Friday, February 28, 2014

Lea's Daybook - Friday, February 28th

I haven't done a Daybook in a few weeks and thought it was time to do one.  They are always
enjoyable for me to and I hope they are enjoyable for you to read.............
Linking up with Peggy at The Simple Woman 


Outside my window...the sun is peeking his head out and while rather chilly at this time, it promises to warm up as the day goes by.  We have daffodils showing their faces and definite signs of Spring. ~Yipee!~

I am thinking.....
about so many things that I almost have a "head rush" at times.  I have so many exciting things going on and I look forward to the time that I can actually share some of this with you my dear friends.  But, for now, hang on...........~it won't be long~

I am thankful...
 for a God that seems to place the right people in my life at just the right time.  And, I pray that I will, more often than not, be the right person in someone's life at just the right time as well.

In the kitchen....
 it's been a week of eating the "stash" out of the freezer.  I try to always have soups, chili, sauces and such in the freezer and all I have to do is take them out, let them thaw and warm them up.  So, I haven't spent a whole lotta time in the kitchen this week.  ~yea~

I am wearing...
 casual black velour pants and jacket with a turtleneck.  I thought surely I would not wear it again this winter, but guess ole man Winter isn't through just yet.

I am creating... 
a new Shutterfly photo book.  I always do two a year.  One for the first half of the year and one for the second half. I think they are about the best thing to "come down the pike" in a while.  No more photo albums for this girl since I discovered these about 7 years ago.

I am going...
 to see our daughter and Grandson two weeks from Sunday.  Our SIL has to be out of town with his job and it's been a long time since Bridget and I have had some mother/daughter time, so I'm so excited!  Of course, my Clancy man will be there but he'll just be the "icing on the cake."

I am wondering...
 if the morals of our nation will turn around by the time my Grans hit their teenage years.  I pray they do.  I am just astounded by the permissiveness of our society!

I am reading... 
True Spirituality, by Chip Ingram.  Our church is studying this in a small group setting beginning this Sunday evening.  It is based on Romans 12 and should be a most inspirational study.

I am hoping...
 some of the new meds my Dad has just started on will cause him to feel better and perhaps find some kind of enjoyment in his days.

I am looking forward to... 
this day.  Have decided to make it a point to really enjoy each day, it might be my last. ~sure hope not~

I am learning...
 to see how God can use adversity in our lives for His glory and our good.  Doesn't seem to make sense, but I've seen it in my own life, so I know He can. ~so thankful~

Around the house...
 I'm needing to clean out my closet and reorganize.  It doesn't seem that long ago that I did it, but somehow it just doesn't stay that way.  And, I'm a "everything in it's place" kinda gal. ~makes me happy~

I am pondering...
 all the exciting happenings in my life. ~big smile~

A favorite quote for today...
 love this by Mae West,
"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough."

~I sure hope I'm doing it right~

One of my favorite things...
 is the series on PBS, Call the Midwife.  It is my very favorite PBS series, including Downton Abbey.  I am now watching the 3rd season via the blog, Simply June. This gal has every PBS series and all episodes posted on her blog tabs.  It was like finding a pot of gold for me.  I am now watching Call the Midwife and it will not be on here in the US for several more weeks.  I just wish that the seasons for these shows was longer than 8 episodes.  They are over almost as soon as they are started and then it's 10 months between the seasons.  But, they are all worth the wait for sure.

A peek into my day... 
I have errands to run, will go and visit my Dad.  Then I'll be home to do the pile of ironing staring me in the face and then catch up on some home office work.  Doesn't it sound like an exciting day??

A picture worth sharing......
I think this is the image of Spring and it's only about 20 days until the very first day of Spring.  ~makes me happy, happy~

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Another Wednesday Hodgepodge........

Goodness, these Wednesdays roll around faster and faster!  And, that Joyce just keeps coming up with questions week in and week out.  Okay, now for this weeks questions......

