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".

Our Friends

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

We are here...Baton Rouge

We arrived at the KOA in Baton Rouge on Thursday afternoon just before a nice rain shower came through the area.  Luckily we were all set up before the rains began to fall.  

After getting set up and Stephen getting off work we made our way over to his new apartment to deliver his doggie, Jo Jo.  His apartment building is basically right downtown.          
Inside the Apartment Complex First floor is 1 level up

 He doesn't have to fight the traffic in the mornings or afternoons for work and its convenient.  It's an older building with concrete walls so he doesn't have any noice issues there at all.  It is a nice apartment and much larger than the one he had in Auburn!!  He is going to turn his second bedroom into a media room!!         
Parking by the lake at the apartment, Governor's Mansion across the lake and the trees       

View from his living room window

We have a nice site but I will confess....its not the kind of campground we prefer for lots of reasons.             

The first being the price!!  As those of you that travel know, KOAs are upper in the price range.  Don't get me wrong, its a very nice campground with concrete sites and patios laid with pavers.   Right across the road from our site is a beautiful grassy area to walk the dogs....well, to walk Asher.       

 Nick is old and doesn't wish to cross the street to do his business.  There is a very nice pool with hot tub and patio area and out front is a very well kept putt-putt golf course for the kids and kids at heart.              


The second reason its not our cup of tea is there are very few trees.  
I know all KOAs are not treeless but this one is.  We like nature!!!!   I sure miss my birds chirping in the morning and the beautiful trees and hiking trails.    This campground is the closest to our son's new apartment so for this trip its the campground of choice.            

We've enjoyed the people that have come through and most have seemed very friendly.  We've been asked lots of questions about our Oliver and have enjoyed talking Oliver with those that are curious.       
We got to do an outside close-up on a Newell Motorcoach...awesome
We will be here another week and then begin our trek back to the Auburn/LaGrange area to first collect my new permanent crown for the dentist.  Then Mike and I will be doing the doctor thing with our PCP.  The week after that is my semi-annual oncology visit.  This should, Lord willing, be a short visit of only lab work and a visit with the doctor.  The day after this visit we will be heading back toward Baton Rouge to say hi and bye to Stephen as he will be traveling to California on business and we will be traveling to Texas for our domicile.  Whew!!  

We haven't done anything blog worthy since arriving here.  To be honest....resting has been nice!!  Once we get our "travel legs" on we will begin to plan things a little better.  We traveled too many back to back days and that just wore us out.  
We do plan to get out a bit beginning tomorrow and see what we can see in this area.  

Our little guy, Nick, had a "spell" of some sort about a month ago.  He woke up and couldn't walk very well and his head did a lot of jerky motions.  We both thought he might be having a seizure or stroke!!!  We gave him a Temaril P which contains a tiny amount of prednisone.  By the time we got him to the vet he was pretty much his old self again.   Our vet in LaGrange checked him over real well and said he felt like it was something with the brain stem, like some fluid build up or swelling.  He prescribed prednisone (1/2 dose once a day) and it cleared things up real well.  We hate for him to be on prednisone so when he started getting lots better we decided to give him 1/4 of a dose every other day and he seemed to be doing good with that.  No more episodes.  So in bringing Stephen his doggie to Baton Rouge we let the dose go to about 3 or 4 days.  Last night he had another episode!!  We immediately gave him 1/2 dose of prednisone and by bedtime he was walking pretty good and the head jerking had stopped.  We called the vet this morning and he said we needed to continue the prednisone...I guess this means we can't begin a career as a vet any time soon.  So we will do one more 1/2 dose and then go to the 1/4 dose everyday for a few days and then try the every other day but no more than every other day.  High doses of prednisone can cause Cushings Disease in dogs but the vet felt like the 1/4 dose would not cause this.  Bless his heart...our furbabies so become part of our families and when they are not feeling just right we aren't either.  Please say a prayer for our little Nicky!!

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.  Psalm 19:1

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Finishing the Natchez Trace Parkway...for Now

Well....we decided to take our time leaving Davis Lake to head down to Jackson, Ms which was about a two and half hour drive.  So we packed our new addition(Asher) in his crate, put him on the back seat of the truck, put JoJo beside the crate on the other side of the seat and put Nick in his usual seat next to Gerri, and off we went on the Natchez Trace Parkway toward Jackson, Ms.
An Indian Mound we stopped at along the Trace Parkway
Since we had driven this section before, we didn't stop too much along the way.  We did find a good pull off and stopped there for lunch and a walk-about for us and the dogs.  We decided to stop in Jackson for an overnight at Lefleur Bluff State Park.  Although there were a few scenic areas in this park, it was kind of old and a bit dirty, so I would not recommend this for an extended stay. In fact, we didn't even unhook the Oliver.    

