Palm Sunday 2019

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Today was a cool breezy day. Yesterday our high was 85 and today it was 70, with a strong wind this morning. As the day went on we had more sun and less wind. Max watched the weather in Alabama until late last night and then woke up and checked on things several times during the night until he was fairly sure all was okay at home.

Today was the annual joint service with the Hispanic church, about a block from Francis Asbury UMC, Preserve Life church across the street and Francis Asbury. Today the pastor from the Hispanic church brought the message. Several musicians from his church also led us in some praise songs with some of us singing in English and some in Spanish. The pastor was then brave enough to bring the message in English and had one of his church members translated the message to Spanish for his church members. It was the first time for the pastor and the translator and they were great! It was a wonderful time of worship with an excellent meal afterwards. Love seeing the churches working together.

This afternoon we had to get all our tools back into the truck to be ready for work tomorrow, then Mark and Jo invited us to go to Sweetie’s for ice cream. We went by there back in February when we were here and they were closed but Mark said they are back open for the season now. Of course we told Mark and Jo we would love to go to Sweetie’s. We had milkshakes today. So good!! In case you were not reading the blog last year, the owner of Sweeties gives 20% of his sales plus all tips and contributions towards digging water wells in third world countries. He has signs posted indicating the number of wells he and his customers have supplied since he opened in 2012. In 2018 eight new wells were dug in Africa through funds from Sweeties. We got back to the church in time for our 6:00 team meeting where we are visited with our team members and talked about what still needs to be done at the various job sites. Not sure yet what we will be doing tomorrow, but we are sure it will be fun because we are joining a great group.

Back to Baton Rouge, Again

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Thursday was another short travel day. We left the peace of Deerlick Creek campground and returned to Anne’s mom’s house to do another two nights of driveway camping. We did our last morning walk of 4-5 miles and Max cooked us another great breakfast and then about lunch time we headed back into Tuscaloosa. Back to the traffic, sirens, and did we mention traffic. It took just a few minutes to setup since we were leaving again on Saturday. We decided to hike the greenway down to get our last milkshake for a few weeks.

Friday we had business to take care of in Oneonta so we were back on I-20 back to Birmingham and then Oneonta. After taking care of the banking business we visited with Aunt Jean and Aunt Helen. They were having a good day and both were cheerful although as usual somewhat confused. Helen was a little more talkative at first but shortly was back to seeming withdrawn. Sad. Uppity TurkeysWe had errands to run for the ladies and then met Donna for lunch, made one last check on the houses and headed back to Tuscaloosa to finish a little laundry other last minute items. This time the turkeys just ignored us when we came home.

Screenshot_2019-04-13-18-18-25This morning we were up early and on the road by 6:15 headed back to Baton Rouge. The weather is looking nasty for the weekend but it looked like we could make it to Baton Rouge before things got bad. If we waited it out in Tuscaloosa, we would probably have to drive down late Sunday. We didn’t like that idea so we were up before 5:00. It was a much easier drive than we expected. We had intermittent light rain but nothing heavy. The wind became stronger the closer we got to Baton Rouge so we were glad we got an early start. We were parked and set up before 2:00.  It is so great to see friends we haven’t seen in a year and excited we will get to spend some time with them this week.    By 3:30 the winds were really howling at 30mph. The storms arrived about 5:30 and it’s still raining as we write this blog at 7:30. It doesn’t appear we are going to have anything dangerous. We are very concerned about our friends and family back in Alabama because it looks much worse there. We are thankful we can still get our Birmingham stations our our satellite TV so we can follow everything. Praying for the storms to calm and safety for everyone. Also praying for the joint services here at Francis Asbury UMC. We will celebrate Palm Sunday with the primarily hispanic church down the street and the primarily black church across the street tomorrow. Looking forward to a wonderful service. Y’all stay safe!

