Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

We want to wish all our faithful readers, friends & relatives a very Happy New Year! May 2009 hold all the dreams of what you want it to be.

I said to a man who stood at the gate of the year, "Give me a light that I may
tread safely into the unknown." And he replied, "Go out into the darkness
and put your hand in the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a
light and safter than a known way."
A wonderful way to look at the end of a year and to begin the new.

This week hasn't been quite as busy since Christmas. Nice to slow down a little.

A friend invited me to a Pilates/Stretch class on Monday. At least she said she was my friend! She truly is! But oh my. This is Wed. & I'm still having a hard time with muscles I didn't know I had. I try not to cough either! I said during class if God had wanted me to be a pretzel he would have left me 10 years old! It was fun & I think it just goes to show how much my body needs to do that to keep from having back, neck & hip problems down the road. At least that is suppose to be the goal! I can't do it twice a week, but I will continue to go on Monday mornings. It is another one of those challenges.

Tonight will be our traveling game night. We all split up from our spouses & go to 4 different trailers (all preassigned). We play a different game at each trailer for 50 minutes, then have 10 mins. to go to the next one. At 11:00pm we will all meet back at the 5th trailer for food & celebration of the new year. Those of us who don't host will bring the food. I'm taking veggies. It's not hard & after snacking at the other places, I doubt we will be very hungry.

Tomorrow Bill & I will be going to the University of Arizona's stadium (where last year's Super Bowl was) to watch the National High School Band Championships. I'm sure it will be a fun day. As old Band Parents, we are really looking forward to it! I hope I can get some pictures. We got seats on the 40-50 yard line & if it was a football game they would have cost $400!! Also, if it was football, at that price I wouldn't be there!

So, as the old year closes, thank you for being faithful readers and I welcome you back next year to more episodes of...................The Traveling Cardinal's

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas (two days later)

We hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and got to spend time with family and/or friends. We sure missed our families this first year away. But I got a nice present for next year. Bill told me we could fly back East to Maryland for Christmas! Now I won't care when we leave to come to Arizona as long as I know we can go home to the kids for Christmas!

We did enjoy our time here with friends though. Christmas Eve 12 of us attended Christmas Eve services as Broadway Christian Church at 4:30pm for their candle light service. It was very nice & boy could those people sing! Talk about a "joyful noise unto the Lord"!!!! Needless to say, my emotions didn't let me get through the first prayer!! Bill knew then it was going to be a rough Christmas!

After the service we all came back to the park to Gene & Faye's for supper. They prepared grilled salmon (from Washington State!) and prawns (shrimp to most of us only larger). It was delicious. I made our families traditional Christmas Eve meal of stuffed shells. There was clam chowder, potato salad, vegetable salad, jello salad, several dips & snacks & of course, fudge & pies & cakes. We all ate so much we could hardly move. Gene had put tarps up around the patio & then a propane heater kept us warm. It stayed around 60-62 deg. & was very comfortable.

Christmas day we ate at the club house. Bill & I were the host/hostess for our table so I roasted the turkey & we decorated the table for 21 of us. It was really nice, but I wouldn't do it again next year. I learned afterwards that almost everyone does their turkey the day before, slices it & then just heats it up for Christmas day. I didn't know that & tried to get mine roasted fresh that day & hot & ready on time. It is too much to be the hostess AND cook the turkey. You don't get time to socialize before hand & by the time you eat, everyone else is ready to go home. I almost didn't get dessert. The one good thing was I didn't go back for seconds!

Christmas day our friend Phyllis had bad news that her brother in Minneapolis had a stroke. Our thoughts & prayers are with her & her family at this time of waiting & testing. She has made plans to go there if her brother doesn't make it. We will help Tom with his blood sugar testing & insulin shots & Gene & Faye will make sure he eats right. We pray whenever & if ever she has to travel, she has a safe & quick trip. It is always hard to be away from family at times like these.

We spent that last couple of days just visiting with friends here in the park & having a good time. We told our friends, Ray & Marquita, we were looking for some steps to the entrance of the trailer & lo & behold, Ray calls the next morning to tell us he found some as he was meandering around the park. We went to look at them, came home & measured, went back & bought them. We were just waiting to find someone with a trailer or whatever so we could move them. We knew we couldn't lift them up into the truck. Well, Gene, our nice neighbor & friend (also Mr. Fixit), says let's get the golf cart & go look. I said you can't get them on the back of the golf cart they are way too big. He just looked at me! Never said a word. Well.....................look how we got them back to the trailer............ Roger and Gene....
Of course, I inadvertently erased one of the pictures that showed it from the back. It was pretty funny looking with that golf cart going down the road with these double steps on the back!!!! We got a few curious stares!

We also have storage under the steps. The 2nd from bottom step hinges up as does the top. Now we can keep our extra cooler in there when we don't need it in the truck & we can use the back seat for passengers.
This is the crew. We have the greatest neighbors! Everyone is always so willing to help someone else. Roger, Gene, Bill and Tom, the supervisor.
We even are beginning to look like we are going to stay awhile. We now have a 100# propane tank so we don't have to keep running to the propane dealer here in town every 4 days.
Yes, it's been cold enough to keep that furnace running quite a bit (especially at night). Remember.......no place on earth (at least within my budget) has the perfect temperature year around! December and part of January just happen to be Arizona's winter too. But just look at the picture!!! We have sunshine, bikes & NO snow! We aren't shoveling anything here in the Valley! We have had quite a bit of rain, but this next week looks beautiful. Temperatures are suppose to be in the high 60's. I can take that! But it was frosty this morning. Several people had their flowers covered last night. It was a good thing too. This will make the orange picking time come sooner. If not, we will have our own frozen concentrate! I've picked one about the size of a soft ball off our tree. We only had 2 oranges & I can't get my fingers only about 2/3 of the way around it. I want to cut into it, but I keep saying "a couple more days".

Well, I'm sure more people will be arriving this next week. With the holiday season coming to a close, the rest of the "snowbirds" will be flying in.

