Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rain & More Doctors

Boy, our life has been in a rut lately with all the tasks to be finished before we head down to North Carolina for the wedding and then our trip out west.  Things will get better.

Yesterday while we were down in Silver Spring doing one of our tasks, I got a phone call from my back doctors office.  They said the Open MRI that I had a week or so ago didn't come out clear and I had to take a closed MRI before I came in for my appointment the next day.  Talk about rush.  They set me up with another imaging organization and I went in at 7:30am for the MRI.  Needless to say, it wasn't a pleasant experience but I made it through fine.

The Dr. said my back and disks looked much better than he thought it would and that in time with exercise it would get better.  Of course with all the running around yesterday and that morning it didn't feel better.  I am confident it will improve and I should be back to normal soon.  Whatever normal is!

Did I say it is raining cats and dogs out here.  Part of the tropical storm is moving up the East Coast and dumping a tremendous amount of rain.  They had 4.5 inches at 9am in Frederick, MD and it has been raining all day.  What a mess.

Of course this was the day Gerry took Cassie to Baltimore Washington International airport for her flight to Oklahoma City, OK to help Larry Jr & Jane pack out of their house.  She is going to drive one truck and Larry Jr. the other and hope to leave this Saturday.  I don't envy them with all the work ahead of them and then a 1350 miles drive towing cars on trailors. 

It is still raining as I write this and looks like it will be another all night rain.  Nice sleeping weather.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Gerry

This was the day that Gerry caught me in age.  

Happy Birthday Gerry

It wasn't a great day to celebrate her birthday since she had a Doctor's appointment down in Silver Spring, MD which is a 2 hour drive.  The appointment went well and she is cleared to travel as soon as we can get ready.

I had an appointment with the hearing aid specialist and she adjusted the volume on the hearing aids and also added another setting.  I am not sure I like the new settings since sounds are much louder.  
We had 4 other tasks to do while we were in the area and didn't get on our way back until after 4pm.  We tried the Beltway to see if it was quicker than the back roads and immediately got into a traffic jam.  A private school bus from Pennsylvania was on the way home when the driver had a seizure or something and died.  The bus went down a 45 ft embankment, turned over once and landed on it's wheels.  A number of the students were injured but none seriously.  It tied up traffic for over 4 hours.  We were lucky and made it through in 30 minutes or so.

We made dinner plans with Cassie, Jack & Lexa to have dinner at the Olive Garden in Frederick, MD.  We timed it great and pulled into the parking lot at the same time and had a great meal.  
They were acting up in the restaurant and we captured this silly photo.  I think the people around us were wondering if we were crazy.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Good friends of ours are celebrating their wedding anniversary today and we wish them the best.  If they can wait until November we can raise a drink to them.  Or, we can just have a drink here to them.  I think that is a good idea.  Here's to you guys.

Happy Anniversary Dee & Ron.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Refrigerator Repair

My son-in-law Jack finished repairing the refrigerator in the motor home this weekend.  He had almost completed the job on Saturday but needed about an hour more to finalize the repair.  The frig is working fine now and making ice and cooling properly.  What a relief.  It has been holding us up from loading the motor home for our fall trip and now we don't have any excuses.

Jack also fixed a couple other problems on the motor home and it is shipshape and ready to go.  I really appreciate all the work he has done on the MH and we will take him out to dinner asap.  

Our neighbor Bob came over and helped lift the frig back into the slot where it belongs.  I held it steady while they lifted it the 1 ft required to be in place.  They most likely have sore backs now from the heavy lifting and will join me in the sore back club.  I hope not.  It is nice to have neighbors that you can count on to help when you need it.

Bob has been cutting firewood the last couple weekends and has about 10 cords split and stacked under cover.  He said the acorns were larger and more numerous than usual so he expect a cold winter.  The firewood is used along with a propane furnace but the firewood greatly reduces his propane expense.  Since he has a number of trees on his property and I have some dead ones also he is taking advantage of  the firewood.  

