Monday, September 30, 2013

Colors are Changing in the Smoky Mountains!

Here is a pic I got yesterday of a beautiful dogwood strutting it's colors!  It's the beginning of the leaf season here.  In a couple of weeks this dogwood will be bright red and many of the trees around it will be the color it is, now.  The evergreens will be awesome as they hold their green, but the autumn colors will be absolutely delightful!  I hate that we're missing the peak leaf season, but I'm thrilled that we're catching the beginning.  Again, we are reminded that God doesn't do anything in a skimpy way; He always deals in abundance!  Have you looked around at the abundance in your life lately?

We're getting packed today to leave tomorrow and head to Gretta's house in Kentucky.  We're so excited to see her and Elena!  They will both be busy with school and work, but we'll enjoy evenings with them.

The Internet access in the condo is up and running today, so I didn't have to go to the clubhouse to post. I was getting ready to go there, and do this blog, though, so I just went ahead and did it.  It's so nice to be able to do it from the condo and not have to pack up my gear and go there!  Don't get spoiled with the early posts, though; late is more likely to be the common because I usually do this when I'm winding down the day.  Hugs to you all; thanks for following us!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Posting Early?

Yep, I'm posting early because this is my chance to be in the clubhouse.  We still don't have Internet access in the condo, so I thought I'd better do it while I could.  We're going to do some more adventuring in the Great Smoky Mountain Park today, but we'll stay close to town unless we get lost!

Today's picture is one of Lee with his Aunt Leona last week, when we visited her.  She is his mother's baby sister and she'll be 92 on her birthday.  She still lives alone with a lot of help from her wonderful daughter.  It was a great time to visit with all of them.  Again, I thank God for awesome families!  We certainly are blessed and I'm so glad for the opportunities to visit with them!  I hope you are reaching out to your families, too!  This trip has been so rich with family for us!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Saturday in Gatlinburg.

Tonight’s pic is one we got at the old church in Cade’s Cove, yesterday.  It was beautiful out there. 

Today we went to the creek in town where we always like to go with the kids.  We walked around and looked at some cabins that we’ve rented over the years and then went to town and walked around a little bit.  A little bit goes a long way, so it didn’t take us long to get back to the truck and head back to the condo.  We drove around some more in the National Park and then accidentally went back to town because we missed a turn.  We’re learning our way around better and better.  I think we’ve learned that we like the park a lot better than the town.  The town is pretty much a tourist trap.  I’m amazed at how people flock to it when the park is so much better.   I’m thankful that our forefathers were wise enough to hold out some land for national parks so that we don’t contaminate every bit of God’s handiwork with trinket shops!  We are blessed to get to witness the beginnings of the colors changing on the trees.  The dogwoods are just beautiful!

Friday, September 27, 2013

View of the Mountains and Fog (or not!) From our Condo.

With fog on the top of the tallest mountain:

With fog coming up between the mountains in the early morning:

With NO clouds or fog!  Notice the color beginning with the leaves changing:

Today we went to Cade's Cove, which is a beautiful drive where one can often see deer, turkeys and bears. We saw two out of the three.  No bears.  If live to be 800 and never get to go to Cade's cove it will be okay with me.  I love it there, but I'm not much into the mob mentality.  There were lots of people there and I am more content when there aren't so many folks.  The roadway is one way, so if there is someone in front of you who wants to inspect every single tree for a bear, you're in trouble.  Of course those folks don't want to get out of line; they want to lead the line.  The funniest thing we saw was a foursome who had pulled up their car to a parking place and gotten out a card table and chairs; they were sitting there playing cards!  I guess they were waiting for the bears or deer or turkeys to come visit?  We got a big kick out of that! We did enjoy the ride around the area.  The woods are just awesome and the leaves are just beginning to turn.

The pictures on the blog tonight are of the view from our unit. It's interesting to see the difference at different times of the day when the fog is either there or not there.  It's a treat to observe God's handiwork!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

We Climbed and Climbed.

