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Monday, December 31, 2018

December Review 2018

The month of December is always full of the usual hustle and bustle of getting ready for Christmas.
This year was no exception.

I had cleaned out the attic of all my old Christmas decor as I just don't really enjoy getting out all the stuff to have to put it away quickly as we usually leave and head back to Arizona right after Christmas.

This year is different because we didn't go to Arizona in the fall.

It has alloyed me the time to decorate a bit, so you know that means I have bought some new stuff to decorate with.  LOL






I have gotten a bit obsessed with the small Christmas villages and the cute travel trailers that light up, so this year, I decorated with my tiny houses.







It makes for a cute display and is fairly easy to put away quickly.






I am thinking this is the "new" look for Christmas decor in this house. :)














Cooper, Heather and I went to The Nutcracker this year.
As Cooper says, "its our tradition".














We met with our usual Friday Night group and Doreen asked the bartender if he could make her Grinch drink.
She showed him the recipe and made them for us.
You can tell by our smiles we didn't like them at all!








Christmas Eve church services with the family is a regular event for us.
Cash decided to ride with us to the church, so of course we got to hear about his concerns that he hasn't been good enough for Santa to actually bring him the gifts he has asked for.
He kept Great Grandma and Papa Louie entertained for sure.










As a child we always opened the family presents on Christmas Eve.
Seems we do that as an adult as well.
Part of the fun of being an adult is to watch the grandkids excitement and anticipation as they hand out all the presents.












It was the usual free for all in the package department.
Wrapping paper and Christmas sacks were flying everywhere.














And before you know it....its over.
Just like that, all that shopping for the right gift and wrapping it up so nicely, and poof, its finished.













Our family is so blessed to get to spend this time together and enjoy the moment.







Speaking of excitement....Cooper cracked me up this year as Pops was showing her and Cash a few magic card tricks.
Her expression on her face when she saw that he had fooled her was absolutely priceless.
Now she wants him to teach her how to do it.









The kids are leaving for a fun adventure at Harry Potter World in Orlando Fl. shortly after Christmas.
Should be a fun time for all although Cooper really wasn't looking forward to the long drive.
She thought they should just fly.
This is from her fear of being in a vehicle of any kind after the bus crash.
Hopefully her new weighted blanket will help with her anxieties.

I am sure Cooper and Cash will come home with a few priceless items from their adventures.


December has been fairly cold and wet here in Oklahoma.
Arizona has been cold as well according to friends of ours.
They even have snow in Tucson as the year comes to an end.
Our plans for the coming weeks is to latch onto The Taj-Mah-Hauler and make our way to Winterhaven, CA.
I will share more on our travels in January.

As 2018 comes to an end we are so thankful for all the wonderful friends and family that have made this year as spectacular as it has been.
Life is so good and precious and I for one am very thankful for every breath I take.
Love, health and prosperity is what I wish for everyone.
Thanks again for being a part of my life.







Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Christmas 2018

It’s officially the day after Christmas and I am sitting here reflecting on the last few days.






















I can use all the adjectives that I know to express my feelings of the Christmas we have just spent with our small
but mighty family, but there really aren’t words to say how big and happy my heart feels.

















The true feelings of the holidays rush into your heart and it makes me feel so overwhelmed with the love that you feel for everyone that touches you throughout the year.











We miss the family and friends that have left this earth way too soon.











We delight in watching the sparkle in the children’s eyes of total innocence and belief that a Big ole jolly man in a red suit comes and brings them all toys while they sleep on Christmas Eve.






I cherish every memory of Christmas from long ago to the present.




I hope all my friends have had a good Christmas as well.
It can be a very sad and difficult time I know.





You are all loved by me and I just want you to know this. 
Thanks for being a part of my life. 

Merry Christmas :)



Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Now That Is Refreshing :) 2018

Refreshed 2018


I am on a "refresh" binge at the moment.
The kitchen accent tiles have bugged me forever and I finally got the nerve to remove the ugly 90's tile and refresh with something a little more to my liking.

Again, it is only a little bit of re-doing, but at this moment it's helping to update the kitchen area.
I still plan on painting the center island, but haven't gotten that done as of yet.





In my mind, I can see new granite countertops, but that just isn't in the plans for now, so I will once again make due with what I have.
Before

I purchased a tool that is supposed to make removing the tile and I have to say it worked, but I also realize a plain ole screwdriver can do the same thing!




I was able to remove the tile without any other breakage to other tiles around it.





During

The replacement tiles are fitting in perfectly, and before you know it, I am finished and ready to grout the tiles.
I have never grouted before so it was a bit of a learning experience.
It wasn't long before I felt confident that I knew what I was doing and was slopping grout into the tile. ( lots of excess grout was used due to my learning curve)
I think using my sponge to clean the excess grout was the most time consuming part of the whole thing.  (again due to my learning)






Before



Since I won't be replacing the counter tops at this time, I decided to update the area below them.
There is a wooden ledge that edges the counter top.
It had a strip of Formica in it when we moved in.
The color didn't suit me back then, so I removed the Formica and painted the inset black.












