Sunday, December 28, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my friends and family. We had a great dinner with Mom and Dad. We entertained them once again in our Texas Room. It really is nice to have a fully functional apartment, even if it is small. But we have an oven and a cooktop and a refrigerator, so we can cook and heat up stuff. And even though the sink is small, Mom and I manage to do the dishes in it. And Daddy can move from the table to the sofa easily and watch the fire and the television while we clean up. And best of all, there is no hassle with crowds like over at the hall. They jam so many people into the room that you are constantly getting squished by somebody trying to get by you down the row. It's always a good time, but very hard for Daddy.

So we opted for a quiet dinner, just the four of us and the girls, who played with their kongs filled with treats! Dad especially liked watching them flip the kongs to get the goodies!

Yesterday, Saturday, was the day for me to take down decorations. I've got a list of stuff I wanted done and I didn't get it all done, but I did get that finished up. Our outside tree lost a string of lights and you can't just remove that string, you have to change the lights. All the lights on the strand were scorched, so Terry replaced every bulb to see if it would work. That did the trick, but we didn't have white lights, only multicolored, so now we have a tree with white lights top and bottom and flashing multicolored in the middle. LOL But it was an experiment to see if it was worth saving and it was. So last evening we braved Walmart and bought lots of lights on sale to replace the multicolored ones. We will wait to do that next year when we take the decorations out, but at least we have a plan. I put everything away except for my new little candle Terry got me for Christmas. I had seen it in the Texas Methodist Hospital gift shop while Terry was having surgery. I really liked it but couldn't bring myself the pay the price. I found it on line a few dollars cheaper and he bought it for me for Christmas. Score!

So the Texas Room is back in order with plenty of space. We will probably do something for New Year's even if it's just us. Mom and Dad have said they aren't celebrating, but they would probably eat some goodies if I took them some. We won't go out anywhere. The girls are doing really well with the fireworks. . . they used to be scared of the noise. . . sometimes even thunderstorms. But over the year they have become accustomed to sounds and they don't seem to be bothered by them anymore. Nonetheless, I don't like leaving them as they no doubt derive comfort from having us in close proximity.

I have been trying to do some crafty things. I made the wreath I posted about last week. I also have been doing some crocheting and knitting. I'm not making much yet, but I have been successful nonetheless. I made a two cowls using "arm knitting." It is knitting, but no needles, just your arms. LOL It does work and there are patterns for blankets, etc. They also do "finger knitting." I haven't tried that yet. I'm trying to do things with my hands because my fingers and joints are becoming arthritic and I want to keep them moving. I also made a ruffled scarf. Don't know if that is the name for it, but here is a picture. This used a wide "mesh" yarn that is really pretty easy to work with. Then I saw some "lace ruffle" scarves at a craft show and the lady told me where to get the stuff. She offered to teach me how to do it, but I found a youtube video that was surprisingly very well done and I made this last night. My big project now is to determine how to change the gauge of the ruffle and made them a little shorter. I'm having fun with it anyway!

Today it is raining and has turned colder. We've had two days of 80's and sun and now are back to 40's-50's and rain for a few days. So it's a good day for inside jobs, like defrosting the refrigerator. I also am going to try and bake myself some gluten free bread. All my last attempts ended in the trash can, so this time I bought some Pamela's bread mix. I haven't been disappointed with any other Pamela's mixes or products, so perhaps this will work. I have everything I need, so I hope this will be successful. I think today would be a good movie day too! Time to watch those couple dozen movies we have hidden away!

The year is almost over. I wish you all peace and a Happy New Year!

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Better batten down the hatches!

Wind is nothing unusual here in the Rio Grande Valley. We normally enjoy a light breeze most of the time. We love this breeze. Surprisingly, it almost always has a "cool" feel to it. That is strange indeed when you have temperatures in the 80's and you have this cool breeze. If the breeze stops, though, it is hot and you will have bugs. So we like the breeze because we have no bugs! But it does promise to be challenging with winds in the 25-40 mph range and gusts up to 50. We've even heard we may have gusts up to 60. Certainly hope the canopy can weather that. I'm sure it will. I don't get nervous about it anymore. The first year we put it up, Hurricane Dolly hit the shore and we had winds of over 40 mph and she never gave up, although other awnings in the park were lost. So I think we're good. We have already secured most of our outdoor stuff, i.e, chairs, etc. I have an outside lit Christmas tree that I will bring in. I noticed the other night it has a string of lights out, so I will try to see if I can track that down.

