Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Now, the cell phone. I got in touch with my personal cell guy, RJ, and he agreed with me that the bill was completely foolish, and he is taking care of it and I will have a big credit next month. Thanks RJ!
The only thing left to complain about is the 77 degrees with 70% humidity. It sure felt weird to sweat when hanging Christmas lights on the RV awning. We bought a 3 foot tall pre-lit tree and will decotate that tonight in the hopes that it will make it seem more like Christmas. And tomorrow I'm digging out the Christmas CDs. I think I have someone's rendition of "I'll Be Home For Christmas" or maybe "Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!"
So, what this means for me is this: For the first time in the almost 21 years that I worked full time, I have no money coming in and I don't like it! My part of this retirement bargain was for me to buy groceries and pay the cell bill. It already didn't leave me more than a few dollars spending money, but I was adjusting to it. Now I can't even keep my end of the bargain for the next three months. I'm not happy!
AND, the cell phone bill. Listen to this: We have 500 anytime minutes, used 373, which is 61 over!?!? And we have 1000 night and weekend minutes, used 186, and that is 59 over!?!? I've heard this new math is weird, but that is totally stupid. And I think my handy dandy personal connection (he told me to call him personally with any problems) takes both Mondays and Tuesdays off.
On top of that, I didn't retire to sweat, and Florida is too hot.
Whine, whine, whine.
Oh, the mail finally came.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Sunday, November 26, 2006
The sermon was excellent. The Bible Study was awesome. The people were so kind and welcoming. As they describe themselves: Amazing Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church ~ we're ordinary people with an extra ordinary love. We felt right at home and will for sure make this our church home while we are here in Florida. (Hubby enjoyed the good refreshments and coffee......TWICE!)
And, of course we found an immediate connection. As we introduced ourselves to the pastor he asked if hubby had any relatives who used to serve a church in Nebraska. YUP! That would be hubby's brother! It's a small world.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
Tyndall AFB, Florida: We made a quick trip to Orlando over the past two days. It was 385 miles down there and we spent exactly 32 hours there, then drove back this morning, but it was worth it. We had a wonderful time with Kari, Mike and gang, and with their friends that they traveled down here with. The day was spent at Animal Kingdom with about a million of our closest friends! When we were driving down there on Wednesday and sitting still on a freeway with 3 lanes going both directions, we should have realized that it was going to be crowded.
All the way down to Orlando I was thinking that I should be home in Minnesota, cleaning the house, baking pies, preparing turkey and all the trimmings, and getting ready for a house full of company on Thursday. We've traditionally had our meal in the evening so our kids could go to their in-laws at noon, so I always had the whole day on Thursday to prepare also. However, our Thanksgiving dinner was a bit different this year. Instead of dressing and potatoes for starch, we had a huge pretzle. Some cheese dip replaced the turkey, a large dill pickle shared with hubby was the relish tray, and a shared bowl of fruit was the salad. Our table was the lovely top on a yellow garbage can where we stood next to our beautiful granddaughters, Kjirsten and Katie as they had a similar dinner. (Oh, the top of the can was very clean! I saw workers come by every few minutes and spray and wipe down the outsides of the cans.) The sun was shining, temperature must have been in the 70's, the trees and flowers were in full bloom, and it was a glorious day. We have not been to Disney before, and I walked around in awe. How can they do these things, how can they make all the wonders, and who thinks of them all to begin with?
On this Thanksgiving Day we give thanks to God for our salvation, our faith, our church, our kids and grandkids, family and friends, good health, safe travels, and our country. Not many places in this world have it this good. We are very blessed.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Tyndall AFB, Florida: We spent a little time walking around our new neighborhood this afternoon and found that it's quite nice. We have a Bayou, a nature trail, and lots of trees and other plants. The place is surprisingly green....but then, we are used to November in Minnesota when green isn't the dominent color!
