Happy New Years Eve! Please be careful everyone. We have been hearing fireworks exploding since early afternoon.
Yesterday was a cloudy day with rain scheduled to begin again in the afternoon. We went up to Helen’s and visited with Randy and Debra, Dave and Jennifer until time for church. We had one combined service at 10:00 in the sanctuary. It’s nice to worship in our sanctuary. Pastor Harvey challenged us with three questions that Mary addresses in her ‘Magnificat’ – Luke 1:46-55.
Do you fear God? Are you willing to be a disciple? Do you desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Questions we all need to think about.
After worship we went to see the LOL’s at the nursing home. Randy and the rest of the family were there as well. After visiting a bit, we headed back to the mountain grilled a steak for lunch and then did some more cooking preparing for our travels – baked spaghetti and chicken and dressing casserole. We learned that someone wants to look at Anne’s mom’s house on Monday or Tuesday so we worked hard all afternoon on the final packing.
This morning we were up and moving early because it appeared the rain would hold off until about 1:00, meaning if we were on the road by 10:00 we could get set up in Tuscaloosa without getting wet. Freezer packed, refrigerator packed. Final clothes. On the road by 10:30. No travel problems and the rain began about 30 minutes after we got set up. It’s been raining all afternoon and it continues tonight. Anytime the rain goes down to a drizzle we start hearing fireworks. Then the rain picks back up. We will head back to the mountain tomorrow afternoon. Alabama tags are purchased based on first letter of last name, meaning we have to buy our tags in January. You can’t by them early. So, we will be at the court house when they open Wednesday morning to get our tags, come back to Tuscaloosa hook up the truck and start our 2019 adventures. We are ready!
Today started as a cloudy cool day but cleared as the day went on and we had a little sun. It became a rather pleasant day to be out working in the yard. We had a lot of clean up to do in Aunt Helen’s yard. We moved lots of fallen limbs, trimmed a few limbs away from the roof, cut a few trees that had sprung up in the flower beds too close to the house, repaired a downspout and cut some ivy back. We also cut and moved a few limbs around our house.
We are glad to see some of our ducks have finally returned. We have been watching for them since we came home. This morning when we looked out we found we have a male and female mallard and a male and female hooded merganser. The mergansers are diving ducks. Just when you get the camera focused just right they dive. They are larger than the mallards and leave a much larger wake when they swim. Of course we also saw the deer again today. We see them just about every day and evening. They are not very happy that we have invaded their territory. We think they are like us. Counting the days till we leave again.
We were glad we got to see Randy and Debra and David and Jennifer for a few minutes today. There are here for Debra’s family Christmas. Hopefully we will see them again in the morning for a few minutes.
We survived the storms of yesterday and last night. We had about 5 inches of rain in Blount County. Every time we woke up during the night is was still raining and raining hard. The pond behind the house is of course very muddy with water flowing over the spillway. We were concerned about the driveway and before we left for Tuscaloosa this morning Max walked it to be sure we could get out in the car. The drive actually was in better shape than we expected. It will need a little work with the tractor when it dries out but it was fine for the car. The drive is not going to dry out much before we leave because the rain starts again Sunday. The drive may have to wait til spring.
No problems with water over the roads on the mountain but there are some roads in the county that remain closed due to the rain. We did drive through a little water across Cedar Mount Road this morning and it was still over the road this afternoon. Not much – was safe to drive through – but it was there. Driving Clay-Palmerdale Road there were waterfalls coming down the mountain. Very pretty! Fortunately the rain stopped before we started our drive and the morning wrecks were all cleared from the interstate. Our drive was uneventful going and coming. Nice.
This quick trip to Tuscaloosa was for the purpose of meeting with the estate attorney and signing two deeds. We now know the game plan going forward to finish up the estate business. Hopefully we will wrap things up by the end of January and life will be a little more normal. We will still have real estate to sell but we will be back to handling things ourselves without having to deal with all the estate stuff. Beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Still so much to do but getting there.
The attorney’s office is on the banks of the Warrior River in Tuscaloosa, right on the Riverwalk. So after the meeting, we decided to take a walk. On one section there is an annual Christmas Tree show, Tinsel Trail, sponsored by Tuscaloosa’s One Place, a resource center for families. After the storm and this late in the season, some of the trees were not at their peak but there were some great displays this year. One of our favorites was the plumbing company that built a huge commode which served as the tree stand and then they decorated the tree with little toilet ornaments, plunger ornaments and the like. They won one of the awards. There was also a chiropractor’s tree decorated with bones. We’re glad the ob/gyn office didn’t do a similar thematic tree. The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Office and A barbecue restaurant also had cute trees. Anyway, Tinsel Trail was included in that area of the Riverwalk. We also noticed that the display has grown considerably from when it started a few years ago.
The river walk today reminded us of Lumberton. The river is in flood stage and the water was rising quickly. All the rain from up above Tuscaloosa is flowing that way. We noted on one of the bridges that the water rose about three inches while we were there. Picnic tables in the park on the river’s edge were only accessible on one side unless you wanted to wade. It was an interesting and fun walk.
Today was another beautiful winter day in north Alabama. We have bad weather coming so we really enjoyed today. A lightweight jacket was all you needed today. Looks like we may make it out of Alabama next week without having to winterize Fred. However, we will be sure to take the RV antifreeze with us. We never leave home without it during the winter, even though we hope to be far enough south to not have to worry about freezing up.
This morning we went into Oneonta to take care of banking business. We have, we think, completed the business for Juno’s estate and closed that bank account. Strange feeling.
This afternoon we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and use this day to reorganize all the tools, clean out the truck and repack Fred’s bays. After ten weeks of work in Lumberton, we really needed to take care of this task. Now maybe we can find things once again, at least for the first week of the next project.
We got lots of walking in today too, over 16,500 steps today and 6.5 miles. Now if we can just continue to form good habits.
After making scratch cream soups (chicken, celery and mushroom) with Debra, we decided to try making split-pea soup today. It is an Instant Pot recipe and we really like it. We have been using Alessi brand of mix and doctoring it a little. We decided that it was just too salty and used this recipe to duplicate the Alessi but less salty. Split-pea is certainly not a pretty soup but our adjusted recipe is really good. Another keeper.
Hope everyone has a good week. Strange. Keep having to stop and think about what day it is. Sure seemed like Monday.