Terry and I went out last night and looked at more Christmas lights. We went to four parks in our little compound here and saw quite a few displays. Love the golf cart ride!


Today I am going to get some preparation done for Christmas dinner. I need to make my jello salads and sweep the Texas Room, then I'm good. Terry said he has more presents to wrap, but I am done there, so we are good.

Till next time. . .


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Holidays Approaching!

Since we got back from Houston, we have been doing some odd jobs. Our rear gas furnace went out in the motorhome and Terry has been researching what the problem is. He ordered parts and one day last week they arrived. He pulled the furnace, installed the new part, and it works! So glad he is handy like that. Not much he can't fix, but some stuff he won't tackle. This involved a new circuit board and he got the job done.

I have decorated for Christmas. I put up an outside tree and an inside tree and then some of my plastercraft decorations I made years ago. I have several small manger scenes, my favorite, displayed
in the Texas Room. Last Friday I joined some ladies for a class on wreath making. We made wreaths out of zip lock bags. It was easy, but it did take a lot of time. . . well, I was able to start it in the class and finish it that evening. I bought some decorations the next day and today I got it decorated. I thought it turned out very well.

I've finished my Christmas shopping. Did it all on line. Not Christmas shopping like I remember when I was younger, but more palatable in today's world. I miss shopping in the downtown area when it was cold and snowy. . . going from store to store. . . looking for bargains. Sometimes Mom and Dad would take us downtown and park on Main Street and "people watch." That was a favorite pastime when we were little. Downtown is still there, but the stores where we used to shop are no longer there. So we are all ready for Christmas. The presents are all wrapped and under the tree. The dogs have plenty to keep them occupied Christmas morning and new beds to crash on! They are spoiled, but so, so sweet.

We are hosting Mom and Dad again for Christmas dinner. We are having turkey again, but this time we bought a cooked hickory smoked turkey. Hope it's good. We just have to warm it up. We aren't having as big a dinner as we had for Thanksgiving, but it will be good anyway. We have already shopped for the groceries, so we don't have to go out for anything this week.

There are quite a few places decorated for Christmas in our park, although some of the other parks do more. I will take some pictures later when we go look. I took Mom and Dad once, but it has been colder the last couple days, so we haven't been out. But it should warm up again. Even when it is cold here, it's still in the 60's, so I'm not complaining! Just making an observation.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, December 06, 2014

All is well . . .

The appointment went well in Houston with Dr. Doyle. He agreed to see Terry once a year so for now we are going to be seeing both his Indy doctor and the one in Houston. Best of both worlds! His incision has healed nicely and he is not having any issues. They interrogated the device and everything is working like it should.

We had an unexpected problem as we got in to Houston and that was Butterscotch. She got sick and was having trouble keeping food down and if that wasn't bad enough, she was having the "other" problem that follows along with the upset tummy. I spent two nights sleeping on the couch with her so I could take her out when she needed to go out. Monday we decided we would have to try and find a veterinarian in Victoria where we were planning on stopping for the night.

We left Houston Tuesday morning at the crack o'dark so we could make the stops we wanted and get in early enough to see a vet. We originally planned an appointment in the afternoon, but we got into the campground around 10:30 and I called the vet's office. They told me to bring her right in. So I drove the 4 miles over to the Victoria Animal Hospital and we were seen right away. They were very nice there and they were recommended by the campground host, so I am very glad we went. By this time, Butterscotch was definitely feeling poorly, but she was very cooperative with the doctor. She wasn't dehydrated, but clearly had some intestinal bug. The doctor gave her two shots, one for nausea, and one an antibiotic for the bad bacteria. She also gave her some oral meds which she is still on. She was clearly feeling better by the evening, but I could not feed her at all that day. Fortunately she did eat the next day and she is pretty much back to normal.

Because we were able to see the vet early, we were able to still make our rendevous with our friends, Jan and Wes. They are fulltimers as well and are members of our "Class of 2005" fulltimers. They spend the winter in Aransas Pass, Texas, and had been to Victoria for a doctor's appointment. We met them at Mumphord's Place, a BBQ joint in Victoria. Our friend, "The Texan," took us there a couple years ago and we have to go everytime we are in town! Jan and Wes enjoyed it as we did and we got to sit and visit for quite some time before they had to head back south and we returned to the motorhome and a recovering dog!

