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Monday, December 31, 2012

Year End Wrap-up

Randy and I have been enjoying hanging out with family. The first few days were a bit crazy, but we've settled down some in the past couple of days.

We attended Christmas Eve service at my sister, Paula's, church then spent the night at her house. Christmas morning was quiet and we moved slow. Paula and Lou got themselves out the door fairly quickly so they Ballerina Ryleighcould do Christmas at her youngest, Megan's, house. My folks had spent the night there and they were all excited to watch Megan's little one, Ryleigh, open presents.

Christmas Day was spent at Megan's. We stayed until about 4:30p then we headed up the road to Jason & Lindsay's. They had spent the day with Lindsay's father's family so we didn't do our Christmas with them until that evening. Reagan opening her giftsThey were very generous and bought me a Kindle! It's not something I would have bought for myself, but I find I am enjoying it more than I thought.

The day after Christmas was laid back. We had nowhere to go and that's was just fine. And we had snow!

Day after Christmas snow!  Sweep, sweep, sweep

Reagan had to go out - for a few minutes

On Thursday, we had another family gathering so the cousins could all get together. And it finally felt like Christmas! Christmas Day was just too quiet and didn't feel like Christmas at all. But, Thursday?




Yeah. Lots of laughter, talking, and noise. That's Christmas to me!

My folks with their great grands minus three.

Gma, DadDad & great grands 2012

Saturday we had yet another Christmas celebration with our bonus family, James, Amita, Kelly & Kate. Kelly & Kate are like granddaughters to us and Christmas isn't complete without seeing them. It was a good afternoon. Unfortunately, I was having such a good time that I forgot to take pictures!! Duh.

Since then, we've just hung out at home, enjoying family. We have one more Christmas get together tomorrow with Chuck, Ginny & Tommy. They are coming to Lindsay's and it will be so good to see them.

Wish we could have spent some time with our Kansas crew. But, we've kept up with Sam and AubreyLynn through texting and FB. Kevin is keeping his head down and staying safe while deployed. And we're grateful for that.

We've got a couple of doctor's appointments on Wednesday morning then we'll be leaving PA and driving back to my folks' house in MD.

Randy leaves early Thursday morning to fly back to FL. Plans changed and I'll be staying until January 14. My mom is having surgery January 7 and my dad has a couple of doctor's appointments coming up and it's just best if I stay to help out. I'm grateful to Andy & Alicia for understanding that family comes first.

We're looking forward to the blessings God has for us in 2013 and will meet head on any rough spots that come. Happy New Year to you all.

Until the next time . . .

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Gosh, I cannot believe it's been three weeks since I've posted! Just shows you we've not done anything blog-worthy! Our lives have really settled into a routine in Bonifay and we're enjoying it.

However . . .

Things got a little more exciting this past week!

Last Thursday we flew to MD for a two-week visit. I was so excited to be going home and seeing family. My family is very important to me and it is the main drawback to living the full-time RV lifestyle. But, on Thursday, I was on my way to getting a major fix.

We flew into a little airport in Salisbury, just 30 minutes from my parents', so they met us at the airport. They are so great; our flight wasn't due until about 9:40pm and that is late for them to be out running around. But, they didn't hesitate. We were a few minutes late getting in and it was fabulous to see them standing there waiting for us. The hugs were fabulous. But, it didn't end there.

We got our checked bag and headed to the van. As we got to it, the door slid open AND INSIDE WERE LINDSAY AND REAGAN!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, for any of you who know me well, you know I squealed louder than ten pigs being chased by a butcher! Randy & I had absolutely no idea they would be there. My parents and Lindsay sure kept that a big secret. It was wonderful. I couldn't touch them enough.

When we got back to the house, Lindsay got Reagan in bed (it was late!) and we adults sat up talking 'til after 1:00am! It was the best way to start my Christmas holiday, I'll tell you that!

Unfortunately, on Friday, my mom had to have a heart cath done to check for blockages. There weren't any, which was good; but, the docs still don't know what's causing some heart issues, which isn't so good. But, she's home and able to celebrate the holidays with us and that is good.

While Daddy & Mommy were at the hospital, Randy & I enjoyed our time with Lindsay & Reagan. (I had wanted to go to the hospital, but Mommy wouldn't hear of it since the kids were here.) In the evening, we went to a Christmas light display the town has in a park. You ride a tram through the park and all the lights are great. Lots of different scenes, including the twelve days of Christmas and several fairy tales. Pretty cool.

Lindsay & Reagan left early Saturday morning as they had a function with Jason's family. It was wonderful to get that surprise and to have that time with them.

Loving my girl

We had another nice surprise on Saturday morning when Kevin called us! That was soooo unexpected. While we email with him often, it was so nice to hear his voice. Hopefully, he'll be coming home in just a couple of months.

