Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Crazy Weather

When I see what the weather is like in the greater part of the country, I think I'd like to stay right here! We have upper 70's/low 80's, a little rain now and then to keep the foliage lush and green, and it is very pleasant.

I've received several comments that have given me some helpful suggestions about planning my trip to Asheville and CA. It makes sense to just pay another month's rent on the storage and not have to return to NY, although I would miss seeing my grandaughter (Ara), who will be in PA until about the 16th of June before she flies to CA for a limited summer vacation. Since she will be returning before I get there, I won't see her until Christmas. It may not seem to be all that important, but she is such a joy in my life and especially the older I get the more I cherish the brief times I am with her.

I could probably buy or rent a small trailer to carry the few items I have in storage back to CA, except for a large maple rocking chair. I'm holding on to it to give to Ara, as her "Papa" bought it for me when I gave birth to her mother (my daughter, Jeannie). Ara is as sentimental as I am and she cherished her Papa, so I know it means a lot to her. It will be the bulkiest item to bring back. The rungs on this rocker were gnawed on by the puppy we had at the time, so it sure wouldn't be saleable, but as my son Steve said, its scratches and chew marks all tell the story of my life at the time, and I rocked 3 of my 4 babies in that chair.

I think I am finished with tooth extractions, and am getting close to looking like a jack-o-lantern, although I've been able to retain the teeth in the front, so it's only if I smile really big that it's noticeable.

The grandsons are visiting Sandy's parents and won't be home until Sunday, so it is quiet around here. Before they left I asked Joshua to show me how to use the remote and I actually watched TV last night! I switched between the Weather and the History channels, with a little QVC thrown in. What fun for a change. I can't believe a 5 year old can operate that complex remote, but I guess he knows enough to get to the Disney channel. Like all males, he holds the remote close when he's watching. It must be in their genes!

I'm getting a serious case of hitch itch which gets stronger every day. I thought I was over it but I guess not. Theresa over at Roadrunner's Travels is going through the same thing, and I think we are both just a tiny bit intimidated by how we think our kids will react. Not that it will stop either one of us if we find something to travel in. To be perfectly truthful, I would love to find something to live AND travel in, although I know it's probably unrealistic because I can't afford it. Being no good at fixing up and maintenance/repairs I need to steer clear of most older & cheaper models.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Deer photos , 2nd post 6/29

I apologize that I couldn't get the pictures any clearer, but if I had gone outside to take them the deer would have run away. Please click a couple of times to enlarge them. They were so cute - one of the fawns tried to nurse but the doe kicked her foot up and walked off, fawns eventually trailing behind.

I've already received a few comments on my earlier post, one asking if it was worth the expense of the trip to Asheville rather than pay the storage fee. The answer to that is I have been paying $85/mo for two years, and now the rate is going up to $95. I think it is worth the cost of the trip, plus there are several stops I would like to make on my way.

With the Highlander I can even think about driving the distance because the fuel cost should be that much lower than the truck. I figure I can get well into Virginia before I will need to refuel, and then top off just before leaving VA, which usually has the lowest prices of any state slong the route.

Membership cancelled

When I took out a membership to BJ's Wholesale Club a couple of weeks ago I was told that if I was unhappy with it for any reason I could cancel. So this morning I cancelled. There were several less-than-satisfactory shopping experiences there, but yesterday morning was the end, when I took my purchases to the front and they had no aisles open except for self-checkout. I don't do self-checkout! If a store wants my business/money, then the least they can do is to provide someone to check out my purchases, take my money, etc. The clerk at customer service cancelled the membership and refunded the charge to my account, but she argued with me that they have at least one regular checkout open at all times. Well, I didn't continue the argument, but they absolutely had nothing open yesterday morning except for self-service. So that's the end of that!

I've decided to leave for Asheville by the 2nd week in July and get the storage situation taken care of. The rent on the unit has increased by $10/month, and I need to either move the stuff or get rid of it. In surveying the items I brought to NY with me in the bed of the Ford, I realize I can't comfortably pack all that stuff in the Highlander, so I'm going to look into shipping a box via USPS or one of the commercial shippers.

