Our Schedule

Friday, September 29, 2023

Making plans. And etc.

 Cullman,  AL

I love this time of year.   There are days when neither Air Conditioning nor Heat are needed.   There just isn't enough of them.    As the days grow shorter it brings to mind that our days are growing short too.

But first:     The Senior Center has special dress days on Thursdays.   Yesterday was crazy hat and tie.  I wore my winter hat that looks like Elmer Fudd, Len wore his Christmas cowboy hat.   I wore a compression sock as a tie, he wore his flannel bathrobes belt.   No picture was taken.

Last week it was mixed prints day.    I wore a flowered top and a pair of his PJ printed bottoms.  He wore a printed shirt, printed welders cap.   He absolutely refused to be seen in public with anything but jeans.  Daughter in law Lois to the rescue.   She volunteered to take an old pair of his jeans and paint something on them.

This is what Biscuit thought of it.

After a slow few month's hosting RV guests through Boondockers Welcome, we have 10 reservations on the books.   Our 266th guest arrives later today.

This summer it was rainy here in north Alabama.   I was forever mowing grass.  Now we are terribly dry to the extent there is a burn ban.   We had wanted to burn some shrubs and a pile of trees and branches we had removed but this is not the time.   Seems strange not having to mow every day.

As I stated at the start of this blog, along with shorter days is the fact that our own days are shorter.  I have a need to be prepared.    One way to that end is to update wills.   That was completed this week.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to make ones wishes known to be less of a burden on family when the time comes.

Along with our wills we have:

         Power of Attorney designations. 

        Durable Power of Attorney for health care. 

        A list of items we want to pass down to certain people outside of the wills,

         A list of things to know such as bank and investment accounts, where to find passwords, keys to             safes, how bills are paid and to whom, info on life insurance, etc.   

        And a list of whom to notify and their phone numbers (one person is provided with this list).

I state all of the above because I have seen so many instances where the surviving spouse or children are at a loss of where to begin.   Four of our children will receive copies of the above.

Well, that's my preaching for today!

ENJOY FALL SEASON.  Until next time.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

A terrible loss, family, friends and work

 Cullman,  AL

In Louisiana

In August our family suffered a terrible loss.   Our Grandson in Louisiana was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma a year ago.   It looked for a while that through his strength and determination he beat it.   However, it was not to be.

This is the last picture he have of him when we were in Louisiana in February and we took Nathaniel to dinner.

His light shone bright.  Everyone that knew him was blessed and will never forget his hugs.

While in Louisiana in August we finally caught up with a couple we met when we lived our full time RV life.    Meet Judy and Dick that were also full-timers but have now settled in Orange, TX.

Always a pleasure to visit again with those we have met when traveling the roads.

Our Granddaughter Tiffany and her family live in Texas.   They came to the visitation for Nathaniel.  We met up with them for lunch at a Mexican restaurant.

Later that day, after the viewing we decided it was dinner time.  The group choose ANOTHER Mexican restaurant.   I looked at the menu.  It was the same as the one earlier.   Apparently we chose two Mexican restaurants that are part of the local chain

So, here is more family.   Tiffany and Neal and their kids, also daughter D'Juana and SIL Joe and their daughters, some cousins and my daughter Terri who flew down from Pennsylvania.

When in the area,  Leonard likes to visit with his Godfather Claude and his wife Vern.   Len and Claude share the same birthday and always talk on the phone that day.

Back in Alabama:

Earlier this month was the 21st birthday of our granddaughter Maddie.    Time does fly!

We are still busy with yard work now that the weather has cooled.  Still clearing brush out along the creek.

And trying to keep weeds down from around the pond.

I've  written on this blog about our love of the local Senior Center.   Every Thursday they have "special days".   This past week it was TWINS day.   We were told to find a partner and dress alike.  That's what 7 other couples did.  They had matching shirts, etc.   We went one step further.

Until next time.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Last day of visit and clearing more trees

Cullman, AL

On August 11 the granddaughters annual visit came to an end.  Every year they have the same list of must go to places.   A top must-go-to is McWane Science Center in Birmingham.   We went down to Birmingham on their last Monday here.   Only to find McWane is CLOSED Monday and Tuesday.  

Ok, disappointed but since Leonard had a medical appointment down there on Friday the 11th and it was in the morning, we decided that would be a good time.   Their train to return to Baltimore was not until 5:30 and the train station is only 1/10 of a mile from McWane.

At McWane.   

We arrived there about 11 am.   By a bit after noon we were all hungry.  I noticed a food court directly across the street from Mcwanes' main entrance.   So, we all decided to give it a try.   Charlotte says she could live there.   Her choice was at Pho Pho where she joyfully had their Pho soup.   Abby decided on a pizza that she and I shared.  Leonard had a huge bacon, ham, roast beef, tomato, lettuce, cheese sandwich.

