Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dentist Checkups

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 48 degrees, high 60 degrees, clear skies, windy

A cold front came through the area late last night, dropping the temperatures to cooler levels. It feels good to have less humidity, but that wind sure is cold!

We have used the same dentist in Bay City for more than 15 years. We will miss our association with him and his staff, especially his hygienist. We haven't told them that we have purchased a new home base in Alabama, in the event that we don't find another dentist that we like. We can always come back here when it's time for our checkups as long as Lori and her family live here. Anyway, today was the day we had our six month checkups. We had good checkups again, and were told to keep doing what we're doing.

Since we've been back down here, both of us are starting to get stuffy noses with a little cough. I guess the dreaded South Texas crud is starting to work on us. When we lived here, it seemed we were always fighting some type of respiratory ailment. While we were out of the area over the last six months, everything cleared up. It was great to not be sniffling and sneezing. Another week, and we'll be heading back to north Alabama, where we should get cleared up. I'm watching myself closely, as is Carolyn, because of having pneumonia back in the summer. I don't want to go through that again.

When our dentist appointments were finished, we took a short drive around town to see what changes had taken place since our last visit back in May. A few more businesses have closed, and a few more have opened. One thing we noted was that a new RV park is being built on Texas 60 on the north side of town. It appears that more than 100 spaces will be available in a fairly nice park. Once it opens, if the prices are reasonable, we think it will take a lot of business away from the older parks in town.

We went to Lori's house for a short visit late in the afternoon. While we were there, we picked up a set of dishes that they have keeping for us since we've been RVing. This set of dishes was one thing that Carolyn couldn't bear to get rid of, and now she will get to use them in the new home base. The nest is getting more feathers all the time.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Spokane, Washington: Spokavegas

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bank Visit

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 70 degrees, high 82 degrees, mostly cloudy skies - a typical fall day in South Texas

We thought it would be a slow day for us, and I guess it was in some ways. I didn't get out until after 0900 hours, when I went to the bank and closed our safe deposit box. While I was there, I also went next door to the library and checked out a couple of books for us to read while here in Bay City. Oh, and a couple of dvds to watch.

My brother Terrell and his wife Kathy are here while she recuperates from hip replacement surgery. We saw them at the WalMart Mall, where they go so Kathy can do some walking with the new hip using a walker. She seems to be doing well since the surgery, and if attitude means anything, she will be back to 100% in no time. We made a date to meet at a local bar-b-que restaurant for supper.

When we got back home from the Mall, we did some reading, meditation, and napping. Later on we met Terrell and Kathy for supper, which was good, especially the talking and catching up. They will be leaving here early Saturday after medical tests and doctor visits relating to her continuing battle with cancer. We plan to get back together before they leave.

When we left the restaurant, we stopped at Lori's house for a visit and to leave her some books that we had read. The visit was kept fairly short, as they have school and work tomorrow.

Everything considered, it was not a bad day. Some chores were completed that we needed to do here, and we got some rest.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - La Grange, Texas: Hometown, Texas

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Back In Texas

Bay City, Texas

Weather: low 34 degrees in Livingston, Louisiana, high 72 degrees in Bay City, Texas, partly to mostly cloudy skies

We were so tired when we went to bed last night that we slept until about 0600 hours this morning. Carolyn had somewhat of a leisurely wake up, and we got on the road about 0730 hours. We didn't unhitch the truck from the RV last night, so that helped with our departure preparations.

Traffic was heavier today than it was yesterday, but we didn't encounter any traffic jams or accidents, so no hold ups. One pleasant surprise is the fact that I-10 in Louisiana used to be in such bad condition that we have been known to detour around the state. Except for about 20 miles, the road is in pretty good shape at this time.

We asked the GPS system to find the fastest route to Bay City, and it had us taking the 810 Bypass, which is a toll road. Normally, we don't use toll roads, but decided to today in the interest of saving time. Hah! We won't use that road again. It cost us $13.50, and we had to pay tolls three separate times. We would have been better off to have taken the 610 Bypass, which is free. Maybe a few miles further, but it probably wouldn't have taken any longer. Carolyn fussed about the tolls for more time than it was worth, but I made sure I kept my mouth shut. She did enough fussing for both of us.

We were pulled into the RV park and set up by 1530 hours. After resting a few minutes, I set up the satellite dish. Speaking of satellite dishes, the park where we're staying advertisements free cable TV. The free cable TV consists of Direct TV that people have to pay a $200 deposit to obtain. Then, a cable is run from the receiver to a dish at the site. I informed the manager of the park that we would use our Dish Network system. Can you imagine advertising free cable TV, then requiring a $200 deposit to use it? On top of that, we also have to pay for electricity, even though we're only going to be here for a week. Now, this is a new park, but I don't think it's good business to try to make all your money back on your first customers. Besides, it's not that nice a park. We won't stay here again. I think if I hadn't been so tired, I would have gone elsewhere.

On top of all that, the manager bragged that he had the best wifi around. The only problem is that I can't access it because he apparently gave me the wrong access codes. Luckily, I have our air card to get online with.

After we rested for a little while, we met Lori and her family at a local restaurant for supper, which was very good. Then, we went back to Lori's house for a short visit and to deliver a bunch of books that we had read. Lori likes to read as much as we do.

After a short visit, we went home, where we collapsed after such a long and tiring day. We're wore out. We may not do anything tomorrow.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Carson City, Nevada: History For The Taking

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Long Day

Livingston, Louisiana

Weather: low 24 degrees in Elkmont, Alabama, high 60 degrees in Livingston, Louisiana, clear skies

Both of us were awake by 0430 hours this morning, and as we planned, we were on the road by 0530 hours. It was dark and cold! Luckily, we had planned for an early departure, so most of our preparations were done last night. Still, I thought my hands were going to freeze by the time we pulled out, even though I was wearing gloves.

The early start helped us with light traffic, and since it was a holiday weekend, there was not any ongoing construction work. Normally, we don't like long driving days, but we knew that we wanted to make the trip in two days, versus our normal three, so we pushed on until we had driven about 485 miles. We stopped in Livingston, Louisiana, for the night, early enough for me to see the Florida Gators get their rear ends kicked by the Florida State Seminoles. Thank goodness this long season is finally over for Florida. Just wait until next year!

After setting up in our RV space, Carolyn immediately got busy in the kitchen, preparing spaghetti. I was ready to go find something for supper, but was glad she fixed what she did. I did not look forward to going out.

The evening ended early for us, as we looked forward to getting to Bay City, Texas tomorrow. While in Bay City, we'll visit our daughter Lori and her family, and also my brother Terrell and his wife Kathy. Kathy is recovering from hip replacement surgery, and we hear she's doing well. In addition, we'll be looking for little things for the new home base, like linens, dishes, etc. That will save us time when we go back to Elkmont and get the home base ready for the holidays.

