Sunday, November 28, 2010

After the Leftovers...

Hope that all of you had a wonderful Turkey Day.  We had one of the best ever!  I can't believe that out of a 23 pound turkey there is only a leg left and one thick piece of ham.  Don't we all look satisfied... There are a bunch of us.

Well we have had all of the preparations, fellowship, excitement and love of being together,  eaten all of the good food, rested; and now what.  Today I've just been thinking of all the fun that we had.  Memories, hope that you have some good ones too.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Just some fun pictures...

All of our grandkids, mine and Becky's

Michael and Bailey followed by Katie, Stanley & Maddox

Becky and Miles

Pat entertaining Miles

Alex, Michael and Miles (looks like everyone gravitates to the baby)

Katie, Stan and Maddox

Alex relaxing

Alexandria and Miles

Even pretending to drive and ride is fun

Bailey and Ava (2 cuties)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Almost Thanksgiving...

We came up to the mountains Monday to start preparing for the holiday.  Michael came up with us and has been helping Terry with things outside.  He's also a deer hunter now, so that has kept him busy every morning and evening.  They get that hunting bug and don't get tired of it.  He killed his first deer earlier in the season and now knows how much work it is after you kill it, so he is looking for a great big buck, nothing little the next time.  I also have gotten chauffered around some since he's now the owner of a learner's license.  We had to make a run to the Dollar Store, never gets enough driving time.  I'm so proud of him, he is growing into such a fine young man.  He is now about 4 inches taller than me, I can't hardly believe it.

Thanksgiving is such an important holiday and it really doesn't get enough attention.  We all have so much to be thankful for that we really don't even think about, it's only when you lose something do you realize what you have.  I am so thankful for my family and friends and the love shared with others. 

We will have our Thanksgiving at the mountain house in Ellijay, GA.  All of my kids, grandkids, Pat and Greg will be there and so will all of my sisters's family.  Lots of cooking and cleaning for me but I love having them all here.  Everyone will bring dishes too and I'm sure we'll have way too much food, but it's all so much fun.  We'll make a day of it, probably eating more than once or twice. 

The kids always seem to have a good time with the four wheelers and little motorcycle.  Sometime the big kids go deer hunting early morning and late afternoon.  Sometimes they even play paintball, but I haven't heard that that's on the agenda this time.  We'll have lots of little ones to keep up with and I'm really hoping it doesn't rain, but it won't dampen our spirits.  They'll have lots of room in the studio to dance and play.

Becky and I are suppose to remind each other that we need to take lots of pictures.  We want them for the Christmas cards and hopefully my blog.

So I hope that you all enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday and this year we think about all of our blessings.

God Bless You All!

Friday, November 12, 2010


Procrastination refers to the act of putting off actions or tasks to a later time.
(From Wikipedia)

Procrastinating is easy to do and then gets easier with each time we put off the task.  I can't believe that it has been almost a year since I've written on my blog.  I hope to do better about this.  I've also worked on my art site too and added some new paintings, but I'm still behind in photographing paintings and updating my inventory list.

Hoping to get fit

Terry and I have been really enjoying "retirement".  Traveling in the Chinook motorhome is trying to become the main extra-curricular activity.  Terry is working on something for the motor home all the time, making a bigger bed, hooking up TV and satellite radio.  He built me a beautiful section of shelving that works great in the kitchen area that holds all of the can goods, along with extra shelving and hooks.  He's also added things to the outside of the camper to hold the batteries and bicycles.  Since the last update, we've joined the Chinook Camping Club and attended a rally in Crossville, Tennessee.  Lots of fun.

St. Andrews Resident
This year we've managed to go to St. Andrews State Park in Panama City, Florida.  A beautiful park that prompted us to go and buy bicycles so we could ride around and see things.  This was a great way to get around St. Andrews and I also thought that it would be such a good exercise when we got home.   I really wasn't thinking, Florida is nice and flat, Snellville is nice and hilly, and forget Ellijay with it's north Georgia mountains.  So the bikes aren't getting quite as much use as I had planned, but they do get a little use in Snellville and around the campgrounds.  This little bird was walking along the shoreline.

