Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31, 2014---Foscue Creek Campground, Demopolis, Alabama

We drove into Demopolis this morning.  Our campground is about four miles from the town.  There were very few people on the road  this morning.  In fact, I think the only time there might be a traffic issue would be on a holiday weekend.

Of course, we needed to practice for our anniversary dinner, so we went to Burger King.  Actually, we will be at Brent’s on April 15 and I have asked him if he will do ribs that day.  He cooks the most fabulous ribs in his smoker.  My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

After eating at BK, we went in search of some geocaches.  One was hidden in an old John Deere tractor.  I don’t know how old it was, but probably older than either one of us.

We found one more cache at the site of an emu oil business, now closed.  Our only DNF was behind a Conoco station.  We looked for about ten minutes before giving up.

I had an appointment for a manicure at 1:00.  While I was getting that done, Bill went to Walmart for a few things we forgot to get yesterday.

Back at the OK Corral, I continued with my jewelry project.  I hope to get it finished in a day or two so I can go on to other things.

It is hard to believe we have come to the end of March!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

March 30, 2014---Foscue Creek Campground, Demopolis, Alabama

Today was a good day to watch a NASCAR race.  Since I am still able to multitask, I worked on jewelry while I watched.  The race was good, for a short track race.  We still like the road course races better than the others, but unfortunately, there are only two of those for the entire season.

It was a sunny day and lots of kids were riding bicycles around the campground.  As Bill was approaching one group of boys, he heard one say, “Be careful.  There’s an old man walking by.”  Bill thought he would teach them a lesson, but he couldn’t catch up with them.  It sounds to me like the kids had Old Tex pegged just about right.

After the checkered flag waved at the race, we went for a walk around the campground.  A lot of people left the area so there weren’t many people to talk to.  We did visit with a couple who had a Country Coach like ours.  He was very hard of hearing and talked so loudly I had a headache by the time we set off for home.

The weather report is predicting rain for Tuesday so we may need to play tourist tomorrow.  You never know.  They might get this one right!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

March 29, 2014---Montgomery to Foscue Creek Campground, Demopolis, Alabama

Several times over the last 15 years, when we have been parked overnight at a Walmart, a car has parked close to us.  We think they must feel safer sleeping in their car, with this “Jolly Green Giant” nearby.  Usually it is a small car...a Honda or something like that  Last night was a “first.”  A Smart car pulled in at about 8:30 and left just before we pulled out at 6:45 this morning.

We had rain during the night, but it had stopped before our departure.  As we pulled onto I-85, there was a highway sign reading “Keep Moving.”  That, also, was a first for us.

Once we were on the west side of Montgomery, we turned onto Highway 80.  The trees were starting to get their leaves and the grass was very green.  Things looked fresh washed after the rain.

At one point, a calf had escaped from the pasture.  It was being herded by a couple of guys riding on an ATV.  I can’t remember if that was a first, but it was somewhat unusual.

We were on the Historic Route where Martin Luther King led the Civil Rights March from Selma to Montgomery.  We were going from east to west and he went from west to east, not that it makes any difference at this point in time.  

Some of you may know that sometimes I see things from a different slant than most people.  (Hmmmm!  Maybe that’s why Matthew sees the “world according to Matthew,” as we say in our family.)  Well, I noticed the the cows in the pastures were either black or brown or multicolored ones.  And they all seemed to be coexisting.  That’s nice!

When we got to Demopolis, we drove a few miles out of town to Foscue Creek Campground, a Corps of Engineers facility on the Tombigbee River.  It is a large, well maintained campground.  We plan to be here for about a week.

We drove 121 miles today and our only critter alert was the runaway calf.  

Friday, March 28, 2014

March 28, 2014---Walmart in Montgomery, Alabama

We had quite a rain and wind storm early this morning.  It continued for most of the day.  For that reason, we decided to stay where we were.  Bill really doesn’t like to drive in the rain if he can avoid it.

If, however, it is raining tomorrow, we will have to venture out onto the highway.  In anticipation of that, he hooked the CRV on and we have things secured inside.  Come rain or shine, we are ready to roll.

Late in the morning, we went into Walmart to shop.  It was a big store and we both wore ourselves out.  After checking out, but before leaving the store,  we got a meatball sub at Subway and then went home to enjoy lunch. 

I spent part of the afternoon and evening working on jewelry.  Same sing, 14th verse, etc. etc.

I think we have less than two weeks more of traveling around before returning to Brent’s in Brandon.  I had a list of important tasks I needed to complete before then.  I think I have only have two things scratched off the list.  I’m not doing to well, am I?  But I’m really having a good time not accomplishing much!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

March 27, 2014---Bluff Creek Campground to Walmart in Montgomery, Alabama

Willie Nelson got up early this morning.  We pulled out of our camping space at 7:14.  After stopping to dump the holding tanks, we were “on the road again” at 7:30. 

