Thursday, September 22, 2011

I've had writer's block!

It's been quite a while since I've posted anything and I'm feeling the need to write...but I've been a little "blocked"....child care and travel (not the pleasure kind) have dominated my life since July.  I'm helping my daughter with her children (Grace 5 and Asher almost 3) as she completes a 5 month-long school course.  The challenge has been that I live in Louisiana and they are in the Nashville, TN area! 

So....I'm traveling with them back and forth between homes each month.....not too bad considering it's a 10 hour long drive with 2 kids.  They have really been troopers and it's a good thing I don't mind road trips!

Also, what makes the stay with them at their home not too bad is that it's located in the hills of Brentwood, TN....lovely area....with great people!  I'm loving the opportunity to live and work (what little time I have to spend sharing my Mary Kay) in such a beautiful place.  Another's the beginning of Fall  and the leaves are changing and the weather is definitely cooler and less humid than southwest Louisiana!

Hopefully, I'll have some pictures for my next post....another daughter and her family are coming up to Brentwood in October to see the we will be getting out and exploring more....can't wait.

Till then....


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cut Cut Cut!

I need to rant, I guess.  I'm sick and tired of hearing all of this debate on cutting security....entitlements as the media calls it.  Oh, if the Republicans mention cutting medicare (10 years in the future) then the Democrats scream "you want to kill grandma".  How disingenuous!  The Democrats are the ones who voted for the "Obama Health Care Bill" (now known by another name) where seniors WILL have their health care rationed....that's a death sentence if there ever was!

It's really not medicare that is the issue as far as I see.....surely it's not Social Security....why that is our own money coming back to us....well, it should have been.  The politicians in Washington have raped it for so many years that now it's teetering on the brink of bankruptcy!  Something I never hear about is MEDICAID....that's medicare for young people having babies with no insurance.  Don't get me wrong...I believe we should help those who are less fortunate or who found themselves between jobs with no insurance or in a job with no insurance.  However, baby after baby is being born to mothers who are on drugs and welfare (which probably pays for the drugs) with no other means of support and certainly no means of support from the baby's father....if in fact the father is even known!
One baby to a drug mom is acceptable.....but....the same girl goes back to have multiple babies....crack babies which NICU's all over our nation spend millions to save!  Yes, I care about those precious little babies who didn't ask to be born...however, the girl/woman coming in time after time to have these babies should be cut off from all government assistance.  How do I know about this.....I have a daughter who has worked in NICU's from California to Florida and especially in Louisiana!  It's an epidemic of misuse of our Medicaid system.  THAT'S WHAT NEEDS TO BE CUT!!!!

Now, my rant about SS benefits.......Seniors who have paid into the system for 20-30-40 years...deserve their little monthly checks.    However, BIG $$ are going out to recipients who have NEVER paid into the system.  This is NOT what SS was meant to be.  It's just another "welfare" system which is being used as a tool by the liberals....ohhhh....don't mess with SS....or you will be branded a callous, uncompasionate, "only worried about the rich",  mean-spirited conservative.

You know....all of these programs could be saved for everyone if the fraud is found and taken out!  Unfortunately, much of the fraud is perpetrated by the folks in the bureaucracies in Washington D.C.  Speaking of which....why do we need .so many people on the Government payroll.....Billions of $$ are spent on dead-head jobs with big benefit packages and even greater retirements...... those are entitlements that deserve some cuts!  Can anyone say Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Did you hear the news this week?

Let me not even get started on the Billions that are sent overseas.  Billions that funnel into the hands of people who hate us and use it to kill us or to nations whose officials take the money and pad their own bank accounts!  Let's do some cuts in this ridiculous habit we have of throwing our tax $$s to our enemies.  We really don't have alot of friends overseas and the ones we do have have been insulted in the last 18 months by our President.

So, there.....I feel least for the moment.  I got it off my chest and on to my keyboard. 


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Florida for a Month!