I had hoped to continue on from Asheville to CA, but it seems my dental work will not be at the point I had hoped, so I will have to return to NY for a couple more weeks. It is really a lot of extra miles, because the curve of the east coast makes NY much further east than Asheville, NC. So I will be traveling SW and then back NE again, about 1600 miles round trip, before I finally head on out.

I love the east and will be really sorry to have to leave this time. The lush green of the countryside is much more to my liking that the washed-out faded desert colors of most of the west. It's just an opinion, and it's my own. I know many readers prefer the opposite.

I do think RVing and camping are much simpler in the west. It is surprising how few RV's are on the highways here, although many of the homes in this area have RV's parked on their property - motorhomes, 5th wheels, travel trailers, and truck campers. It's very difficult to find a campsite for a tent, unless I want to pay $35 and upwards for a night. I think there are more camping facilities as you go north, as well as many more south of here in Virginia and the Carolinas. Nothing is easy lately, though maybe that is a problem I'm having rather than a universal one.

Monday, June 27, 2011


I find myself walking through the stores, from grocery stores to hardware, and looking at every item with the criterion of "How will it fit in an RV?", or thinking to myself that a particular food item is the perfect size for an RV kitchen. On the rare occasions I visit a Walmart I always walk down the RV products aisle. I know it's just a habit, but I wonder if I will ever shake it (or if I want to).

Though I spend a lot of time researching small to tiny RV's, I promise myself I will never again jump into buying anything, but will take the time necessary to know it is the perfect fit for ME. To be truthful I haven't yet run across anything that is calling my name although some units come pretty close. Cost is a big factor and I'm adamant that I'm not going in over my head, tempting as it may be.

In the meantime I'm rejoicing with Susan and Barb as well as others who have recently entered the full time RVing life. I hope you have wonderful travels, see beautiful sights, and meet only the friendly folks out there.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

More dental work

Today I saw the oral surgeon for another extraction. It is really painless, once the nitrous takes effect and after several injections of novocaine (or whatever they use nowadays). It went very quickly and I'm back home with a lopsided looking face. I plan to go to bed soon and use an ice pack to help reduce the swelling.

We have been having thunderstorms today, and this morning the power went out. I was in a state of panic as I hadn't yet taken a shower or brushed my teeth, and well water doesn't flow without the aid of a pump, in this case an electric pump! I quickly realized I could use "The Wet Ones" to freshen up, and brush my teeth the old fashioned way with a glass of bottled water. I was very happy when the power was restored after about an hour. Even my computer was down as I am relying on my son's Wifi. We get so used to conveniences that we forget how easily we can survive without them. The key word there is "survive" - you don't have to enjoy it, although I sometimes do enjoy putting myself to the challenge. That's one thing I love about camping.

I am going to get comfortable and then wrap my jaw in an ice pack. Catch ya later.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The medical profession

I'm sure tired of it. I had an appointment this morning with the MD who informed me that my cholesterol was excellent, and which I already knew, and that everything looked fine. He could have called me to tell me that, but let's stick Medicare and Blue Cross for whatever we can. Not only that, he wants to see me in 4 weeks, no doubt so he can tell me the same thing. I have an appointment for July 19, and if everything has gone well with the dental work, I will start my way west. I still don't have much energy and I sleep a lot, but I'm hoping things will improve. (I may complain about the doctors I've seen recently, but they have been pretty good about diagnosing what was wrong with me.)

I left my Coleman 2 burner propane camp stove behind in storage in Sacramento, so now I'm wondering if I should pick up a camp stove for the trip back. I really don't need one when I stay in a motel, but I hope to be doing some camping this trip. The trouble is that I just don't have the space to carry anything else and I'm not sure how much of what I brought with me is going to make the cut for the return trip. I have all the absolute necessities except for the stove, and as long as I can find someplace to get coffee I should be able to survive.

