Sunday, November 13, 2016

(We Interrupt this Blog, to Bring You) My Own Little Rant

We've been on the road for about two months now.  For the most part, it's been great.  Fun, relaxing and interesting.  Even thrilling at times.  Like when we had to flee Disney World in the middle of the night because of the hurricane that was headed in our direction - that was some excitement we could have lived without!

I've kept telling myself I would update the blog "tomorrow", but every time I sat down to do it, it was like a dark cloud was hanging over me, so I just stopped thinking about it.  The dark cloud, of course, was the presidential election.  Honestly the trip hasn't been nearly as memorable as the election.  Unfortunately, the election is memorable for all the wrong reasons.

I thought when it was over, I could concentrate on writing about the fun stuff.  But it seems that the chaos from the campaigns will never end.  So, maybe, if I put a few of my thoughts and fears in writing, I can let it go.  Or maybe that will just make the scary stuff more real.  Who knows.

For decades I've thought the USA might be headed towards civil war.  I thought it would be between the "haves" and the "have-nots".  Now I don't see anything as simple as a two sided civil war in our future.  It looks more like a melee, a free-for-all, a bar fight.  Black vs. white vs. Hispanic vs. Asian vs. whatever, male vs. female, young vs. older, rich vs. poor vs. middle class, Christian vs. Muslim vs. atheist/agnostic, Democrat vs. Republican vs. Independent, management vs. labor, gay vs. straight, state's rights vs. centralized government.

According to the above labels, I am a older white female Christian, lower middle class, conservative on most issues, liberal when it comes to caring for those who can't take care of themselves.

I have nothing against anyone who is anything else.  Even if they have a different point of view, I wish them no harm, I would even do anything in my power to help them out.  I do have friends and family from all walks of life, and I love them all, even though we don't always agree.  But at some point, I am afraid that I will be pushed into a position where I am on one side or another.  Not that I would choose to be at war against anyone, but that we will all be at war whether we want it or not.

And then there's the actual criminal element...drug dealers, sex traffickers, organized crime.  And the future can look truly scary.

And that's why I am so thankful that I am a Christian.  Because I know Who holds the future.  Praise Him!

We Christians will vote our values.  We will campaign for our values.  We will discuss our values with others.  For instance, I would try to talk a friend out of having an abortion. To be clear, I would not help her get an abortion.  But I would nurse her back to health after her abortion, and help in any other way I could.  Without preaching.  And I'm not the only one.

Because I am a follower of Christ, I think it is important to reach out to people who think differently than me.  We are commanded to love our enemies, not just the people who think like us.  That's why I am so horrified to see all the hateful things being said by the media.  And not just the media, but by my own friends in their blogs and on Facebook.

Why do the liberals keep being so negative?  If they keep rioting because the government is not to their liking, the government will eventually be forced to come down on them.  It's like a self fulfilling prophecy.  "The government is against us, so we're going to riot"  - then the government steps in to stop them, and they say, "See, the government is against us."

Why are so many conservatives gloating because their candidate won?  No one knows what kind of president he will be.  He has four years to prove himself.  Wait a while before you get too excited.  Gloating just reinforces the notion that you are heartless and a hater.  The fear mongering media is partially too blame, but you have to admit that some of things that your candidate has said sounded pretty bad.  And it's a shame that so many hate groups have supported him, like the KKK.  Yes, he has denounced them, but that still doesn't look too good.

As Christians, we need to spread peace as much as we possibly can.  Hate has no place in our faith, other than to hate the evil one, Satan, who is the root cause of all this strife.  He has deceived so many to believe his lies.  But, Christian, he is deceiving you, too, if you are believing the lie that you must hate your fellow man, whom God created, just as He created you.

Okay, have I made everyone mad now?  That certainly is not my intention.

Rant over.  Back to my regularly scheduled travel blog.

We are staying in Georgetown this week.  Today is the first day of the Southern Baptist Covention of Texas Bible Conference and Annual Meeting.  It's being held in Austin this year, and we are going to commute the 30 miles to attend.  It starts at 6:00 tonight and I can't wait!  I am ready to hear a good word from the Lord!!

The conference lasts 3 days, then Cowboy wants to spend a couple of days fishing, then we should be home in time for church next Sunday.

I really will try to post more pictures of our trip before the week is over.

Pray for our country.
Pray for our elected officials.
Pray for each other.
Praise God.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Disney World

Well, I told myself I would catch up on the blog tonight, but here it is nearly 9:00 at night, and I haven't even finished transferring all of our pictures to the computer tonight.  So this is going to be very short and sweet.  Short, anyway.

