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Friday, February 29, 2008

And Now It's My Turn . . .

A nasty cold and flu bug has been making the rounds through the park over the past month. Pat & Dick had it and now it seems that it's my turn. YUCK! I hate having a cold. Unfortunately, I also have bronchitis. Aren't I the lucky one!?!?!! But, I'm grateful it was caught early and I'm on an antibiotic. Now, if I could just keep my nose from running all down my face. Oh, sorry. Guess that was just a little too much info, huh?

So, I've been down for a few days, but I do feel a little better tonight. Still sound like Elmer Fudd, but I'm on the mend.

Hope you're having a good time, wherever you are. Until the next time . . .

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Fun Saturday

Here, I just posted yesterday that life has been pretty boring and routine these past few weeks; and now, I get to post some pics for you to share in our fun Saturday morning!

We (Wendyl, Tiffany, Pat, Dick and us) started off, of course, with our regular Saturday morning breakfast. We'd been going to Magnolia Blossom Cafe for their buffet, but Pat said there was a Denny's in Gulf Shores, so we figured we'd go there. Well, there isn't a Denny's in Gulf Shores, after all. But, we did find a local place called Hazel's Nook and it was supposed to be pretty good. We got there and the parking lot was full and that's always a good sign for a local place! Glad to say the parking lot theory still works – we had a great breakfast, the buffet even came with a made-to-order omelet bar.

Once we were sufficiently fortified, we took Wendyl and Tiffany for a tour of Gulf Shores State Park. This is a really, really nice state park along one of the many canals found down here. It is huge and the sites are all full hook-up which is unusual for a state park. After that, it was on to the beach. Tiffany wanted to take some of that beautiful white sand back home, so we had to oblige her. Got some fun pictures of the beach, the Gulf and us! Boy, that surf was frothy. And there were some hardy folks in the water. Not me, though; my momma didn't raise no fool!

Once we had scooped up the sand, we headed back up the road to LuLu's and Homeport Marina. Lulu's is a local restaurant that is owned by Jimmy Buffet's sister – yes, THAT Jimmy Buffet. Dick, Pat, Randy & I ate there last year. But, the attraction this time was the marina. The Nina is docked there. This ship is a replica of the original Nina and is making its way around the world. It was even used in the film, “1492.” Being too cheap to pay the $5 entrance fee, Randy & I just took pictures from the landing. Dick & Pat had already toured it. Wendyl & Tiffany decided to take a tour. It was pretty cool. I sure wouldn't want to sail for 6 days, let alone 6 weeks in that ship, though! Give me my amenities!! Of course, there were several boats in the marina that would give me all the amenities I could ask for. Lots of money sitting in that water.

Once we had checked out Lulu's gift shop, it was time to continue to head up the road. Of course, we couldn't resist this shot!

Before we could head home, though, we had to make just one more stop – the Flea Market. As I told you in a previous post, I found many, many Nora Roberts books at this one vendor at the local Flea Market. After I got home last week, I rounded up a bunch of books I had and we took them today to see if I could trade them. The vendor gave me 2 for 1! I was so excited. I could get 10 books for free!! I found 8 books on the dollar shelf and one for $1.50 so I actually got 9 books from her. I was excited. Then, on the way out, I stopped at another vendor who had a bunch of Nora books and found two more I didn't have. I came home with 11 books for $3. Not a bad day of book shopping. My list is slowly whittling down. I am very happy. :)

So much for boring, I guess. That's what happens – you think you're in a routine and BAM! Something fun happens. Yeah, I know. All of you are just drooling with jealousy. What can I say? I am one blessed woman. And I'm grateful for it.

Hope you're having fun. Until the next time . . .

Friday, February 22, 2008

Fairly Quiet Week

Another week is passing rather quietly. Sorry I don't have more exciting adventures to share with you, but this life we are leading is not a neverending vacation – it's just a different way of living life. So, we often have “down times” without sightseeing or moving or meeting new folks. February and March are such times for us.

We have settled into a routine. I play the dulcimer with three different groups during the week and we have dinner over at the clubhouse a couple of times a week. We also have a standing breakfast date with friends every Saturday morning. Randy ensures that the RV is in good shape and our tanks are emptied as necessary. Blackie keeps the couch warm.