My beloved Redskins really stunk up the place in St. Louis today.  It looked like they were finishing up a terrible season and trying to get home early.  If they don't play better soon, some of them will be going home early.  St. Louis wanted this game badly and it showed by how well they played. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Doctor visit

Do you see a pattern here?  Dentist one day and doctor the next.  Gerry went in for her ear operation today.  They put her under a general anesthetic and performed it in the Doctors surgical center.  All went well and the patient is on the road to recovery now.  It did tire her out very much.  The 200 mile round trip didn't help matters either.

She will go in for a follow up visit next week and then a checkup in 3 months.  Hopefully we can find an ENT Doctor out there that knows his stuff and take care of it for Gerry.

We went to Panera for lunch after the procedure and had a very nice meal.  Gerry enjoyed her French Onion soup and I had a very good Cuban sandwich.  Try one if you haven't already, they are good.

It sure was nice to get back to the cabin and relax after the Doctor visit today.  Now to get a good nights sleep and start the procedure all over on Thursday.

BTW:  Thursday is a special day.  I won't tell you why though.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Doctors & Dentists

I was able to get an appointment with Cassie's dentist today and went in to see what he could do for me.   I was hoping for a filling and get out of there easy like that, but nothing is that easy.  He checked my tooth and said the solution was a Root Canal for me.  He asked when I wanted it done and I said right now.  Lo & behold, my wish was granted much to my surprise.  He drilled, filled and generally made my jaw so sore I couldn't even yell at him.  2 hours later I walked out of there a pain free man.

All that ended about 3 hrs later when the novacaine wore off and it was extra strength tylenol time once again.  That made it bearable and I was able to sleep at night.  I have to go back at 8AM Tuesday morning and have him finish the job, but the difficult part is over.  The hardest part of this visit will be getting there at 8AM.  

I did manage to find three geo caches before the dentist visit since I got there so early.  Small victories are so sweet.

Jack came over to work on the MH refrigerator and put it back together.  The new part didn't fit and he wanted to check with Norcold before he trimmed the sides.  They said that was what he had to do and Saturday will be the big day for the final installation.  Yea!

Workhorse sent me the recall letter for the brake caliper repair and I have to schedule it with the local Workhorse dealer.  No telling when that will be finished.  If it is too late I will drive the MH to Tucson and get the repair finished there.  The brakes are working fine since I had them repaired 2 years ago.  Keeping my fingers crossed they will continue to do so.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Birthday & Football

Happy Birthday Cassie

Today is our daughter Cassie's birthday and we had lunch with her to help celebrate the occasion.  I had a therapy appointment early and a schedule MRI later so we managed to fit lunch with her at the 5 Guys Restaurant.  It was our first time at the restaurant and we enjoyed the food very much.  

I went to the open MRI and it went very well.  I am not sure how well I would do on an old fashioned tube type MRI but this one was a piece of cake.  They gave me a CD with the results and it contained a program to be able to view the MRI.  I looked but haven't the foggiest idea what I was looking at and if it was good or bad.  Dr Fitzpatrick will review it and let me know.  Fitzpatrick was my grand mother's maiden name.  No relation to the Dr.

We picked up 5 more geocaches on the way to Cassie & Jack's after the MRI.  A couple caches were hard and interesting while the others were standard. easy urban caches.  Can't wait to get back in the desert and pick up some interesting caches.

We stopped by Cassie's house to have some birthday cake but my sore tooth really began to act up and pain was shooting through my head.  Two tylenols, Orajel pain formula and an hour later it calmed down.  Needless to say I wasn't fit company and we left early.  German Chocolate cake is one of my favorites and I hope they save me some.

Back to the cabin and we built a fire it was so cool up here.  Supposed to be down in the 40s tonight and I think it will make it.  The fire was nice and warmed up the cabin quite a lot.  