  1. What is something you'll never forget about the age you are right now?
Oh, there's a lot but most are not for public sharing.  ~they are matters of the heart~  I know that at 61 years old,  I have lived well over half, in fact, 2/3 of my life and if there's any undone matters, then I'd better "get em' done."  ~a rather sobering thought~  And, something else,  maintenance of this aging body gets tougher and tougher as the years slip on by. ~ugh!~

2. What's a household chore you've never done? How have you managed that???

Well, to be honest, I cannot think of one household chore that I have never done.  Now, I might not like doing it, but I've probably done about everything there is to do when it comes to household chores.  In fact, I use to clean houses when I was in high school for extra money. 

 3. Does nature shape our personalities more than nurture? Explain? 
I think that our personalities are nurtured more by nature than they are shaped by nature.  Basic personality is determined by our genetic makeup and is strongly influenced by our outlook on life. Whee! that was a doozy of a question!

4. Friday (February 28th) is 'Something on a Stick Day'...funny because Zoanna over at A Penchant for Pens recently sent me an idea for a question relating to this topic. What's your favorite food eaten on a stick?

Well, a couple of years ago at a local craft show I got a potato on a stick and it was so, so good.  Just the right amount of salt and crispyness.  It was spiraled and about 15 inches long.  I enjoyed every bite of it.  I had never seen anything like it and look forward to one day having another.  The other item would be a "cake pop."  Cake balls a top a stick, just the right amount of sweetness.

5. Which of your five senses do you treasure most, and why?

Oh, without a doubt, my sight!  I have watched my Dad lose his sight and the pitiful state in which it has left him.  He was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration  in his mid-sixties and now, at the age of 84 he has about 25% vision left.  He can no longer recognize faces, sits within 2 feet of his big screen TV to see it and is unable to enjoy so much due to his very limited sight.  It is really sad and especially since he has other health issues to deal with.  I think our sight helps us to enjoy life more than most of ever realize.  We can enjoy the beauty of God's world, the smiles on people's faces and enjoy so many pleasures, such as reading. 

6. What's the best music, theatre, or sporting venue you've been to? What made it great?

Daughter and me in NYC, May 2002. What about those pants? And, don't even mention
my "big hair." Oh, my!!! 
 Hubby sent our daughter and me to NYC for my 50th birthday.  One of the shows we saw was Momma Mia and it still rates as one of my all time favorites.  Sharing it with my daughter, hearing all the fabulous songs by Abba and seeing it on live theater in NYC.  It will always be one of my favorite memories.

7. It's the last week of the five words or less bid adieu to your February.

  So long very wintery month.......

8.  Insert your own random thought here. 

Yes, that is a roll of toilet paper sitting on an empty roll.  It's crazy but for most of our 42 years of marriage, this is how it works in our house.  I use the last bit of tp and I go and get a new roll and place it on top of the empty roll.  Hubby comes along at some point and sees it and places it on the roll.  Why on earth I don't just finish the job and go ahead and put the roll on the holder is beyond me.  It's become a source of laughter now.  I'm not sure I would think it was so funny if Hubby were the one that set it on the empty roll and didn't go ahead and put it on.  But, as I've said many times, he's a patience man and it's just one of the many things he does for me. ~he's a good man~

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Monday Reflections...........

Good morning, day, or night, depending on when you might be reading this.  It's another Monday, a new week and a new opportunity for us to "get it right."  May yours be a great week!

What a life.........
These two guys have been some happy pups the past few days.  Roscoe (on left) and Rhett (on right) are getting older and they are not the least bit fond of the really cold weather.  They will stay pretty close to their houses snuggled up in the hay provided by their dear Master.  Both of these dogs had a very rough start to their lives.  We came by them through adverse circumstances, Roscoe was being sold on the street corner by a druggie and Rhett just showed up at our doorstep.  They were both young pups at the time.  I am not really a "dog person" but I was over ruled by Hubby, who has a tender, tender heart.  And, just guess who they absolutely love?  Yep! me!!  I  think it's because they knew I wasn't too crazy about them becoming a part of our family and they were determined to weasel their way into my heart. ~and they did~ They are now 7 and 8 years old and I'm  not sure how long they may live.  But, I can say that they have a wonderful life, are well taken care of and if that contributes to life expectancy, then they may be with us a while longer.  Labs truly are good natured and they are their happiest when they are close to their owners. 

