymoon. You can go upstairs and see the room they stayed in, and some of the other rooms with period furniture. Downstairs is a bar and restaurant with dollar bills all over the walls. You can tell how old some of them are by how the color has changed over the years. It was so neat to think how many people have come through there. Some stores sold bags of carrots for the burros for $1.00, and the kids were having a great time feeding them. Babies would choke on the carrots, so they have signs all over saying not to feed them. Then they have gun fights. Well...... sort of gun fights. It was pretty funny. Then they pass the hats for donations. As we were walking down the street, a group of horses and riders came down the hill. I guess it was something else do in Oatman.
We went to Oatman via Bullhead City. We stayed in a very nice campground overlooking the river, and the sites of Laughlin, Nevada. About the only thing in Laughlin is casinos. There is a strip of them the right along the river. We went to the Colorado Belle to have the $2.99 breakfast buffet. All you had to do is get their players' card. It was terrific. And of course, we went back for the dinner buffet. It was only $7.99. Maybe we should have waited till the next night to do the dinner buffet. I was mighty uncomfortable on the way home.
After Bullhead City and Laughlin, we went through the mountains to Las Vegas. It was some of the most beautiful scenery we have seen yet. We just kept going up and up. We came through Henderson, and couldn't believe the change since we were there 10 years ago. It was almost as bad as Houston. Then it took us a little over an hour to get to Pahrump. Let me tell you, Pahrump is a very friendly town. There isn't much here, but it's growing. They, also, have casinos. We stopped at Wal-Mart first. We needed some groceries, but mostly to see one of my friends from my old Wal-Mart days. Clark and his wife Marie used to live back in Wilkes-Barre. They moved out West about 6 years ago. It was good to see him. We made arrangements to go out for dinner with them last night. They took us to a restaurant by a golf course. The food was to die for. We had to get take home boxes for half of the food. After dinner we followed them to their house, where we met Bailey the basset hound, and Tina the mini doxy. Bailey is the biggest basset I have ever seen. Tina is the sweetest little thing. They rescued her. Her previous owners weren't so nice to her. Now she has a great new home. We had a great time catching up, and we'll call them again before we leave here.
Tomorrow we get an oil change for Emily. We have to get up early. We don't do that anymore. We'll have to move in a hurry. The appointment is at 8. Sometimes you just have to cope.
http://picasaweb.google.com/tnank101/AlongTheColoradoRiver

Friday, March 21, 2008

Lake Havasu and Beyond




First let me tell you that we have been having some problems with our computer. Let's hope I can get this entry done before it goes crazy on me.
We left Surprise, Az. on Sunday morning on our way to Lake Havasu. Of course we had to see the London Bridge. It was moved there from London in the 60's. They took it apart block by block and rebuilt it. What a beautiful place! Mostly boaters, and water sport enthusiasts. And recently spring breakers. Seems to be the place they go from this part of the country. The weather was nice and sunny, but a bit chilly.
On Tuesday morning we went down to the village to see the bridge. We thought there would be a nice English village type atmosphere, and were disappointed. Again we wanted something different, and came away feeling we missed something. They had some shops, but not the kind we were looking for. I guess maybe they have more during the summer months. I hope so. We did enjoy watching the ducks. One in particular was the boss. He (I'm assuming it was a he) was chasing all the mallards away. He must have been marking his territory. Then he went on the other side of the dock, and came back giving another duck the business. On second thought, maybe it was a lady duck. Tom took some pictures of the bridge and surrounds. I hope you enjoy them. On the way up there we passed the little town of Hope, Az. As we entered the town there was a nicely painted welcome sign. As we left the town limits there was another sign. It read, "You Are Now Beyond Hope." We couldn't stop for a picture, but we thought it was funny. Just another great memory from our travels.
Traveling up route 95 in Arizona, there were many beautiful sights. The mountains of California on one side, and the Colorado River. The other side had the desert and mountains of Arizona. As close as they were together, the California mountains were much more rugged and craggy. For a while on our to Bullhead City we were on old Route 66. Those of you reading this who are of an age, remember the old TV show. How that road was ever the main highway going across the U.S. is beyond me. When Tom was very small, his Dad had been stationed in Hawaii. Went they came back home, they traveled that same Route 66. It must have taken them days and days.
The next entry will have more of our adventures on 66, and going up to Vegas. The phone service had not been good in that particular area, so naturally we had no Internet connection. I'm trying to make sure I get everything in, so it will take a few entries to cover it all. We sure have been busy, but we love it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Getting Ready to Leave.

