Thursday, July 20, 2017

AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!

That was something we hadn't planned to do today. Terry had noticed a leak in a drain pipe in the ceiling in the basement. He tried a couple fixes and helped it some, but noticed it was leaking toward the far wall, which would be under the kitchen. The leak was in a pipe under the floor of the kitchen. The real PROBLEM is that the finished basement room directly under the kitchen is completely plastered, ceiling and all. We have been having some water spots on the ceiling in that room and suspected it was from the front door stoop. Not so. He came upstairs and took the drawers out of the cabinets and asked me if I thought he should go down through the cabinets. I said no. Reason being. . . going down through the cabinets, then the floor. . . . what if the leak was 3 foot out from the wall? He would then have to tear out more cabinets and the new floor in the kitchen. I said. . . NOPE! Tear out the ceiling. A plastered ceiling is much easier to repair. Well, he measured perfectly and cut a hole. The pipe was pulled apart and the two parts were not even touching each other. This is the drain line for the kitchen sink and dishwasher. When he cut and fixed the other end is when it came apart. So up till then it was a slow leak. The plastic pipe appeared to have never been glued. Once he glued it back together, it was fixed! Whew!

So we probably will not plaster it back. Terry will put a door of some sort and keep it as an access. There should be an access anyway as there is a drain cleanout right there as well! Problem solved! 

Till next time. . . 

Dale

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Family Camping

Brandon, Megan and Brynlee arrived on July 2 and we visited with Mom on the way home from Indianapolis. We spent time with them at the house and they were able to visit with some friends and relatives and took time to watch fireworks.

On Wednesday, we drove the motorhome to Belleville, Michigan, near Ann Arbor to camp. Brandon's best friend from high school is getting married Friday and we are going to take care of Brynlee while they are at the wedding. So we are just hanging out here till Friday. We are camped at the Wayne County Fairgrounds and it is really not a bad camp. Kind of a no-frills place but there are a lot of RV's in here and it's a nice comfortable and safe place to camp.

Tonight is the rehearsal dinner and Brynlee and Megan can both go to that, so they will be busy this afternoon and evening. Tomorrow then we will get Brynlee and keep her all night. We will do fine. She is easy to put to bed and she is excited about camping in Grandma's RV. Saturday Megan will get her to take her to a museum where she is meeting a friend. Later in the afternoon there is a picnic for the bride and groom to which we are invited as well, so we are anxious to go. And then we will get Brynlee back in the evening and keep her for the next week, traveling back to Goshen. Brandon and Megan are flying to Denver for his annual sales meetings and they will return back to Goshen at the end of next week. And on Sunday they fly back to Florida. What a whirlwind of activity for them. Our part is pretty simple.

We did receive word yesterday that Terry's Aunt Frances passed away early yesterday morning. She had been in poor health and has had a difficult time since Uncle Bill died. Rest in Peace, Aunt Frances.

Till next time. . .

Dale


Monday, July 03, 2017

Three-month checkup!

All is well. I saw my back doctor on the 21st and my back x-ray looked just like the one two months ago. So that is good, all is well.

From Indy we traveled on up to Warsaw to visit with Mom again and then headed toward Goshen. We parked in the drive for a few days and got the house ready. Brandon and his family arrived on July 2.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Carrollton, Kentucky

We left Franklin, Kentucky, and drove north on I-65. When we got to Louisville, we detoured around the eastern part of the city and drove on to Carrollton, Kentucky. Terry, navigator supreme, has been trying to find new and interesting places to spend the night instead of always going to the same parks. He found a city park in Carrollton, Kentucky. It turns out this is an absolute jewel. It is a new park, about five years old, and has 33 sites, all paved and all full hook up sites with 50 amp. It has a bathhouse which is very nice and clean. There is a small playground, shelterhouse and a dump station. It is right on the Kentucky River. In fact it is called 2 Rivers Campground because the Kentucky River runs along the one side. The Ohio River is here as well, hence the name "2 Rivers" and you can walk from the RV park along the Kentucky River, under the bridge and right into "Point Park" which is on the Ohio River. The roads are all paved in the park and the sites are all level. For once, it looks like someone who knew what they were doing actually laid out the park because the facilities are spectacular for campers. The sites are long, most are pull through, except for the perimeter and the hookups are well positioned. They do allow some discounts and we ended up paying $103 for 3 nights. Not bad. It is very clean and park attendants drive through a couple times a day. We called in, made a reservation, and paid by credit card as there does not seem to be any park host or anything. There is a checkin/out station with a 5th wheel which we assume must be a work camper, but no one has been there since we arrived. Perhaps they had some emergency.

I have been able to get out in the mornings and walk before it gets too hot. It hasn't always been possible to get my walk in when we are traveling, so I am glad I have been able to do that here. It is nice and flat and the roads are paved, so it is easy.