Every time I get into the Highlander I love it more, and find something I didn't know about. I discovered that I can operate all windows from the driver's seat - a fact that I didn't realize before. (I have trouble with those little buttons - never can remember if I push down or pull up to operate the windows. It should be evident, push the window DOWN, and pull the window UP, but I often with I had the old-style crank to operate them.) This morning I arrived at my appointment about 10 minutes early, so I got out the Toyota Owner's Manual and read a few pages. It is amazing what you can find out by reading the instructions, but if they were online I would never have found them. Now I need to read the complete section on the operation of the lights as well as the cruise control. I learn best by doing - trial and error - but once in a while you have to just settle down and read the boring instructions.

On Sunday, Father's Day, I went with Mike, Sandy & the boys to her aunt & uncle's house. Absolutely great food and company, and they insisted I bring Lady along. They have a nice spacious yard, and all the little kids enjoyed petting her. She enjoyed the walks in a new-to-her neighborhood, which is so pet friendly they have doggie pick-up bags and receptacles along the way. This is an older, established neighborhood, with gazillion dollar houses, and not some new development with cookie cutter McMansions. I wouldn't have expected it to be so people and pet friendly. I really love New York and the east, but it is just too expensive to live here, at least to start out at my stage of the game. It just amazes me how rural it is so close to NYC.

I had hoped to do a day trip into NYC, but logistics make that highly improbable. It would take me about 1-1/2 hrs each way on the train, although I could cut that down by going into Westchester Co. with my son and getting on the train there. It would be during the morning commute and I would no doubt have to stand all the way to Grand Central Station. I'd stay in the City overnight with my niece if I didn't have the dog to consider. The excursion will probably have to wait for another time and visit, when I might just put Lady in a kennel for a couple of days.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Not much to write about

I am not the only one who has trouble finding something to blog about lately. I hope I will have plenty though, when I make my return trip across country.

To answer several people who suggested that I get my own blood pressure monitor, I did just that. I've been taking a reading 1st thing in the morning but that's about it - I think it goes down some during the day. I will see the internist tomorrow at which time he will probably do another blood test. As long as the iron supplements are working I should be ok for now.

I've done a little preliminary research today to see what is involved with having a hitch installed on my Highlander. I might go by the service dept. of the dealer where I purchased it, and see what they would charge. From what I read the Toyota hitch is better quality and looks better than the cheaper after-market version, although I don't know if that is true or not. I may just wait for a while to see how I'm going to be feeling later on this summer, and if I even want to deal with towing. I am optimistic although time will tell. I just can't accept the fact that I'm washed up as far as traveling with some sort of camper, but I never thought I'd get my optimism back at all. As long as I can drive I will be happy, camper or not.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Test post.

I think I figured out how to get my photos centered again, and I hope the text will be in the right place as well. As a test I am re-posting some pictures I showed before - this one is the main street through Madison, SD:

And this is my cousin, Dianne, and me. She is the cousin in Chicago that we drove down from Milwaukee to visit. I hope I get a chance to stop and see her again on the way back to Sacramento in the fall.

It looks like I have the placement of text and pictures back to the way they were. There is really nothing more to write today so I will be back with you in a day or two.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Some photos from the trip east

I am not very happy with Blogger today - the comments aren't with the relevant photos, and one of the pictures appears twice even though it is only printed in my blog once. No, I CANNOT use LiveWriter - it doesn't work on a Mac.

These are from my film camera; first, some from AZ.

The road underwater in SD:

Little town on the prairie, DeSmet, SD

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A drive into Connecticut

I made a trip back to Walmart this morning to see if they could still do a CD with my pictures that were developed a couple of days ago. They can, but I will have to pick up the CD tomorrow, so I decided to take another drive into the country.

I retraced some of the route I took to get to Rudd Pond Campground earlier this week, but I turned off into Connecticut. I have always thought there is a distinct difference when a border is crossed into another state, and Connecticut is no exception. Like eastern NY state, CT is beautiful especially on the back roads, and I was definitely on the backroads. I decided to follow the Garmin's directions because I hate the way this new one says "recalculate". I like the newer GPS with its larger screen, and the look and feel is the same as my old unit. But the voice! She speaks in a posh accent that reminds me of the woman who sometimes hosted classical music programs on NPR. That accent is fine when she's talking about Brahms, Beethoven, and Mozart, the as for giving directions it gets old very fast. If there is a way to substitute another American voice I haven't been able to figure it out yet. I am wondering if I could understand directions in Spanish - better not try, I suppose.

