November-December 2014

Hanna Park - Morning Walk On The Beach from November 2013
Sunrise on the beach

11/02/14 Home Sweet Home
The Tower
11/02/14 - on the road again - not - but we have plans.
A year ago we were up at Hanna Park and got the shot above. Also in the 11/03 update I featured a shot of Traveling with Oxygen - now a year later we're sitting, enjoying the river and mostly working and just kicking back. We have 2 days at the Mayo again this month - next week actually, but we're thinking we'll just drive up both days. But looking back to 2013 got me thinking about going up again - humm..... and it also got me to thinking about what an eventful year it's been. No more oxygen bottles, recovery is finally taken hold and Sheila is doing great. We walk almost every day - close to 2 miles and she's enjoying the walks. Work has kept me pretty busy, getting ready for a major marketing push and I've been writing a manual for the online version. We're also rewriting the Log Master to correct several issues that have shown up as the number of users and amount of data have grown. Once those two major upgrades are in place we'll start a marketing drive and see if we can get THO over the hump and making money :)).

We do have plans for Thanksgiving week, a trip down to Melbourne, back to our old dentist for a cleaning, the eye Dr. for a check up and the office for a visit and so they don't forget me lol. Meanwhile we're really enjoying life at the moment and just relaxing on the river. Boat is fixed up, found the circuit breaker and the electric is back on. We haven't taken the boat out, just no time lately. Sheila commented today and I agreed, the weeks seem to be about 2 days long these days. Guess that's part of the time perception change that supposedly comes with age. Oh well, we're smiling, hugging and enjoying. What else can you ask for. Keep smiling, hugging and enjoying yourselves out there - life's to short to spend it fretting :))
11/10/14 Sunsets :))
The Tower
Rained most of the day yesterday, so was just a quiet day at home, little work, little play and lots of smiles :)) We went down Saturday and cleaned the boat up a little and got some stuff we don't want to leave there back up here. Big project getting two tool boxes into the space where I used to have one - some major rearranging, but they both have a home now. But the tools and a few other things I want to hang on to are moved, the boats pretty much picked up and I'll give it a quick cleaning, run the motors and generator tomorrow and then the survey, haul out and sea trial are on Thursday. So things are moving along  with getting rid of the boat. It will be good to have someone who has time for it  take over. The gentleman who's buying it is retiring from a career remodeling and fixing up churches, so he'll have the time and has the skills to do some remodeling and turn Change Is into a real home. We're still undecided on what's next, but knowing us there will be some new adventure around the next corner.

We did the Mayo last week and Sheila got the best report to date. Her stats are all good, her blood work is good and it's looking like we'll be able to get away again in 2015. She'll still need a bronc every 3 months and monthly labs and port visits, so we'll probably be planning a year where we're back mid-summer for a bronc & checkup, then back north again till fall. Still working on a schedule, but it's starting to take shape and we're hoping for some serious wheeling in Moab again and maybe some serious bike rides in Montana or the Dakota's. Just have to see how it goes once we're back on the road. Till next time - live - love - laugh and enjoy. Life's a wondrous thing :))
11/23/14 Wickham Park :))
Wickham Park
Out and about again - we're down in Melbourne for Thanksgiving week. Doctors, Dentist, Office and a hair cut for the honey between now and Thanksgiving - then if the weather is nice a ride over at the beach to see what's changed in the past couple of years and a Tofurky for our Thanksgiving treat :) Friday is open at the moment and Saturday we head back up to Satsuma.  We hauled the boat again and got the sea cock changed out, raised it just high enough to get it out of the water and did the work in the sling. Jay helped which was a good thing, that old sea cock needed a little more oompf than I have available in the contorted position I was in. But we got it done and took Change Is out for the sea trial and she ran like a champ. Still waiting on final word from the buyer. We extended the final ok date because of the overheating last time, but should hear something back by the first of the week. One of the things he wanted to get fixed can't be done the way he wanted it due to the physical layout of the boat but we've offered a couple other options, so we'll just have to see if he likes one of them.

I'm out of shape for this packing up, loading the bike and car and driving these days. I think we'll have to do a few more short trips and get back in shape between now and March when we head up to Louisville for the truck show. The step motor also decided to bite the dust yesterday - the clutch in it is just clunking, but fortunately it did the final fail in the up position so we could travel without having to get into the mud to disconnect it and tie it up. But it does make a very loud ratcheting sound when it tries to go up and down (every time you open or close the door when it's running. Y'all have a great THANKSGIVING - we all have a lot to be thankful for this year. Till next time remember to smile :))))
11/28/14 Ride To The Beach :))
At the beach
12/06/14 - well as you can see from the picture we did get our ride to the beach in. Rode over to the A1A, found a park for our picnic and then took a walk on the beach. Then rode down to the Wabasso Beach bridge and back up US1 to Wickham Park. We have another run down there for the week of December 15th, seems I need a little dental work, about 4 hours worth it appears. I think it was the chocolate :( - May have to start brushing my teeth immediately after having chocolate or give it up, which is not an appealing idea.

