Thursday, December 30, 2010
We were excited to have bought a park model in our Arizona park. (now at the end of the year we are wondering WHY!), but we do like being close to everything & all our neighbors so far are wonderful.
We are thankful that our daughter & family have moved from Maryland back to our hometown of Warren, PA. It was so nice to be able to spend so much time with them & the kids this summer. We enjoyed having them camp with us.
We made a trip to Michigan again over Labor Day to party with family, visit with relatives & friends & tour around our friend, Shirley's, hometown of Cedar Springs, MI.
While in Michigan, we got a call that Bill's brother was diagnosed with lung & brain cancer. We cut our visit short & came home to see him in the hospital. We visited as often as we could knowing that when we left to come back to Arizona, we wouldn't get to see him & visit again.
We visited our son Mark & family in Virginia Beach for about 10 days & then began our trek across country.
Stopped in Pine Mountain, GA to visit friends MaryJo & Frank, Dianne & Dave. Had a wonderful time for 4 days. Toured & visited lots.
On to Texas & visited with friends Judy & Jerry for 4 days. While there we spent a day in Madisonville, TX at the Texas Mushroom Festival where a former classmate, Father Mike, has his church & chairs the festival. We had a great time.
Finally we arrived in Apache Junction on Oct. 26th. Bill broke 2 ribs the day we got here. We have made many, many repairs to this candominium. From new water pipes to new wood on outside of AZ room, to new decking & carpet. Still more to be done, but we will get there slowly but surely. If we do it all this year, we won't have anything to do next year. LOL If we could only find where the rain comes in the AZ room & the shed!!!!
We flew home Nov. 18th to attend the funeral of Bill's oldest brother, Bobbie. We are so grateful to God that he did not suffer any more than he did. He was in a lot of pain toward the end, but thankfully he went without further hospitalization. He was able to be at home & even went fishing the week prior to his death. Thank you Lord, for his life & all he did for us over the years. He was a beautiful woodworker. Unfortunately, with not having room in our 5th wheel, we didn't get to keep any of the beautiful things he gave us. That is the sad part!
We returned from PA in time for me to begin having laser surgery on my varicose veins. So far everything has gone very well. A long way to go yet. Will start on the right leg in January.
We spent a nice Thanksgiving & Christmas with friends here in the park. Dinner at the club house with friends & the rest of Christmas day with friends.
This was our year in a nut shell. Nothing very exciting, but at our age, we like it that way!
Today at my stained glass class the girls said "oh look, it's snowing!" Sure enough. For about 2 minutes, Apache Junction had snow!
Looking forward to a fun & busy, and healthy 2011. Happy New Year to you all!
Until next time..............The Traveling Cardinal's
Sunday, December 26, 2010
We shared fellowship & dinner with 22 friends at our table at the Club House. Thanks to Norma & Ralph for inviting to share with them. In the afternoon we came back to the trailer & got ready to have good friends, Camilla & Roger, over for the afternoon. We decided the four of us would go down & play some pool, then come back for goodies.
After talking with my daughter, Renee, again, I hit the bed. I was exhausted. I couldn't believe how tired I was & I didn't even have any grand kids around!! I slept from around 8:45pm until 6:30am this morning! That isn't like me at all!
This morning after church we finally reached our son, Mark & his family. They had spent Christmas week in the Bahamas. They returned to snow in Virginia last night. He said they had about 6" & were expecting another 6" before night fall. I hope those crazy drivers there are careful. They aren't used to driving in that stuff. They had a good time on their trip, but the weather was rainy off & on & cool according to grandson, Samuel.
Renee will be jealous to learn that they got to swim with dolphins. I think that is something on her bucket list. Both Samantha & Samuel said it was fun & neat.
Again, no pictures. I didn't take my camera to the Christmas Dinner yesterday & there isn't much to take when it's just two old people opening simple Christmas gifts! Why does it feel so awkward when there is only two of you? Maybe that's a sign to not do it any more. Better to give to those in need instead.
