Friday, May 30, 2008

How The Garden Grows

The "garden" here at the campground is really taking off and growing. Some of the campers have already gotten some summer squash. I think I will head out that way tomorrow and see if I can find a vegi or two that I can add to our supper menu.

As part of their Memorial Day celebration, some of the folks had a scarecrow building contest between the men and the women. I thought I'd let you be the judge.

Here is Mrs. Scarecrow. She is all decked out in her jewel-tone skirt and Mardi Gras beads. Her hair looks like a mop but she takes care of her bad hair day by wearing a hat. Smart woman, she's got her head on straight--really on the ball.

And here is Mr. Scarecrow. I really don't know what the Mrs. sees in him. He may have looked a little better when he was younger--I don't know. He resembles Gomez Adams after being smacked in the face with a cast iron skillet. You know his head is full of straw because he has his shirt on backwards. His love handles are out of control, and where in the world did he find that dorky hat?
I have my doubts about this couple's ability to scare the birds away. I think I did see a mocking bird laughing so hard it fell out of the tree. None the less they are quite a pair. Staked at each end of the garden patch, they are good for a few good grins.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

God Is On His Throne!

There have been many times in my life that my little corner of the world shook, my security crumbled, and fear and uncertainty gripped my heart, my stomach, and my very soul.

To remember but just a few:
1. I was in Jr. High, my dad lost his job, and I knew I was going to have to move away from all my friends.
2. Various difficult and stressful "marital moments"
3. The day we decided that we had no choice but leave a ministry and a dream behind and retreat, feeling defeated
4. After looking at X-rays of my daughter's broken arm, the physician's assistant looked me in the eye and shook his head.
5. Growing up moments when my children have graduated, married, or moved away
6. When a tactless nurse told me over the phone that my daughter might have cancer
7. When medical tests have detected imperfections in my first, and now my second granddaughter's precious little heart.

At times like these it is easy for my fears to take control, causing me to forget who is really in control. Thinking back over this list makes me breathe with shallow breaths and tears sting my eyes. I'm made of sinful earthen clay, and I admit that I need to be reminded that my God is bigger than any problem or trial I could ever experience. As always, God is faithful to give me those reminders--sometimes small and precious, sometimes huge and majestic!

Today He offered me a glimpse of a day-time moon. As I gazed on its beauty, it struck me that while I was enjoying the unique look of the moon high in the clear blue sky, someone, some other place on the planet, was enjoying the light it was reflecting into the darkness of their night. (I just had to snap some pictures.)

Yes, God is still on the throne in my little corner of the world--and in yours--wherever in the world that may be.

"When I consider Thy heavens, the works of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him? And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him? Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God, and dost crown him with glory and majesty! Thou dost make him to rule over the works of Thy hands; Thou hast put all things under his feet...O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Thy name in all the earth!" Psalm 8:3-9 NASV

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Microwave Junki

I've often said that I was born 50 (or more) years too late. Yes, I am old-fashioned and I like old-fashioned things. That's why I bookmarked a blog the other day while I was blog-hopping. (This post is linked to it. Just click on the title of my post.) The author and I seem to have a few things in common, and if I'm not careful, I could start to covet her chicken coop, garden, and birdhouses. But as I read her posts, I came across one that, well, finds me on the other side of the fence.

The author posted about how she had gotten rid of her microwave oven. She listed several reasons for parting with it, and for just a little while I felt convicted. I share her opinion about food tasting better when cooked the old fashioned way and how our culture is in too big of a rush. But then I started thinking about what my life would be like without a microwave.

My microwave is built into my cabinets, so my first thought was, what in the world would I do with that big hole if I took out the microwave?
Then I started making a mental list of why I am thankful for my microwave oven. Here is a picture of my entire kitchen.
1.) As you can see, I'm not long on storage as most kitchens go, even though it is not bad as far as RV kitchens go. Pots, pans, casserole dishes, storage containers all take up a lot of room and they weigh a lot. Plastic dishes or containers that can go from refrigerator to microwave to table and back again take up less space and add fewer pounds to our tow weight.

