January 20 to February 14, 2014 NOMADS Project, Mercedes, MS

February 15 (Approximately) to June - Gate Guarding, TX or LA.

June, 2014 - Up to Alaska!

September - NOMADS Annual Meeting, Branson, MO

Monday, May 30, 2011

What's been happening

Vinton,  LA

Today I will try again to post pictures.   What's been happening?   

While in Dardenne Prairie last week:

A sure way to know you are in St. Louis...

Another sure way.....

Phyllis with Cowboy Sam and Cowboy Leonard sampling the brews....

Donna less than thrilled with her choice.....

And this guy just doesn't care.

 A  few days with granddaughters in White Hall, MD two weeks ago...

Grandpop with sweet Abby

Our beloved Charlotte

Then it was the HS Graduation of Len's twin great-nieces in Orange, TX on Saturday

We attended the party for Sarrah and Tarrah (hey - their Mom's name is Farrah)

Leonard with two of his brothers,  Royce and Jerry

Yesterday it was church and then lunch with friends Diana and Toto.  Today we were invited to Len's cousin Russell and his wife Margie's for lunch.    Also today - I wrapped Christmas gifts.  On Memorial Day I wrapped Christmas gifts!!!  Why, you say?  We will be seeing family in Houston this weekend and don't expect to see them again this year. 

Hope you all had a good weekend and took time to remember the true reason for this day of remembrance.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Can not make comments

Vinton,  LA

In my continuing issues with Google Blog, I have been attempting to make comments on different blogs.   My blog now shows my followers but on certain blogs my comments come up as anonymous and will not post.

So Sorry - Laurie and George and JoJo.   Letting you know I am reading your blogs but can't comment.

But on a good note (sort of), today we found our camera we thought we lost last week.   When Leonard was looking for something else, he noticed it had fallen out of  a soft briefcase I carried back to MD and NJ with various documents inside.  I looked in that briefcase at least 3 times, Leonard at least once.   Glad we found the camera.  HOWEVER, YESTERDAY WE BOUGHT A NEW ONE - JUST LIKE IT!!!!

Here we go again -  I just tried to post pictures and I am unable.    I am ready to forget this whole blogging thing.  I just do not want the frustration.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Problems with Google???

Vinton, LA

I am having difficulties with Google.   Can someone help me with real simple instructions.  

Google is my homepage.  However, often when I turn on my computer I need to sign in.

When I go to my blog, the followers list is gone.   When I try to become a follower on a persons blog, there is no place to do it.  On some blogs ( not all) I can not leave a comment.   I will write the comment.   I hit Post Comment and get directed back to the Google sign in page even though the "Stay signed in" block is checked.  So I sign in again.

The post will appear as Anonymous.  I hit the Post Comment again and once more directed back to the Google sign in page. Where I once more sign in.      I can do this over and over again but the comment just will not post.

What the heck?    

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Too tired to post

Vinton,  LA

We left Sam and Donna's yesterday around 7:30.  Stopped north of Jackson, MS at a rest area for the night.  Did not sleep well.   Hot and humid.  There was a strange noise from the A/C when we tried to run it on the generator.    So we only ran fans.   There was a cool breeze coming in bedroom windows but also the constant noise of the semi's generators parked around us.  Not to mention there were tornado warnings all around us.   Who could sleep well with that on their mind?

Got to Vinton around 11:30 this morning.  REALLY hot and humid here today.   But, the air conditioner is running beautifully.   

We stopped at a Camping World on I12 and got a telescoping flag pole that Len is installing on the back ladder.   He will then install our Internet/Cell Phone booster.

Too tired to do much else.   Maybe tomorrow I will post some pics of our stay with the Weibels.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Back to the Weeb Ranch

Dardenne Prairie,  MO

We arrived back in MO about two hours ago.   Just vegetating in our home for a spell.   Had rain storm come through on plane ride back.   Was in holding pattern for a while and then had to sit on tarmac until another electrical storm blew through to permit the workers back outside.

House was settled on Friday.  Expected funds to be transferred to our account today.  Pulled it up online - don't see any difference yet.  (And believe me I would notice)

Had a great trip back to see daughters and all three eastern grandchildren.   Oh, and son-in-laws too!

On the downside, my mother was re-admitted to hospital Saturday.   She is again having breathing issues.  I talked to her for a short time about an hour ago but the nurse came in the give her a breathing treatment so we had to cut in short.