We are now back in the valley on our lot and plan to be here for a couple months, well, maybe four! So now we are getting things cleaned up and our Christmas decorations up, etc. We are enjoying warmer weather this year than we had last year and we are soaking that up!
While I was driving the other day, Terry snapped this picture of our girls. They are behind the driver's seat in front of the one slide. It forms a little cubbyhole back there and we put one of their cushions back there. They both like it and sometimes we find them both there!

Till next time. . .


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Back to Houston

We really do like Houston and we lived here for three months 4 years ago while Terry underwent treatment for prostate cancer. That was successful. He didn't have surgery because of heart issues, but had the proton beam radiation. Thank goodness for choices today.

We will get into Houston later this morning or early afternoon. I have been up since 4 a.m. Grrrr. I hate stinkbugs. I had awakened and while laying there trying to get back to sleep, I felt something crawling on my arm. I jerked (my usual response to unknown creepy crawlies), then jumped up and got my little flashlight I keep at my bedside. Sure enough, there it was, so I ran to get a kleenex, but couldn't find it when I got back. Not to be outsmarted by a stupid bug, I kept looking till I found him and quickly grabbed him and did the quick flush with him. Ugh. I hate those things. So there's no getting back to sleep after that stimulus, so here I am blogging a bit later. Quick note:  I keep a flashlight bedside so if I have to get up during the night, I don't step on the dogs laying at the end of the bed. Butterscotch is the same color as the carpet and the flashlight has saved her getting stepped on multiple times!

We are in Houston for Terry's followup following his new ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator commonly called a pacemaker/defibrillator) placement two weeks ago. We commonly call it his "super deluxe auto a$$ kicker" because if it goes off, that pretty much sums up what it does. The previous device had used up its four years of battery life, but fortunately for Terry, it never "administered appropriate therapy." Tomorrow he will get the itchy tape off and a quick incision check then he's good to go.

Tuesday we head back south the the Rio Grande Valley with a stop back here at Gateway to the Gulf RV Park in Victoria, Texas. We are going to meet some other fulltiming friends who will be there for a doctor's appointment. Whoo hoo!

Till next time. . .


Friday, November 28, 2014

Getting ready to roll again. . .

We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with Mom and Dad yesterday. I had fixed all my side dishes in disposable pans, so clean up would be quicker. We had turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, green bean casserole, dressing and rolls. Then Mom brought cranberry salad, a relish tray and deviled eggs. We didn't make big portions of anything, so we wouldn't have so many leftovers to eat, but it was still a lot of food. It was all good, except the dressing was a flop. I pretty much know why. Next time I'll try my regular recipe. After dinner, we watched TV for awhile and just visited. It was a great meal and a great time with my parents. I really cherish these times with them.

Today I decided to get the Christmas tree put up. I was worried about whether or not I had enough time to decorate since it was already 1:30. By the time I finished the tree I looked at the clock and it was 2:30. Hahahaha. So I got more decorating done inside the Texas Room, but didn't put anything outside yet.

On Saturday we are heading back to Houston because Terry has to have his incision checked for his ICD and at the followup they we check to make sure the device is continuing to deliver the proper treatment for him. We are taking Phaeton Place and stopping in Victoria on the way up for a night and then will drive on in to Houston on Sunday. We will be staying at Lakeview this time. We will head back down to Victoria on Tuesday and will stay the night there. We will be meeting up with some friends who have to be in Victoria for a doctor's appointment, so we invited them to lunch at Mumphord's BBQ. Can't wait!

Once we get back down here, things will pretty much be back to normal which means relaxing for the next couple of months. We didn't get our "bling" out yet because we knew we would be leaving to go back to Houston. So we will be doing that when we return. The weather has been pretty good since we arrived. We have some cool nights, but it is warm during the day and coats have not been required.

Till next time. . .


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Settling Down for the Winter!

We did finally leave Houston. We had an appointment on Monday, the 17th, with the doctor. We found him on Medtronic's website. They have a site called "Traveling with Medtronic" for people who have Medtronic devices. Everyone we talked with had nothing but good things to say about him. He is a younger doctor, so hopefully he won't retire on us. We met with him and he went over everything in his charts and then said he would be happy to make the changeout of Terry's ICD. So the nurse came in and scheduled it for the following day! Whoo hoo! I will say that normally these changeouts happen quickly because one's life is in the balance. But it is nice to be treated so very well by the doctor and his staff.