That's about it from here. Drive, drive, and more drive.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Shreveport, LA: Port City

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Last Furniture Delivery

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 35 degrees, high 42 degrees, rain all night, cloudy skies today, windy

We went back to the new home base this morning as we were waiting for the final furniture delivery to be made. Carolyn decided to do two more loads of laundry while we were waiting. Where is all that laundry coming from? I didn't know we had that many clothes!

We had an empty propane bottle, so I went into Athens to get it refilled. On the way back to the base, I stopped at the WalMart Mall to get Carolyn some hair spray. I know today was Black Friday, but I didn't find the Mall all that busy.

By the time I got back to the base, Carolyn had gotten a call from the people delivering the furniture letting her know that they were on their way. Within an hour, the furniture was delivered and assembled (we have beds for company to sleep in now), and we were ready to go back to the RV for the rest of the day.

We're starting our trip to Texas tomorrow, so we spent some time getting things ready. Carolyn did her usual clean up of the inside of the RV while I was dumping holding tanks and arranging the basement for travel. We're leaving as much of our stuff as possible at the home base, so there wasn't much to arrange.

As I have said in the past, I am a college football fan. I saw a great game today between Auburn and Alabama that was a game of two halves. Alabama jumped out to a 24-0 lead, but Auburn fought back and won the game 28 to 27. Fantastic game, and I'll be pulling for Auburn to go on to the national championship.

We will be leaving here as early as possible in the morning. So, if we wake up at 0400 hours, we're outta here!

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Florence, South Carolina: Flo-Town

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 60 degrees. high 72 degrees, cloudy and windy, rain expected tonight along with colder temperatures

Happy Thanksgiving Day. Carolyn and I have so much to be thankful for, and we try to remember it every day, but especially on this day.

Since it was a holiday, we didn't have any deliveries scheduled for the new home base. But, Carolyn had so much fun washing clothes yesterday that she wanted to go back and do another load today. So, we went over about 0900 hours, and she got a load of clothes going. While that was going on, I cleaned up the inside of the truck and treated the leather seats with leather conditioner. In addition, I used Windex on the inside and outside of the windows and windshield. I didn't realize they were as dirty as they were!

I was going to wash the truck, but rain was expected all day. I didn't want to wash the truck and then have mud get splashed on it when it rained. If it's not too cold, I'll do it tomorrow.

As I wrote in yesterday's post, we hadn't prepared for a holiday meal because we have been so busy. We went to a local chain restaurant for Thanksgiving lunch, and both of us said we would have been better off going to the WalMart Mall and picking up a TV dinner. The meal we had was almost tasteless, and was way over-priced for the enjoyment we got from it. I guess we'll never learn. But, wait: we can prepare Christmas dinner in our new home base this year. Yes!! What will we have? Ham, turkey, dressing.... Then again, whatever Carolyn decides is fine with me.

After lunch, we stopped at the WalMart Mall to pick up some shower curtain rings, and Carolyn found a cookie sheet that she has been wanting. I can almost smell the cookies baking.

The remainder of our furniture is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow. It will be great to see how everything looks when it is set up. We know we may have to move a few things around to get it just right, but that's okay. Did I say Carolyn is having a ball feathering her nest?

We haven't bought a television yet, but I may check the Mall tomorrow to see what they have on sale. Dish Network, our satellite television provider, has offered us a new DVR and free HDTV programming for renewing with them for two years, so we may take them up on the offer when we get back from Texas.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Crossville, Tennessee: It’s Just Better Here

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Laundry Heaven

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 55 degrees, high 64 degrees, mostly cloudy skies

It's been a while since I was tired after a good night's sleep, but I was when I got up this morning. I guess the last three days of work are starting to get to us.

We went back to the new home base this morning, and Carolyn exercised the new washing machine and dryer for most of the day. It has been about eight years since she has had access to her own laundry equipment, and I think she scratched that itch a little today. Sure, we've used laundromats while traveling, but Carolyn says there's nothing like using her own equipment to wash and dry clothes with. She was in Laundry Heaven today!

When our new bed was delivered to the home base last night, the delivery man messed up the assembly of the bed frame. I got so tired of watching him prove he didn't know what he was doing that I finally told him to leave and I would finish the assembly. That little job was finished today, after I had to basically take the frame and head board apart and start over. I know everyone needs a job (or at least that used to be the case), but this guy was supposed to be experienced. Hah!!

While Carolyn was having a good time washing clothes, I took the truck into Athens and had it serviced in preparation for leaving here on Saturday morning for our trip to Texas. While I was walking around in the WalMart Mall waiting on the truck, I checked out the new televisions. Wow, there are a lot of choices! We haven't bought a new television in about ten years, so I need to educate myself soon. We are going to wait until we get back from Texas to buy a television, but right now, I have no idea of what to buy. I wonder how big a television I can buy and not have Carolyn say "get that thing out of here and buy something a little smaller"?

With everything happening with the new home base this week, we've been too busy to get a Thanksgiving dinner together. As we were in Athens earlier this week, we saw that some of the restaurants were going to have Thanksgiving dinner. We'll pick one of those for our meal, but we intend to have Christmas dinner at the home base. I'm looking forward to Carolyn being in Cook Heaven!

Carolyn and I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Buda, Texas: It’s Better In Buda!

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Partial Furniture Deliveries

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 60 degrees, high 68 degrees, rain until 1100 hours, then partly to mostly cloudy skies

We were at the new home base by 0900 hours this morning, as we wanted to make sure we were there when furniture deliveries were made. Well, we could have saved ourselves some time, as the first one didn't show up until about 1400 hours. The next one was at 1700 hours, and the last one for the day was at 1800 hours. One delivery was deferred until Friday because the delivery truck was in the shop for repairs.

I was responsible for picking up some items from one store, and went to get them while we were waiting on other deliveries. When I got to the store, the owner was concerned that the furniture might get rained on, even though the clouds were clearing up and it was not raining. He insisted that he would deliver if for me in his enclosed truck, so off we went. Once we had the furniture off-loaded, I tried to pay him for the delivery, but he wouldn't take any pay. Aren't small towns great?

The wait for deliveries was not spent idly, as we finished the detail cleaning that we started yesterday. I thought I would be tired yesterday, but today is worse. I hope I can sleep like a log tonight. I'm wore out.

Please excuse the short post. I'll try to do better tomorrow.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee: We Have Long Songs

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Home Base Closing

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 55 degrees, high 70 degrees, partly cloudy skies

The big news for us today was closing the purchase of a new home base. It is located about six miles north of Athens, Alabama, and about three miles south of the Tennessee state line.

Before the closing, I had several little chores to do away from the RV. I had to get a cashier's check from the bank, and make some phone calls to verify that our furniture deliveries scheduled for tomorrow are still being done. The four stores that we bought from said they will be there, so we will probably spend a good part of the day waiting on deliveries while we finish our clean up of the home base.

We met the Realtor at the base at 1330 hours to perform a last walk through to make sure everything that was supposed to be finished was. The closing was at 1500 hours, and took about 30 minutes. Then, we went back to the base and began our cleaning activities. The previous owner had done a cleaning, but it certainly wasn't up to Carolyn's standards. We didn't finish cleaning today, but we'll have most of it done before the furniture is delivered.

