Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pain pills and loosing football

I still haven't left the house yet since returning home last Sunday from the hospital.  I am still needing the codo what ever pain pills and they kick the stuffing out of me and make me sleep in way late in the morning.

That slows the whole process down for the day, and it seems like the day is just gone before it begins.  Perhaps tonight I will only take just one kind of pain pill, and that will have me waking up earlier in the day tomorrow.  

I said that last night too, but by 2 AM the pain rushes in and I give up and take the pills....

As I sit here and type this entry, I am watching my Iowa Hawkeyes  in the Insight Bowl with the Oklahoma Sooners.    Iowa is having a really difficult time looking like they are even in this game.  That is troubling for me, but Oklahoma was picked way high in the beginning of the season.  Only to have a bunch of injuries that set them back in some landmark losses.  Of course those injuries are mostly healed tonight, so Iowa seems to be in way over their proverbial heads.  I graduated from the U of Iowa back in the early 70s.

Bob Stoops, Oklahoma's head coach graduated from the University of Iowa and was a player and then a coach on our team, so that inside knowledge of our team isn't helpful either......  Oh well, we won last years bowl, which was this exact same game in Tempe, Az.  The Insight Bowl.

Nothing else new here......

Retired Rod

Friday, December 30, 2011

Still parked along side the road......

Perhaps I should explain, that the reason for the second operation had to do with how the surgeon attached one of the little tubes on my insides and the apparent scar tissue that formed inside.  This had nothing to do with the amount of time spent in a recliner as a post surgical patient, but might have reflected on the way I was put back together.

Of course no one is blaming anyone, and these things happen.  But, the recliner driving this time is mostly because I am having a bunch more pain from opening up the same incision a second time.  Perhaps it will back off some in the next few days.  If I am lucky and the rains don't come............

I spent most of today back up in the bedroom where I have a reclining eurochair that used to be in the motorhome.  I am doing my best to lay low......  And I think I have taken fewer pain pills.

But tonight, I am back down in the main recliner talking to a good friend up in Des Moines.  He seems to know when to call and keep my mind off of the instant situation as we remissness flying and ham radio fests of the recent past.  The TV wasn't all that good tonight, so his call was quite welcome.

Loyce went over and bought me another bag of Wendy's so I wouldn't run a quart low on french fry grease, but I surprised her and didn't eat too many of the fries.  It does drive Biscuit the dog crazy though, because she thinks I am going to give her the left overs.

Narry a french fry will ever cross her pallet if I have my way, because we just don't want to get that started.  Our old dog wouldn't leave you alone when french fries were involved.  She was soo spoiled.......  So Biscuit pays that price..

I didn't even read the blogs today until after the evening news, so perhaps I am letting up on the computer some.......  Naw, that won't catch on.....

Retired Rod

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Recliner Driving

Recliner driving!  I had never thought of it as an occupation, but perhaps that is my job of choice for the next several days.  All of my guidance on the blog commenters tells me to hang back, so I am following that advice.

I was up quite late with the pain, but finally I went to bed and sleep.  That makes the morning drift off into mid day before I am dressed and back downstairs.  So my day is a lot "over" before it begins.  Most of that day was spent in the recliner driving mode.

Or perhaps it is running the big desktop computer here on the end table beside the recliner.  I get lost in the internet, and somehow the days seem to slip away.  Then in the evening, I seem to be a junkie on the Discovery Channel watching the gun shows and the moonshiners.

I'm also hooked on the Gold Rush folks on Fridays.  So perhaps that will allow for my recliner driving while I get over this surgical set back.

It was wall to wall sunny today, but the temperature barely reached 50 degrees in the very middle of the afternoon.  Now that we have become more accustomed to the Kansas winter that really doesn't seem too bad, but it is just a matter of time before we get a good covering snow, and then I'm going to be in a toot to get the he!! outa here.......

Retired Rod                                                                                                                      

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Sleep!

I was going to write something yesterday on the blog here, but once I was upstairs in bed on Christmas night, I just crashed.  I slept for 12 hours waking only to take a few more pain pills and do the necessary stuff.

I never left the bedroom all day Monday, napping and letting the TV run even though I wasn't watching most of the time.  I finally woke up just in time to go to bed on Monday night.

Well that didn't do me much good since everyone else was sleeping.  So, I watched TV all thru the night.  Oh and took a bunch more of those disorienting pain meds.

So now on Tuesday I am all messed up, not knowing if it is daytime or night time.  But I have managed to go down to my chair and read a bunch of the blogs that I have missed over the last couple of weeks.  And I have laid off of the pain pills that were putting me to sleep so badly. And I have managed to stay awake all day, and just perhaps I will sleep at night tonight, like more normal folks will.

Chris, my oldest son has been in and out with his mother (Loyce) for much of the day, and has helped in purchasing another hiking pole, that I use in place of a cane to get me around the house and such.  He also went over and purchased another wedgie pillow at the wholesale medical supply store where he has an account.  Again we had to leave the one I had in the RV, since there wasn't room in the car for all this stuff.

So I am sure that the docs would think that I am improving about normally, but of course that isn't nearly fast enough for my standards because I am still house bound on pain pills.  But just when you think you should go "get er done" like Larry the Cable Guy would say, the surgery pain comes back to remind me that driving the recliner is the best bet for the near term.......

Oh, and by the way, it is to be 70 in Arizona this week, all the way until Sunday, so that is working on me too.................   Better quit looking at the Wx out there........

Retired Rod

Monday, December 26, 2011

Out on Christmas Day!

Ok, all those good wishes worked as I am now home.  Both of my son's have been over to check out if dad is still just as ornery, and the recliner is much more comfortable as I write this blog.

I just can't type on those darned smart phones with my big fingers.  The resident doc came by about 7 AM and told me the plan was to kick me out sometime this afternoon, so get the calls made that are required.

Of course that took the head surgeon to agree, but he has 4 kids opening presents this morning, and we don't get him back until afternoon.  Everything was done to plan for his arrival at about noon, and he signed the necessary papers and yet another of the residents removed the drain bulb out of my front.

The hose on that one was wrapped way around inside my insides, and after removing the sutchers that held it in, he just pulled like heck on it.  I thought my intestines would follow it out, and yelped like a dog that had been run over.

I had a central line IV that was also stitched into my neck, and that had to be snipped out and yanked as well.  This hospital thing is not easy to ever be comfortable with...

After a few office visits, I hope to get back to Arizona sometime this winter......wish me luck........

Retired Rod

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Xmas Eve... at the hospital!

Now that's not what you would wish for, but the doc is right, as I just wasn't strong enough to go home yet. My intestines weren't fully awake yet so another night.
It is really quiet around here, so patients and staff are mostly gone. Maybe we will get some sleep tonight for a change. I hope to get out tomorrow.

The helliocopter just landed on the heart unit, so I'm not so unlucky.

Merry Christmas to you and Yours!!!

Retired Rod

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Still.not dead!

I am recovering in the hospital, but I have a lot more pain since they went right thru the old spot from last time.  So I have pain buttons that need pushed or you pay the price. Perhaps tomorrow will be an improvement!

Retired Rod

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Here we go......

I have to be at the hospital by 7 AM and surgery is at about 8:30.  This is again an open abdomen  surgery where they cut right thru the same place that they opened in September.  That means all the healing that I have gone thru in the last three months will be right back to square one.

I am not looking forward to this experience.  Perhaps it won't be as bad this time, but I am not overly convinced of this outcome.  I do hope to get back to Arizona by the first part of February............

I'll blog with the Android phone when I get myself somewhat under control again..


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Blood sugar meter, and my Christmas watch.

It rained and rained all day, but the temps were still above freezing, and that is good because if that had been snow, it would have covered the house.  But slowly we have been loosing the temps all day, and tonight it is still raining and down to 36.

We are to be at freezing by morning, and if the rain doesn't stop, you know what will happen next......

I spent most of the middle of the day researching blood sugar testing meters.  This required a lot of reading and you tube watching on the internet.  But slowly I decided that I liked the Freestyle Lite by Abbott Labs.

There were two different meters that were both Freestyle Lite.  The second was called a Freestyle Freedom Lite, and had bigger display numbers for those that were visually challenged.  But you gave up some features to get the big display, like the back lighting and strip lights.

The little light shines on the end of the strip where you are drawing in the blood, which I thought was helpful here in the winter, when daylight isn't up before you are.  The strips have test spots on both sides rather than in the end, so that helps with placing the meter on the blood spot depending on whether you are testing the right or left hand.  You can't just keep poking the same finger all the time......

It also takes the smallest amount of blood to test of any of the machines out on the market, and you can test on your arms.  So over to Wal Mart, with Walgreens as a backup source.

Wal Mart had both models, but the boxes are sealed and unless you had done your research ahead of time you wouldn't have any idea what was really in the box. I grabbed the straight "Lite" without the big display but with the light system.

But that was when I learned that the strips are over the top expensive.  Makes sense, small amount of blood and no machine coding, equals higher price.  50 strips were $63, Wow..  The machines are much cheaper at $18 for either one.  I think they almost give you the machine so that you will use their strips.