A Southern study club........

Me, on the right, with the other two hostess.
 I am a member of the Melange Study Club, that's another word for women finding an excuse to get together for lunch and fun.  No, not really, but it's true.  We meet Sept. thru May each year and have various programs, decided upon at the beginning of each new year.  This year's programs have been on Louisiana authors and artist.
This past week we met and I was one of the co-hostess.  My duty was to provide the food for the meeting.  We meet in homes and since we are in full-fledged Mardi Gras mode here, Sarah, the home hostess, did all the table scapes with that in mind.  It was so lovely and festive.  There's hardly anything more fun that a group of women visiting over a table of good food and conversation.  

Silly me........
I'm not exactly sure what came over me one morning last week but I decided I would just run up to Hubby's office and have coffee with the staff before they started their day.  I do this quite often but I am always ready for the day when I go.  This day I was in a hurry and later had a luncheon that I was helping to host and decided to just go in my "walking clothes" with rollers in my hair and no lipstick.  Yep! that's me!  To say that the staff was speechless was an understatement.  But, it was fun and now the whole world knows what I look like before I get ready for my day.  At least I did have my makeup on and I did not have my fuzzy slippers on.  I do draw the line on some things. ~chuckle~

Busy, creative hands........
Hubby, sort of like Roscoe and Rhett, was so glad to see the beautiful sunshine and warmer weather last week.  It was reason enough for him to think up a project and go out to his shop and be creative.  He built us a Wood Duck box.  I was pretty impressed with his ability and the main thing is his patience in doing something like this.  He had to undo a portion of it and it didn't cause him to throw down his drill and saw, he just undid what he needed to undo, and then plugged away doing it correctly.  He is hopeful the little duckies will be appreciative of his time and energy. ~we shall see~

Blessings for this week! 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday's Letters

Dear Olympics - I do believe that Hubby and I are probably the only two folks that are not watching you.  We just do not care for the Olympics and I feel we are almost unAmerican because of it.  Oh, well, it is what it is...........

Dear Heavenly Father - once again you have shown me how your timing is always perfect.  You would think that I would know that by now and never forget it. 
Dear Clancy and Hanna Beth - It is so unbelievable that you two are now 4 and 5 years old.  You both are so precious and CiCi prays daily for God's protective hedge to always cover you.

Dear Daylight Savings Time - you begin on March 9th and that makes me extremely happy.  Longer days, yes, do not like it being dark so early.  I just wish "they" would leave the time alone but I don't get a vote on that.  I just have to live with it. ~smile~

Dear Facebook - there are some things about you that aggravate me, but you truly are the "best thing since sliced bread."  I am so grateful to be connected with friends from long ago that would have never happened without you.  

Dear Houzz - you are the greatest app when it comes to home decorating, home remodeling or home building.  I have so much fun browsing through you.  Whoever dreamed you up was an absolute genius!

Dear Hair Coloring Product - you just simply need to last longer than 4 weeks.  My goodness, it seems every time I turn around  I'm at the salon getting a touch up.  Why not make a color that lasts at least 6 weeks? But, come to think about it, that wouldn't work either because I need a trim every 4 weeks as well.  Oh, well, was it Shakespeare  that said, "vanity, vanity, thy name is woman."

Dear Mailers of Catalogs - if you knew that I threw away 75% of the ones I received, you would quit sending them to me.  I stand at the trash can when going through the mail and just simply chunk you straight in.  I guess it doesn't matter to you that I have never even ordered from you. ~such a waste~

Dear NIV One Year Bible - you are designed absolutely perfectly!  I marvel at the way you are laid out in 365 daily readings that include Old and New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs everyday. I am thoroughly enjoying reading you through.

And, I leave you with this.........


