Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Friday, April 30, 2010

Driving again

I finally got Steve to bring back my truck today. He had left his car here earlier in the week and I didn't want the keys - I've never driven it and recovering from eye surgery isn't the time to get comfortable driving something new. I almost got worried that my kids were conspiring to keep my keys, but they wouldn't dare!

I needed some prescriptions refilled so I drove about a mile to Bel Air supermarket, and picked up a few goodies while I was there. I parked in the back of the lot where I could take up two spaces and didn't have any problems, although I wouldn't want to drive very far or into unfamiliar territory. I can tell my eyes are getting better little by little, even though I have a ways to go.

Jeannie bought me a rice cooker as a housewarming gift, and I just made the perfect batch of rice! I have a craving for fried rice and I'm now frying the bacon for it. I've tried making it with pork as well as chicken, but I don't think anything beats bacon fried rice. I will be very careful when I save the grease and put it into the fridge.

Steve is still getting phone calls about the truck. I could sell it in a heartbeat if I was so inclined. A lot of guys want an F-350 with duallies and an extended cab/long bed. I got it (plus boot brushes on the running boards) and I ain't letting it go, at least for now.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Things are looking better

I was so glad to see the eye surgeon today. He is wonderful and inspires confidence and hope. According to him, my eye is fine although still a bit swollen. He gave me 3 different eye drops to use, and I will go back for my next follow up on June 10. As for driving, he thinks I can drive as soon as I feel confident about it, but to avoid night time driving. One thing I really like about him is that even when his waiting room is full, he will give you the time you need. So while I sometimes get aggravated at the long wait, I am grateful he doesn't rush me out. He has been doing eye surgery for 30 years, as his father did before him, and I couldn't feel any better about the care I'm getting. My visit today took a little over an hour, which is some kind of record for me.

I haven't heard from Steve today, so I don't know if the RV dealer ever showed up or if the couple who looked at the RV yesterday has called about it. With a purchase that major I would be surprised if they don't look around some and weigh their options carefully.

I put a lot of things away that I brought from the rig yesterday, but still have bags and boxes sitting around waiting for me to do something. Today was doctor day so I don't feel like doing much of anything else. I notice that I can deal with one major thing or outing each day, but let the rest go until tomorrow or next week! I definitely need a bookshelf and a small computer desk which would bring much needed order to the apartment.

I mailed off my volunteer agreement this morning, so Lassen will be waiting for me on July 1.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A little action

Today was a busy day with the RV. Steve got so many calls from guys wanting to buy the truck - many offering cash on the spot. So he re-wrote the ad, indicating that it was the RV for sale and that the seller would consider selling both as a package, or the RV by itself. A number of dealers have called, including one who wants to view the 5th wheel tomorrow, so Steve and I went over this afternoon to try to get most of my junk out of it, and to clean it up a bit.

While we were working he got a call from a woman who wanted to come over to see it as soon as her husband could join her. We rushed and just about had everything looking spiffy when they arrived. They really seemed impressed and eager, so after spending some time looking at it they returned home to see what kind of cash they can come up with. They discussed price with Steve - I tried to stay busy taking bags out to the truck, but talking to them and answering questions when I could. I think they have a good idea what my bottom line will be. I have set the price to sell quickly, and I consider it a fair price. I would come down by a small amount but not by much, and I am adamant about it. I will come down by the lowest amount I think it would cost me to have the rig recaulked. Although Joe and Donald are willing and capable of doing it, it would take both of them a couple of full days, if not more. I just want a quick sale and am willing to make an adjustment.

It's ironic that now it is all clean and empty of clutter, how beautiful it really is and how I can see that so plainly now. I always knew it, but then I also know every little thing wrong with it. I just want it to be over with soon so I can get on with finding a suitable truck camper. I originally thought I would require "X" number of amenities, but now that I'm looking at only part-time RVing my requirements are a lot less. Most people who buy a TC are probably outdoors people to begin with, and I doubt I will be spending the bulk of my time indoors anyway. I am now dreaming about the visiting the Redwoods and the CA North Coast, maybe Mt. Shasta, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, possibly even Yellowstone. There will be so many more opportunities open to me and I won't have to worry so much about bridge clearances, winding roads, pull through spaces, etc. AND I WILL KEEP MY TRUCK!

I will mail the work agreement to Lassen when I am out tomorrow. My appointment with the eye surgeon was moved up by a couple of hours, which means I will have the entire morning to sit in the waiting room. I'm taking a book I've been wanting to start reading. Steve kept my truck so he can go directly to the storage lot tomorrow, and Jeannie will pick me up for my appointment. She would like to have ordered me not to drive yet but didn't dare, but I decided to wait one more day until I can get an assessment from the doctor. See, I am impatient but I'm not stupid nor do I want to have or cause an accident. I'm actually a pretty smart old lady!

Monday, April 26, 2010

More stuff to find a place for

Steve and I went over to the 5th wheel today to pick up some things I want/need, including my desktop computer and some books. Now I have boxes cluttering up the living room again. At this rate it will be a while before I can post photos, but I did take a couple of the bathroom. The photo below is the only one to come out ok and I didn't have time to fool around with it. After this one, the living room will be the last to photograph.