After sales taxes I had $85 in this new machine idea.  I will take it with me to the hospital, as they want to test your sugar about every 3 hours, and their machines use about a quart of blood each time.  I told the docs that we would be using my machine, and they agreed that the hospital equipment was from the dark ages.

I also received a Christmas present from me, to me, in the form of a new watch for the collection.  Loyce helped me pick it out the other day last week.  It is a midnight blue ceramic bracelet, skeleton dial, automatic movement.  It is so light, but can be a bear to size.  So I spent better than an hour tonight getting the bracelet shortened up for my stubby arm....

I got it out of the mail box when Loyce wasn't looking, as I was afraid she would say I had to wait until Christmas to open it...........  But I might still be in the hospital, and there would be no way to size it there.

Most of the time, it is recommended that a jeweler size ceramic bracelets, since they use teeny tiny collars over the bracelet pins.  Takes tweezers to even pick them up.  I had to take out 4 links, driving out that many pins and not loosing the tiny collars.  You put them back in with a jewelers hammer, so careful is the watchword.  Pun intended......

Anyway that was my day, and Loyce was gone all day shopping, and I didn't even ask where..... do I really want to know?

Retired Rod

Monday, December 19, 2011


The only news around here is that the sun disappeared today and the clouds came strolling in to replace it.  That will change to rain tomorrow, and then on Tuesday, they are actually using that "S" word......

And I don't mean shovel either, although we should go see if we still have one because we may have to use it.   I do think they are talking about less than an inch of the S stuff, but that is how it begins around here.

First you get just a dusting and it melts or evaporates.  You think to your self that that wasn't too bad...... But then you get the next dose, and it is enough that you need to go clear it out,  and before you know it there are piles of the stuff all around you.

Our lows are to be in the 20s this next week with daily highs barely above freezing.  Thank goodness we don't live any farther North than we do.  We used to live up in Iowa, but now I think it would kill us to go back....

I accomplished absolutely nothing here today and have nothing to report other than computer time and recliner driving.......

Maybe I will do something tomorrow................  And then maybe not..

Retired Rod

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Replacement Chair and the Vet's Office

Thank you all for your concerns on this further surgery thing!!!  I will just barge on over there on Wednesday and turn myself in like going to jail, and before long they will have me on the stretcher and knocked out...... And from there on I won't remember a thing.... Well until I wake up anyway....

If you have read this blog since last month, you will remember that I loaded one of the recliners into the motorhome to take with us to Arizona.  That displaced the motorhome's Eurochair back into the house here, but it doesn't really match much of anything so Loyce carried it up to the bedroom where there is space for the little used uncomfortable fellow.

I made the comment that I didn't like taking the recliner in and out of the motorhome all the time, because it scratches up the leather cover, so it is staying put for now.  So that left the spot in the family room where it used to reside.........  Do you see where this is going?

Yes the pickup and myself were dispatched to the Nebraska Furniture Mart to get a replacement chair today.  And its Christmas....   There weren't any parking spaces in their entire lot.  And its bigger than a football field.  For those of you that don't like crowds, there wasn't a bit of space in the store that didn't have a hoard of people standing around or sitting on the display furniture or standing in line to go pay....

And to make matters worse, I didn't see anything that was remotely like what Loyce and I discussed.  Not even close.  I finally decided that the one that would work was fabric and not leather.  I called Loyce and ran it by her.  We decided that a new chair didn't have to be leather.  Our furniture is mix and match anyway.  Mostly mix!  The important thing was that it was the correct color, so I had the salesman write it up.

After paying at the desk where the long line of customers were waiting for the cash register, it was back outside to get in the pickup line.  I counted 12 lanes of customer pickup with at least 10 cars or trucks in each one.  And yes it took about another hour to get the chair loaded on board!

Including the trips to the store and back home it took over 4 hours to enjoy this experience......  It was after dark as I was loading the box into the house.  But hey, because we decided on a fabric cover we saved about $100, or did we spend....?  Always wondered about that saving thing when you just wrote a big check.   But that corner of the room is now full again, and that is what is important, and oh, incidentally Loyce liked it, and that is a great big plus because I didn't even want to think about what I would have to do to return it!

And Loyce spent the afternoon over at the Vet's office with Biscuit, getting annual shots and all the planning that goes along.  We hope to get her spayed before we head back to Arizona as well this month.

She is now over 1 year old and has been in heet once, so it is time.  And yes we know that there are several theories about how long to wait before having this procedure, but our Vet likes this schedule, and since we like the Vet, we will do it her way.

And it was in the 50's today and very sunny so being in KC didn't seem so bad.....

Retired Rod

Saturday, December 17, 2011

What to do?

Well rather than banter on about how the day went, lets just cut to the chase and say that the Docs laid out several options that were all, take a chance on seeing how you do and possibly have to come back from Arizona or get surgery there in the upcoming weeks.

In the end I decided to just bite the bullet and get this over with right now.  So I have surgery scheduled for next Wednesday, early in the morning.  This is the full boat type deal where they open me up just like before, and I start all over with recovery.

Perhaps I won't be in the hospital quite as long, but all things will have to go completely right to get me home by Christmas eve or day......  Otherwise my Christmas dinner will be on a hospital tray....

Travel back to Arizona will be in 4 or 5 weeks........  Looks like I will be enjoying winter from my chair in Kansas for most of the nasty weeks.  Hope things will be OK in Mesa while we are gone....  Oh well that is the least of my worries now.

Retired Rod

Friday, December 16, 2011

Looking for a pair of pants and a loaf of bread..

We saw the sun today, but that came at a big price.  Overnight the clouds cleared out to the East, but the clearing cold streamed in behind them.  It was in the early thirties mid morning, and I'm not sure it ever made 40 all day.

I had to find the bigger and thicker coat in order to head out on my shopping trip in the middle of the afternoon.  I had found a specific pair of Wrangler pants at the local Wal Mart, and I wanted a second pair.  But in my rotund size, the local store only had the one.

I drove to the newest store in old downtown Olathe, but they didn't even have any Wrangler products.  Each store has their own buyers, and perhaps this fellow didn't like Wrangler.  What to do?

The next town to the South is about 8 miles away and has a Wal Mart out by I 35, so I headed that way.  There I hit the jackpot finding the pants and a couple of fleece tops that I like as well.  All in the extra extra extra extra, well you get the idea......

Anyway, I got to grocery shopping and managed to spend another $50 over and above the clothes.  But tonight I was able to make some hamburger and hashbrown soup that I like, that doesn't seem to upset me as much as other things.

Later tonight, our son Chris came over with a fresh loaf of sour dough whole wheat bread that was hot out of his bread maker.  To me fresh bread is almost cake like when it comes fresh out of the oven.  The butter slathered and melted into the coarse, fresh cut bread. It was warm enough to steam my glasses as I smeared it all over my face.

We got to watching the Turtle Man on the Animal Planet Channel.  This fellow grabs wild animals with his bare hands, and kept us busy and laughing for a couple of hours.  Man this guy is nuts, but we enjoyed watching him crawl all over stuff grabbing snakes and stuff.....

This worked fairly well to keep my mind off of the fact that I need to muster at the Doctor's office tomorrow to try and decide my fate as far as the next step to fix my insides.......

I guess it will be what it will be.......

Retired Rod

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Warm and a Haircut....

Every once in a while we get a funny condition here in KC where the Southern flow of air coming up from the El Paso area charges in here like a freight train.  And with it, it brings very warm air.  That must have happened over night.

As we got up this morning it was in the 50s but still raining.  The rain didn't completely stop, but it began to slow up to where it was just spitting.  This makes the car mighty dirty, but hey, its warm anyway.

I looked on the weather service web site, and found out that Phoenix only had 53 degrees, and that we had 60.  Can you believe that KC was actually warmer than Phoenix?  I'm sure that it got warmer in Phoenix sometime today, but I had to head out, so I never found out.

One of the good things about being back here in KC is that I can go back over to my favorite barber shop and get a good haircut.  One that I am familiar with and trust to not be a shear job.  There were several folks in front of me so it took about two hours before I was ready to leave.  You can believe that there were a bunch of un truths told in that amount of time.

Back here we worked on several projects on the computer, and got caught up in the TV for the rest of the night.

There's not much else going on around here, other than waiting to get into the doctor's office and find out what our plans will be for the future.

Also our warm weather is very short lived, because it is supposed to be 20 degrees colder tomorrow!

Retired Rod

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cold and Rainy

The rain and 40 degree weather continues and my spirits are just as gray.   We can't get into the Doctor's office for several days, so I am puzzled as to why we had to rush so fast to get home.  But that was not my decision.....

I spent most of the day addicted to the desk top computer and its 22 inch monitor.  It is amazing how you can become so used to a new device in such a short period of time.  Then when going back to the lap top that you thought was quite large, realizing how much you gave up.

The house seems cold and drafty since we have heat pump heat until it gets below freezing.  The fan runs endlessly, but we use electric heaters to warm up the areas that we are siting in.  I haven't even tried the basement, as it is a poured concrete foundation and even thou I insulated everything for days in the remodel, it is still going to require a bunch of heat.

At least the blogs report that Arizona isn't much warmer and we are perhaps better off in the house here than stuck in a 400 sq ft motorhome, with not much more to do than surf the web.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

An admission of error!!