Yesterday we drove down to "Lock #1" on the Kentucky River. Terry thought there were locks on that river and he was correct. We didn't have to drive too far. You have to look at it from the fence. It is a small lock at a dam which has water flowing over it. The lock would only be for fishing boats or pleasure boats as it is quite small, but it is interesting just the same. Boats that had passed by us at the campground were sitting down here. I'm guessing it must be deeper there at the dam because boats were stopped and people were in swimming. The water was pretty murky and muddy and I wouldn't be in it, that's for sure. There were two homes on the hillside at the lock that are very old and were in total disrepair. But they were roped off. We wondered if they were historic and renovations might be planned. There are several more locks along the Kentucky River, 14 total. I think several of them are closed, however, and some have been renovated. Lock #1 looks like it has been redone.

We leave here tomorrow and will camp just south of Indianapolis. We have to be in Indy on Wednesday for my THREE-MONTH checkup with the neurosurgeon who did my back surgery. Can you believe it's been three months? I can't. . . Wow the time has flown by. I'm so glad I had it done.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Sightseeing around Franklin, Kentucky

When we stay for more than a day at a camp, we always try to find out a little of the history of the area. So we did an internet search and found "15 things to do in Franklin, Kentucky." One of those "things" was to visit Octagon Hall. Octagon houses are a real oddity and we actually had one in the small town of Shirley, Indiana, not far from where we once lived. It was a wood framed house and the local preservationists had purchased it and moved it to an area where they began working on restoring it. You can read more about it here: Shirley, Indiana, octagonal house.

So off we went on an adventure to learn more about Franklin's Octagon Hall. As usual, I searched the internet and learned more about the house before our visit. That is a good idea whenever you know you are going to visit because you know what to look for and may have question you can ask the docent. The home was built by Andrew Jackson Caldwell beginning in 1847. It wasn't completed until 1859. It is the only surviving octagonal house in Kentucky and one of only a few in the country that were built of brick. During the Civil War it became an asset to both Confederate and Union forces as both an observation post and a camp. There were many hiding places where troops would hide from the enemy. It was used as a hospital by both Union and Confederate forces at different times. It survived the Civil War without being burned down and has remained a private family residence all these years until it was obtained by The Octagon Hall Foundation which offers tours to help fund the cost of preservation. It is now used primarily as a museum with artifacts from the Civil War including many items recovered from the homestead itself. In addition there is quite a collection of artwork depicting many scenes from the War

Legend has it that the Hall is haunted and it has been a frequent "haunt" by paranormal investigators who confirm that it is indeed haunted. Our guide said they haven't identified any of the ghosts, but they believe them to be family members who have died there.

In addition to the hall, there is an original slave cabin, slave and family cemeteries, a summer kitchen and a well on the property. It has not been restored, so your $5 helps to go toward making improvements and maintaining it so that future generations may have a peak at the past.

We had a thunderstorm while we were there that produced quite a lot of water, so we weren't able to get outside pictures. It was a very informative stop and if you find yourself in the area, you might want to take it in. It is definitely worth the price of admission.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Friday, June 16, 2017

Leaving Red Bay

We pulled up stakes and left Red Bay on Wednesday morning. Our A/C was working great, new windshield, no more foul smells and slide toppers in good order. Couldn't have asked for anything more. While we were there, we did go visit one of the guys who does renovations. We are wanting to get our flooring changed, but haven't made any decisions yet.

We took my favorite road from Tishomingo, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee. That would be the Natchez Trace. It takes a little longer, but the benefits are huge. Almost NO traffic, certainly no truck traffic; leisurely pace at 50 mph. . . plenty of pull outs for even large rigs. We stopped at one and had lunch and walked Duchess. It's definitely getting hotter, and more humid. But that's what happens in the south in the summer.

We drove on through Nashville on the Briley Parkway and that went smoothly. We stopped for two nights (thank you Terry) at Dad's Campgound. This park used to be known as a bluegrass park where they had entertainers and jams for the residents and visitors. It has been closed for a couple years. The previous owners just walked away from it and it sat for three years until the current owner bought it. He is extremely nice and just wants people to have an enjoyable time. It makes me feel good when people will say. . . "We know you have options and we appreciate that you chose to stay with us." What a great attitude. Plus, he gave us the Passport America discount which really helped. We will stay again. When driving south on I-65 we typically stay just north or south of Nashville in order to plan our drive through the city and this park is handy.

Till next time. . .

Dale



Thursday, June 15, 2017

Red Bay Time!

Whenever we come to Mississippi for the family reunion, we normally schedule some time in at Red Bay for any repairs we need. They have changed the system at the Tiffin Service Center, but we can still get service. On our way down here from Indiana, our windshield broke and Red Bay is the best place to get it fixed. They have them in stock and we don't have to wait. We drove over to Red Bay on Sunday.

