For those of you interested Only in TRAVEL, I (Jack) wrote the blog between March 2010 and October 2010 during our travels west. We saw the most beautiful places and had the best time in our big truck and little trailer. See Blog Archive below.

Dec 28, 2011

A Tribute to Reileigh!


Reileigh was my friend, a chocolate Lab, adopted by one of Nancy's friends at 4 years of age. She was a lovely dog--gentle and kind like most labs. She was very shy and stuck to Diane's side like glue when we first camped together at Skidaway Island. Her Mom, Diane, was kind enough to offer to take care of me when Lizzie got sick and had to go to the vet when we were camping with a group of ladies and my friends in Virginia.

The shenanigans of my friends and me probably overwhelmed Reileigh, at first, but eventually she came out of her shell and friends tell me she got happier and happier as she camped more and more with the group. Unfortunately, I was sick all last year so I wasn't able to see her. She was lucky, like me, because she got to take a trip out west with her Mom and saw all the wondrous things that I got to see. Reileigh got sick, suddenly, and her Mom didn't want her to suffer, so as hard as it was to do, she knew she had an obligation not to let her suffer. I want Nancy to do the same for me if I get sick before she does. Everyone is devastated, but we all know that she lived a very happy life once she picked Diane to be her Mom. I wonder if she's at the Rainbow Bridge with Rich and Lizzie--waiting for Diane to come. Diane said Reileigh was snoring, as she always did, when she went off to sleep this final time. I'll be anxious to see her, again, when it's my turn to go to Rainbow Bridge.
Lizzie left me two years ago New Year's Eve. I hate it when Nancy crys--but she feels so badly for her friend. Someone quoted Anatole: "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." I sure am glad I got to see her in December at Desoto Campground, even if it was just for the day. She seemed so happy and content.

  • Nancy's monitor is broken so she can only tell that the first picture is of Reileigh. We don't know if she's enjoying the water like the  rest of us--she may have been walking and watching with Diane. I think this must be what the other side of Rainbow Bridge is like, don't you? At  least it shows everone what fun Reileigh was to learn to have; especially on her trip west. Diane's blog is on our blog roll.

Skidaway Island

Lizzie-she loved water more than any other pup I've known.
Friends Having a Good Time

Another picture of my beautiful Lizzie

I got the stick!

Here Comes Lizzie!

Tucker, Molly, Jazz, Teddy, Nick, and Me

Got My Eye on the Stick!

Dec 23, 2011

Celebrating the Little Things in Life

Well, I said I wasn't going to write,again, but this was worth celebration. Jack and I went on the longest walk we've been on for months. Not exactly in the "wild", but a sunny pleasant day. I was a bit stiff, but had very little discomfort. As we get older, we really do appreciate the little things in life...just being able to walk was a reason for celebration.

We couldn't go to the nature center, Jack's favorite place around home, but we went up to the school and out the back on a path (can't really call it a trail), and it FELT so good. I have an iPhone--couple of my kids rave about its picture taking capability. I guess I would, too, if I didn't press the button by mistake and take pictures of the ground and the sky

I checked the trailer--water is still coming in. I think it must be from either my tail light or a pipe that has a drip. I dried up what I could and spread towels on the floor. I'm not letting it dampen my spirits (no pun intended). I'll think about it tomorrow says Scarlett

Jack was a happy boy. I'm so thankful that Susan was able to walk him while I was laid up, but surely missed our walks, together.

Dec 22, 2011

Did Absolutely Nothing, Today

Something strange happened to the formatting in the first post.

A friend of mine, Dixie, stayed over last night. She's on her way from Florida to North Carolina. She was sitting on the couch next to me when Jack came over and looked at her, then looked at me very forlornly. Then the whining began. I knew what he wanted. He wanted Dixie to get up so he could take his spot next to me. Naturally, Dixie was good natured about it--she's known Jack, the character, for a long time, and she accepts the fact that I'm a nut because I told her he wanted to sit where she was. 

I checked this morning. Things are dried out in the trailer. I'm leaving the heat on for another night. I'll tackle trying to find the origin of the water and try to get the electric on when I know I'm not going to undo the good they've done for my back. Just wanted to write a quick note--maybe the last one for the year. Happy Holidays one and all, and peace and happiness in the New Year.