We decided to advertise the 5ver and truck as is and see what kind of response we got. He emailed me a while ago with the 1st offer, which was very low. The interested party indicated they might go just a bit higher but not much. I will have to think about it - he just wants the 5ver and not the truck, so I would probably buy a truck camper (cabover) and keep my truck. I am giving it a week, and then we will rethink it. With my sight being as it is, and the fact the guys (2 sons and s-i-l) will find it difficult to spare a lot of time to fix it up, I think the best, quickest, and easiest for me is to just sell it as it is.

At least I'm off to a good start.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Universe is against me driving!

Early this morning when I took the dog out I found my truck was hemmed in by a large F-150 with double cab and huge tires. One of his (or her) tires was the width of one set of my duallies, and the truck sat up much higher off the ground. I admired it going and coming back, and came inside to eat my breakfast before driving to the grocery and my RV storage. It soon occurred to me I wasn't going anywhere as long as that truck was parked next to me. That space is usually empty and I have a difficult time backing up and pulling forward several times, but with a big vehicle parked on my bad side and me with no depth perception I decided not to try. Some force is against me!

This photo doesn't do the truck justice. It was gorgeous!

Jeannie drove over later on and took me to get groceries, but I am bound and determined to go to the RV storage tomorrow. We'll see what is thrown up to block my way.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I've been domestic today

Every now and then even the worst housekeeper has to clean up a little, and I decided to start on it today. I've let things go since my surgery, but enough is enough. I didn't do the floors because I'm obeying the surgeon's orders not to bend or stoop down. I don't have a mop and always clean the kitchen and bathroom floors the old fashioned way - on my hands and knees.

Here is a photo of the kitchen.

I can't tell you how much I enjoy this kitchen. It's roomy enough to move around and prepare meals in, but it's still not overly big. The stove and refrigerator are space savers, and for once I can see the top of the fridge to know when it needs to be wiped off. I still have a few empty drawers and cabinets, but probably that won't last.

I think I've already posted pictures of the bedroom, and when I finally get the boxes emptied and disposed of that are sitting at the end of the couch, I'll take a picture of the living room. I do have just a little bit of pride, you know.

When I do any cleaning at all you know I am bored, and today is no exception. I can't stand not being able to drive, or rather, being cautious about driving. I need to go to the grocery, but I am going to wait until I can drive myself. Independence rocks, and I'm ready to start rockin' and rollin' again!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Giving up the keys

The Sacramento Bee had an article today about when it comes time to give up your car keys, and featured a local woman who said, "I gave up smoking; I gave up drinking; I gave up men; the hardest thing I ever gave up was my car keys". It's a scary thought, but it will happen to all of us someday. That puts some pressure on a person to get out there and do all the driving they can for as long as they can. I thought I would be back in the driver's seat by now, but I'm sure not ready yet.

I spent the day at Jeannie's house, watching the girls while she and Donald began cleaning the garage. They still have a long way to go. The girls are so sweet and easy to look after, although the little one sure gets around quickly.

I was up very early this morning - Jeannie picked me up at 7:15, so I'm going to turn in early tonight and stay in bed a little longer tomorrow morning - IF Lady lets me.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I'm not out of the game yet!

I have been miserable all day, mostly because my eye doesn't seem to me to be getting better by the day. The clarity of sight comes and goes, and is never really all that good. I certainly shouldn't drive a vehicle, and I'm damn sick of just laying around doing nothing. But I know I should give it another week or so before I accept that it won't get better.

Meanwhile, I have been thinking about how I want to travel and to go camping in the future. I have been looking at tents and how I could use one, both for the trip(s) to NY as well as occasional weekend and longer trips in the West. I feel very comfortable with the idea of a tent, because I am more of a camper at heart than an RVer. But I've also looked at mini trailers - the teardrop shape campers have fascinated me long before I even thought of full time RVing. Now I find that the teardrop shape is extended and grown into a mini trailer, such as the T@B, and the T@DA. They are nice because they have basic kitchen facilities inside the trailer.

The truck campers are also intriguing, but with their popularity has come the addition of slide-outs, full bathrooms with showers, and amenities that drive their price up to and sometimes above what a new larger trailer and/or 5th wheel costs. Meanwhile, I have to sell the rig I have (lordy, how I will miss that truck if it goes along with the 5ver).

I received an email a few days ago from my former boss at Lassen - just an update and asking how I was - and at the same time mentioned they didn't have a camp host for Butte Lake this summer. It seems no one wants to be without electric hookups. While I love electric hookups, I think I did very nicely for three months without it, once I got my generator going.

I wrote and told her I might be interested in a shorter commitment, such as 6 weeks from 1 July through 15 August. I need to be back in Sacramento for the birth of my newest grandson around the 1st of September, and then will take off for New York to visit my family there somewhere around the middle of Sept. I would like to close out my storage in Asheville on the way back, although I haven't figured out how I can bring everything back if I am pulling something behind my vehicle to begin with. I only need a small U-haul, but what I have wouldn't fit into the sort of travel trailer I am envisioning. If I end up with a tent, it might not be a problem though.

I just received another email from the volunteer coordinator offering me the job for six weeks. It will be at the most critical time for the park - over 4th of July and throughout the month, and the first half of August.

So here I sit, barely able to see clearly, and I am planning to return to the backcountry of Lassen Volcanic National Park. I've decided that if my 5ver sells within the next two months I will have to find something to live in at Lassen, and if it doesn't sell then I will just haul it back to its old stomping grounds!

