Our Schedule










Sunday, August 11, 2019

History Lessons at the Lyric

Cullman,   AL

Last night Leonard and I attended, with our friends Vic and Stephanie Buchanan, a talk at the Lyric Theater in downtown Birmingham.

What a lovely venue.  The Lyric was built in 1914.   It is not a real large building but quite stately.  I am so sorry the pictures came out blurry.

Looking up at the  balcony.


Box seats


The ceiling in the lobby



We were on the ground floor, center section only 4 rows from the stage.   Terrific seats.

The speaker for the night was Brian Kilmeade one of the hosts of the morning program Fox and Friends.


Brian grew up on Long Island and still lives there.  His childhood dream was to play professional soccer.   He played in High School and then for a short time in college.  He related that he was really not that good but he was determined.   When he realized that dream was not going to happen, he looked in other directions.  Being a talker, he tried interviewing.    He would send out resumes only to get back rejection letter after rejection letter.

Through perseverance he started getting some attention.  All the while he was studying the history of this country.     After being a stand-up comic for a short while and  during some interviews for minor TV stations,  he started making a name for himself. Then he got the position he now is in.  His basic message is that we all get knocked down but need to get back up.  And this country provides the opportunities for each of us to strive for our best.

He has written two books about famous people and what lessons playing sports has given them.   Most of these people are not professional athletics but business people, politicians, doctors, etc.   Each have a story to tell.

Other books he wrote are about three people from our history.  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson.   He stressed that each of these people were flawed just as each of us are.  But they did what they were called to do at their point of our history.   And their efforts have contributed to the greatness of this country.   He has a book coming out about Sam Houston.

His talk was for about an hour and forty-five minutes.  Then he took questions from the audience.  Following that he was in the lobby where his books were being sold.   He signed books and took pictures with anyone who was interested.

He was never political.   He was there to celebrate with us that we are fortunate to be born in this country.    Even through there is what seems like so much political strife at this time, Brian says he still believes this is a good time for this country and we will continue to be strong and a beacon to the world.

We look good.... don't we.


Until next time.

Friday, July 26, 2019

One month visit

Cullman,   AL


This summer the visit from the Granddaughters was shorter than the last two years due to daughter, SIL and girls leave this weekend for a vacation in Canada.  We picked them up in Maryland on June 22 and took them home July 24.   We met the SIL half way to "make the trade".    We stayed the night at our nephews and his family's house in Rural Retreat VA and headed back to a quiet house the next morning.

It was a busy month.

Ate out several times.   Golden Corral.   A local Amish buffet.  At Abby and Charlottes used-to-be favorite place in the area, Jim and Nicks BBQ.



Their new favorite...... Buena Vista.  So much so we had to have a second visit the day before they went home.  It's our favorite too.



There was fireworks on July 4th at the local park.  Waiting for the show.



There was lots of swimming at Hidden Cove RV Resort. 


There was a trip to the Hunstville Space Museum.


They attended two Vacation Bible Schools.   One that Aunt Lois (our daughter in law)  took them to at her church and then another that their friend Nathans family (live up the road) took them.   They enjoyed them both.  Thanks Lois.

We felt bad for our lone lonely duck.   We wanted she/he to have friends.   I asked around and was told there was an animal exchange the next day at the local feed store.   People were there selling goats, rabbits, geese, turkeys, chickens and yes ducks.

Charlotte with a rabbit.


Abby with a rabbit


No rabbits came home with us.   But we did find three friends for our duck, who we had given the permanent name of Baby Duck.


We now have Four Happy Ducks. Baby duck and friends.   They are Muscoveys so will grow larger than Baby Duck who is a Pekin.   And they give us great pleasure.



A nightly habit.... feeding the neighbors cows.   They make good use of our vegetable scraps, apples fallen from our trees, etc.


And lots of fun with Biscuit.    This is a chorus of Four.... Leonard, Charlotte, Abby and Biscuit.  Do your ears hurt?

OOPS!  Sorry can't get it to play.   But Biscuit has a great howl!!!


Until next time.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

RVing again Part 3

Cullman, AL

June 12

Last blog had us planning on meeting up with Daughter Terri and SIL Steve for dinner that night.  That we did but first Biscuit had to meet their dogs Cane and Jack.



Our site at Hershey Preserve Thousand Trails.  This was our 7th stay at that campground.


The next few days were spent restocking the pantry and catching up with laundry, visiting and just sitting around.    AND walking Biscuit at least 5 times daily.

June 16

Our nephew JR, wife Vadra and their son Ryan drove the 3 hour drive to visit at Terri's house.  With that visit Minie (their dog) and Biscuit got reacquainted.  All four dogs had a fun day.





June 17 

Later in the day our friends Jim and Darlene came by who were at the campground.    They had with them Jim's mothers dog as she was in the hospital following a valve replacement.




June 18

My sister, Debbie, came to the campground for a two night visit.

June 19.