One of the best gifts I received, was that my brother is coming to visit us for a couple weeks the middle of Jan. I can't wait! I don't think we'll fight like we did when we were kids. LOL We hope to show him a little of our area & pray for nice weather while he is here. I certainly will take pictures then!
Our Warren, PA friends, Chuck & Denice will be heading here to their new park model on Thursday. Should arrive on Sunday! We are getting excited to see them & share some quality time with them too!
We wish everyone a blessed & healthy New Year.
Until next time..............The Traveling Cardinal's
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
We've been having Internet problems so today we may have got that straightened out. Hopefully anyway.
Last night our friend passed away around 9:40pm. I was there at a little before 7 to visit & I knew it wasn't good. Thankfully he is in a better place & pain free. Our thoughts & prayers go out to Clem's family as they travel back to Nebraska.
Tonight after my walk with the girls I made a batch of cookies, seafoam candy & peanut butter fudge. Bill played cards, but I left some of the dishes for him to wipe when he came home. I'm beat. It's early, but I'm ready to hit the bed.
Tomorrow I have my leg done & won't be able to do anything for a couple of days, so I guess I'll start with resting tonight. Will post sometime this weekend to let you know how things went.
Until next time...............The Traveling Cardinal's
Monday, December 13, 2010
Shortly after our arrival on Oct. 24th, we had both the 5th wheel & the park model pressure washed. The 5th wheel had tons of bugs & the park model had tons of dirt & dust. Just one of those jobs it takes too long for us to do anymore, so we hire it done. Of course, the first day we arrived, Bill slipped off the running board of the truck & broke 2 ribs. Needless to say, he was out of commission for lifting for the next several weeks. Consequently I did all the moving from the 5th wheel to the park model.
Here you can see Willy cleaning the park model.
Willy's helper cleaning the windows. Hope he remembers there is a prickly cactus behind him!
Now the fun begins. A friend who is a contractor in the park paid us a visit one day & said we'd better get some paint on the AZ room. I said we were told it never had to be painted. He said, oh no, that's just primer & all that trim on the outside is INTERIOR Trim! Oh thanks! Pressed paper! Thankfully we have a very dear friend (or several for that matter) who came to our rescue. Gene is the master mind that helped us get a lot of work done all for a few meals, some cookies & lots of hugs. God bless him!
These are the some of the trim boards I primed & then painted.
Another dear friend, Mark D., painted the outside of the AZ room & then helped Gene with several projects. Here Bill is watching as Gene installs trim around the French doors.
While the guys are working outside, I painted & decorated my kitchen. As you can tell, grapes are my theme. Thanks to my niece Deb from Michigan, I was able to stamp cloth napkins for my curtains & then stamp my walls. Those scrapbook stamps work wonders everywhere!
Since I now have a bigger place than my 5th wheel, I was able to buy back my punch bowl that was my moms. A girl I worked with had bought it & she said I could buy it back, she was just holding on to it for me anyway. That was one of the pieces I didn't want to part with when I sold our home. Now I have it again to enjoy!
The early part of November brought us visitors from home. Rayetta & Fred came to Chandler, AZ to visit their daughter, hubby & twin granddaughters. So they were able to come & spend a couple hours with us & have lunch. The twins are just adorable!!!
On to the next projects. Since we have a dually truck, it wouldn't fit on our patio until we could put extender posts out. These have to be ordered. Here Gene, Mark & Fred are getting them set in cement.
Gene & Mark getting ready to put the top framing on. The roof pieces will come next year. Our expenses are ahead of our income! :)
Oh the projects just keep going!!! We thought when Mtce. put dirt behind the trailer they were doing us a favor. NOT. It was about 4" too high & therefore the rain water would run right into the back of the AZ room. So here I am digging down all that extra dirt. Fortunately we got Mtce. to come & haul it away for us.
Next Gene & Mark put in a French drain for us so the water would have some place to go.
It connects into another drain on the other side of the shed.Now this project we left to the Mtce. guys. We didn't want to be responsible for breaking a water line. We had this big, ugly ornamental orange tree in front. In case you are wondering, you always are cleaning up leaves from an orange tree. Lots of work & no oranges to eat??? I don't think so. We got permission to replace it with an edible orange.
