Sometimes we look at sights in nature but don't really see. While hiking in the woods the other day, it became a realization that we need to open our heart and eyes to see the beauty of the simple things in nature with each season. There is so much order and purpose in His creation. God has given us awesome beauty in this world to see and enjoy... if we would but stop to see and feel it. Join us as this blog is about stopping to see the real beauty around touch and feel it... "Through the Lens".

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Bumps in the Road


Life sometimes sends us bumps in the road.  This past year we have experienced several.  Mike knew something was just not right about a year ago and so we visited the doctor.  You must know that Mike is a typical man….he just doesn’t like going to the doctor at all.  This is when they discovered he was predisposed for diabetes.  We tackled this issue and I am proud to say, at this time, his blood sugar is normal and he is no longer on any medication.  He began to have potassium issues last December and this continues on….. having his last encounter with high potassium in the last two weeks.  It was at this time he began to have some heart palpitations that needed to be explored.  So far all we know is he has mitral valve regurgitation which, if mild, the doctors just “watch” but it can become more severe and even need surgery.  We believe Mike’s condition is mild at this time….praise the Lord! 



It was also during this time that his PSA count was all over the board.  We visited a different Urologist today to get a second opinion and the results….Mike will have a biopsy on his prostate on Thursday.  Please keep this in your prayers!   We are both optimistic that everything will come out fine.  We’ll keep you updated. He is ready to not see any more doctors for a long time!


It is hard to believe June is about over and we are headed toward July!  The weather certainly has been hot and dry here.  We continue to watch and pray for those in the mist of wildfires throughout the country.  We have enjoyed traveling along with many of you this summer via your blogs.  We sure do miss being out there traveling, exploring and making memories but we know this is only a short detour….a bump in the road.


We have managed to take a few short trips in between appointments and have enjoyed just getting away.  I suppose “hitch itch” never goes away even though you are temporarily without a hitch!!   We still remain excited about purchasing a smaller rig and getting back out on the road again!!


A bend in the road is not the end of the road... unless you fail to make the turn. ~Author Unknown

We have a few new followers and want to extend a big welcome!  Thank you for stopping by and being a part of this wonderful “blog” community!  We haven’t been very mobile lately but many of our “friends” are…. so check out their blogs as well. 


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blue Jay Wars

Mike and I love birding!  We don’t boast of knowing a lot about it but we surely do enjoy feeding and watching them at our feeders.  With that said….we don’t believe all birds are as enjoyable as others.  Some birds are just downright mean and pushy.  One such bird is the Blue Jay. 
The Blue Jay is quite large as compared to the majority of the birds at our feeders.  They are approximately 12 inches long and are a bright blue in color.  They are indeed very pretty birds.  In watching them we have discovered that they are fairly intelligent birds knowing just how to scatter the little ones whenever they want to dine at the feeders.  They will let out loud screams which scare those little fellows leaving the feeders empty for their dinning pleasure.  They are also pretty good problem solvers and excellent in communicating.
They are also particular about their food….at our feeders anyway.  They have a tendency to eat and toss, eat and toss.  It just drives us crazy to see that expensive seed being tossed to the ground.  That wouldn’t be so bad if we had a lot of ground feeders but alas we don’t have a lot of those.  So they have become the best friends to our squirrels.  The squirrels hang around on the ground waiting for seed to be tossed to them. 
I remember reading recently how Al (Bayfield Bunch)  was battling the raccoons as well as squirrels at his feeders.  Al is very creative and I hope he is winning the battle but I think we might be loosing our battle here in Georgia.  Good luck Al!!!!
I know many of you have recently read of the tragic mishap experience by Ed and Marilyn Dray (Happy Wanderers).  They lost their beautiful Mobile Suites to a fire this past weekend.  They lost everything.  Please keep this wonderful couple in your prayers at this time.  Ed posted yesterday describing what happened so you can read about it on their blog at (

Monday, June 20, 2011

Carnton Plantation


Sunday we went to the Carnton Plantation which is near the Carter House and is tied very much to the Battle of Franklin. As you see by our photo, the entrance to the plantation is through a very nice neighborhood. This is the road you travel to get to the Carnton Home.




