Sunday, September 25, 2016

On the move, well sort of.

Terry here.

Left Warsaw Indiana after visiting Dale's family for two nights, we departed the fairgrounds this morning at 9:15 and arrived at Summit Lake State Park close to New Castle Indiana at 12 noon.  Summit Lake has been upgraded to supply 50amp power also, so we're back since we can run both of our AC/heatpumps without worrying about low voltage.  We are located near the small town we lived in for over 30 years and we return each spring and fall for various medical appointments, hair, veterinarian, broker and the like. Tomorrow it all kicks off with a early morning visit to the local vampires at the New Castle Clinic, after 3 rather full days we'll be done. We'll finish up our visit with  dinner and a play date for Duchess in Muncie at Dave and Mark's with Baxter a fellow Scottie. Thursday morning we will have 5 days to cover the 600+ miles to Charlottesville VA to visit Jocelyn, Tom, Ronan and Aenea for a week. So begins our trek to Mission Texas for the winter.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Winding down. . .

The bad summer that would never end is about to close for us. We will be leaving northern Indiana on Friday and traveling south to visit with Mom for a day or two before we head to central Indiana and doctor appointments. Hopefully there won't be any more problems and we will be able to get the storage condo all closed up this week.

We were over yesterday to drop off Duchess while we went out to dinner with friends. When we got there the garage door was open. We are quite certain we did not leave it that way, but when Uncle Dan stopped by, he said it had been up for two days. While we were talking, Terry got to checking things and found a loose wire on the keypad. He fixed that and then changed the code to be sure no one had the combination for it. He's rather handy to have around.

I don't think that I mentioned the result of the neurosurgeon appointment. We had a good meeting and I was able to report that this epidural I had barely worked. I do feel better, but it doesn't cover all my activities. . . still had some breakthrough pain doing things like vacuuming. . . I know, I know. . .just don't do it. He believes that surgery will help me. I have spondylolisthesis, which refers to the forward displacement of a vertebral bone in relation to the natural curve of the spine, most commonly occurring after a fracture, and most often the fifth lumbar vertebra. I have two of these in my back. One I knew about when it was diagnosed at age 20 and another higher up in my back. It will require fusion of 4 vertebrae. They will also use "cages" and rods to stabilize it. It will take a year to heal and the fusions to adhere. We're thinking I will do this when I return to Indy in the spring for our doctor appointments. I think it would be a good move for me. I should be able to straighten up and to walk without a limp.

Sunday morning we got word that Terry's first cousins, Gary and Marty and their wives, Jo and Betty, we in a serious auto accident near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They were in Gary's truck, a Ford F-250 heavy duty crew cab diesel pickup with a long bed. They were stopped in traffic on I-12, ironically for an accident, when they were rear-ended by a tow truck. The tow truck was a flat bed, that they winch vehicles up on it. It was a much larger commercial truck and was doing 60 mph, never hitting his brakes. He ran over and pushed Gary's truck off to the side and another 450 yards (yes, I said that correctly) before it all came to a stop. The air bags did not deploy for some reason. The truck bed was smashed all the way to the back seat of the truck. Three of them had to be cut out of the truck. It is unbelievable that anyone survived when you see the pictures of the wreck. They have a variety of injuries, broken wrist, broken nose, multiple broken ribs, cuts, contusions and abrasions. They are all home from the hospital now and Marty and Betty have flown back to Michigan. In fact, we went to see them Friday night. Their daughter, who is a nurse, was there caring for them. They are recovering.
Meanwhile in Louisiana, Gary's sister, Shirley, drove down from Missisippi to care for them. It is wonderful they have family to help them in this time of need. They are doing okay now, but Gary has revisited the hospital twice, once for blood clots  and once for arm pain. They still have many doctor appointments and tests to go yet and some things that haven't been resolved, but we just have to wait till they heal and recover from this devastating wreck. There may be some surgeries yet to come depending on the findings of the tests. Please keep them in your prayers, please.