We'll be at my parents' until tomorrow when the four of us will drive up to my sister's for Christmas Eve. We'll go to church with her and Randy & I will spend the night at her house while Daddy & Mommy spend the night at my niece, Megan's, house. Then, Christmas morning we'll all gather at Megan's. Lindsay & family won't be there as they'll spend Christmas day with her dad's family. Randy & I will drive up to her house Christmas night and spend the next week there.

It will be a busy week and a half coming up. We get to see our eldest, Ginny and her family, too. Only ones missing are Kevin and AubreyLynn, which makes our holidays a little bittersweet. But, hopefully, we'll be able to Skype with them.

Like I said, my family is so very important to me. And I am grateful that God has given us this time to spend with them.

Randy & I hope that each of you will have a great celebration of your holidays. Merry Christmas to you all!

Until the next time . . .

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Living Life

Well, November slipped away without me posting an end-of-the-month blog entry! Just shows you we're living life and nothing exciting is happening. And that's okay with us!

Yesterday we did actually get out of the house, get in the truck and go somewhere. I KNOW! Shocker, huh? :) With another workamping couple, Randy & Parker, we drove up to Dothan to pick up tobacco for my Randy and then go to dinner. We chose Red Lobster because none of us had been there for quite a while. It was delish and we really enjoyed the conversation. Parker exercises with me every morning, but we'd really not spent a lot of time together otherwise. And the four of us had never gotten together to just get to know each other. We really like them and are sad they will be leaving to go travel a couple of days after Christmas. But, they've been here for several months, so it's time for them to play.

Our ultimate goal for going out yesterday was to visit a drive-thru Christmas display in Enterprise, AL. Dothan is about 45 minutes north of us and Enterprise is 40 minutes west of Dothan. So, we were all over the place last night! The Christmas display was actually at someone's house. They'd turned their very large yard into a Christmas extravaganza! Every character and display you can think of was there. They even had a train ride, if you were so inclined. And all they ask for is a donation of some kind. Pretty cool.

Can't let this post end without a shout-out to our Soldier, Kevin. He’s 26 years old today. Unfortunately, he's celebrating in Afghanistan; but I hope his buddies do something special for him. We're proud of his service and are praying for his safe return home. Happy birthday, bud!

Kevin at work

Until the next time . . .

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Requisite Thanksgiving Post :)

We hope that our family and friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration today. It's hard not to be with family for holidays, but thru the miracle of technology, we've touched base in one way or another. We even got an email from our Soldier!

Our Thanksgiving celebration was here at the park. We had a potluck dinner with the other workampers and one couple who was camping with us last night and decided to stay another night when invited to join us for dinner.

Chef Cindy taking a restOne of the workampers, Cindy, was our super chef! She worked from 7am to cook the turkey and she also made two pumpkin pies. She took a well-deserved break right before we served dinner. ;)

As usual, the food was fantastic and all had a great time sharing the meal.

Carving the turkey

Quite a feast!

Enjoying dinner

Randy & I have much to be grateful for; not the least of which are those of you who richly impact our life.

Until the next time . . .

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Team Verizon

We have officially switched sides. For all of our married lives, we've been AT&T customers in one form or another; either with landlines, cell phones or both. As of today, no more.

All of our wireless service is now provided by Verizon. Yesterday we migrated our cell phone numbers over and purchased a new iPhone 4S for me and a very basic phone for Randy (his choice!!). And today I cancelled our air card with AT&T that provided our internet service. What prompted all this, you might ask? Well, I'll tell you.

While we were in KS workamping at the Corps of Engineers Visitor Center, we found that what little cell service we had usually came from “partner” towers. I knew that this could be a problem from our stay in KS a couple of years ago, so before we accepted the position, I checked AT&T's coverage map for that area. And it showed moderate coverage. Yay! No problem. Yeah, right.

As soon as we arrived and set up, we realized we would have little to no coverage at our site. Oh, well, we'll deal. But, I found that I could get online with my phone even though the air card wouldn't connect. Good. At least I could do that.

Just a few days into our stay, I began getting emails from AT&T stating that I had gone over the courtesy “off network usage” limit. I immediately called and explained the situation, including my due diligence. Bottom line, this problem continued for the entire not-quite-three months we were there. Ultimately, AT&T restricted my usage to AT&T networks only and that was fine, I understood that and was able to access the internet and make calls when we were away from our site. No problem.