We've been planning this trip for months, and we finally left home mid-September.  First night was spent in Henderson, Texas.  We got to meet our son for supper that night.

The next two nights we were in Marksville, Louisiana, where Tim played golf, and I just played house.  That's what it feels like to me to live in the 5th wheel, just like playing house.  Meals are simple, and I enjoy fixing them.  Takes about 5 minutes to wash the dishes, maybe 2 minutes to sweep the floor.  Most of my day is spent reading, sleeping, or watching t.v.  Evenings, we have a quick and easy dinner, then watch whatever dvd's we've brought along.  This time, it's the last two seasons of Star Trek Enterprise.  My Cowboy is going to owe me a month's worth of musical comedy when that's over.

We spent 4 or 5 nights in Abita Springs, Louisiana.  Golfing and fishing for Tim, more laziness for me and Charlie Chihuahua.  We had a problem with the pickups air conditioning, and we were thankful that the GM dealership there could fix it.

Then we spent one night somewhere in the panhandle of Florida (I'll have to look up the name of the resort and the town it was nearest to), then spent a long day driving to Clermont, Florida, where we spent four nights.  Tim, of course, played more golf.  I went shopping.  We also got all our laundry done, so we wouldn't have to worry about it while we are at Disney.  That's the only thing I don't really like about living in the trailer - doing laundry at the laundromat.  But at least I can get it all done in the time it would take to do one load at home.  I do wish we had a washer/dryer in the trailer.  Although, the ones made for RV's are so small, it would take even longer to wash clothes than it does at home.

We arrived at Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground on Saturday.  So far we've spent one day at Magic Kingdom and one day at Animal Kingdom.  We have so much planned for the next few days that I may not  write any more until next week.  But here's a few pictures I took at Animal Kingdom today.  I love the animals at AK, but I think I love the plants and flowers even more.  I think it's the most gorgeous park I've ever seen.

This was our dining room for lunch.  The weather was perfect for eating outside.

My Cowboy.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

And They Said It Wouldn't Last!

Happy Anniversary Cowboy!

They did say it wouldn't last.  They said it when we started dating.  We were too different they said.  They said it again when we got married.  We were too young they said.

And, to be honest, there were times I thought "they" might be right! 

But here we are, 44 years later.  Still together.  Still having fun.  At least, most of the time.  And when life just isn't fun, when there's illness, injury or loss, we mourn together.  Then we go on.  Together.

We celebrated the day by going to the outlet mall and Bass Pro Shop at Round Rock, then going to see "God's Not Dead 2" at the Cinemark there.  Love those reclining seats in the theater!

We agreed this movie is even better than the first God's Not Dead.  I had a hard time with it at first because it seemed so far-fetched.  I mean, the main character didn't do anything wrong.  But when I got to thinking about it, these kinds of attacks on Christians are actually happening all too often.  It's just so bizarre.

Anyway, if you haven't seen the movie, please go see it.  It is very well done.

After the movie, we stopped and had dinner at a little Asian place here in Georgetown, Mama Fu's.  Weird name, but good food.

So, a very quiet anniversary, but a very good day.    

I like being married to this crazy man!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pray for America

Yesterday we drove into Austin for the Decision America event which took place on the steps of our state capitol building.  Franklin Graham is traveling to all 50 states this year, holding prayer rallies for our country and talking to people about taking a more active role in the political process.  He is "urging Christians to vote,to live out their faith in every part of their lives, and to pray for our nation just as Nehemiah cried out to God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and restore hope to his people."

If you want to know more, the website is Decision America.

Tim in front of the state capitol building.  The Cowboy managed to get up close enough to actually see Franklin Graham speak.  I didn't want to fight the crowds, so I found a nice shady tree on the capitol lawn to sit under.  I couldn't see anything on the stage, but I could hear just fine.  And I watched the live stream on my phone for a while.  But then I just sat back and enjoyed "people watching."

I think our state capitol is beautiful.  
This was the view from where I sat, quite a way from where all the action was.
It was a beautiful day.

I snagged this photo from the Decision America webpage, here.  
Hope I'm not breaking any copyright laws by posting it here.  
Anyway, as you can see, there was quite a crowd.

It was a once in a lifetime experience, and I'm so glad we got to participate.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

This World Can Be So Confusing

It's been a slow week here at Jim Hogg Park.  Well, not for other people.  Just for us, I guess.

