Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year 2012

December 31st - Cloudy and very mild

At the risk of hurting any ones feelings, I want to share some of our Christmas remembrances with everyone. It has been a very hectic month of December, as it seems everyone as experienced the same thing. Perhaps, it is the fact that we still have not had snow here, so Christmas crept up on us here in Pennsylvania.

We celebrated a lovely Christmas Eve at Shawn and Maegan's home which was decorated to the hilt as it always is. We tried something different this year, everyone brought food that could be eaten on our laps and we had a wonderful variety of foods, so we all got a chance to chat with everyone and to enjoy the kids, then after dessert we opened our gifts. Maegan always comes up with the neatest gifts for Lou and me and I enjoy opening our gift bag. This year among the treasures she had a wine cork with pretty gems on the top with a "R" and a spreader with an engraved "R". A travel journal that has a place for pictures and a short narrative and a travel folder to keep receipts, credit cards, maps, etc. These were all things that we can put in the RV and use on our travels, these were just a few of the things, but the interesting thing was the wine cork matched a set of melted blue bottles that are intended to be used for cheese and cracker dishes that Lou's daughter, Sandra gave to us, and her daughter gave us another dish that matched that, so all of those go into the RV. Perfect!!

Tonight is our square dance celebrating the New Year and I just have to use the dishes there, so after that they will get packed up and put into the RV.

Krista, knowing that I just can't get enough of Frank Sinatra got me a collection of his CD's and they are all of his old albums with the original album covers. I was delighted. They certainly will go in the RV and will offer many hours of entertainment on the road.

Janet, Lou's youngest daughter, did a really neat thing. She took an old 33 1/3 record and softened it in the oven to make it into a bowl, and then filled it with neat items from Bath and Body Works for me. It was the perfect gift for me, as this is the first year that I have not ordered from them, so I didn't have any new products to take south with me. The bowl will make a great conversation piece to include in the RV. Like Lou tells me I have the RV overloaded now anyhow!!

I had not gotten my granddaughter anything for Christmas other than a book that she has requested, but wanted to get her a business suit for her trip to Harvard, so on the 27th we set off to the mall and while at the mall, we found a sign maker, hence, I finally was able to order a sign to put outside of our RV when we are traveling. We have wanted one forever and now we just have to get it waterproofed and we are ready to travel.

Preston hand threw a new dish that has two pieces so the bottom one will hold ice or hot water to enable the top serving dish to be multipurpose. He also made coffee mugs to all of his cousins. Each and everyone is unique, a lot of talent in those hands.

We also received many gift cards that we will use while traveling. One is just for books and that is always a delight and that one we usually save until we return home and make a day trip with that one. Last year I purchased The Help as one of my books and was that a delight, but was disappointed with the movie, so much was left out.

My brother and his wife gave us bird houses that we will delight in putting out when we return and a solar light that we will take with us and display with our new sign.

Next project will be getting the house cleaned up and the motor home packed up and ready to leave mid January.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

December Already

December 2nd - Saturday

I can not believe the whole month of November has passed and I have not made a post to our blog. Believe it or not, I have spent the entire month trying to get my fall housecleaning done.

Growing up my mother had a rule, our work had to be done before we could play, and you know to this day it is very hard for me to deter from that rule. I started with the master bathroom, took everything out of every drawer, and moved from one room to the next. I finally finished on Thursday!! It has never taken me this long, but I can tell you our house is clean as is the RV.

We had many things side track us as the house cleaning was trying to be accomplished. The RV had to go two different places and one night when we were trying to get it back into the barn after dark, I heard a lot of creaking in the barn floor only to find that several boards had split, which later revealed that the large beams in the barn had dry rotted and need to be replaced. We are not trying to decide if perhaps we need to built a pole barn with wider doors.

The picture of the beautiful African Violet is one that my sister gave me last year when we were in Florida, it was a small one and we transported it all the way across Florida and back home and transplanted it and it has bloomed and rebloomed. It was supposed to be white, but you can see it has some purple in it also.