I got credit (on my fitbit) for 35 flights of stairs when we climbed up to the top of Clingman's Dome today.  In this pic you can see the tower at the very top; that's all that we could get in the pic. Everything else was covered by the fog!  It was sunny here in Gatlinburg, but it was truly the Smoky Mountains when we got up to Clingman's Dome.  Clingman's Dome is the highest point in these mountains, and right on the state line between Tennessee and North Carolina.  We had our jackets in the car; I had on two layers of shirts, but shorts, so I was sure glad we had those jackets.  I had my hiking sticks, but Lee refused to take his.  He had no idea what a climb it was and wouldn't take my word for it.  He ended up coming down using one of my sticks because his 'good' knee was really hacked at him about the whole trip.  I hated that we couldn't get a great view off the top, but we did get some good views on the way up and the climb was full of laughs and fun to do.  Everyone along the way had lots of fun remarks to make about how tough it was!  Well, there was that one girl who ran past us to make us all feel like dopes.  :)  I thank God we made it and managed to get the breath to make it to the top.  It was a good test for our hearts; they must be in great shape!

Tomorrow our plan is to drive to Cade's Cove.  Lee confirmed with me awhile ago that it is a DRIVING tour, not a hiking tour!  He's loving these mountains and I always have.  He keeps saying how much it reminds him of Colorado and that's his favorite place, so I know he's loving it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sweeneyville's Big Pond

This is a picture we got at the big pond and Ruthie and Phil's house.  Notice that the leaves are beginning to turn on the tree to the right.  Just to the left of Lee, in the picture, you can see the fountain.  Just to the right of me is the waterfall.  We are standing right in front of the gazebo.  If you can click on this picture and make it bigger you'll see more details.  This is a rare picture; me in socks! I hate socks.  If my feet are freezing I wear socks and my feet were freezing.  The change from hot to cold is a shock to me, so I was wearing a pair of Lee's socks and forgot to take them off when we walked over to the pond.

Today it rained all day and we just took it easy and enjoyed it.  We both got naps this afternoon and I think we were way overdue on naps.  The rain here is a treat, anyway.  There is no wind and the rain just gently falls from the sky.  In Oklahoma it rains sideways because the wind blows all the time and it RARELY rains, anyway, so this is a treat for us.  We thank God for the rain and know  that all this lush greenery is due to the rain.  It's awesome.  I'll be happy to see sunshine and get home and feel some heat before winter gets here, but this is a nice treat.  God's blessings are abundant!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Another Dab of Paradise.

This is a picture Lee took of Ruthie and I on her back deck.  Notice the little waterfall and pond that Phil has built for them.  It's so pretty in their back yard!  The light behind us made it hard to get a good picture, but I wanted the pond and bird houses in the background.  Over that pasture and to the right is their big pond.  Over there they have a bigger waterfall, a fountain and a gazebo.  I'll post a picture of that tomorrow night.  They really live in a resort all their own.  I thank God for the chance to visit with them and for the health of all of us!

We had a fine trip here today.  I got us lost in Knoxville, but we still got here in good time.  I guess we actually came a shorter way, but it was right through Knoxville and not so simple.  This is all new to Lee, though, and he's so patient.  We're both loving the awesome Smoky Mountains!  We're checked into our unit and I'm doing laundry and washing my hair tonight.  I'll probably still be doing laundry tomorrow, but we'll get out and see some of the sights tomorrow.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Report From the Road.

This is a picture I was able to get Sunday before church.  This is my sister, Ruthie, her husband, Phil, and me and Lee.  I'm not taller than Ruthie, but it looks like it because I was standing closer to the camera.  Ruthie fell just a week ago, Sunday, and she's doing really well.

We just about wore her (and all of us) out at our Cousin's reunion today in Lebanon.  It was an absolutely wonderful reunion.  Every single one of our cousins were able to be there and we're not all in the greatest of shape, so it was such a treat!  I took pictures, but I left my camera in the back of Phil's car, so I won't have those pix for a few days.  He'll mail it to me tomorrow, so I'll have it, but for now I'll have to settle for pix I've already downloaded, so we'll be reporting on the now, but having pictures from the recent past.  Bear with me while I wait for the camera!