I must be crazy, but my mood has lightened considerably. Now I need to respond affirmatively to the email, and hope I get decent eyesight back in a week or so. My favorite part of RVing has always been the ability to volunteer in the national park system. It gives me a reason to look forward to getting up in the morning, something meaningful to do, makes me feel needed, and is overall good for my self esteem. As I told one of my kids, that is no small thing to a person at my state in life, and especially one without a partner.

Gypsy will be on the road again!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I feel like I'm in jail!

Not exactly, because I'm free to come and go, I just can't go far. I drove to a nearby convenience store this afternoon - about 1/4 mile away and no traffic, wide streets, etc. I do not have depth perception on the sides - I can see fine in front of me, although I have some difficulty telling how far I can pull up and not hit anything. Consequently, I never pull up close enough.

So here I sit today, doing nothing, trying to remember not to lean over or to pick up anything heavy. The one thing I should be doing is to vacuum the carpet, but I tell myself that's probably too much strain on my eye muscles. Great excuse anyway!

In case anyone should think I ought not to have driven today, I will say that my vision was pretty sketchy throughout the morning. All the sudden it was like the filmy curtains were pulled back and I could see quite clearly. I grabbed my keys and was off like a bolt of lightning. Of course I had just gotten out of the driveway when I thought better of the idea, but had to go down to turn around in the convenience store parking lot. The clerk was wowed that I was driving that big truck!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

One week today

I've come a little ways since my surgery last week. I tried really hard to stay quiet and not do anything today. Normally I enjoy being lazy as sin when I can get by with it, and more than once have gone an entire day without ever doing anything or even getting dressed. It's the enforced "being quiet" that I can't stand. But I tried, and all I really did was to get a few loads of wash done. The washer and dryer are just around the corner from my apartment so I didn't even have to walk very far.

The rains really came down heavily today but stopped this afternoon - still some dark clouds in the sky but the sun is shining outside my window. It wasn't easy picking up after the dog this morning in a downpour, because I had to set my umbrella down for a minute and worried about getting raindrops in my eye.

I'm so bored I'm making a pan of brownies now, and if I can't do anything else at least I can eat something yummy!

Monday, April 19, 2010

First expedition since surgery

I think I should wait a few more days for the next one. I drove to get my hair cut this morning, at a salon near Cal Expo which is about 15 miles from here. I am very familiar with the streets in that direction and the traffic was light. Unfortunately, I'm still fuzzy in my left eye and my vision in that eye kept going in and out. I kept focused on the white lines in the road ahead of me, and fortunately most folks were keeping to the speed limit, meaning that I was just about on the same page as everyone else - no need for cars to dart from lane to lane which always keeps me on edge. My good eye was especially good, although depth perception would be a problem in some situations.

I arrived early and went into a Starbucks. I had taken my computer thinking I could use their wifi, but somehow it didn't work. They have AT&T wifi, but it demanded my user name and password. I have AT&T for my internet connection but couldn't remember what my userid was, nor were there any instructions on Starbuck's opening page as to how to obtain an ID and password. From now on I will not go to a Starbucks when I want wifi.

The hairdresser is excellent and I am very happy with the haircut. I'd planned to stop at Walmart on the way back to pick up another set of Corelle (I only have 4 place settings) and some glasses, but knew I shouldn't push my luck so came straight back home. I know I have to be patient, but I also know it's going to rain heavily and get colder for the next two days so I'll be confined at home, then it will be back into the 70's and sunny again.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Still waiting for big improvement

I am trying to be patient while waiting for my eyesight to show a noticeable improvement, but it's going slowly. I keep hoping I will wake up in the morning to find my operative eye is free of the fuzziness and blurring that I've had since surgery. But today is only the 5th day, so maybe I will have to give it more time. I find waiting like this a real P.I.T.A.!

I went with Jeannie and Donald yesterday to the Roseville Galleria where they wanted to resolve some issues about their new sleep number bed, and I visited the Apple Store to buy genealogy software for the Mac (way expensive compared to similar Windows software). I normally shy away from anyplace with "Galleria" in the name, and I certainly wouldn't ever go back to the one at Roseville by myself. I could drive around for hours and not find my way out of the place!

I will take my Mac to an Apple store on a day other than Saturday, but I will visit the store that is in a mall near Cal Expo. At least you can just drive in one of the parking lot entrances and park in a big lot that is easy to get in and out of. I always go straight for the back of the lot since I'm sure to take up 2 or more spaces.

So now I have my new software, but will have to bring my desktop over and get the database from my old program to load on the Mac. I halfway thought about partitioning my drive and loading Windows on the Mac, but decided against it. I don't want to have to go back to the constant need to download and install security patches. The Mac has it all over Windows in that respect. I do miss my MahJong game though.

Now I have to determine if I can lift the old desktop up out of the under-bed storage area, down the steps to the doorway and then down some more steps outside before hoisting it up into my truck, and back down and into the apartment. It doesn't sound like a great idea just yet! Dang, when you get new software you want to try it out right away. I could have waited a week or so to buy it, but wanted it NOW.

We all were invited to my sister, Amy's house last night for dinner. She grilled chicken (jerk seasoned and teriyaki seasoned) plus a tri tip roast. She sent me home with lots of food, salad, fruit bowl, etc., so I don't have to cook today. Everything was super delicious, and it's just as good the second day.

