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.

Nov 25, 2012

Better Late Than Never!

I didn't take many pictures at Thanksgiving for a couple of reasons. My eldest son, John, and his wife, Lisa, come late because they have a Thanksgiving at lunchtime at Lisa's Mom and Dad's each year. Amanda came with her brand new puppy adopted from a shelter and left her with us until coming back later in the day. Her name is Emma. Everything was in full swing when they arrived. Michael's pups, Bella and Bogey, were there. Bogey is full of energy so we had to keep him and the puppy separated. This is probably only making sense to me because it seemed like we did a lot of shuffling dogs! :) Add to that, I just wasn't very mobile partly because it was more comfortable sitting and partly because I was enjoying a lot of the afternoon outside.
John and Lisa
Susan had a big crowd this year--more people than usual so pictures got lost to conversation. It's hard, many times, to get the grand kids to sit still long enough for a picture or a picture without a funny face, any way. Kellie, my youngest granddaughter, had to leave directly from her other grandparent's house--a friend of hers was killed in a car accident the night before. She wasn't aware of it until she was over there. What an awful shock for his family.

Jack enjoyed himself, as always. Here he is (as though it would ever happen) hoping that Susan drops something. He enjoyed being outdoors, too. As always, we had a wonderful time. Susan really is a great hostess and cook, and everyone always feels so welcomed and comfortable. I can't even begin to tell you how much food was there nor how delicious. It's nice to let the young ones do the dishes. John and Lisa are always the first ones to pitch it, and Peyton helped, as well. Peyton is planning to go to culinary school after graduation. Won't it be great to have a chef in the family. She brought two delicious deserts. I managed not to overdo, and I'm glad I didn't, but the next day I was thinking about leftovers!

Thank you, Susan, for such a lovely day.
Hostess With the Mostest
There's always hope!
Keely, Peyton (doing that picture thing), Missy, Amanda, and Emma (new puppy)
Amanda, happy with her new companion
The weather was perfect so some of us at one time or another were in the driveway enjoying her new fire pit. We didn't have it on for the heat, but for the ambience. We were tired by the time we had desert, and went home about 8:30. Jack was so tired that he didn't even walk me down to the street to put the garbage out when I came home. He just stood looking at the door as if he was willing it to open!
Around the fire pit on Thanksgiving
Enjoying the outdoors, too
Peyton and Michael
I have a friend staying with me for a few days. No grass grows under her feet. Dixie is on her way (eventually) to help her daughter to move to DC, but will be camping with friends in SC before, so she usually stops here as a layover when she needs to bide time before Florida and wherever she's headed. We were up late last night so she is still sleeping. No more 70 temps, here, now!

Nov 13, 2012

Princess Mary at Disney!!!!

Michael L. Signorello, at Disney, presented the "magical shirt" to Princess Mary, signed by all of the characters, but not before he had it sprinkled with fairy dust. Princess Alley got a very special button so that she can spread happiness and magic wherever she goes. Just imagine!
Don't tell anyone, but Princess Mary told her Gramma that she thinks Mickey Mouse has a crush on her. He blew her a kiss when she was on a ride. That's cute little Princess Alley standing next to her. She has a cold but is a real trooper. So good to see the smiles.
Princess Mary at Bippity Bobbity Boutique
Princess Ally at Bippity Bobbity Boutique
Well, Jenny, John, Mary, and Ally should be home by now. They did so much while there. The little one's fever got pretty high, but Jenny was able to get medication for her, yesterday. Hopefully, she was feeling well enough to fly, today, and Mary didn't catch anything.

How can you tell kids have had a GREAT TIME?
On the Way to the Orlando Airport - John said he hopes they sleep on the plane. So adorable.

Nov 10, 2012

Animal Rescue Effort-Sandy

Animal Rescue Effort-Sandy (You Tube)

Thought this might interest RVers since we are such big animal lovers.

Nov 1, 2012


Mary is still going through her treatment. She has her ups and downs. It breaks everyone's heart. She has to take steroids for one week out of the month and she doesn't feel well during that week.

The Make a Wish Foundation is sending her, my other little grand niece (her sister), my niece and nephew to Disney World. She's very excited and her doctors have changed the week of the steroids to another week so she'll feel better.

When I worked for Nortel I had the pleasure of meeting Henri Landwirth. He is the founder of Give Kids the World. It's a place for families to stay for the time they are visiting Disney. It's such a wonderful place that some kids would rather stay there than go to Disney. That was twenty years ago. I can't imagine how great it is, today. I was so happy to hear that she's having this experience along with the main event! She's very excited.

Aren't they a beautiful family? They are all my heroes. When I get nervous, I think of Mary and feel like a fool.

Oct 25, 2012

A Light at the End of the Tunnel...