So, how do we feel about having a home base again? Carolyn is happily planning how she will decorate, and I'm trying to figure out what size of television to buy, plus the options for it. This is an exciting time for us, but we still plan to travel in the RV. In fact, we'll be leaving here this upcoming weekend for a trip to Texas to see our daughter Lori and her family, as well as take care of our physicals and dental checkups. We'll probably find doctors and dentists here for next year, but we don't have the time to research who we want to use here at this time. We expect to be gone about ten days, just in time to get ready for the holidays. It looks like both our daughters and their families will be here.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Pine Bluffs, Wyoming: Frontier Crossroads

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Velvet Elvis

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 50 degrees, high 70 degrees, partly cloudy skies

One of the things we like to do in a new area is check out the flea markets. The closest one to where we are parked is about 15 miles away, about halfway between Athens and Madison. We went over there this morning to check it out.

Remember in yesterday's post that Carolyn stayed home all day? She felt better today after the last bout with vertigo, but we took care of that in a hurry.

The flea market is an indoor market, and it appeared most of the stalls are rented by people who make their livings doing this kind of work. That's not really our favorite kind of flea market, but we still went through the different vendors to see if there was anything we wanted or needed. In one work, no. Except for a picture that I thought would be an excellent addition to the home base we're buying. Carolyn had moved on up an aisle as I was looking at some pictures, so I asked her to come back and let me know if this particular piece of art would work in the living room. For some reason, she became indignant, and said under no circumstances was I to buy any pictures for the house unless she was there to give the okay. Now, what brought that on? Doesn't everyone have a velvet Elvis in their house?

I wonder if she would notice if I put it in the work shop?

I said that Carolyn felt better today. Well, she did, until we were about halfway through our walk in the market. Then, the sounds, motions, and colors seemed to catch up with her. Or could it be seeing the picture that I want to buy that made her sick?

By the time we got back to Athens, Carolyn had recovered enough from her sickness with the vertigo that she was able to go into the WalMart Mall. We needed to buy a larger vacuum cleaner for the new home base, as well as some cleaning supplies. Keeping in mind that we're still trying to keep everything lean and mean in the RV as well as the home base, it took us close to an hour to find what we were looking for. Some of the time was spent looking at kitchen gadgets.

The home base closing is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Once we have the keys in our hands, we'll take stuff to the home base that we won't need to go to Texas with us. We expect the base to be cleaned when we take it over, but we will still go through it with a fine tooth comb as Carolyn cleans it to her standards. I think tomorrow is going to be a tiring one.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Hoquiam, Washington: Bridging Our Past With A Promising Future

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Limestone County, Alabama Courthouse

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 43 degrees, high 65 degrees, mostly clear skies

The past week and our busy days took it's toll on Carolyn. She had a bad vertigo day, so she stayed at home resting in preparation for another busy week. However, I had some things to do, including going back to Decatur to verify that a piece of furniture we bought this week was the color and style that we remembered. Well, guess what? Our memory was good, and we didn't have to make any changes of the furniture. Whew!

On my way home, I stopped at the WalMart Mall to pick up a few groceries. Then, I drove to the courthouse square to take some pictures of the courthouse and surrounding square. Here's what the courthouse looks like.

Just about every courthouse square in the south has a statue dedicated to the Confederate soldiers that fought in the War of Northern Aggression. Here's the one in Athens.

The square around the courthouse is vital and alive, with all the stores open and busy. Here's a typical picture of the square.

On the opposite side of the square is the Presbyterian Church, built over 100 years ago.

Yesterday, I took a picture of a restaurant located next to U G White's hardware store. In fact, it is part of the same building and can be entered from the hardware store. The restaurant specializes in southern dishes, but get this: the name of the restaurant is Lu Vici's. That sounds like an Italian name to me. We were told that the food is very good, so we'll let you know. Here's what the inside of the restaurant looks like.

College football was stating by the time I arrived back at home, so I watched Florida win a fairly easy game against Appalachian State, 48 to 10. It's too bad the Gators didn't play that well in four losses this season. Oh, well. There's always next year.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Boston, Massachusetts: The Athens Of America

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, November 19, 2010

U G White Hardware

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 42 degrees, high 65 degrees, clear skies

We made it out of the RV bright and early for the second day in a row. At least it was early for us, since we were out by 0830 hours. Looks like a sleep in day tomorrow! Or at least a lazy day.

The major furniture purchases were finished yesterday, leaving us with relatively small things to buy for the new home base. Like lamps, pictures, etc. Since the furniture buying went so well this past week, we hoped the good shopping would continue. Unfortunately, we didn't find the items we were looking for at the first two places we stopped, but the third one became a gold mine. We found the lamps we wanted, along with a wide selection of shades. We're not sure yet what height of lamps we need, so we'll wait until the furniture is delivered and set up so measurements can be taken.

The store we found the lamps in was Lowe's. While we were there, we decided to check out their washing machines and dryers. As we were about to leave that department because we thought they didn't have what we wanted, a sales lady started talking to us. When she heard what we were looking for, she immediately guided us to a Whirlpool washing machine and dryer that fit the bill perfectly. To make things even better, the pair was selling for $300 off the regular price. Now that's a deal I can handle. The two pieces will be delivered (free) and set up (free) on Tuesday. Double Yahoo!

While we were at Lowe's, we also found the blinds that Carolyn wants. Now, I wonder if we can get a deal on those.....

One of the stores we checked before going to Lowe's was an old time hardware store in downtown Athens, U G White Hardware. The store is located on the courthouse square, and has been there many years. It is one of those old style hardware stores that I remember from my childhood. Unique products, glass front display cases, wooden floors, signs from long ago, old time candy. The list goes on and on.

Here's a few pictures of the inside of the store.

Carolyn loves to go in these old stores as much as I do, and she found some blackberry jam and pepper relish to buy. She seems to feel she can't go in a store like this unless she buys something to help them stay in business. We talked to the current owner, and he said he bought the store from the original owner's family about three years ago. When he heard the family was about to close the store, he made an offer and bought a store that had so many good childhood memories for him. He understands he can't compete with the big box stores, but is making a living by offering quality products that the other stores don't sell. We hope he stays in business for a long time. This kind of store is gradually disappearing from America, and we'll miss them when they are gone.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Alpine, Texas: A Texas Main Street Town

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Carolyn's Having Fun

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 43 degrees, high 60 degrees, fog early, then mostly clear skies

We got out even earlier today. Try 0800 hours, and Carolyn was ready to go. What's going on?

Our first stop was to find an insurance agent for State Farm, which is the company we have used for many years. We wanted to make sure the house is covered as soon as the closing on the house is completed, which is scheduled for Monday afternoon. Imagine our surprise to find that the cost is approximately half what we paid for our last house, which we sold almost six years ago. Then, to cap things off, we went ahead and changed the insurance coverage for the truck to Alabama, and found that the cost for that was about $300.00 less per year. We can stand those kinds of surprises. I know that Alabama has a state income tax, but it's beginning to look as though overall, we will pay less for everything here in Alabama. We expect electricity costs to be about 40% less than in Texas, so hopefully the nice discoveries will continue.

