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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Blowin' in the Wind . . .

OMG!!! The wind, she is ablowin'!! Yes, it's about 4:30 in the morning and I'm up posting an entry on the blog. That tells you just how hard the wind is blowing. AND I've been up since about 2:30 listening to it.

There I was sleeping, blissfully unaware of anything, when I heard our antenna whipping around above our bedroom. Whew! It sounded like it was gonna come down any minute. Well, I laid there trying to go back to sleep and when that wasn't happening, I got up and wound the antenna down, and laid back down figuring that would solve the problem. Well, then I started thinking . . . what if the satellites have blown over????? So, I got back up and looked out the back window to be sure they were still standing, and they were. YAY! THAT would not have been pretty.

By this time, I was wide awake, but I hoped that I could get back to sleep. NOT! Randy was awake by this time and decided to go out for a smoke. That got Blackie up and moving. So, here I am, writing to you.
This is by far the fiercest wind we have encountered since we've been on the road. I thought it was rough in South Dakota when we were there in 2006, but I understand this is not unusual in South Texas. Oh, well, I'm sure it won't last long . . . hopefully.

Just thought I'd share. Until the next time . . .

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Pretty Quiet Week

Not much to report from southern Alabama, but since I know all of you just wait beside your computers for my words of wisdom and philosophical outlook on life, I felt I needed to post something for you! :)

It's been a very quiet week. Other than the Jubilee Pickers performance last Monday, we've not done a whole lot. I've had a couple of Mardi Gras activity meetings, but that's about it.

The weather has been pretty lousy. Yesterday I was beginning to wonder if someone had forgotten to turn off the water faucet down here!! It rained all day Thursday, stopped for most of Friday (and we did see a funny yellow thing in the sky for a little while), and then Friday evening the rain started again!! UGH! I know that rain is desperately needed everywhere and I should not be complaining, but . . . The upside of all this cruddy weather is that I'm making great progress on my cross-stitch project!

Today will be fairly busy for me. As I've mentioned before, Sunday is not a day of rest around here, at least not for me. Of course we've got church this morning and this afternoon I have a dulcimer practice. This evening we'll head over to the clubhouse for the weekly Ice Cream Social.

Things will be picking up this weekend, though. It's Mardi Gras!! Friday through Tuesday will be one activity after another, with parades thrown in there, too. I sure hope the weather cooperates and we have sunshine for the parades.

Well, that's about all I have to say . . . for now. Hope you enjoyed this scintillating look into our lives. I know you're sitting there so jealous of our wild ways. Can't say that I blame you. :)

Until the next time . . .

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

First Dulcimer Gig!

I participated in my first public performance as a dulcimer player! :) Jubilee Pickers performs at an annual fundraiser for a local church and about 12 of us signed up to play. The Pickers has many more members than that, but that was all that could fit in the corner we were given to set up in.

I had a blast! And I could even play most of the songs that were called. I was excited about that. I thought we would play for about an hour at the most, but when we got there, we found out that the event was from 4:30 to 7:00 and we were to play the whole time except for a dinner break! Whoa. Definitely not what I was expecting! Needless to say, my arm was really tired when we were finished. Hey, maybe I'll actually have some muscle tone in my right arm when the season's over!

Don't laugh!! It could happen . . . maybe . . . possibly . . . okay, so it won't. Let me have my fantasies, all right? :)

Well, just wanted to share. Hope you're having a good day wherever you are. Until the next time . . .

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Busy, busy Sunday

Isn't Sunday supposed to be a day of rest?!?!?!?? Well, not around here; at least, not for me today! :) But, it was a fun busy, so that's always good.

We started off with church at 9am. Once again, it was a great message. One that I need to hear over and over - loving my enemies. I constantly need reminding about leaving my judgmental attitude at the foot of God. He's the only Judge Who matters. I left church feeling very convicted. This is an area of my life that I need to continue to bring before the Lord and ask Him to keep my focus on Him and not on others.

Okay, enough confessions! :) Now on to the rest of the day.

