Archive for the '2006' Category

Nov 17 2006

Throwed Rolls

Published by under Retired 2006

You haven’t lived until you’ve been hit in the head with one of Lambert’s Cafe’s “throwed rolls”! It’s a local novelty restaurant where we had dinner last night and they literally throw the rolls to you across the room! They have traditional southern dishes and “pass arounds” dishes (sides that they walk around and offer you all through your meal) like macaroni & tomatoes, fried potatoes & onions, fried okra, black eyed peas and their famous throwed rolls served with sorghum molasses or apple butter. We have enough food left over for two more meals each so we really got our money’s worth! It was great fun!!

Before dinner we did some shopping and took a drive down Hwy 59 to Gulf Shores. It is only about 20 miles southeast of us and is a beautiful gulf resort area. Unfortunately, Katrina made a mess of it.

The recovery effort is well underway and most of the houses along the beach have new siding and roofs on them already. There are some places where no house exists because there was nothing left to put new siding on.

From Gulf Shores you can turn west along the gulf and drive about 20 miles to Ft. Morgan. Ft. Morgan, on the western end of the Alabama peninsula which shelters Mobile Bay, and Ft. Gaines, on the eastern end of Dauphin Island, were Confederate strongholds which guarded the entrance to Mobile Bay. On August 5th, 1864, the Union fleet, led by Admiral David Farragut, sailed between them in the greatest naval battle of the Civil War. During the battle, Farragut issued his famous order: “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.” Torpedoes were what we call mines today. One of his ships was sunk by a “mine” that was set off by men in Ft. Morgan. The fort was originally built in about 1844 and was closed in the 1920’s, only to be used again during WWII for a period of time. Here is a link to some information about it if you are interested. Ft. Morgan

Ft Morgan Cannon at Ft Morgan

We rode back down to the fort today on the scooter since we got there too late yesterday to do any sightseeing. It was about 80 miles round trip. Since it was only in the mid 50’s today we wore down jackets, long johns and gloves which helped keep us reasonably comfortable, but I don’t think Dianna is up for anything much colder. We still had a good time.

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Nov 15 2006

Summerdale, AL and the USS Alabama

Published by under Retired 2006

Sunday we drove down to Summerdale, a very rural town about 20 miles southeast of Mobile. There is an Escapees park here. Escapees is the full timer organization we belong to that provides our mail forwarding service. They also have several RV parks around the country. The price is very low and the parks are some of the nicest we ever stay in. This park is called Rainbow Plantation and has about the largest lots of any place we have ever been.

Sunday evening they had free entertainment in the club house. It was a bluegrass group who were very enjoyable. Monday we just goofed off a while and made a Wal-Mart grocery run.

Yesterday we rode the scooter to see the USS Alabama located in a park on Mobile Bay. We toured the WWII submarine Drum and spent over 3 hours touring the Alabama. That battleship is one large ship. It is the sister ship of the Massachusetts that I toured when I was in Rhode island. They also have a large number of aircraft on display, including an SR71 Blackbird. However, the aircraft were not in the museum. They were all sitting outside and are all damaged to some degree or another.

USS Alabama

When Katrina hit it caused major damage to the whole museum. The building where the aircraft were displayed was torn open and the planes were blown around inside. In addition, when the storm surge came up Mobile Bay it hit the Alabama and lifted it out of the 30 feet of mud it was sitting in. It listed over several degrees and caused the boarding ramps to be destroyed. I understand it took several months to get the mud dredged out and the ship righted again. I had no idea that the damage was that serious this far east of New Orleans. That was one nasty hurricane!

Today we have not left the RV. A major storm arrived in the southeast last night with wind and rain. You may have heard reports on the TV. No real problem here except for a lot of rain and some gusty wind. It is supposed to be out of here tonight and we will continue our exploration of the area tomorrow.

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Nov 11 2006


Published by under Retired 2006

Gorgeous weather yesterday as we scooted the 16 mile tour of the Vicksburg National Military Park. For the most part the first half of the tour follows the Union lines during the 47 day siege and the latter half the Confederate placements. It’s very interesting learning of Civil War battles from the South’s point of view!

Every state that had soldiers there has a major memorial – very beautiful ones – and many smaller ones all over the park representing, I guess, places they were defending or attacking from. We walked in the trenches, tunnels and fields the soldiers did, thinking of all the blood spilled and lives lost in that crucial time in our country’s history.