I didn't know it when we left home, but there was a price for Carolyn getting ready to go early. When I got back in the truck, she said she was hungry, and what was I going to buy her for breakfast. Even thickheaded me can read that kind of hint, so I asked her if she would like some Hardee's biscuits. Well, of course. So, we went down the block to Hardee's and had sausage egg biscuits for a late breakfast, early lunch.

After the late breakfast, we drove back to Decatur, looking for a dining table and chairs, as well as some end tables for the living room. The first store we went to became the last one, as they were very helpful and had exactly what we were looking for. In thirty minutes, we had bought the table and chairs in the style and color we were looking for, as well as a television stand and end tables. The major furniture buying is completed. Yahoo!!

We still need lamps, pictures, etc., but those things can wait until we get back from our trip to Texas, scheduled to begin next week after the house closing.

Did I mention Carolyn is having a ball? She's building another nest. I'm enjoying her enthusiasm.

On another note, my sister Judy's husband Roger is in the hospital in Birmingham as he fights pneumonia complicated by cancer. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Memphis, Tennessee: The River City

Not all who wander are lost.
More later, be safe.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More Furniture

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 37 degrees, high 57 degrees, fog early, then clear skies

We got another early start this morning, if you can call almost 1000 hours early. According to Carolyn, it is now that's she's retired. Our first stop was at the Athens utilities department, where I made arrangements to have the electricity for the new home base turned on in our name as soon as we take possession, which should be next Monday.

The next stop, less than a block away, was to have the water placed in our names the same day. This is the first time we have had to do these little tasks in more than 20 years, and it went easier than I thought it would.

Since we hadn't made decisions on furniture other than the two nightstands we bought yesterday, we decided to drive over to Decatur to see what we could find there. This was the first time we had been to the downtime area in a long time, so we were a little lost to start with. Then, we pulled out the trusty GPS unit, and found directions to the stores we wanted to visit. The first store we stopped at had a lot of nice furniture, and as we tried it on for fit and feel, we found that it fit us just right. The materials of construction were what we were looking for, as well as the comfort. Before we left that store, we had bought a sofa (huge!), two recliners (that took some time, since a recliner is such a personal piece of furniture), and two mattresses with head boards for the second and third bedrooms.

Note to prospective visitors: you won't have to sleep on the sofa or floor!

Our next stop was back in Athens where we found a store with a bed last week that we thought might work for our bedroom. After trying the bed on, we decided it was the one for us, along with a head board that the store also had. Those items were bought, so now we also have a place to sleep, other than the RV.

Last week, we also found a dining room table and chairs in another store in Athens that we thought would work for us, but decided to look a little longer. We went back by that store, only to find that they were closed on Wednesdays. Wow! Can you imagine stores that close on Wednesday? It used to be common when I was much younger. It's one of the small town things that we like. We'll go back tomorrow to look at the table and chairs again. I have a feeling that we'll go back to Decatur again to check out some more tables before we finally make up our minds.

I mentioned in yesterday's post that we had bought our first two pieces of furniture from a small store west of Athens. Before we went home after all the fitting and buying, we decided to go back to yesterday's store to see if we could find something else that we could use. Success again, as we found two more night stands and a chest for our bedroom. That little store was a great find for us.

So after all this looking and buying, what's left to do? not much as far as the necessities except for the dining room table and chairs. Of course, there are other little items, such as lamps, pictures, etc. But, we feel good about what we've done so far, and there's not much left to do. Except clean the house, furniture delivery, window dressings, linens, table ware, and on and on and.....

Carolyn's having a ball.

At this time, it appears that we will leave for Texas on Wednesday, 11/24/10, to take care of some personal business. That business will probably take about two weeks. Then, we'll come back to Elkmont and see how it feels to be in a house again after such a long time in the RV.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Cincinnati, Ohio: The City Of Seven Hills

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We Bought Furniture

Elkmont, Florida

Weather: low 47 degrees, high 57 degrees, cloudy, rain all night and until the middle of the morning

We were out in the rain early this morning as we stepped up the search for furniture for the new home base. At least it was early compared to what we have been doing for the last six months. How about 0900 hours? Carolyn usually doesn't finish her coffee before then, much less be ready to go do something away from the RV. I guess she's ready for that new home base.

We headed to the Madison area, and found a store that will probably get some of our business. All the furniture in that store is very good quality, and we would probably buy everything there if they had more selections to choose from.

We have looked at so much furniture at so many stores that we have asked each of them that we liked to write down the pieces we liked, along with the best prices they can give us. I didn't realize that it was going to take this many stores to find what we were looking for. It's starting to look like we'll be buying stuff from at least five different stores by the time we find everything we want.

By the time we finished in Madison, it was lunchtime. Last week, we had tried to go to Huntsville to find our new favorite restaurant, Cheddar's. At that time, traffic was so bad that we got over it in a hurry, and decided to go another day. Since we were already so close to Huntsville, we decided to try to find Cheddar's again.

Success! We found the restaurant, and it was just as good as we remember from the one near Maryville, Tennessee. Service, atmosphere, fair prices, good food and plenty of it. I thought I was back in Texas. We had plenty of food left for the next couple of meals.

When we got back to Athens, I ran (okay, I walked fast, not ran) into the WalMart Mall to pick up a few items we needed. Then, we drove west of Athens on US 72, looking for a couple of furniture stores that were out that way.

At the second store, we didn't think they were going to have anything that we could use, but after talking a few minutes to the owner, a very interesting man who is a self-taught artist and excellent wood carver, we started noticing pieces that we hadn't seen when we walked in the store. As a result, we bought our first two pieces of furniture since about 1990. The pieces we bought were night stands for the second and third bedrooms. The quality is very good, and the prices were outstanding. Now, if only we can have the same kind of success for the remaining furniture that we will need.

After we left the store where we bought the two pieces, it occurred to us that he had some more pieces that might work for us. I think we'll probably double check on that.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Coleman, Texas: Hunting Capital Of Texas

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Inspection Report

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 40 degrees, high 48 degrees, wet, rainy, cloudy all day

It was one nasty weather day, but it was just like we remember from our years living here in the 1980s. It won't be long before we'll start watching for snow and ice. Brrrr!

This afternoon, we met the Realtor that we have been working with to discuss the inspection report on the house that we're probably going to buy. The inspection found some things that we expected and the seller had already agreed to fix. A few items were found that we didn't expect, but they were in places that we hadn't looked, like in the crawl space under the house and in the attic. Nothing was found that would appear to be a deal breaker. The Realtor had already talked to the seller before we got to the office, and the seller agreed to repair everything. This whole process has gone so well that we're amazed. Could it be the poor housing market and economy that is helping the process?

The housing market is not as bad here as it is in Florida. However, there are still a lot of empty houses, and the Realtor said the market was dead over the summer until about a month ago, when activity picked up a little.