Time to address the area, so one night when I couldn't sleep, I came up with an idea.
If I could find tile the size I needed for the area, I can put tile in that area.
Finally measured the size I would be looking for and made a trip to Lowes.










I brought home several pieces, but I wasn't happy with the overall look.
Returned the tiles and made a trip to Home Depot.
Found the perfect tile for the project.










During


The tiles worked perfectly in the area.
Grouted the tiles in place and made all my cuts for the angles without any problems.




















Voila, I have a "refreshed" kitchen!






Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Decorating Refresh 2018

Before 
After 


What does one do when they want to do a complete overhaul of an area, but just don't want the mess and cost of doing the whole thing.

You Refresh!!!!


Our Coffee/Bar area needed updating.
It is time to bring it out of the dark ages and make its statement in the 21st century.
First thing that has to be done is to remove the glass shelves and glass wall that has adorned the area for a few years now.

I called for my trusty assistant, my husband, to get instructions on removing the glass from the wall.
I was trying to pull the adhesive from the wall with a screw driver....LOL
He always preaches to me to use the proper tools for the job, so to the shop he goes.
Just like Tim the Tool man Chuck comes back to the house with a pry bar..
I had taped the mirror in several places, so as soon as he used the proper tools, the mirrors came of quite easily.





One of my weak moments, I had painted the bar area a turquoise color.
Not sure what I was thinking, because I am always so conservative when it comes to color on the walls.
It was a small area to paint so once the mirrors were down, I put a coat of paint on the walls.
Man, it was already looking better!







The look I was after is the ship-lap type boarding so this refresh is going to make it happen. 
I had eyed this Sun Bleached Wood Ship-lap planking during one of my trips to the local Lowe's store.
Sun-Bleached-Wood-Ship lap-Wall-Plank

I figured my square footage of the area but went ahead and purchased 3 packages of the materials as I wanted to make sure I had enough to finish the project without any unnecessary trips back to the store.  :)

I am glad I had the extra 3rd package so we didn't feel we had  to make due with smaller pieces that would have been OK.
This gave us the ability to create a good combination of lengths. 




Chuck and I made a real good team at this little project.
He dug out the chop saw to make the cutting a whole lot easier.
We figured out what pieces we wanted where and I would mark them, and Chuck would cut.
I used Liquid Nails to attach each board.
The process went very quickly and the outcome was outstanding as far as I am concerned.
I truly don't think there is a right or wrong way to make the pattern, but we agreed with the one we ended up with and are pleased with it. 





Once we had all the wood up it was time to decorate the area.
I found a really cute floating shelf at Hobby Lobby to give the shelf some depth.
The Gather sign I had purchased a few months ago at Kirkland's.
It has been on several walls in the house, but I truly think it has found a good home in the bar area.
This little "refresh" puts a smile on my face every time I walk by.




Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Life's Unexpected Curve Ball 2018

It seems that we all know that life can be so unexpected and I have to say we have had a very unexpected event happen last week.
If you follow me on Facebook you know that our adorable granddaughter Cooper was going on a much anticipated 5th grade trip to Sea World in San Antonio.
Cooper was so excited to make this trip with her friends and at 7 am on Saturday October 1st their adventure started.
Two busses filled with 5th graders began the drive to their destination....
One bus has the girls in it and the other one has the boys.

Our world stopped for a moment when I got a call from our son instructing me to come to Norman to take care of Cash our grandson.
Anthony had gotten a call that the girls bus had been in an accident in Lampasas, TX.
The 45 minute drive to Norman seemed to take forever.
As we drive up to the kids house, there are other parents gathering and trying to get as much information of the incident as possible.


The parents were ready to make the 6+ hour drive to Lampasas, TX.
Anthony and Heather give Cash kisses and hugs and assume me they will be in contact with us on any updates.
The only report we could get was that Cooper was pretty beat up.
The hours tick by and the reports I get from our daughter in law is that Cooper has a severe concussion, her clavicle is broken and possibly her hip is broken.




It’s now a little after 9pm, and thankfully our son and DIL have made it safely to the hospital.
Cooper does not have a broken hip,  but she does have severe head trauma that the Dr. is quite concerned about and a broken collar bone.
The Dr. suggest that they transfer Cooper to the Children's Hospital in Temple, TX.
There will be two other friends of Coopers that will be sent to this hospital as well.
The one girl has a brain bleed and is in ICU.











Cooper will be at the Children's Hospital for a day or two so they can keep a close eye on her concussion.
She is very sensitive to light and noises due to the concussion and can't keep anything down in her stomach.
Her clavicle will be localized with an arm sling.



















