01.01.15 Reflections on God’s Blessings in 2014

2014 GRAPHHIC2014 wasn’t the travel filled year we would have liked.  We did travel to Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas but that’s the extent of our 2014 RV travels.  We stayed longer in our home state than we originally planned because of selling our sticks and bricks house, which finally happened December 3rd, 2014.  Probably near the top of our list of God’s blessings this year was the house sale.

I’ll break down the highlights by month starting with,

vector-color-dot-background_134330483January 2014 – Spent time in Mississippi at TLC Resort in Pass Christian.  Kim and Chip came to visit us there and Chip and Madisyn came to visit us.

2014-01-18_10-58-43_172https://rosalynandroy.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/img_20140117_171323_162.jpghttps://rosalynandroy.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/2014-01-18_11-01-31_397.jpg

vector-color-dot-background_134330483We discovered the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and enjoyed touring it which included a visit to the pottery buildings,

ooh2pods_mid_con_small

vector-color-dot-background_134330483In mid January we traveled to Florida.  Our first stop was at Suncoast Designs in Hudson, Florida to have most of our windows removed, refinished/resealed, and reinstalled.   A lot of “fog” had built up inside those windows and when they reinstalled the windows they looked new.

cb 1

https://rosalynandroy.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/2014-01-23_13-50-38_267.jpg

vector-color-dot-background_134330483With the window refinishing complete we headed to Bee’s RV Resort in Clermont, Florida.

bees lake

vector-color-dot-background_134330483Three highlights of our stay there included

vector-color-dot-background_134330483vector-color-dot-background_134330483vector-color-dot-background_134330483vector-color-dot-background_134330483vector-color-dot-background_134330483vector-color-dot-background_134330483vector-color-dot-background_134330483Discovering Abracadabra Ice Cream Factory where they use a mixture of cream and sugar, add the ingredients you want to the mixture and then hit it with some nitrogen,

abra bsplitabra smoke

vector-color-dot-background_134330483 Attending our first RV Park Worship Service and found we really like that concept, and

vector-color-dot-background_134330483Taking our first wine factory tour and having a blast.  It was at Lakeridge Winery and Vineyard where after the tour we enjoyed their wine tastings.  We ventured outside, where we discovered a sprawling lawn with a bandstand on one side, a food court on the other and people sitting on the lawn enjoying the food and the music.  Roy got a gyro and I got a vegetable plate, sat on the grass enjoyed the music and had a good time!

lakeridge in front

vector-color-dot-background_134330483While in Florida we made a trip to Universal Orlando and had a wonderful time there as always.  We walked, rode and played as much as two old folks with aching bones can do and enjoyed every minute of it.  Here are pictures from that adventure:

Universal Day One

Universal Day Two

horizontal line

vector-color-dot-background_134330483February, 2014 – Visited our friends Russ and Annie in St. Augustine where we parked Dora in the yard next to their sticks and bricks house which is just a couple of blocks off the Atlantic Ocean.  We heard the beautiful ocean sounds from our RV and enjoyed some beautiful times on and around the ocean beach. Russ took us one afternoon for a ride in their car on the beach.  What a fun experience that was! We enjoyed some good quality visiting time with our friends and even attended Annie’s yoga class for cancer patients.  A first for Roy and I. We spent two days touring St. Augustine.  Some of the things we saw were the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, The Fountain of Youth Park which is a big place with lots of exhibits and beautiful peacocks, Flagler College, Castillo de San Marcos, St. George Street (a walking shopping street), and San Sebastian Winery where we took a tour and enjoyed our first ever class on wine tasting, St. Augustine is an amazing old town steeped in history and we enjoyed every minute of touring it.sa beach roy and russ2014-02-01_15-27-37_481vector-color-dot-background_134330483From St. Augustine we headed to Arrowhead Campgrounds in Marianna, Florida where we enjoyed seeing these beautiful bald cypress trees.

2014-02-08_11-26-58_158

vector-color-dot-background_134330483We spent Valentines there and enjoyed a Valentine’s Dinner with a nice group at Arrowhead.

 

vector-color-dot-background_134330483We had Dora weighed for the first time and found she is well below the maximum weight limits!