After 775 miles of driving in one day, today was almost a complete stay at home day.  Of course that wasn't completely true because we had no perishable groceries here at home.  We left about everything in Arizona, mainly because we didn't have enough room in the CRV to haul all the stuff.

We did put the seats down and had it stuffed clear to the ceiling, but mostly it was things like my tool kit and Loyce's sewing machine.  And of course our personal belongings like clothes and pillows.  But no room for an ice chest or anything big like that.

So off to Wal Mart for me this morning for eggs and milk.  I'm not sure what all I purchased, but it rang up well over $100.  Yea, Wal Mart, it really is the $100 store.

Now for an admission of not knowing what I was talking about!!!  I'm surprised that no one busted me on driving past Jessie and Ginger at Liberal, Kansas and seeing what I thought to be their RV Park.  NOT!!!

They are at Liberty, Kansas, not Liberal, Kansas.........  Liberty is in Southeastern Kansas and miles and miles away from Liberal.   I just happened to read one of their blogs today and realized my mistake.  They are working for the Amazon distribution center in Coffeyville, Kansas.  This is right on the line with Oklahoma on Highway 169. Liberty is about 10 miles North of Coffeyville.

Anyway so much for my knowledge of this situation.  But perhaps it won't matter since these fine folks are going to be relieved of their duties on December 23rd, since the Christmas shipping season will be over at that time.  It does seem like a good job for full timers to look into.  It only lasts three months and you are out of there.  But it is 10 hour days.

Its overcast and the high today was in the mid 40s, so I am missing Arizona greatly already......

Retired Rod

Monday, December 12, 2011

Back to KC

We didn't get off until 11 AM mountain time on Saturday, and drove straight thru to Albuquerque.  We grabbed a pet friendly motel and spent the night listening to the folks upstairs and next door.

This always freaks Biscuit out and she will bark or not sleep or whine or all of the above.  So we may as well have just kept on driving.  Finally at about midnight, all was quiet and in about 5 hours the neighbors began to get up.  So that meant that Biscuit was up too.

We were on the road at 7:30 mountain, but we set our clocks ahead for Central time since we would be in Texas in the next couple of hours.

It was a long day of driving and Kansas is way too far across when you enter the Southwest corner at Liberal and drive to the Northeast corner at KC.  We did do a cursory wave at Jessie and Ginger as we passed their park North of Liberal.  There's not a tree in the entire place so seeing their rig was no problem.

Its taken us over an hour to unload the stuff out of the CRV.  Man was it packed!  Two days and 1100 miles, door to door.........

Retired Rod

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Returning for Christmas..... a little early.

We were up before dawn this morning, leaving the coach as the sun came up.  We were headed to the distant clinic that we thought we knew about.  Its location anyway.  Wrong!  There seems to be two of these facilities that are owned by this very name brand Clinic.

And since it was a 50 50 chance, of course we went to the wrong one.  But have faith, we were sufficiently early that we managed to get over to the other location and only be 15 minutes late.  But they weren't all that organized either, so it didn't seem to matter much.

The outcome of that visit wasn't all that good, as it seems that my surgery before thanksgiving isn't successful.  So we have decided to head back to KC for further consultation.  We were leaving here on the 15th for Christmas anyway in our previous plan,  but now we will leave in the next couple of days.

Since the RV is on its prepaid and somewhat expensive site, it will stay behind and we will just travel by car.  Driving back into the frozen world of I 40 needs to be completed with pipes that are not susceptible to that cold.  So if we shouldn't really be living in the RV in those places, but rather a motel, we may as well do it that way anyway.

We spent the afternoon trying to become organized to leave the rig by itself, and our car is much too small for everything we think we need to take along.  I guess when its full, its full.   But I really do need to take my underwear............  LOL

Retired Rod

Friday, December 9, 2011

A day to kick back

It was another carbon copy of the day we had yesterday as far as the temperatures went.  Too cool to do much in the morning, other than Loyce and Biscuit went on their morning walk.  But not nearly as far.

We stopped into the sales office yesterday to get a map and the current list of park models for sale, and this morning we determined that a lot more of the park is now considered doggy area.  Seems that there are a lot more of us coming with our pets now, and things are staying empty while they are turning away folks that have pets on board.

Also it is hampering sales of their park models as most customers need pet friendly park models.  The ones available are three to one non pet.  So the park management has opened up a bunch of perimeter streets to pets.

The idea is that you can now walk the entire perimeter of the park with your dog or cat and never have to cross out of pet area.  Still there were only three park models available the day before yesterday in pet area that were used.  Really?

Loyce keeps asking me what I want, when she goes to Wal Mart, and I always answer that I don't know, so this afternoon I took the car and went grocery shopping for things that I wanted.  To be clear, I can't eat much of anything after all of the surgeries that I have had in the last year.

So I spent the afternoon buying potatoes and breakfast cereal and stuff like that from Wal Mart.  Loyce stayed home and made her vegetable chili that she likes so well, and went to the swap meet country store and stopped by the quilters group and gave them the fleece blankets that she had made over the summer for their donation to the local hospitals.

I stopped by the sales office to clarify where the doggy area boundaries currently are.  In the process, I learned that a park model that I was curious about last year was back on the market. It sold when I was considering it last year, but it wasn't in the dog area anyway.  Well this year it is in the new dog area.

I told Loyce about it when I got back from Wal Mart, and out of curiosity, we had the sales lady open it for us.  It is 14 years old but still in fairly good condition...  It is expensive for how old it is, but does have an Arizona room.  We thanked the sales gal and came home.

Next Wednesday is the big open house around here, so it won't last beyond that day.

I on the other hand, have a really early Doctor's appointment in the morning over an hour from our park.  So this writing needs to be declared over with, as I need to go to bed..

Retired Rod

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Before dawn this morning we were at 36 degrees and I thought that it was going to be another tough day trying to warm things up.  It was about 43 when we were eating breakfast after the sun was out for a while.

By late morning, we became involved with a oh no we can't scenario with the local Doctors office and the one back in KC Med Center.  I was a new patient and couldn't be seen until January 18th.  And the KC folks seem to think I need follow up yesterday......  The phone calls flew and all of our patience was tried.  But it got warmer.

We hung around the RV knowing that the phones are much more reliable here as we can see the cell tower out the coach windows.  By about 2 in the afternoon, Loyce had stripped the bed and gathered the towels to head to the laundry.

Behind the scenes, the KC folks were working on my behalf, and a call came in that I miraculously had an appointment here late this week.  Now someone has pull, back in KC.

By that time the temps were up to almost 60.  That's the go or no go temp that says ride the scooter or not  and since I haven't even gone for a simple ride out of the park since we got here I was dying to at least go around the block.  Something I hadn't done since back in September.

I was able to head about a mile South of here to the local Wendy's and have a burger on my own.  I didn't go too far since I am trying to find my scooter legs, but the big square that I rode totaled about 10 miles.

Back at the park, I rode the park again more slowly, but for a while today, I saw 50 mph on the scooter speedo.  Wow!  While I was in the city, I had 68 degrees but as I was riding past the cattle farms to our South out in the country the temp was 63.  This also equaled the official weather service high temp for today.

Back home the sun dropped below the horizon and the temps followed quickly.  The forecast is 36 for tonight, but slowly we eek out little bitty amounts of warmer days.  Perhaps just a trend  that isn't colder will be sufficient between now and the end of the year.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sorting out health insurance.

We spent the day messing around with all the folks back in Iowa and Kansas trying to determine if I have any insurance coverage for the doctors here in Arizona.  Perhaps we were a bit rash in thinking that I would have.

But the folks up in Iowa, where I used to work years ago, were adamant that the coverage was good to go anywhere.   And after sitting around and talking to the Kansas Doctors and the Arizona Clinic where the Kansas docs want me to do follow ups, I think we have it sorted out.

By this time it was late in the afternoon, and we decided to head out to try and find this clinic.  So we drove a long way  in this endeavor.  But I must admit that I took a scenic route that included some of the desert highways.

As we returned back to the Mesa area, it became dark, and we were in the 5PM drive time.  That is sort of a slow endeavor of taking your life in your own hands, but at least we are 2 people in the car so we can drive in the HOV lanes on the freeway.

I never knew what HOV stood for, but I am told it is a high occupancy vehicle.  But it only takes 2 people to be high occupancy.  It is amazing that so few cars and trucks qualify for this privilege.

We reached about 55 degrees this afternoon but it never did freeze last night, even though the weather folks had predicted 30.  I know most of you folks don't feel a bit sorry for us.......

Retired Rod

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wal Mart Pharmacy

At least the sun came out this afternoon, but it wasn't a bit warmer.  We made it to 55 degrees today, but that was only for an hour in the middle of the afternoon.   As soon as the sun went down it was back into the 40s once again.

I have had a bout with food poisoning or perhaps the old infection demons that have plagued me since the surgery in September.  This has taken me completely out of the picture for the last couple of days.  Loyce fought with the Doctors back in KC to get me a prescription, and they claimed that they had called it in.

But the Wal Mart over on Signal Butte Road had never heard of the KC docs or the prescription.  We went round and round.

As it turns out, the nurse was putting the Rx on the pharmacy's voice mail system which is completely ignored by the Wal Mart folks when they have more business than they can handle at their window.  They do listen to the Voice Mails after they close and try to get them filled for the next day......

