Our Schedule


March 31.... Home in Cullman, Alabama

May 17 to 23.... Hershey TT, Lebanon, PA

May 23 to 30.... Mooneyham Mooch-camping in Upper Deerfield, NJ

May 31 to June 13. A TT park to be determined at the Jersey Shore area

June 14. One more night Mooch-camping at the Mooneyhams

June 15 - 17...Cordurus State Park, Hanover, PA.

June 19 - 21... Forrest Bo Wood COE park, Sullivan, Il.

June 22 - 24... Linder Point COE, Coralville, IA

June 26 - 29... Heartland RV Park, Hermosa, SD

June 30 - July 4....Nebraska Tailwaters COE, Yankton, SD

July 6 - July 9 .... Turkey Creek Escapees Park, Branson, MO










Sunday, April 23, 2017

A birthday and a visit

Cullman, AL

We had a busy weekend and a little bit of excitement.

Yesterday was our great-grandsons 6th birthday.


Like any 6 year old, Jordan's very favorite part was opening the presents.  Followed by the candles and cake.



Our son, Lennie and Daughter-in-Law, Lois did a bang up job to make this day special.   Nice work!

We left their house a little after 4 and upon getting home, I checked my phone and found several messages from friends who had been trying to reach us.  I never heard the phone ring nor heard the text message signal.

In the meantime, we got text message alerts that we were under a tornado warning and to take shelter immediately.  Here we go again.   I got a few things together and placed them next to the basement steps.   Such as the checkbook, computer and camera.  Seemed logical to me.

Then I tried to call Carol, our friend who had been trying to make contact with me.   I knew they were leaving North Carolina yesterday headed to Red Bay, Al.  They had just completed a NOMADS project in North Carolina and were going to the factory in Red Bay that manufactures their Tifflin RV for some repair work.  We had planned on meeting tomorrow for lunch.  However, they got further along in the trip and were at the Walmart in Cullman.    Then came the tornado warnings.  When I called they were in the Walmart and being led to the safest area.  She said she would call when they were released to leave.  Carol reports that the employees at the Walmart knew exactly what to do and were very professional in assuring all the shoppers were in safer areas.

Len and I were busy, he on the front porch, me on the back porch looking the signs of rotation (like we would know what to look for).   We also had the local TV station on.  At 6:15 the warning expired and shortly thereafter Carol called.

They got in their coach and headed our way.  We met that about 3 miles from the house and led them to one of our RV sites.


After they got set up and had their dinner they came to the house for a nice visit.  This morning we all attended church then went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  After which, we visited them in their beautiful RV.  Meet Jerry and Carol Wright with their companion, Teddy.


We love having RV sites for our friends when they visit.  We do trust this is not the only time we see them park here.   They left a short time ago for the 100 mile drive to Red Bay.  We wish them safe travels and happy roads.

Tomorrow it's back to working on the shop/garage.  It is coming along nicely.  Pictures in a future blog for sure.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Visit from NOMADS friends and Ave Maria Grotto

Cullman, AL

Long time readers of this blog (when it was under a different name) might remember a posting about the Ave Maria Grotto here in Cullman.

The Ave Maria Grotto is on the grounds of the St. Bernard Abbey which is a Benedictine monastery.  The Abbey was founded in 1891.  The Grotto is the work of Brother Joseph who was born in Bavaria in 1878.  In 1892 he came to the Abbey.  When not in prayer or shoveling coal in the power house, he constructed miniature buildings from stone, concrete and donated items such as broken glass, jewelry, tiles, beads, marbles, seashells and variety of such items.

Yesterday was a perfect day to take a stroll through the Grotto.  A group of NOMADS friends are volunteering at a site about 40 miles from Cullman.  We made arrangements for Leonard and me to meet them at the Grotto and then to lead them back to our house for lunch and a nice visit.

Here are scenes from the Grotto





I got so busy visiting and talking and eating I neglected to take a good picture of our visitors when we got back to the house.  And the camera was sitting on the end table right in full view!  This is the only picture I took of them.  Left to right:   Leonard, Patrick, Marti, Harriett, Bill.