 I have been wanting to chronicle our trip to Florida which took place in March and April.  We left out on March 11 and returned April 12.  Things have been going non-stop since we returned and I have not had the time or the inspiration to sit down to write this blog....until tonight.  I felt the urge to write and decided, before this trip is a distant memory, I'd better put down on paper our experiences and events that are due a mention!First of all, let me say that Florida came about for us because of a wedding invitation to Wayne's nephew's wedding.  It was to take place on March 26th....on the beach in Sarasota!  Ummm...nice...we wanted to attend and since we had a 5th wheel parked in our yard with only one short weekend trip under our belt....this would be a great place to start our "extended" trips.    So, we decided to accept the invitation and plan to pull the Paradise Pointe to a camp ground close to the wedding spot.  Now, plans got extended when we were invited by my daughter and her husband (Alicia and John) who as travel nurses were finishing up their last month of assignments in the Orlando area., to camp next to them.   So, as planning would have it....a two week camping trip to a wedding extended to a month!  I mean, really, a two week stay next to them cost the same as a month taking advantage of the monthly discount!  So, with a phone call we were booked for a month's stay.    We would be parked next to our daughter and her family who had been in Florida for 4 months living in a KOA in Davenport.......close to the entry gates of Disney World (they have 2 kids and love Disney).  Alicia worked at Tampa General and her husband worked in a hospital in Cleremont.  They only worked 3 shifts a that left plenty of time to play and with Mimi and Paw Paw living next door for a month we could help out with the kids so they could work shifts together.  We were anxious to be with Julia 9 and Joshua 6....they had been traveling with their parents for nearly 2 years so we had not been around them very much.  They are home schooled....or as they call it "road schooled"!

On Friday, March 11  at 9:00 AM we were ready to pull out of the driveway...loaded with everything we thought we'd need!  Darn...with my check of the lights....back lights and turn signals not working on the trailer.  Ok, no big deal....the RV place is close by and it was on our way out.  So off we went, staying on the frontage road....going slow....we made it to the shop.  Luckily they jumped on the problem quickly....the wiring for the brake plug in in the back of the truck was not wired ....with a $65.00 charge and 1 hour of lost time....we were back on the road. 
Headed east on traffic....bumper to bumper....all the way to the beach turn-off at the east side of the Florida Panhandle...why all this traffic???  FIRST WEEKEND OF SPRING BREAK!  Well, we didn't time this trip correctly!  So, other than the brake lights and the traffic the trip was smooth so far and uneventful.  Until.....40 miles from our intended campground for the evening we decided to pull off for a fuel stop....not yet learning that we should only go for "truck stops" and "travel centers" we were looking for "cheap" fuel and stopped where it was less and sometimes found ourselves in a we did this one last time.  After fueling the truck...we were in a situation that required us to turn right out of the station and then make a u-turn....oh oh......don't turn too sharp.....yep....trying to avoid a big hole in the road....Wayne make a sharp left turn and the next thing we heard was crashing glass and metal grinding.   YIKES....our back window was being busted out by the front end of the trailer!!!   To make matters worse.....we were approaching a red light....both of us looking behind to see the damage that was unfolding.....and to see our boxer (who was laying on the back seat) being pelted with glass....I noticed the red light...screamed....husband  applies the brakes and Boxer goes flying onto the floorboard.  I think my blood pressure spiked 50 points at that moment.

Phew....after catching our breath....assessing that the Paradise Point did not sustain too much damage...we continued on wind blowing in through the back window....temps were dropping as it was now dusk and we were freezing......yes, it's March in Florida...but the cool weather was still hanging around.  I won't bore you with the conversation to our night's destination...but the enjoyable trip had just turned into a nightmare.  Well, maybe I'm being too dramatic...but my thoughts were:  how in the world would we fix this.....get parked for the night....hoping it would not rain and would Wayne get disgusted and cancel this trip before we even get l/2 there? 

Well, I know, as RVing people will tell us.....this is nothing in the whole scheme of happens and we were serious's just a lesson learned the hard way...and these lessons always come with a $$ price! 

