Thursday, December 31, 2015

Another Blogging Problem

I've been trying all day to publish a new post. I'm getting "Google.api.exception."

This is frustrating!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Enjoying Company

Despite the storms they ran into, Dennis & Carol Hill drove from Livingston, TX to Tucson, AZ, a little over 1100 miles, in 3 days, arriving yesterday and snagging one of the last sites in the Davis-Monthan AFB FamCamp. To see more about their travel challenges, go to Dennis’ blog and read the last few days’ entries. If I had seen some of the accidents they saw, I think I would have gotten off the road fast. Here’s just one of them!


We have enjoyed visiting and getting caught up with them. Our conversations have been so interesting and dinners out so much fun, I haven’t taken many pictures. But here are a few with Gigi (of course!).

Gigi took to Carol right away, but I didn’t think to get the camera ready until she had moved over to Dennis’ lap. Just granting equal time to both her new friends.


Today Gigi and I visited Carol and Rainbow, and Gigi took the opportunity to get to know Carol better. She was also very interested in what was in her breakfast bowl. Rainbow didn’t quite know what to think, and she and Gigi met nose-to-nose on the floor a couple of times. They just might become buddies before too long.


Notice Carol’s boot? She’s still recovering from a break and sprain (gotta be careful of those wet leaves on wooden steps) and walking very well for short distances, but it’s best to keep her foot elevated as much as possible. No line dancing for awhile yet.

Last night we went to Poco & Mom’s Cantina, which is quickly becoming a favorite Mexican restaurant for us, and tonight we returned to U-Like, a favorite Chinese buffet.

Tomorrow we’ll be joined by Ed & Sandy Kruty and we’ll all enjoy celebrating New Year’s together. We’re sorry that Denny & Susie won’t be able to come as planned, due to some knee complications that Susie has encountered. But we’ll look forward to seeing them in Quartzsite next month.

I skipped over reporting about our Christmas, which Don and I spent just with each other. He outdid his previous excellent record on cooking a prime rib, which turned out perfect and wonderfully flavored with lots of garlic and herbs.



The garlic extended to mashed redskin potatoes, plus we had steamed asparagus and au jus, with straight (hot) horseradish for me and we cut his with a little blue cheese dressing. A super feast!


I’ll try to keep a camera handy and take more pictures during the next few days. In the meantime, we wish all our friends and family a safe and sane New Year’s celebration. Please take extra care if you’re in the path of the winter storms and stay off the roads if it’s stormy where you are.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Another Milestone and a New Cap

Don reached another milestone in his recovery on Monday (Dec. 21). Now that he’s receiving dialysis through his fistula, the catheter used for dialysis was no longer needed, so it was removed. It had been inserted during his stay in St. Mary’s Cardiovascular ICU, and I think it was around June 20, so it was there for 6 months! Hard to believe so much time has passed. Because of the length of time, there was some internal attachment – his body must have been trying to make the tube a permanent part of its system – and the doc had to work to get it released and removed. There’s still some soreness, but Don’s really glad not to have that appendage under his shirt, and I’m really glad not to have to put a waterproof glove and bandage on it every day before he takes a shower!

In fact, Don’s now driving himself to dialysis and has asked for an early slot (7 am) whenever the center has one available, as he likes to get the 4-hour session done before noon and have the rest of the day free.

It’s great to have two cars to give us both the freedom to come and go as we wish. And we’re both enjoying the new truck. Today we got the new Leer cap put on. It looks really nice!



The local dealer also installed the mud flaps Don had ordered. The cap seems to make the truck look bigger, but maybe that’s just my imagination. It will be so nice to store stuff safely inside and have room for the dialysate fluid in the motorhome basement.

Since Don lost so much weight, he can now wear a belt he had stored in our shed in Benson. And he found a nifty Navy submarine buckle to use with it.


As Christmas approaches, Santa has left more gifts near our tiny tree on the dash.


