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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Quiet Sunday

We had a really quiet day. We didn't even go to church this morning. I know! I just wanted to veg all day. So, we did. We took a nice walk late in the morning with Blackie. The sun was shining beautifully, there was a strong breeze, but it was nice for the walk. Then we just hung out in the rig. I did some more cross stitching (aren't you tired of hearing that!) and relaxed.

This evening we had Darrell & Judy in for dinner. They just got "home" yesterday and it was so good to see them and spend a bit getting caught up. After dinner, we walked over to the clubhouse for the weekly Ice Cream Social.

Now, it's back in the recliners and settle in for the night. Gosh, what a life! :)

Until the next time . . .

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I am a Recording Artist!!

Well, not really, but I did participate in the recording of a mountain music CD! Eight dulcimer players came together this evening and we recorded seven songs - on one of which I sang! So, I can't wait to hear the finished product. It was rather nervewracking, I have to admit. My hands were ice cold when we were finally finished. But, I gotta brag on us - we did each number in ONE TAKE! All that practicing we did this week really paid off, I guess.

Ultimately, there will be four CDs produced: a Christmas one, a Gospel one and two mountain music ones. They'll be for sale during the Jubilee Pickers' festival in late March. Unfortunately, we'll be out west somewhere by then, but Pat will pick me up one of each.

I promise that none of the fame will change me - I'll still be the humble, modest, quiet woman all of you have know and love. :0

That's all there is to report from Lower Alabama. Other than the rain, that is. Our gorgeous sunny weather is gone and it's been raining steadily since 2:00 this afternoon. It's now 9:20pm and there's no sign of it stopping. Oh, well. Can't complain, it's still warm and it's NOT SNOW!!

Take care of each other. Until the next time . . .

Friday, November 28, 2008

Economic Crisis??? Really?

Okay, the media continues to tell us that nobody has any money, but we went shopping today (yeah, I know!) and there were lots and LOTS of people out there. Now there weren't bone crushing crowds, but we didn't get to the shopping center until later . . . like 8am! By noon, though, the parking lots were pretty darn full. So, the question is are people really hurting monetarily or are is the media hyping things up? I know that the stock market is down like crazy, but it seems that folks' every day money is just fine. But, hey, that's just my uneducated opinion.

For those of you who have fallen on the floor because 1) I went shopping; and 2) I went shopping on BLACK FRIDAY; well, I needed to get a couple of things at Michael's and there were great coupons that were only good for today. Now I can't say that I never go shopping on Black Friday. I've broken my own rule.

The rest of the day was pretty quiet. Practiced the dulcimer for about an hour and a half in preparation for tomorrow's recording. Can't wait to share that experience with you all.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday - it is the only one that really doesn't demand anything from me. I don't have to worry about buying presents, go to any events, nothing. All I have to do is be thankful. That's it. And that is definitely not hard for me. I try to start each and every day thanking God for the blessings He has overwhelmed me with. Let me share just a few with you:

  • I know the One True God and He has given me a place in Heaven with Him because of Jesus
  • I have a husband who loves me beyond measure in spite of myself
  • I have parents who showed me what unconditional love is
  • I have three healthy children who are leading productive lives and love me
  • I have a son- and daughter-in-law who I love as my own
  • I have two beautiful, healthy grandchildren
  • I have a sister, brother-in-law and nieces and nephews who I adore
  • I am able to be retired and live a life that is full that many would love to live
I could go on and on and on, but I won't bore you. :) Too often I think we look at what we don't have or listen to the media tell us how bad things are and we believe we should have more of something, anything, to make us happier. I am grateful to be content where I am and with what I have. I wish the same for each and every one of you.

For the first time we did not celebrate Thanksgiving with family. That was a little tough for me, I will admit. I was a bit weepy most of the morning. Each time I talked with one of the kids or my parents or Randy's sister, I got a bit sadder. However, once we got over to the clubhouse and sat with our other "family," I brightened a bit. It wasn't the same, but it wasn't bad - it was just different. I do miss my parents and kids, but it was fun celebrating with our RVing family. Here's a couple of pictures from our dinner.

The clubhouse was FULL - there were more than 240 people!
Our tablemates

We ended our day laughing around the campfire. It was a good day.

I hope your Thanksgiving celebration was filled with family, laughter, and gratitude. And I hope that you will continue counting your blessings every day.

Until the next time . . .

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Two Day Post

I really meant to post last night, really! But, I spent the evening cross stitching and when I finally got to the computer, I completely forgot about posting. Well, yesterday wasn't very exciting, so you really didn't miss much. But, I'll catch you up anyway.

I started yesterday morning at Curves. Yeah, I usually don't go to Curves on Tuesdays (or Thursdays, for that matter) because getting there and back home and ready to go back out the door by 8:30 just isn't easy. But, the club is closed Thursday through Saturday this week because of Thanksgiving, so in order to get my three days in, I had to go. Plus, I was due to weigh in and get measured on Wednesday, so I needed all the help I could get!

From Curves to home to dulcimer practice. Spent the remainder of the morning with Jam N Folks, just playing. We got done around noon, as usual, then it was home for lunch and back out the door to practice with the group with whom I'm recording on Saturday. We played for about an hour and a half and then it was back home again.

