Saturday, January 31, 2009

Looking At More RVs

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 30 degrees, high 70 degrees, clear skies, breezy

In yesterday's post on Dinosaur World, I was looking over my shoulder as I wrote about the smaller dinosaurs and how I would have not wanted to run up on them. As a result, I forgot to mention that Carolyn had another medical procedure yesterday. She had an MRI performed on her left shoulder as part of the tests to determine what is causing the pain in that area. She will be seeing the doctor for the problem on Wednesday. He should have all the results of the tests and be able to diagnose the problem at that time. Carolyn says its tough to be getting older. I remind her that getting older is better than the alternative.

We went to Granbury this morning to look at some more RVs. The ones we looked at were a 33 foot Mobile Scout fifth wheel and a 31 foot Sunny Brook. Both RVs are built by the same manufacturer and look much the same inside. The only difference we could see, other than the length, was the name on the front of each unit. Because of the lengths, the 31 foot model is a little lighter. Both units would take us to or beyond the weight that our truck is rated to pull. As I have said before, the truck could pull more weight, but we want to also be able to stop safely. We have an exhaust brake on our truck, and it does help us stop, especially coming out of the hills and mountains. However, if we were to have an accident and it was found that we were pulling a heavier load than the truck is rated for, we might be liable. That's a chance we don't want to take.

After we left the RV dealer, we took a ride through Acton, which is where Davy Crockett's wife is buried. The road led us northeast across the hills toward Cleburne. There has been a lot of drilling for oil and gas wells in the north Texas area, and this area is no exception. We passed many oil wells pumping away, and saw where pipe lines are being laid to get the gas to market. It was interesting to see the oil and gas wells, and not far away would be new houses with barns and ponds. It is apparent that most of the new construction is enabled by the money earned by the landowners for leases and royalties. It's nice to see the people who own the land getting some of the benefits of the wealth that is found beneath their property.

Tonight, we went to a new Chinese restaurant in Granbury for supper. We had noticed the restaurant on one of our earlier trips to Granbury, and decided I would cook tonight. So I decided I would prepare Chinese food. I have to say I prepared a good meal. I think Carolyn likes it when I cook. I've done better before, but this wasn't bad for whipping something up on the spur of the moment.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Portland, Maine: Birthplace Of The Italian Sandwich

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Dinosaur World

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 25 degrees, high 67 degrees, clear skies, breezy

Happy Birthday, Denise.

I added a new element to our blog today. Look at the left hand side, and you'll see a map of the USA with a number of the states colored in. This map indicates the states that we have spent at least one night in with our RV. Some people use these maps to show the states they have been in, whether they stayed in their RVs or not. We choose to just show the states that we have stayed in the RV at least one night. Overall, we have been to many more states than what we have colored in, and we hope to start adding more states with the RV in the near future.

Carolyn went to town with our friend Denise today, so I decided to take a trip into Glen Rose and go to the newest local attraction. This area is known as the Dinosaur Capital of Texas because of the large number of fossils found here, as well as dinosaur footprints in the bedrock of the Paluxy River. Hoping to tag onto the area's reputation, a museum was built that relates the history of the dinosaurs. Most of the museum is located outside where life size models of about 100 dinosaurs have been built. The attraction is called Dinosaur World (catchy name). Here's some pictures I took.

The models that I took pictures of are supposed to be full sized representations of what scientists think the dinosaurs looked like. I think they may have gotten the colors wrong, but who knows? If I had to choose a color or colors that the dinosaurs were, I would choose something about the same as modern day elephants. Most of the models were huge, but I think the ones I would have been most afraid of if I had lived back then would have been the small ones because they could be quiet sneaking through the brush. Brrrr! Gives me the chills to think about those things hunting me.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Glen Rose, Texas: Dinosaur Capital Of Texas

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Roadrunners And Wild Turkeys

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 25 degrees, high 55 degrees, clear skies, fog this morning

There was still some ice and sleet in shady places left over from the storm that went through here this week. On the plus side, the temperatures were warmer, and are expected to keep getting warmer for the next three days. I'm ready.

The improved weather gave us the urge to get out and see some countryside. We drove over to Chalk Mountain and pulled into the overlook just off US 67. This wayside stop has to be one of most scenic rest areas in the state. When we left the rest area, we took a back road across country toward Walnut Spring, located in Bosque County. We didn't actually get to Walnut Spring, but turned onto Texas 144 back toward Glen Rose.

On our drives through the countryside, we are always looking for interesting animal and plant life. As might be expected for this time of year, the plant life is basically dormant. That makes it easier to see the animals, and we saw two things that are usually fairly secretive: a couple of roadrunners and some wild turkeys. We know there are a lot of deer in this area, but we didn't see any today.

Speaking of roadrunners, there are some located in the woods behind the RV park where we are staying. I saw one of them yesterday, and the bird allowed me to get within about 10 feet of him before he ran. I know most people remember the old Roadrunner and Coyote cartoons, where the coyote always got the bad end of any confrontation with the roadrunner. For some reason, every time I see a roadrunner, I keep expecting him to go beep, beep, stick out his tongue, and blaze off in a cloud of dust.

When I was working at the Comanche Peak Nuclear Plant, located about two miles from where we are currently staying, the security cameras routinely monitored the presence of a mountain lion. Where there's one, there's usually two. That caught my attention because I like to walk. There have been several instances of mountain lions attacking people farther west of here. I still remember the sightings, and when I walk here, I always stay aware of what's around. I don't want to be a statistic or a meal for a mountain lion.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Glen Rose, Texas: 2004 American Dream Town Winner

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sleet And Ice

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 18 degrees, high 42 degrees, clear skies, ice and sleet everywhere

Last night, after I wrote the post for yesterday, we had a lot of sleet fall in this area. When we got up this morning, the ground was white with the sleet and a little snow. The highway between Glen Rose and Granbury was iced over, and it did not melt until well up in the morning. Traffic was very light, and the drivers seemed to be taking their time. The schools were closed, and a lot of people stayed home from work.

Here's some pictures I took of the sleet and ice.

We didn't go outside after I took the pictures above until after lunch because it was so slippery and cold. At that time, most of the ice had melted. I was able to take a walk, and the conditions were good, with temperatures in the low 40s. After the walk, I cleaned the ice off our steps (the sun did not shine on them all day), and did a couple more little chores outside.

