Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Grown-up Christmas List...

No more lives torn apart...
That wars would never start ...
And time would heal all hearts ...
Everyone would have a friend ..
And right would always win...
That love would never end,
This is My Grown-up Christmas List.
You've heard the song, I'm sure....written by David Foster and performed so beautifully by Michael Buble (and many others!). I just LOVE Christmas music and this song seems to say what we all wish for every day....and all the things that we wish for others.
We sure wish all of these things for you in the coming year, along with smooth trails and sunny, blue skies, and we wish you a joyful and blessed Christmas season!
HUGS and much love to all!!
P.S. That's a grown-up Christmas photo above...Christmas Eve on the beach in Rio de Janiero (2006) Santa really got it right in that one!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'm dreaming of a Blue Christmas....

Yes, indeed, I know....where the sun is shining and the skies are bright blue....and the weather is WARM! "Christmas Island" is my favorite Christmas carol!

I'm nothing, if not a warm weather gal!! And the weather here in Florida has been sooooo goood! In the upper seventies every day with pretty blue skies...oh my! such a thing to be grateful for!!!

However, it looks like that is going to change.... those blue skies are going to be gray for a couple of days, and the stuff falling is NOT's just clear and wet!! :( Oh well, it makes that drive North next week not quite so shocking to the system!!!

It's been a busy time here at Florida Grande...Monday we had a great visit with buds Paul and Connie and we split the winnings....well, we let the guys win once, in our not-so-famous card games!

Paul tries to steal our "golden lucky horseshoe"!!!

On Tuesday Jo and Pete Peters hosted a Christmas gathering in Lakeland which was really fun!!! And then there are the parades and all the other little "gatherings", usually involving food or "Happy Hours", that are ever-so-much MORE fun in WARM weather!!!

Could that be Jo Peter's best side???

Warming our hands over the "mock" camp fire!!

You know, snow really is way over-rated!! Watching the Christmas Parade is GREAT when it is WARM!! I could still feel my toes when Santa brought up the end.....and even better, I was wearing Flip-flops!!!

"Here Come's Santa Claus"...sounds so much better at 80 degrees!

So we have a little more fun planned, and a gathering at Sleepy Hollow on Saturday before we leave the "Blue" skies here and head North to see the kiddies for Christmas.
Put another log on the fire for us, please!!! :) And make my Christmas tree....... a Palm!:)

I'll still be dreaming of that warm, blue Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Aberdeen to Webster

Rain and more seems to be raining, snowing or blowing most everywhere!! We've been in Aberdeen, NC for most of this week. I went back to Catonsville with Tiff and Scott after Thanksgiving and spent some nice days with them. We decorated the house for Christmas and I cooked supper for them several was nice just to spend time together. I took the train back to Ashland and we left the Farm the next morning, heading to Aberdeen, NC.
Aberdeen was fairly warm the first few days, then the storm brought us more rain and cooler temps....brrrrr....I don't do cold too well!!

So, today we're heading South!!! It was 79 degrees when we hit South Carolina....I was jumping for joy!!! Tonight, we're in Georgia and it's still 74 at 11:00 PM. Yay! Tomorrow will find us back in Webster, FL to warm our bones for a little while!!! There is more rain in the forecast....but at least it's warm rain!!

Sunday afternoon Dee and Jim drove down to Aberdeen for a visit. We had a nice time chatting and enjoyed dinner together... tomorrow they travel to pick up their new 5er...what an exciting time for them!! Can't wait to hear about their new adventures!!!

Hugs to everyone...enjoy every day!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 much to be grateful for

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! It's good to have a "thankful" time of year, even though we should be giving thanks every single day!

Thanksgiving has always been just about my favorite holiday... we always went to Momma's for the big Feast, with the girls and grandgirls, and families. Mom cooked for days on end and had everybody's favorites....she made the best stuffing ever (doesn't everyone's mum make the best stuffing? :))! In her later years, when she was too weak to do such cooking, she would still cook for days....but she let us bring something and help cook, too. Those were such fun times with good, fond memories! But just like life, things change and those grand, old family Thanksgiving's evolve into new traditions.

"Grannie's Girls"

Last year I truly learned to be grateful for my family and what it means to me. And I do mean that I REALLY LEARNED it, and I will never forget it. God uses people and circumstances to teach us things....He used Kristy to touch my heart in a way that nothing ever has.