They raised a gunboat in the 1960s, built a “ghosted” framework and it is now on display. It sank in only 12 minutes from a mine with no loss of life. Amazing relics on display. (Did you know rhubarb’s most common use is medicinal? We all thought it was better in pies!)

We drove around the old part of town enjoying the many antebellum homes still around. We were going to visit one today but they stopped tours until next Feb.

We did visit the Courthouse Museum today. Lots of stories of people from the area and many artifacts. Most were from the Civil War era but some up through WWII.

The North sure mistreated the southerners, black and white alike, after the war. They both did a miserable job taking care of prisoners. Over 26,000 southerners and more than 22,000 northerners died in prison camps. Not a very admirable time.

The temperature dropped by about 30 degrees today so we really had to bundle up to ride the scooter. Didn’t do much driving around as a result so we were glad we enjoyed our day out yesterday. We leave in the morning for Mobile.

Side notes: Dayna won’t need further surgery any time soon. She’ll just have to live with the pain and fortunately she has a high threshold like her dad. Unlike her son who screamed and hollered at the ER Wed. as he had to have four stitches above his eye due to a skateboard accident. Continued to holler after it was numbed & he couldn’t feel a thing!!

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Nov 07 2006

On the road again

Published by under Retired 2006

We leave Denton tomorrow for points east. The overall destination is to visit Darin and Diane in their new home in Cleveland, TN. Their new home is only about 3 miles from the trailer they have rented for the past few years. They closed escrow yesterday and are in the process of moving in today.

Our planned route to TN is to spend a day in Vicksburg, MS to visit the National Historic Park there, then to the Mobile, AL – Pensacola, FL area to visit some museums in the area. Then up to Huntsville, AL to visit the NASA facility there where the Saturn 5 Booster was built, along with many other rockets.

It will probably be a couple weeks before we get to TN but we will be there in time to spend Thanksgiving with Darin and family. Then slowly back to Denton to spend Christmas with Dayna’s family.

We don’t know how much internet access we will have for the next couple weeks, but we will try to keep you all up to date on our travels as much possible.

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Oct 23 2006

Family News

Published by under Retired 2006

Happy 14th birthday Deidra!

Dayna went back to work a week ago. She was pretty wiped out at first but gradually got her strength back. She saw Dr. Kristoferson Wed. who gave her pictures he took during surgery. The tear in her cartilage (I was wrong – only one is torn – the lateral meniscus) looks pretty bad and that’s what he clipped a rough edge off of. The ligament is so stretched I’m surprised she has any stability in her knee at all. She goes back in two weeks to determine the next step. She can only bend her knee about 90% but I’m sure that’s normal. It’s just a wait and see game now but we know she’ll have to have, at the very least, a ligament graft.

Darin and Diane have put a bid in on a cute little house in Cleveland and should find out today if it was accepted or not. It’s got dormers and nice porches front and back. They wanted something larger but, to stay in the same school district, they had to settle for a smaller house with less land. It will be such a step up for them from the falling apart mobile they’ve been living in for years. They are so excited and we’re thrilled for them.

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Oct 22 2006

Where are we?

Published by under Retired 2006

I added a link to this page under “Other Links” that will answer that question. It links to a map used by many of us who have Hughesnet satellite internet systems. The majority of the users have a unit made by Datastorm that is mounted on top of their RV’s and automatically finds and locks on to the satellite, but many also use a tripod mounted system like we do.

There is an option at the top right side of the map to link to Google Maps using our location. You can toggle to see a satellite view from there. No, you won’t be able to see our trailer…..

I have to manually update our location every couple weeks or it drops off the map. I’ll try to remember to keep it updated.

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Oct 11 2006

Since this is not “no news” it’s not good news

Published by under Retired 2006

The bottom line on Dayna’s knee is that it’s blown. All he could do today was clip a part of the medial meniscus that’s torn and hope that will relieve her pain. Her ACL is stretched to the point it’s folding over on itself, thus not prividing any support in her knee & why it hyperextends. Her lateral meniscus cartilage has a “double bucket” tear.

Her surgeon said the next step is an ACL graft which would be a 2-3 hr surgery & mean nine months of rehab. We didn’t ask if that would mean she would have to be off work for that long or just a lot of PT. Probably the latter. If that doesn’t work then she will need a full knee replacement.

She wasn’t ready for this news since he had told her he couldn’t see anything on the X-ray or MRI. She was beginning to think it was all in her head or something very minor and she almost cancelled today’s surgery.

She’s home and resting and only time will tell what the next step is. Thank you all for your good thoughts and prayers.

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