We had an appointment with Bay Diesel to have our cab air fixed. It had quit cooling us down and with temps in the 90's, we need A/C going down the road. Some people run their generators and roof air, but it doesn't help with the heat coming in the front windshield.

True to form, Tiffin called early Monday morning and asked us to come in to get the windshield changed out. We knew they would probably call us, so we set an alarm and got up early. We had Phaeton Place ready to roll and were out of there and in the proper bay in no time. We had developed a problem with fumes from the gray tank and so we went into the office to ask about getting that tracked down. The gal said no problem and as soon as the windshield was done, they took us into an express bay. There the two techs worked the rest of the day and fixed the vents which had dropped down too far and were expelling foul air into the coach. That worked and we are once again fume free.

While we were there, Terry mentioned he wanted to have the slide toppers changed out and a guy stopped by to talk to him. They came out that evening and measured for our new toppers and came back on Tuesday evening to put them on. They work at Tiffin and do this on the side. So we got our new slide toppers. They work great and look better than the ones that were beginning to fray and had holes in them. Thanks, Tiffin, once again, for the fine service and a safe place where we can come, continue to live in our coach and get things fixed. We were ready to roll on Wednesday morning.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Reunion Time!

We left Clifton, Tennessee, on Wednesday morning and drove a short distance to Piney Grove Camp on Bay Springs Lake in Mississippi. This lake is one that helps to make up the Tenn-Tom Waterway, aka Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. We got setup in camp and ready for the week.

We marveled at the weather we were having. Normally it is very, very hot with high humidity with rain, etc. This time, the temps were in the 70's and it was very nice out. We didn't even encounter any mosquitos which was quite unusual.

We drove into Booneville to the flea market that  Shirley and Paul own. We figured they might be there and we were right. We had a great time visiting. We were there soon after they bought it. Shirley has worked at getting things organized and in order. She has done a great job and it's fun to walk through. I even found some things I couldn't live without! LOL

On Saturday we gathered at Ramey's Family Restaurant for the annual Pace/Stephens reunion. We weren't sure how many to expect because the numbers continue to dwindle. Terry's Dad and his brothers and sisters are the ones who started the reunion and when they were all alive, family would come from many states to visit. There were many who are distant relatives. Ma and Pa Pace were each married before and widowed. Each had about five children. Then they married and had five more. So there are "half" brothers/sisters/cousins/nephews/nieces, etc., involved. I cannot keep them all straight, but there are those in the family who do! Thank goodness for them. Since only Uncle Bob is left from the generation that started the reunion, attendance has been dwindling. Uncle Bob is in a care facility and has Alzheimers, so he was not there this year. Even though there are fewer who come, we still had about 16 and we all enjoyed good food and conversation. Hopefully the next generations will continue to come and we can visit with them again. We intend to continue to go. . . it's always held the Saturday before the second Sunday at Ramey's in Marietta. So family. . . mark it on your calendar and plan to be there next year!

Till next time. . .

Dale

Monday, June 05, 2017

Clifton, Tennessee

We arrived at our camp here around noon yesterday and got set up to watch the Nascar race. So many camps have a late check-in, but the marina here that runs the camp said we could come in any time. There are probably a dozen or so sites here but there is only one other camper besides us. We have good 50 Amp power which is great because it is really hot and humid here.

We are backed up against the Tennessee River and can sit and watch the traffic go by on the water. There isn't much, I can tell you that. Yesterday there were a few pleasure boats and two barges the entire day. Today I haven't seen any pleasure boats, but we have seen more barges being pushed by tugboats.

It rained last night so I had to keep one hand over the side of the bed on Duchess. She doesn't like being up on the bed, but she wants me touching her, so I have to hang my hand down on her.

We are just hanging out today. We've already been into Clifton and didn't find much there. It's a cute little mainstreet that T's into the waterfront but most of the stores are empty. We will leave here tomorrow and drive about 40 miles to Pickwick Lake and try to get a campsite there. From there it will be Piney Grove where we will stay while we go to the family reunion! Anxious to see the family!

Till next time. . .

Dale

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Tween the Lakes!

We arrived at the Land Between the Lakes on Friday, June 2. Details of the campground we had selected were quite sketchy but most agreed it was "poor." However, the lastest review indicated that apparently there was a new owner and they had gotten rid of all the "seasonals" and cleaned the place up. I am glad we didn't pass it up. There were only 4-5 campers there the two nights we stayed and there was no problem at all. There is no office or camp host, just an "iron ranger" in which to deposit your money and info. We had 50A good power and full hookups. All pads were concrete and our extra large slab had room for the car and the outdoor "living" area which included the picnic table. Easy in/easy out, right off the interstate. Couldn't ask for a better situation.