I stayed at their house and kept Cash on as much of a regular schedule as possible.
Cash was so good and helped me figure out what needed to be done.




















He had a soccer game on Saturday and we discussed him playing really hard and if he made a goal that it would be for his sister.
Within the first minute of the game, Cash takes the ball to the goal.
His eyes lit up and looked at me with so much excitement.
This ones for you sister!















He got up and got ready for school without any protest at all.
We've got this....but it will be nice if Cooper can come home and recuperate in Norman.















Monday brings a better day and her nausea has subsided so she was able to come home and start mending in her own surroundings.

According to our son, the drive home went very well and Cooper was a great patient.

Chuck and I were so happy to see that sweet face get out of that back seat of the car.

Olive, their goldendoodle, was ecstatic to see the family back home as well.





Cash & I made a poster
Cooper remembers nothing about the accident but her friends have put a few things together.
They say that they were trying to get out of the bus and they kept calling her name.
She laid lifeless in the bus with her eyes staring upward.
One of the first responders removed her from the bus and placed her on the ground until ambulance arrived to take the students to one of the hospitals in the area.



The Dr. and staff and all the first responders have been wonderful to all these children and to the teachers that were also injured .





We have also been told that the way the people handled the children by getting all their information and contacting their parents were wonderful.

Friends made a welcome home poster.




As of end of the week, Coopers friend with the brain bleed had to have surgery.

One of the teachers had surgery on her back, and the other was released and heading home with 6 broken ribs.















All the outpouring of prayers and positive words have been so wonderful and so greatly appreciated.









Each day Cooper is feeling better.
Thanks again to everyone.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

C&D Adventures 2018 (Louisiana Bayou) Week 4



9-10-18 Monday

8:30AM,  and we are on our way to Cajun Palms.
Goodbye Florida, we enjoyed it and we have had a great two weeks at Topsail but it is time to move on.
There is a cold front coming and we have chances of rain as we travel.
Doesn’t hurt our feelings as it may keep the love bugs down along the way.
The clouds are really pretty as we make our way to I-10 via 331.






Saw the Blue Angel on a stick. LOL.















Sailing along smoothly until Lupe decides we need to exit the highway.
Lupe has lost her ever loving mind.
As we begin crossing the Mississippi bridge outside of New Orleans she tells us to exit the highway.
We do and she proceeds to take us on a 6 to 8 mile detour.
Absolutely no idea why she got us off the highway.


Traffic was moving and there didn't seem to be any slowing down.
If I had my data I would have been online checking to see what the heck she was up to.

Just another reason to not trust Miss Lupie.
I have to say Diana and Chris stick with us through thick and thin....if we exit, even if they remotely question it, they still follow us.....LOL
Now that's friendship.

We are driving into some pretty heavy duty rain clouds.
Only good part is rain would be to help wash the love bugs off the Taj-Mah-Hauler.


Lupie shows our arrival time of 3:45.
We are at the famous Cajun Palms and checked in and even get wrist bands to prove it.  







The rain has stopped so that helped with setting up.
Love bug cleaning is the first thing we need to do.







I attempt to turn on the air in the trailer and we have no electric.
I am assuming it is the same problem we had last time but nope.
After Chris checks out the pedestals it is figured out that there is a problem with it.
I call up and maintenance comes out quickly.
Ends up we have another pedestal on our site so we just plug in so we can get on with this day.
Finally set, we are on the hunt for dinner.


There is a place that will deliver to our sites but looks like they aren’t open on Monday.
Plan "B" is Chicken on the Bayou.
It is a little place next to Landry's Seafood and as soon as we opened the door into the place, we walked back out.

Not knowing what we would be getting into by eating there, we just go next door to Landry’s.
The food was good but so typical of a commercial-restaurant.
We are back at the RV and thinking about sitting outside but the mosquitoes are terrible.
We walk around the park and check out the pool area.
This place is a ghost town.
No one is out...and there aren't very many trailers even here.
We are thinking that the parties are over and everyone has gone home for the summer.  
Too bad it’s not warmer and I can imagine how busy this place is during the regular season.

9-11-18 Tuesday

Well it looks like the rains are going to plague us for another day.
There is a window of time this morning that shows we will be rain free for a couple of hours.
McGee’s Air Boat Excursion is going to be what we do during this somewhat dry time.
Diana makes reservations for us for the 11AM tour.





I am so excited to get to do this.
Here is the link to Mcgees Swamp Tours
Ends up we are the only fools or customers  that chose to go out today.
We had the boat and the guide to ourselves.  
What a great time.














Our guide Byron, took us to see alligators up close and personal.
The water was beautiful and all the wild life in the bayou were amazing.