My tests were last Friday so I was starting to worry that they found something they couldn't fix because I haven't heard a word. Last night I decided the best way to get a call from a doctor would be to take a morning shower and lather my head with Shampoo. It works like a charm. The phone (in the bathroom with me) rang.

There's a laundry list to be dealt with, but the main problem is two fractures. They will fix them and fix the slippage with fusion. This afternoon they will call with more information and a date for surgery so we can make arrangements.

I called the vet to see if they know someone who will stay with Jack. They will call me back, later. He is my main concern. As long as I have waited for this call, I can think of a million things I should have asked, but at the moment I was just so grateful that they can do surgery.

Oct 23, 2012

An Interesting Email...(thanks to RP)

This rather brilliantly cuts thru all the political doublespeak we get. It puts it into a much better perspective.

Lesson # 1:

* U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:

* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Total budget cuts so far: $3.85

OK now Lesson # 2: Here's another way to look at the Debt Ceiling:

Let's say, You come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood....and your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.

What do you think you should do ......

Raise the ceilings, or pump out the crap?

Your Choice on Election Day.

Feel Free to Copy to Your Blog, if you agree.

Oct 20, 2012

What a Difference 30 Years Make...

I get up at 4:30 a.m., yesterday. John comes. He's so sweet and gentle--tells me he'll stay in the waiting room. I assure him that that is foolish because there's nothing he can do. He can get to work on time. I say goodbye to Jack and off to St. Joseph's Hospital I go, scared to death. I will be there at least 6-6-1/2 hours according to the person who called me the night before. My mind races back to the early 80s where I had the most painful experience of my life-a myelogram gone haywire. (Fortunately, I've only had a little over a day to work myself into a frenzy as Dr. Osborne's nurse, Cathy, called me late Wednesday to tell me she could get me into St. Joseph's for a sedated Myelogram on Friday at 6 a.m.)

I'm shaking so hard I can hardly fill out paperwork, but I try to keep myself calm with the knowledge that I will be sedated and technology has changed in 30 years.

It takes two hours for the prep, much of which is waiting (and thinking). I'm taken up in an elevator and into the horror chamber. There a technician explains the procedure to me, all the risks, etc., which they have to do. I am asked to release them from a DNR clause that is in my Living Will just for this procedure--but it's up to me. I tell her I'd rather go quickly. She tells me that Dr. Fulp is an excellent doctor and I don't have to worry. I ask when I'm going to get the sedation. She tells me that I cannot have sedation, it is too risky. I tell her that I was sent to St. Joseph's because I could have sedation. She tells me nicely, but firmly, that my doctor's office was wrong--there will be no sedation. I'm now ready to leave; totally panicked.

Dr. Frankenstein comes in to talk to me, asks me a few questions and I tell him I can't do it--I'd be less rattled if I was going to have open heart or brain surgery. He has a very gentle manner as he explains to me that I won't need sedation and after a while convinces me to stay. He is not annoyed. I tell him I had a myelogram before, and he tells me that he is very careful not to hurt his patients and promises me that he will not disappoint me. I ask myself if I ever want to walk Jack to the nature center again.

So, here we go. The worst of it was the stick of the needle that carried the local anesthesia and one quick shot (not really pain, but like a zip) down my legs when the needle is in place. It scares me and I think it's just the beginning of an awful experience as I hold on for dear life. He tells me the worst is over and explains what is happening each step of the way. He takes X-rays continuously as I'm asked to assume various positions. Done!!

He steps back and asks me if he kept his promise. I assure the Angel of Mercy (note his name change) that he more than kept his promise and that I can't thank him enough. He asks me if I mind telling him where and when I had my other myelogram. I tell him at Northside 30 years ago. He looks surprised and says, "Oh, wow! No wonder you were scared! I thought you had a recent experience--says you've had your back pain about a 1-1/2 years."

He tells me that that was before he was doing myelograms--he looked to be somewhere in his 50s, very handsome man (now) and explains to the young technician. In those days they strapped people by their hands and feet to a hard, cold table, injected oily sticky dye which had to be removed after the old type of X-rays were taken. There were no tipping/rolling tables and the dye had to be pushed from the lumbar region to the cervical region. Even a good one was torture, and to have a bad one must have been terrible, he explains. I have learned I'm not the wimp I feel like. He apologizes to me for not asking before the procedure. I told him he was wonderful and he laughs and says, "Spread the word."

Off to the CT scan where I moon the world. Nothing to see here folks, just move along.