Dick and Pat came over for dinner (chicken divan) and then Randy was out the door for his rehearsal. Tuesday is definitely music day in our house! I spent the rest of the evening cross stitching AND watching Dancing with the Stars, of course! :)

Today was much more laid back. I went to Curves, got weighed and measured - lost a pound and two and a half inches. Not bad for not really watching what I'm eating. :)

Spent most of the morning updating our finances; getting ready for Christmas shopping. Gotta figure out where that money's coming from! ;) Practiced for the recording session for about an hour, then spent the rest of the afternoon making reservations for the February leg of our trip out west. Doing that made me start getting excited about the trip!

This evening we went out to dinner to a Mexican restaurant with a bunch of folks from the park. There were more than 20 of us, I'm sure. The initial draw was the 99 cent margaritas (not for me 'cause I don't drink margaritas), but the food was pretty good, too. We certainly didn't leave hungry, I'll tell you that!

On the way home we stopped at that gorgeous house I showed you a few weeks ago. It's now all decorated for Christmas and it is absolutely beautiful. I took some pictures, but they came out very blurry. I just can't seem to take night pictures. Ugh. Guess I really do need to get a tripod to make that happen.

Well, now you're all caught up on the exciting life of Randy & Terry Guiler. Can't stand it, can you? :) Now, we're looking forward to tomorrow and taking a special day to be thankful. I like to make every day Thanksgiving - don't you think that's a great idea?

Until the next time . . .

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Good Breakfast, but No Trains Today

The plan for the day was to go out to breakfast then visit the train museum in Foley. So, after my session at Curves this morning, I rushed home to grab a shower and get myself ready for the day.

One of our (Dick, Pat, Randy & I) favorite breakfast diners in this area is Hazel's Nook. It's down in Gulf Shores so we don't go very often, therefore when we do it's a real treat. They have a good buffet, but the big draw for the other three of us is their made-to-order omelettes. Dick, Pat & Randy all enjoy them immensely. I am not an omelette person so I take their word for it. :) But, I do like the rest of their buffet.

After breakfast, we stopped at the WalMart that is next door to Hazel's. Dick needed to pick up a few things to install taillights on his golf cart and, of course, it's always fun to stop in at WalMart to see all the things we don't need! :) Dick found some of what he needed, but not all. I got our Christmas cards and another notebook for my dulcimer music. Then, we meandered our way back up Route 59 (the main drag through Lower Alabama), with a stop at an auto parts store so Dick could complete his purchases.

Back in Foley, we pulled into the Train Museum parking lot. We've heard it is a great place and have been meaning to get there for 2 years. Today was finally the day . . . that is until we got to the door and saw that the train exhibit is only open Tuesday thru Thursday. Ugh. Never thought to check that! Guess we'll have to go back.

The City of Foley Museum is in the same building as the Train Museum and is open Monday thru Friday. Since we were there, we figured we'd go through it. Well. "Museum" is a stretch for this large room. Yes, it has some historic pieces of furniture and documents, but it really looks more like a really old person's attic! I was not impressed.

When we got home, I immediately got out my outdoor recliner, my cross stitching, and a glass of tea - the weather was GORGEOUS!! It was about 75 degrees, sunny, with a breeze. Oh, my. Just perfect. And it was even more enjoyable because it was unexpected - it was supposed to be warm, but rainy with thunderstorms. Never happened. Oh, we got about a half hour's rain around 6pm, but that was it.

After dinner with Dick & Pat at their rig, we settled back in at home. I watched Dancing with the Stars and finished another project. Now it's CSI:Miami. :) Do you think we watch too much TV?

Looking forward to another great day tomorrow. Hope you are, too. Until the next time . . .

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's the Last Week in November - Can You Believe It?

It is so hard to believe that not only are we starting the last week of November, but Christmas is just a month away! Time does fly when you're having fun! :)

Today was another great day - very laid back and relaxed. We went to church, came home and got some lunch. Randy helped Dick work on their golf cart - the lights weren't working. I did a little work on my cross stitch project and then got a short nap in. Later on, the dulcimer group got together for an hour to practice.

We had a crockpot meal of meatball stroganoff. It's a Banquet meal and it's pretty good. After that, it was time for the weekly Ice Cream Social over at the clubhouse.

Now, we're back in our recliners and getting ready to watch our Sunday night TV. Gosh, what a tough life!

Until the next time . . .

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It Was a Good Day

This was a good day - just going with the flow of what came along. Of course, I was in the laundry room by 6:30 this morning, but I blew off going to Curves. Just didn't feel like it.

Then, Randy & I went to breakfast over at the clubhouse. They serve breakfast every Saturday morning, but most times we don't go. Today, though, it was biscuits and gravy. YUM! So, we met Dick & Pat over there, as well as several other folks we know.

Later in the morning, Pat, Randy & I rode over to one of the Catholic churches to check out their bazaar and bake sale. Well, the bazaar had a few cute things, but the bake sale, OMG!! I was rather restrained, I must say. I only bought some sourdough bread for dinner and peanut butter fudge. Pat bought some gumbo for Dick (he loves him some gumbo!), a German chocolate cake, and a few books. It was a very small event - we were out of there a few minutes after 10am. Then it was on to the grocery to pick up a few things and back to home we went.

