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

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Please Touch

Philadelphia, PA

On Tuesday we drove into Philadelphia taking Charlotte to the

Apparently lots of parents and grandparents decided to take the little ones there due to having the week between Christmas and New Years off or the kids not having school.    When we arrived we knew there would be crowds as all free surrounding parking spaces were filled and only a few spots available in the $8.00 fee parking lot.   We managed to find one close to the entrance.  (Great! as it was raining when we came out).

The lobby was impressive as we waited in line for tickets. $15.00 each with a 10% AAA discount.

This place was not at all what I expected.   As the name includes the word MUSEUM, that is what I expected to find.    Lots of scientific and natural objects like rocks, turtle shells, antlers, old things, etc.  Not at all.    I was a bit disappointed.   Please Touch Museum is a series of small play areas involving all sorts of activities.  

We found that most of the children were smaller than Charlotte, who is 5.  Abby, at two, is more age appropriate.  But Charlotte did have a good time.

Tea with the Mad Hatter.

A pose in front of a wavy Looking Glass.

Walking on the Moon

And out in space.

Attempting to pop a nerf rocket through a ring:

Checking out a child size room:

Her favorite area was the super market.   She played in it for a spell and then asked to return for another visit  before we left.

First trip with no available baskets or shopping carts.

Checking out:

On her second shopping trip, still all carts were in use but she did find a basket.

Note she only buys bread, fruit and veggies.  She bypasses the cereal, cookies, ice cream, etc.  This was with no prompting from us.   As she has lots of allergies, most of her diet is fruit and vegetables.  Even prior to diagnosing the allergies, this is the type of food she was given.    One note - she is gluten intolerant so the bread would be a no-no unless it is rice bread.   Also the milk she "bought" would have to be almond or rice milk.  Dairy is off limits too.

Charlotte was very well behaved at the "museum".  As her parents take her to various nature centers quite often, I suppose it was okay that Please Touch Museum was not what we expected.  We still enjoyed our time with her.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011

Upper Deerfield Twp. NJ and White Hall, MD

As our usual custom, we attended Christmas Eve services at our church.  Terri and Steve came with us.

 As we came out the door, there was Santa riding by on a firetruck.

In the morning it was breakfast at Terri and Steve's.

Grandson Justin with his usual hamming it up:

Terri and Steve with a favorite gift:

For dinner Len and I went to daughter Amy's in MD.    Her dining room is finally coming together after all the work she and hubby Scott did with some help from Len.


Charlotte and Abby's creation before it was dismantled for their dessert

Abby modeling Grandpa's Christmas hat:

Charlotte came home with us for a couple of days.   We completed a fun picture which she wrapped and gave to her mother when she went home.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The day before, the day before Christmas

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

On my, wondering how many pounds will be added this season on to my already too-many-pounds body.

On the 15th we went to dinner with friends at a great Italian restaurant (forgot the camera).  We all know that Italian  is NOT a low calorie choice.

The very next night we went to dinner with other friends (forgot the camera).   At a different Italian restaurant.  More damage done.

On Monday our women's group had their Christmas dinner/party.  (had the camera, forgot to take it out of my pocket.)

I did manage to remember the camera AND to take a picture when we visited with my cousin Mae and her friend Ray on Thursday.

A favorite of our family is old fashioned Chicken Pot Pie.  Not the kind with a crust but the kind that is rolled dough cooked in chicken broth.     My grandmother made it, my mother made it, my daughter Terri makes it.  I've never made it.   Somehow the pot-pie gene skipped my generation.

Last night Terri made this family favorite.    Served with homemade cranberry relish, cole slaw and mashed potatoes.

Steve and Len working on getting the food on the table.   Note the top of the line table wear!  

Grandson Justin who requested this meal.

Terri, Justin and his friend Ariel

Steve's daughter Brianna and her boyfriend Jason were also there.  (in keeping with my tradition, I forgot to take their picture)

But I did remember this:

Terri's fresh made cookies and candy  (oh just forget it!  so the pounds will be added but I will enjoy every bite.)

