Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chiquita's Filly

Earl Ringger the owner of Chiquita called tonight to tell me about her filly by Raven. He said she was the the fanciest foal he has seen. She is pitch black and nice straight long legs and an beautiful face. Earl's son believes they should sell her as they are into cutting horses so Earl would like to sell Chiquita with her filly and is ready to make someone a bargain. If anyone out there is interested in a quality black half Friesian filly now is the time to make an offer.
Emma was taken to the farm this morning for the walk and she was so glad to see Ebby and Heidi again. By the time the first loop was done, Ebby and Emma were laying side by side in mom's yard waiting for us to finish the second loop.
Names were discussed for Clara's colt and Paris' colt. Mike is going to come up with some. Steven Marchel is thinking of a name for Lily's filly. Of course the walk took twice as long as usual because we spent so much time admiring the beautiful babies of this year.
As I was typing this last night the internet crashed and is still down at home so this is being finished at work on Thursday morning.

Darcy

Rhoda took Darcy to work yesterday and weighed her. She is only 180 pounds so the diet must be working. Rhoda was convinced Darcy lost 5 pounds while we were on vacation but to me it looked like she gained a few.
Today a trip must be made to TSC for more grain. It should have been bought yesterday so could be taken out this morning.
There were over 800 Bible studies processed yesterday, don't know how long we will be able to keep it up with just the 2 of us working. Today the Bibles were suppose to be UPS'd out and there are over 60 boxes that need to be processed, then Sarah tells me we are having company and the house is a MESS.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Filly by Salena

Will and Jenny Moser announced the birth of their new filly out of their Trakehner mare Salena and by Raven today.
She is perfect and so adorable. The Moser's also have a full brother to this filly now a yearling.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Back to Work

This morning Emma and Darcy got to come to the farm for our morning walk. Emma ran and played with Diane's dog, Ebby and mom's dog, Heidi. Darcy very grumpily walked for about 2 minutes then headed back to the car. We stopped in at the Horsemeister office so Diane could give us some decorating ideas. The office is almost done. Once the dogs were dropped off at home it was down to work where the day was busy and long. Their were too many Bible studies to finish in one day but most of them are at least entered into the computer. Around 2:30pm I headed home, walked in the door and the phone rang, Sarah, Samantha and Emma walked to McDonalds and wanted to be picked up. After they were dropped off it was off to Sam's for dog food and dog rawhide chews. There was another message from the people that bought the cotton candy machine so I called them back to tell them where to ship it. I'm a little worried they ran it without unloosing the screws that are tightened for shipping. The lady told me that she turned it on for 10 minutes and sparks started shooting out. Sure hope they didn't ruin it completely. That would be like adding insult to injury.
Mark and I went for a long walk after dinner, during the walk, Mike called to tell me everyone at the lake will be ordering gravel and did I want a couple of loads for the barn driveway. It is $400.00 a semi trailer load, that is a good price but not a good time but so necessary after the winter we just had. I over spent on the Horsemeister T-Shirts. The 40 new bales are so heavy the bale spear broke. Mike ordered another one so that will also need to be paid for. Do money struggles ever get any easier?

Que's New Owner

Below is an update from the lady that bought Amy's Haflinger. She has named him Marley. Looks like they are a good fit with each other.

Marley is finishing up his first month of training. Unfortunately I haven't been able to spend as much time with him yet as I'd like, but I thought I'd give you an update. First, he is the goofiest animal that I've ever seen. It doesn't appear as if he's ever been out with a herd so when he first got out to play, he ran everywhere. My trainer says he has ADD. We've got spring grass coming up so he'd run to the grass take a quick bite and then run somewhere else. His first time out he ran through the fence. That scared him so he ran back to the barn and stood there like a puppy waiting to get back into the house. He pesters the other horses to death wanting to play. He's the only horse I've ever seen that will go down on a lead or lunge line and roll. The other day he was running and just fell on his face. It's was such a clumsy fall, but you could tell it was a soft easy fall, but he didn't get up, and I started to get real upset until I noticed why he didn't get up. He was laying there just eating grass. Then he popped up and took off running again picked up a stick and started running with it through the pasture. If he finds something laying around, he picks it up and hides it. The trainer was teaching him to lunge and sacking him out with a stick that had a paper bag tied to it. This also served the purpose of getting his hind quarters off her when he tried to press them to her. The bag does make a scary noise, and he jumped at it at first, but then he turned around, sniffed it, grabbed it in his mouth and started playing tug of war. He loves the other barn animals, cats, dogs, horses, whatever, and he's incredibly curious about everything and very brave. When first learning to lunge, he did that stallion throw of his head and some other stallion type antics that concerned us enough to double check the gonads. I was greatly relieved when I got the certificate from the vet stating that both testicles had dropped and been removed. He is pushy to the extremes, but he's coming around on his ground manners. He was great for the farrier except he was so interested in what he was doing that he always had his head wrapped around the poor man. I've only seen him do one nasty thing. My 16 year old daughter, who adores him, was feeding him peppermints, when she turned to walk away and no more treats were forthcoming he tried very aggressively bite her. From now on, Marley's treats go in a bucket. He's learned to lunge, bathe well, loves to be brushed and messed with; however, he always appears to be disheveled no matter what you do to him. He reminds me of Kurt Cobain. He's beautiful even when he's grungy. My trainer first started working with him in the indoor arena, but they've graduated to the great outdoors now. He has yet to buck or act ugly under saddle, but he's still learning the whoa concept. Marley wants to go, go, go. He has wonderful movement, very elastic extended trot. He's clumsy and needs to learn balance as does any young horse, but he might just have the makings of a dressage horse. He isn't spooky. He's too curious about everything. Basically he's wild, unkempt, exasperating, always into mischief, spoiled and has the attention span of a flea. He's also bright, learns quickly, super friendly, incredibly brave and very, very entertaining. I keep telling people that he's either going to be one of my all time most beloved of pets or that I'm going to hate him. Having read the email, I think you can tell which way I'm leaning. Above all, Marley entertains me. Any man that keeps you laughing is a keeper in my book. I don't have a lot of great pictures yet, but I sent you a couple that I took yesterday. I haven't ridden him myself yet, but plan to in the very near future. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I hope all is right in your world. Thanks for Marley. He wouldn't be a perfect fit for just anybody, but he pretty close for me.