Around 1:30 Pat and I were back over at Ruth's for more dulcimer practice. We've picked some neat songs for the CD. We're doing a harmonized version of Joy to the World; our gospel pick is How Beautiful Heaven Must Be (I had never heard this before playing the dulcimer, but it's beautiful song); and we've got four other songs we're practicing before we make a final decision on which 2 we'll do for the CD. We practiced for almost 2 hours. We're getting good, even if I do say so myself! :)

We vegged the rest of the afternoon. Went over to Dick & Pat's for a chili dinner. I took the fudge and the sourdough bread for my contribution. While Randy loves chili, I am not a big fan. However, I did enjoy Pat's chili. It had a bite to it, so it was pretty good. The bread was great, as was the fudge and the German chocolate cake! Good eats.

Watched a so-so SciFi movie the rest of the evening while cross stitching and playing around on the computer. And that's it for now. Tomorrow's church and another dulcimer session. Of course, the ice cream social tomorrow evening, can't forget that! Just another crazy weekend in Lower Alabama!

Until the next time . . .

Friday, November 21, 2008

Celebrating Friendship

This was such a fun day. Today is Ruth's birthday. Ruth and her husband, Ron, were among the first of our friends here. They did everything they could to make us feel welcome at the park and to include us in the community. Ruth is also the one who introduced me to the dulcimer! Ron & Ruth are also the first ones to jump in and help when a need arises - no matter what that need may be or who it is.

So, I wanted to turn the tables on Ruth and celebrate her, for a change. Six us took her to lunch today at Applebee's and we had the best time. It was great to laugh and chat and get to know each other a little more. Don't we look like we're having a good time?

From L to R: Connie, me, Cindy, Ruth (the b'day girl), Linda, Sarita & Pat

Later this afternoon four of us, Ruth, Pat, Cindy & I, got together to practice a few songs for our dulcimer recording that's happening next Saturday. The Jubilee Pickers are recording a couple of CDs and are doing it in mini sessions. So, next Saturday six lap dulcimer players are getting together at one of the JP member's homes to record a Christmas song, a gospel song and a couple other songs. Linda & her husband, Marvin, have built a small recording studio in their home - isn't that cool?

And that was my day. Didn't see much of Randy, but I'll make up for that this weekend, I'm sure. He is so great about my comings and goings. I am blessed to have him as my husband. When I ask him if he minds my going out, he always tells me as long as I'm happy, he's happy. See how fortunate I am?

Hope you have a good weekend. Until the next time . . .

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We Did Our Part to Help Out the Auto Industry!

It's Thursday, so it must be a dulcimer day! Today was rehearsal for Jubilee Pickers. It was a much smaller group than usual as some of the folks are attending a festival in Georgia and others have already begun their Thanksgiving travel. But, it was fun as always. We're now practicing Christmas music! It is getting close, isn't it!?!?!!

The more important thing that we did today, though, was to do our part in helping out the auto industry and, thus, the economy. Randy took the truck in for its 90K mile check-up. A few hours later, Ford was more than $500 richer. So, we are good citizens, sacrificing for the cause! :)

And that was pretty much our day. Exciting, huh? Bet you are just drooling over your keyboard 'cause our life is just one phenomenal event after another and you wish you were here. Well, to be truthful, we wish you were here, too! We do love our life and would be ecstatic if more of our family and friends were on the road with us. Just think about it . . .

Oh, I haven't shared pictures of Reagan recently, so here are a couple from last Sunday when the family got together to celebrate a grandniece's birthday and to see our nephew, Joe, who was in town from California.

Playing with the new guinea pig
Just talking with Uncle Joe
Until the next time

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Haircut, Mani/Pedi, and Dinner with New Friends

How's that for diversity?!?! And throw in my session at Curves. Nice.

Pat and I went back to the beauty school for haircuts. They really do a decent job and for $12 plus tip you get a shampoo, cut and blow dry. Plus you feel like you're helping out the students by giving them a live person to practice on rather than a mannequin.

After our haircuts, we went to get our nails done. Pat only got a pedicure, but I did the whole nine yards - manicure, pedicure, brows & lip wax. I am beautiful! Well, my hands, feet, and hair are, at least! ;)

This afternoon we had an early dinner at Lambert's. I wrote about Lambert's last year, I believe. It's a family-owned restaurant with two other locations in Missouri. The neatest thing about this restaurant, other than their food which is fabulous, is their "throwed rolls." Many years ago when the restaurant was getting started, it was very busy and the waiters were trying to get around to all the customers with the delicious homemade rolls. Well, the story goes that one customer yelled out, "Just throw the darn thing!" (or something like that) and the rest is history. For more on this wonderful restaurant, visit their site at Lambert's.

We've been to Lambert's many times, but the highlight of this visit was that Jim & Ellie and Mark & Dortha were joining Dick & Pat and us. This was the first time we had to sit and visit with them since they've been in the park. Well, we had a wonderful time together! I keep repeating myself, but it's worth it - the best thing about living this RV lifestyle is the people we meet along the way. And Jim & Ellie and Mark & Dortha are proof of that. There's something that clicks with us RVers. We can be completely at ease with each other within minutes of meeting. And isn't that great?!!?!!

On the left, from front to back: Jim, Ellie, Dortha & Mark. You know those folks on the right!

Randy & I have even tweaked our Spring trip to include a few days in Rockport, TX so we can meet up with Jim & Ellie and Mark & Dortha. Can't wait to be able to spend a little more time with these folks. The four of them are leaving this week, so February will be the next visit together. Safe travels, you all!!

That's it for today. It's been chilly here, but sunny, so that's a plus. Hope you're having a good week. Until the next time . . .