So, that was our day and we are one day closer to heading out west again.  With all the medical problems we aren't sure when we will actually get out of here.  We may travel to the wedding in the car and then return and pack up the MH and leave, but we would prefer to pack up, go to the wedding and then continue out west.  Quien sabe?

I knew that when I mentioned all my football teams winning that I would jinx them.  The Redskins lost in overtime, Terps in regular time and Illinois won.  1 for three isn't very good.  At least the others played fairly well so that is a good thing.  Now to get my Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team out of being the worst team in professional baseball.  That is something for next year or the year thereafter.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hickory Bridge Farm

We had a birthday dinner with Cassie, Jack, Tom, Darlene, Gerry and me at the Hickory Bridge Farm in Ortanna, PA.  They only serve meals on Fri & Sat nights and Sunday afternoon.  The meals are served family style with three entrees available.  It is usually chicken, crab imperial and another dish.  We have dined there many times over the years and always enjoyed the meals, but this time the food wasn't up to par.  Hopefully this was an exception and they will go back to great food of the past.

The restaurant is in an old barn with original beams and floors and it is quite unique.  They also have a country store and a antique shed with old cars, fireengine, tractors and farming equipment.

Doctor visit

Well, I finally decided to get my sore back checked out at a back specialist.  He said, yep, you have a bad back and need rehab to get it back into shape.  Great!

I started rehab yesterday with Total Rehab Center yesterday and  today.  The exercises aren't that bad but they do require some work on my part.  Hopefully I can get it under control by the time we leave for Tucson.

The days are getting shorter and much cooler up here on the mountain.  The leaves are starting to change and fall is in the air.  Too bad fall is followed by winter.  

Not much else of interest going around except for picking up a few geocaches yesterday.  Time to hit the road and see new things.

Boring blog today.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sunday NIght Football

Are you ready for Sunday night football?  Well, it looks like the Washington Redskins were a little more ready than the Dallas Cowboys tonight.  Skins 13, Cowboys 7.   Yes, I have to gloat since I don't know when they will win the next game.  At least they have a solid defense this season and if they could ever get some offense going it would be interesting.

A special thanks to the Dallas right tackle for contributing to the victory. 

It was a good weekend for my football teams with the Maryland Terps & the Fighting Illini both posting victories.  

9/11 Day of Remembrance

We shall never forget this day and the cowardly act by the terrorists.

We left the hotel late today and made the 6 hour trip back to the cabin stopping twice for gas and once for lunch.  The drive up I-79 in West Virginia is a beautiful drive with lots of twists and turns on the interstate.  It seems like there isn't a single section of the road that is straight for more than 100ft and you are either going up a hill or down.  Nice drive in a car but would really burn up the gas in a motor home.

We stopped by Cassie & Jacks house to pick up the mail and visit for a few minutes.  They were heading out to dinner and we needed to get some provisions for the cabin.

We had a great time the past week or so but it is always nice to get back to the cabin and take it easy.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Getaway Day

Today marked the end of our visit with Melita & Adnon.  We picked them up for a late breakfast and exchanged photos with them and stayed an extra hour or two before we finally got on the highway.

They will be here until 9/18 when they fly back to Paris.  We are looking forward to their next trip to the USA and maybe we can hook up with them in the motorhome and show them some sights out west.

We drove from Bowling Green to just west of Charleston, WV.  We tried to stop earlier but the motels were full due to the Marshall vs West Virginia University football game.  We managed to watch the 2nd half on tv and it was an exciting game with WVU coming back from a 21-6 deficit to win it in overtime.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mammoth Cave & Superb Dinner

The trip for the day was to Mammoth Cave National Park with Gerry, Dino, Melita & Adnon taking the cave tour.  I have been on cave tours before and knew that my sore back would not let me take this one.  They took the 2 hour tour and had a great time while I made some parking lot phone calls and chatted with a couple people in the parking lot.  The time went by very quickly for me.