After lunch the girls went back to the Center.  Len and I found comfortable chairs in the food court and settled in for a bit.

At about 4:30 we made it over to the train station.   We were thrilled that this time the train was on schedule.

Abby and Charlotte boarded about 5:20 after our hugs.

There are 20 stops between Birmingham and Baltimore.  They finally arrived back to be greeted by their parents after 2 pm the next day.

Len and I were exhausted.  Whew.... it had been a busy month.   The entire time it was rain a day, sunny a day, rain a day.   On and On.   And the heat was oppressive.

The last few days the weather has cooperated.   I have finally managed to have the complete yard mowed.   Although I notice today it is time to start over.

One of Lens favorite activities is knocking over trees with his Mahindra tractor.   When we bought this property there were trees between the creek that runs along the left side of this picture almost to the buildings and from the trees in the back up the hill.

Last week he took down a dead tree.

Yesterday he removed a cedar tree that is in the process of dying.

Then he started removing Giant Ragweed that grows along the creek.

This fast-growing weed is an annual.   It will die off in the winter then grow to 7 foot in the summer.  We are trying to eliminate as much as possible.

Always work here to do.   This week is expected to be in the high 90s all week.  Some outside chores will have to wait.

Our RV hosting has slowed down a lot.   We do have a guest arriving this afternoon and some scheduled in September and October.   Today's guest will be our 256th.   We know our busy time will be in the Fall and again in the Spring.

Until next time......

Sunday, August 6, 2023

The girls are here!

 Cullman, AL

Yes the girls are here!  The girls being our granddaughters.   Since they are now 14 and 17, their Mom and Dad, Scott and Amy had them come down via train.    They were due to arrive a little after 1 but as usual AmTrak runs late.  They got in close to 6:30.     Twenty Six hours on the train.   Amy was so nervous and could hardly wait until she knew they arrived safely.   

So first I took a picture of the train arriving.

And then one to prove they were here.

There was always certain places they really like to go.  Cooks Nature Museum up in Decatur (check, we went there),  Rattlesnake Saloon  (here they are on the ride down the steep hill in the back of the pickup they provide a ride down)

Jim N Nicks BarBQ  (they were disappointed as the menu had changed, won't be a usual request), Dairy Queen for Blizzards (did it),   Golden Corral ( did it today)  and McWane science Center down in Birmingham  (tomorrow).   Oops, also Sonic (probably tomorrow after McWane.

We took them to 55East one night where we go to dance.   They were less than thrilled.

As you can see by the faces they made.

Our friends Joanne and Dennis have a lovely pool.   We have been there twice with the girls.  Charlotte even got to drive their 4-Wheeler.    And all lived to talk about it.

They have helped around the yard.  Not as much as we would have liked as the weather has been terribly hot or it is raining.

And one night Biscuit slipped in bed with Abby.

They are fascinated by some of the small critters that make their home close to the house.

Summer is winding down.   They leave on Friday.   Hopefully the train runs on schedule.  Na, that ain't ever gonna happen.

Until next time.....

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Four long rides, before and after

 Cullman, AL     

The last few weeks have been exhausting.   Daughter Cassie, who lives in SW Louisiana wanted to come for a visit.   Ok with us.   I tried to get her train tickets.  She and her 3 year old would have to get a train in Lake Charles that took them to New Orleans.   Then wait 12 hours for a train to Birmingham.  Altogether the trip would take at least 23 hours.   She was only coming here for 4 days.  So, not feasible.   

I tried to rent her a car so she could drive up. Not possible as she needed a credit card, etc.  They would not accept mine.  It had to be in the name of the person leasing the car.    The cost of airfare would be expensive and knowing grandson Jeremiah a plane ride might be a problem.   So what was left.  We drive down to get her.

Before leaving here we wanted the car looking spiffy.

Carwash it was.  The car looked great.    I should have taken a picture of it.   The beauty didn't last long.

Usually when we go to Louisiana it takes us two days.   We stop halfway, usually in Laurel, MS.  This time we drove straight through.    Almost 600 miles.    On June 13, off we go.   We spent the night at Lens brother and our sister-in-laws Royce and Susie.   We left Biscuit at our vets that kennels dogs.  We both hated doing that.

In the morning we picked up Cassie and Jeremiah who live about an hour from Royce and Susie and headed back to Alabama, stopping to view the sights in Vicksburg, MS.

The next day we went to the local attraction here in Cullman, Sportsmen Lake Park.  Jeremiah had a terrific time at the playground.   Almost wore Cassie out.

Len and I found a bench in the shade and mostly parked ourselves there.

Here are Cassie and Jeremiah.

And grandpop and grandson.

Visit was over on June 19.  Another long drive day.  This time we did stay over an extra day.  Dang it, we went to dinner with two on Len's cousins  (Joe and David) and their wives.  Forgot to take a picture.