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Wednesday's and Joyce, they go hand in hand.  Thanks Joyce for always showing up with "brain bending" questions.

1. What's the biggest change since your childhood in the way people think or act?
Oh, permissiveness! So many things are okay now or just "glossed" over with little to no shame.  It disturbs me greatly as it relates to my precious Grans.

   2. The Olympic Biathlon involves cross country skiing broken up with either two or four rounds of target shooting. Which part of that would stress you out more? Or would you love them both equally?
That seems like such a strange mix to me and either one of them would definitely stress me out.  

3. February is National Canned Food Month...what is your most often purchased canned food item?  What was in the last can you opened?

Humm......let me see........I buy quite a few canned items but recently I've used a lot of Rotel tomatoes in chilis, and soups, so that has been my most often purchased and it is also the last can I opened.  Rotel makes most anything better in my thinking. ~the hotter the better~ Then there's the Mushroom Soup, Tomato Sauce and Green Beans..........

4. What river (anywhere in the world) would you most like to cruise?

I've never thought about this but I guess it would be the Mississippi.  I live in the South and we've crossed it in our travels a million times.  So, guess it might be fun to actually cruise it and see all the sites along the way.

5. It's the middle of the night and you can't sleep...what do you do? Count sheep? Toss and turn? Watch television? Or do you get up and do something productive?

I generally just lay there thinking, mostly about going back to sleep.  I know folks that read, watch TV, make grocery lists and all manner of things.  I refuse to get up!  I figure even if I am just laying there awake that I am still getting rest, maybe not sleep, but rest. ~sweet dreams~

6. How important is keeping your cool?

Of utmost importance!!  We all get aggravated and even angry at times.  But, we need to keep our cool even when angry.  I've seen folks lose their cool when they were angry and it was not pretty at all.  And, a lot of folks live to regret it. ~it's not worth it~
7. I've got white stuff on the brain so why not run with it? White lie, wave the white flag, white knuckle it, white wash a situation, or white as a sheet...which phrase could most recently apply to your own life in some way?

Oh, this would be easy, "white knuckle it."  While we were on our adventure to Florida a couple of weeks ago.  Hubby had to drive on ice and snow for 75% of the way and it was extremely stressful.  I can assure you that we both had white knuckles by the time we finally arrived in Florida.

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

I think the producers of AI likely knew that they had better do a "complete overhaul" for this season or they could just pack up and go home.  Thank goodness, in my humble opinion, they did an excellent job in their selection of judges and this years format thus far.  I really like the show but had pretty much decided that I would not be watching this season.   But, after the first episode, I changed my mind ~looking like a good season~  

Monday, February 17, 2014

HELLO Monday!

These weeks just keep rolling right along.  It's another Monday and that means another week has gone by.  But, I'm just grateful that the Lord has given me another day and pray he gives me bunches more days, weeks and years. ~smile~
HELLO Office Staff..........
 Hubby is blessed with the greatest office staff and I try to let them know how much they are appreciated by remembering them on such days as Valentine's.  For the past 3 years I have been giving the girls Brighton bracelets for different occasions.   On Friday I added to their collection with another one as a Valentine "happie."  It seemed that they were pretty happy and I gave our son, the male counterpart of the staff, a Sonic card and book.  They truly are a great group!
HELLO Family......
My youngest brother came in this past weekend from DesMoines, so I had a family dinner on Friday night.  Daddy was feeling fairly good and seemed to really enjoy the evening.  These days it is always a joy to see him have a good time. ~nothing like family time~
 HELLO, all things house.........
It has been years and years since I have been to what is called a "Home Show."  It is an annual event in a city nearby and it was this past weekend.  Hubby and I went.  I have decided that the sky is the absolute limit in what you can put in a house.  And, if the sky is the limit then your budget had better be also. ~big smile~  We had a lot of fun looking at the different exhibits and it didn't hurt that it was the most gorgeous day to be out and about.