It was another slow day because of the weather. Maybe tomorrow will bring more interesting events.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Magnolia, Arkansas: Home Of The World’s Largest Charcoal Grill

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Icy Cold

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 28 degrees, high 32 degrees, cloudy, winds 10 t0 15 mph, freezing mist and rain

As can be seen by the weather, it has been a day to stay inside. The weather started the day cold and and wet, and did not get any better. Instead, it got colder as the day progressed, and the low tonight is forecast to be 20 degrees. I'm glad I don't have to go anywhere.

About 1100 hours, I decided to see if I could take a walk, but had to cut it short after I had walked about half the distance I normally do. It was just too cold with the wind and freezing mist. By the time I got back to the RV, my face felt like it would freeze.

Since we didn't want to get outside too much, we puttered around inside. I did some surfing on the net, some reading, a lot of meditating, watched television.... Carolyn did much the same as me, but she also did something a little more productive by preparing a pot of chili. The chili was really good and hit the spot on this cold night.

Carolyn was supposed to have an MRI performed on her left shoulder today, but that appointment was delayed by the hospital until Friday because of the weather. That's okay with us because we didn't have to get out in this mess.

I worked on trying to edit Carolyn's I-POD, but didn't get much done. These technological marvels seem to be getting the best of me. I know I'll get it mastered, but it sure seems to take me more time than I thought it would.

I don't have much to talk about today. Maybe we'll do better tomorrow. In the meantime, we'll try to stay warm.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Waldo, Arkansas: Home Of Travis Watkins, Medal Of Honor Winner

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Misty Day

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 42 degrees, high 48 degrees, cloudy, misty, winds 10 to 15 mph

Today's weather was not anything to write home about. The next two days are expected to be even worse, with lows in the 20s, freezing rain and sleet, and some accumulation of ice. Sounds great, doesn't it? Maybe we'll get a little snow while we're at it.

About 1000 hours, we had some errands to run in Glen Rose. While we were at the hardware store, one of the classic old cars of the 1970s and 1980s parked there. It was an El Camino, and what caught our eye about it, other than it being a classic, was that it was a four door model, which we had never seen before. With the four doors, it was loooongggg! Here's a picture of the classic.

When we got back from Glen Rose, I replaced the rusty bolts on the satellite dish so I could fine tune the set up. It took about ten minutes to get the signal we're accustomed to, and another little chore was finished.

We went to Chili's for supper, and had their bacon burgers. It wasn't bad, but I think the bacon burger from the Chili's in Tuscaloosa was better. I know Carolyn's hamburgers are better.

When we left Chili's, we stopped at the WalMart Mall to pick up a few groceries. As we were standing in the quick checkout line, Carolyn said I should let the girl behind us go ahead of us, since she only had about five items in her hands. The only problem was that the man behind her had two items, then another man with three items... If I let one person go ahead, I have to let all of them go ahead. I don't have a problem letting people go ahead, but when do you go on and check out? So I decided we would keep our place in line, and it took very little time to get checked out. Was that wrong?

We received our mail today, but there was not any tax information in the packet. It's probably a little too early. Maybe next week.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Thermopolis, Wyoming: Thermop

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sleep Problem

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 37 degrees, high 48 degrees, clear skies, breezes to 10 mph

Occasionally, I will have problems sleeping through the night. Last night was one of those nights. I woke before 0300 hours and couldn't go back to sleep. At 0400 hours, I decided to go into the living room and read so I wouldn't wake Carolyn. At 0500 hours, I felt sleepy and went back to bed. I finally went to sleep and got up about 0730 hours. Don't you hate it when you have one of those nights? At least I didn't have anything planned where I had to get up early.

We decided to go to Burger King in Glen Rose about 1000 hours to get breakfast. This particular Burger King restaurant is our favorite for that chain because it is clean. We seldom go to Burger King when away from here because we are usually disappointed with something about them. That's not the case here.

After eating, we decided to see if there were any major changes in the Glen Rose area since we were here last November. We noticed two new hotels that were being built have been finished, but none of the five that have been built in the last four years seems to be doing very well. It may be the time of the year, or it may be the economy, but there does not seem to be enough business in the Glen Rose area for five hotels. And that doesn't count a couple of older motels and RV parks. Maybe they know something we don't.

With the clear weather, the visibility across the hills was very good. Even with the winter season we're in, the views are outstanding. The hills are dotted with cedar and oak trees and a type of yellow grass that seems to accentuate the green of the trees. When the rock ledges, valleys, mesas, and rolling hills are added, we consider this to be a scenic area.

I took my walk in the afternoon, and it was a pleasant time in the sun. Light breezes, sunshine, cool temperatures. Nice. When I got back from the walk, I did a couple of little chores that I had been putting off. Then I watched a little college basketball, which I like better than the pros. The pros don't seem to know how to play defense, and I like the spirit and effort that the college players put into the game. After all those little things, I started working on our tax return for 2008. We still need some information, but with what I did today, it shouldn't take much to finish the return when I get the information.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Forks, Washington: Logging Capital Of The World

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What A Difference A Day Makes

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 30 degrees, high 36 degrees, cloudy, winds to 20 mph

Years ago, there was a hit song by Esther Philips titled "What A Difference A Day Makes". That describes the difference in the weather between yesterday and today. Yesterday, the low temperature was 64 degrees, with a high of 84 degrees. Last night about 2100 hours, we had what is called a blue norther blow through this area, and the temperatures took a nosedive. The temperature dropped to 30 degrees overnight, and only got up to 36 degrees, with a 15-20 mph wind. With those conditions, I wimped out on my morning walk, reasoning that I could make up for it another time. I also reasoned that we were going to the RV show in Fort Worth, and the walking I would do there would help make up for not walking earlier, to an extent. Let's face it, when it's this cold and windy, it's easy to come up with a rationale for not walking. Also, I'm probably getting a little soft. Nah, that's not it. I just don't like cold weather.

We made it to the RV show just as they were opening the doors. Thank God we didn't have to stand out in the cold wind. We've been to enough of these shows that we know what we want to look at, and don't waste time and energy on units that we don't have any interest in. Like motor homes for half a million dollars, pop up campers, tag alongs, etc. Our primary interest, or I should my primary interest, is in the fifth wheels. Carolyn's primary interest is in the motor homes and fifth wheels. We looked at a few motor homes, but mostly at the fifth wheels by Mobile Suite, Montana, Jayco, Excel, and Open Range. Limiting the selection of brands tended to focus us better, and we didn't spend much time aimlessly walking. We talked to some factory representatives and salesmen, picked up a few brochures, and did a lot of comparisons. In the end, we were most impressed by the Mobile Suites and Montana.