Lily's Filly

Today after church Mark and I drove to the farm and checked out Lily's new filly. She is gorgeous, very shiny black, well filled out and is so friendly. They were turned out but instead of Lily running into the field, she ran to the paddock and waited at the gate. She is back in with Paris and her colt. Lily of course walked right over to the round bale, pinned her ears and Paris moved off quickly. Lily is such a boss. The video camera was in the car so the filly just had to be taped as she was flying across the fields. She doesn't just fly, she floats!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Karin's Birthday

Rhonda invited us all over for dinner and what a dinner it was. She had prepared the perfect moist succulent ham, scalloped potatoes, a mixed vegetable with different kinds of green beans with carrots, yeast rolls with butter and Amish made black berry jam. Beth Herman brought a salad that was a meal in itself and Diane brought the dessert, 4 different kinds of cheese cake. We also celebrated mom's Spark's and Nancy's birthday. Karin was born in the 28th, mom and Spark on the 30th and Nancy on the 31st. A video clip of the dinner is below.
video

New Filly

Beth, the owner of Grace the Andalusian mare called today and left a message on our phone while we were at church. Grace had a black filly with a star this morning. She is very strong, cute and beautiful. She is taking her first afternoon nap in the picture above. Isn't she ADORABLE! They have named her Jenis as in (Genesis/Begining/First) as this is their first Friesian foal. They are all thrilled and so are we as we were getting concerned about the colt vs filly count!
They are so thrilled with their filly they want to book Grace for April.

Cotton Candy Machine Dilemma

UPDATE:
They will ship the machine back to us and I will give them back their money. I guess I'm out the extra shipping cost, the ebay fees, the paypal fees. Perhaps I'll fix it myself and forget selling it.

The old cotton candy machine was put up for sale on ebay. It was not working well, it was still working but just very slow. When I posted the ebay ad I was careful to describe it accurately. I also made a short video of it to show exactly how it worked. I answered many questions and was honest on everything. The ad also stated it was old and bought on ebay years ago. I posted it with no reserve but also noted there is no return. The shipping was posted at $35.00 but when we actually did ship it out it cost $66.00 as I had to ship it in 2 boxes.
When I get home from vacation there is a message from the person that bought it, he had it checked out and there are 2 things wrong with it. Gold Medal service tech told him it would cost about $260.00 to fix it like new so he wants to ship it back and wants all of his money back.
A new machine is around a thousand dollars so he still got a good buy.
My dilemma is that we had 28 bids on it, I paid ebay for the auction paid the $66.00 to ship, paypal took their cut and I DON'T WANT it back.
Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.
(one other note, the winning bidder is a pawn shop owner)

Vacation Pictures by Rachel

Rachel Sauder took the pictures below on our last day on the beautiful sugar white sands of Gulf Shores, Alabama. I took these pictures right off the last post of her blog.
David is blocking the ball and Philip is getting ready for the bounce. The ball actually had slammed into the net but still went over. Rachel's action shots are pretty awesome, just look at the expressions in their faces.
Caleb has just served the ball in the picture below.

Addyson is sleeping in her daddy's arms while Ben is waiting for his turn at volleyball.
This is Rachel's youngest son Luke riding the waves in.
Below is Logan with the skim board. There is a sandbar just a few feet out that is perfect for this activity.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Home and a New COLT

The drive seemed to go by quickly and both dogs were outside waiting for us. It was not easy trying to thread around 2 jumping, squirming dogs.
We rolled out of bed at 4:30am and were on the road by 4:45am. Once in the door my nose told me things were not as they should be. Emma must have had a few accidents and even cleaning up the one I found I am sitting here at this computer gagging by the puppy pee I'm smelling. Tomorrow, even though it is Sunday I think the floor will be scrubbed with bleach. The other problem we noticed is that Emma has chewed up the furniture. The joys of having a mastiff puppy without supervision. I am so regretting I didn't hire Ruth's kids to watch her.
There was a message on our answering machine that Anni had a colt. The owners are pretty thrilled because when I asked if they would take a picture for me, they replied, "oh we have only taken a hundred or so!" I forgot to ask if he has spots.
It is NOT sunny here, it is cold, cloudy and starting to rain. I miss the sun already.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Our Last Day

Rachel and David plus their 5 kids all made it down to Gulf Shores around 7:00am. We greeted them, then left for Hazel's for a wonderful breakfast. The only down side was they charged $4.99 for Addyson eating at the buffet and she only ate a few grapes. We were laughing that those few grapes were the most expensive food items of the entire trip.
Once back at the condo the kids started a volley ball game while mom and I headed to the beach for fishing. The fish were not biting, in fact they have not been biting the entire 2 weeks we have been here. We were blessed to see a pod of dolphin not too far from the beach chasing some bigger fish. The fish were jumping out of the water to get away from them and one dolphin jumped out of the water entirely. After watching the free dolphin show until they got too far away for us to follow with our eyes we headed over to the pool. It seemed like the entire group of 19 people were all crashed out at the pool. We had bright sunshine so it got pretty hot. A little before noon the kids all headed back to the condo for more volley ball. We watched their very competitive games for awhile before heading back to the beach. How wonderful that we have such nice weather for our last day. Rachel ordered 5 pizza's for dinner and we added our left over steak, hamburgers, peas, and chips and all 19 of us had a very filling dinner with ice cream yet to serve. We will have a singing out on the deck tonight. while we were waiting for the pizza's the dolphins came back right in front of our condo and put on quite a show. They were slapping the water with their flippers and tails. There was a large pod of them diving down about 50 yards past the sand bar. It was really neat to see them coming up from their dive, blowing, then diving back down.
Taunya thought she would get some packing done, started packing her suitcase went into the other room and when she came back this is what she saw. Addyson was having a good time helping her unpack.