Skip to earlier this month when we got yet another email from AT&T stating that our off network usage was too high and to call them immediately. I was flummoxed. We hadn't been in KS for more than two weeks! So, I called. Much to my surprise, they told me that the restriction from using off network towers would be made permanent!! WHAT THE HECK!!?!?!! That meant that if I was on the phone, going down the road and the call pinged from an AT&T tower to a partner tower, my call would be dropped. I told the manager (yes, I asked to speak to a supervisor thinking I would get better customer service) that was totally unacceptable. He was sympathetic, of course, but basically, it was “Oh, well. Too bad. That's the way it is.” I voiced my great disappointment and disgust that AT&T would allow two months of high off network usage to cause them to lose a good-paying customer of such long standing. But, yep, they would.

So, we are now Verizon customers. Of course, even though the early termination fees at AT&T were waived (wasn't that nice of them!), it still cost us to make this change. Before rebates, it was $300! After rebates, it's still $200. Because, of course, we couldn't use our same phones. But, I can trade my phone in and get almost that much for it. So, it will be close to a wash, eventually.

Folks, it's not our parents' world anymore.

Until the next time . . .

Monday, November 12, 2012

Getting to Know Folks

We've settled in nicely here in Bonifay. The work schedule is manageable and we're enjoying the beautiful weather in the panhandle.

We're also getting to know some folks at church. In addition to my being in the choir, Randy and I are visiting the various Sunday School classes offered. So far, we've visited two and still haven't found one we “click” with. But, last night we went out with several couples after evening worship and had a blast! There was one couple there from a class we visited a week ago, but the others were in a class we haven't yet visited. And we're looking forward to getting know them better.

Nothing much else to share. We are having a park-wide Thanksgiving potluck. Not sure who will be attending just yet, but we wanted to give our guests the opportunity to socialize with one another. Especially those who don't have family nearby.

That's it! Until the next time . . .

Saturday, November 03, 2012


What, you ask? What did Terry do now??? Well, since “they” say pictures say a thousand words, I'll just show you.


New hair cut!

Yep. I finally cut off my hair. For those of you who have only known me for the last couple of years, you've never seen me with short hair. But, that is actually how I wore my hair for years. That is, until I got tired of getting lousy haircuts while traveling. So in late 2009, I let my hair grow and permed it.

This past week I decided I either had2nd pose to get another perm or cut it off. And since Alicia is a hair stylist and I knew we'd be here for several months, I told her to cut it off! And it feels SOOOOO good. :) Thankfully, Randy prefers my hair short, so that wasn't an issue.

You know it's been a slow few days when the big news is a hair cut. :)

We have settled into a routine and are enjoying life. Missing our kids and grandkids, but that's part of this life.

And a shout out to my daddy, whose birthday is tomorrow. I love you, Daddy!! Happy birthday.

Until the next time . . .

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Life on the Panhandle

We are settling in nicely to our life here in Bonifay. On Sunday we joined First Baptist Church of Bonifay, so we're officially Baptists again. :) We regularly attended this church last winter and I was part of a women's Bible study. The folks at the church were so welcoming and we felt very much at home. Gotta tell you, it feels good to be part of a local church family once again. I have missed that.

The past couple of days have been kinda busy. I have a bit more responsibility this year as Andy & Alicia asked me to be the office manager. So, I've been busy setting up office procedures, getting to know the other office workampers and talking with Alicia about how she wants things done. Randy is going to be more “on call” this year than he was last year. We have a couple of other outside workampers so Randy will be escorting guests to their sites (and yes, I've already said we're going to call it, “Randy's Escort Service!”), cleaning bathrooms a couple nights a week and provide support where needed.

We're moving to our long-term site tomorrow. A little concerned as the site slopes downward a bit and Randy doesn't want the gooseneck way high. But, we'll do the best we can to level it and it will be what it will be. I'll just be glad to be there so that I can settle in. I want to put out my banners and awning and have that homey feel.

Oh! I did yoga for the first time today! One of the women in the park is a yoga instructor and she has been exercising with Alicia and I in the mornings. She asked if we'd like to try yoga (Alicia has done it before) and we figured why not. Dang! I stretched things in the my body that I didn't know were there!! But, it felt good, actually. Different, but good.

Not much else to share. We're enjoying sunny, but cool weather. And very grateful that our family on the East Coast made it through Hurricane Sandy unscathed for the most part. Lindsay has some leaks they'll need to have looked at, but that was it. My sister and bro-in-law live on the water and we're always concerned for them in storms, but the water only came up about 150 feet into their yard. No damage to their home. And my folks on the Eastern Shore of MD had no problems whatsoever. So, we've been praising God for His protection and continuing to pray for all those whose lives have been devastated by the storm.

Take care. Until the next time . . .

Saturday, October 27, 2012

We're BAAaaacccckkk!

Yesterday we pulled up stakes and once again got on the road, this time heading east – to Florida Springs RV in Bonifay, Florida which will be home for the next seven months. We'll be workamping here as we did last winter. Andy & Alicia, owners of the campground, greeted us so excitedly and it felt so good!