We did do some sightseeing while we were here. We wanted to check out the other campgrounds we had considered. We had stayed at Hillman Ferry years ago but can't remember what motorhome we had. It probably wasn't Phaeton Place or our other Class A because we would have had a hard time parking either one in most places in the camp. Also, only a few FHU sites were available and the campgrounds we investigated were pretty much full due to "boat races" going on this weekend. So we were really glad we were setup where we were. No trees to negotiate, no tight turns, no dump stations, etc. All is good. These camps would have been great for MinnieMee, but we prefer more space for Phaeton Place. We did tour the Canal Loop Campground which is a COE camp. It was very nice, but the same situation ruled there. Nothing but trees, few FHU's and tight circles, etc. These camps were built when RV's were much smaller and those and tents ruled the day. That's okay! Fortunately we had an alternative. The added benefit of camping in a forest is you do see the occasional wildlife roaming through the park!


We drove on down to the Elk and Bison Prairie which is a containment area for the 48 resident elk and 48 bison. We have been here before and the animals are quite elusive. We did manage to see the bison lying in the shade of a grove of trees. The elk were harder to spot, but we saw a couple. This picture is taken about 150 yards away. He wouldn't come out of the trees on the far side of the creek bank. We had seen a doe earlier, but this guy was just sneaking around.

We spent a little time looking around Grand Rivers which is a very small village at the north end of the Land Between the Lakes. It had a couple restaurants and some entertainment venues and seemed to have a good following. We also took a scenic lakeview drive of Kentucky Lake. There was no scenic view because trees and brush blocked all the decent views! LOL I got a couple shots between the trees.

We will be leaving here tomorrow and heading for Clifton, Tennessee, and will be camping at the marina there on the Tennessee River.


Till next time. . . 

Dale

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Mongtomery, Indiana, Amish country!

Once we left Remington, we headed south to an area known for its Amish settlement. It isn't nearly as big as Shipshewana and seems like it isn't quite as conservative, but we did see a lot of horses! It's that time of year where the farmers are out tilling and planting their fields and the Amish are no different there except they use draft horses to do the heavy work. They are beautiful animals.

We also checked out the Amish stores in the area and bought a few foodstuffs we like. We did eat at the Gasthof, where we have eaten once before. We had a good meal and enjoyed not cooking ourselves!

The next day we drove down to Glendale Park, which is a fish and wildlife area. They have a nice campground and probably one we would have enjoyed. We were okay where we were at, but it was not real easy negotiating with a big rig.

Tomorrow we are heading for the Land Between the Lakes. . . the area between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake.

Till next time. . .

Dale

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A little bit at a time. . .

Since my surgery was such a "major" event, we haven't tried to do anything very strenuous. I just cannot do anything like that yet, but I am happy to say that I am able to do some driving. As many of you know, I have been the primarily motorhome driver for several years. But Terry has stepped up to the plate and taken over some of that duty. As usual, he does a great job. He didn't give it up because he couldn't handle it. . . he just was nervous about his heart condition and driving such a large behemoth. I continue to improve and I am back driving now. Still two drivers in the family!

We camped over Memorial Day weekend at Remington, Indiana, at the Caboose RV Park. We stayed there because we needed to be close to both Indy and Lafayette, and everything parks closer to Indy were booked up for the Indy 500.

We were able to attend our great-nephew Nate's graduation party which was really nice. It was held in a building at a park in Lafayette. It was a great venue, indoors with a kitchen and restrooms. It doesn't get much better than that! Nita and Jim were there and had brought Mom with them, so we got to see her. We opted not to go to graduation proper because it would have required my sitting on bleacher seats which would still not be comfortable for me and nearly impossible for any period of time. But congratulations to Nate. We love you and are very proud of you. Good luck at Purdue next year!


We did a little sightseeing around the area, since we haven't been here for years. Remington has an interesting water tower which is brick and wood. It is quite unusual.

We also drove up to Rensselaer, Indiana, to look around. There is a small liberal arts college, St. Joseph's, which is closing its doors this year. It's a beautiful campus and it's a shame it will close. Maybe another school will buy their buildings and continue higher education at this location. While we were there, we saw an historical marker about an "Indian normal school." These were schools founded for the purpose of assimilating native American children into white society. One of the buildings there on the campus was built as a school/dormitory for Indian children. That building is currently used as a dormitory for the college. I did some research on this particular school and found that it was one of two Indian schools in Indiana. The other was at White's Institute which is near Wabash.

We will leave here after Memorial Day and start heading south for our family reunion in Mississippi! I am driving again and all is well!

Till next time. . .

Dale



Monday, May 15, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers out there and particularly to my almost 92-year-old mom.

Having left our roost at the Indy KOA for good on Saturday, we traveled with Terry at the wheel to the fairgrounds in Warsaw so we could visit Mom on Sunday.

As we have done for the past several years, Jim, Nita, Terry and I and some of Nita's other family, took Mom to eat at the Honeywell Center in Warsaw. It was a good dinner and we enjoyed all the visiting we got to do.