Back to my little curtained off room where I have to lay flat for an ungodly long time. No headache! Holly, a pretty blonde nurse, hands me the remote for the TV and tells me she'll be taking care of me saying, "I'll leave the curtain open if you'd like. Sometimes watching the activity makes the time go faster". There is a lot of activity--I can't see much of it because I'm looking at the ceiling. This is the hardest part of a myelogram. I wonder when the headache will start. Holly gives me a choice of something to eat. I choose a banana and a small container of orange juice. No headache! Even with a straw, most of the orange juice misses my mouth entirely.  Holly just giggles and says I'll get you some more. I forgot the bib. (Am I at the Hilton?) I ask when I'm going to get the headache. She tells me if I lay flat until discharge I won't get one. My vitals are checked automatically with the bp cuff and thingy on my finger. She tells me I have the bp of a teenager (I didn't take my bp medication) so it makes me wonder if I need to have that re-evaluated.

Time passes. Holly asks if I'd like a turkey sandwich for lunch. I say that would be nice. She asks, "Mayo or mustard and would you drink a diet coke with caffeine. It helps keep away 'the headache'." What headache?

They bring me a phone to call my son, Michael, to pick me up. He's already at the hospital so he has to wait another hour or so. I ask him to text his brother and sister (Susan's in Florida-perfect timing) that all went well. I'm unhooked from the IV, etc., dress and Holly wheels me down to the car. I thank her and tell her how wonderful she is.

I am so happy to see Jack and he is happy to see me. He is confused, I can tell. Where have you been all this time he asks. He sleeps with his head on my feet all night. The only pain I have is a pain in my neck caused by myself with tension and holding on to the mylogram table for dear life. I'm feeling more pain in my neck now, so I'm going to lie down for the rest of the day and read a very naughty book (I've been curious for so long)--good for diverting attention. It occurs to me that Kindles are good because no one can see what I'm reading. By the way, I recommend the new Kindle Paperwhite. With my eye problems I can see to read much more comfortably because it is back lit. I hope Susan enjoyed my old Kindle on the plane ride.

Now, we wait for results. No pictures, thank goodness.

Oct 16, 2012

Good News About Jack!

I took Jack for his second Lyme Disease shot, yesterday, and since we were so close to November I thought maybe I could get his annual physical behind us. That way, if I'm laid up for a while I know it's been taken care of. They said he looks great. He's looking a little trimmer at 90 lbs; that worried me, but then that's just me--I'm a worry wart. I'm sure the swimming and activity in Kentucky played a part, and of course Susan's walks with him to the nature center. Okay...this is huge! They just called. His numbers are great! Whoo Hoo!
My Handsome Boy
I went to the doctor last week, they took more X-rays, but even with the MRI and comparison X-rays, they cannot determine the cause of pain because the pain doesn't travel to my extremities. I almost fell off the chair when he said myelogram as I still remember the awful experience I had in the early 80s when I had one to try to determine what was wrong with my neck. This situation is just the reverse. The neurosurgeon didn't feel that surgery was worth the risk after the myelogram. It wasn't until the MRI came to Atlanta several years later that they could determine what type and where surgery was needed. A very happy day in my life as it was THE END of 15 years of unrelenting pain. I'm hoping this goes the same way, but doesn't take as long to diagnose.

The doctor offered me pain killers the other day, but I don't need them as they are built in. Unlike the cervical spinal problem that never stopped (nothing helped the pain) I just have to sit or lie down and I get immediate relief. As reluctant as I am to have this test, if I want to walk, again, I have no other option. I'd be less than candid if I said I'm not nervous, but gotta do what I gotta do. So, I have already donned my big girl panties and I'm going into it with a positive attitude. I made a mistake the day I found out, by looking it up on the web. I haven't read anything about it since! Patients who haven't faired well with it reminded me of how gruesome it was. They have to be in the minority--people are more apt to write about bad experiences than good. I was nervous about the shots, and as it turned out, they were a breeze. They have probably come a long way with the myelogram as they have with everything else.

Susan and I had a very pleasant dinner, last night, at Marlows; Delicious hamburger for me and vegetarian for her. I'm so glad she's here for Jack. She loves him as much as I do and he's crazy about her. I'll have to have someone come in to take care of him during the day, then she'll take him at night. The only snag is that her hours aren't consistent because of the rotating shifts at the hospital. Things are so much more difficult without Rich. Medical facilities are so insistent that you can't drive yourself even when you're getting no sedation AND with the shots, the driver had to stay the entire time. I'm hoping since this will take a good deal longer that I can get there on my own and only have to ask someone to pick me up when I'm finished. I hate taking my kids away from their jobs, and friends away from their lives. I'll work it out as I go.

My son, John, called to ask what's going on. He asked if I wanted to go up to his cabin. I told him I have to find out what's going on, first. He's so pleasant. He said, "That's fine. Just let me know when you want to go." He shows me all around. He knows how I love to ride around the back roads.

