Saturday, May 29, 2010

Moving Day

We took a walk around the lake Thursday night because it never did rain. A few spots were pretty wet and Jim said the lake had been up but was dropping back to normal levels. The temperature has been above average but after the temps and humidity of Houston, it feels great to us.

I think it rained a little through the night but morning dawned sunny and clear. Our spot opened up before we even woke up so first order of the day was to bring in the slides and move across the street backing up to the lake. Once that was done we unhooked and set up inside and out.

Ted washed the trailer (of course) and I vacuumed inside and washed the kitchen floor. Karen called and said they had just come back from the lake. They wanted to get the grass cut before we went down so that didn't have to be done while we were there. She wanted to see our new trailer so we made plans for them to come by to visit and we would go to LaRosa's for a late lunch/early dinner.

The bad news for the day was that her washer has gone kaput! She has a repairman coming Wednesday to look at it. If he can fix it, she'll need the rest of that day to do her own laundry and I won't be able to use it until Thursday. I may be using Jim's new laundry here at the park.

It was good to see both of them and they really liked the new RV. Ronnie was interested in all the new and extra things that we have on this trailer that we didn't have on the other. Karen was content to admire the inside. We visited for awhile and then went to have a pizza.

They left early evening and we went into Lawrenceburg to Wal-Mart (where else?). We needed bottled water, a battery for the awning remote, cards for the graduation party today and the wedding next week and shaving cream for Ted. If you ever need bar soap at Wal-Mart it isn't in the grocery aisle with soap, it is in the healthy and beauty aisle in the pharmacy area - clear across the store! I didn't know soap was a cosmetic.

We sat outside until dark, then came in for a little TV before turning in. Today we go to Vicki's graduation party. We'll get to see a lot of my family and Ted will get to visit Todd's horses.

We are coming back here to sleep, go to church tomorrow morning and then head down to the lake for the rest of the Memorial Day weekend. We'll be back sometime Tuesday and have dinner plans with the couple who were our Maid of Honor and Best Man at our wedding.

I'm not sure how this feature got turned on but I can see everything I type translated into Spanish. I just have to put the cursor on a word and the Spanish comes up. If I highlight a whole sentence and put the cursor anywhere on it, the whole sentence gets translated. Maybe my computer is missing home!

We called Chris and everything is going OK. Nothing of importance has come in the mail. I told him just to throw all the ads in the recycle bin.

Have a great weekend or in Spanish, Tener un gran fin de semana!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

No Shepherdsville Stop

We left Sikeston at 7:40 am CDT and decided to try a different route. The speed limit in parts of Illinois is 55 so we took US 60 east to Paducah KY where we picked up I-24 to the Wendell Ford Parkway. This used to be a toll road but became public a few years back. It is good road, little traffic and nice rolling Kentucky hills. As we approached Elizabethtown KY I received a call from Rita. Wayne's mother had collapsed and they were on their way there. It is a two hour drive so they had no idea when they would get back. We told them not to worry and we decided to just come into Cincinnati without stopping since it was only 1 o'clock.

We called Jim at the campground and he said we could pull into a pull-thru overnight and move to our lake spot tomorrow when it opens up. So that's what we did. It was 3:30 pm EDT by the time we got parked and I had anything to eat. There is only one service plaza on the Wendell Ford but we didn't stop. I'm surprised I didn't get a headache. We haven't unhooked since we're moving tomorrow so we'll stay put for the night.

They are predicting some rain showers so we'll just hunker down and give thanks for our safe travels. Since we weren't supposed to be here until tomorrow, we have no plans. I did call Karen to tell her we are here but I reached her answering machine. We may go over there tomorrow to do laundry since we have keys to get in if they are already at the lake. And LaRosa's Pizza may be on radar also.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day Two

We left Texarkana around 7:45 this morning and made one stop at a rest area for a pit stop and a bite to eat. We tried to make Sikeston (385 miles) on one tank of fuel but were cutting it too close for comfort so we stopped about 20 miles south of our final destination and got 5 gallons. We paid $2.98. On arrival we filled up next to the campgound for $2.79. Jay had told us this was the cheapest diesel around. With a 38 gallon tank, it makes a difference. We got a great spot in the park right across from the office (good wifi) and the bath and shower house that we'll both use later this evening. We were set up by 3:30.