I so thank God for continued safe travels and wonderful visits with such an awesome family!  We are exhausted, but it's from such a wonderful time!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

This is the pic I was able to get tonight when Deanna and Alex and Blake came to see us.  It was wonderful to see them!  We've been so blessed with such a rich trip!  It was awesome to see lots of folks we know and love at church today, too!  In this pic is me, Lee, Ruthie, Phil, Blake, Deanna and Alex.  Ruthie is my sister and Deanna is her daughter.

Tomorrow we head to a cousins' reunion near Nashville.  We'll be in Lebanon and stay there the night before heading to Gatlinburg on Tuesday.

Today is the first day of fall and it really feels like fall here.  I'm hoping it will warm up some, but I've got jeans and a jacket in case it doesn't.  Regardless of the weather we are so enjoying this trip and thank God for it!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

So Much Fun!

This is Linda, Tom, me and Lee, yesterday.  They're all looking kind of funny at the camera because I had it balanced on the gate as we came into the Jack Daniels Distillery and there were people waiting for the camera to click and get our picture before they got in front of it.  (How kind!)  Linda's cousin is having his 70th birthday soon and he has invited them to his party.  They wanted him to have a collector bottle from the distillery; they had it etched with his name and Tom was holding that up for the picture.  He doesn't know me to read this blog, so this won't ruin the surprise.

It was so interesting to go through the distillery.  It is amazing how it makes up most of the town!  I wasn't crazy about the smell that everyone else on the tour seemed to like; it reminded me of when I have a terrible cough and drink the whisky/honey/lemon syrup.  It sure works to calm my cough, but I can't imagine folks enjoying that stuff!

We've made it to Ruthie's and Phil's house, and it's wonderful to be here!  We've had such an awesome 6 weeks of travel, seeing friends and family.  What a blessing to be able to have this opportunity to enjoy folks and travel!  We thank God for these rich blessings!

61 Wonderful Years!

We had a wonderful day to day, packed with fun, fun times.  One of the best things, though, was visiting with dear friends, Mary and Earl Hall.  Mary was one of my mom's best friends in her whole lifetime and I was so glad to be able to connect with her and Earl and introduce Lee to them.   Their home is so beautiful; I'm sorry I couldn't get a better pic, but the lighting was difficult and I was balancing the camera on the back of a rocker.  They were celebrating their 61st anniversary today! They built their home 21 years ago and it was wonderful to get to tour it.  I should have taken a picture from the outside, too.  It is full of antiques and wonderful features and nobody deserves it more!  I saw Mary last year in June before Lee and I had met in person.  I was pretty discouraged with living alone at the time, so I wanted to share the Lee part of my life with her.  Plus, Mary is also a breast cancer survivor and we had lots of notes to compare.  Besides, we both loved my mom and it was a real joy to reconnect if for no other reason than that; I felt like Mom was in the room with us!

We went to the Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchburg today, and that was very interesting, too.  My mom loved to go there, but I had never gone.  I never could figure out why she loved it so much, but after touring today, I get it.  It was pretty impressive.  I got some pix there with Tom and Linda and I'll post them and write more about that in the days coming.

What a fun day it was to relive so many memories of times with my mom!  I thank God for precious memories and precious friends to share and help me relive those memories.  I feel especially blessed today.  Tomorrow we head to Ruthie and Phil's house and the reliving of memories will just get better and better.  I'll get to tell them about all the things we've done and shared and it feels like my 'cup runneth over!'  PTL!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Great, Great Times!

We made it to Tom and Linda's house today and have had such a wonderful time!  We always have so much fun with them.  I took Lee around Winchester and showed him where we lived when we lived here and then after we got to Tom and Linda's they toured us all over Sewanee and out where Tom used to live.  It's gorgeous and green here, so we're really enjoying the landscape, and the company is absolutely the best.  Tom and Linda are just like family and we have so much fun with them.  We taught them to play hand and foot canasta tonight and we all loved it!  We've never had time to play before this, so now they know what we do for fun when we're not hiking around Hawaii! This pic we got up on our adventure on the Sewanee Natural Bridge.  It is gorgeous out there!