In Phenix City I had an appointment for a “temporary”, a permanent.  I have been looking for a place for several weeks, but today was the day. Yippy, Skippy!   

While we were in the area of Columbus, I coerced Bill into taking me back to the Bead Cage one last time.  We also stopped at Hobby Lobby and Michael’s before going back to the motorhome which we had left at Walmart.

We were on Highway 80 heading east by 2:15.  It was a pretty drive over hills and through forests.  There were several small towns before we got to Montgomery, but very little traffic on this back road.

We parked for the night at Walmart on the east side of Montgomery.  After so much activity today, we were too tired to go in to shop.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March 26, 2014---Bluff Creek Campground, Alabama

Hooray, hallelujah, bravo, hot dog, yahoo, whoopee, yea, and yippy skippy!  You guessed it!  I e-filed our taxes today.  Now that’s a load off my mind.

Instead of taking one day, as I had expected, it took three days.  Ugh!  I’m already dreading next year, but hope it will go much, much better.

The weather was colder today and we still had quite a bit of wind.  After today’s final ordeal I didn’t even go outside.  The sun was shinning and the temperature topped out at 57° but I just needed to hibernate.

We plan to roll on down the road tomorrow, so it might be another day or two before I can return to my jewelry project.  For the past two days it has been torture not beading.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March 25, 2014---Bluff Creek Campground, Alabama

We had very strong winds, so staying inside today was a good choice. 

The bad thing is that in the battle of the taxes, I’m losing big time.  I would much rather win this one by getting our 2014 taxes ready to go, but it isn’t happening.

I will go over things again tomorrow and see if I can figure it out.  Turbo Tax is suppose to be simple.  The only thing it’s proving is that I’m the simple one.

During the high wind this afternoon, we saw a small tent blow by, heading for the river.  A bush slowed its forward progress, giving Brave Bill the chance to retrieve it before it got wet.

We are parked at the edge of a large grassy area.  Bill took the tent in search of its owner.  Alas, no luck!  But he tried really hard.  At one time I looked out the window and all I saw was a red and blue tent with legs, going across the field.  It was really funny!

Bill secured the tent over a pole and came home.  A few minutes later, we looked out the window.  The tent was gone.  We don’t know if the owner came to claim it or if it went on its merry way again with the help of the wind.  That was the only bright spot in an otherwise troublesome day.

Monday, March 24, 2014

March 24, 2014---Bluff Creek Campground, Alabama

Today was set aside to prepare our income taxes.  I had a slight problem keeping my mind on the task.  I also had to spend extra time looking for some of the information I had misplaced.

Yikes, the mind gets more and more lame as time goes by!

I did get everything organized, but decided to make friends with TurboTax in the morning, when perhaps I will be fresher.  As you have probably figured out, taxes aren’t my favorite thing.  I would rather be working on a beading project.

The weather today was nice, but cool.  Bill and I went for a walk around the campground late this afternoon.  It was good to get out into the fresh air.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

March 23, 2014---Columbus, Georgia to Bluff Creek Campground, Holy Trinity, Alabama

After fueling the motorhome, we headed basically west, crossing the Chattahoochee River into Alabama (Honk, honk! Yahoo!).  In Phenix City, we turned south, eventually making our way to Hwy. 165.  

Soon after passing through the tiny town of Holy Trinity, we turned east and checked into the Bluff Creek Campground, a Corps of Engineers facility.  There are very few campers at this time of year.

We had a small amount of rain on our drive today.  Not much, but occasionally requiring the windshield wipers.  This part of Alabama is rolling hills, pretty, but probably more so when there are leaves on the trees.  Most of the trees here in the campground have Spanish moss hanging from the bare branches.

We paid for four nights.  I plan to spend time on my jewelry project, as well as getting our taxes done.  I don’t know how Himself will use his time here, but I’m sure he will make god use of the four days.  He has mentioned changing the water filters and draining the water heater tank.

Today, I worked on jewelry.  Tomorrow  will be tax day!  The first I enjoy, the last, I dread!

We traveled 46 miles today.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

March 22, 2014---Perry to Columbus, Georgia

“On the road again...” at 9:30.  The best guess on the weather for today was OK, but for tomorrow it looks not as good  Rain is in the forecast.  Ugh!  We really don’t like driving in the rain.  Tomorrow might become a “stay put” day!

We are in peach country, right?  Well, we have seen lots and lots of pecan orchards, and Perry was gearing up for their Cherry Blossom Festival.  So far, we have seen only one peach orchard and this is Peach County.  Looks as if someone named the county wrong.  I must admit, though, that the peach trees we saw were beautiful, covered with pink blossoms.