You will also see from the pictures how much Matthew has grown. Steve is working a lot of evening shifts, so Krista and Matthew spend at least one evening with us which Lou and I enjoy. He certainly enjoys his Grandpa and at church, he will crawl over me to get to Lou.

Lou and Preston have been hunting several days this week and Preston comes to our house for dinner each evening which we enjoy. That way I get to hear the deer stories again. While they were hunting one day this week, Krista and I did the wreaths for the cemetery and got them delivered. We have been so fortunate to have such a warm fall, it had made the outside projects so much easier to accomplish.

Lou and I filled a shoe box for The Shoe-Box Ministry at church. Our Parish sent 97 shoe boxes, which I thought was extremely good for a small country parish.

I have not done any outside Christmas decorating and may not, as we are planning on leaving for Florida by the 15th of January and we do have a lot to do before our departure. We plan on having time to enjoy our families and the holidays.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Catch Up Time

October 23rd - Sunday - Sunny - Beautiful Day

Finally, we were awakened with the sunshine brightly shining and a promise of a day without rain. We bounced out of bed and dressed for church thinking of what we should get accomplished after church. Normally, Lou and I do not plan on working after church; however, it has been so long since we have had a day of full sunshine, we knew we had to take advantage of it.

When we arrived at church, we found a goodly amount of people already assembled in the sanctuary and that is always pleasing to us, as we feel very blessed to have two very special pastors in our church. Today we had the pleasure of having Pastor Sandi. Her message was on God's Love and how sometimes we fill our hearts with other things so that God's love can not enter our hearts and therefore, it can not overflow to our neighbors. That was the children's sermons. Ours went into more detail. We begin a new Bible study tomorrow night and we are looking forward to that.

After church today, we did some of our fall jobs taken care of. Lou got the gutter on the house cleaned out and some of the gutters needed some attention and Lou got them repaired. I got the ones on the garage and the little barn cleaned out. Lou got my push lawn mower fixed, which I am so pleased about. It is so much easier for me to use that, than the weed eater. It is an electric start John Deere and for some reason, we haven't been able to start it; however, today, he got it started, so I was able to cut some of the grass around the house. Still can't cut around the barn, as we still have water standing there and by the weather report we heard tonight, supposed to have rain again tomorrow. It may freeze before it dries up!!

We have opened up some of the skirting around our house trying to get it dried up a little, as we have to get some work done under the house before it gets real cold and that is going to be a day long job and then we need to get the water to the barn shut off for the winter.

We finally got all of the painting done, all of the fence, little barn, bird house, still want to paint the inside of the doors in the house, but can do that when I do the fall cleaning..

I went with Krista when she took Michelle back to Elizabethtown College after her fall break. I rode in the back seat with Matthew and he was so good. The poor little guy is having an allergy to milk protein and he is waiting for a new formula to arrive, he has not had any milk of any kind in almost a week, he has been to see a gastroenterologist in Williamsport and he believes he is on the right track now, he described it as having bees in his intestines, so Matthew is dining upon pedialyte and sweet potatoes and rice cereal that Krista prepares from scratch. It is hard to believe how good natured this baby is despite how much he must hurt.

Lou's daughter-in-law has just had surgery in Tyrone and seems to be doing well. We wish her a very speedy recovery. We met she and Preston at the club two weeks ago for dinner and had a good chat. It was a beautiful drive and we all enjoyed the fall foliage.

It seems like it has been a time of family get-togethers, Noell and Wyatt were at Shawn and Maegan's last weekend and we were invited over to visit with them and ended up staying for a dinner of homemade pizza. It was really nice to catch up on all of the family news. Susie had been off to visit with a high school friend and it was nice to hear of her visit and to see how Wyatt had grown and it is always good to see the little girls, that really aren't little girls now.

We have had election of officers in our square dance group and Lou and I have been elected treasure, so that has been time consuming and while Michelle was home, she helped me set up spread sheets on the computer and that has made things easier. We have used the rainy days to set up new filing systems and I think we have everything under control at this point.

I took pictures of a vine that I purchased about five years ago called Porcelain Berries and this year with the late frost it has really been pretty, they do show up a little in the picture, but in real life they are much prettier.