I drove through a gorgeous little town of Millbrook (NY) and thought I would like to live there if I had enough money to live in NY, which I don't. Then into CT, there were so many cute little cottages that would suit me perfectly. The whole area looks exactly like what you would expect rural New England to look like. I continued on to the land of Canaan. Canaan, CT, that is, where I turned back southwest for NY. I took the Taconic Parkway back since I was tired of the winding little roads and the construction that is everywhere. I can understand that road repairs have to be done while the weather is good.

Speaking of the new Garmin, I noticed that when I drive above the speed limit my speed is shown in red. I also found some options for time, distance,elevation, direction, etc. They were no doubt available on the old unit but I just didn't explore it enough to find them. There were a few features I discovered about the old one just before I switched, so I guess I should be more eager to see what's there. These are things I would have found if the GPS came with a manual. I really dislike online manuals, so I'm not likely to learn much from that source.

I think Lady is going to love riding in the Highlander. I put the wide section of back seat down and spread out the colorful fleece blanket to cover the carpet and hopefully catch much of the dog hair. Thanks Rae (Travels with Miranda) for the tip, and I'll let you know how well it works. She couldn't (or wouldn't try) climb in the back hatch so I had to let her jump in the side rear door. From there she knew exactly where to go. During our travel this morning she changed positions a number of times, and had the luxury of standing up and being able to turn around with plenty of room. I like the fact that even with the back seat laying flat, the floor space in front of the seat is still available to stow cargo, such as a small cooler or duffel bags, etc. I think I'll be able to get everything into the Highlander for the travel back to CA in Aug or Sept. I will definitely go back to CA to see my eye surgeon the end of September, and have a cornea transplant on my right eye. I hope the next one goes as well.

I will possibly try to return to NY early next spring to continue the dental work I've started here. I like the dental practice which also has an oral surgeon, so I don't need to go to a different office for different treatments. The one thing I dislike, but maybe it is for my own good, is that they insist on dosing me up with antibiotics before any kind of dental work. This is because I have a stent implant in one of my arteries, and has been standard practice for some time. I recently read on the internet however, that they no longer recommend mega doses of antibiotics for dental procedures. At least I can tolerate Amoxycillin fairly well, but don't really like to take it as often as I've had to lately. Sometimes you just can't win!

If you can stand one more health related issue (and just quit reading if you can't), I've been monitoring my blood pressure whenever I go to the grocery or Walmart, and it is still quite low for me. The systolic is well under 100, like around 89, and the diastolic is in the 50's, which would be great if I was an athlete, But I'm not an athlete and it just makes me dizzy. So I'm going back to my old meds which haven't returned me to my normal bp yet but have certainly kicked up the leg cramps at night. Grasping for any relief, I bought a 6 pack of tonic water today and plan to have a vodka tonic every evening, without the vodka! Along with the V8 juice I drink every evening something should help, shouldn't it? Who knows what the combination might be doing? I'm determined to find a cure that doesn't involve another prescription!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I'm finally wired!

Yesterday I re-read the instructions for about the 100th time and the light came on suddenly. I was looking for black and white patches, but the patches are all the same. It's the electrodes that lead from the monitor to attach to the patches that are black and white. Well I'll be!!!

Now I'm beeping away, as it records automatically except there is one space left that I can do a manual reading. I sent the results to the lab this morning - setting the phone carefully so the speaker matches up to the monitor in the precise spot. After the sending is complete, I pick up the phone and speak to the tech, who makes sure the transmission was ok, and then I can reset the monitor. When I put the phone to my ear I thought the tech on the other end sounded very far away, quite unlike when I called in the first place. When I hung up the phone I realized I was holding it upside down and talking into the wrong place. I'm a person who can't even use an iPod, and they think they are going to get good results by giving me this techie device?