Loyce finally got the pharmacy and the nurse on the same line together about 3 in the afternoon.  It was to be filled by 6 PM, but when she went after the script she had to wait another hour or more before it was filled........

I remember we had these problems last spring with this particular Wal Mart..... so nothing is changed.

Other wise we did the laundry and all of those domestic jobs for most of the day.

Retired Rod

Monday, December 5, 2011

Maintenance Logs and shopping!

Today I spent the day updating our maintenance log for the motorhome.  I used the blog to remember all of the service that has been completed.  This was way time consuming.  But it never was above 55 degrees outside, so play outside was mostly out of the question.

We did drive down to the San Tan area again this afternoon, and Loyce did some additional shopping while I sat back in the car.  That doesn't give me a whole lot of fun stuff to write about here.   So rather than type random thoughts, I will just stop for today.

The sun was back out this afternoon, and should be back for the next few days, but we will not go beyond the early 60s in any day of the next week.  So it will remain cool for our activities.  That scares me because it means more shopping..............  Eww!

Retired Rod

Sunday, December 4, 2011

More Cold and Dreary!

It was raining when we woke this morning, and as I type this late tonight it is still raining.  We reached around 58 degrees again, but rain was off and on all day.

Loyce wanted to go fabric shopping as she had some Jo Ann's coupons that were about to expire, and she never lets any coupon expire........  That left me sitting in the car for about an hour, playing angry birds on the android phone.

We drove around some of the town for the first time this year, as the Jo Ann's that she likes is way out in the South end of the city at the San Tan shopping center.  The Saturday traffic was typical big city Christmas shopping traffic, but since we live in Kansas City, we are very used to this.  And since this is the fourth year we have been here as RVers and the 5th in the last 6 years for winter trips, we are seldom lost out here in the East suburbs.

We used to use the GPS everywhere we went, but now we don't even take it along.  Rather, we get in those husband and wife heated discussions about which way is the best to take of the several options we both know.

We dropped thru the old Mesa Spirit park, just to have a look see of how busy they were.  And it is even more of an empty park this year.  The folks that have park models of course are here but RVers are in a thin supply.  We hope that the census becomes improved after the first of the year.  A large part of the business is annual full time residents, so the park will continue to exist, but it can't be a big money maker for its owner.

Checking the weather forecast tells us that it will be late next week before this weather pattern changes, and it may even freeze here on Monday night.  That is about dreary for the beginning of our winter RV experience..

Retired Rod

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Odd jobs at the campground...

I spent the morning washing that motor scooter.  It was the sponge and bucket of soapy water arrangement, because it was way too muddy to just spray it off.  Even then it took a couple of passes with the sponge rinsing in between, to see if it was clean yet.

The mud was all in the dash and handlebars and took a wash rag to get it out.  And even as I looked at it tonight, I could see where it needs more attention.  I used the chamois for about a half an hour on it the way it was.  But trust me, tonight it is covered up with its cover.

The weatherman says we are not done with the rainy stuff here and we are struggling to make the high 50s in the daytime.  Still it has stayed about 40 ish at night so the electric heaters have been all we needed to keep things warm.

We headed off to the Mesa Swap Meet late in the afternoon, but it was almost three by the time we arrived, so Loyce decided to pass because there wasn't enough time to walk all the rows.  I went directly to a tool stand in row D and purchased a converter to convert the 30 amp socket in our power pole back to a 15 amp regular cord.  We don't have a 15 amp plug in the box, which is quite unusual. But this is more of a trailer park than an RV park, and they don't allow any tent style vehicles.

When we are sitting still like we are here, I often add a 12 gauge cord into the back slide.  This allows me to plug in the second heater without stressing the breakers.  We seem to connect the heater and hair dryers and more all on the same circuit, which pops the breakers.  So the extra cord is plugged into the power pedestal and bypasses the motorhome wiring.

And before anyone brings it up, I understand that I have a 12 gauge cord plugged into a 30 amp breaker which would not be safe.  But I only have a 13 amp heater on the cord by itself. The 12 gauge cord should be good for 20 amps, so we should be good to go.  Still UL would not approve.

Retired Rod

Friday, December 2, 2011

Nasty weather

Why yes it was cold where we came from, and perhaps it did follow us here to Mesa, Az.  But I'm not sure that we brought it with us, as some may have accused.........  I would suggest that we ran from it as the weather forecast said that we would enjoy some snow if we stayed up on Highway I 40.

Tonight that snow may well arrive in the Flagstaff area and higher locations to the East.  That is exactly where we were................

We were awakened this morning as it began to rain rather heavily even though the forecast said there was only a 10% chance of rain.  So I guess we were in that 10 % part.  It was a nasty kind of rain because it was raining muddy water.  The dust that was kicked up in the air was being rained back down.

I had removed the motorscooter from the trailer and it was sitting outside on the concrete patio. The cover was still in the trailer, as it was only a 10 % chance.......LOL.    It is a complete mud ball now still sitting right where I parked it last night.  No sense covering it up now as perhaps subsequent rain may wash away some of the residue...

But this morning I still needed to go sign up for a mail box here in the park.  They assign each family a box, that is not numbered with your site. Its completely different.  So with the weekly thursday country store in progress, I braved the crowd and parked about two blocks away and walked to the post office within the main office building.

It was more simple this year, as they have dispensed with the deposit for the keys, but trust you to bring back your key.  But should you loose it, it will be a charge to remake the lost key.  Well that was much easier than last year.  I didn't even go into the big ball room where all the vendors were set up.  The outside folks were all under their sun canopies which were now converted into rain canopies.

One other little task was to drive up town to the local Office Max and have our gate passes laminated.  After three months of flashing the passes at the gate folks they become quite tattered.  And on the scooter it gets completely destroyed.  So for a $1.29, I had them laminated into plastic covered cards.

Since the temps were in the mid 50s for a daily high, we just hung around the house today and used the day as a recovery day from driving for the last 5 days.  We thought it was too cool to enjoy much of anything, and with the foggy overcast we just lacked motivation.

The sun did try and break thru mid afternoon, but the next thing we knew it was raining again.  Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

Retired Rod

Thursday, December 1, 2011

We arrive!

Today was kind of compartmentalized.  The beginning was waking up to the sound of the LP heater running even though the electric heaters were both on and running full tilt.  That generally spells cold outside!  I just rolled over and slept another half hour.

I got up about 8:15 and went to the dash of the motorhome to look at the electronic thermometer......28, and the sun had been out for a good hour..  Must have been a bunch colder than that, but I never looked,  some things you just don't need to know....

We messed around and had breakfast and read some of the computer blogs, and eventually it was over freezing so we went out and hooked up the water and sewer.  After showers and clean clothes we drained the tanks and disconnected.  We were on the road at 10:15.

The second experience of our day was the trip up and over the mountains where we reached 7600 feet at one time and drove thru the ponderosa pine tree forest.  You would think you were in Colorado in the early fall, as the leaves were yellow or mostly gone, and the temps were about 50.  We even saw snow along the roadways.

But from 7600 feet you must come down, and down and down.  First down to the town of Payson, at about 5000 feet.  This is quite the community, and it was bustling today with traffic at every corner.  They have a large casino, which was abundant with cars parked everywhere..... we pressed on....

And down some more in a serious 6% grade that descends for about 50 miles.  I used a lot of engine exhaust brake as the rpm's were above 2500 or more on the diesel.  The scenery is drop dead gorgeous, but I was very busy making sure the top heavy motorhome didn't lean too far with too much speed as we wound our way down the curves and switch backs.

Then just like that the temps on the dash gauge were in the 70s and we were at Fountain Hills.  I turned and parked along the road as Loyce went thru the Wendy's drive up window.  We had all the motorhome windows open as we enjoyed our burgers.

We cut across the North side of Mesa and over the Salt River basin to catch the Red Mountain Freeway back to the East.  We are almost locals here because this is the fifth year out of the last six that we have wintered over. No GPS needed now..

A quick stop to fill the diesel tank, and into the Valle Del Oro RV Park where the gate guard knew about our reservation and called the office that we were on our way.

This was the last compartment of our day, as we registered and paid for all three months.  Next we were led to our site which we picked out last year when we put down the deposit.  From 4 PM on, we spent the evening unpacking and setting things up for our long stay in one place.  It was 79 degrees, as I backed the motor scooter out of the utility trailer and rode it around the park.

This camp has 1800 spots, so you can ride for quite a while and never leave the property.  Of course one fellow had to yell at me for going past his place too fast...........  I looked down and I was doing 18................  And yes the speed limit is 15, but some folks have themselves wired a little too tightly.

While it got cooler outside as the sun set, we have not even turned on an electric heater as I write this.

It is supposed to be much cooler in the next several days, as the storm that we were running from will come over this area as well.  But perhaps it will just have some rain and cool temps...... None of that Snow stuff!!!!

Retired Rod

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day Four

We arose from our sleep today to do it all over again.....  Hurry and get breakfast over and pack up.  We were up earlier than usual, because our body clocks are still on the central time zone.  So with that fact working on our side we rolled at 10AM.