As luck would have it, on Monday night with cold temperatures in Houston, our rear furnace went out. Grrrrr. It wasn't critical in that we didn't have to worry about the holding tanks freezing, but we weren't able to easily heat the bedroom. So I dug out our little electric space heaters for the last night we were there. Terry did some troubleshooting and determined that the thermostat was bad, so he called PPL Motorhomes a few miles away and they had one in stock. So we hopped in the car and drove to PPL to get it. Terry was able to install it and now we have the heat pump, but still no gas furnace. So at least we have heat and once we are completely settled in at our place, he will tear the furnace apart. He's determined that it's the control board in the furnace, so he will be able to do that.

Tuesday afternoon we headed over to the hostpial at 1:00 for his arrival at 1:30. He got checked into his room and then it was a constant parade of nurses and technicians doing what they do. While we were waiting my cousins Jim and Pat arrived. They visited with us before Terry went to surgery and Pat brought some knitting so I could learn how to knit! She has really been special for teaching me. I have been trying to learn crocheting and knitting and she's the only one who has offered to spend time teaching me this craft. She and I had made some scarves using "arm knitting." I had learned how to do it at an FMCA rally and I had already made one, but I had forgotten how to do it from start to finish. I had bought yarn for two more scarves, so we each made one. It was a fun project for two cousins!

Terry left about 3:45, so we three went to the cafeteria so I could get something to eat. We had a nice visit and then headed back up to the room to find out that Terry was done and would be coming back to the room soon. The doctor came in and talked with me and told me everything went well. Then the Medtronic tech came in and said all was well and they set up this device exactly like the old one was set up. I was glad for that, as I don't like them messing with stuff that works the way we want it to. LOL Many thanks to Dr. Doyle and his staff for a great experience. We have to go back next week for a followup and we decided to take Phaeton Place. We will take a few days for the trip

The following day, Wednesday, we left and headed to the valley. Terry was feeling well, took a total of two pain pills (1/2 at a time) and was able to navigate for me. We stopped for the night in Edinburg. We were only about 40 miles away from Mission, but we didn't want to drive in after dark and we wanted to be rested up. So we stopped at Valley Gateway RV park. The hosts were very friendly and the park was not very full, so we got a pull through and didn't have to unhook. We could have, but I didn't want Terry causing any discomfort in his chest.

Thursday morning we drove into our park and got settled. Since we plan to leave Saturday to go back for Terry's checkup, we aren't getting all our "bling" out on our lot. But once we get back and Terry get released, we will be able to get some things done.

One thing I am planning is having Mom and Dad over for Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow! I had invited them a couple weeks ago. It's hard for Daddy to go over to the hall for dinner and I thought this way he would be in more comfortable surroundings. We are having it in the Texas Room and I have everything ready, I think. I got the turkey and ham ready to roast tomorrow. I made my side dishes and they are in the refrigerator ready to go. I made a Pecan Bar dessert that is done. Tomorrow morning I just have to bake and do the mashed potatoes, which Terry has volunteered to do. So we're good! It's going to be a good day tomorrow!

A few weeks ago when we left Zachary, Louisiana, we crossed the new bridge over the Mississippi at St. Francisville. We had been up there when the ferry was running, but had never seen the new bridge. So I've included a picture of that new bridge!

Till next time. . .


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Time Stands Still . . .

Last week we left cousin Gary's and traveled to Paragon Casino in Marksville, Louisiana. We had been there years ago and we weren't disappointed. It's a beautiful campground and very well laid out. The sites are all 75 feet long, so you can pull in and take your time unhooking later if you like. It is full hookup with 50 amp and is a Passport America Park. We camped here for $11.23 a night. WOW!!!! We stayed two nights and went to the casino. The first night we didn't score anything, but we made up for it the next day. We aren't serious gamblers, but it is fun to play a bit.

When we left Paragon, we drove down to I-10 by way of Coushotta and the Red Shoes Indian Casino. We had lunch in the parking lot and spent about an hour playing the slots. Not as lucky here, so didn't stay long.

We drove on to Beaumont, Texas, and spent the night there. On Monday morning, we drove on in to Houston and are in the South Main Street RV Park. We went to the medical center and dropped off some documents of Terry's to the doctor we hope will change out his ICD. The battery is nearing the end of its life and it has been signaling every day now. We could go back to Indianapolis, but who wants to do that in this cold and blustery weather. We hoped to be able to find a doctor here who would change it out. Terry called and talked with his office last week and they said they could see him this week and change it out the next day. Apparently she hadn't done her homework because when we went to the office to get the paperwork done, they didn't know about any appointment. Isn't that the way it always works? So he has an appointment for tomorrow at 2 p.m. We are hoping that the doctor will change it out yet this week, but we will just have to wait and see. If he can't do it this week, we are shooting for sometime after Thanksgiving. We are ready to get down to the valley.