Len, Debbie and I drove to Hanover, PA where whenever we are in that area we shop at some of the local factory outlets.   We buy canned goods by the case plus Hanover frozen vegetables.  We also shop at Snyders of Hanover for snack items including Pepperidge Farms cookies.

June 20.

Terri took off work, Darlene was off work and Grandson Justin took the train up from Philadelphia to Lancaster.  We all met at Kitchen Kettle Village in Intercourse, PA.   Love this place.




We got our favorite Peach Salsa, Hot sweet pickles and beets and horseradish mustard.  Then it was time for lunch.



We would have stayed longer but we saw the dark clouds coming.  Len and I headed to our truck.  Shortly after Terri and Justin jumped with us to wait out the downpour.    Poor Debbie and Darlene didn't do so well.   Drenched.   Really drenched.    As Debbie had to be back to work the next day, we said our so-longs along with a few tears.  And Terri took Justin back to the train station.

That night Steve and Terri FINALLY got to meet Jim and Darlene. (Terri had met Darlene).  Dang - once again I meant to take a picture but we were having too much fun and I forgot.

June 21.

Terri, Steve, Len and I met for lunch.   Terri works from home on Fridays and Steve works in town.  At that time we said our good-byes and promises to see each other soon.

In the afternoon we drove to MD and got our granddaughters who are here with us a Alabama for a few weeks.

June 22.

Time to pull up stakes in PA and travel.   We drove over 400 miles and over-nighted in the same parking lot as we did when going north in May..

June 23.

Girls and Biscuit slept a good part of the time.





Even though it was again a bit more than 400 mile drive we arrived home just a few minutes after 12 noon.   This was because we left Virginia at 4:30 am and had a one hour time change.

It's good to be home! So much to do.  And thrilled to see our lone duck is still here.

Until next time.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

RVing Again Part 2

Hershey Preserve  Thousand Trails
Lebanon,   PA


June 5, 2019

We pulled up stakes at Sea Pines in Southern NJ and drove only about one hour to Mooch Dock in our friends driveway for a week.    When we got there, Shirley called us into the house for a much appreciated lunch.


Lyn and Shirley Mooneyham are gracious hosts who invite us to pull in and plug up whenever in the area.  They have a lovely home and busy nursery.   We thank them for their hospitality.

Len and I drove over to where I retired to see two co-workers.  Scott, Tina and I were the HR department back then.  It has grown since.

June 6

We always make an effort to have a visit with my cousin from the maternal side of the family, Sis (real name Thelma),   Sis is in her early 90's but has the energy and spark of someone half her age.  We adore her.   My sister, Debbie joined us for a late lunch in a neighboring town.   Len had the best Prime Rib he's had a years.   Again, I forgot to take a picture.

June 7

I met up with 3 schoolmates for lunch.   It's so nice to get caught up and  maybe even a wee bit of gossip.    Here is Linda, Vi and Risti.



June 8

First thing..... hair cuts.  No one cuts our hair like Kathy.   When in town, it's a must stop.

Then dinner with my sister Debbie and another cousin.   Mae is from my paternal side of the family.   Mae recently moved into a local senior complex.   She was so proud showing us her new home.   Happy for her.   This is Mae and Debbie.


June 9

First thing (after getting coffee and breakfast sandwich at WAWA) ... attendance at our previous"home church" Deerfield United Methodist in Upper Deerfield, NJ.  This is the pastor Josh.  When in the area on a Sunday, Deerfield is a must stop.  We do miss our church family from NJ.



After church we drove the 92 miles to daughter Amy's house in Maryland for dinner and a visit.  This is their pup Charlie and our Biscuit getting acquainted.  Granddaughter Charlotte was over-seeing their play.  Dang!   No picture of Abby but there will be plenty to come when she returns with us to Alabama in 10 days.


June 10

This is a special day.  It is Abby's 10th birthday and our 30th anniversary.   When we try to remember how long we've been married we think of Abby's age and add 20.

For breakfast we went to our favorite diner in the area.   We had our usual eggs, home-fries, toast, OJ, coffee and scrapple.   Don't know what scrapple is or never had it????  You are missing something!

In the afternoon we met with our Financial Planner.  Bill has worked with us for on our financials and retirement planning for 29 years.  This is one of the wisest choices we ever made.

Then at dinner..... friend Michelle, who I know from where I used to work, came to our rig for dinner.  Michelle would tend to our  dog and horses when we took vacations.   She, more than anyone I know, has a love for animals.  INCLUDING PET RATS!  EEK.  This is a lousy picture.  I should have used my camera with a flash and not my phone.


June 11

Another meal out.   My friend Linda since 1962 and I got together for a long lunch and then coffee.  As always, we had a lot of catching up to do.


This morning we got up early to take advantage of coffee and breakfast sandwich at our favorite convenience store WAWA.  If you don't live in the northeast or Florida and don't know about WAWA, you have my deepest sympathy.

Then we pulled out for the 3 hour drive to where we are now.

That makes 10 meals that I just wrote about.  Just in case you were wondering what we did while in our old hometown.