We were only moving from Albuquerque to Holbrook, Az today which is about 240 miles.  The scenery on this drive is quite stunning, as long as you don't look at the buildings and the housing that folks live in out in this country.

There are still a lot of old ramshackle motels and gas stations that remain from the mother road era.  Some of them are still used as housing for less fortunate folks and in many cases they are all boarded up and falling in on themselves.

But look at the buttes and bluffs and the desert,  it is the actual backdrop for the animated scenes from the movie Cars.  I expected to see a sign for the town of Radiator Springs, which is of course mythical. We stopped in the truck stop on the West side of Gallup.

The truck stop was quite busy as folks tend to fill up before entering Arizona, which has a few cents more gas tax.  We filled and then slipped back to the back lot with the semi trucks that were parked while drivers caught up on their hours of rest.

It was 100 percent sunny but the wind was cold as it was barely 58 degrees. We left the door closed for our lunch, but the truck door window was open for some of the fresh air.  We rested for about an hour before getting back on the road.

We arrived here at the KOA in Holbrook at 3 PM.  I was all driven out, even though we had only actually traveled for about 4 hours.  This KOA is a really basic campground with gravel everywhere.  You can't tell where a campsite is or if it is a park road because there is no difference, all gravel!  So get close to the power pedestal, and don't hang over onto your neighbors, and you are good.

The other RV park here is called "OK RV park", but we looked at it the last time we came here and it is anything but, OK.

It is forecast to be 22 degrees here tonight, so we did not hook up anything but the electric cord.  We will take on water and dump in the morning.  It feels really cold outside as I type this but I haven't had the nerve to look at the temp gauge.

The locals don't think it will be that cold from listening to the local news, and we hope they are correct, but also we hope this will be our last night of sub freezing temperatures.  Its only 170 miles to Mesa tomorrow.......

Retired Rod

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day Three

We sort of got off to a slow start today because we needed to have that chin wag with Mac and Lynette... Of course we wanted nothing more than to stay there with them and make it a day of talking about all things, with nothing in particular on the agenda.  But they had plans for the afternoon, and we needed to get on the road.

So with hugs and hand shakes we were off, at the crack of 11:30.  But we were headed West, and the best part of that is that in just 100 miles or so, you go into New Mexico, which is Mountain Time Zone!! So we get an hour back, which means we really left at 10:30.......well sort of like that anyway..

We are looking at bad weather toward the end of this week, and they have even mentioned SNOW!  I 40 is really too far North for travel in the motorhome this time of year, so we have to get a move on to get South into the Phoenix valley.

As we drove West into New Mexico the elevation begins to climb rather rapidly.  I have the Altitude as a selection on the GPS when we are going into the higher ground and watched as we climbed.  At Santa Rosa, we stopped at a McDonalds and by then we were seeing 74 on our temperature gauges.  We lunched with the door open which was pleasant.

As we climbed toward Clines' Corners, we lost that temperature rather quickly.  It is over 7000 feet as you arrive there, and the temps were more like 51.  We pressed on West for Albuquerque.  You descend down into town as Albuquerque is on the Rio Grand river and my GPS read about 4900 while we were on the bridge.

Of course you immediately begin to climb again as you continue.  We got off at the Flying J truck stop for some fuel.  It is always a zoo, and today was no exception.  If you stay on that frontage road and head West about 4 more miles you come to the American RV campground, which is where we landed as the sun began to drift over the horizon.

This is another of those concrete and asphalt cities that have not nearly enough space between you and your neighbor.  But it is to be freezing again tonight so the small picnic table that is outside our door will remain vacant during our stay anyway.  We are right along the frontage road of the interstate and the traffic on I 40 is roaring by so lets hope it dies down some before morning.........

After dark, we trekked back into Albuquerque to find the closest Wal Mart.  This turned out to be a number of miles South of the interstate which was giving us some pause, thinking we were going to be lost, but in the end I never plugged in the GPS.  I had brought it along thinking I might need it, but my manlyhood didn't allow for its use.

We are driving into some rain tomorrow which will become frozen on Thursday if we get bogged down.  We hope to stay in Holbrook tomorrow night which has a forecast low of 22 degrees.  That is never fun in these RVs...........

Retired Rod

Monday, November 28, 2011

Amarillo by morning, oops were already here.........

Its amazing how things seem to happen about the same year after year.  Last year as we were headed West to Arizona we pulled into the Oasis RV park West of Amarillo, and were met by Mac and Lynette from Garnett, Kansas.   They were in a site visiting their daughter Christy and SIL Dusty, who live in town.

So as we pulled into the Oasis this afternoon, we noticed right off that there was a Heartland trailer with a golf cart on the back in the second row.  So they are here again, but not at their site.  We assume that they are visiting their daughter again, and perhaps may plan on pulling out tomorrow or the next day so we may not actually get to talk to them.

We are parked a couple of spots away, so unless they bolt out at dark thirty before we get around in the morning, perhaps we can wave hi before they leave.

Boy it was cold last night in Oklahoma City.  The wind picked up and the temps went into the mid 30s.  Not freezing but the wind took away the little warmth we had in the rig.  We had both electric heaters running full tilt for most of the night.  It was a sleep in your sweatshirt kind of a deal.

As we were leaving this morning at 10 AM it was still only 37 outside, and the hoses rolled up so stiff that it was hard to get them into compartments.  The wind continued, and this time we were traveling West with the wind out of the Northwest.  I went for an hour in 5th gear eating diesel fuel at about double the normal rate.

The sun did warm us up into the 50s as we were crossing Texas headed for Amarillo. But now as we head off into the evening darkness the temps are falling again rather quickly.  However, tonight the wind is not as ferocious and the heater is keeping up better.

We could turn on the LP gas blower heaters, but neither of us like the noise that they make.  I just looked on the weather forecast and we are slated to have 27 tonight so I had better go roll up that garden hose before bedtime.

We hope to make Albuquerque tomorrow..........

Retired Rod

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Twin Fountains

I always forget just how noisy it is here in the Twin Fountains RV Resort.  We are right at the corner where I 44 joins I 35.  So we have two interstates that become one for about eight miles before I 44 heads off to the Northeast and becomes a toll road.

So with that description, can you guess where here is?  We are still several miles North of downtown Oklahoma City, and Twin Fountains is one of the nicer campgrounds that we will ever go to.  It has concrete sites and blacktop roads.  The main building is a log cabin that is clubhouse sized.  It even has a pizza restaurant inside along with several big screen TVs.

I called ahead when we were still North of Wichita and asked if we needed a reservation, and was told no as they had lots of sites.  When she asked how long we were, I explained that we were towing a trailer and had a car too.  She said I needed her big site and told me not to worry.

It was about 5 PM when we pulled in, and to our surprise, we were given the long site on the East side of the pond that has the two fountains in it.  Its winter, and the pond is red with Oklahoma muddy water, but the squirter things that spray up in the air are still running.  The site is over 100 feet long.

This morning it was raining cats and dogs while we finished packing up the rig and Loyce put a lot of stuff into the CRV.  This is new for us, as we have driven a Camry car in the past, which didn't haul nearly as much.  As we left town, right on que, the rain seemed to go away.

We only stopped in Emporia for Wendy's in the truck stop and a few gallons of diesel, along with a few bathroom breaks at the toll road rest stops.   It was windy, and we fought that all day long.  It was to our side and behind us most of the time so it didn't drop fuel mileage much, but it blew us all over the road in gusts.

We had to wash out the water system after arriving here as it was full of the pink stuff.  This is much easier when you are on full hookups.  Still we had to get the water heater going and the black tank with some chemical.  I filled the fresh water about half way too so we would have something to use the potty with while we were traveling.

Oklahoma doesn't have restrooms at their rest stops, so the potty is the one you have with you.  It looks weird to see the pull offs with nothing but green dumpsters alongside the roads.

So we are spending the first night of our winter trip tonight, and I couldn't be any more excited........

Retired Rod

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Babysitting and loading things out.........

Our day today was sort of consumed as we became babysitters of the six year old and the two year old grand daughters.  We can't complain because we put our feet under their parents table yesterday and left the entire mess over at their house.   LOL

So while the girls played in the new basement, we were organizing our stuff to get ready to head out for this winter.  I spent the morning working on loading the utility trailer.  It already had the motor scooter inside but we haul a lot more stuff than that in the trailer and it all needs loaded up.

So we are busy beavers here trying to get ourselves back into the RV mode.  The motorhome hasn't moved other than from storage to the house since we went to the Black Hills the first week of August.  To say we are totally settled into the sticks and bricks home would be an understatement.

I can't go at this work too long without sitting down for a while, so I spent as much time in the big chair as I did outside.  Perhaps tomorrow will be a better day........

Retired Rod

Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey Day!

Oh my goodness did we have a lot to eat at my son Chris and his wife Melissa's home today.   They smoked a 14 pound turkey in the electric and wood smoker starting at 5AM this morning.

We opted to bring the 10 pound spiral cut ham with the brown sugar glaze that only took about 2 or more hours, so we had to be up by about 9 AM!!!  But hey at least we brought food.

We got a little crossed up as Chris and I decided that I would make the mashed potatoes, and Loyce and Melissa decided that I didn't need to go to that much work.  Just out of the hospital and all.  So I was up before Loyce and peeled about 10 pounds of spuds and had them in the pot ready to cook when I found out that Mel was making them too.

