Saturday, September 29, 2018

Back to traveling!


A week or so ago, we closed up the house and took off in Phaeton Place for the Warsaw fairgrounds. We stayed there for a couple nights and visited with Mom and sister Nita and husband. We enjoyed a great visit. Mom is in great shape for 93 years old with no real complaints.  She is living in her own house, a park model in Nita's woods, and is as independent as she wants to be. Nita visits every day and sees to it that she has what she needs. All the same things we did for her when we would be with her in Texas for the winter. But Mom has decided she will not return to Texas anymore. Our job is to sell her place when we get there and we hope to get that done pronto.

After leaving Warsaw, we went to New Castle and set up camp at Summit Lake State Park, near our former home in Mooreland. We stay there and do the rounds of our doctors which we kept when we went fulltime and travel all over. You gotta' be somewhere for doctor's appointments, so we stick with our old providers.

We managed to have some fun at the same time by visiting with a colleague of mine. They have a Scottish Terrier, Baxter, and he and Duchess got to visit. Didn't really do much together. . . they are like two ships that pass in the night. But it was a change of scenery for Duchess and she does enjoy their back yard!

Our yearly doctor appointments went well. Terry's doctor reinforced our thinking on his medical problems, particularly his heart issues. He confirmed that Terry can build his heart back up from where it is now and perhaps get back into the same physical condition he was in prior to getting sick last winter. That illness really dragged him down and reduced his heart function, but he is already doing better. It will just take time and we are working on getting his stamina back. Walking daily has already improved that, so we are hoping to continue.

We then saw his cardiologist in Indy. He made a couple med changes which we hoped he would. One med he takes is a rhythm drug and the doctor had scaled back on it. Other doctors have tried that, but it seems they all want to give it a go. But it doesn't work for Terry. So they are increasing that again. At least we know from the tests they did this summer that the med, previously suspected of causing lung problems, has not in fact done anything to his lungs, so they were okay with increasing it again.

So we are back on the road and heading toward Virginia to see the kids. . . at least the first round! We will get into Charlottesville on Sunday and visit with Jocelyn, Tom, Ronan, Aenea and Pepper for a week! Whoo hoo! Can't wait to see them. It's been a long summer without my grandkids fix.

We are currently camped at Camp Creek, West Virginia, which is a neat little state park we found a couple years ago. We even have a full hookup site and it's paved. There are streams and waterfalls all around us and it's quite loud when we step outside. I was concerned about the level rising as these streams are raging pretty good right now what with all the rain they have had here. But they assure us the worst is over. The picture on the left and the picture on the right are the same MashFork falls, two years ago and yesterday.


We will go make a supply run today before leaving tomorrow. And do a little hiking.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Friday, September 28, 2018

You may notice a large void. . .

Suffice to say, it's been the worst of times. Terry's health continued to be at the forefront of our thoughts all summer long and getting him back into better and healthier condition was goal number one.

He did start walking again. A physical therapist gave him some exercises, but most importantly told him what he could safely do with his heart condition. He started out walking 10 minutes 3 times a day. He now is up to 35 minutes once a day and walking about 1.5 miles. His sleep problems are ever present, but he spends most of the night in bed and not in a chair, so that is definitely an improvement.

We did get to touch base with some friends this summer and managed to get in his high school reunion and then mine. Those were great times with old friends. These were both our 50th reunions, so a lot of people made extra effort to be there. Mine was a three-day event, starting with a meet and greet kind of thing on Friday night. Then on Saturday, there was a golf outing, a tour of the high school and downtown Goshen. Saturday night was our big event, a dinner, a silent auction to raise money for our scholarship fund, and dancing and mingling. Really enjoyed seeing everyone again. Sunday we had a ride on the "LilyPad" which is a tour boat that goes around Lake Wawasee. It's been years since we have been on that lake and it was a lot of fun. It was a hot day and most of the day we were on the top deck in the breeze, but later when we turned into the sun, we went downstairs into the air conditioning.

Our big plan for the summer was to get the house emptied and sold. Had Terry been well, we would have probably got that done, but as it was. . . it didn't happen. But as he got to feeling better, he did start working with me.

