Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Naval Station - Mayport, Florida

January 29th - Wednesday 35 degrees

We left Georgia this morning, it rained all night long and we were a little hesitant to leave after hearing about all of the icy roads; however, as we approached interstate 95 at noon, all looked good.  It was 35 degrees as we crossed over into Florida.

We called our grandson in Savannah to see how he survived the storm last night, and he reported that he was called off of work today, as they still had ice and it was felt not safe for them to work outside today.  He decided it was a good day to repaint his bathroom.

We arrived at the camp ground at 2:30 pm and got into our spot.  It was a pull through slot, and Lou decided that he would get hooked up and unhook the car later.  We are right on the water and the wind was blowing and it is very cold.  Thankfully, we have 50 amp hookups here and I plugged in our ceramic heater along with our furnace and  after two hours, the furnace finally cut off.  Lou came in and I made him a huge mug of hot chocolate and homemade chicken salad for a late lunch.

He was delighted when I got our cable downloaded and we get over 40 stations, so we enjoyed our lunch and watched television and he warmed up with the heater on his feet and legs.  Welcome to Florida.  We enjoyed some of the ships come up the St. John River while we relaxed over our meal.  We love this Naval Station and all of the activity.  We kept saying wish Matthew were here, he would love seeing all of the helicopters and the ships along with the tugs on the river.
Notice the tugs pushing on the end and the side guiding the huge ship into port
This is the view out our front window, one of the reasons that we love to come here.  We have seen several of large ships come in this afternoon.  The harbor at night is  beautiful and I tried to take a picture through the windshield, it did not turn out, as it is still  raining and blowing.  Will try and do another post  tomorrow night and hopefully the weather will be better.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Visit to St. Mary's, GA

January 28th - Tuesday - Rainy 55 degrees and getting colder as the day progresses.

Yesterday was a beautiful and I let my darling husband talk me into going shopping instead of going for a long walk.  I should have known better, it got to to 75 degrees, with bright sunshine and today we awoke to sunshine with an announcement that school for tomorrow has already been cancelled, due to the impending ice that was to be present tomorrow morning.

While Lou chatted with an Air Force gentleman a couple of RV's down from us, I got the RV cleaned up and did my shoulder exercises and answered my e-mails, sorted my laundry, decorated the RV for Valentine's Day.  We decided we would go back to our favorite seafood restaurant for lunch and then drive into historic St. Mary's and take a look around.  To me it is a beautiful small southern  town, it was raining so my pictures aren't very bright.
Ships at St Marys on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean

Inlet - St Mary's

Church - St. Mary's

One of the Historical Houses in St. Mary's

After we drove through St. Mary's we drove to Crooked River State Park.  I would have liked to have camped there; however, they do not have full hook ups readily available, but would have worked for a few days and think next year we will consider it.  I like camping in the forest, but it isn't Lou's thing.  I love to hike in the woods and be a bit more primitive.

Tomorrow is moving day, and we go on to May Port, FL.  I don't know what the internet service will be there, last time we were there it wasn't that great.  Will post as I am able.  We have reservations for two weeks with the possibility of an extension of a week.  The first two days we will be on the river front, which we will enjoy the ships coming and going and will take lots of pictures.

Today we skyped with Matthew and that is so nice to chat with him face to face.  That way he  isn't going to forget his Grandpa and Grandma.  He was used to coming to our house every day or so, and he and his Grandpa had to play airplanes every time he came.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Worship Service and a Trip to Okefenokee Swamp Park

January 26th - Sunday  58 degrees - high

We started our day off with our worship service at the Kings Bay Naval Subase Chapel, where Chaplain LT Catherine Pace led us in worship.  Her sermon was was titled Does Perfected Love Exist?  The scripture that she chose was 1 John 4: 17-19.  This of course, if the scripture that tells us of Gods perfect love for us and how we are to pass that love on to all that we meet.  Her message was a meaningful message.  As I sat and listened to her message, I couldn't help but have my inner spirit be quieted, as outside I could see a small lake with ducks and other native birds on the lake.  Very peaceful along with a message of God's love, what a perfect way to start the day and our week.

After our worship service we stopped at a Waffle House for breakfast, for what else, but Georgia peach waffles and eggs, then back home to change our clothes and then we decided to head off to Okefenokee Swamp.