We are now camped just a few miles from my daughter Terri and SIL Steves.  We are meeting in about an hour to go out for dinner.    So scratch 10 and make it 11.

Until next time.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Brought tears to our eyes.

Upper Deerfield Twp
Cumberland County,  NJ

In 1992 Leonard and I purchased a beautiful house and 2 acres surrounded on all sides by a nursery in rural Cumberland County, NJ.   The house was soundly built in 1850.   Through the years we added two rooms, a deck, a shop, a barn and two outbuildings.  We had the original oak floors refinished.  We completely renovated one of the bathrooms.   We lovingly kept the yard and gardens.

When we retired and left to full-time RV in 2010, our daughter Terri and her husband Steve purchased the house and property from us.   They put even more hard work and funds into making the house and grounds into something to be proud of.   We, and then them, held annual yard parties where it numbered up to 125 people.  We loved doing this as did Steve and Terri.

A few years after buying the house Terri was offered a position near Hershey PA.  She accepted with the only heartbreak was leaving this house.    We understood a couple with lots of dogs purchased the property.  We saw they almost immediately built ugly fences all over the property.



After only two years we heard the house was being foreclosed.  We saw it was listed for sale.  A friend of Terri's contacted the realtor and toured the house.   She told Terri there was major damage in the house.   As we continued to check on the status, we found the house is no longer listed     The house has sat empty two years.   Today Leonard and I checked it out. We are sick.  As are Terri and Steve who did the same thing in April.

Our back yard and barn before:


And now.



Picnic area with an outhouse that was put there in the 1930's by the CCC.


What is left of that area and historic outhouse.



The deck and three-season room we added



How it looks now.  


Side of the house with flower beds and raised vegetable beds.


Now.


The fish pond Leonard and our son-in-law Scott dug.  With flower beds around it.


Where the pond was.


We have mixed feelings.  We would love to see the inside of the house but it would probably make us even more upset.    We understood the bank now owned it.   Len called a friend of ours who is the Township Construction Dept. Administrative Officer.   She says according to township records the people who purchased the house still own it.  If they own it, why would they leave it sit like this.

We still have keys.  Wondering if locks were changed.  Nope...... not worth being arrested.

Until next time.  (Provided we don't kept tempted.   How many of you would donate to our bail money.)

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

RVing Again....... Part 1

Sea Pines Thousand Trails RV Park
Swainton,  New Jersey

May 26, 2019

It's been a while since living in an RV.  And the first time ever having a travel companion.  Biscuit made himself at home the very first day.


He chose a bunk and has claimed it.   This is the bunk our granddaughter usually uses.  She will be joining us later this month and seems to have no problem with sharing.

We left Alabama Sunday morning May 26.   We drove north to Rural Retreat, VA (approximately 410 miles) to near the home of one of my sister's sons Jason and his family.  After finding a near-by parking lot to park for the night, my great-nephew picked us up and took us to my great-niece Emilie's HS graduation party.

This is Emilie and my sister Debbie.


May 27

The next day, being Memorial Day, it was slow moving in some areas.  One area of slow-down was to allow the uninterrupted movement of this group.


Traffic was not really heavy until the Baltimore Beltway.   I dislike in this area, especially when towing.   Not long after getting on I-95 we decided to take Route 40 up to NJ.  Another 400+ miles day of traveling.   Biscuit never complained.

Finally late in the afternoon we arrived at our friends Shirley and Lyn where we Mooch-docked for the night.  We frequent their hospitality when we need a place to park in the area where we once lived.  Shirley pulled out some burgers and salad and fed us well.  Biscuit briefly met their pit Lucy.

May 28

After a good nights sleep we drove the one hour to our current location in the Cape May, NJ area.

May 29

My sister Debbie arrived to spend this time with us.   She works about an hour away but would be here each evening.

May 31

My nephew Norman (JR), wife Vadra and son Ryan came to the campground for a visit.  And their pooch Minie.   Minie and Biscuit got acquainted.


JR and Ryan:


Leonard and Vadra:


June 1

Our grandson Justin and girlfriend Karlie came down from Philadelphia to visit for the day.  Dang.... was so busy talking and visiting I forgot to take a picture.

June 3

Our friend Kathy Clarke has a seasonal site here at the campground and she also works here during the summer months.   She and her late husband Gene, used to live across from us at a small campground for a year prior to us starting our traveling years.   We enjoyed having Kathy at our site last night along with Debbie for Tacos.  Another goof up... no pictures taken then either.

June 4

What would be a trip to the area be without a ride to the bottom tip of NJ... Cape May point.  (Right Betty Barnes?)   We loaded up Biscuit this morning for a visit.

Cape May lighthouse


Passing by the marina


Len and Biscuit on the beach


The Atlantis.   This was one of 11 concrete ships built during WW1.  She broke off from her mooring at Cape May and became stuck where she sits since 1926.  When I was a child this ship was mostly intact and was clearly a concrete ship.  The years have passed and this is all that is left to be seen.


Tomorrow we hook up and travel a bit more.

Until next time.