We arrived at the Arrowhead Campground after dark...another lesson learned....too hard to set up in the dark.  We had originally planned to stay hitched....but now with the broken window and the glass covering the backseat and floor....something would have to be done to the truck that night.   Thank goodness the spot was a pull through....that made it easier.....Wayne worked like crazy to get us level, set up and in doing all of that in the dark...I learned another lesson.....make sure you check the position of the trailer as to the distance of the slide outs from any tree, etc.  Only after he had all hook ups done did I notice I could not extend our living room/dining room slide.  I was not about to say a word!!
Now let me stop at this point and let you know that my Boxer, Coco, had never been on a trip before much less living in a camper....out of her familiar environment....she hated when we'd go into our trailer to pack or work in it....she never wanted to be in there with us and here we are this night in a very tight  situation inside of our living area!  Also another tidbit of info.....she's 45 lbs. and has arthritis so she cannot climb into our truck or into the trailer.....she must be lifted every time!  So, lifting we did and we introduced her to "camping" in a not so wonderful way (broken glass and tight quarters)  ....oh well, when we did get to our destination she will think that the trailer is a mansion compared to this night!

Wayne returned from vacuuming the glass out of the truck and he visited WalMart for supplies to cover the back window...  He had bought rubber car floor mats and duck tape and there you have it....waterproof, windproof, and looking like a big boo-boo!!.

The first night in our camper was just a quick bite to eat, showers and bed......trying to convince Coco that she would have a place to sleep...remember...we only have two slides and the largest one was not extended!  It was tight....but we found a place for her bed and we and she made it through!

So, that was the first full day of our long-awaited trip.  The second day was uneventful....being careful and also being amazed at our Boxer.  Coco is a great traveler....she slept almost the whole trip each day and when we would stop she was more than happy just to stay in the truck.  In fact, when we tried to get her out to potty....she would be very anxious to return to the truck.  Stopping at truck stops seemed to make her very nervous with the engine sounds, etc.  She just didn't quite know what to make of what we were doing or where we were taking her!  Thank goodness the weather was leaving her in the truck was OK.

At about 5:00 PM March 12th we arrived in Davenport....with happy hugs and greetings from the family awaiting our arrival.  Now for the next "problem" to solve.....the campsite was not very level.  Backing the trailer in was tricky to say the least and then.....mistake #3....unhitching BEFORE you know it's hooking back up pulling forward....putting down boards....backing onto the boards on one side....whew...thank God my son-in-law John was helping....I think for a second time Wayne would have wanted to pack it up and head back home!  The KOA was nice, but we were in the "extended" stay part and the sites were not level and there was a definite lack of trees!
As you can see....Coco was getting adjusted to her new "home".  She fell right into the routine of leash and bathroom walks 2 - 3 times a day.  She loved being out with us and when we had to be gone she was perfectly OK with being left inside to sleep until our return.  The Fleetwood Discovery is what my daughter's family has lived in for the past 2 years as they have been travel nursing from California to Florida!

For the next two weeks we settled in to camper living and visited family south of Orlando in a town called Lake Placid....a quaint little So. Florida town known for it's murals painted on the sides of the downtown historic buildings.     Julia and Joshua look like they are painted right in!

With the help of my insurance company we did find a great collision shop to put the truck for repairs to the back window and also the roof of the had a little, no , a big dent.  They only kept it a week...didn't have to remove the whole roof top...just worked out the "kink" and replaced the window...and we just had to pay $250!!  Yeah!  Keep in mind...hubby is still feeling badly for what happened and it will take him about a week to relax and enjoy this trip.

Saturday, March 26th was the beach wedding in we took the 2 hour drive down south to that beautiful town and beach...I think it's considered the most beautiful beach in USA.....and it certainly was a beautiful day:
 The James Family
 we were "burning" with no sunscreen
 Happy Bride and Groom
Wade and Laryn

For most of the time we filled up our days and nights with Disney.  We decided to purchase an annual pass since we were so close and could go every day.  Also, we had planned to return in December for the Christmas lights and decorations.