I'm going to wear the monitor when I visit the dentist's office today, and as I wrote to Pidge of the Frugal Travelers, I hope I annoy everyone with the intermittent beeping!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I ran errands this morning, and when I was getting my hair cut the rain came down heavily. From the hairdresser I went to Walmart, always a disappointment to me for one reason or another. I knew they did 1-hour film developing, and when I gave them the film I asked for 1 print each plus a CD with all the pictures. It is written on the order envelope, but when I got home and looked I didn't find a CD. The color on the photos seems to be sharper than that of my digital camera, and I think the composition is better as well. Now I will have to wait until I get back to Sacramento and dig out my scanner/printer before I can post any of them. There are a few pics from Little Town on the Prairie, plus a couple driving through the lake in South Dakota! I didn't realize it but had started the roll of film when I was in Arizona, and there are some really nice sunset pictures on it. I'm glad to have the photos because I won't be going back to Arizona, and the sunsets were the best part about it.

The windshield wiper got a good workout this morning, and I have become a lot more familiar with the settings. In my estimation they put too many things on that one little stick, and when you aren't familiar with it in the first place, it is almost impossible to quickly find what you are looking for. I love driving the Toyota and am so glad I got it when I did. It will just take me a little longer to get used to than it would have 10 or 15 years ago.

I went over to BJ's to get s fleece throw for the back of the Highlander, which will hopefully catch a lot of the dog hair. The cargo space looks very small compared to my truck, and to what my memory recalls about the back of my Jeep Grand Cherokee. I'll get the dog in first and then whatever else I can stuff in next to her! As I said before, it is so clean and smells so good I just hate to put the dog into it.

While I was waiting for the photo developing I got a call from a tech at the company that provided the heart monitor. I explained that I look at it every day intending to figure it out, but I don't understand it any better and give up in frustration. For one thing there are supposed to be two different electrodes, and the instructions are adamant that the white patch goes here and the black patch goes there. I went through both packets of electrodes and they are all exactly the same. The tech was all apologetic and promised to have someone explain it to me thoroughly when I got home and called her back. Before I called was when I examined all the electrodes and thought "what the hell, they can't explain this to me if they even believe me". I may have trouble reading the fine print, but I can tell black from white! So of course I didn't call, which is just procrastination at its worst.

I used the blood pressure machine at Walmart to see how much difference there would be - I didn't take any bp meds today. From 103/49 yesterday it went to 95/59 today. That doesn't look a whole lot better to me. If I can get through this mini crisis I swear I will never consult another doctor again, for anything. They never heard of the old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". I had no problem with my cholesterol or my blood pressure to warrant changing to designer drugs. It is my experience that all doctors will try do just that.

I'm seeing deer in the yard just about every day now, and there were 4 wild turkeys in the front yard this morning. The tall trees and hilly terrain are so beautiful here I don't know how I will feel when I return to Sacramento. The west is ok, but my heart will always lie in the east.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Beautiful day for a drive

I started out today to find Rudd Pond campground in the Taconic State Park, approximately 40 miles from here. I love driving the Highlander, although I'm not sure if I will ever get used to the miscellaneous controls. I drove about 10 miles with the windshield wipers on intermittent, because I must have done something to that control stick while trying to figure out the cruise control. It's on another, shorter control stick just below that of the wipers. I don't remember ever having this much trouble dealing with simple things before now.

I eventually got the wipers turned off, a big relief on a sunny day and more oncoming vehicles than I would have liked to see, considering the wipers were merrily sweeping back and forth across the windshield. Occasionally I gave the window a squirt of washer fluid just so folks might think I was merely cleaning the windshield.

The cruise control is different as well, and I think I prefer having it in sight on the steering wheel. But I quickly realized that I push the button on the end of the stick to turn it on/off, and then for SET the stick is pushed down, and for RESUME it is pushed back up.

I took pictures of Rudd Pond, from the left end, across the water to the campground, and over to the right end. Click on the pictures for a much clearer, larger view.

There are about 6 tent sites that are available for campers with dogs, and this is probably the best out of the 6.

Most of the sites have wooden platforms, and the ones without are usually two sites to a space. All in all, I'd say they are too close to suite me, especially since all six sites in a row would be those with dogs. That is too many in a short space to my way of thinking.

