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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Friday, April 30, 2010

A Busy Day but A Mellow Night

Today Mike and I were in the mood for some good barbecue. There is a really great place downtown Pine Mountain called Three Little Pigs.DSC03252 DSC03257

They smoke their pork next to their restaurant and when you drive up, you really get that great hickory/barbecue smell. The meat is pulled with no sauce added to it, but you can order whatever type sauce you want to pour over it when you order. You get about half a pound of pulled pork with your sandwich along with chips and slaw for $5.25. There is not a lot of inside seating space, but you can eat outside at picnic tables if you choose. As you can see, the sandwich is loaded with pork.


We were not planning on staying as long as we have here but some things came up that we felt like we needed to extend our stay. Since we had not planned this, jello happens, we decided to move to a shady area off the beaten path in the campground. As the season gets more into May, it’s getting hotter, so the shade will be nice. We could not get the motorhome level and finally called Newmar Tech to get some ideas. It seems the back airbags would not let the air out enough and our front end had to be raised too high to make it level. So we got some wood planks we had made to put under the tires and put them in the front to build up the front end to be more level. The Newmar tech said it sounded like the shutter release valve may not be working or could be clogged. So we are going to try a couple of things this weekend and if that doesn’t work we will order the valve and have it put on so the air bags in the rear can release all the air to level. Glad we found this out before we were in the middle of nowhere and were fair game for a repair service.

Well by the time we were all set up, we were exhausted…… maybe we’re getting older or out of shape??? Anyway Mike built a good fire and we just melted away in front of the fire. By the time the fire was just flickering, I think we were about out too. It was good to be mesmerized by the fire and ambers in the fire.

All is well and Life is Good !

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What the winds blew in

We have certainly had our share of the ugly weather lately. The worse part seemed to be behind us as the front moved through the area Saturday evening late and then on into Sunday morning. What it left behind were the awful winds. Gusts that traveled somewhere between 30 to 40 mph. In a sticks and bricks, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but in an RV, the sound is horrible. You just have to wonder what in the world is being destroyed on the roof??? Earlier this month we moved the motorhome to this beautiful spot in the new section of Pine Mountain RV Resort. Everybody “claims” this is the best spot in the campground with the best view, BUT what they didn’t tell us or didn’t know is, that it sits up a little on a rise and therefore the winds are just a little worse here. We haven’t been able to put our awning out more than a few hours at a time since we have been here. A couple of times we have had to chase our trash can as it blew across the campground spreading our contents everywhere. The wind has politely folded up our lounge chairs a couple of times and we wouldn’t dare put out our patio mat. DSC03237 DSC03238 DSC03239

Yesterday during one of the lulls in the wind gusts, I was looking out the window and noticed this beautiful bluebird just sitting on top of our bird feeder pole. I quickly grabbed my camera and took a few shots before he flew off. For those of you that have traveled extensively and have been lucky enough to be in birding areas during the “right” time of the year may not appreciate my excitement. For over five years I maintained a backyard habitat in our stick house. I was able to attract so many of the area birds….many different varieties, but never was able to attract the gorgeous bluebird. We lived in the city and we had lots of trees in our yard….not what the bluebird likes. So I tried but failed to attract my love….the bluebird. So there he sat yesterday just taking in the area and surveying his kingdom. Being out in the open away from trees and in the country finally paid off in bringing the bluebird to my feeder. Now we are both anxious to do more birding. As soon as the weather clears we will journey to Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center in Columbus. This is a regional hands on nature center maintained by Columbus State University and they have bird watching trails.

