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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I Think We Need To Buy A House

It’s been one of those trying days.  One where all the good intentions and plans went right out the window.  It’s not even a two steps forward, one step back occasion, we went backwards what appears to be several miles.

At five am, we rolled out of bed and shortly thereafter were on the road to the VA hospital.  Today was the day we’ve been waiting six months for, my cataract surgery.  Finally, I’d be able to see straight again and regain my depth perception.  I noticed it most trying to put toothpaste on my tooth brush.  Always seemed to get the sink before I got any on the brush.

We arrived at the VA hospital at six fifteen and went to the operating room waiting room for my six thirty appointment.  I checked in and shortly the OR nurse came and led me back to the pre-op room.  As usual, I had my chronic cough from my damaged lungs and the nurse was concerned.

I told her I had been cleared last week by the pre-op doctor even though I brought up my lung condition and chronic cough.  He said it wouldn’t be a problem, they’d give me a mild sedative that would calm everything down so they could operate.  Ok, then.

Well, the OR nurse was very concerned and called in an OR doc to take a listen to my lungs.  He didn’t like what he heard.  A respatory therapist was called in to give me a nebulizer treatment to clear my lungs.  After that was administered, the doc rechecked me and was still not happy with the breathing sounds.  He was especially concerned that I could cough during the surgery and cause damage to my eye, or after the surgery, dislodge the implanted lens by coughing.

Bottom line, my cataract surgery was cancelled.  I was directed to see another physician in the hospital to get my lungs more closely examined.  That turned into about five additional purgatorial  hours waiting to get some blood work done and a CT scan.  I have to wait to see what the pictures show.  As a precaution, I asked to be booked for the next available appointment for surgery in case I’m once again cleared.  The next date?  June 25th.  Uf-Dah! (to quote the saying of our famous bird lady friend, Judy).

What that does is push back our hoped for departure from South Carolina for a few weeks in New Jersey to at least August, now.  If we’re lucky.   And this doesn’t even begin to address my VA disability application.

That’s a whole different issue, still hanging out somewhere.  As an “encouragement”, while at the VA, I met a combat wounded veteran who had his back severely injured in an IED blast back in 2008.  He just was awarded a disability compensation after five years of waiting.  Uh oh, we might never get out of South Carolina.  Maybe we should just buy a house?

The icing on the cake is poor Marti’s cold has turned into a nasty case of bronchitis and even better, she twisted her knee and can barely walk.  Guess where we went after the VA?  Yep, off to our local doctor to have her checked out.  A chest x-ray and a knee exam has Marti cooling her heals on the couch stuffed full of some strong antibiotics and an ice pack on the knee.  Double Uf-Dah!  Fortunately, her knee is a soft tissue injury and no surgery is needed. 

But all is not bad, I finally got a chance to wash the Journey yesterday, after more than six months.  The campground does not allow washing of RVs except for twice a year they send a notice around to all the monthly rental sites to wash your RV so they don’t have a bunch of dirty, moldy units making the campground look bad.  I jumped at the chance and spent some serious time giving the Journey lots of TLC with soapsuds.


I was glad to get the practice so I can wash Judy’s motorhome as I promised her one of these days.

Now that looks better.  It’s no longer the color of a school bus with all the pollen.  :c)


We immediately noticed that the hummingbirds were hitting the feeder we have on the window.  I guess they’re like me, they don’t like eating at a dirty restaurant.


I did manage to kill off my hose, though.  I guess it died from lack of use.


Don’t panic, we’re not buying a house, just a hose.  Sometimes, though, it just seems like we’ll be here forever!  :c(

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

How Can I Be Such A Bad Shot?

Back during my Coast Guard days when I was doing my law enforcement stuff, I prided myself on what a great shot I was with the weapons I carried.  I won awards and medals and was rated an Expert Marksman on all the weapons we carried.  I went to the range to practice at least quarterly and am probably responsible for the ammunition shortage that exists today.

Shooting became second nature and it was very easy to hit the Bull’s Eye.