The weather here was nice when we got to Houston, but has been nasty since then. It got cold, but I'm sure everyone reading this knows that as it got cold over most of the country. . .EXCEPT for Florida where Brandon is. I saw on Facebook the other day where they declared it "HATE FLORIDA" day. LOL Once it got cold here, then it started to rain. So that has been nothing short of miserable if you have to be out in it.

A big plus being here in Houston right now though is that my cousin Pat is visiting her brother Jim so I get to see her. I first saw her last spring when she was visiting Jim. It had been about 40 years since we had seen each other. They lived in another state growing up, so we only got to see each other every summer, but she was always my closest cousin. We are the same age and always enjoyed each other. Still do. She has been helping me with some of my "yarn" projects as she is quite the accomplished knitter. Her Mom, my Aunt Ginny, was a great knitter as well and passed that on to her children. Pat and Jim are flying back to Oregon for the holidays, but we may get to see them again before we leave.

Till next time. . .


Thursday, November 06, 2014

Cousin Gary's in Zachary, Louisiana

We arrived here at Gary and Jo's yesterday afternoon and got set up in the back yard. We have 50 amp and water, so all the comforts of home. We are just visiting with family this trip, so just trying to get in some family time.

Cousin Shirley, Gary's sister, is here from Mississippi so it's like a little mini reunion! Jo had a big sale of clothing, jewelry, bags, etc., at their house here on election day. She did quite well and will be doing another sale at a friend's house on Saturday down in Golden Meadow. We will probably head out tomorrow so we don't get in the way of their trying to leave. Gary is headed south to get his one boat. He had to have some engine work done and then he is putting it up for sale.

Those of you familiar with Wally Gator will be glad to know he is still alive and well. Gary, Terry and I headed out in the four-wheel drive golf cart. We headed over to the pond and we didn't see him in the first one, but as soon as we drove up to the pond and called, he came swimming over from the far side. Gary had some chicken parts which Wally was less than happy over, so Gary started throwing him fish pieces. He liked those. Gary couldn't get him to come up on the bank. He just had his head out of the water. He apparently is comfortable with Gary, but doesn't like strangers. . . LOL. Okay by me. He is about seven feet long from what we can tell. I got some pretty good shots of him today. At one point he would float and arch his tail up out of the water. I've never seen that before and not sure what it means. We didn't get out of the golf cart, though. . . no need to take a chance on getting too close.

After visiting Wally, we took a ride out on Gary's acreage to see where they have deer stands and just to look at the fields and woods. It was a neat ride and we enjoyed seeing old homesteads, etc.

It's supposed to get colder again tonight. Man, I wish we could have warmer days. Not sure where we are going tomorrow. It looks like we are going to be able to get Terry's ICD changed out in Houston. We are in contact with a doctor there and has requested some records to be sent from Indy. Hopefully that will go well and they will get the information they need. If they do, we may be able to get the device changed out next week. Will just have to wait and see.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, November 04, 2014

A brief respite. . .

We decided to stay here another night. I needed to get some laundry done and it's been awhile since we have been here. We are still getting up way to early since the time change, so by 10 a.m. I had the house picked up, the dogs walked and fed and three loads of laundry done. So off we went.

We drove across I-10 to Bay St. Louis and then drove down to the coast and traveled the road along the water. The road is done and quite a nice drive. The beaches look fantastic with really white sand just begging to be walked in. It was a bit chilly on the shore, so we didn't do that, but instead I took pictures of the houses that have been rebuilt since the last set of hurricanes. There was so much devastation and you certainly can tell that there is a lot missing, but it all looks pretty clean and inviting. Businesses are coming back and there are quite a few restaurants. We had lunch at the Blue Crabhouse restaurant. I had the crab claws and Terry had a sandwich. We did take the bridge across to Pass Christian. This bridge was knocked out by Hurricane Katrina. It took a year and a half to rebuild and reopen the bridge. Also damaged was the railroad bridge that passes along a short distance away. I have pictures of that bridge after the storm.