We think the house we chose has several pluses for us. The size is right for this stage of our lives, yet we still have room for company. Just about everything in the house is new, even though it is 15 years old. New roof, carpet, paint, windows, screens, kitchen appliances, plumbing fixtures, electrical fixtures, garage doors....
In addition to the attached garage, it has a detached garage big enough to park the truck inside, plus still have enough room for a work shop. And, one of the best things of all is that we will be able to park the RV at the house. That was big for us. We didn't want to have to park the RV in a storage yard. Now, we'll be able to have our RV where we can keep it ready to hit the road at a moment's notice. We fully expect to do that, once we get settled in the house. In fact, we were talking today about going to Savannah when things settle down.

Before we saw the Realtor, we did some more shopping for furniture. We haven't bought anything yet, but we're starting to narrow our choices down. We are committed to not having any more furniture than needed. All the years in the RV have had their impact on us. Keep it lean and mean, don't buy it unless it's really needed. It's a great philosophy to live by.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Dallas, Texas: Triple D

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Black Walnuts

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 45 degrees, high 55 degrees, light rain from about midnight until about 0700 hours, cloudy

I slept good last night after a bad night on Friday night. But, Carolyn woke early like I did the night before, so she's been fighting the yawnies all day. I'm not sure what's causing these sleepless episodes, but we're over them.

When I went for my walk about mid-morning, I was keeping an eye out for black walnut trees. That tree is located in much of the south and all the way to the Canadian border. Because of it's beauty, the wood is much in demand for lumber, furniture, cabinets and other uses. The average tree is worth about $2,500, so rustling of the tree is a problem in some areas. My interest in the tree comes from the nuts, which are considered a delicacy by cooks. It is difficult to remove the meat from the nuts, so if the meat is bought, it is quite expensive.

Here's what the trees look like with green nuts and leaves.

This picture is of mature nuts with the husk still on them.

Then, here's what all the fuss is about. Not much to it, is there? And it still has to be cracked and the meat picked out. It's a lot of work for a little bit of nut. But, Carolyn wants to try them in some cooking.

I found several trees on my walk, but it was so wet and messy that I didn't want to pick the nuts up today. I'll go back when things dry out and get them.

After lunch, I met the home inspector at the house that we are possibly buying so he could do the inspection. While the inspection was going on, I was taking pictures, measuring rooms and windows, and making notes about things that Carolyn wanted. We were there about 2.5 hours as the inspection was taking place, and even though I haven't received the written report yet, the initial report from the inspector was that he didn't find anything major. There were a few things, as we expected, so we'll review the report and decide if we want to go forward with the purchase. The seller seems disposed to repair any items that are found. If so, the closing will be 11/22/10.

Regardless of what happens with the house, we should be leaving here after the closing date so we can take care of some personal business in Texas.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Charleston, South Carolina: Chucktown

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

More Furniture Looking

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 37 degrees, high 72 degrees, clear skies early, then cloudy. Rain expected to start tonight and last for about 36 hours.

I had another early morning. Like, at 0230 hours, I was wide awake and couldn't go back to sleep. I finally got up about 0330 hours for about an hour. Then, I tried going back to sleep, and was able to sleep until about 0700 hours. I really don't like these early mornings. I have felt washed out all day.

Carolyn recovered enough from her vertigo problems that she suffered through yesterday that we were able to go to another couple of furniture stores to check out what they had that we might want. One of the stores seemed to have decent prices, but their variety was lacking. The salesperson offered to let us look through their catalogs to see if we could find what we were looking for, but we would rather see and touch what we're buying. Like the offers from yesterday, they offered free delivery and setup, and a 20% discount from their sales prices. Business must be tough.

The nest store we went to had 32,000 square feet of space, and it seemed every inch of the store was covered with furniture. So, they had a lot to choose from. One big problem, as far as we were concerned: the prices were way out of line. The prices were at least 50% higher than what we've seen so far for the exact same pieces, and in some cases, were doubled. We didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday.

We set a limit of two stores to check today, so by the time we were finished with the second store, it was lunchtime. We had lunch at a forgettable place that we won't go back to, either here or anywhere else. Suffice it to say that it was a national chain that we hadn't tried in many years.

After lunch, we visited my sister Judy and her husband Roger and daughter Traci. We told them we are in the market for a home base, which they were glad to hear. They have been living here for about 25 years or longer, so if it happens that the home base is here, we will be asking their advice for which doctors, dentists, etc. to use. Roger offered to let us store our RV on his business's property if we need to while a parking place would be prepared for it. I had been thinking where I could store the RV if needed, and we appreciate Roger's offer.

By the way, we have made an offer on a house, and the offer has been accepted with all our terms intact. The only thing left that might derail the offer is finding something unexpected in the home inspection, scheduled in the next couple of days. If the inspection is satisfactory, the closing on the house will be November 22. That's fast, isn't it?

As I said yesterday, we are not giving up the RV lifestyle. We're setting ourselves up for another phase of our lives, and will either keep our current RV or purchase something different. There's no hurry to decide on that. In the meantime, we're excited about the changes that are coming.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Childersburg, Alabama: Jim Nabors’ Hometown

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Furniture Shopping

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 36 degrees, high 75 degrees, clear skies

In anticipation of finding a new home here in north Alabama, we were out looking at furniture to put in it today. We were gung ho when we started looking, but Carolyn only lasted for two stores before her vertigo reared it's ugly head. Before we had to go home for her to rest, we learned several things that we didn't know or hadn't realized.

The first thing we learned is that overall, prices don't seem to have increased much, if at all, since we last bought furniture about 20 years ago. That was surprising to us.

Next was that the style of sofas seems to have changed to where the soft cushions are what we saw the most. We don't like them so soft that when we sit down, we get enveloped by the cushions. It was difficult to find what we would be interested in, which is more of a traditional style.

Dining room tables and chairs also seem to have changed somewhat. We have preferred more of a traditional style in the past, and it seems that there were more of a new style appealing to a younger buyer. We did find two tables with chairs that would work for us.

One piece of furniture that both of us are particularly interested in is a comfortable recliner. Both of us have been known to do some good resting in a recliner. I have to say that a good recliner works really well for meditating. We only saw one recliner that came close to what we would be looking for. But, we still have time, so that will work itself out.

We haven't looked at any bedroom stuff, but maybe that will happen tomorrow if Carolyn feels better. So far, we haven't bought anything since we don't have a place to store it. And, we're not buying anything until and if we find a house that we like.

Since today was Friday, it was surprising to us to see how slow business was in the furniture stores. I'm sure several things could account for the slow business, but there's no doubt the economy has a bearing on it. Both stores were willing to work with us to make prices even better, and they were also willing to hold the furniture after we bought it until we were ready for it. In addition, they were willing to deliver and set up everything for no charge. That was a real surprise.

Living in an RV for the last eight years, it feels a little strange to be thinking about buying something without getting rid of something. Living this lifestyle has convinced us that we want to keep any future home lean and mean, just like we have to in the RV. Think about how much room we will have, and how much easier it would be to clean a home without a bunch of extra stuff.

