Seems like it was just last week that we pulled in to Payne Lake Campground to volunteer for six months. Time goes by way too fast when the place is as beautiful as this. The Forest Service folks had a “Volunteer Appreciation Day” last week to thank us for our work here.
There was a cookout at the day use pavillion, and a lot of the guys and gals came out to say good bye to us and to Rob and Belinda, the camp hosts on the other side of the lake.
They cooked some hot dogs and hamburgers, there was some pasta salad and some baked beans, and I took some Kozy Shack Chocolate Pudding. Everyone had a great time.
Joe gave us all a T-shirt, and each couple received a nice throw with the Forest Service emblem on it. They also gave us a “coffee table” photo book of Alabama. They all said they were sad to see us go. And we are just as sad to leave. It is very hard to leave such a beautiful place:
But we’ll be leaving in the morning, headed west to Arizona for another season at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. And that is another beautiful place, one we can’t wait to get back to.
I wanted to show this again, for the I Made It! Blog Party over at Everything Etsy. I have been making these tote bags lately, some for gifts and some for sale. While I was on vacation I went to visit my mother in law, and took her one for her birthday. Since she is using a walker these days, I took measurements while I was there and brought the bag home with me so I could make some modifications.
By adding these three straps that fasten with velcro, it will attach to the front of her walker. She’ll be able to take all the things she needs with her wherever she goes, with a lovely bag to hold it all.
I wanted to see how it worked, so I hung it on a broom handle. Perfect! I know my mother in law will love this!
To see what everyone else has made this week, click over to Everything Etsy.
And this one:
The wedding will be in February in the north Georgia mountains, so it will be cold or cool. I don’t like wearing a dress that has no sleeves, so both of these would be good choices. I really like the periwinkle color. But do you think it would make me look washed out with my gray hair? What do you think?
We left Douglasville on Friday morning, headed up to north Georgia to visit FabGrandpa’s Mom and Dad. On the way, we saw this:
In case you can’t see what it, it says, “Caution! Live Venomous Cargo”. No way could you ever get me in that van. I would be so creeped out, wondering if the “venomous cargo” was going to escape whatever cage it was in.
So, we made it up to the mountains with no bites. We had a nice visit with Nana and Poppa. We had planned to take them out to eat, but they had planned to take us. So we all went out to the chinese place in town. It was good, as usual.
I took Nana one of the tote bags I had made for her birthday. We took some measurements of her walker so I could modify the bag so it will attach to the front of it. She was very pleased with this.
I added three straps that fasten with 3″ velcro to one side of the bag:
I only mailed it to her yesterday, so I will have to wait until she gets it to see if it works like we wanted it to.
Nana makes wire wrapped jewelry, but because she no longer is able to go to the craft shows, she has no outlet to sell what she makes. She gave me a bag full of things she made to bring home with me. I am going to be making a page for her in my shop here at FabGrandma in the next few days. Look for her shop page soon!
Poppa does some silversmithing, too. He has one set of a pendant and earrings that are sterling silver with amethyst stones. He’d like to get $300 for the set, if anyone wants it, let me know. I’ll be putting it for sale on Nana’s page, too.
My favorite thing that Poppa makes are these so cute birthstone ring charms. They are made with synthetic birthstones, and are intended to wear on a necklace. I have one for each of my children and grandchildren’s birth months. Every time I wear my necklace with them on it, everyone who sees them wants to know where I got them. Well, my father-in-law made them for me. Now, as soon as I get that page made, you can get yours:
We only got to spend one night with the folks. We enjoyed their company, and made plans to go back for 2 or 3 days when we come back next winter. We drove back down to Douglasville, where we spent one last night at the Holiday Inn. Becky came over after she got off work, and we all went to the movies and saw ‘Alice In Wonderland’. I loved the movie, but I love anything with Johnny Depp.
After the movie, I met another old friend, Sue. She picked me up outside the movies, and while FabGrandpa and Becky went back to the motel for a visit, Sue and I went out for a drink:
Two is my limit, especially when it is tequila shots! Yes, I have to have mine with salt and a slice of lime. Our visit was way too short–I haven’t seen Sue in more than 18 years, but again, it was like we had just seen each other last week. I hope next time we go to town I can have a longer visit. She was a girl scout leader when I was the service unit director for girl scouts in my county. We talked about having a girl scout reunion, and inviting all the girls who were in our troops back then. Wouldn’t that be fun??
So, now we are back home, getting ready to head west next week. We’ll be taking I-40 from Memphis to Flagstaff, and spending 4 or 5 days in Flagstaff before heading up the plateau to go to work. I am really looking forward to the trip. It’s already getting hot here in Alabama.
Rustie is the owner of Celiac Roads Consulting Services serving Portsmouth, NH, coastal New Hampshire and southern Maine. She provides a variety of customized services including gluten free cooking classes, grocery shopping assistance, and educational classes and retreats.
Your name: Rustie MacDonald
1.How long have you been eating gluten free? Almost 5 years
2. How did you discover that you were gluten intolerant? I became very ill after the birth of my youngest.
3. What were your most prominent symptoms? I was unable to hold food down.
4. Do you have an official diagnosis of Celiac Disease? The Blood Test was negative, the biopsy was positive.
5. How long did it take for your major symptoms to disappear when you started on a gluten free diet? 8 weeks for major pain about a year for my vitamin levels to become normal.
6. Do you have allergies or intolerances to other foods? No
7. Are other members of your family gluten intolerant? No
8. What do you miss the most since starting to eat gluten free? Convenience.
9. What is the hardest part for you about eating gluten free? In the beginning it was overwhelming. Just trying to understand what Gluten Free means and realizing how much gluten is found in every product!