Looks like there will be no pictures on this blog for a while.  Apparently I lost that camera I just bought about two months ago.   Searched Amy's house.  No luck.  Can't imagine where I left it.   So - here I go again - buying another camera.   These new little digitals are just TOO small and easy to lose.

Give me a few days and I will be catching up on the blogs I've not have time to follow.

We will be spending time with Donna and Sam later and again tomorrow.  Then it's on to Texas.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Short update

Bridgeton, NJ

Gonna make this short, well as short as I can with a long story.   We are exhausted and stressed.

Left Maryland this morning at 7 with the granddaughters with us.   Stopped at our favorite C -Store WaWa for coffee and breakfast for the 4 of us.    Got to daughter Terri's house a little after 9.   Needing a haircut, I called my friend here who cuts our hair.  No answer.  Will take care of that tomorrow as she returned my call a short time later.

We left house at 10:20 and drove 30+ miles to the water testing company.   This time everything passed.  We drove 35 miles to the County Health Department for the certificate.   They refused.  They wanted the original papers from last week when the test failed.    I called Terri who had the papers with her at work in Philadelphia, 50 miles away.   So Len called the water company and they would make new "originals".  So 35 miles back to water test company and back to health department.   Health department said papers would be ready at 3:30, to come back AGAIN!

By this time it was 1:15.  We were to meet Mortgage Broker at the house at 1:30.  Needed the transfer of deed signed and notarized.   Got to the house 1:35.    Len had appointment to see doctor at 2:15 to get his blood pressure meds renewed.   By this time his blood pressure must have been through the roof.

I left him at house with girls and the broker and I rushed 3 miles to my old company.  My old boss there is a notary.  Got papers signed and notarized and came back to the house.  Len had left for doctors as Terri had gotten home and was with the girls.  

Len stayted at doctors office until one hour after his appointment, got disgusted and told them he had to leave.   Made appointment for tomorrow morning.   Just as well, by this time his pressure must have been boiling.   He went to the Health Department and got the certificate. 

Now tomorrow morning we have to take all paperwork to our Municipal building to get the CO.   Settlement is tomorrow afternoon.  We don't need to go, just Terri.   Broker took our voided check to deposit funds into our account.   So this is really our last night in OUR house.   Tomorrow it is all Terri's.

Girls in bed, Len is taking a shower.   I'm next in line. 

And another thanks to Donna and Sam.  They have taken a lot of stress from us by giving us a place to park the rig and taking such good care of Lucky.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Missouri to Maryland

White Hall, MD

We left Missouri on Sunday and flew into Baltimore/Washington International.     We left our rig and cat in the capable hands of Donna and Sam.   But before we left for this short trip we spent some time with the Wiebels.   On Friday Sam made his famous pizza.

We were introduced to Riggs.

Looks like that is all the pictures for today.    Here in White Hall we are in rolling hills and a storm is coming through.  I wanted to upload more pictures but it is not working.  I am lucky to have any signal I suppose.  We do not have our signal booster with us.

On Saturday Donna made a great breakfast.   Later in the day we drove over to Sam's train club's clubhouse.  Then we drove to Old Town St. Charles, the first capital city of Missouri.  We would have loved to have walked around but the rain was coming down.

That evening Sam was not feeling well but Donna, Leonard and I had dinner at a Chinese Buffet.  Donna snuck behind our backs and paid the bill.   We will have no more of that!   

On Sunday we were thrilled to see our Granddaughters Charlotte and Abby.    They sure acted like they were just as happy.  On Monday we took the girls to New Jersey with us.   As our other daughter, Terri and her husband Steve, is buying our house, we decided this would be a good time to settle.  

The water test company had to come for a re-test.  They tested two weeks ago but we were high in nitrates.   We have a water system which is serviced once a year.  Seems when they were at the house in September to service the system, they did not plug in the nitrate filtering tanks.  This was discovered because they had to come to the house due to the failure of the test.  Of course, they asked why WE unplugged it.  Heck, we didn't even know there was a plug back there behind the tanks.  Of course, they will never admit it, causing  us to have to pay them for two visits plus the testing company twice.

Then the township came for their inspection.  All passed but the fire extinguisher was in the kitchen closet and needs to be always visible.   Then the homeowners insurance representative came to inspect.   Some limbs need to be removed that overhang the barn/stables.