Today we also went to the airport to check on rental cars and to the commissary for a few groceries. When we got back to our site, hubby got online and reserved an ecomony car for us to pick up tomorrow morning and a motel room for Wednesday and Thursday nights. We are heading to Orlando tomorrow to meet up with Kari and Mike and gang. Our truck would cost much more to drive so we opted for a small rental car. He also reserved it for December when we are driving back to Minnesota for two weeks. I'm sure our cheap motel room won't compare with the fancy digs that the kids are in this week, but we just need a place to sleep. The rest of the time we plan to spend with them. I believe Animal Kingdom is on the schedule for Thursday. Then we'll head back up here early Friday morning and will check out the address of the church for Sunday morning. The kids will head back on Saturday I believe.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Our plan is to connect up with Mike and Kari and family down in Orlando for a couple of days. It's over 300 miles down there, so it really necessitates our staying over. We found some real bargains on motels though, so it shouldn't be too expensive. Tomorrow we need to do some grocery shopping and aquainting ourselves with the area. And I'll post some pictures of our new neighborhood!
Saturday, November 18, 2006
I'm going to call Kari now and tell her we are on our way, and hopefully set up a time so we can meet them for a few hours at least. So, the sun is shining a little bit and things are looking better.
Yesterday I did cut out the pieces for a quilt, and I have a couple of other projects ready to sew, so as long as we're waiting around some more I guess I'll set up the machine and start sewing. I was going to wait until we got to Florida and were set up more or less permanently, but I need something to do right now.
I talked to KT last night, but haven't heard anything this morning. She said they were just about out of Illinois last night, so they should be close to their destination by now. I'll give them a call soon and hopefully will find that they've arrived safely. When I talked to KT, the van was quiet. She said the little guys were watching a movie. She did say it was a long way!
So, another day at the base. I'll keep you informed.
Friday, November 17, 2006
I am also still waiting for the resolution of the missing Social Security check. We were hoping that they had for some reason mailed it instead of depositing it, but with no mail we can't find that out either.
I did laundry yesterday afternoon and washed a batch of flannel fat quarters that I've been saving for a quilt. I just may have to cut out the pieces this afternoon for something to do. I am tired of sitting here in the cold rain. The lack of sunshine is really what is bugging me so I am ready to move on. Stay tuned..........
Thursday, November 16, 2006
I still haven't found out where my Social Security check is. I'm going to attempt to talk with someone at SS again this afternoon. Wish me luck!
Monday, November 13, 2006
We have been to the factory and turned the RV in for repairs, so are living in a motel for a few days. We can't get online through the wireless at this motel without paying, but we are able to connect through the motel across the street! I checked my bank account and saw that my ready credit had kicked in and was wondering what was the problem. Then I saw that there was no deposit made last week when my Social Security check should have hit the automatic deposit. I called SS, listened to a bunch of instructions in both English and Spanish, entered my numbers, and listened to the phone try to solve my problem without me even talking to a real person. Well, this problem takes personal attention, I believe! Finally a voice told me that the waiting time for a real person was about 7 minutes and I could wait, or we could go back to the beginning and let the phone try to solve the problem again. I indicated that I would wait. While I was waiting I was given more information about Social Security than I ever wanted to know. That message was interrupted every so often by a male voice telling me that all operators were still busy but that they would get to me as soon as they could.
Finally, after more than 12 minutes, a tired voice asked me what my problem was. The poor woman sounded like she had been put through the wringer by more than one person today. I felt sorry for her, so I was extra nice and polite as I explained my problem. She asked me my number again, my name, my birthdate, my birthplace, and my mother's maiden name. After checking my records she claims my money was sent and I should check with my bank. It's not her fault. Good bye.
Now remember, I'm making these calls on a cell phone and standing in the motel window so I get more than one bar. So I dialed my bank back in Minnesota and got a very friendly gal on the phone. She checked and could see nothing but said she'd check the other departments and see if the holiday perhaps held it up. I will call her back on Wednesday to see if she was able to locate it. If not, I guess my ready credit will have to buy the groceries this month and I'll have to try Social Security again. I'm not looking forward to that!
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Dayton, Ohio, Wright Patterson Air Force Base: The past two days we have spent at the Air Force Museum here on the base in Dayton. There are many different areas, WW1, WW2, Korea, Nam, the Cold War, and the modern wars in the Gulf. There is also a section on space. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. In each different section I envisioned various relatives or friends flying in those planes, even if they weren't pilots. In the WW2 area I saw a couple of uncles and of course Jimmy Stewart. In Nam were many Air Force and school friends, and of course hubby, and they also appeared in the Cold War section. Then my thoughts switched to our son and others we know during the Gulf Wars area. I can't even imagine what hubby was thinking, especially when we were in the section where they displayed the missile he worked on during 2/3 of his Air Force career.