10. What is your favorite restaurant? I really don’t have a favorite but do prefer ones that have a GF menu.
11. Do you have a favorite gluten free recipe to share? Tons
12. What are your hobbies? I own two companies, a mother of 2 daughters, a ‘wanna be’ gardener, an artist, a creator.
13. Where did you go on your last gluten free vacation? I haven’t had a vacation in years.
14. How has eating gluten free changed your life for the better? I am stronger, healthier, happier and overall feel great.
After dinner at my mother’s house on Wednesday, we all sat outside on the patio and watched the children run and play. All of these photos were taken by my daughter. What I love about them is that they were all taken when the children were busy, so they did not know they were being photographed. They were just plain being themselves–and those moments are priceless.
The older kids were tossing a frisbee back and forth, and little Owen was running his little legs off trying to get it before Bunni the dog did. He only got his hands on the frisbee a couple of times, but he had the most fun you could ever see just running. He laughed so much! I really enjoyed watching the action.
Thursday I got up and took Sarah down to the lobby for breakfast with her Dad and brothers, but I met a long time friend, Elaine, across the street at Cracker Barrell. Elaine and I have known each other since we were Fab Teenagers, and that was a long long time ago. We met when we both worked at Southern Bell as long distance operators. They were still using those cord boards back then ! We had great fun together, both on and off the job, and stayed best of friends for several years after we both left Southern Bell (I went back to work there a few years later).
But life intervened, and Elaine married, had babies, and went to college at night, and we lost touch with each other. Imagine my surprise when in 2003, I received an email from her! She had one of those paid subscriptions to Classmates.com and had found me through my profile there. Since then we
have tried to see each other every time I go “home” to Georgia. We laughed for an hour there at the Cracker
Barrell, and after breakfast, she went back to the motel with me to meet Seth, the adult version. She had spent a lot of time with him when he was a baby, and hadn’t seen him in about 33 years. I was sorry to have to say goodbye to her, but she was on a work day and had to get back to work.
We all gathered up Little Sarah’s belongings, because it was time for her to leave us and go to her other grandmother’s house. As we went out to Seth’s truck to load her things, the desk clerk said to me, “Mam, do you have a red purse?” and I did. She said I had left it in the lobby and since she had recognized it, she picked it up and held it behind the counter until she saw me! I felt a little foolish, but I know, it happens.
We hung around outside by Seth’s truck, saying our goodbyes, and getting those last hugs in with Little Sarah. Soon they drove away, and FabGrandpa and I went up to our room to rest a minute, then decided we needed to go to Wal-Mart. We went downstairs and out to our truck, where we found on
e of Little Sarah’s bags sitting on the sidewalk. I called Seth to let him know, and told him I would give it to the desk clerk for him to come back to get it. I guess it runs in the family!
That night, after Little Sarah had been delivered to her other grandparents, Seth and the rest met us at Cracker Barrell for dinner, along with my sister Linda and her husband. We had a nice time together, and afterwards, Linda and Alan came up to our room to look at our family portraits. And, because Sarah had left and the bed was unoccupied,. Becky came to spend the night with us.
Friday morning, it was time for us to say goodbye to everyone and be on our way–to Cleveland, Georgia to visit FabGrandpa’s parents.
Ok, I have been either a volunteer or a paid worker in campgrounds for going on 10 years. I love what I do, and will continue to do it for as long as I am able to do it. There are so many rewards of doing this work, that I know I shouldn’t complain. I COULD still be working the 9 to 5 in a stuffy office somewhere and being bored to tears. But….
The thing that really gets to me is when adults who are in charge of a bunch of children break the rules, and when you, as a volunteer or employee, have to say something to them, they almost always say something about it being “for the kids.” The reason this really bothers me is that these upstanding citizens, who give their time to help shape the upcoming generation, think it is ok to break a rule because to obey it would not allow them to do whatever it is they are doing “for the children.” To me, that is inadverdently teaching those children that it is ok to break a rule or a law if you do not agree with it. To me, that has far reaching implications that affect the way those children think and act as they become adults.
The thing that started me feeling like this today was that when I was out doing my rounds in the campgrounds, there was a group of about four men who were hiding Easter Eggs in the primitive campground. Now, there was only one campsite occupied over there, a site across the road from where they were hiding the eggs. The people who were camping on that site had gone off somewhere, so they were not on the site, just their tent and “stuff.” And there probably wouldn’t be any other campers coming in to that area today, seeing as it is Easter Sunday.
But, because the rules of the park indicate that people who are there for “day use” are not to be in the campground, I had to say something to them–it’s part of my job as a volunteer here. So, I asked “Are you camping with us today?” and the guy in charge said, “No, but we have a lot of children with us and we thought this would be a good place for the egg hunt.” I told them about the rule, and said they really weren’t supposed to be there, but because they had already hidden most of the eggs I would let them “this time” but they needed to pass the word to others that is it not ok to do this. Then he said, “well, I tried to call the forest service office yesterday to ask if it was ok, but no one answered the phone”, which sounded to me like he was making it the fault of the forest service that he broke the rule.
So, here is the question is, Is it ok to break a rule because you do not agree with it? And the multiple choice answers are:
1. Karen, you are a hard headed stickler who is just out to spoil Easter for this family.
2. It is ok to break that rule because no one was camping over there, so what difference does it make?
3. Those people meant well, but they are teaching their children that it is ok to break a rule because they don’t like it.
4. If I was camping over there I would be a little ticked off if I came back and there were 20 kids hunting Easter Eggs all over my campsite. And who is going to pick up all their trash?