We are looking forward to settling in, getting into a routine and getting back to our church. While we love our friends and Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale, AL, we also love our community here in Bonifay. Isn't nice to have a couple of places to call “home!”

Before we left the Plantation yesterday, we forced ourselves to have a couple more dining-out experiences. Yeah, it's been a rough week with not having to cook. But, I'm managing to persevere. :)

On Thursday, Darrell & Judy picked us up and we led a two vehicle caravan with Jim & Ellie and JoAnn following us to Fairhope where we had a scrumptious lunch at Panini Pete's. They have such delicious sandwiches, of which the New Orleans style muffaletta is our favorite. It's a panini version of the muffaletta. But it is goooooooood.

After lunch, the four of separated from Jim & Ellie and JoAnn and went back to Bass Pro to return the temperature gauge we'd bought on Wednesday. Randy just couldn't get it to work. We stopped to fuel up the truck and then, it was a stop at WalMart for D & J.

Friday morning, after getting the rig ready for travel, Darrell & Judy picked us up for our last meal together (at least for awhile). We were going to breakfast at the Foley Coffee Shop which we all like (and it's cheap!). Halfway there I realized we had no cash!! And the coffee shop doesn't take credit cards. DANG IT! So, we regrouped quickly and decided to go to Cracker Barrel. Oh, poor us. :) As usual, we had a good meal and even better company and conversation.

All too soon we were back at the campground saying good-bye. But, the good thing is we'll only be two hours away from each other, so we plan to get together a few times over the winter. By 10:45am we were on our way to Bonifay.

Tomorrow we'll go to church and catch up with other friends! Really looking forward to that. Until the next time . . .

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Relaxing in Alabama

We arrived at Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale, AL just before 12:30pm on Monday. It was an easy travel day from Florence, MS; just four hours on the road. A “normal” travel day, if that even exists. :)

For most of our full-timing winters, we've spent quite a few months here in Summerdale. Last year was the first time we wintered at a different campground. So, it kinda felt like we were coming home when we pulled in. We got backed into a 50amp site right between Paul & Margery and Jim & Ellie! Nice to know your neighbors. And very soon after we began to set up, we saw Darrell & Judy coming across the field to welcome us back. Oh, yeah. That felt good.

About 2:30, after getting ourselves settled, we headed over to Darrell & Judy's for a travel day dinner. Judy made her world-famous lasagne, a salad and some bread and we ate it up. This is one of Randy's favorite dinners and he only gets it when Judy makes it 'cause I don't make lasagne! :) After stuffing ourselves, we relaxed outside and enjoyed being together again after so many months. Having friends like Darrell & Judy is one of the great gifts in life and we are grateful for them.

With our tummies full and three days of travel behind us, I started feeling my jammies calling me home. So about 5:30 or so, Randy & I said our thank yous and walked home to flop in our recliners and watch the third presidential debate. (And if I wasn't sleepy before that, I sure was during and after!!)

Yesterday we had a slow morning at home, which was nice. I met my friend, Robbin, for lunch so we could catch up. Robbin opens her home to us when we want to come back to this area when we're staying in Bonifay. She is a doll and I value her friendship. We had a nice visit and I'm looking forward to spending more time with her over the winter.

One thing Randy wanted to be sure to do while we were here is have a meal at Big Daddy's, a favorite local restaurant. So, last evening Darrell & Judy picked us up and we went there for dinner. Randy got his “Big Daddy's Burger” and I got blackened shrimp with a salad. Darrell & Judy both got grilled shrimp baskets. As usual, the food was yummy.

Today was errand day. Randy wanted to hit Camping World and Bass Pro Shop. We also visited with Jim & Susan, friends from Silverhill Covenant Church, which we attend when we're in Summerdale. We were going to just stop by and visit, but when I called to be sure they'd be home today, they invited us for lunch! I am really having a vacation this week – I haven't cooked since last Friday! So, we had a good visit with Jim & Susan.

Tomorrow we're heading to Fairhope with Darrell & Judy and Jim & Ellie and their friend, JoAnn, to have lunch at Panini Pete's, another local favorite. Panini Pete's was featured on the show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and serves some yummy sandwiches. Yep, we're eating our way from Alabama to Florida! We also need to touch base with some other folks here at the park before we leave on Friday morning.

We're having a good time. Hope your week is going well, too! Until the next time . . .