We parked at Sam’s Club in Columbus.  Our choice for lunch was Bojangles.  Years ago our family of six thought that was one of the best places we had ever eaten.  The fried chicken, dirty rice, and biscuits were the best.  Several years ago, Bill and I tried it again when we were in Charlotte, NC.  We were less than impressed then, and today really wasn’t any more favorable.  Sigh!  Some things just don’t stay the same.

While Bill rested, I went back to the Bead Cage for some more supplies that I’m absolutely sure I needed.  It is a great place.  I saw things today that I hadn’t seen on my last visit.

After I got home and rested, Bill and I went into Sam’s for hot dogs, and then to Walmart for a few groceries.

Although we only traveled 81 miles today, we were both tired tonight.

Friday, March 21, 2014

March 21, 2014---FMCA Convention to Walmart in Perry, Georgia

We left the Fairgrounds at 10:00, drove to the Walmart parking lot, found a level place for the Country Coach, parked, and detached the CRV.

Geocaching was our objective for this morning.  Most of the caches were in the old downtown part of Perry.  It is a pretty area and we enjoyed spending some of our day there.

Several of the caches involved some walking and I’m glad to say I did quite well again today.  We had a few DNFs, but were able to find eight of the hidden containers before we decided it was time for lunch.

After getting happy tummies at Captain D’s, we went back home to rest and relax for a couple of hours.  It was a warm day and we opened some of the windows of the MH and enjoyed the spring breeze.

Toward evening we went back out to pursue some more caches.  We were able to find five more before darkness forced us to stop.

I spend the rest of the evening working on the jewelry projects for the shops in Brandon.  It is different from my other beading activities and I am enjoying the challenge.

We watched NASCAR qualifying from Fontana, California.  The race will be run on Sunday.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

March 20, 2014---FMCA Convention, Perry, Georgia

Spring came in bright, but cool in Georgia. 

Early this morning, Bill took part of our DISH system to the satellite vendor for an upgrade.  Donuts were served at 7:00 so after he ate his fill, he not only brought donuts to me, but he took donuts to the Security Guards at the two gates we have been using this week.  He was very popular with a bunch of us.

I stayed home happily eating my breakfast while Bill went back to spend some more time looking at the motorhomes.    When he got back to the MH, he was very tired.  I woke him up from his nap in time to get to his last seminar, but he was just too tired.  He went back to sleep.

It was lunchtime when he opened his eyes and kept them open.  We went to KFC’s buffet to eat.  On our way home, we stopped for a cache.  It involved lots of walking to get on the correct side of the river.  

After finding the cache and signing the log, we returned to the Fairgrounds.  We did twice as much walking as the days before, so a time for rest was in order when we got home.

I loaded a number of caches into our GPSs and we took off to find some of them.  We found a total of seven with only three DNFs.  Not too bad!

I have felt better today than I have for a long time.  That’s encouraging!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March 19, 2014---FMCA Convention, Perry, Georgia

It was cold and overcast this morning  Sounds like a broken record, doesn’t it?  Feels like it to me.

Bill was looking at the motorhome displays today.  At 9:00, I woke up, felt cold and crumby, took a Tylenol, turned on the electric blanket, crawled back in bed, and just rested until 10:30.  By the time Bill got back I was dressed and ready to go.

We ate lunch before going to the Ice Cream Social.  Afterwards, we went to some of the vendor displays.  It involved lots of walking, but I managed to stay upright.  That’s an improvement!

The sun came out this afternoon and things got a little warmer.  I’m ready for Spring!!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March 18, 2014---FMCA Convention, Perry, Georgia

The rain had stopped by morning, but the sky was still dark.  

While Bill went to a couple of workshops, I got a package ready to mail to Lori and one to Matthew, also.  When he got back home, we looked on the NUVI for the closest Post Office.  Elko, a tiny town south of here, was listed as about six miles away.

It was an interesting drive through the countryside.  After taking care of business at the PO, I ask the postal person if there was a place to eat in Elko.  According to her, Perry was our closest hope of finding food.  Elko gave new meaning to “the boonies.”

We took I-75 back to Cracker Barrel, not far from the fairgrounds.  In spite of the fact that they were very busy, we were able to get seated immediately.    While we waited for our food, Bill propped his head up with his hands and took a nap.  It doesn’t take long for him to benefit from “20 winks,” so he was ready to eat when our meals arrived. He had meatloaf and I had country fried surprises there.  As usual, the food was good.  We brought home enough for another meal for each of us.