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Oops!  Not that kind, this kind!


So here I am, getting ready for my cataract surgery on Tuesday morning at Six-Thirty AM.  That should be fun getting up early enough to make it.  Before I could get this surgery, over the last six months, I’ve seen a Doctor, an Optometrist (twice), an Ophthalmologist (twice) a nurse, and an anesthesiologist.  I been checked, rechecked and checked some more.

I even had to have an EKG to make sure all my sparkplugs were firing on all cylinders.


Yep, the old ticker is in fine shape.

As a precursor to the actual surgery, I have been given three kinds of eye drops that I have to take four times a day for three days prior to the actual surgery.


Marti even drew up a chart so I can keep track of when I took the drops.  (One more reason she’s handy to have around).


So why, with all my expert marksmanship skills am I having so much trouble getting the drops in my eye, from one inch away?

I’ve gotten my mouth, my nose, my ear and my shirt, all in attempts to get the stupid little drops in my eye.  I’m even taking a deep breath and holding my hand steady!  I hope I have enough of the drops to get the prescribed amount in correctly before I run out.

Always something, but then, I don’t have the best of luck getting prepared for medical issues.  At least this isn’t as bad as when I had to do the prep for my colonoscopy.

I guess I’d better give back my expert marksmanship medals…

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Down For The Count

After our visit to our up North kids, we did a much slower drive “home” to South Carolina, splitting the trip into a leisurely two days.

On the ride, I began to get the sniffles, which by the second day blossomed into a full blown cough.  Not fun, I have to be very careful as I have a tendency to have colds role into pneumonia. Not to worry, I’m taking massive amounts of vitamin C and other things fed to me by Marti to kick this bug.


It’s important to be back to full health, because I’m scheduled to get my cataract surgery on Tuesday, they won’t do it if I’m still hacking.  After waiting six months to get the surgery, I don’t want to have something delay it more.  But if I’m still hacking, of course I would want the operation postponed.

Being the loving husband that I am, I have now shared the cold with my bonnie bride, so we have coughing in stereo going on in the Journey.


Just because we’re living fulltime in an RV doesn’t mean that life is perfect all the time.  You can get sick anywhere, whether it be in a house, an RV or a space ship (heaven forbid).

So we’re down for the count for a few days, but then a few days kicked back and resting is just what we need after all our running around.  :c)

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Teaching Our Granddaughters

The girls are growing up fast.  They are learning all sorts of things and spend hours in school with their mom, Amber.  That’s because Amber is their teacher, they are home schooled.


They have their own classroom set up in their house, and Taylor and Kierra have their very own desks.  They’re excelling in their schoolwork.


But Mimi and Pa have a hand in the girl’s education, too.  Along with some recreation,


we took the girls to a place that makes things that are very important to most women:


A Chocolate Factory!  Compete with a store to buy all sorts of chocolaty delights.




The store even had a little play house for kids, with some toys and books in case their grandmother took too long making up her mind what kind(s) of chocolates she wanted.


Little “Bekah” (as Rebekah’s daddy calls her) tried some other tastes.  She wasn’t too thrilled with a french fry.


Ice cream, however, is always a winner.


As is Birthday Cake.  We had a family get together for Rebekah’s first birthday, and mommy Amber made the cake.


She didn’t like the cake, she loved it and wore it well.


Some of our family was able to attend, including my Dad, who had a great conversation with Taylor, his oldest granddaughter (of eleven) great-grandchildren.  Ever the teacher, he was teaching Taylor some Hebrew words.



Anabelle and her mommy Amanda also came.  I tried to get a good picture of Anabelle, DIL Amanda, Rebekah and DIL Amber, but babies sure are squiggly.


So after a few tries, I gave up and took a picture of our two lovely daughter-in-laws.


After all the partying, we had one last party to attend with our granddaughters .  My father is retiring from his position as a pastor, after almost sixty years.  Most all my family was there at the church, as well as 300 people to wish him well.  As usual, he gave a great speech and had everyone laughing.  It was a wonderful time and meant a great deal to him.  Now he can do some serious touring in his new Mazda Miata convertible.