Here we are, getting ready to leave. We can't believe it's been a month since we came in to Surprise. Tom's cousins Jim and Dee came over the other day to say their good-byes. Today we did the laundry, turned in the mail box key, and the rest we will do tomorrow. We will leave on Sunday morning. The folks here have been really friendly, and tell us we will be back. Maybe someday. As nice as this place is, it is a resort, and we like a campground atmosphere better.
We are heading toward Bullhead City. It's about 200 miles away, but it is supposed to be windy. Emily is really quite good in the wind, if it isn't to bad. It could be a lot worse. Some RVs are terrible in the wind. We are going toward the north, and higher up, so it may be somewhat cooler. That's OK, we"ll keep warm. The desert will be quite pretty, we hope. We still have lots of green. We have seen patches of nice colors, but none of the cacti that we know is worth waiting for.
It's hard to believe that we have only 6 weeks left before we get home about May 1st. Where did the year go? Times flies when your having fun. And we sure are having fun.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Apache Trail











What a trip!! We finally did the Apache Trail. For those of you who have done this, you know what I mean. For those of you who haven't, you are missing something too beautiful for words.
We started off early, with all kinds of cloud cover. All these beautiful days, and we pick this one to do this. We were lucky. By the time we got to Apache Junction we were pretty hopeful that the sun would come out. Fortunately, it did. We did this trip starting with Old Highway 60, turning off at Globe. We turned onto Rt. 188, and soon came the Tonto National Monument. I had told Tom I wanted to visit some of the cliff dwellings here in the west, but I hadn't realized they some were so close. When we saw them from the pull-off, I was so happy.
The entrance to the cliff dwellings was just up the road. We decided to see what it was all about. Tonto has 2 sites. The small, and the large. The large was about a 3 hour trek up the mountain and back. The small site was about one mile up and back down. We paid our 3 bucks each and started off. The climb wasn't too bad. The walk way was paved, and there were benches along the way. For someone who doesn't hike, or walk a lot, it is still fairly easy to do. You just have to stop and rest along the way. The views we had from the top, was worth the climb. It was amazing to think people lived there-way up on a cliff in a cave-like setting. You can see hand prints on the walls where they put the finish on the walls. Fascinating!!!
Roosevelt Lake is the lake you see in the pictures Tom took from the dwellings. It is a huge man-made lake created by the Roosevelt Dam. So beautiful. And so massive. You will also see Apache Lake and Canyon Lake. Canyon Lake is the one with the arch bridge.
While traveling the Trail (Rt 88), you have to be pretty sure you don't get vertigo. At times the road has no guard rails, and it has a sharp drop-off down. How far is anybodies guess. The paved road becomes graded dirt, and very winding with sharp hairpin turns and at times one lane. There are a couple of one lane bridges, also. But the views are the most fantastic and in some cases magnificent. At one place you drive down into a canyon. It was my favorite part. On all sides when you look up, all you can see are walls of rock. We would have stopped to take more pictures, but it was getting late, and we were getting kind of tired. The drive is very bumpy, and terribly dusty. So we just kept on driving till we reached the end. Then it took us another hour to get back home.
The Apache Trail is the route stage coaches took. It also served as a way for goods to get to towns in the mountains, and for trappers and such to get their goods to the cities. The Lost Dutchman Mine is in the Superstition Mountains somewhere, just waiting to be found.
So, if you are looking for a nice day trip in the mountains of Arizona, try the Apache Trail. It comes highly recommended.