I guess, this pretty much catches us up on what is going on here. I did get the RV cleaned inside yesterday, all the drawers cleaned and packed for the trip south, carpets shampooed and Dish Network sent out a rep. that finally got the television to work, so after paying for service for four months we have service. I have a happy husband. We still have to take it back to Camping World in Bath before we can winterize, and we have not heard from them. Tomorrow we will call them again. The saga continues!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Camping At Ives Run - Tioga County, PA

October 3rd Monday Cloudy w/ a few peaks of Sunshine

We are currently at Ives Run camping. We arrived on Saturday during the rain and it has rained almost constantly since our arrival. We actually have a beautiful view of the lake and we have watched the lake raise with the continual rain, but the Park Rangers have assured us we are not in any danger. In fact, we are among the first campers to be allowed in since the last flood after Hurricane Iris passed through. The park was closed for the majority of September and just reopened on the 1st of October.

We have not let it dampen our spirits. We met our good friends June and Steve here around 12:30 on Saturday and quickly got set up had lunch and the guys braved the rain and took a walk in the rain. June and I opted for some needle work. I brought along a primitive pillow top that I had carried to Florida last year and didn’t take the time to work on it, so thought this weekend might be the time to pull it out and I have had time to enjoy working with it again.

Being only about ten minutes from our home, we dropped Estee off at our home Saturday night on our way to the Penn Wells Hotel for dinner. We had made reservations for 7:00, so it gave us time to show Steve and June around our home and the surrounding area before arriving at the Hotel. We all enjoyed a wonderful feast at their seasonal smorgasbord, which to June and Lou’s delight also included crab legs. I was happy to see mashed potatoes and gravy and lots of roast turkey. I guess the cooler weather brings different tastes to mind.

Sunday it stopped raining long enough for a ride through the countryside to see the gas wells and bring Steve and June up to date on the places that they hear Lou and I talk about and of course, a trip to Wellsboro is never complete without seeing the old homes in Wellsboro and something very precious to me the construction of the Deane Center.

June prepared a lovely dinner of baked Lasagna, tossed salad, garlic bread and a wonderful red wine and for dessert we had an apple cake with vanilla ice cream. An impressive dinner to have been prepared in the motor home. After we cleaned up the kitchen and washed the dishes we played cards until nearly midnight. It was a very enjoyable day and evening. We talked about out plans for the winter and where we wanted to go this winter and when to leave and when to return, it seems like each winter we go earlier and stay later. June and Steve are also getting a new motor home this year, and we are excited for them.

Monday morning we all slept in and the guys were off for a long walk, and I got busy fixing my food for dinner tonight. I brought along a ham to bake for our dinner tonight, Krista gave me some beautiful 20 ounce apples, so I fixed apple slices to have with the ham and did fan-tan baked potatoes, fresh green beans from the garden and fresh Harvard beets from the garden and for dessert we are going to have pumpkin pie bars with ice cream. Lou have dandelion blossom wine that his father made in 1975 that he wants to serve, so that will also be different. June had made pepper jelly and brought us a jar of that, and I didn’t have anything to glaze the had with, so I used a little of that and mixed some cinnamon and nutmeg with it and used that for a glaze. Hopefully that will be tasty.

After dinner we are going to play cards again and tomorrow we have to pack up and head home and then we have the huge task of taking the majority of the things out and repacking things for the winter storage and the trip south and start the winterization program. We do need to make one more trip back to Camping World in Bath before we can wash and wax the motor home.

We have made definite plans to hold our June SMART Muster here in June, 2012. It will be fun to have the club travel to our area, as we do have a lot of pretty sights to share with folks right here in our home town.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Our Camping Weekend

September 25th - Sunday - Sunny

We have just returned from our last SMART Muster of the year. This one was held at White Oak Campgrounds in Quarryville, PA which is about three miles from Strausburg, PA. This is one of my very favorite places in Pennsylvania.

