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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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Oh My Gosh…It Feels Like Spring


Today was so incredibly great…sunny, crisp blue skies and temps around 70.



It felt like spring! I was so energized by the weather that I started working on increasing a natural area where we put our bird feed systems. I enlarged it and set up an area to add bird and butterfly friendly plants when the weather truly settles into spring.


Later on Gerri & I just sat on the patio and enjoyed watching the birds come in for feeding, it was so peaceful and the sunshine felt so good.

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Our backyard is very private and lots of hardwoods and pines.  We are anxious to see what comes up as spring comes. We have lots of azaleas and camellias in the yard, so that should be pretty when they bloom.  In fact we had some camellias bloom already, but I think the cold snap (temps in the teens at night) messed with the blooms.

Life is truly good and God is truly great!

Take care and we hope all of you had a great Saturday!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Little Work in the Kitchen

The granite has arrived!  The house that we recently purchased was in excellent condition for a fifty year old house.  We love older houses….so full of character and this one did not let us down.  The kitchen had been updated several years ago with new cabinets and countertops. 

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The laminate countertops were getting old, stained and a bit tired so we decided to update with granite and add a tumbled marble backsplash which will be installed Saturday.  We will have the under mount sink and new faucet.  Along with that we have bought new appliances.  This should complete the kitchen update for us. 

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The painting is going well.  Its funny you don’t notice how much a room needs painting until all the furniture has been removed.  We discovered that every room needs painting.  Mike loves painting…..isn’t that nice???   We have only one room left plus the kitchen and mud room to finish painting.  The best part of the new house is the sunroom and back yard.  We sit up a bit so that makes for some beautiful sunrise photos. The birds are really loving our pole feeding systems and we are loving them.


With all the unpacking, painting and bird watching we have decided it is time for a road trip.  We are planning to take a few days off early in February and head down to visit with our friends at Rainbow Plantation.  We are trying to coordinate the trip with the arrival of Mike and Peggy Evringham and possibly Gene and Judi Curp.  Hopefully we can pull that off.  Even with a sticks and bricks we love to travel and plan on continuing with our trips.

"Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out."

Jack Buck

Friday, January 21, 2011

Best Made Plans…Sometimes Change


The best made plans sometimes just don’t happen. Gerri and I began our full-timing with the intentions of traveling and seeing so many of the awesome places in this country. We waited for what seemed like an eternity to sell our house and “hit the road” and one day there we were. We had figured our budget many many times and had it all figured out. That is when LIFE happened. Maybe I should say the ECONOMY and LIFE happened.

Full-timing is no different than any other lifestyle…..things happen. The economy attacks full-timers, health attacks full-timers and you get the picture. This past year I have had several health opportunities to work through and we are doing just that….. but those opportunities have cost us some extra money. We pulled the “extra” expenses from our savings which was set up for such emergencies. About the same time our health insurance went up a bit….well actually it didn’t go up but the deductible changed and Gerri’s medications went up. Time to tweak the budget again. Did I mention that fuel went up? Clothing, food etc. went up? Oh, did I mention that our pension income didn’t go up quite as much as the economy?? Yes, time to tweak the budget. No matter how I tweaked I could not make the numbers stretch over the added expenses and keep the diesel, campground monies the same. With the decreased diesel and campground money which were added to other expense categories, we were not going to be traveling much. Our original goal was to travel…..not sit. I was frustrated!!

Then enters family! We always wanted to be able to share special times with Stephen and then my family in Tennessee suddenly developed health issues. My brother’s grandson, six years old, was diagnosed with leukemia in August. This put a big stress on the family in Tennessee. My brother could no longer do as much for my mother because his attention was directed toward his grandson. We would have to be nearby for them. For us, family is so very important and they always come first.

During our year and half full-timing we found that we really missed the church connection. We weren’t as honest with this as we should have been….so we didn’t attend as we could have. But more than just attending we missed the belonging to a fellowship of people. For Gerri and I our spiritual life is THE most important thing and we had let it slip badly.

So armed with all these opportunities Gerri and I took a long look at what our goals were and what we wanted for our lives. We still want to travel and experience many of the wonderful places in this country. We didn’t want to continually subtract from our savings….especially since we are retired and not putting as much into it as we once were. We didn’t want to workamp ALL the time. We didn’t want to just sit and live in our MH.

We did want to be a part of Stephen’s life and help out with the needs of the family in Tennessee. If you subtract the time spent “sitting” and volunteering, that leaves the amount of time we would be actually traveling that might equal more of a part-time traveler. So while we still had our equity and savings we decided to purchase a small house, downsize and do the part-time thing. We have found the perfect house, the perfect size and, in one of the best neighborhoods in LaGrange, old historic area. We have a wonderful sunroom looking out to our wooded backyard…..yes, yes, we have birds!! Lots of them and hope that once we get out feeders going we will have many more. It is a perfect yard for birding with lots of hardwoods, azaleas and more. Just beautiful!!



The best part of full-timing or maybe I should say Rving is the wonderful people you meet. We have met the very best folks ever in this experience and hope that we will continue to meet up with you guys “down the road” as we travel. When we are not traveling we will be enjoying our new to us home, getting re-connected to our church and working on getting my health back like it should be. We are happy…life is still good and we hope to still see you guys “down the road.”