Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

First test result

I just received a call about the results of the chest xray. It shows "a widening of the chest". Who knows what that means, but I can hope that maybe my boobs are growing!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Taking a break

I decided to forgo the blog until I feel better and have something good to say. As soon as that happens I will be back in blogland.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Update, 2nd post 3/26

With all the comments I received suggesting that I might have Valley Fever, I decided at 5:30 pm to drive to an Urgent Care center about 6 miles from here. I've been there before, and really like and trust the staff. A chest xray didn't really show anything, so they suggested a blood test which would determine if I have the "whatever it is", although I don't think it's a bacterial disease. Since I started feeling bad yesterday I haven't eaten much at all, and consequently I haven't been drinking enough water, so I'm probably dehydrated.

After two techs and 4 tries they couldn't draw blood, so I have a paper to take to a lab tomorrow and have the blood drawn. In the meantime I'm going to drink lots of water, so I will probably have to get up every hour during the night - not much rest in store for me!

I came out of the Urgent Care at 8:30 pm, and of course it was dark by then. I don't like to drive in the dark at all, and considered calling my daughter to pick me up. I decided to drive myself since I will need to get to the lab tomorrow. I think my parking lot is probably the worst, although I have trouble with turns - it is nearly impossible for me to see concrete islands, and the lanes aren't marked very well. I sure wish they would use more highly reflective paint on the streets, but they won't.

So thanks to everyone who commented on my post and urged me to consider the possibility of Valley Fever. I doubt that I have it, but at least I should get a definitive answer. I can say that I will never again drive through or spend time in Arizona, and will try to avoid spending much time in New Mexico as well. I suppose it affects people differently because there are certainly enough RVers who love it there. I just seem to have had terrible luck while I was there which clouds my perspective. I don't mean to offend anyone by saying that, but it is just how I feel.

I'm still hangin' in there

But just barely. I got the cough and chest congestion back - feel the same as I did a couple weeks before the transplant. Then I worried it might have something to do with inhaling the toxic smoke and fumes from the camper fire in Arizona, but I got over it ok so just figured it was a result of allergies.

Yesterday I ached so bad that I never did get dressed, and slept off and on all day. I'm taking a cough syrup with codeine, and Benadryl tablets which really help me rest, and I hope I get over it soon - whatever "it" is. I'm not ready to waste time going to the doctor and I couldn't drive there if I wanted to. I'll be ok in a day or two, but I just wanted to let you know why I'm not posting.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I could be lighting up soon!

Naw, I'm not going back to smoking (although I plan to smoke again when I get old). I just read that a small radiation plume from Japan has been detected in Sacramento, "but officials say it poses no threat". This is from a New York Times article, and is reported by European officials today. Should I believe what I'm told by European officials, is a very frightening piece of news if it is true, but is downplayed by unidentified officials as posing no risk. So if I seem to have a glow about me, maybe that's because I am a hot radioactive mama!

There is so much I could add to this but I promised myself I would stay away from controversial subjects. Just say that I am willing to give up my few technological toys in exchange for the worldwide ban on nuclear energy. That should come as a surprise to nobody!

It is so very nice having my laptop back with it's regular keyboard. Just a question to those of you who might be using a tiny Microsoft computer similar to the iPad - I think one commenter mentioned a Netbook. Not that I want a Netbook or anything like it, but I want a justification for keeping my Dell 19" monitor. I love that monitor and am not going to give it away when I finally part with the Dell computer.

After a brief respite with a couple of warm days it has turned cold and rainy again. Weather has become so erratic and unpredictable the past few years so anything can happen, but normally the rainy season should soon be over. Then by May if I'm not out of Sacramento, you will hear me cryin' about the heat.