Happy Mother's Day Mom!


Till next time. . .

Dale

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Well here I am again. . .

It's been several weeks since I have blogged. Fortunately, Terry has taken up the pen and done the duty for me. Much like he has done everything else for the past couple months.

My back surgery was March 24. I don't know what I was expecting, but suffice to say, I got more than I wanted! Pain that is. I had multiple, I think maybe four rods placed, along with what looks like six screws and two cages. The doctor's comment was, "She's not gonna feel like doing much of anything for the first month." Truer words were never spoken. But pretty much one month after surgery I was doing well and much of the pain had subsided. Pain pills are a godsend I must say.

We started walking the week after my surgery. At first I would do 3/4 to 1 mile. We walked the Washington Square Mall. That's is very close to where we are camped and they open for mall walkers at 9 a.m. We've also walked Castleton and Greenwood Park Malls. The last two are still pretty decent malls. Washington Square is dying and it truly is a tragedy that yet another of the icons of years gone by are fading away. I suspect within a few years that mall will be gone. We are now walking two miles in the malls in the morning and in the afternoons we walk Duchess usually on two half-mile walks around the campground.

As the weeks rolled on, the pain diminished and at about five weeks the surgery pain was pretty much gone. This is the last pain to leave. . . it's the one at the base of your spine. I kid you not, every time I would move, change positions, or get up out of bed or a chair, it felt like someone took a butcher knife and stabbed me in the back. That's as close as I can come to describing the pain. And this pain was there even with pain pills. I can honestly say I was starting to get a little depressed, so we planned a few little outings to keep things interesting.

Riding in the car is a challenge. Short hops are fine; but we have made two trips up north to see family and after two hours, things start aching. I still am taking the occasional pain pill for moments like that. My legs get "restless" and my butt starts to hurt. I did buy some gel cushions for in the car and those are helping. I also wear my back brace in the car and that helps. I'm guessing it helps to stabilize my back.

It's now seven weeks post surgery and I still have the same restrictions. Basically I can't do anything. I am up though and I have driven some, if I haven't taken a pain pill. Picking things up off the floor is difficult because I can't bend. I help with dishes, but I not supposed to do things with repetitive motions. I don't do things every day, but occasionally I help set the table, etc. It feels good to be a team again and I don't overdo it. Terry keeps a watchful eye and will remind me. He's getting me back for all the times I "remind" him about stuff he's not supposed to do. LOL

Saturday we will be leaving Indy KOA and heading north. We are spending a couple nights in Warsaw as we are all taking Mom out for Mother's Day. Then we will spend a few days at the house. We hope to work on it some this summer and start cleaning it out in preparation for selling it. We use it so infrequently that it doesn't pay to keep it. We will never live there permanently because Terry can't stand the cold weather in the winter, so we need to work at getting it sold.

We are toying with the idea of heading to Mississippi for the family reunion. We are going to try to do it, but whether we succeed will be determined by my being able to withstand the travel. I'm hoping the motorhome with its air suspension will be better than riding in the car.

So that's where we stand now. Things are going very well with my back. My limp is slowing fading and my bursitis is also healing. The two conditions were related to my back problems and are starting to correct themselves as the back heals. Whoo hoo!

Till next time. . .

Dale




Sunday, April 30, 2017

Rain Rain Go Away. . . . . . . . .

Terry here again!

We moved to higher ground today.

Two days of heavy rain looked like this at 8 a.m. this morning. 

We closed up the RV, went to Walmart and bought taller boots to tear down camp. In twelve years of living in the RV we've never needed more than low cut water shoes, not today. We are now about ten feet higher in the KOA, if we flood out now so will I-70 about ¼ mile away. Three to four more days of rain in the forecast for the coming week and it's raining hard now.

This week after our “normal spring doctor's appointments,” we took a ride in search of an Amish food store for dried onions, cheese and meat. We had remembered a store close to Milroy, Indiana, about 30 miles from our campground. It still exists! Stocked up on what we went for and headed back to Phaeton Place. On the way I saw a sign for Moscow, Indiana, and thought I remembered a covered bridge being located there. I was right!!! However it was lifted off it's piers by a tornado in 2008 and rebuilt with recycled parts in 2010. This is the Moscow Covered Bridge of today.
 











Till next time. . . 


Thursday, April 20, 2017

We're here for the long haul!

Made a trip to Goshen Easter weekend to visit with family and friends. Found that riding 110 miles was hard on Dale's back even with several stops to stretch. We came back Tuesday for Dale's first surgery followup on Wednesday. I'm glad to say all is well per her surgeon...next follow up is in late June. We are still doing the daily walking as physical therapy at present most days are about 2.5 miles with 1.5 miles being early morning at a local mall.