Our ride was cut a little short due to our guides concern of the upcoming weather.
Byron tells us a little history about the swamps we are in.
There are 1.4 million miles of them.  Here is a link to more info.  Bayou
Geez, if that alligator had eaten him I think we would have been lost out here forever.
This boat trip was so spectacular.
I would highly recommend it to anyone if they are in the area.





What a fun morning we have had.
We make it back before the rain hits.
Once again we have finished our fun before the rains try to ruin our day.
The ladies at McGee's tells us that Chicken on the Bayou was a good place to eat.
We decide to try it for lunch.
The food was good and at least we got some true Louisiana food.




We made our way to the pool even though the sun refused to shine.
Looks like we have the whole pool to ourselves today.
The bars weren’t open for us and it really looked like a ghost town.
After our dip in the pool we went back to our covered patio and hung out for awhile.

Bronco got to meet Duke the dog.
He was a resident of Cajun Palms it looks like.
He didn’t like to mind his parents and just roamed around a lot.
Duke came back a little later and attempted to be friendly with Bronco but she wasn’t interested.
Dinner was from the local Fast Track that delivers to the park.
Have to say we really weren’t that impressed with our choice this evening.
As the sun sets the mosquitoes start coming out so we say our good nights and go inside.



9-12-18 Wednesday
On the road by 8:30 and heading to Canton Texas.




Lunch stop at the Texas rest stop just over the Louisiana border and Chuck is looking at the trailer and noticed it was sitting a bit uneven.












Looks like we have lost a very large bolt in one of the wet kits on our equalizer.
This was just done on the trailer in June and other than our trip to Colorado, the only miles we have traveled.  
Maybe someone didn't tighten all our bolts like they were supposed to?  







Louisiana has some of the worst roads and bridges I have ever seen but after talking to Chris he has told us earlier on in our travels that he thought something fell off the trailer...kinda like when you follow a Harley...you know what I mean.  :) 
We are 106 miles from our destination for the day and as soon as we reach it we will be looking for a temporary bolt to get us home safely.

The traffic heading south is full of FEMA trucks and trailers making their way east to help with the Hurricane Florence recovery.
It is really expected to be a very bad storm and our hearts go out to the people in her path. 
Florence should make landfall this evening.
We stay in Canton at the Mill Creek Ranch RV Resort this evening.
The Tractor Supply in the town of Canton got some of our business today as it was the only place we could find bolts, washers, and nuts to bandage the Taj-Mah-Hauler back together.
Chris notices a big chunk out of one of his tires, so he changes the tire and puts on his spare.
This was one of those working stops, but at least our guys make sure we are safe.
There is a little Taco Shop in front of the resort, so we walk over and get some Mexican Food for dinner and take it back to the trailers and eat outside.
The sunset was beautiful this evening, and I think I really got a good picture of it. 




9-13-18 Thursday
Packed up and on the road by 8:30 am.
Our final leg of our three week vacation is coming to an end.
This morning it is foggy and have to say it’s one of those days you could really sleep in.
But we have some miles to make so we set out on our final day of travels.

Diana and Chris will be heading to Lake Texhoma so we will travel with them to Pottsboro Texas.





We stopped for a potty break in Leonard TX and Chris was checking his tires and one of them is about to throw the tread.
Although a small town Diana found a place that had their size tire. (talk about luck)

Guess this stop was meant to be because it appears that
all of his tires are either separated or in the process of separating.

As we stood there, a guy came over and started talking.
Seems we had stopped in this same little town on the way down to Florida.
This same fellow had talked to us on that stop as well.  
He was interested in our stain glass windows that are on our trailer. 
His wife was upset the last time that he failed to ask where exactly in Mexico had we purchased them in.
He now knows the scoop on them so his wife is going to be so proud of him.
(I don't think he was really stalking us, just a very friendly guy)  ROFL

The tire shop was quick and efficient and within an hour or so we were back in business.

It is now time to say our final farewells to Diana & Chris.
Pottsboro, TX was  a perfect spot to pull over for a moment.
Diana & Chris will head for the lake and we will make our way back to Yukon.
Sadly this adventure is over.
The real world is calling us back.

Even though Chuck and I are retired, there are always things that need to be taken care of at the homefront.
So much for taking time to smell the roses.
With traveling, there always seems to be only a certain amount of time allotted.
Those places you see along the roadside, you know,
the ones that you see every time you travel that same road.
They are once again driven by without a stop.
Oh well, maybe next time!

When you are pulling such a large trailer those quick stops have to be planned out as there just might not be enough space for you to even get into a parking lot.



We are so fortunate to be able to have the health and well being to be able to experience it.
Not sure what the next trip has in store for us but I know it will be an adventure worthy of me writing about.





What a great three weeks and some change we have spent with our friends Diana & Chris.  
So very glad we get to share our time together.
Thanks to them for participating in another C&D Adventure.