Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wedding Week

Monday we had to return the rental car and then we drove in to Kara's to do two loads of laundry.  We were going to go to lunch with her and Bill but the word spread and soon Kelly, Ally and Bidkar joined us and we had 7 people for lunch.  We ate at a new BBQ place that advertised Texas Sweet BBQ sauce.  I told him I would try that because I am a Texas Sweet!  He just looked at me.  These northerners have no sense of humor!  We returned home for a quiet evening and Karen's apple pie for dinner.  I began the blanching, peeling, slicing and freezing of the peaches.

When we were in Marion at the Ford dealership, they checked the truck out all over.  The only thing they found that needed attention was our front tires that were "cupped."  On Tuesday, Bill met us at a tire store where Kara arranged special pricing since they were a customer of hers.  While Ted waited, Bill and I went looking for half slips that turned out to be very elusive!  After four stores we found some but not as long as we wanted them to be or the exact sizes.  In desperation we bought two anyway to see if they would work under the wedding dresses.  They were aligning the truck when we returned and soon we were headed back to the campground.  I had finished up the peaches and had given two quarts to Kara to make a cobbler for Saturday and I have two quarts in the freezer now.

Twice I had planned to go to Kara's to send my Forum reminder out about the Regent Care nursing home fall party back home to those signed up to work. I knew I couldn't send it with the attachment that tells the workers what to bring and what their job will be on my IPad so I had previously sent the attachment to Kara to save.  I called Kara when I got back to the park and had her sign in to my Forum account and walked her through the process.  It worked because I started getting replies back right away.  I was glad she and I were able to accomplish that. 

We had a quiet afternoon with a little napping going on.  It had been a very busy 10 days so a down afternoon was welcome.  We took a walk around the campground after dinner and visited a short while with the folks two spots down.  Their little dog Stella ran out to greet us.

Wednesday was Ted's 73rd birthday!  He chose to go shooting and when he returned we left for the grocery.  It has been awhile since we bought that many bags of groceries.  Ted tends to go frequently buying just a few items at a time but then there are 2 of us, not 14!

We were assigned to pick up the food for the rehearsal party but Kelly gave us crossroads instead of a directional corner (turned out to be NW) and the incorrect info on what street the restaurant faced!  Kristin and Larry, working with the same incorrect info, finally pulled up just as we needed their car to carry some of the food.  An unbelievable amount!  I needed a glass of wine when we got to Kelly's.  It was Ted's birthday and Kara made him a cake.  To not steal the wedding's thunder, my birthday and the gift giving will be done on Saturday after the wedding.

We received the foot plate for the landing leg but they sent the wrong bolts.  So Bill figured out what we needed and checked the other leg.  It was barely being held on by a too short bolt.  He said he would come out early on Saturday once Ted had the rest of what they needed to help get us get put back together again.

We chose to drive in and spend Thursday night at Kara's.  The hair and make up extravaganza was starting at 8 am on Friday.  I took my clothes and dressed after my turn at primping. Eventually Ted showed up and he was also all dressed.

Our three granddaughters

Our only boy, grandson Sam with Morgan.  

Wedding party.

We drove Ally the bride and Kelly the MOB, to the wedding chapel.  The fellows had all gathered at one of the groomsmen's home and we all met up there.  It turned out to be a beautiful ceremony and went off without a hitch.  Despite it being on a Friday afternoon, the chapel was filled.

A new role for us - Grandparents of the bride!

Parents of the bride

Our daughters Kristin and Kara with bride, Ally

This time we won the longest married couple dance.  I felt like Secretariat because by 40 years we were the only ones left!  We were way out in front!

A visit to our table by the newly married couple.

Saturday we invited everyone out to the campground.  I spent the morning preparing salsa, cut up onions and peppers, pasta salad, fruit salad and beans.  Kara made coleslaw and peach cobbler with the peaches we had picked.  Of course others brought things and soon we had enough to feed an army to go with our smoked sausages, sweet Italian sausages, brats and hot dogs.  We commandeered two additional picnic tables to hold the food and give people a place to sit and eat.  We had 17 guests in all.  Ted built a fire and our guests stayed until almost 11:00 o'clock.  I was whipped by the end of the night.