Then it was back to Maryland.  Today it rained too day.  Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Simpsons and Daniel Boone

O'Fallon,   MO

We arrived at the "Weeb Ranch" this morning with a wecome from Sam!  More on that later but first I want to catch up on our last few days.

Back at the campground in Montgomery City we enjoyed watching the Hummingbirds at our feeder.

 So did Lucky...

One reason we made a stop in Montgomery City was to catch up with our old friends John and Tudie Simpson. (Did you think this blog entry was about the OTHER Simpsons?)     They look as good as ever.  It's been YEARS!  Too long.

The Simpson's invited us to their lovely house for dinner on Wednesday night.    John grilled unbelievably good pork steaks.  Tudie made baked potatoes, green bean casserole, ambrosia, and great blueberry crisp served with ice cream.  (We provided the wine from our previous day's trip)

Following dinner they came to the campground to check out our rig.   They are weekend/vacation campers and the proud owners of a 2010 Puma travel trailer.

Yesterday Leonard and I toured the home of Daniel Boone.  He lived there the last few years of his life and died in the downstairs bedroom.   They do not permit photos taken inside.   This is the back of the house.  The walls are 2.5 feet thick.

The front of the house looks like it would be the back of the house but the fronts would always face the method of travel.  In this case, it was a river.  The front:

Archealogists are working on the property excavating sites of the houses of Daniel's children and his slaves.  Yes, the American folk hero Daniel Boone owned slaves.  

Then it was back to the campground to start packing up for our long 48 mile trip this morning.   It is good to be here to meet our blogging buddies Sam and Donna.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Stone Hill Winery

Hermann,  MO

It was predicted to be very hot and humid today.  As high as 93.   So we decided we would just sit around at the campground.   But by 11 am it was only in the low 80's so we decided to drive about 17 miles over Hermann to Stone Hill Winery.    The first time I was there was in 1980.   Leonard and I visited again a few years back.  

Once we got to the winery we only had to wait about 15 minutes for a tour.  There were only 4 of us on this tour.   When the guide told us the original owner originally had a winery in Philadelphia, we found that the other couple were from Holland, Delaware County, right outside of Phila.   And since we lived only 30 miles from Philadelphia, we found AGAIN what a small world this is.

Inside this 1870's building is the gift shop and tasting room.

Most of the grapes are grown in the surrounding countryside, some even on the property.  These vines grow the grapes for their signature Norton wine.

The wine cellar was a joy.  The scent of the wine, the coolness.   The appearance of this old, stately building.

Some of the oak barrels are made in Missouri, some even in France.  The cost of a good oak barrel can be from $500 to $l,000.

An example of the owners private stock and an antique grape press.

At this point our camera needed a charge.  When WILL we remember to keep the thing charged?
After the tour, we went inside for a tasting.   We tasted a few we did not like, but a few we did.  We bought two bottles for us and a bottle for our friends who live nearby and invited us to dinner tomorrow night.

As both my daughters have fond memories of touring Stone Hill as children, I called them to ask what wine they would like.  Amy answered and was in the middle of feeding Abby (1) and Charlotte (4) lunch.  Her reply was two bottles would be great right then.  She decided on a Port.   Terri,  was in a meeting at work, did not answer.  She will get what we chose for her.

Stone Hill has a lovely restaurant that used to be a barn and stables.   We decided to lunch there and invited our new tour friends to join us.   This couple moved to the States from Germany in 1960.   They are on the way to Houston to see their granddaughter graduate High School.   Now neat - we are going to Houston to see our granddaughter graduate on June 2.   Different schools though.  

We never got the names of these nice people.  But we talked of our travels.  They love to RV also but have not done it for years.  They once spent every vacation  RVing the country.   This is a part of RVing we love.  Meeting new and interesting people, if only for a short visit as we all go to our own destinations.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Changes since last visit.

Montgomery City, MO

We spent a relaxing Sunday.    We attended the small United Methodist church about a mile down the road.   When I say small, I mean small.

There were 16 of us in attendance.   The people were so glad to have us as visitors.   How cool was it that there was fresh made coffee all ready for the sipping.   

Then it was back to Lazy Day Campground.    I just love their ladies room decor.

By mid morning, all weekend campers immediately surrounding us had left.

We sat outside watching the hummingbirds landing in the trees and flitting down to quickly drink up the nectar from our feeder.

After lunch we drove about 3 miles to Grahams Cave State Park.

My daughter Amy, who is an archaeologist, tells me Grahams Cave is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the country, although all work was stopped in it during the 1960's.

