Thursday, December 17, 2015

GEORGIA

GEORGIA

December 16 & 17, 2015

Well we’re on the road again. We left home the day after Thanksgiving (11/27/15) and began our travels with a trip to Myrtle Beach SC. A two week stay at Briarcliff RV Resort was a great place to start. We met up with family and did a lot of walking. Barefoot Landing and Broadway at the Beach provided us with lots of fun walking. They both offer lots of high end stores and outside fresh air. Barefoot Landing has 3 bridges that go over water and is peaceful and serene. I found a few things that I haven’t seen before so made a couple of small purchases.

We walked downtown a few times and enjoyed the quiet side of the strip since it is off season right now. The big ferris wheel was running a few times when we were there but we didn’t feel the urge to hop on lol. Walking along the beach on the ocean was an absolute treat. The days were comfortable and we could have stayed out there for hours (actually we did stay out there for hours).

Left there and headed to Georgia. Stopping in Brunswick for a few days we travelled back to Savannah on the 16th. Loved the Historic Downtown area. We took a 90 minute trolley tour and got a good lay of the land. The town is set along a riverfront and goes back about a mile. there are ‘squares’/parks in the center of several intersections. The large oak trees are all dripping with spanish moss and are hundreds of years old. In the ‘historic district’ everything must remain true to its original structure or period. There are new buildings that look just like the old ones right next to them. The brick color is the same and they maintain the general architectural design from that period. Loved this area and one could spend days just walking the waterfront and local streets. Lots of shopping and small dining opportunities.

Today we took in Jekyll Island. Again, the history is amazing! The island was bought by a few wealthy men from the northeast and they formed a hunting club on the island. The homes they built were to be simple since there was no one there to impress. Most of the homes did not have kitchens since they were all to take their meals together at the Jekyll Island Clubhouse. It is said that when they all joined for dinners the room contained 6% of the worlds’ wealth.

Most members came to the island for the winter season from January 1st to March 31st. Families and staff came with them and women were given all rights that the men had on the island. The majority of the homes were built on the Jekyll River side of the island so the evenings could be spent watching the sun set and enjoy a gentle breeze instead of the stronger winds on the ocean side.

We enjoyed a 90 minute tour of the historic area. Because there were only 8 of us on the tour the guide treated us to special viewing of areas that are not on the usual tour. We were permitted to go to the upper floors of the two homes we toured. The homes were beautiful but simple. The time (early 1800’s) was a time when the servant staff was to be seen but not heard. There were separate doors in the back for the staff to come and go from. There was also a separate back stairway for them to travel in. The owners were people of leisure and didn’t want to see anyone else work either lol. They didn’t want to make their own beds but then again they didn’t want to see someone else make it either. It would seem that there was just a bedroom fairy that came in and did the chores when no one was looking lol.

The Island was bought by the State of Georgia and turned into a park. All of the original furnishings and sculptures were put into one building and the buildings were refurbished and then furnished to the best of their knowledge back to the original.

It was such a beautiful day we decided to lunch on the porch of the Jekyll Island Hotel and it took you back in time to the early 1800’s to be sure. So peaceful and being off season there were no crowds.

After lunch we drove around the island and stopped for a walk on Driftwood Beach. This is an experience that you won’t see every day. The whole shoreline is littered with whole trees (roots and all) that have been weathered to driftwood. Again, no crowds.

It was a lovely day enjoying a history of days gone by. The thing that most impressed me was the LARGE oak trees that are dripping with spanish moss. They are IMPRESSIVE!!!

We head to Florida tomorrow. We plan on moving every couple of weeks but if an opportunity presents itself to stay longer in a spot we like then we’ll jump at it.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Belle Isle

Today we took a day trip to Belle Isle. It was my sisters idea but then she couldn't go. Life, what you going to do?

It was a nice but windy day and perfect for the park. I was pleasantly surprised by how nice it was. We'd been there in the past when the kids were little, but that was probably 35 years ago. Time sure flies ;)

We had taken a lunch and ate in the car because it was windy. Then while driving around we stopped at the lighthouse on the island. We parked the car and got out. I immediately found two pennies on the ground. Have you heard stories about deceased family or friends leaving pennies to tell you they are watching you? Pennies from heaven.

The story goes that my Dad who lived in The City of Detroit used to drive around the city and pick up (clean up) cans and bottles on Sunday morning (after the weekend) then redeem the cans for the deposit monies and go buy day old bread to feed the deer at Belle Isle. So I was immediately touched that my Dad was with me on my visit today.

