Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another collectible watch and reservations

As usual, when Shop NBC does a feature on Android watches, I am watching instantly.  And Sunday night and Monday they were on special in their Today's Top Value.  Usually I can resist most of these sales, but on this occasion, they had a watch with T100 Tritium gas tubes on sale.

The gas tubes are like little florescent bulbs on the hands and hour markers and make the watch glow without any electric power or any charging of sun light or light from an outside source.  The Tritium is a form of radio active gas and causes the tubes to glow for 25 years.

Usually these watches go for really big money, but on special they were under $200.  I couldn't wait to get one on order and pre ordered last Wednesday even though the price at the time was $278.  I knew that the shop would honor the price reduction for 30 days.

But in order to get that reduction, I had to call in this morning and get a customer service person on the line.  She said sure no problem, and asked for the order number.  Then she began to have trouble with the computer when adjusting my account.  She reassured me that we would get the adjustment, but it seemed to take quite a while.

The payback for all of this is getting the exact dial color that I wanted and it will be here either tomorrow or Wednesday.  The folks that waited for the show to air, will not get theirs until next week.  Am I hooked on this watch collecting thing or not???

Anyway once that was over, I was out walking Biscuit up to the dog park, and stopped to talk to a neighbor from Iowa.  Mike was telling me that the office had warned some of the repeat campers to make their reservations for next year right away.  They are becoming booked up on most of the best spots.

We do like this spot we are on because it is a couple of blocks away from the US 60 freeway that passes by the South part of the property.  Also we are about equal distance between the dog park and the bath room/laundry building.  We are actually closer to the dog park, and that is visited several times each day.

I brought it up with Loyce and she said, "You haven't done that yet?"  Well no I hadn't........  So I rode the motor scooter up to the office and put down $250 for next year.  And....  we did get this same site back again.  So we will know some of the neighbors again for next year.  I laughed that now all we needed to do was get a new park model and we would be all set....  All I heard in return, was "Ya,  Right!"

After that, Loyce headed out to do some laundry, so that left me alone here and the bike was already uncovered.  Wendy's!!!!!  After that, I rode down to the Mesa Gateway Airport area, where President Obama had arrived last week.  No sign of any of his after party now, they have all moved on to bigger and better places.

There is a nice new Wal Mart on the West side of the field, so I stopped there and bought a few groceries.  Its 8 or 9 miles each way, so that made for a nice ride.

Biscuit was sitting by the door when I arrived back home.........Dad, where have you been???  We made 77 degrees again today.......

Retired Rod

Monday, January 30, 2012

Fine art of doing nothing.

I've been perfecting the fine art of doing nothing and enjoying it to the utmost.  But finally at about 3 PM I jumped on the bike and rode way over East of Apache Junction.  I was gone for almost two hours, and I haven't paid too very dearly in pain tonight.

I rode so far, that I had to stop and get some fuel on the way back.  I looked down and noticed that I only had one bar on the electronic gas gauge.  I was enjoying the ride so much that I had spaced off the lack of gas in the machine.

I thought it was an anomaly that my dash temperature gauge was recording over 80 degrees this afternoon, but I just now checked and the official afternoon temp at the airport was 81.  That is the warmest that it has been out here since we came in December.  Now I know it was warmer than that while I went home for surgery, but for me, it was the warmest I have experienced.

I contrast that to last night about 1 AM when I suddenly decided that I needed to head to the campground bath house .  the wind was blowing a gale and it was barely 50.  I didn't look, but the wind was sustained at about 25 mph.  The flags were straight out from their poles, and the fronds on the palm trees were making that flapping sound where they are all stretched to one side of the tree trunk.

I had put on the new western hat, and found that it needed to be strapped under my chin in order to keep it on my head.  Needless to say I walked rather quickly and was quite glad when I arrived back in the Motorhome.

So whether its 81 and dead calm or 50 and blowing a gale, it can all happen in one day out here in the desert.  Its a really good thing that I staked down that dinning canopy with the 10 inch aluminum stakes.  Otherwise it would have been in the next county last night!!!

Retired Rod

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Swap Meet turned out not to be a good thing.

I suggested that we go over to the big Mesa swap meet this afternoon, but Loyce was wanting to go off to another Jo Ann's fabric store.  I said that I would only get to sit in the car for several hours at these stores.  So she headed on out without me.............

Well I was ok with  that because I had my scooter pants on, and the helmet was right on the chair......  First it was off to Wendy's for a junior cheese burger and a value fries.  Its been a couple of days since I was at Wendy's and I was starting to have serious withdrawal symptoms.  LOL

After that I went to the big swap meet on the scooter.   The place was jam packed.  I never even got inside the fence before a car tried to shove me over out of the lane I was in.  It wasn't that the driver didn't see me because he looked right at me.  It was like he wouldn't give up a space for me to exist.  He was aggressive toward me and the motorcycle.  There is really nothing you can do in a situation like this, but just remove yourself.  You can't retrain the driver, just get over it.

But that kind of destroyed my frame of mind for putting up with the crowd. I went into my favorite cheap tool place and purchased a big set of slip joint water pump pliers.  I walked the C aisle.  Sort of browsing the stores, but still at a fast gate.  Faster than the other patrons, so they were kind of in my way.  I went most of the way to the opposite end and then crossed to the D aisle.

But by now, I was in the wrong frame of mind to be shopping.  I just walked back to the bike giving up on the shopping trip.  The people were in their Saturday mode, where some were power shopping, while others were doing the stroll along thing about four people wide.  Completely blocking the aisle.  I needed to get away from the experience.

After leaving the swap meet parking lot, I just rode the bike for about four miles.  The traffic was still quite crowded, but folks were better citizens and didn't push me off the street.  Eventually back in the RV park, I parked and sat outside.  Biscuit sat with me and we took an nap under the dinning canopy.  It was 79 outside, and it has been several months since we have experienced that kind of warmth.

Eventually the park rangers brought a new motorhome to the site behind us.  Of course that was excitement for the rest of us seasoned campers.  But I decided to hop on the bike and head back over to Wal Mart and purchase some small steaks for supper.  Again I was enjoying the zone of riding.  I was in my element.

When I returned, the new motorhome had its four way flashers going even thought it had been parked for a couple of hours.  I walked over and knocked on the door, but didn't get an answer.  Returning home, I sat for a while, and then noticed that several people were over at the neighbors to the East.  So I walked over there and inquired who owned the new coach.

The guy hoped up and said oh yea, I never turned off those flashers......  But then we got involved talking about motorcycles, when he noticed my hat with the Sturgis patch on it.  That took another half an hour.

The steak dinner was quite good and the door didn't get closed until about 9 PM.  Its getting warmer around here......

Retired Rod

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cooler and out on the scoot!

OK, I know I can never convince any Apple owner that a PC is even close to the beloved Apple.  So that is a fight that I don't choose to pick.  My wife likes her Ipad too, but I can't begin to figure out what key strokes will do what I want next.  I just sit and look at it.......it doesn't even have a back button or a mouse.  The big button on one end returns you to the main screen cancelling all programs that are running.  I am lost!!!

So if macs never need updates ever, ever, ever, so be it.  But I am not sure how anything can be up with the latest developments if it is never updated.  This big update on W7 is service pak number 1 and W7 has been out for three years now, so perhaps windows has saved up for years with new stuff to put on all at once.

Remember I usually run Linux and do not support Windows much either, because they also take over your machine and do things for you from their home office.  But this laptop has windows, and I didn't want to just toss out something I paid for.
Thanks for all the nice comments about the new hat.  It is made by the Head n Home company in Monterey Bay, California.  It is not considered, a cowboy model, but rather reminds me of the boonie hat we wore as part of the military uniform over in Viet Nam.  