The Montana brand surprised us because when we were buying our current fifth wheel in 2002, our impression of the Montana models we looked at was that the quality was less than adequate. The units we saw today seemed to have very good quality, good layouts, and overall, were very livable. The posted prices seemed to be competitive, and we feel that if we were to make an offer on anything, we could drive a pretty good deal. Depending on what we were to buy, we might even be able to use our current truck for towing. We still have a lot to decide, but it's good to know we found something that we think we could use.

As we were making our way out of the show area, an elderly man stopped us and said if we were looking for a motor home, he had one that he was selling because his wife was ill and they could not travel anymore. He said he would make us a great deal if we were interested, even to the point of taking our fifth wheel and giving us retail on it against the motor home. We asked him for a sheet listing everything on the motor home, and told him we would contact him if we were interested. Something else to think about.

We thought the show was not as well attended as it has been in previous years. That may be due to the economy or the weather, or both. In addition, there seemed to be some dealers missing that had been there before.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Fort Worth, Texas: Where The West Begins

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Nice Weather Continues

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 64 degrees, high 84 degrees, mostly cloudy early, partly cloudy later

I took my walk early this morning because Carolyn had another doctor's appointment to discuss the procedure she will have performed on February 2. No concerns, this is a procedure her doctor is having done so he will have a baseline to compare in the future. We were where we were supposed to be ahead of time, and it's a good thing we were. The doctor performing the procedure moved his office from Glen Rose to Granbury, but they did not notify Carolyn. We found out where we were supposed to be, and made the trip over to Granbury without any holdups. Then we sat in the office for 30 minutes before being called. All of that and she did not even see the doctor. She talked to a nurse who asked some questions and got our insurance information. At least the procedure will be performed in Glen Rose, which we are glad to hear.

When we left the doctor's office, we debated whether we wanted to go to the RV show in Fort Worth, or wait until tomorrow. We decided to go tomorrow. Since we were already in Granbury, we went to the RV supply store and picked up a closet door catch to replace in the RV. There is also an RV dealer attached to the supply store that handles Mobile Suite RVs. We walked over and went through some of them, and were impressed by two of the Mobile Suites. One big problem: the weight of these RVs would require that we upgrade our truck, which is not something we want to do. Our current truck does not have anything wrong with it, and only has 105,000 miles, which is nothing for a diesel that has been taken care of like ours. It will pull the heavier RVs with no problem, but stopping safely may present problems. We will not do anything unless it is safe.

We looked at some other models at the RV dealer's but none of them impressed us like the Mobile Suites. We are going to the RV show tomorrow, so we'll see what's being shown there. In addition, next week we'll see what else Mobile Suite has available. If we don't find something we like, that's okay. It'll happen when and if it's supposed to.

The last few months, I have been neglecting the exercises needed to keep my rotator cuff healthy, only doing them sporadically. I started doing them again yesterday, with a resolution to do them on a routine basis from now on. I do not want to have to go through the surgery.

Our friend Denise called this morning and told us that her mother had passed away last night. Our heartfelt sympathies go to Denise and her family.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Hamburg, Arkansas: Home Of Miss Teen USA

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

86 degrees

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 30 degrees, high 86 degrees, clear skies most of the day, then partly cloudy late in the afternoon

86 degrees on January 22!! Can you believe that? Sure feels better than the temperatures we have been experiencing the past couple of months.

This morning, I went for a walk with Jerry and Joyce, the owners of the RV park where we are staying. They step out pretty good, and we were finished in less than an hour.

When I returned home, Carolyn got an appointment to see our family doctor about some problems she has been having with her left shoulder. The doctor's office said they could see her at 1000 hours this morning if she could make it. So we hotfooted it to Glen Rose and the doctor said he didn't know what the problem is. He said it could be arthritis or a rotator cuff problem. I'm voting for the rotator cuff. X-rays were taken, an MRI was scheduled for next Tuesday, and she is waiting for an orthopedic doctor's office to call with an appointment time to see him. Hopefully, therapy will be enough to take care of the problem. A few years ago, I had a rotator cuff problem, and therapy helped me a lot. Surgery was avoided, and I have no pain at all at this time. I still do the exercises that were given to me in therapy, and intend to keep doing them.

I thought the doctor's visit would take 15 minutes or so, but it took more than an hour. We came home and rested for about an hour, then went to the WalMart Mall in Granbury to pick up some groceries. Business seemed slow at the Mall, and we were able to move right along and finish up quickly. After we got home, I took care of a couple little chores. And then I had time for a little meditation before supper. Tomorrow, if we feel like it, we may go to Fort Worth for the RV show. There's no telling what we might find there.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Port Townsend, Washington: City Of Dreams

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Back In Texas

Glen Rose, Texas

Weather: low 24 degrees in Hope, Arkansas, high 81 degrees in Glen Rose, Texas, clear skies

My brother Keith and I met for breakfast this morning before we left Hope. This was the most time we had been able to spend together with just the two of us in several years, and I really enjoyed the time with him. We had some great conversation, and the food was pretty good.

We left Hope about 1030 hours this morning. Our route led us south on I-30 through Texarkana. The good road and weather conditions made for an easy trip down through Dallas and on to Glen Rose via US 67. We arrived in Glen Rose about 1600 hours. After greeting everyone, we pulled into our space, set up the RV, and took a break. After a half hour or so, I set up the satellite dish. Got to keep Carolyn happy about what there is to see on television. I will have to do some repairs on the dish tomorrow because of a worn out bolt, but at least I got it working tonight.

Did you notice the high temperature of 81 degrees today? It feels so good to be warm and able to do things outside without freezing. I'm not sure how long this good weather is going to last, but we'll enjoy it while we can. Another thing we noticed about the weather is that there has been little rain here recently. The area is under an outside fire ban.

I received some sad news this evening after we arrived at the RV park. Ben Roush, an old friend and work buddy of about 20 years passed away in his sleep last night. He was from our old hometown of Ocala, Florida, and was the ultimate Florida Gator sports fan. I'm glad he was able to see the Gators have their recent success in sports. If there is a Gator team wherever Ben is, I like to think that he is their team manager, providing support and backing in their endeavors. Rest easy, Ben. Our sympathies go out to his family and friends.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Glen Rose, Texas: The Dinosaur Capital Of Texas

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Day Of History

Hope, Arkansas

Weather: low 28 degrees in Greenville, Mississippi, high 45 degrees in Hope, Arkansas, cloudy early, then partly cloudy

The wind was still blowing about 20 mph when we got up this morning. We waited until about 1030 hours to leave, hoping the weather would warm and the wind would abate. The wait did not help with either of those weather items, and when we left, the wind was still blowing. About 60 miles into today's travel, we finally got some calmer winds.