The camp host was very helpful and loaded me down with brochures, maps, and diagrams. The New York state parks charges an extra fee for out-of-state residents, and non-residents don't get any kind of senior discount. Maybe tomorrow I will try another direction. I drove through some very beautiful rural scenery, but as usual there is never a place to pull over and take pictures, and since the road was mostly hilly and curvy, I didn't even try to pull onto what shoulder there was. The little towns I drove through were quaint but not touristy - real people live there year around evidently.

Sorry about the pictures being all over the page - I prefer them in the middle but every time I tried to upload the images Blogger would say "DONE" but the pictures wouldn't be there. I thought maybe if I did something different they might show up and they did, except the text isn't where I thought it would be. And no, I can't use LiveWriter on a Mac computer!

I stopped in at A&P to pick up a couple of items and noticed a blood pressure machine, so I sat down for a couple of minutes. My pressure was 103/49, which goes a long way in my mind to explaining why I'm having dizzy spells. I won't take anything tomorrow and then will go back to my HCTZ the following day and thereafter. I read that the leg cramps can be alleviated by drinking a small can every night (and in the morning, if needed) of V-8 juice. I'm also doubling up on the bananas.

Again, I marveled at how easy it is to park the Highlander. I am so glad I made the change. Now I have to figure out what to put down on the immaculate beige carpet in the cargo area to keep it clean and relatively free of dog hair. I may be dreaming to think I can minimize the dog hair because it seems to fly around the inside of the vehicle, landing on the dashboard and every other surface.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Highlander

I had a few dizzy spells yesterday morning, so I didn't drive at all. This morning I went to A&P to buy the Sunday newspaper and didn't need to park at the back of the lot. I started to turn wide as I always did with the Ford, thinking I would have to back up and straighten it out but I ended up with a perfect parking job. I am going to love driving this vehicle.

I'm so used to limiting my driving and trying to consolidate trips to minimize fuel consumption, that I haven't thought of anyplace I really need to go. I guess I'm better off being conservative, even at the increased miles per gallon I will get. I'll find somewhere to go tomorrow though.

Yesterday the tree was cut and cleared off the driveway, and the debris taken back to the edge of the woods. You can still hear chainsaws and wood chippers in the neighborhood. Since I helped move parts of the downed tree I have been really tired today. Tomorrow is a new day and I am going to make the most of it. I only have one appointment this week, the dentist on Wednesday, I would like to enjoy the time and may drive north for a ways into a more rural part of the county.

Friday, June 10, 2011

A good day

This is some of the damage sustained during the storm yesterday afternoon. I was very fortunate nothing hit the truck, nor did the house seem to be damaged at all even though the tree branch fell right next to it. (Click on a picture to enlarge it.)

This is the 2006 Toyota Highlander I bought this morning, and I know I am going to love it! The dealer is Wappingers Falls Toyota on Rt. 9 in Wappingers Falls, NY, and the salesman is M.J. Herring. The entire experience was very positive and so unlike the usual dealings with car dealerships. I was treated with courtesy and respect by everyone I came in contact with, and at no time did I feel pressured. If I am ever in the market for another car, new or used, I will go to this dealership, and I recommend it without hesitation.

As for the Highlander, it is so easy to maneuver and while I miss the truck I am happy to be in the Toyota - I will be more than happy at the gas pump! There is adequate cargo space for Lady and all my camping gear, and I'm even thinking about a small trailer in the future. No hurry on that however.

Some days go very well and then there are those that don't go so well - they make you appreciate the good days. This was one of the very good days.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I made the day turn out OK

With a list of items to accomplish today I began with a call to the lab to arrange a mammogram. I was immediately put off when I was told I needed to have an original film of my last mammogram sent to them so I said "forget it". I may see if I can get an appointment at the imaging center in Asheville if and when I get there. I don't intend to jump through hoops for anyone right now.

The temp has dropped nearly 20 degrees in just a few minutes, and we are being "hailed" upon pretty heavily, with thunder and lightning, very tall trees swaying all around the house, and rain so heavy it's blowing sideways in curtains across the yard.