The annual Red Poppy Festival was held in town, and I hear there was some great entertainment there, but we were content to skip the crowds.  Cowboy's done some more fishing, and I've had time to read to my heart's content.

Even here at the park, there was swarms of activity over the weekend.  Almost every campsite was full of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and families. Again, we were content to just watch all the goings on.

Today is Monday, and the park is back to being sparsely populated, mostly by retired couples like us.  In fact, most of them are probably even older than us.

We have made a few outings.  Yesterday we worshiped with about a thousand other people at First Baptist Georgetown.  The sermon was from Judges 8:22.  How Gideon at first refused to be their ruler, saying the Lord would be their ruler.  Then he collected gold from them to make an idol, causing them all to worship the idol.  The pastor talked about how we start with good intentions, then let idols into our lives.  We must constantly renew our faith in God.

After church we stopped at HEB.  This may not sound too exciting to you, but I enjoy going to that store about as much as I enjoy Disney World.  And if you know me at all, you know that's a LOT!

Later, we drove out to the Corps of Engineers Parks at Granger Lake, to see if we might want to camp there someday.  We decided probably not. We like being a little closer to town.

Having all this leisure time has given me a chance to spend a lot of time on Facebook.  I have rejoiced over photos of baby showers, weddings, and fun times.  I have laughed at funny babies, animals, and, well, people in general!  My heart has ached (and I have prayed) for families struggling through illness, loss, and broken relationships.

But this gender neutral bathroom thing is the thing I have puzzled over the most.  Everyone in the world has an opinion.  Some for, some against.  There have been some pretty heated posts.  People on both sides get very emotional.

So, of course, being the arm-chair philosopher that I am, I've got to share my opinion, too.  I know you're all (all 2 and a half of you!) waiting breathlessly.

I have given this a lot of thought.  Really.  I've had the time.

It's no secret that I'm a Bible believing Christ follower.  And the Bible states very clearly that it's wrong for men to dress as women. And vice versa.

However.  I do not expect non-believers to behave as Christians. If you profess to be a Christian, and still think you should be a different sex than the way God made you, I simply suggest you spend more time in the Word.  Personally, I couldn't be a Christian if I believed God made mistake.

But.  This bathroom thing.  I'm not really opposed to it on Christian standards.  I'm not even opposed to it because of safety issues.  I mean, I wouldn't want a my son going to the bathroom with a pedophile or rapist any more than I would want my daughter to be put at risk.

And. I would never shun a lesbian or bi or gay or transgender person in any other situation.  Hey, let's sit down and chat, or go see a movie, or come to my house for dinner.  I may feel a little awkward til I get to know you.  But I always feel awkward around new people.  I'll probably invite you to my church, because I usually invite people to church.  And I'll probably talk about Jesus.  Because I'm always talking about Jesus.  But if you can handle what you think is weird in me, then I can probably handle what I think is strange about you.

But if you look like a man, I just do not want to go to the bathroom with you.  Yuk.

Is simple modesty really such a thing of the past?  No one, and I mean not a single solitary post that I have seen on Facebook, has mentioned modesty.  Embarrassment at having to pee with a person with male parts is in the room.  Or adjusting a bra strap.  Or any of the other personal things women do in there.

I know people who are not Christians who are still modest about the way they dress and act. (And I know Christians who are showing a lot more than I think they should!)   But it seems, among my friends on Facebook anyway, modesty is only associated with conservative Republican Christians.

Business owners have a right to make the rules in their stores.

And, come to think of it, are stores required by law to have restrooms?  If they have restrooms simply as a courtesy (and, of course, to get us to stay in the store and shop longer) what right to we have to be angry about who they let into their restrooms?

That being said, I do hope Target changes their policy back soon.  And, although I'm not joining any official boycott, I won't be shopping there until they do.  Because I might feel the urge to relieve myself.  And I simply can't in a room where men are.

And that's a shame.  Because I've been in love with Target since I first stepped foot in one decades ago.

I sure hope HEB doesn't start having transgender bathrooms.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Georgetown, TX

Here's some things I've found about writing a blog -

1) If you try to spend a lot of time writing, editing, re-writing, trying to get the words and pictures exactly right, you'll never have time to actually do anything worth writing about.
2) Some days, even if you are in the most wonderful vacation spot on earth, there's just not that much to write about.
3) Some days, you may have thoughts, but you just can't find the words.

But, alas, I know my adoring fans back home (all three of you!)  are waiting impatiently for my scintillating prose describing all my exciting adventures.