It's hard to remember what day it is when we have weeks like this with weekends & holidays in between. Every morning I wake up & can't remember if it's Monday or what. Of course, some days are like that even without the holidays! It's an age thing I think. At least it was the last time I remembered. :) :)

Ok, I'm getting goofy. Until next time..................The Traveling Cardinal's

Friday, December 19, 2008

An Exciting Day!

I got my sugar cookies baked yesterday. Boy they turned out the best ever! I didn't over bake any & I didn't eat any (until last night - I had one with a cup of tea). I was going to decorate (frost) some today, but didn't have time.


I was so excited about today that I didn't take the batteries out of the charger before I went to my Bob Ross paint class, so I can only show you the finished project. It was fascinating & fun. I was so nervous at every step. Putting that oil paint on that canvas isn't like drawing with a pencil with an eraser. I think frosting cakes is easier. They are about the same when it comes to the intricate work & time, but some times the knack just wasn't there. I had the biggest trouble with putting the snow on the mountains & painting pine trees! They make it look so easy, but try doing it! Tap & squish & all those other terms just ran together. Sounded & looked easy when the teacher did it, but by the time you got back to your easel you forgot the first step. We only used 3 colors & then mixed one with those 3 colors. Used 5 different brushes. Everybodys turned out very nice. Not exactly like the display picture, but that is what made each one unique. I was quite pleased even if my one tree was a little goofed up on the branches. Once it was done you could hardly tell from a distance. Here it is:
Right now it is setting on my couch. It has to dry for about 7-10 days. And guess what???? I only have 2 possibilities of where I can hang it & one of those is in the bathroom!!!

Also, I tried to take a couple pictures of my Scratch Art projects. They are harder to take because of the black & the shiny part after scratching off the black paint. This is done on a piece of aluminum that has been spray painted black. It is addicting. I worked on it for about 2 hrs. last night, but my neck was pretty tense when I gave up & said that was enough for one night.
Hey, Toni, beautiful table runner huh? It usually runs the other way, but Bill has to move it to read his paper. No table is complete without W.W. journal & napkins either right? Speaking of W.W., they now have a new/old program. Kind of goes back a few years, but adds a little new to it. I'm sure those who did only Core don't like it as you have to track your points. So that part isn't much different for me.

Our friends, Phyllis & Tom, made it from Iowa today. They ended up taking the southern route through Texas, N. Mexico & Arizona. She has a lead foot & they made it here by 3pm this afternoon. She didn't want to miss her Friday night fish fry at the Legion with the rest of the gang. It was so good to see them & give big hugs! They are real sweethearts! I think everyone who went by had a "sweetheart" greeting for Tom! Thank goodness Faye checked the menu & we can start going with them as they have roasted chicken. That means I don't have to eat Fried Fish.

Bill & I went to Taylor Rays a nice restaurant (like Perkins back home) where you can get all the fish you can eat on Friday nights (even if they bake it!) That's unusual. But of course, we can only eat one helping. You get a lot to start with.

After supper, we took another trip to the Mormon Temple to see if we could get better pictures than last time. I guess my camera just doesn't like Christmas lights. The video turned out ok, but the still pictures were still blurry. I'll post them even though they aren't great. I just want you to get an idea of how many lights they have up. It takes them 3 days to decorate it all. That is amazing! We were fascinated at how they decorated. Some were a whole string of lights just grouped together in trees & along the fences. Some were shaped like hyacinths in the gardens, others just grouped to look like a bouquet of flowers. So even though the pictures are so-so, take a look.








video

I hope you get the idea of what it looked like. As always, pictures never do justice to what you can see with the human eye!

When we got home tonight we had new neighbors! A big 40' 5th wheel like ours only a Montana is right next to us where Chuck & Denice were last year. They are from New Mexico & will be here for about 3 months. They were here last year on the same street only on the North half. We introduced ourselves (it was dark out when they got here) & their names are Camille & Roger. I felt sorry for them trying to park that big rig in the dark! But I think he did a better job than we did in the daylight! Must have had more practice than us. That backing up is a pain! They are a couple about our age so it will be fun to have neighbors. I just hope they don't mind us using that side of our trailer to sit in the sun. We don't get any on the door side of our trailer. I told them what we did last year with Chuck & Denise with our patio rug out there & then shared it. They have a big dually like us though, so doesn't leave a lot of room for rug, but at least we can sit & visit.

Tomorrow morning is breakfast at the club house & then I'd better get busy finishing up my cookies. Next week I'm cooking the turkey for our table for Christmas. Will have to shop for that on Sunday as we don't have a freezer to put that in. Gene & Faye didn't have room in theirs either, so I just need to make room in the fridge. Soooooooo glad we have 2 refrigerators in this rig. Why did I ever think I could get away with one?????

Well, I think this about updates us for now. Finally got a few pictures. Until next time.................... The Traveling Cardinal's

Thursday, December 18, 2008

One Week To Christmas

I'm sure everyone is busy running around shopping, baking, wrapping, partying, whatever we all do in preparation for Christmas.

I think I'm pretty ready. Boxes have been sent & received on the East Coast. Candy is done, some delivered. I'd like to make another batch, but........well, I'd just eat it! This afternoon I'm going to make a batch of sugar cookies. It won't be as much fun as last year when little Nick & Noah helped mom & grandma decorate them though. But, I'm sure they will be eaten just the same. I'm waiting for the butter to soften right now.

This morning I went to Scratch Class again. Gosh, I love it. It's hard to not forget all the responsibilities of life & just sit & do it for a couple of hours! I think I just might get Christmas gifts done for next year while I'm here. Today we learned how to do the trees. Not sure if I have the hang of it yet, but I guess practice makes perfect (ya, right!) That's the neat part about doing art work, there are no mistakes! Ha! Ha! It's called interpretation!