We started the A/C, watched some Cash Cab on Discovery and then went to Lambert's for dinner. The "throwed rolls" were as good as ever. We have learned to order a minimum amount of food because in addition to the huge yeast rolls, they bring fried potatoes, fried okra, black eyed peas and a macaroni & tomato dish around the entire time you eat. I brought home as much or more than I ate of the chicken salad I ordered. It will make a nice sandwich tomorrow when we stop at a rest area for lunch.

Our next stop is Shepherdsville, KY, just south of Louisville. Old friends Wayne and Rita live there and if it all works out, we'll spend tomorrow evening with them. Last time only Wayne could make it over to the campground.

Just wanted everyone to know we're safe and comfortable. Talk to you all later.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Midwestern Hayride

We left this morning and talked about the young man in a light suit, skinny tie and flat top that sang on the Midwestern Hayride in Cincinnati during the 50's. He was Hugh Nelson ... later to become Willie Nelson. And so we're On the Road Again.

Wind Down was a huge success with close to 70 people attending. However, the heat index was high with so many people there. Every bottle of wine and water was consumed.

Saturday Ted pulled the RV over to Rayford and started washing the outside. When I arrived with the Expedition loaded down, he and Tommy were almost finished. Late in the afternoon Jay and Stella arrived and we all went to Pit Master BBQ to eat. We ran into Jody and Dave who were also having dinner.

When we came out of church on Sunday morning we called back to the campground and told the others to meet us at IHOP. I had not brought the refrigerator items over yet and we really had nothing to fix for breakfast. We finished settling things inside the RV, visited with the others, took a short nap and then went to Terry & Carol's house for dinner along with Susan, Vince, Lynn and Adrian. It was excellent ... shrimp cocktail, roast beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes and asparagus. That was followed up with a banana cake for dessert.

Monday was D-Day. We had to get all our ducks in a row. We went back to check on Chris at the house and make sure he had all the keys and info he needed. We packed up the rest of the food, some odds and ends and then headed to Sam's to prepare for our "trailerwarming" party.

Tommy was such a big help. He brought us a cooler full of ice and his electric ice maker. We set up our travel table and two of his. He and Ted brought Tommy's umbrella table and chairs to our site. They also brought over Jay's picnic table. I was inside slicing tomatoes, onions and chopping up lettuce. I ran in and out many, many times getting the drinks, food, utensils, etc. all set up.

We had such a fun time showing off our new trailer to so many of our friends. I think everyone enjoyed our little get together. We had a Premium Site at the park and had plenty of room for the group. Afterwards Tommy, Susan, Jay and Stella all helped us get things back where they belonged. We sat and visited for awhile and then we had to take my car back home. It was late when we got back and we were both really tired and went right to bed.

This morning we left at 8:15 and pulled into Texarkana, AR at 2:30. We set up and went to the pool for a few hours. We've had dinner and are sitting in our theater recliners watching the finales on TV tonight.

Tomorrow's destination is Sikeston, MO. We'll be having dinner at Lambert's, home of the "throwed rolls." There's a convenient campground, cheapest diesel and great restaurant all at one exit!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Let's Roll

We've been tying up loose ends before we head out. Rebecca is here today cleaning and Chris is moving in. She won't be cleaning for him while we're gone but will clean right before we get back. He's tickled with the wi-fi router set up and this chance to not be at his Mom and Dad's for now.

I attended the Happy Hour for the Activity Chairs at the president's home. There are a lot of new, young people I didn't know. But there were many "seasoned" members that I've known for quite some time. It was a fun gathering and I appreciated the gesture by the board in recognizing our contribution to the club.

I also attended the Newcomer's luncheon, the last for this year. I was again recognized for my Activity Chair role and the old and new Boards were honored. I met some more new people and saw many friends. My friend who had the stroke is at a rehab facility now. She has some balance issues but seems to be making great progress with everything else. Another friend who just came home from a round-the-world five month cruise was there also. She's a delight to talk to. She showed me a gold pendant she said had her name written in Arabic. I told her if she ran into someone who knew how to read it she may want to go the other way!

