Friday, September 29, 2017

Camping at Cuivre River State Park {RV’ing}


Even though this state park is only 40 minutes from our home, we knew the site we wanted, and it allowed us to spend all our time Monday through Wednesday with camping (instead of driving) and trying out all the new stuff on the RV. AND, we went at a time when it would be isolated and serene. That’s us, way down at the end site!


First evening, we fired up the new hibachi grill, perfect for just the two of us. Fried potatoes/onion, a camping necessity, worked great in the electric skillet.


It was actually unseasonably hot, so we appreciated the air conditioner.


Cooled off enough to enjoy the evening fire! Toasted marshmallows, late evening, while listening to the Cardinals game.


Even though the temperatures did not feel like autumn, the sound of the acorns hitting the RV reminded us that it is fall!


We walked a lot, making several trips around the [empty] campground. Not a lot of color in the leaves yet, but the persimmons and the leaves on the sassafras tree provided a welcome touch of autumn color.


The most necessary of all necessities—good coffee. To ensure that, we travel with our single-serve Keurig.

September 2017 Thor Compas 23TB

By the time we broke camp, we had pretty much figured out all the systems and feel reasonably confident that we know what we’re doing with our new unit.

Easy-peasy to drive home, unload and be back to “normal” in an hour and fifteen minutes! Ready for the next trip—next up, a road trip through part of our state to see the fall foliage (what little there may be this year!).

#RVing #camping #CuivreRiver #ThorCompass #blessed

Thursday, September 28, 2017

SBU Homecoming - Hubby’s 50-Year Reunion {Sentimental Journey}

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Russell’s Southwest Baptist College (now Southwest Baptist University) graduating class (1967). On September 23rd, we joined several of his classmates (and their spouses, several of whom were in my graduating class of 1969) on campus, for the 50-Year Club Luncheon, where the class of ‘67 was inducted, followed by the 1967 Class Reunion.


What a great idea to put the yearbook photo on the nametag, so that everyone could recognize their classmates—50 years brings a lot of change!

Table placards 57 on one side 67 on the other

The luncheon tables featured a centerpiece with information about 1967 on one side and 1957 on the opposite side.

Sandy McDonald Jones a friend in my class of 1969

I always enjoy re-connecting with one of my classmates, as her husband was in Russell’s class. Sandy McDonald Jones and I suffered through Chemistry during our last summer at Southwest. She always says that I got her through the class, but I just remember that we both hated it and that we studied together.

Class of 67 at 50 year reunion

This is the group that was present at the reunion, and Russell remembered, and visited with, most of them. I was proud of Russell, youngest-looking one there (I’m not biased). When the university president was handing out the 50-year-club pins, he said to Russell, “Your hair’s too dark [for this pin].” He is blessed to be naturally (genetic) late to gray!

Sadly, we learned that one of Russell’s best friends had passed away in 2009.


It’s always a Sentimental Journey to travel down memory lane at reunions. We feel very blessed to have been a part of the rich history of this university, and it was an honor to be a part of a group that included so many successful contributors to society (and, as a side note, amazing to know how many of the couples have also been married around 50 years!).

#SentimentalJourney #SBUniv #SBUHomecoming2017 #Classof1967 #blessed

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Leisure Time: Life Assessment {HeartStrings~RV’ing}


September 8, 2017 - Out to celebrate our 52nd anniversary. Time to assess and review, again. We often, of late, have discussions about how we want to spend our days. Notice I didn’t say, “how to live out our days,” or “how to spend the days we have left,” or any other morbid way of stating what may be the unavoidable truth and yet can be controlled by us, in terms of how we actually view it, and how we “speak it.”

And, in reality, anyone who is retired should be having these evaluative discussions. Time moves quickly. Days fly by. A year passes before you know it. Our time is limited. So, once the requirements of jobs and work are no longer, it really is wise to think about it. How do we want to spend our days?

We stay busy. In addition to keeping up communication with our children and grandchildren and activities with our siblings/spouses (our best friends), hubby works outside on our place, clearing brush, cutting wood, and checking over the property on his Side by Side.


I keep very occupied with my hobbies of scrapbooking and art. I also enjoy playing my baby grand piano and working on music for the praise band at our church (keyboard).


new keyboard

But we are realizing that what we don’t want to do is to spend every day the same way, even if the things we are doing are fun and far from boring. We like to add a little more excitement into the mix, a little more of the unexpected, a little more serendipity.