Yeah, full-time Rving is one exciting moment after another! ;) Actually, it's a wonderful way to live, and we do see more of this country than most folks ever will, but we are very boring at times, too. I just wanted to share some thoughts today 'cause I haven't been posting much recently.

I should have some fun stories to share in March as Pat & I are going to Louisiana to a dulcimer festival. We're also going to the Mobile Historic Homes Tour again this year and then we have another dulcimer festival hosted by our group, Jubilee Pickers, at the end of March. So, life should be busier next month.

I hope your lives are going the way you want them to; if not, make changes now – don't wait until it's too late! Enjoy this life you have and be sure to live passionately!

Until the next time . . .

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Very Odd Day

Today did NOT go as planned! First, we didn't go to church as I wasn't feeling well. Then, the storms that had been promised finally showed up with a bang. We had wind, thunder, lightning, you name it. While watching the weather updates on TV, I started getting a little nervous. And when they said that there was “rotation activity” less than 10 miles away, I told Randy I thought we needed to go over to the clubhouse. I figured a brick building had to be safer than a RV, right?

We suited up with boots and raincoats and headed over. Why we bothered with the raincoats, I'm not sure 'cause we were soaking wet by the time we got there! Surprisingly, there weren't many people there; maybe 15 to 20, if that. Anyway, we were only there for about 20 minutes to a half an hour and then the tornado warning was passed us. And suddenly, the sun was shining!! Talk about a weird weather day. We did get another storm a little later, but it was nothing comparatively. Glad it's over!

We did end the day on a fun note. Besides the weekly Ice Cream Social, we attended the Second Annual Flatulence Fest at the clubhouse! This fundraising event for our local firehouse is a bean cook-off. Chefs prepare any type of bean recipe and for $3/person, folks can sample all of the prepared dishes. Of course, there were many bean soups, but there was also some black bean brownies which were surprisingly good, as well as cornbread and tortilla chips to go with the different dishes. Watch out - there'll be no gas shortage in lower Alabama tomorrow!! :)

This has been such an odd winter here in lower Alabama. But, the rest of country's weather has been crazy, too. And we're due to get more rain later this week. Gosh, I'm so tired of it. I know there are drought conditions all through the south and I'm being selfish, but there you have it.

Hope your weekend was a good one. I did have an exciting morning yesterday. Most of you know how much I love reading books by Nora Roberts. Well, there are many, many that I haven't read. So, I made a list of those I needed; yes, I know that's very anal, but have you met me??? :) Anyway, there's a flea market a couple of miles away from the park and there are a couple of vendors who sell books for a buck a piece! I found 25 books!!!! I am so very excited. And the only reason I didn't buy more is because I ran out of cash. You can bet I'll be going back for more!

Enjoy your week. Until the next time . . .

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Did You Celebrate??

Happy Valentine's Day!!! I hope each of you was able to share this day with someone you love.

We joined over 170 of our closest friends for dinner this evening at the clubhouse. We had a great meal and good conversation. We shared a table with Dick & Pat, Darrell & Judy, Wendell & Tiffany,
Ralph & Linda Smith, and Ann and Barb. It's amazing to see how many folks came out for dinner. Our park staff is doing a marvelous job of entertaining us and feeding us.

Looking forward to a quiet day tomorrow and I'm ready for it! I've been very busy this week and I'm ready for some down time. I know, I know - every day is down time when you're retired. Believe me, I am NOT complaining. Just gonna get a mani/pedicure tomorrow with a couple of friends and then sit back and enjoy the 70 degree sunshiny weather. Yeah, this is tough . . . ;)

Until the next time . . .

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My First Shirt Painting!

Life has been good here at the Plantation. Randy & I have just been enjoying the beautiful, sunny 70 degree weather, that is until yesterday. Whoa! We had a storm come through that shook the RV – up to 55 MPH winds. Yuck! That is not fun in an RV. We even had a tornado warning, with some tornadic activity just south of us. A little too close for me, but the weather has been crazy all over the country, hasn't it?