The sun is scheduled to reappear on Wednesday so we are planning to make a day of it at Oxbow Meadows. We are excited!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Stormy Weather

The weather has just been awful since around 4:00 a.m. That was about the time the thunder and lightning woke us up. We both got up and checked out the weather website. We found on the radar screen that the entire southeast was under a heavy red colored ban of storms. It didn’t look like anybody was going to escape this front. The one bit of information that was the most disturbing were the threats of tornadoes. That led me to think about the story our friends Gene and Judy Curp told about the night they evacuated to the bathhouse for shelter during such a storm. I began to plot out where we would go if things got really bad. Wouldn’t you know it…..this campground has tons of campers this weekend and there are only two bathhouses. How do you say….not everybody is going to get in???? We stowed the satellite, folded the patio chairs and went back to bed. The good news was the wind wasn’t as bad as it has been in other storms so we didn’t pull in the slides. We went back to sleep but this weather front hasn’t finished with us yet.

Since we can’t get outside today we decided it would be a great day to just stay at home and watch a little TV, read, and do a little computer stuff. I will do a little laundry and clean the bathroom/shower. A nap might be nice a little later.

There will be days like this….even in an RV. We certainly hope these severe storms moving through the southeast pass on quickly and folks remain safe.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This IS Home

We finally got a little rain to wash all of this pollen away! It has been a rough pollen season and according to the local doctors we have another two weeks to endure. Oh well, along with the pollen we have been able to enjoy one of the most colorful spring seasons in a long time. The azaleas have been just beautiful as well as the flowering trees.

Mike was on the phone for 57 minutes today trying to explain to Direct TV that we need a satellite for times when our rooftop satellite can’t get through the trees. We had Direct TV come out to the motorhome in August to start up our service, bring us our HDTV receiver/DVR and regular receiver for the bedroom. Since we already had the rooftop HD satellite we told the serviceman that we didn’t need a dish. Mistake! Today Mike tried for almost an hour to explain that we have perfect reception, no technical problems we just want a satellite dish so we can set up our tripod when we are in campgrounds that the rooftop satellite can’t pick up the satellites for HDTV. Sheeesh! First, she thought we had problems getting reception. We got through that crisis and then we moved on to how they can’t send a technician out to a motorhome….they need to come to our home. Well, this is our home. No sir, we need to come to your house we can’t come to your motorhome. You don’t understand, this IS my home. Well alrighty then we can send you a satellite dish to your site at Pine Mountain RV Resort but we don’t know if it will be a HD dish or just a regular dish. It is hard to understand why a work order couldn’t be written stating what type of dish we need. She claims they cannot….but they can send a work order for a satellite and an address as to where to deliver it but not what to deliver. This is crazy stuff. So Friday morning between 8:00 and 11:00 we will be delivered a satellite dish. We aren’t sure if it will be HD or just a regular dish. Regular is what we prefer since when we use the portable dish we might have trouble finding all those HD satellites. We just feel lucky we got this far and will take whatever they bring. We think there might be a choice once the technician gets here. Maybe he’ll understand.

This evening we had a wonderful dinner with Doug and JoAnn

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( They have been camped at FDR State Park since last Wednesday. We have gotten together several times during their visit here and have really enjoyed getting to know them better. They are a wonderful couple and travel with their special companion - Fillmore. Fillmore is a beautiful standard poodle. JoAnn fixed a yummy meal and we enjoyed eating, chatting and relaxing together. They will be leaving Thursday to head for Rainbow Plantation. We are so glad they came this way and we had this special time together. It has been a perfect weather week for them to visit and explore the area. We will see you guys again soon. J

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Grand Day

It has been a very nice weekend. The weather continues to be just about perfect with plenty of sunshine and light breezes. We have been spending much of our mornings sitting outside on the patio just enjoying this time of the year.

We are still doing our research on the bicycle purchase. What we are finding out is many full-timers started out with bicycles and then later sold them or simply don’t use them any longer. I am not sure why that happens. One of the things that sold us on this lifestyle was the ability to stay healthier by staying more active and getting outdoors more often.

I realize that is a choice but it is a choice that Mike and I would like to commit to. We are trying to eat healthier foods and continue to walk almost every day. The bikes would be just another avenue of outdoor fun and exercise. It is a pricey purchase so we want to be sure of our commitment.

