Monday, June 29, 2009

Thirty Years of Dedicated Service

I suppose one can say it is official. I have thirty years of service with the State of Tennessee. During those years I have worked with the Departments of Safety, Environment & Conservation, Agriculture and TN Wildlife Resources. I also did a stint with the Departments of Personnel and Revenue but that was the time from hell so I won't count them. I also worked at the TBI and that was one of the most fun and challenging jobs I had. Oh, but there was nothing like working for TN State Parks and being around the people in that agency. They look at work a little differently than most employees. They know how to work hard AND play hard.

I enjoyed most of my time working in Human Resources/Employee Development. I have learned a lot. I was able to get my BS degree while working for state government. I have traveled into all 95 counties of this great state. I am proud to say that if I get into a fix anywhere in this state, I could pick up the phone and call someone and they would come to my rescue. I have tried to treat every employee like they are special and feel important because they are.

Having a big old hug from Ed certainly doesn't hurt.

I was glad that our new Executive Director, Ed Carter, presented me with my plaque. He kind of "grew up" in the agency and is extremely well liked and respected across the nation and in the boating arena, internationally.

It will be especially difficult for me to continue working until October but I have to keep telling myself that by doing so it will further my goals of where I want to be next year.

I also received a broach with an emerald on it. The emerald was about the size of a pin head so don't get excited thinking that state government is wasting your taxpayer money on jewels for their employees.

Now, what did I do with the plaque, you may ask. See I have no wall that I want to devote as a "me" wall, so I took the brass plate off the plaque and gave the wooden base back to Ann (she's the person who orders awards) to use for another recipient. What I'll do with the brass plate is still a mystery. TWRA also provides a plaque to those people who retire from this agency. I told Ann to take the money they would spend on that plaque and buy me something useful. Don't know if she will do that, but it's my request. Hey, I the boss of that area, surely I can order me what I want, right? LOL


Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I sure hate that Ed McMahon died. He was such an icon thanks to Johnny Carson. I know he has been on hard times lately but it's sad he is gone.

I've been trying to come up with an easy to stay in touch with my family and close friends. I don't want to put information on my blog until after I leave a place so I came up with the idea of keeping my Google calendar up dated and give them permission to view it. Brilliant! So I get everywhere I'm gonna be posted to my calendar and then click share and it brings up an email to mail to recipients. I fill all the addresses into the To and then explain what I'm doing and why. The first email I get back is from my BFF, Debbie, asking what she is to do next. I just naturally assumed there would be a link for her to click on and then she could proceed from there. I click help and see what's up. Well, everyone has to have a Google account in order to see my calendar. That would have been nice to know before hand. Oh, well, I'll help her out tomorrow night and then I'll know how to talk others through it.

I really like Google and all it offers. I have this blog, Picasa for photos, gmail, and other things I'm just beginning to explore. Oh, and their maps and Google Earth is just the best. Gmail has chat, IM and video chat, however everyone has to have a Google account in order to chat with them. Video chat is much like Skype and that works very well for me.

I've been busy planning my travelling schedule through my birthday, July 2010. It's been fun and a little challenging. I had found one place in Miami I thought would be good. I called a good friend, Bill, who is from Miami and his family still lives there. I asked him if he knew anything about the park. He said it had been years since he had been there but he would ask his sister. He said NO WAY I should stay there, high crime area. I love friends. They never steer you in the wrong direction so his mother (86) is on the hunt for me a good place to stay a month. Lots of her friends have RVs and know the best place. I love it! Thanks Bill. Hope it works out. Hope I haven't waited too late. South FL in winter, hum, may have.

I hope the next leg of my trip is as easy to plan and that I have a definitive trip in mind. I think that is what made it so easy to plan. Since it's my first time out, I'm sure I'll refine some things and learn from mistakes. One good thing is most of my trip will be paid for before I retire so the most expensive trip will not hurt so badly. Anytime you make reservations at a state park in FL, you pay for it upfront. That works well for me now, next year I'll be on a tighter budget so it will be interesting to see how that does for me.