Spring must be close because I'm getting a strong urge to get outdoors in the mountains, preferably the Appalachians.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Back to normal

I picked up my Mac from the Apple Store, and then drove to the Verizon Store where I returned the iPad. The trial for a week was expensive because I had to pay a $70 restocking fee, but now I have a definite opinion on the iPad. It is wonderful in many aspects, and as I mentioned previously, if you are comfortable texting on your cell phone you would be ok with the iPad and would probably love it. For most keyboardists however, it isn't easy to get used to, and you have to want to get used to it. I didn't.

I can't say enough for the Apple Store. I have never been in one that didn't have a good number of employees who really want to answer your questions and sell you their products. Quite unlike walking into some stores, and I'm thinking of MY experiences in Best Buy, where two salesmen won't interrupt their conversation with each other in order to help you. Apple employees seem to be enthusiastic about the products they sell, and that enthusiasm creates some really positive energy which you can notice when you enter the store. I will add that the Verizon Store in Birdcage Mall (Sacramento) has the same competent and enthusiastic employees, and it is a good experience walking into that atmosphere.

I would like to thank all the readers who commented on my trials and tribulations with the iPad, and I especially appreciate all the suggestions. I struggled with the decision whether to keep or return it, but in the end it was just too much money for a toy I wouldn't be using constantly.

I tried to get a decent photo of the iPad up against my Dell monitor but it was difficult to avoid the reflection of the flash.

No word yet

I took all the paperwork with me today, but no call about my laptop. I got my hair cut and then stopped by Jeannie's on my way home. They arrived back from the east coast last night after a wonderful two weeks there. They got a rental car at the Pittdburg airport and drove by Ara's college to pick her up as it was her spring break. They spent time visiting family in NY and Northern VA, and then visited some of Donald's family in Norfolk. They set it up so the pictures run as a slide show on their big screen tv, and I enjoyed seeing it all.

After seeing the pictures taken in Washington DC I realize I'm ready to go back for a visit. They had wonderful weather, mostly mild with a day or two of showers. I certainly couldn't cover that much ground in two weeks, but I could have when I was their age. It's good to have them back, and Jeannie and I are going go make an early morning trip downtown this Sunday to the farmer's market,

Every time I read something I typed on this thing I see many errors. This is after proofreading it and making corrections, but I still don't catch all the typing errors. They are typing errors, and not spell errors, I want emphasize. This thing is definitely going back. Several people have written me about a keyboard for the iPad, but that would negate everything I like about it, mainly the size and portability. if I have to buy stuff to make it usable, after already spending a bomb on it, then I will never get my money's worth of use from it.

I realize one thing and that is I'm so glad I bought the Mac laptop. Even though I don't have to deal with the XP, Vista or Windows 7, and I cannot access the Internet on the desktop, I constantly get notices popping up about updates, security patches, and my security system needs to be updated. About once a month or 6 weeks I get a notice about an update to a program on my Mac, whereas I remember being gone for about 6 weeks when I lived in NC, and When I got back I had 23 security patches waiting for me to download and install. I know we all have our preferences, and I am extremely happy with the Mac.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Time for heavy duty rain gear!

It's time to get out the Wellington boots and other rain gear as the 10 day forecast features rain for 9 out of those 10. Even Lady doesn't want to stay out for long.

I'm getting my hair trimmed tomorrow, and since it is not far from the Apple Store I will take the paperwork with me in case they call to say my laptop is ready. I am certainly ready for it. I am still wavering on the iPad, although I will no doubt try to return it. I am surprised that I like it as well as I do, but that has more to do with ease of carrying it around, and the fact that I can turn it on, check for email, and turn it back off within a matter of seconds. The salesman is a charmer, and all of the techs at the Verizon store are enthusiastic about the products they sell, and it is obvious they enjoy their work.

If the cost was about half of what it is I might consider it, but there is no way I can justify the money I would spend for the usage I would put it to. And the plain truth is that I don't need it, Since I always drive alone there is no way I could look something up while on the road. My lazy bnavigator sleeps in the back of the cab most of the time.