We picked up our little “grand-dog” today and brought him to the motorhome to spend some time with us. He sure is a cutie. He was part of our family for several years before Stephen moved into his apartment and he moved with him. He just adores Stephen and he is right where he needs to be. They love each other! DSC03224

When Stephen got off work he came out to the motorhome for a cookout dinner. We cooked brats over the open fire and had baked beans, salad and chips to go along.

 DSC03223 DSC03222 DSC03225 After we ate we just sat outside by the fire and mellowed out. I did bring out the ingredients for smores and we each made one. So much for healthy food huh? We really enjoyed the evening and the cool breeze once the sun went down. The sky was clear and the stars were shining brightly….you could even pick out Venus. It was quiet and calm….a perfect evening.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Dinner with Doug and JoAnn

A day without Callaway….what’s a girl to do??? Our day started slowly with a nice warm bowl of oatmeal, checking e-mails and reading blogs. Mike and I decided that we needed a break from our usual exploring at Callaway. We have been playing around with the idea of purchasing some bicycles in the near future so we ventured off to Columbus to take a look at what was happening in the bike world.

We visited several bike shops and talked with, hopefully, knowledgeable people regarding the type of bikes a couple of middle age folks might need who just want to bike around campgrounds, trails and get some exercise. As with most things we were given several different pieces of information. We will take their information and do our own research and see what we come up with. One thing we were most concerned about was the condition of Mike’s knee. He had a meniscus tear several years ago and had laparoscopic surgery and we didn’t want to do anything that would hurt that knee further or create pain. In talking with Bill Arnold, owner of Arnold’s Bikes, he said several of the surgeons at Houston Clinic send their knee patients to him for bikes to help in rehab for their knees. It seems the doctors highly recommend biking for exercise. Our next plan of action is to rent a couple of bikes at Callaway and see how it goes.

This evening we invited Doug and JoAnn Dubrouillet over to our motorhome for dinner

DSC03214 DSC03216 We grilled chicken and had baked potatoes, salad and rolls outside on the picnic table. JoAnn brought the dessert of cookies and brownies. We had kind of a joke going about what we were going to have for dinner. Doug said he wanted Chateaubriand (steak recipe) and I proudly asked him if he had a good imagination?? JoAnn was going to bring key lime pie but discovered she didn’t have the ingredients so I told her that since we were imagining Chateaubriand we would imagine it was key lime pie. Everything was good. We ate and enjoyed visiting with each other until Doug and JoAnn needed to return to their rig at FDR State Park. It appears they are having a great time enjoying the beauty of Callaway Gardens.

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Another day in the life of……and it has been a good one

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mr. Cason's Vegetable Garden

We have made a week long vigil to Callaway Gardens and Resort this week to view the beautiful display of Azaleas. They are truly putting on a show. Since we are on a roll we decided to continue our visit to the gardens today. We got a little later start today and our target goal was to see Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden. This is a 7.5 acre demonstration garden named in memory of Cason J. Callaway the founder of the gardens. This garden was one of his last projects and is affectionately called The Vegetable Garden. DSC_2400 DSC_2428 DSC_2408 DSC_2431 DSC_2433

This area has been the setting for the Southern portion of the PBS television show The Victory Garden. A variety of plants grow here and it is also the site for the All America Trials garden. Due to the extra long winter there weren’t many plants to photograph and the vegetable garden is only a hint of things to come. It was, however, a wonderful day to walk through this garden and enjoy the area.

After we left the Vegetable Garden we took a long walk around Robin Beach. We started outside the Vegetable Garden and walked across to the beach pavilion. This is an extremely familiar area for Mike. He was the Recreational Food and Beverage Director at the Gardens for several years. The beach pavilion was and is a busy place in the summer months.

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From here we drove back to the Discovery Center where we met up with Doug and JoAnn.

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We met at the Discovery Café, another familiar landmark for Mike. Mike was one of the designers and planners for this café. He watched it grow from ground up and a couple of his former employees still work there.