The girls were great, even with all the people around.  They have learned to be well behaved.  They also learned it is lots of fun to crawl under tables and chairs.  :c)

But the one thing we’re constantly teaching our granddaughters is that there is nothing better than the love of a grandmother.


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Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Hatbox

Stick with me, I’ll try to ‘splain.  This may be new to some (many) of you.

We’re here in Pennsylvania for two reasons,   The first was to celebrate little Rebekah’s first birthday.  She did fine and got some cute presents and clothes, including a dress Mimi Marti made for her.  She had fun opening her presents once she got the idea that it is okay to rip off wrapping paper.


The other reason was to watch the girls while Ryan had a chance to finish his initiation rites into the Coast Guard’s Chief Petty Officer Corps.  It is a longstanding tradition in both the Navy and the Coast Guard to task a newly minted Chief Petty Officer (E-7) with a myriad of things to accomplish, with the goal of educating the new Chief to better prepare him (or her) to be equipped to be a knowledgeable leader.  The new Chief also has to gather from 75 or more seasoned Chiefs a written document of advice from each one that will help them in their new roles.

Of course, there is a lot of fun involved and each new Chief has to make a book to contain all the new information and words of advice as a reference.  The new Chiefs make fancy binders to hold all these documents.  It is a lot of work, hours of off duty time is spent in research of topics in Coat Guard history, regulations, national and personal history and so forth, collection of the advice and making the book to be a thing of pride.  Ryan put in hours of his nights and weekends getting in all assembled.



Another big task as part of the initiation rites is for each new Chief to build a hatbox to hold and display his Chief’s hat. The finished hatbox is judged by the seasoned Chiefs for workmanship, quality and pride in its design.


The Chief’s hat traditionally was the symbol that separated the Chief Petty Officer from junior enlisted members, who wore the traditional sailor’s hat.  Even though the Coast Guard gave up the “Dixie Cup” sailor’s hat back in 1974, the anchor on the Chief’s hat stands out.

The hatbox is to be a thing of pride.  Ryan loves to work with wood so he designed and built a box to look like a pirate’s chest.  He cut and glued different  woods together and spent countless hours constructing it. 



You can see the inlaid woods here along with brass knuckles for handles.


Because the Coast Guard is sometimes good naturedly called “Puddle Pirates” by our Navy brethren, Ryan etched into the glass top the Jolly Roger.


It also has a gear on the front to call attention to Ryan’s specialty as a Machinery Technician.


The front opens up and a shelf slides out to reveal his hat.



The finished product is a thing he’ll always be proud of.


Tonight, after all the fun of the rites of passage, there is a special, formal banquet for Ryan and our daughter-in-law Amber, along with some twenty other new Chiefs and their wives, to be welcomed into the Chief Petty Officer Corps.  It goes late, so they’ll be staying overnight in Cape May, NJ while we watch the girls.  They’ll be having a good time…and so will we!  :c)

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rotating Granddaughters

Sometimes I wish we could just clone ourselves.  We love spending time with all our grandkids, but since they are scattered between South Carolina, New Jersey and Pennsylvania (and the Pennsylvania kids will be moving to Missouri in two months), we have to rotate our time to be with all of them.

We finished up our time with Anabelle in NJ.  It was lots of fun, we did many things together.  We took her and her Mommy and Daddy out to the Cheesecake Factory for Mother’s Day.


She got her very first ride on a carousel, and loved it!


She also proved that whipped cream is a finger food!


All too soon, our visit was over and we headed the 108 miles from NJ to Pennsylvania to see our other granddaughters, Taylor, Kierra and little Rebekah.


We’ll be here for the rest of the week to help out as they’re getting ready to move to Missouri to Daddy Ryan’s new assignment in the Coast Guard.

But it’s also for another very special reason:  Rebekah's first birthday!


So let the spoiling begin, and what better way than with ice cream at Dairy Queen!




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