I had two doctor appointments this week so that is all done. All the paperwork I need while we're on the road is in the pouch I take with us. Ted has turned on the refrigerator and it is cold so he has run out to put soft drinks and beer in.

We're moving the RV to Rayford tomorrow and will be there until Tuesday. Ted wants to wash the yellow pollen off the trailer and I'll need to dust and clean a bit inside. We'll run back and forth until we're all loaded up. Tommy & Susan are over there right now and we're having dinner with them on Saturday night. We've been invited to Terry & Carol's Sunday night. On Monday we're hosting a small get together for some of our friends to come see the new RV. We've rented a premium site that has a gas grill as well as an umbrella table and is a much larger site. Ted will grill burgers and we'll toss back a few wines or beers. Tuesday morning we're going to sing a chorus of Willie Nelson's "On The Road Again" as we head for Texarkana.

We haven't been successful at Verizon just yet. We are now armed with the exact phone and plan our friend has who tethers. I've printed two things off the internet that talks about it. Just maybe the reps will pay attention when I read the sentence that says "most Verizon reps don't know about this tethering feature." Wish us luck.

I have to make an appetizer for Wind Down tonight. Sure hope someone makes a dessert. It's not a party without it!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Things Are Picking Up

After our uneventful week at home, we went to dinner Saturday night with Terry & Carol after church. We tried a new Italian restaurant that opened recently but none of us had been to. It was really good and I'm sure we'll go back. Terry picked out a great red wine and the three of us shared the bottle. Ted drank his normal Diet Coke.

Today was my CWJF orientation meeting. Jacque picked me up a little after 8 o'clock this morning and it was close to 2:30 when we got home. They served a light breakfast and lunch around all the talks teaching us what we will be doing and how to do it.

It's a bit overwhelming in the beginning but everything you need to know is at your fingertips either in the books they provide, on the computer or from your PAL or MOM. I ordered two shirts since we have to be dressed "in uniform" when we do service hours. And I was able to sign up for a few activities in August and September.

The first year you are given specific things to do. I'm sure this is to introduce new people to all that is out there. In subsequent years we have to put in double the hours but can pick exactly what we want to do and where.

I met Jeanette at several functions and today she asked me to pair with her for a Meals on Wheels route once a month. It's an easy way to get in 24 hours because you are credited with two hours each day you do it. We figure we have a built in back-up in each other. We have to contact Meals On Wheels at the Friendship Center and see what routes and what days are open. Ted said he would help me if and when I needed it.

I signed up for a daycare stint, a seniors luncheon, a day at the resale shop and an immunization clinic for children. Junior Forum commits to help other organizations in their endeavors. I have a lot to learn. Wish me luck!

Tomorrow is a Happy Hour at the home of the Newcomers President. It is for Activity Chairs as an end-of-year "thank you." I've chaired my bunco group for almost nine years and this is the first time we've been invited to an event to honor us. It's nice.

Thursday is the Newcomers last luncheon of the year and Friday is the last Wind Down of the year. Things are slowing down as the kids get out of school, the heat arrives in earnest and people start leaving for cooler climes.

The last I heard about my friend who had the stroke, she was breathing on her own and talking and moving normally. Hallelujah!

The friends in Memphis replaced their flooded car and are helping his brother with the packing up of his furntiure. The demolition that needs to be done inside started this week. They project 3-4 months not living in the house. By then Brenda and Rick will be in the Pacific Northwest. We have no idea when we'll see them again. They have no plans at this time to return to this area next winter.

And life goes on.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Week of May 9, 2010

On these dates, here in east Texas, nothing much happened.

Well they did fix our security system, I had a neighborhood luncheon and got my hair cut. Like I said, nothing much happened.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Well I Won ... Sort Of

We played Couples Canasta Saturday night and I had three good hands and one bummer! Out of the last five cards in the draw pile, three were wild cards and the other team went out before we could get to them. I was playing with Ray and his wife Linda was playing with Jeff. They stuck it to us. Neither Ted nor I won any money.