The vendor displays opened today.  They were in two different buildings.  I didn’t do a “booth count,” but there were a lot.  It involved quite a bit of walking, including the trek back to the car.  It was the most I had walked in a long while.  

Bill went to another seminar and I went back to the motorhome for a nap.  When I woke up, he had returned home and was asleep.  I worked on my attempt at organizing my supply of jewelry findings until it was time to rouse My Napper Guy.  We had a 5:30 invitation.

We went to a small gathering of several couples parked very close to where we are parked.  Our hosts were our new friends from Rhode Island.  Others there were from Cape Cod, New Hampshire, and Michigan.  They wanted to hear about fulltiming.  It is a lifestyle a lot of couples would like to live, but for various reasons don’t attempt it.  We had a good time, as usual.

Monday, March 17, 2014

March 17, 2014---FMCA Convention, Perry, Georgia

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all you Irish people out there.  Did you remember to wear something green?

Bill went to seminars today while I drove north on I-75 to Warner Robins.  I went to Office Depot for some document boxes.  Sometime in the next week or two, I want to do some organizing in the hall closet and I wanted uniform size boxes for some of the things.

I also went to Hobby Lobby, one of my favorite stores.  I spent a lot of my time in the bead section...also my favorite aisles in one of my favorite store.

After I got back to Perry, driving in rain most of the time, and after Bill took a nap, we went to Dollar Tree and Walmart for a few items.  On our way back home, we stopped to Taco Bell for burritos.

Dancing With The Stars premiered tonight.  That was our evening’s entertainment.  That, and listening to the rain on the roof.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

March 16, 2014---FMCA Convention, Perry, Georgia

At mid morning, it started raining.  It continued into the afternoon.  At one point, the rain was heavy and the thunder was loud.

Bill braved the weather several times during the day and went exploring.  Some of Todd and Bonnie’s friends are here and he located them.  He must of had a good visit because he was gone for quite awhile.

I didn’t leave the house at all.  In fact, I was in my pajamas all day.  But that doesn’t mean I was lazy.  I took care of a task or out the refrigerator and caught up on some computer work...both of which I had been neglecting.

I also spent several hours working on jewelry for Polly’s Mississippi shops.  Actually, the shops belong to her sister.  Before leaving Brent’s I had sorted the supplies she had given me.  Today I finished two necklaces and started another.  They are rather simple, using medals and crosses she brought back from Paris.  Most of the things are very old.  I think I will probably end up doing them assembly line style.  I will get as many made as I can before we go back to Brent’s in mid April.

We watched the NASCAR race from Bristol.  There were two rain delays, so we watched other things in between.

We had more rain tonight!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

March 15, 2014---FMCA Convention, Perry, Georgia

It was not as cold as it was yesterday.  57° and overcast.  Not really warm, but no frost on the Honda.

We ventured out on the yard sale trail again this morning.  I think there were more shoppers out today than yesterday.  We spent two hours out tramping around, much to Bill’s chagrin.  Yes, Sara, he sometimes used his grumpy Pa voice.

The information tent was in the downtown area where tents were set up all around the courthouse.  We learned that this was the 10th Peaches to the Beaches Annual Yard Sale.  The route starts in Barnesville and ends 220 miles in the area of Brunswick.  Needless to say, we didn’t go that far.  Maybe some year I will be able to talk my faorite Old Grouch into starting at the beach end of the sale.

After eating lunch at Burger King, we returned to the fairgrounds.  We met some people from Rhode Island, and visited for over an hour.  JP probably doesn’t remember, but the first time he was in Rhode Island, he slept across the entire state.  Keep in mind that it’s a really small state, and the little fellow was plumb tuckered!

I rested while Bill roamed around talking to other RVers.  And he makes rude comments about my talking.  When he got back home, he was dog tired from wagging his tongue.

The weather station’s “best guess” was for rain tomorrow, maybe as much as an inch.  I hope they missed this forecast by a whole bunch.

Friday, March 14, 2014

March 14, 2014---Perry, Georgia

This morning, the Honda and the ground were covered with frost.  Good grief!

When the temperature warmed up a little we took off to explore the Peaches to the Beaches Garage Sale.  Quite a few of the sites were in big parking lots and some were at individual houses along the route.

We went to as many as we could, but I got very tired.  When we got back to the motorhome, I took a very long nap.  We will go back out tomorrow.

Lunch was at Captain D’s.  Bill loves shrimp.  He was a happy guy!

We watched NASCAR qualifying from Bristol, TN.  One summer, we toured the track.  JP and Natalia were with us.  It was an amazing place and we got a special tour of the track owner’s box.  I wonder what those two kids thought about it.  I was impressed!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

March 13, 2014---Auburn to Perry, Georgia

It was 32° when we got up this morning and the wind had the flags standing straight out.  It was a good morning for Bill to cook a big breakfast for us.  We filled our “tanks” and the motorhome’s also, before getting on the road for Georgia.