So, we had mashed potatoes coming out of our ears.  When we were cleaning up, I mixed the bowls of potatoes together so that no one would know who's were who's.  Take home left overs and have some of each, LOL.    Maybe they can donate some to the food bank.........

Anyway it has been a long time since I have had that much to eat, and all on one plate mind you.  And we had pumpkin pie and pecan pie with whipped topping for desert later in the afternoon.

Of course we men had to sit in the family room watching the football games and the gals had to play with the youngest baby that John and Heather graciously brought along.  John is Melissa's brother and her mother and father were there too, so some of the kids had grandparents coming out of their ears.

I didn't get a count of the number of folks that sat down but it was two very large dining tables full.  And the kids table as well.

Just family fun.  As one of the Maxine cartoons said, I told Chris that if he didn't want so many folks to come over for dinner, all he had to do was leave the Turkey a little under cooked and sort of raw and they would all find somewhere else for next year.

He looked at me seriously, and said "Ya Right!!"

Hope you had a good celebration at your family get together as well!

Retired Rod

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Wishes

I never write big long blogs on Holidays, because no one is on the internet reading blogs anyway.  They are with their families having fun and watching football!

So let's just wish everyone a:

                            HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Retired Rod

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Warning Medical Explanation!

I'm going to go ahead and describe this surgery because I think it is really interesting how this was done.  If you are squeamish about hearing these things don't read on...........

I have been going to the Kansas University Hospital which is KU as in Basket Ball Champions umpteen times.  The Hospital is a teaching university hospital and is on the cutting edge of most things.  And this procedure that I had, was right up there on that edge.

Scar tissue had formed on and in one of the little tubes that comes down from my kidney and they needed to remove it.  Rather than open me back up from the front with a big incision, they used ultra sound and Xrays to put a needle into my back and into this tube.  They put a plastic tube over the needle and put it into the little kidney tube.  Then the needle is removed, leaving the tube.

Then they put a wire into the plastic tube.  Next they remove the plastic tube and leave in the wire.  Then they slip in a little bigger plastic tube and take out the wire.  I was left with this tube in overnight while they drained the kidney until the fluid coming out was clear.   That was Monday's procedure.

Then yesterday I went back into a bigger operating room where they used successively bigger wire and bigger tubing until they could insert a laparscope and remove the scar tissue.  Then like a blood vessel in a closed artery in your heart, they inserted a plastic stint inside the kidney tube. It will stay there for a couple of months, while the whole thing heals around it.

I will have no sensation that it is even in there, but it will keep the passage open, until they decide to remove it.  They will watch it with radio active dye and a camera that can see the dye.

I was told that only a few years ago the only way to take care of this problem was to go thru the complete abdominal surgery route again.   Not a pleasant thought....

So while I sit here and type this, I can feel the unpleasant feeling of where the needle and tubing were inserted in my back, but I am told it will be gone in a day or two.   All I had was a band aid over the place they went in, for last night, and the surgeon took that off today at noon and told me I was good to go........  Like in go home, which is where I am right now at 2 PM on Wednesday afternoon.....

I still had two days of staying in the hospital with them keeping me up all night, at least every hour on the hour for something like my vitals, or at 4 AM this morning, the phlebotomist was certain that I need to give her another vial of blood for them to test.   Since I knew I was going home anyway, I just pleasantly declined to let her stick me.  She wasn't a bit happy about it, but I said absolutely not!

So I was up at 4 AM for all day........

I think I will try and take a nap.......

Retired Rod

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hello from the Hospital

The first day of this fun is in the books..  I was knocked out mid afternoon and had a tube put in my back.   No one said this was going to be easy.  The big surgery is tomorrow.  I will be under a lot longer for that one.

This little smart phone is hard to type on for me so see ya later......

Retired Rod

Cold and a Recliner for the MoHo!

This was the coldest day we have had so far this winter.  I don't think we got over 36 degrees all day.  Burrr....

I decided to take my bigger recliner over to the motorhome in the pickup today and switch out the Euro Chair that came with the rig.  If you aren't going anywhere too far or plan to sit in the chair for extended periods, I get along using the Euro Chair.  But if you are going for all winter, its a Lazy Boy for me.

I had to go get my son Ben to help me lift it up into the motorhome as the main floor is about chest high when you are standing on the ground outside.  We wiggled together and managed to get it thru the door when it was on its side.  We had taken the back off, or it would never have made it.

I am certain they will put the ten pound lifting restriction back on me after tomorrow, so that had to get done now.

We also put the anode rod back in the water heater with teflon tape to seal it up.  You just know it will be after dark and below freezing while I fill the water tank and heater in our first campground after we leave here.  It is always below freezing as we travel to Arizona, unless we take the most Southern road  which is I 10.

We took I 40 last year and had temps in the teens in Albuquerque and Holbrook.  No water hose on the rig on those nights.  Just plug in the electric and wait till morning.  I do let the gray water go though before I take off to travel.  I usually don't worry about the black unless it has been about a week.

So we are sitting here listening to the heater drone on in the basement with a space heater running as well.  We have to have thanksgiving you know.

Since I need to be up at 5:30 or so in the morning, I will sign off for now..... Wish me luck......

Retired Rod

PS: Thanks for all the well wishes that everyone has been leaving, I really appreciate the positive support.  This will be my 6th surgery in the last year, so I am more than depressed about it........

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lake home inspection

A whirlwind trip today to the lake home.  Loyce feels that she is really backed up getting ready to head out for Arizona and asked if I could go by myself.  It did waste all day of just driving along.  Over 400 miles of Missouri farm ground and wooded land.

At the lake place, I found everything to be in order, but of course the water has evaporated out of all the toilets and sink traps.  That is usually the first order of business, to go around and run all the sinks, showers and flush the toilets.

I checked the heat to make sure it came on and warmed up.  It had that burned dust smell, so I don't think it has been started yet even though it was below freezing outside several times.  We set it at 45F so it will take several days of cold to cause it to begin to run.

I went to the dock and put air into the floating boat lift.  It is automatic and will air itself if it goes down, but I always add extra air until it bubbles out of the back of the floats.  Back in the house I decided that since there was absolutely nothing in the big fridge I should turn it off.  I did remember to dump the big Ice Cube bin first, as that would have made quite a mess.  I left the doors open and put blue painters tape over the light switches.

So after turning off the water at the entrance valve I left to come home.  It was almost 8 PM when I got back here to KC.

But now I will sleep better knowing that everything was OK in November.  It will be more than 12 weeks now before we get back.

That all depends on when we get to leave in the first place.   I guess that depends on how my body reacts to the laparoscopic surgery.  And that things don't go really wrong and I get another incision.  That would kill most of our plans for this year.......

Retired Rod

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bum News

I spent the day back at the hospital having further tests, and then the Doctor's office where I got some bum news.

I have to have another procedure to go in and fix the surgery from September.  Of course the surgeon acts like it will be no big deal, but it does require me to stay at the hospital 2 nights and I will be put under twice, and that sounds a lot like more surgery to me.

The good news is that it will be done next week as I was almost in tears that it would delay or perhaps negate the possibility of going to Arizona.  I really live for my trip in the winter.........

We did swing back past the furniture store and pick up that last table later this afternoon, and I went down stairs and put it together in about 45 minutes.  Since it was just like the one I did on Wednesday, I didn't even look at the directions........

Monday back at KU Medical at 8 AM..........  Bring your tooth brush........

Retired Rod

Friday, November 18, 2011

Babysitting and a TV stand

We were baby sitters today, which kept us kind of house bound for most of the day.  At least Loyce never left the property until after the grand child went to her own  house.  As for me, I made one trip back to the local Best Buy.

I didn't purchase a table to go under the TV yesterday as the truck was full of packages of new wooden furniture, and I didn't want the extra weight on top of the TV.  So back to Best Buy this morning.  After looking at all the tables on hand and finally selecting one, the sales lady looked in the computer and decided that they did have one in the warehouse.

She disappeared for the longest time, and eventually I went to the store room door and inquired if she was still back there somewhere.  And she was but wasn't finding the TV stand.  She found some assistance once they finished unloading a semi truck that was rather full.

So just in the nick of time, she came out with a big box on a two wheel dolly.  She led me to a cash register in the home theater section of the store that was a long ways from the register that we started at originally.  She rang up the box and asked for $97.  The tag on the display table said $179.....  Whoa,  I just kept my mouth shut, and swiped the credit card.........

She led me to the front door where the door man looked over the box and told me to go get the truck.  Once in the truck, I examined the sales slip and it had a $90 discount on it for a discontinued item..  Well, what do I care if it is discontinued?  It will still work as a TV stand...... My good fortune!

Once home, I was loading the box into the house and managed to let it get away from me and it banged rather hard on the ground.  The table was glass, and I thought I had broken it.  It rattled......  I opened the box right there in the front yard and found the glass...........  still in tact!!  I was hearing the parts card with all the hardware rattle.  My heart was still fluttering as I thought I was toast......

Loyce came out and we carried the pieces down to the basement.  I was kept busy for over an hour as I put part Q into hole XX and secured it with the enclosed itty bitty allen wrench.  Eventually it was together.  Was I ever careful with the glass shelves........