We hung around the house Sunday until about 4 o'clock and then went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. We timed it right because we didn't wait but 5-10 minutes for a table. However, when we left about 6:15, there were people everywhere. I'm glad we went when we did. I heard from all three girls and had a nice conversation with each of them. Morgan told me she made her Mommy something with gems, and sparkles, and a rainbow but I didn't quite understand what it was. Turns out it was a picture frame. Kelly was going to church and out to breakfast with her in-laws. Kristin called later in the day. She had been out with friends.

So today I played Canasta for the third time in a week. My score was 27,000+ - a REALLY good score. Good enough to win! But there were only eight of us playing at two tables so we didn't play for money. So I won nothing but bragging rights.

I received word today that a very good friend had a massive stroke yesterday while preparing a Mother's Day dinner for her family. All I know is that she is in ICU at the nearby hospital and the family is in a "wait and see" mode. I am so tired of receiving bad news! I have made myself a promise to celebrate every baby, every wedding, every Baptism, every First Communion, every birthday party, every graduation, any little celebration that I can. The valleys are far outweighing the peaks anymore and I have a suspicion it only gets worse the older we get.

They did come and do our front yard today and it turned out really nice. The wax myrtles were over five feet tall and the pitosporum were about three. They all got taken out and everything redone. It took four guys 3.5 hours to do all the work. The wall had loose rocks replaced, the sprinklers were checked and fixed where better coverage could be obtained, topsoil was mixed in the bed after the old plants were out, the trees were trimmed and the new plants put in. We're happy with the outcome.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Temperature Yesterday - 95!

It's time to be getting out of Dodge. Now I know that is in Kansas but it sums up our feelings right about now. Spring was certainly short.

When I picked up Terry & Carol on Tuesday at the airport I was not allowed to stop outside and wait. They kept everyone moving. We found out later they had to blow up a suitcase at the airport. That, coupled with the Times Square incident, put them on high alert. I had just been waved on when Carol called and said they had arrived 25 minutes early, had their bags and were ready. It took me another 10 minutes to circle back around.

Wednesday was Continental Breakfast and is the last one I will attend until October. I think this is a great group because it allows new people to just drop in, meet new people and some seasoned members, and get info on the group. It's also allows new people to learn about stores, hairdressers, doctors, shopping, schools, etc. It's a great introduction to the area with no commitment whatsoever.

Our front yard didn't get revamped on Thursday. I received a call that they were behind on the morning job and they needed to start ours by 1 o'clock to finish by dark. So now it is set for Monday afternoon. I'm playing Canasta and Ted has a doctor appointment but they said it's not necessary for us to be here. Ted drove over and back to Beaumont and was surprised when he came home to nothing having been done. All in good time I guess.

Friday was the Junior Forum installation luncheon. It was held at the conference center and was very well done. The incoming board was feted with songs from the "choir" about each of their jobs such as "She Works Hard for the Money" for the treasurer. The whole skit was a hoot and turned what could have been a boring program into a very fun one. Afterwards, Susan and I went to a vendors' private showing of items in one of the Brownstones on the waterway. I had never been in one of them. They are four stories, fairly narrow and didn't appeal to me at all. But to each his own.

Susan invited us to join them at the country club for the Friday night buffet. When we arrived, Terry, Carol, Jody, Dave, Susan and Vince were already there. Dan and Maria came in right behind us. We had a nice evening and came home about 9 o'clock.

Tonight is Couples Canasta at Jeff and Connie's. We'll go to church at 5, hit Chik-Fil-A at 6 and then head on over right before 7. That gives us tomorrow with nothing planned for Mother's Day. We'll come up with something and if we don't, a quiet day at home is always welcome.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It's 90 Degrees Already

I'm going to go back and start reading my Michigan blogs to remind myself about the cold! The humidity hasn't been bad so it has actually been quite beautiful here. But I know what is coming.

We went to Wine Tasting and it was a small group. The original group has split off into three different groups plus there were a lot of Derby parties going on. But it was nice to sit around in a group and really talk instead of the standing and wandering around with hit and miss conversation that usually goes on.