After lunch we continued our drive and took some pictures of the carvings that were done after the storms. Trees along the road were stripped of their bark and leaves and died, so artists carved animals in them and then stained and sealed them to preserve them for a long time. They are beautiful and a testament to the building back of the devastated areas. There are probably dozens along the coast there, but I only got a couple of shots. They are worth taking the drive to see.

Tomorrow we hope to head to cousin Gary and Jo's. We aren't sure if they are there in Zachary, Louisiana, or if they are at their fish camp. We shall see.

Till next time. . .


Monday, November 03, 2014

On the road. . .

We hated to leave the kids in Melbourne, just as we hated to leave the kids in Charlottesville. We only visit them twice a year and we actually stayed longer this time than we usually do. The kids are at difficult ages to leave. They know us well now and they interact with us so much that we really enjoyed our time with them and stayed as long as we could. My parents are already in Texas and waiting for us to get there. They are 89 and 90 this year and we want to get there and keep them company for the winter.

And there is the other business of Terry needing a surgery. We are going to try and get it done in Houston, I guess, but we still have to make the necessary contacts. He has an ICD (internal cardioverter defibrillator) and the device is nearing the end of its life. Once the battery sounds the alarm, it continues to sound every day at the same time and will continue for three months. So we have 90 days to get it changed out. Since it is imbedded in his chest, it requires a surgical procedure to remove. . . they can't just put a couple of AAA's in it, they have to change out the device itself. That's kind of a scarey thing, because he has done so well with this one, but I'm sure there is something newer and better to replace it. Both his cardiologists in Indianapolis are gone. One retired and one left for greener pastures. So the cardiologist we saw last month had never seen him before. He indicated we could go anywhere to have the device changed out and we didn't need to come to Indy. Terry doesn't really want to go to Indy in the winter, so we have been researching medical centers and using Medtronic's website to learn about centers we might try. Really a difficult decision to make. I think we are going to call upon our contacts at Houston who we met during his cancer treatment and see if we can hook up with someone there. Wish us luck.

We spent one night in Lake City on the way across Florida. Then we moved on to Holt, Florida, because we wanted to investigate the mail forwarding leg of Passport America. They were open at 8 this morning and we were there to talk with them and get information about their service. The reason we are considering this is because our mail forwarder in South Dakota was sold in January and our address is going to change. We are thinking that this might be the time to change as well, but still not sure about this. So we will continue to study and peruse the materials they gave us. I don't think we will make a change yet, but we do have some options.

Today we drove through Pensacola and Mobile, continuing on to Mississippi. We saw a police chase in the eastbound lanes. They actually had cars to the left and behind the guy and it was obvious they had him boxed in. Later on when we stopped for lunch, they were stopping the traffic heading eastbound because of the police chase. We were glad we were going the other way. On the bridge across the Pascagoula River, there was a car on fire sitting in the narrow lane off the driving lanes. Smoke was rolling from under the hood and he was getting things unloaded from the trunk. A pickup truck behind us stopped to help him. There were no emergency personnel around.  Now we are north of Biloxi and after we got setup today, we went down to the casinos. We played around a bit, lost some and won some and probably broke even in the end. We were sufficiently entertained. They are making progress on rebuilding the area after the hurricanes of a few years ago, but I sure do miss those big, old majestic houses. There are a few houses rebuilt and some refurbished, but gone are most of the mansions. I want to get out my old pictures I took right after the storms to see how it all compares. Glad to give them some of my money to help in the rebuilding process.

We will continue on west tomorrow hoping to spend a day or two with Terry's cousin at some point. Then Houston to see my cousin who helped us survive cancer treatment. He is having some health challenges of his own and we want to see him. And we will try to touch base with a doctor to do Terry's surgery.

After that, we are off to Texas and will get into our spot in the valley before Thanksgiving. It's been a busier than usual trip for us, with visiting kids, cousins, new doctors, etc.

Till next time. . .


Friday, October 31, 2014

Where do I start, part deux?

We drove three days from Virginia to Florida and got settled into our camp in Wickham Park. This is a very nice county park which has upgraded to full hookup sites. We stayed here years ago but it was quite a ways from Brandon's house and then there were those itinerant gypsies who took over one loop of the campground. They have since moved on and since Brandon and Megan moved, they are less than two miles away from the park! Whoo hoo!