The hat company claims that it is a Monterey Bay, California hat with the addition of western scallops around the vent mesh.  But where does cowboy stop and western begin.    They do make a line of what they refer to as cowboy and that has a rounded top with a crease in the middle where this hat is flat on top and doesn't have any crease.  I made the name clickable above if you are curious to look at their other styles.

Our day here was supposed to be sunny and nicely warm, but mid morning a deck of clouds came rolling in, and the warm up slowed.  We finally made 70 but it took much longer.  I stalled around wondering if it would rain, but didn't see anything on the radar.

So finally I went out on the scooter, riding up to the center of Apache Junction.  The main street is crossed with nasty expansion joints, that made my surgery cry.  I stopped at Harbor Freight.  Needed some small needle nose pliers.  Of course they had an assortment for cheap...

Next it was Wal Mart in the older part of downtown.  This Wal Mart has a really big host of characters that frequent it as clientele.  I thought about Al, and his camera taking pictures of folks that are unusual, but just can't bring myself to do that.  I had quite a bunch of stuff under the seat when I returned home.

For the rest of the day, we just hung around here at the motorhome.  Our computers kept us busy, until the afternoon required a nap.  We never did start the car....  

It was after dark before the sky cleared of the clouds, but we are sill in the mid 50s long after all our neighbors went off to bed.  Of course I am a night owl............

Retired Rod

Friday, January 27, 2012

A hat and another Quilt Show

OK, first of all, I must explain that I have the automatic update feature of Windows 7 turned off, and only allow updates when I want them.  Most windows systems are set to automatic updates, and happen behind the scenes when users never even know it is happening.

This is also true of Apple machines and to some extent the Linux OS that I use at home.  So, for you Apple owners that tout that you never ever even have to update your OS, that is because Apple controls your machine and updates it for you.  And that may be just fine, if you do not want this responsibility.

But please be advised that Windows will do all of this for you too, unless you take over and want to do it for yourself, like I do.

Now why do I do this?  Because we are on a measured line with the Verizon Aircard, and may be just about to go over our limits during a month that a biiiiiiiiig update is scheduled to be executed.  So I control these updates when I have the excess band width at the end of a monthly cycle.  Or do them at home, where we have no measured limit on band width.

And no I did not start the day out by updating windows 7...................LOL

It was country store day again here in the park, and I had decided that I was going to go buy that suede leather hat that I didn't purchase last week.  Since we didn't go to Quartzsite, I am allocating that gas money toward the new hat.

So I got cleaned up and went up on the motorscooter.  But........... I couldn't find the hat vendor!!!  What?  But I noticed another vendor with the right hat on, and asked him where the hat guy went.  OH,  you mean my brother?  He thought sales were poor here last week so he is over at View Point RV today at their store.

We talked for a while, and I told him to tell his brother that he was missing sales today here at Valle Del Oro.  Of course the vendor here pointed out that it was only about three miles over there, and why not just go get one?

And since I was on the scooter anyway, that was what I did.  View Point is about 2 miles North of here on Ellsworth Rd and about a half mile back to the West on University Drive.  Even in traffic I think it was only about 10 minutes up there.  But parking once I was in the park was entirely another matter!

I drove around and around looking for that illusive spot to open up.  Even the corners and half spots were full of golf carts, but finally I lucked into a spot as the car in it was leaving.  I marched right into the ballroom.  Man these parks are all just alike.  The main building is a little older and looks more like Mesa Spirit than VDO but still you almost have to have a sign to know which one your in.

My hat man was right in the middle of the room, and as I walked up, and he remembered me from last week.  He said "Steve called and said he sent you over!"  And in just a few minutes with a charged amount on my Visa card, I owned a new hat.

But I'm not too sure that his business was any better over there than it was here at VDO.....

When I got home, Loyce was all ready to go to the Phoenix Quilt Show at the Arizona Fair Grounds.  But I had left a note before I went so she was waiting calmly......  The fairgrounds are back over in downtown Phoenix where I 10 and I 17 merge.  17 heads North towards Flagstaff from that corner.  We were there by noon.

Now I had to become scarce again for a couple of hours, and the fairgrounds charges $7 to just sit in the car.  It costs $10 to get in the door, and since I didn't care to stay or go in anyway, that was extra money to apply to the new hat.

But.... North of that corner is a Ham Radio store, and every year I go up there and look at new radios.  So off I headed.  Biscuit was still in the car, so she rode along too.  I am happy to report that I didn't buy any new radios...........and really wasn't tempted by any either...

Then, of course, it was back thru a Wendy's and Biscuit had her doggy kibble and before you know it, time was up to go back and get Loyce.  She had another big bag of goodies when we met.  I didn't even ask what was in the bag..........

We sat outside under the dining canopy when we returned and absorbed the 73 degree day.........Ahhhh!

Retired Rod

Thursday, January 26, 2012

More W7 updates and Shopping with Loyce

I started in doing updates on windows 7 again this morning.  I spent about an hour or more with varying success.  Adobe PDF file reader was causing me some trouble and no longer would update itself.  I had a version 9 something.

I used the revo uninstaller and completely removed it from the computer.  Then when the machine was completely clear of PDF readers, I went back to the internet and installed what I thought was the latest Adobe reader.............Not......some off brand thing was substituted.  So Revo again to remove the impostor.  Now read that selection a little more carefully before down loading the actual Adobe reader, which turned out to be a version 10.  And it seemed to live under the W7 service pak 1 environment much better.

I went after the official updates from Microsoft for a while loading groups of programs three different times.  But finally Loyce wanted to go over into West Mesa at Dobson Road to the Jo Ann's fabric store there.  Something she was looking for was only at that store.

But as I dropped her off, I told her that I was going to the Bass Pro shop up in the North end of the shopping complex.  And I would be back after while........ I walked the entire store but didn't see anything that I really wanted, well other than several new guns and fishing rods......  But those things get really expensive so I came back to Loyce's store.

She wasn't even close to being ready, as it takes her over an hour every time she goes in.  The stores are like Wal Marts as they all have the same things, but things on sale seem to vary.  Loyce should go to work for this company because she is so familiar with their business.

Once she was done, I surprised her by taking her back over to the Bass Pro telling her that I needed to check on one more thing.  But parking in front of the Islamorada Fish Company.  She still was in the dark, as we entered the store, and it turned out to be a side entrance to the restaurant.

She ordered the big burger and their fresh made potato chips, but I had fish and chips, which was cod and french fries with a side of ranch dressing for dipping.  Came with some slaw as well.  It had the same options on the chips that the burger did but opted for the regular french fries.  Ya, I know I'm boring.

We messed around in the store for some more time after we ate, and eventually came back home.  Since I saw 70 degrees on the car thermometer, I decided that it was time to go ride the scooter for a while outside of the park and at regular speeds.

I was gone for over an hour and was up to 50 mph at one time, but mostly it seems like you sit at the lights waiting for the traffic to go again.  At one point I found a really bumpy part of Meridian Rd South of the old downtown Wal Mart here in Apache Jct.  It shook my insides and the new surgery wasn't liking that very much, so I had to get off of that road.

Anyway I came back home, and I am not seriously pained tonight after the experience.  So with some judgement, short trips to go get things and eat at Wendy's are back on the menu with the scooter.....

I'm sure as the days press on, I will be able to ride longer and stand the bumpy roads better, but for now I am just satisfied getting to go out at all.

Retired Rod

And I just moved the cursor over the update Icon on the task bar, where it stressed upon me that I need to get two more W7 updates......  Will it ever end???????