So out came the old tree. Look at the size of those roots!!!
This is the new one. They had to wait until the next day to plant it because.....yup, they broke the irrigation line.
Well, since there are projects going on outside, I have to do inside too. So I ended up painting the bathroom & putting up a border. That's because I moved the toilet paper roll to the inside of the cabinet & then had to repair the wall. Good excuse....we got rid of the pink bathroom! It's now green like the kitchen, but different trim. Notice there is no spigot either!!! That was another projects! Went to replace the spigot in the bathroom & kitchen & the water lines were bad. Kept springing leaks, so on Nov. 20th we had the whole system replaced along with a new hot water tank. Did I say we were running out of $$$$. I'm glad this little home didn't take anymore feet of plumbing!!!!
On Nov. 17th early in the morning, we got the call that we had been dreading since we returned to Arizona. We knew when we left to return to Arizona it was a hard & tearful goodbye to Bill's oldest brother at the health care center where he was. He was diagnosed with cancer of the lung & brain while we were in Michigan over Labor Day week. He will always be missed & loved by his family & friends. He was a wonderful husband, dad, grandpa, brother, brother-in-law & uncle & a friend to many. We just thank God that he did not have to linger & suffer as so many of our friends have done with this nasty disease. May he rest in peace & be pain free for eternity.
While we were home for the funeral, Mark came home too & we got to have part of our family together again. Here we gathered at Renee & Tom's for Mark to cook us a meal. He & Renee did a super job! Nick & Noah love their Uncle Markie.
Our family, plus Noah.
We returned on Sunday, the 21st as I was scheduled for laser surgery on my varicose veins on Monday morning. Everything has gone well so far. I've had 2 treatments & am scheduled for a microphlebectomy on Dec. 16th. Praying for good results with this also.
On to one of the last & final projects for the year. We need a break! Here friend Mike is helping Gene glue down the new carpet for our deck.
The end result is beautiful! We will wait until after the first of the year to put up a railing.
The pattern is called Stone Garden & if you click on the picture you can see it has green in it. Since everything out here seems to be sandy, dusty brown, I wanted some color!
We did do one more project - & that was to replace the trim boards around 2 of our windows. Again, Thank You Gene!
We got a call from some people in the park that wanted to get rid of their sofa/hide-a-bed & we went to look at it. It was so much nicer than the one that was left here. If you look to the left of the picture, you can see that ugly reddish/orange flowered sofa. Yuck! It didn't even sell at the patio sale, so we had to load it up & take it to a 2nd hand store.
The ladies Bible study group sponsor a Ladies Christmas Gathering each year. This year we overflowed the room. Next year it will have to be moved to the ballroom. What a fun time we had.
I bought this Merry Christmas from our group that was selling things at Monday Market to support Sunshine Acres, a childrens home in the area that our chapel supports. I wanted my sister, Romayne, to see it. It is reversible & says Happy New Year on the other side with a poinsettia between each word. I love it.
I finally got some Christmas lights up outside. You can't see the ones on the handrail by the steps as the table is in the way. Look at the size of the poinsettia! It's as tall as the table. We got that from friends, Jim & Ruby. It was setting on our deck when we got back from PA.
Our new Christmas tree.
We bought this rocker/recliner from the lady down the street on patio sale day last Saturday. Matches the rest of the furniture. You can also see our new area rug we bought at the same time we bought the outdoor carpet for the deck. Eventually I'll get the floor painted dark green. I have the paint, just not ready to do the floor yet. Other things have to be corrected before that gets done.
Just had to take a picture of my Christmas cactus! It is loaded with buds! I'm hoping they will start to open by Christmas. This is the first year for this many flowers. I think it's had 3 or 4 before but that is all. It has traveled back & forth across the country with us for 4 yrs. Not sure what I'm going to do this time. It's getting pretty big. I may leave it with the lovely lady down the street who said she would babysit it for me. She is just like having another mom. She is a dear.
Both sides are loaded, some even have double on each leaf.
