Friday, December 21, 2012

and Plus this is Cool

Jeremy putting the final touches on the new 30 amp outlet!

We arrived at Bethlehem on Monday afternoon, set up our house and went to the beach, as I mentioned in an earlier blog.  

On Wednesday evening, after the Advent service, we were visiting and of course someone asked if we had everything we needed (we thought we did).  In our perfect world all churches and schools would have a 30 amp outlet conveniently located for RV use.  Dave jokingly said something along those lines in a truly innocent fashion.  On Friday morning a 30 amp outlet was installed for us!  

Dave was talking with Alex Limbaugh - of Limbaugh Electrical Contractors.  :)  

Membership Does Have Perks

We are parked at Bethlehem Lutheran in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. The very cool thing about this particular church is that - we are members!  

Dave is on staff as a missionary-at-large.  His job is to travel the country, sing and talk about Jesus, His saving work and costly love for each of us.  We LOVE our work.  It has been encouraging for us to be here and just - attend.  As all pastors, Dave would rather preach than sit in the pew, but sometimes it is nice to soak it in.  

Now, this may not seem a big deal, but as the fellowship book was handed to me during the offering and as I wrote my name and check the box marked, "member," I was stunned with thankfulness.   A place to belong.  That does not happen to me very often.  The nature of our life means constant travel and we love it.  But for these next few weeks... it is nice to belong. :)

Epiphany and Christmastime

On a Friday evening  in early December, the people of Epiphany Lutheran in Tallahassee,

host an appetizer and dessert gathering.  The tables are decorated by the host/hostess of that table for six or eight.

Guests share appetizers, drinks and fellowship followed by entertainment.  Dave and I were the entertainment - fun for us because we got to share the "eats" too. 

This is Deena, she is one of so many across the country who keep us going through their prayers. Thanks, Deena.

After the entertainment - the fun continues as everyone shares dessert and coffee while mingling around and visiting.  

It was a wonderful calorie-laden evening!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Wasting No Time ....

... we went to the beach.

We arrived in Jacksonville yesterday afternoon. After setting up our house, we went to the beach. 

This morning we just missed sunrise, but still a glorious view!  Thank you God for such beauty!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Fridge

Before living in an RV full-time, I did not give much thought to the quantities of food I purchased. Five cans for a buck, you bet.  The big box is a better deal, buy that. A Costco Membership? Sign me up!  

NOW we try to buy only what we need for the week, but as you see here our refrigerator door is always full of a bit of everything.  

There are a few non-negotiable items: coffee, coffee creamer and some sort of good cheese. That is it for me.

We are still Costco members, with very different buying habits.  Most items that will need refrigeration? Forget it.  We can buy in smaller quantities that will fit in the fridge and still have room for other items.  

I love pizza!  Frozen pizzas fit, if you decide that closing the door is not necessary or if you remove it from the box. Pizza from a pre-made crust is the way to go for us.

On occasion as we shop the aisles of whatever local grocery store, we must continually evaluate how much space we actually have.  As Dave adds one more item to our cart I sometimes say, "it is your turn to make everything fit in the fridge - and good luck with that."

I am not complaining at all.  I enjoy the challenge of new grocery stores and finding everything on my list.  Okra will never be on my list, but you can find many varieties here in the South.  Boiled peanuts can be found in grocery stores in Georgia, I will have to try them.

This type of shopping holds true for our cupboards as well.  We have limited space and weight.  We are not in danger of becoming hoarders of anything.  It is hard to pass up great deals on clothing, food, books, candles, you name it, but as we often remind each other, "if something comes in, something else has to go out."  We have stuck to that mantra pretty well throughout the past four years. 

It is amazing to note that even in our small house on wheels we can accumulate items we seldom use and don't really need. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pecans in Georgia

This is how many of the pecans looked.  After they dry a bit, the outside shell comes right off

While parked in my cousin's backyard, I was able to pick pecans in her yard.  Kathy has two trees.  This is not an ordinary activity when you live "up north."  I thought it would be fun... and it was.

The last time I was given pecans I was in Texas and it was 2009.  The nuts had already been cleaned and I simply had to shell them.  I will do the same again; on a warm, sunny day, I will put on some tunes and crack away. If you are so inclined, you can listen to a little song called, "Pecan Cracking Woman," which my husband wrote and recorded for me.  His creativity astounds me.  Crack on. :)

 the pecan picker...

... works like this.  Rolling over the grass the pecans jump right in the cage.
When you bag them it looks like this.
The same amount of pecans, cleaned of debris and the chore of cracking still ahead of me. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Out My Window

 All views are not created equal.  This is the view out our back window in our current campground in Thomasville, Georgia.

 The next photo is the view out our window in 
 Guntersburg, (pronounced: Gunsburg by the locals.) Alabama.No matter where we travel, adventure waits just outside our door because it is always somewhere new.  God is so very good as He provides wonders to discover; whether it be the people we meet in campgrounds, the family we connect with, or even the sweet retreat with a beautiful view. We give thanks for another day to serve our Savior.

This is the view out of the window at my cousin Kathy's house with one of her pecan trees in the center.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Cultural Experience

This past Sunday we sang at Lord Of Life in Stockbridge, Georgia, just outside Atlanta.  This church location is also home to Holy Cross, a Laotian group of believers.  While we were singing hymns in English, downstairs, Holy Cross was praising the Lord in Lao. Once a month they have a joint service and the pastors coordinate so that everyone can follow what is being said.

On this particular day following the worship service we were invited to a potluck. In any language "potluck" means good food.  Holy Cross was the hosting church and my what a treat!    

Spring Rolls!

Fresh rolls in the foreground and lots of interesting dishes to try.