Sunday morning I was "down in the back" as my grandpa would say.  Ted went to church without me and Kara and Bill insisted on coming out to help.  I had little by little made the inside ready so they helped Ted outside.  They followed us to the dump station and we pulled out together, they heading south to go home.  We went north to pick up I-69, heading to Indiana.  Next stop - Cross RV, LaGrange IN.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

And Life Goes On

We took our time on Wednesday morning.  First we had a note reminding us to come to the office to pay since we checked in after they closed.  I had the envelope all filled out so Ted walked it up.  We drove northeast toward Fort Wayne stopping once for a potty stop and once to eat lunch.  Our third and last stop was at Turkeyville Campground in Marshall, MI.  We were there Summer of 2016 and I was still in the computer so check in, even without a reservation, was easy.   

I would like to say we had no problems that day but we hit a big piece of tire retread that flew up and hit our trailer side door and left black steaks.  They came off except for one space where it actually scraped the paint.  No one will notice it but us so it is not the end of the world.  

Another thing I didn't mention was when we were dropping the trailer at Pilot in Marion, one of the landing plates was missing.  We called DRV and they are sending one to Kara's house.  Such is life on the road. 

Thursday we had just a few hours drive to Addison Oaks campground.  We are glad we made a reservation and selected our spot when we were up in the summer.  There were lots of campers, maybe because it was 93 and a whole week of those temps was forecast.  We set up quickly then went to Kelly's to deliver a few things.  Only Ally and Cassie were home, both getting ready for the bachelorette party.  Apparently Grandmas are not invited to these?!?!

From there we went to Kara's.  She had to stay in Pittsburgh an extra day so Bill was going to Morgan's school orientation.  We offered to take the kids to dinner.  But before we did that we picked a bag of peaches at Gus and Melissa's. 

It was late when we got back to the campground and not long before we went to bed.

Friday I had a 10:15 hair appointment and after that we picked up a rental car at Enterprise.  Once we picked up our things and returned the truck to the campground, we left for Cleveland.  Detroit highways are under construction and we had to go way out of our way and it took forever to get to Ohio.  We headed east and the rest of the trip was fine.  

Some relatives were already at the hotel so we were able to visit some before rehearsal.  One bridesmaid was unable to be in the wedding Saturday because her grandfather's funeral was being held.  So I was asked to do the second reading in her place and the priest would read the Petitions.  From there we went to the Winkng Lizard upstairs party room.  There was a buffet dinner and drinks served but it was terribly noisy with wood floors and nothing to absorb sound.  Gifts were distributed to those participating and I was given a silver cross necklace. 

Groomsmen received coolers with a Smirnoff Ice inside!

We were back at the hotel and in bed by 11.  It was a long day.

Saturday morning, many were gathered in the breakfast room and we had a chance to visit.  Then we all dressed for the wedding. The girls were getting their hair and make-up done in Amber's suite.  

The littlest one is Jemma, my sister's great granddaughter.  She did an awesome job for a 2 year old!   

Here is her brother Jameson who made a big hit!  He turned the sign around on the way out. 

Brian, the shorter one, is the groom and my brother's grandson, with his younger but bigger brother, Dustin who is our godson.

Yours truly reading the definition of love in St. Paul's letter to the Corinthians.

Amber and Brian exchanging their vows.

We all met up again at the hall for dinner where Ted had been asked to say Grace.  We worked on a prayer and he did a great job delivering it.  It was a lovely wedding and the young folks had a blast at the reception.  The only dance we danced was the "longest married couple" dance.  We tied for first place at going on 53 years.  The other music was out of our realm of dancing unless you consider rolling on the floor to Proud Mary a dance style!

The next morning we said our goodbyes at the breakfast room.  It was so much fun seeing and visiting with so many of my relatives.

We headed west back towards the campground but first made a stop in Monroe, MI to visit Dave and Karen, friends from the Rio Grande Valley!  We offered to go out to eat but she insisted on fixing dinner complete with her fantastic apple pie!  She even sent us home with two pieces for the next day.  

