Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The World Still Turns

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 55 degrees, high 86 degrees, mostly clear skies

I didn't wake up as early this morning as I did yesterday, but I was still up by 0500 hours. That's earlier than I would like to get up, but it's better than 0400 hours.

I had to re-paint the steps because the paint I used yesterday left a dull finish. I decided to get some paint that would give me a shiny finish, and it made all the difference in the world. The steps really look good now. While I was painting, I decided to do the rear landing gear. I only had enough paint for one side, so I'll get another can tomorrow and do the other side.

We continued scanning pictures and only have about 150 left to do. The next day or so should finish this little task.

I went out to check on the house about 1400 hours, but couldn't do it because there were a couple of cars there. I kept checking, and they never left. About 1500 hours, Carolyn called and told me that the Realtor was supposed to be at the house between 1500-1700 hours to show the house for the third time to the same couple. Since I didn't know how long they would be there, I went home and we checked things later on. It would be nice if these lookers bought the house.

The stock market made a nice rebound today, and the dollar is up against other currencies. And the world didn't end when the politicians didn't pass a bailout for Wall Street. I am amazed. Will wonders never cease?

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Plant City, Florida: The World’s Winter Strawberry Capital

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Early Riser

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 58 degrees, high 88 degrees, mostly clear skies

I woke this morning at 0400 hours and was unable to go back to sleep. I finally got up about 0500 hours, being as quiet as I could so I wouldn't wake Carolyn. Normal sounds don't wake her up, but I knew if I wasn't careful, she would be awake and then both of us would be missing sleep. Little did I know that she would sleep until 0700 hours.

I went for my morning walk about 0540, and was finished before 0700 hours. I stopped at MacDonald's and got us a biscuit. By the time we had eaten, I had a busy day mapped out for myself. Before the day was finished, I had painted the steps on the RV, finished cleaning up the outside walls, checked the caulking on the roof, cleaned the wheels on the RV, went out to the house to check on things, scanned a bunch of stuff for Terri with Carolyn's help, and even had time for meditation. And one other thing: I cooked supper. Does this sound like I was busy? Almost sounds like we're getting ready to go somewhere.

Intuitively, the bailout plan that the politicians are trying to get passed sounds like it is full of problems. Is doing nothing better? I don't know, but my instincts tell me that if Wall Street and the banks want it to pass, it means they are going to make money on it. And considering the fact that they are a big part of the problem, that seems wrong. Will our economy collapse because this bill was not passed? Again, I don't know, but I would hate to think that our economy is so fragile that a bunch of crooks and politicians can cause it to have the problems that we are seeing and that they say are going to get worse. Where is the outrage that we saw when Enron collapsed?

I hope I sleep better tonight.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - West Columbia, Texas: Where Texas History Began

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

First Year Of Retirement

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 55 degrees, high 83 degrees, mostly clear skies

This week is the week that I'm celebrating as my official retirement date from the work force. Or should I say retirement from getting paid for working. The last six months have been some of the hardest physical work I have done in many years. This time last year, I had an appointment with Social Security to talk about my options for SS retirement. After discussing several scenarios, I decided to go ahead and sign up for retirement. The last time I worked for pay was in May of 2007, and I was holding off on signing up for SS in the event that I decided to go back to work. Now, if we can finish up everything here so we can find out what real retirement is like, life will be good.

It looks like the politicians are going to pass a bill on the bailout of Wall Street and the banks. I sure hope it's not a mistake. I think the last thing we need is to hand a BIG pile of money to people who have proven that they are only interested in what is in it for them. Of course, that sounds a lot like the politicians, doesn't it? Do any of the politicians listen to the people they supposedly represent?

Did anyone see the article in the news about PETA urging Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream to use human breast milk to make their ice cream? That's enough to make me give up ice cream. And I love ice cream. Where do these crazy folks get their ideas?

Today was a rather slow day, and we haven't heard anything on how the Open House went. Terri and Thomas came over in the afternoon and we had a nice visit, looking at pictures and remembering. Thomas has been suffering with allergies, but seems better today.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Austin, Texas: Live Music Capital of the World

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Preps For Second Open House

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 56 degrees, high 84 degrees, clear skies in the morning, partly cloudy in the afternoon

We spent another three hours or so today getting the house ready for the second Open House. I did some weeding in the flower beds, changed some burned out light bulbs, repaired a towel bar that was loose, swept the porches and patio off, cleaned up the sidewalks and driveway, and did some more watering of the grass so it will look nice and green tomorrow. Carolyn did some cleaning inside the house, as well as some touch up painting. If there was ever a doubt about whether we want to own another house at this stage in our lives, it has just been erased. As we have said before, we may buy another house someday, but that's not something we want to do right now.

After finishing at the house, we watched Florida lose a sloppily played game to Mississippi, 31-30. A missed extra point was the margin of defeat. Surprisingly, it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. There are many things more important than a college football game. Things like the economy, the war on terror, the high price of fuel, so-called global warming (no, I don't believe it, it's just another way to re-distribute wealth), the high cost of living. Hey, did anyone ever think about the high cost of dying?

After the football game, we went to Mr. G's Italian Restaurant for their special of the day, baked ziti, served with a salad and bread. What a great deal at $6.25, and we had enough left for lunch tomorrow.

Our fingers are crossed that the Open House to be held tomorrow will be the one that sells the house. If not, we'll keep doing the things we have to do to keep the house looking good. You never know when the right person will see it and snatch it out from under us.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Chiefland, Florida: Land Of The Chiefs

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Another Open House

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 47 degrees, high 82 degrees, clear skies

Did anyone notice our low temperature of 47 degrees this morning? Brrrr! This time when I went for my walk, I took a light jacket, and it made a big difference in my comfort level.

