Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Friday, January 28, 2011

Problems with blogger

Every now and then I will go to a blog entry, and the header is there but no daily entry. And more often than not, I don't get all the photos that are posted with an entry. Sometimes I get a few of the pictures, and at others there are references to the pics but just a couple of blank spaces where the photo should go.

Since I'm sort of winding down and can't keep my mind focused on much of anything, I am not going to post to my blog very often until after my surgery, and I will probably not read the blogs regularly. I'm just sitting at home worrying that I'm coming down with something serious. I have developed a cough that is going deep into my chest, and I hope it isn't from the fire & smoke in Arizona or the mold here in my apartment. I think maybe I don't stand much of a chance at escaping problems from one or the other.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I fixed the printer!

I wanted to return the printer to Staples today to see if they could figure out what was wrong with it. I'm glad I didn't embarrass myself by taking it there. I couldn't find the receipt, so I checked the installation instructions and found that there is a troubleshooting guide on the CD. Sure 'nuf, there was a paper jam. As I was going through all the possibilities and it kept mentioning "paper jam", I was getting aggravated and repeating "There IS NO paper jam".

When I took out the paper tray and toner cartridge from the front, and opened the door in the back, I definitely saw the paper lying there, but went to get a flashlight just to make sure! It wasn't too difficult to remove it without tearing it to pieces, and once I got the printer back together and all doors closed, the blue "Ready" light came on. I used to believe the wisdom of "When all else fails, read the instructions.", but lately I don't even have the patience to do that. Maybe if I had a booklet in my hands instead of having to move back and forth to the computer screen?

I'm worn out from all that work, plus the fact that I got up early this morning in order to make the trip to Staples (about 3 or 4 miles), so the couch looks very inviting right now. I think it's nap time.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Heavy Fog not good for driving!

I had to be downtown at 10:00 a.m. this morning and the fog was very heavy. The GPS kept trying to get me on the freeway, but I continued along Folsom Blvd which runs roughly parallel to it. I hate going to this med center because of the metered on-street parking, combined with some very compliance-minded meter personnel. But I got my EKG and since I would have to wait for a while at the lab for the potassium test, I got a list of their neighborhood clinics. I went to one not far from home, and was in and out in about 10 minutes total. I love it when that happens.

I am getting edgy and distracted, and it will probably get worse during the next 3 weeks. I will be more relaxed when I figure out how I'm going to get to the surgery center by 8:30 in the morning; who will pick me up; and who will take me back the next day for the 1st post-op check. Everyone I know is either working by that time, or has children & babies, and I don't intend to cause such an inconvenience with the kids. None of them like being strapped in those horrible carriers anyway, and I don't need to hear the yelling before undergoing surgery. For 2 cents I would drive myself there, but then someone would have to pick me up after the surgery, and then come back to pick up my truck.

I have always hated to impose on anyone and would do anything to not have to ask someone to go out of their way. I also don't like to ride or drive on the horrible Cap City freeway, and since the surgery center is right off it, most people would go out of their way to take a freeway rather than stop for a couple of traffic lights on the city streets - it's a straight shot over the streets. I really fear for my life when on that particular freeway - just what I need before undergoing surgery.

I'll get it all worked out in the end, but right now it's causing me a lot of stress. I would almost prefer to increase my alcohol consumption to try to avoid worrying, but find myself not even wanting to drink - maybe one beer in the evening. If you wonder how I can make a 12 oz beer last all evening, I will say that I take very small sips. I figured out that the sips approximately correspond to the draws I would love to be taking on a few cigarettes! You'd be surprised how many drags are in a bottle of beer. It works for me, although I still crave smokes from the time I get up in the morning, but of course I don't drink beer then, just coffee. :}

I am having printer troubles again, with both printers, and boxed up the one I've been using to take back to Staples tomorrow. Now I just have to find the receipt. I tried everything I could think of including complete re-installation, but nothing works. All I get is that red flashing error light. Running it through the basic system check it seems that I have plenty of toner, and if I didn't the toner light would start glowing. I'm fed up with it and wish I could get by without one. For the most part I can, and do, but there are those odd times when you really need to print something. They just don't make them like they used to, and I will always believe that the more functions, buttons, lights, little screens etc., that they add to the machine, just makes it more likely that something will go wrong. I know most people don't agree and like all the bells and whistles, but I don't!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I hoisted myself up on top of the down featherbed last night, and pulled the down comforter over me. I was smothered in down and was probably warmer than a Canada goose! In a couple of hours I woke up feeling like I was in the tropics, so off came the comforter. I usually toss that at night and just sleep under a sheet - I have no heat in the bedroom, so you can imagine how chilly it can get, but I sleep warm. The featherbed is overkill, and my mattress is so comfortable just as it is, so I think I'm going to remove the featherbed and save it for the truck camper. No way will I ever be able to get the feathers compressed and rolled back into the bag it came in though.

