We Visited This Small Church in The French Quarter of New Orleans – St. Mark’s United Methodist Church – Grace Message Warmed Hearts –

St. Mark 1

We walked about a mile from our Jeep to St. Mark’s United Methodist Church located on N. Rampart Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. Inside we were ushered to pews that had room for us to comfortably sit down. A stirring message of grace was delivered by the pastor and gratefully received by the congregation. None of us left the service without assurance that our God and Savior loves each one of us unconditionally. Refreshing.

St. Mark 2I knew from reading about the church that the homeless would be served a meal. Many such individuals were scattered among us, perhaps members or maybe regular attenders. It appeared they were known personally by the others. At the close of the service a man sang the words of the old hymn, “Face to Face with Christ My Savior.” We left there inspired and uplifted.

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Louisiana Is GREEN – And WET – This Is a Bayou – Subject of Many Louisiana Songs – I Love All the Green Everywhere –

Bayou Louisiana

I love all the green, but not so much the high humidity. Inside the coach the air condition units keep us cool. I was critical of the extreme heat in Arizona. Perhaps I didn’t appreciate the low humidity enough. Never a had bad hair day there. Never expect a good one here. We haven’t found perfect weather anywhere. We see beauty everywhere we travel. What a magnificent piece of work God has provided for us on planet Earth! Thank you, Jesus!

We are in New Orleans for a few days of sun. We think we’ll visit the French Quarter today. Did I say SUN? YES SUN! Rain has been our constant companion since we left Arizona. Texas was wet. Louisiana has been wet. But the sun is shining today.

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We Visited a Local Church in Plano Texas – Prestonwood Baptist Church – One of Our Country’s Many Mega Churches – Sermon by Pastor Jack Graham –

Prestonwood

Sunday, May 15, 2016. We love to hear the name of Jesus lifted up. Praise His name forever, churches of our land.

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Cloudy Texas Skies – Today – Last Night Lightning Lit the Sky – Thunder Pounded Our Ears – Winds Rocked our Coach – Pet Bichon Frise Chelsea Slept through the Storm –

Cloudy Texas Skies

Cloudy is the theme for the day after the storm, and this thick cloud cover is welcome. Cool and calm. Moist but not wet. I like it.

Beauty sleep must not be interrupted, so Chelsea snoozed through the entire storm last night. Winds blew against our coach, a deluge of jet-propelled super rain drops pelted our roof, bolts of lightning flashed before our eyes, thunder rolled, but Chelsea was somewhere else living in her dreams.

We have been visiting my family and friends in Texas this week and next. This entire year we are focusing on family and friends, Steve’s and mine. America, we will get around to all of your amazing places little by little, mile by mile.

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Chelsea Wanted to Drive – But We Declined Her Offer – Mystery Photo with Reflections from Windshield Behind Her and Side Window in Front of Her – I Think –

Chelsea Drives

There she is, our canine chauffeur Chelsea. I took that photo from outside the coach. No one was in there but Chelsea. Now that I look at the photo enlarged, I see a pair of hands. Don’t ask me why. I am trying to figure this out. I think the windshield was behind her. She was in the cockpit looking out the side window. See the steering wheel? Maybe it was some kind of  double exposure, but I don’t see how that could have happened. Steve and I were both outside the coach. Chelsea was alone. Somehow that had to be a reflection of my hands taking the photo from outside. Isn’t she cute?

 

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Learning as We Travel – The Idea that Lunch on the Road for Us in this Big Rig with Jeep in Tow Is Simple Has Been Forever Dispelled – Two Hours Spent Undoing Our Lunch Plan Gone Wrong –

Camping

I am absent from this photo because I snapped it myself. This is Steve and I at the end of a trip day that took two hours longer than planned. We spent the night in this New Mexico campground. It was adequate. And look at that nice picnic table! We couldn’t resist watching TV outside. I made sandwiches, sliced a tomato, and hauled out the cheese balls.