2.) My oven will not hold a 9x13 cake pan. Neither will my cabinets nor will my sink! I can squeeze two 8" round pans in the oven, but the cake layers bake a little unevenly because the pans have to touch. When I do make a whole cake for just the two of us, ants get to it or it gets a little "old" before we can get it eaten. But I can buy those little Betty Crocker Warm Delights mixes, stir it up and nuke it for just a minute or two, and then hubby and I are cuddled up on the couch enjoying a movie and eating cake together. No, the flavor of the cake cannot match that of a scratch Italian cream, but...that takes me to another storage issue.

3.) I do have a pretty nice pantry storage area. It is roomy enough for cereals, juices, canned goods, pasta, crackers, those basic food items, but "ingredients" for baking and compiling complicated dishes is a whole different story! So, though I don't really like it, microwaveable convenient foods come in handy sometimes.

4.) Most campgrounds include the cost of electricity with our monthly fee. If I used only my butane oven and burners, we would be having to buy more fuel. So, it is more economical for me to use the microwave when I can.

5.) Cooking for only two people makes for leftovers most of the time. I'll admit it; I enjoy being able to just fill our plates and warm them up. Rewarming leftovers in the oven or on the stove would dirty up more dishes that I have to wash by hand, me lazy. I'm thankful for modern conveniences.

6.) During all those months (that turned into years) that Rick and I were apart, I don't know what he would have eaten if it were not for microwavable meals. The work hours he has to put in do not allow time for meal preparation. It is not a matter of rushing through life or wanting everything instantly, it is a matter of serving the insureds the best he can and keeping his job.

So, as much as I'd love to have the room and ability to cook better tasting food at a slower pace, I find it just a bit impractical for me. I'll have to keep my microwave. If I'd been born 50 years ago, things would be different I'm sure!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pure Life

I know I'm a little quirky. I can be inspired by the strangest things--like this bottle of water. I bought it at a truck stop along some highway in some state. (I can't remember when or where.)
What grabbed me was the label, Pure Life. Wow! What will they think of next? I thought to myself--If only you could buy a pure life, bottled and ready for consumption for less than two bucks!

Maybe someone needs to tell the Nestle company that a pure life really can't be bottled. It can't be sold at a truck stop or convenient store.

God's word says, "How can a young person keep his life pure? [He can do it] by holding on to your word." Psalm 119:9 God's Word Translation ~~~ Yep, I'm afraid you can't have a pure life just by drinking bottled water.
The only way to really have a pure life is through the power of the Holy Spirit, holding on to God's Word! It might be a good idea for Nestle to shrink-wrap a Bible to their bottled water and sell it as a packaged deal.
Go get yourself a bottle of water and join me for a good long read. May our lives be pure.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Help! I Have Ants in My Plants!

This morning I was killing valuable time filling my head with useless information from the web. Yahoo had a headline--Fun Jobs That Make Folks Jealous. It grabbed my attention because one day my mother told me she envied me. It's not really me that she envies, it is my "lifestyle." My sweet mother has never seen the oceans or the Gulf of Mexico. She has never been to Hollywood nor has she toured our nation's capital. She has never driven (in a convertible with the top down) through the Florida Keys. These are all things that the good Lord has allowed me to do because of my husband's crazy career. I know I have been blessed.

I guess part of the reason I post on this blog is so those of you who have never had the opportunity to go where I've gone can get a glimpse of this great country. My goal is to give you something to enjoy and to make you smile. I can't stand the thought that my life's opportunities might make someone jealous or envious.

Yes, I enjoy my "lifestyle," but some days, I have to take captive every thought and make it a matter of will so that I can continue to live in that frame of mind. You know how it is--the grass is always greener in someone elses back yard. Traveling around the country is not all fun and games. It does have its difficulties and bad points. I will not dwell on those difficulties, as I said, because I choose not to. But, just in case any of my readers might have the crazy idea that my life (through God's provision and my husband's hard work) is one to envy, I want to share one lighthearted drawback to my "gypsy lifestyle."