Mom, Mark and I will be pulling out early next morning while the rest will be heading out later in the day.
All good news from home and we can't wait to get back to our dogs and horses. Oh yes we will be glad to see family also.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Food

We are officially out of food to cook for breakfast tomorrow. The kids suggested instead of going to Walmart for more, we all go to Hazel's. David loves to have their cook to order omelets.
We ended up driving to Walmart anyway for dinner foods. Tonight will be chicken stir fry with all the fixins including pineapple chunks, sugar snow peas, broccoli, cauflouer, carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, rice, chinese noodles, and soy sauce. We also bought more icecream, cookie dough, one box of cereal, a gallon of milk and French Vanilla cream for the coffee. This week alone we have spent $350.00 on groceries to feed 12 people, still cheaper than taking them all out every meal.
Mom bought 2 new stools for her condo then on the way home wanted to stop and get more shrimp for bait. Just as we were almost home decided to also stop at Souvenir city for postcards to take to Africa. After driving back to the condo we realized the stools were too tall so we loaded them back into the car and mom is now driving back to exchange them for the smaller stools.
Karin called to give me an update on Lily's filly. She text-ed Steven and he told her she is cantering around in the stall, what good news for me, she will be fine! THANK YOU STEVEN for all your hard work. You were determined this filly would live and worked with her all day to make sure she would. Steven emailed me these pictures taken yesterday. She is filling out beautifully.We had a beautiful morning during our devotions the sun was shining brightly and it looked to be a beautiful day but now at 10:30am the clouds have rolled in and I hear the sound of distant thunder. Mark walked to the rec center but took his phone so if needed he can be picked up, otherwise it will be a very wet walk.
The kids all drove to the rec center for pick up volley ball games and before the wind was too strong Addyson and I were sitting on the porch swing watching the storm coming in from the Gulf. It is an awesome sight.
The song this morning that is running through my head is How GREAT Is OUR GOD.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday Evening

All day the sun did not come out brightly, just shone through a haze of high thin clouds. Mom and I ended up over at the pool until 5:00pm. Then to Tequila's for dinner and back to the condo for church. Tonight instead of listening in on the phone we got streaming audio from the internet. How wonderful to listen in this way. It was ALMOST as good as being there in person. The sound is as good or better than if we were sitting in church. The only thing that would have been better is we could have seen Mike and Craig as they were preaching.
The kids all walked to TCBY but we adults decided to have our icecream here, we still have some left overs.

Already Wednesday

OK, the internet was fixed on Monday but Tuesday was out and the repair man could not be here until Wed around 11:00am but he got it fixed and we are again on line. I haven't heard from anyone today about Lily's filly but yesterdays news was all good.
Yesterday was our nicest day yet, bright sunshine and warm. This is Addyson all ready to head over to the pool. Phil, Anna and Mark went out fishing before sunrise and the only fish caught was hardly big enough to give the herons. Mom went boogie boarding after fishing for hours and not getting a single bite. The waves knocked her down while fishing but had settled down some by the time she got the boards out for surfing. The kids spent hours by the pool, some swimming (briefly) and some reading or napping. David, Phil, Anna, and Ben walked up to the public beach where a volleyball tournament was just starting. They got in a few pickup games and won them all. As they told us "oh they weren't that good, they were just college kids!" If they had known of the tournament they probably would have entered and got their fix of volleyball for the trip. The tournament had many teams entered and it was double elimination. Gary and Nancy Schmidgall decided to honor us by spending the day with us.
David had 2 coworkers and their families come over for dinner so Mark and Gary grilled hamburgers over at the pool. We had 22 people for dinner and only 4 hamburger patties left once everyone had their fill. Then it was over to mom's condo for the rest of the evening.
Today we watched the sun rise through the heavy fog then walked. There is not much garbage on the beach, spring break is over for some colleges and starts again next week. It is not as warm as yesterday and hazy today.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Steak Dinner


WE had a wonderful rib eye steak dinner tonight consisting of of course the fabulous ribeye steak, butter sauteed mushrooms, sauteed onions, baked sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar, wild rice, mixed vegetables with a cheddar cheese sauce, and our favorite; ice cream with caramel and decaf coffee for dessert. The kids spent the day shopping and came back starving so all of them were ready for this feast. Below is during the dinner and the last picture is the end of the meal!



The sun came out around 4:30pm so mom and I took a walk down the beach while Mark watched Addyson. It was good to get out, after being in the condo because of the cold and windy conditions.
Steven Marchal had to call the vet for Lily's filly. 'She just wasn't nursing so Dr. Pallen came out and pumped in some colostrum then around 4:15 pm she started nursing on her own. Thank you Steven for spending the entire day working with her.
Karin called on her way home to tell me that she went over to the farm, woke up the filly and she ran right over to Lily and started nursing. Now we are praying she got enough colostrum.

Lily's New Filly




What a beautiful picture of mom and filly right after birth. Thanks so much Rachel Sauder of momentscapturedbyrachel.com

This morning the wind is coming strong from the north and the waves are rolling in like white stallions. As the sun is starting to rise, the wind is catching the waves and throwing back the spray into long pink and gold manes rising out of the top of each wave and flowing backward. The gulf looks like hundreds of white chargers all touched with pink and gold.
We came in from the porch to start cooking breakfast when Diane called that Lily was delivering her foal. Diane and Rachel described the action as the back legs were delivered. This is exactly a month early but not unusual for Lily. Rachel then got on the phone and told me it was a boy. We called Steven Marchal to prepare him for a long day ahead as sometimes when the foal is born a month early they don't have the sucking reflex right away and he headed to my house to pick up a bottle and banimine just in case. Before he even left the house, Rachel called back to tell me it was not a boy but a GIRL, so Steven was called back to tell him it was a filly.
By 10:00am we decided we needed to call Hoerr Vet. Clinic, the filly is starting to root but won't latch on to the nipple or the bottle. Steven is milking Lily to get enough colostrum for the vet to pump into her little stomach. If this foal would be older, I would let it go on for a while but as she is a month early, I won't take a chance.
Rachel took some pictures and she has promised to email me some, I can't wait to meet this new little one and am so glad I have dedicated people all willing to help so I can enjoy my vacation.
Here she is taking her first nap on Rachel's camera bag.
Rachel was able to also take a picture of her first wobbly steps.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Original Oyster House

The extreme winds were causing the waves pictured above. This picture was taken off the balcony of mom's condo and doesn't really show how angry the waves are. They are at least 6 to 9 foot tall and crashing into each other before hitting the beach. These are not the nice rolling waves for riding, these are dangerous and the red flags are out on all the beaches. The wind caused us to cancel our grilling steak plans and head to the Original Oyster House for dinner. After dinner Rhoda decided to order a pie to take back to the condo. Addyson got a taste a little early.
We will enjoy the pie later with some decaf coffee, the last I brought from home.