We drove to a place, that we had noted while out driving, that was making smoked barbecue to pick up sandwiches to put in our picnic basket and we were off.  It was a beautiful drive through the country on route 40.  Lou was telling me how they grow pine trees to use for pulp wood and we got to see the whole  process.  Fields that had been cleared of the pines, newly planted trees, some a few years old and mature trees that were being harvested.
Newly planted trees

Trees ready to be harvested
When we arrived at Okefenokee Swamp, we walked around a bit then boarded the train to travel through the swamp.  We did see two Gators, it was a little too cold to see more.  It was in the low 50's while we were there, and I was darn glad that I had my heavy coat and mittens to ride the train.
The entrance

The Gift Shop
Going out to the train

A seventy-five year old gator (female)

Many of the plants and trees were pointed out to us, and many of these were the same species that we had seen while we were in Nova Scotia, at that time they were in bloom, so we knew what they were supposed to look like.

A moon shine still 

I took this picture, as it showed a bale of cotton.

After we finished our train ride and walking tour, it was getting cold and darker, we were glad to get back into the car, turn on the heater and enjoy our picnic in the warmth of the car.  Tomorrow we are in hopes we can hit a museum, as we are supposed to have bad weather.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Enjoying a Walk

January 25th - Saturday 39 degrees AM

Yesterday, we knew it was going to be our last day with full hook ups, I decided I would give the RV a good cleaning, wash my hair in the morning and get the laundry done along with the sheets, so I took care of all of that while Lou enjoyed his new book about Dr. Holliday that I got him  for Christmas.  It is a huge book with small print that goes into great detail regarding his life and Lou is enjoying it immensely.  We have brought about 20 book for each of us plus the ones that I have downloaded on my kindle so you know what we plan on doing.  So far I have read four from my kindle and need to start on my hard back books.

After all of the jobs were completed, Lou asked me if I wanted to go for a walk, it was really cold and windy, but I did want to get out and enjoy a walk, as we try to walk every day, so we donned our winter coats, scarves and ear muffs and were off.  The wind certainly did blow off of the lake.  Lou sort of laughed at me when I told him that I was going to bring along our ear muffs, but he didn't laugh yesterday when I put his in my pocket for him.  He thought they felt pretty good and it also keeps his hearing aids from whistling.

Along the lake we saw several King Fishers looking for their dinner and lots of little birds that we haven't been able to identify, they have a sound a lot like our little Chickadees but certainly not the coloring.  Will have to get our bird books out and look them up and take our binoculars along on our walks.

I did think this picture of this old tree with the Spanish moss was interesting.  I love the Spanish moss and the irrie designs it makes as it grows.  I always bake some to bring home to use in my flower pots during the summer, and I like to hang it on the fences, for the birds to gather and add to their nests and we have found that the Robins especially love to add it to their nests along with the mud.

Today was moving day, we moved to a grassy spot and no longer have a sewer hook up, but we will only be here for four nights and we are right next to the showers and laundry, so very convenient, so will be fine.  It really is nice to have a different view.  Tomorrow we will attend church on the base and found the service is at 10:30.  We always look forward to hearing the different chaplains.  More on that later.

We are going to have White Bean Chili for dinner tonight, should be good on a cool  evening.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Naval Submarine Base - Kings Bay, Georgia

Naval Submarine Base - Kings Bay, Georgia  (see the submarine)

January 23rd  31 degrees -

Yes it is cold here, but nothing compared to what our family is telling us that we are missing at home.  Our cell phones started ringing early this morning to report the cold temperatures this morning and  to wish me a Happy Birthday.  It was good to hear from friends and family and to catch up on news from home.  Our internet service is spotty here, so can’t always post on our blog or catch up on our e-mail.

Yesterday, I stayed in all day long, the wind blew 40 MPH all day and all night and we were told to keep our water running a little all night long to keep it from freezing, which we all did.  I am so thankful that I packed additional winter clothing this year.  In fact, Krista helped me fix a pole to put in the car to hang summer clothes on and I transferred summer clothes from the RV to the car and put winter clothes in the RV and now I am very glad I did and so is my reluctant husband!  He is finding that his flannel shirts are feeling pretty good and this morning he asked me if I brought him some long sleeved tee shirts.  Sure enough I sure did!