Traffic continued to be light, and we had no problems going through all the little towns spaced out along US 82. We arrived in Hope about 1400 hours, and were set up and getting warm by 1430 hours. One note of interest: we saw diesel fuel for sale for $1.999 per gallon just west of Lake Village, Arkansas. It has been a long time since I've seen a price that low.

We met my brother Keith and his family for dinner at a local bar-b-que restaurant. We enjoyed a good meal and good conversation, catching up on what's been going on with everybody. After the meal was over, the gathering was moved to Keith's house, where the good conversation continued. We left after about three hours, and will meet Keith at a local restaurant for breakfast in the morning.

Regardless of a person's politics and beliefs, today has to rank as one of the most historic in our country's history. I am amazed when I think of some of the events I have seen during my lifetime, such as being born in World War II, the Korean War, man going into space and sending rockets into outer space and other planets, the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, the attempted assassinations of George Wallace and Ronald Reagan, the civil rights gains made by minorities and women, technology gains (some of which I still have problems with), Vietnam War and Gulf Wars, the war on terror started by the downing of the World Trade Center...... As you can see, the events are just too numerous to list.

Our family and friends know how we feel about politics and the way the country seems to be going. We hope that the country and new president are successful in meeting the challenges that seem so overwhelming at times.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Jacksonville, Florida: The River City

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Broke RV Door Lock

Greenville, Mississippi

Weather: low 30 degrees in Coker, Alabama, High 44 degrees in Greenville, Mississippi, mostly cloudy skies, wind 15-20 mph

We left Coker about 0930 hours this morning after telling our landlords and friends goodbye. Traffic was light, but we battled a headwind of 15 to 20 mph all day. Imagine how tiring that can be, and how it affects the fuel mileage, especially when pulling a big wall down the road.

We decided to spend the night just west of Greenville, and found a nice little county park on the banks of the Mississippi River. Everything was going well until we tried to open the RV entrance door. I put the key in and turned the key, I mean I tried to turn the key. The key wouldn't turn. Hmmmmm. Now, what's the problem? Okay, let's try this again. Key still won't turn. Let's try some WD-40 in the lock and see if that helps. Now try the key again. No luck. Okay, more WD-40. Again, no luck. After about 20 minutes, it was apparent that the inner mechanism of the lock was seized up, and no amount of WD-40 and turning of the key was going to unlock the door. At that point, I started looking for an alternative method of getting into the RV. I quickly found that the only way to get in was to cause damage.

We went back to the campground office and asked if they could direct me to an RV service facility. A facility was found in Greenville, and when I called it, the person who answered said he had a new lock he could install So, we hotfooted it back to Greenville, had the work done, then went back to the campground, set up the trailer, and turned the heat on. It was cold!!!

Now that I have related our problems with the door, a little about where we are. This campground is on the banks of the river, and we can see the huge tugboats and barges going up and down the river, no more than about 300 feet away. Carolyn is intrigued by the size of the barge trains and how much cargo they must be able to carry. There are about 60 spaces here, as well as a dirt bike trail, hiking, bicycling, and playgrounds. And, of course, fishing. Currently, counting us, there are only three RVs here, and it is nice and quiet. It's too bad the weather is so cold, because I would like to do some walking in the area.

We'll finish our drive to Hope, Arkansas, tomorrow, where we will visit with my brother Keith and his family.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Winona, Mississippi: The Crossroads Of North Mississippi

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

One Year Of Blogging

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 45 degrees, high 60 degrees, showers before daybreak, then clear skies

Today is a milestone for the blog. I started the blog one year ago as a way to allow family and friends and anyone else that might be interested follow along on our adventure through life. At the time I started the blog, we thought we would be traveling more than we have. However, when we came to Coker last year, we found that our daughter Terri and grandson Thomas needed our help to get through some tough personal problems. Terri and Thomas are doing much better, and their house sold last week. They are going forward with their lives, and that means we will be starting to travel again. In fact, we are leaving here tomorrow on our way to Texas.

The blog has been something that I have enjoyed doing, and I have posted every day except for about a week when our computer crashed last summer. Sometimes, it seemed as though every post was about working on Terri's house and property. If you think that was boring, you should have been here doing the work we were doing. When I retired, I never dreamed that I would do work as hard as the house required. And I didn't get paid for it. At least when I was still employed, I got paid for my work. Please don't take what I am saying the wrong way. We don't regret helping Terri and Thomas. We have enjoyed our time with them, and plan to spend a lot of time with them in the future. Again, however, we will be doing more traveling, and that means some real adventures for the blog.

Speaking of the house, we went to it for the last time today. We had a few things there that we wanted to get before leaving tomorrow. The most important thing on the list of things to pick up was the last of the boiled peanuts that we put in the freezer last summer. Terri met us at the house and we helped her get most of what she was taking away. She still has a few things to pick up, but will do that next week. We expect to be back here in 3-4 weeks, and the new owners will be moved in.

When we returned to the RV, I started doing preparations for travel on the outside of the RV, while Carolyn did the same on the inside. Getting ready to leave in the morning should not take much time, and then it's back on the road again. Yeee haw!

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Clanton, Alabama: A Good Place To Visit, A Better Place To Live

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Little Warmer

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 26 degrees, high 40 degrees, cloudy, light sprinkles in the afternoon, breezy

The weather continues to be cold, but it is a little warmer than yesterday. We expect a few showers tonight, but I'd rather see some snow. There's something that seems to touch the little kid inside me when it snows. Perhaps it's because I never saw snow until I was an adult.

The most memorable snowfall for me occurred on the night of December 24, 2004, the last winter we spent in Bay City, Texas. It started snowing about dark on the 24th, and when we got up on Christmas Day, everything outside was covered with snow. Overnight, 14 inches of snow fell, which was a record for the area. Early in the morning, no one had driven or walked on the new snow, and it was a beautiful sight. There may have been a few kids that played with their new toys that day, but most of them were outside in the snow. There was still snow on the ground three days later.

I did my normal morning walk, and was comfortable except for my ears. I took my knit cap with me, but left it in the truck because I had my baseball cap on. By the time I realized that I had the wrong head cover on, I decided to keep going because I was so far from the truck. Another of those bad choices I make once in awhile.

