Friday, January 27, 2006

10:20 AM Friday January 27, 2006

We're leaving Vicksburg this morning--next stop Shreveport, LA. I'm feeling almost normal and the weather is cooperating ... high clouds and almost 60' as I'm writing this. The tornado siren went off this morning at 9 AM!! Only a test ......... whew!
My blog's "profile", normally on the right at the top of the page has slipped down toward the bottom and I don't know why. It happened once before and I can't remember doing anything to cause it but one day I looked and it was fixed?? You have probably all read the profile already so you won't miss it but for new readers, I will continue to try and figure out what is going on and get things back to normal ASAP.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

"I thought they were bombing Vicksburg!" the lady in the little restaurant around the corner told us. She was referring to the earthshaking and thunderous rumble she felt and heard when the east side of this 1830s brick building in historic downtown Vicksburg, (being renovated) collapsed about 11 AM on Wednesday, January 25, 2006. We drove by just a couple hours later. Sorry we don't have a better picture but if you look close, there's a car on the street squashed under the rubble. With 26 workers inside the building when it happened, it's a miracle no one was hurt! Now they are worried that the building next door (badly damaged by the collapse) will come down next. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

10:33 AM Wednesday January 25, 2006

It has been eight days since my first cold symptoms. Only six more to go if “seven days coming down with a cold, seven days with and seven days until gone” is really true but I am definitely on the mend. I bought “Zicam” (recommended by my sister) and after just ONE treatment, my most painful symptom (sore throat) was gone! Thanks sister! Next time around I’ll use it as recommended, “at the first sign of a cold”. I also bought “Cepacol” lozenges and can highly recommend them for soothing the cough.

Okay, enough already! Here are the some of the pictures we took in Jackson, the capitol of Mississippi (Don’t you just love spelling out this state!).
The Mississippi capitol is named in honor of Major-General Andrew Jackson, 1767-1845. He was a hero of the war of 1812 and later President of the United States.  Posted by Picasa
The only fish that Phil "caught" in Mississippi! Posted by Picasa
I couldn't find out "why" it was closed but five months later it still isn't open.  Posted by Picasa
The "old capitol", now a museum. Posted by Picasa
At a total cost of $18,000,000, the "New" Capitol" was renovated and restored from 1979 to 1983. In my opinion, it is in need of a thorough cleaning on the outside again. Maybe it looks better on a sunny day but on this cloudy, dreary day it looked dingy and dirty. Posted by Picasa
This eagle on top of the dome is 15 feet high and 15 feet from one wingtip to the other. It's made of copper and covered with gold leaf.  Posted by Picasa
The "new" Mississippi State Capitol - 1903 to present in Jackson. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 22, 2006

11:51 AM Sunday January 22, 2006

Mornings seem to be the worst. But, I think my cold is a little bit better or maybe it's just the medicine. I feel well enough today for us to drive into Jackson and take a look at the Mississippi State Capital. Here's a couple of pictures I couldn't resist taking Alabama as we drove by.
Ex-husband's relatives? Posted by Picasa
Waldrop Garage in Cullman, AL Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 20, 2006

4:54 PM Friday January 20, 2006

I hate to sound like a broken record but I’m still sick! Not so sick that I can’t function but sick enough that I have NO energy … my get up and gogot up and went! I have a little bit of a cough but nothing serious. Otherwise, I’m okay. Thank you all for the "get well soon" messages.

So, we have arrived in historic Vicksburg, MS (yesterday I said we were stopping in Jackson but we will do a day trip back to the capital instead) and we’re staying here a week, maybe longer. We saw this billboard just outside of town: “Welcome to Vicksburg—stay for a while—Grant did!” Good to know that the people of Vicksburg have a sense of humor about us “Yankees”. Anyway, I need to get well and staying in one place for a while should help that to happen. Many things to see and do around Vicksburg so feeling better is top priority!
Found this pretty little church in Cullman, Alabama. All I could find out on the web is that Richter was one of Cullman's upstanding citizens. No response to query about the church from Cullman's Chamber of Commerce.  Posted by Picasa
This is the third tiny church we've found across the country. Always looking out for the next one. Posted by Picasa
Phil inside the compact 12 seat church. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 19, 2006

12:35 PM Thursday January 19, 2006

Damn! Still under the weather. Sore throat is better but continues to make it difficult to swallow. I was just too pooped to go out to eat so Phil fixed us canned soup for dinner last night then I took a nap in the recliner. When I woke up, and dragged myself off to bed, I slept pretty well without cold meds thanks to my buddy, “Calms Forte”. If you’ve never tried it, I give it my highest recommendation. My friend, Gloria gave me a box several years ago and when you have trouble sleeping, this is akin to a magic bullet. Totally holistic and non-habit forming it just helps you relax, stop any fretting and stewing that might be going on inside your head and paves the way for slipping off to dreamland. Now, I'm going to force myself to get dressed, go get something to eat and stop at Wal*Mart for some throat spray.

We’re heading for Jackson, MS tomorrow and will stay over the weekend then head west to Vicksburg on Monday. No idea how long we’ll stay there.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

5:24 PM Wednesday January 18, 2006

We have arrived in Meridian, MS and are settled in for a couple days. Yesterday, exactly 7 days from the visit to the emergency room in Cullman, AL I have come down with a sore throat and am feeling like I've been whipped! It's taken one week for incubation in my body of whatever this is that was floating around in the air within that little room that was packed with people and kids! I swear next time (and I know there will be a next time) I'm going to wear a mask if I have to be in a room full of sick people.