Life size stature of Brother Joseph.  He was only about 5 foot tall.


If you are ever near Cullman, the Grotto is well worth the few dollars admission and a visit.  Oh, and we are worth a visit too!  No admission.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

What are these plants?

Cullman,  AL


One of the joys of owning this new house and property is seeing the various plants come to life this Spring.    Some we recognize and know the names......grape hyacinths, daffodils, weeping willow tree, magnolias.  Others we have seen but don't know their names.  Who can help?

For instance..... look at the header.     The previous owner obviously planted some type of green in a circle along with pansies.   It is collards?  Turnip greens?   If not, what is it and is it edible?

This is a close up.


These perennials are coming up all over the yard.  I have seen them before but don't know the name. Do you?


I am sure these are Calla lilies.   There must be 5 or 6 beds of them on the property.



We realized a while ago that we have a Pecan tree.   Thrilled.   Now Leonard is even happier.  He thought this was just a nuisance bush.  But now look.   FIGS!  A fig tree.    Now if we can only keep the crows away from it.


There is a also white flowering tree.  Just might be an apple tree.  We will see.

In the meantime, we look forward to whatever else might be growing and blooming.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Two kinds of thieves

Cullman, AL


In recent days we have encountered at least two different kinds of thievery.  But first, I want to share to picture of a handsome fella.


He lives next to the United Methodist campground where we have spent the last 3 weeks volunteering.    A couple of times we stopped to gobble hello.  When we do, he comes walking down towards the truck, gobbles back and gives us a hello by spreading those tail feathers.

Now back to the thieves.    When we moved here on December 31, we found out that the previous owner who moved to South Carolina "forgot" one of her cats.  We spoke on the phone and she said if we catch Sunday, she will have a friend come pick her up.  Not a chance.  For the first few weeks she would get no closer than 20 feet.  Then she would come to the bottom of the steps as I put out her food (twice a day).  Now she walks one step down from the porch but if I move closer to her, she runs away.

I did not want this cat but I can't let her starve.  So I asked our closest neighbor if she would stop by a couple of times a week and put food in a cat feeder while we were away.  I doubted that the cat would get much as it would be eaten by possums, birds or raccoons.   After we got home yesterday, the neighbor brought back what was left of the cat food.  She said she would put food in the feeder but it was always gone and tipped over.  I had the same experience previously.


We also put food in an stainless steel bowl.   Twice it disappeared overnight.  Once we found it in the yard about 30 feet from the house.   Another time it was about 60 feet from the house and
 into a wooded area.  No cat could have done that.



Not long after we arrived yesterday, Sunday showed up.  It's obvious she has lost some weight.  The neighbor said she only saw her 3 times so can be sure it was her who got the food those times.

Before we left in early March we received an order from Omaha Steaks.  I left the Styrofoam cooler on the back porch.   Some critter must have caught the scent and tried to open the cooler with no luck.


That is one kind of thief.   Wild creatures that know no better.  I can deal with that.  What I have a hard time understanding is the ones who walk upright, have a developed (?) brain and believe that if you have something they want it is theirs for the taking.  For instance.....

We got home yesterday to grass that REALLY needed cutting.  Leonard went to the garden shop to get the mower and found this where once a lock had been.


What he didn't find was our weed whacker, a two-month old electric pole chain saw and a gas chain saw.  Might be other stuff gone that we will realize once we go to use it.   Our new zero-turn mower was there.  We did not leave the keys in it and surely it is too heavy to just pick up and take.

Even though we were assured that this is a safe area, right after we bought the house we had a security system installed.   We have no close neighbors, have a woods on three sides and sit about 300 feet from the road with a line of trees almost blocking sight of the house.    