Now, I am one of the original Steel Magnolia' know...."Just put on your big girl panties and deal with it"...and I hate to cry. It makes my makeup run and my eyes get all red and swollen....and it really upsets Bob. But being with Kristy last year opened up the faucet in my eyeballs, and it's still tough to think of her, and all she went through, and keep my eyes dry. I never knew that tears could come so easily.

All of this to say that Thanksgiving will forever be changed for me. Not just losing her on Thanksgiving Day, but because of her, I am so grateful for my family...for Bob and Tiff & Scott, and Paul & Katie, and my sisters and their families. I've always known that they were wonderful, and what a blessing they were, but I guess it's too easy to take it for granted. And sometimes God will use a special someone to teach us something that we need to learn. He used Kristy to teach me so many things...she was such a brave girl in the face of her illness, and she loved her kids and her family so very much. I will forever be grateful for all that she taught me in the twilight days of her too-short life, and I am especially grateful for my family and friends that share both "holidays" and "every days" with me, and mean so much to me...there is truly, so much to be grateful for!

Hugs to each and everyone of you and I hope you have a grateful and blessed Thanksgiving.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Bear...Oh My!

October is almost a memory now....not sure where all the days have flown, but they certainly have a way of doing so.

The route from Celina to Virginia was a beautiful one...we traveled East across West Virginia, through Clarksburg, took Route 33 East, thru Seneca Rocks, and crossed the Appalachians to Harrisonburg, VA. The leaves were lovely in the higher elevations, and the views were amazing. Much of Route 33 is designated a National Scenic By-way, and it's easy to see why.

The climbs were rather steep at times...I think we climbed three mountains, the last and tallest being Shenandoah. Just as we rounded a hairpin curve, we both yelled, "Ahhhh, Bear!", and sure enough, a big bear, Oh my! was bounding across the road in front of us. He scampered over the rail and raced off into the woods...I grabbed the camera and snapped away, but got only trees and road! Just around the next curve was a tiny fawn, grazing beside the road....sure hope it didn't end up as dinner for the bear!!

We truly enjoyed this drive thru the mountains and would take this route again...anything to avoid I77 Southbound thru West Virginia...the Turnpike there is one of the worst roads we've been on....well, not that Virginia has cut its Transportation budget so drastically, our roads are getting even worse!! Oh well....

Norah and Howie followed our route a few days later and we met them in Richmond spending a few days there at the Elks Lodge...great "Campground" there, right off I 295, for any of you that are Elks!

We then headed to the River, and spent a few days there, sowing fertilizer and grass seed on the lot....whew! that was a lot of work!! We shared a little Oyster Roast on the Island before we left, eating lots of roasted oysters and fresh fish for a few days!!!

Then it was on to the Farm, to help Paul do a few farm chores before it gets cold. So, we have settled into our little routine here in Montpelier....the boys dream up all the projects to get started on, and I fix supper most nights. It's always good to be here with the kids and spend some time with them.

Last weekend we headed North to Lancaster, PA and the Amish country, to spend some time with Tiff and Scott...gosh, it's sweet to see them!

And we've seen Kristy's kids...they are doing pretty well, all things considered. I'm proud of all of them, and their Mom would be too. Last year at this time, I was busy heading to the hospital each day to care for Kristy....bittersweet days.

We'll head West this weekend to Roanoke and an old timey Farm Auction at my Aunt Jenny's. We'll see my sisters, then head on South and West thru Tennessee and North and South Carolina, where we'll end up at the condo in Myrtle Beach. Busy days ahead! Hugs to everyone!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

More Rally good memories!

A few more good memories of Celina and Nick's Rally....

Since there are always too many meals and too much food, some of the gals found it necessary to "peddle" the leftovers.......

...Kathy and Donna are seen above enticing an arriving motorhome to partake of the breakfast leftovers.....they were pretty successful!! :)

And it was suggested recently in a comment in Nick's Blog, by a Non RV'er, that we RV'ers are "holdover flower children with gray hair and tie-dye clothes" here you go...........

Donna models her version of the "tie-dyed shirt"..... and most of us do a pretty good job of hiding the grey hair....not too sure about the flower child part...but we sure are having fun! Some people JUST DON"T GET IT!!! Thanks Donna for making that tie-dyed stuff look good!!!