After I got back home and we had eaten breakfast, we received a telephone call from the Realtor letting us know that they were planning another Open House for the house if it was okay with us. Well, duhhhh!! Of course, it was okay with us. Let's get this thing sold, and the sooner, the better. We went out to the house and did some cleanup, which consisted of dusting, sweeping, etc. Carolyn took care of those items while I did some work outside, including trimming shrubs and mowing. I also started the sprinklers since we have not gotten much rain this month.

After we had been working for about an hour, we received another call from the Realtor saying that they were bringing another couple out to see the house in about 30 minutes. This couple had seen the house before, and wanted to look again. We stopped what we were doing, put everything away, and went back to the RV for a couple of hours. When the Realtor called for the last visit, she also said she had another party looking at the house on Monday. It's looking like there is some interest starting to build on the house, so maybe something will happen soon.

After a couple of hours, we went back to the house to continue getting it ready for Sunday. I did some more mowing, moved the wheel barrow to the shop, and other little tasks. We'll finish up tomorrow.

We spend a lot of time on a house that is not ours, but there is no one else to do it. The motivation we have to get it sold is that we will be able to start doing our thing again.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Brunswick, Georgia: Home Of The Famous "Brunswick Stew"

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Painting Hitch

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 53 degrees, high 82 degrees, clear skies

The morning walk was brisk to the point that I almost cut it short. When I went out the door of the RV, I didn't realize how cool it was. Once I got to the area where I walk, I thought it seemed cooler than it was at home, but decided I would warm up quickly. Wrong, because I was still cold over half way through my route. It looks like I'll have to start taking something to cover my arms when I walk on these cool mornings. Or just suck it up.

After returning home and taking care of a couple of errands, I had to go to the house to check on things, then go to town to take care of some little chores, including going to the library. By the time I finished all these little jobs, it was lunch time. After lunch, I meditated a short time, then started work on a job that I have been wanting to do for awhile. The hitch on the RV was looking faded. It didn't have any rust, but it was easy to see that it had been exposed to the weather for some time. I taped newspaper around the hitch to keep paint over spray from getting on the RV, then put a fresh coat of black spray paint on the hitch. Not a bad job, and it looks factory new. My next paint job will probably be on the steps.

I put some more wax on the RV in places I hadn't gotten to yet, but still have some to do. I'm about over this wax thing. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish tomorrow.

As most of you know, we have a satellite dish that we take with us in our travels. Like everyone else, we select the services we want and pay for them. Today, we discovered that we are not getting the network channels. I called about the problem, and it seems to be connected to the issue I wrote about last week concerning us getting double charged for that service. After spending at least 45 minutes on the phone talking to the service, we are supposed to have the issue fixed. We should have service back between now and tomorrow morning, but at this time, we still don't have it. And here it is Thursday night with CSI coming on with a new show.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Belleview, Florida: City With Small Town Charm

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Trip Planning

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 56 degrees, high 83 degrees, clear skies

I mentioned in yesterday's post that we had finished one project that has been taking a lot of our time since we arrived here in March. It is nice to not have that issue hanging over our heads and occupying our minds. It seems to have freed up our thinking to the point that we have started planning our first trip with the RV since we arrived here. If everything continues to go well, we plan to leave for a trip to Florida to see family on Sunday, 10/4/08. We expect to be gone for about a week, when we will return here for a week or so. Then, a trip down to Bay City, Texas to see our daughter Lori and her family and my brother Terrell and his wife Kathy. We will be in Bay City for about ten days, and then go to Glen Rose for our yearly physicals and visit friends. At this time, we don't know how long the doctor visits will take in Glen Rose. On our way out of Texas, we will probably go through Hope, Arkansas to visit my brother Keith and his family. Once all of these visits are completed, we will come back to Coker for a period of time to be decided. We have not decided whether we will stay here for the winter, or try to find something farther south. Whatever we decide to do, we plan to keep the RV lot we have here. Our landlords are great people, and we like our neighbors. Plus, the convenience of the lot to town is something we appreciate.

After my morning walk, we went out to the house so I could mow the yard (it's been 11 days since I last mowed out there). Terri showed up, and we helped her go through the little bit of stuff she still had there. By the time we finished going through the stuff, she knew what she wanted to keep. Some of the stuff was put in her car to take to her apartment. I loaded the truck with what she didn't want and took it to the Salvation Army.

When we got home, we meditated for a short time. Man, that meditation really helps!! Then I went outside and put some more wax on the RV. If I keep at it, I'll finish that job before we leave on our trip.

Carolyn asked me what I wanted for supper, and I said I didn't care, whatever she wanted was fine with me. Now, you have to understand when she asks me that question, she is really asking me what I'm cooking. I learned that through some painful lessons. So, after she said that she couldn't think of anything to fix, I said tell me what you want, and I'll cook. When I say I'll cook, that's code for where do you want to go. Anyway, we went and got a big old juicy hamburger. It was good, and Carolyn says she likes my cooking. She sure is easy to please.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Bastrop, Texas: Home Of The Lost Pines

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One Project Finished

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 56 degrees, high 84 degrees, clear skies

We were busy all morning helping Terri with a project she has been working on since we arrived here in March. We are happy to report that this project has been finished, which should help us have more time to spend on ourselves and, hopefully, start traveling again. Someday, I may have something to write on this project, but for now, we prefer to get away from it for awhile.

