"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Gone! They said it would be like this.

 Hard to believe that 2011 is already over.  Seems like just a few days ago we were ringing in the New Year.  The Y2K fiasco seems to have happened just a couple years ago.  Like my dad said, “you just wait”!
The year was a good one as far as traveling, though.  The past February it was a week in the Texas hill country.  March found us in Alabama at what started as a few folks meeting over the St. Patrick's Day weekend and turned into a week long gathering of nearly 40 rigs.  The birth of the Green Eggs and Ham Rally.  Already over 40 rigs signed up for 2012.
April found us spending a week or so with friends doing the Louisiana Geocache challenge.  From there it was back home preparing for our journey Westward.  That’s when the blog began, and I’ll not bore you with a repeat of all that.
We had a wonderful, though rainy, Christmas.  Rained hard for two days, but we needed it.  By Thursday it had warmed up again to short sleeve weather.  Had the mower out yesterday doing the final grass cutting of the year.  Must be something to that global warming.
The neighbor is out of town for a few days and I have been doing a little farm sitting.  The scenery isn’t nearly as good as where Al  is doing his, but it’s still fun to take care of the animals, so to speak.

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A look down the lane to the farmyard.  The old farmstead is still standing, though no one has lived there for over 50 years.

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We have Jacks and Jenny’s, Pigs and Goats.

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Large and small!

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The young ones love to play king of the hill.

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And the winner is………….

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There are ducks and Deere.

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and cattle, too.

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A Contented Cow.  Who remembers “the contented cows”?

Plenty of farm stuff all around.  You never throw away anything.  Never can tell when you might find a use for it.

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I think farmers were recycling long before it became the popular thing to do.

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Another great day in the country.  What a way to end the year.  Bright sunshine and warm temperatures.

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As the year comes to a close, just remembering all the new friends we met around the Country this past year brings joy to our hearts.  Hopefully the coming year will be even better.  Plan to get a jump start this year.  A January trip is in the planning stage.

To all who may read this; wishing you a very Happy New Year.  May your trails be level and your pathways straight!!…..
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The End………….jc

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Three Book Week!

It has gotten to that time of year.  I grew up hearing the phrase, three dog night, in reference to how many dogs it would take to keep you warm on a really cold night.  Never heard about a single dog night, or even two.  Only three dog nights, as a description of the really cold ones.
These last few days have been what I call a three book week. They come along regularly this time of year.  The old library card gets a real workout.  Michael Connelly, Lawrence Block, Lee Child, J. A. Jance; and many more become my best friends again. Usually average three a week.  When it’s too nasty to spend much time outside and the Casita is still parked under the shed, there’s nothing better than getting into the middle of a murder investigation with Harry Bosch, or helping right a wrong with Jack Reacher.
I don’t do much reading while we are on the road.  Too many other things to occupy our minds.  A couple of paperbacks can last us a month or more, but I always catch during the Winter months.
We did find time to do another Christmas parade.  This one was at night in a nearby town.  We still had some flags from the earlier parade and thought we would participate so we could give them all away.
We had some really good help this time.  He was shouting Merry Christmas the entire parade.
A really fun time, especially for the four year old!!
Just put a pork butt on the smoker for part of the holiday dinner.  By the time it’s done, there should be plenty of side items ready to go along with it.
That leaves plenty of time to just settle back down in the recliner and see if I can help ol’ Harry Bosch with this latest murder.
Wanda and I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and the best New Year.  May you spend the holidays doing what you most enjoy, but  please take a moment and remember the real “Reason for the Season”…………………….jc

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Armchair Traveler

As great as the Fall season has been, it is apparently over and old man Winter has arrived.  The rain arrived early last Monday and hung around till Wednesday.  The temps dropped into the twenties for lows and the forties for highs through Friday.  Finally warmed up a little on Saturday.


It’s weeks like this when I start getting stir crazy being in the house.  I’ll read a book or two, and then start thinking.  You know, that thing which always gets me in trouble!

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Even though I can’t be in Arizona with Al or Sue, I can get a travel fix of a sort with just a few clicks of the mouse.


There are so many fine webcams scattered throughout our National Parks that you almost get the feeling of being there.


Any part of the country.  Great Smoky Mountains to Olympic, Tetons to Big Bend.


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All of these except the Teton’s picture were captured in the last couple of days.  They all came from park service, national forest, of park associations cameras, with the exception of the Teton pic.  It came from the webcam of the American Alpine Club

This link will give you access to many of the cameras scattered around our parks.  Not exactly like being there, but it will do in a pinch.

Since Christmas is only a couple of weeks away, I guess I better quit dreaming and start some shopping.  That’s another thing I’m getting pretty good at.  Armchair shopping.  Isn’t the internet a wonderful thing?…………..jc

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Parades and Pancakes

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Another beautiful week has come and gone in Southwest Mississippi.  It is hard to believe that it is the second week of December and we are still having clear skies and temps near 80.  Usually by this time of year we are into the pattern of 1 clear day, 1 cloudy day, and three days of cold rain.  I’m sure it is coming, but this has been a fabulous Fall season for us.  Many of the hardwoods have yet to turn color and lose their leaves.

Saturday morning was the day for the annual Christmas parade in the small town near where we live.  It was also the day for the annual Exchange Club pancake breakfast.  We have been doing it for decades, on the same day as the parade.  What better way to watch a parade than after a full breakfast.

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It is also the day that the Exchange Club participates in the parade by handing out American Flags to all the kids along the route.  It is always fun to dress up in a funny, patriotic costume to pass out flags.  We try to tie God, Country, and Flag into the parade each year.  We hand out two to three thousand small flags along a route of a mile or so.

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We load up a small trailer with flags, hook it to a decorated Golf cart, and set out to get in line for the parade.

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We all grab a hand full of flags as the parade gets underway.  From there, it is nonstop till we get to the end.  You can’t stop, having to grab more flags from the cart as the parade moves along.  Soon it’s over. It’s all a blur.  You have helped give away hundreds of flags to children waiting on Santa Claus and candy.

Hopefully, when they get back to their homes, they will still have that flag.  Also, hopefully, one day, they will realize what that flag represents for them, and to their ability to attend Christmas parades and other things in their future.

It was a great day, made even better by more college football.  Who would have thought Southern Miss would ruin Houston’s perfect season?  And what can I say about those Tigers?  Don’t show up for the first half, then defeat Georgia in a walk.  Looks like LSU/ALA in the BCS championship.  No doubt about it, the SEC will have the National Champion again this year. GEAUX Tigers…………jc