Now it wasn't all fun and games and eating....well, it was A LOT of that, but the seminar schedule was full and interesting!! Chris and Jim Guld, of Geeks on Tour, presented their usual informative sessions on computer usage for the traveler! I always learn something new and enjoy their presentations. There were also cooking classes, seminars on volunteering in State and Federal Parks, and lots more. There was even one on "The First 48 hours After Death".....I didn't attend this one...not sure where they're getting their info from!! :)

A few photos of some of the folks who were there.......

Chuck and Kathy....

Rich and Mary

Terry and Rick

Donna and Kieth

Deb and Russ

Linda and Ron
There is always lots to look forward to when it's time for a Rally....and always a little sad when we depart...but we know it won't be long until we're meeting again; there's always a Gathering or a Rally or a Reunion in the works. Thanks for the memories guys!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Neither Wind nor Rain....can stop a Dutch Oven dinner

Now that the Rally is history, there is a little time to reflect on it and to remember the fun things that we enjoyed!!!

A highlight was the Dutch Oven Dinner that Bob and Barb planned for our group. They first introduced us to this fun way of cooking two years ago at Darlington, but we've never really done it the correct they got the pots all stacked up with the appropriate amount of coals on each pot.....

.....there was a Pineapple Upside Down Cake in one pot....a pot with Baked Potato with a delectible Chocolate Molten Cake.........

.....and one with a big pot of Donna's Texas Chilli........

...and, there were many other mouth watering dishes to go along with these treats!

The Dutch Ovens are ready to be opened and served!

There had been rain on and off all day, but that did not deter our cooks...or our eaters!!! A couple of the guys decided that they "needed" some of those pop-up after a trip to Wal-Mart, we had a couple of those and a screen tent to cook in..... we marched on despite the weather!! Mother Nature actually co-operated with us and the rain cleared off and the breeze died down for about two hours while everyone devoured the feast out of the Dutch Ovens!

Cooking in the Dutch Ovens, with the coals carefully placed under and on top of the kettles is an interesting and delicious science!! Barb and Bob tutored us as they cooked, then served up a mouth watering main course of Chilli, Potatoes, Spoon Bread and more....and topped it off with that hot molten chocolate cake with ice cream AND a hot Pineapple Upside Down cake that Dee and Paul created. That old cliche, "It doesn't get any better than this" is very appropriate here....because it just doesn't!!!

Thanks to Barb and Bob for the Dutch Oven cooking night!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The things we do at a Rally....

What do we do at a Rally?

Well, we ladle up things like Hobo or Wondering Stew (in case you're wondering what we put in it).........

the gals sit on the "mat" and discuss very important things (absolutely NO gossip allowed here !:)).....

...we electrocute unsuspecting flies with high voltage flyswatters..... hold the power cord whilst the MH gets repositioned........

....just how many men does it take to hold that cord?..........

...."c'mon back" an often heard term at Rally parking lots.........

.....lots of things get "fixed" at Rallies....just open the cover to any engine and at least three men will magically appear........

......we sit ANYWHERE while we work on the Fresh Water Brigade...filling everyone's water tanks..........

.....we tell a few "tall tales' each evening...... How big was it, Bob?

...some of us wear unusual hair styles........

Have you seen this woman? If so, call 1-800-LOCK-U-UP!!!!

.....and even more interesting hats and wigs!!!......

......and that's just a few of the things we do!!!

Just good old-fashioned fun...with the wagons gathered 'round and the campfires blazing!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Camp Duncan, Elkhart Indiana

Whew, September is flying by....there were almost two weeks spent in Elkhart at Camp Duncan (Duncan RV Systems and Repair) having "things" done to the Motorhome. The girls in the office make us feel so welcome and the guys in the shop take good care of us too...they treat you so well, it is a joy to be there in their little campground.

Bill, one of the Technicians, lives on Birch Lake in Michigan and he invited us to go home with him one night! Well..... YES, we want to come!!! Norah and Howie were also getting things done at Duncan so we made the thirty minute drive up to the lake and Bill put us all in the boat for a sunset cruise on his pretty lake!!