This is a site that will always mean Arizona Home to us. The Superstition Mountains. No matter where we travel in the area, you know if you are headed toward this you are going toward home. Such pretty colors in it. At night when the sun sets, it has the most beautiful colors of red reflected on it. This was taken from the art studio of the people who come to the park & teach the Bob Ross style of painting. I took their class a couple years ago & I think I might paint a couple this year. Time will tell.
I know I have missed a lot of news, but my brain gets dead after awhile. It's all there, I just can't retrieve it. We have been praying for my niece's husband, Larry, with his Leukemia; Bill's brother-in-law, Neil, who had a stroke & then a stint put in & is doing better; a dear friend, Clem, who is in his final days with cancer; our friend Sandy who is still fighting her pancreatic problems. So many heart wrenching prayers.
But among the bad is always the good. My brother Ray, turned 80 last Monday & we celebrate with him as he enters another decade. Today, my sister, Romayne, celebrated her 79th. I talked with her this morning & she was doing well........sitting by the fire, keeping warm in 16 deg. weather!!! I just fear for all my relatives who have to walk & drive in that nasty snow & ice.
Last week our son-in-law, Tom, was hit by a pickup with a snow plow on it. The lady was going too fast to stop at the red light & slid through. Fortunately Tom was alert & saw her. He gunned it & she hit the back end of his car instead of T-boning him. So thankful that he was not hurt & the kids weren't with him!
This should catch everyone up for the time being. Hopefully I will get back to my blog more often. I seem to update Facebook more frequently with posts & pictures. Here I seem to write too much. Just call me Gabby!
Until next time...................The Traveling Cardinal's
Friday, October 22, 2010
Day 2: Something you love about yourself - I love to have fun. I don't even care if I make a fool of myself. If it makes me laugh, it's worth doing as long as I don't hurt anyone else. I love that I can make friends easily. I love to "talk" to people & share experiences of travel, kids, grandkids, whatever.
I love to bake (but..........I hate to cook!)
Day 3: Something you have to forgive yourself for - Something I said or did about 3-1/2 years ago where I hurt someone. I have asked for forgiveness from that person & have not received it. I have asked for forgiveness from my Lord & I have the faith that he has forgiven me.
Day 4: Something you have to forgive someone else for - The same as above. The other person.
(I think I'm a day ahead as I'll be busy at the Mushroom Festival in Madisonville, TX all day tomorrow.)
I'm using a friends laptop, so now I need to quit.
Until next time..............The Traveling Cardinal's
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
But here is what we'll be doing for the next 30 days starting today.....
30 Days of Truth:
Day 1: Something you hate about yourself
Day 2: Something you love about yourself
Day 3:Something you have to forgive yourself for
Day 4: Something you have to forgive someone else for
Day 5: Something you hope to do in your life
Day 6: Something you hope you never have to do
Day 7: Someone who has made your life worth living
Day 8: Someone who has made your life hell or treated you badly
Day 9: Someone you didn't want to let go, but who drifted
Day 10: Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn't know
Day 11: Something people seem to compliment you the most on
Day 12: Something you never get compliments on
Day 13: A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough times
Day 14: A hero that has let you down
Day 15: Something or someone you couldn't live without
Day 16: Something or someone you could definitely live without
Day 17: A book you've read that changed your view on something
Day 18: Your views on gay marriage
Day 19: What is your opinion of religion?
Day 20: Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21: (Scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you got into a fight a couple of hours before. What do you do?
Day 22: Something you wish you hadn't done in your life
Day 23: Something you wish you had done in your life
Day 24: Make a playlist to someone and explain why you chose those songs
Day 25: The reason you believe you're still alive today
Day 26: Have you ever thought about giving up on life?
Day 27: What's the best thing you've got going for you right now?
Day 28: What would you do if you got pregnant (or got someone pregnant) right now?
Day 29: Something you hope to change about yourself
Day 30: A letter to yourself
You can leave an anonymous comment to answer the question each day.
