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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas past

I have a friend who just lost her Mom yesterday. Gosh it's hard when death happens around the holidays. But then anytime you lose a loved one the holidays are hard, they are never really the same.  It is like an innocence is taken away from you and you can never get it back. 

Our Mom passed away in 2007 and Christmas changed forever. We tried hard to recreate it but slowly parts of us pulled away, Jay and I started staying in Arizona and the kids were growing up. But when we lost Krystina in 2013 that was it, I don't know that we will ever recover from that.  With our Mom, she had been sick a very long time and although we missed her, still miss her, we are happy she is at rest with no more pain.   But with our darling Krystina, she was just at the cusp of discovering who she was, so young, so vital, so creative.  

I feel guilty that I am not there, thinking that things would be different if I was there. But I know it would not make a difference, we would all get together but everyone would sit there thinking how do we do this.  

I sit and look at my tree and see the ornaments we have had made over the years in their memory.

I wonder how other families do it.  Are they stronger than we are? I wish they would share their secrets with us if they are.  This summer my brother and his family came home for a visit from PA and we all got together several times and I know everyone except a few were at my sisters house for Thanksgiving.  So it's not like we are not there for one another, we are, totally there for one another. But Christmas, Christmas at Momma's house with kids running everywhere and so much food and crazy decorations and presents piled to the ceiling, that's gone, only a memory. Maybe that's the way it's supposed to be.  But I would give just about anything to have it back just one more time.

So I am thinking of Tina, burying her Mom the week before Christmas and knowing she has a young one at home I am hoping she still gets to see the joy through his eyes.

Please pray for her and for us and the many others that are missing loved ones this Christmas season.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Thursday Crafts or Thursday Therapy?

I have probably  mentioned my Thursday craft group out here in Arizona before, if not we meet every Thursday. Sometimes we have cheese, wine and a mental health meeting. ( we just sit and chat for a few hours) Sometimes our fearless leader has a craft planned for us.  Last year we make lots of bracelets and some beautiful Christmas trees mad out of safety pins and crystals.
This is mine, you stuff it with led lights and it is so pretty. ( I have to confess my friend Barb did most of mine, these arthritic hands don't work very well).
This year we decided we wanted to do something for somebody so we decided to make tied lap blankets for a local hospice house.
This is an example of what we made, I don't know why I didn't take pictures, something about playing with puppies!
Anyway we made six and we went to the Hospice House to drop them off and guess what there were six residents just finishing lunch. I am telling you it was amazing.  One of the ladies was celebrating her 102nd birthday on Christmas Day!! Can you imagine ?  She insisted on giving each of us a hug.  We left that place crying and feeling like we were flying.  When you are depressed or not feeling well, what everyone says is true, do something for someone else and you will feel better.
I wish I had taken lots of pictures, but I am finding more and more I am wanting to stay in the moment and experience it instead of stepping outside it to take pictures.
I think we should start calling it Thursday Therapy class!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas in an RV completed

We finally finished with the decorations yesterday.  I must say it is still strange to be hanging Christmas lights when it is 80 and sunny outside.

Not sure why I posted this picture, oh I know I wanted you to see my tree on the table next to the lamp. It is made of crystals and safety pins, I will take a close up of it later so you can see it better, it is so pretty.

It is hard to get a good picture of the front window, Jay took this at dusk, maybe I will try one in the daylight. Don't you just love those new Command hooks? I sure do.

Jay tried to get one of the back, the blob of light on the right is my bottle tree. I will try to get a better one of it too.

This is what our neighbors and I call our Tiki Hut. We went together on this and put it between our two sheds. This is where we have our fire box and usually have New Years Eve dinner out here.

And this is my sweet little tree. I think I posted about it a couple of years ago. Every ornament on here is from my Mom, in memory of my Mom or Kryssy , ones the kids made for me when they were little and ornaments that Jay and I picked out together. We have a tradition of picking out a new one each year during our travels.