I went to the library to return some books and to download some program updates on the old computer. The library has a wifi signal that they allow customers of the library to use. Since their signal is much stronger than what I can get in Coker, I do the software updates at the library. The signal in Coker is good enough for casual use of the Internet, but that's about all.

While I was at the library, I tried to use the new computer. I had no problem getting on the Internet using the air card, but was unable to access the library's wifi signal. I kept getting a note that said that there was not a device or network adapter available, but when I checked the system, I found that it was available. I don't know what's going on (no surprise) but I'll keep trying until I get the adapter to work.

We plan to leave here on Monday on our way to Glen Rose, Texas, where Carolyn has a doctor's appointment next Friday. We'll go through Hope, Arkansas, and visit my brother Keith and his family. Sometime in the next week, we expect to go to the Fort Worth RV Show, where we will see what's out there in new RVs. After the doctor visits are completed, we will be going to Bay City to see family and friends. We hope to be able to help our daughter Lori celebrate her birthday. Somewhere in these travels, we are going to try to see some new places.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Brundidge, Alabama: Alabama’s Own Antique City

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dead Truck

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 15 degrees, high 28 degrees, clear skies, breezy

First, the good news: this cold weather will end eventually. Now, the bad news: we have at least one more night and day of the same kind of weather we had today. Next, the even worse news: it was so cold today that the truck would not start.

When we were in Texas in November, I noticed that the starter on the truck seemed to be dragging a little. Being the type of person that does everything I can to make sure we don't get stranded somewhere, I took the truck in to a shop to have what I perceived as a potential problem checked out. The shop in Texas said there was not any problem, so we went on our way. This morning, with the cold weather we are having, the truck starter would hardly turn over, and I couldn't get the truck started. I had an appointment at Terri's house to meet the pest control technician so he could perform a termite inspection as part of the preps for selling the house. When I found that the truck wouldn't start, I called the technician and arranged for him to pick me up on his way to the house.

When I got back from the house, I tried to start the truck again, and no luck again. We have road assistance, so I called them and told them about the problem. A service truck was sent out from Tuscaloosa, but it took the truck over an hour to get to me because they were so busy today. We tried to start the truck using a booster battery and charger, but again, no success.

I called the road assistance company and told them what had happened. They sent a wrecker out to tow the truck to a diesel garage, where the problem was diagnosed and repaired. Guess what the problem was? Bad batteries, because it seems that the shop that checked the batteries in Texas failed to check them in the correct manner.

That really ticks me off. We've been driving a truck that was just waiting for cold weather like this to strand us, when it could have been repaired in Texas, with no inconvenience at all.

This sequence of events started at 0730 hours this morning and ended at 1730 hours, when I drove away from the garage. As you can see, I was busy all day, and only got two things accomplished. At least we got those two items done, and our truck is running again.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Gainesville, Florida: Title Town

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wind Chill

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 27 degrees, high 38 degrees, clear skies, COLDDDDD wind

Notice my accent on COLD above? The wind was blowing about 15 miles per hour, and it was so cold that when I went for my morning walk, I wore a knit watch cap and my heaviest jacket, along with a sweat shirt. The wind chill made the temperature feel like it was about 15 degrees. My face felt the cold the most, especially when I was walking into the wind. It looks like the cold will be worse tomorrow, with a low forecast near 11 degrees.

We spent part of the day working on getting stuff together for the sale of Terri's house. The buyers want to expedite the process and move in as soon as possible. I want to expedite the process so I don't have to continue taking care of the house. When we sold our house in 2005, we never expected to be as involved with another house so soon, especially one that is not ours. Tomorrow, I will be meeting the exterminator out there so he can perform a termite inspection and write a termite bond. We don't expect any problems because the house is only five years old. Terri still has some possessions there that we will have to move out, but that should take little time.

Having this house off our hands means we should be able to start traveling again, at least more than we have been the past year. We will give advance notice of where we are going, but only for a few weeks at a time. We have found that every time we say we're going somewhere, such as Alaska, something seems to come up that causes us to have to change our plans. That doesn't mean that Carolyn and I won't make some longer term plans, but we don't want to publish our plans too far ahead in the event that something arises. However, as I said in a previous post, if we are heading west through Montana or Washington state, don't be surprised if we make a sudden right turn toward Canada and Alaska.

Cold weather seems to give us an appetite for hearty soup and chili. Earlier this week, we had a pot of soup. Tonight, we are sharing a pot of chili with Terri and Thomas. With this cold weather, it should hit the spot, I mean stomach, just right.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Portland, Maine: Forest City

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

An Offer For Terri's House

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 26 degrees with heavy frost, high 49 degrees, clear skies

Carolyn likes cold weather, and the next couple of days should be a treat for her. Our lows are forecast to be near 12 degrees, with highs near 34 degrees. Tomorrow should be especially nice for her, with a wind chill forecast in single digits. Brrrr!

I picked up the parts needed to repair a toilet at Terri's house this morning when I went for my walk. Then it was out to the house, where I found that someone was there looking at the property. I rode by a couple times, but they never left. Finally, I received a call from the Realtor telling me that a very interested party had been there for two hours, and was still looking. I decided to go back home and wait for them to leave. About 1430 hours, I went back to the house and made the repairs.

After supper, the Realtor called me and said the interested party had made a written offer with earnest money. Terri needs to obtain some information for the prospective buyers, which will be done tomorrow. If everything works out, it will be a great relief for us to have this house sold.

The readers may be wondering why I am so involved with this house. Sometimes, I wonder the same thing. Actually, Terri has never been involved with anything like this, and she asked if we could help her. So, there you are. I'll be glad to see this finished.

At this time, it looks like we will be leaving here for Texas on Saturday or Sunday. That may change a day or two, depending on the weather.

More later, be safe.

Today's town - Butte, Montana: The Richest Hill On Earth

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Homemade Hamburgers

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 28 degrees with heavy frost, high 51 degrees, partly cloudy

My sister Judy and her husband Roger live in Athens, Alabama. I called Judy this morning to see if she and Roger were going to be at home tomorrow if we visited them. She told me that they would not be at home because Roger will be receiving a chemotherapy treatment for the cancer he has been fighting for several years. Roger has been through some difficult times, and he is in our thoughts and prayers.

Carolyn had a doctor's appointment this morning for a followup on the treatment for the nodules on her calves. Good news - the nodules on her left calf are much smaller, and the ones on her right leg have disappeared. The locations where the biopsies were taken are healing well, and she does not have to return for a month. The doctor has not been able to determine what caused the nodules, but several theories have been tossed around. We don't care what caused them as long as they don't return.