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Very Musical Day

I had a whirlwind day! I had two dulcimer gigs today. And of course, Randy had his orchestra rehearsal this evening.

This morning Jam N Folks had rehearsal for about an hour and a half, then we had a gig at a church in Fairhope at noon. One of the great things about most of our gigs is that we get fed! :) I had jambalaya for the first today at lunch. It was really good! I thought jambalaya was a gumbo-type dish, but it's not. It's rice, chicken and sausage all mixed up together with a creole seasoning. Yummy! We played for about 30 minutes or so after lunch.

This evening the Jubilee Pickers had a gig at a local middle school. We were to play background music during the dinnertime of one of their fundraisers, Wild Game Night. A local celebrity, Gary Finch, was their speaker. He has an outdoorsman show on TV here. So, again we played for 30 or 40 minutes until Gary Finch spoke. Then, we got dinner. They had venision, fried fish, fried shrimp, cole slaw, beans and dessert. Another yummy evening.

I gotta tell you, though. I am tired tonight. This has been one big day. But, I really enjoy the music and the people I play with. It's a joy.

Hope you had a good day, too! Until the next time . . .

Monday, November 17, 2008

Just Another Monday

Mondays are usually pretty laid back around here. I know - most of our days are laid back! But, I mean that there isn't much planned on Mondays for some reason. Anyway, I did go to Curves this morning even though it was rather chilly - 36 degrees! I had to warm up the truck so that the windshield could defrost! (Sorry to my northern friends, I know you're experiencing even colder weather.)

Back from Curves, I did my normal morning routine - coffee, computer and morning news. And I always like to watch The View on Mondays 'cause it's Hot Topics throughout the whole show. This morning's show was a little boring, though. So, about halfway through I called Lins to get caught up on their weekend. I even got to talk to Reagan for a few minutes! YAY!

Then it was on to clean the bathroom and then get my shower so we could go shopping. Yes, shopping. Ugh. For those of you who know me well, you know that I did not get the female shopping gene. I. do. not. like. shopping. Unfortunately, it was necessary 'cause I had to get a pair of khaki-colored pants or capris. One of the dulcimer groups I play with, Jam N Folks, wears a navy polo and khaki-colored pants/capris for their performances. And we have a performance tomorrow afternoon. Yeah, I know. Nothing like waiting until the last minute.

Well, Randy & I drove all the way down to Gulf Shores (about 20 miles), stopping at 2 WalMarts and 1 Target before finding a pair of khaki jeans. Not what I wanted, but they work. I really wanted a pair of capris because I'd get more use of those, but that's what I get for waiting so long. I'm sure I'll wear the jeans more than I realize right now. And with the weather being so chilly, I may be glad I've got the jeans!

That was it for the day. While dinner was cooking, I went over to Pat's to download an anti-virus program for her. Dinner was good - salsa chicken and broccoli with melted cheese. Yum. Now, it's Dancing with the Stars and cross stitching, well, as soon as I post this entry, that is.

Until the next time . . .

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Neighborhood Block Party

We had a great day today! The sun was shining, and while it was a bit breezy, there was a beautiful blue sky and temps in the 60s. Love it.

The day started with church, of course. We had the pleasure of having Mark & Dortha join us for worship. That was great; the drive to and from gave us a chance to get to know each other a bit better. We'll all be going out for dinner on Wednesday, so I'm looking forward to their company once more.

This afternoon we held a block party. There were about 35 of us in attendance. It was a perfect day for it. Several of the guys smoked and fried a couple of turkeys and the rest of us brought a dish to share. Picnic tables were set up and a campfire was set. The food was good and the company even better. We started about 2:30 and came home about 5:30, after sitting around the fire for a while after dinner. A good time was had by all.

I hope you had a good weekend, too. Take care of one another. Until the next time . . .

Saturday, November 15, 2008

From Chores to Chords

Woke up bright and early . . . well, at least early! ;) Had three loads of laundry in by 6:15ish. Got those done, dropped them off at the rig and jumped in the truck to go to Curves. Since I didn't go yesterday, I knew I'd better get there today. Gotta get those 3 times/week in!

Once I got back home, I got my computer time in and had a cup of coffee. Eventually, I had to get a shower and get ready to go out again. This time, Pat and I went to one of the Pickers' homes for a jam session. Kathy lives next door to the Plantation and has a wonderful home. It's a small ranch and she has some horses and her home is definitely right out of one of John Wayne's movies. It's great. Very warm and inviting.

About 25 of us were there and we just played and sang for about 2 hours. It was great. These folks are such loving people. They make us winter people feel so at home and welcome.

Pat and I got back home about 5pm and figured out dinner for 6pm. We put together a burger dinner and the four of us visited for awhile. Now, it's about 8:30 and Randy & I have kicked back in the recliners for the night. Another great day for the Guilers!

Oh, and thanks goes out to Darrell for the "c" word for music - chord! Someone else suggested concert, which isn't bad either. :)

Until the next time . . .

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Lazy Day

I did not go to Curves today. I did not cook a meal. I did not want to leave the rig. I did not do much of anything! :) I just didn't feel like it. I didn't even think I'd get dressed today. I just wanted to sit and cross stitch and relax. I realized that every day of every week since we've been here I've gotten up at 6:15am (or earlier) and had to be somewhere. And I was tired of it. So, I was going to do nothing.