We also visited a hanger where they displayed a few of the presidential planes. It was very sobering to actually walk through the plane that carried President Kennedy to Dallas on that dark November day many years ago, and then carried his body back to Washington, along with the new President, Lyndon Johnson.
It was a very fitting time to visit the museums as it is Veterans Day. Thank you to the men and women who have protected us in the past and to those who are still protecting our country today. God bless you all.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Sunday, November 05, 2006
We attended the Bible Study after the service. We met the pastor and he explained that they had just changed the starting time from 10:30 to 10:00 and that information hadn't been published yet. Upon further talking with him, I discovered that he is good friends with JPZ! Hubby had gone fishing with JP's father up in Alaska in 1992 on our first trip up there. In the Bible Class we were discusing liturgy and people were commenting on little differences they had noticed in the traditions of different Lutheran churches, and one woman said she had come from the ELS and that such and such was done a little differently. That is our church synod, so after class ended I questioned her. Imagine my surprize to find out that the pastor who confirmed her out in Washington state is the pastor that married hubby and me, and that we knew other pastors in common also.
Yes, it's a small world. Especially in the world of WELS and ELS Lutherans.
Mammoth Cave National Park Campsite: After three days of cold rain, last Thursday dawned bright and sunny. Hubby stuck his head out the door and proclaimed it was a beautiful day in the neighborhood. And it was. (Our neighborhood consisted of 111 campsites, 110 of them empty!) We wished we would have gone on the cave tour on Wednesday when it was raining so we wouldn't have had to waste 2 hours of this beautiful day, but since we didn't we would go this morning.
The cave tour was okay. It's not a very beautiful cave, but it is impressive because it's the longest cave in the world. Over 350 miles of passages have been explored. Our tour was 2 hours and listed as strenuous. Right inside the entrance we entered a deep shaft - 300 stairs seemingly straight down a narrow crooked shaft. We eventually arrived at the bottom of the steps and a comparatively level walkway. We scrambled across the boulders, 250 feet below the surface for the next hour. Fortunately getting back up was a much more gradual climb, but it was a good workout.
We emerged back into the sunshine and decided to go on a drive after lunch. Hubby ploted the route based on the name - Ugly Creek Road - and we checked with the ranger to make sure it was a good plan. She had never driven this road, but said she always had wanted to, so she enthusiastically gave us her blessing.
The first part of the ride was on a normal 2 lane highway through the golden leaves of the hardwood forest. Soon we came to a sign that read: Road ends in water 1 mile ahead! Sure enough - the road ends at a river where you drive unto a small ferry that is attached to cables which guide it to the other side. From there it was only a couple of miles until we turned onto a much narrower, but still paved, road that snaked along the hill, up and down and around, through the trees of every shade of gold, rust, bronze, and orange.
Then we came to a dirt road, single lane width with no shoulders. The trees grew very close to the road and the entire roadway was covered with leaves. Not much traffic had been through there lately On the left side there were park boundry signs posted on the trees every so often, but on the right side were crudely hand printed signs stating: POSTED or NO TRESPASSING or KEEP OUT. I wasn't going to disobey those warnings!
This narrow dirt road, not much larger than a hiking trail, proved to be just the place to spend a beautiful sunny afternoon. The steep hills with sharp 90 degree turns kept hubby on his toes, and we stopped several times so I could take pictures of the sun shining through the trees on the winding roadway ahead of us. On the top of one hill we came across a small graveyard and we stopped to look at some of the old tombstones. We found several graves of Civil War heros, and we wondered why the graveyard was so far away from any visible church. Then again, a church from over 150 years ago wouldn't necessarily still be standing.
At one point we crossed Ugly Creek on a small cement bridge which was not much more than just some cement poured over the rocks to make a solid spot to cross the creek. We passed an old crumbling shed in a small clearing and saw a sign pointing to another graveyard. Otherwise it was trees, trees, and more trees, with some of them on our right side still warning us to KEEP OUT. And we didn't touch one leaf on that side!
All too soon our adventure was over and we arrived back to the highway where we would shortly take the ferry back across the river. We concluded our day with a roaring campfire and warmed over chili for supper. Yes, it was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
PS: We missed you, mom! You would have loved this adventure.
PPS: The Echo Trail looks like a super highway compared to this road, Molly!
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Thea, you are an asset to our family and a real blessing to our son. I pray you have a wonderful birthday and many, many more to come. Happy Birthday!