One of the "cottages" on Birch Lake

Bill, Camille and Amanda

Despite being up early every day, so the techs could take our rigs into the shop, we had a terrific time in Elkhart. Norah was redecorating her rig, so we spent many fun days shopping for her new sleeper, chair rail, rugs and fabrics. We made visits to our favorite Amish wood worker, Carlisle Lehman, to have new oak valances installed for them and ate untold wonderful meals together. Breakfasts at the Bravo Cafe and Amish Do-nuts and coffee in Middlebury and Shipshewana were a regular routine!!! Then we had to walk off the calories and play some cut-throat games of Hand and Foot every evening!!!

Howie's Birthday dinner ...Hey, where's Howie?

The Motorhome made it into the paint booth to get some little "blems" or boo-boo's removed and Bob was a happy guy. They have a first class, state-of-the-art paint bay at Duncan, and Vinnie, the lead paint tech is amazing. They worked until after 10 PM on the MH on Monday evening, just to have it ready for us to leave on Tuesday.

Bob is "inspecting" in the Paint Booth!!

We got our items finished up, and along with Norah and Howie, made up our little convoy on Tuesday, heading to Celina for the Gypsy Journal Rally. Arriving around 4 PM it was great to be greeted by Nick and Ron and Brenda, then Keith and Donna had our spots waiting for us in the Back Forty! John and Doni, Linda and Ron, and Barb and Bob were already there also, so we got parked and set up....ready to start the pre-Rally and have some fun!!! Donna made a huge Lasagna for everyone and so we had to.....what else???.....EAT!!! It was a great beginning to a fun Rally!!
We just love this area of the country, and love these folks and good friends... we are grateful, and looking forward to this Rally week or so!!! Even though there is some rain in the forecast, it will be a good time together!! Hugs to everyone...wish you all were here!! :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Vanilla Fields forever.......

Do you remember the fragrance of your mother? When I was a little girl, my mother smelled distinctly of White Shoulders….later on it was Chanel No.5….but for the last twenty or more years, it was Vanilla Fields. I came to associate the smell of Vanilla Fields with all things “grandmotherly”, as she was a wonderful “Grannie”, and always came surrounded with that gentle hint of Vanilla Fields.

One of her “things” that I kept was some of this fragrance from her stash in the bathroom cabinet, and every now and then I will dab it on and start the day out smelling just like my mom. Mom has been gone a year now, and in her honor this week I am wearing Vanilla Fields. Just a tiny bit, as I want it to last forever, so that it can be worn every year in her memory.

Who knows...perhaps if I become a grandmother some day, I might create a stash of Vanilla Fields in my bathroom cupboard also. It’s a lovely smell to remember, and a sweet reminder of an amazing lady and mother.

I do miss my mother…..and if you see me this week, you might catch a whiff of her precious Vanilla Fields.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Island Party.....and the moon over the river

Donna and Molly are ready for the Up Island Party and Clam Bake on Tami's porch!

Labor Day week brought glorious weather and good friends to the river! Keith and Donna Green arrived from Lufkin, Texas to stay a few days and enjoy the Up Island Clam Bake here on Pearson's Island. We have had so many good times with them.....and were so happy they could partake of the river festivities this week! Of course, that meant they got to be "helpers" in all the prep counting tomatoes and fresh sweet corn, and taking trash to the dump, setting up the "Pot Farm" and countless other little tasks that go into putting the Clam Bake together!

Of course, in between all of these things, there was time for sharing Blueberry wine, campfires, and dinner at Good Eats, cook-outs and Crab melts and just "wandering" around the Island, and enjoying lots of beautiful sunsets.....and even my very favorite thing....full moon-rises over the river!! Yes, indeed, we even got to work on our moon tans almost every the moon was full and large and bright as it rose over the water every evening.

Here at the river, we can tell the season by the position of the sunrise and sunset, and also by the moon rising, and where it "hangs" over the river at night. Many nights the bright full moon would awaken me from my sleep, as it dropped low into the Southern sky in wintertime. We knew that summer was waning and autumn on the way, as the sun reached it's most westerly position (June 21) and began it's reversal to the South. Likewise, in the winter, we eagerly awaited the solstice, knowing Spring and Summer will follow soon. There's a new sunset photo with the September sunset at the top of the blog.