When we left the doctor's office, we went to Sam's Club to pick up a few things we needed. We were back home by 1100 hours, where we rested for a little while. Then I went out to Terri's house to repair a leak from one of the toilets. Unfortunately, I found that I'll need to pick up some parts at Lowe's, and I'll have to wait until tomorrow to do that. By the time I got done with that chore, it was getting too late to take my walk. I'll try to walk tomorrow before I repair the leak.

I talked to Terri's Realtor about the house today, and she said that they continue to have a lot of interest from prospective buyers. Enough about interest, let's have a closing. I know the real estate market is a little slow now, but let's get it done. Three parties are scheduled to see the house this week, so maybe something will happen.

I charged up the battery on the I-POD today so we can use it when we start traveling. While the I-POD was charging, we listened to Roy Orbison doing his greatest hits. He had a voice that was unlike any other.

As we have said several times, we are always looking for the perfect hamburger. We have come to the realization that we have probably had the best hamburger right here at home. Carolyn makes a hamburger that is mouthwatering, and we have not found one to beat it in our search. We had one of Carolyn's creations tonight, and the good thing about it is that she made enough for lunch tomorrow. Perhaps we should change our search parameters so we are looking for the best hamburger we can find made away from home.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania: Flood City

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Yard Work

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 26 degrees, high 51 degrees, freezing fog early, then mostly clear skies

It was cold enough this morning with fog that I decided to hold off on my morning walk. Instead, I took the laundry down to the laundromat and washed it while Carolyn was taking care of the house cleaning. We are planning to leave here this weekend on our way to Texas, so we want to make sure everything is washed up. We'll probably wash the clothes that need it on Friday so everything will be clean.

On our way to Texas, we plan to stop in Hope, Arkansas to visit my brother Keith and his family. Our families are spread out like most in this day and time, and we take every opportunity to visit family whenever we can.

After lunch, I went for my daily walk, and it made a lot of difference in my comfort level by waiting until the middle of the day. By that time, the temperature was up to about 43 degrees, versus 26 degrees early this morning.

In addition to washing the clothes, I went out to Terri's house to do some yard work. The yard looks pretty good, considering that it is wintertime, but I trimmed the wild onions and picked up some limbs that had fallen out of the trees. There was some evidence that people are still viewing the house, even in this bad real estate market. It would be great if the house would sell before we get back here after our trip to Texas.

For some time, I have been looking at GPS units. The thing that makes it hard to buy a unit is the sheer number of manufacturers and the number of models each manufacturer has available for purchase. There are cheap ones, but I wonder how good they are, compared to the ones that are more expensive. Then, there are models loaded with all kinds of features, but I wonder how many of those features does the average person use. With all the looking I have been doing, it looks like the best models are made by Tom Tom, Magellan, and Garmin. I guess I'll just have to go eeny, meeny, miney, mo........

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Silsbee, Texas: Our Roots Go Deep

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

False Alarm

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 36 degrees, high 43 degrees, cloudy skies until late afternoon when it was partly cloudy

It was cold all day, and when the sun finally peeked out, it looked washed out. Needless to say, it did not do anything as far as warming things up. In last night's post, I mentioned that we had another tornado warning. Today, we found out that the warning was a false alarm that was apparently announced on the local television stations. I would hate to think that something might happen because we ignored the warnings.

The weather is going to be cold all week. The forecast shows lows in the 20s and 30s all week, and even down to 17 degrees on Friday. Carolyn likes cold weather, so she should be happy.

When I went for my morning walk, I almost cut it short because it seemed every direction I walked had the wind blowing in my face. I toughed it out, or cowboyed up, and managed to finish the walk. This next week, I may walk a little later in an effort to avoid some of the cold weather.

This kind of weather makes us think of hearty one dish meals, such as chili or soup. Carolyn prepared a pot of vegetable soup, and sent me to the WalMart Mall to get some carrots. Now, I don't know why she thought she had to put carrots in the pot. I'm not a fan of carrots. I can take them or not. I'd rather not. She insisted on the carrots, so I went after them. In return, she made some cornbread, which is absolutely needed for a dish like vegetable soup.

When I said we had vegetable soup, I meant to say that we had our version of vegetable soup. We like all of the vegetables (except for me and carrots), but we also like at least a taste of meat in the soup. When I was growing up and still living at home (long ago and far, far away), we had soup with canned corned beef in it. I brought that dish with me when we were married, and it continues to be a favorite of both of us. The corned beef is low in fat, and has a lot of flavor. In addition, we use corn, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, okra, green peas, and any left over stuff in the refrigerator. On top of that, we add a can of tomato sauce for some additional richness of taste. That's some good eating!

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Centuries Of Fun In Just A Day

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Another Tornado Warning

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 57 degrees, high 64 degrees, cloudy, light showers most of the day, then heavy rain after sunset

The clear weather the last two days was too good to last. This morning dawned cloudy with the threat of rain, and it stayed that way all day. Shortly after sunset, the tornado sirens sounded, and the weather radio informed us that a tornado had been sighted about ten miles away, and was headed our direction. We went out to Terri's house to take advantage of the tornado shelter. As soon as we arrived at the house, a hard rain started. We never saw any evidence of a tornado, and the rain stopped after about 20 minutes. The tornado warning was lifted for areas west of us, but we never heard of it being lifted for our area. Finally, we decided to go back home and have supper.

Earlier in the day, we decided to go to a flea market in Bessemer. The market has about 600 spaces, but we estimated only about 100 were being used today. The majority of the spaces were devoted to vendors selling socks, baseball caps, cheap stuff from China, car stereo equipment, costume jewelry, velvet pictures, and bling.
It didn't take us long to get over any interest we might have had, and we headed back home. The trip wasn't a complete waste, as we decided to drive through downtown Bessemer. The town seems to be economically depressed, and on a day like this, it was not a nice place to be.

By the time we returned to the RV, it was time for some meditation.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Eugene, Oregon: The People’s Republic Of Eugene

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Finished Cleaning The Outside Of The RV

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 32 degrees, high 60 degrees, clear skies

The river level finally started dropping, and was down about two feet since my morning walk yesterday. I'm sure the barge companies will be glad when the level gets to a more manageable level because they are not moving anything at this time with the high water levels.

After my morning walk, we went over to Terri's apartment for a visit and lunch. When we returned home, I decided to finish cleaning up the outside of the RV. The weather was great for outside work, and it felt good to be out in the sun. While I was working outside, Carolyn was doing some cleaning inside. We both finished about the same time. The outside of the RV looks much better, at least for the present. The weather forecast shows a chance of rain tomorrow, and we're hoping it doesn't. We need some time to dry out, and the rain tends to make the outside of the RV have black streaks.