The island is a literal diamond in the rough in the City of Detroit. The whole waterfront is beautiful.

After leaving the island we drove down Jefferson Ave from Grosse Pointe to Grosse Pointe Woods to Grosse Pointe Shores (you get the picture). The homes are BEAUTIFUL and very large. If only they could turn the City of Detroit around. It is the most beautiful city with the most beautiful setting. Get rid of the crime and corruption and the people would swarm to the beautiful city.



Oh and did I forget to mention this gem is nestled between Detroit and Windsor? A MUST visit if in the area.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Yuma Arizona Jan, Feb, Mar 2015

Since I wrote in February we have been very busy. I joined a pottery class thinking I was just going to make a few things. Well, they sell you 25# of clay and you are then committed to using it up. Classes are Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon. Ties up a lot of time, but I'm retired :) So far I've made 9 toys for the kids (one didn't work and so I made a backup and a backup to the backup and a backup to the backup) you get the picture. They turned out really cute can't wait to give them to the kids. I made Christmas Ornaments which turned out okay - they are handmade lol The teapot I made really isn't supposed to be functional just decorative. Two small cereal bowls. A small veggie tray, two small serving dishes, a larger kind of bowl and a small bowl. It was fun, but would have been more fun if I was good at it. I'm not!

I also started going to the knitting class which ended up not having any other knitters but we met in the same room as the quilters so I just knitted and visited. Nice group of women. That ended kind of abruptly because everyone left early lol

There was a vintage car show here at the resort that was very nice and they had a burger bash the same day. There is always oldies music on around the pool and that is where the burger bashes are held. There was another really large vintage car show that we went to. It is a very popular thing for old people to do lol The Cocopah Casino had a lo rider car show on their grounds that was very cool.

We've gone to Thursday night free Jazz Concerts at the Yuma Regional Mall every Thursday night after having dinner at a number of different local spots.

The Yuma Marine Corp had a very cool Air Show for two days. Some of the planes are AMAZING!! The things they can do and how quickly they can turn and respond just boggles the mind.

Sunday mornings found us at the Quartermasters for a Farmers Market and Tuesdays there was a Farmers Market at Historic Downtown Yuma. Roger has done a few hikes without me because I was in pottery or knitting and we've done a few together.

We also took a drive into California a few times. One Sunday we went to San Diego to visit my niece and her family. Jennifer was so gracious and took us touring around like last years visit. This time we went to the USS Midway. It is a large carrier ship with lots of planes on it. We had a good time even though Jackson took ill and Dick went home with him.

The motorcycle also gave us some fun afternoons riding around in this beautiful weather. Roger has since sold the motorcycle to buy a larger one only after ours was gone we reconsidered because a larger bike is heavier and might not travel well on the back of the motorhome. We'll get another one when we get home and figure out how to transport it. Thinking a truck that the motorcycle will fit into.

The resort where we are staying is very nice.  There are two pools and two spas.  I haven't spent too much time in the pool, but some.  I've also really enjoyed the library that they have set up.  You can be as busy or quiet as you want to here.  One morning we got up early and went on a group hike to learn about coyotes.  Let me tell you these old people are in good shape lol  I've done a lot of knitting and reading and I enjoy both.

If all goes well my final projects in pottery will be done on Tuesday and we'll head out. We still want to go to the desert for a few days, possibly visit family in Tuscon and Phoenix and then check out Sedona. If the weather looks reasonable we are trying to visit Rheta in Colorado but only if the weather looks good. It's been a long time from home and I miss everyone more that you can imagine. Look forward to seeing everyone again and just being home.

MICROWAVE MEATLOAF

MICROWAVE MEATLOAF

This recipe was obtained while taking a pottery class. The instructor was making these funny dishes on the wheel that looked like a weird candleholder. It is a low dish with a dip kind of dish in the middle. You can use any low microwavable dish and just put a shot glass or similar microwavable circle in the middle.

HOWARD'S MICROWAVE MEAT LOAF RECIPE

1 - 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp prepared mustard
1 tsp dry mustard
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 med minced onion
1/4 c finely crushed cracker crumbs
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Combine tomato sauce, brown sugar and mustard in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Combine eggs, onion, cracker crumbs, ground beef, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Add 3/4 or the tomato mixture and blend thoroughly. Place into the ring dish. Pour remaining tomato sauce over top of meat.
3. Cook on high (max power) until it reaches 165 degrees on a meat thermometer. Approx 15 to 20 minutes.
4. cover and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

It was really delicious even though my turntable wasn't working at first. I don't usually 'cook' in the micro just heat and reheat. So as soon as I noticed it I fixed it. You could see where it was already cooked in two spots, but I just let it go and it was okay. This is a good recipe anytime, but especially good for 'on-the-road' meals.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Slab City

Our trip to Salvation Mountain was a by product of our trip to Slab City.