We took two pickup loads of stuff to Goodwill and a half load to electronic recycling. I boxed up most everything that was in closets, cupboards and dressers. Everything is labeled and ready to be packed into the trailer or put out next summer for a garage sale. All the furniture will be sold and there is some nice stuff, but we don't want to continue to pay for storage for it after we sell the house. Most of the stuff belonged to Terry's parents and was not our stuff. Once we get it all emptied, then the house will be sold. Anxious to get that done and behind us. Eventually we think we will have a house in Florida near Brandon. We have to be somewhere warm year round for Terry and it makes sense to be close to one of your kids.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Friday, July 27, 2018

Getting some help!

We left Elkhart Campground on Tuesday this week and drove to Summit Lake State Park, near our old home in Mooreland. They have installed 50 amp and have water on every site with a dump station, so when we need to be in the area, that is a good choice for us. We reserve the one pull-through right next to the bathhouse and use the campground showers.

I had my dermatology appointment and got my cortizone shot for my psoriasis. It's the only thing that works, so three shots a year is what I get without any side effects popping up. After that appointment we returned to the motorhome, ate lunch, and headed toward Indianapolis by checkout time at 2 p.m.

We arrived in Indy at the Indy KOA which is actually at Mt. Comfort Road, and I guess technically in Greenfield. We had registered for two nights. Terry was scheduled into the Advanced Heart Failure Lab on Thursday. Starting at 9 a.m. we had a different appointment/doctor/medical person every hour till 4 o'clock.

Terry has had heart failure that we watch and treat for nine years. People live with heart failure. At the very worst, however, heart failure patients may elect a transplant. The problem for us was that all the people we saw thought we were there for consultations for a heart transplant. Nooooooo....... we didn't get that memo and didn't sign up for that. Heart failure can be treated and the very first doctor we saw, a transplant specialist, said Terry wasn't sick enough to even think about a transplant. He was confused as to why Terry's cardiologist wanted him seen in the clinic. But most HF clinics treat heart failure. Perhaps he doesn't want to there. . . I don't know. But he did request a couple tests and said that perhaps the new HF drug, Entresto, would be a good fit for Terry. The second doctor we saw was a lung transplant specialist who was also mystified at our appearance in the clinic. He reiterated what the first doctor said. He ordered a test as well. Those three tests are all scheduled next week. The next guy was a dietitian and he said he was going to try and get the rest of our appointments cancelled because we did not need to see those people since we were not there for a transplant and that's what they would all talk about. But the gal who had scheduled everything declined his recommendation saying that if we ever needed this, it would already be done. Course, that may be years down the road or perhaps NEVER. A few more years and Terry will probably be past the "age" for such a procedure and he really doesn't want to consider it. He just wants to get to feeling better.

So we went to all the appointments and the next to last one was a social worker which was a total waste of time. She put Terry to sleep with her drivel and she arrived late and kept us 90 minutes, making us miss our last appointment.

The last one was the one we really wanted because it was a physical therapy assessment. We went down to the office and we were able to get rescheduled for today. So we went in this morning. The PT was super and she assessed Terry for doing some PT. He hasn't been able to breathe well enough to walk, but she wants him to walk 10 minutes 3 times a day. We've already done 2 rounds today and he's done well.

The biggest problem has been his sleeping. He cannot sleep at night. He is up and down until he just gives up and stays up, sometimes not getting more than 2-3 hours of sleep a night or none at all. Then he sleeps off/on all day. Skipping sleep during the day does not necessarily mean he sleeps at night. He may still be up all night, so I have been insisting that he sleep when he can. His heart needs rest and when he doesn't get it, he looks terrible. He has been so much on edge with this doctor stuff this summer and his overall health, that these things have obviously contributed greatly to his condition. Last night after seeing all these doctors, he went to bed at 7 p.m. He got up once and slept till 7 a.m this morning. Today has been a great day. He looks and feels great and he is acting like himself. I hope he continues to sleep now that he has some answers and is getting some help to get back on track.