We are trying to visit all of the National Parks and don't have many left to go, so we added two more to our list.  We worked our way up to Minnesota and Voyageurs National Park located at International Falls. Voyageurs is a water-based park where you must leave your car and take to the water to fully experience the lakes, islands, and shorelines of the park.  We did take a boat trip around the park and it was quite beautiful.  There are really unusual rock formations from the glaciers melting thousands of years ago. The voyageurs, who paddled large birch bark canoes carrying trade goods and furs between the Canadian northwest and Montreal is why the park is called Voyageurs.  They sure must have been some strong people to withstand all it took to survive.

Boat to Isle Royale
We left International Falls and headed north to Canada, going across the top and through a Canadian Provencial Park to Thunder Bay, Canada.  We spent the night here and then traveled down to Grand Portage where we were able to get a boat to Isle Royale.  Minnesota and Michigan both sort of claim Isle Royale but it is really in Michigan.  We camped in a beautiful spot right on Lake Superior, looking out to beautiful scenery and had visits from beavers that were raising a family under the marina dock.  Early one morning they were playing in the harbour and then raised a ruckus because we were watching them.  One went out into the lake one evening and came back with a huge tree top.  So in between our scrabble games we were entertained by the wildlife.
Isle Royale’s physical isolation and primitive wilderness is beautiful and inhabited by wolves and moose.  The story goes that the wolves walked over on the ice and the moose swam over in the summer.  Accessible only by boat or seaplane, people experience the park by hiking its trails, paddling its inland waterways
Isle Royal Ranger talk
and exploring its rugged coast.  We went on the nature walk with the Ranger and it is to me a very lonely place to visit.  You really are roughing it and we saw groups of young people that had hiked the island and were catching the boat to go back to civilization with us.  There were a group of teenage girls that sat near us on the boat and they were beyond dirty, I think they probably just threw there clothes away when they got home.  If you go to Isle Royale be prepared to rough it.  I'm sure they were all having the time of their life though, because it is all quite beautiful.  There are sunken ships in the waters approaching the island because of the treacherous Lake Superior waters and an old lighthouse.  We enjoyed our visit but I was glad that we could get back on the boat and go back to my creature comforts.  There are only about 22,000 people visit Isle Royale every year compared to the Grand Canyon that has over 4 million.  Everyone should visit the National Parks they are really beautiful and a wonderful experience for young and old alike.

I went to Folly Beach with my artist friends and we painted plein air.  They rent a beautiful house on the beach and all week you just immerse yourself in art, from painting plein air and in the house, to talking art and visiting galleries in Charleston; it's really great.  While in Charleston I managed to work in a little genealogy, finding some relatives at the Magnolia Cemetery and a book that mentions my Cordes family that lived in Charleston in the 1800's.  My sister went with me so we had alot of fun with the "Folly Group" and have made some new friends.  
Beautiful Lake Claytor

Didn't even unpack, Terry wanted to go to Shenandoah National Park before the leaves were gone, so we packed up and took off.  The leaves were maybe a little past their peak but not far from it, the color was gorgeous turning the darker jewel colors.  The first night we stayed at Claytor Lake State Park in Virginia and were in a tornado watch.  Stayed snug though but it was really starting to get cold.  By the time we got to Shenandoah it was really cold and we used the furnace.  The drive through Shenandoah is so pretty and this time I was able to plein air paint some.  Maybe I'll get the hang of it sooner rather than later.  As always the deer are everywhere and also saw Ranger programs on the Owls.  We were lucky that was the last program for the year (campfire talks at night and the owl viewing and talk the next morning).  We even hiked a little on the Appalachian Trail.

Stayed for two nights and then headed back down the parkway towards Danville and spent the night, Halloween, at Paradise Lake.  They had a hayride for the kids and they were going around the lake and you could hear them laughing and hollering, finally stopping about 10 pm.  Went on to bed and then up about 8 to have breakfast and then get back on the road  heading towards Asheville.  We were going to go down the Blue Ridge Parkway but decided we'd had enough of twisting roads and took the better road.  

The campground in Asheville, Mama Gerties, was extremely nice.  Wasn't real big but up on the side of a mountain looking out with lots of foliage.  We went into Asheville the next day and visited art galleries and had lunch, then headed on home to pick up Toby, who was staying with Pat and Greg.

 I think we're getting our money's worth out of our little Chinook camper.  Hope I haven't bored you all too much with my travel.  I know my kids always dread going through all of the "pictures" when we get home, not quite the same as being there I guess.  Terry and I are making lots of good memories though.

Till later,