We left home at 10:00 on Thursday morning and arrived at the camp ground at 3:00 pm, it was overcast and much warmer than at home. We were able to get set up and we all met for dinner at a club house close to our campsites and enjoyed catching up on the happenings with everyone since we last met and some of us played games and some played cards and come just chatted. We dined on home made chili that our hosts had supplied and it was really tasty and spiced just right. One of the members brought along cooked rice to put the home made chili over and that was a new one for me, but I found it also very tasty and very filling. For dessert we had carrot cake and pumpkin cake all very seasonable and again tasty for everyone.

There was a beautiful sunset that cast a beautiful glow on the clubhouse and we all remarked that perhaps the weatherman was wrong and we might have a good day on Friday, not the case. It started raining about 11:00 pm and it continued all day night long and all day on Friday. In fact, I never left the RV during the day. I was able to get caught up on the reading of many blogs that I had not had time to read in some time, answered some e-mail that I was behind in and Lou finished a book he was reading and started on a new one.

We did notice that the horse and buggies still traveled up and down the road that went past the entrance to our campground and I shall never tire watching the Old Order Amish. I have great admiration for all of them, it dates back to my Uncle George and Aunt Wilma that lived in Ephrata and they instilled in us their great admiration for them. Aunt Wilma great up in Blue Ball among them and learned to cook as they did and thankfully, many of her recipes have been passed down and we still enjoy them as favorites to this day.

Friday night, we all ventured out in the rain and drove three miles to Hershey Farm Restaurant to have dinner. Some ordered their dinner, as I did and some had the smogs board as Lou did. Both of us enjoyed our dinner. I had roast turkey with stuffing, and Lou had everything imaginable.

On Saturday, it was overcast and I was determined that we were going to do something after spending the money for gas and fee for camping, so I went on line to see if I could get tickets for Sight and Sound to see Joseph and I was fortunate enough to find two tickets at the 1:00 pm performance, so I purchased them and we quickly had a bit of lunch and left and we are so glad that we did. It was a wonderful production. The strange part is, I am reading a book by Pastor John Hagee, Can America Survive, and I am to the part where God gave Egypt to Joseph. Therefore, it all played out together.

Last evening, we had out pot luck dinner, then we played games and cards until 10:00. Lou and I played Rook with the Youngs and had a great time. That was my father's favorite card game, so that brought back a lot of good memories.

I was in hopes that I could see the families as they were going to church this morning; however, it so foggy we couldn't even see the highway, so all Lou and I could do was to pray for their safety as they traveled and we decided to await the lifting of the fog before we left for home.

We enjoyed our trip home and especially the fall foliage, and I couldn't resist taking pictures on the way home. We are off again next weekend and that should be a pretty weekend, where we can enjoy the leaves. Hopefully with no rain.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Visitor From Louisiana

September 22 - Thursday

This has been a very busy and eventful month thus far. We h ave had an abundance of rain, part of it has been from Hurricane Lee which left us with over five inches of rain. Once again out barn lot was flooded and kept us from cutting the grass for over a week.

I have replanted lettuce in many different varieties hoping to have a nice fall crop. Our green beans and cucumber are still rendering weekly pickings and our green peppers are blooming again. We have been cutting the grass twice a week again, almost like spring again.

We have been enjoying the f all mums and our roses are more beautiful now than they were in the summer.

I have been looking forward to my girl friend's visit for six months. She flies in from Louisiana twice a year and we had chosen the weekend of the 16th of September way back in May not knowing that a death in the family would change plans, so after making changes we finally got together on the 18th after church and Trish, Lou and I went to the Wheel Club for dinner then Lou wanted to do some exploring so we traveled on some back roads we had never traveled, arriving home after dark, but having a great day.

Trish and I spent the next day doing what we love to do, looking a real-estate and of course, it wouldn't be a day of exploring for us if we didn't get lost, but this time, it was rather interesting, we thought we were in Texas, we found Long Horned Steers, Trish thought their hair dos matched hers!!

All in all it was a great day and it ended too quickly and she was on her plane heading back to Baton Rouge to return again in the Spring. Both of us having added a few extra pounds from the wonderful desserts we found, but maybe we laughed several of them off, as we sure laughed a lot in the few days we spent together.