 

vector-color-dot-background_134330483In February I posted a blog post about Things I Deeply Believe in.  You can read this post at https://rosalynandroy.com/2014/02/12/what-i-believe/

 

vector-color-dot-background_134330483Around this time in early 2014 we joined the RVillage family as followers and as part-time occasional employees.  We love RVillage and encourage any  RVer or  hope to be RVers to join – FREE – RVillage.com. Check it out!RVillage_Logo_YouTube-300x113

vector-color-dot-background_134330483On to Robertsdale, Alabama for two weeks at Wilderness RV Park.  We enjoyed a Mardi Gras parade in nearby Mobile with Amy, Richard and Ricky Geist. Very different from a New Orleans parade but still lots of fun!
2014-02-22_15-18-20_689

vector-color-dot-background_134330483Roy revised our Dora and the Explorers logo and this is the result – cool right!!
bdrc.png

vector-color-dot-background_134330483Late in February we came back westward and stayed at TLC Wolf River Resort for three weeks. One of those weeks we were blessed to have Madisyn stay with us.
2014-03-07_10-55-48_179vector-color-dot-background_134330483This visit included Madisyn’s 5th birthday and associated parties (yes multiple!)
madisyn birthday with boys

horizontal linevector-color-dot-background_134330483March and April, 2014 – Once the excitement of Madisyn’s birthday was over we spent some time in our own sticks and bricks driveway.  It was the time of year that I usually did gardening pruning and preparing them for their glorious blooming in the spring so we did that this year to get the gardens ready for putting the house up for sale in early summer.

vector-color-dot-background_134330483We moved over to Jellystone Yogi Bear for a while and of course got some good visiting time in with Chip’s family.  yogi2

vector-color-dot-background_134330483Roy created new business cards for us.

Dora and Explorers business card

vector-color-dot-background_134330483We made our way to San Diego, TX at the end of March where we stayed for 6 weeks tending a ranch for a couple visiting Europe.  We fed peacocks, chickens, guineas, dogs, cats and watered flowers and vegetable plants and mowed the grass.  In between we explored the ranch on the ATV and were amazed at the flowers and beauty we found in that dry place.  We disliked greatly the heat (one day in April it was 106 degrees), strong winds and sand storms that seemed constant.  We did like the solitude and being in a totally different place than we were use to.

2014-04-14_19-47-40_410

peacock2

vector-color-dot-background_134330483We went to Corpus Christi and toured the USS Lexington, a naval flight carrier that is now a museum in the water there.

2014-05-01_12-33-37_577

2014-05-01_12-42-05_246

Whilevector-color-dot-background_134330483 settled in Texas for a while we took the time to replace our RV toilet.  We were tickled with this new addition!2014-05-08_18-13-25_585

horizontal line

vector-color-dot-background_134330483May, 2014 – As we left the ranch I drove Dora for the farthest I have so far! 2014-05-12_16-39-09_396

2014-05-12_16-51-23_524

vector-color-dot-background_134330483Bishop’s Landing in Willis Texas – beautiful wonderful resort.  We enjoyed some peaceful time there feeding squirrels, enjoying the cool breeze off the lake and exploring the area.  Seeing a crawfish festival nearby captured our attention.  It was interesting and big (like all of Texas is) and we paid $6.50 a pound with a small piece of corn and half a small potato. I’m pretty sure they cook it quite differently than we do.  They put red pepper on it after it’s cooked and it didn’t taste like it was cooked in salted water.2014-05-17_13-35-32_28

vector-color-dot-background_134330483We arrived back in Louisiana to end May.  We found the most delightful place at Quiet Oaks RV Park in Kinder, LA.  This is by far the quietest, most restful, well-maintained, yet quaint and pretty RV resort we’ve stayed at.

vector-color-dot-background_134330483This isn’t our RV in the picture but it shows how pretty the place is.

