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, December 16, 2013

Getting ready

White Hall, MD

On Friday night we drove down to older daughter's house in Maryland.   That evening was the Winter Carnival at Charlotte's school.     There were many activities including making Christmas decorations:

Saturday morning was Breakfast with Santa at a nearby United Methodist church.   Charlotte loves Santa.

Abby not so much.   She doesn't like his Red Suit.   She doesn't like his beard.  She doesn't like his mustache. It's not only Santa, it's ANY person in an animal costume.  No Easter Bunny, no Mickey Mouse, no Elmo.  She will have nothing to do with any them.    But she makes sure Charlotte relays to Santa what she wants.   Trying on Grandpop's hat.

After breakfast it was to a local tree farm to find the perfect tree.    I wish I could have had a ride like these two while trudging down the hill and back up through the snow.

Ah ha - the perfect tree.

Back at the house, Mom and Dad hung the lights.

While children waited patiently.   (yea, sure)

So they could do the real decorating.

And a fine job they did.

Wishing each of you peace and contentment during these busy days of preparation.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Out of the closet

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

There was one thing we really disliked about our new Cedar Creek.  The bedroom closet is huge.   We love the doors on it.

But the inside was a challenge.   On one side were clothes hanging racks.

But the other side had a dumb, dumb, dumb, lazy Susan clothes rack.

Next to it are cubby's to store whatever.  I put shoes in it.

The Lazy Susan was difficult to turn.  There are shelves behind it and items of the shelves would catch the clothes.   The clothes were close to the floor making that space un-useable.   And the space behind the Lazy Susan was useless.  Almost impossible to get the to items on the shelves and leaving very little floor space in an otherwise large closet.

So we ordered more of the clothes hanging rack and out came the Lazy Susan.

We also added a lightweight shelf.

New place for shoes.

Leaving the cubby's for other stuff:

I am now completely happy with that Lazy Susan coming of the closet.

Oh, and this is what we are looking at today.

By now can not see any grass.   Fun!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend 2013

Upper Deerfield Twp, NJ

We much enjoyed our Thanksgiving at my brothers house.    Dear sister-in-law Nora and her family put together a great dinner for 30 people!

Brother doing some carving:

 Brother Norman and Len with some of the kids:

Took three tables to seat 30 people:

Then back at Camp Driveway we had a lovely weekend with our "girls":



We've had some really cold weather here in Southern New Jersey for several days but today the temps moderated.  Most of Christmas shopping done.   Ah, feels good.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Back in NJ for a spell

Upper Deerfield Twp, NJ

Been a while since I've posted.   Here we sit in the cold in NJ.   Gotten really chilly this weekend.

Leonard left this morning to go Christmas shopping.  No doubt in my mind what's on the list.  I am REALLY tough on cameras.  I drop them.  I spill coffee on them.  I lose them.  I've gone through 3 cameras in as many years.  The last one I dropped only days into having it.  Bent the zoom lens.  We pried it so it would zoom. Worked reasonably well.   Three weeks ago I dropped it again.  This time no fixing it. Will take close-ups. Will not zoom.   His solution is to get me a Sports Camera.  Surrounded by rubber and waterproof.   Does he really think this will help?   I thought he knew me better than that.

We've had the girls for two weekends since returning to NJ.  Once here at Camp Driveway and then last weekend we stayed at their house in MD while their parents were in VA at a archaeological conference.

Not much else going on with me.  Leonard has been happy to be working back in his "shop".  Well, used to be his - belongs to son-in-law now.   Terri and Steve needed a new trailer to take stuff to recycling center. They bought one but it needed to be assembled.   Since Steve is working long hours Len was thrilled to work on it.   Mostly completed.   He will get out into the shop at 8 am and remain until late afternoon.  I will call him to see if he wants lunch -  most days no he doesn't.

The daughters go to their Dad's each Thanksgiving.  In past years we've worked at our church serving a dinner to those in need.  Church is not doing it this year.   That's okay with us.  We will be heading to my brothers house.   I talked to my sister-in-law yesterday.  28 people this year!    Oh my.   Should be a wee bit noisy.

Until next time - keep well.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Visit with a cousin in Kentucky

Upper Deerfield Twp,  NJ

We arrived back in NJ two days ago.    But on the way from Gore, OK to NJ we made time to visit with my cousin Bill in Berea, KY.  I have not seen Bill in many years and the visit was pure joy.

Bill and his wife Jenny:

I called Bill once we got to Berea and he and Jenny came right over to our site.   After getting caught up with each others lives over the years, we all went to the local Cracker Barrel for dinner where Bill treated.

The next morning Leonard and I drove to Bill's house that is about 6 miles outside town to continue our visit.  Bill then took us on a tour of Berea.  What a neat little town.   There are several little boutique-type shops in the old part of town.  In the midst sits this cabin that was built in 1820 and moved to this site.

Throughout town are many hand statues.   No idea why:

Berea, KY is the home of Berea College founded in 1855.   This college, with an enrollment of approximately 1,500, is free to all students and based on financial need.  All students must work 10 hours a week on campus.  They are issued a laptop which they keep upon graduation.

On the campus is historic Boone Tavern built in 1909 and named for Daniel Boone.

 No alcohol is served at the tavern nor can anyone bring alcohol into the tavern.    About 50% of the employees are Berea College students.  Most of the furniture in the inn was made by Berea students.

Students at the college learn, among the usual studies, various crafts such as building fine furniture and even brooms.   These items are sold throughout town at shops run by the students.

Bill in a wooden hat made by a student.