I got an email from my friend, Margie, today asking how I kept up with what I wanted to see in different states, sort of a Bucket List. She keeps an Access database which is a great idea. I keep my info in an alpha folder by state. Any article I read that is interesting or a place I want to go, I tear it out of the mag, newspaper, print a copy and in that state alpha. Works fine except when there are more than one state in an alpha, i.e., MI, MN, MA. Yes, you get the idea. I'm sure that will be something I'll perfect as time goes on.

Margie and Roger are preparing to go full time as soon as their house is sold. She keeps a great blog that outlines their preparation for full time. She also is selling her class B motorhome. It is just about the best style I have seen for "Bs". She has a link to her sell site. If you are interested, check it out.

Sedona is going to Duchess' birthday party tomorrow night. She is trying to decide what to wear. Such a hard choice for a little one. There will be many other cute dogs there. Should be interesting. I'll have pictures later.

Talked to Becky today. They are all moved in, now they just have unpacking ahead of them. It's nice for them to be 2 hrs behind us. Especially after 9:00 Verizon talking.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Good bye, Becky

Life changes. Sometimes it's not changes we would want or understand but life changes. My BFF, Becky, left a few days ago and will be living in Nevada. It all happened so fast. She began talking about moving to AZ or NV last year. She retired, took the buyout. She began downsizing by selling things on Craigslist and having garage sales. All this much like that has been happening to me. Becky put her house on the market in Hendersonville and within 2 days her house was SOLD. Soo now what?

Got to get to Vegas and start looking for somewhere to live. She happened to be out at Vegas the same time I was out there. They found a home. Now it was time to get out there. They loaded up a big Penske truck, driven by Ron's (Becky's husband) brother-in-law pulling their car. A u-haul trailer on the back of their pick-up truck, driven by Ron and off they went with Knipper and Molly, their 2 big dogs.

I would talk to her every once in a while, they were in W Memphis, Arkansas, they were driving through the Ozarks, now they are in OK, she said it was sure flat there. Then when I talked to her and they were outside Holbrook AZ, heading to Winslow. Well you are going to stop and stand on the corner in Winslow, aren't you, I asked? She didn't know but maybe. The Eagles would be disappointed if you didn't watch the flat bed Ford...

Talked to her today and they are in Henderson and had just bought new appliances to be delivered tomorrow. They sign the papers tomorrow and after the deed is recorded can move in on Tuesday. Good Luck and best wishes. Sure hope she finds me an RV park out there! Nah, I'll just take the extra bedroom. LOL
These are a few memories of our life here in Nashville and on some of our trips. I'll miss her but I'll be leaving this place in October and I'll still have my BFFs, no matter where my front yard is. Oh, some pictures I couldn't post.

Bec and I have laughed, cried, drank, gotten mad, been happy and have experienced a lot of things that only friends can share. We were too close, according to employers and needed to be split up because we were too powerful together. Oh, what did they know. We accomplished more things at that place than they ever would with use gone. Oh well, their loss. Our bond never waivered. It was fun and funny and I'm glad we were/are friends.

This is a new chapter in Becky and Ron's life and I hope they have much happiness.

Love you, BFF.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Las Vegas

Someone let me know that I had not posted about my trip to Las Vegas. Purpose: Roy was going to bowl in the big tournament out there on a team from Athens, TN. There were about 64 of them bowling. It was a good excuse for me and Theda to go out there with him. Roy had never been and I figured his Aunt needed to show him the ropes.

Can't say a lot about what went on there because you know, "what goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas!" I can show you a few pictures though. What I can say is the Tropicana hotel is one of the oldest on the strip. It still has mirrors up over the beds and on the walls. It is also the ONLY hotel in Vegas that has a swim up blackjack table. Very unique and very fun! We all had a great time and were very tired upon our return.

Friday, June 19, 2009

American Pie-Freemont Street Las Vegas

Below is a short video I took at the Summer of '69 celebration at Freemont Street in Las Vegas. This was the year I graduated high school so I could relate to Rare Earth and the other bands who were on the line up. It was a cool deja vu experience.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

One more Sedona Post

In case you dog lovers didn't know, they make dog ice cream. It's called Frosty Paws and Sedona loves it. She doesn't get the whole cup at one sitting even though she thinks she can. It's in the ice cream section and not all stores carry it. Happy shopping.