Have any readers tried to convert old cassette tapes to CD's? There are various devices out there ranging from about $60 and up into the hundreds, that will do the conversion, or you can send them to a service that converts them for about $10 a tape. At that rate it would be much cheaper to buy the device and do it yourself. My problem is the wide range of devices and what they do or don't do - I just want plain and simple conversion so I can listen to favorite old tapes. I'm not trying to get them to sound like they were recorded yesterday. Some of the best music is on tapes that have all kinds of sounds in the background, i.e., Jerry Garcia's "Pizza Tapes".

Speaking of quality of recording I have read several articles lately about how the old vinyl recordings are superior to the newer and more perfect CD's. I wonder if you take out all the imperfections you are left with a sound so perfect as to be sterile? It's sort of like the difference in the sounds from a saxaphone or guitar that are electrified as compared to acoustic instruments. I like the little squeaks, and especially on the sax you can actually hear "the breath of life".

Back to converting old tapes, I guess my best bet is to find someone with an old boom box (or buy one myself) that can play the tapes as well as record them to CD. Those old boxes were so big and unwieldy, and I know I've gotten rid of a few when I was downsizing a couple of times in my life. It just goes to show that no matter what you throw away or otherwise dispose of, you will eventually have a need for it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Just another day

There really hasn't been anything to blog about lately. The biggest thing in my life is that my featherbed arrived, and is it ever heavy! I originally bought it thinking I would use it in the truck camper, but figure I might as well put it on my bed here at home and enjoy it for the next couple of months. I'm waffling about trying to sell my truck + camper as a total package. I guess I should wait to see how well I do with the surgery, but right now I wonder if I'll ever be able to travel in an RV again. I should at least try an extended trip with the TC though, and maybe I'll get to like it all over again. The way I feel about it right now, it's brought me nothing but bad luck. Maybe that's not a rational way to look at it, but who says I have to be rational?

I think I have one hummingbird left who visits the feeder. He lets me know when it needs refilling - I can almost hear him pleading.

After I wrote this I took a drive over to see how Lance-A-Lot is doing. Still about the same - waiting for warm enough temps to reseal the front window. The battery is dead, so possibly I left a light on the last time I was there? I really don't know, but I'm thinking about replacing the battery with an AGM eventually. I brought the bed sheet back to wash since the top part of it had gotten damp from the leak.

There seemed to be a lot more small RV's in my section this trip - I saw lots of truck campers, a couple of Minnie Winnies, and a spiffy looking Roadtrek 190. Nothing I feel I could live in though.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

At Home

I started for home at about 10 a.m. this morning. Stopped at the Goodwill Donation Center with a printer that I had thrown in my truck to get rid of, and the two guys working the donations were absolutely in love with my truck. They kept circling it and noticing various features; one of the guys asked if he could look inside, and of course I said ok. One of them wanted to buy it, but I told him if and when I sell it will go as a package with the camper.

I got milk and 1/2 & 1/2 to bring back home, and on impulse bought some chocolate chip cookie mix. I have never in my life used a cookie mix before, and I hope they taste good enough that I can eat all 3 dozen!

When I walked in the door this morning I was hit by a blast of arctic air! Every window in the place was open, I guess to get rid of the odors from the new tile? They still have to paint, and while I thought they would just paint the wall where the cut-outs were, they can't match it to the original paint so they are going to do the entire thing.

I probably should have waited another day, but a week was all Lady and I could manage right now. I miss those little girls desperately, though.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Back home tomorrow?

I stopped by my apartment this morning and found the blower gone, the wall patched up and ready to be painted, and the bad smell gone. The manager said they will replace the floor tile today and it won't take long at all to paint, so I'm hoping to be back in tomorrow. The test is reportedly not showing any signs of mold.

I have enjoyed being here at my daughter's house, but I need to be back in my own place soon, and Lady needs to be back as well.

I received a message from my doctor saying that she is scheduling a potassium test and EKG for me, so when those are finished it will just be a matter of waiting for the surgery on Feb. 15th. I want to get it over and done with, and get back to planning my next trip.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I made a quick trip back to the apartment this morning, and took Lady along so we could walk on our regular route. I took a couple of photos of the holes in the bathroom walls and the large blower that is drying (hopefully) everything out. The bathroom feels and sounds like a tornado is rushing through.