We send our warmest greetings for happy holidays to one and all. May your days be merry and bright… And if you’re traveling, please stay safe and away from Christmases that are white!


P.S. Note to Bloggers: I encountered a new problem when trying to publish this post. Open Live Writer gave this message: "The remote server returned an error: (403) Forbidden". I found the solution at this link. Be sure to follow the instructions while you’re in Open Live Writer, not Blogger.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Testing Open Live Writer

I’ve been convinced to try this new version of Live Writer, now that it’s an open source piece of software and has been changed to work with Blogger. So here’s a brief test post to see if I can use OLW as well as I did Microsoft’s version.

Below are some recent pictures for testing. Some have been posted on Facebook, so they may look familiar.

Our little dash tree is working hard this year, especially with a large package that arrived today.


Gigi has learned to claim my chair and afghan as soon as I vacate it. She figures I was finished with it.


What can I say? Don loves giving me my favorite yellow roses whenever he finds fresh ones. These are 3 days old and still looking great.


A clever way of folding the napkin at our FamCamp Christmas Dinner, held at Davis-Monthan AFB’s Mirage Club.


P.S. Hurray! Open Live Writer works! And I didn’t have to delete my previous Blogger account, as some have recommended. Comments are also still an option. All seems to be back to normal – thanks to all the anonymous people who wrote/modified the programs so this new program works as it should!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Looking Forward, Friends, etc.

We have several good news items to report, and this is a ‘catch-up’ blog because I’ve procrastinated when I should have been writing and publishing more often.

First, we’re very excited that the way is paved to go to Quartzsite in January! Don’s dialysis center admin guy Paul arranged for a chair at the dialysis center in Blythe, CA during the period Jan. 12-24 so we can leave Tucson on Jan. 11, return Jan. 25, taking 2 days for travel each way so we don’t get tired. We reserved a FHU site at Rice Ranch North, near the Too Crazy Ladies retail booth/RV.

Don’s fistula was examined by the surgeon and nurse practitioner on Dec. 2, and it received an A+ and a gold star! The dialysis center nurse Michelle was the first to use this new port for dialysis the following day. Don said he felt a little sting, but otherwise it wasn’t painful. The downside is that he can’t move his right arm at all during the 4 hours without risking pain and unwanted punctures. He needs help eating his snacks/lunch, and has to manage his Kindle, headphones, TV, etc. with his left hand. The upside is the permanence of the fistula, ability to shower without daily waterproofing the catheter (which we’ve done every day since August 12) as soon as it’s removed in about a week. The fistula is also a vital and important step toward home dialysis in a few months.

We finished our Christmas decorations and entered a contest in the RV park (at the encouragement of the staff). It’s nice to have our little tree on the dash again…we missed it last year when we were in Florida.

Don had a clever idea to hitch the motorhome to a couple of reindeer. I had trouble getting a good picture of the lights. The flash washed them out, but they looked fuzzy with no flash.

Gigi is pretty well settled in her new home. She now claims the space on the sofa as her own, but doesn’t mind if others share it with her. It’s just the best place to nap, as well as turn flips, burrow under the blanket, and sit on the back to look out the window.

On Wednesday Dec. 9 we had plans to meet Bill & Jan Mains for lunch. It suddenly dawned on me that morning that it was the day for the Escapees monthly luncheon in Benson. We’ll miss it in January due to going to Quartzsite, and we didn’t want to miss this one. I called Jan about 7:20 am and was delighted that she said they could be ready to go early and would love to go with us. They met us in the Safeway parking lot nearby, and had a nice ride in our new truck (Don’s really loving it!). It was nice to see lots of friends at the luncheon. (Note: I finally got a hair cut, and am enjoying having it easy to manage with just fluffing it up – no more time spent with the hair dryer.)

It’s been a long time since we saw Ron Chojnacki (talking with Don) and it was nice to meet his friend Mike, a solo RVer (next to Bill).