Our trip to Lee's aunt's house yesterday was a wonderful treat, too.  I got a few pix and will post one of Lee with his aunt soon.  She is a treasure!  He enjoyed seeing cousins and family and I loved meeting them.  They are great, great people and it's sure a blessing to know them.  We'll enjoy seeing them, again, when we return to Tennessee in the future.  His aunt just lives about an hour and a half from Tom and Linda.  Man, we're having a great time and thank God for safe travels and fun times!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Awesome Day!

We started out this morning at 6, so our drive to Lawton was beautiful.  There was some fog, but we'd had rain, so there was even water standing!  I loved the way the sun was shining through the clouds, with our mountains in the background!  This pic signifies how awesome our God is!  I love it!  I thank Him for a safe day of travels and this opportunity to go see family and friends!  I also thank Him for treatments that are very doable for me and seem to be working so well.  Praise God!

I will not be able to post to the blog tomorrow night because we will be at Lee's aunt's house and I'm sure she won't have wifi.  We're here to visit, so I won't be running off to McDonald's to write the blog.  Please pardon me and take the time you would have normally read the blog and give someone you love a call or write them a note.  Deal?  I'll be back online as soon as I can; probably Thursday. We'll be visiting Tom and Linda and I believe they have wifi.  We are down for the night and have a 4 hour trip to Lee's aunt's house in the morning.  We are both so tired; a good night's sleep is so what we need!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Still Running from the Rain???

This is a pic I took as we left Santa Fe.  We got all packed and ready to load the truck and it started pouring down rain HERE!  We need the rain so bad, so we have to be cheering, but it sure makes it hard to load the truck.  I guess we'll load it in the morning.  We've got to leave at 7:15 to make my treatment at 8:30, so we'll have to get up really early to load.  It's better to have it done the night before, but we play the cards we're dealt.  Rain is a woolly bugger to have when we're packing, but our farmers so need it here!  My flowers and trees and grass will be happy to have a good drink, too!  God knows what we need and when.  I trust Him with everything else, so I thank Him for the rain!

We'll go straight from my treatment tomorrow and head for Memphis.  The next day we'll go to Lee's aunt's house and then on to visit Tom and Linda and then Ruthie and Phil.  We're excited about seeing folks we love!  We have a cousin reunion next week near Nashville, so lots of happy times ahead of us.  Once again I thank God for good friends and neighbors to hold the fort for us here.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Still Able to Stand and Move!

I hurriedly set the camera to take this shot of us and it's kind of blurry.  I'm just not much of a photographer. I thought we were doing really good to make church twice today after last night's repair work!  We went to bed really hurting, but it's amazing the kind of healing God built our bodies to do with even a partial night's sleep.  We both gave into naps this afternoon, though!  Tonight we'll get a good night's sleep.  Tomorrow we go to Lawton to get my blood work out of the way for my treatment on Tuesday.  Then Tuesday we'll go have the treatment as soon as possible and then go on to Memphis; then the next day we'll go see Lee's Aunt Leona.  I'm excited to meet her and his cousin, Pat.  Then we'll go on to do more visiting in all parts east. God is great to give us the strength to make these trips and the opportunity to make them!

It was such fun to go get Dorothy for church today just like old times.  Then she came home with us and had dinner after church.  I'd cooked a pot of pinto beans yesterday and then cornbread this morning before church.  When we got home from church the tomato 'fairy' had left tomatoes on the bar to add to our lunch. The tomato 'fairy' is the sweet friend who takes care of the house and mail while we're gone, as well as waters our plants.  What would we do without great friends and family???

The 'Fallen Sky' is Fixed!

I've been saying that the sky fell in our closet.  Well, it was pretty much a riot, but Lee fixed it.  I know that God must have been chuckling, at least; He was probably slapping His knee and laughing out loud at us.  We are a couple of old rickety people climbing around on ladders and dropping stuff.  I forget exactly what went wrong, but we needed a couple of pieces of wood to 'rig' it so we could finish.  Our neighbor (whose vicious beast we fed back in the summer) was up at 9:30, had the wood, and was willing to cut it to size for us!  See why I fed that beast of his?  I always owe him big time because he's such a great neighbor, so feeding the beast was the right thing to do.  Anyway, between Bill saving us and Lee's knowledge, skill and patience, he got it fixed.  I helped by rigging here and there.  Lee likes to do everything right, so I know the rigging was really foreign to him; he was a trooper, though.  We're going to keep on until that closet looks really good! We laughed and laughed as we worked through that project.  Now, he's fallen into bed.  I'm going to get a bath and fall into bed, too.  It's tomorrow, already, and it will soon be time to get up and go get Dorothy for church.