Before the ugly weather blew in on us yesterday, I went to my first shirt painting class. It was a lot of fun. The teacher was our landlord, Jan, and she is such a creative person. She had stenciled “Big Red,” the Holland, Michigan lighthouse, on sweatshirts. We then painted the picture. I have never done anything like that before and am DEFINITELY not an artist; not by any definition of the word. But, I am good at coloring inside the lines. (Bonnie Lindner – no comments!!) So, I figured I could do this. And I did! :) I'm pretty happy with the results. Thought I'd share with you. I have to admit, I did most of the painting, but Jan finished up the water and did the flag and the beacon. Good, huh?

That's about here. Tomorrow is a dulcimer day, with the Jubilee Pickers. We also have a gig somewhere in the area, not sure where. Last week we played at a local Veterans' Home. It was very humbling to see how happy those guys were because we were there. How thankful I am to them for their service.

Not much else planned. Tomorrow's Valentine's Day. We don't tend to make a big deal of it 'cause we tell each other “I love you” every day 'cause you never know what's coming down the road. So, take a minute to let someone close to you know how much he/she means to you. It'll make your day a little brighter.

Until the next time . . .

Friday, February 08, 2008

Nothing Much to Share . . .

Today was a beautifully, sunny day. We didn't have anything planned except that I had an appointment to get my hair cut. After that, it was just chillin' and relaxin'. I realized that I hadn't posted any pictures of our rig set up this winter, so I decided to show you how we're living here in LA, that's Lower Alabama to you northerners! :) That's Dick & Pat's rig in the background.

Not much planned for the weekend. We were going to have a cookout with Pat & Dick and the Oklahoma crowd, but Dick has become sick with some flu bug. Ugh! That's been going around the park. We are staying away from it, hopefully. So, tomorrow looks like another quiet day. Hope your weekend is a good one.

Want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our future daughter-in-law, Sara. Today is her 21st birthday. We are thrilled that she will be part of our family in less than 6 months. We love you, Sara!

Here's a picture of Blackie after he finally got his hair cut!

Until the next time . . .

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The End of Mardi Gras 2008

Last night we said good-bye to Mardi Gras 2008. It was the creme de la creme of our park's events! (How'd ya like that? Pretty good, huh!) The evening began with the entrance of our King and Queen as they strolled through the room, giving their subjects a chance to pay respects. Once they had settled into their thrones, a sumptuous dinner of salad, roast beef, potatoes & carrots, green beans, dessert and drink was served to approximately 200 people. Yes, 200!! That's the biggest crowd served at a meal in this park in years, maybe ever. We have a wonderful workamping team here at the Plantation. And we are grateful for them.

Once dinner was over, it was time for the program to begin. It was to be a night of music, costumes and laughter. As I was MC for the evening, you know there was lots of laughter!! Either at me or with me, I'm just not sure, but it was fun. Once again, The Chenilles kicked off the program with two songs. Unfortunately, I was unable to sing with them this time as I couldn't change fast enough to be both MC and Chenille. But, they pushed on without me and did a fine job of it.

We have a line dancing group that meets three times a week. They performed two dances for us and were very entertaining. They call themselves, Bob's Harem, as the leader is Bob, but all of the participants are women. As I introduced them as such, Bob didn't seem to mind too much - he was smiling all the way onto the stage! :)

To finish off the musical portion of the program, the Plantation Pickers came onto stage to play four songs. We were pretty good, even if I do say so myself! We ended our performance with a rousing rendition of "When the Saints Go Marching In" and the crowd sang along with us. What fun!!

It was almost time for the Mardi Gras Ball, but we had to "kill off" the King & Queen and introduce the theme for next year. Zorro made an appearance and forced the King & Queen into a giant TV screen! Thus, the King & Queen were gone and "TV Sitcoms" was introduced as next year's Mardi Gras theme.

Before the Mardi Gras Ball could begin, however, we had a costume contest for the best male and female costumes, most original and most outrageous, and the best super hero costume. We didn't have a lot of folks who dressed up, but those that did were good. Once the judging was over, the band "Northwind" took the stage for the remainder of the evening. Folks could sit and enjoy the music or dance, if they chose.

Wow. I was a tired puppy when we got home. While we had a great time over the last few days, it was a whirlwind of activities and I am ready for some down time. I hope you enjoyed our Mardi Gras fun.

Until the next time . . .

