Monday, September 26, 2011

Sizzling here today.

Terry here.

Those busy couple of weeks are coming to an end in what feels like a sauna.

We're in Houston, arrived yesterday about noon for my 6 month prostate cancer treatment followup at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Coming back to Houston seemed almost like coming home since we spent January-March this year exploring this great city, while I was getting treatment. My day starts with bloodwork at 8am and finishes at 1pm with an appointment with my radiation oncologist, with hopefully continued good results.

It's down right hot and steamy steamy while the Texas drought continues. The high for today is forecast @ 98 with 97% humidity with no rain in sight. Tomorrow at about noon, we will be getting out of the heat when we board the plane for our flight back to Dayton and the short drive to Phaeton Place. Wednesday morning we head east and will end up next week at Charlottesville, VA for a visit with Jocelyn, Tom and Ronan. We're due in Ormand Beach, FL October 18th for Datastorm repair, so we will be in full travel mode at last! But, it won't last long, starting October 21st we'll be in Melbourne, FL for Brandon and Megan's wedding!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Busy weeks ahead. . .

Last Monday we left Goshen and headed toward central Indiana for the start of two super busy weeks. We pulled into our usual camp when we are here in New Lisbon and quickly set up. We had our mail sent here, so we went to the post office just across the interstate and picked that up.

We settled in for a relaxing evening and made sure we had finalized our suitcase packing for the flight to Florida the next day. We got to bed early and were actually awake before our alarm clocks went off at 4 a.m.

Our flight was to leave Dayton for Orlando via Atlanta at 7:45. We made good time getting over there just after six and found a parking place and grabbed the shuttle to the terminal. We checked in and were asked if we would like to change our flight to a non-stop. Uh, yeah! It was about 6:30 a.m. at this time and the flight left at 7 a.m., so we quickly checked our bags and headed for the gate. Of course, it was the furthest most gate, but we did have enough time. Just as we got there, we were checked in and boarded the plane. We took off on time and got in to Orlando at 9 a.m. We grabbed our rental car and headed to the hotel. Our room wasn't ready, but we got checked in and called Brandon. It was about 11:30, so we met him for lunch. That was really special because we hadn't planned to even be there by that time.

Afterwards we went back to the room, and crashed a bit, then met up with Megan and Brandon at his house. We got to see Jax, Brandon's dog, and he was his usual friendly self. Just a great dog. We went to Jason's deli for supper and enjoyed visiting with the kids. When we got back we visited for a bit then we drove back up to our hotel. The hotel, The Hampton, is the same one we will use during the rehearsal and wedding as it is close to the country club where the wedding will take place. So it was good to touch base with them. We were able to visit a few campgrounds in the area so that we would have information in the event wedding guests would like to use them. A few family members have RV's, so that might work out for them.

On Wednesday, we went with Megan to her wedding dress fitting. I was glad to go along and see her dress up close! I had only seen pictures of it. It is beautiful and she will be a beautiful bride. Terry sat out in the car and read his book as he was not as interested in the "girlie" stuff. Hah. Later we went back to the room and relaxed a bit. Terry was not feeling too well. He had his allergies start to bother him before we left Goshen and they were in high gear when we got to Florida. The warm weather didn't help, he just felt more miserable. We did get him some allergy tablets and orange juice and it did eventually work.

Wednesday afternoon, we went over to Brandon's a little early so I could wrap the gifts I had sent to his house. I got that done and visited with Diane, Megan's Mom, and the girls who had already arrived. They are a nice group of young ladies and many were excited to be there for the shower. The day after the shower they were leaving for a cruise. . .Megan's Bachelorette Cruise. So there was a lot of excitement in the air!

There was so much food to eat! Oh my gosh! There were two trays of sandwiches, taquitos, a watermelon whale, a shrimp bowl, a sushi BOAT, and a cake decorated to look like sushi. The common theme here. . . SUSHI. . . happens to be Megan's favorite food! None of us went hungry, for sure. We played some games and ate and later Megan unwrapped her gifts. Jax kept hoping there might be some dog bones for him, but there were none! Megan got lots of nice, useful gifts and they will be a big help to them both.

While I was busy with the shower, Brandon and Terry went out to dinner together and took a leisurely drive down the coast. They returned toward the end of the shower. We visited for a short time together because we weren't going to be able to see them again before we left. Brandon had to work and Megan was going on her cruise!

Our flight on Thursday didn't leave until 9 p.m. from Orlando. I had booked that flight because it was the only non-stop flight and I thought we might need the day to finish up last minute details. As it was, we had everything done and once we checked out of the hotel, we went in search of something to do. We first went to IKEA because we rarely get a chance to look there. Then we went to the outlet mall, then to the Florida Mall, etc. While there, we visited the M&M's store and had our pictures taken next to Kyle Bush's #18 car. We just tried to find things to do to pass the time. Even though we couldn't buy anything because our luggage was full, Terry managed to find an adjustable rib rack for the grill he has been looking for. And I found a top so I now have an outfit to wear to the rehearsal and dinner afterward! I had been searching for something and found it at Macy's. I am really happy that we have our clothes all bought and ready to go for the wedding.

We were debating whether or not to get to the airport. We were close, but didn't know what rush hour in Orlando was like. Just then, the "check engine" light on our rental car came on. It had been running badly since we picked it up. So we just headed the few miles down the road to the airport. We didn't want to take a chance on driving around more and perhaps getting stranded somewhere. And we had nothing to do, so we went to the airport. We checked in, went through security and settled down at the Outback Restaurant and ate a leisurely dinner. We were sitting right next to a large table of Australians who were having quite the time. How appropriate!