Since it's already Sunday and we've been chuckling with God all night I wanted to post this picture of the huge cross in Groom, TX.  We passed it coming home the other day and we were so tickled with the blue sky after all the rain we'd come through.  We knew we were getting close to home when we saw the blue skies.  That huge cross is awesome and sobering!

When I wrote to Bill (our neighbor) and told him we were rained out in Santa Fe and coming home a day early he wrote back that we should tie a rope around some of that rain and bring it home with us.  It hadn't rained the whole month that we were gone.  Well we got a shower yesterday and another one today. Maybe that bit of rain DID follow us home?  God is good and He provides what we need:  rain, strength, family, friends, neighbors . . . wow, the list is awesome and endless!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Before and After on the Weeds; I'm winning.

This is the before and the after of the weed horror story.  We came home to those weeds that were taller than me in this side flower bed.  I'm so glad I had an extra day so I could get out there and attack them.  If they were a foot tall or more, I pulled them up.  Then I sprayed the rest of them.  I've got a plan to plant sedum autumn joy out there next spring.  I thank God that I'm able to attack them!

I went back to the bedroom and the whole shelf and rod in our closet had fallen!  We had put too much weight on the shelf and down it all came!  So, we had to gather up all the clothes and mess on the floor and inventory what we need to get tomorrow to make repairs.  Ugh!  Life happens whether it's the 13th or not. I'm just glad it happened now before I get my eyes fixed next month.  I can't lift for a couple weeks after that surgery, so I'd hate it if I couldn't even help Lee fix it.  I'm going to be a lady of leisure during that time and just sit around and read books!  Woo hoo!  I really can hardly wait to get clear vision and thank God that there is a fix for me!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Basil and Sweet Potato Vine.mi

The sweet basil is on the top.  That's 5 little plants that cost me $3.87.  I have enough to share with the grasshoppers!  Those rascals love it.  I go out and pinch of a bunch of leaves to have on my pizzas or anything that has tomato on it.  Yum!  The bottom pic is my sweet potato vine.  I just planted it about 3 weeks before we left on our trip, so I'm really proud of how it's growing.  That gray stuff on the right is artemisia.  The other tall green stuff with the mauve flowers is sedum autumn joy.  Joan has kept it watered for me while we were gone, so it's all doing great.  This planter box has been empty for the better part of the last 20 years, so I'm pleased to have it looking alive for a change! It gets no sun and no rain, so it has to have something pretty hardy in there!  We are so grateful to Joan for taking care of things while we were gone!  In times past she would have weeded, too, but I wouldn't let her weed this time; she is recovering from a bad fall she had back in June or so; she doesn't need to be weeding!

I thank God for the energy to face coming home!  Catching up is always a bear!  I'm really glad we came home a day early to give me some extra time to catch up!  I thank God for this great weather, too.  I love it hot!  It's only going to be in the 80's tomorrow; that's plenty hot so I'll still be smiling!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

We Came Home Early!

Take a look at the weather out Lee's window as we left Santa Fe this morning.  We did our best to outrun the rain, but we drove nearly to Amarillo in rain.  We knew we were getting close to home when the sun came out and burned off the clouds.  It was 92 degrees when we got home!  I love it!  We need rain around here, but we were glad to see the hot and dry of home!  We thank God for a safe trip.  We put a lot of miles on the truck on this trip and God kept us safe all they way.  There was a lot of rain the last few days, too; it was nice to see, but made driving tougher on Lee.  He did a great job, though.  Home is always so sweet. We're both looking forward to a night in our own bed.  Ahhhh.  It was a wonderful trip, but home is so nice!

