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

Friday, December 21, 2012

So glad we did this...

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

Like so many families we lose touch with relatives who might even live nearby.  As we mature we find our own lives and make our "grown up" families.    Such is the case of my relationship with my cousins.

My mother was the only child of her mother.  However she did have two half sisters.  I have remained in touch with these cousins.    There are only two who still live in NJ.   Two weeks ago we had dinner with one of them.    The other three, who are siblings, are scattered.  One in Kentucky, one in Oklahoma and one in Arizona.   I've caught up with two while traveling and hope to one day soon see the one in Kentucky.

My father had one brother and three sisters.   I've not seen the one surviving son of Dad's brother in many years.   One of Dad's sisters had no children.  One had two children and the other had three sons.   The one I've kept to touch with since Mom's passing last year is Mae. 

Mae turns 82 today.   She and my mother were close and talked frequently.  I now call her every few weeks to catch up.  

Kenny was my favorite cousin growing up.    Both of his older brothers have passed.  

When we returned to NJ for these two months Leonard and I visited with Mae.  I asked her about Kenny and told her I would love that we got together for lunch or dinner.     Instead of going out to eat, Kenny's wife Margie invited us to lunch.

I asked if I could invite my brother, sister-in-law and sister.   Unfortunately my sister could not make it.  

Want a lovely time we had yesterday.   My brother really did not know Mae well and this gave him an opportunity to get to know her.   Kenny's one brother, Louie's daughter Sandy was there.  I had not seen her since she was a small child.    Also there was one of Kenny's daughters Kim.   I've seen her over the years but really never spent much time with her.  

Kneeling in the front is Kim.  The child is Sandy's granddaughter.  Standing from the left is me, Kenny, Leonard, Mae, Sandy, my sister-in-law Nora, my brother Norman and Margie.  

The small reunion is one of the very best Christmas presents I could get.   We all so much appreciate Margie's hospitality and this opportunity to see people we love.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cleaning and Cane

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

While at "Camp Driveway" here in NJ we decided this would be a good time to clean our carpets in the Montana.   (When I say WE, I mean Leonard).  First a good vacuuming:

Notice the dirty area where the slide retracts.


We have this situation in several places.    After shampooing the carpet most of it is gone.

However, how do we stop the slides from leaving the dirt and grime in the first place.  Suggestions?

A few years before we started full timing a stray cat arrived to live around the house.  We called her Boots.  She would run off it we tried to touch her but she was always under our feet demanding breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks.   When our daughter bought the house Boots became part of the deal .   She then had a name change to Miss Kitty.  Maybe the new name helped.  She now allows a few select people to lightly pet her.

Her best friend in the world has become Cane, the resident dog.

Miss Kitty comes up our steps when hungry.  Cane comes up our steps every time she is allowed outside.

She is always welcome to come for a visit.  Miss Kitty, however, chooses not to visit inside.

When we were at Ives Run COE in Tioga, PA a few months ago , we noticed a neat looking light pole made of PVC pipe at the site next to us.   Leonard, always looking for a project, decided to build one.   

A name sign will be hung on it when the poly dries.  Last night he bought timer for the lantern and set it for 5:30 pm.  Oops, it didn't come on as we expected.  But we did notice when we got up this morning it was lit.  Could it be 5:30 am???

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Virus with a ransom

Upper Deerfield Twp, NJ

Three days ago I was looking at blogs when a ransom notice popped up and my computer was locked from further use.     It claimed it was from the Department of Justice and that I had downloaded a protected site.   It stated I needed to get a MoneyPak in the amount of $200 and enter the pin number then they would unlock the computer.    The $200. was a fine and settlement.    I know it was a scam.  I called Department of Justice and was told I would need to take the computer to a technician to have the virus removed.  It is being worked on at this time. 

I have read an article from NY Times on this issue.  It states this is a real money maker for the scammers.  In just one day they raked in over $400,000.   

I have no idea why I was hit.  I never open an email unless I am sure of who it is from.  I don't download music, movies, etc.   I visit so few sites.    The article states lots of time they hit people who look at porno. material.  NOT ME!   

The article also stated that while the computer is locked, they have access to passwords, bank accounts, etc.  The best thing to do is have the computer completely cleaned.  

So now I have to really keep up-to-date on my accounts, etc.   Beware!

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like......

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

In the spirit of the season we decorated our little home on Friday.

On Friday night we visited with friends who are attempting to start monthly gatherings for couples who have particiapted in the Marriage Encounter program.   There were 6 couples there.  We knew 3 of the couples and were glad to meet the other two.  We wish them success and hope to join them again when we are in the area.