I guess the question that arises is whether we will continue to RV after buying a house. The answer is yes, we will. We may not be on the road all the time, but we are looking forward to a place that will give us a break when we just want to get away from the RV.

We love to travel and explore, and fully intend to continue to do that. We may change our mode of travel, such as buying a smaller fifth wheel, or even a motor home. The possibilities are endless. One thing we don't intend to do is sit and stagnate. Life is good!

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - San Francisco, California: Golden City

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lawrenceburg, Tennessee

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 35 degrees, high 79 degrees, clear skies

We had quite a contrast in temperatures today: more frost this morning, with the temperature almost reaching 80 degrees inn the afternoon. It was great!

We decided to go back to Pulaski to look around again today. Soon after getting there, Carolyn suggested we go on to the west about 20 miles to the town of Lawrenceburg, county seat of Lawrence County, Tennessee.

Lawrence was formed early in the 18th century. One of it's most famous early residents was Davy Crockett, legendary frontiersman, bear fighter, Indian fighter, politician, and a hero of the Alamo. Here's a statue dedicated to Davy, located in the center of the old part of town.

The center of town was the most attractive to us, with it's old store fronts and attractive landscaping. Here's a couple of pictures of what we saw.

Unfortunately, we didn't find an old courthouse, but did find plenty of fall color.

On our way home, we had to detour through Prospect, Tennessee, due to repairs taking place on the Elk River bridge on Alabama 76. Prospect is a little town that was settled over 200 years ago that you have to want to be going to in order to get there. It is far off the beaten path. At one time, there were several businesses there, but it is mostly small houses and farms now. They may be small, but the scenery is something else. Hills lit up in fall colors, little white houses on the hills, small creeks, narrow roads, farm fields with patterns of brown and green.....
Very nice to see. Here's two pictures of the fall colors in Prospect.

By the time we arrived back at home, it was past time for meditation. The rest of the day was spent resting up from a nice day of sightseeing in south central Tennessee.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Lawrenceburg, Tennessee: Where Tradition Meets Progress

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

More Pictures From Pulaski

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 36 degrees, high 75 degrees, high, thin clouds

In yesterday's post about Pulaski, Tennessee, I didn't include a few pictures that I liked. So, here they are.

This first picture is another view of the Giles County courthouse.

I like quirky things, so here's a picture of a BIG rocking chair in front of a store. Note the difference in size between the chair and the entrance to the store.

How many people remember this old type of wood heater? I can remember backing up to a hot heater on a cold winter morning and staying there so long I could smell my pants start to scorch. I like wood heat!

A couple of days ago, I mentioned that we have been looking for a new place to settle down when we grow up. At that time, I also mentioned the factors that we were looking for that would make a place work for us. To our surprise when we came here a few days ago, we found that we still like this area a lot, even though we moved away about 20 years ago as careers were followed. Since we do like the area so much, and I have a sister and her family here, we have decided to look around to see what we can find that would work for us as a home base. Who knows, we might become Alabamans again!

I know that from a beauty standpoint and the seasons, some might think this is the worse time of the year to be looking for a possible home base. Our thinking on it is that if we like a place, even with everything brown or dead, it would really be something to see when the weather is nice. In addition, we think this is a good time to be buying a home, with the economy suffering and people needing to sell homes. So, we'll see how it goes.

If it's meant to be, it will happen. If not, we look elsewhere.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Gulfport, Mississippi: Root Beer Capital Of The World

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pulaski, Tennessee

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 35 degrees, high 72 degrees, clear skies

We had another cool morning, but it didn't stop me from taking a walk on the walking trail just outside the RV park. The biggest hassle on the trail was dodging the horse crap that was left from the day before. With the shadows from the trees and morning sun, it was difficult to pick the horse stuff out from the leaves and other debris on the trail. Luckily, none of the horse stuff got on my shoes for Carolyn to fuss at me about.

When I got back from my walk and rested a few minutes, we decided to take a ride up to Pulaski, the county seat of Giles County, Tennessee. Unfortunately, it appears that many people know Pulaski as the birthplace of the KU Klux Klan, although the city has condemned the klan. Our impression of the town of about 8,000 people is that it is a nice town with prosperity helping build it into the future. They have a WalMart Mall, and a vibrant downtown area.

I wouldn't feel like I did a good job on pictures unless I got a picture of the old courthouse. Here's the county courthouse of Giles County, Tennessee.

Many of the towns in the south commemorate the Confederate soldiers that fought in the War of Northern Aggression. Here's a memorial to Sam Adams, a Confederate soldier who was executed as a Confederate spy by Union forces in 1863.

It seems most of these small southern towns do some type of fall decorations. Here's one from Pulaski.

We have been to several places where different representations of animals are used to decorate the streets. We've seen horses, cows, bears, and others used as models. Today, we saw impressionistic turkeys that Pulaski was using.

When we left Pulaski, we headed south through some beautiful country to Rogersville, Alabama, and then east to Athens where we had a nice lunch at Sweet Peppers, a deli we discovered last week. It was still as good as we remembered.

By the time we arrived back at the RV it was getting later in the afternoon, which meant it was past time for meditation. That was it for us for the day, but we had fun seeing the old town of Pulaski again and more of the beautiful countryside in this area.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Pulaski, Tennessee: The Land Of Milk And Honey

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Why We Started RVing

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 28 degrees, high 67 degrees, clear skies

The last three nights, we have been disconnecting our water hose before going to sleep so it wouldn't freeze. It looks like the weather is going to warm up for a few days so we won't have to do the water hose deal. That's nice.

Normally, we insulate our water hose if we're going to be in cold weather for any length of time. I guess the fact that we haven't insulated the hose so far indicates that we're going to spend this next winter in a warmer climate. Then again, maybe not. The reader will know when we do.

When we began fulltime RVing about eight years ago, we did it with two goals in mind: see the country, and find a new place to settle down when we grew up. As we have traveled across the country, we have seen some beautiful places that would be nice to live in. Such as Oregon, northern California, Montana, Wyoming, Washington.... Then there's Texas, Colorado, and even back to our roots in Florida.

We like the northwest states best, but they have been crossed off our list because of distance from family. Northern California also had another strike against it: even though that part of the state is nothing like the part from San Francisco and south, the entire state is tainted to us by the problems the state has and their apparent efforts to run business out of the state.

When we were in Florida over the summer and I was recovering from pneumonia, we looked around our old stomping grounds to see if we wanted to settle down there. Both of us have family in Florida, and we are familiar with the state and the way of life there, even with being moved away for the last 25 years. But, we didn't find a house that clicked with us. We looked at hundreds of houses and were surprised at how expensive a decent house was. What made it even more surprising was all the houses that had been foreclosed on, and the banks were not willing to negotiate.

We think our criteria for a house are pretty simple: at least an acre in an area where we can park the RV at the house, a good neighborhood, no more than ten miles from a town, a house that grabs us and says "Take me, I'm yours"! That didn't happen in Florida.