Michael texted me and his girls that he had landed, yesterday. Peyton, his youngest practically squealed through her text she was so happy he was home and asked him if he could bring her lunch to school from Subway so she could see him. Of course the answer was, yes, and then a text asking Keely, his eldest, whether she wanted one, too. He has such a pleasant way with them. I hope they realize how lucky they are. I know John and Lisa's kids do, but they are older.

He was in San Antonio on business which included a 150 mile bike ride for Multiple Sclerosis. His company, Swett & Co., do a lot of good for various charities; one being one of my favorites, "Wounded Warriors. I think it's the longest ride he's done. He made me laugh writing on Facebook, "I haven't had a case of diaper rash like this since Farmingdale." Here's a couple of pictures from the race.
Michael and Team Mate Kristin Hager

After wandering home from Kentucky last week, I sure wish Jack and I could hitch up and just set off for parts unknown. I found myself falling asleep at noon and waking at 6 p.m., yesterday, out of pure boredom. Now that I know he's healthy, and hopefully I'll be healthy, who knows--maybe I'll go down around the Texas coast or somewhere in January or February. Have to see.

I finally got this place vacuumed. Jack shouldn't have any hair by what was on the floor! He's a funny pup. When I leave the house I always tell him, "Be a good kid, I'll be back." When I return, he's always up on the couch, sleeping, where I always sit.

Oct 11, 2012

An Apology

I owe the nice gentleman who exchanged my propane tank an apology. After arriving home I realized that the whole attachment assembly was gone! Something for everyone to add to their departure checklist if it's not already there. The further away from the incident I get, the more grateful I am that I was not on the interstate--hate to even think of what might have happened. I could have hurt, or worse, a lot of people.

Oct 6, 2012

We're Home!

Nancy is so glad we made the trip to see her friends, and I'm glad I got to see mine, too. They were so good to her. The trip was good for a few reasons. It made Nancy see that she can't keep up any more. Period. She needs to see the surgeon since the shots and PT didn't do anything. I keep telling her I'll be fine, but she worries about me.

I think Rich was with us this week. First, the drive train belt went in the driveway, not on the road, but they were able to get it fixed so we could still go. Wilson and Terri were able to drill through the latch to get into the trailer, and the biggest thing of all was that we didn't blow ourselves or anyone else up when we lost the propane tank. It taught Nancy a lesson (an expensive lesson) to never trust what someone does. She should have checked how tight the guy put the tank on. It was raining so she took his word that she was "All Set". She was thinking, today, that when the guy said the propane tank bounced around under the trailer and blew sparks so bad that he thought it was going to explode, then came shooting out from under the trailer and into a ditch, we really did avoid a disaster not only for ourselves, but for others. It could have happened on an interstate and had terrible consequences instead of a country road. I told her maybe Rich made it go in the ditch. She just smiled.

She listened to her iPod all the way up and back and didn't get past the "Ds". That's how many songs she has.

Thank goodness sitting doesn't bother her! On the other hand, if she had pain all the time she might have done something about it. We took all backroads home. She's anxious to trace her route on the atlas, but I can tell you we hit no traffic until Atlanta. We saw a lot of very pretty places in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama, and even saw some places she hadn't been in a long while in Georgia. It sure was the long way!

We had a doozy of a thunderstorm in the middle of the night. Nancy said she doesn't think it was the loudest she's ever heard because we were in the trailer, she has never heard thunder that loud anywhere in her life. Fortunately, she's not afraid so I'm not afraid.

We're both beat from the long ride. Oh, pin a rose on Nancy. She backed the trailer in beautifully as tired as she was. She didn't unhook--she's saving that for tomorrow. She'll do the five minute up/10 minutes down until she gets it unhooked and laundry, etc. out.

I'm going to bed to dream about our next trip to a lake AFTER Nancy gets her back fixed.

Oct 5, 2012

Close to Disaster! Where to begin...

We had a wonderful time with our friends. I got to run and play  and SWIM in the lake. Nancy and her friends laughed a lot - through thick and thin. Before I forget, here's a picture of the lock that still works believe it or not, thanks to Nancy's friends, Terri and Wilson.

Well, it's getting late and I haven't even told my story! Nancy has been fiddling for hours trying to make collages so there aren't so many individual pictures, but they all disappeared! Now, she's mixed up as to which pictures she included and which she didn't.

Each morning was "OUR" time. All of my friends and I got to go down to the water--well, not some of the foo-foo ones, but Buddy the Bulldog got right in there, and Carly! She reminds me of me when I was little--so much energy. I'm an old guy, now, and I can't keep up. We had a blast, though. I "think" I may have been the noisiest because I was so excited and I wanted either Wilson or Nancy (I love Wilson) to throw the ball for me. Gads, c'mon guys. I waited a long time to get to the lake!

