Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Recuperation

Today I'm borrowing my daughter's computer to write a quick note.

This is Renee & Tom's beautiful Christmas Tree. So full & pretty. Too bad they fall so soon. Nick is getting ready to play his game on PS 2.
We had a wonderful Christmas in Maryland. The weather has been cold, snow, rainy & foggy, but today the sun is shining.

Wednesday morning Bill & I went to visit the school where Renee works in the cafeteria & then went to Nick's class room & helped the class make gingerbread houses. (on the left). Noah's class had already done theirs (on the right). We had so much fun with the kids in their rooms. In the afternoon we went with Noah's kindergarten class to a Christmas sing-a-long. The classes are grades K-2 & they did a good job of singing. They even sang Christmas Carols!! What a delight to hear a school can still be allowed to sing them. Renee's school is right next door & it is grades 3-5.
We got Renee & Tom a digital camera for Christmas. My boys are growing up too fast & Grandma doesn't get pictures of them often enough. Maybe this will solve the problem. Now Renee can email me pictures. Here is one of Renee that Nicholas took.
Around 6pm Renee & I went to pick up Hunter at his other Grandparents. He will stay here with them until Tues. night & then come back on Thurs.
Nicholas, Tom, Hunter & Noah (a little fuzzy). Still trying out the new camera.

The boys got squiggly worms & here Noah is putting it down Papa's shirt.
Papa sure can get them to giggle!
All in all we have had a wonderful time. Despite everyone (except me so far) taking turns with the stomach flu bug, we are doing great. It was so much fun to see the excitement of opening presents. What a difference from last year when we were pretty much alone in AZ. Grand kids make the difference.

Tomorrow evening we will be heading back to AZ where, hopefully, it will begin to start getting warmer there too. The nights are cool & the days are cooler than I like, but another week or two & it will be over & we will be warming back up & the rest of the country will still be shoveling. Sorry.

Hoping everyone had a Blessed Christmas & wishing you a Happy, Healthy New Year for 2010.

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

Friday, December 11, 2009

Counter to Change

Wow! I can't believe the counter is ready to roll over to another hundred. I'll never catch up to Snookie, but it's nice to know I have readers. If it's you, let me know. Leave a comment. I only have 2 people who ever leave comments! Thanks LaVon & Snookie!

A beautiful, but cold day today. I saw frost on one car this morning. He must have been parked in a really cold spot. We didn't have any on the truck, but that car was covered. Sounds like back home in PA/NY they got hit bad. Interstate 90 is closed between Erie & Northeast toward Buffalo. The Kenny Rodgers concert is cancelled for tonight & rescheduled for next Monday. They are advising to stay off the roads.

The cold weather does get me in the mood for baking though. Yesterday I got my first batch of Christmas Cookies done. Will do another one or two after lunch. I'll have to store them in the cupboard outside as I don't have room inside the trailer. I packed one box to take to Renee's with us for Christmas yesterday. I hope they don't get smashed in my suitcase.

Well, this is short today. No pictures again. I guess I haven't been doing anything exciting or out of the ordinary. Take care all & hope you have a safe, warm weekend.

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

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Winter in Arizona

Brrr! It's furnace time in the Arizona Paradise Valley! Nights are down in the 40's - that makes me shiver. But I can be thankful to know that it isn't going to last more than a month and the days do warm up pretty good. Northern Arizona really got dumped on Monday night. We got WIND & RAIN. The rain was welcome, but the wind. Wow! I was a little nervous about this "tin can" trailer staying upright! I don't think I went to sleep until after the wind died down around 12:30AM; then I kept wondering what damage we had outside & where things might have blown to & didn't really go to sleep until around 3AM. I had to read to get to sleep. The trailer sure did a lot of shaking. Thankfully we lost 1 foam snowflake off our orange tree, the garbage container blew over but didn't spill, the chair & little tables were on the ground & that was about it. Thankfully that was all. The neighbor lost a window & there were some patios throughout the park with some damage, so we were lucky.

Well, that was Monday. Then Tuesday night we ran out of LP gas in our big tank during the wee hours of the morning. I got up to look at the thermometer & it read 53 deg. inside. That's not my idea of a cozy, warm home. So I turned on the fireplace heater, went back to bed & woke Bill up to tell him we had no heat. He said what do you want me to do, get up & go hook up the other tank. I said no. Under the covers was warm & a couple more hours wouldn't be that bad. The fireplace keeps it pretty warm in here. So when he got up around 5:30 he went out & hooked up our 30 lb. tank.

But then.........he opened the refrigerator & those little "battery" lights inside started blinking again! I turned on the bathroom "battery" lights & yup, sure enough, they were blinking too. I called our friend Jay where we bought the trailer & explained the situation. Sure enough, he said if we checked the converter & it was below 13-14 volts, we needed a new converter. Yup again. So we took a little trip to Camping World. Our friends Roger & Camilla went with us, then we went to Sweet Tomatoes for lunch. When we got back, Roger came & put the new converter in for us. Things are in Tip-Top shape again. Thank you Roger!!!'s just like owning a permanent house on a basement only we are sitting on tires & jacks! Always something. So now that we have bought our own Christmas present, we are all set. Santa does come early in the west, he really doesn't need snow!

Tonight I had to do laundry since I couldn't get it done during the day. Bill & I played pool while the clothes were washing & drying. No, I didn't win. I can't beat him unless he gives me the game by sinking the 8 ball. He wondered why he couldn't play like that when he plays with the guys & I said because they weren't the lousy player that I was! I lost both shuffleboard games today too. I guess it wasn't my day, but I sure had a good time. Some of those guys we play with are such a treat. One guy, Don, is so much fun to play with. He's 89 & we tease each other a lot.