 So that is Christmas in a RV. I have to say it is always a little sad for me to do the tree each year, I am sure it is for many people. Thinking of Christmas's past of loved ones no longer here. But I know I have to shake it off and Praise God for all that I do have, my family, my friends,my Izzie.

As a friend of mine always says, "life is good".

Monday, December 8, 2014

New Friends for Izzie, Taming the Beast

I couldn't wait to get here and meet my girlfriends new puppies. But I have to admit I was a little nervous about how Izzie would react. She is so possessive, I always keep her on leash around other dogs.  Happily she had a great time.
These little sweeties trying to squiggle out of my lap are Molly and Maggie, they are ShiPoo's and belong to Brenda and Don.

This adorable pip-squeak is Abbie she belongs to Tanis and Dave some day I will tell you about how she got her name, it's a hoot.

I cannot tell them apart without looking at their name tags!

Now, to taming the beast.  Iz has been getting worse and worse about aggresively barking at dogs over the years.  I was at my wits end as to what to do. Our friends were starting to call her Killer.  I think it is because she is so protective of me. Lord knows when I walk I am a little hesitant about falling and I think she senses it.
BUT, I have found the solution and now have a different dog.  Have you ever heard of Stop That? It is a spray that comes out with a hissing sound that along with the pheremones distracts the dog and redirects its attention.  I swear to you we used it only twice and problem solved. No more barking when walking past other dogs and when in the house and the UPS guy comes(which he does with some regularity tee her) after one alert bark I say no and she stops. I think this stuff if amazing, Iz will be five Christmas Eve and she has been really bad the last few years.  Don't know if it will work for you but it might be worth a try. I got it on Amazon and it was under $10.
Hope you all have a good day, it's grocery store for me, ugh!  Don't mind cooking, in fact I enjoy it. But the planning and the shopping and the putting away and doing the dishes, well as I have already said UGH!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas in a RV

I can't really get going on my Christmas decorating until Tuesday when we are getting the coach washed, but I did get started in the back around my swing so thought I would show you what I have so far.

I love, love bottle trees, have ever since I saw them in Mississippi growing up. The summer before last I finally put one up in my back yard at home.

I love looking at it, the patio at home is my peaceful place. When Jay is out riding in the mornings Izzie and I are out here, thinking, talking, praying, working out all my problems.

I wanted the same thing here in Arizona, so last year Jay got me a swing and we planted some cactus and I had a few flowers.

When we got here this year I decided what I needed back there was a bottle tree and some more flowers.
So I went shopping and my good man went working and this is what I have now.

I decided since I had a tree back there I would give it a little decoration too.
We haven't put up any light yet but when we get finished next week I will show you some pictures.

Being away from family at Christmas is hard. We are lucky to have some good friends to share Christmas dinner with, but I would be lying if I didn't say my heart hurts that they are there all together at home and we are here.  If I could fly boy I would go home in a heart beat. But I can't so I try to do the best I can to keep focused on the reason we celebrate and make our home here cheery and warm( although warm is usually not a problem in Arizona, but you know what I mean)

Short post I know, but I will get organized and back into the swing of things I promise.  


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Lets try this again...

Well,I certainly didn't get far with starting up the blogging again did I? 
We were having so much fun stopping at all our favorite places, then there's the driving, the setting up, the tearing down.  Probably the biggest problem is I am just out of the habit.

So I know I can't go back and recreate the last six weeks, I would be sitting here all day every day. I am just going to give you a few photo highlights and promise to do better.
This wall is in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana at a main intersection downtown (to be honest there are only a couple of intersections downtown). It is an empty building where people post Happy Birthday, Congratulations and all kinds of messages. I love going by and reading them, some are just little notes others are big posters, just think it's a kind of neat small town thing.