Here is what happened when we exited I-10 to have our lunch. Cracker Barrel was waiting for us, we thought, but it didn’t happen even though we gave it our best shot. All parking lots, including Cracker Barrel’s, were filled up. There were no HUGE spaces for us to get into and get out of without the necessity of backing up, which is not an option while towing a vehicle. EVER. I guess the tow bar will disintegrate or something. Who knows? We spotted a large area that wasn’t paved, but there were two big semi rigs parked in it. It even had a place to exit on the other side so we wouldn’t have to back up. Steve pulled the rig down the little road leading to this vast open area. When we got closer, we noticed that there were many potholes that were more like moon craters! We could envision the rest of the day involving a tow truck to get us out of there. There was now no way to get to that other exit? We needed to back up to get out of there!

We did not back up. Steve disconnected the Jeep from the coach, drove it to Cracker Barrel, and walked back, while I waited for him holding Chelsea, our pet Bichon Frise, on her leash. The coach was blocking the entrance to a restaurant. This was not pleasant. Small cars sneaked by us to get into the parking lot. I watched them and tried to look innocent. It could have been much worse.

Steve returned and backed the coach into the restaurant and out again, facing the road, with the aid of a sweet elderly lady who simply offered her services with a smile. She directed him from the rear with hand signals. Maybe she was an angel. I should have asked her if she had been a truck driver or an RV enthusiast, but my distress had taken over my brain. Next, Steve drove to Cracker Barrel and parked our motorhome on the street. He retrieved the Jeep, pulled it up behind the coach, and hooked it up again. Steve’s the man! He was not distressed.

It seemed that we weren’t bothering anyone parked on the side of the road, so we made ourselves lunch meat sandwiches, devoured them quickly, and shared them with Chelsea. All is well that ends well.

We intend to explore the use of truck stops for lunch today. It works for truckers. I hope it will work for us.

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Saying Goodbye to Arizona Sky – Looking Forward to Our First Voyage across the USA in Our Motorhome – Booked Eleven Months – Just Short of a Year –

Arizona Sky

The time has come to begin our first adventure. I’m posting today because tomorrow will be devoted to packing our stuff outside, the grill, lawn chairs, outdoor carpets, tables, lots of items that we hope will all fit, probably snugly, in our basement compartments.  The next morning, after coffee, we will need about an hour to slim down our generous living space into a rig that runs on diesel. Our Jeep is equipped with a fancy tow bar enabling it to spin along on four wheels behind us wherever we go. Steve will connect it to the coach before we leave. Backing up is not allowed. Forward roll. Okay, I admit it. I’m fighting off a case of nerves. I’ll get over it. We are going to do this and love it.

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Walking Chelsea Has Benefits – Watching the Sun Setting in the Sky and the Moon Rising in the Clouds –

Sunset in the City

The sun was setting –
The moon was rising –

Moon RisingTime flies when
We’re having fun –

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Gambel Quail – Beginning of Our Collection of Bird Sightings – We Plan to Begin a Collection of Birds We Identify as We Travel – Mainly Birds We Do Not Often See –

Gambel Quail

Our first sighting of Gambel Quail occurred on March 5, 2016. There were four of them and they were strutting about with those curly things protruding from their heads, poking the ground with their beaks, darting back and forth. It was funny to watch them.

I immediately ran for my Peterson bird guidebook to find a photo of these hilarious fowl. It didn’t take long to find out they were Gambel Quail. These birds apparently travel with their mates and sometimes several pair show up together. We saw them again on April 6.

Neither Steve nor I had ever seen one of these colorful birds before. That curved thing jutting out from its head is not a beak. Look closely and you will see a tiny beak below. I want to share how I happened to get this photo. Doesn’t it look like it posed for me? I believe it did. Here is how it happened.