We have been trying to find a different vehicle to two behind our motorhome. We really like our little Sport Trac, but would like to retire it. We still would like a little truck to tow but there are only two lightweight trucks and we didn't like the one we test drove. So we will keep looking and hope we find something. The little truck is still running fine, but she is 13 years old.

We have enjoyed dinner dates with friends and relatives recently. We try to touch base with everyone when we are here in the summer. This year was a little more difficult with so many things happening.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Friday, September 09, 2016

Busy, busy, busy

When we got back from Amish country, we were able to park at Elkhart Campground once again. They have had so many rallies coming in and they are getting bigger and bigger, so it is hard to get a spot for a few weeks. If you can rent a spot for a month that is better and we are settled in nice and cozy. We have nice neighbors that are here for a while as well and we have made a lot of new acquaintances.

Duchess is making the transition to being an "only" dog. It's obvious she misses Butterscotch, but she is not exhibiting a lot of anxiety that Neal did when Bailey died. I think it really helped that she was there and with her friend when she died. She seems to understand that she isn't coming back. That has helped immensely.

We have spent some time down in Warsaw with Mom and helping rid her of some food stuffs she wants out of her trailer for the winter. Happy to oblige Mom! She now has bought her plane ticket and will be flying to Houston in November while we are there for Terry's cardiology appointment. We will then take her down to the valley with us. It will be a good trip.

Our little truck got sick and puked all over its engine a couple weeks ago. Since we were concerned that it happened in the manner it did, we didn't want to drive it, so we had her towed over to Bruce's. He was covered up and didn't get to it right away, but the news is mostly good. The puke was green and while most people screamed "antifreeze," it wasn't actually that. It was gelled which was a mystery to us, but not to Bruce. It was the dye he had earlier put into the A/C system to trace a leak. A pressure relief valve had popped off and that was what allowed the dye to escape. We actually could have driven it anywhere, but wouldn't have had A/C, which would not have been good the past few weeks. So we got her back the other day and all is well.

Speaking of the weather, we have had some hot, stormy weather, but mostly tons of rain. We are now enjoying some relief from the heat and yesterday and the next few days promise to be cooler and sunny days. Cooler, but still nice and warm during the day.

Unfortunately, there has been another death in the family. My brother-in-law Jim's father passed away last week. He was 96 and while no one was surprised, it is still hard to adjust to life without a parent. There will be a lot of decisions and changes to make in the next few months for the family. His calling and funeral will be Monday, the 12th. So starting in July when Daddy died, my niece's dog died, then our dog died, Jim's dad died and his little dog died as well. That's a lot for any family, so we hope we are done for awhile. We have stayed close to northern Indiana to try and be with and around family. It's been a bad few months.

We are ready to head south. . .

Till next time. . .

Dale


Friday, August 26, 2016

Amish

We camped for two days this week in Quabache State Park near Bluffton, Indiana, in Amish country. If I need to "regroup" for any reason, we head for Amish country. My family roots are intertwined with the Amish and I find the country to be serene, peaceful and therapeutic. If we were out west, I would head for the desert, which I find spiritual and inspirational, but in the midwest, it is Amish country.

Wednesday night at 6 p.m. storms rolled through the area and tornadoes were sighted. We were evacuated to the comfort stations which are considerably more safe than our RV's. When we visited our favorite bakery on Thursday morning, we discovered a tornado had passed between the Graber's home and shop. The end of the shop was peppered with leaves and debris and a door was torn off. The wooden bench out in front of the store was shattered and left in the field, but the rest of their property was largely unscathed. 