So one of the results of our recent “review” was that we fondly recalled how much we always loved camping and cross-country travel (just for the heck of it). Russell has wanted a motorhome for a long time (although we had tabled active discussions on the subject for the last few years), and he deserves to have it. Besides, I happen to share his feelings about it. My requirement: must “reside” at our place—no storing it off-site.

We decided to look for something very small that would be easy to drive, easy to get down our driveway lane, and could be parked on the driveway next to the house.



Found it! A Thor Compass, she is 23.5’ long and has everything we need, including a slide that allows for a queen-sized bed. And love that automatic awning!!

We have taken her out for a one-night camping trip so far. We will certainly use it for camping but also plan to totally enjoy it for cross-country travel (pretty much sick of hotels, frankly).





So, one of my blog categories is now “RV’ing.”

Oh, and another result of the review and assessment: I’m pretty sick of Facebook (especially with the recent change that means if I follow someone I see everything they like, who they have become friends with, and whatever else Facebook deems I would want to see). I am considering blogging more, using Instagram more and Facebook less (or maybe not at all). I’m in charge of me. Remember, I get to decide how I spend my days, and in the end, in the end, I don’t want to spend so many hours of those precious days allowing someone else to set my mood and tell me how to think and feel. So, that’s what I have to say about that!

#HeartStrings #RVing #Thor #Compass #Motorhome

Friday, September 8, 2017

Fifty-two Years Ago {HeartStrings}

Bride and Groom

I have always loved memories. But as time passes (I like the way that sounds better than “the older I get”), sometimes the memories evoke such a flood of emotions that I cannot even express my feelings. Such a day is today, as my husband and I celebrate 52 years of marriage. I can hardly even write about the wealth of blessings and memories. But I want to “mark” the day.

So, I’ll just share some of our wedding pictures. (Note: the pictures are black and white—not because it was the “cool” choice like today, but because the price difference between b/w and color was an insurmountable obstacle. We did have a professional photographer, and my parents paid for the pictures: $50. That was the deal. I paid for the cake.).

The wedding took place at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, where I met Russell when Daddy came there to be the pastor, on June 28, 1959.

Attendants Assist Bride

CandlelightersHere Comes the Bride

My Grandad walked me down the aisle, as Daddy was the  officiating minister.

The Ceremony

The Kiss


Yeah, sweat (not just glistening). It was 92 degrees that evening, no a/c in the church.

Russell and Barbara's Wedding 9-8-1965

The Rings

The photographer suggested our “rings” photo be taken with our hands on Daddy’s Bible—as a last-second thought, I opened it to 1Corinthians 13, the Love Chapter.

While prof photo of rings being taken sept 8 1965

Snapshot taken (color—yay!) while the photographer was taking the “rings” shot.

The Wedding Party

Our entire wedding party was our siblings, except for the ring bearer. The cousin who was supposed to be the ring bearer got sick at the last minute, so the son of a friend filled in. The bridal party was my sisters; the groom’s party was his brothers. The candlelighters were his sister and my brother. My mother made all the dresses, including my bridal gown and my going-away suit, in six weeks.

Frosted Lime Punch made by Mother Our Wedding sept 8 1965The Cake

Snapshot - Reception in the basement of the church.

Going Away

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sing a New Song {Bible Art} {Around Peaceful Acres}

Bible Art New Song

In my 40-day prayer challenge book, Draw a Circle by Mark Batterson, one of the days emphasized the point that God likes to hear a new song—He likes it when we get out of our rut and vary our ways of communicating with Him—maybe a new place for the prayer time, or maybe a new song.

Psalm 96:1 says, “Sing a new song to the Lord.” I love that.

So, as I was focusing on that verse for a Bible art journaling page, what came to my mind was an image of a bird. Maybe that’s because a “new” hobby for my husband and myself is setting up bird feeders and watching the birds from our bedroom windows (high above the feeders and our woods). As we were watching the birds a couple of mornings ago, I remarked to my husband that another manifestation (there are so many) of the miraculous hand of the Creator is the fact that each individual bird has its own song. Obviously, the markings on each bird are unique. But, even the song is unique. Each has its own song. I just think that’s amazing.


Male and female goldfinch


Wood Thrush


Downy Woodpecker (female)




Cardinal (male)


Tufted Titmouse




Juvenile Cardinal


Black-capped Chickadee


Young Grosbeak




Bible Art New Song

#BibleArtJournaling #IllustratedFaith #SingaNewSong #BirdsofMO #ScriptureArt #FaithArt #AcrylicPaint #DistressInk