2014-05-28_17-23-52_380

horizontal lineJune through early December – 2014

vector-color-dot-background_134330483We spent the months of early June through early December with our RV parked in our side yard in Hammond Louisiana while our sticks and bricks house was on the market.  The first month and sporadically throughout the rest of the months we spent time doing work on and in the house and gardens.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Roy took a full-time temporary job at Southeastern Louisiana University repairing computer hardware for which I am most grateful!  This is what he looked like by the end of most days after working at Southeastern all day and then working at the house all evening.
blog 4
vector-color-dot-background_134330483In his off time, in addition to the mountains of work done on the house, we did the following:
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Roy had a successful surgery to remove lumps from his chest and back.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We traveled to Mississippi to visit Walter’s Peach Farm and stock up on peaches and nectarines.  My first time freezing peaches was really successful and we’re still enjoying eating them!
one box peaches
peaches all
vector-color-dot-background_134330483I helped with our church, Trinity Baptist Church’s Vacation Bible School, and as always received a blessing from being with these amazing children.
vbs program sing
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Roy pressure washed Dora’s RV engine.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We spent time with Madisyn doing all sorts of things.
IMG_20140717_183022_866
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Later in the summer I helped with Trinity’s “His Kids Special Needs Day Camp”.  These children are exceptional bright lights and I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with them.
10524559_10204517814564851_2797004895804958202_n
vector-color-dot-background_134330483I learned about getting greatly discounted pricing on brand name prescriptions which made my year!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483I learned a lot about online job searches and even got involved (knowingly, so I could document it) in a job scam.  Was kinda fun seeing how it unfolded!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Madisyn’s first day of big school (kindergarten) made us realize how very fast she is growing up. madisyn kindergarten
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We started our search for our new home.  We looked in all the surrounding towns at houses on land and land alone where we might build, or put a modular home on to rent out.  Our wonderful real estate agent Jamie Johnson guided us well!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We were reminded why living in Louisiana during the summer is NOT FOR US!
hot as hell
vector-color-dot-background_134330483August brought football season and we just knew it was going to be “the big year” for our teams; Southeastern Lions, New Orleans Saints and LSU Tigers. More on that later in the year!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483I wrote more blogs about topics close to my heart than I did about our travels.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483In September I started a new blog post called Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays to bring some smiles, giggles and a warm heart to those in need of it. Check it out at: wackywonderfulwednesdays.wordpress.com  It is published every Wednesday.  At first it was part of our Dora and the Explorer blog, but later in the year it moved to its current location.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We saw Madisyn practice in her cheering class and attended her Open House night at big school.
IMG_20140925_181121_805
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Kim, Braxton and Bentley better.  They have blessed our lives immensely!
royandb
braxton
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Showed support for our New Orleans Saints with our new family socks!
sainits socks
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Went with Chip’s family (Kim, Madisyn, Braxton and Bentley) to Ms. Heather’s Pumpkin patch where we played with the children and enjoyed the time together.  This little family brought so much joy to our lives this year.
10345933_937298572950296_3547940643093031943_nchips family picture
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We became RVillage Ambassadors which is a new role we’ve accepted to spread the RVillage word as we travel – when we get to travel again!!
20141011_160815
vector-color-dot-background_134330483One of the air conditioning units had an electrical fire and stopped working totally, and the other stopped working properly.  Roy diagnosed the problem and replaced the needed parts again proving his brilliance once again!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We made the decision to replace our old Splendide Washer/Dryer unit with this brand new beauty!  Larger capacity and it works great!
20141017_15000120141017_161638
vector-color-dot-background_134330483I attended a concert by William Carey University Chorale at our home church, Trinity Baptist Church. AMAZING!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Roy replaced all our ceiling light fixtures with new LED lights and covers.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483My eye specialist diagnosed my left eye with having macular degeneration but thankfully it’s not bad enough to  need treatment.  It causes the vision in my left eye to be slightly wavy, but the right eye is fine and helps that from being too big of a vision problem.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We received two stinky offers on the house which we rejected.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Late in October we received a good offer FINALLLLLLLLY on our house from a nice young couple and WE ACCEPTED!!!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483After an extensive property search and a couple of near misses we found our little slice of Heaven here on earth on Rohner Road in Amite, Louisiana abound 15 minutes up I-55 and another 15 minutes down Highway 16 !  Almost an acre, on a pond, cows as neighbors, rolling hills, babbling brook.  What else could we ask for!
god is good all the time 2
Decidevector-color-dot-background_134330483d upon a set of house plans for our new small house and decided to hire Ronnie Glover as our Construction Project Manager for the house we’ll build on the property we found in Amite.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483In November I started a third blog about “Some Things I Learned About Alzheimer’s”.  It started out on Dora’s site, like the Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays one, but moved to its own site at :   rosalynsalzheimersblog.wordpress.com .  I hope to share our experience caring for Mama with Alzheimer’s and other people’s information that was shared with me plus helpful info I find on the internet.
ALZ BLOG LOGOjpg
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We purchased a Onan Generator Auto Start control for when we are boon docking.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483At Thanksgiving I helped with Chip, Kim and Madisyn and their church Soul’s Harbor, serve over 2000 boxed lunches to people in the Hammond area at Thanksgiving Servolution.
thanksgiving servolution 20141115_112931
20141115_104057
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Attended several worship services with Chip and Kim at Soul’s Harbor.  Amazing church growing fast and moving into the building above this month!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Roy especially, and me a little, spent extensive time checking off the items on the home inspectors nit picky list.  These new buyers wanted and got a perfect house!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We enjoyed hosting our last family gathering at the house in Hammond.  My sister’s children and grandchildren joined our family at our very empty house.  Our large back patio was fine for all of us to fellowship and enjoy each others company which digging into banana splits!