HELLO my Princess.........
   Have you ever been to The Build-A-Bear Store?  If not, you should go.  It really is quite a neat concept and whoever dreamed it up is no doubt laughing all the way to the bank now.  The Princess' Dad and Mom took her this past Sat. as her Valentine present.  She chose a pony instead of a teddy bear.  She is into all things pony at this time.  And, they (the store) gave her a Princess crown to wear while she built her pony.  They definitely know how to make a little girl mighty happy.

HELLO new week............may you have a wonderful new week and just in case you didn't know, Spring is just 31 days away.  It begins on March 20th!!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Five on Friday

 1.  Happy Valentine's Day...........
 Our church  has a Valentine's Banquet each year.  It is the collective effort of a lot of folks to pull it off and they always do a splendid job.  The meal was extra delicious this year.  We have some great guys that do know how to grill meat.  And, our entertainment this year was provided by Charles Graham ( pictured above) and I highly recommend him!  He has sung literally all over the world and let me just say, he will tingle your spine with his absolutely stunning voice. You can find out all you want to about him and how to book him by clicking on the link provided.
Hubby and I had our first "date" to a church Valentine Banquet back in 1966.  Now, if you can call it a date..........he came to the door and walked me across the parking lot to the church.  Dad was the pastor of the church and back in those days the parsonage was generally right beside the church. ~ah, those were the days~ So, each year we are reminded of this as we continue to attend Valentine Banquets.

2. Fun with flowers......
Each year our local Garden Club goes to the assisted living facility (where my Dad lives) in February.  We go and help the lady residents create floral arrangements to enjoy in their rooms.  I'm not really sure who has the most fun, the residents, or the Garden Club members.  It is a precious group and they always seem to enjoy themselves so much and we leave with a happy heart knowing we have brought a ray of sunshine into their lives.  It's "win win" all the way around.

3. Ice with a bit of snow........
This is what we woke up to on Wednesday morning.  It truly was a beautiful sight but it sure did shut down most of our city.  But, we were so, so thankful that we did not lose power.  Our street was not too bad and of course, Hubby has 4 wheel drive everything and that's a good thing in this kind of weather.  It was short lived and the forecast says 60's and 70's this weekend.  Can you hear me shouting with excitement!!!

4. A precious snow bunny........
I'm thinking this may have been Hanna Beth's first experience with snow and ice in her 4 1/2 years of life.  Of course, there was hardly enough to build a snowman, but she still enjoyed slip sliding around  in her yard for a few minutes.  I'm hoping it's at least 4 1/2 more years before she gets to experience it again. ~shame on me~
5.  Sun, wonderful sun..........
 Yes, yes, the sun finally showed it's face yesterday and I was one more happy girl as were many others.  It was such a beautiful day.  The sun was melting the ice and snow and the trees glistened like diamonds. And, as I said, it is supposed to be a  beautiful weekend with warm temps, and my youngest brother is here visiting, so "all is well with the world." 

Happy Valentine's Day!!!! 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge

I missed last wee's Hodgepodge due to traveling and Hodgepodge is sort of like church, if I don't participate each week, my week is just not the same. ~wow, that gives HP a really high ranking doesn't it~  Glad to be back this Valentine's week.

1.What makes love last?
Giving and taking, understanding, commitment and forgiveness.

Love is a whole lot more than a warm fuzzy feeling, that's for sure!

2. The Beatles made their US debut fifty years ago this week. Are you a fan? If so, what's your favorite Beatles tune?
Oh, my goodness, I still cannot believe that my parents made me go to church the Sunday night that they made their debut on the Ed Sullivan Show.  I thought I might die!  I was 12 years old and just didn't understand their reasoning at all, but I did live over it. I love so many of the songs but one of my favorites is "The Long and Winding Road."  And, yes, I can pretty much sing all their songs from memory.  And, I even had a Beatle haircut! ~cute, cute~

3. Valentine's Day-your thoughts? Do you celebrate in any way? Do anything special for the people you love? Expect anything special from the people who love you?
I do love Valentine's Day!  Hubby and I don't necessarily celebrate in any special way but we always remember that our first "so called" date was to a church Sweetheart Banquet 49 years ago. Yikes!  Now, before you go thinking that I was dating at 13 years old, he walked me from our house that was next door to the church.  But, it was a "real date" as far as I was concerned. ~awe~ I do remember the kids and Grans in a small way but I do not expect anything from those that love me except a little more love!