I'm ready to be back in my own place, and I will check with them on Monday to see when the remedial work is going to begin. Once they get rid of the mold, or spray it with whatever they use, then I'd like to move back in if possible. I don't think the repair work will bother me too much, and I can always take the dog somewhere for a long walk.

Friday, January 14, 2011

1st surgery scheduled

I will have the first cornea transplant on my left eye, on Feb. 15th. Recovery can take from just a few weeks to a year, but I'm going to plan on mine taking a few weeks! I learned a lot about the cornea this morning, that it consists of several layers. A total transplant is the cornea in all its thicknesses, but in my case, they will take out the bottom-most layer, the endothelium, and replace it with a donor layer. No sutures are required, and it will take a day or two for it to adhere firmly - it is initially held in place by an air bubble that gets absorbed. I saw a brief video about the entire operation, and wanted to cry as it left me with such hope. If it works I will have a whole new outlook and be able to see so much more than I have in the past year or two.

They took photos of both corneas, and it's a wonder I can see anything at all just looking at the condition of them. So if I've whined or complained about my eyesight in the past year, it's not without reason. But this is the end of whining and complaining about it. What happens is how it will be, and I'm willing to go into this operation with utmost hope and positive attitude. I can't do any more than that.

The scheduling is going to shoot the hell out of making travel plans. From the literature I've received, they will want to do a follow up check in one week, 6, 12 and 24 months. I should be able to drive shortly after surgery, so if all goes well I may be able to slip a trip in to the east sometime in April, but I would have to be back in the fall for a check-up. I had hoped to set up a workamping arrangement, but that should be the least of my worries until I see how things go.

If my apartment is back in livable condition I will plan to stay there and maybe request a two month extension on my lease. It would take more energy than I have presently to look for another place to live for a couple of months, and staying with any of my kids for that long is out of the question. I'm confident things will work out the way they are meant to, and I really don't have to make a decision until after my surgery in Feb.

Now I just have to schedule an EKG and a potassium test, which is all they require for this surgery.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Temporary Move- 2nd post Wed., 1/12

I'm packed up to leave and will be staying at Jeannie's for a couple of days at least. They have brought in a huge blower motor that needs to run for 48 hours, or MORE, to dry out the moisture inside the walls. It was much worse than they thought, and is because of a damaged waste pipe - all the waste from upstairs was seeping down and some ran into my bathroom. Yuk!!!

When it has dried sufficiently they will bring in teams from companies that will clean and sanitize the entire wall cavity, as well as my entire bathroom. One of the companies does cleaning up after fire, water damage, etc., and has lots of experience. We had such a company after our house was damaged by fire and water back in the 1980's, and I know they do a good and thorough job. They are going to test for residual mold as well, and will determine the severity of the problem. The fix will have to meet health standards. I won't be able to sleep with the noise of the blower, so they offered to pay my motel if I wanted to stay at one - I would prefer to stay at Jeannie's and the dog will be much more comfortable out in their backyard. (An added plus in Donald's cooking, plus being with my darling granddaughters.)

The management will also pay for the electricity to run this giant blower!

I hate to think of living out of a suitcase for a few days, but there isn't much choice. I should have know that the happy and joyous energy around the time of my birthday in November would only go downhill! I sure hope it is bottoming out now.


Dressed for the arctic conditions in my apartment, I went out this morning into temps getting close to 50°. Going in to a couple of warm stores made me feel even warmer. I actually saw a guy walking along in t-shirt and shorts! Sacramentans sometimes remind me of Minnesotans, but I'm not sure why - maybe they dress crazy for the weather. I suppose crazy to me is normal to most everyone else, and vice versa! I'm really just joshin' ya, all you wonderful Minnesotans and Sacramentans.

As to the cold apartment, you can imagine if I don't even have to run air conditioning in the summer it is going to be on the cold side during winter.

I had a talk with the apartment manager this morning. By now there is a plumbing expert here, and I don't know what they are doing in there but it sounds like a section of the wall is coming out. I strongly suggested they remove a section on the end wall because I'm sure rotted wood is behind it. He told me they would have someone check for the presence of mold. I can actually smell it all the way into the living room. I'm not going to tell those guys how to do their jobs, but I think they should be wearing masks when going into a section of wall that is obviously full of wood rot and mold. I should probably have a mask just living here.