20141102_162619 20141102_162813
horizontal line
December, 2014  was indeed a busy month.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We said goodbye to our sticks and bricks house in Hammond, turning it over to the new owners in early December. A bitter sweet moment leaving behind good and not so good memories at this beautiful place we called home for several years. This is the best move Roy and I as a couple could make and we thank God for His constant presence with us through out this process.
20141204_113941azaleas
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We parked at Berryland Campers in Hammond for a few days and enjoyed a wonderful visit from our RV friends Russ and Annie.  We showed them around our hometown and took them to church with us which we all enjoyed.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Russ and Annie went with us to see Trinity’s Children’s Choir Christmas music presentation.
20141207_172011
 vector-color-dot-background_134330483Russ and Annie at Chip’s house meeting his family.  The little boys just feel in love with them!20141207_145649
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We  signed the documents making us the legal owners of one beautiful piece of property in Amite, Louisiana where we will build a new house along with a pad with hookups for our RV.  With all our permits obtained, the slab form built and the well completed, we sat for a couple of weeks without any construction because of the hard rains and holidays when the workers wanted to be home with their families.
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We spent our time wisely chopping, sawing, mowing and finally manicuring (not finished with that yet) the bushes, weeds, small trees to create a beautiful setting for our new home.  Roy spent almost every day for two weeks on this and I helped!  My main job was clearing out the massive amounts of heavily thorned bushes and vines around the pine trees.  The picture below is before I started!
20141023_122144
vector-color-dot-background_134330483View of the pond from under the pine trees after I cleaned out all the brush from that area. I’m about 2/3 way finished now!
pond from hill by trees
Our son Chip was in “One Night in Bethlehem” a scene by scene drama of the events surrounding the birth of Christ.
chip soldier and madisyn
We went with Chip’s family to see the “One Night in Bethlehem” presentation and recommend it highly for future years in Hammond.
20141220_210115
20141220_193510
We received a blessing when hearing our church, Trinity’s Adult Choir Christmas music.  Such a glorious thing seeing these people I love so much lifting their hearts in praise of their Lord!  And they got new choir robes – whoot whoot!
tbc christmas choir
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Our Southeastern Lion’s didn’t make it to the playoffs, LSU’s Tigers played in only a very minor bowl game and unfortunately our New Orleans Saints will not play in a playoff game this year.  Very disappointing season for the Saints, but like we use to say for years, There’s always next year!
Madisyn was in her first parade in Ponchatoula, LA for Christmas with her dance class, so of course we went and enjoyed the time there with Chip’s family.
madisyn christmas parade
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We experienced three weeks of boon docking at our new property before we got utilities hooked up (weather, holidays) and learned a lot from it to prepare us for the future when we go out to the deserts!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Dirt was spread all around and the forms built for our house and for the patio next to our RV!!  Gravel for the RV pad and for the houses driveway was spread.
20141220_085948 - Copy20141220_085919 - Copy
vector-color-dot-background_134330483My Facebook account was hacked (from my phone, left unattended!) for the first by these goofy people!
goofy chip kim madisyn
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Our well pump was completed giving us water, though only in theory, since we didn’t have electricity to get it to the RV for a while.
20141217_164957
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Attended the Loranger Christmas Parade with Madisyn, her mom and family.  Enjoyed jambalaya and hot chocolate afterwards at their church River Rock. Madisyn sat on Santa’s lap afterwards and whispered into his ear her Christmas wish list!
20141216_192956
20141216_190613
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Madisyn was in her first ever Christmas play at River Rock Church which we throughly enjoyed watching, then eating with their church family afterwards.  She’s the only one in green (with a white jacket) in the picture!
madisyn singing river rock
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Our Chauvin family Christmas gathering was at Chip’s house this year (way larger than our RV) with plenty of space for the kiddos to enjoy their new toys.
aaaaaaaaaaaa20141219_182956
vector-color-dot-background_134330483RVillage.com went from brand new to over 12,000 followers this year!  RVers are loving it! I’m thinking they will go  over 13,000 by early 2015. 12688
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We went through variations of digging out the ditch by the pond and putting a culvert in.  A sudden flood of water from nearby properties draining into our pond caused a emergency situation with Roy in the middle of it trying to save our culverts from floating into the pond.
imageClick on the picture below to see video of the water flowing into the pond right past the culvert!video-from-water-fall_fmt1
vector-color-dot-background_134330483Roy had to remove the culvert (after the storm passed) and hand dug (with a shovel of course) the ditch deeper, wider and more level, put the culvert (which is actually two culverts put together to get the length we needed) in and secured it in a way only his brillance could come up with!!!  This man’s abilities know no end!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We obtained a 911 address for Dora which is now 60124 Rohner Road, Amite, LA 70422.  Here’s our new mailbox!
mailbox
Ovector-color-dot-background_134330483ur year ended with us getting power and water to the RV and not soon enough end to our boon docking experience here.!
vector-color-dot-background_134330483We ate dinner with our church family on New Year’s Eve – yum, yum!
That’s our year in review for 2014.  When I started this post I thought it would be short because we spent so much time parked in our sticks and bricks yard but I was wrong.  A lot has happened this year.
We’re moving in the right direction with our home and our lives.
I am most thankful for the addition of Kim, Braxton, and Bentley to our family (not they aren’t married yet but they will be).  They have returned a joy to our lives that’s been missing for a while.  We have a family again and it is a good one.  I know God will bless us all as the years continue.
I made a New Years Resolution, first in many years, to let go of trying to fix a situation that has caused great heartache and stress in recent years.  Not saying I love the people in the situation any less, just that trying to fix the situation is a thing of the past.
After spending three days working on this year in review blog, I’m making another one.  That is to work on the 2015 year end post a little each month, so it’s not overwhelming early next year!
Links to our Reflections on God’s blessings for 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012 are below.