Sunday Morning

Almost all of us where up early this morning, the storm last night dumped buckets of rain and the deck and porch were soaked. The wind gusts must have been close to 50 miles an hour. We saw the volley ball net blow over.
We had a great breakfast this morning. Fresh baked hot fluffy biscuits with blackberry jam, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, cheddar cheese, melon, coffee cake, orange juice and piping hot coffee. After breakfast Mark had the devotions on Colossians and the following discussion was thought provoking.
Mom, Mark and I listened in to the Peoria church then off to clean the beach. We had a tough time walking into the wind and the water was as high as I've seen it almost reaching to some of the condos. I found another pair of flip flops buried in the sand. These were a men's pair so once back to the condo, I cleaned them up and put them out on the porch. We will see if any of the guys wonder about whose they are.
We were home in time to listen to the Easter program from Peoria.
The kids and Mark left for the rec center while mom and I are watching Addyson.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

They ALL Made it!

The internet has been down and would not connect today until just now. We had a very good day. Eva Jean and Marilyn left at 4:45am for home and the van load of kids pulled into Gulf Shores right around 6:30am. They stopped at Hazel's for a great breakfast before making the last mile. We were so glad they made it safely. Philip and Ben did all the driving. The kids crashed over at the pool in the bright sunshine and slept then for dinner mom and I babysat Addyson while they walked to Bahama Bob's for dinner. We were waiting to hear that Eva Jean and Marilyn made it home but no word. We called Janelle but she hadn't heard from them either. Finally around 10:30 we got the phone call that they were safely home. This morning the second car load consisting of Mark, David, Stephanie and Rhoda pulled in at 6:00am and they went straight to bed. David drove most of the trip allowing Mark to drive the midnight to 3:00am shift. We were thrilled all of us are where we need to be.
This morning the sunrise was beautiful and I took many pictures of the glorious colors.
The first picture was just as the sky started to break into the beautiful colors. The cloud in the sky looked as if the edges were on fire. The next 3 are as the sun rose.
The breakfast was served later around 9:30 and everyone actually made it, even the sleepers. The sunshine was brilliant and by the pool was so hot Taunya, mom, and I went swimming in the pool. The water was FREEZING but helped us cool down. Rhoda is sound asleep in the picture below, she was up most of the night sitting up on the long drive. We laughed that she needed her sun glasses for the nap.
Addyson couldn't wait to get her swim suit on, she loved the little pool just for her.

We have been waiting on Comcast to come fix the internet and they keep telling us it will be fixed but the problem is bigger than they thought.
In the afternoon the wind picked up and waves were getting huge. There were some wind surfers out and watching them was amazing, they were being lifted high up into the sky and dropped. They were doing flips while in the air. I took some video of them also.
Tonight we grilled marinated chicken breast on the charcoal grill over by the pool and served that with wild rice, peas, crescent rolls, baked potatoes with sour cream and butter. All was delicious. Mom and I took off for a walk after dinner up to the public beach. We found a pair of flip flops floating in the ocean, cleaned them off and gave them to the girls. They actually were kind of cute and were Rhoda's size. The wind was so hard we opened our coats and let the wind blow us home.
The kids are all in unit 129 and playing cards, even Mark is joining them. I'm heading over to 128 to stay with mom.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Saying Goodby

The sunshine was bright yesterday until about 11:30am when the clouds started rolling in. We were to meet Gary and Nancy at Lamberts, the home of the throwed rolls at 2:00pm thinking then would not be crowded. What a joke, good thing Gary and Nancy got there 15 minutes before us and got a booth. By the time we pulled up just a little after 2:00 the line was out the door and down one side of the building 5-6 people deep. The portions are huge, tasty, and there is no sharing. Eva Jean got knocked in the head by a roll mom was trying to catch. Marilyn dropped the first roll thrown to her but was able to catch the second. The man throwing the rolls was clear across the room. Our table wasn't big enough for all the food brought. We ended up bringing most of our meals back for another day. The pass arounds are so good that we filled up on those so could only eat a few bites of our real meals.
Once home the sun came back outside but most of us just wanted to lie down to digest so no going over to the pool. By this time it was after 4:00pm. Nancy took Marilyn shopping for some last minute treasures. They ended up in Orange Beach and Marilyn bought me a very nice Good Life t shirt, I'll have to save it for choir, it is a light blue and I'm sure I will stain it up if worn to work. By the time they came back from the shopping trip we decided to walk off some of our heavy dinner and took a stroll down the beach heading into the sun. One fisher man had a huge sheephead fish in a bucket. First fish we have seen caught this trip down. Once back to mom's condo we watched some television while enjoying ice cream and decaf coffee. Don't know how we can get so tired from a lazy vacation but it seemed we were all ready for bed early last night. Sound asleep at 8:30pm when the phone rings, it was Mark from home. He will be here early Saturday morning but it was nice to talk to him and get all caught up on the news going on in Peoria.
Eva Jean and Marilyn had plans to leave around 5:00am today but we were awakened by noise around 2:30am and think they must have also and decided to leave then. Mom jumped up at 5:00 and headed out to say good-by to them but Eva Jean's car was already gone. Everyone pray they make it home safely without ending up in another state.
My children should be pulling up within the hour.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sunrise Walk


We started this morning before the sunrise which was pretty so took a few pictures before picking up over 3 bags of garbage.
On our way home a flock of terns flew in from their long migration. There were thousands of them.



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dinner at Bahama Bobs

The six of us decided to go to Bahama Bob's for dinner, the traffic coming from the malls was unbelievable. With spring break here, and a cloudy day it seemed everyone was out shopping in Foley. We were suppose to eat at Lamberts but by the time the shoppers made it home they were too tired to even consider driving back up to Foley. The Bahama Burger is fabulous made with a third pound of ground beef, a slice of pineapple, tomato, lettuce, pickles, onions and mayo. Three of us ordered that and mom ordered the fish burger, not so good, a little fishy tasting. After dinner we came to this condo and listened in to the Peoria AC church service. Once church was over we had a wonderful time visiting until finally Gary and Nancy decided they needed to get back to the campground. This vacation has been such a delight. The company, the weather, and the scenery has just been refreshing. We decided to meet at Lamberts around 2:00pm tomorrow.

Salem, MS Wildcats


On our walk today we met the Salem, Mississippi Wildcats softball team out on the beach. They were enjoying the sea and sand even though it is cloudy today. Notice the huge castle in the forefront. It even had a huge moat around it with 2 columns of dribble trees I was not able to get in the picture.

Fishing



It was pretty cool but mom wanted to try fishing. We ended up carrying the fishing pole and the bait on our walk, no fish were biting today.