Oh, and if you notice her shirt (how could you not), it is an original Tye Dye Mary shirt. I bought it for my granddaughter, Taylor, when she was born. She was a preemie. I ran across the shirt when I was moving and thought, 'hey, I bet Sedona could wear this.' Sure enough, she can and does. Now when we dress alike, and yes, I have a shirt just like it, people look at us a little strange.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sedona's new hair cut & fashion show

It was time for a hair cut so I thought that was something I could do. Ooops! Here is the before picture and after pictures. I'll sure have to put sunscreen on her when she is outside for a period of time. What we say in the south, "Bless her heart!" I think she is almost embarrassed. What the heck, it'll grow back.

In these next shots I think she looks more like a Chihuahua than a Yorkie.

So to make up for scalping my little one, I went shopping for her. She needed a new collar which I found one that is pink and has little paws that are reflective at night.

Also she needed a new harness and my friend Margie has been successful with the fabric ones for her little Anne and Buddy so I thought that Sedona needed one too. Of course it's pink.

This little cutie needed something with a flamingo on it so when she meets the Women RV forum ladies she will feel right at home. That is the mascot the forum has decided upon and for some of us it was easy to just fall right into place with flamingos and parrots.

Then I found the smiley face which is also reflective and knew I just had to have it. When I got it home, Sedona seemed to agree. She liked it and wore it most of the evening. When she is outside at night, I shouldn't lose her,

Since this is the 40th celebration of Woodstock '69, what dog could miss out on the fun? Not Sedona that's for sure. She is shown here sporting a brown tye dye shirt with a metallic peace sign. She's a with it dog. Here sign is a little hard to see in this picture but if you click on it, you'll see a larger image.

As with all fashion conscious dogs, Sedona had to have a sport dress with a hoodie. So this navy and stripped dress is the bomb for this season. The ruffles don't make her butt look too big do they?

The good thing about this shopping trip was I found everything except the collar & harness on sale for $2.00 each. I didn't feel too guilty for getting my little darlin' a new wardrobe at that price.

Now, lest you think I did no shopping for myself, here is a pair of pj's I found that you know I just had to have...


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Black Bear Cove in Benton TN

I know it's been a while since I have posted but a lot has been going on. Let's start with Memorial Day weekend. Jonathan's grandmother passed. Gladys Wilson was a good mother-in-law and a very good grandmother to Jonathan in spite of the split between his father and I when he was three. She was in her 90's and lived a very good life until the last six months when her mind began to fail her.
So in order to spend time with Jonathan and Taylor during this time I called the Black Bear Cove RV Resort to see if they had any sites available on short notice. They had one. It was meant for me to be there

Behind the cg is the Hiwassee River. It was about 10 degrees cooler sitting down by the river and was just a nice place to get away. You can tell Roy thinks the water is cold.

My great nephew, Jacob, put my never used grill together.

My immediate family is from around that area so we were able to spend time together and be there for Jonathan & Taylor at the same time. Being in the area gave us all support. At one point there were 27 people at the campsite, visiting and enjoying each other's company and stoking the fire for dinner and later, smores.

Nephews Roy and Jerry and Great Nephew Jacob furnished the fire wood and built the fire and kept it stoked.

It was good for me too. His brother Josh put my new 22" flat screen LCD up with a wall mount. I took the big TV out of the cavernous hole that can now be used for terrific storage. I just had all kinds of help.

The resort has a lodge and a very nice restaurant that the local go to for special occasions. It's a little pricey for the area but apparently very good. The owners came up from Atlanta where he was a contractor. They have three phases of the resort. They began with the lodge and restaurant; then came the RV park which is well done. It has a few narrow roads approaching it and all the roads are gravel inside the park but it didn't cause a problem. If you get on the single digit sites there is a line of trees that offer great shade in the evening.

The sewer taps are too high, since when does sewer run uphill when emptying??? I will definitely stay at this cg again. One thing to note during high season or holidays, visitors must pay $5 per vehicle to come in and believe me, there is a little drill sergeant who makes sure everyone is following all the rules. I liked it so much, I decided to stay another day. It was worth it.