Sunday I worked on our trip. I think we are not going to go all the way across Minnesota and North Dakota. That's over 700 miles and when we go to the Northwest we can easily hit Medora, ND then. It appears we'll turn south at Duluth and make our way through Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma back toward Texas. We need to be home by mid-August and once we leave the UP of Michigan on July 12 we'll only have a month to meander home. But that's the good part about dragging your house with you. You can change your mind whenever you want or need to.

I played Canasta Monday with a different group than the one I belong to. This one serves lunch and since it was close to Cinco de Mayo, the menu was Mexican. I didn't win any money but I certainly did enjoy the lunch out. Ted was getting ready to leave for Denver when I got home so I didn't see much of him.

Today I am picking Terry & Carol up from the airport and Ted will be home later tonight. I'm still loading albums onto my iPod Touch. I didn't realize we had so many CDs until now!

Our last summer traveling buddies, Rick & Brenda, are parked in Memphis next to his brother's house. Rick works in his brother's greenhouses in the spring when they are busy. The floods came over the weekend sending 6-8 inches of water into Mike's house, destroying a lot of the plants and Rick's car had water up to the dash. Luckily their motorhome sat high enough that it didn't get wet. Mike's wife is one of the friends I asked prayers for. What a terrible time to be forced out of your home. Both she and Mike need our prayers.

I can't wait to get on the road where we don't usually listen to the radio or have cable TV. It seems all the news is bad. I know sticking my head in the sand doesn't accomplish anything but other than voting when I have the right, I'm not sure there is anything I can do except maybe pray.

I was "chatting" on line with a friend visiting in Barcelona and she was describing all the beautiful cathedrals of Europe. Every village, town, city has a church at its center. We lamented that church has gone from being the center of existence to being forced out of existence. I don't think we're heading in the right direction.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Quiet Week

It's been a quiet week spent mostly with my new iPod Touch. I have about 700 pictures loaded, a lot of music (with lots more to put on), most of my address book is on and I've sent and received e-mails. So I'm doing good though it hasn't been without trial and error. I haven't started investigating "apps" yet. I really don't think I'd care to read a book off something the size of a cell phone though.

Ted took Terry & Carol to the airport on Tuesday and I fixed a chicken casserole, cranberry relish, cornbread and brownies for my neighbor who just had back surgery. Her daughter-in-law cleans our house and her single son is going to stay here while we're gone this summer. She had the same back surgeon that Ted had.

I went to Susan's Happy Hour at the country club on Wednesday and Teri asked me to join her for her birthday dinner afterwards. Members get a free meal one Wednesday during their birthday month. I agreed and we had a good time. I left my phone at home charging so Ted was wondering why I was gone so long. He had been at the gun club and had eaten on his way home.

We went to Verizon Thursday to determine what we want to do about internet while we are gone. We've gotten by with campground wi-fi, libraries, friends/family internet, Hampton Inns, etc. Our biggest objection to mobile broadband is that you have to sign a 2-year contract and we only want it 3 months out of a year. We learned about phone tethering from other campers. The biggest plus is that you can turn it off and on when you want.

We need a new phone, preferably EVDO Rev-A capable and the tethering cord. It will serve as a modem for our laptop. You can buy an antenna booster too. The month starts on your billing cycle so around May 20 we'll take the laptop to Verizon, buy the phone and cord and have them put it all together and show us how it works. We'll keep the service on while we're gone. In the meantime, Chris will be able to use his laptop off our router at the house.

Last night we went to a cookout and bunco with the church group. Several of the couples have kids making their First Communion. You know you are a generation ahead when your grandchild is doing the same thing, not to mention our oldest grandchild will turn 20 in June!

Tonight is Wine Tasting and I'm making my Piquant Cocktail Meatballs. They are always a big hit. I don't use frozen meatballs. I make my own from scratch and it makes a big difference. Tomorrow is church and not much else but next week is jam packed. Canasta, airport to pick up Terry & Carol, Breakfast Club, yard gets redone, installation luncheon for Junior Forum and Couple's Canasta.

We went to the RV yesterday to change the batteries in our fire alarm and carbon monoxide monitor. Both have been tweeting for awhile. I took a bag full of stuff out so the loading has begun!