Before this drama with computers I actually looked at a few TV's. I just looked and was a long way from buying, but I am glad I don't have one right now. I would be glued to the TV for news of the disaster in Japan. What really scares me is the fact that the same thing could happen here, and not just on the West Coast. In my lifetime the nation of Japan has been devastated by two nuclear disasters. It is almost too much to think about.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The iPad

I have a few comments about this special piece of technology, and I thought I would share them today,

First of all, it is a beautiful little item, and it's a pure delight to carry it around the house. It fits so perfectly sitting on the palm of my hand, and is extremely lightweight. When you turn it on, it powers up much more quickly than any computer I've ever used. The device measures 9-1/2 by 7-1/2, although the actual usable part of the screen is about 7-1/2 x 5-1/2. It is easy to zoom in or out.

My main problem is the type pad. I learned to type way back in high school, and my skill at it became very highly developed. I have never lost those skills and to this day I don't look at the keyboard when I type. With the iPad you have to look. Letters, and some punctuation marks are on one screen labeled the "ABC" screen. You must go to the "123" screen for the.numbers and the rest of the punctuation. it becomes more intuitive as you type and automatically switches to the proper screen in some cases, It will also correct some spelling/typing errors, although not all.

It is not possible to "rest your fingers" on the keyboard, so you cannot tell where you are except by looking continuously. That is a big aggravation for me. If you use the texting feature on your cell phone and actually like it, then you should feel very comfortable using the iPad and quickly become acclimated. I don't text at all, because my thumbs operate the space bar and no other keys. To text a
one-line message takes me forever.

It is an expensive piece of equipment unless you learn to love it and use it, which I never will, so I plan to return it sometime this week. But if you have even considered it, then I would say go for it. You will probably love it. I would love it except that I know myself well enough to realize I would never get used to the keypad.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I guess I'm a dinosaur

This morning I was at the Verizon store Shortly after opening time to return the iPad2. I know I will never get used to this keyboard, nor will I ever learn to like it. But the salesman who did such a good job selling it to me convinced me I haven't given it enough time. so I came back home with it. I decided I will take it with me when I pick up my Mac, and if they will sync my photos and music, I might keep it. I have 14 days to decide.

In it's favor is the size and weight. It is perfect to carry along when the weight of a laptop is cumbersome. I know however that my main use will be as a backup for email, as it isn't exactly easy to surf the web. The worst part is that I need an iTunes account to get additional Apps' and that includes Firefox. It is set up so that you can't download Firefox except through iTunes, even though it is free.

My big gripe with getting an iTunes account is that you have to give them a credit card number. Maybe you must do the same with a Paypal account, which is why I've always stayed away from Paypal. I'm adamant about it and exceedingly stubborn. My feeling is that there Are a lot of folks who feel the same way I do, but cave in - Why fight City Hall? Well I don't believe in a leaving a credit card account sitting out there open-ended, and I ain't gonna do it!

I'll be glad to get my laptop back, and i'm so glad I have a Mac. Just setting up my desktop and dealing with Windows has me convinced I never want to go. back to it. I'm sure those who have gotten comfortable with windows 7 feel the same way about their preference, and that's fine. Competition helps us all in the long run.

I realize that to reduce the size of the unit and to keep it lightweight and portable the keypad must be greatly reduced. But I hate it and will never like making all the typing errors that I make.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Who's a dinosaur?

I dropped the MAC at the apple store yesterday, and should get it back in 3-5 days. Naturally the old desktop doesn't work with the miff, so that left me up the proverbial creek! This morning I went to the verizon store where i bought the MiFi, and walked out with an iPad. I'll try not to grumble about the keyboard, but it isn't easy for someone who has always been a touch typist. Lots of spelling and ting errors are coming up.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Leaving the laptop at Apple

I tried to phone for an appointment today, but all I got was a garbled voice message. The distortion made it so I couldn't understand what they were saying, although I did get the idea that I couldn't speak to a real person. So I will just drive over to the Apple store some morning and see what they can do.