Monday, October 22, 2012

Continuing South

We are on our next-to-last leg of our journey southward. Today we'll settle in Summerdale, AL at Rainbow Plantation for a few days before finally arriving at our winter home in Bonifay, FL.
It's been a fairly uneventful trip thus far. I say “fairly” because we did have a bit of excitement Saturday evening. We had planned for a long driving day as we had about 18 hours and 3 days of driving in front of us to get to Summerdale. So, we figured we'd do a long day the first day and have a couple of easy days. Good plan, right?
And you all know I love a plan. :) We were right on schedule, too. We stopped six and a half hours in for to fuel up – both the truck and us – in Russellville, AR at a Flying J. Then, we were back on the road, heading to MM198 on I-40E for an overnight at that rest stop. As my FB friends know, that's where things took a different turn.
There was road work going on right before our stop and, of course, this construction closed the rest stop at MM198!! Now, couldn't “they” have put up a sign stating that the rest stop was closed? No, that would be too easy. So, the scramble was on to find another place to overnight. At this point, it was after 6pm and we'd been traveling for about 9 hours. Randy was pretty much done. Thankfully, at MM233, there was a Love's Truck Stop. YAY! We found a spot, pulled in and heaved a sigh of relief. We could rest now. 
Or could we?
We are not boondockers and do not have a generator. So, when we overnight somewhere “off the grid,” we rely on our RV batteries to provide light and heat, if needed. And they do a fine job of that for one night. Until Saturday night. For some reason, I checked the battery gauge – I never do that! I'm glad I did, though, because the batteries were showing only 10v and normally it's 12v. Needless to say, we didn't have much battery power, but hoped it would be enough to keep frig operating on propane. 
We went to bed. I got up about midnight and checked the frig and it was still on. YAY. Seems like we'd squeak by. 
Or would we?
Out of a sound sleep, I sat up in bed at 3:30am. No sound woke me, but I knew I should get up. So, I did. (I've learned those “unexplained” nudges are usually God telling me to do something.) I checked the frig and the display read “C.” I've never seen that before! I figured we'd run out of battery juice. I debated whether to wake Randy or not, but it didn't take me long to decide. I woke him up about 3:45 and told him what was going on.
With both of us wide awake now, we figured we might as well get some coffee from the truck stop and hit the road. That would charge the batteries and we'd keep the frig on propane for awhile to get it cold again. And it worked.
Sure, we were moving very early, but it was kinda nice actually. We'd gotten about five hours of sleep so we were awake. And at that time of day, there was hardly anyone else on the road! Very peaceful drive. We stopped about 6:30am at Cracker Barrel for a nice breakfast and then continued on our way to our next stop in Florence, MS.
We arrived at Wendy Oaks RV Resort just past 10:30am – probably our earliest arrival ever! Thankfully, we were able to get our site right away. 
Always an adventure! Grateful for God's provision and grace out here on the road. 
Until the next time . . .

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Good-bye, Kansas

Time went from crawling by in August, to flying by these past two months. Hard to believe we are leaving Kansas and heading south for the winter.

I hate saying good-bye. Oh, I know that everyone says it's not good-bye, it's see you later, but, really? It's good-bye. Because you don't know if later will come. I don't mean to sound like Debbie Downer, but it's true. So I make sure those last hugs are long and strong. 'Cause you really never know . . .

We had a good last visit with Sam, AubreyLynn and Sam's folks. As always, Steve and Donna welcomed us and fed us a very scrumptious dinner. We loved on AubreyLynn as much as she'd let us – she's a very busy girl, you know. And Sam and I chatted away, getting everything we wanted to say in before it was time to go. And, as usual, that time came all too fast. And, yes, there were tears as I walked to the truck.

Yesterday, we busied ourselves with the last minute things that need to be done before hitting the road. And then we just relaxed. We're very good at that. Too bad we can't get a workamping gig that calls for that skill!

This morning, at a little past 9am, we pulled out of our site at Hillsdale Lake Visitor Center and heading east, then south. We're on our way to a few days at the Plantation in Summerdale, AL before we arrive at our winter destination in Bonifay, FL. It's gonna be so good to spend some time with Darrell & Judy as well as some other friends there.

Grateful for a sunny, clear day for traveling. Until the next time . . .

Friday, October 12, 2012

Just Keepin’ You in the Loop

Dang! I can't believe it's been almost two weeks since I've posted to the blog. But, I just don't have that much to share. We've been doing the routine; working three days a week, visiting with AubreyLynn and Sam once a week and hanging out at the home the other days.

We did buy a new laptop for me last week, so I guess that's news. :) My old laptop was just that – old! It was seven years old and in computer age, that's a dinosaur. I wanted to get a new one before I had to get a new one. You know what I mean? So, we bought a Toshiba and, so far, I'm pretty happy with it. Of course, there's a bit of a learning curve because of the new operating system, but I'm handling it.

Three unexpected visitors did come by the other night – deer. Deer at Hillsdale campsite

photo 2

They were just outside the RV in the woods. I was able to grab a couple shots of them through my window. No matter how often I see deer, I'm still in awe.