Nancy just said she's going to tag pictures in at the end, maybe. (In other words, this is a mish mosh because she is tired from the "incident" that happened on the way through the hills and hollers to this field where we are camped.) Very nice people, but Nancy is using her own Verizon hot spot because it really is a "field" with an electric and water outlet.

We all went into Paducah one day. Well, my friends didn't, but Nancy and me and her friends did. They shopped around in a bargain store, stopped at a grocery store and then stopped to have lunch. You'll see the pictures later on.

Each night (except the rainy night) they had a campfire. This was the first time Nancy left me in the trailer. When I was younger, I didn't want her to leave me, but I was so tired and I could hear that they were all near so all was well. They enjoyed delicious dinners. Everyone pitched in, but generally speaking Patricia is the chef. Nancy always kids her about having an invisible refrigerator truck behind her motorhome. Nancy did make banana pudding (which seemed to be a big hit) and tried to supply snacks (can't spell the "h" word). She was telling me how all food tastes good at campfires. ::I wouldn't know, Nancy, if you get my drift.::

Okay, there is too much to relate as far as all that happened except to say that even though Nancy couldn't keep up with everyone because of her back, they were true friends and didn't mind. We went just to see our friends so mission was accomplished. We don't know if or when we will see them again as they are from all over the country.

Nancy had contemplated camping over to Lexington with one of her friends who is leaving, tomorrow, but plans changed because it is supposed to rain so Erlene and Nancy decided against it. Nancy started out of the campground thinking she would take the interstate, but at the last minute changed her mind and reset her GPS to "no highways". She boo-hooed for quite a while--she gets sentimental. The ride was very nice. Through lots of country side--even saw a herd of bison. There were elk, but they were too far away for us to get pictures.

So, we found a campground on the GPS. Nancy called and they had room. Good. We reset the GPS and noticed that a red Jeep was being very patient behind us when we turned onto a narrow country road. We are going the speed limit, but you know generally you'll have someone who follows for a long time pass, eventually. Well, he followed her right into the dirt driveway of the field. Very nice guy. He pulled up aside the passenger side and said to Nancy, "Do you have a propane tank on the front of your camper?" ::ut oh!::

Nancy said, "Yes", of course.

He said, "I think you lost it about 6 or 8 miles back at the red light. I've been following you trying to warn you, but I couldn't see if you had your tank or not. I saw it bouncing around under your truck and trailer with sparks aflyin'. I didn't want to get too close"

Well, we had lost it. "Oh, no, said Nancy as she got out to look." We had just gotten propane. The guy must have forgotten to tighten it when we switched tanks. Gauge and all was gone.

Nancy was worried that it might be a danger to someone else. She darn near blew up the whole town (forgot the name--begins with a D). The guy asked her if she was going back for it. Nancy said, "No, but I better call the police and let them know that it is somewhere back there." She said she would be nervous driving with a loose and possibly damaged tank in the truck or trailer.

The guy said, "It went off the side of the road into a ditch. I know exactly where it is. Another car isn't going to hit it." I think he was going to lead Nancy back to where it was, but Nancy told him if he wanted it, and it wasn't damaged, he could have it. It had an expensive gauge on it so if it survived, he could have that too. He said he'd go back and check and if it was damaged, he'd call the police. Otherwise, he'd take it.

Boy that was a scary thing. Nancy was cringing at what "might" have happened. Then she told me, when we were taking a walk in the pet walk, "All's well that ends well, Jack. Tomorrow is another day." ::I didn't say it, but I thought, "That's what I'm afraid of."::

Here are some pictures. They may be crazy, but will get fixed later. Nancy said she's sure she may have duplicated some and left out others. It isn't easy to sort through a couple hundred pictures.

Nancy apologizes for the few people she may not have included. It was an error of omission.

We're still on central time so Nancy decided to take me out one more time before bed. We no more than got to the pet area when the skies opened up and it started to pour. Nancy got drenched. She always has towels inside the door to dry me off, but I really think she needed them more than me. Now, it's thunder and lightening.

We sure miss our friends. I realized this trip that Nancy just can't do the things she used to. She walked me more than usual at home, but I could tell she was really hurting. Her friends, especially Wilson took me for some of my walks. I love that because like with Susie, I can walk faster. They are such fun. We love them all--two-legged and four legged.

Well, she had to steal it, but Nancy got the picture of the lady she hopes we can visit one day. She is an inspiration to Nancy for reasons too personal to discuss, here, and an incredible artist - see the link to "Erlene's Fiber Art" on the sidebar. She's off hither, thither, and yon with her pup, Toby. She is one cool lady.

Oct 1, 2012

Oh, It's So Good to See My Friends

LBL was not a bad drive. The hosts at the campground aren't very friendly. In fact, they are down right rude. More about that later. We were so excited to see our friends that we figured we didn't want to let it bother us. We wanted to swing by their sites first and then go park. We weren't going to unhitch since we are moving, tomorrow.