We broke down last week & bought some pretty patio lights. They are purple/bluish balls. Thought we could use them for Christmas. I also bought some foam art snowflakes. Decorated them & thought they would look cute between each ball. Well since we have one of those automatic WeatherPro awnings that automatically goes up or dumps the rain, we had to disable that mechanism first. Then we got the lights up & I arranged the snowflakes. Looked kind of cute. Got a small extension cord last night & plugged them in. They looked pretty neat. Wouldn't you know......we came home with stars out & moon shining, went to bed & all of a sudden it started to rain & did the wind blow!!!! You know what we had to do! Out of bed, get dressed, get the step ladder & take it all down! I think that was around midnight! Now I know why we never bought patio lights before. We knew that, but we thought, oh it might work out here in AZ, but I guess not! Neighbors told us not to do that until around the middle of Jan. when the winter weather would calm down & not as much chance of wind/rain storms. So tomorrow if the weather is a little nicer, I'm going to try & figure out how to string them just across the rolled up awning. I'm determined. I'll figure out something!

We got the nicest Christmas gift from the park owners. A nice card with a CD of Christmas Carols in it. Very nice & didn't expect something so nice! It really is a nice, thoughtful park. A really nice 2nd home. Never did we think we would enjoy this life style so much. Just looking at my daily calendar & this is what it said........"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." by Eleanor Roosevelt. The Bible verse for today was: "No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him." What a coincidence.........Not on your life..........He has it all planned!!! God is Amazing how he speaks to our hearts & in our lives! He knew our dream before we did!

We still haven't gotten out to take those pictures of the Mormon Temple in Mesa. Just too busy I guess. Went to a 1940's musical skit/show here at the park on Tues. night. Really nice. The husband & wife performed for the price of 2 non-perishable items for admission for the local Food Bank. It was a nice evening spent out & not just sitting home. I told Bill I've had more dates since Nov. 24th than I've had in the last 2 yrs.!

We saw gas last night down to $1.49, but he said the news today wasn't great. OPEC is going to get those prices back up again! Watch, about the time we have to travel back to the East Coast, we'll be paying big bucks again!

Our friends from Iowa left there early yesterday morning & got to the west side of Oklahoma. They said they were lucky & had good roads. This morning they checked with someone regarding the weather & they have routed them down into southern Texas to take that route as snow storms are taking over the Rocky Mt. area of Interstate 40. Better to be safe than sorry. Might take them a little longer, but we have to remember, when you are retired you just take your time & enjoy the scenery which ever way you travel!

Other friends on our street from Syracuse, NY arrived yesterday afternoon. They flew, but it was a very long day for them. Dona was down at the club house this morning checking out things, but Doug was home resting. Just happy to see them again!

Sorry I don't have any pictures to share. I never think to take my camera with me when I go Line Dancing, or to classes. I guess I should get on the ball & get with the Blog program huh? Maybe I'll remember tomorrow. Batteries are plugged in to recharge.

I guess I've rambled enough. Time to go bake those cookies! I can almost smell them baking!

Until next time..........The Traveling Cardinal's

Friday, December 12, 2008

Busy Days & Busy Nights

I guess before I get too far behind I'd better do another update.

Monday I got a chance to run down to the Club House for Market Day & pick out a couple of Christmas gifts. So much to choose from. There are many busy hands working on projects here at the park. Some beautiful handiwork. I also signed up for a table for Christmas Dinner. I volunteered to do the turkey. Usually you have 16 people (sometimes up to 20) at a table. Each signs up for something on the list & everyone puts in a dollar towards the turkey. I love the smell of it roasting on Christmas. I think I'll stuff it even though someone else signed up for dressing.

On Tuesday morning I went to the ladies craft class (can't say what until after Christmas) at Kay's trailer. We had a good time. Met a lady from Ubly, MI. That's not far from my niece Deb & nephews, Larry & Bob. There are several people here from Alpena. Bill said he remembered that town from when my brother-in-law Boney played ball several years ago. We all had a great time. I had my project finished except the very end. That way I could put it in a Christmas box.

Tuesday afternoon I went to my line dancing class & we had quite a few still coming. Lost a few from the first class, but they might eventually return. Great exercise & lots of fun. Had our trailer & roof washed. Not happy with the job so of course I did it by hand. I think I'm a lot like Bob, right Snookie???? I'm particular about spots & streaks. I don't like black streaks & I don't like water spots. Oh well. I just wish I had the nerve to get up on the roof to do that myself. I don't like heights!

Wednesday morning we ran errands & got our Christmas boxes in the mail to the kids. Hopefully we sent them early enough they will get them before Christmas. Wouldn't want them to not get something from Grandma & Papa! Besides, there are Christmas treats in there too! We filled up the gas tank & diesel was only $2.19! Wow! I can't remember ever seeing that price! I think since we bought the truck! Gas is down to $1.55. Wish there were more snowbirds from PA coming to AZ! Hint! Hint!

Wednesday evening we went out for supper & played cards at Joey & Lyle's afterwards. Learned another new game. Now if I can just keep them all straight. On New Year's Eve about 20 of us will travel from trailer to trailer & play games then end up at one place for eats and ringing in of the New Year. Sounds like lots of fun. No driving either!

Thursday morning I started a Scratch Art class. I love it!! Bill plays cards on Tues. & Thurs. so that works out great. This will give me something to do at home while the football games are on. Also, it gets my nose out of a book & something to do besides sewing. It is very painstaking, but really neat. Just need to get used to the different techniques. We start out with something simple & then progress. I can't wait to get into the animals to learn how to do hair, etc.

Thursday afternoon we had a meeting of teachers & monitors for computer classes. I have volunteered to be a monitor. Not quite comfortable doing the teaching yet. I remember doing that back at WSH, but I was a little quicker then & was using programs more often. The brain gets a little slower with age!!! But it is fun. After the first of the year they are going to do a basic class on Vista that I want to take. Then when I get ready to buy a new computer I won't feel so intimidated. Also, if Renee or Tom has questions on their computer, I might be able to help. Never hurts to be prepared for the future. My Microsoft Office programs are already years behind. One of these days, I probably should update that too.

