Thursday, April 24, 2008

Working In The House

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 58 degrees, high 80 degrees, light breezes, partly cloudy

While working at Terri's house today, a car drove up with two couples in it. One of the couples was neighbors, while the other couple was friends who had heard that Terri's house was going to be placed on the market and wanted to see the house. Unfortunately, the house is not ready to show. We estimate it will take another 5-7 days before we will be comfortable letting prospective buyers see it. The couple that is interested asked us to let them know when they could look at the house, and are interested in seeing it before we have any Realtors out. So, there is some interest out there. We will see if that interest holds up when the time comes for tours and negotiations. In the meantime, it is encouraging to have some interest out there.

We started inside the house today. The third bedroom, bathroom, and closet were gone through with a fine tooth comb. We touched up the paint, cleaned and dusted where needed, and shampooed the carpet. It really looks good in those areas. Tomorrow, we will do another bathroom, closet, linen closet, bedroom, and hall. That will complete about one-third of the house.

Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

When I got tired of working inside the house, I repaired some vinyl trim around the garage door opening. After that, I mowed most of the yard. I'll finish the yard tomorrow.

It never ends.

Just think, if we were not helping Terri, we would be in Montana by now, and getting ready to go into Canada. Oh, well, next year.

This is not a complaint about helping Terri. We do not regret what we are doing. She needs our assistance at this time, and we will do whatever we have to do to help her.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Rogersville, Alabama: For The Fun Of It

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Jalapeno's Restaurant

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 56 degrees, high 85 degrees, clear skies, light breezes

We were startled when we got to Terri's this morning to discover that she was at home. She is suffering from recurring back pain that puts her in the bed for a day, and then she is able to function again. Since we didn't want to disturb her as she tried to get going, we went to the back of the house after checking to see if there was anything we could do for her. We started packing everything not actually needed to run the house in preparation for the repairs and clean up. I must have made 50 trips up and down the stairs to the basement (okay, slight exaggeration, but not much of one). The basement is where we are putting everything that is packed.

By the end of the day, we had packed and moved everything not needed in two bedrooms and three closets, a bathroom, the dining room, and most of the stuff in the kitchen. In addition, I installed a cabinet door that I had repaired yesterday. Tomorrow, we will start repairs and cleanup in the areas we cleared out today. My hope is that the repairs will be fairly easy. I'm about to get over this work.

As a reward for all the hard work, we went to a Mexican restaurant named Jalapeno's for supper. It was very busy, so I had hopes that it would be halfway good. That's about how good it was, in my opinion. Carolyn thought it was good, as did Terri and Thomas. It was passable, but I like the Texas style of Mexican food better. The Texas style is spicier and the portions are larger. Not that large portions make it good, but it seemed that portion control was in full force. We will probably go back, but it won't be my favorite. I would rather have Carolyn's cooking. Where's an El Chico when you need one? Even that is not my favorite, but it is better than Jalapeno's.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Pigeon Forge, Tennessee: Years Of Forging Progress

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Black Water

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 49 degrees, high 85 degrees, clear skies, light breezes

We had a few things to do around the RV this morning before we went to Terri's house. The most pressing chore was to dump our holding tanks. They were chock full, and I didn't want to wait another day and have an accident happen. For those of you who have never lived in an RV, tank dumping is somewhat of an art form that has to be done in a certain way to keep the dreaded pyramid of crud from building up.

RVs are built to be able to be off the grid for a number of days. That means they have up to four holding tanks for the waste water, plus another tank for fresh water. We are not using the fresh water tank at this time since we are sitting in a park. Instead, we are hooked up to the park's water supply. While sitting in a park, we open our shower and kitchen holding tanks most of the time. However, there comes a time when the dreaded black water tank (think about what black water is) has to be emptied or dumped. When we know we are going to dump the black water, about two days ahead of that we close the shower and kitchen tank valves so we will have relatively clean water to flush the sewer line after dumping the black water tank. Whenever I am dumping the black water tank, I always wear surgical gloves because there is the chance that the hose will leak or fall off the outlet pipe. That means you have to grab the hose and try to put it back on, and it would not be nice to have black water (have you figured out what black water is yet?) running all over your hands. And it has happened. Yuck!!!!

Once the black water stops running out, I hook up a water hose to a connector under the RV and turn the water on to flush the black water tank clean. Then, the kitchen and shower tank valves are both opened to flush the sewer line clean. The whole evolution takes about 10 minutes, and we do this about every 10-14 days, all dependent on our use of the bathroom.

That's probably more than anyone wants to know about one of my tasks (yes, it is my job, although Carolyn can do if she needs to). Once you get used to it, the job is not that bad, unless a sewer hose comes off or a hose leaks.