Several readers have suggested that I leave here right away, but I have no place to go. I would need to find another place and pack up and move or store my belongings, none of which I feel capable of doing right now. Friday's visit to the eye surgeon will determine my next move, as well as future plans. I can't even stay in my camper until the weather is warm enough to reseal the window!

I didn't end up going out last night, but turned my phone off and took a benadryl tablet, and went to sleep shortly after 8 pm. I slept pretty well and felt great this morning.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Where is the leak?

The maintenance guy is here this afternoon - cut a section out of the sheetrock to try to determine if the leak is coming from upstairs or from an outside source. He left for a few minutes and I went into the bathroom - the smell of moldy rotten wood nearly knocked me over. I hope he has a fix for that because I'm afraid to breathe it, especially when I'm hopeful of having surgery soon. All I need now is a lung problem.

I know the rest of the country is having a cold spell also, but at 45F in the middle of the day I am freezing! Even at 25 or so during the night I'm ok most of the night because of my down comforter. I just ordered a down featherbed and should be getting it within a few days. I originally wanted to get one for the truck camper, but I think I will use it on my bed here and just move it over to the TC when I need to. It will make the bed considerably warmer, as well as make the TC mattress softer and more comfortable to me.

Today is my youngest sister's birthday, and her oldest daughter Katy, came home from NY over the weekend to be here; that was the day my granddaughter left for college, but I managed to get a picture of the two of them. They are both sweet as can be and I love being around them. We will have birthday cake at Amy's this evening, and I can't wait to see another of Donald's creations.

According to maintenance, there is no water coming in from the outside. They tried to arouse Guitar Boy upstairs to enter his apartment and run the water in the bathroom to see if it is coming downstairs, but he must be sleeping something off. They said if he doesn't answer in a couple of hours they will enter the apartment. Meanwhile, they will bring a blower try to dry some of it out, although I'm not sure if that will alleviate the odor or the mold. For me, 2010 was not a good year health-wise, and 2011 doesn't look good so far. I may have to do something like Tioga George, wave goodbye to the doctors and medicines, and take off for Mexico!

I just spilled cookie crumbs all over the kitchen floor. Lady was there in a flash, and cleaned that floor so well I won't have to mop for a week! She's versatile, I'll have to say that for her. She does as good a job on cookie crumbs as she does on bacon grease!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Results of blood tests

Nearly everything came back ok except for any test relating to blood count and anemia. I started taking an iron supplement today but worry that eye surgery could be held up if I'm determined to be over whatever limit they have for being anemic. I will be a nervous wreck by Friday morning, when I see the eye surgeon.

Nothing like self-diagnosis, but I did a lot of online research today. The tests showed what is considered "mild" anemia. Anemia can be caused by continued use of aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and others. I have taken maximum doses of ibuprofen and naproxen since my fall in early December, probably enough to cause mild anemia. I stopped taking all that stuff a couple of days ago, and since I'm taking an iron supplement now, I'm going to try being positive and tap in to the power of my mind to get me back on track!

I think if I have to wait several weeks before surgery I am going to get my camper mounted on the truck and take off for someplace within 100-200 miles. Otherwise I won't be able to stand the wait.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cold Night Ahead

I just looked at my desktop weather gadget and note that it is going to a low of 28° tonight, so I will have to dress warm when I walk Lady in the morning. I'm ready for some daytime temps in the 60's range, but that probably won't happen for a while. My little Lasko heater is getting a workout, for sure.

Every now and then I get to longing for a workamping assignment, and that has been happening lately. I want to see something of New Mexico, so I'm looking at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. If any readers have worked there, please let me know how it is. I had thought of that back when I was 5th wheeling, but the description of the roads to get there made me decide against it. I think I could easily do it in a truck camper.

I'd love to get something back in the east, but nearly everything I see back there is for camp hosts and I don't want to do that again. Of course there is always Ft. Pulaski and no doubt some other civil war battlefields in the southeast. It's all wishful thinking at this point, but sometimes that can keep a person going until it's time for action.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Beyond the Haze!

I took a dose of my prescribed pain killer about an hour before bedtime last night. I can't say that I notice enough of a difference to waste a pill on it, so I'm not going to take any more right now. I will probably need whatever I can get if and when my eyes are operated on, so I might as well not get used to it right now when I don't really need it.

For some reason, and although it has been cold and foggy most of the day, I feel terrific and the sun is shining on me! Things are looking up and I'm hopeful about what the future holds. Can't do much better than that, can ya?