We arrived home about 1300 hours and rested until about 1500 hours, when I went out to the house to check on things. Another potential buyer looked at the house today, but we have not heard anything from the Realtor. At least we are getting some traffic to see the house, which we are glad to see, considering the condition of the real estate market and the uncertainty in the economy.

While I was at the house, I did the weed eating in preparation for mowing tomorrow. The changes in the weather, with cooler temperatures and less rain, seem to be slowing down the growth of the grass. It has been about ten days since I last mowed around the house, compared to every 5-7 days at the height of the summer. I am trying to align the mowing schedule so that I mow everything the day before we leave on our trip to Florida. That should allow us to be gone about ten days before the grass needs to be cut again.

Last week, I was reviewing our credit card statements to make sure everything was okay. We use two cards as though they were cash, and pay them off in full every month. I hate to pay interest. We have a satellite dish, and I found that we were being double charged for one of the services that we subscribe to. I called the service, and explained the situation I found. The service looked at their records and agreed that we were being charged too much. As a result, we will not be charged anything for the next five months. I urge everyone who uses credit cards or debit cards to review your statements carefully. You never know when you might find errors.

I don't watch much TV, but some programs I like include NCIS, CSI, and The Unit. Tonight is the new season opener for NCIS, so I'm closing so I can go watch it.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Mineral Wells, Texas: Where America drinks its way to health!

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, September 22, 2008

First Day Of Fall

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 56 degrees, high 84 degrees, clear skies

Today is the first day of fall, and the weather couldn't be better. Last week, I wrote about how much we like this season of the year. Now, if we can get things a little more settled here, maybe we can take some trips.

When I took my morning walk, I was wearing shorts and wishing I had something on my legs. By mid-morning, it had warmed up enough that the shorts were okay. We went to the laundromat to wash our clothes, which took us about an hour. Then we went over to Terri's apartment to help her gather some information for a meeting she has tomorrow. On the way home, we put our applications for absentee ballots in the mail. We want to make sure we vote since we feel that if we don't, we give up our right to criticize decisions made by the politicians. I think everyone will agree there are plenty of mistakes being made by that bunch in Washington.

When we arrived home, we had a snack for lunch, then meditated for a short time. That meditation seems to rejuvenate us, and when we can't do it, we really miss it.
After the meditation, I mowed and used the weed eater for the yard around the RV. After another short rest, I went out to the house to check on things. No problems were found.

After supper, I wiped the truck down, and wiped down half the outside walls on the RV. It's nice to be able to do the things we need to do for ourselves, instead of the house taking all our time.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Sequim, Washington: Sunny Sequim

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

USA Wins

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 64 degrees, high 80 degrees, partly cloudy

Have you ever noticed how fast kids seem to be growing up in this day and time? When I was 12 years old, I don't remember even noticing girls, much less wanting to date one. Thomas was telling us today that he was going to ask Ashley (a girl at his school) to go on a date. I asked him why he decided to do that, and he said she was "the hottest girl in school". Thomas is 12 years old, and the girl is the same age. It remains to be seen whether he will lose his nerve or not.

We watched the USA win the Ryder Cup on TV in the afternoon. It was good to see the USA win for the first time in several years, and the win was performed without Tiger Woods, who is injured. The USA had several rookies playing, and they were the players who were the key to victory.

About half the gas stations here were out of gasoline for about a week after Hurricane Ike hit Texas. Slowly, they are being supplied again, but only with regular gas. The prices are starting to come down a little, but I think it is a safe bet that they won't come down as fast as they went up. Diesel continues a slow fall in price.

We had another slow day, but the nice weather we are enjoying continued. According to the forecast, we have another ten days of moderate temperatures and lower humidity ahead of us. Clothes washing day is tomorrow. We'll see what the rest of the day brings.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Florence, Alabama: Alabama’s Renaissance City

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Light Rain

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 66 degrees, high 76 degrees, cloudy, light rain

It was cloudy all day, and a light rain started about noon and continued until about 1730 hours. We were glad to see some rain since we have not gotten much this month.

After my walk this morning, I stopped at the WalMart Mall to pick up a few things. I have found that going to WalMart early allows me to shop quickly and get out with a minimum of time spent in lines. About noon, we went out to the house to make sure everything was okay out there. After returning home, we watched some of the Ryder Cup golf, with the USA still leading after two days, 9 points to 7 points. Tomorrow will be the singles matches, and the USA needs to win 5 1/2 points in that format to win the Cup.

I also watched Florida beat up on the University of Tennessee in college football. The Gators won 30-6, and are undefeated. They play Mississippi next week, and should win that game.

We have been thinking of when would be the best time to plan on going to Florida for a few days. We're helping Terri with some business here, but are hopeful that things will be stabilized enough that we can leave after next week. Of course, that is dependent on what the weather will be like (hurricanes). After that trip, we will probably come back to Coker for a week or so, then go to Texas to see Lori and her family, as well as my brother Terrell and his wife Kathy in Bay City. Then we will go to Glen Rose for our yearly physicals and visit friends. It will be great to be back on the road and seeing family and friends.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Buffalo, New York: The Nickel City

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Rock Chips

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 80 degrees, cloudy

Today was one of those days where we didn't have much to do. But I don't feel badly about it because of how hard we have worked this summer.

There was a threat of rain all day, but it never took place. Over the years, the truck has suffered some rock chips on the paint. I picked up some touch up paint to repair those chips, but held off on the repairs because of the possibility of rain. In addition, the hitch on the RV could stand some fresh paint, so I got a can of spray paint for that. I'll do that little bit of maintenance when the weather is better.