So, we took off for the C loop BUT most of the ladies were all walking my friends! A lot of laughing, squealing, and hugging went on--just so good to see her friends. Nancy has been down in the dumps lately so it was good to see her so happy. They had a great time yakking and laughing around the campfire. Nancy felt bad that she didn't have her camera--she had left it in the trailer--too far for her to walk. Wilson gave us a ride to back. When we got "home" we both slept like logs. We were tired!

Now, for today's adventure! It's raining, but Nancy and I were sitting outside under the awning that Wilson helped us put down (Nancy can never remember how to do it). We had a few friends come by and sit with us, and it was just great to be here even if it was raining. It let up for a few minutes so Nancy snapped some quick pictures from under the awning. She'll get better ones when the weather clears on Wednesday. (That's another story--We thought we were reserved through Saturday but the nasty lady at the gate said we leave on Friday. Nancy was asked when reserving the date when she would arrive and how many nights stay. She put arrive on the first for 5 days. Nancy thinks that should mean that she leaves on Saturday. She has run into this in other places. Don't you really reserve 5 nights? Means Friday should be her last night, leaving on Saturday. That's not possible, now, because someone has the site for Friday night. If anything, their computer should not have allowed Nancy's reservation to go through. This is a National Forest Campground--We wouldn't recommend it to anyone. The first section, "D" was packed in like sardines. The sites have no privacy at all--well really none of them do. The sites in section "C" are a lot nicer, and no one cares if they have privacy because we all know each other.

These are the couple of pictures:
Too rainy to see, but that's the lake out past Terri's Rockwood

See What I Mean About Privacy

This is Erlene's Casita. Erlene is from Colorado. Nancy was so excited to see her. And, I met her new pup, Toby. We haven't all had a chance to run and play, yet.

This is Terri's Rockwood--I don't know what Nancy and I would have done without her and Wilson, and of course all the other ladies keeping things light and fun.

This is before all the excitement started.
When everyone left, Nancy went to go into the trailer to get something but the door would not open. Nancy was perplexed and she kept trying and trying to open it. It had not been locked so it just seemed so stupid. She thought maybe it was her and that someone else would come right over, pull the handle and it would open.

So, she finally called Wilson. But not as Nancy thought, the door didn't open for Wilson, either. What a dilemma. She tried everything. Nancy called AAA. Then, she went up to the entrance to tell the lady that he would be stopping and would she tell him that she was in site C70. The lady was angry that Nancy had already moved, but it was getting to mid-afternoon and Nancy was afraid she would be in the way of another camper who was going to take the space. She knew C70 was open (because that's the site she reserved). Still, the lady said she should NOT have moved without speaking to them first. Okay, whatever, lady. We have bigger fish to fry.

The AAA man came, but he didn't know how to get in the trailer. He left after taking some molding off a window that he didn't know how to replace. (Why did you say you had trailer coverage, Nancy?) Now, Terri comes over. Wilson and Terri know EVERYTHING. The only way in was to drill through the lock--the deadbolt lock was only spinning when they tried to open it with a key. Good thing Nancy travels with lots of tools, including a drill, in the back of our truck. How it got locked we will never know. They worked and worked and finally the door popped open! The deadbolt lock is shot, but the regular lock still works so it's not tragic, but something that will need to be fixed in the future. We can't thank them enough for being so caring and determined to get us in! Good reminder as to why Nancy has really loved this group of women, and she never even met Terri before! That's just the way they are. Now, this is the time Nancy should have had her camera, but it was in the trailer! What a sight!

Between the dampness, cold, and tension Nancy's back is not in such good shape at the moment. The heater is drying everything out--I didn't think it was possible we've been cold and wet all day.

I think Nancy is going to give it up and go to sleep--probably for the night. She feels bad that the other ladies spent their afternoon helping her, but they are a riot. They love fixing things and they said it would have been a dull afternoon if we hadn't gotten locked out. Their goodness is hard to believe, isn't it. Tomorrow it's supposed to rain, again. I wonder what kind of trouble Nancy will get in. Hmmm...

No Luck!

While Nancy was finishing last minute details, Susie came over to walk me. We went to my favorite place. You know the one...the nature center with all the good smells. There's even deer and fox to smell not to mention all the squirrels and other smells. I don't try to chase any of them. I'd be afraid I'd catch one. Nancy fixed the blinds while we were gone--good old duct tape. The cords aren't broken. Nancy had waited until 8:30 to go up to the hardware store to buy square wrenches. The salesperson sold her a screwdriver that they would fit in, but they didn't fit. The girl made a mistake. In a way it was a good thing that she went or we might have been hooked up before...