2018

2017

2016

2015

2013

2012

The plans we’ve made so far for 2015 are only two – build the house and rent it out, then travel out west for many months!
Happy New Years everyone from Roy and Rosalyn Chauvin!  We are looking forward to all that God has in store for us in 2015!
2014 2015

cooltext1838781539

Click on the links below to go there!

Wacky Wonderful Wednesdays published on Wednesdays

Some Things I Learned About Alzheimer’s published on Fridays

04.13.14 Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, West Main Baptist Church and EGGGGSSS!

1422429_10152309338555851_864448269580519493_n 1966811_10152300858010851_4223900959512613505_nIn Southern Louisiana, particularly the Hammond/Ponchatoula area the biggest event around is the Louisiana Strawberry Festival.  It was held this weekend and we weren’t there.  There is nothing like the delicious sweet taste of a Louisiana strawberry with the juice dripping down  your arm while you savor its special sweetness!  They serve everything that can possible be made with a strawberry.  Lots of churches, schools and organizations have booths selling food and drinks all day.  The famous Strawberry Festival parade rolls down the main street in Ponchatoula throwing a lot of things including an ample supply of strawberry candies.

This is the beginning of many many weeks of festivals in Louisiana from the Crab Festival, Seafood Festival, Italian Festival, Shrimp Festival, Tomato Festival, Catfish Festival, Gumbo Festival, French Quarter Festival, Jazz Festival and many more!   It is absolutely the truest thing I know that Louisianans LOVE THEIR FOOD!!!  These festivals aren’t just a small event, they are weekend long music, food, games, dancing, and visiting times for family and friends.  Every weekend all spring and summer long!

Hope all our Hammond/Ponchatoula friends who attended had a great and safe time.  Our son Chip and his girlfriend Kim worked at their church’s food booth most of the day yesterday and had a great time serving Our Lord at the fair!!  Roy and I are more and more impressed every day with Kim, the young lady our son has given his heart to.  She’s an amazing mother of two  precious little boys, holds down a full time job, is a wonderful female Christian role model for Madisyn and an blessing from God for Chip.

Texas is losing some of its charm with the day after day high temperatures and hurricane force winds! They forecast the temperatures to be lower this week starting tomorrow afternoon!  I think God’s been listening to my prayers!

I’ve felt better since I’ve been staying inside more and I did buy nose/mouth masks to wear when I’m outside.  I can still feel my asthma when I breathe though it’s not as bad. I use to have serious asthma problems but allergy shots and other changes in my lifestyle had gotten that totally under control.  At least I do know how to handle it, but I don’t like it!  Good thing I love living in this tiny house we call home!  I will be starting my plant and yard watering responsibilities tomorrow so I’ll know all I need to when Bill and Ann leave on Friday.

