Short Travel Day

Monday, December 31, 2018

Today's radarHappy 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!

hanging tree
We saw this dead pine tree hanging from an oak tree. Will probably have to deal with it across the driveway sometime.

Yard Work Day

Saturday, December 29, 2018

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.

Male Hooded Merganser
Male Hooded Merganser

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. Watching the Hooded MerganserThey 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.

Quick Visit To Tuscaloosa

Friday, December 28, 2018

NWS RadarWe 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.

 

Hope you all have a fun weekend.

Like the gas prices
We like the gas prices today

Getting Ready For Another Project

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

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.

Getting ready to travel againThis 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.

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup
It might not be pretty, but it tastes good.

Hope everyone has a good week. Strange. Keep having to stop and think about what day it is. Sure seemed like Monday.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Us
Merry Christmas from Us

Christmas Day, Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas Breakfast
Christmas Breakfast

Today was cloudy and cool all day. But it was a very good day because it was Christmas Day. We started the day with gifts and remembering our gift of salvation, and then we had our Blueberry Baked French Toast that we started last night. This was a new recipe and we decided it was a keeper. We might make a few little changes but it was very good. You really can’t go wrong when you use enough blueberries.

After breakfast went to the nursing home to spend the rest of the morning with Helen and Jean. They seemed to enjoy the visit, so we are glad we could spend part of the day with them. We would have loved to have gotten them out of the facility but neither one is really able to do that anymore.

We got a good deal of exercise today, walking. We are trying to get back to 5-6 miles/day. Haven’t been doing that lately and can tell. After some walking, we prepared our traditional Christmas meal of steamed snow crab legs. They were so good! We don’t do this often so it was treat. Otherwise it was a quiet afternoon with some more exercise and movies.

Hope you made some good memories with your families while celebrating the birth of Jesus.

Beautiful Christmas Eve

Monday, December 24, 2018

Today was a beautiful December day. Definitely jackets required, but nice. We really enjoyed the sunshine. Just makes you feel better. We get these really nice Christmas Eve days fairly often in north Alabama but they are always appreciated. We remember those Christmas Eves and Christmas Days with highs in the teens.

This morning was spent doing more accounting, shredding paper, and mundane stuff like that. Anyone who has done accounting in the past knows that the first of the year you are always behind and we have been working to avoid some of the January long days/nights of work. Wednesday we will be closing one bank account and within another week hopefully another. That will decrease next year’s work a little. Two accounts we won’t have to deal with and balance each month. We are slowly making progress. But today we remembered we still have to prepare one more tax return for both our Moms. Yuk!

After taking some mail to the post office, we decided to hike out to the star to see if we could rappel down to some of the bulbs that can only reached by rope. It was such a nice afternoon for a hike. We were able to replace a few bulbs and Donna just sent us a text saying that she noticed the difference when driving by tonight. She and Barry did most of the work this year. Glad we could contribute a little. We sure need to find some younger people to take over the star. We would be glad to continue to help financially and when in town do some work but we are getting a little too old to be rappelling down the mountain. We are praying God will send someone.

Tomorrow's breakfastThis evening we prepared our Christmas Blueberry Baked French Toast to be ready for breakfast in the morning. It needs to soak overnight. Now we are relaxing and doing a few NOMADS emails. We hope everyone is ready for the celebration of our Lord’s birth tomorrow. In the midst of all the excitement, food, and family, please remember to keep Him the center of your celebration. It will make for a much better day.

Faucet installation
Oops! We failed to post this picture of the kitchen faucet installation yesterday. 🙂

Back at Our Home Church

Sunday, December 23, 2018

We woke up to another gray, damp day. But it rapidly improved since we met Barry and Donna at Huddle House for breakfast before church. Okay, the weather didn’t really improve that much but getting together with them always brightens us up.

LMUMC coverAfter breakfast we attended a wonderful, uplifting and funny service at Lester Memorial UMC. Pastor Harvey started a thought-provoking Christmas message using pictures of his grandson acting as the angel in the nativity. It was hilarious. If you have a few minutes click here to check it out at the church’s Youtube channel.

The rest of the day was spent working on books and taxes and installing a new kitchen faucet at Aunt Helen’s house.