Moving on to the rest of the day: We delivered a truckload of stuff to the Salvation Army as a donation. Then we had a couple other little chores to do in town before we could go out to Terri's house and get started on our work for the day. My big job for the day was to pressure wash the eaves and soffits on as much of the house as possible. I was unable to get to a small portion of the house because it was so high in the air, even with a tall ladder. In addition, I was unable to do the back side of the house because a bird is nesting back there. Since we are nature lovers, we will wait until she hatches her eggs and raises her young. Carolyn continued in the kitchen with the job she started yesterday. Progress is being made, but it seems slow.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town -Hot Springs Village, Arkansas: The Right Choice

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, April 21, 2008

John Eaton

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 47 degrees, high 83 degrees, clear skies, light breezes

When we moved to our present RV park, one of the first people to invite us to the park was our neighbor across the street, John Eaton. John had lived in the park for several years, moving here from Mississippi when his wife passed away. His two sons are doctors in the area, and wanted John to be closer to them. John still owned a farm in Mississippi, plus he had a basement bedroom at each of his sons' houses. He maintained a mobile home here at the park that he called his office, but it was more a place to call his own than anything else. This morning, we received word that John was killed in a car wreck caused by a drunk driver that hit him broadside. John was on his way to pay his respects to the family of an old friend that had recently passed away. John was one of the most helpful people we have ever known. He was a true southern gentleman who always had time to stop and ask how everyone was doing, and always asked if there was anything we needed help with. We didn't know John very long, but we know that our lives have been enriched from meeting him and knowing him the short time that we did. Our sympathies and condolences go out to his family and friends. He will be missed.

We got a late start on our chores at Terri's house because we had to pick up a few groceries and go to the post office. Once we got to the house, I started on the shop again, determined to do everything I could to finish that job today. I am proud to say that the shop is cleaned up, and I should not have to do that again. Whew! That was a job.

While I was working on the shop, Carolyn was packing dishes, pots, and pans that are not being used, and cleaning out the cabinets as she went. She finished most of the kitchen, and should finish that up tomorrow. I will start with the pressure washing of the eaves and soffits.

Once the pressure washing is completed, which shouldn't take more than a day, I will start the repairs inside the house. I'm not sure how long that will take, but I'm shooting for a week. In the meantime, I loaded up the truck with charity stuff that will be dropped off tomorrow before going to the house.

One day at a time.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Nashville, Tennessee: Music City

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

We Have Pictures

Northport, Alabama

Weather: low 49 degrees, high 84 degrees, clear skies, light breezes

We slept late for a change (at least I did). Carolyn still got up about 0400 hours, but was able to catnap until about 0600 hours. I, on the other hand, didn't get up until about 0730 hours. Guess what? The sky didn't fall in, and the world kept turning. I'm thinking I need to do this again, and it would be nice if it could become a habit.

As I mentioned yesterday, we were going to take the day off. It was nice to just laze around for a change. I'm sure taking a rest will rejuvenate us so we can get a lot done on Terri's house next week.

I went for a walk on the Levee Trail in Northport this morning, and remembered to take the camera. Below this paragraph is a view of the downtown and one of the nice old houses that has been turned into an antiques shop.

More pictures of Northport.

Does anyone remember the 5 & 10 cents stores where everything was much less than a dollar?

The picture on the right is of a house that was built in 1838. Looks good for it's age, doesn't it? It was given to the town of Northport in 1999 by a descendent of the original owner.

The next picture is here because I messed up and uploaded it by mistake, and now I can't figure out how to delete it. Anyway, it is a six lane bridge connecting Tuscaloosa and Northport across the Black Warrior River. It is a very busy bridge, especially in the morning on the side going into Tuscaloosa.

The next picture deserves a place in the center of the page because it has a barber shop in the building. What's so distinctive about a barber shop? I received the absolute worse haircut that has ever been given anybody in that barber shop. It was so bad I went home and had Carolyn give me a trim. Since that time, Carolyn has been giving me my haircuts. I figured she could do better than most of the barbers, and she has.

I have more pictures I will post on another day.
More later, be safe.
Today's Town - Hardin, Texas: A Great Place To Live
Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Truck Loads of Junk

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 46 degrees, high 77 degrees, mostly clear with small white clouds, gusty breezes

We wanted to take it a little easier today, but circumstances came together to allow us to get rid of two utility trailers and three pickup truck loads of stuff and junk. Getting rid of this stuff will make it easier to do the repairs in the house, and less stuff to move when the house is sold. That meant we had to be at Terri's by 0830 hours, and we worked steadily until about 1200 hours. At that time, we stopped and had lunch.

After lunch, I went back to the shop to continue working on that cleanup project. One more day in there should complete the job. This is the type of job that takes a lot of effort and time, but I shouldn't have to do it again. Yeaaa!

We are not going to do anything tomorrow. Double yeaaa! We need to take a day of rest, and Carolyn needs to take it easy because she is having some indications that the vertigo is trying to come back. We don't want that to happen.

It rained until after midnight last night, but the weather did not get rough. I don't know how much rain fell, but all the potholes were full. The next few days should be nice. If we feel like it tomorrow, we will take a ride in the country. Hopefully, pictures will be posted soon.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Atlanta, Georgia: City Lights, Southern Nights

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 45 degrees, high 75 degrees, winds 20-30 mph, rain started about 1830 hours, bad weather not expected

We started early this morning, arriving at Terri's house before 0900 hours. We had a lot planned to do, and wanted as much opportunity as possible to get most, if not all, of it done. I picked up some weed killer to spray between the patio paving blocks so the weeds could be killed. Spraying the weeds was the first thing I did after arriving. Now it looks like we will need a new sprayer because the old one is leaking and not maintaining pressure.