This morning we dropped Duchess off at DeTails in McCordsville, Indiana, for a spa treatment. Next stop was U-Haul in northeast Indianapolis to have a Class #3 trailer hitch installed on the Flex. It was all done in less than 45 minutes and looks to be a very nice job. I opted to do the wiring myself since the Flex is already wired for towing by the motorhome and I didn't want any of that harness messed with.

We were doing a walk at Hamilton Commons shopping area when the groomers called advising Duchess was ready to pickup. We had almost finished our 1.5 miles and were about 6 miles away, so back we went. Duchess looks great, nice to find a groomer who knows a “Scottie cut” is different than a “Schnauzer cut."

The next two weeks are taken up with doctor's appointments, blood tests, our broker and hair care for Dale. Will the fun never end. Yes it will! On the 13th of May we're outta here, since our 2 month stay will be over, then up to northern Indiana for a while.

Till next time. . . 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Still here.... yes it's me, Terry again!


Here in Mt. Comfort Indiana for another 5 weeks, at the KOA. We've decided to hang out here since there is more to do here than in area's farther to the east. Dale can get daily walks in at various malls close by without a 20 mile drive to Muncie or Richmond, if we moved over to New Castle. She is doing very well with her recovery, and walking over 2 miles per day now. I am, on the other hand, getting a real workout doing the household stuff since she isn't allowed to do any, bending, twisting or lifting for another 3 months plus. But she's taken care of me for years without a complaint, so I'm glad to help her now.

I did take her out for lunch this past Saturday at Texas Roadhouse on Shadeland Ave on the east side of Indianapolis after our walk at the Greenwood Park Mall and stops at Camping World and Old Time Pottery.. She got a steak and as usual they did a great job for a chain steakhouse. My ½ pound cheeseburger and cup of chilli were excellent also, we each brought back about ½ of our meal back to the motorhome and ate those for supper.

Sunday we went and did two miles at Castleton Square Mall on the north east side of Indianapolis, and then hit a new grocery in Carmel called “Market District” for some needed supplies. It was an upscale grocery very similar to a “Wegman's” found in the North East. Found out it is an offering by “Giant Eagle” another NE grocery chain. It also reminded us of the “Central Market” stores owned by “H.E.B.” in Texas. Basically it fit the old adage, “If you don't see it, you don't need it”. Market District had a larger variety of meat and seafood than we've seen in this part of the country with many prepared meals to go.

Monday was another day of mall walking and hanging at the RV park. We went to New Palestine, Indiana, and met up Dale's cousin Nancy and her husband Roy for lunch at a local pub. The food at “The Around the Corner Pub” was very good as was our catching up on each other's kids and grandkids.

Editor's Note: A big thanks to Terry for helping with the blog. Not yet into doing much reading or writing, so I am glad he is able to help.

Till next time. . .

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Still moving on. . .


Terry here.

It's been 12 days since Dale's back surgery and all is going well. The pain in the area of the incision is less each day, but still requires medication. She hasn't had the nagging sciatica pain down each leg and doesn't have the hip pain she has had in the past, which is a definite plus. Most mornings she's up by 6:00, which is early for her, but it's time for her meds which is fine. We've been driving about 8 miles every morning to a local mall so she can walk on a smooth surface rather than the gravel of the RV park. She has gotten to 1.2 miles for the morning walk and another .6 miles during our “big” walk with Duchess when the weather permits. On these walks she is using her “hiking poles” to steady her on the gravel in case she trips, which could twist her back.
We bought two sets of the poles years ago, have lugged the around in the motorhome seldom used. They sure have come in handy during her recovery. There is no physical therapy for her surgery, other than walking and that is “walk as much as you like and more.” The doctor's office has checked on her several times since her release from the hospital and have complimented her on her walking efforts. The later part of April brings her 1st in office followup visit and our spring doctor's appointments.

We have decided to extend our stay here at the KOA Indy East another month since no other rv parks anywhere close has access to walking areas close by. So we will be here until May 13th and at that time we will head to northern Indiana.

Till next time. . . 


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Healin' time!

We be healin'!...Terry here.


Dale had her surgery last Friday morning, the Doctor was very happy with the results and found nothing outside his expectations. He felt both places in her spine were relieved of pressure during the surgery.
The doctor released her late Sunday afternoon after her incision drain was removed and she was able to walk the hall and climb a set of stairs.

We arrived back at the campground about 7:30 with a couple Wendy's cheeseburgers and a large order of fries to split for supper. She has been in some pain and has eaten little without feeling nauseous. The pain pills knock out the pain and her at the same time. So yesterday was spent watching her dose in and out between pills. Today she called and got some nausea meds called in. After adding those she has felt much better and was able to walk twice as far outside as she did yesterday after dinner.

I dressed her incision as directed yesterday and it appears to be between 4 & 5 inches long, but looks rather good considering it's only been 3 days. We've been hanging out in the motorhome for the most part, only going out for perscriptions and groceries.