I accomplished that. However, as I sat outside in the beautiful, sunny weather (not sure what happened to that ugly rainy weather we were supposed to get), Randy called and said he and Dick were at Big Daddy's, a local seafood place. They had been out running an errand and Dick decided he needed some seafood gumbo and Big Daddy's was close by. Well, it didn't take Pat & I long to get in the car and meet them at the restaurant! So, I did get dressed and I did leave the rig. Dangle a little food in front me and watch me go! :)

But, once we got back home, it didn't take me long to get out of my clothes and back in my muumuu. Yes, I said it - I love my muumuu!! :) Once back in my very comfy muumuu, I went back outside and sat in my recliner, picked up my cross stitch, and continued doing not much of anything. I loved it!

After the sun started going down, it was time to come inside. Around 4:30 I decided that ice cream/milkshakes were in order. I rationalized that since we had a big lunch, we could do dessert for dinner! So, about an hour later, the four of us jumped in the truck and headed down the road to TCBY! Yummmmmmmmy! Nice way to end the day. :) OH! Yes, I did get dressed for the trip! :)

Don't they look like they're enjoying themselves?

And one more thing - I finished my current cross stitch project! On to the next one.

Hope your day was just as good. Have a great weekend. Until the next time . . .

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Not So Bad After All

Well, the weather wasn't so bad after all today. It was forecasted to be rainy and nasty, but the rain never came. As a matter of fact, it was in the upper 70s, really humid and very sunny all day. We even had to turn on the A/C for a little while this afternoon 'cause it got up to 85 in the rig! Yeah, I know. You folks in the east and midwest don't want to hear about needing the A/C. Sorry. :)

Not much else to report for the day. I went to dulcimer rehearsal and to lunch at Ruby Tuesday's afterward with the group. Was good and had one plate of salad from the salad bar. Randy worked at getting the sticky stuff off the bathroom wall where the wallpaper border has come down. He did a great job, too. I made some progress on my cross stitch project, then had to rip it all out because I counted wrong. Ugh. I hate when that happens. Around 4:30ish we went up to the campfire at Bob & Pam's for the evening chatfest.

Those are the highlights from the Guiler household. Hope your week is going well. Until the next time . . .

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We Had a Busy Day

Despite the gloomy weather forecast, we were out and about for a large portion of the day. I did go to Curves, as usual, first thing this morning. Once I got home I downed one cup of coffee and then got busy getting myself ready for the day.

Knowing we were going shopping and would be out for most of the day, we needed to fortify ourselves, so we stopped at a local breakfast buffet. We had gone here once before, but Dick & Pat hadn't been yet, so we wanted to see if they'd like it. (They did.) After ensuring that we could get through out day without fainting from hunger, we set out for Eastern Shore Shopping Center.

This shopping center has just about any type of store you could ever need. I wanted to go to Michael's, Barnes & Noble, and a couple of clothing stores. Dick & Pat needed to stop at Sam's. All of that could be accomplished in this one area. In addition, to lots and lots of stores, there are also several restaurants. The only drawback to this center is that if it's raining, like it did for a few minutes while I was going from store to store, you get wet! :) Oh, well. I just walked faster and that helped settle that breakfast a little more.

For those of you who know me, you know that shopping is NOT top on my list of favorite things to do. I am more of a go-in-get-what-you-need-and-get-out buyer than a shopper. But, I am glad to say, that I was able to get most of what I had gone to get. So, that's nice. AND I finally used my Barnes & Noble gift card from my birthday! YAY!

We finally got home a little after 2pm and I was bushed - I even had a bit of a headache. That shopping is hard work. :) Randy & I relaxed a bit and then walked over to the campground to find two couples whose travels I've been following for a while through their blogs. Mark & Dortha and Jim & Ellie have been traveling the southeast and finally landed here at the Plantation. I was very excited to finally get to meet them live and in person! It's so funny to meet folks and feel like you've known them forever; but that's what happens in this full-timing life, especially when you're able to travel with them via the internet. :) Mark & Dortha, Jim & Ellie, Randy & I are looking forward to really getting to know you while you're here.

We ended our day with a steak dinner out on the patio with Dick & Pat. It was pretty neat, under the cloudy, moonlit sky. Not a bad way to say good-bye to the day.

Looks like tomorrow and Friday are gonna be a little ugly weather-wise. That's okay. You can't appreciate the sunshine if you don't have a little rain once in a while. Take care of one another!

Until the next time . . .

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans' Day

I've always been patriotic - our national anthem never fails to move me; seeing men and women in uniform makes me proud; and walking in the steps of our forefathers while exploring this great country really tugs at me. So, having a son in the Army is just amazing to me.

Kevin is a PFC and stationed in Kansas. He has just been in the service for 18 months, but has already shown himself to be a leader and his superiors have recognized that with an award and assignments that allow him to use that leadership. It is with great pride that we proclaim ourselves an Army family.

With that in mind, I want to say a very heartfelt thank you to all of the veterans who have given themselves in service to our country. And their families -it is their sacrifice that is so appreciated as well. To those families who have had to pay the ultimate price of the loss of a loved one in the line of duty, I pray that God will give you comfort as you grieve and heal.

Even with all of our problems, this is a great country. I am so thankful to live here and to have the freedoms I have. Thank you, Veterans, for allowing me to keep them.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Honoring Our Veterans

Today the Jubilee Pickers performed at the local senior center during a program honoring veterans. It is such a humbling experience to be part of such a program. These men and women appreciate their service being acknowledged and it is a joy to do so. Having a son in the Army gives these programs even more weight. As I listen to their stories, I can't help but tear up and hope that someday my son's service will be honored as well.