It was a little slower for the gang down below on the two mile hike with all the steps and narrow passages.  I would not have been able to squeeze through those places.  Mammoth Cave is said to be the largest known cave in the world as of now.  We took our grand daughter Stephanie there many years ago and she loved it.

We stopped by an orchard near Bowling Green and picked up some fruit and vegetables on the way back.  Later that evening Adnon's sister prepared a typical Bosnian meal for the four of us and it was great.  We tried some new foods that we had never seen before and managed to stuff ourselves very well.  Loved it!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Melita & Adnon - Corvette Museum

Gerry has been exchanging letters and emails with her cousin Melita for 15 years and they have never met face to face.  That all changed today as we joined them in Bowling Green, KY.  Their nephew Dino brought them to the motel and they had a happy meeting outside the office.  I got there after the initial squeals and hellos but did get this picture with smiles all around.  

We followed them to a Starbucks cafe and had a round of coffee with them and planned our day.  Dino had to work so we decided to visit the Corvette assembly plant and then the museum.  It was only after we arrived at the museum that the girls learned they needed closed toe shoes to go on the tour and neither had brought them.  The went on the museum tour and I waited for them in the Corvette delivery hall since my back was acting up.  I called my friend Mann who is a proud owner of a Corvette and asked him if he needed anything from the gift shop.  He told me to walk down by the first Corvettes being delivered and wave to him on the cameras there.  Neat.  I did so and when Melita, Adnon and Gerry finished the tour Mann captured the picture below of us.  

We joined them for dinner later that evening with Adnon sister at the restaurant where Dino works and had a great meal.  The food was great and service even better.  We got home stuffed and ready for bed.  Great day all around.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Travel Day

It was hard to believe but today was our travel day down to Bowling Green, KY to see Gerry's cousin & husband from Croatia.  We met Jeanie, Dick, & Sue at Jubelts Restaurant in Litchfield, IL for breakfast.  It is one of our favorite stops since they have the best pastry in the area, plus a decent breakfast.  It is located next to the Ariston Cafe and is quite old also.  

After breakfast we stopped by a Florist shop to get a flower arrangement for the gravesite of Gerry's parents and then drove back to Gillespie to pack up and hit the road.  We had a great time in Gillespie and enjoyed seeing all the relatives and friends.  Too bad we only get to see them once a year since we always enjoy their company.

We stopped by the cemetery and then pointed the car south for Bowling Green, KY which was about 300 miles away.  It was an easy 6 hour drive and we got settled in and called Melita to setup a meeting for Wednesday morning.  Then it was off to bed for a much needed good night sleep.

We did get a nice picture of a country church on the way down to here.  

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Route 66

We survived the family gathering and decided to see some old Rt 66 sights in the immediate area.  We grew up living within 9 miles of Rt 66 and traveled the old road all the time.  To us it was just another highway in the area and a good place to go out and race at top speed.  There weren't any speed limits in the 50s so racing was a popular past time.  Hard to believe we survived it.

The Ariston Cafe in Litchfield, IL was a favorite place of ours to eat when we were younger.  It was on the "Old" Rt 66 and has been situated there since 1935.  There was an earlier version across the street from this one but it was on leased property.  

Soulsby's Shell station in Mt. Olive, IL is also on the "Old" Rt 66 and has been there for many years.  We met the owner of the station about 10 years ago and still remember when it was an operational gas station.  He also repaired TV's had a room full of vacumn tubes in the gas station.  He has since passed away and I wonder what happened to all those old tubes.

A short distance away is the old Crossroads Cafe that sat right next to Rt 66 and has been in operation for as long as I can remember.  It is still a very busy spot and you can find my brother in just about every day that he is in the area.  It was originally a shiny metal diner and has been added to with a small dining room.  The serve good meals at a very reasonable price.  The red truck in front is my brothers pickup truck.

A better writeup of Soulsbys and the Ariston Cafe can be found at the following website. 

