Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Suck, swallow, breathe. . .

Any of you familiar with preemie babies know that feeding by mouth can be a real challenge. If they suck, they don't always swallow and if they do, they sometimes forget to breathe. It actually is a brain thing, not a behavioral issue. As preemies develop, these things all click into place. We have been waiting for Aenea to learn to eat and she is making progress in that department. This is required before she can leave and go home. She is 7 lbs. now and no doubt the cutest baby in the NICU.

She really wants to nurse. . . so much so that when her Mom holds her, she won't take a bottle. But that isn't working just yet, so the other day, Tom decided to give the bottle a go. Tom is a very hands-on Dad who takes an equal role in the baby/child responsibilities. He was very successful in getting Aenea to take the bottle. In fact, he was able to feed her two different times. Whoo Hoo!!!!! Go team!

This is Aenea at 11 weeks. She is one week from her actual due date of June 4. She was born at home, dropping into her mother's hands on March 12 at 28 weeks gestation. Thanks to the cool minds of our daughter and son-in-law, she was quickly whisked away to the NICU three blocks away and has lived there since. At least one of them spends most of every day with her. They are about to be rewarded with taking home a healthy infant ready to join big brother Ronan at home.

Prayers are answered.

Till next time. . .


Monday, May 28, 2012

Stinkin' HOT!!!!!

Today promised to be hot, hot, and it did not disappoint. I don't mind the heat as long as I have air conditioning. Hah!

I did snap an interesting picture Saturday mornng when we were fueling up. Do you know how long those windmill arms are? They look a lot longer when they are on a trailer behind a truck. There were two blades on two trailers.

We left Cincinnati this morning. We wanted to leave early because Newtown had a parade starting at 10 and we wanted to miss that traffic jam. One year we almost got caught up in the parade and we wanted to steer clear of that.

The drive was uneventful although we did make two stops. We had some time to kill because we cannot get on our site here until 3 p.m. and they are an hour behind Cincinnati time. So that was 4 p.m. meaning we had 8 hours to get here. So we stopped in Berea, Kentucky, at the Artisan Visitor Center. It's a nice place to stop. They have arts and crafts for sale to benefit the students at Berea College.

On down the road we stopped at Walmart in Monticello. We picked up a few groceries and killed some time. By the time we left there, we were able to drive on in to the park.

We saw so much traffic leaving the lake area. More than we have seen in years. This is the primary reason we go IN to the lake on Memorial Day. All these people are going OUT from the lake and heading home. At one point there was a backup at least a mile long. When we got over the next hill, there was another mile+ backup at the light at the bottom of the hill. It was like that for miles.

Our site was empty, so we were able to park right away. I would not want to arrive and have someone still on the site. At this campground, there really is no place to go with a 40' motorhome, so our arrival is timed so that doesn't happen.

After supper we went up to the storage building and got the jetski and brought it down to the site. Terry is going to spend some time working on it. Not sure what all he is going to do.

Till next time. . .


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Basting in the heat!

We arrived in Cincinnati yesterday afternoon. It was already hot when we got here and got hotter. Today it was supposed to get up to 100*, but it has hovered at 95* instead. Wow. A week or so ago it was almost cold, now it's sweltering.

We got out yesterday and shopped at a couple grocery stores we don't see that often. . . Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. Picking up supplies for Dale Hollow. Still have stuff to get, but want it to be fresh, so will wait till later in the week and make a run to Cookeville for those.

FMCA has a nice campground here and there are still some sites available. It is a great camp because they have really good power and full hookups, so we like to use this as a staging for the trip south. I am finishing up laundry before we get to the lake. Can't use my washer/dryer down there. There are laundry facilities, though, so if I need to, I can use the campground's facilities.

Once we leave the lake, we will be headed to Piney Grove on Bay Springs Lake near Dennis, Mississippi. We are going to the family reunion on June 9. That is always a good time. Next year we won't be able to make it because we will be on our way to Alaska!

Till next time. . .


Friday, May 25, 2012

Changing Gears

We had a busy week. We put new tires on the big motorhome, then two days later went back and had seven tires put on the little motorhome, aka Minnie Me. Didn't have to do it just yet, but Terry said he can cross one more thing off our list. He also made an appointment at his favorite auto service business for when we return to the area. Minnie Me is going in for an oil change, transmission checkup, radiator flush and new fluid and all new belts and hoses. We are planning a trip to Alaska with her next summer and we don't want to have ANY problems with any of those things. She runs great and now we aren't afraid to take her anywhere on new tires. We just don't want to run far as we don't know when the last time was that her oil was changed. With only 8,000 miles, we aren't sure.