Here are a couple of pictures.
Tomorrow is actually Veterans' Day. I hope you'll take a moment to pray for our veterans, their families, and the active military personnel as well. It is because of them that we live free.

Until the next time . . .

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Afternoon in the Park

This week the town of Foley held its annual Heritage Harbor Days. It's a festival of celebration during which there is a lot of music, food, carnival rides, vendors selling the requisite jewelry, T-shirts, crafts, etc., and lots of information about the history of the town and Baldwin County. Since the weather was absolutely gorgeous, Dick, Pat, Randy & I went over this afternoon for a couple of hours. It was nice to walk around and see the different wares folks had for sale as well as to listen to the various musicians/bands playing. Oh, and of course, there were antique tractors for Randy to drool over. :)

The music

Decorations on the street

The food

The tractors

And the people!

As always, it was a great day in our paradise. Until the next time . . .

Block Party

I didn't post last night because, for some unknown reason, I was really tired. My head started bobbing about 8:45! So, I did the mature thing (very unusual!) and went to bed. I read for a bit, but turned out the light around 9:15!! I figured I would be wide awake by 4am, but no, I slept until a little after 6am. Nine hours sleep, whoa . . . that hasn't happened since menopause hit! ;) Okay, more information than necessary.

Anyway, on to yesterday's activities. I was an industrious do-bee first thing in the morning. I had two loads of laundry in the washing machine by 6:15. I know, I know. Very crazy. But, the upside of being in the laundry room that early is that I don't have to jockey for a machine. I had the whole place to myself. Go figure. :) By 7:30 I was done and on my way back to the rig. The rest of the morning was taken up with the computer, some breakfast, cross-stitching, etc.

In the afternoon, we headed over to Jack & Jimmie's place for the block party. Getting into the truck felt like old times, with Dick & Pat joining us. Last winter we didn't go many places that Dick & Pat weren't with us. It's a nice feeling.

Jack & Jimmie are part of the Jubilee Pickers, one of the groups with whom I play dulcimers. They are wonderful folks, so nice. They had invited the group to join their community's block party and play for awhile, then have a covered dish dinner. Well, you know we are not ones to miss out on a good meal (or a bad one for that matter). As usual, we had a great time playing and eating. Here are some pictures of the afternoon. Didn't get any of the meal - too busy eating!! :)

Until the next time . . .

Friday, November 07, 2008

Dick & Pat Arrived!

Last night about 6pm or so, Dick & Pat arrived! They are set up right next to us. I'll get a picture of our set up for you soon. We are so excited to have them "home," because things just weren't right until they got here. Randy helped guide Dick in while Pat and I tried to get caught up in the first 10 minutes they were here. :) Once their rig was parked, we all sat and talked for a little while but Dick & Pat were beat from traveling and left to finish setting up.

It was great to wake up this morning and see Dick & Pat's rig next door. I went to Curves and came home to my typical morning routine. I had the added pleasure of hearing Randy & Dick talking outside and laughing together. It was wonderful.

The day was fairly laid back. Not much going on; seems our Fridays are like that. The only thing I had to do today was fix dinner for Dick & Pat. I had promised Dick that I would make spaghetti and meatballs for him when they got here. So, I got the sauce and meatballs cooking in the crockpot about 9am and was set.

Dinner was planned for 6pm and about 5:50 everything was ready, so I hollered over to Dick & Pat to come on. We had a good time over dinner, as usual. It's hard to believe seven months have passed since we've been together. Guess that's just how it goes with good friends.

That's it for today. Tomorrow's laundry, as usual. But, in the afternoon, we're all going to one of the Jubilee Pickers' community for a block party. The JPs are playing and then we're all going to enjoy a covered dish dinner. Should be a good time. I'll try to remember to get pictures for you.

Have a great weekend. Until the next time . . .

Thursday, November 06, 2008


So, some of the gals whose blogs I follow have been playing this game of tag which carries a theme. The idea is if you are "tagged," you have to post an entry on that theme. Now, I know this is a travel blog, but it is MY blog, so I guess I can deviate once in a while. Erin tagged me on the subject of quirkiness and now I have to write about 7 of my quirks. It is gonna be SO hard to come up with SEVEN! :) (yeah, right.) Thanks, Erin! Here goes . . .

  1. Snorting - yes, I snort when I laugh. Everyone knows it and has come to expect it; might I say they even enjoy it? And if you really get me going, then I can't breathe and I begin to "rev" as my son-in-law calls it.
  2. I have prehensile toes. Not sure if that's how it's spelled, but it's a talent (YES, IT IS!) where I can pick things up with my toes. I can also spread my toes very far apart.
  3. I don't wear make-up ever, but I do like my nails polished. Boy, do I like having manicures and pedicures! (gotta keep those toes pretty!)
  4. Speaking of nails, when one of my fingernails breaks, I have to cut down the other 9 so that they are all even. Can't stand having one or two short and the rest long. Ugh.
  5. My money has to face the same way in my wallet, no upside down or backward bills.
  6. I usually eat one thing at a time on my plate. Sometimes I mix it up, but I like to eat one thing all gone then start on the next, turning my plate as I go.
  7. I like to organize . . . anything - you, my house, my office (when I had one), my boss (just ask Tim J or Mark!). I find it very soothing for my surroundings to be in order.
Okay, there you have it. More info than many of you wish to know, but I had to keep the game going. Erin and Amy, I hope you're happy!!! :)

Until the next time . . .

