Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you all had a wonderful day. Our day started about like yesterday with cool temperatures and having to use the furnace in FRED to stay warm, but soon the sun was out and it was another beautiful fall day.

Cooking the side dishesAfter breakfast Anne and her cousin Nancy started back in the kitchen. There was dressing to make, along with sweet potato souffle, English pea casserole, fruit salad, sauteed squash, green beans and asparagus with lots of clean up along the way. There was also a lot of visiting and good times. Anne’s brother Jim picked Mama Ruby up from assisted living and brought her to the house for the day. Later in the morning David and Andrew, Nancy’s sons, arrived from Atlanta. They reported an easy drive this morning. The catching up with each other continued as we worked and laughed together. Jim got busy on the preparation of the turkey and then the frying. Jim has an indoor electric turkey fryer, that he uses outside to avoid the mess in the kitchen. Jim has been using his fryer for several years and can cook a great, moist, flavorful turkey.

Thanksgiving DinnerEverything came together and the seven of us sat down to a feast about 2:00. While we were still at the table Anne’s nephew Tray, his wife Malia and their two children arrived. They had already eaten but had a little with us anyway. It was great to see them. The kids are growing up so fast and we enjoyed hearing what Tray and Malia are doing these days. None of us needed it but after the meal we shared coconut, pumpkin, and pecan pie along with some wonderful brownies a neighbor brought to us. Later in the afternoon Anne’s brother Sonny and his wife Jan stopped by for a visit. So, Mama Ruby had all her kids together for part of the day. She was a happy Mom. It was so good to see her enjoying everyone. She became really tired by about 4:30 and so we took her back to assisted living and got her settled back in there. Praying that she rests well tonight and that we really didn’t get her too tired today. Sonny and Jan were leaving as we returned to Mom’s house and Jim headed back to Atlanta with David shortly after that. Nancy and Andrew are staying the night and will be leaving in the morning as will we. It was in some ways a bittersweet day. It is strange to be at Mom’s house with out her. It was hard to take her back to assisted living and then return to her house without her. But, we are so thankful for our family and wonderful memories made today. It was a good day.

Thanksgiving Preparations

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Today was another brisk fall day. Sunny and fairly warm for a while this afternoon and as long as you weren’t in the wind is was quite nice. In the wind, not so much.

Anne and Nancy working on the puzzleIt was nice to sleep in FRED again last night. Love being in our home on wheels. We and Nancy headed back to assisted living this morning where Mama Ruby wanted us to work on a puzzle that some of the residents have been working on the past few weeks. It is a 1000 piece puzzle with little color contrast that they have been having a hard time working. We worked on the puzzle and visited until the therapist arrived and Mama Ruby had to go to therapy. The three of us remained and continued to work on the puzzle and Max played a little pool since the pool table was just a few steps away from the puzzle table. After therapy and lunch Mama Ruby rejoined us until time for her skilled nursing visit. She and Anne continued to visit, took care of the nursing visit and then it was time for us to go have lunch.

Getting ready for ThanksgivingAfter lunch and a quick return to Aldi for some last minute additions to our Thanksgiving menu, it was back to Mama Ruby’s house to begin the cooking. The rest of the day was spent cooking pies, and cornbread, putting a few Thanksgiving decorations out, and making other preparations for our Thanksgiving celebration tomorrow. Jim arrived from Atlanta shortly before 9:00 after a long hard drive in horrible traffic. Thank you God for his safe travel.

Hope everybody has a wonderful Thanksgiving Day tomorrow. Stay safe and enjoy your time with family and friends. We are thankful to God for all of the family and friends that follow along on our journey, while we are RVing with a purpose. Thanks for your interest, concern, encouragement and prayers this past year.

Moving, Moving, Moving

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Moving back into FRED for a few days
Moving back into FRED for a few days

Sorry we didn’t make a blog entry last night. Everything is okay, we were just really tired. Yesterday was moving day again. Moving back into FRED. We spent the day repacking FRED. Only a short trip this time but still need to reload the refrigerator, freezer and load appropriate clothes. Don’t need near all the usual clothes or tools since we won’t be working a project this time out. We really pushed to get things ready to roll. Randy and Debra drove over from South Carolina arriving about supper time and then we all went over to Juno’s house to prepare for moving furniture and boxes of stuff to Aunt Helen’s today. Debra and Anne are determined that we are going to get that house empty and cleaned before the end of the year. It is such a daunting task to try to figure out what to do with someone’s belongings. We were tired when we got home and just crashed.

Moving Max's mother's stuff from her old house
Moving Max’s mother’s stuff from her old house

Today we met Randy and Debra at 7:00 to continue packing. Sometime after 10:00 we took a trailer load over to Helen’s. We changed out some mattresses, and the couch so that Juno could have some of her things and then Debra and Michelle started decorating the den for Christmas. Randy and Max took some old furniture to the mission in Springville. We unloaded lots of additional pictures and other personal belongings.

Some of the things we found
Some of the things we found while packing. See anything interesting?