After a not-so-good start to the day I got into my truck and drove to BJ's Warehouse to look around - it's a lot like Costco and it's just a few miles from here. Then I decided to look at cars, and ended up at a Toyota lot nearby, where I test drove a Ford Escape and a Toyota Highlander, one of which I will decide upon and buy tomorrow morning. I'm trading in the truck (rather than selling it outright), and all the male sales personnel spent a lot of time gawking at the Ford with smiles on their faces. I will truly be sorry to say goodbye, but it's time. With a 6 cylinder SUV I can eventually pull something if I am ever so inclined. I am getting a decent trade in for my Truck, just a little better than I expected.

I wanted to let my grandsons help me empty out the truck bed this evening, so I hope the rain moves on. I've already taken some things out of it.

So I intend to move forward in my life, taking care of the health issues as best I can, but refusing to be an invalid in the meantime. I do get shortness of breath when I do too much but so far it hasn't been all that bad. (Well, sometimes it IS pretty bad!) You haven't heard the last from the Gypsy!

The power just came back on after being off for several hours. I was stunned to see a huge tree branch across the driveway and nearly into the house. Nothing was damaged, and my son was able to clear a lot of the branches away so that we can drive around the bulk of the tree.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Getting tired of medical appointments

Maybe I should have left well enough alone. Once you get sucked into a medical system they won't let you go, and find all sorts of meds and tests you need. Today was the visit with the ob-gyn, which I was glad to get out of the way. She wrote the prescriptions the way I asked her to, and then said she wanted to see me in two weeks to go over the test results. Well duh, if the test is negative, as it's always been, then there is no reason to "go over the test results" except to charge Medicare and Blue Cross for another visit. I kept smiling while I made the appointment in two weeks, and plan to cancel it in one week. Now I just have to schedule a mammogram.

There was no one in the office to tell me about the monitor, so I brought it back home where it will sit until I can figure it out. I could call the company that sent it out, but I absolutely hate talking on a cell phone because I can't make out what they are saying on the other end. I don't have that problem when talking with someone who is on a land line. Also the odds of reaching someone who speaks English with a heavy accent are very high, and I just don't want to deal with it.

The medical office is just over 6 miles from here, and I managed to say every profanity I have ever heard at least once in the 6 miles back. Having lived in Ireland for 3 years and spending some time in the pubs frequented by trawlermen, I can cuss with the best of them! I don't know what I have gotten myself into - die a premature death from a heart attack, or visit a medical person twice a week.

I figured out one thing that is certainly different in this part of the country - I'm actually perspiring! I don't mind since the wrinkles smooth out just a little each time I check the mirror. No doubt about it that it's hot, but no more uncomfortable than Sacramento is during the summer. I may feel differently by the time we get to July.

If I ever get a week to myself with no appointments I would like to drive over towards the Berkshires, which would give me some photo-ops and something to write about, maybe. I think tomorrow I might drive over to where there are several used car lots and check out some small SUV's, or maybe a hatchback or sedan.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The deer are still around, even though there aren't as many as I've seen in the past. It might be because I've usually been here in spring or fall when they have to go farther to find food.


On the Lake Michigan shore - I believe this is an art museum but it looks like a giant ship.

Lake Michigan:

My niece, Julie:

My sister-in-law, Wilma

I wanted to include some more photos but the problem started up again where they won't publish. I know many of you have suggested Live Writer but it DOES NOT WORK on a Mac. I wouldn't give up my Mac for anything. Also, Live Writer has nothing to do with why I can't see photos published on other folks' blogs. It's a mystery to me and some day when my energy comes back I will write to Blogger about it.

Today was another blood test day, this time fasting. The tests last week show everything pretty normal except I have major anemia, which is why I am so fatigued. I also have an appointment tomorrow with an ob-gyn who shares the office space with my doctor 2 days a week. This is so convenient to have three doctors in one place.

