Monday, October 27, 2008

We Made It

See what my dear friend Vicki (and Don) bought me while in Shipshewana, IN? And did we take full advantage of the saying once Denny and I had gotten our campsite mostly set up? With Don and Vicki waiting with a full pitcher of frozen margaritas? Silly question!

It feels SO good to be back at Myrtle Beach. This was our starting point for our full time rving adventures and it was were we vacationed after buying our first motorhome. This year we're back at Pirateland Campground since they have finally reinstated a monthly fee (after November 1 unfortunately, since it's not ideal beach weather). So we feel like we're back "home" again. Having Don and Vicki here too is just icing on the cake.

There will be more later but nothing soothes the soul like the sound of surf and I'm so soothed that I feel a nap coming. It's a rough life we lead....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Three days before Denny and I are due to leave for Myrtle Beach, my mother passes out getting up from the john and falls face first into the bath tub. End result, a mad dash up I-75 from Cincinnati and an emergency call to my brother at work to get him over to her house since I have a 50 minute drive. Still, I got to the hospital as he was walking her out of the car into the emergency room.

A CAT scan shows no fractures, no internal bleeding in her head. She has a ginormous black eye that has moved from over her eyebrow to halfway down her nose. By tomorrow I'm sure it will be the entire side of her face. She refuses to put ice on it "because it hurts". Sigh.

I've decided that Denny and I will go to Myrtle Beach anyway, a rather selfish decision. We already paid for our (non-refundable)reservations and I have a brother and sister that live within ten minutes of my mother so I figure it's their turn to manage some of her care. When Denny and I return we'll all have a sit down with Mom to figure out where we go from here, but for once big sister isn't going to be here to take care of everything. I think it's going to be an eye-opening experience for my siblings.

And yes, I'll feel guilty and yes, I'll worry and fret, but I promised Denny time away from his dad's place and caring for my mom for a while and so we're going. Right now, life isn't very much fun.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wii Have A New Toy

Wii, or rather Iii have a new toy. Yep, the Christmas Club account money will be arriving soon so when Best Buy announced a new shipment of Wiis, Denny and I were first thirteenth in line on Sunday. I wanted the Wii Fit board, figuring that perhaps I'd do a bit better with exercise if it was more like a game. I managed to get all the wires in the right place and the system was up and running by Sunday afternoon and before I knew it, I had been on the danged thing for a half hour. It IS fun and yet challenging. I've discovered my balance is lousy for one thing and that I'm easily entertained for another. Yesterday we were busy at my mother's house and with doctors' appointments so I didn't use the system. Today, I was chastised questioned by the Wii about missing a day. My mother lives in the game board--who knew?

Perhaps between the Wii Fit and some long walks on the beach in Myrtle Beach next month my mysteriously shrinking clothing will start to fit better. If nothing else, I'll be entertained during the upcoming long, freaking frigid cold winter nights in Ohio. Shudder.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Black Beauty-er

One of the first things we promised ourselves when we bought Black Beauty is that we would take her to the Stripe Shop for some graphics to make her "ours". It is what we did when we bought Kong, our white Ford F450. Even though Black Beauty came with a more stylized paint job than our first truck I wanted something different than what came off the showroom floor.

While I've always been one to use a sledgehammer when a hammer would do, this time I was a bit more discrete with the design since we had the wide silver rocker panel on the truck. So here's what I came up with this time:

We also extended the pinstriping along the top of the truck bed. Before it ended behind the cab which to me was as sudden as tripping off a curb. Now it flows and Mama is happy. So everyone is happy.
This makes me smile.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Did It Again

I had lined up the shot: the sun shining down brightly on the dew-drenched first hole of the golf course, trees with orange, yellow, brown and green leaves in the background. I snap the shot and see "no memory card". NO MEMORY CARD IN THE CAMERA! ARRRRGGGHHHH. I had been uploading photos the night before and that's where the SD card was--still in its snug little slot in the computer.

And what did we see on the golf course yesterday? Eight wild turkeys on the tee box of the second hole, no more than fifteen feet away from us. An otter playing in one of the ponds along the fairway of one of the holes on the back nine. At least thirty photos ops of fall color, blue skies, the Whitewater River and more. Naturally. Because I had no memory card in the camera.

As we were playing golf Denny and I first discussed putting an extra memory card in the truck--not good because I'd leave the truck without it and discover I needed it when we were out on the golf course or halfway to a geocache, etc. Then we decided we could duct tape one to the bottom of the camera. Okay, we'll try that.

The idea of taping a memory card to the bottom of the camera didn't work because I occasionally use a tripod and that would make the camera uneven on the base of the tripod. Hmm, next idea, putting a hole in the card case and tying it on the camera strap. No, I could see the case catching on something and ripping off. But we're on a roll here. How about if we cut a slit in the case and put it on the strap? Denny's next idea was to put TWO slits in the case and run the strap through it so the case didn't dangle loose. I came up with the idea of making the slits by heating the end of a flat blade screwdriver and melting a slit in the case, which rounded the edges of the plastic so it wouldn't cut into the woven nylon camera strap. Voila'; the perfect solution to always having a memory card for the camera.
The SD memory card is secure in its case because it has a small latch at the bottom end of the case.