Rain

Gary and Nancy Schmidgall met us at the Original Oyster House for dinner last night. Talk about delicious, even Eva Jean who doesn't like fish ate every bite. Eva Jean and Marilyn paid for our bill and thinking over I think we forgot to thank them. We had a wonderful time over dinner and once over went shopping at souvenir city. Marilyn bought some shirts, Eva Jean a key chain and I bought a pair of sandals. Now I can walk on the beach without having to wear my tennis shoes. This way I can show off my toes from the pedicure. Funny story when mom finally noticed my toes, she tells me that my toenails are too long and need to be clipped not realizing the white part was painted on. Once back at the condo we had cake and ice cream for dessert. The laughing and conversation was so loud I was glad the neighbors had left for the evening. The Schmidgalls left for the State Park around 8:30pm after Gary fixed a few of our most needed problems promising to bring his tools in the morning.
We woke up this morning to rain on the porch at 5:30am and decided no walking in the rain. Mom and I had our coffee in bed while reading so we didn't wake up the other 2 ladies.
Around 7:00am everyone was up and we had fun visiting until breakfast which was served at 8:30am. We sat over breakfast until 9:30 when Marilyn realized the Schmidgalls were to be arriving at 10:00am for shopping and jumped up to get dressed. Nancy took the ladies to the big shopping malls in Foley while Gary tightened our toilet down with his wrench.
Mom wants to go out fishing as soon as it warms up a little. The sun is not suppose to break through the clouds until this afternoon. We have plans to drive back into Foley for dinner at Lamberts tonight.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gary and Nancy Schmidgall

We knew Gary and Nancy were camping at the state park so drove over to visit and see their new motorhome. Wow is that fantastic.

The pictures of the inside of their WOW motorhome below.


Just look at the bedroom, the bed is KING sized.

We had a wonderful visit deciding to meet for dinner then dessert. We made plans to meet them at the Original Oyster House for dinner at 4:00pm and then over here for dessert.
What a nice campsite.

Sunshine

Monday morning sound asleep when I hear mom coming into the room. I mumble "room service, is the coffee here?" open my eyes and she is bringing in a cup of coffee for me. What a WONDERFUL start to the morning. This was around 7:00am so once the coffee was finished we started our walk with our garbage bags going east toward the sun. We reached the Pink Pony before turning around and heading back.
Mom made pancakes using a pan from this condo, was so frustrated she walked over to hers and got one of her pans. After breakfast we start over to the pool and realize there is a car parked under 128, mom's unit. Mom was worried she had walked in on a customer but we found out later it was just the inspector making sure the condo was perfect for the next guests.
Marilyn and Eva Jean didn't make it until after 6:00pm. They started out on 74 East down to 57 South and then instead of hitting 24 East they stayed on 57 until they hooked up with 55 south and ended up going to Mississippi. As they pulled in both ladies exclaimed "if anyone else says how easy this trip is we are going to go crazy!" A trip that took us 14.5 hours of driving took them over 20 hours, they ended up going 200 miles out of the way and driving through Biloxi and Mobile.
They were exhausted! Mom had dinner prepared and ready for when they arrived so we ate the very tasty paprika chicken, vegetables, salad, and ice cream for dessert. We visited until after 10:00pm and laughed so hard the people upstairs pounded on the ceiling so off to bed we went.
This morning after our walk we made a nice breakfast of pancakes, scrambled cheese eggs, bacon, mangos, strawberries, juice and coffee. Then off to the beach to feed the seagulls. Below is Eva Jean actually having a gull take it from her hand. We were so proud of her.

The next few are of all three mom, Eva Jean and Marilyn feeding the gulls.


and finally 2 gulls fighting over the same piece of chicken fat.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Our Trip Down

We pulled out just a few minutes after 5:00am, mom was a little late. Yesterday she tried to smooth down one of the ridges on the driveway, sunk very deep into the ever present mud, was barely able to get the car out and then on the drive into Peoria the car would vibrate terribly if she drove more than 50 miles an hour. Ruth is going to take it to Riekers on Monday to get the rocks out of the tires. What is my 77, almost 78 year old mother doing trying to flatten a driveway with her Buick Ultra.
The drive down was smooth and easy, no problems at all and we arrived at Lani Kai 129 right at 7:36pm. Our projected time was 7:30 so we were only 6 minutes late. We stopped at a Waffle House for breakfast around 10:30am and that was what put us a back a few minutes. My children don’t like to stop and eat and mom and I felt very extravagant taking the 20 minutes for a breakfast on china.
We were very pleasantly surprised once in the condo at all the food the Koch’s left us. There were 4 different kinds of ice cream and we each had a small bowl before bed. There were also cookies, cheese, milk, and bread so no grocery shopping for a few days. Mom looked everything over, tried to get the rust off one of the bathroom sinks, kept announcing how much she liked her condo compared to this one and then decided that hers must NEVER be sold.
The time change is this weekend. We changed our watches but there are no clocks in the condo and were both in bed by 10:30pm the new time. It felt so wonderful to get horizontal.
Sunday Morning:
Up at 7:00am to watch the sunrise which can’t be seen very well from this condo, then after a leisurely 2 cups of coffee later our walk down the beach carrying Wal-mart bags for garbage. There is not a lot of garbage on the beach but mom feels it is her job to make sure the entire place is in the best possible condition before Eva Jean and Marilyn get here on Monday. Really she just likes to clean the beach.
We made breakfast of eggs, sausage, whole grain toast, blackberry jam, juice and coffee, then listened in to the Peoria church service. By the time that was over we decided to drive down to Orange Beach for an art show but mom forgot to get the address so we didn’t find the show. We put on our suits and headed over to the pool for some reading, sun and nap time. As we headed up the stairs we realized that the renters in mom’s condo had left so broke in, tried to get on Internet but no go, went through the owners closet for supplies, then back into our own condo. Two more times during the day we thought of things we could use so went back inside moms to get them.
Dinner was a chicken breast poached in white wine then browned in olive oil on a pita bread with shredded Cheddar cheese and a few nuts mixed in. It was very tasty. We ate some left over cherry cheesecake ice cream for dessert then decided to watch the Tommie Turvey video. We could not figure out how to get any of the dvd players in this condo to work so decided to go over to mom’s condo to watch it. As we opened up the door we noticed the lights on and commented we don’t remember leaving the lights on when we realized the cleaners were there getting the condo ready for the guest coming in tomorrow.
We remembered that my laptop plays videos and finally got to watch Tommie on that. The sun was going down when mom decided she wanted to drive down to the lagoon to watch the sunset but the roads are crowded and we didn’t make it in time but still a nice drive seeing all the new houses and high rises along the beach. Once back the cleaners were gone so in we went to check out their job and the condo looked and smelled very nice except mom noticed the porch table had not been cleaned so into the owners closet again for the cleaning supplies and back to work she went.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Off to the Coast