The next task was to spread two bags of fertilizer that I found in the basement. Rain was in the forecast, and this seemed like a good time to put the fertilizer out. After the fertilizer was spread, I pulled briars out of the shrubs in the flower beds. Then it was on to the shop to clean that out.

My original plan showed us being able to clean up the shop in about a day. Hah! I worked in it most of the day, and still have another couple days work. It looks like it has never been cleaned up before. It amazes me that they could run a cabinet business and build cabinets in an environment as dirty as this shop is. On the plus side, I am finding tools, such as two routers and a biscuit joiner that it was thought had been lost. I'll continue on the shop tomorrow, and finish up what's left after that on Monday.

As I write this post, it is raining fairly hard, with some lightning and thunder. At least there is not any severe weather forecasted. If we happen to have severe weather, it is usually announced with sirens, because the local area has experienced several bad tornadoes in the past. The closest shelter for us is about half a mile down the road in the old volunteer fire department building, half of which is under ground. If we are at Terri's house, she has a tornado shelter built into the basement of the house. The walls and roof of the shelter are 6" reinforced concrete, which should stand up to just about any tornado that might come through. It's nice to know we have a safe place to go if bad weather hits.

I apologize for not having any travel stories, but we feel that it is important to help Terri during her time of need.

More later, be safe.

Today's town - Winslow, Arizona: Moving Forward, Cherishing The Past

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

River Levee Trail

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 40 degrees, high 78 degrees, clear skies. moderate breezes

My walk this morning was on the Northport River Levee Trail, a walking trail that follows the river levee. The walking path was completed about four years ago, and follows the top of the levee built by the Army Corp of Engineers to protect Northport from floods. The levee was built many years ago, and is 30-40 feet above the surrounding countryside. It winds along the river, with mostly commercial and industrial businesses on one side and, of course, the river on the other. What was surprising to me was that businesses are being built on the river side. I guess the floods are done.

The route goes under the main bridge across the river from Northport to Tusacloosa, and also goes under the trestle bridge I wrote about a couple of days ago. It looks as though the area is getting ready for a lot of building to take advantage of the locations and views. Naturally, I forgot the camera again, so no pictures. I promise, pictures will be taken.

After the walk, it was back out to Terri's house to continue working. I finished cleaning out the attic (what a job), trimmed some trees and shrubs, dug up some dead plants that died during the winter, gathered some stuff to donate to charity, and other little jobs. Tomorrow, I plan to clean up the cabinet shop. Since it is fully equipped for building cabinets, it should be a big asset when the house is placed on the market.

I think I will make this a short post tonight. I'm wore out.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Williams, Arizona: Historic Route 66 City

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 34 degrees, high 68 degrees, mostly clear skies, light breezes

I didn't take a walk today because Terri asked me to go with her to take care of some business. While we were gone, Carolyn met our next door neighbor, who is in in her eighties, but very much in control of her life. Carolyn says she is a nice lady and will be a good neighbor. After finishing Terri's business, we came back to the RV and took Carolyn to lunch. Then it was out to Terri's house to do some more work. We are going to try to have some Realtors come out in a couple of weeks to give us an idea of what the house may be worth and the chances of it selling in a reasonable time in this real estate market. Surprisingly, we have been told that the market in this area is fairly strong, and has not been affected as much as might be expected with the downturn in the economy.

Most of our work today was in the attic, which was fairly warm, even though the weather was not hot. I would not want to have to do much up there when the weather gets hot.

After our work was done, I played basketball with Thomas. That was the first time to play basketball for me in about 40 years. Considering the difference in years between Thomas and myself, I have to say I acquitted myself well. We were playing Horse, and I won the first game. I had Thomas down in the second game, only to choke big time and drop the game. Thomas took the third game, and thus the match. Still, it was fun, and I didn't play as poorly as might be expected. Who knows, maybe I will get my shots polished and actually win a match before we are done. Oh, I forgot to mention, those goofy dogs were trying to play basketball, also. Can you imagine three German Shepherds trying to take the ball away from you while trying to dribble?

That's about all the news from here.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Williams, Arizona: Gateway To The Grand Canyon

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Chief Tuscaloosa

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 34 degrees, high 62 degrees, clear
Today was a beautiful day that started out cold but warmed up as the day went on. For my morning walk, I went into Tuscaloosa and walked on the Tuscaloosa Warrior Trail for the first time. The Trail is a very nice walking path that goes along the Black Warrior River. The river was named after Chief Tuscaloosa of the Choctaw Indian tribe. In the Choctaw language, Tuscaloosa means Black Warrior. There is a lot of history in the area, and much of it is remembered on plaques along the walk. Near one end of the Trail is Capitol Park, where the remains of the first capitol building in Alabama are located. Thus, Tuscaloosa was the first capitol in Alabama before it was moved to Montgomery. Unfortunately, I forgot to take the camera, so I didn't get any pictures. Next time, I'll get the pictures.
After returning from my walk, we went over to Terri's and did more work. It was so nice in the afternoon that I cleaned the gutters out. That is a job that I always wish I could pass on to someone else.