We finally got to have a campfire and put our feet up.  It's been a tough year when it takes until the end of September to have your first fire!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

More Doctors, More Decisions

Our dishwasher was installed on Wednesday.  Yeah!  The plumber was very nice and accommodating in helping me clean where the old one had been and taking the cleaners and things out from under the sink.  It is still hard for me to get up and down and he sensed this, said his day was coming and was happy to help.  I took his card in case I or someone I know needs a plumber again.  

That afternoon we saw the hematologist.  The PE has dissolved and between my blood thinner meds and the filter I should be okay.  The problem here is he wants the filter out.  He is not a fan of them and said they themselves can break off and hit your heart, become clogged with clots or grow onto other things.  Great!  Nothing like taking blood thinners that can save you or kill you and now we know the filter can do the same thing.  For now he agreed I should keep it in until the GYN situation is taken care of.

Thursday was my neighborhood ladies lunch.  Dana and Jeanette picked me up and we joined seven others for our monthly get together.  We were at a rectangle table so you only get to talk to those next to you or across from you.  I try to sit in the middle but that doesn't always work.  

Back to the doctor we went on Friday.  This time the cardiologist.  I thought I was going to have another Dopplar ultrasound on my leg but it wasn't scheduled.  I told her of my possible D&C, the December scheduled Dopplar and Dr. P wanting the filter out.  She agreed to wait until after the D&C and the results of the December Dopplar to address the filter.  Then I will have to decide what I think is best.  If this was an isolated incident caused by my hip surgery, I should be okay.  But we will never know that for sure.

Ted moved the trailer to the campground on Saturday.  He came home and we loaded up the Expedition and took our things over and put them away.  We returned home, got ready for church and then went out to eat.  We had to take the car back home, do a quick walk through and then drive the truck back to be ready to hitch up in the morning.  It's a good thing the campground is just 5 miles from home.  

We were on the road by 9 am.  Our stops were spaced out and we made four in the 8 hours of driving to south of Little Rock.  The entire fronts of the truck and trailer were covered in love bugs.  They are a southern nuisance we get twice a year.  While I set up inside, Ted washed them off.  They will eat the paint right off if you don't.  Then we left to fuel up.  Instead of eating out like we normally would do on a long travel day, I warmed up the ribs left from the night before for Ted and he had a salad.  I wasn't too hungry and had a few peanut butter and crackers and two tangerines.  

We did not have cable but I was able to use my IPad, Verizon MiFi hot spot and our Xfinity Starz account to watch Season 3, Episode 2 of Outlander.  Talk about a great series.  There are 8 books and I have read them twice.  Even Ted is enjoying the TV series.

We were up and out by 9 am on Monday.  There was no traffic through Little Rock and soon we were on I-40 heading toward Memphis.  We stopped three times and only drove 5 hours.  Destination, Sikeston, MO.  We had to find new pillows since I threw our old ones away last March and forgot I needed to replace them.  JCP had nice Perfect Sleeper ones at half price so that was taken care of.  We fueled up and then hit Lambert's, home of the throwed rolls for lunch/dinner.  I ordered chicken salad on lettuce, cucumbers and applesauce.  When we left I had a container of at least 1# of chicken salad.  Ted had 4 chicken tenders left.  Of course we each caught another roll to put with tomorrow's lunch!

By 6:30 I was showered and in my PJ's.  It seemed much later and it was nice to have some downtime.

Tuesday started out normally.  We were on the road a little after 8:00.  We made it into Illinois when our message light came on.  Drain Water Separator.  A call to our Ford dealer at home told us there was a  petcock under the driver's side but it breaks off easily so don't force it.  We stopped at a rest area but were unable to turn the valve.  We limped along to Marion IL where there was a Pilot.  We backed into a spot and dropped the trailer before heading to the Ford dealer.  They thought it might just be the fuel filter.  Nope!  Our fuel tank had globs of algae in it.  However, our auxiliary tank fuel was fine.  The last time we filled just the truck tank was last weekend at home but the auxiliary tank flows to the truck tank.  Maybe it took that long for it to raise the algae level.  Who knows?  It would be really hard to choose who to blame this on.  Even harder to prove it.  I think it could've been a Harvey contamination with the 50 inches of rain.  I guess we will never know.  