The flight back was smooth and it was neat to look out and see all the lights below. I always take the window seat and I enjoy watching the ground. Terry read a little, I listened to the IPod and we both tried to sleep, but didn't. We got back at 11:07 p.m. and made it back to the motorhome about 12:30 a.m. Needless to say, we slept in this morning!

Tomorrow we leave camp here and drive a few miles north to the state park where we are going to stay with friends Mark and Dave and enjoy the company of former colleagues at our annual Parkview Picnic. It should be fun. A little gathering of friends has turned into a yearly event and I look forward to it every year.

Next week we have our local doctor appointments. We will drive back up to Goshen next weekend to close things up, then we return here and fly to Houston for Terry's cancer check-up. Things will hopefully slow down a bit after that!

Till next time. . .


Thursday, September 08, 2011

Get your motors runnin'. . . head out on the highway. . .

In just a few days, we will be leaving northern Indiana. Hardly seems possible our time here as slumlords is drawing to a close. We have finished up with all of the landlording tasks and hopefully things will run smoothly through the winter months for our manager. The only thing he really has to do is collect rent. If it snows, he has to plow and if anyone has a problem, he has to call a repairman, but on a good day, he has little or nothing to do. We try to get all the routine maintenance items done in the summer while we are here so that there are no surprises other times of the year.

Monday was a special treat for us. We drove down to sister Nita and Jim's place and we went with them and another couple to the ZZ Top concert in Wabash, Indiana. The venue there is the Honeywell Center and they have a very nice theater, the Ford Theater, and they have some pretty big-name entertainment there. We have seen Herman's Hermits and now ZZ. ZZ was opened by a garbage band, as far as I am concerned. They played for 30 minutes. . . a long and greasy haired, baseball hatted trio with a strutting rooster for a lead singer. The only thing I did like was watching the lap-steel guitarist who was a pretty awesome musician.

ZZ came out and played for an hour. I was a little disappointed at that, but they did play another 15-minute encore, so that was better. They had their own stage props and at Wabash, it is much smaller than other venues they play, but they had a lot going on with lights, spots, videos, etc. It was a most enjoyable concert. "Old guys rule" was certainly the rule of the day!

Terry has finished our new valances and blinds in the motorhome. He did an awesome job. We replaced the cloth covered valences for solid oak finished to match the woodwork in the motorhome. Installed inside the valences are the roller shades. There are two at each window. One is cream colored and is a blackout shade for nighttime. No light can penetrate the blind. Then for daytime use is a screen which blocks out a significant portion of sunlight, but allows use to see out from the inside. People on the outside cannot see in unless we have lights on, then they might be able to see images. There are a couple manufacturers of these blinds, but we used United Shade in Elkhart. Their blinds were considerably cheaper in price than others we see in use in RV's today and they were about one-third the cost for a much better quality.

Monday we leave here and head down to central Indiana to a camp where we can leave Phaeton Place for a couple days. We are flying to Florida on Tuesday so I can attend a bridal shower on Wednesday for my "soon-to-be" daughter-in-law, Megan! Then on Thursday we fly back. We then move the motorhome to the state park where we will have our annual picnic of my former co-workers. After the picnic, we move back to the other camp where we stay when we have our local doctor appointments. Why all the moving? The state park doesn't have full hookups and we prefer those when we are getting ready for doctor appointments. And we don't feel comfortable leaving Phaeton Place in the state park while we are gone out of state. After a week of doctor appointments, we will probably drive the car back up north and check things out one last time at the apartments. Then we will return to the motorhome to pack our suitcases once again. This time we will fly to Houston for Terry's six-month cancer checkup. We fly out on Sunday, appointment Monday, fly back on Tuesday. As long as all goes well with the appointments, we are then headed out. . . first to Virginia to see Ronan and family, then onward to Florida. We will stop in Ormond Beach to get our Datastorm fixed, then on to Melbourne to spend time before the wedding of Megan and Brandon, our son, on 11/11/11! We will remain in Melbourne to take care of our grand-dog Jax while the kids are on their honeymoon, then we will start to make our way back to Texas for the winter.

A busy final two weeks in September awaits!

Till next time. . .


Thursday, September 01, 2011

I can see the light..... the end of the tunnel! No, no not THAT tunnel.

Terry here, been busy finishing stuff up at the storage condo and the apartments as usual. Yesterday was paint some entry doors and trim, install some window well covers and work on cleaning up the shop from the summer's projects, this alone could take the rest of our time here!

We've got a lot of things to do, once we leave Elkhart/Goshen. On 9/12 we travel to central Indiana for Dr.'s appointments, Dale's teachers' "reunion" and some flights from Dayton, OH to Orlando (Megan's shower) and Houston (6 month cancer check at M.D Anderson for me). The last week of the month we plan to be on our way east and south for some family time.

Until then most of the things on our plate consist of; unpacking/sorting/repacking the motorhome, some visits/meals with friends/family and a little ZZ Top concert with Jim and Nita on Labor Day. That makes me wonder if we should take the earplugs from the Brickyard Nascar race? It's at a great venue, The Honeywell Center in Wabash, IN, which is a smallish community theatre, so when Billy and Dusty crank up the amps it could be a little loud. What is this, is my age showing?