In Texas, the bluebonnets are beautiful in the spring and cover the roadsides and fields, especially in the hill country. Alabama has a lot of red clover that reminds us of the bluebonnets, not so much for the color, which is nice, but for the way they grow along the roads and in the fields. Below are a couple of pictures of red clover.

On Sunday, we went for a short drive in the country and took these pictures of the azaleas we saw at one house.

The reason I was able to upload the pictures was because I went to the Tuscaloosa Library, which allows people to use their own computers to access their wifi network. The network is fast and allowed me to upload the pictures, as well as download a new anti-virus program. I may have to continue using the library's network for uploads as long as we are here.
More later, be safe.
Today's Town -Hartselle, Alabama: The City of Southern Hospitality
Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 38 degrees, high 52 degrees, mostly cloudy, intermittent cold sprinkles, windy

The weather continues to be cold, and I saw frost on some roofs this morning when I went for a short walk. Global warming? It's all a big scam that certain people are trying to put on the rest of us. I think all of us want to protect the environment, but to try to get people to do things by trying to use the sky is falling technique is wrong. I think part of the scam is designed to redistribute money from certain groups of people to other groups. There are some well intentioned people who are truly concerned about the world and environment, but there are others who seem determined to paint as bleak a picture as possible so the rest of us get scared and get the same mentality. Global warming? Bah!!

As I write this entry for the blog, it is 2030 hours at night. We just got home from Terri's house and are tired. It has been a long day, starting with Carolyn getting up at 0400 hours because she couldn't sleep. I managed to stay in bed until 0600 hours, primarily because it was cold and the bed was warm. We had some chores to do early, and then went to buy groceries about 1030 hours. With a couple small errands to be done along with the shopping, it was 1400 hours before we arrived home. After putting everything up, we went to Terri's, and arrived there by 1430 hours. After putting up some groceries there, I started on some chores outside, while Carolyn starting washing clothes and other tasks.

Since the weather was cold, Carolyn had decided that we would have chili for supper. The chili was a big hit, as expected. I asked Carolyn to prepare some cornbread to eat with the chili, and I thought it was a nice touch, rather than having the crackers like we usually do.

The weather should warm up later on this week. If it does, I have some tasks to do outside, such as cleaning the gutters, doing some painting, pressure washing, etc., etc., etc., not necessarily in that order. There is no shortage of things to do. In addition, there is plenty to do inside the house. We have owned and sold eight houses in the past, and we have learned what has to be done to make a house look its best to a buyer. Most of our houses have sold within two weeks of being placed on the market, and we are hopeful that we have the same kind of success with Terri's.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Winfield, Alabama: City On The Move

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Another Easy Day

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 39 degrees, high 62 degrees, partly cloudy, breezy

I went for a walk this morning for the first time in about two weeks. We have been so busy helping Terri that I haven't had the energy or inclination to walk. Taking it easier the last two days helped us regain a little energy. After the walk, we went on a short drive through the countryside west of the RV, seeing an area we have not been to before. We drove through the little town of Buhl, which doesn't have much of note except a school. This whole area is a bedroom community for Tuscaloosa, and a lot of new houses have been built.

After the drive, we went to Hardee's and had breakfast. They have the best biscuits that we have found. After leaving Hardee's, we went to Terri's to help her sort through a lot of toys and other items. By the time we were finished with that task, we had a truck load of stuff that I will be taking to Tuscaloosa to donate to charity. In addition, we had quite a lot of stuff that was junk to be disposed of. She still has more stuff to go through, but we will have to wait until next weekend.

After leaving Terri's, we came home to watch the rest of the Masters golf tournament. It was fun to watch the pros having their problems on a tough course, but we also enjoyed seeing them make some great shots.

Supper was leftovers, which is almost like having a buffet to choose from for me. In other words, I don't mind leftovers. It helps us clean out the refrigerator, and Carolyn doesn't have to cook. Another advantage is that I don't have to cook, either. Of course, when I cook, I just say "What would you like for dinner, Dear?" Then it's up to me to find a restaurant that serves what Carolyn wants me to cook. Carolyn says she likes for me to cook. No dishes, no cleanup. Personally, I like Carolyn's cooking, and would rather eat her cooking than just about any restaurant. Since it has taken a turn for colder weather, she is going to cook chili for supper tomorrow night. Denise, we will enjoy your share of the chili.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town: Anderson, South Carolina: The Electric City

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Beautiful Weather

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 59 degrees, high 70 degrees, clear skies, light breezes

Today's weather was the direct opposite of yesterday's, with one of the most beautiful days we have seen here. Tonight's low is supposed to be in the 30s, and this kind of weather should continue for the next five days. It doesn't get any better. I hope the cooler weather doesn't get the gardens that have been planted.

We were lazy today, not doing much of anything except helping Terri review her taxes so she can mail them off. Speaking of taxes, we mailed our return and the first payment of estimated taxes yesterday. Grrrrr! I can remember when I would have been happy to earn as much as we paid in income taxes last year. Now, we are in a different tax situation, where we have to pay estimated taxes each quarter based on our estimated income for 2008. How in the world are we supposed to know how much we will earn at this time of the year?

I don't mind paying our fair share of income taxes. What gets to me is the waste that takes place with our hard earned money. Our so-called leaders in Congress act as though they know better than us how our money should be put to use. I will guarantee you that I can do a better job with my money than they can. I'll get off the soap box now.

