Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fun Weekend with Friends

Hard to believe it has been a week since the last post.  It has brought back a lot of memories watching everyone here get ready for the boating season.  More folks arrived over the weekend to open up their campers and get their boats ready.  We even had to get in the game.

We entertained friends on Saturday.  They brought one of their three cockers so the girls would have a playmate.  Cleo took a timeout for a snuggle with mommy and a belly rub.

Our friend, Lenny, invited us to his place for a Memorial Day picnic.  So much food!  The weather held off long enough for us to enjoy a few hours with everyone.  Even the girls had fun runny around in the big fenced in yard.

Once the rain arrived, it stayed around for a few days.  Looking like today may be drying out.  Hoping for some good weather the next few days as we are planning on going to the Indians game (vs. Reds) on Thursday.

Enjoy the rest of the week.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Another Doctor

Today kind of took me back to an old TV show (Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood).  I felt like singing "Won't You Be My Doctor".  We met with yet another doctor this afternoon.  This was just a consultation to get set up to take the IV treatments here in Ashtabula.  A nice convenience since they are typically only 45 minutes.

No news with this visit other than I will finally be able to have my blood drawn thru the port that was implanted instead of being poked in the arm.  Yippee!  Hopefully, we will start getting some appointments for the followup scans.

The doctor did give a disappointing answer to one of my questions.  Was asking about exercise.  He pretty much told me that golf would be out of the question.  It would most likely create issues with the current condition I am experiencing with my hands from the medication.  Very upset over this.  Will have to find another outdoor activity that will be tolerated.

As is always the case in Ohio, the weather has turned again.  Rain came in yesterday evening and has been on and off all day today.  Temperatures have also dropped.  Ran the air early yesterday and am sitting here tonight with the windows closed and the fireplace on.  Ugh!

Hoping we can get together with some friends for the weekend.  Have a safe and happy Memorial Day!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Settling in to our summer home

Beginning to settle in to our summer Ashtabula home here at Kister Marina.  We've added flowers, steps to the RV and met many of the neighbors.

Everyone here, it seems, at one time was a boater, which makes it nice.  The "park" really came about for charter fisherman, who wouldn't live on their boats, but in their RV's parked onshore.  Boating and charter fishing has really been impacted by the high fuel costs.  Most of the RV'ers here still have their camping spot, pool together and fish off person X's boat, and this is mostly a place for weekenders from the Youngstown or Pittsburgh area.  Monday through Thursday its pretty much a ghost town.  Friday through Sunday everyone shows up.

Lake Erie sunsets
from Walnut Blvd.
 One thing that our southern RV'ers really don't understand, but I was thrown back into this past weekend, was the annual "opening up" of the rigs, the boats, etc.  Its a time we all looked forward to, usually the 2 or 3 weeks before Memorial Day.  Such a feeling of optimism, that winter is over and that summer is just around the corner.

 We've pretty much driven everywhere in town, seeing the changes both positive and negative.  The Ashtabula Lift Bridge is the iconic piece to this town and its still fun to see it.

On the Connie health front, we were glad to find out she can do her treatments right here at Ashtabula County Medical Center (ACMC) as they've become an affiliate of the Cleveland Clinic.  That will save running over to main campus (about an hour) every three weeks.  We have an appointment with a local doctor here this week that will be in charge of her treatments locally.

Sloopy struggles
to be comfortable
 Trying to drop my winter weight, and our friend Lenny helped by letting me use one of his bikes this summer.  Hoping to make it a routine I can stay with.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Family Time!

We packed up and headed to Bethany and James' new house on Tuesday.  I was able to see it when they moved in.  This was Bob's first time seeing the place.  I was very impressed with what all they had done with the place.  Looks great.  We both were very happy with the house and the neighborhood.  Nice job guys - so very proud of you both!

We joined up with my parents and Bob's mother.  The "kids" had a house full with all of us and the dogs.  They fixed a wonderful steak dinner for us all.  So nice to relax and visit with everyone.  And, the dogs were enjoying the playtime too.

Wednesday was treatment day at the Cleveland Clinic.  As much as I love my doctor and the clinic, I have to say I was not excited to see them all again.  But, the clinic is such a gem.  Just another thing we take for granted up here!

A quick visit/goodbye after the clinic visit and we headed back to Ashtabula.  Was so nice to spend time with family.

The clinic stuff went very well.  And, we found out that we can now do all the treatments in Ashtabula from now on.

No side effects of note today, so I was able to enjoy the beautiful weather - after working, of course.  Neighbors came over for a very short "happy hour".   So nice to be able to be outside and meet people.