Last night, the girls finally used the Christmas gift from Mark and I and their scheduled pedicures. This was great except they insisted I go along and they also bought ME a pedicure. It was a first for both Karin and I. Karin was teasing that they were going to have to take the power sander out for my feet and we all laughed until I saw him (the man giving me the pedicure) walk over to the table and get out his power tools. OK, I guess I really don't take very good care of my feet! Once he was done with about every tool in the book, it was like,"ooo la la!" After all 6 of us were done we met the men and had dinner at Logan's Steak House then home to finish laundry and pack.
Mom was afraid her alarm would not go off at 4:00am and wanted a phone call. Even though it is just the 2 of us traveling and really there is no deadline, she could not be convinced to not worry, that whenever she wakes up and gets here would be a great time to leave. She REALLY wants to leave at 5:00am so of course I was up about every hour checking the time. Finally around 3:50am just decided may as well get up, put the suitcase and cooler in the car, and then sit with a fresh cup of coffee while I wait for 5:00am. The drive down to the gulf is easy only 14 hours, this way we will arrive, if all goes well, around 7:00pm.
The cooler at this moment is probably the most expensive piece of equipment in the car as it is filled with meat. Yesterday I bought a whole 16 pound prime rib roast and had it sliced into steaks which was then repackaged and placed in the freezer. The cooler is also packed with a 6 pound bag of frozen chicken breast, 3 pounds of sausage, 3 pounds of Oscar Meyer bacon, and 5 dozen fresh brown eggs. Not that there is no food in Gulf Shores, there is a Wal-Mart right in town, it just down at the Gulf, it is hard to find GOOD beef and as long as I'm taking a cooler, I may as well take the fresh eggs and what ever else fits. I will be feeding only 4 ladies the first week and my precious family of 12 for the second week.
I'm taking the lap top but may not have internet until we are able to get into mom's condo on Thursday. If I don't answer emails right away, just be patient.
Time to GO!!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Haiti Post from Joan

JOANS NOTE:
Alice is the one who was coordinating all of the flights for the medical teams. She gave me permission to put her journal on Reinhard Connection facebook. Doc is her husband, Darrell and Steve is their son who is a Ortho. Resident. I left her journal just as is as she has done a great job of getting the feel of the heart of things. Enjoy and to God be the Glory!!!

. Dear Doc;

I am going to try to tell you about my adventure in Haiti so far.
Friday
Are you ready for the ride? First of all we got to the Cleveland Airport and it was bad weather. We are wondering are we even going to be able to fly out? We get up to the ticket counter, they tell us our flight is cancelled and they check one of our bags, trying to get us on an earlier flight and realize that we are not going to make it, they make us go after our bag. Then they let try to get us on another flight. Vickie and I just sit there grinning, realizing that if we get snotty, we may well be on our way home to Sterling, OH. Sure enough they reroute us thru Charlotte, NC and we can fly into Fort Lauderdale rather than our original destination of Miami. We say sure, and off we go. Our flight to Charlotte/Ft. Lauderdale was uneventful. We get a shuttle to Miami and say overnight in a hotel there. God was faithful.
Saturday
We leave for the Miami airport at 4:30 a.m. for a international flight to PAP. What a beautiful ride? Got to the PAP airport and things began to happen. The airport has got some new things there and we were impressed how quickly we got thru customs. We got all of our luggage and stayed together as we went thru the mobs to get on our bus. The ACWR rented an air conditioned bus for us it was very full, but none the less very nice.
We traveled thru Port and saw so much devastation, it could make you cry.
No where for all the ruin to go. People and tent cities everywhere. Life is just sad. We traveled on and stopped for gas after a few hours, had a Haitian experience with going to the bathroom. We asked the attendant where the bathroom was and she pointed us to door to go in, it was outside and basically, I'll leave the rest for you to imagine. Then the rains came. It rained and rained and rained and the roads began to wash out.
What should have taken us 4.55 hours took us 10 hours. We were told at one point that most likely we would spend the night on the bus. Now think about it, every seat was taken and there were very big people on this bus and no where to relax, I was riding on the seat with the wheel hump and my legs had not dangled for hours, they just plain hurt. People had to go to the bathroom, they would squat outside of the bus in the rain. Now remember it is raining very hard and one lady fell and was wet and muddy and had to come back on the bus. The UN finally came and used there big equipment and we made it to the guest house about 8:30 p.m. We got there, had no clothes because the van which was behind us couldn't make it as fast it we. So we went to bed without showers and in our clothes. What a day?
We prayed and sang on that bus, and God show us who was in control another day.
Sunday
Woke up to a room full of suitcases, yes we could have clothes to go to church. We still didn't get to bath, no running water, but we had clean clothes and could dress up. What a awesome experience to go to church with the Haitian. The singing was beautiful and the sermon was about sincerity.
We can have God in our heart, but not be sincere. We were to be like Joseph, Elijah and James. We went to LSM's orphanage and saw the new facility. Went out to eat at Nami, a Haitian restaurant, there 36 in total eating, a total of three teams here. One for construction, two medical teams, one at Bonne Finn and one at Cayes. We visited and sang at the nursing home and the hospital, had supper at the guest house and a singing on the roof at Tim and Joan's. We then went back to the guest house and enjoyed a little fellowship and went to bed after a hot shower at Tim's house.
One more thing honey. While you and Steve were here, Sheila said you were declared Papa Doc and Baby Doc. She told me my official name this week is Mama Doc, and by the way, in Haiti, I have a new profession, I am a nurse.
(However, I learned later that Papa Doc and Baby Doc were not a good thing, but in your case it was very good:-)
Monday
Today we woke up with a plan. Because of the rain, we have not been able to get to Bonne Finn, so we were going to Tim and Joan's to organize supplies and the two docs and PTs went to Cayes to work on patients. About mid morning, they told us that we could not drive all the way to Bonne Finn because the roads were washed out due to the 18 inches of rain they received. The flooding here was tremendous and has done much damage to the Cayes and Bonne Finn area. Much farming is lost and banana trees down, so sad. Later in the morning they came and told us that they would take us to where the road washed out, get your essentials only and you can hike to Bonne Finn the rest of the way. We'll I was a little nervous because I am not in good shape, but was willing to do whatever to get to the hospital where we were needed. It ended up, I got to take a helicopter ride to Bonne Finn and it was beautiful and fun, but others should have gotten to ride before me. We are now here safely, doing rounds right now and then intend to get started again early in the morning. Life here is one big adventure. Telling the teams to be flexible was one thing, but didn't realize how flexible you needed to be:)
Tim and Joan and Jan and Val along with Sheila are amazing, they just go with the flow. I love you, please pray for me, we don't know what tomorrow holds, but know who holds tomorrow.
XXOOXX
Alice
Let the kids know I love them.
Second Note sent home
______________________________________________________________