Called my sister Romayne today to check in & make sure everyone was okay there. I didn't get her called back on Mon., so thought I'd better get on the stick. Saturday is her birthday & she said I wouldn't have to call again. We'll see. It's a free call on Sat., so will probably call to say Happy Birthday. In the meantime...........HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIS! Love & Miss you!

Last night Bill & I sat & addressed all of our Christmas Cards. I mailed them this morning. So if you don't get one in the mail, it's because you have email & you will get yours that way. I know that sounds cheap, but it's faster & it saves that mailman from having to lug all that extra weight over the holidays! So if you are reading this & don't get a card in the next week, you will be getting one, we didn't forget you!

Today was computer club meeting. Had another interesting speaker. Talked about a program called Jing that you can download for free at screencast.com. Takes pictures of your computer screen & can use them anywhere. Looked really simple to use & you can insert text, arrows, etc. into the picture after capturing it. It's an easy version of SnagIt by TechSmith. That one you have to buy. I don't think I would have a lot of use for that one, but it was quite interesting. You can try it for 30 days free to see if you like it. Might want to check it out if you think you might use it. Just make sure your computer isn't a slow running one.

Well, the guy seal coated our roof this morning. Still a little dissatisfied with job. I guess no one does the job like we would. Next time I think Bill & I will do it ourselves. You get what you pay for. Some people are just in a hurry to get the job done & don't care how it's done. Since this is our home & we want to make sure we take care of it, we want to do the job right, neatly without a sloppy mess. Oh well, live & learn. At least we didn't see anything running down the side of the trailer! Bill is out checking right now. After checking closer, it was done where he didn't think it was. So I guess Bill needs to do a little apologizing! Things look different from the ground up than from the top down.

Tonight we were invited to go with the gang to the Legion for supper but we think we will stay home. They only have fried fish & since we went out Wed. night, we will stay home & cook our own tonight. Trying real hard to stay on the straight & narrow! They are having a Christmas concert. A Joyous Christmas by the Superstition Snrise Choraliers to welcome in the holiday season. We want to go to that at 7:30. It's only $3.00 a ticket. Again, no driving, so that's a reasonable evening out.

Well, that about wraps up this week. No pictures to share, so until next time..........................
The Traveling Cardinal's

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Beautiful Saturday

Saturday was a beautiful sunny, 70's day in AZ. Went to breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, juice & coffee or tea for only $4.00 and we didn't even have to spend money for transportation!

I came home & spent the day making some Christmas Candy and Bill went to play cards. When he told the guys what I was doing, they said, 'don't forget us"! Well, maybe I'll save a few pieces out for them! I just need to get some of this done ahead of time so I can get my little kids packages ready to mail. I called my brother, Ray, to wish him a happy birthday. Gosh 78!!!!! He's doing good! Next Sat. is my sister's birthday & (shhhhhhh, she's only a year behind him!) He said it was too cold to go out hunting. So he stayed in today.

Sat. night Bill and I went to Fountain Hills, AZ for their Stroll in The Glow. Similar to Christmas Walk in downtown Warren, PA. There was a countdown for the lights to be lit on the Avenue of the Fountains, shops were open for free treats - they were giving away cookies (I didn't have any but the cookie monster did), hot chocolate (couldn't resist), candy & wine from a fountain in the jewelry store, had to have a little taste. Bill & I split a small glass. Stores were open for shopping too & then Santa arrived by Fire Truck. The only thing different between here & PA was they had to "make" their own snow for the kids to play in & the weather was quite a bit warmer than back in PA!!!! I asked some teen if I could touch his "snowball" (more like ice ball), so now I've had my official winter. Gosh, it didn't take much to make me happy did it?

At it's full height (every hr. on the hr.) of 560 ft., the fountain, in the center of Fountain Hills, AZ, is higher than the Washington Monument. It is also 10 ft. taller then Notre Dame Cathedral, 110 ft. higher than the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt and 3 times as high as Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone Park. The pump is powered by 3 500 HP pumps which forces 70,000 gals. of reclaimed water per minute through an 18" nozzle specially designed & built by Switzerland's Institute of Hydraulic Research. Beautiful at sunset with the sun shining on it.

Long way up those palm trees for those lights!
Live Nativity


Choo Choo Train Lights
Lights clear up the tree
Playing in the "man made" snow

Santa & a couple of cuties
After we left there, we came back to Mesa & went down Main Street to see the Mormon Temple & all the lights there. They were having an outside concert that we stopped to listen to for a few minutes. I hadn't grabbed my jacket from the truck, so I was a little chilly. We plan on going back down there again to take pictures as mine didn't come out very clear. I will post them at a later date. I need to use my camera more in the evenings under different conditions to get the most out of it. They were pretty blurry & it's hard to see what you are taking in the dark. Between being night & the lights & people moving, it's a hard combination to photograph.

We made a quick stop at Walmart to pick up more candy making ingredients so I can hopefully finish that this week. Maybe even get some done tonight (Sunday).

This morning I took my Ritz Cracker cookies to Coffee Fellowship after Chapel & the plate was clean so I guess they were good. Again, thanks Amy. I used wheat crackers & reduced fat peanut butter, but I still didn't eat any. That's because I ate a weeks worth of points almost yesterday with fudge! Oh my! This is a really bad time of year for me. Chocolate & Sweets. Speaking of church this morning.....they keep track of attendance from one year to the next for the same Sunday, last year at this time there were 139 attendees, today there were 190! Wow! God is Good! As Aaron says.....All the Time!

I've spent all afternoon on the computer messing around. Amazing how time flies when you are playing with emails, setting up email contact categories & downloading pictures from the camera. It was a dreary, cloudy day, so didn't accomplish much. We did call home to the Rockwell 50th Anniversary party going on at the Holiday Inn in Warren. Got to talk to a few people & to wish them well. Bill had called Dick S. his friend, & he had been out blowing snow. They got about 8" last night! It's so hard to tell them (ya right!!!!) how nice it is out here & we don't brag about the weather or the temperature or the sunsets or ....... you know.