The new step came a couple days after we got home and I spent an afternoon installing it. Now there's a fun project. Definitely not a job for the mechanically challenged. Getting the 65# step up into position was fun - but in the end imagination and determination won out and we now have a new step. Have also started a list for Red Bay. Plan is to stop by on the way back from Louisville (or maybe the way up, have to see how the schedule works out). We have a number of little things to get patched up. The dash air is not cooling as well as it used to, a little paint touch up, rocks will be rocks :)) Other than those normal day to day things we're just getting on with getting on and enjoying life. Work is busy, life is good and we may get out for a few more bike rides in the near future. Maybe a run over to St Augustine, maybe a real splurge and we'll ride over and spend the night. That's a treat that the absence of oxygen bottles has put back on the possibilities list. Just have to wait and see - for now we're happy. Watched a Eckhart Tolle movie today. That was a treat and got carried away for breakfast with waffles and hot chocolate :)). Yep, life's good - ya all take care, be safe and pass out some smiles this month.
12/14/14 Back At Wickham Park
At the beach
We'll this is an interesting story I think - we made a reservation for Wickham Park for Saturday - spending the week in Melbourne again, work and dentist. So Saturday I get everything unhooked, do all the outside stuff, put the back slides in, go to put the front slide (the big one) in and this time the back comes in and the front of the slide doesn't move. You may recall we just did this in reverse. So it's out to see what's up (1/2 knowing before I start). Sure enough the front slide has sheared off the pin and is not turning. This one is above the propane tank, not the easiest place to get to, but I get to work, and a few hours later get everything to finally line up and the bolt in place. Only to discover in the process that the bolt for the connecting bar has also broken, the remaining chunk of bolt fell out while I was getting the first pin connected backup. So I fiddled more and finally got that reconnected only to find that I was off by a tooth - the two sides were not coming in/out evenly. So back to fiddling with the back side, which in the process of getting crooked and binding up also broke the bolt in it. So I finally had to pull the drive bar for that side turn it a quarter turn and then put everything back together - wallah - it worked again. By now it's 3:30, and we're still an hour away from being ready to leave. So we postponed and came down on Sunday. Slide is working for now, but a complete rebuild, new rollers all the way around and a tune up by someone who knows what they're doing are now on the list for our Red Bay visit which we're hoping to do either on the way to or way back from the Louisville Truck Show. I'll see if I can get some pictures of the slide out mechanism to make this a little more 'descriptive'. But through it all we're still smiling. It is really nice to be able to just take these things which used to be 'stressful' in stride. Till next time - keep smiling, stressing doesn't make it any different, just makes your blood pressure different :))
12/19/14 Sunrise
So I opened my shade this morning and that picture is out the window by my desk :)) Good Morning World - Life Is Good!! We head back to the river tomorrow but it's been a productive visit. We've finished getting ready for Christmas - repurposed Sheila's old oxygen home fill table and we like it's new use. It's good to not need the old oxygen machines and bottles any longer. Speaking of which  we now have a 5 liter and 2 10 liter Invacare Platinum Plus machines, a Invacare Home Fill compressor and an assortment of bottles and conservers for sale (extremely reasonably). I'll like to the eBay page on them once we get them posted. I got to the dentist, one of the reasons for this visit and now have one less tooth, my gum ate a big hole into the back of one of my front teeth weakening it the the point that it was close to breaking off. So we removed that tooth and I not have a temporary bridge to replace it. Permanent bridge coming up in Feb. We also got our last minute Christmas shopping done and most of it's under the tree. But our big present for this year wouldn't fit under the tree, so we're keeping them outside. Yep, now that Sheila is feeling better and can breath again, we're going to start riding a little, so after a couple days of visiting bike shops and researching the internet we now have a pair of Trek Shift2 bicycles. We also have a Thule bike rack to haul them around with us. I'll have another shot later after we get all hooked up and ready to go with the bikes loaded. Wickham Park is a great place to ride, lots of road and some trails (we haven't tried the trails yet). Sheila is getting the feel of her new bike at this point and building her bike confidence back up - it's been awhile. But we did take them for a spin yesterday and they are easy to ride and comfortable :)). So big present a few days early - paper tearing reserved for the big day. Till next time - laugh a lot and remember - Live From Gratitude and you'll always have something to be grateful for.
12/24/14 Mayo Parking Lot
Dry Camping at Mayo
As promised here's the shot of us all hooked up with the bicycles on the back of the train. Below - also on the 24th, the not so expected
the path to the shoulder when the steer tire blew -
On the shoulder