We were running around the contryside west of Gillespie, Il geocaching a took a short drive over to Beaver Dam State Park to visit with Gloria & Doug who were spending the summer camped at her brothers house.  He made them a very nice full hookup site and they even have a boat next to their motor home.  

We were heading back to the Litchfield area for dinner when it was decided to eat dinner at the Beaver Dam State Park concession stand.  Jeanie, Curt, Dick, Sue, Gerry and I went there for dinner.  The food was good and company even better.

Throw in geo caching for an hour or two and we were two very tired people.  There are a number of small country cemeteries around Gillespie and I have ancestors buried in a number of them.  One such cemetery is the Morrison Cemetery with about 75 graves in it.  It is very well maintained, however it is difficult to find and even more difficult to get to.  It just so happened that there was a geocache in the cemetery so we followed the GPS and it took us right to it.  The road got progressively worse and we were driving between two cornfields for the last mile or so.  See for yourself.

The bed really felt good that evening.

Family Gathering

Sunday was the day of the family gathering at Jeanie & Curt's house.  Almost all of the nieces, nephews and other relatives came to their house for a party.  When I say all, I mean 53 people in the house, sunroom and pool area.  There were 28 children under the age of 15 and 25 adults up to the age of *&.  We managed to talk to most of them but the kids were more interested in running around playing with each other.  I don't blame them, us old people aren't much fun.  We took many pictures but there were so many people there that we can't put them all out here.  So, I am only posting the picture below as representative of the gang.  We had a great time.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Road Signs

Friday was a long day for us with making the drive from Ohio to Illinois, visiting and getting to bed very late.  We continued to collect state welcome signs except for Ohio where we got this photo on the way out.  One of these days we will have all of the lower 48 states to go along with the Alaska welcome sign.  Hard to get a photo of the Hawaii welcome sign from a car.

Indiana was more cooperative and Gerry got a good shot of it after letting a big truck clear the view.  Getting a truck out of the view is very difficult on I-70 due to the extremely high number of trucks on the road.  At least the state is flat and they can pass each other fairly quickly, unlike eastern Ohio with their small hills that cause a lot of congestion due to trucks passing each other.

Illinois doesn't spend a lot of money on their signs welcoming you to the state.  We almost missed this sign since it was on the overpass.  It is always good to get back into Illinois even though we moved away 53 years ago.  I still refer to it as home while Gerry corrects me to say Maryland is home now. 

We went out to dinner with our niece Jeanie, my brother Dick and his friend Sue at a small Italian restaurant in Gerry's hometown of Benld, IL.  It is very small, but has excellent food and service.  This was our reward for having dinner there.  It tasted as good as it looks.  Trust me!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Road Trip

Gerry and I left the cabin today around 1:30pm for our trip to Illinois.  We had made reservations at a motel near Springfield, Ohio so there wasn't any reason to leave real early.  It took us 7 1/2 hours to drive the 400+ miles to the motel.

We got on I-68 near Hancock, MD and headed west through some very pretty mountains.  Along the way we had to cross over Sideling Hill just west of Hancock and it is neat to see how much they cut into the mountain in order to keep the grade reasonable.  

A short distance away is a very pretty farm nestled in the side of the mountain.  It is beautiful in the winter with all the snow as a backdrop.  Cold too!  The road through this area has some steep climbs and sharp descents.  Not bad in a car but a little more difficult in the motorhome.

The Pennsylvania Welcome Center in I-79 has a statue to John L. Lewis to honor the coal miners.  PA is undermined by large coal fields and was/is heavily unionized.  John L. Lewis got his start in Panama, IL which is about 15 miles from where Gerry and I were born.  He was there a number of years and then moved to bigger things and more palatial digs.  The area around Panama broke away from his union and started the Progressive Mine Workers union causing a lot of problems for the miners in the area.

We had an uneventful drive and made very good time.  We missed rush hours and the traffic was light for the most part.  Other than a gas stop, a Russell Stover candy stop, and dinner it was a great drive.