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Car wash and the bread maker arrives.

Too much fun, as I booted the lap top, and windows 7 continues to ask me to run yet more updates.  I just declined to get started today because I was afraid that it would become another all day deal.  I still have enough band width left on our Verizon Air Card this month, but my will power just wasn't into it.

I jumped on the motor scooter and motored up to the office here in the RV park.  I was told to report up at the office when I got back.  This morning, I thought it was about time that I went up there and did what they wanted.

They asked when I got back, and I answered last week.  They asked what day, and I wasn't sure, perhaps it was Thursday.............  Heck, I don't remember, I'm retired........  So they just recorded it.  But Loyce was telling me it was Monday when we got here and I wasn't all that truthful.

All they are going to do is prorate a $30 charge, what's a day or two one way or the other.....?  Well she was going to go straighten it out, but then I saw on the email that Wal Mart's site to store had received my bread maker......  I grabbed the car and headed out.

Stopping by the car wash, I ran the very dirty car thru the automatic wash.  They have an area where you can dry the car and have free vacuums.  We had a mud rain again last night, where you get about a tenth of an inch of very muddy rain.  Man I was glad to get that cleaned up.

Back to the site to store experience.  I had to go to the back of the store where the service desk is used mostly for prospective employees applications.  I showed the email on my phone to the clerk, and she typed in the numbers.  Excusing herself, she headed back into the warehouse.  Returning with a box, she began attacking it with scissors.  She explained that the product was inside the brown pasteboard box and she is supposed to inspect it that nothing is damaged.

We were in luck as the breadmaker box was almost pristine.  She printed out a ticket and I had to sign that I had received the product, and then another receipt to get out of the store.  But I had other purchases, so I had to go thru the cashier checkout.  That gal wanted to ring up the breadmaker again, so I had to explain the site to store and show her the receipt.

She wasn't sure, and had to call a supervisor cashier.  They discussed the propriety of my paperwork, and decided that if I could get past the guard at the door, they were good with it. I paid for the yeast and flour to make bread and headed out.

Folding up the tickets for the site to store in my pocket, I just waved the receipt for the groceries at the door guard, and he waved me right thru.    Man that was easy...........

The poor motorscooter sat all afternoon, as I was away with the car and then as we opened and cleaned the new machine.  Tonight we had fresh honey wheat bread along with our supper.

After dark, I went out and covered the scooter.  It hasn't left the park yet as I am not completely pain free, and willing to do battle with the local traffic.  Every day is an improvement, but I'm not out of the woods yet.

I had hoped to go over to Quartzsite for the show this week, but riding for 3 hours over and then walking the show all day seems like too much.  Especially when you consider that it is 3 hours home again.

We are to have temps again in the mid 30s tonight, so the heaters are on!  The local news claims that warmer weather will be here tomorrow!  Yea............

Retired Rod

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Updating windows.......... and driving South out of Mesa.

I have been staring at the message to update windows for the last couple of weeks.  It wasn't there when we left home, but showed up right when we got out here to Arizona.  Of course the download would have been much faster and unlimited at home...........

So as we near the end of our verizon monthly billing cycle, and we had the remaining band width, I decided to go ahead today.  Its a service pack for windows 7, and downloaded compressed at about 300 megs.

It took foreeeeeever, and the machine needed to be rebooted about a dozen times.  And once it was installed, then there were corrections to the service pack that needed downloaded and reinstalled...  That required me to reboot twice more.

This whole thing then caused some of the applications to need to be updated, as they began to scream and hollar.  It was mid afternoon before I quit with the computer.  Picasa was also updated, and moved to 3.9.  I didn't even know there was a 3.9, I though we were current with 3.8......

Then google + wanted its turn and downloaded a bunch of drivers and stuff that I hadn't done before.

I'm not sure that I am done, because I keep getting balloon messages as I cursor over the task bar.  Update me!!!  And Me!!!

We finally tired and went out for a drive down South of the RV park into the San Tan Valley and then the Florence, Az area.  We drove the old downtown, and got caught in traffic just as the Pinal County workers were getting out of work for the day.

We drove back the Hunt Highway into Queen Creek where we stopped for our daily Wal Mart fix.  Didn't take me too long, but Loyce enjoys her time in the store so we were there for quite a while.

We were quite cold here last night down to 40 or so for a long period of time.  We only had the electric heaters going, and woke up to icicles on our noses as the sun came up.  But thank goodness for the propane that we purchased, as we fired off the heater in the back bedroom and warmed things right up.

As morning progressed the sun finally warmed the rest of the rig.  We are painted very dark, and that absorbs the heat nicely, winter and summer........  We have another couple of days with cooler night time temps before we get back into the warming trend.  Well it is January!!

Retired Rod

Monday, January 23, 2012

Relaxing on Sunday

It started out sunny and kind of warm for a morning here in the desert.  I was motivated to go out and open up the trailer.  That motor scooter was calling my name.  At least get it out of the trailer and get it started.

That took a while since the trailer has been loaded with all kinds of stuff (junk) that seems to overflow from the house.  Eventually I was down to the bike and its tie down straps.  It started like it was just yesterday that it was stored.  December 9th was about 6 weeks ago, so you have to like the fuel injection system.

Ever so carefully I pulled it from its wheel chock. This is done by rocking the bike forward and back until it overcenters the chock behind the front wheel.  This is what I was worried about causing me pain and trouble, but other than some instant trouble there was no lasting effect.!  It has been about 5 weeks now.

I did just park the bike on the concrete and go inside and rest, or get involved with football.  And its official as a super bowl now since there is a Manning playing in it!  Ya, right......  Missing the field goal at the end of the first game was a bit exciting though.

As the afternoon progressed, our weather deteriorated.  First the clouds came and then the damper air.  Then much cooler.  Not cold, mind you but back down to 60 at sun down.  So as the sun was setting, I went out and did ride once around the perimeter of the RV park.  About 2 miles.

I parked the bike under the dining canopy, and put its cover over it.  We are to have a cool snap, with the actual rain and cold coming on Tuesday night with a low of about freezing.  Perhaps that will be the cold point that turns the corner into spring.   And perhaps more scooter riding as I get stronger...........

Retired Rod

Oh, to answer Penny's question, Biscuit weighs about 13 pounds now that she is a year and a half old.  She is mostly skinny with a lot of hair.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A day trip.........

As we were sitting eating breakfast, Loyce and I tried to decide what we needed to do today.   In the process the subject of the Tucson Quilt show came up.  Its this weekend, and she has gone to this show for the last three years in a row.  First on a bus with some of the ladies from Mesa Spirit RV Resort, and the last two years driving down ourselves.

Some discussion proved that she really would like to go again this year, but was holding back due to my issues riding in the car and pain and so forth.  Since I managed to ride all the way out here to Arizona, I wasn't about to disappoint her.

So in an hour or so we were on the road headed to Tucson.  That's almost two hours from out here in East Mesa.  We drove the interstate all the way, and arrived about 1:30.  I dropped her at the door of the convention center, and had the job of making myself scarce for a couple of hours.

So I headed on out to the closest...............  well where do you think I would go?    Wendy's of course!!!

We got the small burger combo, and Biscuit got some dog kibble.  She doesn't get french fries, that's my hard fast rule.  She got some treats and water once she ate her food.  But no people food.  I went back into the restaurant for a refill on diet coke and to use the bathroom.  Then I had to take Biscuit to the vacant lot next door.  That took a while, before we were back to the car.