Unfortunately, all three of the listed "things" are happening lately.

But, anyway, here's a list, in no particular order.

* We are at Jim Hogg CoE RV Park at Georgetown Lake.  Tim likes it here for the fishing.  I like that it's right outside Georgetown, which is a neat little town.

* It's also a pretty park, and usually very quiet.

* I think the people camping in tents across the road from us are drug dealers.  They sleep most of the day, and come and go a lot late at night.

*  That could be just because they are young and like to sleep in on vacation.

*  We are still loving our new (to us) trailer.  Just before we left home we bought a kitchen cart on wheels for some much needed storage and counter space.  It's perfect.

* However.  It sure didn't look like that straight out of the box.  Tim spent hours putting it together.  Twenty pieces of "wood" and 47 thousand pieces of hardware.  Fortunately, he likes puzzles.  

* Our trailer, like most, runs on either 30 or 50 amp electric.  There were no 50 amp sites available, so we are parked in a 30 amp spot until Sunday, when a 50 amp site becomes available.  This means we can either run the air conditioner or the microwave.  This means we are eating out a lot.

* Tim actually bought that "microwave or a/c" excuse, because he knows I always forget, and then he has to replace a blown fuse thingy. 

* It surprised me that he went along with it, because he knows I don't have to use the microwave to cook.

* There was a lot of rain in the forecast for this week, but so far, though it has rained for a portion of each day, every afternoon has been beautiful and sunny.

* Therefore, Tim is getting to fish.  And he is happy.  Even though the lake is over full, and evidently that means the fish won't hardly bite.  Someone has said that the enjoyment of fishing "isn't the catching, it's the fishing."  I guess that's true.  

* But he still would rather do some catching.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Days Ten, Eleven and Twelve. Midway RV Park, Waco, Texas

So.  This is not the trip we planned.  Not by a long shot.  

Monday was travel day.  We only had to turn around once because of flooded roads, so it was a pretty nice drive.  We did see several fields that looked like lakes.

No, these aren't lakes.  They are flooded fields.

Some of the other interesting things we saw were Indian Mounds, a flock of sand hill cranes flying in circles, a few wildflowers, and two prison buses.  

We got the very last space available at Midway Corps of Engineers RV Park in Waco.  We've stayed here before.  Tim likes it here because of the fishing.  I like that it's just outside the city.  

Tuesday, we went to see the movie, Risen.  The theater is just a couple of miles from our campground.  Super convenient!

Yesterday was a hang-around-the-campground day.  Tim did some fishing, I did some reading.  Lunch was beef tips and mashed potatoes, then hamburgers for supper.  Yum.

We fit some sight-seeing in today.  After lunch at Chuy's, we drove to the Baylor University Campus.  First, we explored the the Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning Collection.  It's the largest collection of Browning memorabilia in the world, housed in a beautiful building right on campus.

The front door.  Very impressive, but I thought it was funny that they've looped a thick rope around the inside and outside handles, to keep the door from closing completely.

This is just a small part of the ceiling in the Meditation Room.  The docent told me it is twenty-five feet high, and all of that gold leaf was applied by hand.

There are so many beautiful stained glass windows.  
Each one depicts a scene from one of Robert Brownings poems.

This is the Elizabeth Barrett Browning Salon.  
This is the only room in the building with windows illustrating her poetry.

A small portion of the painted ceiling in the main library.

There are cases and cases of books about the Brownings, or by the Browings.  
Many are first editions.

After we left the Barrett Browning Collection, we just wandered around the campus.  It is so beautiful.

After all that walking, we rewarded ourselves with Sonic milkshakes, then headed on back to camp, so Tim could get some fishing done before the day was over.

Due to various problems with the fifth wheel, as well as some things that need our attention at home, we have decided to cut this trip short - very short - and head home tomorrow.  

We've been gone less than two weeks, but I must say, I am ready to be home.  Can't wait to see those grandgirls!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Day Nine. Sunday. Nacogdoches/Lufkin.

So, yesterday was, finally, a perfect day.  Still somewhat cloudy, but no rain, a slight breeze, and perfect temp.  So we went to the zoo!

The Ellen Trout Zoo in Lufkin is small compared to some big city zoos we've visited.  But, sometimes, small is good.  For one thing, the price is right...just $6 for seniors.  And, who wants to walk for miles and miles, anyhow.  It took us about two hours to see everything we wanted to see here, and that was just about right.

It's a lovely zoo.