Today, it got to 48 degrees, so I decided to do laundry again and hung some on the clothes bars and let the wind weave its magic.  We are both enjoying our books and I am enjoying reading my book on my kindle,  wish I had purchased one much earlier.

Last night for dinner, we did a two pound beef roast in our convection oven and it turned out delightfully.  I had not done a roast before.  It was a perfect medium, beautifully browned ,juicy and tender.  Will make delightful sandwiches later.
Tonight, Lou took me to a suggested seafood restaurant for my birthday dinner.  St. Mary’s Seafood and More on Osborne Road.  We got there about 4:00 pm and took advantage of the lunch menu, which fits my appetite much better.  I ordered shrimp and scallops, baked potato, coleslaw.  It was served with hush puppies, with light breading on the seafood and was piping hot and delicious.  This meal was $10.99, Lou ordered Stuffed crab, shrimp, scallops, grits and coleslaw and the cost of his meal was $12.99, when we went to pay for our meal, she noticed Lou’s ID card and said that he got 10% off, pretty good deal for a delicious meal and we had a great waitress that kept our coffee cups full.
My dinner

Sign for our restaurant 
Entrance at the restaurant 

On our way home, I asked Lou to go past the missiles so I could take a picture for the blog, he said he didn’t know where I was talking about, after much discussion and me trying to explain where it was, we finally figured it out, he had thought I said “nipples”.  One of the reasons we have such a good time together, it sure caused a good laugh between us.  Am sure we will remember that for a long time!!
The "Nipples"

After dinner we went to the Commissary and the PX to pick up a few things before coming back home.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Traveling along from South of the Border, SC to Kings Bay, GA

South of the Border, South Carolina
January 20th - Monday 68 degrees

We left South of the Border on Sunday Morning, after walking over to the restaurant to have a lovely breakfast.  We both needed a walk and our camping site was a very secure area protected by a gated area, so we left the car connected and took a walk.  Our check out time was at noon and we took advantage of the late time.  We needed our heavy coats and I wore my mittens, the cool breeze was refreshing after being inside of the RV for several days.

Once we were back on the road, I set the GPS for Savannah, straight shot on route 95, with a short time on 295, we put our cd's in to listen to our book by Stuart Woods and we were off.  It did not get above 38 degrees, so when we stopped for lunch we ate inside. We arrived at Ft. Hunter in Savannah at 6:00 pm and drove to the camping area at Lotts Island and found that there were no openings, so we dry camped.  Thankfully, we had stopped en-route and filled with  propane so at least we had heat for the night.

We called Casey and told him we had arrived and he was kind enough to bring dinner to us.  He and his friend spent the evening with us and we dined with candle light.    Casey has just started a new job here in Savannah and we were hoping to spend several days there to take in the historical sites.  We did not take into consideration that it was Martin Luther King Day and there was a huge parade scheduled for Monday!!  Thanks to our GPS it got us out of town and back on route 95 and on our way to Kings Bay, GA.

I tried several times to call Kings Bay to see if we could get reservations for tonight, but only got a recording, so we took a chance and drove on in and when we got here found that the office was closed due to MLK Day!!.  They had one site available so we are here, but don't know if we will be able to stay.  They have a free laundry here, so took advantage of that and did the little that we had accumulated and used my clothes bars that Susie gave me several years ago to hang many of them on in the sunshine and wind to dry.  It was 68 degrees here today and they smelled so good when I brought them inside.

I fixed pork chops, sauerkraut and baked potatoes for dinner and put it in the oven and we took a walk while our dinner was baking.  I made a nice fruit salad using an orange that Casey brought to us last evening.  Now tonight we can get showers, and wash our hair and be ready for whatever comes tomorrow, we also are going to  have some colder weather.  Thankfully, it won't be as cold as forecasted in PA.
Some kind of a berry bush we saw on our walk, not blueberries

The long needle pines that I love.

View of the lake as the sun was going down

Saturday, January 18, 2014

On The Road Again

Campsite at Midford, VA
Beautiful Holly Tree beside of our site

Field of Robins
January 18th - Tuesday - 29 degrees

We are “on the road again”.  Our first stop last night didn't have internet; therefore, was unable to do a post.  