Pictured here is my entire flower garden--four different colored geraniums planted in one pot that I can tote with me wherever we go. (Except California) When we pack up and move, it rides in the shower along with a terrarium, shampoos, shaving cream, and shower gel. (It is important to know that when we are "camped" the terrarium sits on my kitchen counter.) My geranium flower garden sits out on the ground or picnic table, or wherever I can find a sunny place near the camper. As much as I enjoy digging in the dirt and watching things grow, this tiny little garden is a bit of a negative to living on the go, but on the bright side--no weeding required!

The big problem is ants. Yes, ants just love to call the soft damp potting soil of my flower garden home. Everywhere we go there are ants. They may be different sizes, colors, and have different social behaviors, but there are always ants, and they always get in my plants. When we pack up to move, the plant goes in the shower and so do the ants. While we bump on down the road the ants take a walk and discover my terrarium. More damp soft soil. A whole new neighborhood! When we set up in the next place, the terrarium goes back on the kitchen counter and--you are way ahead of me here--so do the ants. The geraniums go back outside and so do some of the ants. There are always those little critters that decide they kind of like it in my shower and all over the bathroom and anywhere else their tiny little legs can carry them. So, my first few days at any new place is spent chasing and smashing ants. All for the sake of having a few plants to make my home on wheels a little "more like home."

Now, the next time you might feel the slightest bit of envy because I am someplace you are not, doing something that seems to be more interesting than your daily routine, do me a favor. Go out to your yard and hunt for an ant hill. Gather a few of the hardworking pests in a jar and take them in and let them loose in your shower and on your kitchen counter. Then go back out to your yard and smell a few roses or whatever kind of sweet flowers you might have in your flower garden and thank the good Lord that you are where you are, doing what He has willed for you to do.

Bloom where you are planted--and watch out for the ants!

Frog City

Okay, you my dear reader(s) asked for it. Don't expect to be inspired or awed by this post. The most you can hope for is a little entertainment, and you will have to be among the population who are "too easily entertained," but that is okay. It makes my job as a blog writer easier.
So you want to know what Frog City is like?
Well here ya go.

You'll never guess what I saw on my first walk around the campground. Yep, two frogs that couldn't hop fast enough to get out of the way of oncoming traffic. Don't worry, I'll spare you the photo this time. They had been there a while so their little carcases were leathery anyway. Instead I'll give you this little guy. He stands by the office to say Welcome.

On the street where I live...
I'm not sure I am allowed to put my trash in this can at the end of our lane. The guidelines we received upon registration said to put our trash in the large dumpster at the camp exit. So that is what I do. After our last campground experience in Arkansas, I decided not to take a chance. My question for you is--have you ever tried to drive only 5 mph? I challenge you to try it sometime and let me know about your experience.
The building you see in the background to the left is a Super 8 Motel. Now if any of our friends or family want to come on down to Cajun country and pay us a visit, affordable lodging is just a short walk from our camper. I have no idea who these folks are, but they knew I was taking pictures and they didn't scamper out of the way, so... Our camper is on the left. It is the one with the awning out.
Here is our "lane" from the other direction. A row of trees line the south and west sides of Frog City, but the rigs sit out in the sun. I-10 is to the north and the motel is on the east side. I've not ventured beyond the row of trees. I figure what is on the other side might not be any of my business.

Now this area is "primitive" camping, so if you have a tent, here is your spot. I guess you can play volley ball here but you had better bring your own net and your own ball. I didn't see a "nature trail," but I'm sure where there is grass instead of pavement, you are bound to find some "nature." There are a couple of picnic tables, but you might want to bring a big quilt along for your picnic.Here is some of that "nature" you will find. These are crawfish castles--little mud mounds around the holes where the crawfish come up out of the wet boggy ground.
A couple of "temporarily permanent" residents of the place have planted a garden of sorts. They offer their produce to all the campers. If you decide you want a squash or tomato for supper, you are free to pick and eat. (Nothing is ready for harvest yet, but it won't be long...)Here are the tenders of the garden patch. They obviously didn't want me to get their faces in the photo. Suppose they are on a wanted poster somewhere? Aw, I doubt it. They seemed like nice enough people. Below is the "corn field." I doubt we will still be here when the juicy ears are ready for picking.It seems I spend a lot of my time doing laundry, so.. I'll be here more often than I would like. The door on the left is to the laundry (only 3 washer and 3 dryers @ 1.75 each) and the other three doors are to showers. We take our showers in the camper. I could just see me toting my stuff across the campground to take a shower. I'd probably drop my unmentionables on a frog. Picture those hopping through the camp sites!
So, with these pictures (even the mental ones) I'll leave you saying "ribbit" for now.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

We're Here!