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Doug and JoAnn had been exploring the Azaleas all morning and we had decided that we would meet up for a “sit and chat” time in the afternoon. It was nice to just sit and get to know each other better. We first met Doug and JoAnn this past winter at Rainbow Plantation but it was only a brief visit so it is good to have a little more time to get to know these fine folks better. They plan to be in this area for about a week so we will have more opportunities for visiting.

So even though we are not touring different areas of America right now we stay busy enjoying the moments that we have. The weather has been great, the Azaleas have never been prettier and the friends are wonderful. Life is good.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Gardens Overlook at Callaway Gardens

Today Gerri & I went to another area of Callaway Gardens for some other scenes of azaleas.  This area is called the gardens Overlook.  Afterwards we went to the Callaway Chapel that is nestled in the woods at the end of a lake.  DSC_2383 DSC_2241

More Pics of Overlook

Callaway Brothers Azalea Bowl

Today, my lovely wife and I went to Callaway Gardens to enjoy the beauty of the gardens. We went to one of the many areas to see the azaleas in bloom. The area is called the Callaway Brothers Azalea Bowl. The pics you see are of that area, and tomorrow we will go to another area for more beautiful scenery. We will let the pics speak for themselves.

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I took over one hundred pics from this area, but cannot put all in. Also, I am learning how to do links or photo albums for this location and have not achieved that skill yet.

Click here for more pics

Monday, April 12, 2010

In Search of a Mellow Mushroom

When Mike and I were in Gulf Shores this past winter we discovered The Mellow Mushroom. Mike loves pizza and he fell in love with their pizza. When we returned to Georgia we began a search of the nearest Mellow Mushroom. We thought we had lucked up on one in Columbus and were all set, mouth watering, for a fabulous lunch when we discovered they were closed for renovation. We were disappointed but not beat so we began our search again. This time a Mellow Mushroom turned up in Carrollton, Georgia. So this morning we prepared for our journey to Carrollton for a lunch of pizza at the Mellow Mushroom.



Carrollton happens to be a “blast from the past” for the Jones family.

DSC03092Our old home in Carrollton.

About 19 years ago Mike’s job took us to this nice west Georgia town. We lived there for five years. When we moved there Stephen was in the second grade. I taught at Carrollton Elementary School which at that time was brand new.

DSC03082 It was deservingly called “the university” since it housed grades K-5 of which there were some 13 classrooms per grade level. We had over 2,000 little elementary folks under one roof. Quite large… but it ran like a well oiled machine. It was indeed a superior elementary school. We are so glad Stephen was able to attend school there in grades 2 through 6th  


Mike was the Food Service Director for University of West Georgia. At that time he worked for a company called ARAMARK. He ran the large dining hall called Z-6,


to this day we aren’t sure how it got that name. He also opened the first food court on campus that offered “branded concepts.” That would be companies such as Chick-Fil-A, Pizza Hut plus ARAMARKS own concept brands. A really neat place for students to meet and eat. Of course, this is no longer a new concept on campuses today but it was back then.

I discovered several years ago that a famous actress, Susan Hayward, lived for a time and is buried in Carrollton. She is from that bygone age….. being my mother’s favorite actress of all times. It happens that she married Eaton Chalkley, a Carrollton rancher and businessman in 1957. At that time they purchased a beautiful farm in what is now called the Center Point Community in the northern part of Carrollton. She lived there with Eaton until his death in 1966 being only married to him for 9 years. She was named “Best Actress in the World” in 1955 because of her performance in I’ll Cry Tomorrow. She received an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1958 for her role in I Want To Live. She died from a brain tumor on March 14, 1975. She was buried next to her husband in the cemetery of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. A little before my time but an interesting journey for an afternoon in Carrollton. DSC03099



DSC03105Susan and Eaton’s home

It was a great day. We found our Mellow Mushroom, toured several familiar places in Carrollton where we lived and worked and discovered a little Hollywood history. Now we are back at the motorhome ready to enjoy a nice evening together. Hope your day was a good one