"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

Monday, December 30, 2013

Slip, Slipping Away!


IMG_1704 (Medium)

IMG_1715 (Medium)

Another year is about to come to a close.  Another year older, and possibly, a little wiser.  Seems like it was just last April that I retired, rather than back in 2008.  As those old folks used to say; time sure flies, the older you get.

The year of 2013 has had its ups and downs.  Definitely not my best of the bunch since retirement, but it had its moments.  January found us at Ft. Pickens campground, part of Gulf Islands National Seashore.  A cold, damp few days, made warmer by the presence of a number of friends.

IMG_0142 (Medium)

IMG_0115 (Custom)

February found us in Arizona, visiting various places, and getting our first taste of Quartzite.

IMG_0300 (Medium)

IMG_0359 (Medium)

IMG_0502 (Medium)

IMG_0533.1 (Medium)

We took the long road back home. Found it to be through Borrego Springs, Death Valley, Lake Mead area, and many places in between.

IMG_0627.1 (Medium)

IMG_0822.1 (Medium)


March found us back in Alabama at the Green Eggs and Ham Rally.  Lots of food and fun.

IMG_1283 (Medium)

IMG_1294 (Medium)

IMG_1273 (Medium)

April found us doing some fishing, and spending a little time in the Ozarks.

IMG_1338 (Medium)


IMG_2056 (Medium)

May found us packing for southern Utah and other points for the Summer.  Of course, those plans changed with a phone call.  Wanda’s mom become the priority and we spent the remaining months closer to home.  We still were able to sneak off for a long weekend to New Orleans around Memorial Day.

IMG_2060 (Medium)

June found us making a trip back to Arkansas for a week or so. Had a detour along the way.

IMG_2122 (Medium)

IMG_2131.1 (Medium)

IMG_1664 (Medium)

IMG_1679 (Medium)

July brought a trip to Destin, FL for a week of fun with family.

IMG_2276 (Small)

IMG_2224 (Small)

August found the boredom beginning to set in, again.  Decided to start construction on another little house.


IMG_2386.1 (Medium)

September started with the grape battle,

IMG_1828 (Medium)

and ended with love bugs.

IMG_2395.1 (Medium)

October found us attending a rally in Texas, a music festival in Oklahoma, and balloon festival in Louisiana.

IMG_2446 (Medium)

IMG_1932 (Medium)

IMG_2473 (Medium)

November and December seemed to blend into one another.  Thanksgiving and the Christmas season are meant for family time, and we tried to fulfill that tradition.

Looking back on the year, I realized that we were able to do many things, and go many places, in spite of the plans change.  For that, I’m really grateful.

Another thing I’m grateful for is our blogger friends.  I appreciate that you find the time to read, and at times, comment on my ramblings.  I started this blog as a personal journal of our travels, and never thought anyone else would give it a second look.  Thanks for your support.

What 2014 has in store for us is yet to be seen.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to experience much more of our beautiful Country, and meet more of you along the way……jc

Saturday, December 21, 2013

First day of Winter


Grand Canyon sunrise

More photos like this can be found at http://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/National-Wildlife/PhotoZone/Archives/2013/Winter-Photo-Gallery.aspx  Thanks to the National Wildlife Federation.

I’m sitting here on the first day of Winter, 2013  with an outdoor temperature of 75 degrees.  Watching some minor bowl game being played in a blowing snow, while tornado warnings scroll across the bottom of the t v screen. Welcome to Winter in the deep South.

It’s hard to believe that it has been nearly a month since my last post. Pretty easy to surmise that not much has been happening since Thanksgiving.  Just the everyday events that make up life at home. 

We decided back in the Summer that we would like a walk-in shower in our master bath.  Found us a contractor which came highly recommended, and made an appointment for a November-December time frame.  You can probably guess when he showed up.  This past Monday morning.  Here we are in the middle of the Christmas season, with all the family coming in tomorrow, and our little house in much dis-array    And the carport is covered with demolition junk and construction materials.  Go figure.

I’ve been reading the blogs of many folks heading for what they thought would be warmer weather.  The Caves left Illinois for Texas, but have been chased by ice, rain, and cold temps.  Al and Kelly are having temps in the forty’s in Arizona, but Janna and Mike might possibly think that was a heat wave.  Mark is “stuck” in Ouray, waiting on a doctors appointment, and possibly a visit with a surgeon.  The list could go on and on, but I’ll spare you.  Just saying thanks to all these folks, and many more, which help me through  the boring times at home. 

Things ARE looking up. Though many of my close friends say I see the glass as half empty, it always looks full when it comes to travel plans.  Baring any bad news, the Egg should be posting from some new environs shortly after the New Year.

Lastly,  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our readers.  We hope you have a fantastic holiday season.  May you be blessed with the presence of family and friends.  And, please remember the REAL “reason for the season”…..jc 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks



A fellow blogger posted her list of things she was thankful, or grateful, for.  She issued a challenge to her readers to do the same.  Though I don’t have the way with words that she does, here’s my list.