I watched some of the Ryder Cup golf matches today. To my surprise, the USA is leading the Europeans 5 1/2 points to 2 1/2 points after the first day. Tiger Woods is not playing this year because of his knee injury. Who knows, maybe the new players on the USA team are better suited for this type of play.

The stock market was up again today, primarily because of the government bailing out some big companies. I don't know about everyone else, but in a free market economy like what we are supposed to have in this country, it doesn't seem right that the taxpayers are saving the bacon of these companies. What I would rather see is the companies broken up into smaller entities, and the people responsible for their collapse go to jail. Remember Enron?

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Greenville, Alabama: The Camellia City

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fall Is Almost Here

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 60 degrees, high 83 degrees, mostly clear skies

Fall is our favorite season of the year. The hot summer is over, cold weather is coming, but in between the two extremes is the best time of the year. The days are warm but not stifling hot, the humidity is lower, leaves are changing colors in the trees, fall flowers are blooming, and the kids are back in school. The campgrounds are not crowded, and less traffic is on the highway. College football is being played again, and baseball is moving toward the playoffs and World Series. The crazy season of politics is almost over. Ahhh, I love the fall season! As a reminder, the first day of Fall is next Monday.

Carolyn went to see another doctor about the nodules she has on both legs on the calf area. This makes the fourth doctor she has seen about this problem, and guess what? Today's doctor said he did not know what the nodules are, so he has referred her to another one. She's about ready to wait until we get to Texas to go any further with the doctors. She did find out that the nodules are not cysts, tumors, or blood clots. More on this as we find out what the mystery nodules are.

We went out to the house this afternoon to make sure there were no problems. I noticed that the grass is not growing as fast, which is fine with me. I could stand not mowing for another six months. Fat chance. Maybe I can wait a few more days before I start again.

Has anyone been paying any attention to what is going on with the financial markets? Of course, how could you ignore it, with it being all over the news. The politicians are blaming everyone but themselves, the bankers are blaming everyone but themselves, and who gets stuck in the middle to pay the bills? That's right, you and me. How in the world did these banks make loans to people who couldn't pay them back? I think there should be some people going to jail. If we ran our household budgets like those jokers, we would all be bankrupt. Wait a minute, our country is bankrupt.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Aberdeen, Washington: Gateway To The Olympic Peninsula

Not all who wander are lost.

Happy Birthday, Terri

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 60 degrees, high 80 degrees, mostly clear skies

We finished cleaning out the cabinets in the RV today. It wasn't as bad as we thought it would be because we haven't been spending much time at home. Less time at home equates to less clutter in the RV. We did find a few things that we have had for several years, and haven't found a use for them. Those items went away. Tomorrow, we'll check the closet, but we don't expect to have to do much there.

Today is Terri's birthday. Late in the afternoon, I went with her to take care of an errand, and then we met her, Thomas, and three of Terri's friends at a Japanese restaurant for dinner. I guess the big thing about a Japanese restaurant is the flashing blades and continuous chatter by the chef. It's more about the show than the food. Personally, I consider the place we went to be about the same as a Chinese restaurant, except the food is cooked at your table. Terri had the sushi, and offered to share. I had to pass on the eel. Too much like snake to me. Remember my rattlesnake experience a few days ago? I had goosebumps as big as quarters.

I have noticed some of our smaller decals on the outside walls of the RV are starting to peel around the edges. I'm looking on the Internet for solutions for the problem, which may include finding some surplus decals from RV supply stores. The best solution may be to remove the decals and paint the whole exterior. At this time, the bottom half of the outside is painted. That part is very easy to take care of, while the unpainted portion of the walls is basic fiberglass. It is difficult to keep clean, and waxing is very hard to perform.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Spokane, Washington: The Lilac City

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lower Humidity

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 59 degrees, high 83 degrees, mostly clear skies

The weather has changed for the better, with lower humidity and temperatures. The good thing about the change is that it is expected to continue for the next week. I could get used to this.

My morning walk was a little different today. It was cooler, so when I returned home, it didn't take long to rest. About mid-morning, I went out to the house and mowed the areas away from the house. That totaled at least one acre, and took about three hours. The yard looks great, and I'm hoping that the grass is starting to slow down its growth. I talked to the Realtor about the Open House that was held on Sunday, and she said that there were several people who looked at the house. No offers yet, but at least there continues to be people going to see the house. I was surprised anyone saw it after the way gasoline prices went up over the last few days.

After the mowing was finished, I returned home for lunch and meditation. The rest of the afternoon was spent going through cabinets in the living room and kitchen and getting rid of things we don't need. We try to keep everything ready to move at a moment's notice. Since we have been here six months, things have gotten a little out of hand with clutter. The clutter is going away or being put in it's place.

After finishing inside, I sprayed bug killer around all the places outside the RV that bugs could get in. Carolyn has a little thing about bugs in the RV.

We did some things for ourselves today. Who knows, maybe we'll be taking a trip before long.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Montgomery, Alabama: Gumptown

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 67 degrees, high 81 degrees, mostly cloudy, a few light showers

I was really busy today, and don't have a single thing that I can say I accomplished. The day started early with me taking the truck to a shop to have some work done that we want to ensure is completed before we take a trip with the RV. Since I knew the truck was going to be in the shop for a couple of days, I had already looked around for a rental car. Imagine my surprise when Terri took me to get a car and there were no cars available where we went. The bad thing about this was that Terri was already headed home. I gave her a quick call, and she turned around and came back to pick me up. We went over to another rental agency we knew about, and it had gone out of business. Finally, we found a car rental agency at the airport that could help us out.