Curves, Cross Stitchin', Music and a Campfire

I tried to make an alliterative title, but just couldn't come up with a "c" word to replace "music." Oh, well. It's still not bad for 6:15 in the morning! And I'm posting early this morning because our internet connection was being uncooperative last night.

There's not much to share from yesterday. We had a relaxing day. I started the morning at Curves as usual for a Wednesday. Another woman in the park has gone with me this week. Donna wanted to try it out to see if she'd like to join. She does like it and now has to decide about joining. It's been kinda nice having someone else along.

Spent the rest of the morning catching up on my computer reading, breakfast and The View. I really wanted to see it yesterday to see if there would be a lot of gloating on the part of the the Obama supporters. I was pleasantly surprised when the show was very positive and upbeat.

Randy took Blackie to the vet because he just won't stop itching and has made himself raw in several places (Blackie, not Randy). I called a vet that was recommended to us and made an appointment. When Randy got back, he said that the vet was very nice and gave Blackie a shot and a prescription. The doc said that while Blackie doesn't have fleas, apparently he has been bitten by some and that's caused the allergic reaction and the itching. The vet sent home business cards and I saw them and discovered Randy hadn't gone to the vet with whom I made the appointment!! I started laughing and asked him how he could have done that. He said he never knew the name of the vet and found this one so he figured it must be the one. He said he told the receptionist that his wife had called earlier for an appointment and she didn't say anything to the contrary. I called the vet where we had the appointment to apologize and the woman who answered just started laughing and said that has happened to them before because there are several vets right along that road. She was very gracious about the whole thing. I laughed about it for the rest of the day. :)

In the afternoon several of us met at the pickin' shed to play some music for a couple of hours. It is so much fun to play with this group. I really enjoy the friends we have made in this park. Here's the picture I promised:

After playing for awhile, we all went back home for an hour or so and then congregated back together at Bob & Pam's for the almost-nightly campfire. Randy & I hung out there for a couple of hours, then it was back home to start dinner. Dinner gets eaten rather late when we gather around the campfire - it was 8pm before we ate last night!

So, that was our Wednesday. Oh yeah - in between everything else, I continued my cross stitch project. Today is a dulcimer day - Jubilee Pickers. Adn the sun is beginning to shine as I close this post. I'm sure it's gonna be another great day! Until the next time . . .

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A Birthday Shout-out and a History Making Election

First things first:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DADDY!!! You are the best and I am grateful to be your daughter. I love you!

Boy was the weather different today! We woke up to a very overcast, damp morning, which was unexpected. It was quite chilly until the mid afternoon when the sun finally made its appearance. for a couple of hours after that, it was very nice. I even sat outside reading for awhile.

This morning I went to Jam N Folks for dulcimer rehearsal. This group is a little more intense than the Jubilee Pickers on Thursdays. JnF play for about three and a half hours straight - no break except for the occasional discussion regarding a piece of music we're playing. JP plays for about an hour and a quarter then takes a good twenty minute coffee break, with much mingling and discussion. When I stand up on Tuesday mornings after playing for those three plus hours, I can tell you, I am stiff!! :) But, this group does challenge me to play better and that's a good thing.

We had a quick dinner of hot dogs and beans and then Randy had to get out the door for Pops rehearsal. It starts at 7pm so he needed to leave around 6:20. He's enjoying playing again and I'm so glad for him.

I spent the evening working on my new cross stitch project and watching the election results. Looks like we are going to have President Obama for the next four years. While I didn't vote for him, I do think it's wonderful that our nation has come to the point where it is comfortable with a president of color. We need to look at people for who they are, not the color of their skin. Now I am praying that God will guide Obama is his leadership of our country and that we can restore our economy to a more stable environment as well as become ONE country and not two parties!

Not much planned for tomorrow. Hopefully, we'll see the sun a little more than we did today. Until the next time . . .

Monday, November 03, 2008

Such a Fun Day

We really had a fun day today. We did go to the bank as planned, stopping for breakfast first. There is a small dinner in the middle of Foley called, appropriately, Foley Coffee Shop. :) Randy went there last year while I was at the Lagniappe Dulcimer Festival and said it was good. I've been wanting to go there, so that's what we did this morning. And it was good. The diner has such a small town feel to it - you almost expect Andy Griffith and Don Knotts to walk in the door any minute.

Thus fortified, we headed over to Pensacola to the bank to get our cash for the month. Lots of folks have asked us why we bother to do that when debit cards are accepted everywhere and you can get cash back almost everywhere, too. We've just found that this works best for our budget. And we only have to go to the bank once a month, so it's no big deal.

On the way home we stopped to take a couple of pictures of a really neat house, that I think is a B&B. It's owned by the resident wealthy woman, who also owns lots of land in Summerdale. Isn't it a great house?

I had planned to clean the bathroom today when we got back from the bank, but some of the my fellow dulcimer players were gathering at the "pickin' shed" that is on the property our site sits on. Ron has turn the existing shed into a place where we can practice our dulcimers; it's great. Larry, Cindy's husband, took some pictures today, so I'll have to show them to you when he sends them to me. Anyway, I sacrificed cleaning the bathroom to spend a couple of hours outside in the gorgeous weather playing music. Five of the gals were playing hammered dulcimers while Cindy and I played our lap dulcimers. It was great!