And here is my best attempt, without a tripod, of that elusive moon rising over the river.... are Donna, Keith and Bob, slightly stuffed at Good Eats

A peek at Bob in his "Pot Farm" as he prepares the Clam Bake.....

...and the finished product...the Clam Bake is dumped and ready to devour....

Linda's lovely setting for the appetizers.....
Rick and Tami were our gracious hosts and in charge of most of the beverages, paper products, much of the set up and decorating and a million other things, and neighbors Linda and Charlie Moore provided amazing appetizers, Margaritas, tents and tables, as well as lovely table decorations and too many other things to name!! Bob and I were in charge of the Clam Bake, so he set up his "Pot Farm" and went to work!!
It was another delightful day with good Island folks to celebrate and enjoy the last feast of the summer together.

Mike, Rick, Bob...Tami modeling her "grass lei skirt" and Kay

You may visit Keith's blog at
He was more diligent than I, and has documented this last wonderful week of summer quite well!
I must have been busy chasing the clams!! :-)

It's been such a joy having Donna and Keith here this week....we sure hope they'll find their way this far East again!! Hugs to everyone....looking forward to seeing a bunch of you in Celina very soon!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Middle ground...and 'nuff said!

Well, there were some great responses to the question asked in the last blog, and I am truly grateful to everyone who commented or took the time to email me with good so many instances the "middle ground" is much broader than we recognize, and many of us are not nearly so far apart in our thinking as it might on the surface seem. "Walking a mile" in each others shoes is important if we are to understand different ideals. This was the reason for my question, as I knew that there were lots of folks with interesting stands. :)

We've also had some great debates here on the island this weekend with our much loved liberal and conservative friends...and while sharing a glass of wine or two.....we all acknowledged that it's good to get the discussions going in an understanding manner...and that in the scheme of things, we're all still buddies enjoying enjoying the river breeze and late summer sunsets. Hey...maybe we should all go to Washington....we could probably get something done if we took the Blueberry wine with us!
Hugs to everyone and 'nuff said!

Friday, August 28, 2009

How do you become a "liberal"?..

This has been the latest topic of discussion for Bob and I during the did we become "Republicans"...with more or less conservative values, and how did others... become liberal (more or less) "Democrats"? Well, it was somewhat easy for us...our parents were die hard, dyed-in-the-wool Republicans....and we both feel that "personal responsibility" is where it stops and starts. Having said that, we don't care what color you are, what country you hail from, or even what your personal preferences still have an obligation to be personally responsible for yourself, your dependants and your choices. Having said that, we don't feel that we should be made to pay the price for anyone else's LOUSY choices in life, nor them for ours. On the other hand, we do feel a moral and personal obligation to contribute to those who have a mental or physical deficit, that is not reversable, and strive, with pleasure, to fulfill this obligation. We do not, however, subscribe to the theory of "transfer of wealth", which removes both the choice and the personal joy of helping others.

Since we are, more or less, moderates, we thought it would be very interesting to have the conversation about " liberal" vs "conservative" values, with some of our very dear liberal friends...yes, indeed, we do have some of those...lots of them, in fact, and we think the world of them. Now, I won't name names, as I sure don't want to embarass any of those liberals by naming them here, in this, most famous and widely read blog! :)

In so many instances, we feel that many of the disadvantaged are "disenfranchised" by the very politicians who dangle the carrot of "entitlement" services before them. Is this a ploy by the same politicians to remain in power and retain "job security"? We can only wonder about this! But for the educated and informed "liberals' did you get there? How did you decide that any government power could and should transfer your wealth to others who have made different choices in their lives, resulting in a, perhaps, less than satisfactory life style? (In this statement, please let me say that we specifically exclude those with a true disability or impairment, in which instance, "choice" does not apply...the hand they were dealt was flawed in the womb or by other irreversible instance)

How can one choose any form of socialized policies, whereby your own concious choices and enhanced work ethic, provided you with a different lifestyle than that of others? Did you work harder or smarter? or use your resources more wisely? Did you save and sacrifice, while others were spending and playing? And if so, why must you pay the penalty for those who did not choose to do so, or perhaps, did not have the mental tenacity to further themselves in the same manner? How does this influence personal growth and incentives for betterment? Increased levels of expectations?