Our neighbor, Ruby, just came over & invited us to play cards tonight after we eat. I guess I won't be making candy tonight. Oh well, there is always tomorrow. Nothing on the calendar except a gentleman is coming to wash our roof & trailer & then in a couple of days he's going to coat the rubber roof for us. That will save me worrying about Bill falling off & neither of us are keen on heights so that solved our problem. It may rain tonight but doesn't call for it tomorrow.

Well, my hubby is cooking chicken on the grill, the sweet potato is baking in the microwave & I'm about done here, so...........
Until next time..............The Traveling Cardinal's

Friday, December 5, 2008

Where Did The Week Go????

Well I just found out you don't type the Title of your Post & then hit the Enter key........it goes right to Publish Post!!!! I hadn't even written anything yet!

Well, I spent Wed. & Thurs. afternoon helping Gayle in an email class. She was the teacher, I was the monitor. That was fun & interesting. I guess I'm not too dumb! It's amazing how much you forget though. The class was taught using Microsoft Outlook Express (which I used to use all the time at home) & I'd forgotten how to do a few things. I did find out a great website, though. Ever need help....go to http://www.learnthenet.com/. Tells you step by step whatever you need or want to know. A good site!

I was really disappointed on Thurs. morning. The Scratch Art Class I went to was cancelled. The instructor was at the hospital with her husband. I guess, considering this is a 55+ community, you have to expect that kind of thing. Oh well, always next week. I also signed up to do a "Bob Ross" oil painting class. There is a beautiful picture hanging in the activity office of what they are going to teach IN ONE DAY on Dec. 19th. I used to watch him on TV all the time & say "I wish I could paint like that". Well, now I'm going to try. All the comments I've heard have said anyone who has taken the classes in the past have had beautiful results. So here's hoping. Not sure where I would put it as no place to hang anything in the RV, but I still want to do it. Am I getting artsy or what????

Bill played pool again at 6AM & I went to Supercom Computer Club at 9. Came home & got my washing done after that. We went out for supper tonight at a restaurant that reminded us of Perkin's back home. It was very nice & the food was great! Bake fish too. No haddock, but the cod was just as good. We really were looking for the restaurant we went to last year, but when we found it it was out of business. So we went to the one just across the parking lot. Good choice!
Talked to Mark a couple of times today. He was on his way "home" to PA from his home in V. Beach. Him & a friend were going to PA to go hunting with his long time friend & neighbor, Jamie. His new truck did well on the trip. He called us about 7pm (EST) & they were just past Sheffield. They got lost on the same route home we did last time. New roads that GPS can't find! I hope he gets his deer. I told him he could go to Holiday Inn on Sunday & see all the Bullock Aunt's & Uncle's & cousins at the same time. It is Carolyn & Neil's 50th anniversary today & they are having a party for them. He said that would be great. So I hope he gets a chance to get there.
Since we needed to walk after eating so much, we went to Big Lots & picked up a few Christmas things. I needed a glass bowl (I really wanted a glass 8 cup measuring cup like I used to have) but no luck. The bowl I got I can use in the oven & microwave as well as the freezer. Going to make Amy & Bob's great Ritz Cracker cookies tomorrow for Coffee Fellowship at Chapel on Sunday. I hope I don't eat too many! They are delicious! No baking either.

Well, that about tells what we've done today & the last couple of days.
Oh, another beautiful sunset from last night............ Out my kitchen window
Out my living room window........
Until next time................The Traveling Cardinal's

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Catch Up Day Again

Well since my daughter said I don't update enough & that's why I get all my hits from people checking the blog, I'd better get busy, right???
I can't figure out if I'm so busy I don't want to get on the computer as it just takes so much time or I feel like I'm not doing anything of interest, but I guess a note every couple of days is better than nothing at all to my family & friends!

Monday I was asked to fill in as monitor at an email class for our Supercom Computer Club. Then in the end I didn't have to monitor, but went anyway to see what my duties might be in the coming months. Before I got to the class, another teacher asked if I could monitor on Tues., Wed., & Thurs. So I said yes for Wed. & Thurs. Not Tuesday though. I went to another class in the morning & then my Line Dancing class started on Tues. afternoon. Gosh there were about 20 people there for the first time. Last year toward the end we only had about 9 of us. It was fun & I did remember a few dances. But let me out of the ballroom without an instructor & I'm lost again. I just need someone telling me what step comes next! It's called AGE (as Faye would say) & the brain has NO MEMORY anymore! But we do have fun & it is called EXERCISE! Needless to say, I got in a lot of steps on my W.W. counter yesterday!
Sunday we attended Chapel here at Supersun. They have a really nice service. Very much like home & Pastor Tim is a real down home guy who is very easy to follow (right from those Bible verses!) & easy to understand. It is a joy to start out the week here. They have a coffee fellowship every Sunday after worship too, just like North Warren Presby. No wonder it feels like "home".
Monday night Bill & I went to the Jam Session. There are about 8 guys/gals that get together to entertain on Mon. nights. Last week there were only about 4 couples dancing. This week the crowd of dancers was quite a bit bigger. Music is great & a nice way for those of us (ahum, Bill) that don't like to dance, can sit & enjoy the music. Although last week when we looked at the board for "the happenings", there was a Country Western 2 Step Class & Pattern Class that he DID SAY he probably would do. It doesn't start until Jan. 2nd, so I hope he doesn't change his mind!!!
See, sister Romayne, I get sunsets too!!!