Don DeMent and Betty Dawson have enjoyed some traveling lately, so it was nice seeing them again.

Stu & Sandy Dutcher have been in touch with us during all of Don’s health problems, and Sandy is recovering nicely from her recent hip replacement.


Lynn & David Cross are staying in the Benson SKP park now.

More attendees appear in the group pictures below.

Later we stopped by our lot in Cochise Terrace and dropped off my sewing machine. 

It was a really nice day, but we still weren’t done. After returning to Tucson and bidding “See ya” to Jan & Bill, Mickey Waite called to see if she and Lynn could stop by for a visit. Mickey’s one of Gigi’s pals, so she got more petting and cuddles on the sofa.

My last note is to share a picture sent to Don by Pennye at Martin Accordions in Scott, LA, where we visited in February. Don helped her get some Koa wood from Hawaii through his brother Dave. Pennye ordered enough Koa to make 7 accordions, one of which is shown in progress below.

A final comment: I just spent the last 50 minutes transferring the text and pictures, piece by piece, to Blogger in order to publish this post. If I can't get the problems with Microsoft Live Writer resolved, this may be my last entry to the blog. I thought I had them resolved with the last entry, but new problems have appeared and I'm tired of fussing with them. Sometimes technology just sucks!


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015 and a New Vehicle

What could be better than having Thanksgiving dinner with good friends? Here’s how our day went.

First, the turkey was brined for 24 hours (Gloria and Frank helped me put it in the brine while Don was having dialysis on Wed morning), using a package of herbs and spices we bought at Bed, Bath & Beyond. This is the first time we’ve used a commercial brine kit – we’ve always made our own. But this turned out pretty good. This morning Don prepped the bird for cooking, rinsing off the brine and adding paprika, fresh lemons and other seasonings, and inserting the rack to position it in the Orion cooker.


We couldn’t find a turkey that was exactly 20 lbs – they were either 16 or 25. So we compromised on the only 22 lb turkey available. It did fit into the Orion cooker, but just barely. Frank claimed the wing that touched the side of the smoker. I hope he enjoys it – he took it home to eat later.

Don put the turkey in the cooker and loaded match light charcoal all around the base with a few briquettes on top.


Frank and Gloria supervised.


Then he lit the fire.


Flames showed everything was going as planned. By then, Gigi had come outside to help supervise.


Two and 1/2 hours later, the bird came out and rested for about 1/2 hour. It was then ready to carve, but parts started to fall apart before the knife hit it.


There was lots of turkey, even enough for ‘doggy bags’ for everyone.


Gloria & Frank and Mickey & Lynn brought lots of side dishes to go with the ones we provided.



I barely got the guys to look at me for a picture, but they were too busy eating to smile!


But we women smiled and enjoyed every bite.


Earlier in the evening, Gigi got comfortable with Mickey.



And yesterday, she relished the attention Gloria gave her.


Kisses are always fun!


And chest/belly rubs are the best.


Finally, some of you know that we bought a new-to-us 2014 Ford F-150 truck yesterday. Don’s thrilled to have a truck again, and we’re both amazed at all the bells and whistles on this vehicle. This smile says it all.


We had a pleasant experience at the Jim Click Ford dealership with salesman Carlos Rodriguez, who even complimented me on my negotiation skills. I have to admit I learned from some experts, including our friend Dennis Hill. Plus I used my librarian skills online to find a fair price, and we paid a figure in the low part of the range.


I’m not crazy about the black color, but the features and the deal won me over. We’ll both enjoy this vehicle for many years to come.


We’re keeping Carrie the CR-V as a second car while we’re in Arizona. And when we start traveling again she will be parked on our lot in Benson and have a long nap until we return.

Overall, this has been a memorable and meaningful Thanksgiving for us. We’re so thankful for the health we have and the friends we can enjoy time with. Life is good!