Dave, my dear cousin Kathy, her hubby Rick, and his sweet daughter, Haily.

This dessert item was wonderful.  At first I took a very small portion to try.  When I came back for more, one of the Laotian women said, "I knew you be back!" This dish is made with coconut milk, but I have forgotten the name. 

And this is not even all the rice!
Pastor K.
Pastor K. sat near me during the meal, and I could not help but notice that his plate was filled with mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, jello, and ham.  While my plate was overloaded with spring rolls, fresh rolls, rice, more rice, and tiny portions of everything else I did not recognize. As we were visiting, Pastor K., struggled to find an English word. He said, "after many years in America, my English is still not always good."  The man seated next to him said, " I have been here all of my life and I have trouble too." When I asked about a food I liked some of the Laotian women did not understand me, but then I just smiled, pointed, and said, "yum!" That word they understood. Some conversations are international.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sewing with Barb

Barb, and her hubby Bruce, have been our friends since 1978!  While we were visiting this last summer, she asked if there was any way she could be of help to us in our ministry. Barb is an excellent seamstress.  She uses her gifts in so many ways and is truly delighted to serve. 

When I see beautiful crafts with  intricate patterns or even mats for the homeless made from used plastic grocery bags, I am thankful for the creative people in my life who joyfully share their gifts with others. Thanks, Barb.

Bruce and Barb have supported us in many intangible ways; here are just a few of the tangible ways Barb has been able to help:


A cover for our digital recorder
A cover/carrier for my Nook
A bag for our mixer

A passport, mini purse.  Barb made a number of these, one for each member of our mission team for our trip to Jamaica. Barb, on the right with our friend Gina, who also received an original, hand-made passport holder.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What is That Sound?

On a dark, rainy, early morning we were traveling through St. Louis, Missouri, to sing at a grade school on the other side of town.  As always, we were traveling on unfamiliar roads when we heard a ticking sound rather like an egg timer.  The sound continued with Dave driving and checking the truck lights and the dashboard, while I tried to get a clear listen to where the sound was located.  Our surprise and relief was hilarious when we discovered the now impassioned ticking of our "Catch Phrase" game under papers and muffled by a travel pillow.  Dave had accidentally activated the game with his elbow.  We did not win that round.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hunting and Camping in Tennessee

Big Buck Resort is located about an hour West of Memphis, Tennessee near Hornsby.

We spent a week with Big Buck. 

This was one of our stays which included - no internet and marginal Verizon phone cover.  We were able to use our phones outside ("are you there? Can you hear me now") and we went to the office to work because there was spotty internet coverage.  According to the Verizon map, we had full coverage... not. (end of complaint)

After four full years of life on the road, I have never camped at a place that is all about hunting.  

Although it never specifically stated, we just assumed this sign pertains ONLY to animals.... Stephen King, Dean Koontz, are you there?
It is now the off-season for camping in Tennessee and there were maybe 4 other RV's in the campground which only added to my imagination... Seriously, it was a nice campground with lots of space.

While camping with Big Buck we visited the Civil War battlefield of Shiloh,  what an amazing experience.  When you go, watch the movie, then take the driving tour.  I did not take one single picture!   I was so moved by the sacrifice and heroism  I forgot  to pick up my camera.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Poor haRVey Needs a Makeover!

This is what used to be our tire. How quickly the tire disintegrated while we were traveling at 60 mph down the highway on November 3.

  The plastic fender decoration is missing. It is still sort of intact, a little duct tape will solve the problem, then it will match the other side! Most of the screws holding the fender in place had pulled out leaving the fender blowing in the wind as a result of the tire flying apart.  We had just checked the tires at our last stop. 

This boo-boo happened when we avoided a branch high, but hit the low branch.  Again, a little duct tape problem solved.  We need new plastic fenders on both sides.  

The back tire on this side is the one that blew out when we were on a two-lane highway in Kansas last Spring.

While we were in Decatur, Alabama we decided it was time to lay out the cash for brand spankin' new trailer tires. I am thankful to have new tires.  When the Lord provides more than we need we say, "I wonder what we will need next?" 

Our spare tire getting the once over at OK Tires in Decatur, Alabama.

Yes, indeed I can give you a trade price on this sort of new tire.
Four NEW trailer tires, and a repaired spare!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Bales of " Hey, Look at That"

We have been enjoying our week-long stay at Little Mountain Resort  just outside of Guntersville, Alabama.  Of course when folks around here say it, it sounds more like Gunnersvul... Back on topic.

 We have internet AND phone coverage at the same time.  We have not experienced that in awhile.  Lately, as I am making reservations, I ask if the campground has internet/phone coverage.. Back on topic.  
This is a perfectly fine looking bale of hay.  

But aren't the following bales of hay more fun? The camp workers around here like to have a bit of fun.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dan Fogelberg

 Dan Fogelberg  lost his battle with cancer in 2007.  I was introduced to his music in 1977, when this cute guy asked if he could look at my guitar (what a pick up line, eh?)  So, here I am many years later, married to the cute guy, and I still enjoy the music of Dan Folgelberg.

We were traveling back to our campground having just sung for the students at Bethel Lutheran School in Morton, Illinois, when suddenly, Miss Direction interrupts our conversation with her favorite line, "recalculating"!  As we continued to drive down the wrong road I saw a sign that read Dan Fogelberg Memorial.  As much as I like Dan, I did not know he grew up in Peoria, IL.   It was a good adventure on the wrong road which turned out to be the right road. 

A portion of his song "Part of the Plan"
"I never got into music to be the latest, greatest thing.  I'm a musician because that is what I am.  I will create music the I want to whether a million people are listening or no one is listening.  That's not the point of creating music.  The point is following your own creative instincts." ~ Dan Fogelberg