So, we have decided to spend the weekend here in Indy because his tests are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. We plan to leave here Wednesday and visit with Mom in Claypool before heading back to Elkhart Campground on Thursday.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Where have I been?

That's probably what all my regular readers are wondering. It's been a long few weeks and while some things have gone well, other things have not.

We have been here in Elkhart Campground for a month and just signed up for another. Our plan this summer is to get the last duplex cleaned out and sold. Would like to get that done this year, but it's not looking good. Next year for sure.

Shortly after we arrived, Jocelyn, Tom, Ronan, Aenea, and Pepper the Poodle got here. We knew they were coming and I was planning on getting everything ready over at the house. But we walked in there and found mouse droppings all over the kitchen. What a mess. So I sent Terry out for more and better mouse traps and I set to cleaning and bleaching the kitchen. I spent the entire day on it and got little else done. But at the end of the day the kitchen was clean and new traps were set for those dastardly mice. I've caught three.

Jocelyn called and asked if they could come in that night and we said yes. Although I hadn't cleaned the rest of the house, I had cleaned in the fall before we left, and the house does not get dirty during the winter months. I did manage to clean the bathrooms and we were ready for them.

We enjoyed seeing them. They had been to Niagara Falls and into Canada, camping with the dog even! And in a tent! Tom had some shows with his band, including one in Toronto. Go Tom! I hope to hear them sometime. I have heard his one band, The Hollow Machine, but I have yet to hear Spider Lilies.

We were able to see the kids every day while they were here and they visited Mom a couple times. She enjoyed seeing them and the grandkids always enjoy their great-grandma. She is the only one they have left. I managed to take Ronan for a ride in the Miata. He loves it and always wants me to take him out.

We really enjoyed their visit. We don't get to see them often and it really helps us get our kids/grandkids fix when they visit us. We try to see them twice a year and we look forward to that.

We managed to go to Terry's 50th high school reunion. Wow! They had a really good turnout and we got to see quite a few people we hadn't seen for years. Well, that Terry hadn't seen in years. A few people I knew or had met at previous reunions. We attended a meet and greet on Friday night at a bar in downtown Elkhart. The food was good and we enjoyed seeing some of his classmates there. Then Saturday night was at the country club with a dinner buffet and some games. Our table won at trivia. We earned play money for that and then we bid on door prizes people had donated. We "bought" two thermos bottles that are really nice. And since we were using our "play money" they really didn't cost us anything. It was a great time and we enjoyed ourselves.

We enjoyed an evening of cards with our friends, Luanne and Jim. We girls won! The next night we had a campfire here in the park with other friends. They are from the Elkhart area, but live in Arizona in the winter and return here in the summer to visit their kids.

Terry's been really sluggish for some time and so we paid a visit to his doctor in Indianapolis a few weeks ago. They did a few tests and changed some meds which seem to have helped. But we are going back next week for some more testing. He's had heart trouble for 20 years and it may be time to change some more of his meds. There are a lot of new meds for various heart problems and we are hoping we find something that works better.

The last few days we have had some really heavy rains. That's okay, because we were needing rain desperately. I hope it was in time to help the crops. We had a couple inches yesterday and it rained more today and supposed to tomorrow as well.

Till next time. . .

Dale





Sunday, June 17, 2018

Reunion Time!

We moved over to Piney Grove on Wednesday so we would be there for the reunion. Piney Grove is a Corps of Engineers park and a decent place to stay. We are in among the trees, however, so Terry has to fuss with his portable satellite dish in order to get TV reception. But he usually gets what he wants!

We went into town and visited with family members at the Buck Creek Flea Market. That is where Paul, Rusty, and Shirley are during the day. I always like to look around because I usually manage to find something I like. They were all there as were Gary and Jo, so we got to see them all.