I picked up Duchess from the kennel yesterday afternoon about 4. The kennel owner said she did great and ate all he foods and gave no problems on her insulin injections. She acted happy to be back in the RV.

Until next time
Terry

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Surgery time!

Good Morning all...Terry here

We have left The Rio Grande Valley as of the 12th of March. Dale's 91 year old mother, Alice, traveled north with us at a considerably slower pace than her past trips since we made the trip in 6 days as opposed to the 3 days that she & Dale's Dad would cover the 1500 miles from northern Indiana.

This is about a month early for us to be in Indiana, since we came straight to Indianapolis to prepare for Dale's lower back surgery which is scheduled for Friday, March 24th. We opted for the early arrival rather than visiting Jocelyn's and Brandon's families in Florida and Virginia, due to a required 6 month post op follow up that would have kept us in Indiana until late October or November.

We traveled a more easterly route to Indiana due to cold weather along a more direct route north. We cut up across Louisiana to Natchez, Mississippi, and the start of the Natchez Trace Parkway. This 420+ mile long two lane road to Nashville, Tennessee, is one of Dale's favorite drives at a leisurely 50 miles an an hour. No commercial traffic is allowed and it is uninterrupted by any stop signs along the complete route. Two short segments were missed, one around Kosciusko, Mississippi, for a fuel stop and the other was near Hohenwald, Tennessee, for a parkway bridge rebuild. All of our en-route stops were one night only except, for a stop in Brandon, Mississippi, which was two nights so we could visit with my 1st cousin Lanny and his wife Trish.

Lanny is a PHD veterinarian on staff at Mississippi State and is Executive Director of three state diagnostic centers. After a nice dinner at Georgia Blue, Lanny and Trish took us on a tour of the main center a few miles away, one of three locations that Lanny's involved in. The center is where research is done in finding the causes of animal illnesses and possible impacts on the in state livestock industry,  be it cattle, poultry, fish or any other species. Lanny has been involved with this facility for the past 16+ years since it was proposed to the state, getting the required funding and construction. He has done a great job and has much to be proud of in this 10 year old center.

We checked into the KOA Indianapolis East mid afternoon this past Saturday, with plans to be here at least a month, maybe two as she recovers. Dale had pre-op appointments and an MRI on Monday and everything is a go, barring an illness, on her part. Yesterday Dale's sister Nita visited with us and picked up Alice for the final leg of her trip to her home in Claypool, close to Warsaw in northern Indiana. Also yesterday we took Duchess to visit a vet referred kennel close by, had a tour and a meet and greet for Duchess with the staff. This boarding facility is by far the nicest we've seen in all the years we've had dogs. Duchess will be boarded there from Thursday night until Monday or Tuesday after Dale is released from the hospital.

Yesterday I purchased a 30 pound propane tank to supplement our on board propane tank, since we were expecting some cold weather during our stay and moving the RV to buy propane wasn't in my game plan. I had added a “tap” to the high pressure section of the propane line over the winter. Thirty pounds of propane will power our two furnaces for up to 20 hours of continuous use; at present it's 28 degrees and our roof mounted heat pumps stop producing heat in the high 30's.

Until next time.....

Terry

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Our stay is coming to an end...

Terry here!

Our winter in south Texas is coming to an end. We leave Sunday for Indiana, with Dale's mom traveling with us. I haven't determined our route yet as we are keeping an eye on the weather north of us. If our regular route looks iffy, we'll head east along the gulf before heading north. Our destination is the Indianapolis East KOA, west of Greenfield IN. Dale has pre-surgery appointments on March 20th before back surgery on the 24th @ St. Vincent's Hospital on the north side of Indy. We plan to be at the KOA for at least month or possibly two, post-surgery.

This winter season has been great, we've spent much the time with Dale's mom, Alice, having her over for meals, attending street dinners, taking in the sun and shopping. The weather has been great most of the time with temps from the mid 70's to a high a couple of weeks ago of 96. We have had little rain, with most days starting cloudy and breaking into bright sun by 10AM, great for our morning 2.5 mile walks.

February saw a two week visit by good friends Jim & Luanne Cripe of Syracuse IN, Luanne was matron of honor in our wedding 45+ years ago. We try to get together several times each summer. Luanne retired from nursing in January, with Jim retiring from the parks department in July so they were getting their feet wet in the world of “slow motion” after the working life.

We saw full timing friends Dave and Sandy Gibson twice over the season. They were in the area for doctors appointments on concerns of Sandy's continued back problems. Nice to see them again after a few years.

We've started putting stuff away and getting ready to close up the two properties, since the weather forecast was rain Tuesday through Saturday. So far very little has fallen Tuesday and today, which is fine, won't be any rushing to get it all done.

Until next time?

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Finally got around to it!