We crossed into the Eastern Time Zone and Georgia (Honk, honk! Yahoo!) at the same time.  We (I) had a mission in Columbus...a bead store, what else?!  

After unhooking the Honda, I left Bill in the MH to take a nap and watch a movie while I went on my merry way to shop for beads, etc. at The Bead Cage.  The beads were in a small area of a gift store, but they had arranged it to get maximum use of their space.  I spent about two hours there and would have liked to have  stayed longer, but I got hungry.

We went to Steak ‘n Shake for a late lunch.  Getting out of Columbus and onto the correct road was somewhat of a challenge, but we finally made it.  It was still cool and windy, but it was a blue sky day.

Fort Valley, in Peach County, had way more pecan trees than peach trees.  Hm-m-m-m?

Walmart’s parking was nearly full of semis and motorhomes, but we found a place for the coach, unhooked the Honda once again, and drove out to the Fairgrounds where the FMCA Convention will be held.  We decided to move the MH out there early.

With that taken care of, we settled in for an evening of relaxation.  It was a busy day even though we only traveled 115 miles.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March 12, 2014---Brandon to Auburn, Alabama

When we left this morning, Bill thanked Brent for “Mom sitting” for a week.  Brent said it was his pleasure and he would be ready to do more in three weeks when we return.

We were singing our Willie Nelson song at 9:00.  It took us about 30 minutes on narrow, twisting roads to make our way to I-20.  There was quite a bit of traffic on the Interstate.  Once we crossed into Alabama (Honk! Honk! Yahoo!) we immediately took Highway 80.  It was mostly four lane, in good condition with very little traffic.  

Catfish farming is an important business in these Southern states.  In Uniontown, we passed the Alabama Catfish Food Mill.  As we drove on east, we passed a bunch of large square ponds.  I wonder how they harvest the catfish.  I didn’t see anyone with a pole drowning a worm!

We stopped at the Walmart parking lot in Selma to eat lunch.  There was a cache close by so we went in search.  Although the coordinates were off, we were able to find it and sign the log.

Then it was on through Montgomery and to Sam’s Club in Auburn.  We went in search of a craft store.  I needed something special and thought I might be able to get it here.  We finally went to Walmart and were able to get something that should work.

It has been very windy since we crossed into Alabama.  And it is getting older now that the sun has gone down.  

Today’s Travel Totals:  Mileage, 298---geocaches, 1.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March 11, 2014---Brent’s in Brandon, Mississippi

This was the last full day to be at Brent’s for several weeks.  Tomorrow, we start toward Georgia for the FMCA convention in Perry.

Brent had started on a woodworking project and worked for most of the morning on it.  At about 12:30, we told Coleson to ride his bike down to the park and we would meet him there to hunt for a geocache.  It was down a slope in a tree on the bank of a small stream.  Brent and I stayed up on the top of the place while Coleson went down to hunt for the cache.  Coleson is good at reading the compass on my iPhone and soon had the container back up for me to sign the log.  

While he was going back down with the container I stepped in a fire ant bed.  A few of them made a feast of my ankle.  Brent came to my assistance and we were quickly on our way back to the car.  Next time, I will be more careful where I step.  Those little bitty things can really bite.

Coleson rode his bike back home while Brent and I continued continued on our way.  After lunch we went for a short visit at our friend, Debbie’s house.  We spent some time playing with her dogs.  One of them really took a shine to Brent.  All of the girls think Brent is wonderful!  So do I!

We went to see Polly and Pito and visited for about two hours.  They are fun to be around.  Pito works on an off shore drilling rig and leaves tomorrow for his two week work assignment.  When we got back home we went to see Robyn and Wesley to tell them “goodbye.”

Brent came to the MH to visit.  Coleson was out on his bike.  When  he came home, Willie was the only one in the house and the motorhome was dark.  Coleson was a bit unsettled by it all.

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014---Brent’s in Brandon, Mississippi

I had planned to spend some time with Coleson today.  I was only halfway successful.  While he and Brent went to Dick’s Sports Store to get Coleson some shorts, I went to Michael’s Crafts just a couple of doors away from Dick’s.  Now that’s my kind of shopping!  I was able to find some black beading wire that I needed for a special project.  I had looked several places for it.  Now I can stop looking...for that, at least.

Coleson’s choice for a place to eat lunch was Chick Fil-a.  They were very busy, probably because this is Spring Break time, but our order was ready fairly fast.  And the food was good.

We had planned to go to Sam’s Club because it is a place Coleson likes to look around, but after eating, he wanted to go home.  There was a geocache not far from Brent’s house, but we skipped that, too.