It's very enjoyable to visit the parks when you don't have a "time limit".....when you don't have to worry about seeing and riding everything in 3 or 4's a good thing because it was Spring Break for the entire time we were in Florida and DisneyWorld was crowded every day.  One day I just had to leave and retreat back to my little abode in Davenport just to "decompress" from so many people....babies and teens on their spring break trips!  This Epcot picture is of the last evening we were in town....we decided to close out our trip with a leisurely trip to Epcot and the world Showcase....this one evening the crowds were light....and the weather was fabulous.....we had a very relaxing stroll!
Speaking of weather....for 99% of the trip the weather this time of the year in Florida was excellent...warm days and cool nights.    Just 3 of the 30 days we were there we were confined to the trailer because of rain and sometimes tornado warnings....well....this was another lesson we had to learn...where to go in the event of threatening weather....thank goodness we were close to the bathhouse....we took that little trek twice!  Luckily both of the storm fronts that threatened central Florida were during the daylight hours and the tornados went north and south.      For the future....and in case of nighttime storms....I will be purchasing a weather radio!
This is how it looked from our back window during the day of the 18 hours of rain!  We got to experience how the close quarters would feel in bad weather....I have to say it wasn't that bad!! :)  However, after two days we did get a little "cabin fever"!!
The last week we were in Florida my oldest daughter Natalie and her son Hunter (almost 3) came to visit and do the Disney thing.  We had a great time with the family reunion and enjoying watching Hunter experience Disney for the first time!  He was quite the little trooper with all of the lines, etc.  Here he is patiently waiting for the tram!
As the time was coming to a close for our stay in Florida....we had some visitors to our little condo on wheels.....Wayne's brother who lives in Lake Placid drove up for lunch and to see our home away from home:
We actually had room for everyone to sit and enjoy a nice afternoon!  They were impressed with the storage we had in our 5er.  I've looked at several larger rigs and have to say for the size we have....the storage inside with the cabinets  and the pantry are plenty....I didn't even have everything filled! 
We pulled out of the KOA in Davenport on April 11th and planned to just "wing it" for our night stopover.....the traffic was much lighter going home and we decided to stop over in DeFuniak Springs, FL at the Juniper Lake campground.   Now I know this picture doesn't look too great...but it was a private campground with a very quiet and serene feeling...the lake was beautiful and the campers meet each evening on the deck for drinks and snacks and each morning for coffee.  We joined them around 6 PM to meet them and enjoy a little social.    This is something we didn't experience in the KOA in FL....mainly because the section we were in were full timing and mostly younger families who worked and kids in school....but the camaraderie we love was not there. 
I really regret that we could not have stayed a few days in this lovely little campsite....the owners were lovely and the people were friendly.  But.....we had appointments to keep at home and so our month-long trip had come to an end.  We did experience one last "cool front" coming through the state that night....however, the weather didn't get too that was fortunate.
Here are the things that we learned from this experience:
1.  Don't travel on the first Friday of Spring Break! :)
2.  Only look for travel centers when needing fuel.
3.  DO NOT MAKE SHORT U TURNS while towing.
4.  Bring leveling blocks and ramps!
5.  Have a weather radio
6.  We could live in close quarters!  This is probably the most important!!
7.  I could live with a small kitchen ( I love to cook!)
8.  Living w/o a bathtub was not as bad as I thought it would be! :)
10.  It's best to arrive BEFORE dark
I'm sure there are other lessons...but I guess I'll end with that....hope you have enjoyed my recap!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Week

This has been a very busy week.   Hit the ground running after the re-entry from a month-long trip to Florida (next post will be the recap of that exciting month).  Then, appointments with clients, my Nail Girl and my hairdresser....I was a mess from cleaning my RV top to bottom, inside and out....getting my house back to normal after being closed up for a month and then of course not having my nails done from a month of hand washing dishes...ughhhhh, I needed some pampering!    By Thursday I was off on another road trip...this time only to New Orleans for an over- night slumber party with two dear friends.  Barbara McKneely from Virginia picked me up on her way down from Alexandria, LA, where she was visiting family and we drove to Debbie Cerise's home in Metairie, LA.  We had the best time catching up and eating, and visiting New Orleans and eating and shopping and eating!  On Thursday afternoon we had lunch at a fabulous seafood restaurant in "Old Metairie" on Metairie Road.  I had the Shrimp Salad Stuffed, was it good!
Then we drove around, ending up at Lakeside Mall where Deb took us to a great new gelato and sweets place called SUCRE'.  It is a precious, happy place to have gelato, chocolates, coffee, pastries, cup cakes to die for.....who la la....I have never tasted ice cream quite like that!   Then we were back to Deb's where we rested.  Eddie, Debbie's husband had been fishing all day  and came home with 30 trout from Lake Pontchartrain....cleaned them, filleted them, and then fried them for supper....absolutely awesome fish....couldn't get any fresher then that! 