Time for my mid-day nap.

Friday, April 16, 2010

YAY! I made it! (2nd post Fri., Apr, 16)

I just drove myself home this evening and I made it just fine. Very little traffic. I plan to not drive any more for a few days, but it did a lot for my ego and self-confidence to know that I'm on the way to full recovery.

Not to worry

I re-read my blog entries from last year when I had cataract surgery, and I realize I am doing just about the same this year. I seemed to have moaned and groaned and complained for about a week!

I looked again at the post op instructions - one page said not to lift anything over 15 lbs; another page said no lifting over 20 pounds. My little granddaughter is 18, so I think I'm ok on that one no matter which page I'm on. Lifting the 36 pounder over the baby gate probably wasn't my smartest move, but I only did it one time so I'm not going to worry about it.

I need to go home soon but don't think I should drive myself, unless I can do it after commuter traffic is over with. I would go the back streets anyway, just to make sure. So thanks again to all who sent me good wishes for my recovery - I'm going to be fine in no time. The main worry about getting home is transporting the dog. She sheds so much that I wouldn't dream of putting her in anyone's vehicle except mine.

A Slight Setback?

I thought I was doing so well and really pushed my luck today. I noticed that I was back to blurry vision in my operative eye, but about half way through the day looked in a mirror and thought, holy moly, what a mess! My eye was blood red and I was just sick about it. I think I've been overdoing it and lifting cute little granddaughters when I shouldn't. So I will be taking it extra easy for the next few days - my eye looks a little better although the vision is still cloudy. Nothing like a giant scare to make one decide to live right.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow, Friday, because in the late afternoon I and the whole family will know if I'm going to get a grandson or granddaughter. I just want a healthy one!

Since I've been at my daughter's house I've been using their internet - they have a router and I have a wireless card, and it is pure speed of light. I want it! I thought all bundles required you to get cable TV first in order to get decent internet, but this is AT&T which does offer a land phone and high speed internet. I think I will give them a call because I am wondering if you must get cable TV in order to get cable internet. High speed without cable might just be DSL. It is so nice to turn on the computer at any time and get an instant connection.

Steve has been sick this past week, but maybe next week we will be able to get some things accomplished at the RV. I hope we can get it to the point where we can take some pictures and post them.

Nothing else going on right now - just hoping I get some decent eyesight back soon. I talked to Steve today and mentioned that I don't remember being in much pain after last year's operation - he said "Oh yes you were in pain - you just took a vicodin and got drowsy and went back to sleep on the couch". So I guess my memory isn't as good as I thought it was. I will have to say in all honesty that the pain has been very annoying, but it certainly wasn't unbearable. If I were doing it tomorrow though, I would probably take something strong for pain that would make me sleep and forget!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Eye Surgery, 2nd post for Wed. 4/14

In response to a question from Bill, a reader, I decided to post the response for everyone. I had surgery yesterday to remove a cataract from my left eye. About one year ago I had a cataract removed from the right eye, so I am hopefully good to go in the eye department!

Eye'm doing fine

The patch came off today, not a minute too soon, and my eye looks gross. In a matter of hours I've gone from seeing nothing but light and dark, to seeing fuzzy objects in front of me, and I know it will continue to improve. I am having discomfort, which I can bear.

Yesterday, waiting for surgery turned out to be like every visit to this clinic - a long wait. Instead of my usual impatience with endless waiting, I sat in a chair and closed my eyes, and felt myself melting into a state of near complete relaxation and well being. By the time I was on the table I remained in that calm state, and when the nurse inserted the port for the IV into my hand, she apologized for the sting of the needle. I told her "You are really good, in fact just about perfect because I didn't feel a thing. Now I have complete confidence everything will go well."

I think she was shocked speechless at that point. The anesthetic made my eye completely numb, but otherwise I was lucid throughout the entire process, which only lasts a few minutes. The eyepatch was taped on and I was soon ready to go home. The surgery experience was excellent, although I miss the residual effect of being "out" for the procedure. Last year I recall I could barely keep my eyes open for 24 hours after the surgery, and I don't remember feeling much pain. This time I felt pain which got worse up till sometime between 11 pm and midnight - since then it is mostly an achy discomfort. I put ice on it for a while today, which seemed to help a bit.

I told the nurse I didn't want a prescription for Vicodin (I hate the stuff), so they wrote it for Tylenol 3 with codeine. Duh, I think the two meds must have similar ingredients and the same reaction to their usage, at least for me. Without going into much detail, the effect is sort of like when I was at Ft. Pulaski this year, and the water pressure at my site dropped to where barely a trickle came out of the faucet! So I would rather suffer pain than go that route.

This morning Jeannie dropped me off on her way to work and Joe picked me up afterward. I asked the Dr. when I could drive, and he replied "Monday". When I dissapointedly said "Awww", he said "Well ok, if you feel ok you can drive tomorrow." Of course I won't try it unless I feel comfortable about maneuvering the F-350.

I so appreciate all the well wishes, prayers, good vibrations, etc. that have been sent my way. They have certainly had good effect, and I can say my operation is a success. Today the Dr. checked my other eye which I worried might have a problem. He dilated it and checked it thoroughly from all angles, and said there is nothing wrong. My next visit is in two weeks and he plans to keep a watch on both eyes.