“Camping” Day

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Monday was a very rainy, stormy day. It was a stay at home, and sleep late kind of day. Good sleeping weather. There were two small tornadoes in Blount County that caused at least one injury and a good bit of damages. Max, of course, watched the storms carefully and one of the storms that became a tornado in Blount came close but just to the north of us. We were able to do our walking during breaks in the storms, but we didn’t venture out on the trails due to the mud and not getting too far from Fred.

Finally saw a tug and coal barges on Tuesday
Finally saw a tug and coal barges on Tuesday

Tuesday started with more rain which lasted longer than we expected. Finally, by the afternoon things finally started looking better and we were able to get outside again. We were able to sit out by the water and enjoy the sights and sounds; lots of birds, and squirrels. We have seen just a few deer this time. Last fall we saw were herds. We went toward town to the Publix to pick up a few BOGOs and mail a letter that needed to go out. Really nice to have a small, clean, up to date campground, where you really feel like you are way out in the woods but is really only about 15 minutes from a great grocery store.

Grilling chicken and veggiesToday we woke up to some fog on the water but it burned off quickly and then it was a beautiful almost summertime day. Our high was 88 with a light breeze. We were able to get lots of hiking/walking and it just felt so good to relax and enjoy the beauty. We found some beautiful native azaleas in full bloom right along the waterfront. In the afternoon we got the grill back out and grilled some chicken and veggies. We had some mac and cheese with it and finished it off with ice cream sundaes. We sat outside on the deck and read, watched the traffic on the river and visited with others in the campground. Anne did some NOMADS work part of the day but other than that we just relaxed. It was a real “camping” kind of day. Wonderful! We have met some really nice people here and everyday we have gotten to tell people the NOMADS story. Who knows? We might get some new members.

Early Morning

Sunday, April 7, 2019

We started today very early. We were out of bed at 4:00 am and on the road back to Oneonta at 5:00. We met our dear friends Donna and Barry for breakfast before early church. This will be our last time to worship with our friends at Lester Memorial for about six weeks so it was definitely worth the effort to attend. We had a good time visiting with Donna and Barry and then had another great time of worship. Our praise band seems to be just getting better and better under Chase’s leadership and Pastor Harvey’s messages are always such a blessing and today was no exception. The services are streamed each week on YouTube (link) so you might want to listen in sometime. We are so glad we can listen when we are on the road.

After Sunday School, we spent some time with the Aunts and then checked on Aunt Helen’s house and then our house to be sure there was no damage from last night’s storm. Thankful we found no problems at either place, we headed back to Deerlick Creek in Tuscaloosa County. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and we took advantage of it, walking over 7.5 miles today. The dogwood trees are in full bloom in the woods, as are some other things we can’t identify. The trees are all greening up and the grass is too. Spring time in Alabama. Love it! We forgot to tell you, we keep cameras around the house. When we check them, we find we have a lot of visitors. The deer are no longer afraid to come right up to the garage including a couple of really nice bucks. Along with the coyotes, turkeys, raccoons, possums, rabbits and squirrels we have also had a bobcat, a fox, and a river otter. So cool! We know there has been a sighting of a black bear on the mountain. It sure would be nice to get a picture of a bear. That’s it for today. We are going to have another storm come through tonight or tomorrow so everyone stay safe.

American Brown SnakeWhen we returned to Deerlick Creek we were greeted by this little fellow near our doorstep. It is imaginatively named a “brown snake” and is common in most of the south. Most people have never seen one because it is usually less than 12″ long when fully grown and spends most of its time hiding under debris on the forest floor. This one was only about 8″ long. We shooed it off the pavement so we wouldn’t accidentally step on it.

Change of Scenery

Saturday, April 6, 2019

We moved today. We have been in Tuscaloosa parked in Mama Ruby’s driveway for almost two weeks. We have not been blogging very much because we have been working non-stop on the family business and the little old ladies (LOL’s – remember they came up with this name not us). There was a lot of paperwork to do for the LOL’s as well as the filing of their tax returns. Glad to say that is all done. We visited the post office yesterday and mailed it all. YEA!! We have also completed the accounting work for the businesses, Max’s mom’s final tax return and all our taxes. Fred is also clean. Of course it is now raining so he may have to get another rinse off but that’s okay. Max also cooked some great meals while Anne was busy with the accounting.