We visited for awhile and then Terry, Gary, Jo and I all left on a mission to find an Amish vegetable market up north of Corinth in Tennessee. We did give it the ol' college try, but we never managed to find it, although we drove all over the area. As it was, when we got back and talked with the fellow who had told Terry about it, we found out we were very close and just turned the wrong way on one road. Geesh! I guess that will mean another road trip next time we are there. . . that will be next year. LOL

On Saturday, we met at Ramey's Restaurant in Marietta for the Pace/Stevens reunion. We had 18 there, I think. We had a great time and really enjoyed ourselves. The only person left in our parents' generation (the ones who started the reunion) is Uncle Bob. He, unfortunately, suffers from Alzheimer's and no longer comes to the family gatherings. That is a difficult situation for his children as it is for any family dealing with a loved one with that disease. But he is happy where he is at and that is a good thing. We always enjoy the reunion and hope every year that more of the family members will come.

We spent the rest of the weekend relaxing at the camp and getting ready to break camp on Monday. When we left there, we returned to Red Bay to get our paint work done on two of our bay doors. They got that done on Tuesday and we spent that night in Red Bay, then headed out. It was supposed to rain the day we left and it did. We drove the Natchez Trace and it poured down on us the entire time. I love driving the Trace and it was okay in the rain. There wasn't much traffic and we easily made it to north of Nashville for the night. We stayed at Dad's Bluegrass Camp.

The next day we drove on up to Edinburg, Indiana, and stayed at the Johnson County Park. It is located in what used to be a part of Camp Atterbury. Our first campsite had power problems and we were moved to a site we had used a year or so ago. That worked fine. We shopped a bit at the factory shops down the road. And while we were in the area, we stopped and got carryout at Nick's Diner. There we had their famous tenderloin sandwich. I was not impressed. Terry may have like it better, but I didn't care for it.

We left there and drove to Warsaw and stayed at the fairgrounds for a couple nights and visited with Mom and my sister and husband. Then we headed on up to Elkhart to the campground where we plan to spend the summer.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Friday, June 01, 2018

Back home in Red Bay!

I say back home, because Red Bay is where Phaeton Place was born. She has her roots here. We came back this time because we have to get two bay doors replaced. We actually are scheduled on Monday, June 11, but we had a couple other things we hoped to get fixed while we were in the area. Terry's family reunion is June 9, so we got done in Searcy in time to get over here.

We stopped into the body shop and they have our doors. They are going to check their schedule to see when they can do it, maybe this week or early next week.

We also stopped at the camp office to sign up for a service appointment. After July 7, Tiffin will no longer work on motorhomes past ten years old, so we won't be able to get factory service. But there are so many outfits here, former Tiffin employees who have gone out on their own, that this is still the best place to come to get work done. Tiffin even supplies you with a little catalog of all the places that do work and even a map with their locations. We had two items that needed attention, the door awning and a slide roller. We were told that the scheduler would come around today to see us.

So we went to bed last night knowing we would be talking to someone today. I got up early and was having my first cup of coffee when the phone rang at 6 a.m. The lady spoke in a heavily southern accented voice and I had trouble understanding her. But she asked if we could be in Bay 10 at 7 a.m. What???????? Yes, I said. We will be there. I ran and woke Terry up and told him. He asked, "Can we make it?" I said, "We're gonna try." We left at 6:45 and were sitting waiting in front of Bay 10 a few minutes later. In fact, our paperwork had not yet reached our bay. Once we were in, we told them our two problems and we unloaded the cabinets they would have to have access through. Since we had rushed around, we hadn't had breakfast, so I ran out and got us breakfast. I got back about 8:15 and they were DONE! DONE! Unbelievable! The awning was not broken. Water had built up in the endcap and the tech removed it and then drilled a little hole to keep water draining from now on. He lubricated it a bit and it is good to go. The slide roller was a bigger job, but they know how to repair this stuff. They had to actually jack up the slide from the outside. Didn't take much time to get it in place. They thought they might have to fix our broken one if they didn't have one in stock. But they did have one and told us to keep the old one and have it repaired/welded so we would have a backup.
We were back on our site here at the camp at 8:30. Man, what a fast, busy 2 1/2 hours that was. I can't believe we just dropped in hoping to maybe at least get someone to look at in and it's fixed! I just can't say enough for Tiffin. They do it right.