So there it is. I'm on my way to having two good eyes again, and good vision with glasses of course. I will mainly need them for driving and reading, and I can deal with that.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I'm not nervous

But I am a little on edge this evening. I think I have everything done except to take out the trash on my way out the door tomorrow. I've tried to eat an adequate amount of food because it will be late tomorrow before I get something to eat, although I've already ground coffee beans to take to Jeannie's house. That might be the first thing I will want when I get back from surgery.

I'm mainly worried about being thirsty, because I'm not scheduled until 11:30 tomorrow. That is a long time to go without water, for me anyway. I'll survive I guess. I will tank up before I go to sleep, which insures that I won't get a good night's rest.

I had this surgery only a year ago and I know what to expect - it wasn't bad at all except for the few aggravating rules, like don't get water in your eye, and sleep with a shield over the eye. Al of the Bayfield Bunch suggested sleeping in a comfy recliner, which I would do if I had one. I had planned to buy one but I think that would make the room seem very crowded, so I'll just have to tough it out.

I probably won't post for a couple of days, so I just wanted to say "so long for now, and see ya soon". Also I would like to thank everyone for their good wishes and positive comments. I really do appreciate them.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pictures of the apartment

I finally found a bedskirt and took some photos of my bedroom. You can see a small alcove in back of the bed, which is where I have placed a desk. It holds a lot of desk and stationery supplies, but would be too dark for the computer. I've been working with the aircard and antenna on the front windowsill and it does fairly well there, so I think I will look for a small computer desk or table that will fit between the front wall and the couch. But back to the bedroom.

A couple of shots of the closet. The rod on each side is a bit longer than the rod of either side of the RV closet, so I have plenty of room to hang things. Also, there is good shelf space, and Jeannie assembled a storage cube where I have placed my shoes. There was enough pieces for a couple of cubes in the bathroom to hold towels.

Here are a couple of my helpers. I still have lots of boxes sitting around that need to be emptied and places found for everything, and the girls found a couple of them.

I will follow up with pictures of the living room and kitchen after I have emptied some of the boxes and disposed of all the empties I already have. Wow, what a mess!

I was able to get to the RV early before it started raining, and brought back my vacuum cleaner plus a lot of odds and ends. There is still quite a bit under the bed, plus books and such that I will need to find a bookcase for. I'm making as much progress as I can, and Jeannie has been a tremendous help. She came by with the girls and picked me up when I returned from the RV, and we shopped for the bedskirt and a few other items, and had lunch at Chipotle.

I will drive to Jeannie's on Tuesday morning with Lady, and Donald will take me to the eye clinic. Someone will pick me up about 3 hrs later and I will stay at Jeannie's for at least a day. I will get the bandages off the morning after surgery, and I can't remember how long it was last year before I could drive, but I will need to get home with the dog as soon as I can. The first couple of days were the worst and then it was very easy except for showering - no water anywhere near the eye. I was able to wash my hair by holding my head back and using the hand held showerhead in the RV, but I will have to hold a towel over my face here. The shower plus sleeping is all I remember about being difficult. You can't sleep on the side of the operative eye, and are instructed to wear an eye shield at night. I didn't wear it for many nights because the tape was so sticky and I felt like I was pulling my skin off when I took it off in the morning. I should just look for easy to remove surgical tape.

Tuesay can't get here too soon. I am ready to hang up my keys until this is over with, that's how bad it is to drive. Fortunately I don't get into traffic, and I drive with plenty of space all around me when I can.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Blurry Eyed

That's what I am right now, as I just put the drops in my eyes for the last time today. One solution is used 3x a day and the other is 4x a day, so I write it all down when I use them so I can keep track. In don't mind putting drops in my eyes, but getting used to this schedule is a big pain, and to add to the confusion, one solution is used in both eyes and the other in just one eye.

I finally broke down and got myself a very small propane grill this afternoon. I didn't want to do it because I love grilling over charcoal, but of course I can't have the flames when lighting up on my small patio. I'll appreciate not having to cook indoors when the weather gets hot. So far my apartment stays cold even when it's warm outside, so I have no idea what the summer will be like. Anything over 100F is sizzling, indoors or out! This apartment is oriented nicely to avoid the heat-of-the-day-sun, although the price I pay is not having enough daylight to suit me. Can't win.

The forecast for the next two days is heavy rain - in fact the equivalent of April's rain is supposed to fall in those two days. I hope my RV doesn't leak. If it isn't too bad in the morning I need to make another trip back for the vacuum cleaner, which I forgot to retrieve the last time I was there. I won't be able to lift it for several days after surgery, and my carpet is in great need of vacuuming. While I'm at it I can get the small propane cannisters to use with my new grill.

Mike came home from the hospital today. He could have stayed an extra day but says he'll feel better being up and about. He told me the hospital bed bothers his back the most, followed by sitting in a chair, so he wanted to get home where he has more room to move around.

I'm getting a little anxious about my own surgery. It's nothing out of the ordinary, just pre-op jitters, and it will probably be into high gear by Monday. I'll be glad when it is behind me. By the way, I wasn't hurt at all in my clumsy fall yesterday. No bruises and no pain except when I press on the area that hit the ground first. I know the answer to that - just don't press on it!