Monday, February 04, 2008

Plantation Parade Day

Good grief, today was a BUSY day! First, I had to get the laundry done - I'd run out of socks, so it was time!! Our laundry room here at the park is a busy place; not only are there 98 campsites in the park, but many of us are "squatters." That means we are renting sites from the deeded lot owners in the park. Then, there are also several owners who use the laundry as well. So, that means it is rare to find the laundry room empty. I decided I was gonna be smart and get there early, so I set the clock for 5:30am and figured I'd be first. WRONG!! I even woke up early, at 5am, but as I stepped out of the RV to walk over, someone else pulled into the parking lot and proceeded to go to the laundry. Dadgum - I get bumped even at 5:00 in the morning! But, I got started at 5:30 and was done by 7:30. Another week of clean clothes! I'm sure those around us will be grateful. :)

The big event of the day, though, was the park parade and lunch. Once again, there would be "entertainment" after our meal. The parade began at 11am and was led off by our color guard proudly bearing the American flag and the Alabama state flag. Of course, our King & Queen had a float and then several of the folks in the park
decorated their golf carts, scooters and the Red Hat Society had a boat! Beads, moon pies, and candy were thrown to those standing on the sidelines watching the parade go by.

We had a huge crowd come into the clubhouse for lunch. Our cook, Larry, has gotten a great reputation for providing us with good meals. There had to have been 150 people in the clubhouse. We had hamburgers, hot dogs, beans, chips, mac & cheese and drinks. Plus we had a great time with the folks at our table. Wendell & Tiffany (who had gone to parades with us last Saturday) also joined us for today's activities.

All too soon, lunch was finished and it was time for the entertainment. I found myself totally involved once again. AND I AM LOVING IT!! The Chenilles sung, we had a skit that parodied Hooters, and the Plantation Pickers, our park's dulcimer group played. Everyone was generous with their applause. What fun we're having.

This evening Randy and I joined a small group Bible study held at the church we've been attending. The majority of the people in the study are from the park which is really nice. It was great being part of a small group again. We were really spoiled for many years back in Maryland when we had a wonderful small group through Grace. That's one thing that is hard to replicate here on the road. But, we're going to enjoy this while we're here.

Well, that's it for today. We have one more day of Mardi Gras activities tomorrow. We'll have dinner and then "kill off" the King & Queen during the evening, with it ending in a costume ball. I'm sure it will be another evening of goofiness and laughter. Wish you were here!!

Until the next time . . .

Super? Bowl

Just a couple of thoughts. We went to a Super Bowl party yesterday; more for the fun and friends than for the game. I didn't really care who won, but, I was hoping for a good match. I gotta say I was pretty disappointed. Yeah, yeah. I know the press is touting it as the best Super Bowl ever, but it was really just the best last 2 minutes ever! C'mon, you know I'm right. The rest of the game was fairly boring. So, those are my thoughts. Just figured I'd share.

Until the next time . . .

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Parades and New Friends

Yesterday was a day of friends and fun! We started the morning with breakfast at the clubhouse and, boy, was it good! The cook at the park this year is really great. After filling ourselves with eggs, potatoes (not me!), grits, sausage, biscuits and coffee, we headed back home to get ready for the rest of the day - parades!!

Friends of Pat & Dick's from Oklahoma are also wintering in the area, but at a
different park. One of the couples, Wendell and Tiffany, joined the four of us in our two parades and seafood dinner day. :)

Our first parade was at noon in Foley, the next town south of us. This is a nice, small town parade. We went to it last year, too. We met Darrell and Judy and a couple of their friends, Ray & Pat, down in Foley and watched the parade with them. Other than grabbing some beads, I did get a picture with the fire dog! :)

Foley's parade was over about 1pm and we had a few hours to kill before the next parade in Orange Beach was to begin at 6:30! So, the six of us headed to the local Tanger Outlet Mall so that Pat could look for a pair of pants. Once that was accomplished, it was time to head for an early dinner.

Dick had heard great things about a local seafood place, Doc's, down in Orange Beach. Dick loves gumbo and Doc's was supposed to have some of the best. So, off we went to Doc's. Two other Oklahoma couples, John & Liz and Dick & Rose, joined us for dinner. Lots of good food and laughter abounded during dinner. Doc's didn't disappoint us. Randy had steamed scallops and I had fried shrimp and we both had a cup of the gumbo. Needless to say, we waddled out of there!