After renting the car, I went home and rested for about a half hour. Then I took Carolyn over to Terri's so she could ride to Birmingham with Terri to a doctor's appointment. I went out to the house and made sure everything was okay out there. From the house, I went to Thomas's school to pick him up at the end of the day. I stayed with him until about 1830 hours when Carolyn and Terri arrived back at her apartment.

In between all the busy work, I managed to go to the library and trade out our books. Maybe I can be more productive tomorrow.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Cross City, Florida: The Biggest Little Town In Dixie

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bye Bye, T-Shirt

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 77 degrees, high 89 degrees, mostly cloudy, showers late in the day

We went to the house around noon time to make sure everything was okay. A little touch up was done, then we left it to the Realtor to do her best. As of the writing of this post, we had not heard anything.

Later in the afternoon, we went to Birmingham with Terri to pick up Thomas after his visit with his dad over the weekend. It is amazing how much lighter the traffic was today compared to Friday. Gas continues to increase in price, and we saw one station that advertised prices of $4.59 per gallon for regular. Whew! Most of the stations in the Tuscaloosa area are charging $3.99 to $4.29 per gallon. Diesel hasn't gone up in price, and in some places has actually gone down.

Does anyone besides me have favorite clothes they like to wear? I'm talking about clothes that have been around for a long time, with all of the new worn off, soft and pliable, maybe with a few holes, spots, and stains. Yesterday, I was wearing a t-shirt like that. As we were on our way home, Carolyn told me that shirt had to go. What? Get rid of a perfectly good shirt that I've only had for 6-7 years? It's hardly worn, and is just now getting comfortable. She said it had holes and stains, and was stretched. Out with it! I said farewell to a perfectly good shirt, but I have to watch her. She may do a stealth mission while I'm out and make others disappear. I'm going to have to find a good hiding place for my favorites. Or put my foot down. Don't tell her I wrote this.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Bartow, Florida: The Capitol Of Imperial Polk County

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

All Well With Daughter And Family

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 76 degrees, high 81 degrees, mostly clear, breezy

We talked to our daughter Lori this morning. She lives with her family in Bay City, Texas, which is about 80 miles southwest of Houston. They had made all the preparations for Hurricane Ike, and were fortunate to have very little impact on the area from the storm. Power stayed on, as well as phone service, and she said they received just a small amount of rain. According to the TV reports, Galveston and Houston were hit hard. A mandatory evacuation was ordered for Galveston, but many people did not leave. Later on, many of them requested help, but it was too dangerous for rescuers to go out. When will people learn?

Did anyone notice how some of the TV reporters stood out in the rain and wind, bracing themselves heroically against the elements? What a bunch of dummies. I guess it'll take one of them having his head cut off by a piece of metal flying through the air to stop this showboating. I would rather they keep us more up to date on what the evacuees are doing or how the authorities are handling the emergency.

As I have mentioned several times, an Open House will be held for the house tomorrow. We finished getting the house ready today, and will go back tomorrow to make sure it still looks good before people start showing up. After getting home this afternoon, I mowed our yard at the RV. We were going to eat out tonight, but neither one of us felt like it after the busy day. We'll find another time for that.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Galveston, Texas: City Of Oleanders

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Parking Lot On I-59/20

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 78 degrees, high 92 degrees, mostly cloudy

We had intended to do some work at the house today so we could get it ready for the Open House on Sunday. However, Terri needed some help with an errand in town that took longer than we thought it would. Then we had to go to the laundromat to wash our clothes. An hour later, she asked us to ride with her up to Bessemer to deliver Thomas to his dad for their bi-weekly visit. By the time we got back home, it was almost dark, and another day was finished.

Traffic in town and on the Interstate was bumper to bumper. The Interstate was a big parking lot. Fortunately, Terri knows her way around, so we were able to take side roads to get us past the traffic jam, and made good time up to Bessemer. On the way back, we saw that the reason for the traffic jam was a tour bus that had caught fire and burned on the side of the road. I hope no one was injured.

Have gasoline prices skyrocketed where you are? They have here, with prices increasing overnight by up to $.75/gallon, with a forecast that they will go up to $5.50 per gallon in the near future. Apparently, 25% of the nation's gasoline is refined in Houston, and the storm has caused a shutdown of the refineries. This is at a time that crude oil has dropped below $100 a barrel. On the plus side, diesel fuel, which is what we use in our truck, has stayed at the same price. Gasoline costs more than diesel for the first time in several years.

We talked to Lori and her family this afternoon. They are ready for the storm, and were just starting to get some wind from it. We are praying for them and all of the other people in the path of the storm. This is going to be a bad one.

Tomorrow, we'll be busy getting the house ready for the Open House on Sunday. We have our fingers and everything else crossed that a buyer will see it and take it off Terri's hands.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Willits, California: Gateway To The Redwoods

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 76 degrees, high 91 degrees, partly cloudy

During my life, several events have occurred that I will remember the rest of my life. I can remember what I was doing and where I was at when the events happened. Two events were the John Kennedy assassination and the space shuttle Challenger explosion. Today, our nation remembers the events of 9/11. Over 3000 Americans were killed, and many people lost their sons, daughters, fathers, husbands, brothers, sisters, and friends. I hope we never forget this day in our history.