We left home on the 17th with a light dusting of snow.  We drove to Dillsburg, where Janet, Lou’s daughter met us with lunch.  We took time to enjoy the lovely meal that she brought to us and engaged in conversation with her and we were off on our journey.  It was an overcast day and a good day to travel.  We had planned on staying at Quantico for the evening and then going through the Marine Museum the next day; however, when I called, I found from the message on the phone the Fam Camp was closed, so we traveled on to Midford, VA for the night.  

We stayed at R&D Family Campground.  It was a lovely campground with all of the hookups that we needed to get rid of all of our winterizations and replenish our fresh water supply.  They even had heat tapes on their fresh water.  

While Lou got everything hooked up I got our dinner ready.  I had fixed home made Lasagna for dinner the night before, as Susie and Tim had dinner with us and there was enough left over to bring along with us and I made a salad to go with it and some Texas toast, a glass of wine and dinner was ready.  

We were fortunate to secure a pull through camp site, so we didn't have to unhook, this pleased me, as I won’t be a lot of help to Lou this year, with my recent shoulder surgery.  I had just started working with weights and bands and we think I over did, so am back to doing just stretching.  My PT tech suggested that I use a bed pillow under my arm while riding and that had been a great help.
Today we slept in until 8:30 and then had a breakfast of homemade berry pancakes and sausage and were on the road by 11:00 am.  Just as we pulled out of the camp ground we saw a field of Robins.  That was a very welcome sight.  It was 32 degrees at 11:00,  but warmer that it was in PA as they had 20 degrees and two inches of snow.

We traveled route 95 to the Flying J for gas, which we purchased for $2.99 a gallon and when you are buying 70 gallons that was a nice surprise.

We took route 295  and route 95 through Virginia, across the James River, which was high once again.  Saw the many horse farms and Black Angus cattle.  Many state police were out and stopping cars, we witnessed many yesterday also.  Traffic was much heavier yesterday.

We ate our lunch at the Welcome Center in North Carolina and the temperature was 38 degrees.  After lunch, we put in an audio book by Stuart Woods, called Son of Stone, and we are enjoying that very much.  The afternoon just whizzed by.  We are staying at South of the Border in South Carolina tonight and plan on going into Savannah tomorrow and staying on base there for several days. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Touch of Spring

January 5th - Sunday

Don't the paper whites look good?  Krista got these for us for  Christmas, but gave them to us a little early.  They started to grow through the package and she was afraid they would spoil before Christmas and we certainly have enjoyed them.

I had read once about watering them with Vodka to keep them from growing so tall, but when I did the research on it, I found that you must do it on the first watering, so I was too late.  I certainly will remember that the next time, as they have grown so tall, and they do have a delightful fragrance. A boost to the spirit in the midst of all of the cold weather and snow.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Using One of my New Christmas Presents

January 4th - Saturday  13 degrees below zero last evening without the wind - burrrrr

Yesterday while Lou was out shoveling snow, I thought I would do something for him.  Due to my shoulder surgery I can't help his with the snow removal, so the next best thing was to make his favorite cookie.

Notice the big beautiful bowl that I was using.  This was a gift from Preston, Lou's son.  Preston is a retired art teacher and one of the many talents is the throwing of pots, bowls, tea pots or any other object you might think of.  I just love it, one of my favorite Christmas presents.  Seems like I have found a reason to use the bowl every day since Christmas, so I haven't found a home for it, but it's home certainly will be a place where I can see it every day.

When Lou finally finished his job at dusk last evening, he enjoyed a steaming hot cup of tea and a couple of ginger snaps.  I made a double batch, and one batch went into the freezer for the trip south.

Today we had lunch in town with his two nephews and what a great time that was, both of them had spent time in the Air Force and have traveled extensively nearly three hours passed before any of us knew it and we were off to the grocery for more baking supplies.