The day was April 9 at sunrise. Steve and I were drinking coffee and looking out the window when we spotted a pair of them dancing across the empty camping spot next door. I told Steve how my favorite time of day while tent camping years ago was the crack of dawn when I’d plug in my coffee pot in the electrical receptacle provided and watch the creatures play in the woods. I decided in the spirit of our conversation to go outside on our patio with my coffee. The air was chilly, but I didn’t care.

While I was sitting there, one of the Gambel Quail landed on the electrical box at the end of our campsite. I always have my iPhone with me, so I snapped a shot from where I was seated, then another and another as I approached this posing bird. It remained perched there until I was very near. This photo is the last of the series.

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Last Project Coming up – Modification of Jeep for Tow Bar Installation so We Can Tow It behind Our Motorhome – Our Local Transportation while Camping in the United States of America – Our Beautiful Homeland – Bookings Completed –

Jeep

I have completed a difficult project, planning and booking reservations for us to camp in eleven RV Resorts in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa, South Dakota, Colorado, and New Mexico, driving through all states between, at last arriving again in Arizona for the coming winter. We look forward to finding out how well our plan will come together.

I hope to reserve our overnight stays between destinations, also, another daunting task. Some RVers do it as they travel expecting success. Our rig is really really big, requiring bigger spaces, so I’d feel more comfortable having those parks booked in advance. My hubby, the brave one, favors booking on the fly. This is new for us. We will learn as we travel along.

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Chelsea’s Walk at Sunset – Today Chelsea – Our Bichon Frise – Was Groomed – One More Groom and Then We Start Out Across The Country – Enjoy Arizona Sunset Photos Taken on Chelsea’s Walk –

Sunset 3

Sunset skies in Arizona. We will miss this place until we return again next year. This is where we will spend winters resting up for another trip. We have booked another winter here, November through March coming up.

Sunset !

A park in the city, near everything we like, grocery stores, restaurants, only minutes from our door.

Sunset 4

Arizona skies ablaze at sunset.

Chelsea Groomed

Look at this white Bichon Frise! She stays clean about three days. We can’t figure it out. Remember Lady and the Tramp? In three days Chelsea looks like the tramp, but she is always a lady. Our lady.

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Quick Post – Out for Our Morning Walk with Chelsea – Thinking How Much We Have Enjoyed Our Stay Here – Our Farewell Is Drawing Near – Then Back Next Year –

Farewell

Steve is on the sidewalk, Chelsea, too, but not visible. I am lagging behind taking the photo. We will return here each year to spend the winter seasons. We’ve lingered long enough to watch many RVers arrive and depart, which is quite a scene to witness, especially if the arrival or departure occurs at the site next to ours. A few weeks more and we will be moving on as well.

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There It Lay – On the Floor in Plain Sight – The Missing Piece – Sought for Patiently for Many Days – A Small Miracle – One that May Seem Insignificant – But It Keeps Me Knowing that the Lord Hears Us Even Concerning Our Little Matters –

Puzzle Piece

We knew what it should look like, the shape, the colors, but we couldn’t find it anywhere. We looked for days. Certainly a gust of wind could blow a puzzle piece in a screen room, but how could it blow out of the room? This assumption kept us ever vigilant, constantly looking for the hidden piece. We laughed together at how disappointed we would be to finish the entire puzzle only to have one piece missing from the yellow bird. You are wondering where it was. I opened the door to the screen room. Immediately I spotted the missing piece. It was upside down underneath a lawn chair that was next to the table, a place we both had checked out many times. Wouldn’t it be funny, I thought, if this were the missing piece, but I doubted as I bent over to pick it up. Black, yellow, white! Little touch of green! Just like we knew it should look, and there it was. I can’t wait to tell Steve when he gets home from his meeting with the neighborhood watch.