As the Battle of Franklin ended, there were 10,000 soldiers dead, wounded or missing. This  battle is said to be the bloodiest five hours of the Civil War. The population of Franklin was only 750 people and what were they to do with the 9,000 dead or wounded…1,000 of that 10,000 were missing. The below is copied from the web site about the Carnton Home and is a direct quote:

“A staff officer later wrote that "the wounded, in hundreds, were brought to [the house] during the battle, and all the night after. And when the noble old house could hold no more, the yard was appropriated until the wounded and dead filled that...."

On the morning of December 1, 1864 the bodies of four Confederate generals killed during the fighting, Patrick R. Cleburne, Hiram B. Granbury, John Adams, and Otho F. Strahl, lay on Carnton’s back porch. The floors of the restored home are still stained with the blood of the men who were treated here.”

John and Carrie McGavock, the owners of the Plantation, maintained that cemetery, mainly by themselves, for the rest of their lives.





It is the largest private military cemetery (in terms of buried soldiers) in the United States.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Battle of Franklin…The Carter House

We decided to take a little R & R after all the medical test Mike went through this past week.  His visit with the doctor resulted in his going through some “lets eliminate this possibility” tests.  So Wednesday he undertook a Nuclear Stress Test along with an Eco cardiogram.  This along with several vials of blood and an EKG kept us busy.  We are hopeful that these test will show that Mike indeed has a heart!!  We also are hopeful that if anything stood out they would have flagged us back immediately.  With this in mind we are going on the “no news is good news” concept until we hear the exact results.
We headed north.  If only, if only….we could head far enough north to escape the heat that has its tight grip on the south.   A trip of this length is not in the cards for us at this time.  Perhaps next summer we can head for cooler temps.
Saturday we decided to explore The Carter House in Franklin, Tennessee.  The Carter house was owned by Fountain Branch Carter and his wife Mary.  They began their life in this home in 1830 and went on to have 12 children of which only 7 survived.  He farmed his 288 acres producing corn, wheat and hogs.  He also ran a cotton gin and with this he became a very wealthy man with a net worth of over $62,000  ($1.6 million in today’s terms).  Awww….life was good!
Our tour guide wanted to tell the story of the Battle of Franklin through the eyes of how the Civil War impacted this one family.  All was good…. Until the beginning of the Civil War but at that time few thought the war would last more than a few months and it was miles and miles away from the home of Fountain Branch and his family.  But this war transcended those miles when his three sons decided to join the Confederate Army and his four girls and himself stayed loyal to the Federals…..thus dividing the Carter family. 
The war came to Franklin, Tennessee on November 30, 1864 at 4 p.m. and lasted a horrible five hours with the Carter House being in the middle of the battlefield.
When the fighting ended 10,000 were killed, wounded or missing.  One including Tod Carter who was shot nine times and died two days later.  It is hard to say what Fountain Branch’s worth was after the war but he lost everything he owned except for his house and 19 acres.  On that eventful evening of November 30, 1864 the small community of Franklin, Tennessee was changed forever.   This link will take you to information on the entire Battle of Franklin including the Carter House.
History is an awesome thing.  It can teach us of our past and help us shape our future.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Going Forward


As most of you know, we made a huge decision a few months ago to go from full-time to part-time Rv’ers.  This was in part due to some personal family responsibilities coupled with higher cost of living and some unexpected health issues.  We love our little “cottage” style house and it is just perfect for us.  I think we will truly enjoy having a base where we can come back to for our doctors, family and church. 