Good morning Dear!
I'm am not sure where I left off when I wrote last time, but thought I would let you know first I love you and second I am right where God wants me to be and third, I am for physically and mentally tired at the end of the day, I sleep so good. My new best friend has become Motrin, just to help with the pain in my legs, but I am so thankful to bring a little smile to these peoples lives.
One thing I forgot to tell you was that on the airplane ride from Miami to PAP, my seat assignment was 5A. I was expecting to ride coach so kept on walking couldn't find my seat and had spent a good amount of money on breakfast for a little of nothing because they told us we wouldn't get much to each until we got to Cayes. (which ended up being 8:30 p.m. Saturday
evening) To make a long story short, my seat was in first class, I was offered an omelet and turned it down because I was not hungry anymore. But it was cushy, and that was pretty much the end of my cushy experience.
Almost the entire plane going to PAP was full of missionaries ready to help the Haitian people. What an awesome experience.
Tuesday~
This morning we are up early ready to go and meet the people of the hospital. I was to help Sheila, that quickly changed and then I was to help in the recovery room, but then they decided I was Miss Personality and they put me in PT where I got to help people walk and go outside and when we were done, I could wipe their face with a clothes and give them a candy for good job and made friends quickly. We had sooooo many patients to take care of, wow. But they smile and sing and wave at you when you pass by, it is just so fulfilling, I can't begin to explain the spiritual part of it all. I meet Dr. Rudolph and Brazile and some of the others that know you and Steve. They still talk about you with a big smile. Honey, I am so proud of you for coming down here and making a difference. God gave me a Hero and I get to follow you down here and proudly proclaim, you are my husband and son. We are learning to love rice and beans, and I mean I enjoy them. Before we left this day, we sang children songs with them, we in English they in Creole, it was divine. My tired body became animated and we were like the Haitian, just singing and loving the moment.
Wednesday~
We start off the day going to Creole devotions, what a wonderful blessing.
They ask each of us to stand up and say who were are. I told them I was Alice Widmer and that my husband and son had been here to couple of weeks ago. They remembered you. Sheila told me to tell them that Steve gave his life to Christ. I told them and Dr. Rudolph interpreted it for me. They clapped and praised God. They count it a victory for Steve to come to Christ. Dr. Rudolph either in his prayer or later that day said, isn't it something that all these people suffer so that Steve can come to Christ.
Steve they love you. I took my photos today with me. My job today was to give massages and measure their feet for shoes. If you give one person in the room a massage, you will end up giving everyone in the room a massage.
They all want what the other gets. So I would sit beside and massage their wounds and they show them the pictures and they would say Steve, Darrell and we would laugh and smile. I would tell the room the story of Steve's salvation and they would clap and praise God. Ralph gets to go home today, he was tickled to see your picture Steve. He and I have become friends, it will be hard to never see him again. I hope we see each other in Heaven.
Linda is a lady in the front room of the hospital, second bed, she was a nurse and has lost one leg. They asked me if I heard her sing, I hadn't so they told her to sing to me, I just wept, tears running down my face. The lady I was massaging said, Miss Alice, sick? I was sniffling and I had to find composure, it was so beautiful.
Thursday~
Today my job is to pass out shoes to all the patients and then the families if there is enough left. I better get to work.
I love you and thank you for allowing this experience. That God gave us the means to go out into the world and make a difference.
Until then - my heart will go on singing - Alice
Finish of my diary
______________________________________________________________
Thursday~
To start my day, I was given a couple of bags of shoes, remember on Wednesday I measured their feet and got their shoe sizes. So in the middle of the hospital, kind of like the receptionist area Linus, my interpreter and I were sorting shoes. We began passing out shoes, but the Haitian patients families began swarming around the receptionist area wanting shoes for themselves. Linus had to let them know the patient get shoes first.
Before I could pass them all out the shoes were gone, I decided they all needed shoes, so whoever got a pair of shoes that day, they were winners.
Today, I got to pass out cereal and nutrition bars to the patients and the families, that brought a smile to everyone, some wanted two. There was just enough for everyone one. Later Miss Sheila had me pass out donuts and cheese/peanut butter crackers. I was gaining lots of friends. Often when they see me, they wonder what they will get next. I was also given the job to pass out clothes. The clothes went quickly but all the patients were presented with a pair of socks. The teddy bears and other toys you sent us were given to the children, some outside the compound of the hospital and many inside. The patients have been given much. If someone were to ask me what to send next, I would say food. They need food.
In the afternoon, Ben, the PT and I wanted to have a group therapy where we would take any of the patients outside and play games with them. It wasn't as successful as we wanted but two young boys played a couple of games and we passed out bubbles and colors and coloring books. The adults wanted the toys and had a big argument over it with Ben and I. It was tough, they were not happy with us, they think you have something that you don't and they say they have children at home, we tell them go get them, we'll be happy to give them to the children, turns out they were not truthful and it makes you sad, because you are there to make friends not enemies.
The doctors come out of surgery early today, they do the afternoon rounds about 4:30, we get home about 6:30 for dinner and then we had a group discussion. We talked about our highs and lows. It was good therapy and we had to laugh and cry, but we are bonding and making friends for a life time.
We then go back to hospital for a quick note, we have a patient who needs surgery in the morning - need to put NPO on the chart so she doesn't eat after midnight and then if was off for a tarantula hunt. Our group didn't find any down the mountain, but those going up the mountain found about 20.
They were big.
Friday~
We got the Creole devotions this morning, the Haitian people thank us for coming and they pray for our safe return to American. They are begging us to pray that there hospital can stay open and that the ACWR will continue to fund the hospital. There has been much corruption in the running of this hospital that many Christian organizations has pulled out funding.
They need to be accountable to their organizations for funds and things were coming up missing. Thus the hospital is in jeopardy of being closed down.
We begin our work, helping with PT and then massaging the people one last time. I help the nurses, and we try to get the meds ready for the weekend.
We especially wanted those with CIPRO to have continuity thru weekend.
CIPRO is an antibiotic and is prescribed for so many days. As I said before if one patient gets something they all want it. We had one girl say, the lady beside her got CIPRO, she wanted it, we told her no, she said it was on her chart as PRN, we had to giggle, CIPRO would not be prescribed PRN and thru our interpreter we got it straight. There were always fires to be put out and with the language barrier it wasn't that easy.
It is time to go, we need to leave the compound at 4:00 p.m. to get down the mountain before dark. The roads were in good repair because the UN had worked hard, the road going from Bonne Finn to Cayes is the only way down the mountain, it is very important that it be open. A day shy of a week, the road was very good to travel on. Just as we wanted to say good-bye, the ER got very busy, a TAP TAP holding about 30 people had run into a motorcycle and there were about 30 people injured. Karen and I worked to clean up an Aids patient, yes we double gloved, and checked to see if anyone else need attention immediately, we left Dr. Rudy and Dr. Adele with a big task. Dr. Adele came and told us good bye and she had to cry.
We went down the mountain in a big hurry, to dinner and the new guest house. It had no running water, and we had taken cold showers all week, so we were allowed to go to Tim's again and get a hot shower and put on clean clothes.
Saturday~
The alarm went off, I jumped out of bed and began saying my morning prayers, only to find out the alarm went off at 12:50 a.m. instead of 3:00 a.m. I went back to bed, but didn't sleep well. Too many creatures outside singing. The roasters and dogs:-) Up at 3:00 and they picked us up at 3:30, we boarded the bus and left for PAP. The ride this time took us 4.5 hours rather than 10. It was a treat. We again drove thru the devastation and I had to cry. This song came to mind.
What did I ever do, that was worth loving you, or the pleasure you shown, Tell me Lord....
If you think there's a way, I could try to repay, all the kindness you shown Lord help me Jesus, I've wasted it so, help me Jesus, my soul's in your care.
And now that I know that I needed you so, help Jesus, my soul's in your care.
(Something like that) tears are running down my face, and I start singing
I'd rather have Jesus than anything, this world afford today.
More than silver or gold, houses or lands, I'd just rather have Jesus.
We are now at the PAP airport, they mayhem begins, we go thru security three times, but we get on the plane to USA. Many missionaries are returning, the man sitting beside me shares his story, I tell him about my husband and son and how Steve found Jesus and tears are running down his face. The ride home is bittersweet. So many memories, so much good done, and so much more to do.
We part ways in Ft. Lauderdale and get home safely about 10:30 p.m.
I love you all - Alice
Today is Monday, I can't stop crying, John I think the Clariden isn't working, but I have sweet memories and I left a piece of my heart there.
So glad have met each of you. You will be my friends for life.