And on the tables that the furniture place assembled before they delivered  last week, we kept looking at one of them trying to understand what was wrong with the finish on one of the shelves.  Last night, we decided that we were looking at the bottom of the shelf because it was in up side down!

By getting down on the floor and looking up at the underside, it was finished nicely.  We discussed calling and taking the table back, but it is 20 miles up there.  Loyce thought she would get another table and give them the wrong one back.

But in the mean time, I began to take the 24 allen screws out of the table to see if it would come apart without breaking anything.  It did!  It only took about another hour to get back together right.  It looks much better tonight sitting here beside my chair.....

I asked Loyce if she ever had an Erector Set when she was a kid, since we were putting so much stuff together in the last several days...  She said "No, but I think one of my brothers did."  I am certain that playing with that set helped me put many an item together as an adult.

We still have another table to pick up at the furniture store when it comes in supposedly tomorrow.  I think I will go on strike.

Retired Rod

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Back to the Furniture Store

I found out what that $60 delivery fee that I paid to Nebraska Furniture Mart was also good for besides just bringing the stuff down here on the truck!  They put the furniture together before they come!!!

We had ordered a coffee table to go along with an end table and it was to show up today.  So we had to drive back up to the speedway exit and go get in line to pick it up.  Of course we couldn't just do a pickup, we had to go shop all of the big store again.

And yes that meant we had even more treasures that Loyce came away with.  Now back in line to get that table, and that was when we found out that they come in a box completely in pieces.  She also bought a couple of small side tables for the basement, and of course one of them was not in stock.  But we did pick up the one they had.    And, it was in a box in pieces as well.

While Loyce was shopping, I ended up looking for a TV for the basement, and picked one out only to find that they didn't have that either.  It will be two weeks before they get more, so I just gave up.  We should be gone from here by then.

But I ended up stopping at Best Buy, where they had the same TV for only a few dollars more.  They would have price matched NFM, but when they found out they were out of stock the price match deal was gone.  If you can't get it today over there, then our price is what it is.  Then I found out that they only had 2 at Best Buy.  And our Olathe store was out as well.  So I paid the extra money and felt glad to just get one.

By now the back of the pickup was beginning to look a little full, so we drove home and began to load all of this into the house.  The assembly procedures began after that which took quite a while as we have no experience like they do.

I did get the TV up and running in the new basement room, so now it is official that I can go down there and hide!  Putting together furniture that was made in China with Chinese bolts and nuts is slow going.  Their quality control on their hardware is not like US made stuff.  But we need to keep the overall cost somewhat low so that means "Made in China!"

I don't think anyone will come over and turn our coffee table over to see if it has a USA stamp on the bottom........  And if they do, perhaps we need friends that are less particular!!  LOL

Retired Rod

By the way, the pressure cap for the Onan is also special order and will take several weeks to acquire so that is off our list before departure now......

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fixing the Generator

Mid morning, I called up to Cummins Central Power and inquired about my order for the cooling fluid recovery reservoir for the generator in the coach.  It took a while but the fellow finally found the order.  It has been 12 days since I was up there to place the order.

He finally decided that the part was in the building somewhere and he would find it by the time I came up there.  I worried that it might not be there and the trip would be for nothing since I am so many miles away.  He reassured me that it was there.

So Biscuit and I left the house.  She was driving Loyce nuts following her while she was cleaning and I was instructed to take her with me!  We drove the 30 miles mostly on the interstate system, so we made good time.

Once in the building, the fellow had the box right on the counter with all the other will call orders.  We opened the box and I looked at the tank.  Boy it didn't look right.  The fill and the pass thru where the oil dipstick goes thru the center seemed on the wrong side.  The man assured me that the tank was the part number specified and that once I got the old one out it would be OK.  I still wasn't for sure but paid the $133 for it and a new cap and left.

Traffic seemed to be getting heavier as I came back home, but perhaps I was just antsy about the tank being wrong.  I left Biscuit with her mommy and I took the truck over and traded it for the motorhome.

Of course none of the hoses would come off of the tank when I tried to get the tank out, and I ended up cutting the smaller one just to break it free.  Luckily it was plenty long.  And to make the story shorter, when the two tanks were on the bench side by side, they were the same!!!

I was disorienting the tank because the bolt holes were on the top, and I was certain they were on the left side.  So by rolling the tank the quarter turn but keeping the fill holes on the left, turned the whole thing around.  Then it all lined up just right!!

Naturally I had broken the factory hose clamps when I was trying to get them off.  They were the use once style where a robot crimps them into place. Uncrimping is the same as bend heck out of them, so it was off to the auto parts store for clamps and some antifreeze.

The book recommends that the coolant be changed every two years, and it has been since 2008 so I drained all of it.  It only holds a gallon.  After replacing the plug, I set about re filling the system.  The new fluid went everywhere except in the filler cap.  It took the coolant oh so slowly, gurgle gurgle as the air bubbled to the surface.  It took 30 minutes to get it in.

After starting the genny several times once I got about half of it in it seemed to take the rest.  Eventually no more could be poured in.  I put most of the rest in the recovery tank and buttoned up the case again.

This is when I discovered that the pressure cap that I thought I had purchased to replace the old one was really a replacement cap for the recovery tank.  The fellow has sold me the wrong one.  I'm not sure why he would think I wanted to replace the no pressure cap on the recovery tank and not the 13 PSI radiator cap.

Maybe he was so intent on selling me the tank he didn't think about the cap.  But anyway I get to make the entire trip again tomorrow to get the right cap.  I'll call first to see if it is in stock........

Diesel fuel over in Missouri where it is usually much cheaper was $4.07 today while gas was exactly a dollar cheaper at $3.07.  I don't think I have ever seen a dollar spread on diesel over gas.   This was at the Flying J where trucks were in a line for blocks to get into the pumps.

I was driving the car and filled up with the gas as it is $3.19 back over here in Kansas.  That paid for half of my Wendy's bill when I got back home.  LOL

Retired Rod

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Waiting at home........

One of those days, where you have a delivery coming and they give you a time window that they will arrive.   You know, between 10 and noon.  Well noon came and went.  So we called and they said Oh, Well maybe it will be 1!

So one came and went, but this time they called us, and said they were right around the corner......... Ya, right.........  Then 2 came and they called again and said we were next.......  And low and behold they came in about 15 more minutes.

This was the furniture company that was to deliver the new couch that replaced the one that went to the new basement.  The fellows were quite nice and carried it all the way into our back sitting room next to the kitchen.

Loyce must like the new couch a bunch because she chased her beloved Biscuit off of the seat in almost a heart beat.  "Get off and stay off!!!"   Eww,  I haven't had the nerve to go over and sit on it either,   I'll get the same treatment if I know what's good for me.......... Maybe after she goes to bed.......

We also purchased a lamp to go on one of the tables, and when we opened he box, there were three lamps in it.    Seems as though we had purchased a set of lamps and didn't even know it.  I thought the price seemed a little high for one lamp, but then what do I know.   Anyway it was late in the afternoon when we got all the stuff put together and the old carried away.

So that spent our day.  Just sitting around waiting for the truck.......  Well I read the internet and caught up on all those blogs that I didn't read yesterday.

Oh, and I think I wasn't clear about the diesel fuel thing yesterday, I wasn't worried about the price of fuel, but rather stations are out of fuel!   The shortage reported North of here has stations running out of fuel completely and folks have to wait until they get more.  I was concerned that we might get tight down here in KC and wanted to have enough in my tank to make it as far away as possible.

Since there are refineries in West Texas, I surmise the availability down there should be better.......   I hope!!  Or perhaps this is just a real short term deal and prices will drop as soon as everyone gets their winter heating oil barrel filled.

Anyway our tank is topped up and we have no way to store any more, nor would we want to as fuel oil is a fairly large fire risk.........

Retired Rod

Monday, November 14, 2011

Diesel Fuel and Washing the Coach.

I never turned on the computer all day today, as it will waste my time and nothing gets done.  Perhaps I will be ok if I don't get all the blogs read before trying to accomplish the days projects.!

We have read yesterday that there is somewhat of a shortage of diesel fuel up in the upper Northwest.  South Dakota and Nebraska seem to be the center of the problem.  But it is driving up fuel prices all around here, and I was able to confirm that by going on line and looking at local fuel prices which are close or over the $4 mark.

Since car gas is about $3.25 that is quite a spread from gas to diesel.  I managed to find a station that had $3.79 fuel so I went and got the motorhome and filled its tank to the very brim.  Prices may stay the same or rise and fall before we leave, but if we have a shortage that stretches down here to KC, at least we would have enough fuel to get to Northern Texas.  Oklahoma and Texas have fuel because it is pumped out of the ground there.

After filling up, I brought the coach home and began to wash it.  It is rather slow going, but with some rest every now and then, I managed to work most of the afternoon and got the entire coach washed.

The sun started to go down, so I had to go put the motorhome away at the storage lot.  A lot of time spent and not much gained.  The water spots from the unsoftened water here at our house are all over the coach, and have replaced the white streaks from the rainwater of the last few months in storage.  Is that progress?  Lets hope so.......