The kids had just closed on their house on the Wednesday before our Sunday arrival and had not stayed at their new place till Thursday night. I was amazed when we got there, however, at how much they had accomplished. Brandon had actually emptied the two storage units he had as well as the pod sitting in the driveway. A lot of the stuff was in the garage and there were a lot of boxes in the house to be emptied, but furniture was set up and the first night we were there, Brandon got the entertainment center up and the TV working. By the time we left, almost all the boxes in the house were emptied and put away and the garage was emptied enough to put Megan's car inside. They worked every day and we helped out while we were there. I watched Brynlee and Terry had several projects that required his expertise. Brandon wanted new fans in the a couple of the rooms, so Terry helped with that. This time around, however, he supervised and Brandon did all the work!

They have a lovely lanai in the back, with access from several rooms. It is all screened in and there is a pool. It's lovely and we sat out there in the evenings and enjoyed the bug free environment.

The first night there, I went with Megan and Brynlee to "Boo at the Zoo." The zoo was decorated for Halloween and the employees were passing out candy to the kids. It was a fun time and I think Brynlee enjoyed it. When it got dark, however, you couldn't see any animals.

Yesterday Megan took us out to where the manatees hang out in the winter, but there weren't any there. It's been pretty warm there, so imagine it would take cooler water for them to head for the canals. We went to a boardwalk and walked out on the steps to take pictures of the ocean. It was really beautiful and Brynlee was mesmerized by the sand. I think she liked it on her feet, but after we got back in the car, she wanted the sand off her feet. Hah. That's a toddler for you!

Yesterday little Brynlee had surgery for a "lip tie." This occurs when the upper lip is tethered to the upper gum. Brynlee's actually passed through her front two teeth causing a gap there. The doctor said it definitely needed to be "released" so that it wouldn't interfere with talking, etc. So yesterday was the day. The kids had to take her in early, but the procedure only lasted a couple minutes. Brandon said they were very surprised it was so quick. They just cauterize it and release it from the upper gum. She was fine after the procedure but her lip did swell up a little. Understandable. We just joked that she had had a "botox" treatment. LOL

We enjoyed our time in Wickham Park, although we weren't there much. The girls stayed in the motorhome while we were gone, but we were there most mornings, came back for lunch, then out again, then back for supper. So they really weren't alone that much, got lots of walks in, chased squirrels and "observed" the armadillos. I don't think I would want the girls to try tearing into one of those, but I'm sure they would give it a shot. They were certainly curious about them and mostly just stood very still and watched them.

We saw hawks, blue jays, scrub jays, and ibis. And also in the park we see tortoises once in a while. We saw two large ones (could have been the same one) and one small. They are very timid and it you try to get close to take a picture, they will head for the brush. Luckily, I had my good camera when we saw one out and I was able to get a few shots of him.

We really enjoyed our time with the kids. They let us come and spend time when we could and we tried to help out as much as we could as well. I especially liked taking care of Bryn. After the first night, when she saw me come in the door, she would toddle up to me with her arms up. That melt my heart! Hated to leave the kids, but we will be back in the spring.

We are headed west, spending tonight in Lake City, Florida.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Where do I start?

We drove a couple long days after we left Tab and Deanna's, but we wanted to get to Williamsburg to see the kids. Even though we would love to play tourist here, we were here mainly to see the kids. We did visit the Jamestowne Settlement, which is pretty neat. It is a re-creation of the original settlement. It is located just adjacent to the actual location of the settlement. There were costumed interpreters in the buildings and the kids had a good time. There were three sailing ships, replicas of the ones the early settlers used to immigrate here. It's so hard to believe they sailed in those little ships! I'm sure many ships were lost at sea, but I read about people like Ben Franklin who made numerous trips back and forth across the ocean. He had more guts than I!

When we left Williamsburg, we headed back to Charlottesville. We ended up staying about 10 days altogether. The kids had planned to go to Tom's folks on the weekend, but they acquired a new member of the family! They got a dog, a Poodle rescue. Her name is Pepper and she is really cute. The first couple days she was very lethargic because she had just had her spay surgery and they also did a gastroplexy. That is tacking the stomach to the abdomen to prevent it from flipping and causing bloat, which is common in larger dogs and fatal very quickly when it happens. So she was very quiet for about 3 days, then she started interacting with everyone. She seems to be really sweet. She is curious about everyone and everything and she is young enough to still have "puppy" in her. She is getting into things she shouldn't, so they will have some training to do, but they are already doing that. I think she will be a wonderful addition to the family and will enjoy their outdoorsy life of hiking in the mountains.