It was a very humid day here, even with a nice breeze blowing. The heat doesn't bother me as much as the humidity does. Near the end of my walk this morning, I really felt the effects of the high humidity. I hope it gets drier soon.

We went over to Sam's Club around noon to pick up a few things we use from there. Even though we don't buy a lot of things there, we enjoy looking at the quality merchandise they have. One thing we looked at was their laptop computers. Our current laptop is more than five years old, and still works fine. However, we know we're probably reaching the end of the usable life of this machine, so we're going to keep our eyes open so if we find another computer we like, we can go ahead and get it before this one goes off to the great computer graveyard.

After returning from Sam's, we did some meditating. It's nice to be able to take a break. Then I went out to the house to do the weed eating, which took about three hours. Tomorrow and Saturday, I'll do the mowing and the yard will be ready for the Open House on Sunday. We still need to go through the house and touch it up a little, but it shouldn't be a big deal.

Our daughter Lori called this morning to update us on their preparations for Hurricane Ike. She and her family live about 20 miles from the gulf coast of Texas, and about 80 miles southwest of Houston. The hurricane will impact the area where they live, and the only question is how much. She told me what they had done to get ready, and it sounds like they will be okay. I hope everyone down there comes out of the storm safe and sound.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Bay City, Texas: Gateway To The Great Outdoors

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yellow Jackets

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 72 degrees, high 85 degrees, mostly cloudy, scattered showers

During my walk this morning, it was quiet until I was about 200 yards from the truck. A big tractor was mowing the flood dike that the walking path is located on. About 100 yards ahead of me was another man coming toward me. All of a sudden, he started jumping and and kicking and flapping his hands and arms. Then he pulled his shirt off, and almost pulled his pants off. Then he started running. I stopped in my tracks. What's the deal with this guy? As he got to me, he said the tractor had stirred up a yellow jacket nest, and they bit him all over. He walked on, still flapping. I waited where I was as a woman who was about 30 yards behind the man walked on through the area where the yellow jackets had attacked him. She showed no signs that anything was happening to her, and as she got even with me, she asked what was going on. I told her what happened, and she almost freaked out, because she realized she had been very lucky. I waited a few minutes to let things settle down, then walked on to the truck. No problem.

I stopped at The WalMart Mall and picked up a few things, then went on home. After resting a few minutes, I starting waxing on the outside of the RV again. I didn't finish, but made a big dent in what was left to be done. The reason I didn't finish was that we started having little showers that popped in and out for most of the rest of the day.

After resting a little while from the waxing, I started scanning pictures for Terri again. Only about thousands to go. Not really, it just seems like there are that many.

About 1600 hours, I went out to check the house. We received a call from the Realtor this morning saying that she was going to show the house to a very interested party. So far, we don't have any feedback on the showing. When I went out, I noticed that the Open House signs for Sunday were posted.

While at the house, I weeded the flower beds so there will not be so much to do when I mow later this week. While doing the weeding, I noticed that the red wasps were starting to be too aggressive, so I sprayed all the nests I could find. I'll spray everyday between now and Sunday in an effort to keep the people coming to the Open House from being bitten. I don't think they would appreciate that.

One last thing: Carolyn heard from the doctor who she went to last week about the nodules on her left calf. The good news is that the nodules are not tumors or cysts. He really doesn't know what they are, but he is speculating that they were caused by trauma of some sort. Carolyn can not remember hurting herself, so it may be that muscle cramps caused the problem. She does have muscle cramps. The doctor referred her to an Orthopedic surgeon, and she will see him on Thursday, the 18th. We are both hoping that this doesn't develop into something that takes as long to resolve as her vertigo did.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Columbus, Mississippi: Possum Town

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Quiet Day In Coker

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 70 degrees, high 85 degrees, partly to mostly cloudy, occasional light sprinkles

It was a quiet day here in Coker. At the beginning of the day, I had several tasks planned to get done, but most of them will have wait for another day. Most of the day was spent waiting to help Terri with an errand in Tuscaloosa, but it was finally canceled in the middle of the afternoon. At that time, I went out to the house to make sure everything was okay. While there, I got rid of some old boxes that were not needed.

It is amazing how seeing a rattlesnake heightens my awareness of my surroundings. When I go to the house now, I make sure I watch where I'm walking so I won't step on something that might not be in my best interest. If I see a limb laying on the ground, I give it a little extra look. I don't know how long this carefulness will last, but it wouldn't hurt anything if I kept it up. Perhaps the fright was a wake up call.

We received a call from the Realtor this morning wanting to know if having an open house on Sunday would be okay. We said absolutely, and we would make sure everything was in good condition. She said the market is starting to look better, and they are going to really start pushing the house. Hey, Terri only needs one buyer. Find that one buyer and we will be happy. If this open house does not sell the house, they plan to do a couple more before the end of the year. I hope it doesn't take that long.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Freeport, Maine: Birthplace Of The State Of Maine

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Oil Leak

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 67 degrees, high 82 degrees, mostly clear skies

I started late on my morning walk and suffered the consequences of walking in the relatively warm sunshine. However, there is a definite difference and slow changes in the weather that makes being outside much more pleasant. We are even seeing some changes in leaves on the trees.

After returning home from my walk, we didn't do much of anything until about mid-afternoon, when we went out to the house to check it out. No problems were found, but we did see some evidence that someone had toured the property today. Before leaving, we cleaned the travel paths in the house to get up some stray grass and leaves that had been tracked in over the last couple of weeks.