Next we drove around the downtown area where we found an outdoor activity going on in a community area.  I wanted to get close enough to determine what was happening, but that just wasn't going to happen.  Every time I got within a block or so, the streets were blocked off and I was hustled along in the opposite direction.

Perhaps it just wasn't my day, but by then it was time to drive back to the convention center and pick up Loyce.  She had her sacks of loot, and we had connected with our cell phones  that she was done.

Of course she hadn't had any lunch, so that came first.  It was right about dark when we got home, but at least Loyce enjoyed her day, because she spent the entire time on the way home telling me about all the things she had seen.  Now she has been there four years in a row!

Retired Rod

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Biscuit gets a new do, and the Propane man

These days begin to blur, as we have completely shifted to living here in the desert!  I'm still quite fragile, so heading on out and doing all the tourist stuff is on our back burner.  The motor cycle is still parked inside the trailer, which keeps me down and in check as I am not heading on out by myself but rather tagging along on Loyce's errands.

And so that defined our day today, starting with finding the propane guy. 7 AM became 8 and then 9, before I gave up and went out with the car to find if he was even in the Valle Del Oro park.  We have street after street here and they are not straight.  So I had to drive a long time before I finally found him.  Of course had I started with the South side rather than the North.............

Well, since we are right inside the gate, he was saving us for LAST.  Sure glad I didn't sit outside at 7 AM waiting...  It was after 10 AM when he arrived and drug out the big long hose to the back of the rig.  We were completely empty and our tank is 30 gallons.  You are supposed to put in 80 percent so that would be 24 gallons.

The driver ran in 24 and a half gallons before shutting it down.  Some folks routinely run in 90 percent in these tanks so an extra half gallon is nothing.  The price was 3.76 which was $91 but then there is the almost 10 percent sales tax here in the Phoenix area, so that made the bill $100.  Wow.....

Now we have propane!!!!  Yea, we can cook something on the stove now, and run the heat in the morning when its so cool outside.  We aren't leaving any time soon, so propane to run the fridge won't be required but I'm glad we have that option again.

On to the big deal of the day, Biscuit needs a haircut. And she had a noon appointment, so we took her almost immediately after the propane guy was gone.  The shop was called Paws and Claws and Biscuit went there last January as well.

And yes I took her picture tonight when we got home, but she looked at me like it was my fault that she had to go thru such an experience.

She had really grown a lot of fur while we were in coooold Kansas City, so now she looks more like the dog we remember from last summer.  She seems to be able to look right into my soul with those big brown eyes.  I can't help but wonder what questions she is asking me......

She has done nothing but sleep since she came back home about 4:30.  Must have been a really tiring day for her.  There were dogs all over the shop waiting their turn.  Maybe its a good thing that she can't tell me how bad the experience was.

Otherwise, we just shopped at the local produce grocery store here in Apache Junction.  Its called the Superstition Ranch Market up on main street.  Produce is all this little market handles.  Local fruit as well, and the prices are well below Wal Mart or any of the local grocery stores.  People haul basket after basket to their cars.  Much of it comes in directly from growers in Mexico where the season is many weeks ahead of us here.  I should have had the camera with me because the colors of the shelves are gorgeous.

I'm not sure what else we did today, but cooking supper tonight with the burners on the stove was a big improvement over the steamer!!!

Retired Rod

And just because of what Rick suggested in his comment about Murphy and inviting things to  go wrong, I had the LP guy leak test the fittings that I installed yesterday before he left.  It was declared to all be in tact without any leaks.  Don't want to loose $100 worth of propane, or worse yet start a fire.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Into the RV Park Routine.....

Suddenly we are back into the routine of the RV park.  Thursday is the park's swap meet in the main dance hall.  Not only is it in the hall, but it is in the parking lot outside the building, and in the atrium surrounding the swimming pools.  Vendor after vendor.

We didn't get around too quickly, but finally went up a few minutes before 11 AM.  There was no place to park!  We drove around the building in the parking lots and out in the streets for the first block around the main building.  Not a spot to be had.  So we just milled about until someone came out and left.  Trouble was that there were a number of us seeking the single open spot.

We finally found a spot that we got to first....  Then some lady behind us was so unhappy that we were taking the spot that she wanted,  she jumped on her horn and didn't let up.....People!!

We spent a couple of hours walking, but didn't buy much.  I ended up with a small bottle of vanilla, and small support to go under the steps of the motorhome.  It has a screw post that extends as you turn the top of the support.  You place it between the ground and the bottom of the underside of the steps. This takes the pressure off of the step's support arms.  Price $13.

Loyce bought several items, but one was a sequined sun visor.  She said it was $2.  Flashy!

We did go off to the Jo Ann's fabric store later in the afternoon, and then to the Apache Junction RV Parts store in downtown Apache Junction.  There we purchased an extend a stay valve to install in the RV's LP tank hose.  These things are made of brass and are $50.  Ouch!

Back at the rig, I installed the valve body between the tank and the regulator.  These are kind of neat, as they have two ports that allow you to add a hose to connect your grill to the big tank of your rig.  And the second allows for a hose to connect a smaller tank to the rig as an extend a stay tank.

An extend a stay tank is the same as the LP tanks used RV trailers They can be filled at the local LP bottle filling station.  That way you don't have to break camp and drive the entire motorhome to the LP station.

Since our LP tank is officially bone dry right now, it was easy to add this valve.  But it could be added at any time, just by turning off the main supply valve. But  I knew there wasn't any way to make a mistake with the tank being empty, so today was the day.

Oh and on that note, the LP delivery truck only comes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, so we were out of luck for Thursday.  We run almost everything on electricity here in the park, but what is slowing us down somewhat is the lack of the cooking stove.

Tonight we made supper in our rice and veggie steamer.  One white potato and one sweet potato.  Half a bag of broccoli florets, and some chicken breast pieces on the second layer.  It all steamed in about a half of an hour.  Didn't come out too bad......

But still, we hope to get our LP tank filled tomorrow just the same.  They said somewhere between the hours of 7 and 10 AM.  And you have to be there, because they won't fill it without a check or a credit card!!!   Cash on the barrel head!!

Retired Rod

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Park Models, Bread machines, and using up the LP.

We are just recovering from our whirlwind trip out here from Kansas.  Not signing up or volunteering for anything in particular.  But rather basking in the sunshine and high temps of 68 again today.

Loyce was out walking the dog, and noticed a park model that was on an open house, so she stopped and went thru.  She thought I should go look as well, so I walked back down the block for a quarter of a mile and went thru as well.

The unit is 20 plus years old, but has had lots of improvements.  But they want way too much money in my estimation, so we had a long discussion on what the price should be for that unit.  It was nicely remodeled, but I am afraid that if I tried to sell it next year, I couldn't get the price back.

That is sort of a lesson in investing a lot of remodel and repairs into an older unit.  But perhaps it will sell, we shall see.....

I also set out to find a bread machine to use here in Mesa using the internet, and the phone.  I was not successful.  Most stores do not carry them.  Or they carry the very cheapest models.  Some of the posh stores carry the most expensive models, but we just can't justify a $300 machine.

So I finally gave up and ordered a Breadman from Wal Mart, using their site to store ordering procedure.  You  go on line and order the product but rather than shipping it to yourself, you have it sent to your local store.  Then they call you and you go pick it up.  I have never tried that before, so we will learn something new.

And last, we tried to cook some dinner tonight and found that our LP tank is completely dry!  BONE dry!  We didn't find anything that looked to be a leak, but tried to decide what we had done wrong.  That's when we discovered that the heater was not in the off position.  It was set at heat and a thermostat setting of 66 degrees.