I had a lot to do in the motorhome so I guess it was a good thing we cut the day’s activities short.  Yesterday, Polly brought me a beading project from her sister who owns several trendy shops in the area.  When she was last in Paris she got lots of medallions for necklaces.  She must have been overwhelmed by the amount of work it was going to take.  She wanted Polly to tackle it for her, but that didn’t pan out.  Polly asked if I would do it.  

I will see how much I can get done before we get back to Brent’s in a few weeks.  Then I will continue or bail out, depending on how it goes.  I spent this afternoon getting all the supplies organized.

Bill has been hungry for shrimp so tonight Brent and I took him to Penn’s.  They also serve good catfish.  We all went home with happy tummies.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

March 9, 2014---Brent’s in Brandon, Mississippi

With the time change and all, we didn’t get off to a very early start today.  In fact, it was rather late when we finally got around to eating.

Robyn is a food rep for a large company and she brought us some breakfast egg and sausage rolls.  Brent warmed them and brought a dishful out to the MH.  Grandpa contributed orange juice.  We had a nice late, late breakfast/kind of early lunch together.

Brent and I went grocery shopping.  We are having our “annual” liver and onions party.  Yum, yum.  Brent made mashed potatoes, a Brussel sprouts and bacon dish that was really good, Polly brought garlic bread, a fresh fruit platter, and chips and dip.  I made a peach cobbler.  Robyn got back from a trip to Alabama in time for the feast.  Peto, Polly’s husband, got back from a trip to Louisiana for a short visit before the party broke up.

It was a fun time, but we were tired by the end of the day.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

March 8, 2014---Brent’s in Brandon, Mississippi

Today, Brent and I went to a Southern buffet, Mama Hamil’s.  Bill was invited to go, but declined the invitation when he heard a trip to the bead store was also on the agenda.  I’m beginning to question his bravery!

Mama Hamil’s serves hundreds of people a day a variety of “down home” cooking.  Things like fried okra, boiled cabbage, black-eyed peas, butter beans, fried chicken livers and gizzards, ribs, fried chicken, potato salad, and green beans, just to name a few.  

There were also rolls, cornbread, tiny corn fritters, and johnny cakes.  Brent and I were not familiar with the last thing, but they were small cornmeal pancakes.  I thought they were good, but Brent wasn’t too impressed.  But he isn’t overly fond of cornbread.

On the dessert bar were peach cobbler, chocolate cake, banana pudding, and bread pudding.

All of the food we tried was good.  The place was packed, al four dining rooms.

And we did go to a bead store and JoAnn Fabrics before returning home.  We did some neighbor visiting before the day was see Robyn’s remodeled kitchen and to Polly’s for an evening of entertaining conversation, to put it mildly!

Friday, March 7, 2014

March 7, 2014---Brent’s in Brandon, Mississippi

Yesterday morning, Brent made a stop at a bakery as he was transporting Sara and Coleson to school.  He knows how much I like maple bars, but the baker said they don’t make them, because people around here don’t want them.  But they would bake some for him today.  He went this morning and came home with three “still warm” maple bars.  Yum, yum!

After taking Willie for his morning walk, Brent and I drove into Jackson.  He had heard of a place that sells pig ear sandwiches.  Yes, that’s right...pig ear sandwiches!  Of course, it was a MUST on our list.

To get there, we drove past the capital building and many big office buildings.  Just a few blocks further on it looked like a war zone.  All that remained of most of the buildings was walls or rubble on empty lots.  Most of the businesses around the Big Apple Inn were boarded up

The tiny cafe looked like it was closed, but when we went through the door there were about 15 people in line in this skinny little building.  It wasn’t much more than a wide hallway with a cooking area behind a glass window (broken and taped), a counter for ordering, and a few tables in the back.  The paint was peeling off the walls.  I don’t think any upgrading had been done since it opened more than 60 years ago.  It is still owned by the same family who started it, with the third generation in charge now.

The man in back of us said he was born five blocks away.  He could remember the place from when he was a little kid.  He always goes there to eat when he comes back to visit his mother.  He now lives in Washington, DC and is a consultant of some kind.  We talked about DC and a lot of other things until our order...pig ear sandwiches, sausage sandwiches, and tamales...was ready.  

We went back to the car and drove around until we found a park.  We sat on a bench, eating our gourmet meal and looking across the street at the Governor’s mansion.  The capital was a couple of blocks away.