Got home from church and got something to eat and relaxed for a bit before it was time to head over to the clubhouse for the Sunday afternoon dulcimer group. We play each Sunday afternoon for about 2 hours. Apparently this group got started because the women were tired of watching their men watch football! :) We had a great group today; about five new gals showed up.

When I got back to the rig, I had to go over to Pat's to discuss our registration for a dulcimer festival we're going to in March. Had to make plans about food purchases
and hotel accommodations. Got that done and it was time to head back to the clubhouse.

Tonight was Soup Night at the clubhouse. About 20 folks prepared homemade soups and, for $3/person, people could sample as many of the soups as desired. All of the money went to the Veterans' Children's Home. We did this last year, too. It was a great night. All of the soups looked great, but my favorite
was a cream of potato soup. Hmmmmmmmmmm . . . I love anything with a cream base! :)

To start the evening off, however, there was entertainment. Well, that's what WE
called it. I'm not sure what the audience thought! The Chenilles is a group of women who dress in their pj's, robes and slippers and perform songs that relate to the event. Tonight, we sang "Some Soup" to the tune of "Somewhere" from West Side Story. It was a hoot. Of course, the whole point is that we don't sing all that well. And, as you can tell from the picture, we don't too good, either! :)

Our evening ended with the weekly Ice Cream Social. I was good - I had sherbet. After all that creamy soup, I figured it was the least I could do!

Tomorrow I have my first dulcimer gig! Jubilee Pickers are performing for the Gulf Shores Christian Center fundraiser. Apparently, it's fairly informal. And they are going to feed us! What a deal. I'll let you know how it goes.

The next couple of weeks promise to be busy ones. Between dulcimer practices and Mardi Gras meetings and events, we'll be on the go. I'm sure there will be plenty of pictures to share.

Until the next time . . .

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Just Another Day in the Life . . .

Yesterday was such an ugly day, weather-wise, Randy and I just relaxed at home, catching up on some DVD watching. I also started a new cross-stitch project. It was a great day to be all cozied up in our little home on wheels.

Today was a much busier day for me. Randy hung out at home and I was on the move from 8:40 am on. I had Jubilee Pickers, one of the dulcimer groups I belong to and then a dulcimer lesson at 2pm. Very busy for me. I am really enjoying all that I'm learning on the dulcimer and the groups I belong to are made up of some wonderful people.

This evening we attended a park dinner at the clubhouse. There's a new cook this year and he is fantastic! Dinner was salad, roast chicken, dressing w/gravy, green beans, dessert and drink. And it was only $5.00 a person! Can't beat that. Randy even was pleasantly full and you KNOW how hard it is to fill him up! Plus, we get to eat with all of our friends!

Tomorrow promises to be a little slower. I have a meeting for the upcoming Mardi Gras activities and then we are going out to dinner to a local seafood place. Dick & Pat say it's a great place to eat. It's right on the river; not sure if that's where our dinner will come from, but I guess we'll find out! :)

Just wanted to give you a sample of a day in our life. Not too bad, is it? Granted, it's not the lifestyles of the rich and famous, but we're pretty content. Can't beat a life where you get to pick and choose what you do each day and where you want to do it. We thank God each day for how He has blessed us. We hope that you can say the same.

Until the next time . . .

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Great Start to the Week

We got off to a great start this morning by going to church. It felt SOOOO good to back in God's house! Because of all the traveling we did in December, we only got to church once and that was Christmas Eve. I don't like being out of corporate worship for that long. My soul really needs the nourishment that can only come from praying, singing, and learning alongside other believers. So, it was with great joy that we went to church this morning.

We went to a different church than we attended last year. Jubilee Shores is a United Methodist Church but you'd never know it! It's very nondenominational-like
in its building as well as its worship service. We felt very much at home this morning. Darrell & Judy Patterson and many of our other friends and neighbors in the park worship at this church and that was a huge part of why we chose to change churches this year. I love being able to worship with people I know and love. Just makes the whole process more enjoyable. There's nothing like standing beside your friend and praising the Lord in song and prayer! I am really looking forward to continuing to grow spiritually over the next couple of months at Jubilee Shores.