So it looks as though we had 5 weeks of the coldest part of winter where we were heating the closed up motorhome with the LP heaters.  They must have worked to perfection, because they sucked the life out of the on board storage tank....  Dumb!  Just the flick of a small switch on the thermostat would have prevented this.  I guess it is only money, but it could have burned the rig up with us not here.....

Usually we shut off the 12 Volt disconnect switch at the door, which would power down all the appliances, but since we left the fridge going on 110v ac, the low voltage had to run as well.  So by leaving on the 12 volt stuff, that meant the heater thermostats were also live.  Oh well, what are you going to do?

We are well aware that it is quite cold back in the mid West, and that we bolted out in the nick of time, so if you are freezing tonight, we are sympathetic.

Retired Rod

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Setting camp back up!

The sun came out this morning as I saw 43 on the dash of the car, while I was going after that proverbial half gallon of milk.  We needed to make breakfast and had our supplies were several weeks old.  Remember we just packed up our clothes and left 5 weeks ago.

We did not clean out the fridge or anything, but we did close the slides and disconnect the water and sewer.  Without water pressure the biggest flood would have been limited to the half full water tank onboard.

After breakfast, we began to set up our camp again.  Opening up the trailer and setting out chairs and bicycles and the stuff that defines our camp.  Now remember we are in an 1800 space RV and Park Model park.  We have about 35 feet of width by perhaps 55 feet of depth on our site.

All went well until I tried to set up our easy up style of 10 by 10 dining canopy.  There wasn't enough room between the motorhome and the utility trailer.  I did have room if the trailer was moved.  That required stuff on the ground to be piled on the concrete patio, and then the trailer hooked up to the car.

Now I am still post surgical, so moving fast or lifting things is out of the question.  I was putzing around and not making much headway, when our neighbor from the park model across the street came over.  We just met Bob for the first time this fall, but he treats us as though he has known us for years......

He helped me connect the trailer, and guided me to get it moved over about three feet but not far enough to be on the neighbor's lot, and so on.  We did get the canopy up, but I had to sit down for an extended rest period.  He sat under the canopy with me and talked for the longest time.

Eventually we had the stakes in the ground to hold the canvas roof from flying away, and I put out the rope lights up under the fabric.  It really seems quite bright out there after dark.  I never did get the bar be cue out as I had planned, as some late night Wendy's intervened, and another trip to Wal Mart for some quick supplies.

Loyce was organizing the inside of the motorhome all day and surfing the web with her I Pad.  That has become her new past time.  She enjoys her new toy immensely, and that is good.....

Tomorrow will be another day, but it will be hard to beat today, as we had 68 mid afternoon.  I know it is to be really cold back in Kansas tonight,  so we are here in the nick of time!!

Retired Rod

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The last day of travel.

So where were we?  Oh, I know, laying in bed listening to the Union Pacific 100 plus intermodal car trains as they zipped thru the center of town at blinding speeds.  But I don't think they can go thru at 79 like Sam from St Louis suggested.  Something about the town, and how big it is.  But you train folks know better than I do.

They double stack the semi truck bodies on really low cars out here, and cars are somewhat nebulous as well, because they share one set of trucks under the ends of two cars without any couplers.  That way two cars have only three sets of wheels.  They are so long that I lost count as to how many cars there were.  But they do have 5 power units, 3 on the front and 2 on the back.

These were about every 15 minutes all night long, and once in a while they passed each other on separate tracks going both ways right in town.  But at least we were several blocks away from a crossing that required the whistle to be blown.  The one West of us required two longs and a short and then another long.  You train folks will have to explain what that means.

But about 4 AM I fell back to sleep, only to be jarred out of bed at 7:30 when Loyce burst back into the room from taking Biscuit out for a potty break, announcing that it was snowing outside.  Or rainy sleeting, if you like.  "Get up right now!  We're leaving!"

So we packed and hit the road, and it rained and Snowed for quite a while as we headed West to Holbrook.   But eventually it stopped and we thought we were out of it...........  Uh, not exactly......  From Holbrook, we usually turn South toward Payson, which caused us to run right back into the storm.

At Heber, you begin to climb up over the 7,600 ft mountain range between there and Payson.  It was a white out, with wet slushy, sloppy, clingy snow.  The car windows fogged over and I was really glad that I had ordered 4 wheel drive for the CRV.  It was quite sure footed, but I think my finger imprints are still squeezed into the steering wheel.

Once over the top, in about 15 miles, we descended back to about 5,500 feet and instead of 27 degrees it was 37.  At that point the snow returned to rain.  The trip down to the valley was overcast and rainy, but not slippery.

We took the back way into Mesa coming from the North, slipping thru Usery Mountain Pass.  That comes out right on the same street as our RV park.  So by about 2 PM we were extending the slides and hooking back up the water on the RV.  Unloading the car took a while, and putting stuff away inside caused a nap to be in order.

We had enough car time in the last three days, so we haven't moved since we arrived.  But tomorrow will be at least a Wal Mart day, because we have no milk or bread or any other perishable...

It was barely 60 when we got here and overcast for most of the rest of the afternoon.  It only cleared up in time for the sun to set..

But we are home to the valley, and I am excited!

Retired Rod

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I can see Arizona over the hill!

Just watching the news and learned that Greenbay lost big time to NY!  Wow what happened to all the favorites?

Tonight finds us in New Mexico, but only 20 miles from the Arizona line in Gallup.  We arrived about 5 PM, and had to go on line and see about the pet friendly hotel.

Most were out on the farthest part of town, but this joint was right on old 66 flew the days inn flag. The office seemed OK but the actual rooms are quite old....  But they take your dog for an additional $10.  So here we are!

We are right across the street from the tracks.  Lots of them, about every ten minutes for a new train. 

I did say it doesn't take long to load up a CRV, so yes we just headed on out.   Took a big bottle of Tylenol and figured I would know in about 25 miles if it was a mistake.

Only about 280 to go now!  Can't turn back now! Closer to go to Mesa now!

Be there mid afternoon. Yea!

Retired Rod

Saturday, January 14, 2012

On the road again!

What the heck happened to Denver and Tim t ?

We are watching the game in a motel in Liberal, KS,

Very few folks in this really old dog friendly motel on a Saturday night. 

Only 800 miles left to go!!!

Retired Rod

Going for a burger and other musings.

The sun came out this morning and improved moral around here  quite a bit!  We were scheduled to go out to lunch with my oldest son and his family, except his daughter that is in school.

Right on time, they arrived here ready to take us to a small Burger Bar over in a small town in Missouri!  We all had burgers and fries, and a bunch of extra stuff and enjoyed our selves in conversation.  The restaurant wasn't too busy, but we hope they will do more business because of the contest that they are part of.

The contest is for folks to come and get a free burger for every one that they order, and then go online and vote for the best burger place that they go to out of the 9 or ten in the contest.  I know this was a fairly good burger for sure, but will not be here to go to all the others and make a good vote.

Well, perhaps I will just vote for the one I went to and let the other folks vote as they see fit.

We spent the rest of the day trying to decide what we need to get organized to take back to Arizona.  I am certain that the day's high temp of 32 degrees has warned us that winter is here for real and that we need to get on back out West, least we get to enjoy the whole thang for ourselves......   Twang intended.

The heater in the house here seems to run every ten seconds, but at least the wind has become more bearable and we are likely to be above freezing in the morning, or perhaps sometime in the next couple of days....

I didn't look at the long term weather, because that would mean that I was planning on being here long term!   Which I am not.....

Retired Rod

Friday, January 13, 2012

Winter's Charm?