And now for a report on the food.  Beside a piece of pig’s ear there was some kind of mustard sauce and cole slaw on the sandwich.  I tasted the mustard the most and Brent tasted the cole slaw.  As for the pig ear, it wasn’t so much a matter of taste as texture.  The skin was rather thick and white, and under that was the flesh, kind of pink and slimy.  We each ate about half of our sandwiches and decided it was time to move on to the sausage sandwiches.  We didn’t want to be too full from the pig ear delicacies (and maybe somewhat green around the gills) to eat our second sandwiches.  The sausage was ground up and served with the same condiments.  The sausage ones were only marginally tastier than the pig ears.  Our final course consisted of the tamales.  They were really good!

While Brent took our leftovers to the car, I went in search of a geocache in the park.  The walkways were rough and the ground around the cache site was bumpy.  With my propensity for falling, I only searched for about 10 minutes, gave up, and headed back toward the car, wondering why Brent hadn’t joined me.

He was talking to a man, who got into his car and left before I got back there.  Brent said, “I’ve just been “you’d,” meaning that this guy came up and started talking, like I “sometimes” do.  He had seen Brent’s retired Air Force license plate.  He was retired AF, also.

All in all, it was an interesting day.  And to think, Bill chose to stay home and eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

March 6, 2014---Brent’s in Brandon, Mississippi

When I went into Brent’s house this morning, there wasn’t anybody around.  The kids, of course, were at school.  About 30 minutes later, Brent and Willie came back from their morning walk.  The walks have had an effect on Willie’s weight.  He was up to 114 pounds about a year ago, but now he’s down to 98.  

I asked Brent if he had lost any weight since they exercise together.  He said he hadn’t lost any because he can eat whenever he wants to.  Willie can only eat when Brent feeds him.  There is something to be said for dependency, I’d guess!

Brent was going to take me to a bead store in the main part of Brandon.  Brent’s address is in Brandon, but it is quite a ways to the downtown area.  We ate lunch at a new place next-door to City Hall.  Their lunch specials were good, but some customers were eating breakfast items, which are served all day.  That really looked good.  Brent and I both agreed we needed to go there for breakfast some morning.

I started a new beading project when we returned to our “digs.”  It has been some time since I have gotten my loom warped and ready for bead weaving.  This bracelet will be of my own invention, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Today was cold (50°) and rainy earlier in the day, so it was a good day to stay inside.  I beaded while Tex watched some westerns.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March 5, 2014---Monroe to Brandon, Mississippi

Overcast and 35°...I think we are having a heat wave!

Interstate 20 took us past Start, Louisiana.  I don’t know the population of it, but there was a water tower.  I think I’ll add it to my list of towns with unusual names.  It may not be as different as Zigzag, OR, Toast, NC, or Hot Coffee, MS, but I think it should go on my list.

When we crossed the Mississippi River, I yahooed as loud as I possibly could, but Ole’ Tex had to “pretend” honk.  There was a big truck right beside us.  He might have caused road rage if he had performed as he usually does.  He does love to honk those air horns!

We used the Walmart parking lot in Vicksburg for our breakfast stop and then we headed for Brent’s in Brandon.  The person pecking on the computer keys was very excited about seeing her “baby boy.”

We arrived at Brent’s house at 10:00 and after getting the coach settled on its patch of ground, Brent and I went to Ed’s for lunch.  As usual, the food was good and it was nice to see the staff, too.

Brent had an errand in Jackson.  It took us some time to get to the store where Brent needed to exchange some jeans for Coleson.  Jackson is really spread out.

I took a short nap when we got back home, with instructions to Bill to get me up at 3:15.  I wanted to see Coleson and Sara as soon as they arrived home from school.  Pa and I were a surprise.  Brent hadn’t told them we were coming.

It is good to be back here in Mississippi with this part of our family.

Today’s Travel Totals:  Mileage, 120.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

March 4, 2014---Stephenville to Monroe, Louisiana

At 9:30, Bill unhooked us from the power source, dumped the holding tanks, hitched up the Honda on back, and we were soon rolling down the highway singing “On the road again...”

The weather has definitely improved, although it’s still cold.  South of here, in the area of I-10, the weather is bad.  We are hoping it stays south.

Well, what do you know!  We were in In-N-Out country at early lunch time.  Imagine that!  It was visit #14 for 2014.  Today’s visit was an unexpected treat.  We had expected to travel I-10 which doesn’t have any In-N-Outs along the way, after Arizona.  But I-20 in the Dallas area has several.  When our travel plans changed, we weren’t too sad.  Betty and Billy, In-N-Out, and Brent are all close to I-20!

We stopped in Longview for fuel.  While there, we calculated mileage to Monroe, Louisiana. We’ll give it a try. 

Were all of you listening?  I yelled as loudly as I could and Bill did a great job of honking the air horns when we crossed into Louisiana.  We wanted all of you to be able to hear us.