In anticipation of having to leave it there for a few days, I deleted all my history. But there is the feature that remembers when you start to enter a web address. Great! Now to figure out how to get rid of that. I also have a doc file with all my passwords and userid's - some very important ones and others that I'll probably never use again. You know how it is - no matter what website you go to they want you to register. I don't unless I have to.

I will move the doc file from the computer to a flash drive, and hope that it isn't accessible to someone who knows more about current technology than I do. God forbid that I have to change all my passwords! I think I would quit computing.

Are there other steps I should take? I can't believe that some young tech would pore over an old lady's computer in hopes of finding anything useful, but since I do a lot of banking online my account is the one thing I am concerned with. Suggestions welcome.

The 70° day turned out to be downgraded to a 64° day, and the 10-day forecast calls for temps in the 60's with lots of rainy days and a couple of sunny ones. I won't complain, especially since when the rains stop in this part of the country you can just see the earth dry out, and you can notice the same parched look on your skin.

It's time to fix my dinner. Since the local spinach crops are plentiful now, I can't get enough of it, so that is on my menu along with potatos and chicken tenderloin that has been marinating for the last couple hours.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

More info on LPG tanks

Because I was so curious as to the reason for the tanks being on opposite sides, I posted a question on RV-net forum. The most common response was that it was to accommodate the folks who want a big pass-through storage, and setting the individual tanks on opposite sides provides more space for such storage.

As I mentioned in a previous post, one learns to look at RVs with a more critical eye after one has owned and lived in one, and of course, each person has his or her own unique critical eye. For me, pass through storage was not an issue, the same as an on-board washer/dryer would never be an issue with me. Some folks however, wouldn't want to be without one.

The forum responses included a lot of posts from those who say they only remove one tank at a time when it runs out, and get it refilled immediately. This insures they will never be without propane. Once I figured out how to read the red/green indicators I never had a problem with running out. When I thought I was low in the 2nd tank I opened the bay at least once a day to check. For me it was so much of an effort to carry the empties to the truck bed, and then to get the full tanks down from the bed and carry them to the storage bay and lift them up into place, I didn't want to have to make the effort until it was necessary. I'd rather do two of them once a month than one every two weeks. Considering a full tank was about 1/3 of my bodyweight, I think I did damn well to even carry a full tank! I'd switch out the propane tanks twice a week rather than have to empty the waste tanks though. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes as well as preferences, and no one need apologize for something they enjoy doing, or hate with a passion!

I finally got to Petsmart today to buy dog food. A 30# bag was $49.99, and it had a pull off sticker-coupon for $7 off the price. I was surprised when the clerk told me it would be $47.36. The tax alone came to $4.37! I have been looking for a good dog food with little or no grain fillers, and this seems to be agreeable with Lady. But I don't know if I can spend that much on her food.

Another thing I noticed is that none of the dog food brands seem to carry any dry foods that contain beef. You can get chicken, turkey, salmon, lamb, and even wild meat such as bison or elk (very expensive). I don't know what the deal is with beef. I eat very little of it myself, but it is supposedly healthy for dogs. I'm also seeing a lot more vegetarian dog foods on the shelves. The people who buy this stuff obviously don't look up the facts on what a healthy dog needs, and it's NOT a vegetarian diet.

I'm enjoying a little foray into the outside world now and then, although I don't enjoy being in the stores. For some reason the overhead lighting nearly blinds me and I can't see anything beyond a short distance. I really notice it in a grocery or a Target - I can't figure out what is on the shelves in a particular aisle because of the intense glare. I plan to stay home for a while now - no need to go anywhere. A look at my checking account tells me to slow down as well.

In the middle of days in the 60° range, tomorrow is forecast to be a heavenly 70! Just one day though, to give us a taste of spring and then it's back to the 60's. In every direction the trees are beginning to flower. Sacramento will really be beautiful by next week with all the blossoming trees.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I read yesterday's post several times, and tweaked it a few times before publishing, but I should have known better than to include a reference to something I know nothing about! I'm speaking of propane tanks, and more specifically, the tanks in Class A and Class C motorhomes. They have to be filled on site and can't be removed and taken to a propane station for filling. I knew that, but that's about all I know of motorhomes.