After church we had a couple of errands to run and we ran into our friends, Ralph & Linda Smith and Ron & Ruth Phinney. Well, since it was lunchtime, we all decided to grab a bite to eat together. And, gosh, there was a Cracker Barrel right there! Scratch number 44 off the list! :)

We got home and I changed my clothes real quick 'cause I was late to dulcimer practice! Got there about 45 minutes late, but still had plenty of time to join in the fun.

We ended our day at the weekly Ice Cream Social at the clubhouse. About 100 or so folks get together every Sunday night for fellowship and ice cream eating. At least once a month we have some bluegrass musicians come in and give a concert. Do we know how to party or what? :)

This is a wonderful start to another great week here at the Plantation. There are Mardi Gras plans to make, dulcimer practices to go to, and hanging out with friends. Gosh, I love this life!

Until the next time . . .

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Getting Back to Normal - Whatever THAT Is!

At the risk of incurring my daughter's wrath, can I just say, one more time, how nice it is to be back in my own bed? Jason & Lindsay were wonderful hosts and we loved being with them, but there's just nothing like relaxing in your own home and sleeping in your own bed. I can hear the "Amens" resounding throughout the full-time RV world now! :)

After a marathon drive from North Carolina to Alabama, we arrived at our humble abode about 7pm Monday evening. We had called ahead to Dick & Pat, our neighbors who were "babysitting" our rig while we were gone, to give them our ETA. They told us to expect dinner when we got there. How nice is that?!?!!! So, we pulled in, unloaded the truck. and went next door to a wonderful dinner. Thanks, Dick & Pat!! This is one of the things that makes this lifestyle such a blessing - friends like Dick & Pat.

We woke up yesterday about 6:30am, after falling asleep before 11pm! For those of you who know us well, you know that just doesn't happen often. Randy is a night owl and I tend to sleep for a few hours, wake up, sleep for an hour, wake up, sleep . . . well, you get the idea. So, I was a little befuddled when I woke up and saw what time it was and realized that I had slept ALL night long!

There wasn't much on the agenda yesterday, just a huge grocery run. We had tried to clean out the fridge and cupboards before we left in December, so we pretty much needed everything from meat to paper towels. Boy, did that cashier have her work cut out for her! The debit card almost melted from the total! :)

Not much else happened the rest of the day. It took half of it to put away all of the groceries!! :) Randy grilled burgers for dinner and then promptly fell asleep after we ate. Poor guy, I guess all that driving on Monday finally caught up with him.

Today, we will begin to have a bit more of a "normal" life; at least as much normal as we ever do! I have a dulcimer lesson today and Randy plans to putz around the RV. He needs to put out the awning, put up our lights and just get back that homey feeling. Tonight we're taking Dick & Pat out to dinner to thank them for taking such good care of the rig while we were gone.

We are looking forward to getting back in the swing of life here at Rainbow Plantation. Mardi Gras is just around the corner and that's always a fun time here at the park as well as the surrounding towns. You can count on lots of pictures coming soon.

I hope life is good for each of you. If it's a bit of struggle right now, take a minute and find one thing you can take comfort in and thank God for it. You'll feel better, I promise.

Until the next time . . .

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Traveling South! YAY!

After a great visit with family and several wonderful Christmas celebrations, we left Maryland on Saturday morning and began our journey southward. Although it was tough leaving our family and saying good-bye to the most beautiful granddaughter on the planet, we were looking forward to getting back to our home.

On our way back to Alabama, we stopped for the weekend at Dan & Debbie's in Winterville, NC. They always open their home to us whenever we are traveling through their area. We'll leave here early, early tomorrow morning for the long drive to Summerdale.

We arrived at Dan & Debbie's about 5pm Saturday evening. They had a great spaghetti dinner waiting for us. Can you get better friends than this? I don't think so. After dinner, we sat up talking, trading Christmas stories, then it was time for bed.