Friday, April 9, 2010

More of the same

Another trip to the RV today - I brought back quite a bit but there are still a lot of little things there I should just throw away. I sometimes tend to be a packrat! While I was out I bought a bird feeder and some seed - so far no birds have visited, nor have I had any takers that I can see at the hummingbird feeder, with the exception of a couple of ants. If they get to be too much of a problem I will take it down. The same goes for the bird seed - I am not going to buy bird seed for the squirrels.

I always have a difficult time unloading the truck because of the tight parking space in front of my apartment, and the placement of a concrete strip and azalea bushes on the passenger side. It is much easier to unload the truck if I can do it on either side, and today I had to back up with a heavy box until I could set it down on the pavement, and pick it up properly to carry it to my patio. I did fine and went back to close the truck doors, then made the mistake of backing out of the small space next to the truck. Somehow I lost my balance and tried to catch it, but felt myself going down. I hit my hip on the ground and while it is sort of achy, I think I'll be fine. No bruise that I can see.

This weekend if I can find a bedskirt I like, then I'll take pictures of the bedroom, and hopefully I can get rid of the boxes that are stacked against one living room wall. They are too sturdy for me to break down, and Joe has agreed to take them back and dispose of them properly.

My RV looks so forlorn on the storage lot. It is just as I found her on a lot in New Jersey. I thought I could give her a lot of TLC, but the "C" part of it was beyond my capabilities, at least what she needed. I sincerely hope I can find someone to buy her and appreciate her. That fifth wheel is really remarkable, but I just can't deal with all that is required to travel fulltime in one. She needs a nice couple, with one of the couple able to do all the maintenance and upkeep. I'm thinking positively.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

More from Fair Oaks Village

I left early again this morning and picked up quite a few items from the 5th wheel. I wonder if I will ever be able to empty it! On my way back I stopped in Fair Oaks Village and just parked the truck and started walking. Checked out the hardware store - an old fashioned one which is the kind I love - and then just walked around looking at the chickens. They are everywhere and you can hear the roosters crowing all the time. Enrique, our maintenance man, told me that they estimate about 400 birds in all live in the Village of Fair Oaks, and there is even a Chicken Festival in late spring which I hope to attend.

I didn't stay long because I knew I had a lot of things to put away back home, but I did get a few pictures. I hope to take more of the main road through the village in the next few days.

And of course, some of the chickens:

This is fine looking fellow who blends in well with his surroundings, so you will need to click on the picture to get a good look.

I talked to my son Mike today once he got to his hospital room after surgery. He described "discomfort", but I'm sure it's spelled "p-a-i-n". The surgery seems to have gone well, and he's an adult so he'll ask for pain medication when he thinks he needs it. I'm relieved the surgery is over and he can begin to recover now. They fixed a hernia from a couple of previous surgeries, and did some fusion of vertebrae. It's all sort of like Greek to me, but it hurts just thinking about it.

I will soon get around to taking some photos of my apartment, but I want to have all the boxes emptied and taken away, and everything in place.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The tables were turned

In my post yesterday I commented about traffic stopping for a rooster that was crossing the road. Well, today it happened to me, but I did see some humor in it. I just wanted to get to the bank quickly for a roll of quarters for the laundry. Going through the village I came across part of the flock - chickens, rooster, and some very young chickens milling about in the roadway. It's not like a dog who is intelligent enough (usually) to stay away from the moving wheels of a vehicle, but I'm not so sure about the intelligence of poultry. I inched out into the middle of the street and slowly made my way forward, staring down the chickens who were daring me to hit one. Driving back a few minutes later I had to go through the same drill. This flock OWNS Fair Oaks Village, I'll tell you!

I didn't get much accomplished today because of having so much laundry to do, and only one washer and one dryer at a time. I desperately need a haircut before I get mistaken for a sheepdog.

Many RVers, fulltimers as well as snowbirds, can relate to the thrill of getting mail. Mine is forwarded to me twice a month, and usually only includes bank and credit card statements, plus a couple of magazines, but I still get excited when the big envelope arrives. Now that I am in an apartment I can check the mailbox every day, although so far I've just received a welcome from SMUD, the electric provider. Yesterday, though, I had a big wad of JUNK MAIL! Boy, was I excited. There is a large trash bin by the mailboxes for the deposit of junk mail, but I took mine home to read every page of it. I'm sure I'll just trash it before long, but for now, it adds something to my day.

Lastly, I can say that the good night's sleep on my new mattress just gets better and better. I am completely pleased with it.

I will do my best to take photos tomorrow and post them in the blog.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Why did the chicken cross the road?

This morning I was driving through the Village to do some grocery shopping and to have the pre-op prescriptions filled. As I turned into the main part of the Village I noted that a couple of oncoming cars were stopped, and since there is no traffic light there I figured they were waiting on a pedestrian. As I approached, I saw the rooster, ambling across the street, IN THE CROSSWALK! I laughed out loud, and knew for sure I am going to love this place.

I should have eaten a couple more Eggos before going grocery shopping. Whenever I buy brie cheese I know I'm too hungry to shop. The cheese and two kinds of potato chips, and I don't even snack very often, are a good indication of impulse buying. Speaking of Eggos, the box I bought last year contained 80 Eggos. This year's box contains only 60. I don't remember what I paid for 80, but I doubt I got a price break on 60.