1510447_10151916775920806_1100571717_nToday is Palm Sunday.  We went to West Main Baptist Church in Alice (about 35 minutes away) this morning for the first time.   Very friendly church about the size of our home church.   The children of the church (called the Almost Music Group) presented The Easter Story.   It was a wonderful depiction of the true Easter story ending in Jesus rising from the grave and the children all rejoicing.  These children really understand that Easter is truly all about Jesus. What a special day we picked to visit that church.

wmsbc wmsbcchildren

Roy has taken on a project that is oh so Roy like!  Bill (the ranch’s owner) gave Roy a hand sketched map of the ranch.  After trying to follow it on a recent outing around the ranch we realized there were way more roads on the ranch than the map shows.  Roy threw himself into creating for Mr. Bill an accurate map of the map plotting where all the deer blinds and feeders are located (with their names).  Starting with a Google Map Satellite View of the ranch he’s divided the ranch into quadrants and will work on getting one quadrant accurate before moving on.  Since I’m having such bad allergy problems I can’t go out with him too much as he rides around to verify spots on the map.  I’ll go with him on his final round in each quadrant after he thinks he has it all right so I’ll get to see it all but not be too exposed to all the allergens.

That’s all there is for what’s going on around here!  We asked for on Facebook and received several great recipes for cooking with eggs.  Since we’ll have an abundance of them while we’re here if any of ya’ll know of some good recipes please send them to us at rosalyn@selu.edu!

Thanks, and ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

 

 

 

 

04.01.14 Texas is hot, dry, and very very different!

Texas is hot, dry, and very, very different!  Haven’t seen a pine tree in days.  Lots of trees look crippled.  One of the pictures below shows a little of that.  There are beautiful fields of wildflowers and lots of green, yellow and grey bushes!  Everyone we’ve met or spoken to has been very nice.  Southern nice!  We are in southern Texas and since I have Texan friends I have to acknowledge that this is just our story about southern Texas.  As time goes on I hope to see more of what makes up this huge state and share that with ya’ll.

I also have to say a BIG thank you to Ann and Bill Morgan for hiring us to stay here while they travel to Europe in a couple of weeks.  Without this opportunity we wouldn’t get to stay in this part of Texas for an extended time and experience what they love about living here.   Thanks to them also from our readers who are experiencing the adventure with us!

As we drove the last leg of our journey towards the MEW Ranch yesterday along the 9 mile dirt road it took us about 35-40 minutes to go those 9 miles.  Can’t take a moving house down a dirt, extremely bumpy, road very fast so slowly we made our way.  We saw nothing but bushes and dirt road the whole 9 miles.  The best way I can describe the road is that in Louisiana when they are getting ready to resurface a road they grate the road and dirt beneath down to a rough surface and you see the ground that was grated lined up on the side of the road.  Imagine 9 miles of that!  Only thing is that here they are not going to lay anything over it.  That IS the road!  Roy said it will not be as bad when we’re driving on it in our truck, whew!!

white road condition
A sort of up close look at the 9 mile road we traveled to get to the ranch. As close as I could get from inside the RV!
white road
Looking down the dirt road – many miles long!
windmill crippled trees
Loved the windmill and these are some of the crippled trees. I have to get more close up shots of some. They look like they grew for a while – hit something, grew around it and then hit something else and grew around that. I know our Oak trees grow oddly and this is a similar oddity!

We did come across a few signs  on other ranch’s entry gates along the way so we knew there was life out there somewhere!!  Mr. Bill was very nice helping us out on the phone letting us know what to look for along the way.

sd1
A ranch down the road before you get to us!
sd2
Another ranch down the road

 

When we finally came to the MEW ranch sign and pulled in, we saw another long road leading to what we hoped was going to be their house!  We kept driving and finally saw the house and there was Mr. Bill standing on the front porch awaiting our arrival!  We got out of Dora and went to their house where we met Bill’s wife Ann.  We went inside and visited with them for a while.  Bill has dozens of deer heads mounted on their walls and even a rhinoceros head on a bedroom wall.   How I wish I had my camera with me when we saw that!  Hopefully I’ll get another opportunity to capture all that for ya’ll to see!