We were pleased with the care at Watermark Ford.  They took us right in, kept us informed, showed Ted the contamination caught in the trap of the water separator and advised us what needed to be done.  We know the damage that can be done to diesel engines from water, bad fuel, wrong fuel but algae was a new one.  They set right to work on it, drove us to a restaurant for lunch, came back to pick us up and $600 later we were back on the road.

We didn't make it to Indianapolis, just Terre Haute, but we were settled just as it got dark.  All our leftovers became dinner instead of lunch.  It wasn't a great travel day but we were never in danger, never stuck and who but an awesome God would have this happen six miles from an exit with a Pilot Truck Stop on one side of the highway and a Ford dealer on the other?

Friday, September 8, 2017

Getting Behind

Not much going on here.  Everyone is still in recovery mode, the kids are gradually getting back to school and Irma has pushed Harvey off the front page.  I didn't do anything worth mentioning other than my shopping day when I discovered an 18 inch, single strand of black shiny beads doesn't exist!   I tried the two biggees Charming Charlie and Sam Moon and then Irene and Carol's collections.  They have lots of necklaces but not what I was looking for.  I eventually bought a blue one that will do but I wanted black!

I got my hair cut and made appointments for the two wedding weekends while we are gone.  I have been watching the temps in Michigan and Ohio and getting out clothes for the weddings and our time up north.  Sure hope I get to see some fall colors.

Friday we met Gerre and Barry at Applebee's for dinner and then to the community theater to see Beauty and the Beast.  The costumes were innovative and Belle had a superb voice.  In fact, everyone who had even a small singing part was excellent.  But it was long!!  Almost 3 hours is a long time to sit.

We had received a call that our dishwasher had arrived at Lowe's. We ordered it 8/14 and it only had to come from Houston (BH - Before Harvey).  After several attempts to set up installation and receiving no return calls, Ted went there Saturday morning.  The lady who books installations doesn't work on Saturdays, just during the week.  Ted asked if she ever returns phone calls since we had been calling for several days.  He was aggravated.  Monday he is going back.  We may be getting our money back and starting over.

Saturday we hosted Shanghai at our home after we went to church.  We had a good time with Bob and Ted taking top honors. Ted shared his winnings with me because my dime purse was getting low.  

And now the shoe is on the other foot and I am watching Irma's approach.   I have two sisters (one on each coast) and a daughter in the middle of Florida.  It was hard to sit here and watch the devastation taking place and heading their way.  Now I know how they all felt when we were in the midst of Harvey.  My sister from the west coast, her son and 4 dogs came inland to stay with my daughter. 

By Monday morning Irma had cracked two trees in half that took out my daughter's fence and the pool screen of the lady next door.  Power was out but everyone, including the four dogs and one cat, were fine.  With no power it didn't take long for the heat to take over.  The company and dogs left at 6 pm when the curfew was lifted to start their trek back home.  

I went to play Canasta Monday afternoon and though I had four good games, top honors went to the team that got two wild card Canastas in one game for a whopping 5000 extra points.  It was dinner time when I got home so we went to a new restaurant that opened around the corner.  We were able to watch the start of the Monday night football game.

Tuesday our WOW group hosted a mini social to replace the Annual Social that was cancelled due to Harvey.  I had lunch scheduled with Gail to conduct Forum business but it was scheduled at the other country clubhouse.  She agreed to switch it to the one where WOW was going to meet which had us where we needed to be after lunch.  I transferred all the Halloween decorations for the party at the nursing home to her car and gave her all the paperwork she needs to make the "powers that be" happy.  I will not be here for the party but I have done all the computer work associated with it.  Of course afterwards, there will be more computer work.  

That being taken care of we both went back in the clubhouse to sign up for the activities we are interested in.  With our in and out schedule I only signed up as a sub for Mahjongg and Shanghai.  That way I am not committed but also can catch an occasional game when in town.  