Tonight we are going to enjoy another Christmas present for dinner.  Lou's granddaughter gave us a hand prepared berry pancake mix, and Lou is fixing sausage to go with it, sounds healthy doesn't it.  Think he feels with all of the shoveling in the last few days, he is going to reward himself.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year - Snow Storm in Pennsylvani

Steve using our snow blower
Krista, Michelle and Matthew
January 2nd - Thursday - SNOW

This is one time the weather man was correct, he said it was going to snow and it certainly hasn't let up.  Lou cleaned the side walks off and decided he would wait until the snow stopped to do the rest, and around 3:00, he started to do the sidewalk again so he could get the mail and found Steve doing the driveway.  Certainly is good to have good neighbors.  Steve and Krista had helped Lou chip ice on Tuesday to get it all off the driveway before this storm hit and now they are so glad they did, it will make scraping the snow so much easier.

The weather man tells us, we are going to have high wind and low temperatures tonight, with wind chill factors to 25 below zero, this is the kind of weather that makes me glad that I don't have a barn full of animals to care for.

To bring you up to date on my surgery; all went well and I am doing physical therapy three times a week.  I did have a bit of a problem with the bicep tendon.  The surgeon used calcium screws to do the repair and I have three screws in place; however, the bicep tendon did not stay secured, when it ruptured it alleviated much of the pain which is a good thing and I can survive with out the one tendon, as I won't be splitting wood and using a chain saw on a regular basis any longer.  I can gauge my time in the future.  We are still in hopes we can still leave for the south around the 17th.

We had lots of help during my recovery.  Maegan brought us a lovely dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, complete with homemade bread and cookies, she brought enough for leftovers.  It was a special treat.  Susie and Noell got together and made a special meal ham and potato casserole, homemade applesauce, muffins and spritz cookies.  Krista and her family, being next door were in and out to do whatever needed to be done.  She took over the week that Lou hunted with Preston.  She took me for PT, decorated our Christmas tree, took me shopping.  Susie took me for a doctor's appointment and PT and a nice lunch.  We all reaped the goodness from the experience.
Krista putting out decorations
When we had our last snow we had lots of help.  Shawn used his truck and blade to make a big swoosh down the drive way, and Steve, Krista and Michelle came to help Lou clean up the rest of the snow.  Steve used our snow blower to make paths to the bird feeders and clean out under the clothes line and make a path to their house to help with the running back and forth.
Shawn plowing the drive way
Christmas Eve we went to Shawn and Maegan's for dinner.  Shawn did a wonderful Prime Rib that was enjoyed by everyone and Maegan did the rest of the meal which was a delight to the palate.  After our dinner we all opened our presents, which was a delight for the kids.  This was a special time, as Wyatt was here this year to share the delight with the girls.  What a pleasure it was to have Noell, Travis and  Wyatt home with us.
What did you get?
After we opened our presents, we enjoyed an array of homemade Christmas cookies that everyone had made, everyone but me, I certainly enjoyed eating them along with the homemade candy!! Yum..

Matthew with his "little people airplane"
Lou and Krista talking about her pre-historic rocks
Christmas morning Lou and I went to Krista and Steve's house to watch Matthew open his presents and that was really fun, but I really got all wrapped up in watching him and didn't take many pictures.  It was really cute to watch him.  He opened one package and then Kris asked him if he wanted to open another and he said "no", he was just content with the toy he had in his hand.
Matthew in front of his tree before opening his presents.
On Christmas night Lou and I went to Sue and  Tim's house for dinner.  We enjoyed a huge turkey dinner and all of the trimmings.  Sue made a new dessert with cranberries, very rich but delicious.  It was a lovely evening.  After dinner we enjoyed a John Wayne movie along with a "coffee table book" on the Duke that Tim had received.  Sue fixed plates for us to bring home for dinner the next night and that is always nice.

On Saturday we celebrated Christmas with Lou's family at the Homestead.  Janet always does a wonderful job with this.  She had the house decorated from the outside all the way through.  She had prepared a lovely brunch.  The other girls had brought a dish to help with the meal and there is always an abundance of food.  We all met at 11:00 am and after dinner we opened our presents and there was plenty of time to visit with one another and I think it was about 9:00 pm when we arrived home.  Was a nice day.  There were a couple of the grandchildren that didn't make it this year.

On Sunday we went to Travis and Noell's house to help Wyatt celebrate his 5th birthday.  This was a first for us.  They had decided to do an Open House for the day and that worked out nicely, that way we all got a chance to play with Wyatt and visit.
Noell, Wyatt, Travis and Lou
Now that the holidays are over, we are now switching to a new mode.  Get out of the cold and snow.  We want to go south!!