4. Steak or have to choose. Now that that's settled, how do you like it?
That's tough but you say I have to I'll take a good tender steak cooked medium well and seasoned to perfection.

5. The Hodgepodge lands on the birthdate (February 12th) of Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America. Lincoln is quoted as saying, 'Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test his character give him power.'  Do you agree? Why or why not?
Hummm.....this is making me think really hard.......yes I think I would agree.  I think how one deals with adversity does tell an awful lot about them, but power can make some folks take leave of their senses and that really lets "the cat out of the bag" as to their real character. But, for certain, I know far more about adversity than I do power. ~just sayin'~ And, I imagine most folks can say that.

6. Honest Abe's image is featured on the US penny (1 cent coin) so I'm wondering...what do you do with your pennies (or your country's equivalent)?  It's been suggested the US stop making the penny, and two bills have been introduced proposing just that, but neither were approved. What say you?
I don't do anything with the pennies that cross my hands but put them in my wallet.  I love having correct change ~does that surprise you~ and one needs pennies to do that, so I hope they do not stop making them. 

7.  Do you think pop culture deserves serious study?
By all means, but not sure studying it will bring about any changes.  I'm thinking that will take much more than studying.  It represents such a widespread group of accepting individuals of "almost" anything.  An unfortunate phenomena!

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

I do not want to be a whiner, but folks, I am soooo tired of this winter weather.  I do not think we have seen the sunshine here in NE Louisiana in about 10 days.  Today we are covered in ice and a thin coat of  snow.  The entire town is paralyzed.  We are NOT use to this and it is wearing some of us down.  Oh, let me get my happy face on and make the best of this less than desirable weather day!

And, I just love this...........

Monday, February 10, 2014

HELLO Monday!

Good Morning!  Yes, it's Monday, the first day of a new week.  It reminds me of a fresh start and I'm always about getting my "ducks" all lined out for the week ahead.  Meanwhile............
My rosey cheeked little cowboy.............
Don't these just chill you to the bone!  This is what Dodge City has looked like for most of the past two weeks.  Our daughter, SIL and Clancy went out last week and indulged in a snow fight and Clancy doesn't seem to be the least bit bothered by the bitter, bitter cold.  This is their 3rd winter in Dodge City and they have just about had all the fun there that they care to have and are ready to be transferred to another location with the USDA.  You can bet that this Momma is on her knees praying that it will be closer than 13 hours to their families.
Girl fun........
There's just nothing like a "day with the girls."  Gerri (back left), Mary K.(front right) and myself had one such day this past Friday.  We headed to Shreveport for the day and while we were eating lunch, a dear friend that we had not seen in ages, walked in.  Jeanne (back right) lived in our fair town for 17 years and a couple of years ago she and her husband moved back to Shreveport. ~didn't make us happy~  After lunch we continued  visiting around some of the cute, cute shops in the area before returning home.
A special service......
   We had Deacon ordination during our morning worship yesterday morning.  I can not tell you how many of these I have sat through over the years.  But, they are very special and one of my favorite parts of the service is the "laying on of hands."  This is when ordained deacons and ministers go by and offers words of encouragement to the candidate being ordained.  Yesterday's service was for one of the fine young men in our church and that is his precious daughter laying on her Mom's shoulder in the above picture.
But, it was ice cold........
That's right, our church was without any heat whatsoever yesterday morning.  I got to church ahead of Hubby and called him and told him to please bring me a coat.  Well, being the good Hubby that he is, he didn't just bring my coat, he brought a throw as well.  And, while we do love our friends Gerri and Charles, we do not normally get quite so chummy with them.  But, they asked us if we could possibly share our throw with them and I mean, how can you say no to someone who is freezing. ~I've embellished this a bit~ So, we scooted down quite close to them on the pew, spread out our throw and we all four were able to cover our laps.  While we were still cold, it was certainly a big help along with the body heat that the four of us generated. We had to remind ourselves that we were in a worship service and not a football game. ~big smile~
  We have ice in the forecast for tomorrow and I haven't talked to one soul that is the least bit excited about that.  Snow is one thing, but ice is quite another.  It paralyzes an area like ours for sure.  I have places to go and people to see, so I'm hoping the forecast is WRONG!!  
Happy Valentine's Week!!! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Trip Not Soon to be Forgotten