Denny ran the camera strap through the slits that he melted into the case.

Put our two minds together and we're downright dangerous. ;-)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Small Pleasures

While chatting on the phone with Vicki last night I was complaining about the fact since we haven't been traveling I haven't had the opportunity to take great photos. Silly me, sometimes one needs only look as far as the backyard.

Denny's garden is still doing well even this late in October.

Part of the tree that almost hit our trailer during the high winds brought by Hurricane Ike into our part of the world.

The only colorful tree in the woods, sad to say.

Trees encased in vines remind me of the gnarly hands of an old man.

A lovely bit of lavender color among the rocks.

Patches dreaming of being on the road again?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Late on a Lazy Sunday

The sound of rain on the roof makes me look up. It's simply leaves pattering down from the wafting breeze. Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures, fall is making its appearance here.

Denny, Connie and I consider ourselves lucky to be enjoying summer-like temperatures now after spending the majority of the summer inside their father's house making repairs. We lost those summer months so having temperatures in the 80s in October feels like a gift to us. The azure of the sky lately has rivaled that of Arizona although the lack of rain means our normal colorful fall tree leaves are a distinct disappointment this year. Thank goodness for the blogs of those who are still traveling so I can get my fill of fall color!

October means apples to us and we've drunk our first gallon of freshly made apple cider from a local orchard and will have to get more. Denny just put an apple pie in the oven, using Northern Spy apples for the first time. The scents of apples, nutmeg and cinnamon are making me drool already. It's our reward to ourselves for getting more of the downed tree cut up and moved on our Lazy Sunday.

Speaking of, this one will be random as my thoughts have been flitting here and there today. Enjoy this lovely autumn day!
Fall in West Virginia is not to be missed. We haven't explored a great deal of West Virginia and when I remember our time spent in Pipestem, I realize it's our loss.

There's beauty in fungus, when it is a red mushroom hidden in the forest.

The rose beds of the city flower garden in Wilson, North Carolina had fall colors rivaling anything Mother Nature painted on a tree.

Santee, South Carolina is far enough south that there's not a lot of fall color, but the quiet beauty of a small river more than makes up for that.

The Dillon Pinnacles in the Blue Mesa area of Colorado didn't need color to draw the eye.

Golden Aspens catch the eye in Colorado. These are near the San Juan mountains.

Spring, summer, fall or winter sunsets are intense in Gold Canyon, Arizona.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

When Hurricane Ike blew through several weeks ago, taking down trees and knocking out power for over a week in many areas of Ohio, we had but a few minutes of rain that day. Since then, cutting the grass creates a dust bowl effect and the tomato plants are wilting by the day.

But yesterday we finally had a long, leisurely, gentle rain that lasted most of the day. Which made it a good day for making a batch of applesauce from the Northern Spy and Melrose varieties of apples we picked up at a local orchard the other day. While sneaking a bite of each of the two types of apples I casually mentioned to Denny how good the two apples would be in a PIE, but that little comment seems to have gone right over his head. Perhaps because last week he made his sister a peach-blueberry pie and she left half of it for us since there's only one of her and two of us.

Because of that lovely rain Denny and I spent the early part of the day inside just goofing around and it felt good. We still have to cut up and move the large fallen tree behind the trailer and straighten up the garage a little more, but we're kind of coasting on the house right now. It's just not a good time to be trying to sell a house.

But the sun always returns, the seasons continue to change and eventually everything will fall into place. And we're okay with that.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Downs and Ups

Wouldn't you know that after Denny and I finally made a tee time to play golf tomorrow, his dermatologist decided that the "scrape and burn" procedure to remove the basal cell carcinoma on his right arm wasn't sufficient to remove all the cancer. So now he has 12 stitches in his arm; six inside and six outside and that means no golf for two weeks. So while we're glad that the doctor changed her mind and did a more intense procedure to make sure she removed all the cancer, we're disappointed that our self-scheduled "fun" time has to be canceled. Going to a movie or something similar just doesn't compare to beating that small white ball around the golf course.

We've had two couples stop to look at the house and another couple plans on buying Denny's dad's car. It would be nice if we could go to Myrtle Beach knowing that the house is sold, but that's being incredibly optimistic in the current economy, especially with the stock market tanking this week and last.

My mom finished her neuropsychological tests last week so in two weeks we should get the results and perhaps have an idea of we stand. While Mom seems to be doing okay physically, mentally she's still having her "fuzzy" moments when I least expect them. I would like to stay in our rig and drive up to her house to check on her, but not too many campgrounds stay open for Ohio winters because of the real threat of their water lines freezing up. What to do, what to do?

With all this going on, our emotions have been going up and down for the past couple of weeks. At least we can be glad that we don't have to work on the house as we're at the stage where we just have to maintain the yard and get things priced for the upcoming estate sale. While hoping for a buyer to come along.....

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I Just Don't Know

If you have Alzheimer's disease and lose your husband of 62 years, is it a good thing that you don't realize that he's gone? Shouldn't a lifetime of togetherness deserve the ability to grieve your loss?
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