The University of Alabama had their spring football game today. As a result, there was a lot more traffic in town. Saturdays are usually not too bad for traffic, but today seemed like a work day. There were RVs parked all over town, just like in the fall when the real games are played. Everyone here seems excited about the prospects for the team, considering they have a coach who is starting his second year and they had the top recruiting class in the country this year. I hope they do well until they play Florida.

We will probably start repairs on Terri's house this next week as part of the effort to get it ready for sale. A lot of work to do, but much of it is simple paint or touch up type work. We are hopeful we can have it ready in a couple of weeks. Then, sit back and wait for it to sell. We hope.

More later, be safe.

Today's town - Boone, North Carolina: The Heart Of The High Country

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 70 degrees, high 88 degrees, cloudy and windy early, severe weather after 1400 hours with tornado watches, high wind, and torrential rainfall

We did not do any work at Terri's house today because we needed to do some chores around the RV. Also, we were tired and felt we needed to take a break from the work that seems to never end. After a rather quiet morning and lunch at home, we were able to do some mediation. The meditation has been missed, and this is the first day that we have done it in several days.

After the meditation, we went to Terri's house and picked up Thomas' cell phone and his baseballs and bats. He goes to spend the weekend with his dad Tom every 2-3 weeks, and this weekend was a week to go with Tom. After picking up his stuff, we went into Tuscaloosa to the library to return books and check out others.

Then it was on to the school to pick up Thomas and take him up I-59 about 20 miles to meet his dad, who lives in Athens, Alabama. We were waiting at the school for the kids to be let out when it occurred to me that Thomas should have already been released. I walked in to the office, and discovered that the school had not released the kids unless a parent or other responsible person picked them up because the area was in a tornado warning. It looked weird to see all the kids sitting on the floor in the halls. The school's policy when severe weather is occurring or imminent seems to be a good one.

I signed Thomas out and we left, going north on I-59 to meet his dad. Behind us as we traveled were black, ominous looking clouds. The radio was giving updates on the weather, and it was apparent that bad weather was on its way. We made it to the meeting point and had to wait about 45 minutes because Tom had been delayed by bad weather north of Birmingham.

While waiting on Tom, a storm chaser pulled into the parking lot. He sat there for about 30 minutes, then left going west as the weather became progressively worse. Fortunately, Tom arrived before the weather became too bad. After handing Thomas over, we headed back toward Tuscaloosa. About five miles down the road, we ran into the mother of all rainstorms, with blinding rain and high winds. The rain was so bad that we had to pull over for about five minutes. It felt like we were in a car wash. Even after we started driving again, we could only go about 40 miles an hour for about ten miles. After all the dry weather in Texas, it was a surprise to us that it could rain so hard. I think the drought in this area is over.

After all that, we were hungry. Carolyn wanted to stop at Cracker Barrel for supper. Another disappointment. The food took 75 minutes, and the quality is not what we remembered. Another restaurant off the list of places we like to eat.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Highlands, North Carolina: Above It All

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Big Eater

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 64 degrees, high 80 degrees, cloudy and windy

As I mentioned yesterday, Thomas was out of school today, serving his suspension for getting into a fight. Since we still had plenty of work to do on the yard, I kept him busy. He didn't feel too well because he has nasal congestion from all the pollen in the air. However, he did a good job. I'm sure he is ready to go back to school.

We finished the yard and started removing empty paint cans and other trash from the cabinet shop. The garbage was picked up today, and I wanted to make sure we took full advantage of the pickup so as much trash as possible could be taken away. After the trash was removed, we did an inventory of the equipment in the shop for the purpose of listing the property with a realtor when the time comes.

As a reward to Thomas, we went to MacDonald's for lunch. Of course, that wasn't too hard a task for us to do, since we don't mind going there. We had forgotten how much a growing child, especially an active boy, can eat. He had an order that included five pieces of chicken strips, a medium french fries, two apple pies, and a medium coke. Then he wanted to know if he could have another apple pie. When we got home, he had a snack. Whew! I can remember when I could eat more than I do now. It seems the older I get, the less I eat, because it doesn't take as much. Does anyone else notice that?

The weather forecast is calling for freezing temperatures on Sunday night. Our neighbor has about 30 tomato plants he planted about a week ago that he is concerned about. I hope he doesn't lose them.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Winslow, Arizona: A Great Place To Visit, A Great Place To Live

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Thomas In Trouble

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 58 degrees, high 80 degrees, mostly cloudy

We had to go into town to the WalMart Mall for a few things this morning before going out to Terri's house. While in town, we received a phone call from Terri asking us to go to Thomas's school and pick him up because he had been suspended for a day for getting into a fight. It seems another kid was being picked on and Thomas intervened on his behalf. Words led to a shoving tussle which degenerated into a wrestling match. The teachers intervened quickly and separated the kids. When the kids were asked what started the fight, Thomas's story was backed up by cameras in the area. The kid that started the fight received five days suspension, but Thomas received a day because he should have not gotten involved. We applaud the fact that Thomas was trying to help another kid, but we explained to him that the school cannot condone any fighting. In a situation like this, both kids that were fighting had to be punished. He got the lesser penalty because he didn't throw the first punch. Terri talked to him when she got home, and we hope he learns from the episode.