This past October, Hubby and I planned a trip to The Villages, Florida to be taken on Jan. 30th.  We had talked of going to Florida during the month of January for years and decided this would be the year that we did just that.  Hubby's sister and BIL decided they would meet us there.  We would be traveling from NE Louisiana and they would be coming from the Atlanta area.  We began anticipating this trip and once the holidays were over, we could hardly wait.
We decided that we would leave on Tuesday the 28th and just mozy along and arrive by noon on Thursday, the day our reservation began.  A week prior to our leaving we starting looking at the weather and it looked rather concerning but we were quite certain that it would not be that big of a deal and we were leaving in plenty of time anyway. ~big laugh~
 We pulled out of our driveway around 10:30 and headed towards Jackson, MS.  All was just perfect until then.  In Jackson everything changed.  What you see in the above photos is what we dealt with for the remainder of the trip.  We made it to Hattiesburg, MS around 6:00 that evening and that would normally be about a 4 hour trip for us.  We drove on solid ice all the way there and thankfully Tommy is a patience, patience man and safety is #1 with him.  I won't bore you with all the details of the rest of our hairy trip there but we did NOT arrive at our villa until exactly midnight on the 30th.  One whole day of our time there gone!!!  What should have been about a 13 hour trip turned into about a 27 hour trip.
Our Villa
But, once we arrived, we tried to forget what we had been through and get into a "Florida state of mind" and enjoy ourselves.
First thing we did was check into extending our stay for an extra day to make up for the day we missed and amazingly, they were able to do that.  This is the busiest season for The Villages and we were barely able to get reservations back in Oct.  
The above photo is the sales office of The Villages and one of the most beautiful buildings we have ever been in.  It is styled after The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.  There are 3 town squares in The Villages and we stayed in  Lake Sumter Landing .
The Villages is a golf cart city. We had never seen so many golf carts in our lives and, as you can see, the sky's the limit as to their design.  Many folks only use golf carts!

The Villages, to us, was like entering a bubble, completely isolated from the outside world.  It covers around 58 square miles and there are around 110,000 folks, all 55 years old and older, living there.  Absolutely anything and everything you could ever need, want or desire is there.
 Each and every evening at 7:00 there is entertainment and dancing in each of the town squares.  We went a couple of evenings and it was amazing to watch some of those folks dance and it is obviously enjoyed by many of the residents there.
There are endless things to do, from physical activities to handcrafts.  There are 18 golf courses!!  So, no one should have any reason to be bored. There is fabulous shopping, and restaurants of every description.  There are Villas, Patio Homes, Designer Homes and Premier Homes.  Prices start at around $225,000 and go up to well over a million dollars.
We were guests at The Villages and were assigned a rep that gave us the "grand tour" and while she was a real estate agent with The Villages, she was never pushy.  She was so informative and we thoroughly enjoyed our time with her.  We were just in awe of the entire place!
A license plate on one of the golf carts ~so funny~
We had a most enjoyable time on our visit there and I would give it high recommendations as a place to visit for sure.  But, as to being a permanent resident there, well, it's not for us.  I would tire of only being with "older" adults.  I enjoy all ages of folks and interacting with them.  But, it's different strokes for different folks and the folks there certainly were a happy bunch.
I am happy to report that our return trip was uneventful and we drove straight home in about 13 hours.  A hard day of travel but we were ready to get home.  It's been cloudy and very cold since we got home and after enjoying the Florida weather, we are more than ready for Spring!!!!