Mr. Bill took us in the monster golf cart like vehicle to where we would park our RV and briefly showed us the chickens, peacocks, and green house that we’ll be taking care of.  They don’t leave for a couple of weeks so we’ll have plenty of time to learn our responsibilities and make friends with the precious dogs they have.   We’re parked a good distance from the house which gives us privacy yet we’re close enough to be able to walk there to take care of things.   Roy went for a ride this morning in the monster vehicle this morning to see the property (I was still sleeping!) and saw a bobcat, a rabbit and a huge rattle snake.  The snake didn’t survive the visit – thank goodness!

mew sign
The MEW ranch sign by the road.
inside ranch
A much prettier view once we pulled into the ranch! Yeah for civilization!
mew1
The official MEW Ranch sign!
sdmew
View of the Morgan’s house from the entry road! Yeah again!!

This 700 acre hunting ranch has been in their family since 1850, he’s the 4th generation to live here!  It’s called MEW Ranch (Mew is Mr. Bill’s grandfather’s name) and the website for South Texas Hunting Services is http://www.southtexashuntingservice.com/index.html

If you go to the website you can see pictures of some of the animal kills and information about where we are staying.   A lot of the pictures are taken right next to (within 10-15 feet) where we are living.  We’re parked next to two big freezers where I think they store the animals killed by the folks  who come here to hunt.  Behind those two freezers are two portable buildings, one of which is a laundry room where we can do our laundry.

mew hook up
This is where we are parked and hooked up, taken from inside the RV before we parked.
morgan house from our rv
The Morgan’s house from our RV spot. Notice the Texas flag!!! Wonder if they’d notice if we put a Louisiana flag in its place while they’re gone! Hi Mr. Bill!!!! Just kidding!!!
view out rv window
Our view our the front windows of our RV. There is a long road ahead which we’ll make our way down one day! Not on foot, however!

I panicked yesterday when we arrived and our phone reception was almost nil.  The internet reception was soooooo slow I had flashbacks to when I first started working at Southeastern and waiting for the homepage to come up took close to 15 minutes.  Now a days the browsers don’t wait that long before they time out so within minutes we knew we were in trouble.  Not only do I love to connect with folks back home through Facebook and email we need it for our job with RVillage! Since you’re getting this blog post you know we must have figured something out.  By “we” I mean Roy, my terribly talented husband who works out all the technical difficulties we run into while living on the road.  Roy has our mifi placed in the square foot area where we get 2 bars of reception so we do have internet now. Now he’s on to trying to get local channels so we can watch TV!

Yes it is hot, yes it is dry, yes we are totally isolated but imagine the time we have now for spending time with God along with reading, working and just plain old peaceful living!   We’ll spend some time exploring out here, learning the culture, finding a church to call home for a while, and enjoying the quiet and peace! Everything here is green so there must be rain and the breeze in the evening yesterday was very refreshing.  This traveling does require a lot of adjustments and aggravations, but the experiences greatly out weigh the adjustments and aggravations!

We are here in this place, at this time, for a reason – now we go along the journey as it unfolds before us!   Roy will be flying his plane and helicopter, we can get our bow and arrows out from under the bed and make use of the target range here.  As we learn more about this new place we call home we’ll share with ya’ll so you can go on the journey with us!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear – p.s.  We went out today for a while and will share with ya’ll about that tomorrow – see ya next time!

 

03.29.14 Texas Here We Come……….!

Back in my younger days as a youth at Lakeview Baptist Church we went every summer to a youth camp, usually Glorietta, NM or Ridgecrest, NC.  These are two Southern Baptist Assembly Centers where youth, adults, children, senior adults, etc. all have weeks during the summer where we gathered to learn more about the Christian life.

They are both set in beautiful areas of our country.   Ridgecrest is in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

Ridgecrest_Overlook_680x310

Glorietta is in a beautiful valley in New Mexico.

Glorieta_FacilityRental_Cover

Oh the memories I have spending time with my friends, Susan, Gi, Kim, September, Gary, our youth leaders Blimp and Ralph!

One of the memories that has always stuck in my head is a strong dislike for the State of Texas.  During meetings and eating times we’d do cheers and Texas, being the biggest state, always had the largest group there.  Their bigger is better mantra just ate at us.  I know all of us Lakeview kids remember disliking Texas from those events we went to every year.  Even if we were in Ridgecrest in NC, Texas was always the largest group!

So this long standing aversion to anything Texas is facing a real challenge with us planning to live in Texas for several weeks.  I’d like to put that all in the past and leave it there so who knows maybe I’ll leave Texas wearing a 10 gallon hat and telling ya’ll how wonderful Texas was!  A girl’s gotta dream!