Tomorrow I'll get pix of my basil and the sweet potato vine.  The sweet potato vine is doing awesome.  The basil is great, too.  I went out and pinched some off for my tomato soup at supper tonight.  Yum!  Then there are the weeds that took advantage of me being gone for a month.  I'll get a pic of them, too, and then a pic of how it looks with them gone.  Good thing we came home a day early so I'll have a day for those weeds; I never dreamed they'd get that far ahead of me.  UGH; they don't even need rain, I guess!  I'll get 'em!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Flashback to Las Cruces Visit.

It rained all day in Santa Fe today, so I didn't get any pix.  We walked around and got wet and nearly froze, but I didn't think any of that worthy of getting my camera wet.  We've checked the weather reports and the rain is continuing tomorrow, so we're going home tomorrow instead of Thursday. We're okay with that.  We have plenty to do at home and home is more comfortable than this hotel room in Santa Fe.  We'll do Santa Fe again sometime.  I thank God for all our safe travels on this trip and pray that we'll continue all the way home tomorrow, safely.

This picture is of Lee and I with Pat Brovant-Holland when we went to a car show with her and Jim in Las Cruces.  We had such a wonderful time with Jim and Pat!  This is just one of the fun things we did.  It was especially fun because it made us think of Ruthie and Phil, because Phil has a street rod. Seeing this one brought them into our conversation one more time!  Ruthie and Pat were best friends when we lived in Itazuke, so this visit was a great connection for us!  We're planning for Ruthie and Phil to meet Pat and Jim at our house in early November and we'll make a great new memory to treasure and share on this blog!

Monday, September 9, 2013

On the Road, Again!

We made it to Santa Fe!  We had a great trip.  We saw LOTS of rain; in fact most of the day it rained, so we missed a lot of beautiful country.  We've seen it before, so we know what we missed, but we were just grateful for safety.  It did dry up around Albuquerque, so we got to see lots of great scenery as we pulled into Santa Fe.  We went to the Olive Garden for a great dinner tonight and that's where we got the picture above.

We are so grateful for safe travels.  We've put a lot of miles on the truck and Lee has done a great job driving.  if I were driving, we wouldn't get nearly as far in a day.  I'll be so glad when I get my cataracts repaired next month (!!!) so I can really see all that is around us.  I know I'm missing a lot. Today Lee said, "Is that a train over there?"  I looked and said, "It looks like a row of trees to me."  I got out the binoculars and, sure enough, it was a train!  I know I'm missing so much.  I thank God that there is a fix for my vision and that it is available to me!

It's good to be headed home.  I know that Joan and Bill and Hazel are taking good care of the place, but we always like home the best.  Being away always makes us appreciate it more.  Watching the tunnel people sure made me appreciate home!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Tunnel People Become Tent People?

In the first pic you see the vacant lot that is beside the resort where we are staying.  The street that goes around the vacant lot is a street where we can leave to get off the property.  From our 7th floor unit the view to the right is what is in this picture.  At the top left hand corner is a big white building; that is the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, which fronts onto the strip.  If you can enlarge the pic or look closely, you'll see a street light just a little to the right of the center of the picture.  Near that street light is the entrance to the tunnel where the folks live who we've been observing this week.  In the next picture I zoomed in to show the 'community' a little better.  At first glance it looks like a pile of junk.  But, if you look closer there are a couple of women leaving with their dogs on leashes.  One woman has a cigarette in her mouth.  Just to the left of the pole are a couple of men.  Yesterday was a very active day.  If you look at the weather map on the TV, you'll see that it is mostly dry all over the country, BUT we are having what they call monsoon rains here in the desert!  That's been kind of a hoot for us because it doesn't look like much rain to us, but it causes all kinds of flooding out here. It's enough to run the tunnel people out of the tunnels, too.  They have built quit a tent community over this week.  It's been very interesting to watch them.  There are at least a dozen folks coming and going out of this location.  I googled it and find that there are 1000 people living in the tunnels under this city.