On Good Friday morning, we woke late, had coffee and more talk...then after getting dressed we headed out the door to Magazine Street in New Orleans...a quaint, "uptown" street filled with shops and great cafes and restaurants.  We shopped a little....then had lunch at GOTT GOURMET CAFE....I had the curry chicken salad....and I can tell you...I usually don't like curry, but this was excellent.  It was cool enough, so we ate on the sidewalk table:
                                                       Mel, Debbie, Barbara
After having dessert at the Magazine Street SUCRE' (you know we had to get more of that gelato) we  loaded in the car and headed for a tour of St. Charles Avenue  and the Garden District and  then on to see the progress that has been made since Katrina.  The city is bustling and the weather was perfect!

We drove back to Lafayette Friday night and after saying our "goodbyes" Barbara and her daughter, Maggie were heading back to Alexandria.  We had a busy and fun-filled two days.

On Saturday I got to do some catch up on work, laundry, and shopping for groceries for our Easter Sunday dinner.  The gang is coming over for their favorite:  Roast, Rice and Gravy and all the extras that go along with it.
Natalie and Alicia and their families will be here....and we'll be missing Jena and her family since they are in Nashville.  They have had a busy week, too,  with celebrating Passover, Feast of Unleaven Bread and  then the Festival Celebration today....

                                                                         Asher and Gracie
They dressed up for the celebration!   No they are not Jewish....their  Christian Church celebrates all of the Feasts and Festivals which are in the Bible.  Wish I could have been there with them.

Easter Sunday was perfect...the weather stayed nice....I had a great time in my kitchen cooking and baking...and then the "gang" arrived....none too soon as Wayne (hubby) was pacing the kitchen dying to attack the roast before it could be carved for dinner.  We were to sit down to dinner between 2 and 3 pm...well, I guess you could call that "late lunch", however, since I served on the "good china" we'll call it dinner! :)
Joshua and Julie waiting to open their gifts
                                             Hunter with his

Dessert that was "spiked" and oh so good
Easter Egg Hunt in Mimi's yard

It was a good day with family and remembering that we are celebrating the Risen Christ who gave his life for us so that we can be saved to live with Him in Heaven!

Monday, April 18, 2011


I'm so glad that we've got our tax papers compiled, given to CPA, completed and in the mail before today!
I had to get it done early this year since we were leaving in early March for a month-long trip in our RV!
It was to be our second trip since December, 2010 and we were excited.

I wish that I would have updated this blog as we were in Florida, however, didn't have access to my computer....was borrowing my daughter's (who was in an RV besides us) just enough to do my Mary Kay business and keep up with bills, etc.

We are back home....getting caught up on work, organizing, and getting back into a "home" routine.  I'm getting the  nudge to write, so I'll be compiling an overview of what we experienced in our first extended trip.
It was not without....let's say....lessons we all have to learn!

Till then....

Friday, February 18, 2011

Perplexed - don't read if you are PC and are offended by religious talk

Like most people I have watched the events that have unfolded in the past month on the news.  Namely the Egypt Revolution as well as our country's budget crises.  Even if you are not a news junkie you would have to completely have your head in the sand not to have heard or seen what is taking place in the Middle East.
However, on the budget crises....that's another story.  You may be bored to tears by the discussions the news channels are having with the elected officials in Washington.

Let me share some feelings I have on the coverage of the Middle East events.  No matter what news program is matter what radio talk show is being broadcast....the discussions are about the uprisings in the Middle East and what is driving them.  Religion is discussed.  Yes, even on Meet the Press, CNN and MSNBC....they are discussing religion.  Don't you find that ironic that in our country where God has been banned from everything we are forced to talk about "that" religion.    In fact, the very people in our country who proclaim separation of Church and State....who ridicule those of us who are God fearing...they are the ones who are defending this other religion....they are the ones who want to protect their religious freedoms.  Wow....what a convoluted society we are living in.  Now that prayer is out of the schools and the 10 Commandments are not to be revered in the halls of public where our children and grandchildren have been stripped of any "religious freedom" in the market place....we are subjected to another religion and their freedoms and customs are protected. 

I had a thought last night.....maybe God is using these events to bring us back to talking about Him. 