When Nancy was backing the truck up to hitch, she lost all power. No steering and no breaks. Yikes! What, now! Ok, if you say so. She managed to stop it somehow before it hit the trailer. Completely baffled, she got out of the truck, walked around it there it was--a big long belt attached to the truck was lying in the driveway. Nancy said, well I won't tell you what she said, first, but she told me it was the drive train belt. ::rolling eyes::. Anyway, I told her that it was better that it happened here in the driveway and not on the highway. She agreed, but she was NOT happy.

I thought about it for a minute and suggested that she call AAA and the dealer. Both of them thought she was right that it was the drive train belt. I asked her how she knew that and she laughed and said she didn't know.

AAA was here in no time with a big long flat bed truck. A very nice gentleman took the hitch off for Nancy otherwise it was going to hit bottom while being pulled up onto the truck. When he asked her for the key, her mind went blank for a second. The man looked at her key chain and said, "I bet that's it." Whew, it was. Nancy's never taken the hitch off.

The truck didn't have a back seat like the last one we had so I couldn't go to the dealer. The man at the dealer said he didn't know how long it would take. That was at 10 a.m. Nancy got home at 4:45p. Good thing it was Saturday. Susie came over and got me and took me to Ron's to watch a football game.
Fortunately, the dealer had all the parts that were needed. It took so long because something broke during repair. the service rep said he didn't charge her for it. The waiting room was ice cold and Nancy said she forgot a sweater. So, stiff as a board and $700+ dollars later, she arrived home disappointed and tired. At least she had her Kindle with her and finished her book and played on her iPhone.

When Nancy was making the plans, fortunately she built an extra day in, but it didn't dawn on her until I explained it to her. She still had two days to get to Land Between the Lakes because her reservation isn't until Monday, the 1st. She gets confused easily--especially with times and dates. I'm glad I can keep track of things for her.

So, now, the trailer is backed up and the hitch is right over the ball so all she has to do tomorrow morning is hitch. Guess things work out for the best, but we really were excited about seeing our friends tomorrow. So it will be one more day. That's okay--as long as we see them.

Tommorow Morning!

September 28: Nancy has been preparing all week, albeit five minutes at a time. She just came in after carrying a few more things to the trailer moaning, "Jack, my back!" Such a drama queen. Now, all that's left are the computer and chargers, and a few last minute items. To the trailer or truck, back, sit down, rest. To the trailer, back, sit down, rest. This has been going since she got better. Hitching up should be interesting, tomorrow, but Nancy is determined. Having paws and no hands, there's really nothing I can do to help, so I'll just get my beauty rest and wait for her to say, "C'mon, we're ready!" Still can't publish a post until the 30th when she's in Kentucky. Probably at a McDonalds or somewhere that has wifi! This is going to be so much fun, and Nancy said I could go swimming!!!

We are so excited and can't wait to see our friends. We are going directly to Land Between the Lakes. Dixie emailed, yesterday, and said she'll be coming through Atlanta, today, but she's staying with another friend, and will get an early start to LBL in the morning. At least we don't have to hide evidence that Nancy's been packing. 

I get my second Lyme shot on the 15th of October. Nancy is going to put my Frontline on tomorrow so that I'm fully protected from nasty ticks. The vet said it was okay to do. I'll get my Heartworm on the 5th as usual and then we'll go back to both on November 5th. Lizzie used to get hers on the 23rd. The vet said I had "yeasty" ears the other day when she looked so she gave Nancy Otomax (think that's what it is) to put in my ears twice a day. She remembers, yesterday, saying to herself, "I'll put this here so it I don't forget to take it." Gone. Gone, forever. She called the vet this morning, and went up to get another tube. Almost $40. wasted.

The trailer is ready to go except for the shade, and of course hooking up. Nancy will work on that this afternoon. She sure wishes Michael was here because he knows how to do it. I lay out in the driveway when Nancy is doing things outside.

Nancy has been vacuuming the truck a little at a time. You would not know it by looking at it. For some reason, my hair does not come off the felt borders on the seats no matter what she does. I'll be in that truck long after we are both gone! There has been an odd odor in the truck, and Nancy has been blaming me and some water and milk that were spilled in Asheville. She took all my beds out and laid them in the sun, yesterday, and discovered that they were wet underneath. Two are getting thrown out. :( But, don't forget, Lizzie used to sleep on the passenger side of the car so I still have plenty of space to be comfortable.

Nancy is taking Susan for a birthday dinner, today. Yesterday was her real one, but Ron was busy showing her a great time all day long from a visit to a spa, to a lovely lunch in Atlanta, and out and about after that, dinner, and then cake at Susan's house.

Nancy and Susan went for lunch on Wednesday at a new restaurant called Marlow's which about a mile away, and Ron joined them. Truth be known, we might have been leaving, today, except that we wanted to be here for Susan's birthday.