It often seems that it is the "conservatives" who are "giving" their tenth to charities and Churches, giving their time and talents for the betterment of the disadvantaged, most often doing it "quietly" (without a lot of fanfare), while the "liberals" are mandating "entitlements" that are paid for with "someone else's money", diluting the work ethic and ingenuity that made this the great country that it once was. And, yes, that was the past tense intended.

Does where you spent your formative years, or earned your livelihood, make a difference? Is there something different seen in the South, or the Mid-West, inside the Beltway, in Southern California or upstate New York, that shapes your mindset?? I think that this does, indeed, make a huge difference in how we view the "entitlements" and the process. Would my mindset be different if I had grown up in Long Island? The answer, is yes, I think. Having been blessed to travel all over the world and to spend much time in many areas of this country, we have seen first-hand the different mind-sets and circumstances that we all bring to the table. Just think, I might be a left wing, Yellow Dog Democrat, if only I weren't born in the South and raised by my Republican Momma and Daddy! Well..... maybe not! :)

How many moderates are put off by a dogged "Republican" social policy....forcing theological dictates on the masses? It would be most interesting to know the answer to this question. How much does the issue of "Choice" play in this matter? I've no clue what the answer is! Oh, but what debates can come of these topics with our friends on both sides of the aisle!!

For those who would choose to remove "God" from the can you entertain any issue of "right or wrong", "entitled" or not...if there is no supreme being guiding your conscience? Who, then, gave you the abililty to discern between your "right or wrong", or any right to intervene on your own or any one else's behalf? If there is no "supremeness or Godliness" then how can there be any sense of wrong, or disenfranchisement? What or who, would be the dictator?

At heart, we are truly fiscal conservatives, and mostly political moderates. We absolutley disagree with Socialism (remember Margaret'll soon run out of other people's money). We are also "live and let live", non-judgemental folks...we don't expect anyone to think like we do...nor do we think that anyone else should expect us to think as they do.....and most especially, they should not expect us to pay for their way of life or their way of thinking, nor do we expect anyone else to sustain our lifestyle!!

No one is ENTITLED to is not always fair and if you think it should be, then you just as well get over that now, because it just ain't so! To a great degree, we make our own "luck", based on the choices we make in life. (The Parent Lottery is a discussion for another day!) We strongly believe in "Providence", but we need to recognize and co-operate with it!

Why all of this rambling today?? Mostly because we have been doing so much soul searching and conversing about the current state of affairs "inside the Beltway" associated with "Health Care Reform". I could write volumes about our concerns, ideas and opinions about this heated topic, but, in it's basic form, it all really comes back to the things I've just said.

Am I my brother's keeper? Absolutely, but whatever have I accomplished if I allow him to pull me down into the gutter with him, because he refuses to pull himself up? Nothing. The difference is that there are now two people in the gutter!

So, now will someone please tell do you become a "liberal"? I am genuinely most interested in this answer??

Monday, August 24, 2009

Camp "Run Amok"

Monday found us heading South, towards Catonsville, Maryland to spend a few days with Tiff and Scott. The route we follow is West of the coast, once we traverse Massachusetts, avoiding the I-95 corridor thru Connecticut and New York City, following I-295, I-84, I-81, and I-83, thru the Catskills and Poconos, and to I-695 down near Baltimore.

Patapsaco State Park is just a couple of miles from Tiff's home, so the plan was to stay there a few days. We knew that there was a bridge only 11"4 restricting the entry to the Park from the East side of Route 40, so a little past 4:30, we stopped at a large PetSmart lot in Catonsville and unhooked the toad, so Bob could drive past the park, make a big U-turn and use the West entry. However, there was a HUGE sign at the West entry also, warning of the 11'4 entrance (I didn't remember seeing the sign on the West side) I bypassed it again, in the car, and Bob followed me back to the PetSmart parking lot once again. He hopped in the car and we drove back to the park to check out the entry. My memory was correct, we could have entered from the West side....don't know why that sign is there??....we decided to check in, since we were there, so after waiting 30 minutes for the Park "Stranger" to show up at the entrance, and waiting another 20 minutes for him to find his passcode to the computer system, and another 20 minutes to register us, we finally got a site!! So back again to the MH waiting at the PetSmart, West on Route 40 past the Park for one more motorhome U-Turn...we finally entered the Park around 6:45 PM!! Frustration was setting in by this time, but we got a good chuckle over the thick black line representing the many trips back and forth over the same route, that Lola (the GPS) was showing on our route between Catonsville and the State Park!