Our new view at Deerlick Creek campground. Our regular blog followers might recognize this a the same site we were in last year.
Our new view at Deerlick Creek campground. Our regular blog followers might recognize this a the same site we were in last year.

We celebrated with a dinner at the Texas Road House. We enjoyed the salmon and ribs and the line dancing by the servers. We went back to Oneonta yesterday to visit with the LOL’s and now we are at Deerlick Creek COE campground looking out over the Warrior River. We are just slightly upstream from the Holt Dam so we can watch the tugs and barge traffic. It is so quiet and peaceful here. Very nice after the noise of Tuscaloosa. Tuscaloosa is beautiful in the spring and we have really enjoyed everything in bloom along the greenway which we walked every day but this Corps of Engineers park out in the woods, on the water and only 41 sites is much more to our liking. We will get a few days of relaxation before heading back to Baton Rouge next week. Hope you all have a great weekend. Remember to be in prayer for all the worship services tomorrow. May we all have ears to listen to the Word.

Pollen on the pond behind our house. No wonder we are still having allergy symptoms.
Pollen on the pond behind our house. No wonder we are still having allergy symptoms.

A Good Week In Tuscaloosa

Friday, March 29, 2019

Spring flowersToday was another beautiful spring day in Tuscaloosa. Tuscaloosa is in full bloom. Azaleas, star magnolias, dogwoods – all the trees full bloom. We are having the typical weather – cool enough to need a little heat to knock the chill off in the morning and then Fred wants a little air by 2-3:00 and then a light blanket again at night. It’s great!

What have we been doing this week. Working. Max thinks he needs to go back on project to get some rest. He has been doing the spring cleaning on the exterior of Fred. Everything is nice and clean now and the wheels and mirrors are bright and shiny. However, within a couple of hours of Max washing and treating the roof the pollen had collected in a thick layer on the roof. Guess we may have to rinse it off again in a couple of weeks when the pollen count declines. At least we are accustomed to this pollen and we can still breathe.


Anne has been working on accounting. There was all the business books to complete as well as tax returns for both the moms, the two aunts and our personal return. She is making good progress but will be really glad when she has it all completed. We have been getting in some good walks each day and have only been to Cookout for shakes twice. We did take a little break this afternoon and got our passport pictures made. Our passports expire in about 6 months so it’s time to get them renewed. We would love to go to the Canadian Maritimes, maybe back to Alaska, maybe other far away places. We also did a little shopping while we were out. Other than visiting with some of the neighbors, that’s about it for our week. Hope you had a good one.

Red Bay to Tuscaloosa

Monday, March 25, 2019

Yesterday we went to church at First United Methodist in Red Bay. We have gone there a couple of times before and are always made to feel welcome. Scott and Teresa, the other NOMADS couple at the Tiffin Service Center attended the service with us.  In the afternoon we went to the Red Bay Museum where a former state representative from the Red Bay area was unveiling a new exhibit of Native American artifacts, some of which were uncovered in archeological digs on his property.  While there we looked through the rest of the museum. The town is very proud of the Tammy Wynette room. Tammy was born in Tremont, Mississippi – just a few miles down the road. It is a really well done museum.

New theater seating with side cabinets
New theater seating with side cabinets

We were expecting to sit in Red Bay today and just wait on our cabinets to be ready tomorrow, but we got the call about noon that they were ready to be installed. Installation took about 2.5 hours. Then we headed to Tuscaloosa, carefully watching the weather. Even with the predicted risk of severe weather we had nice weather the whole way. The only time we got rained on was while hooking up the truck before we left.


Back in TuscaloosaWe are now safely driveway camping again in Tuscaloosa.

Cookout againOf course, one of the first things we did after getting set up was walk to Cook Out for milkshakes.