This morning when it became light outside, I peeked out the window on the front of the house.  And yes, everything was covered in White Frozen Glaze!  Since it had been in the teens outside for several hours, the snow was a frosty rime rather than the wet drippy stuff that seems to come in spring.

But!!  Since the ground was relatively warm the night before, a bunch of the rain had not stuck to the ground but rather had melted.  So we didn't have any depth to the snow.  Maybe an inch or so, but the tops of the long parts of the grass were still sticking out thru the snow.

The sidewalks and the driveway had frozen with ice underneath and then the snow on top, but it was like a crust.  I didn't even try to shovel it, as it would have taken an ice chopper to blast it off of the hard surface drive way.

We must have some rule about how much snow we are to receive before the snow crews come out with a plow, because we never saw one all day long.  The forecast is for it to be above freezing sometime on Saturday, so perhaps they will just wait for the sun to do its thing.

Loyce went out to do some shopping this afternoon, but I elected to sit right tight here at the house and not bounce around in the car over the snowy crust.  It was a total internet kind of a day for me.  Biscuit slept off and on at my feet.

We are bundled up here in the house tonight like it was an igloo, and expect to see temperatures in the single digits before morning.   The wind is also projected to continue in its 20 mph range like it has been for most of the day.

Yep, we stayed just a week or so toooooo long, but then the docs had everything to do with that, so we just grin and bear it!

Retired Rod

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Waiting for winter??

Now we have gone and done it!!  We were flirting with winter destiny screwing around here in Kansas in January! Now its about to bite us in the backside.  We went to Red Robin tonight and it was about 40 degrees, but the wind had changed to the Northwest since earlier in the day.

As if that's not enough, it began to rain and the wind began to blow while we were in the restaurant.  And the temperature went down to 28 degrees.  So it is below freezing with  rain coming down and the wind at about 30 miles per hour.  The weather service calls for the chance of snow at 90 percent......  The low tonight is forecast to be 16 F.   The redeeming grace is that they are not calling for too much snow in total, but we have been gone for all of these storms in the last several years.

I guess I will just have to get back in the game plan,  "for winter!!"  I'm mostly out of practice, because this used to be standard procedure when I lived up in Iowa....  How quickly we become a patsy to these things...

Well anyway today was "fix the garage door closer electronic sender day!"  You know the push button coded outside control had given up.  But I got lucky, as only the battery was shot!  It only took a nine volt battery that I already had on hand.

The next project was to go renew our automobile and household insurance.  Rather than just send it off in the mail, I wanted to personally go take the check over.  Messing around with insurance is the best way to find yourself without coverage!  The check was hand delivered, and the cards to go in each vehicle were printed and handed to me on the spot.  I also got the receipt for the check with the agents signature on it should there be any doubt about when it was paid.

These insurance folks have paid a minor fortune in claims for us this year with the roof and all the vehicle repairs from our hail storm, so taking chances with this stuff just isn't in the cards.

We will be leaving here in the next week or so, so I decided to go over to the barber shop this afternoon and get a slight trim.   It was only about 4 weeks ago since the last complete do, but starting over will get me well into late February before I will need to go again.  And perhaps I can stretch it out into March, which will get me back here to go to the regular folks.......

Tonight at Red Robin, I ordered a cheese burger and fries.  When they brought the meal, I was famished, so I didn't even look at the sandwich, as it was all wrapped up in paper and only the lettuce and tomato were visible.  I just bit right in.   It was really full of Mayo, but didn't taste a bit like cheese burger!   Well it turned out to be a California Chicken.  It had bacon and some kind of pineapple.  The cheese was white and without any noticeable flavor.

Red Robin offered to fix the sandwich, but I would have had to wait for another while all five grandkids would be done eating and wanting to go home.  So I just stuck with the Chicken.  It was underwhelming.  One of my son's went and asked for a price adjustment, which I wasn't going to make a big deal about.  But the next thing I know, they comped the meal.......   So Red Robin knows how to keep their customers coming back.

That's enough fun for one day, when I am supposed to be sitting at home driving the recliner..........

Retired Rod

Loyce just let Biscuit out, and the snow flakes are about the size of quarters...............

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Slow life while healing!

I got up this morning and began to pack clothes into the suitcase!  You know all the extra stuff I thought I should bring back to Kansas just in case.  And now I am equally convinced to take it back to Arizona as well.

Well that didn't last too very long, as I tired of thinking about the trip and then worrying about the trip and how well I will be able to stand the car ride.  I do need to get myself together a little better, as we have really moved back into the house and spread things all around.  Really!  There can't be that much to pack, because it all has to fit back into the back of that little Honda CRV!  But no matter, I will forget stuff just the same.

We both spent the day just kind of hanging out.  Loyce was reading some of the blog posts here on Retired Rod, and that always gets me into trouble for telling things that aren't like she experienced them. So I caught some trouble over my attitudes......  LOL!

By mid afternoon, I was off in a cooking mode again surfing the internet for the best bread stick recipe.  I found one that claims that it was better than Olive Garden's.  Really?  It was very simple and mostly just a rehash of the roll recipe that we all call the quarter cup recipe.  But no eggs and just water.  So I made it up in the bread maker.

It was too dry, so I had to watch the dough as it was mixing and add water a tsp at a time until it cleaned the sides of the pan.  Otherwise it was just white bread with more butter in it and 2 tbs of sugar.  When the dough cycle stopped, I knocked it down and hand kneaded it a bit before cutting about 18 sticks and rolling them out on the counter in long rope sticks.

I filled the brownie sheet clear full, and let it rise for 30 minutes in the oven, which was barely warmed for a minute or so before turning it back off.   About 15 minutes of bake time at 350* and yes!  They were softer and spongier than Olive Garden's.

I cooked up a pound of turkey sausage and a jar of marinara which I added to a small package of whole wheat spaghetti, and we were in business for a "multi plate full" supper.  I think I ate half the pan of sticks myself.

Caused me to dose off after supper for a while too. Yep we're eating pretty good here!

Retired Rod

Since I will get emails requesting this I'll just add it right now....
(Copied from the internet with creative commons rights)

Easy Italian Breadsticks Recipe

1 cup warm water  (Plus 2 tsp if dry in the bread machine)
3 Tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast


2 Tablespoons butter (melted)  (I used 4 TBS)
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese  (I skipped this as my Parmesan was ooooold)

Place ingredients in your bread machine in order listed. (I creamed the yeast for about 5 minutes in the warm water and sugar.) Run the dough cycle. When complete, divide the dough into 12 (I did 18 for smaller sticks) balls and form into 4-6-inch ropes. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes or until doubled. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Furnace periodic maintenance.

It seems like yesterday now, but this morning we had the local furnace folks came to our house to do the fall heating season maintenance.  Since it is mostly well beyond fall, I must first explain that we couldn't seem to get them before we left for Arizona back in October and November.  They were scheduled up!

In the month of September we should have made the appointment, but failed to do so with the surgery and all we had going on.  So Loyce made the schedule for today while I was still recovering from this latest surgery.

I have to admit, that I was less than enthusiastic to see these folks today because things aren't broken and messing with them may well just cause trouble.  They were to be here between 8 and noon.  And again, that proves that their time is way more valuable and mine is worth nothing, because I can just sit here and wait for them.  But heck that's all I'm doing anyway is sitting here and waiting.

They took the entire heater apart checking all the electrical components and pressures.  I had cleaned out the air filter, but they also replaced the humidifier pad and cleaned out that box.  They spent about an hour and a half messing with everything.  They didn't find anything to replace that cost extra money, and since we paid for the service last summer their was no charge today.