Following our tour of the area Bill took us to the nearby town of Richmond.  Richmond Ky is the site of a large military weapons storage facility where one of Bill's daughter works in security.  Bill settled in this part of the country as this is where he graduated High School.  At the time his father was an ammunition's inspector for the military and was assigned to the Richmond facility.    We all agreed it was time for dinner.Bob Evans this time.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time with Bill and Jenny as we have in the past with his sisters Muriel in Hereford, AZ and Bonnie in Oklahoma City.  Nice to keep up with the family.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Stopover in Little Rock

Little Rock, AR

We left Oklahoma yesterday morning driving a short 202 miles to Maumelle Park, a COE facility on Maumelle Lake.

Once more a great COE park.  Water and 30 Amp Electric for just $11.00.   We sit about 100 feet from the lake.

We took a walk around last night to check out the Marina.  Look at that houseboat.

We had visitors but they scooted off when we got too close.

Our site:

As it was Halloween, these site was all decked out.  Today the decorations have changed to just Razzorbacks.

The weather is beyond great.  Up to 75 today.    Our short visit to Little Rock would not be complete without a visit to:

Not a real pretty building.

This is only the 2nd Presidential Library we've visited, the other being the Eisenhower Library in Abilene, KS.  That building was so much more attractive.

Aside from the usual mementos of his life, campaigns and time in office there was a replica of the Cabinet Room:

And the Oval Office.

We planned on touring this Sub - The Razzorback.   However, it was closed due to the walkways needing repair.

So instead we visited Olive Garden.

We head out again tomorrow morning for a 350 mile drive where we will overnight at Camp Walmart near Nashville.    Feels good to be on the road again.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Staying a few more days......

Gore, OK

We completed our scheduled time here at the United Methodist Boys Ranch with our NOMADS team.   So much work was accomplished.   The Ranch is going into a more Foster Care program.   As such, we started  renovations in two of their resident buildings.   We painted, tore out walls, installed doors, removed kitchen cabinets, cleaned bathrooms.  Outside we repaired bleachers, hung doors on horse corrals and lots of other stuff.

Last weekend we worked hard on preparing for, and worked at, their annual fund raiser Rodeo.   More work was done on the Retreat Cabin high up in the hills.    But there is always more to be done here.  As such, we decided to stay another 6 days, working three of them.

As we worked 6 days last week and five the week before (NOMADS usually work 4 days), this weekend is a treat.   We did some shopping on Friday and I did nothing yesterday.  Leonard built a small shelf/table for the bathroom.

Today we drove 114 miles EACH WAY to attend church.    Back in 2010 we did a project at Hinton Rural Retreat Center in Hayesville, NC.    Shortly after our time there the Director left the center to return to ministry.   We knew he was assigned a church in Oklahoma.  One of our team members at the Boys Ranch is also a pastor and knew where where Lyle was pastoring.  So off we went today.   He was delighted to see us again as we were him.  

Tomorrow Len will work on the retreat cabin here and I plan to vegetating.  

Have a great rest of weekend all!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Will be back soon

Gore, OK

Thanks to Rick and Marsha, I have attempted to clean up this site.   However, I've been too busy here at the UM Boys Ranch to do a  blog.

This should be our last week here but since it has rained most every day for a week, the guys have not been able to do any more work on the cabin up in the hill.   Leonard and I are volunteering to stay a few extra days next week.   Len will help the staff here and I will do wherever.   One couple left today, another couple tomorrow and the rest on Friday.  One couple will be returning in a week but we will be gone by then.

So - maybe in the next few days I can attempt a blog.   In the meantime, if anyone is having difficulties at this site, please let me know.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Is it just me or do other have the virus

Gore, Ok

Still not able to change settings.  Also, my daughter tells me when she goes to my blog an advertisement pops up.   When she tries to go out of it, her computer freezes and she needs to shut down the system.

Are these two things related?

I am thinking I really don't need the aggravation and time to forget about Google Blogger.

Friday, October 11, 2013

First week of work and a new friend

Gore, OK

We've completed our first week of volunteering here at UM Boys Ranch in Gore, OK.

As team leaders we first hold a planning meeting on Sunday evening

On Monday it was a tour of the facility.   The biggest project is the completion of a retreat cabin that sits up on a mountain.  The road to get to the cabin is rugged.  No taking dually's up that road for sure.  We use the facilities vehicles.  It becomes much more narrow as we approach the cabin.

Then a short walk down to the cabin.   When we arrived most of the framing was complete.

After four days of work:

The view looking across the valley below:

Some of the women spend their time painting.  This is Elizabeth working on the hallway of the Spencer House.  This facility now houses three young men.  They will be moving into another facility on campus and Spencer House will be converted into a Foster Care facility.

Next weekend the Ranch holds it's largest fund raiser - a Rodeo.  The ranch has 29 horses, chickens and cattle.    Two horses that appear to be best friends - always near each other as they wander the grounds.

Donna, who is not a NOMAD but has been volunteering two weeks before the Rodeo for 17 years oversees the cooking and baking while her hubby Erv works around the grounds.   Two of our NOMADS ladies are assisting her in baking cookies, cobblers, etc.   I got a lick out of Donna's slippers.  She says they are comfortable while standing in the kitchen all day.

Yesterday a dog showed up at the cabin site and made quick friends with the men.  They shared their lunches.   Len says as he fed her she politely took the ham from his hand.  When they took breaks she would lay of the feet of one of them.   This cabin is a distance from other buildings or homes.  It curious how she wandered up there.  

As they were driving down Len looked in the rear view mirror to see her running behind.   He stopped, opened the door and in she jumped into the back seat and laid down for the remaining drive.   She spent the rest of the afternoon and evening being fed, watered and loved.  The camp director will try to determine if she belongs to anyone.  If not he will find her a good home.

All the other NOMADS here travel with a dog.  We don't want the responsibility of a pet while traveling.  But if we did she would be a good one.  She will make a great pet for some lucky family.