And now, a couple of gratuitous granddaughter pictures. Just because I can. :)

Reagan – outfitted for her school picture. I keep telling her to stop growing up, but she's not listening.

Reagan - school pic day

AubreyLynn – just because she's cute.

Pony-tailed girl

We have one more week here in Kansas. It's gonna be hard to say good-bye to the kids, but it's time to go south. It's getting chilly here! So, next Saturday, we're back on the road, heading for Bonifay, FL.

Until the next time . . .

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

There’s a Chill in the Air

It must be October, because the nights are chilly and the days are gorgeous. We're expecting a low of 39* later this week!! Time to break camp and head south. Before we can do that, however, we've got almost three weeks left on our commitment to Hillsdale Lake Corps of Engineers.

This has been a good experience. While I haven't been thrilled with the lack of tasks available to me in the Visitor Center, Randy has certainly been kept busy with the outside chores. And it has provided us what we really wanted – a location close enough to Sam and AubreyLynn that gave us lots of time to spend with them. That has been the best part of these past couple of months.

Yesterday, we had the joy of seeing good friends, Mike & Peggy. They are making their home to Maine from California and came a little bit out of their way to stop so we could spend the afternoon together. Wasn't that nice! We took dinner to them and spent several hours catching up and solving the world's problems. Mike & I have decided that if we ruled the world, it would a much better place. I even said I'd allow him to be in charge and I'd take second-in-command!! It was a great afternoon and a welcome change in our routine. We pray they continue to have safe travels over the next week until they roll into their driveway.

Today we are back at work and you'll find us here Thursday and Friday, too. Denny & Gale, the other workampers left yesterday so we're on our own for the next couple of weeks. On October 13 another couple is due to arrive. They've been here before so there won't be any training to get them up and running. We'll have just a week together and then we'll be on our way to Bonifay on October 20.

Not much else going on. We're enjoying our visits with Sam & AubreyLynn as well as Steve & Donna, Sam's folks. Just a few more left before we'll have to say good-bye to them. That won't be easy. But, thanks to technology, we can see them regularly.

That's it from Paola, KS. Until the next time . . .

Monday, September 24, 2012

Nearing the End . . .

. . . of September, that is. As slow as August seemed to go, September seems to have flown by! We have just four more weeks here at the Corps of Engineers Visitor Center. That also means just four more weeks to spoil AubreyLynn! Uh oh.

Last week went pretty much as the weeks preceding – working three times a week, then enjoying the down time.

We did spend some time with Sam and AubreyLynn. We were going to go to their house but Sam needed to go to Best Buy which is north of us (and Sam is south of us), so she came to us, had lunch and then us girls went shopping. It was so nice having some one-on-one time with Sam. And, of course, AubreyLynn was just as cute as ever. Shopping for Daddy We bought her daddy some computer games to keep him occupied when he's not actively defending our freedom. :)

Other than that, we've been hanging out at home. We did go to dinner at a local Mexican place with our co-workers, Denny & Gale. The meal was very good; food was plentiful and the price wasn't. :)

Have a great week, my friends! Until the next time . . .

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Just Livin’ Life

Yeah, not much going on here. We're working our three days a week at the Visitor Center and then enjoying lazy days off.

We have five weeks left here in Kansas. The Very peaceful weather has begun to cool off (it was 48 here this morning!) and the days are just Lovely morning at Hillsdale Lake CoEbeautiful I took these pictures yesterday morning while I was gathering weather data.  Isn't that a peaceful setting?

Well, just wanted to check in with our friends. Hope you all are having a great week so far. Oh! And a shout out to Darrell & Judy, congratulating them on their newest grandbaby – Josiah! Enjoy those cuddles while you can, D & J!

Until the next time . . .

Friday, September 14, 2012


The past couple of days have been all about the granddaughters. And there's nothing wrong with that. Well, except we DO have a grandson, too! But, he's 13 and is not very into his Pop and Nana. As a matter of fact I just sent him a message on Facebook asking him to catch me up on his life so I could do a little bragging on him in the blog, too. We'll see if that stirs up anything! :)

In the meantime, I'll brag on the girls. Wednesday we had special visitors – AubreyLynn brought her momma, grandma, and grandpa to visit with us. It was such a nice change to have them come to us instead of us going to Steve & Donna's. Not that we don't like going there, but it was just nice to have them come to our home.

We had a yummy dinner of hamburger taco pieDinner at Pop and Nana's when they arrived around 12:30. Donna brought brownies and ice cream for dessert, but we decided to wait for awhile before eating that. AubreyLynn had a blast exploring the RV. She is very good on the steps and entertained herself by going up and down them. Thankfully, we have nothing in the RV that could hurt her, so we just let her go.