Slab City or The Slabs is a snowbird campsite in the Colorado Desert in southeastern California, used by recreational vehicle owners and squatters from across North America. It takes its name from the concrete slabs that remain from the abandoned World War II Marine barracks of Camp Dunlap.

Several thousand campers, many of them retired, use the site during the winter months. These "snowbirds" stay only for the winter, before migrating north in the spring to cooler climates. The temperatures during the summer are unforgiving nonetheless, there is a group of around 150 permanent residents who live in the Slabs all year round. Some of these "Slabbers" derive their living by way government checks (SSI, Social Security, and Social Security Disability) and have been driven to the Slabs through poverty. Others have moved to The Slabs to learn how to live off the grid and to be left alone. Still others have moved there to stretch their retirement income.

The site is both decommissioned and uncontrolled, and there is no charge for parking. The camp has no electricity, no running water, no sewers nor toilets, and no trash pickup service. Many campers use generators or color panels to generate electricity. Supplies can be purchased in nearby Niland, California, located about four miles to the southwest of Slab City.

We discovered that several people are living nicely in this environment and others are just falling below the lines of livability. The back part was more like a dump and several were observed with no means of water or electricity. The front part you could see the water tanks and solar panels. Interesting and probably a good hide out lol

Sorry for the lack of pictures.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Salvation Mountain

Did a day trip from Yuma to Niland CA to Slab City that has at it's entrance Salvation Mountain. This Mountain is quite an experience.

Salvation Mountain is an art installation covering a hill in the Colorado Desert, north of Calipatria near Slab City and several miles from the Salton Sea. It is in Imperial County, California.

The artwork is made fro adobe, straw, ad thousands of gallons of paint. Salvation mountain was created by local resident Leonard Knight (1931-2014). It encompasses numerous murals and areas painted with Christian sayings and Bible verses.

In 1985 Leonard Knight began his creation. Leonard was a classic lone dreamer, intent on feeding his vision. But he was friendly, welcoming to all who visited. He slept in the Salvation Truck, a decorated vehicle with a house on the back. The truck, like the mountain, is lettered with biblical quotations and a large "REPENT" warning. The sight of Salvation Mountain -- his three story tall, 100-foot wide riot of concrete, adobe and paint -- greeted him each morning.

His philosophy was "Love Jesus and keep it simple".






Tuesday, January 6, 2015

50 Goals for 2015

50 Goals For 2015

My daughter recently posted her 50 things to accomplish for 2014 here that she did for last year. She posted it at the beginning of the year and then again at the end to see how she did. I've always been a list maker so was thinking maybe I should try this too. Let me tell you it's hard coming up with 50 things. It's even harder to do a blog post after a year of not doing them lol And to top it off I'm using my new Apple computer. So much new stuff - guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.... it's just really really hard.

So without further ado here's the list:

1. knit afghan for Donna
2. finish sweater for myself
3. make one more Barbie wardrobe
4. make 10 prayer shawls for Prayer Shawl ministry
5. Exercise/walk 3 days/week
6. do 50 book challenge
7. purge papers from file cabinet
8. make baby quilts using leftover jelly roll strips
9. make 18" doll cloths while traveling
10. clean basement cupboards
11. clean basement storage room
12. attend church when in town
13. go down 1 size in clothes
14. blog at lease once per month
15. organize photos on computer/phone & store on disc
16. practice patience
17. meditate more
18. eat healthier
19. when home clean house once/week
20. use wii 2x/week when home
21. have closet doors finished and installed in middle bedroom
22. have pot lights put in living room
23. make chocolate molded candies for Easter and Christmas
24. mail Christmas cards in 2015
25. fertilize garden 2x/month
26. visit grandkids at least every other week when home
27. watch grandkids at least 1 weekend so parents can take a break
28. entertain no less than 1/month when home
29. do GRANDKIDS picture frame
30. finish jigsaw puzzle
31. learn to crochet
32. take Spanish class or Spanish for Dummies
33. call Dave & Bud every couple of weeks
34. cook meatless 1/week
35. bake bread or rolls 1/week when home
36. clean pantries
37. make freezer meals from Tastefully Simple ideas
38. make & keep couple of homeless bags in car
39. pray for individual family members daily
40. print off this list so I remember it
41. research writing a Memoir
42. connect with someone I don't see often 1/week
43. take classes on Apple
44. drink at least 32 oz water/day
45. put all garden supplies in one spot in garage
46. read through Bible in a year (again)
47. journal 1/week
48. do purple heart collection
49. clean kitchen cupboards
50. clean bathroom linen closet

Reading through this now I see I will need to do lots of lists or calendars so I can track everything. What have I done to myself? lol Oh well, a challenge is always a good thing. Helps to learn and grow.