It was then 12:30 and time for us to do the final preparations to get FRED moving on down the road. Everything on the checklist was complete and we headed off the mountain in route to Tuscaloosa at 1:30. We drove I-59 to I-459 back to I-59 today because the more direct route through Birmingham is under major construction and the television news yesterday said to avoid “malfunction junction” if at all possible. It was possible and we are glad we actually watched the news yesterday morning. Any snowbirds heading south through Birmingham would be wise to avoid the downtown area. It was an uneventful drive to Tuscaloosa. We parked at Mama Ruby’s and got settled in. Anne’s cousin Nancy arrived a little while later. The three of us made a quick visit with Mama Ruby at the assisted living and then made a stop at Aldi to get the fresh items we need for Thursday. Dinner was at Jason’s Deli. That’s about it for the past two days.

What have we learned? Everyone over the age of 40 needs to quit getting stuff. So, no Christmas presents for anyone over 40. We need to be getting rid of stuff.

Plans Change

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Today started early as most Sunday’s at home do. We had the grits and sausage casserole in the oven then our plans for the day changed with the ring of the phone. The assisted living called and said Aunt Jean needed to be seen by a doctor this morning because of chest congestion and cough. She had a little moist cough Wednesday when we were there visiting but nothing bad. Today she was much worse. So we waited for the casserole to complete the baking, took it to Helen’s and gave it to the angel to have for lunch and headed to the hospital. Fortunately, after her chest x-ray and blood work, the doctor said Jean did not have pneumonia, but did have a nasty case of bronchitis. They gave her a breathing treatment, antibiotic and prescriptions and we were able to take her back to assisted living. Praying she has a speedy recovery.

We missed lunch with the two other ladies but checked in on them a little after they had lunch and they both were doing fine. We did a little work around the house, some laundry and begin getting things ready for next week. Then Barry and Donna contacted us and said that our dear friends Jim and Heather, our former pastor and his wife, were on the mountain for their daughter’s gender reveal party and they invited the four of us to come by. So plans for the day changed again. It was so great to see Jim, Heather, and the rest of their family. We visited and caught up with each other as much as we could. The six of us were quite close when Jim and Heather lived on the mountain. We will always miss them. Oh, Haley and Mason are having a boy.It's a Boy!

What is that saying? “We make plans and God laughs.” Not the day we had planned but it was a great day!

The Star Is On!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

It only went down to 53 last night and high was again in the upper 60s this afternoon. However, it was very cloudy all day. Now at 7:00pm, it is pouring rain with some areas getting 60mph winds. There are trees down in various areas of the county but so far nothing around us. We did pull the slides in on FRED. We are suppose to have a significant drop in temperatures after this front goes through. We shall see.

First thing this morning we headed back out to the star to try to get it ready for the season. Donna and Barry went with us. They have helped us every year for a long time. Things went really smoothly this morning and it only took us about 2.5-3 hours to get the star operational again. Compared to the last time the right of way was cleared this was a breeze. The area around the start was a mess and we had to clear debris from the star but thankfully there was no significant damage. Most of our time was spent in clearing underbrush and vines and replacing bulbs. Thank you so much Barry and Donna. It is so much better to do things like this with you guys. We love you guys.

What the star looks like from Hwy 75 in Remlap
What the star looks like from Hwy 75 in Remlap. (We know it is crooked, but it is going to take many days of work and many dollars to straighten it out. Maybe next year.)

We took a break this afternoon since we have stayed really busy and on task for our to do list this week. Did a little internet surfing and relaxed. Then we did a little more work around the house. We have been praying for our services tomorrow and hope you have too. Have a great weekend.

Time To Check The Star

Friday, November 17, 2017

It was 39 cool degrees this morning with a high in the low 60s. Another pretty day. We worked on FRED cutting new carpet covers for the entrance steps and the drivers section. We know the light berber carpet will show dirt but we had it and now that we have cut this we have a pattern for when we want to replace with a darker carpet and have it bound. This will do for now and didn’t cost us anything. We like that.

Next on the agenda was a reconnaissance hike out to the star. For those that don’t know, there is a huge 80’ high lighted star on a bluff on the side of our mountain – Pine Mountain. It has been there for over 50 years and began as a project of Max’s Mom and Dad’s Sunday school class. It was the idea of Max’s Aunt Sybil after reading an article in Southern Living about a similar star in another state. We have been working on maintaining and lighting the star with various other people for over 30 years now. We called the power company and had the power turned back on and today hiked out to see how it had fared since last January when we cut it off. Unfortunately, the contractor who clears the right-of-way on the high power lines came through and felled trees and brush onto the star, again. Now we know we need to take a lot of tools and supplies with us when we return tomorrow to try to get the star lit. We always try to be ready to turn it on the weekend after Thanksgiving and it remains lit until after the first of the year. We are told that the airlines flying into Birmingham sometimes point out the star to their passengers. We have decided that we really need to find some younger folks to take over this project. Not sure it’s as good a fit for us at 65 as it was at 30. Any volunteers? Hope everyone has a great weekend.


Another Un-Blogworthy Day

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Today’s temperatures were about as usual the past several days, but today was more cloudy. The clouds were okay because Anne drove to Tuscaloosa and back today. We prefer driving on cloudy days.

Anne left shortly after eight to go spend the day with her Mom. Max spent most of the day cleaning inside and outside of the truck. We drove through some road construction on our last trip and picked up a lot of tar that made a mess out of the truck. So, Max spent his day splitting his time between checking on his Mom and working on the truck. The truck now looks good again. Anne’s Mom is doing better. Her spirits have improved and her walking seems better. Praying this continues. That was the short and sweet of our day today.