Hoping the weather holds out for the weekend!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Wilmington and Ashtabula

We spent all day Thursday and Friday in our hometown of Wilmington (OH), actually outside of it about 7 miles in Caesar Creek State Park.

Thursday, we spent most of the day with our parents.  Mowed the yard, my first time in about 3 years.  Don't miss it.  Big moment was we went to Verizon to get my Mom a new phone.  

Thursday evening, we met with many of our friends from High School at McD's Pub.  Great to see everyone.   Amazing how you can pick right up with people you haven't seen for 30 some years.

Friday, was a miserable, dreary day.  Welcome back to Ohio.  Spent most of the day just reminiscing with our parents, though sadly, we did go to one of our friends' father's calling hours.

Saturday was a travel day.  We cooked a pre-Mother's Day brunch at the campsite, then got on the road around 11a.  Lunch at the Flying J north of Columbus, then dropped my Mom off in Cardington.  Still had about 3 hours to go after that.

Got into Kister's Marina around 5:30p, and set up didn't take too long.  Our daughter Bethany came over, as did our friend Lenny.  We then went over to Lenny's to see his Mom, brother and girlfriend.  Carmen and Sloopy got to see 'Dessa and Sierra, two litter mate 11 year old German Shepherds.  Carmen had a little too much energy for those two.

Sunday, we went over to Pickle Bill's in Grand River for a Mother's Day luncheon with Bethany's husband and his parents.  Great time.  So nice to have Lake Erie perch again, and catch up with James and his parents.  Cold, though.

Today was a back to work day, but I did take some time to do some work on the site.  We inherited an old DirecTV dish on a pole that we decided to take down and make into a hanging plant post.  

Neighbors said on Sunday that there were steps that people have left over the years that we were welcome to, so we grabbed a set.  Needs some tweaking, but we'll make it work.

Finally, there's plumbing.  I still hate plumbing.  Had a small leak from the hose so I cut into the hose and replaced the male end.  When I did, I realized we needed a new hose.  Also wanted to fix the sewage so it was more permanent for when we come back, and got all the pieces/parts from the bone yard except for a couple of elbows, but the pipe was old that no one carries it any more, so it didn't fit the elbows.  Tried to make it work, but it doesn't look that way.

The mower
Tomorrow, we'll head over to Cleveland, meet with our parents who are going to be dropping off a mower for Bethany and James new house, then Connie will have her first treatments and appointments at the Cleveland Clinic.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Day 4 & 5 on the Road to Ohio

Tuesday was a pretty ordinary drive day.  Got away from the Boston (TN) KOA around 9:30a with an outside thought of running all the way back to Ohio.

Stopped for lunch as we crossed the Tennessee/Kentucky line shortly after having a trucker honk at us.  Thinking something was wrong, we pulled into rest area about a mile up the road and saw nothing.  First time that a trucker honking hasn't meant something bad.  Whew!

That thought of making it to Ohio faded pretty quickly as we realized the time change was going to lose us an hour and neither of us wanted to get into Caesar Creek State Park after 6p.  We set our sights short of Louisville at Grandma's RV Park, which would give us a 3 hour run the next day.

Grandma's must have had some issues with dogs.  They had to have had the most "dog rule" signs per square yard of any RV park we've ever been in.  As an overnight stop, it was perfect.  Level to pull through without unhooking, gravel and full hookups.

Up and rolling fairly early (9:00a) and into Caesar's Creek by 12:30p.  Sat in the same spot we were in when we picked up the rig back in August of 2012.

Connie's Mom and Dad came out and visited while I ran up to Cardington (OH) to pick up my mom (about a 2 hour trip one way).  Connie and I had some great alone time with our parents, before meeting at the  Max & Erma's an exit up from I-71.

Construction on the main route to the Campground, so on the way back from Max & Erma's I was able to stop at a real, out of the way, private family cemetery to say hello to an old friend.

We're back in Ohio.  Long trip.  Too long for the number of days we did it in, but we're safe, we didn't break anything, and we're augured into our hometown for a couple of nights.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Day 3 on the road back to Ohio

Spent a peaceful night at the Texarkana Elks Lodge last night.  Back to work traffic started outside early, and we're both having to work at sleeping through traffic noise after a few months not hearing it.

As soon as we were leaving the parking lot, I noticed the check engine light on.  I had two decisions, put the rig back at 8:00a and get things fixed in Texarkana or run the route and get things checked in Memphis, about 250 miles.  We chose B and I worried about that decision the whole way.