What do I hate about myself? Hmmmmmm, I don't know where to start! I'm sitting here thinking & I really don't know what to say. I guess I hate that I always try to be a perfectionist & that is not humanly possible. When I do something, I want to do it right the first time. We all know because we are human, no matter how many times we do things, we don't always get it right. I know that is one of the reasons I feel so strongly about my faith. I know if I don't get it right, God will forgive me & let me try again.
That was tough. I'd better start thinking about tomorrow's question! LOL
We are west of Shreveport, Louisiana tonight.
Until next time.........The Traveling Cardinal's
Monday, October 18, 2010
Friday David & Dianne took the day off and took us on a tour of Callaway Gardens. We certainly didn't cover it all, as it has over 13,000 acres of lush landscaping.
Our first stop was the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center.
David, Dianne, Peg & Bill. Little cooler today; needed our jackets.
This signs said the week's count was 855 butterflies. Well, we certainly didn't see that many. And, have you ever tried to take pictures of butterflies. I'm a little slow, along with the shutter speed!
Just inside the door you can see butterflies emerging from their cocoons.
They hang & stay in this environment until their wings dry.
I got lucky a few times, but it's hard to get them when their wings are open.
Butterfly attracting flowers.
Now these two had their wings open
This is the one I chased behind the pole on the right & never could get a good shot of it. Had the most beautiful blue color. He looked like he was striving to get out that window. David was a little more patient than I & he got a good picture.
Another lucky shot.
This is another of the blue ones. You can see the color inside but he wouldn't open up. He was right on the step & we were all walking by & waiting to take that picture.
After being disappointed with the number of butterflies we saw, we hopped in David's truck & headed to the chapel. Isn't these the most beautiful pictures?
"Goin' To The Chapel & We're Goin' a Get Married"..... Bill & Peg
Dianne & David.....David's smiling, he must be more excited about it than Bill!
Beautiful little chapel. Even has a stone for altar like our little Interfaith Chapel at Warren State Hospital.
Looking from Chapel toward Lake.
David & Peg. The blackmail picture!
The beauty posing! Ya Right!
After the chapel stop, we went to the John A. Sibley Horticultural Center. This being the fall of the year, beautiful mums were every where.
Don't know the names of all these, just liked the flowers.
Fountain with hanging baskets & mums
I believe this was called Blue Ginger.
I love blue & lavender flowers.
I wonder how they put all those mums in a tree-like form?
Mum like trees
I thought this was interesting.
Dianne, Bill & David looking down from the 22' waterfall.
It was a pretty sight from up above.
Banana plant tree. The flower was very unique.
BIG fish in the pond
Mums up close
One worm (David) & one caterpillar. Just kidding David!
Magnolia trees have a pod from where the flower was? Didn't know that.
By now everyone's stomach was starting to growl. We took time to run into town & meet MaryJo & Frank at the Whistling Pig. Oops, didn't take a picture! It is only open for breakfast & lunch & the lunch crowd was starting or had let up by the time we got there. We didn't have a long wait. Just a family run business with all kinds of BBQ items on the menu. Delicious apple cake too! So we got to rest our weary bones & visit then we were off again.
Remember I said there was 13,000 acres. We had only made a dent in the morning. So back to the beautiful wooded roads through Callaway Gardens.
Looking across Robin Lake. The building (floating) that you see across the lake is where Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament (the world's greatest water skiers & wakeboarders converge to compete in a highly prestigious tournament on Memorial Day weekend) is held.
Next we visited Mr. Cason's Vegetable Garden
The Victory Garden background porch
Another view of the lake
A beautiful golf course. Hey, Randy, take out a loan & come to Pine Mountain, Georgia to play golf! Rumor has it, it's $95 a round.
Callaway Gardens also has planned communities. Beautiful roadways into the communities.
One of the homes that they are getting spruced up for the Christmas Open House.
There are several homes unoccupied (economy I'm sure), yet others are being built. But then the lot itself is $110,000. Now I think you know why some are For Sale. In one of the planned communities, the houses are quite close together. Beautiful forest setting, but too close together.