After dinner, we took a drive through the state park so Steve and Donna could see the camping facilities as well as the boat launches. During the summer, they go camping just about every weekend. They also have a pontoon boat which they bring with them when camping. They really liked one of the camping areas because of the many sites that were shaded. We also took them over to the horse camping area, just because.

Once we were back at the RV, we had our dessert. And it was yummy, of course. You can't go wrong with brownies and ice cream! Momma, Baby Girl and Grandma They stayed for awhile longer, until AubreyLynn got fussy. Poor thing, she hadn't had her nap! She'd only gotten about 30 minutes during our drive through the state park.

I love this picture of Samantha and AubreyLynn!

Sam & AubreyLynn

We said our good-byes and hugs. It was such a great afternoon.

Yesterday was all about Reagan, our now SEVEN year old granddaughter! Yep, yesterday was Reagan's birthday. She's seven! She has brought such joy to our lives.





And her momma made sure she was celebrated from the time she opened her eyes until bedtime.

Good morning, birthday girl! Birthday balloons

They are going to New York City tomorrow to celebrate at the American Girl Doll store. So, what else would Reagan get for her birthday? Of course. Her very own look-alike American Girl Doll.

With her look-alike American Girl doll


And she's gotten money and gift cards from everyone else so she can shop 'til she drops at the store. Can't wait to see all her goodies!

Randy & I are so blessed with the grandchildren God has given us. Our kids are doing a great job parenting them. There's nothing like being a grandparent!

The weekend is gonna be another lazy one. We'll go to church on Sunday, but that's the only thing on the agenda. And there's nothing wrong with that. :)

Until the next time . . .

Monday, September 10, 2012

One Third

We are one third of the way through September already! August seemed to take forever to get through and here we are ten days into September. Randy's theory is that the first month of any new place seems long because we are trying to get into the routine of being there. Makes sense to me. Of course, I have no theory about this so anything would make more sense. :)

Last week we celebrated Lindsay's birthday and this week we get to celebrate Reagan's! She will be seven years old this Thursday. Dang, SEVEN. And she acts like she's seventeen! :) We were good grandparents and got her birthday goodies in the mail on Saturday, so they should arrive on time. When you're an absentee Pop and Nana, ya gotta be sure to get as many grandparent points as possible!

We had a lovely weekend here. The weather was absolutely gorgeous with temps in the mid-80s and low humidity. The lows have been in the mid-50s!! Saturday we didn't do much, although I got a lot of cross stitching done. I've finished two Christmas projects and am working on another thank-you project. Sunday we attended church and then after dinner, we took a “mule ride.”

The “mule” is actually an ATV-type vehicle which Randy uses when he's working. It's the easiest way to get around the lake. I wanted to see the area on the lake where he and Denny (the other workamper) were dragging cedar trees in preparation of building fish habitats. Prepping lake for fish habitats The area on the right side of the picture is where the trees will be placed.

We then rode down to the dam so I could get some pictures.


Dam outlet


Boats on the lake

I had never realized that the wildlife folks actually create habitats for the fish in these lakes. I just figured the fish live in the water and do their thing. Apparently not. These trees will give the fish areas in which to spawn and be protected from predators. The trees will be placed along the edge of the lake as well as further in. We'll be hosting a National Public Lands Day late in September during which volunteers will come and help.

Okay, environmental lesson over. :)

Our week is shaping up to be pretty much the same as last week. Not sure if we're going to Steve & Donna's or they are coming here. That's the big decision we have. Rough, huh? :)

Wishing you all a great week!! Until the next time . . .

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Into a Routine

After a month here at Hillsdale Lake Corps of Engineers Visitor Center, I think we're into a routine. And anyone who knows me, knows I like my routine.

We work 3 days a week and now also have the weekends free. We find our way to visit Sam & AubreyLynn once a week. We've found a good church to attend on Sundays. And the other time is filled with reading, cross stitching Christmas gifts (for me), and lots of TV. :)

And we're enjoying it.

I like having structure in my life. Yeah, I know. Retirement is about going with the flow. And that's okay with me – I just like “directed” flow. :)

We had another great afternoon with AubreyLynn yesterday – oh, and her mommy, Sam, and her other grandparents, Steve & Donna. We feel very comfortable in their home which is maybe not a good thing for them!! hahahaha As I did last week, I took dinner with us. Just a way of saying thank you for opening their home to us and allowing us to do laundry while we're there. I took baked ziti and a salad and Donna added garlic bread and homemade carrot cake. Very yummy!

Even though I dropped my Curves membership a few months ago, I've continued to be diligent in my exercise – even though I still hate it!!! I “walk” five to six days a week to one of Leslie Sansone' Walk at Home videos. On mornings we work, I only get in two to three miles, but on the days off I walk four miles. She directs a great workout, and it's just not walking in place. I highly recommend it.