Can you imagine how hard it is to be a teacher or administrator in a public school in these times? With all the distractions that kids have, including television, movies, videos, cell phones, fashions, gangs, parents that don't care and treat schools like baby sitters, standardized testing rather than teaching, it is a wonder that the kids learn anything. Things seemed much simpler when our girls were in school. I am really concerned about the future of our country when you look at what is going on in the schools.

Terri told us that Thomas was not allowed to watch television, play video games, or play outside. He was ordered to help me in the yard, and I put him to work. To his credit, he worked hard, and did not complain. However, I think he would have rather been in school.

We finished all the weed eating except for a small area that I forgot about. Trees were trimmed, flower beds were edged, wayward bricks were put away, and miscellaneous stuff was put away. As a reward, Carolyn prepared baked chicken, dressing and gravy, green beans, and cranberry sauce. Ummm, boy!!

Thomas will be home tomorrow serving his suspension. I will be making sure he doesn't have a day of rest.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Northport, Alabama: An All American City

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Dogs and Weedeaters

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 64 degrees, high 74 degrees, cloudy all day

We started the day a little later than yesterday, taking a little time to get out to Terri's house. I finished mowing the yard and started weed eating. After I got tired of weed eating, I trimmed some shrubs and trees and pulled up weeds in the flower beds. There is enough to do that I try to change around on my tasks so I don't get bored with it.

When I needed a break, I wrote up a list of things that need to be done to the house and yard to get it ready for sale. It's amazing how easy it is to write something down versus the work it will take to close out the list. Wouldn't it be great if we could pull a Samantha The Witch routine by snapping our fingers to get all this work finished?

Those goofy dogs were at it again today, chasing and biting at the mower. Later on, when I was using the weed eater, they tried to bite that. At least they got a good workout.

When the day's work was done, I played catch with a football with Thomas. Even though he is not 12 years old yet, he appears to have the talent to play football or baseball as he gets older. When playing, he only knows one speed, and that is all out. I find that I have to tell him to rest, because he will run until he makes himself sick. Oh, by the way, the dogs were in the middle of the football throwing, trying to get me to take sticks from them. Can you imagine catching and throwing a football while three dogs are trying to get you to try to take a stick from them? It's a little disconcerting.

Carolyn prepared homemade hamburgers for dinner, and they were very good. Last night, we had Oriental Beef Stew. I'm liking this home cooking, and she's loving a real kitchen.

More later, be careful.

Today's Town - Gatlinburg, Tennessee: The Heart Of The Smokies

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Mower Repaired

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 48 degrees, high 80 degrees, clear skies

We got an early start this morning, walking out the door at 0730 hours. Our first stop was at Lowe's to pick up some parts for Terri's riding mower. Then we went down to MacDonald's to get a bite to eat. Next was a stop at WalMart (my favorite store, if they don't have it, in most instances, I don't need it) to buy groceries. The only thing that we don't like at WalMart is the beef. It seems washed out to us. Since we needed a couple pieces of beef for meals that Carolyn is fixing this week, we went next door to the Food Max. This store doesn't have much better meat than WalMart, but we found enough to finish our shopping.

After shopping, we went out to Terri's to start the day's work. As though shopping is not work. I performed the repairs to the mower and got it running. It is doing a great job, and I even got a good bit of the yard mowed. Tomorrow, I will try to finish the mowing and start weed eating. I thought this yard work thing was over when we became fulltime RVers.

After the yard work is caught up, we will start the repairs to the house so it can be placed on the market. We took a large number of pictures today so we can track our progress on the repairs.

Terri and Thomas have three German Shepherd dogs. They are some of the friendliest dogs you will ever meet, and they have a very friendly disposition. Their favorite game is to get someone to try to take a stick from them (or a rock, or anything they can hold in their mouths). As soon as we drive up, here come all three dogs, holding rocks or sticks or tree limbs that they want us to try to take away from them. If you try to take the objects, you are their friend for life.

Another game they like to play is to chase the lawn mower and drop sticks in front of it, or try to bite the discharge chute, or try to bite the tires. I finally gave up trying to get them to leave the lawn mower alone when I was mowing. They seem to have a one track mind when it comes to the mower. One of them bites the tires and almost gets thrown for a loop, and comes back for more. Goofy dogs, and this is the first time I have ever seen dogs chase a mower like this.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Flagstaff, Arizona: Service At A Higher Elevation

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Making Progress

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 55 degrees, high 80 degrees, cloudy morning, clear afternoon

Terri's yard is big, and the grass is starting to grow, along with the weeds. I checked out her mower today and found that it is going to need some work before it can be used. I made a list of parts needed and will pick them up. If everything goes well, the mower will be running tomorrow. Thomas knows how to drive it and will be a big help with the mowing. They have two gas powered weed eaters and a tree trimmer, so we have enough equipment to do the job. We need to make sure we stay ahead of the grass.