I'm going to bed early, hoping to be better tomorrow so I can catch up on e-mails tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

A long time ago, in my younger days, I would jump on any available soapbox and say my piece. I raged about the injustices, unfairness, inequality and prejudices in the world to anyone within earshot. Often encountered in the restaurant and bar business where I earned my living for so long, I fearlessly argued my case against any alcoholic bigot who dared to take me on. As Phil would say, I was a “bleeding heart liberal” in those days—which in my opinion was a good thing.

Here, in “The Heart of Dixie”, we have seen so much heartbreaking poverty. We’ve been on the road each day in our little red truck, the Lone Ranger traveling the highways and byways along the back roads of Alabama starting out from where Penny Pace is parked. Being Pacific Northwest natives, it has been an education for Phil and me. We were so moved, we spent all of one morning on the Internet researching the towns of Selma and Montgomery that we explored on Sunday, checking the economic and population data as well as how these towns were relevant to the civil rights movement.

For the first time in a long time, I found myself wanting to shout out about the lopsided economy here in this area of Alabama versus the booming growth we’ve seen elsewhere around the country. I wanted to put statistics on my blog to show everyone the disparity between the parts of Alabama we’ve seen and the rest of the country we’ve passed through. But ... I’ve had second thoughts and decided that the lessons learned will remain personal and I’ll not force them on you’all, my faithful blog readers.

There are two things I will share with you: If you are a Baptist Minister looking for work … come to Alabama. There is a Baptist church on every corner! And, if you’re looking for an inexpensive place to retire (and have no misgivings about thunderstorms in the winter and humid heat in the summer), this is the place! Everything is cheaper here but then we haven’t checked out Mississippi … yet.
Think fast!! Right, left or straight? Posted by Picasa
It was closed ... probably because it was Sunday. Posted by Picasa
Beautifully preserved peek into history. Posted by Picasa
Alabama State Capital Building in Montgomery from Dexter Avenue.. Posted by Picasa
Renovated but mostly empty buildings along Selma's main street. Posted by Picasa
The infamous Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 15, 2006

10:49 AM Sunday January 15, 2006

The new (2002) license plates say, “Stars Fell on … Alabama” (the old ones proclaim “Heart of Dixie” and according to my research, a huge controversy is going on in this state over the change. Phil thinks the “stars” slogan is dumb (referring to a meteor shower in the 1830s, a song and a book) and I don’t care one way or the other. I sort of like anything with the name “Dixie” because that’s my baby (she’s 10 years younger than me) sister’s name.

We’ve had a lot of “rain” fall on us in Alabama but not too many stars. Maybe today will be better because it was 60 degrees this morning at 8:30 AM and the sun is shining and the sky is blue now as I’m writing this.

Calling this place we’re staying at in Millbrook Alabama an RV Park is an exaggeration any way you look at it. Actually, it’s a gas station-RV Repair shop and they sell new and used RVs as well. The “park” looks nearly full but the sites are used to store the RVs that are for sale. Actually there are only a few RVs with anyone in them. Oh well, it’s fairly cheap and we’ll only be here for three nights. Just long enough to rest up for the next leg of the trip and go see the capital building in Montgomery about five miles away, which we’ll do today.
The nose of our wonderful “Penny” the Pace will head west when we leave here. In spite of the hurricanes, torrential rains, thunder, lightning, hail, winds and tornados, I really love the southeast. I just wish there was some way to visit when all of the above were guaranteed NOT to happen. My cousin, Sharon in TN says April. What do you’all think?
Water tank alongside I-65 painted to look like a peach. Wish I had a better zoom! It was very well done ... looked real! Posted by Picasa
Alabama landscape along I-65. Lots of pine trees and not much else. Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 13, 2006

9:50 AM Friday January 13, 2006

It is Friday the 13th … and raining hard; there has been lightning and thunder all around us since 8 AM and the weather channel shows severe weather cells all across the southeast with the possibilities of tornados! We are snug as a bug in a rug inside our warm and dry home on wheels and just as soon as my datastorm dish finds it’s way back through this cloud cover to the satellite, I’ll be back on line and able publish this little note. We are scheduled to leave Cullman tomorrow and our next leg is another short one so even if it’s still raining, we’ll probably scoot on down I-65 and get closer to the capital city of Montgomery. Still looking for good weather … ;-)

Here is a couple pictures of the mini-bananas being sold at the local Wal*Mart. They are just the cutest little things! At about three bites (depending on the size of your mouth I suppose), they are the perfect size for a snack and taste exactly like a full size banana.
Tiny little bananas beside a couple red pears. Posted by Picasa
Chiquita mini-bananas. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

7:25 PM Wednesday January 11, 2006

We drove south from Manchester, TN to Cullman, AL yesterday. It was a short drive and we arrived in less than three hours. By then, I was not feeling very well after spending the night before up and down with the beginning symptoms of a urinary tract infection. After we were set up, Phil took me to get a bite to eat then we spent the next three hours in the emergency room at Cullman Regional Medical Center. Ultimately, I was taken to an exam room and finally visited by a doctor who spent 30 minutes chit-chatting with us about … the “Klan” (he said they are alive and well AND underground in Cullman County), real estate values in Alabama (only $1,500 an acre for prime farmland south of Montgomery), the splendor of Alaska (wanted to know if we’d ever been there), Japan (the cost of living there), the high price of gasoline (he predicted $4 a gallon soon), the RV lifestyle (“Your not in one of those Winnabagos, are you?”) and, “oh yes, I’ll give you a prescription when you leave”. He was truly a character! I’ve had two pills since then and am already feeling 99% better.

We drove around Cullman this afternoon and found a few interesting pictures to share with you.

A big goose and a duck, just two of many at our RV park. The goose was complaining loudly as I walked up to them to take the picture. Truly a "guard goose." Posted by Picasa
The water is waaaay down there! Posted by Picasa