I guess that is peace of mind that we can leave the house and keep the heat on  while we are gone.  So that's OK.  My problem with this system is that we have had way more repairs in the 6 years that we have lived here, than any other heat and AC plant I have ever owned.  Every time they come, it seems to be another $500.  So I am a little gun shy.........

I also went over to the lumber yard again this afternoon and purchased a small container of dry wall compound to repair a few places on the walls down in the family room in the basement.  I did get to walk around in the big store for a while which is a first since I have been home again from this surgery.

That still causes pain, so I am ever so slowly regaining my strength, but of course not fast enough for my peace of mind!!.....

Retired Rod

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sunday and the Crock Pot

And I ate almost all of it!   Since I have been staying up almost all of the nights and watching TV, I have been watching the food channel and the shows about Drive Ins and Diners and Dives.  The host, Guy, with the White Spiked Hair, goes back to the kitchen and watches or helps cook the specialty items of each joint.

He seems to be a good cook in his own right, and often surmises the process before the local cook gets it complete.  But that gave me an idea to do some pulled pork for sandwiches here today.  I seldom have recipes to follow as I am a dumper.  That is just dump what you have in the pot and cook it.

I purchased a three pound little pork shoulder roast yesterday and this morning I put it in the crock pot with a chopped onion that I sauteed and some apple juice, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and a small can of tomato sauce.

I didn't cover the roast with the sauce but it was about half way up the side of it.  I left it on low for several hours, and came back and turned the meat over every now and then.  The onion and vinegar smell filled the house all day.

About six hours later, I checked the meat with a fork and it was easy to flake off of the big roast, so I took it out of the pot and went thru the pulling process, shredding the entire piece.  I dumped the juice thru a sieve and saved some of the clear liquid.  To this I added about a small bottle of KC Masterpiece Bar Be Cue Sauce, and about a half cup of Jim Beam whiskey.

This all mixed with the pulled pork and went back into the crock pot for about another hour.  I had saved enough of the extra apple juice mixture to add into the meat as it cooked down during that time.

At about 4 PM I had made a fresh loaf of Whole Wheat and Honey bread in the bread maker.  The whole meal was done about 7 PM.

There's not much left for left overs, but tonight I feel really stuffed as I type this for some reason.........

Retired Rod

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Wal Mart and the rest of Tom Sawyer

Back to the West Wal Mart here in Olathe for another oil change.  Man its amazing how fast these miles pile up when you are zipping all over the country.  I know I was just blogging about getting the oil changed this fall in a whole bunch of vehicles.

But we had over 4,000 miles since then on the CRV.  Of course 2,500 of that is the trip down and back from Mesa, Arizona.  And while we did come back about 5 days sooner than we had planned and will stay here about 3 weeks longer before we go back, the mileage will remain the same.

Wal Mart puts a sticker in your windshield that adds 3,000 miles to your current odometer reading and gives you three months, then requiring the oil to be changed again.  But most vehicle owners manuals now days will allow 5,000 miles and 6 months.  Again Wal Mart is just marketing their services.  However, Loyce sees the sticker and starts in poking at me that it needs, needs, to be done right now.  Wal Mart knows that it works!!!

I had used synthetic oil last time to boot, which may even increase the mileage to up to 10,000, but since we will be traveling another 1,300 in a week or so, I decided to start over on a new change.  I was there at about 11:30 which must be before other patrons think about their oil, because I was first in line.

I asked about the 3k interval with synthetic oil and the fellow readily admitted that the sticker would be completely wrong, but that was what corporate had set the software that prints the stickers, to print.  He said that 5K would be no problem but didn't think 10K was recommended.  We had 4,200 so what the heck change it out!

Synthetic is expensive even at Wal Mart, as the service was $59 for the good Valvoline Syn stuff.  But, he hand wrote the sticker allowing 5K miles and didn't specify a date.   That should help Loyce in feeling her car isn't over due for service.

All while this was happening, she was out with the 4 oldest grand kids in the other car.  Having a lunch at a fast food, with a play place.  And then to the theater for the latest Chipmunk movie.  I give praise to the lord for not making me go along on that one..............

Biscuit and I spent a quiet afternoon reading the rest of the Tom Sawyer book from so long ago.  The English from 1875 is so different from today, that you have to pause and determine what each paragraph actually is trying to relate.

I remember when I was about 10 years old, my father and I read the book together, with him reading and explaining what was happening as I mostly listened.  There are many references to African Americans, that would have only been free from slavery for about 12 years at that time.  The N word is used throughout the text.  I couldn't help but wonder how I would go about reading this to my 9 year old grand son today.  Things have really changed in 135 years.

Retired Rod

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Recovering from the trip and tests.

Good heavens, I wasn't expecting so many nice comments about being able to head back to Arizona.  But as some of you have alluded, I have to get better and be able to travel in the car without the vibrations from the road causing so much pain.  (Thank You for all the well wishes!)

That will just take time, as I have experienced this before having had so many trips for these surgeries.  We kind of made some tentative plans about a couple of weeks away, but again I need to get over the night pain that comes with this surgery thing.  And get so I am not needing the pain pills, so much.  Or I'll never be able to get up in the mornings.

I just sat here in the recliner most of the day, reading the internet and then starting up my laptop, because Loyce wanted to use the printer, and it only works on a microsoft operating system machine.  It is a driver thing, as it does not have any linux or ipad software.  As far as the Apple, they have proprietary cables as well, so nothing that isn't Apple will work with the I pad.  That is why I have stayed away from Apple, but Loyce likes the little thing so I just say yes dear...

But with Microsoft running on the laptop, the printer wakes right up and prints out the stuff the boss wants.  Of course that meant that the laptop needed to run most of the rest of the day downloading the updates it has missed since we used it last before we left Arizona.

I have been reading Tom Sawyer again on the book reader that is part of Google Chrome Apps.  It is a really old book, so it can be downloaded for free.  It has captivated the rest of this evening, and I never even turned on the TV.   That means that I have missed Gold Rush on the discovery channel, but they run the stuff over and over, so I will see it eventually.

Recliner driving has allowed me to get over the pain and trauma of going to the hospital yesterday, and I have not had a pain pill all day, so perhaps I will be headed to better recovery here in the near future.  At least that is the plan.  Just hang around and get better so we can get out of here sometime yet this month....

Retired Rod

Friday, January 6, 2012

Visit to the Doctor's

First off let's just cut to the bottom line.........I got a signoff to head back to Arizona today!!!!  Yea!!!!

But it wasn't without its scary moments......

We were up at 6 and dressed and gone by 7:15.  Its a 45 minute drive to the hospital, and perhaps longer in the morning traffic.  But things rolled right along, so we were there on time at 8 AM.

First stop was the Lab where they wanted blood work.  I lucked out and there was almost no one in the waiting room.  After checking in, they called me before Loyce even got the car parked.

I haven't had the best luck with this group of folks as they seem to never get any blood on the first poke.  But this gal stuck me and swirled the back end of the needle around in a circle cutting the heck out of the other end.  It sent me almost to the moon... Yeow!  but of course that made me bleed inside, and she got the blood.  Not the smoothest deal, but it worked as far as she was concerned.

Tonight, I have a big black and blue spot where she did this dirty work, but that was just the start of the tests.

Next it was to the Radiology Lab to test my kidney output.   That took a while to get registered and wait my turn. Once back in the room, they start another IV line and shoot the radioactive dye into your body.  Then after 15 minutes, they give you a really big dose of diuretic thru the same IV.  The result is that you start peeing your head off....

That's when they start filming you as the flow comes out of your kidneys.   You have to lie really quiet and make sure that you don't move...............   The technician told me he could see where the recent operation connected the little tubes inside of me.....