The hard work caused the body to call out for meditation, so I took a little time for that. Meditation is so good for the body and I recommend it for everyone.

In last night's post, I mentioned that I was watching the BCS College Football Championship game, and that the score was tied 7 to 7 at halftime. In a tough struggle, Florida defeated Oklahoma 24 to 14 to win the game and their second championship in the last three years.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Port Angeles, Washington: Birthplace Of John Elway

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Outside Cleanup Starts

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 46 degrees, high 58 degrees, clear skies, breezy

Today was another day of sunshine, and it felt good when walking this morning. I noticed the river appeared to be up another two feet or so. There is a lot of water moving down the Black Warrior River.

After my walk and breakfast, I went to the library to pick up more books. When I got back, I decided to try to clean up the outside of the RV. It has been at least five months since I have been able to clean it up, and the rain this winter has not helped the situation. When the water runs off the roof, it brings black stains with it that causes streaks down the sides of the RV. Those streaks are what makes it so hard to clean up. With a lot of hard work, I was able to finish the front, rear and road side of the RV. If everything goes well tomorrow, I should be able to finish cleaning the curb side.

I mentioned in yesterday's post that we are starting to look at what is available in another RV. Below is an RV I saw on another blog. I wonder if Carolyn would go along with buying something like this?

The BCS college football national championship game is being played in Miami tonight. The two teams are Oklahoma and Florida. The teams are well matched and it should be an exciting game. I don't care how many points are scored as long as Florida wins by one point. At half time, the score is 7 to 7.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Danville, Alabama: Hometown Of Jesse Owens

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rain Stopped - Finally

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 44 degrees, high 56 degrees, mostly clear skies, winds to 20 mph

The rain finally stopped early this morning, and none too soon for me. When I went for my morning walk, I noticed the Black Warrior River water level had risen to about eight feet higher than normal. Walking was much more pleasant than the past few mornings had been, even though it was colder and windy.

When I returned home from my walk, we decided to go to an RV dealership and parts store in Cottondale. We have been debating buying another RV for some time, and decided to start looking at what is available. Last summer when we were at this dealership looking for some parts, they had a good selection of RVs, but we did not look at that time because we were so busy with Terri's house. Today, we knew as soon as we pulled into the sales lot that they did not have what we were looking for. Almost all of their new RVs are gone except for some tagalongs. We knew of another dealer near Bessemer, so decided to go up there to see what they had. Again, no luck because they had mostly used RVs for sale. It appears the economy has hit the RV sales hard enough that many of the manufacturers have gone out of business or shut down until things pick up. We'll be going to Texas soon, so we'll see what's available down there.

After we returned home from our trip, I dumped our holding tanks and did a little housekeeping in the basement. The new used golf bag I bought this past Monday is going to work out well. I loaded the clubs in it as well as some balls and other golf stuff. Then it was time for some meditation. After the meditation, I went out to Terri's house to check everything out. No problems were noted there, and I picked up some turnip greens and boiled peanuts from the freezer.

This past Christmas, Terri gave me a book on legends and myths of Alabama. It was interesting reading for the most part, but what was most interesting was some of the quirky history related. Such as the town that captured a U-boat crew during World War II, accounts of Civil War activities around the Florence area, and a college that went through several different evolutions in a town called Lagrange in the mid-1800s. I tend to gravitate to the quirky or off-beat when we are out and about, so the book caught my attention. If anyone is interested in a quick but interesting read, the book is titled "Alabama Unsolved Mysteries", written by Margaret Walter-Wilson, and published by Sweetwater Press.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Decatur, Alabama: Home Of Meow Mix

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Three Feet High And Rising

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 54 degrees, high 60 degrees, cloudy, fog, rain

It rained all night, and continued through the day. The area where I walk in the mornings is along the Black Warrior River in Northport. The river is at the highest level I have seen, and appears to be about 3-4 feet higher than yesterday. The river current is really moving, and the woods along the river are flooded. After today's heavy rains, I can only imagine how much higher the river will be tomorrow. I don't think there's any worry about the river getting into the towns because the levees are 30-40 feet higher than the river's level this morning. This reminds me of the old song about how high's the water.

I had to cut my walk short because it started raining too hard. I planned for that possibility, so I stayed close to shelter while walking. Maybe I'll be able to walk farther tomorrow. The weather forecast is for the rain to move out of the area.

This weather is really putting a crimp on what we can do. I would rather see snow than all this rain. At least when it snows, most of the time the snow melts over time. This rain has been falling for what seems like forever, while snow never amounts to as much water as what we're getting. The ground is waterlogged, and squishes with every step.

Enough talk about the rain. We did our usual things when we can't get out. Surfing the web, reading, crafts, meditating, planning what we'll do when we have better weather.

It's raining heavily again as I'm finishing this post at 2110 hours. I know I said enough about the rain, but I thought the reader might want to know what we're dealing with here.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - San Francisco, California: The City That Knows How

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I Bought A Golf Bag

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 53 degrees, high 56 degrees, cloudy, fog, rain early in the morning, misty all day, rain steadily after 1600 hours

Today was another wet, rainy day. I was able to get my walk in between showers without getting too wet. Is it ever going to clear up?

We did what we could inside, since the rain kept us from doing anything outside. I have several things planned to do to the RV and truck once the weather gets better. After lunch, I went into town to pick up a few groceries. While in town, I decided to go to a thrift store, more to kill time than anything else. Imagine my surprise when I saw that the store had several golf bags for sale. I looked them over several times, trying to decide if I wanted to buy a used bag, or wait and get a new one. Finally, I asked the cashier if she would take less than what the price was marked on one of them. Frankly, none of the bags did much for me. She said she couldn't change the prices, and the manager was the only person who could. He was off today. Then she said two more bags were coming out in the next five minutes if I wanted to look at them.

I looked at the new bags, which were in good shape, and found one that was hardly used for $10.00. The bag is a Ben Hogan bag that cost about $100.00 when new. I bought the bag and brought it home with me. I think I can get over the trauma of having a used bag, especially when I think about the money I saved. My golf clubs will have a place to ride safely, instead of laying in the front compartment in the RV. And think about it. Isn't it just like a golfer to buy golf equipment when he can't play?

Now, I need to find a new set of clubs. My old ones are 17 years old, and I think I used up all the good shots that were in them.