Tuesday Night's Sunset

Looking at Sunset Sky & down John Garfield St. decorations


We have done a little decorating for Christmas outside & all I'm going to do inside. It's hard when you don't have storage space to put a lot of things. I put the tree up last night & like I used to do at home, I'd do a little each day. Now I'm done. Just have to get the presents that I'm making finished so they can be mailed. Shopping was easier this year too. It was called "plastic cards". The teenagers love it! Besides, what do you buy teens anyway? Grandma & Grandpa either can't understand it or we can't afford it! I always thought money was so impersonal, but now I understand where my parents & grandparents were coming from. But back then, my grandparents gave us a quarter in a card & even that was special! At least I never got coal in my stocking!!!! Ask the kids today if they ever heard of an orange, nuts & a candy cane in their stockings??????? They will look at you like you've lost your marbles!!!


Hard to decorate when you have an ugly hitch & a tripod and bikes stored underneath. Did put a poinsettia on the chain of the tripod though. Hard to see in picture.
Picture taken with flashout flash but then better with flash of our little tree. Unfortunately our living room is toward the back of the lot & no one can see the tree from outside. But we found out because our windows are tinted so black, you can hardly see the little ceramic tree we have on the kitchen table either. So I guess the tree is for our enjoyment only. But that's okay. Makes it "homey".

The most important part of Christmas to remember anyway is:




The hardest part of decorating for Christmas this year was doing it with no snow, wearing shorts & flip-flops!!!! We had a few warm days in PA that we could decorate outside, but definitely never shorts & flip-flops! I can't imagine all the lights we put up outside at home & with frozen fingers too. Now 2 strings is "enough".

All the deer hunters back in PA are in full swing. Our son, Mark, is excited about going home to PA to spend with his old friend, Jamie, to go hunting. I'm sure he will have a great time. Just so they remember to have a "safe" time too! They were almost inseparable when they lived across the street from each other. I will always think of Jamie as "my other son". I hope Mark gets a deer. Been a few years since he hunted there & got one. He usually always does, but I remember the last time his dad & him went hunting it was so warm they almost couldn't wear hunting clothes. Good thing he got his deer first thing in the morning before it really got warm.

I'm excited about tomorrow morning. I'm going to go to a Scratch Art Class that I've never done before. I saw the work last year right before we left & I thought, wow, I'd love to do that. So I'm going to give it a try.

Bill has been getting up early & playing pool at 6am!!! Yikes!!!! Not me! I gave up going to 7:30 exercise. That's just too early for me. I like my relaxing mornings. Anything from 9am on is great, but give me my mornings!

Well, I guess that about brings us up-to-date. OK, Renee????

Until next time...........The Traveling Cardinal's











Friday, November 28, 2008

WOW! Three more hits to 1000!

I never thought I'd see that many people reading my blog. I know a few very faithful readers that keep track of The Traveling Cardinal's though. Thanks! You make it easier to keep other family & friends up-to-date of what is going on in our travels & lives! If you happen to be the one that hits the 1000 mark, email me & let me know!

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get back to this journal. It seems this computer gets busier & busier now that I share it!!! LOL Bill likes to read a few hometown papers & by the time I get through some of my emails, it's time to do something else!

We made it to Superstition Sunrise RV Resort in Apache Junction, AZ on Monday the 24th around 1:30 PM. Needless to say, we were sweating by the time we got parked! We had stayed Sun. night in Holbrook, AZ east of Flagstaff, AZ where it gets mighty cold! It was 19 deg. when we woke up, so of course, we dressed for the weather. By the time we got down from around 7000' elevation to 1000' elevation it was mighty warm. When we got to the park it was 74 deg.!! I couldn't wait to get all set up & in the shower!!! In fact, we did that before we registered. Since I had called ahead they knew we were coming & said we could go ahead & park it first. Boy was I glad! Neighbors were coming out to welcome us back. It was a great feeling to be "home". That makes about 4 "homes" we have now - NY/PA, MD, VA & AZ.
Those Blue Skies of Arizona!On the way to our "other home"
Looking down on the Mountains & Valleys
Monday night after we got set up we went to get haircuts, KFC & Walmart for a few groceries. When we came back the guard at the gate told us Mon. nights were "jam session" nights at the clubhouse at 7pm. So down we went. It was a fun time & met a few more people, new & old.

Tues. morning I went to "Walking Aerobics" (stretching mostly) at 7:30 AM. Don't think I can do that. My back doesn't move that good that early in the morning. I'm more of a 8:30 - 9:00 person.

Prior to going to exercises, our good friends, Faye & Gene were planting cactus & doing some landscaping so I had to stop & give/get hugs there. They were expecting a load of rock to be delivered later in the morning to put around the gardens by the trailer. Gene said he could give me some exercise with a Mexican Trail Blazer. I asked him what that was & he said a "shovel"!!! Well, since the electric was turned off at 8:30 during exercise for some maintenance work, I came back & shortly after the truck came with the rock. We had quite a crew helping shovel that rock. It took about an hour to finish & Gene thought he had a 1-1/2 or 2 day job! Great neighbors - willing & able to help each other no matter what the project!
Dumping the RockGene supervising the unloading
Many men make light work! Bill in front with wheelbarrow
After that project I decided the bugs on the front of the RV needed to be washed off or they would never come off. So I started that project. Since the forecast was rain, I thought get the road dust & bugs off & God could take care of the rest. Well, we didn't get a lot of rain, but within the next 2 days we got the trailer cleaned good enough for a first run. More detailed work next time around. At least the black streaks are gone & windows are cleaner.

I'm tired! That was enough for one day.

Wednesday I went to a Weight Watchers to get weighed in for the month of Nov. Oh yea, I had to pay. That riding & eating doesn't work! Not enough exercise on the road. I was only 8/10ths of a pound over, but I still had to pay. That was enough of that!! So now I walk regularly!

Wednesday night we played Hand & Foot with Jim & Ruby across the street. Great time & oh yes, the women beat the men!!! Not bragging or anything, but that was the first time we've played since we left last year. I did remember most of the game.

Thursday - HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL! I called my daughter & my sister to wish them Happy Thanksgiving. Got caught up on the news & weather with them. Mark called later in the evening from Washington State. He is there with his family visiting sister-in-law & brother-in-law & family.