Patapsaco is a large and lovely wooded park..... but a little tight for a 40 footer, so we had to grease the MH to get around the park loop to our site....which, Bob....ooops..... missed, and drove by the first time around!!! Of course, the entire park knew this because I was behind him blowing the horn and waving like crazy, trying to stop him before he bypassed it!! Oh well, he just got to drive that tight little loop again!!!! :) I would have driven in front, but I'd had to park the car and go punch in the entry code for the gate, so he could drive the MH thru.....this put me to his rear!! He got it backed in while I held the small trees out of the way!!! We DID laugh about this!! :)
We were finally parked in "Camp Run Amok" for a few days with the kids, but it was after 7 PM! By this time we were really hungry and just a little stressed..... the kids pulled up in the car so we hopped in with them and went to Ellicott City for dinner! It was great to see them....and the two or three stressful hours were quickly forgotten!! Yay....a couple of days to spend a little time with Scott and Tiff, and little oggie doggie, Dixie!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lobstah Rally at the Pumpkin Patch

Well, the SKP's Chapter 3 Lobster Rally was a lot of fun! These Mainer's really know how to do a Rally! There were plenty of Haddock Chowder and Lobstahs, plus Happy Hours.....along with an interesting Wine tasting by the nearby Winterport Winery, featuring blueberry and cranberry wines that were amazing! Norah & Howie and Bob & I paid a visit to the folks at Winterport Winery and you just might see some Blueberry wine at the next Happy Hour! You will be very surprised at just how good it is....we were! (Perhaps Norah will share HERS!) :)

Here you see Jane Sloan getting her steamed corn from Bob's basket.......

.....Howie and Bob are fraternizing with the lobsters before they hit the plate....

....the huge steamer baskets used to steam the lobstahs and corn.....
and Howie and Norah contemplating the feast before them!
It didn't take long to devour the little fellows! One of the Maine gals, Marsha, was kind enough to show us how to "pick" the body of the lobsters and remove the meat there to be used for a Lobster Stew! Picking the bodies of four lobsters yielded more than enough tender meat to make a wonderful Lobster Stew!! I made the stew for our dinner one evening, and wow! was it delicious!!
We will sure miss the wonderful fare, fresh from the cool seas in Maine as we head South. We'll miss the cool pleasant weather also!! But we have more great memories with old friends and new!
Hugs to everyone!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Quintessentially Maine.......

Stonington Harbor on Deer Isle

Having heard that the coastal village of Stonington on Deer Isle was the "quintessential, old Maine Lobstering town", we made the drive to see what it might present. It's true.....and the drive there is just as lovely as the harbor town itself. (If you've read any of Linda Greenlaw's "Lobstermen" books i.e. All Fishermen are Liars, etc, this is her locale and Isle a Haut lies just off the shore) are a few photos that seem to be "quintessentially Maine" in so many ways!

This is most definitely my idea of an "Ocean View House"!!!.......

A magnificent OceanView House, in Stonington!!

We especially love the dories, tied to most docks, awaiting the arrival of their Captains!......

The Lobstermens' Dories in Stonington Harbor

More dories in Stonington

Even the Post Office is quaint!

Porches and window boxes are two things that have always captured my attention....this one was a favorite.........

This is quintessentially Maine!

Of course, the flowers bloom here like nowhere else.....must be the crisp nights and cool days......
Brilliant blossoms everywhere!

Garden walkway...beautiful Fuchsia!

and the Church steeples tower in each little village, peeking over the horizon to welcome you....

The requisite Maine church, in Blue Hill

This view looking West over the Penobscot Bay towards Searsport, captures the essence of coastal Maine from the is one of my favorites..........
Penobscot bay, viewed from the road to Stonington

Yet another white clapboard home, with bountiful blooms.................
The side garden of a home in Blue Hill

and just one more windowbox, at Boyce's Motel in Stonington..............

Amazing how the Fuchsia grows in Maine!! just makes you feel alive and refreshed to take in the beauty of this New England area. It is, indeed, a special place......and we are priviledged to share it.