Later in the early evening we spent some time at Bob & Pam's campfire. There were only five couples around the fire this evening (sometimes there are as many as 10!), but it's always a fun time. As the air got cooler, the mosquitos got braver and we finally called it a night. Plus, we all needed to get dinner on the table. In my case, I had to get it in the oven!

While the meatloaf cooked, the bathroom finally got cleaned. So I did accomplish that chore. We ate dinner while watching Dancing with the Stars. Randy was thrilled (she writes sarcastically). He was thrilled with dinner, just not the TV fare.

It was a good day. Hope yours was, too. Don't forget to vote tomorrow!! Until the next time . . .

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Worship, Food, & Friends

Another fun day in the life of the Guilers! We went to church this morning and heard a great message on being open to living life the way God wants us to live it and we were encouraged to ask God to show us what He had for us to do. Isn't that so hard? To open ourselves up to things not in our control? But, really, if we say we trust our Lord for everything and we know that He has nothing but the best for us, why is it so hard to step out of our comfort zones and do something different? For me, it is all about the control. But, I am going to be praying that I recognize the opportunities God lays before as I live my life this week. I hope you can do the same!

This afternoon 11 of the women in the park went to lunch at Olive Garden. It was Linda's birthday and we wanted to celebrate her. She and her husband, Ralph, have had it tough these last few months as Ralph has been very ill since the summer. Among other illnesses, he has been diagnosed with lymphoma and is now back in the hospital with a very contagious infection in his colon. Linda has been at the hospital day and night and is exhausted. So, we wanted to get her out and help her to have fun. I think we accomplished our mission. She thoroughly enjoyed the lunch and that so many of us came out to help her celebrate. She and Ralph have a very long road ahead of them. It's nice that we could bring her some joy along that road.

And of course, Sunday isn't complete until we've attended the weekly ice cream social at the clubhouse. This activity is a lot of fun. Almost everyone in the park shows up for ice cream. You never know who you'll be sitting with and you get to hear people's stories. Tonight we sat with Larry & Cindy, who we known for a couple of years and Cindy & I play dulcimers together; and Jim & Eileen, folks we've just met this year. This is Jim & Eileen's first winter at the park. They are friends with Bob & Pam. Pam is another woman with whom I play dulcimers. It was great sharing adventures with Jim & Eileen and Larry & Cindy.

Now, it's time to sit back in the recliners and watch a little TV. Tomorrow is banking day. We have to drive 50 minutes into Pensacola, FL to go to the bank because there isn't a branch of Bank of America in Alabama. Glad we only have to do this once a month! But, we'll probably treat ourselves to breakfast along the way! :)

Did you all remember to set your clocks back an hour? :) It was great actually waking up to the sunrise this morning instead of the the pitch black sky we've been seeing!

Until the next time . . .

Some Halloween Pictures

Just wanted to share some pics of Reagan in her Halloween mode. I've emailed Ginny for some Tommy pictures, so hopefully I'll have some of him soon!

Carving the pumpkin - can you tell she's not into surgery???

Presenting . . . Princess Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty)

Proud of her haul

And last, but not least, the picture that made me laugh out loud for five minutes, literally . . .

This is our advanced grandchild! HA! When I called about it, Lindsay said she walked into the family room and found Reagan like this. What a kid.

Thanks for indulging my joy of grandparenting!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Chore Day

The first of the month is always a busy day for us. Since it's pay day (YAY!), I have to update the finances. Then we go to the grocery and do a big order. I try to have an idea of what meals I want to make during the month (usually the same ones from the last month!) and then make up a list of the ingredients needed for them as well as other stuff we need to replenish. By doing this, we only have to pick up a few items each week for the rest of the month.

We also go to the bank on the first of the month and cash a check for the money we'll need during the month. Since today is Saturday, we'll have to wait to go to the bank on Monday. We've found it best for our budget to use cash for many of the budgeted purchases, like fuel, laundry, and spending money.

I started the day off, though, in the laundry room. Saturday is laundry day and, since I have to use the park's laundry room, I like to get there first thing in the morning so I don't have to wait in line. I'm usually there by 6:30, so I'm done by 8:00! Not having a washer/dryer in the rig can be inconvenient sometimes, but most of the time I really don't mind. By using a campground's laundry room, I can get three loads of laundry done in less than two hours and be done for the week! Not a bad trade off.

Right after I got the laundry done, we headed over to WalMart to do the grocery shopping. This month is a big $$ month 'cause we had to get all the paper goods, plus printer ink and some water filters and a vacuum filter. Plus we had to stock up on the vitamins we take. Most of these item we only have to buy once a quarter. So, when the cashier rang up the total I was in a bit of a shock! Oh, well. It's only money and we're gonna eat good this month! :)

The bad thing about getting such a huge grocery order is that we have to put it all away when we get home! Sometimes that takes as much time as the actual shopping! :)

But, the rest of the day was just perfect. The weather was gorgeous, a breeze, bright sunshine and the temp was in the 70s. Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh. I sat outside all afternoon. I finished my cross-stitch project!! Then I read for awhile, and I finished my afternoon idyll by playing my dulcimer a bit. Just perfect.

Hope your Saturday was perfect, too. Until the next time . . .