If we eventually find a house, it doesn't mean that we are through with RVing. What it would mean is that we would have a home base to go back to when we want to just get out of the RV, or need to take a break. It would also be a way to eventually set our selves up for that day when we are ready to hang up the keys.

One more thing: Carolyn says she has that nesting instinct burning inside, and she wants a home she can fix up one more time. Can you spell country?

Hey, I'm getting excited thinking about it.

The blog would continue, but would probably take a different slant when we were at home.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Vallejo, California: Valley Joe

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 27 degrees, high 56 degrees, clear skies

After spending yesterday at home, Carolyn's vertigo subsided enough that she felt like getting out and about. We talked about what to do, and decided to take a trip down to the Hartselle area to see how that little town has changed since we were last there about 22 years ago. Two words sum up the change: a lot.

The last time we were in Hartselle, the population of the sleepy little town was about 6,000 people. Now, 22 years later, it has more than doubled to about 14,000. The town is benefiting from the overall growth of the towns of Huntsville and Decatur, and even appears to be adding some light industry to the other mixes of occupations.

Hartselle was formed in 1870, being named after one of the founders. The founding of the town was in conjunction with the arrival of the railroad. As we drove down the center of the older part of town, we were struck by the fact that most of the downtown storefronts are occupied, unlike many places we have been. Outside the downtown, most of the growth seems to be along US 31.

Eventually, we decided to drive west from Hartselle, and ended up north of there in the little town of Priceville. This little town is located in the hills just to the southeast of Decatur. The scenery in this area is very pretty, and looks like a good place to live. It is convenient to Decatur and Huntsville, and is primarily a bedroom community of about 1,600 people.

To give an idea how well the area of Hartselle and Priceville is doing, their unemployment rate is only 4.1%. Impressive, in this time of recession.

By the time we were finished looking around Priceville, I decided to head home so Carolyn wouldn't get so tired, which makes her vertigo worse. It was a great ride through some beautiful country, and brought back some good memories.

When we got back home, we rested for about an hour. Then, I decided to check up on some suspicious water that I saw in the basement yesterday. It appeared that water ran across the floor of the basement from the plumbing in that area. When I took everything out of the basement, I found that there was a small 6" by 6" puddle in the center of the basement. I opened the panels covering the plumbing, and found no signs of leakage. It may be that when it rained a couple of days ago that some rain might have gotten in around the basement door on the road side of the RV. I felt good that I couldn't find any sign of leakage, but I'll keep an eye on the area for a few days.

While I was working outside, I used the air compressor to blow out the electric heaters we use for extra heat. Over a period of time, the heaters will collect dust inside the fans and heating coils. Removing the dust helps the heaters work better, and probably helps them last longer. It's like the old saying, "An apple a day....". Take care of your equipment, and it will take care of you.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Hartselle, Alabama: The City of Southern Hospitality

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Enjoying The Cold

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 27 degrees, high 47 degrees, clear skies

Brrrr! It just about got too cold last night. There was a heavy frost when we woke up, and we didn't get out until almost noon. Colder weather is expected tonight, when the low is forecast to be about 24 degrees. Again, brrrrrr!

The cold weather helped us decide to stay home all day to give Carolyn's vertigo a chance to subside. We did go down to the local grocery store late in the afternoon to pick up a few groceries. Using the local grocery store was a lot better than driving in to Athens and fighting the traffic on the streets and in the store aisles at the WalMart Mall. And, the prices were comparable, especially when I didn't have to drive ten miles one way.

Other than going to the grocery store, I watched a lot of college football. Carolyn got a little involved in a couple of the games, but only because she was rooting for the underdogs. She usually doesn't watch Florida games because she says every time she watches, they mess up. Believe me, they can mess up plenty with out her causing them to do it.

We don't expect to leave here until Friday, which means we have about five more days to enjoy the great weather (except for the cold) and beautiful countryside. When we leave, we're not sure whether we'll go down to Bay City, Texas to visit our daughter Lori and her family, or go to Glen Rose, Texas first to get our yearly physicals out of the way. We'll make the decision when I call our doctor on Monday to see when our appointments will take place. We would rather go to Glen Rose first, and then spend the Thanksgiving holiday with Lori in Bay City. While in Bay City, we'll also get our dental checkups done. Whew! That sounds like a lot to do. One thing at a time.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Anniston, Alabama: The Model City

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Aborted Trip To The Mall

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 38 degrees, high 46 degrees, cloudy, rain on and off all day

Did you note the weather for the day? Cold, windy, wet, threats of sleet and the isolated snow flake. Even though it's still officially the fall season, it feels like winter to this thin blooded southern boy!

I had a couple of errands to do away from the RV this morning, but I waited until 0900 hours to get started. It's a little difficult for me to get out bright and early when it's as wet and cold as it felt now that I'm not working. In case anyone was wondering where Carolyn was during my chores, she played smart and stayed at home, cozy and warm.

I needed to buy diesel while I was gone, and it just happened that the rain was falling about as hard as it did all day. The pump was under a shelter, but with the wind blowing, I might as well have been out in the open. By getting behind the pump, I managed to stay partly dry.

I got home about 1100 hours, just in time for Carolyn to say that she was ready to go do something. Well, okay. What did she want to do? She said she didn't care, she would leave it up to me. I had the bright idea of going over to the mall (the real mall, not the WalMart Mall) in Huntsville. She had mentioned earlier in the week that she would like to go.

We took off on the back roads over to Madison because I felt the traffic would be less. I was right about lighter traffic on the back roads. It's just too bad that I couldn't get to the mall using all back roads. When we got to US 72, the traffic increased dramatically. A mile later, we were at a dead stop on the highway, only moving about ten feet every minute. We think a traffic light was malfunctioning between us and the mall, which was still about five miles away. After about 30 minutes, both of us said the heck with this. At the first chance, we turned around and headed back toward Athens. Suddenly, traffic was lighter.

Let's face it, folks. I'm retired and I don't have to sit in traffic jams if I don't want to. And I don't want to. Neither does Carolyn.

As we were driving into Athens, we realized that we were getting hungry. Lunchtime had arrived. As we drove along, we kept our eyes open for a place to stop. We wanted something a little different, and both of us noticed a new deli that just opened in the Publix shopping center. We went into Sweet Peppers Deli, and were we wowed! Great service, very good food, good environment. Carolyn had the Cuban Panini, while I had the Reuben sandwich. I like sauerkraut! Both of us had a side order of potato salad. The sandwiches were large enough that we were able to only eat half of them for lunch, so I guess you know what we had for supper.

After leaving the deli with appetites satisfied, Carolyn wanted to take a ride west on US 72 to Rogersville, a little town of about 1,200 people. It had been about 15 years since we had been there, and we were surprised at the amount of growth that has taken place. I guess we should have been aware that the growth was going on since this north Alabama area is about the only place we have seen in our travels over the last couple of years where business still seems to be doing well. It's almost like they don't know a recession has hit the country.