On Saturday morning we went to breakfast with another couple.  Following breakfast we went to the nearest Hess gas station to get Len this years truck to add to his colleciton.  We then headed down to Maryland for Charlotte and Abby.

That night we took the girls to Pitman NJ a quaint town about 20 miles from here.   For the last 25 years they hold Christmas in the Grove.  The Grove is the site of an old Methodist "camp meeting".  The houses were at one time seasonal homes that meeting attendees used.  They are now privately owned.   Several of the homes participate in the annual project along with many stores and the community.    Even Santa is an attendnace.

Charlotte reviewing her list.

Abby saying this is as close as she going to get and holding tight to Grandpop.

We were very impressed with the display.  The town was full of people.  Probably had it not been on a Saturday and we had to fight the crowds, we would have spent more time looking around.

Notice Len's seasonal Cowboy hat.

Don't quite "get" this one:

The displays are open to the public and free.   There is a box where people can drop donations as it costs about $1,000 a month for electric that is split by the 4 neighboring families who do this.

The weather cooperated and it was in the mid 40's and no wind.   Perhaps we will go another time with the girls before Christmas.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Looking at damage

Upper Deerfield Twp, NJ

A little earlier today we took a ride to the nearby town of

Fortescue sits right on the Delaware Bay.    It is a small town with lots of summer and some year round homes.     There are a few tiny stores and one really nice restaurant that is only open in summer.   There is also a marina that caters to many charter fishing boats.
We had heard there was damage from the recent superstorm Sandy.   There is only one main road in town that hugs the bay.  That road dead ends on each end.    Along the entire length of the road (maybe a mile?) we encountered work crews.  Some were cleaning the sand off the road.
Others were picking up trash and hauling it to dumpsters which line the street.
From the road where it curves, we could see some damaged homes.
Better views from up close.
It would be nice being right on the water, especially a summer home.  But the damages from storms is always a consideration.     From what we could see, the major damage was clustered in one area and only on the houses that sat feet from the bay.
Curious about the harder hit areas on NJ but not expecting to take a ride over there before we leave here on January 2.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Glad we can do it.

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

First, I have neglected to welcome Sharon Wallace as a reader of this blog.  So good to see you here, Sharon.

The last two days have been full of activity.  We were asked two Sunday's ago if we would cook and serve meals at our church for a group of young men who reside at Ranch Hope for Boys a residence facility not far from here.     We agreed to do this as we have done before when in the area.  

We made several trips to the grocery store as it had turkey's on sale for $.99 a pound provided you purchased $25.00 in other groceries.  The catch - only one turkey at a time.  So three trips.

Yesterday two church members helped for a couple of hours with some of the prep work as did our Pastor.

One of our members who is a retired school teacher decorates our social hall for every season or holiday.

Thankfully my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson were agreeable to helping us this morning before leaving right after serving time for their dinner at her Father's house.   At serving time we were helped by two ladies from the church and the Pastor.  Must importantly they stayed to help clean up.     

Before the meal our Pastor did a short presentation and we all sang one song.  That's me at the piano. 

The guys and staff of the Ranch were so well behaved and appreciative of our efforts.   

We are full of not only good food but a satisfaction of serving others.

Hope that each of you had a blessed day in the company of your loved ones.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

End of another week...

Upper Deerfield Twp, NJ

What have we done this past week?    Saturday night it was getting together with friends and listening and dancing to the music of our son-in-laws band.  Sunday it was church.   Maybe that was not such a good idea.  

Over the years we've helped serve Thanksgiving dinner at our church to people who had no place else to go, clients of a drug rehab and a residence for troubled boys.  Last year we fed 150 at the local Salvation Army.     Since last year the pastor and wife moved to another church. They did the shopping and planning for the previous years.   So, Sunday we go to services.   In front of everyone, a member asks us if we will prepare the meals again at the Salvation Army.   We said we would HELP.  Bottom line - WE ARE THE HELP.   Us, only us.

On Monday it was decided not to serve at the Salvation Army but instead for us to prepare and serve the boys from the home at the church.    We will be feeding about 40, a lot easier than 150.  Thanks!   But no one can help us on Thanksgiving except the new pastor.    We will get some people out for prep work Wednesday afternoon.   Okay, we can do this.

Thursday night we met up with a couple I went to High School with for dinner and a visit at their house.  They both lost their spouses a few years back.  Then they ran into each other and one thing led to another which led to marriage.  Good for them.

Friday afternoon we got the granddaughters.  They go home tomorrow morning.     

We have a lot of the shopping done for Thanksgiving so the next few days should be relatively easy.