We did get our apartment rented this week. She will move in June 1. A young woman who is getting married in August and then her husband will be joining her. She seems to be a very nice person and I'm sure she will like living there. Once again our units are all full! Yay!

We spent a lot of time this week running after parts. I did find a crockpot for the little motorhome, so now I have all the kitchen and bath stuff in there. I have quite a few clothes as well. Need shorts yet and jeans. Then I'm all set. For the Alaska trip, I will still have to add hiking boots, a coat and a jacket. I think we are going to use our Frog Togs for rain gear. They work well and don't get much use, so may as well use them for that.

We are going to go to a rally in Illinois the latter part of June with Minnie Me. It's going to be a shakedown cruise. We will also be going to Dundee, Michigan, to Cabela's to look at sleeping bags. The downside of the little motorhome is that we have to break down the sofa to sleep on every night. So we are going to find a double sleeping bag, but preferably a stuffable one that doesn't take up a lot of room, as storage is very minimal.

We left Elkhart Campground this morning at 8 a.m. Ran an errand in Minnie Me, then parked her in the storage area. Then we drove Phaeton Place over to the condo and packed stuff we had accumulated there. After that, we washed her so she would be bright and shiny. Lunch was next, then we showered and hitched up. We left about 1:15 and drove to New Lisbon. We will get into Cincinnati tomorrow for some shopping, then on to Dale Hollow Lake. Our reservations there start Monday. The following weekend, Brandon and Megan will be joining us. I can't wait to see them. I'm am excited to show Megan where Brandon spent his youth! LOL Tom says she's not an official member of the family until she has jumped off the cliffs over at the bluffs. We shall see. If the water is high, it's a short jump. If the water is down, it's a lot higher jump. LOL

All is well.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Difficult Day

We have been spending the days over at the apartments. We have one to rent and a good prospect for it, so we will just have to see how it all pans out.

Thursday I spent time on the roof of the little motorhome, aka Minnie Me, and that was not fun. It has a rubber roof which is in good condition, but the roof cap is domed and it is shorter and more narrow than Phaeton Place. Just a little bit scary. I donned knee pads because I feel safer when I am closer to the surface and scrubbed the roof with Dicor rubber roof cleaner. It appears to be in pretty good shape and I did not detect any tears or bubbles. Then yesterday I got back up there and wiped it down with Dicor rubber roof treatment. It is to help keep the UV rays from causing premature deterioration. I am certainly glad those jobs are done. I did tell Terry, however, that the next time we do this job, we are going to park it in the yard. I don't fancy falling off of it anytime; but if I fell, I would rather land on grass instead of concrete. We have a storage place lined up for it and come September, it will be stored for the winter.

I just about have everything for the little one that I need. I have even started packing some clothes in it. I decided that since we will be using it in the summers, I intend to have it stocked so I don't have to drag stuff from one motorhome to the other. I am finished with the kitchen and bath and only want to find a crock pot to put in it. We didn't have a towel hook for a hand towel in the bathroom, but I found just a single hook that would work. Not a lot of places to attach it, but Terry found a solid place on the wall. I made two buttonholes on the towels at the middle of the sides on the edges and the towel hangs from those holes. I put one on each side so the towel can be rotated and not wear out in one place. They look very nice hanging there and I thought that was a cool way to fix that problem. It was actually Terry who thought of it.

Terry did not have a good day yesterday. The yard at the condo needs attention and we have a yard man who is working at getting it back in shape. But it needs to be watered regularly. The problem is that when the sprinkler system was put in, it wasn't placed deep enough and no matter what we do, there are always places where the pipes have developed leaks from water freezing in them over the winter. The only thing we haven't tried is antifreeze in the lines and after yesterday, I think we will try that. Terry worked all afternoon fixing leaks in the system. After he started working, he threw the lever to turn on the sprinklers and heard something in the basement. We have a 100 gallon pressure tank in the basement which feeds the system and a pipe running to it blew apart. Water immediately started flooding the basement. He ran down and started the sump pump but there was no shut off on the tank, so he had to shut down the water to the house, which included the attached apartment. With water still draining from the tank, he made a run over to Lowe's to buy some fittings to repair that with. He made those repairs, but still has a slight leak and will have more work to do when we go back over today. He was able to repair the sprinkler leak, but there is another as well. If we didn't need to get the yard in order, we would be forgetting it. The system really needs to be totally re-done, but since we don't live here and don't ever plan to, we don't really want to do that. It probably is worth messing with every summer.