At first I felt sorry for them, but after watching them for a week, I realize that they are living just like they want to live.  They have choices just like I do and they are living their dream.  I nearly flipped when those women emerged with dogs on leashes!  Later another woman took off her shirt and washed her hair in her bra and put on another shirt and then left with a guy.  I use the phrase 'washed her hair' loosely; she bent over and poured a jug of water on her head, called it good, put on a 'clean' shirt and off she went.  I'm sure glad I remembered the binoculars for this trip!  It made my observations of the tunnel people much easier!  I live and learn and I'm sure I have lots more to learn. I thank God for the opportunities to learn and to make choices.  "As for me and my household we will serve the Lord."  I'm thankful for the opportunity and choice to have a house!  I'm thankful for the opportunities and choices to work and save.

Look back at the first pic; notice the mountains all around this valley.  This is certainly an amazing place.  I'm glad to get to visit here and observe, but I'm grateful for home!  Everything we see is like scripture; it's all good for learning.  God bless!

Note:  for me to make these pix bigger, I right click on each one and then choose to "open link in a new window."  Then click on that new pic and it gets bigger.  Maybe it works like that for you, but it probably is different from computer to computer.  Good luck with that. :)

We Did it Again!

My daughter-in-law, Jeanette, came and had dinner with us, again, tonight!  We had so much fun.  After she left, Lee said, "She could be YOUR daughter."  I take that as a compliment because we had so much fun.  Lee really enjoyed the time we shared last night and tonight!  Jeanette brought us puzzles to take home as she's sizing down.  I love to take puzzles when we travel, so I'll be taking a bit of Jeanette with us when we travel and do puzzles!  I thank God for special folks in our lives and the ability to remember the memories we treasure.

Soon I will post pix I got of the tunnel people I wrote about in last night's post.  I really got a kick out of watching them all day today. Next to our visits with Jeanette, it's been the highlight of our trip.  I live and learn!  I went to bed last night feeling guilty because I had a nice bed in a cool place to sleep.  I woke up this morning to find the tunnel people up and rummaging through their stuff as they smoked cigarettes.  It occurred to me that they are living their dream; they are living just like they choose to live and I need not feel guilty.  I live like I choose and they live like they choose; it's pretty much that simple.  Interesting!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Country Bumpkins Gaping at the Other Sides.

This is the 'chair' down by the computer center where we can wait if there are folks using the three computers there.  I guess there is room for two or, maybe, three people to wait?  It's like everything else out here; kind of exaggerated.  Then there are the 'tunnel' people.

A friend told me about the tunnels underneath the town where homeless people live, so I googled it. Sure enough there are about 1000 people who live in the old sewage tunnels under the town.  We have been watching some of them ever since we've been here, but we didn't know what it was until I read about them on the Internet!  From our unit on the 7th floor, we can see what looks like a pile of trash in a ditch until you study it. There have been two or three people rummaging through the stuff and we couldn't figure out what was happening there.  I guess they got some of their stuff wet in the tunnel since it's rained some, and those tunnels flood when it rains.  So they've brought out what got wet to drape around and dry. There are a couple of grocery carts over there and some tarps where they've made tents so they have someplace to stay that has light as opposed to the dark tunnel.  Again, I am amazed. We go places and see huge mansions and think we're seeing how the other side of the world lives; then I see these tunnel people and realize there is a whole other side.  Then I go to the strip and see girls wobbling around in 8" spike heels and 8" skirts and wonder how many sides there are to this world?  I know the Hobart side and it's sure my comfort zone!

I thank God for a comfort zone and for the opportunity to see that the world is different right here in our country!  I thank God that we feel so much better today after a night and day of healing these bodies from last night's walk.  I thank Him for Ibuprofen which sure helped, too. (I can't take many of those or I get dizzy, but one took the edge off the pain to get me through today.)  I feel like myself, now.

Friday, September 6, 2013

We Are Crazy!