Back Feels Better-Water Problems

Just a quick post. My back feels better though I overdid it, yesterday. I'm not supposed to be moving around much until tomorrow, but I had to move, yesterday. My trailer was flooded with water. Doesn't appear to be coming from ceiling/rain. It's been there a while--set the CO2 detector off. Fortunately, anything on floor level in storage was in plastic bins/containers. Since my eye surgery, I don't see very well (I can see distance fine-no worries with me on the road), so I didn't catch it the other day. Yesterday, I went in to investigate, again, and I saw a paper back book lying on the floor under the bed table and when I picked it up it was soaking wet and moldy/mildew so I knew it had to be there quite a while. What a surprise! I wouldn't have seen the water, otherwise. It's in the lower cabinets. I'm winterized, but I'm wondering if when I did it, I opened a valve that let the water out. It wasn't still flowing so I've had a heater going strong all night. I had to run it with an extension cord because there is no power to the trailer even while hooked to a land line. The water is down near all the fuses and breakers, but I didn't want to risk injuring my back trying to get down on the floor. (Why don't they think of us old folks when building these things?). Taking buckets of water out last night was enough--it's all at one end of the trailer, seemingly away from everything else "water". I do have an outside shower that I've never used, but I checked the lines going to it and they are full of pink and the shower itself is completely dry. So, this is written in a hurry, probably not making much sense--didn't get to sleep until 5 a.m. I think if I can get the electric hitch to work I'll hook it up and take it to camping world in the next week or two, but I'd like to see if I can get the electric working before that. The first year I winterized I forgot to bypass the hot water heater so I damaged that. It's gas lit from the outside so I'm going to see if they can install an electric water heater that can be turned on from inside and I want to put new tires on the trailer. I hope I don't have floor damage, and I think my next step will be to wipe everything down with bleach or a mildew retardent. I have no idea if it got to the wood under the tile. No pictures. Too Tired. I'm going to go on one of the help groups to see if anyone has any additional steps I should take before I hook up. Any thoughts you might have would be greatly appreciated. I just wish I could get at it, today, but my back comes first and it's going to rain until Saturday, I think.

Dec 19, 2011

Epidermal Steroid Shot (Jim)

For anyone facing one, a little uncomfortable but NOT painful. I had two shots without any sedation (a local on each side of the spine). I have to stay put for three days (My "nurse" is on duty 24/7, now). Most of the time the shots do not take affect for between 3 days to 2 weeks.

I was SCARED going in as it was reminiscent of a myelogram that I had in the early 80s when everything that could go wrong went wrong.

This post is mostly for Jim so he knows what to expect. My daughter-in-law was asleep when they did hers. I guess it depends on the doctor. My surgeon told me I could have sedation, but from my perspective after speaking with the doctor who was going to do it, I really didn't need it and didn't want to be groggy afterward. They still insist that someone take you, wait for you, and take you home. CYA, I suspect.

Another thing they told me is that many times they have to do two or three shots. My surgeon said to call him in two weeks to let him know whether this session was successful. Now, I just hope it works. 

Dec 14, 2011

MRI Results

Heard from the doc with MRI results, today. He wants to try a shot to relieve the pain for the holidays. Once in a while they get lucky and it lasts for a pretty good period of time. If it does last that long, then he said he would give me another before my trip west. When I get back, we will talk about the surgery.

Unfortunately, it isn't the simple spinal stenosis that he and I thought/talked about when I saw him. I will need spinal fusion as my back is unstable and there are a number of disks that have slipped and will continue to slip. If the shot doesn't last more than a couple or a few weeks, then I might have to consider surgery sooner which might blow my leaving in March. One problem is that when more than two disks are involved, the success rate of the surgery goes down (I read this and this may be the reason to try conservative treatment, first). We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. I'm looking forward to relieving pain even if it's only for a short while.

So, I'll try the shot--maybe I'll get lucky.

My Nurse

Dec 5, 2011

I Went to See Santa!

...and I want a big bone and...and a ball...and...

My sister,  Susie, surprised me today, and took me to see Santa Claus at PetSmart. She takes me every year. Then, I got to go shopping. Nancy takes me, but not when Santa is there. This was a special treat.

Nancy didn't go. I heard her mumbling about someone being nuts, but I LIKED Santa. It seems that Susie pleaded with Nancy to take Lizzie when she was young, and Lizzie being a young Lab, caused  complete chaos and almost knocked Santa out of his chair when she went charging up to greet him. That was at another place (fancier) where they were serving gourmet treats. Lizzie didn't get any because Nancy couldn't get to the door fast enough. Susie said she still laughs when she thinks about that day. Santa was straight ahead, Nancy had Lizzie on the leash, Susie opened the door, and Lizzie went charging to Santa who had an "OMIGAWD" look on his face! 

I'm also going to Susie's Christmas party, but I'm not sure what day that is. She invites me to her house whenever she has something going on. It's such a busy time of year for me--so many social engagements. Tuesday, Nancy and I are going to see Michael, Keely, and Peyton AND Bella and Bogey.

Nancy gave Susie a seatbelt for me for her car and also a cover for the back seat so I don't get hair all over. She says she could probably make five dogs out of what I've left in my beds in the back seat.