Our Schedule

Sunday, April 30, 2017

More visitors and one job DONE

Cullman, AL

If you remember, when we bought this property back in December they had just removed a double wide trailer that sat out by the road.   What was left was a garage/shop with only three sides.  One open side had been attached to the trailer, the other was the entrance to the two car garage.  There was (is) an enclosed storage area.   The shop as it was:

In the last month we have worked to enclose the entire shop.  Len missed having a workshop.

Working on a scaffold is not my favorite activity.   I don't mind working on the ground.  I don't mind working on the scaffold.  It's those trips up and down.  But I held my breath and did it.  Oh, that's not me up there.

Once the side wall was complete, it was time for the doors.

DONE!   Friday morning all was DONE.  It is even alarmed to lessen that chance that we are burglarized again.

That is not to say it is completely secure to everything.  A bird had built a nest behind the electrical breaker box.  We hear peeps and when we get too close either mama or papa flies out.  Now they exit and enter under the space between the doors and the ground.  From the sounds we hear, it can't be long before the young ones will be following their mama outside.

Feeling real good on Friday, having completed this job....we were awarded further.  Mid afternoon I got a call from a friend, Glenn.  He and his wife Jamie moved from New Jersey to Texas several years ago.  But they still spend a lot of time in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.   Glenn said they were on I-59 just leaving Georgia and into Alabama.   They wanted to stop by for a visit.   YIPPEE!  I gave him our address and he put it in their GPS (isn't technology great).

A few hours later....... they found us.    We caught up for a while...then Len put some burgers on the grill.

A short while later they said they had to get on their way.  We would not hear of them going any further that night.  That is why we have a guestroom and we so much enjoy their company.

After a good nights sleep, we visited some more in the morning.   Here is Janie, Glenn and Tiny:

Yes, what a treat!   They assure us they will be back during another of their trips north or south.  We are counting on it.  A couple of years ago we visited Glenn and Janie in Texas when we were staying at the Escapees Park in Hondo.

One of the many benefits of our traveling fulltime, was meeting new people and catching up with long time friends all over the country.   Now that we are partially settled we hope many old-time and new-time friends catch up with us here.  If the recent past is a barometer the prospects are good.

Until next time.....

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.