Our site at Lafleur State Park
We headed down the last part of the Natchez Trace to Natchez Mississippi.  This section we have not driven, so we were glad to be able to finish up the complete Parkway with this trip.  Just outside Port Gibson there is a pull-off to see the a part of the Sunken Trace.      

The way back up from the Sunken Trace
  It was really interesting to see how much the path there had sunk over the years of travel.  We got out and walked down to that part of the Old Trace to see how deep it had sunk...amazing.  I even took Asher down and let him walk some of the path, and oh how he enjoyed it.  Just beyond Port Gibson we took a windy drive to see the Windsor Ruins.              

Instead of me writing about it, Gerri took a picture of the sign explaining about the ruins.  Wow, I can't imagine what the house had looked like when it was standing in it's entirety.

Well, we finally arrived in Natchez Mississippi, but because we had a deadline to get Stephen's dog to him, a return trip to Natchez for several days is in order down the road.  We stayed at River View RV Park and Resort in Vidalia, is it really a nice campground.
The open area from the RV Park and the Mississippi River
Another view of the open area
A view toward the bridge over the river from the rv park
Our Campsite
Looking through the open area toward the club house
 It is right on the Mississippi River and was so peaceful and calm.  We will definitely stay here again when we return to tour Natchez Ms. and the surrounding areas.  

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Wheels are Rolling

Sunrise at Davis Lake Campground

We left Chewacla State Park a little later than we normally leave on a travel day.  We went over to see our son and fetch his doggie, Jo Jo and wish him well on his move.  We will catch up with him in Baton Rouge in a few days or so.  Our journey was to take us to Van Vleet, Mississippi which is right off the Natchez Trace and about 20 miles south of Tupelo.          
Stephen's dog JoJo

We decided to stay at Davis Campground in the Tom Bigbee National Forest.  This is not a huge campground but it is very very nice!!  It sits on Davis Lake and the sites are concrete with water and electric and lots of ambience!!  We landed a site right on the lake!!                

Entering the Davis Lake Campground
View from our Back Window
After getting all set up we went over to Southern Charm Kennels.  We were there to take a look at an English Cream Golden Retriever.  I want to add that we did exhaust the area for a rescue Golden.  We have a 12 1/2 year old Shih Tzu, Nick, that has hip and shoulder problems and is getting at an age that his eyes are not that good.    All the rescues that we found that met the age requirements all said children, no other dogs, fenced in backyard, lots of energy and so on.  We only saw one that met what we thought we might need with Nick and full-timing and he was already spoken for.  So we took our search to a lady that breeds the English Cream Golden Retrievers.  We got to pick between two male Goldens and decided on the light blue one.  She ties colored ribbons around the necks of her puppies so she can target their progress and keep them separate.            


They were all cute but the light blue boy just seemed to speak to us.
He is no longer called "light blue boy" but Asher which means happiness or blessed in Hebrew.                 

Last night he enjoyed some things for the first time...a walk on a leash, toys, his own bowl of food and sleeping beside our bed.  I am happy to say he played well, slept well and got along with our Nick and guest doggie, Jo Jo.  In fact, all of our doggies did very well last night.  Things will be a little better whenever there is only the two doggies but Jo Jo is a good little fellow and is honestly no trouble whatsoever.  So our "three dog night" is going well.                                     

We left Davis Lake this morning and headed down the Natchez Trace toward Jackson, Mississippi.   This is about half way to Natchez, Mississippi which is our destination for Wednesday.  We have completed the Natchez Trace all the way to Jackson but no further south so we are finally going to be able to complete the Trace.  After that we will make our way over to Baton Rouge and take a look at the new apartment and see how Stephen is doing in his new "home."            

We have certainly seen a lot of beautiful, peaceful sights in just two days.  Everywhere we go, if we slow down and look, there is beauty to behold.  I hope you enjoy what we have seen "Through the Lens."