Before leaving the house, we noticed an oil stain where I had parked the truck yesterday. When we got home, I parked where I could get under the truck to see if I could figure out where the leak was occurring. Before doing that, I decided to do a little meditation. After supper, I crawled under the truck, and found the source of the leak right away. When the truck was serviced the last time, the oil filter was not tightened properly. As a result, a slow leak developed. I wiped the oil off the filter and tightened it using an old rag. While under there, I also checked all other areas that might be leaking, and did not find any other leaks.

Finding that leak has really ticked me off. How hard can it be to do something right? If I had not noticed the leak, major damage might have resulted to the motor. We take good care of our equipment, and we expect anyone who does something for us to give us quality service, especially when we are paying for it. Or is that an unreasonable expectation?

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Boaz, Alabama: The Shop ‘Til You Drop Capital Of Alabama

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Frightening Experience

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 65 degrees, high 87 degrees, clear skies

After my morning walk, I stopped at McDonald's and picked us up a couple of sausage biscuits for breakfast. These biscuits don't come close to matching what my sister Janie can make, but they'll do in a pinch.

Traffic in town was much lighter, since most of the people going to the game last night were already gone home or slept in late. It was an easy drive, and made me yearn for some of the small towns in Texas.

After an easy morning and no work yesterday, I was starting to look around for something to do. I decided to go out to the house and do some more yard work. I had just started down the hill next to the woods when I noticed a pile of limbs that had fallen out of a tree. Most of the limbs that fall are rotten, so the mower can run over them with no damage. However, I always check them out to make sure I don't run over one that will cause damage. Just before I started over the limbs, one of them started moving. What the... Whoa!! Rattlesnake!!! @%&#**?/%$#! Now, I don't like snakes. Period. I was within four feet of this one, and he was just to my left side. I immediately started hitting the accelerator as hard as I could and steered away from the snake. He appeared to be just as startled as I was, and was trying to go the opposite direction. I didn't have anything to kill him with, and I knew he would be gone by the time I went and got something, like about a ten feet long stick with a sharp blade.

Once I was over my initial fright (that's right, I was scared!!), I rode back around where I saw the snake and saw his tail disappearing into the underbrush. It might seem like exaggeration, but he was at least five feet long and as thick as my forearm. That was not a pleasant time.

Once my heart settled down, I continued mowing, working my way out to the driveway. While doing the driveway, a car came down to the house. The people said they had seen the realty company sign for the house, and would like to look at the property, if possible. I said sure, come on in. My feeling was that you don't turn anyone away, because all you need is one buyer. Showing the property and talking to them took an hour, and they loved the property. The only sticking point was the price, and I recommended they talk to the Realtor to see what might be worked out.

After the lookers left, I finished mowing along the driveway. Then it was back home, where I rested a few minutes, then cleaned up the truck, inside and out. After taking a short break, we ate some very good soup that Carolyn prepared.

Overall, a good day, except for my little fright.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Eureka, California: Queen City Of The Ultimate West

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Easy Day

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 72 degrees, high 81 degrees, mostly cloudy

Today was one of those rare days we have when we didn't have a lot of work to do. Let me re-phrase that: we had work we could do, but decided not to do anything. Wow, that sounds strange, considering how busy we have been.

After my morning walk, I filled the truck up with diesel for $3.999 per gallon. That's the lowest we have paid since the middle of April. I hope the price keeps coming down.

The rest of the morning was spent taking life easy and reading. After we ate lunch, we went out to the house to make sure everything was okay there. No problems were found. On the way home, we took a short ride down a couple of roads we had not been on before. It was a surprise to find some beautiful views that close to town.

Upon getting home, I watched a little college football, then did some meditating. Then we went over to Terri's apartment and had supper with her and Thomas. He is getting over the virus he has been suffering with, and was able to eat a big supper. By the time we finished, it was time to come back home so I could watch the Miami versus Florida football game. The game was close until the second half, when Florida's strength took over and they won the game handily, 26-3.

As I said at the beginning of this post, we didn't do much, and it felt great. Now, let's build on that.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Willacoochee, Georgia: Easy Living Where Good People Count

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, September 5, 2008

MRI And Dye

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 74 degrees, high 91 degrees, mostly cloudy

We spent most of the morning at the doctor's office having an MRI performed on the nodules on Carolyn's left calf. Yesterday, I mentioned that the radiologist felt the wrong procedure had been ordered, and he would not need to inject a dye for contrast. Well, he did the MRI, but the contrast was not good enough, so he had to inject the dye after all. Carolyn was really frustrated with the experience. She will have to wait until Monday or Tuesday to get a report.

After leaving the doctor's office, we stopped by Terri's apartment to see how Thomas was. She took him to the doctor late yesterday, and he was diagnosed with a virus. He is taking medicine for it, and should be better soon. For the next couple of days, he has to eat a bland diet, which means he can't eat most of the things he likes. Torture.

In the afternoon, I went with Terri to take care of some business in Tuscaloosa. Traffic was absolutely terrible. The University has a football game tomorrow night, and it is amazing how many people come to town for the games. Most of the people will not have tickets, but come to take part in tailgate parties, walk on campus, park their RVs in designated areas, and just be a part of the experience. It should be better Monday.