Back in the early 80's when I was coming to Montgomery City on business, I remember going to see the cave.   The park has really changed since that time.  It now has many pavilions and picnic areas.  There is also a campground that is mostly without hookups although a few have electric.    I don't remember there being a campground at that time.   

There are paved and gravel paths leading to the cave and waterfall.  I don't remember seeing a waterfall either.

The cave still looks to me like nothing more than a rock overhang but I am assured it is an actual cave.  The entrance, as it was in the 80's, is blocked off with fencing.  However, there was a family of fox laying on the rocks.  I took pictures but they were so far back, they do not show.

In the evening we walked over the social hall at the campground for cake, ice cream and toppings provided by the campground.  Just bring your own bowl and spoon!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

On down the road

Montgomery City,  MO

After volunteering two weeks at CMU, we decided to move on down the road (70 miles) to Lazy Day campground.    

But before we left Fayette and CMU we drove our NOMAD co-worker Allen Brown to a CMU employee's house to pick up clothing, etc she is donating to the tornado relief in Alabama.  After visiting family in Oklahoma, Allen is headed that way to work with UMCOR  (United Methodist Committee on Relief)

We left Fayette yesterday at 9:15 a.m. and arrived at Lazy Day around 10:30.   After getting settled for our week here, it was time to just chill.

One reason that we decided to spend a week in Montgomery City is because we have friends who live here.  John and Tudie Simpson are away this weekend but expect to be back tomorrow so we can spend some time together.

  I met Tudie way back in 1980.  The company I was working for opened a glass decorating plant here.   I staffed and trained the office and  hired Tudie as the office manager.  I would return to the plant a couple of times a year to review their procedures and would stay with Tudie.  This was before she and John were married.

Unfortunately the plant closed several years ago.

This was long after I had left the company but we have maintained contact through the years.  Len and I have stopped by when coming through Missouri.

While in town, Len decided to wash the truck while I sat inside.   Seems like a good plan to me.

When we returned to the campground, he decided to wax the truck.  Glad he did.  We had rain showers during the night and the rain just beaded up on the truck.

This morning we drove to Fulton, MO and found the Walmart.   Spent way too much money but we seemed to need a lot.    Tonight it's steaks on the grill, cucumber salad, baked beans and potato salad.  Ah, life is sweet.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

What a blessing we received today!

Fayette, MO

As is our usual practice, we attend church services at a local Methodist Church in whatever town we find ourselves.   Since we are volunteering at a Methodist University, of course there is a large church on campus.

We had planned to attend Linn UMC this morning.

A very beautiful, stately church.    We thought services started at 9:30.   We arrived at the church about 9:10 to find it starts at 10.   Leonard wondered if there were any other Methodist churches in this small town of less than 2,800 people.   We doubted it but plugged it into our GPS just to see.  

Maybell (our GPS) directed us around the corner and down a street  to St.Pauls UMC.

As we were cutting through the parking lot across the street, a SUV pulled in and out jumped a gentleman waving to us.    He saw the magnetic signs we keep on our doors indicating we are Mission Volunteers with the NOMADS.    Pastor Andre Fulton came to our truck and said he was excited to see us there.   He knows about the NOMADS, having been at a campground where a group was working.

Pastor Andre asked if we would join them for services and tell the congregation about the NOMADS.   As services did not start until 11, we said we would return with brochures and would be thrilled to give a short presentation.

St. Paul's is a predominately African American congregation and are really filled with the Spirit!   Today they recognized their Graduates, both college and high school level.

The choir was, as expected, jubilant and uplifting.

Duirng "greeting time" Pastors beautiful wife came up to us.  She told us they wanted to give us a gift of money to assist in buying gas or however else we wanted to use it.  Leonard told her we do not accept assistance as this is our way to give back.   After church Pastor Andre took us aside and told us they are obligated to give and what we want to do with the money after they give it to us is up to us.   We told them to write a check out to NOMADS and we would forward it on where it will be put to good use.

We were even further blessed as they were having a dinner after services and asked us to join them.   Wow, this was really special!   Pastor Andre and his wife, Brandi,let us know that on Wednesday nights they have a potluck dinner followed by Bible study and would love for us to join with them.  You betcha!

We told Andre where we were staying and he assured us he would be stopping by before Friday as we will be getting on the road that morning.

Yes, today we were directed to where we were meant to be.