  But ask the beastsand they will teach you;
the birds of the heavensand they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earthand they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
 In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind.
Job 12:7-10

Monday, June 18, 2018

Getting Ready to Roll and a Golden Plan

We spent most of the day getting things ready to roll.  When you sit for awhile it always seems harder to "get going."   We love the Oliver and the ease of travel and finding awesome places to camp but I don't think I (we) have this minimalist thing down right yet.  I seem to acquire too much especially when we are sitting and not doing too much!!  But there is a place for everything and everything is in its place...mostly!!

As most of you that read this blog already know, our son is moving to Baton Rouge to continue his work with Chartwells Food Service at LSU.  He is excited and a bit nervous but that is normal and most times a good sign.  We are going to be the resident "dog sitters" while this move is taking place.  We will take his dog, Jo Jo with us tomorrow and head north!!       
I know, I know, Baton Rouge is NOT north of Auburn!!  But we are taking the looooong route!!  Actually, we are heading a little south of Tupelo to a city called Van Fleet where we are going to take a look at a English Cream Golden Retriever.  We had a Golden Retriever about 3 years ago that we dearly loved.              

 He came to our family at probably the absolute worst time.  We had him one month before I was diagnosed with cancer!!  With the surgery and then the months of treatment to follow there just wasn't much time to work with him, socialize him and help him with obedience.             

He was big, quite big and strong and during this time he managed to pull or I should say jerk Mike's shoulder pretty badly and shortly thereafter Mike was diagnosed with cervical stenosis in his shoulder/neck.  Now we don't know if walking Jackson caused that or not but it was a reality...a painful reality.  Our neighbor at that time also had a Golden named Nelson and Jackson and Nelson were best buddies.  They asked us one day if they could adopt Jackson since we were so bogged down with medical issues.  We were so relieved and happy that Jackson would be able to live with Nelson and agreed to let Jackson go.  We still miss him and see him every once and awhile.  He is doing great!

That brings us up to the current.  We have always had a Golden in our life.  The first time we full-timed we had our sweet Cody traveling with us.   
Our Cody 

So we located a breeder of  English Cream Goldens in Mississippi and have been in touch with her over about three weeks.  We have agreed, if we like him, to adopt one of her puppies from the parents, Baron and Aspen.               


They are beautiful!!  He is a male and from the pictures looks like a nice boy!!   We have never owned the English Golden before and look forward to falling in love with these sweet Goldens.  
The Puppy

So our plan is to head to Van Fleet, Mississippi tomorrow while our son packs his moving trailer  Didn't we get lucky??  Too old for that kind of work for sure!!  He will head to Baton Rouge on Tuesday and we will head that way....soon!!  There just might be things to see along the way you know!!  Looks like we will be having a few Three Dog Nights coming up.

My crown arrived early!!!  Yay!!  I was able to get the permanent crown put on last Tuesday.  While I was there I had the dentist take a look at my front tooth that had developed a tiny problem during treatment...that stuff is awful!!  Anyway, it had developed a tiny spot on the front and I wanted it fixed.  Since this tooth had already had a tiny filling in the back and now this one at the top he felt the tooth had been compromised too much and would be weak and possibly break.  Well who wants a chipped front tooth so I told him to go ahead and fix it.   You guessed it...another crown!!   I saw him Thursday and he prepped the tooth and put a temporary crown on.  So I am now waiting for that permanent crown!!!  This time it will have to wait till July 10th.  I will be very careful with it in the meantime!!  

I hope all the fathers out there had a wonderful Father's Day!!

                     Happy Father's Day!!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A Morning Hike

It seems winter hung on for as long as it possibly could!!  Just when you thought it was going to warm up...another chilly day!!  So finally, old man winter decided to give it up and just as many of us thought, we skipped most of spring and went right into summer!!            

But last week we had an unusually nice couple of days.  Really pleasant temperatures but best of humidity.  In the south that is huge, wonderful, amazing and nothing short of a miracle!!!                   

Mike and I took advantage of the nicer cooler temperatures and decided to go for a hike in the woods.  Not a walk in the campground but a true hike!!  We used to hike a lot but recently we've been somewhat sidelined but we are now getting back in the groove.               

We chose one of the many hiking trails in the park and set off with our cameras to enjoy and have a great morning!!  It was a beautiful hike with such solitude...we had both forgotten how nice it is on a trail early in the morning!!  

I will just let the pictures tell the beauty!!  I hope you enjoy and thank you for stopping by to visit!!               

This guy and a few other animals is all the wildlife we saw on this hike      

"Lets take our hearts for a walk in the woods & listen to the magic whispers of the trees."    Anonymous