We have spent the last ten days going through closets, drawers, boxes, and storage areas in an attempt to find out what is worth keeping, what can go to charity, and what should be trash. That task should be finished in a couple of days. Then, we will make a list of items needing repairs or touch up in order to place the house on the market. She has a cabinet shop that has several high dollar pieces of equipment that should enhance the value of the property, but it has been allowed to become dirty and disorganized, so that means more cleanup. However, the house and yard come first, because the property can be put on the market before the shop is ready. I'm kind of looking forward to doing some work in the shop because I used to do that type of work in a former career.

After leaving Terri's house, we came home and did some chores around the RV. I checked the battery to make sure the water level was okay, and noticed that a small amount of corrosion was starting to form around the positive post. I cleaned that up and put some corrosion preventer on to help stop it. Then I straightened the compartments that had gotten a little disorganized after our moves of the last week. After all that, it was time for the first meditation session for the last ten days. I had almost forgotten how relaxing meditation can be.

We lived in the south until we moved to Texas in 1990. We had forgotten how beautiful the spring can be here, with everything turning green, and flowers and trees blooming. In this area, the azaleas, wisteria, dogwoods, redbuds, wild plums, pears, flowering pears, honey suckle, and many others make this a beautiful place to visit. And, to top it off, we get to spend time with Terri and Thomas.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Moss Hill, Texas: A Great Place To Live

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 58 degrees, high 67 degrees, rain early, cloudy all day

It rained all night, making a soggy situation even wetter. I think the drought in this area is over. At least there was not any dangerous weather coming out of the night's rain.

We took it easy until about 1130 hours when Terri and Thomas picked us up for lunch. We went to a local hole in the wall restaurant in Northport named Bottom Feeders. I think the name probably came from them serving catfish. They have other menu offerings beside catfish, and I chose the pulled pork sandwich with french fries, as did Carolyn and Terri. Thomas decided he wanted a shrimp po' boy. The pork sandwich came piled high with pork, and bottles of a vinegar based sauce were on the table to put on the sandwiches. Normally, we don't care that much for that type of sauce, but this was pretty good. It was the thickest vinegar based sauce we have seen, and had just enough bite to make it interesting. Even with getting the small sandwiches, it was plenty for lunch.

After lunch, Terri asked us to go to Academy Sporting Goods with them so they could get Thomas a new pair of shoes. He is growing fast, and it was past time to get him more shoes. He is 11 years old, but is already aware of the pressures that peer influences can cause. That meant there were only two brands of shoes to look at, New Balance and Nile. Terri is a person who can make a penny squeal (I taught her well), and she found a good buy that didn't cost a fortune. Thomas is already wearing a men's 9 1/2 size, and has a lot of growing to go. I can only imagine what size shoes he will wear next. He won't need a boat to go on the water. Just step out in those shoes.

While at Academy, they looked at shorts because everything he has is getting too small. The shorts they bought were men's medium for the length. The shorts go about halfway between his knees and ankles. I guess I don't understand today's fashions, where the goal is to look as sloppy as possible.

After the shopping, we went back to the RV and picked up the truck, then followed Terri and Thomas back to their house. More work followed, with us leaving about 1830 hours. Thomas came home with us for a couple of hours while Terri went to a movie with one of her girl friends from work. A busy day, and I am wore out from shopping, even though I bought nothing.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Texarkana, Texas: Somewhere between Beethoven and Boot Scootin'

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, April 4, 2008


Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 59 degrees, high 75 degrees, cloudy all day, windy with rain in the afternoon, rain continuing into the night

The big story here today has been the weather. Last night, bad storms struck Arkansas and spread northeast from Texas. The leading edge of that system hit here about 1400 hours with high winds, rain, and tornado watches. It looks as though we have missed the worse weather, and the next few days should be nice. Carolyn can sleep tonight.

After the big fiasco yesterday with the RV getting stuck and having to use our road service to get it out, I had some minor things left to do to our parking site. I installed our sewer hose and hookups. Then, the really hard part came when I had to start using a shovel and wheel barrow to move some dirt to fill in the ruts and holes left from the RV being stuck. I worked up a sweat, got hot and dirty, and my back started hurting. I didn't work this hard when I was getting paid for it.

I received an e-mail from an old friend who is still working, whining about how hard the current outage seems to be. Hang in there, Bo. One day at a time. It's all about the money.

Since the weather was supposed to be so bad, we did not do anything else worth talking about.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - San Augustine, Texas: The Cradle of Texas

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Bogged Down

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 54 degrees, high 82 degrees, mostly clear all day

We are expecting some pretty heavy rain over the next couple of days. As a result, we decided to relocate the RV on our lot because the place we had it parked was soft and the RV was sinking noticeably. It had gotten so bad on the curb side that it felt like we were walking down hill inside the RV. We knew that if we waited until the rain was over, it would be so wet that we wouldn't be able to do anything with the RV for a couple of weeks or longer.

I hooked the truck up to the RV and started easing forward, knowing that if I gunned the engine, the rear tires on the truck might start spinning. Well, they started spinning anyway when I had moved about six inches. I stopped, got out, and looked at the situation. What I was faced with was a truck that is not four wheel drive, sitting on wet grass, hooked up to a 12,000 pound RV that was bogged down on the curb side. I though to myself, "This is not good." Understatement.