Yesterday we closed up Phaeton Place in the wee hours of the morning and were at Sam's Tire in Bristol at 7:15 a.m. to get four new tires put on. They are really nice people there and we were really pleased to give them our business. We didn't even know they were there, but we are buying our tires on the FMCA Advantage program and they are the only dealer in the area who works with them. Very good experience. They apparently do quite a bit of work for the RV industry because while we were there, a couple RV's pulled in to get specialty wheels, etc. We were done by 9:30 and they were apologizing for the delay. They had originally put the wrong valve stem extensions on and had to re-do them. No problem.

I have been busy with cleaning Minnie Me and chasing down parts with Terry. I also have been cutting out an outfit for Aenea and hope to get working on that today. I spend my "spare" time reading my Alaska travel books in anticipation of the big trip next year. What fun that will be.

Today before heading over there, we are going to enjoy a visit from former fellow fulltimers Janice and Dean. Dean has developed some health problems which necessitated their getting off the road. They are here for a friend's wedding and are going to stop by for a visit! It will be great to see them.

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Rally Time!

We are here in the Elkhart Campground and spring is always rally time here. This week the Teton owners are here. Those are 5th wheels made by the now extinct Teton manufacturer in Casper, Wyoming. Across from us is a 4-axle 5th wheel toy hauler pulled by an HDT (heavy duty truck aka semi-tractor). There are several tri-axle trailers and several HDT's, several MDT's (medium duty) and some are all painted up to match. They really look like awesome trailers.

We had a little "mini" rally of our own. Our friends Tab and Deanna came up last weekend from Ohio and we spent the weekend talking, eating, shopping, and sitting around the campfire. What fun. We hit all the RV surplus places because they were looking for items for their new motorhome. They recently downsized from their 32 foot Heartland 5th wheel to a 24-foot B+ Concord. We are looking for items for our new (to us) B+, a little R-Vision, still unnamed, but I'm thinking of calling her "Mini-Me." We spent some time with our maps and atlases going over our route next year when we start the trek to Alaska in May. Oh, what fun we will have. Neither of us will tow a car. . . just our short little motorhomes that fit in a parking place. It will be so easy to pull off the road to view scenery or wildlife. I am outfitting the little motorhome now as we are planning on taking it on a couple trips this summer to get any kinks worked out. I'm about done for now.
We have spent the last two weeks working on renting an apartment. We have one empty, but we showed it to a good prospect the other night. We screen our tenants carefully and have very few problems with them. We have some routine maintenance that we do in the summers, so that is getting scheduled and we have some service calls to take care of. We also continue to work on cleaning out the storage condo. Every year we take a truckload of household stuff to Good Will. This year we are taking all of Jocelyn's stuff to her. They have room in a storage locker, so it will be good for her to be able to go through it at her leisure.

Last Sunday we went to Warsaw and met my sister and husband and my parents and we all went out to eat at the Honeywell Center in Warsaw. They put on a really big buffet and it was very good. They had a really big crowd and the lines were long, but they had a lot of food and didn't run out.

In other news, I fell a couple weeks ago. I always fall on my left hip and it has bursitis that aggravates all the time. I thought I may have at least cracked a bone, but I'm sure I burst the bursa as it burned for quite some time down my leg. I did go see the doctor we use up here and he x-rayed it. He said nothing was broken, but confirmed the bursitis was alive and well and actually in both hips, although I don't have any pain in the right hip. He injected my hip and I have felt GREAT since then. "Oh cortisone, how I love thee. . . let me count the ways!" hah  It certainly has made walking much easier.

This week we are having some service done on the motorhome. Tomorrow is an oil change and then on Friday morning we are getting new tires on the rear. The front tires are newer, so we are just replacing four. In about two weeks, we are heading to Dale Hollow Lake for a week of fun in the sun and on the water! Whoo Hoo! Our son Brandon and his bride Megan will be joining us. It will be fun to show Megan around the lake and especially show her an area that was important to Brandon when he was growing up. Megan is from Florida and the lake will certainly be a different experience for her. I'm hoping she will love it!

That brings us up to date. We really aren't doing much except working right now, which is what we do in the summer. We intermingle some playdates, however, so the work is never too strenuous!

Just a little update on granddaughter Aenea. She is now six pounds and still in the NICU. She will not eat on her own. She is actually latching on, but doesn't want to suck. It's common in preemies. She is still not up to her due date, so perhaps closer to that date she will decide she's ready.

Till next time. . .