At the RV sales lot on Saturday I would venture to say that it was mostly 5th wheels, or at least that's what Susan was looking for. I began to notice that the door to the LPG bay was rather small compared to what I had on my 2004 hitchhiker. As we walked around the units I found that an identical LPG bay was located on the other side of the RV, and I began to open the doors on a number of 5vers to take a look. Each bay held one large tank, and I could never figure out what is going on that the two tanks are separated as they are. I thought I remembered seeing the same smaller LPG doors on the Class A's but I was no doubt mistaken. So to all the commenters who have motorhomes, point taken. I could say that I just wanted to see if you were awake, and the answer is a resounding YES!

I just looked up a the Keystone Montana website, and while nearly all their photos are of the interior, here is a link to the exterior which shows what I mean. This is a bay for a single tank: http://keystone-montana.com/index.php?page=gallery (The TV is sitting in the pass through storage, I suppose in case you are sitting outside with the storage bay door in the open position and want to watch tv. The LPG door is to the right of that.)

I finally got the oil changed in the truck this morning, and a new air filter. I'm sure the environment in the Arizona desert results in a shorter life for the air filter. I had planned to go have my tires checked, but never got that far. Of a list of about 8 places I needed to go, I only crossed off two of them when I got home. Maybe I'll make another attempt tomorrow, as I need to visit the storage lot and try to get some decent interior pictures of the camper.

I also got a couple of comments to the effect that if I have to drag out the desktop computer I should probably get rid of it. I know I should, even though it has a couple of programs that I like and that don't work on the MAC. I could solve that dilemma by partitioning the hard drive. Excuse me, by having someone else partition the hard drive. Actually, it's the monitor that I love and hate to get rid of. It's the best monitor I've ever had, and every time I get the equipment out and turn it on I realize anew what I'm missing. It isn't all that elaborate, just a Dell flat 19" screen, but for some reason I like it beyond any other screen I've ever seen. I don't know the technical details because I'm not interested in that kind of detail, but there is probably some reason why it looks so fine!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

And more rain!

I didn't even leave the house today except for Lady's two dog walks. This morning we both made new friends - a lady with a little beagle type dog often walks on the other side of the street, and we wave and exchange greetings. Her dog has a really deep bark, more like a snarl. This morning she assured me that he was snarling because the leash was preventing him from making the acquaintance of a pretty Lady. She asked if she could bring him over and I agreed, figuring Lady wouldn't have any problems with a male half her size. At first I don't think either of them knew what to do, but then as we relaxed the leashes he of course spent the rest of the time sniffing. I'm so relieved they did fine together. She wants to be with other dogs, but if they try to exert dominance then it's a no-go. She has a dominant streak herself and won't put up with a dog snarling at her.

It rained the entire day and I was happy to stay inside. When I was eating my dinner I heard some sort of altercation taking place outside, at least a lot of shouting and profanity occurred, which is a rarity here. I didn't even try to hear what they were shouting about because I don't care to know, although I did worry that it was taking place pretty close to my truck. The other guy finally drove off, and I hope it's over.

I will take my truck for the oil change tomorrow, and hope the oil for it was delivered. I made the mistake of going to the shop on Friday, and that must be their busiest day. I guess they don't keep the oil for the diesel in stock as they don't work with many diesel engines - Japanese cars are their specialty. Afterward I'll go and have the front tires looked at. I've tried to see the date on them but can't make it out because of my vision problems. I would estimate maybe 4-5 years, and they are probably the cheapest tires that would fit the truck. The woman who sold it to me told me she had just had the front tires replaced because someone slashed the original ones while it the rig was stored. In my eagerness to take possession of the 5th wheel and truck I didn't ask for the date of purchase - they looked new after all, and I was really more interested in the 5th wheel.