It has been Bill's week to clean the shuffleboard courts & after the Monday night wind/rain storm they had a big mess. He said they had to clean them 3 times. It about did him in as it was cold & taxing on his breathing. I told him to just do what he could do & tell the other guys he couldn't finish. I don't want him getting down from this cold air.

Speaking of being sick, Renee, our daughter went to the doctor yesterday & she was one step away from pneumonia. He said her symptoms were similar to H1N1, so I hope she takes her medication & gets well soon. She could hard talk or breathe last night. I tried to call her a little while ago & got no answer, so I'm hoping she was sleeping. I told the boys they had to be good for Mommy while she was sick so she wouldn't have to go to the hospital. Told Tom he would have to clean good with Lysol before we got there so we wouldn't get it!

Well, I guess since I have no interesting pictures to post, I'll quit the rambling & just tell everyone to have a great couple of days & I'll check back in in a few days.

So, until next time............The Traveling Cardinal's

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Have a Blessed Sunday

I just received this from a dear friend & felt a need to share it.
Clay Balls
A man was exploring caves by the
Seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn't look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could.

He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock . Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!

Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left.

Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!

It's like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn't look like much from the outside.. It isn't always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it.

We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.

There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.

May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them.

I am so blessed by the gems of friendship I have with you. Thank you for looking beyond my clay vessel.


Do not ask GOD to Guide your Footsteps if you are not willing to MOVE your 'Feet'

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ok, So I Need To Blog Something

Seems like forever since I've written on my blog & right you are. It was before Thanksgiving. By now everyone is in the Christmas spirit of either shopping or baking. I wish I could do more baking for my family, but I don't think it would travel too well in my suitcase, so the less I bake, the less I eat. Although one of these days I will have to make a couple batches of fudge or sea foam to give away (I might eat one piece, ya right!).

Last week when I was reading my friend LaVon's blog (Baker's Blessings), I saw this picture & asked if I could borrow it for my blog. I sent it to my nephew who is a welder. I thought it was a neat Christmas tree project for him. It is made from horse shoes. Really neat idea. So David, here you for the family next year!

I've been getting a few more scratch art pictures done since class began last month. Most of them are gifts again. I hurried up & did the surfer to put in my Christmas package to my granddaughter. I couldn't find what I was looking for at the Market Place at 2 parks out here, so I opted to hurry up & do this one. I worked fast, but it went well. Let's just hope she doesn't read my blog before Christmas.
The weather has been quite cool the last few days. I guess you can say winter has arrived in Arizona. But I keep thinking at least our day time highs are warmer than back home. As I look above at my computer it is now 25 deg. in Warren, PA. It is 58 here. We have been down in the 40's at night & the furnace has been running at night. I'm not one of those people who turn their thermostats down at night. I already paid for the LP gas, I'm going to keep warm!

Speaking of keeping warm.....if we hadn't gotten things straightened out today, we might not have been able to run the furnace! We have been having trouble with our 12V lights blinking a lot for quite a while. Lately when the furnace kicks on they draw way down. Well, for those of you who don't have an RV, you probably won't understand about inverters or converters (we don't really understand it all either!). But after 4 gentlemen coming to our rescue today we think we've got it fixed. Roger showed up at our door this morning with his battery tester. He & Bill proceeded to eliminate one thing or another while I kept busy turning on 12v lights & the furnace. He was pretty sure it was the battery since it would draw down so much when the furnace kicked on. We got Gene's battery charger, but then started reading the trailer book & decided we didn't dare put that on without another opinion. So Gene sent us to Jim in the park. Okay, so now we have 4 opinions. Bill was right. That little battery that comes with the RV isn't enough to keep up with our 12v needs even when we are connected to shore power. So thanks to Jim, we now have 2 parallel bigger batteries. Right now we can read without the lights blinking...and the furnace doesn't waver when we turn on a light. All we have to do is keep track of the voltage to make sure it isn't draining the batteries again. If that happens then we have a converter (I think) problem. Always something!

Today I got this cute email. I sent it to some of my readers, but in case you didn't get it I wanted to share it. It sounds so much like "someone you might know"!

RETARDED GRANDPARENTS (This was actually reported by a teacher)

After Christmas, a teacher asked her young pupils how they spent their holiday away from school..

One child wrote the following:

We always used to spend the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa.

They used to live in a big brick house but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Arizona. Now they live in a tin box and have rocks painted green to look like grass.

They ride around on their bicycles and wear name tags because they don't know who they are anymore.

They go to a building called a wreck center, but they must have got it fixed because it is all okay now, they do exercises there, but they don't do them very well.

There is a swimming pool too, but they all jump up and down in it with hats on.

At their gate, there is a doll house with a little old man sitting in it.. He watches all day so nobody can escape.

Sometimes they sneak out, and go cruising in their golf carts.

Nobody there cooks, they just eat out. And, they eat the same thing every night --- early birds.

Some of the people can't get out past the man in the doll house. The ones who do get out, bring food back to the wrecked center for pot luck.

My Grandma says that Grandpa worked all his life to earn his retardment and says I should work hard so I can be retarded someday too..

When I earn my retardment, I want to be the man in the doll house. Then I will let people out, so they can visit their grandchildren.


Tonight we are going to play cards with friends from Georgia (MaryJo & Frank) at their motor home. We've decided to drive the truck since it is too cold (& dark) to ride our bikes, & Bill doesn't like to walk in the cold air. Too hard to breathe.

Tomorrow morning will be church & then in the evening they are starting a Bill Gaither video concert series. One of my favorites, so I'm sure that will be our Sunday evening.

Next week I start helping with a Microsoft Word class for 3 evenings. That will keep me off the streets for 3 nights anyway.

So, until next time.................The Traveling Cardinal's