John & Liz and Dick & Rose left us to go back to their park while the six of us continued to the next parade site. The parade was to begin at 6:30 and we arrived around 5pm, which really isn't too early. You know, you've got to claim your spot for the best view and people start showing up early. Luckily, we parked at one of the shopping centers and while the guys staked our claim, Tiffany, Pat & I went into Al's 5 & 10 (yes, it really was called that) 'cause Pat needed to buy some things for her
part in Monday's Mardi Gras parade at our park. Once again, mission was accomplished successfully. So, we joined the guys on the street to await the beginning of the parade.

We were concerned that the temperature would plummet once the sun went down. It had been a gorgeous, sunny day, but we weren't sure what it would be like later,
so we made sure we had blankets, coats and gloves. Poor Wendell & Tiffany hadn't realized it could get pretty chilly so they hadn't brought heavy jackets, but we took care of them as you can see from the picture!

Thankfully, it really didn't get too chilly and once the parade began we were too busy hollering and grabbing for beads to be cold! It is so much fun to be silly and not worry about what anyone
thinks! And it's even better to be silly with good folks like Dick & Pat and Wendell & Tiffany!

All too soon the parade was over and it was time to fight the battle of getting out of the parking lot! We said good-bye to Wendell & Tiffany (they had driven their own vehicle) and started jockeying for position. It really wasn't too bad. We were on our way fairly quickly and home before we knew it. What a great day we had.

Today is Super Bowl Sunday and, usually, that doesn't register very highly on our TV meter. I like to watch, but Randy's not too into it. But, we were invited to join the Oklahoma group at their park, along with Dick & Pat, to watch the game and we are going to do so. If nothing else, we'll have a great time with good folks.

We hope you are enjoying the day wherever you are and whomever you're with. Take a minute to be grateful of the place God has put you. Until the next time . . .

Friday, February 01, 2008

It's Mardi Gras Time!!

Our park held its first Mardi Gras event of the season tonight! Over the next four days, we'll attend lots of activities here at the park as well as in the area. The weather finally looks like it's going to be good for parade-watching and we intend to take advantage of it.

The theme for our park's Mardi Gras activities this year is "Super Heroes." Tonight's
event was called "First Night." Aren't we good? :) This is the night where we find our King and Queen and swear them in for the duration of Mardi Gras. We have a dinner first, then cupcakes are passed around to see who gets the cupcakes with the babies in them. These are folks who become the King and Queen. After the King & Queen are found, they are escorted out to be dressed in their royal attire. After they are dressed, they are brought out before the people to be sworn in. Once the swearing in has occurred, the people put on a show for their royal amusement.

Well, I'm sure you won't be surprised to find that I was right in the thick of the show!
:) I have found myself involved in the committees that are in charge of each day's activities. Believe me, I didn't intend for that to happen - but, I am having fun!

Tonight's show began with a poetry reading by The Chenilles. It was a great poem entitled, "In the Land That Made Me, Me." It talked about a time when the world was a simpler place. It was funny that I was chosen to read it because most of the stuff happened either before I was born or when I was very young! But, it was a good poem. I saw another poem that was very similar, with lots of the same verses, called "In the Land of Sandra Dee."

We then had a couple of skits. One of which was about a crazed housewife finding her toilet overflowing on Super Bowl Sunday and she was expecting a crowd in just a couple of hours. She needed to find a plumber and quick! Yep, you guessed it - I was the housewife. Our friend, Darrell, was the plumber and he was great. The upshot was the plumber was a hero to the housewife. We got a lot of laughs. There are several pics at our Webshots site, if you want to see more. Just click on the link to the left.

We ended our show with an appearance of the Village People, our version of them, that is. We had a policeman, an Indian squaw, a Soldier, a firefighter, a cowboy and a construction worker. Each one shared how he or she was a
hero to the people. They then led the crowd in singing "YMCA."

We may be goofy, but we sure do have a lot of fun. Tomorrow's breakfast at the clubhouse, a parade in Foley at noon, then dinner at a highly rated seafood restaurant in Orange Beach, followed by a parade at 6:30. Big day!! :) I'm sure I'll have lots of pictures to share.

Until the next time . . .