Well, we didn't even slow down as we went through Shreveport.

Every deployment is an Abraham experience. "Leave home and just drive until someone tells you to stop!" Usually Rick gets a call that sends us in the direction of a particular state, and as we drive his claims are assigned and then we are notified as to where to report for meetings, (which is usually in a different place than the claims) and then we go from there to our assigned location.

This time it seems our "up-line" has had a hard time getting their ducks in a row. Rick was told right off the bat to go to Shreveport, but his assigned claims are scattered all the way from Alexandria to Baton Rouge with the largest part of them being in the Lafayette area. He is starting with a large number of claims, so we were told to go on and get started. He will attend his orientation meeting this afternoon via phone.

Check out the map link under "Where in the world am I?" for Frog City. That's the name of the campground where we are. The town is actually Duson, LA, but you might as well say we are in Lafayette. Are you confused yet? I stay that way. At least I'm still in the central time zone! To help you out--we are about halfway between the Texas-Louisiana line and Baton Rouge on I-10, 221 miles from Kaleena's apartment which is on the west side of Houston.

I love it when we tell friends and family where we are going and they ask, "What happened there?" It reminds me of how big the "big picture" is and how we all lack the ability to keep up with what is going on outside our immediate circle. I'm so glad we have a God that sees all, knows all, and is in complete control of all things. Nothing surprises Him! But to answer your question--a tornado and all that go with severe thunderstorms went through this area on the 15th.

We found a campground/resort a few miles from the intersection of I-10 and I-49 that was beautiful. A lake, cypress trees, quiet, lots of grass, tennis courts, hot tub, pool...but poor cel phone signal. Bummer!!!! Rick HAS to have good cel service as he makes and received dozens of calls per day. So our second choice is here at Frog City which sits right on I-10. When we were in Arkansas, if I needed a little entertainment, I could go down to the creek and watch the turtles sun themselves on floating logs. Here I can count how many trucks go by on the interstate. Does anybody remember the Atari game where you had to hop the frog across the busy highway without it getting hit by cars and trucks? (Sorry--just a random thought about frogs and trucks.)
I've not scoped out the laundry room yet but it is two camper rows and a hop-skip-and-a-jump away. It looks like I will have a fair distance to tote trash and "Bull Frog Circle" (the drive around the campground) looks to be an uncomplicated and not too challenging of an exercise route, so I should be fine. I may have to look hard and be creative to find anything worthy of taking photos and posting here on my blog, but I'll try. (Maybe I can find a squished frog on the freeway!) LOL!!!

Okay, okay... maybe not. But if that is all I can find, know you've been warned! I should hop on out and check out my new "home base." I'll take a bottle of water with me so I won't croak! (Photo obtained from

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Packin' Up

How quickly plans change...again.

No time for a long post here. We are packing up the rig and heading for Shreveport, LA. We've been through there many times but never worked there. Rick will throw in the mud boots as sewer back-up is sure to be an issue!

Catch ya later down the road!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

We're Home!

Yes, we got home Sunday. We've been on the run since we got here.

My sister and part of her family came over for hamburgers and a short but sweet visit Sunday evening. Yesterday we took care of a bunch of errands we had to do in town, and today I have spent all day putting poison on ant beds and spraying weed killer on thistles and bindweed around the place. I'm worn out!!!!! The wind has been blowing all day. (That is just a given here.) I think my face is a little sun and wind burned.

It has been a joy to hug on the grand kids. They are just as sweet as ever and have grown quickly. Natalie is talking up a storm and Gabriella thinks her Mimi is just the funniest looking thing ever. She laughs at me all the time. It is good to see the kids again and we are hoping to still be around at the end of the month when our oldest comes home for a visit. But we never know...

It is always good to be home.