In an attempt to get some traction for the truck, I disconnected the RV and pulled forward enough to place some boards along the travel path. The RV was reconnected and movement forward resumed for another six inches. Okay, disconnecting, moving the truck, moving boards, reconnecting the truck worked the first time, right? Didn't work the second time. During all of this, the RV seemed to be sinking deeper, to the point that the curbside tires are down to the rims. Okay, get out of the truck, stand around and look at the situation again as though I have a clue about how to get out of this mess. Walk around, look at the sky, which seems to be getting more clouds all the time and sprinkles are falling. Scratch my head, look some more, try to look as though I am getting an idea. I did have an idea and it was that this was not going to work, and my first instincts were right that this situation was going bad.

But wait a minute. Now that I have shown that I can get something stuck, now I can show that I know how to get it unstuck. Call our road service provider!!!

The road service provider was called and a 50-ton wrecker arrived within an hour that had us winched out of the muck in about two minutes. A few minutes later, I had the RV in the new spot, and we were setting up. Why did I doubt that I would have problems getting out of that situation?

Thank God I have the road service. We have used it an average of once a year since 2002, and it has been worth every penny we spend on it.

I hope tomorrow is not as exciting. I'm wore out.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Reno, Nevada: The Biggest Little City In The World

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Cell Phones

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 58 degrees, high 70 degrees, mostly cloudy all day

Our cell phone is a Nokia 6010 that we received free a little over three years ago as an incentive to sign up for cell phone service with Cingular, now called AT&T. The cell phone we had before was full of bells and whistles that we never seemed to master, even though we had it for about four years. You could say that we are having problems entering fully into the electronic age. The old phone did not seem to have a strong signal and the battery was short-lived. We decided when we got the Nokia 6010 that we wanted as few extras as possible so there would be less things to learn about it and it would be more likely to give better service. The Nokia 6010 has fulfilled our needs and has served faithfully with a stronger signal. The only problem we have had is that the battery was starting to be a little weak. When we first got the phone, the battery would last for about a week without charging. Lately, we had to charge it every day, some times more than once a day. That made us realize we had to get a new phone, or hopefully, find a battery that would fit the old one.

We stopped at the AT&T store to see if they had a battery, and if not, look at their phones. Imagine our surprise when we asked the sales person about a battery, and she suggested we go to a store that specializes in all kinds of batteries for electronic stuff. She even looked up the address for the battery store and called them to see if they had a battery for our phone. The battery store had one, and said they would hold it for us. We received great customer service at the AT&T store that we did not expect.

We drove to Batteries Plus, a chain of 320 stores that is dedicated to providing quality American made batteries for any battery need that might touch your life. They had the battery ready for us to pick up, we changed out the old battery, and we were back in service. We noticed after the initial charge on the battery today, we did not have to charge it anymore for the day. Hopefully, our battery problems are over.

While at the AT&T store, I asked the sales person about what AT&T was doing to make their air card signal stronger. She said that the latest technology, which is 3G, and is equivalent to broadband speeds, is spreading across the country. It is available in Birmingham and should be in Tuscaloosa anytime. AT&T's competitors already have the 3G technology in place, so that should cause AT&T to speed up their upgrade to 3G.

After taking care of our cell phone, we went out to Terri's house and continued work on the preps for placing the house on the market. The house and property are so large that the task we have facing us is a little daunting. One bite at a time, and eventually we will have it done. We hope.

Note to our red headed friend in Granbury, Texas: we had Publix fried chicken for supper. Mmmm, good!

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Carthage, Texas: Hometown of Jim Reeves

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Big Stove

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 55 degrees, high 67 degrees, rain early, cloudy all day

We were awakened by the sound of hard rain about 0400 hours this morning. The rain continued until about 0600 hours, with light sprinkles after that until about 1000 hours. More rain was expected this afternoon and tonight, but it looks as though that threat has gone away. The forecast is now calling for rain on Thursday, which we would be glad to see miss us.

Did everyone see that the truckers are calling for a boycott on buying fuel for a day? It has been my experience that boycotts do not work, generally. Especially for a product that people need to be able to go to work and do the other things that make up modern life. My sympathies go out to the truckers, but I don't think their strategy will have a long term impact on fuel prices.

We continued to help Terri and Thomas work on getting their house ready to be placed on the market for sale. We are hopeful that the real estate market recovers before the house is placed for sale, because Terri is ready to find a smaller place. We are not used to all this physical activity, and we have used muscles that we had forgotten that we have. Nobody has to sing us to sleep at night. All this work, and we have not touched the yard, which consists of about four acres that has to be mowed and trimmed. We have not worked this hard in years. Now we remember why we sold our house.

Carolyn has enjoyed cooking on Terri's restaurant style stove with six large burners, two ovens, and a center grill. It also has a restaurant style stainless steel range hood with all the bells and whistles. Of course, all that equipment means more stuff to be cleaned, which carries on a vicious cycle of use and clean. Terri and Thomas are enjoying Carolyn's cooking, which brings back memories of childhood to Terri. No leftovers. The first question Thomas asks after school every day is, "Granny, what are you cooking for supper?"

This weekend, we plan to tour some of the little towns in the area. Until then, hang with us and think about us as we drag ourselves out of bed every day to knock some items off the to do list.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Austin, Texas: Named to Honor Stephen F. Austin, “The Father of Texas”

Not all who wander are lost.