In most of the towns we stop in we try to find stores where they have local artists creations for sale.  Those who know me know I love to shop. But this is different it is almost like going to a museum. Every year Jay and I pick up a Christmas ornament or two to put on our little tree in the coach. When we decided we would be spending Christmas's away from home I took only special ornaments, the ones I had from my Mom and the ones that my sisters kids had made for me when they were little. This little lady I picked up in San Antonio.

This guy is not handmade but Jay really liked it. And anything that put old Mr. Bah Humbug in the Christmas spirit I am all for.

I found this one in San Antonio also, I could not resist. See the dragonfly? One of my sweet niece Kryssy's friends think of her every time she sees a dragonfly, it was a special thing for them and the colors, those are Kryssy colors, had to have this on my tree.

This picture is a bit of a story.  Many years ago I bought a pair of coral earrings in a shop in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Last year I told Jay I wanted to find a necklace to match. It is very hard to match coral so I always wore the earrings when I looked. When we were in Santa Fe last year on the way home I was on a mission to find a necklace. We went into lot's of shops, nothing, then we drove down to that little town, Madrid where they made the movie  Wild Hogs and went into an estate shop where we had bought a couple of nice old pieces.  We were in luck we found the beautiful piece in the top right hand corner. It was a perfect match and could be worn as broach or necklace. I was thrilled. We decided to just look around some of the stores in downtown Santa Fe and walked into a jewelry store that had tons of coral, so I picked up a piece and pulled back my hair to see if it matched the earrings and wait for it, one of my earring was gone. I had been wearing these earrings almost continuously since we had bought them and had never put backs on them and now one was  gone. The only thing I can think is that I had a coat on with a high collar ( I hadn't had a coat on for years) because it was really cold there.  We retraced our steps, every place we had been, I was so upset. I now had this beautiful necklace to wear and one  earring. 
When I got home I searched the internet but could not find a pair to match, so brilliant idea.
I took the earring to my jeweler and had her make it into a necklace, middle of photo. And when we got to Las Cruces this year I went back into the same shop where I originally purchased them and WALLA, they had a pair that matched just perfectly, the moral of the story is always wear stoppers!!

I am going to start adding restaurants and RV Resorts on the other two pages, it will take me a while but I will get it done. Looking at other RVer's and getting suggestions is how we find some of our best places.

Hope it is not to cold where you are, in the sixties here today, but goodness knows I will take it.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Catching Up

It is harder than I remembered to keep up the posts on a blog when traveling. You are so tired from seeing and doing you collapse on the couch when you get home.

Had a great time in Gulf Shores then moved on to Louisiana. We stay at Cajun Palms a large resort in Henderson,LA, which is right next to Breaux Bridge, which has the most amazing restaurants serving Cajun and Creole dishes, which I love and Jay likes them too, surprise, surprise. ( you know how that boy hates onion). 

The best part of our visit this year was Jay connecting with a friend from the Marine Corp that he had not seen since Vietnam. 

Jay went into the Marine Corp as a member of the USMC Band, Jeff hooked up with them in Viet Nam.

That's my Jay second from left.

And here he is on the trombone.

They played some as the official band and sometimes just played gigs on fire bases.
It was great just to sit back and listen to them talk. As anyone who has a spouse who served in battle knows, they don't talk about it. In between playing Jay was a door gunner on a helicopter. That's a whole other story how he went from USMC Band to door gunner, but we will save that for another day.

 It was so stinking cold there we didn't do much.  We did go out to Avery Island to see how they make tabasco sauce, it was interesting.  I didn't get a very good picture because it was a fast assembly line.

We got tons of different types of Tabasco and we got lots of free samples. Everything is automated and I just kept thinking what a boring job! The day we were there they were making it for Saudi Arabia.

We ate lots of good food and heard some good live music. It was a lot of fun.  I think next year we are going to stay in New Orleans, we haven't done that in about three years.