And try we did...and then some.  It was dark when we got to Monroe.  It has been a long time since we have driven at night.  Now we know why.  It is hard to distinguish roads that need to be taken.  Therefore, we had to drive six extra miles to get back to Sam’s Club where we planned to park for the night.  It made a long day even longer.

Today’s Travel Totals:  Mileage, 395---Critter sightings, 2 deer.

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014---Stephenville, Texas

March 3, 2014---Stephenville, Texas

It was still cold this morning, but the sun was shining.  The road reports from the Dallas area were not good so we decided to stay where we are for another day.

I spent the morning packing some clothes away and straightening the closet and cabinet in the bedroom.  It was a long overdue chore and I was glad to finally have it out of the way.

At 1:00, we went to Taco Bell, Dollar Tree, and Walmart.  With the shopping trip behind us, we went home.  I spent the afternoon working on a bracelet until Betty came to see us after she got off work.

Betty and I went to the bank and Sonic before she took me to a bead store.  There was a large selection at the shop, most of them bigger beads for necklaces.  Her display of seed beads was limited.  She did have some metal roses that I got to do some experimenting with.

It was 7:00 before we got back to the RV and Bill and I said goodbye to Betty.  I continued to work on my bracelet until bedtime.

The temperature was 30° at the end of the day, a little warmer than yesterday.  We hope to get on the road tomorrow.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

March 2, 2014---Stephenville, Texas

When we got up this morning the Honda was covered with ice.  It was 23°, with a strong wind blowing.  We decided it wouldn’t be wise to get on the road for the Dallas area as planned.

We moved the motorhome from the Walmart parking lot to the City Campground.  We have stayed there on previous visits.  We needed 50 amp service so the water lines wouldn’t freeze.  We parked next to another Country Coach also seeking refuge from the storm.

Billy and Betty came at noon to take us to dinner.  Billy is very stubborn to deal with.  He insisted on paying for our meal.  I thought about smacking him when we were at the cash register, but I didn’t want to get arrested for assault on a “local.”

The place we went to was called Hard Eight Pit BBQ.  Unusual name, eh?  It stands for eight antler points on a deer.  According to Billy, who may be difficult to deal with sometime, but is always truthful, the owners of the place also own a “game hunting ranch.”

Enough of the “history lesson.”  Hard Eight Pit BBQ is as unusual as its name.  You enter the place going past their huge covered outdoor cooking area.  All the meat is on the grill and you order what you want.  It is served right there, on a tray covered with a waxed-paper-like sheet.  In the dining room there is a place to get pinto beans, all you want with the price of the meat, plus soda or tea.  Other options, like salad, dessert, etc. are extra. 

The eating area is made up on long plank tables, some high and some low, depending of the height of the wooden stools.  There were no individual tables.  One of the most unusual aspects of the place is the bread...not rolls, but sliced white bread you take out of the package sitting on the table.  If your table doesn’t have a loaf of bread, you get one off another table.  

And remember, this is Texas.  Most of the men, and some of the women, were wearing cowboy hats.  And on the TVs around the room, what else...a program featuring bronc riding.  Ty Murray, nine time World Champion bull rider, was one of the announcers.  He has long been my favorite rodeo performer, who graduated from Tarlton State here, and also happens to live on a ranch near Stephenville.  More local history!

We spent the rest of the day napping, and staying in out of the cold wind and snow.  At 11:00 tonight, it was 19°.  Br-r-r-r-r!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

March 1, 2014---Midland to Stephenville, Texas

And another month rolls around!  Wow!  Time is really whipping by!

One of The Clown’s favorite jokes is: “We’ll leave at five...five after eight, five 'til ten, etc.”  Well, guess what time we pulled out this morning?  Yup, 5:00! 

I didn’t wake up until he left the freeway and went across a dip on the frontage road.  I’m sure I was airborne for just a bit.  We parked at Walmart in Abilene so Bill could rest for a few minutes.  

We walked across the street to Cracker Barrel.  After sharing an order of biscuits and gravy, we found a cache at the edge of their property.  It was part of the “Off Your Rocker” series.

We got to Stephenville before 12:00 and parked at Walmart.  After resting, we drove out to the property where Betty and Billy have their 5th Wheel parked.  Several months ago, they bought a motorhome in preparation for living on the road like Bill and I do.  Their retirement is not too far away.  Hmmmm!  I wonder if we have had any influence on them!

We visited in their rig, which, by the way, is very nice.  Then during dinner at a Mexican place we talked RVs all during the meal.  And the talking continued back at our house.  They are very excited about their future plans.  We know the feeling!

Today’s Travel Totals:  Mileage, 258---Geocaches, 1---Critters, 1 llama, 2 donkeys, and lots of horses and cows.