Well it's been a heck of a week ending up with us spending the last 4 nights in the Mayo parking lot dry camping and struggling to deal with moving Sheila back and forth to the hospital. It started last Friday night, our last night at Wickham park and we decided it would be fun to take the bikes around the loop there and see the Christmas Light Show that they do. We made it around the loop and on the way back into the campground, a particularly dark part of the road, two bicycles coming toward us looked to Sheila like a car coming towards her and she got confused and lost her balance and fell. So off to Holmes Emergency Room where they told us she had broken her left knee and elbow. They wanted to check her in for a orthopedic evaluation and mentioned possible surgery. We called the transplant Dr at the Mayo and he advised coming back up here for the evaluation. So we did and went to the ER at the Mayo Saturday. At first they told us that the knee and elbow were not broken just severely bruised and they sent us home - then they called and said her knee was broken and that we should follow up with orthopedics on Monday - but they still did not want to check her in. So we've been dealing with her not being able to walk at all - no weight at all on her left leg. They suggested a wheel chair, but we don't have room for it, so we got an office chair and once she's in that I can roll her around in it. Before that it was set her on a big beach towel and drag her around on the floor. With her leg so painful there's no way to carry her in the conventional manner, so we have to stand her up on her good leg and then move her to where she needs to go. Getting in and out is also an issue - we do it one step at a time with her sitting on the steps and her good leg and my lift gets her up or down to the next step. It's been quite a week and a painful one for her. They have given her a heavier dose of pain meds and that's helping a lot, but it's still painful. But we have muddled through, gotten her to the Orthopedic Dr here, MRI, etc. and we head back to the river today. NO SURGERY was the good news yesterday, so it's just stay off the leg NO WEIGHT AT ALL for 6 weeks, then hobble for 6 weeks and then she can go back to  walking.  Till then  it'll be a lot of couch time, my sad excuse for cooking  and a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS - you all also have a great Christmas. Christmas report to follow tomorrow but that cat's already out of the bag :)) Smile Y'all - Life Is Good.

12/24 continued and the trend alone with it - so we're headed home, on the 207, a light traffic 4 lane divided highway that's just be resurfaced - great road. BANG (very loud), steering wheel starts pulling very hard to the right, but power steering is a wonderful thing. So I wrestle to keep it on the road, let the Jake Brake slow us down and slowly move over to the shoulder. That'll get the adrenalin going - but the first word our of my mouth - THANK YOU - we're stopped, on the shoulder and the sunny side is still pointing to the sun :). Ok call Good Sam road service, automated system leads me to the tire replacement line - "Do you want to purchase a new tire?" - here's the old tire this is a nobrainer, "I really don't have another choice." , so $764 and 2 hours later we're on the road with a new Turnpike 295/75-22.5 to replace me 285/80-22.5. I'll be contacting Michilen about the tire and the warranty as there was nothing in the road and it appears the sidewall blew out. So just have to see what they say. For now we're home and we're safe so the important stuff is covered. Till tomorrow and Christmas news keep smiling and have a wonderful Christmas.
12/24/14 - CHRISTMAS - paper tearing day :))
On the shoulder

So above we see the beginning - below the end result - Big Mess and Big Smiles

Big Mess - Big Smiles

2014 has been a year of miracles - the oxygen tubes and bottles are gone and as it says on my new shirt - Life Is Good :))
Well to every cloud there's a silver lining - so here's our lining. Honey started off the paper tearing and revealed a crystal pyramid that elicited a big smile. That was followed by a new pair of dream catchers for the man of the house - I think I see a little mile there as well :) - next we have a new colander, the old plastic one was a pain to clean.
Crystal PyramidDream CatcherCrystal Pyramid
Ok, my turn - next up for me was a new shirt - 2 actually the new flannel shirt is in the background and in the picture to the right.  Honey's next surprise was tough paper, but determination and sissors won the day to reveal her new computer. Final for this row - John's big present, a new RV GPS. We'll be replacing the old dash setup with this new Rand McNally unit. More on that as we get some use out of it.
New ShirtsTough Paper hides the big presentRV GPS
The final shots of the day are honey again, unwrapping the walking sticks (the first thing I got for her (us actually we both got a pair) which preceded the 6 week no weight on her leg :0! In the center we have the end of the day - following the BIG MESS came the clean up and we crowned the day with Christmas Dinner - my first Quiche - came out pretty good :))
Unwrapping the walking sticksQuiche - Cheese & SpinachSurrounded by presents
To all our friends and those who follow our adventures, have a safe and wonderous NEW YEAR. We certainly plan to :))))