I've been thinking a lot about what I can do to alleviate the most serious problems with the Lance, and the most critical is, of course, the propane tank and its placement on the camper. I've been wondering about attaching a "porch" to the truck/camper - I've seen photos of them carrying propane tanks, coolers, what not - but I suppose a lot depends on the type of camper and the configuration of systems. I'd also like to have two batteries instead of just one, but rewiring is probably more trouble than it's worth. And now that I finally have a rig that I can back up I don't need to mess with extending it, especially since my depth perception isn't 100%.

You can see that my future holds travel plans, and I just can hope that they will work out. I'm sure tired of being stationery, but I will just bide my time.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

In a haze

I took the new prescription medicine last night but hardly slept a wink, partly because I had napped during the day. That always messes up my sleep time. Early this morning Jeannie drove me to the lab where I donated several vials of blood. On the way back we stopped for coffee and croissants, and then I slept about 4 hours after I got home. That doesn't bode well for tonight.

I'll take the narcotic meds again, but I think it's turning out to be a joke. I don't feel much pain, that's true, but I was really hoping to get something that would help me sleep through the night. I still haven't found anything to equal a Benadryl tablet, and it is non-narcotic!

From time to time I read about RVers having major leaks in their rigs, and I'm always relieved I never faced that with my 5th wheel. But I certainly didn't expect to get up in the middle of the night, walk into the bathroom at 1:30 am to the floor completely covered with water! The maintenance man has been inundated with water problems for the past few weeks, most of which are evidently caused by the faulty drainage from the apartment complex next door. They run their sprinkler system at night, and I was no doubt experiencing some of the drainage. I keep telling the management that it's going to cause big problems down the road if they don't fix it soon. I'm sure there is wood rot in some of the walls because of the discolored water that drains out to one side of the room.

So with three months left on the lease I really don't know what to do. If I was capable to traveling I would just tell the management here that I can't live with the leaks and want out of my lease with no penalty. I think I would stand a good chance of getting that, but facing possible eye surgery within the next month of so, I don't have anywhere else to go. Dang!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Getting my life back

I'm determined to regain control of my life, but it will take some time and can't happen overnight. I visited my doctor this morning, and she told me that my lower spine is undoubtedly bruised severely, it will take as long to heal as a fracture. So that means a few more weeks of pain and discomfort. She prescribed a strong pain medication, but I doubt if I will take much of it. Sometimes the cure is worse than the pain.

I was really relieved when she told me my lungs sound fine. I was as worried about the detrimental affects of toxic smoke inhalation as I was about my spine. So I will just put up with a little discomfort now and then and hope it eventually goes away.

I'll be going back tomorrow to have blood work done since I didn't fast this morning. I knew I should have but wanted my coffee and a bite to eat.

My sister Julie left this morning to go back to the Bay area, and she will catch her flight back to Florida on Sunday. That's the same day Ara is leaving for college. I've really enjoyed being with them, and regret that I missed family gatherings the past two evenings because I felt so awful.

So the goal is to get all the health issues taken care of and then decide what I want to do about traveling. As I mentioned I have negative feelings about the truck camper now. That may be irrational, but I haven't had a truly good day since I got it, and I'm going to wait and see how my outlook is in a couple of months. If I decide to sell it I will sell the truck with it, and get myself some sort of Class C. That's what I should have done in the very first place, but I listened to everyone who touted 5th wheels.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Visit to the eye surgeon

I'm ready to do whatever it takes to get my sight back to normal, so I agreed to endothelial transplants. They will be done one at a time, as opposed to both eyes at once. The normal recuperation rate is approximately 2 weeks, although I will no doubt be somewhat restricted for a while after that. I will be having a surgical eye specialist do the transplants, as my surgeon says it is a relatively new and innovative procedure and this doctor is one of very few in the country with experience. That's fine with me.

My hope is that I can be able to travel by the beginning or middle of April, if possible. My doctor understands how important it is to me to be able to travel, and his prognosis is very positive. I have always said that no matter how down I am feeling when I walk into their clinic, my heart is singing by the time I leave. Both Dr. Joe and Dr. Jim have that effect on me, and right now I'm in the most hopeful of moods.

Now if the visit to the family physician goes as well when I see her on Wednesday . . . I've been studying my maps this morning and the possible routes depending on the weather, month, etc.

Now if I just hadn't become a little nervous about the truck camper. I will be in a panic every time I have to get propane, and I certainly wouldn't even think of trying to do it myself. It's enough to make me wish I'd kept my fifth wheel.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Today is g'daughter Alyssa's 3rd birthday. Autumn asked her a couple of days ago what kind of cake she wanted and Alyssa replied, "A purple dress!" So here is Donald's offering.