We were teasing Ron

Secret Plans

It's Sept. 14.  Nancy's got the itch to hitch--bad back or not. I think because it's getting a bit cooler out. She belongs to a group of women who camp solo, many of whom have become lifelong friends. They will be camping at Land Between the Lakes in Kentucky along with some of my very best friends and some new ones that I haven't met yet. I am so excited! We have not been able to camp with them since our trip west (except for one weekend with a good friend who will be in at LBL). Nancy has decided back or not, we are going. However, she doesn't want to say anything in case it just becomes impossible to go.

Out came the maps, etc., but Nancy has a learning disability of some sort because she can't put things together ahead of time. I could see her getting frustrated--for one thing she can see print on paper. Only on her Kindle when she puts a light on it. She fell on her head when she was young, I think. One time there was a detour (the true story will never be told) and Nancy was giving her friend, Gail's husband directions. I can't remember, now, whether Nancy said to take the detour or not, and she and Paul just grin whenever the subject comes up. At any rate, it has never been clear who got Gail into such a pickle with directions--whether the detour was to be taken or not. It's for sure that neither Nancy nor Paul will tell! I tell Nancy that it's best that she doesn't give directions to anyone. I KNOW because you should see some of the situations she's gotten us in!

So, she looked for a while, called a campground, then found out it was nowhere near where we want to go. At first we thought we'd like to take the scenic route to Lexington and then take the scenic route over to the campground where the other ladies and my friends are. I told her maybe she's just better off playing it by ear--we are sure to find campgrounds as we travel--just like we did out west. Then, I suggested that maybe she should go early to LBL, camp in a "walk up" site and move over to her reservation on the 1st. When she was making the reservation, she could only get the site for 5 days and thought "walk up" meant people hiking in and hiking out. That's not so at LBL, the "walk up" sites are sites that don't take reservations. She read about that on the ladies' group and felt pretty dumb until a couple of others said they thought the same thing. That way, if Nancy's back is bad we can come straight back home. If it's still feeling okay, we can drive to Lexington after we leave LBL. (sometimes I'm so darn smart I surprise even myself) We can't wait to see our friends and thought a surprise visit would be fun.

Today, she was Ms. Fixit. We went and purchased a new Flag and I watched her put it up (lots of oohing and owwing). The people next door had their house power washed and we suspect that some of the solution blew over and shredded our flag. Since it's improper to fly a flag that is damaged, Nancy replaced it and the pole. She will only buy a Flag that is made in the US, and of course it has to be an all weather Flag. Putting a new pole up was easier than she thought.
What am I supposed to do--I can't reach way up there.

Nancy, I'm not supposed to be out here without my leash. I want to go inside. 

Nice New Bright Flag

While she was at the hardware store, she purchased a little saw that would cut the pole for the homemade closet she made in the trailer. When we went to the coast with Susan, it had come down because the pole was too long to fit in the brackets so Nancy had to glue one end directly to the wall of the trailer. The weight of Susan's wardrobe finally did it in. This time, she was going to use some very strong glue to glue it in the brackets, but decided that she'll take the glue with us (maybe we won't need it) and just reinforce it with Gorilla Duct Tape (doesn't look so great, but does the job, and I don't mind. I don't wear clothes or use the bathroom anyway).
I know, I know, it looks awful. Nancy should have taken a picture before she put the ugly tape up. I wonder what those little nails are. Nancy says she doesn't remember what she was trying to do when she put them there. ::eyes rolling::

This is the other end. That little white thing was an attempt to make a bracket when she was in Oregon--she only had five minutes to use the glue she mixed. What a fiasco that was, but it lasted right up until this year.
This is the tub. Nancy will fill these and more with water so in case she wants to shower she can (no hot water, but it won't be ice cold. And, if we have to park at Walmart, she can use the bathroom.

She wasn't finished, yet. She covered the couch for me (sometimes I like to switch over from the bottom of her bed to the couch and she has plastic sheets to put under our sheets for when it rains)

Nancy has to fix the shade on the right. The cords are fine, but it won't stay up. I think she has the tool to do it, but I'm not sure. She said she's going to ask some of her friends on the RV Groups on the web. We don't eat at the dinette. The little table between our beds is great for the computer when we're parked. It's usually turned sideways so I can put my head on it if I want. Other times, the computer rides on the queen bed where Lizzie and I used to sleep.

Now, she just has to organize the queen bed and the bunk (storage), but she was too tired, today. She also has to wipe everything down and wash the floor. I know Nancy, if she gets everything done and it's cool out, we'll be going sooner than I thought. When? That remains to be seen.

In the meantime, I'm going to get my rest...that is if she'll quit flashing that camera in my face! Maybe if I give her a dirty look.