Actually the brie was a good thing to buy. When Kathy visited me a couple weeks ago she brought me a bottle of California Riesling, my favorite wine. The brie, smeared on bakery french bread (of which I've already eaten a third of the loaf) will be great. I may be sampling the wine early today before I run out of french bread!

Barney commented on the title of my blog and wondered if it is time to change it. Actually I've been mulling this over in my mind for some time, but think I will wait a while, at least until I can come up with a suitable title. The song, "On the Road Again", reminds me of the man I've been secretly in love with for years--Willie Nelson, and I get a warm glow whenever I'm writing a blog entry. Maybe I can find another of his songs with a catchy title, but the only one that comes to mind right now is "Whiskey for my men and beer for my horses", and he sang that with Toby Keith, (who is probably my second love).

If I get back to take pictures in the Village this afternoon I'll post again; otherwise, see ya tomorrow.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The benefits of a good night's sleep

What a difference my new mattress and springs has made! I wake up in the morning feeling pretty good, no backache, and the best part is I sleep for longer periods of time during the night. I wonder how it can be firm and soft at the same time, but that's the way it seems and I am so glad I selected the one I did.

I meant to get over to the RV early but ended up not rushing and didn't go until about 11:00 am. It is an easy drive, and an interesting one to me. Sunrise Blvd. south of the freeway was mostly empty land when I lived here in the 1980's. It is just east of Mather AFB at which the Navy had a navigation school, and the AF trained pilots to fly the B-52's. Coming home from work I used to see those beautiful B-52's flying low into home base, and just marveled that anything that size could look so graceful in the air. It is like many large birds in that respect.

Then development came along and many homes and subdivisions were built in the area, followed of course by complaints about the air traffic and noise. I have mentioned this in a previous blog, and I apologize for the duplication to my long standing readers. When DOD's Base Realignment and Closure hit Mather, the local development really took off and now the entire area is built up with homes and businesses. Where my RV storage park is located has become sort of a spot for auto dismantlers and salvage, but not like the old junk yards of the past with rusting hulks in view. I'm sure they are behind fences and out of sight. There are businesses specializing in every conceivable make of vehicle, and you can go for the odd parts you might need or go to one of the Pick N Pull lots, where you can get the same thing much cheaper if you pull it yourself. The streets in the area are named "Dismantle Ct.", "Recycle Way", etc. The area certainly is NOT an eyesore, and I kind of enjoy driving through it to get to my storage.

I picked up some small electric appliances such as toaster oven and crock pot, as well as a lot of miscellaneous small items and my laundry. I stopped on the way home at Costco to buy a big box of Eggos since I now have a toaster, and I will be enjoying a couple of Eggos smeared with butter and jelly in the morning. I also found a corn broom so I am happy about that. I decided to forgo shopping for groceries, and do that in a separate trip. I'm trying to not overdo driving and the stress on my eyes, although I'm not sure it helps, hurts, or is completely inconsequential.

My oldest son (NY) is having back surgery on Thursday. He thought it would be some time next week around the same time as my eye surgery, but it is serious enough to do it right away and not wait. I feel so bad that I can't be there, and will feel relieved when we are both recovering nicely. He will have a much more difficult recuperation than I will though.

I think if tomorrow is sunny I will try to get down to the center of the Village and take some pictures. I didn't have my camera with me today or I would have gotten some good chicken & rooster pictures, plus shots of the Village itself. Hopefully I can post some photos soon.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A break in the weather

The past month has seen fairly good weather, although not all that warm, but at least dry. Today changed all that as it has rained for most of the day, quite heavily. I think it is going to continue into tomorrow as well. I will make an early trip to the RV (my laundry is still there and I'm running out of clean clothes), and to the grocery. I'll have to be careful what I buy that needs to be refrigerated. I definitely have a bigger fridge/freezer than I had in the RV, but it is configured differently and I doubt if I have a whole lot more usable space. Definitely more, but not a whole lot. The electric range is a space saver model and I think the fridge is too. Perfect for "up-sizing" just a bit.

It says a lot for RV's out there that smaller spaces are so well utilized, and that most have more storage than most people would even think of. I'm happy with what I have now though there is a lot to like about living in an RV. That said, I really wouldn't want to go back to fulltiming.

I spent the day at Jeannie and Donald's with family. The meal was excellent, followed by homemade angel food cake topped with strawberries and homemade whipped cream. WOW. Some things you just can't buy already prepared that tastes as heavenly as made from scratch. It was raining hard when I left and I wasn't far down the road when I realized I needed to turn around and go back to get my glasses. I don't even remember using them so I don't know why I took them out of my purse. The streets were mostly deserted and it was an easy 5+ mile drive back.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

5th Wheel in Storage

I woke up about 4:00 am realizing that I was not at all prepared for a move of the 5ver. Everyone who RV's knows that there is a drill you go through to get ready and it normally doesn't take all that long to stow everything safely. With all the packing of boxes and getting things out of cabinets and drawers, the place was a mess! I arrived by 8:30 and worked steadily - with a short break for croissants and coffee - until Steve came by at Noon. I had the hoses stowed except for the fresh water, and the maintenance guy had tightened it with a wrench so I knew I'd never be able to budge it loose. Steve got the rest of the pre-move items accomplished, hitched up flawlessly, and we were on our way to the storage lot. We found it with no trouble, but the space was really difficult to back into, the way it was situated back in a corner with a large MH on one side and a boat jutting out in front. I couldn't believe what an incredible job of backing in he did but it is perfect, with just enough room to get in and out of the doors.