However, right next door a large Amish home and barn was ravaged by the tornado. Siding and roofs were blown away and one shed was blown to pieces. Another newer large shed was left completely intact and no lives (animal or human) were lost and no one was injured. I told Marie that we had seen that house when we drove in, but the lack of debris around led us to believe it was just a work in progress. She said, "No, it happened at 6 p.m. and was totally cleaned up last night. Then the repair work started this morning." The Amish do not buy insurance, but you have to think. Insurance is just money we put into a pool to be paid out when there is a loss. After adjusters, reports, etc., are all filed, materials ordered, contractors hired, etc, etc, etc. The Amish have their own insurance. It's called helping one another. They all come together to help a friend in need. They bring their tools, their equipment, their supplies, their labor and food is prepared to feed the workers. One field was set aside for all the buggies and horses with someone attending them. Terry was amazed that at just 10 a.m. trailers full of lumber and supplies were already there and 50-60 men were swarming all over the barn and the house. It was a wonderful sight.

Never is one family ever left to fend for themselves. They all move in and help. Everyone had a job to do and they were working hard to get things back in order for this family. This is their religion and this is who they are.

Till next time. . . 

Dale

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Amish country

Visited some Amish shops around Berne, Indiana, today. Interesting, but didn't buy much. We did happen upon these camels out in the middle of the country though!



Till next time. . .

Dale

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Goodbye Miss. Butter-Scotch of Killdeer 9/23/2005-08/22/2016

 

Our sweet sweet Butterscotch has lost her battle with TCC, aka transitional cell carcinoma, a deadly form of bladder cancer.  She died just shy of her 11th birthday. We loved her till the end and will forever love and miss her.

She started a year and a half ago with recurrent bladder infections and if I had known more about TCC then, I would have taken her straight to Purdue's chief researcher and world reknowned authority on the disease. When we left the Rio Grande Valley this spring, that is where we took her and Dr. Knapp officially confirmed what our little gal was facing. They offered us chemo, etc., and we declined, opting for a more palliative medicine, but one which has shown promise against this deadly disease. We were told May 12 we could expect about 160 days, or about 5 months. But just a short three months later, she is gone.

We were camped for the weekend in Ohio with friends Tab and Deanna. On Saturday, she quit eating and couldn't pee the first half of the day. That is the big sign. . . if they can't pee, they will be in extreme pain and their kidneys fail and the fluid fills their systems. I had so worried we had waited too long, but then later in the day, she was able to pass some fluid besides just blood. She still wouldn't eat or drink and I couldn't give her the medicines that would help. Sunday was a repeat of Saturday, so I contacted our vet tech and she said to bring her in on Monday when our regular vet was working. We were 85 miles from our vet of 30 years and I am glad for that. He and his office are the most kind, compassionate people and know us and our pets very well.

We drove over Monday
in the morning and allowed Butterscotch one last attempt to pee outside. When we took her in she seemed scared, something she never is at the vets. I held her for some time and then put her up on the table. I continued to hold her and we put Duchess up on the table with her. Nathan, the newest vet in the practice came in and talked with us at length. Such a kind man. He went through school when I taught at New Castle, but I didn't have him. He gave Butterscotch a sedation shot which really put her at ease. . . not asleep, but no more pain. She was laying on her side and Duchess put her head very close to Butterscotch's muzzle and kept it there. I truly think she was trying to understand what was happening. She had to know she wasn't well. They had not walked together for months, because Butterscotch could not walk any distance. Dr. Wisecup came in a delivered the shot in her hind leg so as not to disturb Duchess' vigil over her friend. Then she was gone.

We've had to do this with all but one of our dogs and it is never easy. Even when we know it is the right thing to do. Dr. Wisecup says that ending our pet's suffering is the final act of love we can do for them and I believe that. It would not have been long before her systems would have shut down and I didn't want to wait for that to happen. That becomes an emergency and then we would not have been able to make the two hour trip to our long-time vet. He will be cremating her and scattering her ashes around his apple trees. All my dogs are there so they are all together.

Butterscotch and Duchess lived most of their lives in West Virginia on a farm. They chased every rodent known to man and killed as many as they could. I know there was a skunk they got and a large ground hog. There were five Scotties running free and doing the job they were bred for. We got the girls just three years ago. They retired and spent their time traveling with us in our motorhome. They regularly visit Virginia, Florida, Louisiana and Texas. In the summer they spend time in Indiana and loved their special visits with my Mom and Dad.

