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