When we were here in December on our way to Maryland, we had visited Washington, NC, a quaint town on the Pamilico River. Dan & Debbie had also told us
about New Bern, NC which is an historic town about 45 minutes from Winterville that they have explored some and thought we'd like. Since the weatherman said it was going to be a beautiful, sunny day today, we decided to head over there. New Bern sits at the junction of the Trent & Neuse Rivers and is the second oldest town in North Carolina. It was founded by Baron de Graffenried in 1710. As a citizen of Bern, Switzerland, the Baron name the town "New Bern" in honor of his home.

New Bern has plenty to offer history buffs; walking tours of historical homes, churches & cemeteries, Civil War history and African-American history. There are also trolley tours and museums to explore. We decided to take the historical homes
walking tour. We figured we'd be back visiting Dan & Deb often enough to do other tours another time. And it was such a gorgeous day, we had to be outside!

Most of the homes we saw were of historical value to the area. Of course, there is the prerequisite "Washington Slept Here" at one of them. :) Others were singled out
for their particular architecture or builder. All of them are exquisite.

One of the homes, the Charles Slover House, was selected by
Union General Ambrose Burnside as his headquarters during the Civil War. This home was later purchased in 1908 by Caleb D. Bradham, who invented a drink we know as Pepsi-Cola. We also saw Mr. Bradham's pharmacy where the invention took place in 1848.

Another home that I have to show you is the W.B. Blades House, built in 1903. It is
just simply a gorgeous home. No one we know lived there - Mr. Blades was a lumber magnate in his day, but we wouldn't know that until we're told. It is just a beautiful home. I've only shown you one view of the house. To see others, go to our Webshots site; the link is listed at the leftside of the blog.

As we walked along the river front, it was reminiscent of Charleston's Battery area. The town has built walkways and park-like common areas along the Neuse River and it is very scenic. The houses that sit at the river front are historic and very well maintained. A very peaceful place indeed and we had a great day enjoying the town's beauty. We'll definitely be back to explore the other tours offered.

Unfortunately, we'll have to say good-bye to Dan & Debbie once again, but we are grateful, as always, for their hospitality and friendship. Randy & I are very aware of how blessed we are with the friends God has given us. We do not take them for granted.

Next time, I'll be posting from Summerdale, AL! Can't wait to get back and catch up with our friends there - I'm sure there's lots to hear.

Take care of one another. And be sure to say something nice to someone today. Until the next time . . .

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone! As I look forward to 2008, I have to sit and reflect on 2007.

This past year has been a good one, overall, for the Guiler family. Randy & I are healthy, and enjoying a fun-filled life together on the road. We are still the best of friends, and that's pretty good after being together 24/7 for 3 years! :) And we are looking forward to another great year of traveling.

Our family is in great shape. All of our kids are happy and healthy. Each one is in a stable relationship with people we have grown to love as our own. Our grandchildren are growing and learning and becoming very neat people. My parents have come through 2007 relatively unscathed! My mom had some health issues, but was out walking this morning when I talked to her! That's fantastic, Mom! Keep it up. Our sisters and their families are doing well. And we have two weddings to look forward to this summer! I'd say Randy & I are blessed indeed.

As I look forward to 2008, I don't make resolutions. I find I don't keep them anyway, so what's the point? I don't long for more "stuff"; I long for more time. I want each day to be a little longer so that I can enjoy being with Randy even more. I want more time to be able to marvel at how our kids have grown into phenomenal adults. I want more time to love on my grandkids and make an impact in their lives. I want more time to show my folks how much I love them and appreciate all they have sacrificed for me over the years. I want more time so that I can be a better friend to my sister and the girlfriends God has blessed me with. And I want more time to worship God and show my gratitude to Him for all that He has provided.

But, I know that I have just so much time - that was decided long before I was born. So, I will make the most of that time. I will tell those I love that I love them; I will write a note to those folks who may need a little encouragement; I will make a phone call or two to someone just to let him/her know that I'm thinking of them. And I will pray and ask God to show me how to use the time He has given me.

I hope that 2008 will be a great year for each of you. I hope that you will find the time to do things that mean a lot to you. And I hope that each of you feels loved.

Until the next time . . .