A very Merry Christmas and a prosperous, safe and 
Happy New Year
to all my blogging friends. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Not much goin' on.

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

It's been a week since I've posted for as this title says - Not much goin' on.

On Wednesday we were invited to dinner at our friends Bill and Joan.  They also invited our friend Patty.  These are friends from the church we used to attend.  It is always fun getting together.

 During my work world I was a Human Resource Manager/Director/Professional (title depending on the company).  As such I belonged to the largest organization for HR - Society for Human Resource Management based in VA.    SHRM is composed of individual chapters throughout the world.    Our local chapter is HRA of Southern New Jersey.    Since I was in the area, on Thursday Len and I attended their annual Christmas party and auction to raise money for the SHRM Foundation.

We wanted to have the granddaughters over for the weekend.  Daughter Amy asked that instead of meeting us 1/2 way Friday evening if we would come to her house for the day.   She and Scott have been working on their dining room.   She was anxious to get her house in order so asked if Leonard would spend the day installing a door and do the trim and quarter-round around the floor.   Not a problem - he loves doing this stuff.

After the girls got home from school or daycare we took off for NJ stopping at a local diner for dinner.

As always Charlotte is awake before 5.  Abby sleeps until around 6.   We did almost nothing all day Saturday as it was very cold.   In the evening we took a ride looking at Christmas lights.

On Sunday we attended our church and gave a presentation on NOMADS.   Then it was lunch and Abby took a nap. Charlotte and I played games on the computer.  Len started teaching Charlotte how to play checkers.   We took them home meeting, Amy 1/2 way in the early afternoon.

That evening Len and I went to dinner.  A nice, quiet dinner.

Yesterday Len took the truck to get an oil change, etc.  

So, not much goin' on around here.  What about you???  Everyone really busy with Christmas preparations?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Just what do people do!

Upper Deerfield Twp, NJ

We have been at Camp Driveway at my daughters for weeks now.  We have 4 more weeks to go before we take off.  I truly love seeing family and catching up with friends, but being here all this time begs the question.  WHAT DO RETIRED PEOPLE DO????

Both Leonard and I can not imagine, at this time, being retired and puttering around a house.   Today I HAD to get out and about a bit.  We took off for a drive even though we faced showers most of the day.

We stopped at Cracker Barrel for breakfast and then headed to a part of NJ I've always loved.  The Pine Barrens.    Through the woods we rode.   We passed the ruins of Speedwell, a long deserted town in the middle of the woods.

A few more miles into the woods and we came upon this.

From experience I know these "puddles" are often deeper in to the sand than they look.  Probably could have crossed through but why take the chance even with our 4-wheel drive truck.    There was a way around it:

However, this tree is low and into the road.   Truck is taller and only 8 months old.   Not scratched yet, don't need to get around that bad.

So we turn around and decided to go to the historic village of Batsto.    We pass lots of cranberry bogs

 This area of the state is known for the growing of cranberries and blueberries.  The cranberry farms are part of the Ocean Spray co-op.    

As we get about 4 miles from Batsto we hit a detour due a bridge being out.  We find this a lot around here from damage during Hurricane Irene back in September.    We head off in another direction crossing over the Wading river.

About this time the rain is full upon us.  We decide to scrap a visit to Batsto today.  But one important task was complete.   Every Christmas we head to the nearest Hess station to add to Leonard's collection.

Those trucks must be a huge money maker for Hess.  In the few minutes Len went into the station to get his truck no less than 6 other cars pulled up with the people going into the station.  I saw not one car getting gas.

Our little ride took us out of the fiver for about 4.5 hours.   As I look at my calendar we have 4 dinner dates with friends, etc in the next three weeks.  We will have the granddaughters over this coming weekend.  As I said earlier, we enjoy catching up with friends and family but  if not traveling or volunteering, WHAT DO RETIRED PEOPLE DO???????