Usually, we don't watch the political conventions because most of the time it is the same old politics. Wednesday night, we watched Sarah Palin's speech, and I have to say we were impressed. This lady seems to have her stuff together. In an election campaign that is marked by both parties talking about the changes (meaning same old stuff) they are going to bring, she is like a breath of fresh air. If she is elected vice president, I hope she doesn't get corrupted by Washington, like so many before her have.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Tifton, Georgia: The Reading Capital Of The World

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

No C-T Scan Today

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 76 degrees, 91 degrees, cloudy, showers in the late afternoon and evening

Carolyn went to have her c-t scan performed today, and the radiologist said that the doctor had ordered the wrong procedure. The radiologist felt that a MRI would be the best exam to show what her problem is, but the doctor could not be reached to order the change. So, we'll go back tomorrow and have the MRI performed. The radiologist feels the MRI gives a better view of the problem area, and takes away the possibility of having to use a dye for definition. That's important, considering Carolyn's issues with being allergic to so many things involving medicine.

Thomas missed the last two days of school because of a stomach virus. He probably picked it up from another kid. I think he'll be ready to go back to school after two days of inactivity.

After taking care of our business in town, we went out to the house to do some more mowing. After about 2.5 hours of that, I was ready to hang it up. The area I was mowing is the roughest on the property, and riding that mower was like riding a bucking bronco. Another two hours will finish the mowing out there, and then it's on to the weed eating. Yuck!!

After getting home and resting a few minutes, I mowed and used the weed eater on our yard around the RV. I was just finishing up when it started raining. In fact, I didn't even have time to straighten out the extension cord. I just gathered it up and threw it in the basement. I'll straighten it out another day.

After all of that, I had an errand to do for Terri at 2100 hours tonight. That meant the blog didn't get posted until almost 2330 hours. I hope it reads okay, because I'm wore out.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Little Rock, Arkansas: Rocktown

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 76 degrees, high 81 degrees, cloudy

In preparation for her c-t scan tomorrow, Carolyn had to have a blood sample taken today. This is in the event the doctors have to inject a dye to gain the proper contrast in the pictures of her nodules. Apparently, the dye can cause some problems with 1% of people who may be allergic to it. With the allergies she has, it would not be surprising for her to react negatively to the dye. Hopefully, it will not have to be used.

Speaking of the blood sample Carolyn had to give, her arm looks as though the lab tech used a drill and syringe to take the sample. The tech did one of the worse jobs we have seen.

After giving the blood sample, we went to the laundromat to wash our clothes. It was the busiest we have ever seen it be. Most of the people were from Louisiana, and they were talking among themselves about the weather and when they might be able to go home. There is some talk here about some interviews that were given by people from down there. Most of the interviews were of people complaining about their lot while here. Now, let's think about this a minute. Free transportation out of the storm, free housing, free food, free entertainment. Am I missing something? The more you give people, the more they want. To be fair, many people have not asked for help, and probably would not accept it if offered. However, the bad apples sure do leave a bad taste.

When we finished the laundry, we went home and rested for a couple of hours. Then it was out to the house to mow for awhile. It's nice to not have to spend all our time out there. Now, if we can just get that thing sold.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Lufkin, Texas: The Heart of The Texas Forest Country

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Doctor's Visit

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 80 degrees, high 89 degrees, cloudy, windy

The weather continued much as it has for the last few days. The good thing about it is that it is a little cooler, and no rain. The rain we got last week will last another week or two at least.

We were busy again today (is there anything else?). We helped Terri take care of some little errands in Tuscaloosa. The traffic was terrible because the college students are back in town. While in town, we went by the library and changed our books out. After lunch, we went out to the house to make sure everything was okay there. No problems were found, and we headed home to rest a few minutes before Carolyn had to visit another doctor about the nodules on the calf of her left leg.

The nodules were first noticed about three months ago, and Carolyn saw a doctor a couple of weeks ago about them. That doctor sent her to the specialist she saw today. The specialist said the nodules were not like anything he had seen before, so she will have a number of tests performed to try to narrow down what they are and how to treat them. She will have a c-t scan on Thursday, then go back to the specialist to see if he is going to do a biopsy. He does not want to do the biopsy until he has a better idea of what we are dealing with. If surgery is advised, we will let everyone know the details on when and where.

Has anyone noticed how fast time flies the older you get? We have been here a little over five months, and it seems like it was yesterday that we got here. Well, most of the time it seems that way. Sometimes, the hard work we were doing here seemed like it was never going to end. Thank God things are a little easier. I was starting to think maybe I should go back to work for money so I could get some rest.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Willits, California: Heart Of Mendocino County

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 78 degrees, high 91 degrees, cloudy, windy

It was cloudy and windy all day because of Hurricane Gustav's influence on our weather. There was a sprinkle or two, but no rain that amounted to anything. It appears that New Orleans missed the really bad weather from the storm, but areas west of there were hit. Hopefully, it will not be too bad.

We went with Terri to pick up Thomas in Birmingham this evening. The traffic was not bad, probably because of the Labor Day holiday. What was interesting was the number of convoys of power company vehicles we saw headed south on I-59, apparently bound for the storm areas. We saw at least six convoys of those types of vehicles, and also saw three convoys of tree trimming equipment. In addition, we saw a large number of big generators being transported in that direction, as well as trucks loaded with cases of bottled water. On top of all that, we saw at least five large convoys of military vehicles and personnel headed the same direction. It appears that some valuable lessons were learned in the last couple of years on how to respond to emergencies. The response should be much better this time around. Now, if we can get people to help themselves, the recovery should be easier.

I have heard that many of the states and the federal government have adopted Florida's model for dealing with these types of emergencies. It doesn't matter where the model comes from, as long as it is timely and effective.

I hear there is another storm about to hit the gulf later this week. Let's hope if fizzles out.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - New Orleans, Louisiana: The Queen of the Mississippi

Not all who wander are lost.