Randy is getting some exercise on the days we work. He's outside in the heat, doing whatever tasks Jim, our ranger, gives him. As the season is winding down, there are things to do at the shop and not so much around the Visitor Center.

We've got just six more weeks here and then we'll take a few days to play before arriving back in Bonifay on November 1.

Tomorrow our precious Lindsay is celebrating her birthday. She is such a joy and I am grateful to be her mom. Watching her blossom into the lovely woman she is has been such a gift. God has given us a deep friendship on top of being mother and daughter and that is something I cherish.

Until the next time . . .

Saturday, September 01, 2012

My Favorite Time of Year

The summer is unofficially on its way out. Here we are at Labor Day Weekend. And my favorite time of year is almost here. I love the fall season; no/low humidity, temps in the 70s during the day, and the kids are in school! :) This is the time of year that I enjoy sitting out on the patio because the bugs have decided to go somewhere else. Yep, I'm looking forward to the fall.

Life is pretty routine around here. This is our last weekend to work as the Visitor Center closes on the weekends after Labor Day. Yes, I know that's the opposite of most place, but that's how they do it here at Hillsdale Lake. And I'm not complaining. Saturdays were long days; an eight hour shift during which not a lot happened. So, we'll work our 12 hours each during the five day week, get a couple of days off and have a weekend as well. Gosh, we haven't had a “weekend” in almost eight years! When you're retired, every day is the weekend!

We spent Wednesday afternoon with AubreyLynn. I am so grateful to Sam's folks, Steve and Donna, who have welcomed us so warmly into their home every week. Donna tells us to come whenever we want, which is so very nice. To say thank you, I took dinner Wednesday night; it wasn't much, just taco soup, but it was a small way to show her how much I appreciate her.

And of course, we had a blast with the Raspberries!little miss.  She decided to spend about five minutes blowing raspberries at us. Very funny.

Yesterday we went grocery shopping and fed the truck, too. We got lucky and found diesel fuel for $3.97/gallon. Most places around here are over $4/gallon now. Ugh. Thankfully, we're not driving a lot so fill-ups are few and far between.

The rain finally came yesterday and has continued through the night and so far today. I know the folks around here are thrilled. Although, I'm sure lots of weekend plans have been ruined, but no complaining allowed since this area (like many others) is in desperate need of the rain.

Posing pretty One more granddaughter shot, this one of Reagan. She is our big first-grader now and is looking so dang grown up.

And Tommy, our eighth grader is doing well in his first week of school – or so he tells me. :) No pics of him, of course. Gotta get on his mom about that!

Well, enough rambling for now. Hope you all have a great weekend. Until the next time . . .

Monday, August 27, 2012

Celebrating AubreyLynn

Randy & I worked Friday and I worked an eight-hour shift on Saturday. Quiet days. I figured the best thing about the visitor center being quiet is that I'm making great progress on Christmas gifts. :)

The weekend was really about AubreyLynn. With everyone feeling better, the party was on! So,on Sunday Randy and I got to Donna & Steve's a few minutes past 11am. The plan was to grill burgers and hot dogs, have lunch and then celebrate AubreyLynn's birthday. My contribution to the meal was tortilla chips and bean dip. :)

Finally, lunch was over and it was time for cake!!

Happy birthday, AubreyLynn!

DSCF0570  I got it now!

Whew . . .

After a bit of clean up, AubreyLynn was ready for presents. Presents!!! And thanks to technology, my folks, Jason, Lins and Reagan were able to “join” us to watch AubreyLynn open her presents. That was very special.



We had a great time with family. DSCF0602 Seeing AubreyLynn have fun was a perfect way to spend the day. We are grateful for this little one God has given us and love watching her grow.


The week ahead is much the last as the last few. We're working today, tomorrow and Thursday. I hope to go see AubreyLynn and Sam on Friday. We'll see how it goes.

Until the next time . . .

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Just a Few Pictures

With nothing much to write about, I thought I'd share a few pictures. We have a very nice site here at the Visitor Center – level concrete pad with 50amp service, surrounded by trees. If we had better cell reception, I'd be happy here for a long time.


Site at Hillsdale Lake CoE Visitor Center, KS


And here is what I see out my window at the Center.

Bathing beauties

Hummingbirds outside the visitor center

We've had up to eight hummingbirds at a time at the feeder. And they are funny to watch as they fight over it.

That's it. We're working tomorrow and I work all day Saturday. Hopefully, Sunday we'll finally be celebrating AubreyLynn's birthday. Everyone seems to be healthy, or as close as we're gonna get. :)

Until the next time . . .