If I don't post before, wishing each of you a blessed Thanksgiving.   I'm thinking I've sounded like I'm complaining about being "hooked" into the work we will be doing in a few days.  I guess maybe I am but more than that I am thankful we are able to serve.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's for the birds

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

Over a week since I've posted an entry. We've been quite busy.  Last Wednesday we took the rig down to Smyrna, Delaware to have an air conditioner installed in the bedroom.   We also had the roof and slides checked out.  Then we knew there were issues with the brakes.  Bottom line - we overnighted in their lot with water and electric for two nights and then they presented us with the $3,748.00 bill.    RVing living is NOT cheap.

While there we drove over to Maryland on Thursday and picked up Charlotte and Abby who stayed with us until Monday.

Near the RV dealer is one of our favorite National Wildlife Refuges.

We drove through on Thursday and again on Friday with the girls.   Such a good time to visit.

Canada Geese

Snow Geese off in the distance

Many, many Great Blue Herons

And lots of Egrets

Wild turkeys who know it is November and quickly ran out of the road and into the woods.

These which I am not sure what they are.   Judy, help.

 On the road to the refuge is mostly cornfields.   This mailbox seems appropriate.

Sunday was my birthday.   Granddaughters helped to celebrate.

 We got a bit of snow yesterday from the Nor'Easter but it is gone already.  Len has been sick last few days but is fine today.  Not sure if he had a head cold, something else or just exhausted from over 4 days trying to keep up with the girls.  Bottom line, he slept most of Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Not a problem here....

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

First the rains and then wind, lots of wind.  But we never lost power nor had any damage.  Branches are down all over daughter's yard but that happens every time the wind blows.

We were very fortunate considering we were about 35 miles from where Sandy hit land.  It appears the most severe damage is north and east of us.

This is the backyard yesterday just beyond where we are parked.   This happens every time there are heavy rains.  Len always called it Lake Phyllis.  We worked on Sunday putting all outdoor furniture and potted plants out of harms way.   We turned over the three smaller picnic tables in the yard.

Only emergency vehicles were permitted on the roads in this county most of yesterday.   Most roads were flooded.    We are in a rural area surrounded by a nursery on all four sides.    This is the road in front of the house.  The nursery also looked like a lake.
We spent the morning in the rig yesterday but once the winds really starting whipping we closed up and went into the daughters house.   Around 9 pm there were no strong winds so we opened up the slides and returned to the rig.  About 10 the winds started up again and we started shaking.   We closed the slides, remained in the rig and went to sleep.  
Today it is still raining.   The water behind us has receded.  
Other areas of NJ and surrounding states are devastated as I am sure you have seen from the television coverage.    We were blessed and fortunate.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Doesn't look good.

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ  (Cumberland County)

Oh my, here comes Sandy.    We will be hunkered down here in southern New Jersey awaiting what is being termed an historic storm.   

We thought about hitching up but where would we go?   North will be getting snow.    South would be heading into the storm.   West, again heavy rains/snow.   East?  That would be the Atlantic Ocean.  We are about 30 miles inland from Atlantic City.

I just heard that Wilmington, DE is being evacuated.  Wilmington is about 25 miles northwest right across the Delaware River.    Storm surges are predicted to be 4-8 feet in Atlantic City.   Not sure about Wilmington but the storm will be moving up the Delaware River.

Since we are in the northeast, I am glad to are here at the daughter's house.   We both have generators.  We will keep the fresh water tank filled in the rig.   Her stove is electric but of course we have our gas stove in the fiver. 

Plenty of food.  Good thing because the grocery stores are no doubt about empty now.   From the maps I've seen, we are in the middle of the storms track.

Hold on tight!   

Friday, October 26, 2012

Back at Camp Driveway

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

We left Codorus State Park near Hanover PA on Tuesday and drove down to "camp" at our daughter's in southern New Jersey until around January 2.

It would have been a treat to stay at Codorus as it looks like they have Halloween down pat.

Rigs were moving in and getting their decorations set up.

We were talking to one couple who go there for Halloween weekend every year.  They said about 2,000 kids come through the park.   WOW!   That's a lot of candy to buy.   
Everywhere we looked the crew were hanging orange or white lights - on trees, on restrooms, along paths.   If it were not that far away, it would be fun to check it out.  However, Hurricane Sandy is expected to come through the area a day or so before.  I wonder how many rigs will be packing it in and heading home.
As for us, we will be fine here at Terri and Steve's house.   We have a generator, they have a generator.  We will have the rig's fresh water tanks filled.  We had a appointment in Delaware on Wednesday to get a 2nd A/C unit installed and the roof cleaned and checked out.   This can be done at a later date.    Who knows, after this storm we just might need additional work to be done.