Terry threatened that if I didn't blog something soon, he was going to highjack the blog and post something. I told him to go ahead, but here I am.

Luanne, my friend from high school and her husband Jim are arriving here Tuesday night, so I have been busy getting things ready for their visit. They will stay in the Texas room, so that is very comfortable. It's actually an efficiency apartment, so they will have everything they need there. I've been trying to think of things to do while they are here. They were here a few years ago and we did some sightseeing, but there are many more things we can do. We are anxious to see them.

It's a good thing they didn't come the last two weeks because we were sick. We got the "Texas Crud" which is a bad cold that lingers for going on two weeks. Terry got it first, then when he was going strong, I started in with it. But we are both better now and fortunately for us, the coughing has not lingered. With some people, they continue to cough for weeks, so I am glad we are not doing that.

Duchess is doing okay. I am reading all I can about canine diabetes and I'm finding that most vets just encourage you to inject twice a day with checks periodically at the vets. The forums I am on do not subscribe to that theory and encourage home testing of your dog. The reason being is that food, exercise and insulin all conspire to regulate blood sugar and too much or not enough of any one of those items can cause highs and lows in blood sugar. Lows in dogs are particularly dangerous because the dog cannot tell us they are getting dizzy or crashing. If they are asleep, they can easily slip into a coma, so home testing is important. In fact, most of the people on the forums seek out a vet for the initial diagnosis, and that is the last time the vet actually treats the disease. They do all their own testing and adjust doses depending on what is going on with the dog. They even do their own glucose curves which tell what is happening during the day starting with a fasting blood sugar.

I do think home testing is what I am aiming for, because many of these people have been able to slow or halt the advancement of blindness in their animals which tends to have a rapid onset after the initial diagnosis. We do know that Duchess is developing cataracts, so she will still have regular vet visits, but I am hoping to do a reasonable job of keeping her blood sugar under control. We are still working at getting her regulated. I do have the pet testing kit now and have tried it a couple times. She tolerates it well and it is a little easier than I thought it would be. She is a sweetie. I want to do what I can to help manager her disease and keep her healthy. I made her a Scottie bag to carry all her supplies. She has her test kit, small and large sharps containers, extra test strings and lancets, a cold pack insulin container, and her medical folder with all her information. Here is a picture of the bag. Hers is on the left, while my bigger bag is on the left.

A few weeks ago two of my nieces, Michelle and Staci, drove down here from Indiana to see Mom. They were here for about five days. It was a whirlwind while they were here. Their days were filled with shopping and playing cards and they even twisted my arm into playing cards with them a couple evenings. It was fun and I think they enjoyed their time here. It was cloudy some days, but they did have some sunny warm days as well. It certainly was warmer than Indiana at the time.

Our street dinners have started. The residents of each street sponsor and prepare a dinner as a fund raiser. This helps us to keep our assessments low. Ours was two weeks ago, just prior to our getting sick. We prepare a pork loin dinner which is very good. Today Mom and I went to the roast beef dinner. It was very tasty and we both brought part of it home. The hall was really hot tonight and I wondered if the air conditioning was even working. It normally keeps us cold and today it was very warm. The place was packed as well. They normally limit the tickets to the capacity of the hall, but with people going from 4 to 6, it can handle many more. They actually had to set up more tables tonight. I think their dinner was a great success. Terry doesn't go to the dinners because he cannot have salt. But he's gracious about not minding if I go with Mom, so he fixed something here at home.

Our park seems to be fuller this year than it has been for several years. There has been some turnover, with some older members passing away. It seems younger people are coming in looking for cheaper living in the winter and it is fairly inexpensive to live here. And it's a nice, safe community as well.

I have been taking Spanish lessons since the beginning of January. A lady in the community visits several of the parks and teaches us conversational Spanish. She is very dedicated. She surely has been trained as a teacher, because her techniques are very good. She is very encouraging. We laugh and have fun. She enjoys teaching and it shows and we all enjoy learning from her. Half of the class is made up of French Canadians. They already speak French and English and are learning Spanish. They learn very quickly too. They seem very dedicated. I really must practice for next week. It's a review week and I want to be sure I can put into practice some of what I've learned.

That brings you up-to-date with what we've been doing. We are beginning to plan our exit from the valley. I plan to have back surgery when we get to Indiana, so we may be leaving earlier than usual.

Till next time. . .

Dale








Friday, January 06, 2017

Message for Commenter

This note is for Gary, who asked the question about towing our Sport Trac. I replied to your comment, but you made it back in a post I had made in November. It was entitled "Family Time." So you will have to look for it there. I'm posting this note in the event you didn't remember where you posted it. I didn't want you to think I was ignoring you. Once you let me know you have found it, I will take this message down.

I have moderated comments, which is why you didn't see it posted right away. I'm assuming that's why you tried to post multiple times. That's okay. . . but that's why it didn't show up.

Dale