On the budget crises...and the demonstrations in states where the Governors or trying to balance their budgets....don't look at this at face value.  There are people and organizations behind the protests....there is no way that thousands of teachers called in sick in one day independently.  This had been organized for weeks and months.  There are those who want chaos in the streets.    Isn't it ironic that the very thing that the Tea Party protests were falsely accused of is the very thing that was going on in Madison Wisconsin yesterday.  Signs depicting their Governor as a ruthless dictator.  Wow....only because he wants to attempt to protect their jobs, their health insurance coverage....and ultimately their salaries.  If our elected officials do not make drastic cuts in the state and federal budgets we will cease to have a country with jobs etc.  50% of my husband's retirement income is taken for health insurance.  Gov. Walker in Wisconsin is only asking for state workers to pay 12% towards their coverage... I would gladly take 12%!  My husband retired on 30% of his salary.  State and federal workers look forward to a retirement of almost 100%.  Wow.  Can this be sustained?  They cannot be fired....and when they retire they will receive 100% of their salary and free health insurance for the rest of their life on a Cadillac plan I must say!

There is an end to the gravy train.  God bless the officials who are standing up and following through on their promise to "balance the budget"! 

Haven't we heard this at the federal level.....over and over...only to have a budget presented this week from our President which was bloated beyond comprehension.  We don't need more money for ANY federal program.  What is needed is for the corruption and the waste to be stopped.  What we need is for the ones responsible for such waste and corruption to be FIRED! 

Our governments (federal and state) are so bloated and top heavy.  We could do with 1/2 and still succeed.  Oh, and how about NOT sending any more foreign aide to our enemies?    Dictators and War Lords all over the world are billionaires with our tax-payer dollars while their people are living below poverty.

GREED....IDOLATRY....follow the Dollar!  Greed will turn a good person into an evil doer.  Power corrupts.  When we focus on anything else but God we fall in love with that which we focus on.  God was removed from our schools and market place many years ago and He was replaced with greed, idol worship, and self- focus.  Our people demand "what's in it for me, me, me".  Our kids are selfish and demanding.  Look at what has happened in our schools, cities, towns.  Crime, murder, theft.  Bullying....shall I go on?

Now you may be thinking..."we don't have idol worship".  No, we may not whorship a statue...a likened imagine of a person place or thing.   However, do your kids live for TV, XBox, food, stuff?  Anything that is adored, or put first in our lives is an idol.  I know that sounds extreme....I thought so too until I started studying  what God says about greed and idols in the Bible.

We need to turn back to God.  We need for our officials to define who are the TRUE enemies of our country.  Not Sarah Palin, not Newt, not the Tea Party people.....the TRUE enemies.  Those from within and without. 
Those who want to kill us....destroy our country and it's people.  Call it like it is.  Get rid of PC.  We have enemies within our own borders plotting our demise.  What are we afraid of?  Enforce our laws.  We can only survive with the "rule of law".  Our founding fathers wrote the Constitution to be followed for our own protection and freedoms.  Which by the way....our right to freedom is from God....not the government.

If you read II Chronicles 7:12-22 you will see God's promise and warning to a His people.  We must take heed and believe this for us today!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Julia!

Today is Julia James' birthday!  She is my "oldest" grandchild and the main reason we moved back to Louisiana from Houston, TX.     She is the firstborn of my daughter Alicia and her husband John.    They are the "travel nurses" and so now Julia is mostly on the road and NOT in Louisiana near us.    Today, she is in her favorite place...Disneyworld....staying in a luxury room in the Animal Kingdom Lodge overlooking the savanah and watching wild animals and eating in fabulous restaurants and having breakfast in bed and  enjoying a special birthday cake in the shape of Barbie!

Ah...what a life.  I'm so happy for her and Joshua her 6 year old brother who lead a very special life traveling with their parents, being homeschooled (or roadschooled).  They are trully enjoying a life of freedom along with education!
Joshua James

With what is going on in our world today, especially in Egypt, I can't help but think how fortunate we are to live in a country of freedom and opportunity.    I praise God everyday for His Hand on our children and our country.  We should work to preserve this for our children and grandchildren preserving their innocence as long as we can.

We will be traveling to see our JuJu and Josh in March and enjoy some of their time in Florida.  We have other family there and we all will be going to a wedding on the beach in Sarasota (my first beach wedding!) and of course getting in some "Micky Time". 

Have a great time today Julia and know how blessed you are!!