We found an O'Reilly's Auto Parts about 40 miles outside of West Memphis.  Couldn't get into their lot, so parked across the street at a Citgo.  They brought the tester out and said it was a glow plug gone bad, same thing as a couple months before.  Wouldn't hurt to run it, but might be tough starting if things got cold.  We decided to keep going.

As we came through Little Rock, we really started noticing all the rivers swollen, and a lot of standing water.  That really came to a head at the Mississippi which we knew was approaching flood stage, and the reason we couldn't make our planned stop at Tom Sawyer's in West Memphis.

When we were here last October, there was no water here.  Couldn't figure out why we were on a bridge over so much land.  Now we know.

We decided to bust the extra distance and go to a KOA about an hour West of Nashville.  Wish we could have gotten all the way to Nashville, but that was about an hour more than I had in me to drive.  

Worried I'm going to look like a pretzel tomorrow as I've already got the heating pad on the back right now.  Going to make myself not leave until noon tomorrow to cut back on the travel time.

Carmen wishes she didn't have to do this riding thing

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Day 2 of the Road back to Ohio

Would like to thank the leader of the Youth Group this morning at
 Lake Livingston State Park for making sure everyone was awake at 6:45a so he could have his meeting with the group at 7:00a.  That was swell.  Nice set of pipes, sir, you should have been a Band Director.  Pretty sure there was a reason everyone in our loop was out and meandering at 7:30a.

Also a huge shout out to those people who parked their cars at the Dump Station and walked over to the horse riding pavilion. That blocked the dump station within 100 yards of us so that we couldn't dump without driving to the other side of the park.  Appreciate that.

So I was a little surly to start the day.  Also had no definitive plan other than to get to Texarkana and decide something.

U.S. 59 in Texas (which we took from Victoria to Texarkana, over 400 miles) is the "future" I-69.  Mostly 4 lanes, a few dinky stops in towns, but most had by-passes.  Great road, good drive both days.  Plenty of fuel stops that accommodate trucks, so finding diesel that we could get the rig in was no problem.

We stopped for lunch in Mt. Enterprise Texas at a Rudy's which had a Whataburger (probably my last until the fall) and a Shell station with truck plazas in the back.  Just a gravel parking lot across from the plaza to park and eat, so that's what we did.

When we left there, I had plans to go to Hot Springs and an Elks Lodge there (about two hours past Texarkana), but about an hour short of Texarkana, I thought getting there at 3:30p and shutting down would be preferable.  That's what we did!  Knew there was an Elks Lodge there that would accommodate RV's, but it also said they were open daily from 4p - 10p.  Guess Sunday isn't a day.

I had emailed the Lodge a few weeks ago because their site said "120 volts".  Not much help.  15 amp (like an extension cord)?  30 amp (doable)?  50 amp (preferable)?  Got an email back saying "he was told it was 50 amp".  With no one there, had to do some investigating on our own.  Nothing on the sides of the building.  Dialed up the KOA on the GPS and as I'm leaving, we see receptacles (30 amp) out by the Lodge sign coming in.  Spun around, backed in and we're home!

Amazing how easy it is to set up when all you have to do is plug in.  Had tons of time to set up the dish, so we'll have entertainment for the evening.

Tomorrow, I still don't have a plan.  Tom Sawyer's Mississippi River RV Resort is going to be closed because of flooding and Memphis is about 250 miles from here, which is my target.

We shall see!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Day 1 of the road back to Ohio

We had a great week with our friends Fred and Vickie.  Took in Sandfest, celebrated our 30th anniversary with them at Moby Dick's at Port Aransas, couple of doctor appointments in Corpus Christi, but mostly just hung out and enjoyed each other's company.  Very enjoyable, we'll miss them (again).

Today was our first day back on the road.  Only issue getting ready was the lock that we use as a "pin" for the hitch had to be greased and knocked open.

Got away about 9:45a from Copano Bay RV Resort, said our goodbyes to Terry and Kathy, Fred and Vickie and hit the highway.  Fueled and had lunch at  Buc-ee's in Wharton.  Cleanest restrooms anywhere.

So nice to be able to only open one slide for lunch with our BigHorn.  Roomy enough and don't look like we're camping in the parking lot.  Makes lunch very relaxing.

Getting through Houston was pretty normal.  Traffic backups, but plenty of lanes to get in to avoid being a problem.

Stopped for the night at Lake Livingston State Park.  They're really busy, spots are REALLY tight.  Balked at 3 spots before finding a spot we could back into with our length and their deep ditches.  Getting to realize that with our equipment, we're really not State Park people any more.

Connie did great on the ride, pretty standard stuff for us.  Day 1 down, Day 2 is ahead.