Spending several weeks on a 700 acre ranch near Corpus Christi should soften this Louisiana girl’s heart towards Texas so stay tuned to see what adventures we experience while there!

We left Hammond (our hometown) Saturday morning headed for Beaumont, Texas.  Before we left I took a couple of pictures of our yard work, Dora and Boots sitting in the driveway waiting to go, and our renters dog Dixie.

2014-03-29_12-12-03_604
Dixie
2014-03-29_12-10-36_962
The front gardens that we pretty much gutted and moved many plants all around the yard. That big empty patch fills in with beautiful green vines crawling along the ground full of yellow flowers. All along the side of the house the plants died back in the winter and are all cut down to the ground. They will come back with beautiful multi colored flowered bushes very soon!
2014-03-29_12-11-03_143
Yes this is the same scene we started out with a year ago. Dora and Boots living in the driveway!
2014-03-29_12-10-54_162
All the bushes you see in the forefront were living somewhere else before the big spring redo. I actually wish we had done this years ago so we could have enjoyed the new look while living there!

Along the way we drove over the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge. In the picture you’ll see the Louisiana State Capital to the left.  We also passed by two domes which I don’t know what they were, but they looked cool.  And finally a whole lot of crawfish ponds.  A little bit of Louisiana memories captured before leaving.

2014-03-29_13-39-06_269
Crossing the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. State Capitol building is the tall building to the right.
2014-03-29_13-39-43_212
Do not know what these buildings are but they were very cool. We saw them as soon as we crossed the river. If anyone knows what they are, please let us know!
2014-03-29_15-37-53_676
Crawfish ponds! For non-Louisianians, crawfish are either rasisd in ponds are caught in the spillway. You pay a different price for each type. Spillway crawfish are usually more expensive.

Upon arriving in Texas we got our first glimpse at how big they do everything.  The Texas star that greeted us was massive!  Thanks, David Cougle, for the tips on things to look for as we travel through this area.  We appreciate all info from everyone as we’ve not traveled through this area in our RV before.  Last trip to Texas involved an illegal RV, the local SWAT team and an extreme dose of stress so we’re hoping this trip is more on the fun side!  If you haven’t read my post about that adventure check out the October, 2012 Conroe, Texas post!

Pictures below are of Dora and Boots (and us) at the Texas Welcome Center.

2014-03-29_17-35-20_933
The big Texas star David told us about. This picture just doe snot do justice to it’s size.
2014-03-29_17-38-40_12
The Great State of Texas Welcomes Us!

 

2014-03-29_17-39-44_226

Dora and Boots being welcomed to Texas!

We spent last night in Beaumont, Texas in a Wal-Mart parking lot and are now headed west to somewhere.  Don’t know where we’ll stop today but we’re inching closer to San Diego, Texas which is our stopping point for this trip.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

02.15.14 San Diego here we come!!!

317699_10151224848864706_705595368_nSan Diego, Texas that is!  We may end up in San Diego, California this year but for now our first stop going west will be in this San Diego.

Bill and Ann Morgan are the owners of South Texas Hunting Service in San Diego, Texas.  Their ranch sits on 700 acres where they run a hunting service. Roy and I were just hired this morning to be caretakers at this ranch from April 6 to May 14. We’ll be feeding the animals (chickens, peacocks, guineas, cats, dogs),  watering the plants in the greenhouse and cutting some grass. I’ve dreamed of having a greenhouse and now I get to spend time taking care of the plants in one for a few weeks. We are very excited about this opportunity to play on a farm (after we’ve done our work of course) and explore the southern part of Texas for a while!

Bill said there is plenty of open space for Roy to fly his helicopter and plane.  He just ordered the plane so this will give him plenty of time to learn how to fly it well!  They have a golf cart we can drive around the ranch to see it all.   After being along the coast the last few months where everything is pretty much close together it will be a treat to be headed to the wide open west.  We also may finally get to use our bow and arrows we’ve carried all around the country with us!

San Diego, Texas is between Corpus Christi and Laredo, Texas.  It’s not far from the Mexico border so we’ll have an opportunity to go there if that turns out to be a safe thing to do.

If anyone has ever been in that area and knows of places we should visit while we’re there (within about 100 miles of there) let us know! Also anything to see between Hammond, Louisiana and Corpus Christi, Texas.

Between now and then we have another week here in Alabama, a few weeks stay at our home park with Coast to Coast, TLC Wolf River Resort in Pass Christian, then home for Madisyn’s 5th birthday party and we’ll head out west for several months.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!