Thankful to be married  to my best friend for 46 years. 

Thankful to be a member of a large, loving family.  Brothers, sisters, children, grand children, niece’s and nephews, in-laws and outlaws; all get along with each other, and enjoy each others company.

Thankful for our friends.  Many we’ve known since childhood.  Also those we’ve met only in the past five or six years as we have traveled the Country . Our Casita family.

Thankful for our health, and the ability to do what we want, within reason.

Thankful for the underserved blessings that have been bestowed upon us.

Thankful to have been born in the United States of America.  With all the things we consider wrong with our Country, today, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

And, thankful for our blogging friends.  Some we’ve met face to face, but most are people we only know from their posts or comments. We would love to meet each and everyone somewhere along the way.

Though there are hundreds more things I’m thankful for, if listed individually, I feel most would fall somewhere within one of the above.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.  May your day be filled with Thanks and Gratitude….jc

Monday, November 25, 2013


The weather system that has been bringing death and destruction to much of the western part of the Country the last few days has finally arrived.  No ice, snow, or flooding; but a cold day of rain, with the high in the 40’s.  Wanda was in Jackson with her mother,  and I was just sitting around mullygrubbing.

I decided it would be a great time to make a pot of gumbo for Thanksgiving.  I went to town and purchased what ingredients we didn’t have.  Chopped up the onions, celery, garlic, and bell pepper.

DSC_0018 (Medium)

For those that don’t know, every good gumbo starts with a roux.  It is a 50/50 blend of oil and flour, slowly cooked until it reaches a dark brown.  It requires constant stirring to prevent it from scorching.  The darker you get it, the better; but as it nears a chocolate brown, the risks of scorching become very high. I chickened out and stopped mine a shade or two short of perfect.  The sad part is that I already had the roux made before I thought to take pictures.

Anyway, after the roux is ready you start adding your vegetables to it.  first the garlic and onions are cooked down.

DSC_0020 (Medium)

After they become transparent, I added the celery, then the bell pepper. Cooking them down till tender also.  This requires constant stirring also to keep from scorching.

DSC_0022 (Medium)

DSC_0023 (Medium)

Then the ingredient that makes it gumbo.  The okra is added and cooked down the same.

DSC_0024 (Medium)

DSC_0025 (Medium)  DSC_0026 (Medium)

Add some tomatoes, and keep stirring.

DSC_0027 (Medium) DSC_0029 (Medium)

While all this was going on, I had a pot of rich stock simmering on another burner.

DSC_0021 (Medium)

I brought the stock to a rolling boil and stirred in my base.

DSC_0031 (Medium)

I also added my shrimp, crab, and smoked sausage.

DSC_0034 (Medium)

As I put this post together, the pot is still simmering away on the stove. 

Have I made you hungry, yet?Smile

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Still waiting on Fall to arrive;

and a housing report.

Our weather continues to be warm for the time of year.  We had some severe weather a couple of weeks ago that brought down a ton of pine tree limbs and trash. The yard looked like it did after hurricane Isaac, last year. It took Wanda and I two days of raking and burning to get the place cleaned up again.

IMG_2045.1 (Medium)


Though we had our first frost this past week, the  trees haven’t seemed to notice.  A willow next to the neighbors pond.

                               IMG_2116 (Medium) 

And as you can see from the next picture, we could definitely use some rain.

IMG_2120 (Medium)

Fall azaleas are still doing well.

IMG_2112 (Medium) IMG_2113 (Medium)

As well as our hydrangea's.

IMG_2129 (Medium)

IMG_2124 (Medium) IMG_2131 (Medium)

IMG_2126 (Medium) IMG_2130 (Medium)

On another front, I’ve had a few questions on how the house building was coming along.  I guess it’s doing pretty good.  From the blueprint,

floorplan (Large)

to this in 90 days or so isn’t too bad.

IMG_2136 (Medium)

Living room and kitchen area.

IMG_2139 (Medium)

IMG_2141 (Medium)

Kitchen cabinets which we built from scratch.  Had to take off a couple of doors to install the dishwasher.  I love those quick disconnect, hidden hinges.

IMG_2155 (Medium)

Bedroom 1.

IMG_2144 (Medium) IMG_2145 (Medium)

Bedroom 2.

IMG_2148 (Medium) IMG_2149 (Medium)


IMG_2146 (Medium)

Back porch.

IMG_2154 (Medium)

We still have a couple days work left to be done.  The front porch rail needs painting, and the dryer hookups have to be installed.  A couple of specialty outlet covers which are being difficult to locate in our limited shopping area. I’m sure there are a few more things which will crop up.  Always is, but the end is in sight.

I think the new Weyerhaeuser forester is going to be very happy with his new living arrangements.