She also got to see baby Matthew and he thought she was pretty special also, as we all do, it is great to have him just next door, and he even goes to church with us, and on Sunday he crawled from me to get to his Grandpa, who Matthew thinks is pretty special.

We are off to Quarryville for a SMART campout. In the heart of the Amish

Sunday, September 4, 2011

RV is Repaired Finally

September 4th Sunday Warm and Humid

After a long battle with Camping World in Bath, New York - We finally have our motor home back home and have most of the repairs completed. Lou left here last Monday telling me goodbye and stating he would return when he had the repairs completed. He called me on Monday night to tell me that he would not be returning. Thankfully, I had sent him on his way with a refrigerator stocked with food and drink, from the weekend of square dancing in Morris, for our annual square dancing get together.

When they finally did the trouble shooting on the mattress they found that someone in the Winnebago assembly plant had made a mishap installing the mattress and tried to patch the mattress and glued and clamped the mattress only to find that it did not hold, thus the reason for the mattress to fail and the reason for the problems with my back pain. I was not a pleased camper!! At 5:00 pm on Tuesday Lou called me to tell me the replacement mattress had not arrived and he would not be home on Tuesday night and as we were talking, the part arrived, so the kind gentleman, Kevin that was working on the motor home stayed over and replaced the mattress and Lou did get home late on Tuesday evening.

Several things still have not been finished; however, the parts will be sent to us here at home and Lou can complete the job here at home. This has been going on since the 16th of June. We certainly could not suggest any of our friends take the route we have taken for these repairs.

Lou went to his house to help Preston work in the basement on Thursday, so I took advantage of the day and got the outside of the motor home washed down, polished the tires and wheels and washed the windows and after Lou returned we got it into the barn for safe keeping until our next scheduled outing on the 22nd and the 30th of September. Thankfully, I was able to get the inside cleaned on Wednesday.

While Lou was gone I went into overload mode and worked like I used to do prior to knowing Lou and did I get a lot accomplished. All of the grass got cut, the weed eating is finished, mums purchased and planted, decorated for fall, garage washed down,decks washed, laundry and ironing caught up from camping, car washed and cleaned out, correspondence caught up and filing done.

It looks like we are going to have an early fall, so feels good to have a start on our fall jobs. I want to start the painting of the board fence this week, also have the little barn to paint and the grass needs to be cut again.

Lou and I took the day off yesterday and went to the Williamsport Mall yesterday, I had gotten him a couple pair of dress slacks when Michelle and I went school shopping and I had picked up the wrong length, so we returned them and picked up a new pair of shoes for him and we ended up at Borders to check out their final sale and of course had to purchase several new books. We are in hopes to go to Florida much earlier this year, so want to have extra books on hand this year. I found a book that I started last evening that I will enjoy that Pastor John Hagee wrote, Can America Survive? Probably shouldn't have started it, as we sat up in bed reading it late last night, and had to get up early for the Fly-In Breakfast this AM!!

We took time yesterday to tour Grizzly"s Tools yesterday, what fun that was, made me want to take a class in wood working again. It was a neat day, we ended our day with dinner at The Red Lobster, (Thanks Preston) this is always special and our meal was wonderful, never had a bad meal there. We both had broiled fish platter, and Lou had a peppered steak added to his fish platter.

It was dark when we drove home and there was lightening all around and the sky was just beautiful, just had to have a picture of the sky as we left Williamsport.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

God's Reward for Working Outside

August 16th - Tuesday - Beautiful Sunny Day

Today was a wonderful day to work outside and I took full advantage of it this afternoon.

As long as we have had such a dry summer I am getting my flower beds ready for fall early, and today while I was working in the flower bed the furthest from the house and while I was working I trimmed the butterfly bush and these butterflies were feasting on the bushes while I was trimming. Of course, we all recognize the Monarch and the black one is the
White Admiral. He really shows up on the White butterfly bush. Thought you might like to take a look at them.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a nice day to be outside, so plan on doing just that.

We enjoyed the fruits of our labor tonight for dinner, fresh tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers and green peppers. Tomorrow night I am going to fix stuffed peppers, and dinner will have to be early as we have square dancing.