The event monitor came today and my heart sank. Talk about technology - I can't even read the directions nor can I understand anything I read. The whole thing is going with me to the doctor's office tomorrow where THEY can attached the electrodes and explain to me what I should do and how often. Then there is a matter of sending the results over a phone. Too much for me to think about!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Belated thanks

Yesterday I meant to include a thank you in my post to two women who have been of tremendous help to me during the past few weeks.

Pidge of The Frugal Travelers related her experiences a month or so back with MVP and Atrial Fibrillation, and when I asked her to tell me more about her symptoms she responded promptly, giving me the first clue that I might have the same thing or something similar. I've been asking her questions about it ever since, and I always get a prompt answer back. I would go so far as to say she may have saved my life.

The second thanks goes to my sister-in-law, Wilma, who has a-fib and told me more about it and the medications she takes for it. When they changed her meds last year she was put into the hospital to make sure she would be ok and while I remember that event I certainly didn't know anything about a-fib at that time. We talked about it when I was in Milwaukee recently.

So ladies, I thank you and love you both.

We are having perfect weather today and tomorrow promises to be the same. It reached 75 degrees with a nice breeze and clear skies. This is definitely my kind of weather.

And speaking of Milwaukee I have been wanting to post some pictures I took while there, but I have been having problems with photos and blogger for some time. I go through the steps to add pictures and it tells me they are loading, then that the upload is done, but no pictures appear. When I read others' blogs that refer to pictures I can only see a picture now and then - certainly not all the ones that are described by the poster. I don't know what the problem is and am getting tired of trying. Sometimes I go through the motions of adding a photo 5 or 6 times and it may work, but oftentimes it doesn't.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Here's the low-down

I saw a cardiologist this morning and found I have MVP - mitral valve prolapse. The Dr. changed my blood pressure meds as well as put me on Crestor for cholesterol. The Crestor has something to do with the fact that I have a stent implant for a blocked artery.

I finally got someone to take my weight seriously, and he referred me to an internist who I saw this afternoon. We started out with a complete workup of blood tests and medical history, and go from there. I am sure there will be many more tests to follow. So weight loss and fatigue shouldn't be ignored, which I knew all along but couldn't seem to make anyone else understand. I have follow ups with both doctors, and I am glad they will be working together. The cardio is also in the military reserves with my son, and he travels quite a distance every 2 weeks from his regular office to see patients in this locality out of the internist's office. I know I am in good hands. No one has mentioned meds for the MVP yet, but I'll keep my fingers crossed I might not need them. Hah!

As for now I am looking forward to the birthday party this Saturday, and to seeing my granddaughter and niece also. It looks like I might not be in California when Ara goes back after her summer classes. The family is planning a big camping trip in August but I guess they will do it without me.

I might just add that under the circumstances I am so glad I don't have an RV to deal with at present. Who knows what may happen in the future, but I'm intuitive enough to know it isn't the right thing for now. I've been feeling everyday like the life is slowly draining out of me, but I sure hope it isn't.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

An experience

My appointment was at 10 a.m. but an emergency situation put someone else in front of me, so I got into the dentist's chair at 11:00. I try to be patient when there is any kind of emergency because it could be me or a loved one that needs immediate attention. When I was finally in the chair the question came up about the implant of a stent in one of my arteries. I remember reading that dental work can bring on infection so they dosed me with antibiotics, even though I've been on them for several days now, and had me wait an hour. At 12 Noon I was ready to go. I don't think I could have found a surgeon I liked better than this one - besides being good looking with a drop-dead gorgeous smile, he was gentle and kind.

I decided to try nitrous oxide for the first time in my life because I knew I couldn't relax on my own. They started out with "one drink" but upped it to "two drinks". I did feel pretty relaxed but nothing like I thought it would be. I also had novocaine or whatever they use now, so I didn't feel a thing during the actual extraction, which was over with before I even knew it. Now I have an appointment with the dentist on the other side of the practice for an exam to determine what else I need. I know there are other issues because I've been avoiding this for too long.

I'm starving but limited to soft foods today - I found the kids' stash of snack cups so I will sample the applesauce first.

There are so many things I need to do but for today I think I will take it easy, really easy! Thanks for all the good wishes sent my way. I may be in some pain in an hour or so, but for now I feel fine.