Terry caught a bug in Williamsburg and got pretty sick with a cold that followed him to Charlottesville. It didn't help that the weather was colder and rainy most of the time we were there either. In fact, most days, he stayed behind at the motorhome while I went in to see the kids. Each of the kids got sick as well, but their's only lasted a day or so. I sat and held Aenea as she slept with it. She slept almost 36 hours straight, but when she woke up, she was fine.

We really enjoyed our time there. I got quite a bit of grandkid time in and have the pictures to prove it! They are both sweet and loved the attention. I learned how to play some video games of Ronan's. . . well truth be told, I didn't learn much, but did try to play. In fact, Terry even took a turn at that. It was an enjoyable time to visit with them all and I hated to leave.

We did leave, though, because we are headed to Florida to see Brandon, Megan and Brynlee. They just closed on their new house and started moving into it on Wednesday. We are anxious to see it and to help take care of the baby so they can get stuff put away. We left Charlottesville on Friday, spent last night in Charlotte, tonight in Darien, Georgia, and should be in to Melbourne tomorrow.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Busy Summer!

It has been a hectic summer for us. When we arrived in northern Indiana we had an apartment to re-hab and it took a while to do that. I had been bitten by the influenza bug and it was taking a toll on me. I couldn't work for long on any one day, so I worked what I could when I could. We had decided to sell the duplex and so we didn't want to rent it. That was so a new tenant didn't have to change landlords right after moving in. I don't think that would be fair.

We had planned to spend a month in Wisconsin, but we had a buyer for the duplex (who said he actually wanted to buy multiple units) who strung us along for way too long. I finally got tired of it and went to the next buyer on the list, but it was too late for us to go to Wisconsin.  We had multiple people interested in buying the duplexes, so the prospects were good we would sell. And we did. Two days after we sent the first buyer on his way, the next one made an offer. We are happy with them, because they own a duplex they bought from Terry's Dad and it is next door to the one we sold. In fact, the buyer has often done service work for us when we are gone in the winter and is familiar with all the buildings and knows how they were built, etc. Since the August sale, they have purchased the second duplex we had for sale. The deals are all sealed, signed, and delivered and we are very happy with that.

We have left northern Indiana now and headed south. We are in central Indiana where we have seen the dogs' vet and went for bloodwork and haircuts today. Tomorrow Terry sees his new cardiologist in Indy and tomorrow night we will visit some friends in Muncie. The girls will get to play in Baxter's yard. Baxter is a Scottie as well. Thursday we see our family physician and then Friday we roll. We plan to stop by and visit with our Alaska travelmates, Tab and Deanna, in Ohio before heading to Virginia, Florida and finally Texas!

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Great Weekend!

Last Friday we loaded up MinnieMee and grabbed the dogs and headed for my sister Nita's woods south of Warsaw. We were part of an elaborate event and our part was what I called "support." We spent the weekend visiting with Mom and Dad and taking care of Nita's four dogs and three cats.

Nita and Jim left Friday evening for Chicago, so they could catch a plane on Saturday morning for New York. Their daughter Kellie was already in New York, Long Island, to be exact. She was out there supposedly for an air show, but her boyfriend had planned an elaborate "engagement" for her. Since Tommy is a pilot, he took her up in a plane and had a friend of his fly another pulling a banner which read, "Kellie, I love you. Will you marry me?" She said "YES!" He pulled the whole thing off perfectly. When they landed, she was shocked to see her Mom and Dad and many of Tommy's family and friends there to help celebrate their engagement. Such a happy time! In the picture, Kellie and Tommy are in the plane in the upper right corner. The right is a closer look at the banner.

We just relaxed at the woods. On Saturday night, we had storms and since Nita has one dog afraid of storms, I spent the night at their house. The other nights they did fine by themselves, but I didn't want Phineas to be stressed, so I took him to the downstairs bedroom and he slept next to my bed on the floor. He is a sweet dog.

Our television reception was not too good. . . we got plenty of stations, but if the wind was blowing, and it did all weekend, the trees were interfering with our signal. So we did watch some movies and played on our computers since we had wifi.

On Saturday, Michelle and Staci and their families came down to see Mom and Dad. We visited with them and had a great visit. I had to leave to go tend to the dogs when the storm got bad, but it was great visiting with them.

We are back in Elkhart at the campground and today we cleaned up MinnieMee and have her ready to put back in storage tomorrow. We are getting things around and finishing up some last minute stuff as we are leaving Sunday and headed south. We start with doctor appointments next week, then we are headed for Virginia.

Till next time. . .