I do know that I was very tired after the day of washing outside.  So even after 8 weeks I am not up to full stamina.   One day at a time.

Retired Rod

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Blowing out the Sprinkler System

I never know what a day will entail here in KC until I check with Loyce as to what is on the appointment schedule.  And today was the annual blow out the underground sprinkler system day, since it freezes rather solidly here in Northern Kansas.

If you have never seen this process, it takes a lot of air.  So much so that they bring a tow behind free standing jack hammer compressor.  I think the fellow said it was 150 cubic feet per minute.  Most of my compressors struggle with 6 cfm.  It does take a lot of volume to blow out the lines in the yard.

They hook up the air line and back blow the back flow valve, once the water is secured.  Then they open each zone in the system allowing the water to spray out of the sprinkler heads.  We have 9 zones, so it takes a while as the water in the lines is replaced with air.  This is where all the volume is required because as air comes out some heads water is still being pushed out of others.  Eventually they all blow air and then it is time to go to the next zone.

I have never left KC without having this task complete.  I don't trust that someone would come and complete it just because I made the appointment.  They do have a port where they can run the system with a remote, as long as it is in the on position at the controller, but having them run the main box always seems better.

I did mow the yard for the last time this morning as well.  This is the first time I have mowed since the surgery, and even though I use a John Deere tractor for the main portion of the job, I felt every bump and jostle.   No springs on riding mowers!!  I did use the walk behind Lawn Boy to trim around the plantings and house for a while, and believe me I could not have finished the job with it!  Still not out of the woods that far to be sure.

The remainder of the afternoon became football games, until Loyce announced we were going out for Saturday night.   We went to Red Robin where I could get my plain hamburger and some of their tasty french fries.  I still need food without too much spice, since they also resected my bowel in this process.  That was done last year as well, so I know it will take several months to get back to normal after that.

But I am that much closer in my goal of meeting John Brown for a Burger at Fuddruckers in Mesa.  Umm, sweet potato fries!!!!

Retired Rod

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Veterans Day at the Elementary School

Loyce and I ended up over at the Elementary school where Caden and Ema attend 4th and 2nd grade.  They were putting on a Veterans day celebration assembly and all the related service veterans were requested to attend.  Ema had pleaded her case for me to come at the birthday party night before last.

The kids sang songs and they showed a video of solders leaving their families behind as they went off to war.  Being politically correct, they left out any scenes of war activities, thank goodness.  Then the kids all went into the audience and got their parents or grandparents that were veterans and we all crossed up front where the kids had to announce who we were and where we had served and our service branch.

Caden was all set to do it, but then Ema came running up when she saw us in line and didn't give him much of a chance as she grabbed the microphone and rattled off all the pertinent facts.  I think that was alright with Caden, because he seemed nervous about talking in front of the whole school.  But not Ema!

They played more songs and then sang America the Beautiful which was followed by Taps on two bugles.

I always have trouble with Taps, because we used to honor our fallen soldiers in Viet Nam as they were sent home, by bugling Taps under the yardarm flags in our administration circle.  Often times it was a buddy of yours that they were bugling to his resting place, and that was tough!   The bugle has a somber sound and the bugler often time extends the final notes in the cadence which seems to accentuate the finalness of his task.

Dah Dah Daaaaaah,    Dah Dee Deeeeeee,  and at the end, Dee Dah Dah, Dah Dah Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! To this day the tears well up in my eyes every time I hear this eerie sound. Takes me right back, 40 years later....  Luckily the high school fellows that they had enlisted to play the song didn't know how to drag those final notes and I got thru it without loosing it completely.

Without the Principal even saying anything when Taps began, all of the service people stood at attention automatically!  Folks from Iraq and Desert Storm clear back to some very elderly WWII vets.  Time honored and service wide, this tradition is as firm now as it was in WWI.

I'm not sure if the kids understood how powerful these traditions can be, but they are very aware of their surroundings and the actions of their elders, so they will come to understand fairly quickly.

Other than school, we had a fairly quiet day here in Overland Park and Olathe, Kansas.

Retired Rod

Friday, November 11, 2011


Loyce, "Well come on lets go!"   Me, "Do I have too?"  Loyce, "You said you would!"  Me, "I did?"

The subject of this little adventure was going to Nebraska Furniture Mart, our big warehouse style furniture store on the West side of KC, Kansas metro.  Its in a big new business complex that also houses the Nascar racing track.

As you remember, we had moved her sofa that was here in the family room to the new basement yesterday, sooo....  Now we need a new one!!  She had that all planned out long ago, but I was just let in on the little secret this morning.

This furniture store is larger than a football field and has two floors, so most of the time I am in there I am lost, but of course Loyce on the other hand knew exactly which door to go in and which escalator to take up to the sofa living room display area.  To me, I just wanted to bolt out to the car with Biscuit!

Eventually I picked out the piece that I liked and sat down on it without saying too much.  I just waited.  And before long she came over and said something to me and then stopped and looked at what I was sitting on and said, "What's wrong with that one?"

I guess it is lucky that we have been together for 43 years, because we do have about the same taste in stuff.  I bought her the Honda CRV and she never even went to look at it until I brought it home.  She loves its color, so I got lucky.

Anyway she picked a couple of small tables, and one of them I had already seen and liked.  So we went to the checkouts and arranged the payment.  We did decide to upgrade the sofa to the next more expensive one, because I began to look at the upholstery carefully and decided that it was a fairly cheap grade.  So I had to get her back over to look at the next more expensive model.  It was a tad darker, and then she changed one of her tables too.  The salesman was hating us by about then.

This seemed to kill a lot of the afternoon, and when we got home, I had a door that needed cut off to go over the new carpet.  I had to dig out the table saw in our messy garage.  That turned into a cleaning and straightening project.  And in the end, I couldn't get the fence close enough to the blade to just skim off 3/8ths of an inch, so out came the skill saw and I cut it off by hand.

If I had started that way to begin with the cleaning project would have been a lot shorter.  But now we have the doors back on to cover the storage areas, so it is looking more finished.

We received a call from the store that they had all the pieces here in KC and that they would be out on Monday.  They had a big sign outside that said "Free Delivery Special", but that didn't apply to our purchase for some reason, but I didn't even bother to listen to the why part.  I just hate stores that advertise things that turn out to not be how it will work out when you get there.

I could go after the stuff with the utility trailer, but then how would I get it into the house?  And the utility trailer has the big scooter in it ready to go to Arizona, so it would be a big pain.  I guess the $60 fee to get it delivered isn't so bad after all.

Retired Rod

Happy Veterans Day (Remembrance Day) to all of our past service members!  I served in Viet Nam in 1969 at the height of the troop numbers in Country.  Nixon became president that year and began pulling out the troops,  and our unit came up for removal before Christmas, even though we were scheduled to stay until March of the following year.  After that, I never thought that Nixon was such a bad fellow..........

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Birthdays and Carpet

It was Delaney's birthday party tonight, at Chuck e Cheese, and we were privileged to attend.  The kids run and run all over this place, spending their tokens that you purchase for about 25 cents each.   They sell packages that include the party, pizza, drinks and tokens all at once so it is hard to know how much the stuff costs individually.

She was five last week, and that doesn't seem possible!!!  Anyway I took some bad pictures with the cell phone but I will include them anyway.........

She was busy blowing out the flame on the giant 5 candle while her sister Ema (center) and cousin Clare look on.

This was the cake before we cut a bunch of the top row off so everyone got a piece.  She had both Grandmas there too, so she had a pile of presents to open up, but she was almost more interested in going and riding another kiddy ride and spending her tokens.

Since it is a school night, we adjourned about 8 PM and headed back for our respective homes.


We were awakened this morning with the carpet layers calling about 7 AM saying they were coming right over to get started on our floor.  We both tossed on some clothes and got ready for their arrival.

I had moved all the chairs and a table out of the room the night before, but they wanted the bar fridge moved away too.  They rolled up the cord and put it in the small bedroom that I had tiled several weeks ago.

These fellows worked as fast as they could go and took no breaks.  First the tack strips with concrete nails were installed all around the room.  Then the metal strips in all the doorways were put in with bigger nails that they hammer drilled into the floor.

One of the guys began carrying down the pad rolls, while the main guy was cutting it in sections and gluing it down.  Next came the carpet itself.  It was in three rolls, and they struggled to get the big roll around the corner at the bottom of the stairs.

By about 11 they were vacuuming the newly installed and finished room.  76 yards installed.

Loyce needed a sofa moved and a hutch, so she offered to pay some extra cash money if they would help us.   Lets see, tax free spending money, why sure we'll help.  The sofa is a sleeper with the bed that pulls out and weighs a ton.  We took the cushions off and the mattress out but still it is way more than we could handle even if I hadn't had surgery 8 weeks ago.

We spent most of the afternoon moving smaller stuff into the new room and trying to get the space incorporated into our living area.  Until now, we have always been waiting for yet another tradesman to come and install something else, but now it seems like it belongs to us!

Retired Rod

And For Sandy and others......

I posted this picture of Abby and Biscuit back in July as she was sitting under a very determined Biscuit that wouldn't get out of her car seat, for those that missed it I will repost it again.

Look at that grin!  Bif Cut, Bif Cut!!!!