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Walking Along the Canal Making Plans to Begin Our Journey – We Must Get Serious – I Should Be Booking Our Stops –

canal

Walking Chelsea, our pet Bichon Frise, along the canal in the morning, we contemplated how we were going to begin our RV adventure. Which direction should we take, north to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and then to South Dakota, or east to Texas and south to Florida and South Carolina, then north to New York and west to Ohio through Pennsylvania? Our desired destinations are extremely far apart. We are in a quandary! As if to solve the problem, Steve suggested we should make a Bucket List. Now we are really complicating matters. Walking back on the other side of the canal, we quietly settled into deep thought. Just in case it might look like it could work, we must remind ourselves that we want to return to Arizona for the months of December, January, February, and maybe March.

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Entertainment at Home – Screen Room – Our Outside Extended Area – Sheltering Us from Direct Sunlight and Wind – Sometimes Toppled by Strong Winds – Oh Well – Stuff Happens –

Jigsaw Puzzle

Steve and I spend leisure time working on our first jigsaw puzzle together. We thought we would have lots of spare time in our new RV life, but it hasn’t happened that way. Still, we find time for relaxing. We hope we will finish this fantastic puzzle soon before a windy day blows it away. Ha ha. Really, it could happen.

The screen room has blown over a few times during strong winds. It was a simple process to reconstruct it, but if our puzzle is swept away, we will be disappointed. The screen room should be constructed on ground like a tent, because stakes driven in the ground are meant to hold it up. Our screen room stands (or falls) on a cement slab. Three stakes stuck in the ground on the edges of the pavement hold three sides of the screen room securely, but one side is supported by Steve’s ingenious invention, a five gallon container of water fastened to the appropriate pole. We will see if it holds when the wind picks up again. Of course, we prefer to finish the puzzle before the wind blows.

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NO – NOT AGAIN – Yes Again – Nighttime – After a Lovely Valentine’s Day Lunch with Our Friends – It Happened Again – I Fell – Two Injured Feet This time – But All Is Well –

View under grapefruit tree

What a lovely view looking at the neighborhood while standing on the steps between the floor of our coach and the pavement below! Daylight is so much better than darkness, especially on the dark Sunday night of Valentine’s Day. I stood at the door with an empty tissue box in hand, flip flops on my feet, intending to take the box to the recycle bin outside. I failed to turn on the porch light, which might have saved me from the fall down the steps that sprained my right foot and fifth toe on my left foot. Steve helped me get back inside. I thought I might have broken a bone in my foot, because I had seen it twisted and trapped underneath the rest of my body. I had landed in a sitting position. A skinned knee was the only other wound unless you count my hurting pride and despair that I might be crippled in both feet. Poor Steve! What would he do with me if that were true?

Psalm 30:5 in part says: …weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. By mid-morning, anyway, when we went to an urgent care facility and found out that I had no broken bones. The diagnosis was a sprained right foot and sprained fifth toe on left foot. I was able to bear weight on the left foot. Instructions were to stay off the sprained foot and crutches were provided. The doctor predicted that my right foot might be well enough to walk on within two weeks or more.

Here is where I learned more about biblical healing!

That same day I tried to get around on crutches with no success at all. What was the doctor thinking? What was I thinking? Using the crutches, how could I land on my left foot with the sprained toe? I felt another crash landing could be in my near future caused by my inability to navigate safely on crutches.

The answer was simple for me. I needed to walk on my injured feet. I decided to find out if the Lord would heal my injuries and take away the pain if I walked on my feet as though they were already healed? With tears streaming and hope pressing me onward, I flattened my right foot on the floor and started to walk. The awful pain that I had experienced while hobbling to the bathroom with Steve supporting me did not happen! I walked to the bathroom on my own two feet as though they were already healed. I’ve been walking on them ever since. I spend time with my feet elevated to give opportunity for swelling to lessen. As far as I can tell, my feet are both healed. They still swell, but they don’t hurt, and the swelling has diminished each day. By the end of two weeks I expect that my feet will have healed completely. The LORD is faithful to perform His Word. By His stripes I am healed!

I thank God for doctors, emergency rooms, urgent care facilities, and for a faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, who came to save us and heal our diseases and injuries. The gospel is the best news this world has ever heard, and many have believed.