With that said, we never intend to “come off the road” entirely.  We love rving, the many many wonderful people we have met in this lifestyle and those we still intend to meet “down the road.”  We still intend to see as much of this wonderful country as we can.  So with all this in mind we have started doing a little bit of research on what our next rig should be.  We feel like we may be several months to a year or more away from the actual purchase but you never know.



We both feel at this time that we want to stay in the motor home family.  We have owned  pop-ups and travel trailers in our early camping years, but mainly we are only familiar with motor homes.  What we don’t want are the big 40 foot diesel pushers like we have owned in the past.  Since we won’t be living in the rig 24/7 we won’t need the storage that these units provide.  We loved our DPs and the power/ space they provided but we feel that won’t be necessary this time around.  So our initial research is going to be in the C or possibly B family.  There are several models out there that provide excellent gas mileage and ample space.  A few that we are interested in include the Roadtrek and Pleasure Way in the B family and the Born Free, Navion/View, and possible Lazy Daze in the C family.  We have some good friends, Gene & Judi Curp that have a Four Winds class C and it is very nice too. There are probably other units out there as nice, but this is where we are now. We want to keep our future rig in a shorter length because we want to be able to park in various places such as state and national parks and those quaint little out of the way lakeside spots.  Many of these makes offer models that get better than average fuel mileage.  So we begin our search along with some research and hopefully when the time is right….the right rig will be there for us.



Mike Update:

   Mike returns to the doctor tomorrow and hopefully we will find out why his potassium continues to go up to the dangerous level.  After last weekend, we realize how scary this can be.  We are both hoping this can be something easily fixed.  It has been a long year working on getting his health straightened out.  The good news is…. his blood sugar was in the normal range so we “think” we have this problem taken care of!!  We so appreciate all the good wishes and prayers our blog friends as well as face book friends have sent our way.  We value each and every one of you.  We have some new followers and we want to welcome you to our always evolving journey in this great lifestyle.  We hope you will find something useful or at least humorous along the way. 


Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Bird Kind of a Day


Yesterday Mike and I took a trip about 40 miles northeast of LaGrange to Peachtree City, Georgia.  Our mission was to visit Wild Birds Unlimited.


We discovered our first WBU in Columbus, Georgia several years ago but that store has since closed.  If you love birding, which Mike and I really do, you would love browsing around in one of their stores.  There are over 277 of these franchise stores located throughout North America. You can visit their website at   The owners are certified birding specialist able to give advice on diet, habitat and most anything pertaining to wild birds. 

Our trip today was to purchase food for our backyard birds.  We have actually found that this food is no more expensive than the food we used to purchase at Wal-Mart and Tractor Supply since it is pure with very little to no filler added.  It goes much further and the birds really, really like it.  We tend to feed the Supreme food, shelled peanuts, premium sunflower seeds (black oil), Cranberry seed cylinder and Supreme with nuts seed cylinder and Jim’s Birdacious Bark Butter.




We have purchased our pole systems and all our feeders/houses from them.  Three of our feeders are made from Eco Tough material which won’t crack, fade or rot and comes with a lifetime  guarantee.  Needless to say these cost a bit more so we only have three at this time.



We have recently started experimenting with the seed cylinders and really like them.  They last a lot longer and the birds love them.  We have also added, last year, Jim’s Birdacious Bark Butter to our feeding lineup.     DSC_4794Smells a lot like peanut butter (no, I haven’t tried any) and you spread it on the bark of a tree, piece of wood or anything it will stick to.  We have found all our birds love it but especially the woodpeckers.


We currently have a nest of baby wrens in one of our houses.  Boy are they busy going in and out, and the little ones are beginning to chirp quite loudly.    DSC_4835Soon we will get to see them emerge and fly off to begin their life.  We still have several Cardinals but not as many as earlier in the season.  Blue Jays are coming around, mockingbirds, Titmouse, Chickadees, Wrens, Purple Finches, Mourning Doves and our host of Woodpeckers.





It was a great day for us and we hope you have a truly wonderful weekend doing whatever makes you happy and brings a smile to your face!!