I walked 3 miles this morning so I could go out to eat. I left Bill reading the paper on the computer. It was really quite nice, cloudy but nice. Bill and I went to Cracker Barrel for dinner around 2pm. That way we only ate one big meal. It was very good. Of course, Cracker Barrel is one of our favorites. Food is always good & prices are always dependable. No surprises. It was very busy. That made it easy so I didn't shop & spend a lot! Since we live in the trailer, I don't buy extras anyway. If it isn't for a gift or something that can be eaten or used immediately, I don't buy it. I like (not love) to shop, but not on my top ten favorite things to do. I'd rather just look & say, "oh, isn't that neat or isn't that pretty".

Thursday evening we played cards with Faye & Gene. We had all taken a nap & then got together around 5:30pm. Oh yes, we played Hand & Foot again, & the women beat the men. I think I get really good partners. I'm not that shrewd of a player, just good team work! Then they headed home to watch the Cardinal's play football. I fell asleep again while Bill was in the shower, so I think that meant it was time to hit the hay. Had to wait to take our showers as we had a lot of thunder & lightning. The rain really came down for about 20 minutes or so. Sounded like those cracks were going to open up the trailer!

Friday I was planning on attending my first meeting of the Supercom Computer Club. But when I got there no one was there. I went downstairs & read on the bulletin board that because of Thanksgiving there was no meeting. So I decided to look over all the amenities that were offered here at the park & write them down so I could keep track of what, where, when I was suppose to go over the next few weeks/months.

Since there was no class I decided to do my "walk around the park". Got to keep active. I don't want these "older folks" showing me up. Maybe this afternoon I'll go down & get in the pool. Either inside or outside since they are both heated. My muscles could use a little "hot tub" therapy.

Well, that about wraps up the last few days for The Traveling Cardinal's...........so until next time, we will be here at Superstition Sunrise enjoying the fellowship, fun & scenery!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

No Snow In These Pictures

Greetings from The Traveling Cardinal's.

Today we traveled from Texas into New Mexico. Gained another hour, so those of you on the east coast are 2 hrs. ahead of us now. I'll try to remember that!

Sometime before we got to Amarillo, TX this is the sight we came upon:
A train wreck. Double high semi-trailers on this train. Wow, what a mess. Pretty close to Route 287 too. Don't know when it happened, but glad we weren't in that area when it did!



In 2000 when we traveled Interstate 40 we passed a sign that said Clarendon. I made a quick stop along the side of the Interstate, made Bill stand by the sign so I could take his picture. He was born in Clarendon, but that Clarendon was in Pennsylvania! Well today we got to go through Clarendon, TX. Population was 1974 (a few more than his hometown). These are some of the pictures he snapped as we drove through:


Clarendon Outpost

Clarendon College

First mountains of New MexicoScenery along Interstate 40 in New MexicoTalked with family members today. Everyone seems to be doing fine & putting up with the snow. Bill's sister is doing well from her heart surgery but has suffered some pinched nerves causing pain in her arm & back. Still no word on when her next surgery will be. Talked with my sister Romayne last night & her husband Bob has to have surgery in January. He has a growth on his jaw that has to be removed. Seems like it's always something with everyone. Age has a way of doing that to us. Hopefully everyone will have the winter to recuperate & be able to enjoy a great Spring next year.

We are staying in Santa Rosa RV Park in Santa Rosa, NM tonight. That is on old historic Route 66. I'm trying to convince Bill to hurry up & get to Apache Junction before the rain hits on Thanksgiving. Don't really want to set up in the rain & would like to get through the colder parts of the country as soon as we can. It's kind of a pain to hook up the sewage & water long enough to take showers & empty tanks then put it all away before night fall. They have been having some pretty bad frosts in the area so no one (including us) wants to have water & sewage hoses out in the cold elements. It's nice & warm in the trailer though.

Just a beautiful New Mexico Sunset
Well that about wraps up today's travels. Until next time........The Traveling Cardinal's












Friday, November 21, 2008

Goodlett, Texas

Today the temp didn't get above 50 deg. But after I saw emails & pictures from back home in PA, I'll take it!!! It was a beautiful, sunny day, just not warm. Like the rest of the nation I guess. I talked with my nephew, Denny, this morning & he said they were predicting another 2 feet of snow in western NY/PA. Talked with my brother-in-law from Michigan this evening & he said where he lives they only have about 1/2 - 1" of snow. He does plowing & hasn't done any yet.
This is what the ol' homestead in N. Warren, PA looked like today:
Around 3pm this afternoon we arrived at Ole Towne Cotton Gin RV Park. Only about 3 or 4 other campers here, but very neat & clean. We got an interesting tour of the old cotton gin & some of the equipment preserved here. The office gal spent 25 years of her life working in the cotton growing industry in her earlier life. She was well versed in explaining the workings of the growth, harvest, etc. of the cotton.
The following are pictures from outside/inside the Ole Towne Cotton Gin:
Camp Store & Registration Office on Right of Picture
Outside where cotton was unloaded up through pipe from wagon
Original old wooden cotton ginMetal drying unit used to dry cotton fiber after separation, much like a clothes dryer. This was used after the 1930 fire destroyed previous equipment

Separation of seed and unusable part of the cotton plant - sticks, pods, etc.

That brings us up through today. Tonight it is very cold & already down to freezing. Needless to say, we have no hoses connected outside. The best part of this RV Park is they serve a continental breakfast between 8:00 & 9:30 AM in the store. The price???? $1 per person put in the honor box!!! Can't remember everything, but I believe she said, bagels, muffins, pancakes (I'm assuming the kind you put in a microwave), cold cereal & coffee & tea. Not bad for $1.00!! Guess we will eat at the store tomorrow morning. Saves me washing dishes prior to pulling out. Tomorrow we should hit Interstate 40 in Amarillo, TX then head west. We traveled the northwest route of 287 today out of Ft. Worth. It is a 4 lane highway, but not an Interstate. Travel was very good. Thanks Bob for recommending this route. You are right, we saw many trains. As I type this, one just went by across the road from the campground. Since I'm tired tonight, I doubt I'll hear any during the night!