Four 600 mile drives in 8 days.   But we took Biscuit with us when taking Cassie and Jeremiah home.  He is so good.  Did not mind riding in the back of the SUV.  As long as we take his bed, he is good.  We are amazed at how he remembers Royce and Susie's house.  Knows how to get out back.  When tired knows where his bed would be.

Once back to Alabama we picked up our usual routine.  On Thursday morning it's the Senior Center and Friday night at 55 East. Meeting up with friends.

On the 25th six friends came here for dinner.  Marion and Glen, Joanne and Dennis and Virginia and Russ.    Len grilled chicken and burgers.   I set out Queso, nachos and salsa and made baked mac and cheese.  Marion brought baked beans, Joanne brought deviled eggs and Virginia a delicious fruit pizza dessert.   We love these couples.    They are both Senior Center and 55 East attendees.

A few weeks back I saw a friend was selling a gooseneck trailer.   I made the mistake of telling Leonard.  He's been wanting one for the longest time.  It needs a lot of work.  New lights, painting, new deck, new tires etc.  Well, it's here.   He spends a few hours each day working on it.  I'm ok with it.  Makes him happy and gets him out of this recliner.

Yesterday a neighbor saw him working on it.   He stopped and asked to buy it.  You know what the answer was.

We dearly love our church.   But it was built long before people with disabilities were considered.  They had added a cement ramp that is completely out of spec.   The restrooms are in the basement.   

Construction of our new building is progressing.   First there was removal of many trees and clearing to be done.   Last Wednesday when we went to Bible study, we found this.

Sunday it looked like this.

Wonder what it will look like tomorrow when we head over that way.

Next week we look forward to our annual visit from Granddaughters Charlotte and Abby who are taking the train down from Baltimore to Birmingham.  Charlotte called me last night.  She now has her drivers permit.   Oh my.

I wish everyone a happy 4th of July.    We need to remember how very fortunate we are.   We won the birth lottery to be born or now live in this country.

Until next time.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Nothing to write home about.

 Cullman,  AL

Not much going on here.   Same old,  Same old.   Mow grass today, mow more tomorrow.  Wait two days, start over again.       Senior Center on Thursdays, dancing with friends on Friday nights.  Church and doctor appointments.     This is our life.

We desperately need rain here.  Pond is down about two feet.  Makes it easier for Biscuit to chase frogs.

Len pushed over three dead trees.   We cut up most of the wood.   I posted on the Local Marketplace Free wood, come pick it up.   A really nice young couple took up the offer.   I've had several replies since.  You snooze, you lose.     But this still leaves LOTS of small branches to clean up.  We've done a lot but lots more to pick up.  Our old backs can only do so much bending over a day, you know.

Len met with a back surgeon last week.  He will be having surgery on his back again.  It has to be coordinated with the high risk OR and his cardiologist.  Waiting to hear back.  

We are continuing with Boondockers Welcome.   But a lot less guests now.  April we were booked every day but two and often both sites were used.   We only had a few in May.  Our fifth June guest arrives today and another tomorrow.   Then our calendar is clear until July 4th.   

Once a host reaches 200 guests they are considered Hall of Fame Hosts and receive a sign.  We've hosted 248.   Our sign finally arrived last month.

We have two other signs on our property.   This one was stolen the day after we installed it.  They took and sign and post.   We replaced it on a fence post that is connected to a whole line of fence posts on the neighbors property.

We have another sign to hang.   It will be further up our driveway.   It is a Beagle Crossing sign and given to us by our friends Darlene and Jim.    It will be in place within a few days.

That's about it for now.   On Tuesday we take a quick trip to Louisiana and back the next day.  Will be bringing daughter Cassie back for a visit.   Along with her boyfriend and three-year-old son.  Then the next week we do the same trip in reverse, taking them home.   So four 600-mile rides in 9 days.  Oh my.

Until next time.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Luau and Zipping

Cullman, AL

I strongly believe that older folks live longer and happier when they make connections with their community.     About two years ago we started attending once a week at the local Senior Center.  We have made dear friends and always have something to look forward to.   

Last month local senior centers were invited to attend at LUAU at a venue in Decatur. AL.   We are told that approximately 600 people were in attendance.     Here is Len with some of our friends from the center.  

There were door prizes, various games, bingo, displays, etc.   A lunch was served.  Len especially enjoyed the blueberry water ice.


Two weeks ago daughter Terri had a semi-annual meeting up in Nashville.   As she always does, she takes a couple of days, rents a car and drives on down here.   I look forward to those days.

While here she did her first zip line.   Our friends Terri and Brian opened Adventures at Smith Lake last year.    There are three lines, the longer one is the longest in Alabama.

My Terri getting geared up.

Getting ready to take off.

There she goes.....

This is a view from Terri and Brians house overlooking Smith Lake

Here are the two Terri's

Time passed too quickly and Terri had to leave.   Looking forward to her next trip to Nashville.

Until next time