Email from Rhonda

Family
Spring has sprung - we are thankful.
Of course, that means major clean up here and there.
We are planning a work day for mom/grandma Meister on Saturday, may 8 beginning at 9 a.m. We will work in the a.m. hopefully ending by noon. lunch will be provided.
Please let me know if you can attend. We may plan a second work day in the fall for those who cannot help in the spring.
I just talked to mom/grandma a few minutes ago and she certainly thinks it is a wonderful gift! She asked me to ask if anyone borrowed her light weight binoculars. She needs them for her Africa trip.
thanks,
Rhonda

A reminder that today would be Gabriel's 6th birthday. Please lift them up in prayer.

Getting ready to go SOUTH

Up early this morning, so much to do. Mom and I are leaving tomorrow for Gulf Shores, Alabama. We will be down there 5 days before the rest of the family comes in. We have 2 condos rented this year, that gives us 4 bedrooms, 2 living rooms, 2 kitchens, and 4 bathrooms. The condos share a stairwell and are right across the hall from each other, so convenient.
The house must be cleaned, the laundry done so the packing can be done, the snow tires removed from the front of my Toyota and the back tires put on the front as they have a little more tread. By rotating we should be able to get another summer out of the tires. Just don't want to drive south with snow tires on tacky, tacky, tacky. The unpacking of the trunks from the show just might have to wait. There is a month before we need them again.
The cotton candy machine was placed on ebay and has bids so that will need to be boxed and ready for shipping before the day ends.
Mark was up at 5:00am and let Emma out the back door. Emma doesn't like to go outside without Darcy and wet right on the back stairs so that should be rinsed down. Mark thought she was scared to go out in the dark. Big Chicken!
Praying that Lily will not deliver until we are home on the 28th. She is not due until April 21st but usually delivers early. Steven has offered to keep an eye on her.
Good news is we got a couple loads of gravel and Mike was able to spread it on some of the very bad spots on the farm driveway. We have a load of wood being delivered for the office and now they should be able to make it up without getting stuck.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Frustration

This morning was pretty frustrating. Trying to pay one bill with an autopay seemed so easy but after an hour the bank tells me it can't be done. The problem is that the check one month was cashed by someone not authorized to cash it, the payee says its lost, asks for a replacement, and then we find out that both checks were cashed. Then this month supposedly the check didn't arrive until AFTER the stop payment was placed at $35.00 which was charged to the payee as we knew the check was sent out March 1st. So back to the office where both Philip and Mark say, just use bill pay, so get on line, then on the phone to sign up for bill pay and fine out at this bank it is a 'nominal' fee of $4.95 a month but I'm ONLY sending out ONE check each month out of this account, this is just not acceptable. It only took 3 hours and 45 minutes 2 trips out to the payee's house 1 trip to the bank and back to the shop to find out it can't be done. The receptionist tells me to just drive to the bank each month and deposit the check into the payee's account. Why is this our problem? I ended up just sending a replacement check through the mail again.
The afternoon went much better, Addyson came over to play with grandma, Rhoda and Sarah! Below is Rhoda putting her hat on Addyson.

Emma had to check out this strange sight.
and the side view
The TAKE OFF! Poor Addyson was having a bad hair day. We all know about Hat HAIR!