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1 Peter 2:24 – The Bible (KJV) – Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Matthew 4:23 – The Bible (KJV) – And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

Matthew 10:7-8 – The Bible (KJV) – And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

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What If There Is Nothing to Do – What If There Is Too Much to Do – Life Is Full of Stuff to Do – Just Do It –

Busy 1

One issue that puzzled us as we planned to begin life on the road in a motor home was whether there would be enough to do in a day to keep us busy. It seems that finding enough time to fit in all there is to do in a day is the actual challenge.

Steve is on his ladder today, where he often may be found, this time looking into the workings of our awning. The frame has six stations, and he would like to slide the supporting apparatus into the last station that would bring the awning down as low as possible to provide us more shade. He needs four strong arms to accomplish this task. Since my arms are not muscular enough, Steve will wait until he finds a buddy to assist.

There is plenty to keep me busy inside. I find it just as difficult to find time to read a book as I did when we lived in a normal house. Does that surprise you? I bet not.

Busy 2  Busy 3  Busy 4

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Our Walk Along the Canal with Chelsea Was Special This Morning – A Pair of Mallard Ducks Swam By – Chelsea Chose to Keep Her Distance – No Duck Was Going to Drag Her into the Water –

Mallards in Canal

Everyday, twice a day, we walk Chelsea, our pet Bichon Frise, for approximately thirty minutes each time. Some days we walk her beside this canal and back to our coach, or on other days we walk her along a sidewalk that offers a wide stretch of grass for her entertainment and utility. We think variety gives her maximum enjoyment. Today, as we strolled alongside the canal, she surprised us. She elected to watch these ducks from a safe distance from the water. But when we lived in our house, a couple of ducks went for a swim in our pool. Chelsea barked aggressively and chased them from one side of the pool to the other. Apparently she felt those ducks were trespassing. After all, she owned that pool. She must think the ducks own this canal. Ha ha!

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Steve’s Part – Grilling Pork Loin Chops and Peppers – My Part – Seasoning and Other Food Prep Like Boiling Potatoes – Teamwork Turns Out Delicious Meals – I Still Know How to Make a Mess in the Kitchen –

Grilling Pork Loin Chops

Oops. I published before I was ready. No sweat. The new cooking scheme for us: Steve grills. I wash and cut veggies and apply seasonings. I boil potatoes or whatever inside. He grills outside. I clean up inside Steve cleans the grill outside. Hm. Are we lopsided here? I’m the one that makes the mess inside. I guess I should clean it up.

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God Bless America – Land of the Brave – Land of Many People – We Have Our Problems – But We Are Blessed – And Will Be Blessed – God Loves Us and the Entire Population of Earth –

Flag

How can I say with assurance that God loves us in America and all the populations of the Earth? The Gospel, the good news to all peoples, proves that God loves us. He gave us His Son, Jesus, who offered Himself willingly on the cross to die for our sins, for love, taking away our condemnation forever. What more proof of His love could there be? If one believes it, of course. It’s true, whether or not everyone believes it, but this precious gift goes right over the heads of those who fail to embrace His redeeming love.

Steve made it his special project to find and and purchase a flag and pole that could be attached to our motor home, so we could fly the red, white, and blue wherever we are. When we pull up stakes to travel, he must disassemble and pack it away. I believe his enthusiasm will not wane. He will pack it away safely and erect it again when we park somewhere else for a period of time. I’m getting to know this man very well. He is not a shirker of work when he sees it as worthwhile.

Back to the subject of my first paragraph: I’ve heard people say that God must judge America for her sins. Not so. Jesus went to the cross to pay for the sins of the entire world. God justly forgives our sins, because Jesus paid the price with His own blood. What a wonderful Savior! God blesses America and the world because of his unfailing love. Bad things happen here and everywhere. The devil is the source of our troubles. Jesus is our salvation. Praise His name!

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John 3:16 – The Bible (KJV) – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

2 Corinthians 5:19 – The Bible (KJV) – To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

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