By the way, this list is in no order at all! Just mumbled things that came to mind over a few days while searching my mind for 50 things. You think it's simple? Try it!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! "Be the change you want to see in the world."


Monday, February 10, 2014

Wintering in the Warmth

I'm just not into this blogging thing this time around. Part of it is not always having an internet connection and the other part is difficulties with uploading pictures from the camera and phone. Frustrations that make it not too much fun.

So, we left my cousins home in Tuscon AZ and travelled to Quartzsite AZ for a huge RV event. The town normally has 300 people and during this week in January it expands to 1,000,000!!! Sounds crazy. This experience was quite a learning experience. My first challenge was staying hydrated. I had trouble sleeping because my sinuses would dry out and I couldn't breathe. After a couple of days I got it figured out and learned to actually enjoy the heat in January lol.

The desert at first glance is all brown and boring, but then you notice the beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Being from Michigan I'm used to sunsets off the water - say Lake Michigan. Here on the desert the sun sets behind mountains that are everywhere around you. The colors on the opposing mountains change from second to second. From purples, pinks and oranges.... just beautiful!! I'd love to add pictures, but read paragraph one :) We stayed on the desert in Quartzsite for 19 or 20 days and I was starting to look forward to being hooked up to water. We traveled by motorcycle most days into town and walked around and usually stopped at the market for a couple of items (can only get what we could carry) lol. The main purchase was a chrome exhaust pipe cover that MM put on right away. We got a few do dads for the kitchen as usual, but resisted buying stuff that we wouldn't use after getting it home.

We checked into Lake Havasu RV Resort on January 30 and are here for 14 days. It is a very nice resort (Colorado River Adventures) that has lots of activities and great meals for purchase Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. We've gone into town most days on the motorcycle and walked the London Bridge in town. The bridge was purchased from London England in 1964 and completely reassembled by 1971. You can see the Colorado River from just about anyplace that we travel in town. After being here a few days we traveled on part of the old Route 66 that went from Chicago to Los Angeles and stopped in a town called Oatman AZ. There were wild burros everywhere and walked right up to you. We got a few shirts and a Route 66 sign. On another day we traveled to Parker Dam. Think Hoover Dam but smaller lol. Here too, we stopped to turn around and saw several wild burro. MM whistled and they came up out of the ravine straight to the car. They thought we had food ... what a disappointment for them. On Friday the 7th we went on a boat cruise to Topock Gorge. The boat was very clean and the guides were very informative. We saw a bald eagle, mountain goats and wild burros. Most of the goats were mama and baby and some of them were very young. Hopefully someday I'll be able to figure out the picture thing because we got a lot of good ones lol. The boat also stopped at a spot where there were ancient petroglyphics etched into the stone.

On days that we're not doing anything special we ride into town (on the bike - it's like summer here) and walk on the trail at the Rotary Park. Very nice about .8 miles and has several workout stations where you can do sit ups, pushups and other exercises (did way too many situps on the first day lol). And all of this is along the Colorado River with California on the other side. Always so pretty.

Guess the best and worst part of this whole adventure is being away from the cold and snow lol. The best because we're missing one of the worst winters since record keeping began. The worst because we're missing all of our family so much. I miss seeing the smiling faces of our grandchildren and hearing their sweet voices and laughter. Lots of give and take but we're giving it a try.

Today I finally got out the sewing machine and made a dress for the Dress a Girl Around the World mission.  It was pretty quick and I hope it fits within the guidelines for the size.  It takes a little to get everything out and there is not a lot of room for ironing or cutting.  Not sure if I'll do any more on this trip. It's just easier at home. An easier project on the road is knitting. I did finish a poncho and hat for myself. Again, wish I could post pictures :(.

Hope the next park has internet service at the rig - it is so much easier and I might put in more effort and time with pictures. I still hold out hope of adding pictures to these posts lol. Call me optimistic! So, until next time - see ya