Peacocks roam freely all over the zoo.

I always like the flamingos.

The landscaping was beautiful.  Lots of flowering bushes.


A lot of the big animals were having their afternoon naps.

Black and White Ruffed Lemurs

I couldn't get enough of this baby DeBrazza's Monkey.  Look at that sweet little face!

Just outside the zoo, there's a little train that takes you around the back side of the zoo, then through the park.  Of course we had to ride it!  We weren't the only grandparents on it either.  Although, we were the only grandparents without grandchildren riding!

The train goes across this little lake, into the piney woods beyond.

Yes, there really are alligators in the this little lake in the park.  
But that didn't stop people from fishing in it!

This trip hasn't exactly at all gone as planned.  But we seem to always manage to find some kind of fun wherever we land!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Days Four - Eight. Nacogdoches to Marksville. To Nacogdoches.

Last year, about this time in the Spring, we left home for a place we love, Abita Springs, Louisiana.  We first went to Natchitoches and spent a few nights, and had a great time.  When we left Natchitoches, I called ahead to our RV park in Abita Springs, only to find out they were booked.  Solid.  For weeks.

Bummer.  We had never had any problem getting a last minute reservation there before.  Big disappointment.

So we looked for reasonably priced RV Park where we could stop for a couple of days while we figured out a Plan B.  We landed at a little town called Marksville.  Not much there but a casino and a golf course.  Cowboy thought the golf course looked great, and they had a cheap inexpensive play all day golf package.  But, it was rainy that week, so he just promised himself we would stop there next time we were going to Abita.

So we made our plan B, and had a lovely trip through Central Texas, enjoying various state parks and the exceptional crop of wildflowers along the way.

Fast forward to this week.

Finally.  We're going to Abita.  I made reservations weeks ago, so we are guaranteed a spot.

You already know about our first stop at Nacogdoches.  

Next stop, Marksville, and that wonderful golf course Tim had promised himself.  There's rain in the forecast, but, hey, maybe the weatherman got it wrong.  That happens.

Yep, he got it wrong, all right.  Instead of the 1 - 2 inches predicted, the whole state of Louisiana became just an extension of the Gulf of Mexico overnight.  The governor declared a state of emergency.  The newsman reported that at least six parishes were completely under water.

So here's what this week looked like:

Day Four - Drove to Marksville

Day Five - Watched the rain.  Went to WalMart.  Got wet.  

Ate lunch at this lovely establishment.

I've heard it said that if you want to find a good place to eat in an unfamiliar town, just look for where the law enforcement vehicles are parked.  I guess it works.  This place didn't look like much, but the food was pretty good.

Day Six - Watched the rain.

Day Seven - Watched the rain.  Called Abita RV Park.  They said the roads were flooded all around them.  Made our Plan B.  

Day Eight - So, here we are, back in Nacogdoches, Texas.

We were never in any danger.  It never really stormed, there were no tornadoes, not even any strong wind in our area.  But the rain came down in buckets!

I took these pictures on I-49 this morning, north of Alexandria.  Looks like a chicken farm.  Hope those chickens can swim.

(I think the pictures will enlarge if you click on them)

We still don't have much of a Plan B, other than to stay here a couple of nights, then a week on Lake Waco.  Yes, Waco.  We traveled all the way to Central Louisiana, just to end up at Waco.  Well, maybe I'll finally get to see the Dr. Pepper museum.

There's still much to be thankful for.  I'm so glad we had a place to stay during the bad weather!  We never encountered the least bit of flooding on the roads we traveled.  And we were able to meet with our son again tonight for supper in Henderson.  We ate at a catfish restaurant called Hushpuppies.  The food was good, and the decor was quite unique.  

I loved this old tackle box used to store condiments and crackers on the table.

Unfortunately, they were out of banana pudding tonight.  But our son came up with a Plan B of his own, and ordered the Fried Snickers.  Fried.  Snickers.  

And here it is.

He couldn't finish it all, so I snuck a bite.  Y'all.  It was good.  Son thought it tasted like a Snickers wrapped in funnel cake.  Cowboy thought it tasted like a Reeses peanut butter cup.  I thought it tasted like chocolate peanut butter pie.  

As always, I want to thank our precious daughter for watching the house and taking care of the horses while we're gone.  

All in all, I think we are among the most blessed people I know.

P.S.  Please pray for Louisiana.  The flooding there is no joke.  So many people have been forced out of their homes.  Others are basically trapped in their homes, and can't get to jobs, because so many roads are flooded.