So I think that catches us up to San Antonio and I will save that for tomorrow.  At least it is warmer here in Los Cruces today, going to be in the 60's and the sun is shining, who could ask for more. Hope you all have a good day.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Jay' perfect place

Friday we went to the Air Museum at the Pensecola Navel Base. Airplanes, Jay could look at them, read about them, talk about them all day. I only took pictures of a few, mostly Marine aircraft. I asked Jay to tell me about the relationship of the Navy and Marine Corp again because he always talks a little disparingly about the Navy and I didn't understand why on NCIS they are always investagating Marines deaths.  Well he talked to me about it for over half an hour and quess what, I still don't understand.
The Blue Angels are flying here this weekend and we were lucky enough to see their practice session while we were there. It was beautiful.



It was a really interesting place, they have three IMAX theatres and an outside field they you can ride around in a trolley and look at everything without falling over from exhaustion. We saved them for our next time. I was dragging just a little, the humidity and cold not so good for either of us.
Jay had mentioned after his ride on Thursday he saw someone harvesting peanuts. I knew they grew a lot of cotton here but didn't realize how many peanut fields till we started looking. I told Jay of my memories as a little girl in Mississippi having boiled and roasted peanuts, so of course on the way to the Museum we passed a guy boiling and selling peanuts on the side of the road.
 Of course, Joycie got some, I got the salted, oh man were they salty. I would have like to try the spicy but I was a chicken.
I love being in the south, chocolate gravy, greens, boiled peanuts if we stayed here any longer Jay would have to widen the door to get me in!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Day at the Beach

Yesterday day we went to the only doggie beach on the intercoastal. It is really neat little park that has a long pier out into the water and some swings and picnic beaches.

It is very quiet and relaxing to just watch the water and listen to the waves. We saw a school of Dolphins playing right out in front of us. This was one of the times I decided to enjoy the moment instead of taking a picture.
Izzie like exploring but wanted nothing to do with the water.

I love the spanish moss hanging from the trees, loved it a lot more before I knew about all the critters that live in there.

To sum it up it was a wonderful day.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

This and That

Yesterday we went to the outlet mall which is just a few miles from the resort. Went into my usual stores, Chicos and Coach, but it was pretty much the same inventory that we saw on our Tuscola girls trip.  But just as we were turning to leave I saw a Harry and David store ,( I know, I know this is not a good thing). We parked next to it and what do you know there was a Fresh Produce! I really like this store, everything is made in America. I was so excited, I saw my first Fresh Produce store in Arizona last season and really like their stuff. It is all 100% cotton, but if you wash and dry them carefully they are so comfy to wear. Jay was very happy I only picked up one outfit!
Right next to the mall was a Chick fil a I have never been to one and have always wanted to try it. 

We weren't really thrilled with it.  We don't do fast food very often any more, and I would not want to try this one again.

This morning I vegged and watched the two hour special of the Dugger's daughter getting married. I know I am a slug and will never get that time back, but it started me thinking. Wonder what it would have been like to grow up in a Christian home from the get go instead of the crazyness some of us had in our early years.  You know like Leave it to Beaver ( do you think those kind of homes really exist)  Do you think we would be better people at this point in our lives? I know for sure we wouldn't be stronger, some of us had to go through some tough stuff and boy I tell you it made me a fighter, completely independent, nobody was ever going to tell me what to do. That kind of attitude can make life a little difficult.

Hope you are having a good day.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Shrimp and Shrimp and Shrimp

Yesterday we went to the Shrimp Basket for lunch before the race. Jay has been talking abouth this place for months. On Sundays and Wednesdays they have an all you can eat special of beautiful popcorn  shrimp that are really big. And I love it because they have greens fixed just the way my Mama fixed them and they bring a bottle of pepper and vinigar hot sauce just like we used at home.

After lunch of course was THE race! We are super duper NASCAR fans. It was a very exciting race and I have to admit  at the end of it there was guite a bit yelling and jumping up and down going on here.

As you can see my formatting skills are a bit off, it is amazing what the skills you can lose after a year and a half.  But it will come back to me I am sure. Now we are off to see what this day brings. Hope you have a good day.
Shrimp and Greens