Now it seemed like the worst was over as I waited in the doctor's office to get back to an exam room.  Of course the diuretic still kept on working.  About three trips back to the restroom later, we were in the exam room.  The resident doc came in and removed all those nasty staples out of the front of the newest zipper they installed in me.  Boy I was glad to see those things go!  It hurts a little as they pluck them out, but compared to catching them in your undies when you don't expect it, getting rid of them is welcome no matter how much the process hurts....

Well eventually the main surgeon comes in and says that the test didn't work as the dye blew out of the IV line and they couldn't see anything.  I was going to have to go and do the test all over!  I began to protest that that couldn't be, because the tech was describing what he was seeing as the test went on.

I explained that I felt the dye go up my arm and down into my Aorta.  Right after that they began to explain that they were seeing my kidneys.  Nothing blew out of the IV, and the IV sight wasn't festered.

The doc disappeared for the longest time, but finally came back and said he had been on the phone with the radiology folks.  They finally agreed that I was fine, and wouldn't tell him what made them think otherwise the last time he called.

He surmised that they had me mixed up with one of the other patients, that did indeed have all these bad things happen.  But that they wouldn't admit to it on his second call.  This was really important that they decided I was OK, because doing the test over again like the doc told me the first time didn't sound a bit fun.

I was feeling a bit like a pin cushion the first time, but to go have it done again just because they couldn't keep the patients names straight, was going to cause me to be greatly upset........  

All during this activity, I had to excuse myself to the bathroom three more times as the diuretic continued to do its job.

After that, the doctor's visit became a discussion of Arizona and the fact that my surgeon wants to visit and play some golf and do a general R & R.  We talked about the weather, and I suggested the middle months of February as it would be nicely warm during the day, but not hot like the middle of March can become.  He is making the reservations!

So for now the pressure is off, and all I need to do is heal up enough to travel back to the great Southwest...   Can you see me doing my happy dance?

Retired Rod

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Back to the Hospital for more tests.

Tomorrow is another big day at the Hospital, and I am a little more than concerned about what nasty things they will have planned to arrest me here in Kansas for the rest of the winter.

So my mind isn't on blogging much tonight.....

Retired Rod

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I spent my first day out and about today.  Post of the latest surgery.  That was two weeks ago.  I believe that I am much ahead of where I was last September when the last surgery big was performed.  But this time I didn't have organs removed, but rather just some things re plumbed.

I drove the car over to my jeweler watch repair guy about 8 miles from here.  I felt every bump that the car hit, and at one point I stopped for a rather long traffic light, which I was thankful for.  It gave me a few moments to regroup my insides from the trauma.

But it has always served me well to get up and get going, which I feel has sped my recovery every time.  So I may have to take an additional pain med tonight, but tomorrow I will be stronger.  And on Thursday, I have to muster enough strength to drive all the way back to the hospital downtown and face the docs for the same tests that I failed last fall.

Tonight I have been sitting here watching the Iowa Caucus results.  As a former Iowan, I have attended these meetings, and have even stood and spoke at the front of the room for a candidate.  No other state has this kind of accountability for what you believe.

As I type this, there is a spread of 18 votes between the republican front runners.  Amazing, but remember that Iowa chose Huckabee last time and he didn't get the nomination in the end for the republicans.  They did choose Obama and we all know they were correct with that one.

So short of me turning this into a political blog, and blasting out a bunch of personal views that are bound to offend at least 50 percent of my readers, I will just say this has been an interesting evening of reporting to say the least.

Perhaps I will just hang around here tomorrow to build up strength for the visit to the hospital on Thursday......  But if I had to leave for Arizona tonight, it would take quite a while to get there based on my ability to go about 50 miles per day currently.  But I'll get stronger again, I'm sure.

Retired Rod

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Family Christmas that was delayed.

With all the family coming for afternoon lunch, or New Years dinner, we were getting things together today for the feast.  We have a bar be que over just East of the Missouri state line that we like, (Jack Stack) and Loyce had ordered a take out pack of meats for our meal.  She ducked out about 11 to go get the package.

Mel our dil made cheesy corn and baked beans from the same restaurants recipes, that can be found on line.  Danielle our second dil made cole slaw and brought a scrumptious chocolate pie.  I had made the diner rolls from scratch with the bread machine, and Loyce pealed the potatoes which I mashed and loaded with way too many fat items like sour cream and such.

We had a fresh fruit bowl that Loyce made yesterday, and chips and cheese dip along with little smokey sausages in the small crock pot.  Even though there were eleven of us, we didn't make too big of a dent in all that food.

So we watched TV all afternoon and opened presents and enjoyed the new basement room, until it was time to dig out the bar be que left overs again and clean up some more of the feast!

It was well after dark, when everyone decided to head on home.  The kids were becoming tired from no naps except the three year old jonked out mid afternoon up in our crib.

So Christmas is official, here at our family, and we got to use the new TV down in the new family room to watch the ongoing stream of New Years Bowls.  Well now that's about perfect isn't it?

Retired Rod

Monday, January 2, 2012

January Christmas

We are having our family over for the Christmas that was skipped last week when I was a tad too sick to get out of the Hospital.  Even then I wasn't in any shape to have a party once I got home.  The first couple of days were sleep, sleep and so forth.

So for no particular reason other than everyone has the day off, tomorrow will be the day that both of my son's and their families will be here to open belated presents and have all 5 grandkids run all thru the house all at once.  Biscuit will be beside her self trying to decide who to chase!

Today, Loyce was out doing all that last minute stuff and wrapping presents that she has had for months. I was holding the chair down over in the corner trying to keep out of her way.  I did resist running the TV for most of the day, and stuck to the internet for entertainment.

But tonight, the Dallas and NY football game pulled me away from that no TV pledge.

It was a bunch cooler here today, as we had 62 on Saturday, but with a wind from the South at about 30 miles an hour.  It really reminded me of the Rio Grande Valley for the day.  But today we were in the 40s all day and that wind seemed to still be here.  Of course since this is Kansas, the sun was shinning both days, but that can be a bit deceiving at 40 degrees and windy.

I have had the bread machine out for the last couple of days, practicing up to make a fairly good loaf.  It has been a couple of years since I have made bread, and it was a skill that was not lost.  I think we just got tired of the home made stuff all the time and got lazy and bought Wal Mart Bakery bread instead.

So messing with that has kept me entertained as well.  Cutting off a big ole slice of hot bread and slathering it with butter and honey can keep a man's attention fairly well.  I thought about Bayfield Al's peanut butter, but refrained since that practice is hard to stop once started..........

So perhaps we will have two Christmas' in 2012 this year,  if we live that long........anyway.

Retired Rod

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Well heck yes 2011 is gone and it is now 2012!!!!  That is good for everyone because we are looking at the prospect of many new things for the upcoming new year.  And for me, I am hoping that it will mean better health and not so many operations!!!  One can hope can't one?

Now of course no one can know the future, and I am certain that I really don't want to know what is in store for me health wise but!!  I am wishing for no new operations and the opportunity of having some form of planning for my upcoming year, rather than checking in with the doctors and seeing what their schedules are like for the things that I will need....

Now I don't think I should jinx myself with that kind of a resolution, since I have little to do with its outcome, so rather it will just be my wish for 2012.

So where ever you come to me as a reader, I wish for your health and prosperity for this new year as well!  And I know some of you are facing your own health issues and procedures in this new year, but for sure here's to quick and successful outcomes!

I know from experience that after 7 or 8 times under the anesthesia, that there is and will be life on the other side of these procedures............

Retired Rod