We took all the packed boxes back to my apartment before I dropped him off at Joe's house and continued back to the storage lot to get my clothes on hangers. Now I have the biggest part of my possessions here, although there is still a lot left to decide on. I finally got back home at 3:00 pm and crashed on the couch. I had planned to shop for groceries but that will have to wait. I am really afraid to drive much now and will be so glad when my surgery date arrives. Jeannie offered to come by later on and help me put things away but I am just too tired to deal with it. Next week will be early enough.

I thought I would be sad, or at least a bit nostalgic leaving the 5th wheel for the last time, but I'm not. I feel a sense of relief which will be even better when it is sold. I've learned a great deal by the experience, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I tested my limits, found I could meet anything as it comes, but also found that I don't have to keep proving it to myself or anyone else. What freedom! I'm looking forward to traveling once I get my good eyesight back and once I get rested up a bit.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Waiting for bedtime!

Although it didn't get here as early as I would have preferred, the bed finally arrived and is waiting to provide me a good night's rest. After making it all up with clean mattress pad, sheets and pillowcases I realize I will need a bedskirt, one thing I didn't save from when I had a house. Of course none is needed for an RV bed. But I'm happy with the way the bed looks now and will hope I'm happy with the comfort and support of it tonight.

I knew I had enough time before the delivery so I made a quick trip to the RV to pick up a load of clothes and miscellaneous items. It's really incredible how much a good sized RV holds, and now I have to move it all and figure out what to do with it. Jeannie drove over after she got off work and paid for the RV storage at a lot near here. It is much less than the first place I looked at, and although it doesn't have electric it would probably be better to use the generator once in a while. They said minor work can be done on premises but nothing major. They also have an area where you can wash the rig, which will be handy. I'm going to meet Steve tomorrow morning and he will hitch the rig and drive to the storage and drop it off. I'm glad it will be morning because my eyesight is always better early in the day. I will get some groceries on my way home and then probably stay home the rest of the day.

Jeannie took me shopping after dealing with the storage rental, and I got several small housekeeping items for the apartment. I looked two different places and couldn't find a corn broom, the only kind I like to use. I'll see if the grocery store has them tomorrow. The apartment is starting to look and feel like home, and so far everyone I met here is very nice and friendly. The management is super. But I have to find a different place to park this big old truck! It is conveniently right in front of my apartment, but so difficult to get in and out of the space I would prefer to walk a ways for an easier parking job. By the way, the 2 young guys who delivered the bed set were way impressed with my truck. They could hardly believe it belonged to me. I asked them, "You don't believe a granny can drive a truck like that?", and their big smiles told me that is exactly what they were thinking. Oh well, they aren't the first and they won't be the last.

Thanks for all the good wishes from readers. I appreciate each and every comment. Thanks to Dee for sharing her experience with a similar eye condition - it got me to call the doctor's office; the desk person asked one of the doctors who said I should just come in on my scheduled surgery day. I'm going to try to take it easy (haha) until then.

Well, it's a start

I officially moved into my apartment yesterday. I haven't rented one for some time, and can't believe all the legalese stuff you have to go through. It's about as bad as closing on a house. I had tons of pages to scan and initial or sign. But I got that done and did a walk through - there are a couple things that still need fixing and I hope they take care of them quickly.

Jeannie helped me put all the kitchen items away. I still have a few empty cabinets and drawers, but will probably fill them up soon enough. Steve brought over the couch, chair and a coffee table; Jeannie & Donald brought a desk and chest of drawers that had belonged to my ex husband, and Joe & Sarah came to help. That meant two little girls and two baby girls in this tiny apartment, which I hope didn't bother my neighbors too much.

I waited and waited all afternoon and evening for the delivery of mattress and springs. At one point the woman who sold me the set called to say the delivery folks had gotten delayed in Davis and would be an hour late. They never did get here. Fortunately I had the couch to sleep on, and just threw the mattress pad and comforter on it. Not the best night sleep I've ever had but I feel surprisingly good this morning and my back doesn't hurt. Lady doesn't know what to make of it all.

I think I found an RV storage nearby, although it is not a covered space nor do they provide electricity. I need to go see them about it today but have tried to get the mattress people to urge them to get the set to me 1st thing. No luck so far.

Cell phone coverage here is pretty bad, and I will look into a land phone line plus broadband. Right now I'm using the antenna plus aircard and found a spot in the living room where it works fairly well. Unfortunately it isn't a spot where I would want to set up permanently.

I still have to make many trips to the RV - so far don't have any of my clothes here. I can still get things when it is in storage I guess, but I'd sure like to make a trip or two today. One bad thing from yesterday is that when driving from Cal Expo to here I kept noticing something in my right eye - the one already operated on - I kept thinking my hair was hanging down in my field of vision, and then noticed I was seeing what looked like a smudge on my glasses now and then. I wasn't wearing glasses by the way. Not too sure what that is all about and I hope it goes away.

Nothing more to write just now, but I might post again later this evening. I've gotten over my panic and the need to get it all done in one day, and I'm just going to be content with doing what I can. If it was just up to me I could do a lot more but I don't like it when I have to wait on others, especially with deliveries. When I spend my cash on something major I think they could at least get it to me when promised.