I went with Susan to look at RV's on Saturday, and I'm sure I look at 5th wheels with a much more critical eye than I did in 2008. We live and learn, and what pleases one person isn't necessarily true for others.

One thing I noticed, and maybe an astute reader can comment on the reason for one propane tank being stored on one side of the rig, with the other tank on the opposite side of the rig. I found this with just about all the 5th wheels and even the Class A's. Personally I don't think I would like it. I nearly always took both my tanks to be topped off at the same time, and it would just be more of a hassle to take one out and then have to run around to the other side to get the 2nd one.

I need to take my laptop to the Apple store to have some keys replaced. Four of them on the lower right side of the keyboard are losing the black-colored surface, and since the keyboard is backlit I can see what the actual keys look like inside. I can bet the Apple store will have to keep my laptop for a few days at least, so I don't know if I will just do without, or if I will haul out my old desktop. I think I could plug in the Mifi on a USB connection, as the desktop is not a wireless model. I hate to think of even having to use Windows again, and it would probably give me all sorts of trouble since I have not loaded any updates for ages. I might do it just for the games, but maybe I should go without.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Slow process

I knew instinctively that I would have no earth shattering news from the surgeon, and I didn't. Still, I'm overjoyed that I have so much hope for the coming weeks and months. My next visit is March 31, at 8:10 IN THE MORNING!

My vision is coming along - still some swelling in the eye which will take a while to go down completely; my vision will keep improving, and things look like they are right on track. As long as I think the progress is what can be expected and that it will get better, then I'm happy. The doctor doesn't see any problem with my driving, local and long distance, as long as I think I can, and want to do it.

I have spoken to the apartment manager about a 1-month extension, which would take me up to the end of April. That will give me time to get the truck & camper ready for sale and decide what I will do with my belongings. The trip to the east will serve as a recon to look for a permanent residence, plus visit lots of folks from NY to Florida and in between.

I have lots of decisions to make, and lots of possibilities in my short term future as well as long term. I know that everything will come together for my best interests, and that's what I'm going to go on. It sure is a great world!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I received several reminders today - the first being about my appointment with the eye surgeon at 8:20 a.m. on Thursday. What in the world time will I have to get up in order to be there on time! It's about a 30 minute trip in traffic, but because I was raised to be on time I always manage to arrive early, so I will no doubt leave home at 7:30. I have to walk the dog, shower, dry my hair, and dress - good heavens, I will probably awaken at 5 am and not be able to go back to sleep.

I'm really counting on this appointment, although I know in my heart there will be no new earth shattering news, and I will probably not be able to leave here the end of March. Maybe the end of April?

The second reminder was taped to my door, to notify me that my lease is up. I can continue month to month with an extra $100/month fee, or go to a 7-16 month lease term with a $10 a month increase in rent, or I can pack up my things in storage and move someplace until I can travel. I don't think in my present condition I could pack this place up, find a storage unit, and move out by the end of March. So I will probably stay for another month. I certainly don't want to live in my camper for a month, although I could do it. I could easily do it if I was on an extended trip.

I have decided to sell my truck and camper, as a package if possible, but separately if necessary. I made a giant mistake, but I don't like to dwell on mistakes so I will chalk it up to a lesson learned and try to fix things. I'm intending to buy another Jeep Grand Cherokee or equivalent vehicle, and load up my cooler, camp stove, and tent for the camping adventures I choose. I still hope to travel cross country and spend half the year in the east and half in the west.

The big question in my mind now is whether to try to sell it here, or to drive it to New York in the spring and sell it there. My main concern is whether I can register a relacement vehicle in South Dakota since I won't be a full time RVer, at least until I can decide where I will make my residence permanent. I know my insurance company will no longer continue to carry me, as they only insure residents of SD or full time RVers. Possibly I can find a different insurance company, but it will take some research.

This is what I should have done when I sold my 5th wheel, but I just wasn't ready to let go of my truck yet. I love that truck and will surely cry when somebody else drives it away.