We Bought A New Truck

We went on a trip to Georgia last week to visit FabGrandpa’s mother. She had fallen the week before and broke her hip.  They operated on her to repair the damage, and then she was moved to a rehabilitation facility near her home.  It is not what we as a family would like to hear, but with physical therapy and a lot of hard work, she’ll be able to go back home. I felt so helpless not being able to make her comfortable for more than a minute or two while I was there.

My Baby Doll

When we got back home, FabGrandpa checked the oil in the old truck, the one we always called Baby Doll. She was so low on oil that it was not registering on the dipstick. That was so unlike her–in the more than 10 years that we owned her, she had been an excellent workhorse, and served us well.  But, since we are getting ready to travel almost 2000 miles pulling a 34′ travel trailer, I did not feel comfortable taking a chance with a truck that was leaking oil. He called the Ford dealership in Tuscaloosa and talked to them about making a repair, and set it up for dropping Baby Doll off yesterday.

Townsend Ford

On the way to Tuscaloosa, we decided to look to see if Townsend Ford had any used F-250’s on the lot. They did. As a matter of fact, they had at least four, and one used F-350 dually that I was in love with.  Larry Price, the salesman, showed us all five of them. We drove all of them, and decided that this tan 2006 Ford F-250 Lariat 4X4 Diesel Power Stroke V8 with 89,000 miles on it was the one for us. It is loaded! It has a 6-disc CD player, heated seats, defroster on the side mirrors, all the razz matazz you can think of:

Ford F-250 diesel 2006

Our new truck--yet to be named

We had to go back to the dealership today for them to put on new tires and a new switch for the mirror adjuster.  All of the people who work at Townsend Ford were great! They treated us like we were valued as customers, and that really makes a big difference when you are making such a big purchase.  From the sales manager, (sorry, I forgot to get his name) to the service tech, they were all smiling, and I’d like to think it wasn’t just because we’d just dropped a chunk of change there.

Manager at Townsend Ford

Larry, our salesman, probably spent more time with us today than he did yesterday, helping us get things squared away. I can not stress enough how smoothly this purchase went, and how good I felt about the service we had at this dealership. I have been to car lots before to buy a car, and have salesmen treat me as if I was invisible and only discussed the vehicles with my husband. I hated that, and I can tell you, there are several dealerships in the Atlanta area who lost sales because of it. I did not feel that way at all at Townsend Ford.

Here I am with Larry

Oh, and look at this:

1957 thunderbird convertible

I only wish!

Too bad it won’t haul the Jayco! But don’t I look mahvelous, dahling?

It's a little high off the ground!

The only thing wrong with this truck, is that it is soooo high off the ground. I have a hard time getting in and out of it. So, tomorrow, FabGrandpa is taking back to Tuscaloosa to Truck Supply to get running boards and a tonneau cover for the bed. Can’t wait for those running boards!



I Am A Big Weather Chicken

We spent the day yesterday listening to The Weather Channel and looking at the Radar Now on the Droid, in anticipation of the severe weather that was forecast for the area. I am a Weather Chicken! I lived in Georgia for 49 years, the last 16 years or so in the same house on a hill. I had to have the roof repaired four times in 16 years due to storm damage. I kept a “Weather Basket” in the downstairs closet that was under the stairwell, just in case. It had among other things, a change of clothing for each person in the family, a flashlight with extra batteries, some matches, candles, and a weather radio. I was P.R.E.P.A.R.E.D for anything that might happen, and was just lucky that nothing ever did.  I like to think it was BECAUSE I was prepared.

The wind blew yesterday all day long. All day, that is, until about a half hour before the storm hit.  Then, all the wind just stopped. That was very creepy. Not a leaf on a tree was even wiggling. I can’t remember ever seeing something like that happening.  The electricity went off a few minutes later. I think if the power had stayed on, I would have been less frightened. I went into my “self preservation” mode of distracting myself from the weather. I have had a stack of quilting magazines sitting on the dresser for months, waiting for me to tear out patterns I want to keep. So, I sat on the bed going through those while the storm raged outside. (we have a battery on the RV that keeps the lights on when the electricity goes out. It just doesn’t power the TV.)

It was all over in about an hour, and we survived it with no damage, but other areas of Alabama were not so lucky. While there were no tornadoes in Alabama yesterday, lots of trees and other wind damage did happen throughout the state. In Georgia, five people were killed!  I hope there are no more storms here until after we leave.

Happy Birthday to FabGrandpa

Becky & Dad

Becky came to visit for FabGrandpa’s birthday weekend. We took her out to Valley Grocery for fried catfish and home fries!

Catfish and home fries

They make the best fried catfish in Alabama there. Rob and Belinda, the other camphost couple, came too! I didn’t get a pic of them though.

Gluten Free Devil's Food Cake

I had given Belinda a gluten free King Arthur Chocolate Cake Mix and some Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, and she took them to the store so the nice ladies there could bake it up. We surprised FabGrandpa with his birthday cake after lunch. He didn’t get it until he realized I was eating the cake, too. Then he asked, how in the world did you do this? He was so surprised! Everyone, including Becky and the people who work at the store, were in on the surprise!

Moundville, Alabama Indian Mounds

After lunch, we took Becky over to the Moundville Indian Mounds to take a look around. It was a gorgeous day!

Black Warrior River

The Black Warrior River runs along side the indian mounds location. It was way up due the heavy rains we had last week, but really was beautiful to see.

Here I am

Yep, I was there, but still having a hard time getting around. It really sucks to not feel good. I DID put on a SPF 100 sunscreen on my face.

One more shot of the river

We really enjoyed Becky’s visit. She had to go home all too soon, though. And FabGrandpa loved having his little surprise birthday party.

What Makes People Do This?

volunteer on public lands

A truck load of trash

Last week Rob and Belinda (the other camphost couple here at Payne Lake) and FabGrandpa and I went over to the shooting range on the other side of the county for a clean up day. This shooting range is on Forest Service property, and has no use fee. People can just go there and shoot at targets.

Joe, the resource manager was there too, so there were a total of five of us working. We picked up FOUR truckloads of trash from this property, that was maybe 1.5 to 2 acres in size. Joe said the last time they had a clean up day there was two months ago. Now, I know that this place is probably used mostly by hunters, but what does this say about the people who live in this area? I just don’t understand why they feel like they can just trash the place. It is public land, and belongs to all of us. Shouldn’t we ALL do our best to keep it clean?

volunteer clean up day

Another truck load of trash

The Gate

payne lake campground

That is one heavy gate!

The forest service has temporarily closed the campground where we are volunteering while they do a timber harvest in the area. It was done for the safety of the public, who may not realize the loggers will be in there. What this means is that every time I go somewhere, whether it is to go to the entrance kiosk to perform my volunteer duties or to the grocery store, I have to move that gate.

I know you can’t tell by looking at it, but that thing weighs about 50 pounds! It is making my back hurt moving it. Today I have to move it six times! And every time I do, I feel like this:

Mule powered carousel

I hope they get this timber harvest finished real soon!

Happy New Year, Armadillo

armadillo, wildlife, wild animals, payne lake

What the heck is that thing?

You can believe it or not, but this is the first time I have ever seen an armadillo. Well, except for the squashed ones on the side of the road.  But this thing was was in my yard yesterday, just poking around.


By gosh, I think it's an armadillo!

It was amazingly not afraid of me much, so I could get pretty close to it. But, thank goodness for the zoom on my camera, because I really didn’t want to get too close.

Yes, That IS an armadillo!

Happy New Year, Armadillo!