By the time we had looked around Rogersville, Carolyn was ready to go home. She was not having problems with her vertigo, and didn't want to tempt the vertigo gods. By the time we got home, it was time to do some heavy duty meditation for me, while Carolyn took a nap.

It was a good day, even with the weather like it was.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Rogersville, Alabama: Shop…. Fish…. Eat…. Live!

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 48 degrees, high 58 degrees, clear to cloudy skies, breezy

Winter is about to arrive here, with the lows forecast to be in the low 30s tonight, and mid 20s the next three nights. Knowing the expected change in the weather, I decided to get an empty propane bottle filled when we were in Ardmore today. Bring the cold weather on! We're ready!!

Speaking of being in Ardmore (again), we were on a gravel road composed of mostly crushed stone. About halfway down the road, we started hearing an awful screeching coming from the left front wheel. As soon as I heard the noise, I knew that a rock had gotten lodged between the brake rotor and brake drum, producing a sound that sounded like an owl being strangled. As soon as we got back to Ardmore, I stopped at a tire store, where they removed the tire and found the rock. With a total stop of ten minutes, the noise was gone, with no damage. Whew!

We did not realize it, but Ardmore is not that far from the mountains in south central Tennessee. In fact, the mountains (high hills?) stand out well on the eastern horizon, and present quite a view. We like the mountains as long as Carolyn is not having problems with vertigo, so today wasn't a good to go explore roads that go up and down and all around. Instead, we looked around the country just north of Ardmore in Tennessee, finding some very nice countryside, along with the views of hills, valleys, and rivers. Nice country.

By the time we made it back home, Carolyn was just about at her limit with vertigo. The rest of the day was spent with her resting her eyes and me doing whatever needed doing.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Dothan, Alabama: Meeting The Challenge, Shaping The Future

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 48 degrees, high 55 degrees, cloudy with rain most of the day

For some reason, I woke at 0130 hours this morning, and thought it was time to get up. It was quite a surprise when I turned the light on and saw that the time was so early. It didn't take me long to get a drink of water and get back under the covers. Carolyn got up at 0430 hours, which woke me up. The next thing I knew, it was almost 0700 hours as I finally crawled out of the bed. The sleeping was not bad for someone getting up at the wrong time.

It rained on and off all night, and then the rain set in for most of the day after daylight. By 0930 hours, we were getting a little restless, so we decided to drive in to Athens to check out the local library for used books. When we lived here back in the 1980s, we made good use of the library, and it looks as though demand has grown so much that they have purchased the old Kroger's store building for a new library. The new building should give them about three times the space, which is good for a growing area. I lucked out and found four books to read, as well as two magazines for Carolyn. Good hunting!

When we finished at the library, we went out to visit my sister Judy and her husband Roger. They thought we had already moved on, and we assured them that we were going to be here a little longer. Now, if it gets much colder than it is now, all bets are off.

After a good visit with Judy and Roger, we decided to take a drive in the northwest section of the county. About the time we started, a steady rain began, and it rained on us for the entire ride. The countryside still looks good, even with the rain, but eventually we grew tired of trying to look through the rain and clouds. By the time we got home, Carolyn was having a bad vertigo attack, so we stayed home and acted like old folks the rest of the day.

Carolyn allowed me to prepare supper tonight, since she was still a little unsteady. I think I did well, and I guess the proof is in the fact that she ate and said it was good. Maybe she'll let me do more.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Lakeway, Texas: Community Becoming Family

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fayetteville, Tennessee

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 48 degrees, high 67 degrees, cloudy skies, light sprinkles late in the evening

It's getting easier and easier to get a late start. We didn't get out and about this morning until after 1000 hours, and I could have waited until after lunch. However, rain was expected to move into the area, and I would rather be at home when the rain arrives.

The first part of our day was spent looking around in Toney and Hazel Green, both of which are little bedroom communities north of Huntsville. Eventually, we got tired of seeing row upon row of houses, cotton fields, and farm machinery. We decided to head up toward Fayetteville, located about ten miles inside Tennessee.

Almost as soon as we crossed the state line into Tennessee, the terrain changed to steeper hills and deeper valleys. We like that kind of countryside, so we enjoyed seeing the new territory. Fayetteville is the county seat of Lincoln County, and has a population of about 7,000 people. The town was founded in 1809, so it has a little history behind it. Here's what the downtown area looks like.

A visit to a county seat wouldn't be complete without a picture of the old courthouse.

An interesting fact I found was that the Lincoln County process is used in making Tennessee whiskey. The Jack Daniels distillery was located in the county until the county lines were re-drawn and Moore County was created, with the distillery located in Lynchburg in Moore County.

By the time we finished driving around Fayetteville, it was time for lunch, which was Arby's sandwiches. Then we started back home, going by way of Ardmore. We didn't make it home until after 1500 hours, which made it time for some meditation.

After supper, we spent the rest of the evening watching the election returns. Very interesting developments going on.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Where Tradition Meets Tomorrow

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, November 1, 2010

More Looking

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 42 degrees, high 72 degrees, mostly clear skies

Carolyn was still a little under the weather with her latest bout of vertigo, so I decided to get out a little and just look around the area. By chance, I ended up in the Ardmore area again. I'm not sure what it is about that area that draws me, other than the scenic beauty and the small town feeling that we like so much.

While I was looking around, I happened to find the library. We're getting a little low on books to read, so I pulled in to see if they had any used books they wanted to sell. It just so happened that they did, and I was fortunate enough to find four books, for which I was charged a grand total of $0.80. You can't beat those prices, and one of the books was a hardback.

By the time I made it back home, it was lunchtime. Remember Carolyn said I had an uncanny sense of when to be home to eat meals? That sense paid off again today, as she was heating lunch up as I walked in the door.

After eating lunch, I got so tired that I needed some meditation. At this point in my life, I try not to miss a chance at meditation, and I didn't miss it today.

When the meditation was finished, Carolyn wanted to go look around a little. That meant she was feeling better, but I wanted to make sure she didn't start feeling the vertigo again. Instead of taking off on a long trip around north Alabama, I drove over to the eastern part of Limestone County, which Elkmont and Athens are in. That part of the county has seen tremendous growth since we moved away from here in 1990. That growth is probably due to the nearness of Madison and Huntsville, and Limestone County has become the basic bedroom community.

During our drive, we noticed that two different people were growing mustard greens and turnip greens, which they were giving away free to people who wanted to go and pick them. We may take them up on some of those greens, since both of us like fresh garden greens.

Normally, we don't like to shop for groceries on the weekends or late in the afternoon because of crowded stores. Unfortunately, we needed a few things from the WalMart Mall in Athens, so we bit the bullet and went as we started home. Carolyn went with me for a change, and of course it took about twice as long. She likes to take her time, while I go get what I'm after and leave. About an hour later, we were headed home.

By the time we got home, it was late enough for supper. Carolyn prepared some hot dogs, and we watched the news while eating. Hot dogs and the news: sounds like a sure fire recipe for heartburn.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Ardmore, Alabama: Crepe Myrtle Capital Of Alabama

Not all who wander are lost.