We are here in the camp for another 5 nights or so, then we move to Piney Grove Corps Park in Mississippi, to be close to the reunion. Once we leave there, we will be back here in Red Bay, unless our work is finished between now and next Wednesday. So we are happy campers once again!

Till next time. . .

Dale

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Searcy, Arkansas

For years as members of FMCA, we were aware that the president of FMCA (now ex-president) had established a company based in Searcy, Arkansas, that would rebuild your RV windows that were fogged up or had moisture in between the panes of the double-paned glass. While our Phaeton was still under warranty, we had several windows replaced. The driver's window I think was done three times. Tiffin would simply replace rather than fix the windows. Now that the coach is not under warranty, I did not want to take it to Tiffin and have them replace the windows with other "like" windows that would fail in a short time. So we decided to head to Searcy and have our bad windows fixed.

On the way, we stopped in Gretna, Florida. When we pulled in, I noticed the coach two down from us as being familiar. Our friends, Rod and Marsha, who were the hosts at the Tiffin Campground for years, were camped there! So we visited a while. They had left Florida that morning, same as us. They mentioned they were headed to Red Bay in June and we were too! So it seems we will meet again.

The next morning we broke camp and drove on. We stopped at a Corps of Engineers Park along the Tombigbee River. It was a beautiful camp and we were right on the river. We saw a barge going through soon after we stopped. That was the only one we saw, but I'm sure there are more moving up and down that river. They also access the Tenn-Tom Waterway, which connects the Tennessee and the Tombigbee to the Gulf of Mexico. We were able to sit out for awhile, but once again, RAIN! It seems there is no end in sight. We we were safe and snug in our campground.

We finally got into Searcy on Friday afternoon and set up camp at Whitney Lane RV Park. It is owned by a very kind older gentleman who had just lost his wife three weeks ago. He put us on his best site. It was a full pad with 50 amp and full hookups. It was the last site on the row and we stepped out with a view of a grassy yard running back to a woods. We had gotten in late afternoon and it was hot, so we plugged in. After waiting a bit, our power still had not kicked in. Julian, the owner, had pointed out that the other hookup was bad because a plug had overheated and he hadn't yet replaced it. So Terry tried a couple things and nothing worked. We had to call Julian back. He came back and prepared to open up the box and fix the problem. He had built the park and knew how to do all of this, but this stuff is right up Terry's alley, so he helped him. The box was full of mud dauber nests, long since vacated, and the breaker was bad. But they got that all fixed up and decided to fix the second box which had some bad wire due to the overheated plug at one time. So the two guys worked till they had that done and Julian spent another hour just talking. He is such a sweet man and he no doubt is lonely having just lost his spouse. I think Terry earned his angel wings talking with him. He does have family around. His sister across the street, a daughter next door and another relative next to her. So I'm sure they all check on him.

On Tuesday after Memorial Day, we were up early and over at the FogDr. garage at 8 a.m. They were ready for us and backed us right in and up to the building. The have full hookups as well, but we just plugged into electric so we would have air. They came out and asked us which windows needed work, so we walked around as they labeled them, nine total. Then they took out the four in the bath and bedroom. They had told us it would take two days so we were prepared to stay the night there. But they had those four done by noon and pulled the others in the front and said they would try to have them all done. And they did! Very professional people to work with. They worked fast, but not too fast that you questioned their work. They had a definite system for removing all the windows and worked steadily till the job was done.

Once they were finished, we went to get some supper and once back in the motorhome, we started hanging valences. Terry had made all our wood valences and they are beautiful, but it was a lot of work removing them with the blinds in them. And a couple of them are really heavy. We had done all that before we got there, so all they had to do was do the windows. So now we had it all to put back. And we had several cabinets we had to empty and leave empty till they were done, so in addition to having wood valences all over the place and in the car, we had boxes of household goods sitting under the table. It was a mess. But by the time we were ready for bed, it was all done. Our new windows look great. We can actually see out of them for the first time in years!

We spent the night in their parking lot and slept in. Wednesday, yesterday, we got up and left their place at 9 a.m. It was a great stop and after leaving $$$$ in Searcy, we went on down the highway.

Till next time. . .

Dale