Our tour guides returned us to our trailer so we could put our feet up & take a rest. The four GA friends had a night planned to go to Columbus for a play & Bill & I opted to stay at the trailer. Laundry was calling.
Saturday I didn't take ANY pictures. I even left my camera at the trailer.
We all met for breakfast at the local Chipley Restaurant. Bill, Dianne, David & I had the buffet. Very good. Now if you eat like that for breakfast, you don't have to eat until supper. I did hear that Dianne had a snack before her nap though!
David had been away from the work on his house too long so he needed to get some things done. He went home to work, we then went with MaryJo & Frank to change from the car to the truck & then picked up Dianne & we headed out to Whitesville, GA where Frank grew up.
We toured the little Methodist church that Frank attended as a boy & he told us his Daddy did a lot of the work to put a basement under the church. We toured around the cemetery both by the church & across the road to see where his ancestors were buried. A lot of very, very old grave sites. Back in the woods, in unmarked graves, is where slaves were buried.
Some interesting facts about Frank's Daddy:
J.T. moved to Whitesville area in the 1920's after graduating from the University of Ga. He worked as a Extension Agent for Harris County; married a local girl ( Miss Mary Hopkins a school teacher at Sunny Side School) in June of 1925 and raised 6 children. In 1932 he bought the Daniel's place in down town Whitesville. It included a country store, the old griss mill (originally located on mountain creek and moved) and a home.
J. T. built a canning plant and portable hammer mill; to make feed on site at local farms, from grains raised there; later on. The home also came with a DELCO power plant that produced 32 Volt power for lights and appliances. It ran on Gasoline and so did the large ( hit and miss) motor that ran the griss mill. They ran on this electricity till REA came into being.
He passed down his Bee's and skills, to his Daughter Betty Beagle (Frank's sister). She now has many more hives than Mr. Cox had in his time but she still provides the loving care he did before he passed away. In the back room of the mill there is a work area containing all the tools needed to get honey from the hive to the jar.
Mama B (Betty), as the locals call her, and son Fred do all the hives then take them to the mill to uncap the wax covered cones, put them in the centrifuge to sling the honey out of the frames, then they clean and put the supers back where they came from on the hives.
The honey is then packaged in jars of different sizes to be sold to waiting customers from all over.
Fred keeps another of his Grandfather's honey sales practices in place, On the front porch, by the door of the house, there is a table covered with different size jars of If and When Honey ready for you. The price is on the Jar and a Mason jar with some change is there. Pick your jar, put the money in the Mason jar and get your change. THE HONOR SYSTEM IS STILL HERE! Most of the people buy from the porch and have been stopping by for years.
Our next stop was indeed to the front porch to purchase some of the Cox family honey.
We got back to town, took Bill home so he could read the paper & take a little snooze. MaryJo, Dianne & I took in all the little tourist shops in town. None of us bought a thing! Didn't even see anything to catch my eye. Guess I wasn't in a shopping mood or at least a buying mood!
MaryJo took me back to the trailer & then we met them all again for one final night out for supper. Had a good steak supper at the Aspen Grill. We then went back to Frank & MaryJo's to play Tonk & later had Apple Cobbler. I used my first quart of Apple Pie In A Jar. Should have taken time to make a real apple pie, but I opted for the easy way out!
After a fun night, we all had to say our final goodbyes. We had such a wonderful 3 days with great friends. We certainly are going to miss having them in Arizona with us this year. Good Lord willing, they will be back next year & we will hopefully see them in the spring on our way back East.
This catches us up to our travel across the southern states. We spent last night in Vicksburg, MS & are here again tonight. We went to leave this morning & the front jack on the drivers side has stripped the gears. We put new on in Oklahoma City in the spring on the passenger side, now it's time to replace this one. The RV repair service came out late this afternoon, but was too late to take it to the shop & since we were comfortable here, we stayed another night. They will be here at 8am to jack it up & get it hitched to the truck. We'll then follow them to the service center for them to work on it.
Since were were stuck here, we toured the Coca Cola Museum & downtown Vicksburg. Picture will follow in the next post.
Until next time............The Traveling Cardinal's