We rode the shuttle today to the Wynn Casino and Hotel.  Then we WALKED all the way back.  This picture is the view from our room and the Wynne is behind the Palazzo.  We didn't just walk straight back; no, we walked all down the shops in the Venetian and then the shops at Caesars Palace, too.  We got to go by the Bellagio and saw the fountain show; that's a favorite for both of us.  We are two tired pups, now!  But, we feel like we did after we climbed down into Pololu Valley and back:  empowered because we could do it.  Judging by my fitbit we walked over 6 miles.  I was NOT prepared for that.  I had on my crocks, which are comfortable, but I would have worn tennis shoes if I'd known we were going to be hiking.  I also had my purse with me and a shirt for the cold places (they run the AC like crazy out here, which probably saves lives, but I freeze).  Anyway, I wouldn't have wagged all that if I'd known we were going to walk so much.  I really can't believe I did it without my walking poles!  I really thank God that we could do it.  We have so much fun; we laughed a bunch of the way.  And we sure got our eyes full of stuff we never see around Hobart!  Ha!  Don't even let me get started on that!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Happy Visit!

We had a great night tonight!  This is Jeanette, my daughter-in-law.  She and Jeff have lived here for 24 years and they're moving to Dallas!  (That's SO closer to home!)  Jeff has already gone and started work, but Jeanette is here down sizing their 24 year collection and selling the house and her pool cleaning business.  Bless her heart; we sure appreciate her taking the time to come visit with us!  We had so much fun and she caught us up on a lot we've missed.  We so thank God for a great, great evening!

Today it rained here!  This is the first time I've been in Vegas when it rained.  It's been raining all around us and we hear about it on the news, but it never rained here until this evening for a bit. They have floods all over the area; it's a whole new deal for us.  We feel like a couple of country bumpkins learning new stuff and watching cool planes, lights, and wild and crazy people.  We come from the land of hardly any rain, and we expected this to be dry, too.  We live and learn!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

This is How We Do Vegas.

Yep.  Some folks will think we're crazy, but we check out the lights from our room and get our exercise in the fitness center.  We did walk around a little bit yesterday afternoon, but today we've stayed here in the condo.  I got some sun this afternoon on the roof.  We're right across from the airport, so it's way fun to be up there and watch the planes come in, one after another.  We walked around a bit on the strip yesterday and pretty much decided that Vegas is pretty much out of our league.  It's a good place to visit, but we're really on the outside looking inside, and we sometimes see more than we want to see. I know I like the mountains better, and never see enough of them!  It has been raining around the area (not here) and because of drainage issues, they are having flooding problems in the area.  It's another whole new concept to us.  We aren't familiar with rain or flooding!

I'm grateful for a great fitness center and the ability to use it!  I'm also grateful for the roof with lounges for sunning and observing the planes with the awesome mountains in the background.  Tomorrow we get to see my daughter-in-law, so that will be tomorrow's blessing; looking forward to catching up on that part of the family!  God is great and there is always so much for which to give abundant thanks!

Monday, September 2, 2013


This was the entry into the building where we stayed near Phoenix.  It was really a lovely place.  Both of us think it's a 'do again' sort of place.  It was beautiful all around it and the inside was spacious and comfortable.

We're enjoying our stay in Las Vegas, too.  Today we rode the shuttle down to the strip and spent a while watching people and just riding and watching all that happens here.  Wow.  It's an eye opener for folks from southwestern Oklahoma!  We can see the strip from our unit and that's really close enough for us for the most part.

We are loving our trip and we thank God for the opportunity and the safety.  Travel always reminds us to thank God for home and the safety and security we know there.  We are so grateful for friends and family!

Sunday, September 1, 2013


We found these rings in a shop in Las Cruces and I'm enjoying wearing them.  Love and believe; I can't think of better statements to make!  God asks us to love and believe, so I was really pleased when Lee wanted to buy them for me.  I took this pic last night on our balcony so you can see some of the mountains off to one side as well as some of the rest of the resort off to the left.

We traveled to Las Vegas today and the trip was awesome.  We came up through the northwestern corner of Arizona and it was absolutely breathtaking!  We really are like a couple of country bumpkins come to town!  We're going around with our mouths hanging open at all the beautiful mountains, and plants that are unfamiliar to us but so beautiful!  Our unit in Vegas is very nice and we have a great view  of the strip all cluttered but beautiful with man made lights.  The mountains surrounding it are the very best, though!  Tomorrow we'll start with the Vegas adventure.  Tonight we're resting and thankful for a safe trip.