Just for all those folks back in PA who wanted to come west but were afraid of the gas prices........well, things look pretty good out here. We have averaged between $2.54 & $2.79 for diesel. Gas prices have all been below $2.00 per gallon with the exception of a couple of places. That is much better than last year on our trip out. So if you all change your mind come February.......we will be in AZ soaking up the sun!!! Hint, Hint!

Well, time to "hit the hay" & stay warm for the rest of the night.

Until next time.......................The Traveling Cardinal's

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Westward Travel

I've been trying to update this blog for a couple nights, but my PC doesn't want to behave itself and keep connected! Wonderful air cards! LOL

So to bring you all up-to-date. We didn't leave Gulf Shores, AL until Tues. morning. Since we had a free night of camping, we decided to wait until Tues. to leave.

We stayed on the Mississippi River at River View RV Park in Vidalia, LA, across the river from Natchez, MS.
View of bridge at sunset from park
We spent Wed. touring three annabellum homes in Natchez. Were they ever beautiful. Our only problem was we went to the best one first & the others just didn't hold up. The following are a few pictures of the homes we visited & a little history. Natchez is the oldest continuous settlement on the Mississippi River, settled in 1716 by the French. The city once boasted over 500 millionaires, more than any other city in the US except New York. Fortunes were made in cotton in antebellum days as today in the 19th century, cotton still grows in that rich land. Natchez as a city survived the Civil War with little loss to property. The town was quietly occupied in the summer of 1863.
Stanton Hall, built in the 1850's. Considered by many to be the grandest of the Natchez mansions. It was the most beautiful home we visited. No pictures could be taken inside the home, so the pictures following were taken from post cards that I purchased so I could put them on the computer to include them here. Not real clear, but gives you an idea of the inside.
Lower Hallway - our RV could fit inside this hallway almost twice!!! The size of the doors was just amazing! You looked like a dwarf standing in the doorway. The architecture was fabulous. A lot of the furnishings were made in other countries or states & shipped to the home. The original gas lighting chandeliers (now changed to electric) were beautiful. Very hard to describe. A must see!

Looking at 1/2 of the parlor. Furnishings now have been reupholstered in red and gold. Christmas tree is traditionally placed on the table of the bay window on extreme left of picture. Notice the 2 pointed arch. Matches the arch in the hallway.
Dining room with silver service.
Bedroom on upper floor. All beds were 4 poster with canopy. Chamber pot doubles as a step to reach the high bed. Beds were high in order to receive the breeze from windows. All had mosquito netting as there were no screens used.
Bill standing under one of the many giant oaks still standing from the original plantings.

Rosalie built in 1820s by Peter Little. It was used by federal troops as their headquarters. The furnishings were carefully stored by the occupying troops on the 3rd floor of the home showing the care not to destroy & abuse the property. I was lucky enough to play the grand piano in the parlor during our tour. A very special, neat experience. Luckily a hymn book was there on the piano opened to "What a Friend We Have In Jesus", a hymn I have played many, many times! The other side of the home looks toward the Miss. River & the grounds were beautiful. I didn't take my camera in as I didn't think we could take pictures here either. But the tour guide said, oh yes, you can take pictures all you want! Might know! Food was prepared in the building to the left in picture then taken through a walkway to the lower porch & passed through a window into the dining area. No cooking was done in any of the homes because of the heat and chance of fires.

This is the beautiful entrance to Longwood. Wouldn't you like to drive down this driveway to your home??? I love this picture. So peaceful looking!This is Longwood. It was using environmentally friendly technology long before "going green" was popular. Dr. Haller Rush Nutt used solar panels (strategically placed mirrors) to reflect the sun's rays for the purpose of heating water in the house. This is the largest remaining octagonal house in the US. It was under construction before the Civil War. When the war started, the workmen who were from the north, abandoned saws & hammers & returned home. Dr. Nutt, also a northerner, lost his wealth and plantations across the river in LA & died a broken man. Longwood remains unfinished today. The basement floor was completed for the family to use, but the 5 other floors remain unfinished.

Bill & tour guide talking. This is the first floor of the home which is not completed. The basement would be located under the porch where they are standing.

This is looking upwards from first floor up. Shows upper floors left just as they were.

We left Vidalia, LA this morning to head north to hit Interstate 20 & then across Louisiana. Missed our route, but still made it to where we were going. Road was good & very little traffic. Worst part was it was very, very foggy this morning. We arrived in Terrell, TX (approx. 60 miles east of Dallas) this afternoon around 3:45pm. Got my washing done, our showers taken & supper eaten so Bill could take up the water hose & sewer hose. When we pulled into Blue Bonnet Ridge RV Park, there was a sign up for freeze warning. So don't want to take the chance of frozen hoses! The wind has been blowing very hard since we arrived. We didn't unhook from the truck, but the trailer sways with the wind quite a bit. Almost like being drunk when you walk through the trailer. Will probably rock us to sleep.

Tried to call my sister, Romayne tonight to see how they were fairing in New York State! Erie, PA is calling for 1 - 1-1/2 ft. of snow still. When I checked the weather there yesterday they had severe weather alert until Sat. Temperatures are in the mid 20's. An email from my friend Sarah in N. Warren, says she has a foot of snow on her railing on her deck. She has shoveled twice today & it is still coming down. Oh my...........I don't miss it!!!!! Can't wait to get to Apache Junction!!!! Have been checking temperatures along Interstate 40 so we can be prepared for low temperatures at night. Day time doesn't look too bad & don't see any snow in the forecast. I think we will make it!

Yesterday my daughter let us know that little Nicholas has bronchitis. Gosh, those guys keep fighting those colds. He was feeling better tonight. All weekend he had a fever. Maybe he will be on the mend now & can get back to school next week.

Well, I think that about catches us up. Until next time..........The Traveling Cardinal's