By having Duchess there with Butterscotch at the end we are hoping to avoid the kinds of anxiety and other problems we had with Neal after Bailey died. So far Duchess seems to be doing okay. She and Butterscotch used to sleep a lot of the time, but now Duchess sits in the middle of the room and watches us, not sleeping all that much. But she doesn't seem to be anxious or nervous or anything. I know she misses her sister, they have been together since Duchess was born. We are taking good care of her and hoping she is able to get past losing her best friend.

Till next time. . .

Dale


Monday, August 22, 2016

Not much direction. . .

It's been hard trying to get interested in doing anything in the way of travel since Daddy died. We just kind of waiver between where to go and what to do. We have spent several weekends down in Warsaw seeing Mom and trying to keep all our spirits up. She is fortunate to have a network of kids and grandkids and great-grandkids who visit and spend quality time with her. She is so loved and she tells me she certainly feels that.

She plans to go to Texas this winter. Her thoughts are that she will clean out the trailer there and sort through stuff to keep. The plan is to sell the place there in Texas. Then in the spring she will go back to her place in Claypool. Her traveling back and forth to Texas will come to an end, but she has a lovely place in Nita's woods, so she will have family near her at all times. She is thinking of flying to Houston and we will pick her up there on our way through and head on down to the valley.

I had to go to Indianapolis last week and get a shot in my back. The surgeon I went to didn't want to start with surgery; he thought I should try the shot first. I had an epidural 12 years ago and it really helped but I consider that a band-aid. I have a condition in my back known as spondylolisthesis. It's where the vertebrae shift enough that the bones in the back are no longer aligned. I knew about the spot at the base, which is the result of a Pars defect, but xrays show I actually have another spot as well. It would require fusing about 5 vertebrae.  So I went to get a shot to help ease my pain. I don't think I will have to have another one because it's been a week and so far I can't even tell I had one. This shot was done a lot differently than my first one and the first one helped a great deal. So not sure the next step. I have to wait two months between appointments with this doctor, so even though I started in May, the summer is shot and I can't have anything done now before we leave the state.

When we left Indy, we drove over to Saint Marys, Ohio, and camped at the Grand Lake State Park. We have a friend who workcamps here and he was anxious to see us. We met Dan and his wife Dee when we had our first big campout of fulltimers back in 2005. They were in the same camp, had just gone full time and joined out little group. They have been part of us every since and we have made lifelong friends. Unfortunately, Dan's wife Dee passed away two years ago and this was the first we had seen him since. He seems to be doing well and has quite the support group of workcampers and family in the area. Tab and Deanna were coming in the next day to camp with us for the weekend, so we had a great time seeing them. They visited with Dan as well, being part of the same fulltiming group.

We had quite a storm come through the camp on Saturday night. They were talking 70 mph winds and I believe it. I have never seen it like that, but it was straight line winds and our motorhome was sitting with the back pointing toward the wind direction, so offered the least resistance. We didn't rock and roll too much. So many stupid campers though. Our loop got hit the worse and almost every travel trailer had left their awning out. First hint of a storm, and our stuff all comes in. But most of the awnings were ripped up and the arms broken and thrown up and over the trailers. I'm not sure why they think those flimsy things are gonna withstand some heavy winds. Idiots. The park rangers and watercraft personnel were out immediately writing up accidents reports for insurance claims. They were certainly busy in our loop and it was nice that they were there to do that for the campers. There was only one large limb that came down and that fell right onto an empty campsite. Other than that, there were a lot of smaller limbs, but I don't think there was any damage from limbs coming down.

Tab and Deanna left on Sunday and we stayed over till Tuesday and then headed to the Berne, Indiana, Amish country. We enjoy shopping at the Amish businesses over there.

Till next time. . .

Dale