As I write this post at 2100 hours here in Alabama, it is raining again.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Hoquiam, Washington: Gray’s Harbor’s Friendliest City

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sitting Back

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 56 degrees, high 62 degrees, cloudy, fog

No matter how much we try to do something interesting every day, some days are going to be like this one, especially when we have weather like this. Today was one of those days where we didn't want to get out in the wetness, so we stayed at home. Is this what we want to do with our time? No, but sometimes it's best to just sit back and let the weather have it's way. We'll try to find something more interesting to do tomorrow. Of course, whatever we find to do won't have to be much to be more interesting than today.

Now, having said what I have so far, I went for my usual walk today, followed by breakfast. For some reason, I had no interest in reading the newspaper, so didn't pick one up. I decided the Internet would be my source of news for this day, as it is for most days. Most of the time when I buy a newspaper, it is to check the sales inserts and store ads.

After breakfast, I worked on the computer, consolidating files and getting rid of stuff we no longer needed. It's amazing how the computer can get bogged down with stuff that's not needed. Recently, I added a program that cleans the registry on the computer whenever I want it to. And the good thing is that it only takes about 10 seconds from start to finish. The name of the program is CCleaner, and it is a freeware software tool that removes unneeded or unused files from the system. Windows runs faster when using this program, and we would not be without it.

After supper, we watched a movie with Tom Hanks from early in his career, The Money Pit. It has been a long since we saw this movie, and it was just as good as the first time we saw it. Not a bad way to end a slow day.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Mineral Wells, Texas: North Texas Hill Country

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Marion, Alabama

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 56 degrees, high 74 degrees, cloudy skies, heavy showers in the afternoon

I went for my morning walk with a light jacket, but it warmed up so much I took it off. The humidity was high, caused more by fog than anything else. By the time I got back home and ate breakfast, the fog was about gone. The next few days are forecast to give us a lot of rainy weather, so we decided to get out and see some new country before the rain got here.

We had never been to Marion, a small town about 50 miles south, so we decided to go there. Marion is another of those little towns that you have to be wanting to go there to find it. The route down there was over mostly county roads. The area was lightly populated, and many houses had been abandoned. When we finally arrived in Marion, we were surprised at the number of old antebellum homes that are still being lived in. We saw houses that dated back to the 1830s, and we think the reason so many of them are still around is that the Union army couldn't find the area during the Civil War.

Once we got into the town, we found a nice old courthouse, along with a town that seems to be frozen in time. Here's a few pictures we took.

Marion was named Muckle Ridge when it was first settled. Later on, the name was changed to honor Francis Marion, a hero of the Revolutionary War. The town is the home of Marion Military Institute, which has produced many military, political, and business leaders. Also located here is Judson College, and it was the original home of the Lincoln School, a college for African-Americans before integration took place. The number of colleges gained the town the nickname of The College City. The first Confederate flag and the Confederate uniform was designed by a teacher in the area. The Alabama Women's Hall of Fame is located at Judson College.

Visiting the area was worthwhile to us. Obviously, there has been change over the years, but there is still plenty of evidence of what life may have been 150 years ago.

About 1700 hours, we had some heavy thunderstorms pass through the area. That's probably a taste of what we will be seeing the next few days.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Marion, Alabama: The College City

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Rainy Day

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 45 degrees, high 58 degrees, cloudy, rain showers

It was raining when we woke up this morning, and continued intermittently until about noon. The clouds hung around all day, but I was able to go for my walk after the rain stopped.

When we saw what the weather was like, we decided to stay at home and continue the cleaning and consolidating that we have been doing the last few days. With what we did today, we only have the closet left, which should be done tomorrow.

I had to go to the library to return some books, and decided to take the opportunity to update some software on the old computer. That took about two hours, and I also picked up more books to read. When I got back home, I had a snack, then updated our expenses spreadsheet for the year. That led to seeing how our investments performed (or underperformed) for 2008. We're down a little, but it could have been much worse. I shudder to think what kind of shape we would be in if we were down like some of the stuff I'm hearing on the news.

Today was not a day for doing much outside, but we managed to stay busy.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Seadrift, Texas: City Of Murals

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ooh, Ooh, Ooh! Jerald, A Mouse!

Coker, Alabama

Weather: low 24 degrees, high 56 degrees, clear skies

This morning after my morning walk, we went to Books A Million to use gift cards we received for Christmas. Have you ever been in a bookstore and thought about how you would like to take one of everything? We like browsing through bookstores, but usually don't buy much because we don't have much room, their prices are too high, and we make use of public libraries as much as possible. In addition, we find books at yard sales or trade for them when we find a store that trades. Then there's always the books we get for birthdays and Christmas. Today was a rarity because I redeemed my gift card for four books we have not read. Did you hear that, Lori? New books are on the way when we come back to Texas in a few weeks. Carolyn didn't find anything that she was ready to use her gift card for, but she may be able to use it at another Books A Million.

Before we returned home, we went out to Terri's house to make sure everything was okay. The house is on the market, and has been vacant several months. It continues to be shown, and the price was recently marked down, so Terri is hopeful it sells soon. I check it out every few days to make sure there are no problems. When we went out there today, we swept the floor and cleaned out the gutters. Next week, I may go out and get the leaves out of the flower beds.

When we got home, it was time for meditation. After the meditation, I watched a little football. Then we went down to the WalMart Mall for a few things. When we returned home, we were sitting in the living room when Carolyn screamed "Ooh, Ooh, Ooh! Jerald, a mouse! Sure enough, I glanced up in time to see a mouse run across the floor and into the cabinet under the stove. Now, this is the first mouse we have seen since we moved into the RV. This mouse (I'm hoping this is the only one) probably found a way inside to escape the cold weather we have been having.

I made a quick trip back to the WalMart Mall to buy some mouse traps. Little did I know that there is an array of different mouse traps that make it difficult to decide what to buy. Tubes, sticky traps, etc. There were even some humane traps. I'm not interested in being humane, other than giving the mouse a quick death. What I was looking for was the old standby wooden traps that I remember, but there were not any to be found. I drove down to K-Mart, but they didn't have the wooden traps. I finally bought four plastic traps that I'm hopeful will do the trick.

I brought the traps home and set them up, with one in the cabinet under the stove, one next to the wall near the couch, one in the bathroom, and one in the basement. Here's hoping I catch the little rascal tonight.

Happy new year to everyone, and we hope everyone has a better year than the last one was.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Awendaw, South Carolina: Home Of The Awendaw Blue Crab Festival

Not all who wander are lost.