We are preparing our things to be able to take off Sunday.  Usually that means more interesting posts but not this time.  We are heading to two family weddings, new furniture and a few repairs to the RV.  My nephew messaged me last night and asked me to read the Petitions at the Prayers of the Faithful during his wedding.  I told him I would be honored!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

A Long Road Ahead

Our little hurricane refugee seeking shelter under our door decoration!  Be safe Little Frog.

The devastation in Houston is just mind boggling. Something like 200,000 homes are flooded.  In some areas they predict the water will not recede for 2-4 weeks.  So much water fell that it will take that long for it to work its way to the Gulf.  The number of dead continues to rise and I fear as cars and houses are inspected there may be more.  

The response within Texas is heartwarming.  With all the statues and monuments under attack some suggested we erect one to "Average Joe and His Bass Boat - Harvey 2017."  Lots of official first responders are working non-stop but there are way more privately owned boats out there than helicopters in use.  People and supplies are pouring in from all across the nation and Texas truly thanks them all.  Everything is being done to protect them and make their stay as comfortable as possible under such difficult circumstances.

I posted a picture that said "Three things Houston can always count on - Gallery Furniture, HEB and rednecks with boats."  I already addressed the rednecks (that term is a compliment down here - we even have a Redneck Country Club), but Jim McInvale of Gallery furniture is the most philanthropic citizen you will ever meet.  He is always front and center in times of need, or if you walk into his furniture store.  There is food and drink, personal service and your new furniture at your home by end of day.  He opened his 3 stores as shelters and people and the National Guard were sleeping on $12,000 Temperpedic mattresses.  I knew buying them was like buying a used car!  Maybe I can buy one half off now.  Families were gathered in the living room venues just as if they were at home.  Meals were brought in by all different agencies.  He said he will have a Harvey Floor Sample sale when this is all over.  My chance at that mattress!!

HEB rules supreme as Texans' favorite supermarket.  Their semi-truck kitchens on wheels were heading to Rockport and Port Aransas as soon as they could get through.  They have kept their stores open and stocked due to mini-grid energy plans and made monetary donations.  Kroger has a small presence here but no one else even comes close to HEB all across Texas.  

I had a doctor appointment on Thursday for my 11 vial blood donation the week before.  Everything was okay so there is no clear cut reason for my blood clot.  I personally think it was some vascular incident after my hip replacement in Fall 2015.  After that my left leg was always a bit larger in the calf than the other, my ankle swelled more than the other if I had swelling and a new large vein appeared on the very front of my leg.  I started calling it my old lady leg.  The difference was that distinct.  In retrospect I can think of at least four times further investigation by medical persons could have found it.  This is all speculation on my part but I hope it is correct because without a clear cut reason, it is hard to decide how to proceed.

Two questions are:  Do I need to stay on blood thinners forever since we don't really know what caused the clot?  Is it safe to remove the vena cava filter before it can cause an additional problem?  Doctors are divided on this but more say to get it out before a year than those that say to leave it.  And what about a thrombectomy, removal of the DVT?

With the possibility of needing a D&C in November, all doctors advised leaving the filter in place until that is over because I need to come off Eliquis to have it done.  I will also need to come off it to have any more epidural shots.  Decisions, decisions.

Since our 4 day rally camping trip was cancelled we had no plans for the weekend.  We met Gerre and Barry at the movies to see All Saints Friday afternoon.  This is a true story about a new pastor, closing an old country church and Burmese refugees.  No dead bodies, no shoot 'em ups, no preposterous powers!  We all enjoyed it especially the epilogue featuring the real people in Smyrna, TN.  Afterwards we went to Cracker Barrel where we were treated to dinner for watching Tucker for two weeks.

Saturday Ted went to the other gun club to help out.  They were salvaging stock since the building is so damaged it will be torn down and a new one erected on a higher plain.  At Mass, the St. Martha's Society (funeral ladies) was honored at church and we all sat together.  Afterwards we went back to our newly found Mexican restaurant for dinner with Terry and Carol.  Two margaritas is one too many for me.  I could hardly stay awake until we got home.