We called the Sheriffs department.  They told us to always notify them when we leave the area and they will keep checking to see if anything looks amiss.  Well, that helps AFTER stuff is gone.  We will either have the outbuildings alarmed as we do the house or get security cameras.  Would rather scare off the thieves before than take a picture of them after.  Leaning towards the alarms.

Friday, March 24, 2017

What old people can do.

Dooly Campground
Vienna, GA

We have completed our second week of volunteering with NOMADS at Dooly Campground.  We have a week left to go and lots more we want to get accomplished.



2010 was our first year of volunteering at various United Methodist agencies through the  NOMADS ( nomadsumc.org ) organization.  Dooly was our 3rd project.  When we returned here two weeks ago, we were delighted to see so many improvements.   Likewise, our team of 9 are adding our skills and talents to further improvements.

Our parking site:


Some of our projects:

This is the Ritz, Marriott and Hyatt.  We stained and polyed their bathroom floors.


We gutted their bathhouse area.  Then painted walls, build new partitions and ceilings, added electrical outlets and more plumbing.   No, this is not where the toilets usually sit.  EEW.  We promise to place them in their proper locations.


We improved the ball field area by painting the restroom and improved some RV sites for future use.



We built tables from reclaimed wood and built new pews for the Tabernacle.


What a perfect time to visit Georgia with the Dogwoods in full bloom.

We fixed plumbing in various areas, repaired three washers and dryers, made curtains for the Conference Room and Motel 6 and Super 8 dorms.  Also installed cellphone charging stations, replaced damaged ceiling tiles, removed and replaced floors tiles and did a whole lot of small stuff.

Amazing what 9 old people can do.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge

St. Marks, FL

While traveling, I am always on the lookout for a National Wildlife Refuge.  Searching for one nearby by, I found info on


So this morning we drove the 65 miles south to this refuge on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. There are 75 miles of trails winding through diverse habitats.  We walked two trails each about a mile.

After visiting the Visitors Center and looking at the displays we drove the 8 miles through the refuge toward the Gulf to see the historic St. Marks Lighthouse



Over time minor and major storms have struck this section of the coast severely damaging or destroying the keepers home but the tower continues to stand almost 200 years later.  The lighthouse will be open to the public once this building is repaired from the damages of time, termites, age and weather.

On our walks and the drive we saw, among others:

Greater Scaup


Common Gallinule


Double Crested Cormornant


Little Blue Herons


Young nesting Eagle


Heron


Great White Heron


Peligans


We ate the lunch I packed at the refuges picnic area.  These beggars came for handouts.  I did not use the zoom on the camera to take their pictures.  They actually came this close.



Well yea, they got some of our lunch.  I suppose they knew from experience this would happen.

Aside from winged wildlife there were also these:



Until next time.....


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Eastbank COE

Bainbridge, GA

Here we are "on the road" again.   But first....

We had some clean up time back home.


This is just one of many piles of debris, limbs, dead trees, etc which we are in the process of cleaning up.   A bit of diesel and a match and then this.


Which all comes down to this:


There are more piles waiting for us when we get back there in 4 weeks.

Here is Leonard on my Valentines day gift.


It's red.  It's mine.  Ideal for a Valentine.

Yesterday we hooked up the RV and drove 307 miles to Eastbank Corps of Engineers park on Lake Seminole.  This lake lies within the borders of both Georgia and Florida and has 37,500 acres of water and 376 miles of shoreline.    This is a typical COE park.....clean, well tended and beautiful scenery.  Close to perfect.....50 amp electric and water, if only it had sewer.  (So tonight it's the shower house.)  And the added benefit of the Golden Age Federal Pass of 50% off making it just $12.00 a night.  Gotta love it.

We are parked right on the edge of the lake on a level 100 ft site.


This is the couple who live next door:

We'd invite them over for dinner but we didn't bring Len's gumbo pot with us.

The dam across the lake.


The campground is in Georgia but the drive out of the park puts us in Florida.

We will be here til next Friday when we move about 110 miles north to Vienna, Ga to start a three week NOMADS (nomadsumc.org) project

Until next time.