Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Free Cherry Pie

No, it isn't a Washington Birthday special, just the free pie Wednesday at the Village Inn here in Tucson.  They give free pie slices away with a purchase on Wed from 10am to closing.  I really am addicted to the cherry pie and always order it as my reward.  We bring the pie home with us and then see how long we can resist finishing it off.  Last night was not a record for waiting.

I prefer a table so they usually put us in a section with a waitress we are familar with.  Last night they much have been short a waitress or two since ours had about 10 tables to wait on and she was running around like a chicken with it's head cut off.  She is very efficient and good, so service was fine, but I bet she was worn out at the end of her shift.

Earlier we went shopping for a housecoat for me to use while I am in the hospital along with some other required items.  Have any of your bought a robe lately?  Like everything else they have really gone up in price.  I wish I had brought my robe from the cabin, but in the hurry to get out of there it was left behind.

We also stopped by Med Tech to see what some other recommended items are going to cost.  Whew!  Ka ching, ka ching.  I am going to wait and see what I really need before buying out the store, so that will be a task for Gerry to perform one day while I am still in the hospital.  Then the question becomes, what good are these things after all the PT is over and I am well again?   If I get the other knee replaced soon, then I will be set for that, so we will have to find someplace to store all this stuff in the motorhome.  Easier said than done.

Cassie called last night and we setup a video chat with her which last about an hour after talking to her for 30 minutes.  It was good seeing her nice smile and catching up on events in her life.  It was after 12:30 AM when we got off the video chat with her.  It was time for her to fix Jack's lunch since he would be leaving in an hour or two for work.  I think someone is a night owl.

By the time we got off the computer with her it was too late to even think about a blog.  I am still dating this one as Wednesday just to keep it in order.

After reading Jerry's reply in the comment section about his day, I don't think I will ask "how was your day" for a while.  

Have a nice day.      

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Recognition for Charlie

There are a number of work campers here in the park and while they all do a good job, one worker goes beyond the call of duty on a daily basis.  Charlie is one of the hardest working people I have seen in a long time.  He spends long hours on the job and always has a cheerful outlook.  A few people here at the park decided he should be rewarded and took up a collection.  While I don't know how much was collected, I assume it was a nice amount.  He deserves it.

Aw shucks!

As usual, when they were ready to give him the card and such, he had left the building on some errand or something.  It was coffee and donuts time so everyone sat around and waited for him to return.  Then he went into the closet and was working on something there and they had to call him out for the presentation.  He never stops.

We tried to get there early and get a seat near the front, but these people at the park must get up at 5am in order to be there early.  We did manage to sit at the same table as Judy & Steve and catch up on what they have been up to lately.   

Gerry went to her sewing group and I had a couple visitors.  Ron C came by with the paper and was on his way to Harbor Freight to pick up some needed tools.  While he was here, Dimone & Dick came by as expected since I had agreed to help Dimone set up her blog page.  We worked on that for a couple hours and now she is on her way to being an expert blogger.  Welcome to the club.

It was a pleasant day, but a little cool outside.  We hung around the MH in the afternoon and finished up a few chores.  We were rewarded with a beautiful Tucson sunset.


That was our day, how was yours?  Good night.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Welcome Griffin

Our oldest grandson, Ryan and his wife Dee made Gerry and me proud great grandparents this morning.  Henry Griffin Hagadorn entered our world at 9:46 am Eastern Time.  Everyone is excited to hear of his arrival and I know he will be spoiled by his grandmother, Barbara.  He was less than 10 minutes in this world when the photo below was taken. 

He is 19.5 inches long and weighs 6lb 9.5 oz and has all his fingers and toes.  Whew!  Mother and dad are doing fineMore to follow.

Ryan & Griffin share a tender moment.  Ryan sure does look like the proud papa and Griffin is doing what babies do best, sleep.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Still Here

We haven't been doing much other than doctor and dentist visits.  I am sure you all aren't interested in hearing about them in detail, so I won't bore you with that.

Gerry, Sharon, Al and I went to Guadalajara Cafe Wednesday night to celebrate Sharon's birthday and Al & Sharon's wedding anniversary.  We always enjoy the visit to Guadalajara Cafe, but the salsa made at our table wasn't up to the usual high standards that we are used to.  My mild salsa was tasteless and Gerry's medium wasn't much better.  The rest of the meal was fine and as usual the beer was nice and cold.  

There was a large party of diners at the table next to us and they had a young boy of about 3-4 who decided to start to scream and wouldn't stop.  Nobody paid any attention to him at their table but he sure made it uncomfortable for others who had to hear him.  This seems to be the way things are with the younger parents not taking care of the problem.  I am surprised the restaurant managers don't say something, but I guess they don't want to offend them.

 They had a chuck wagon dinner at the rec center tonight and we went up there for the meal and company.  The meal was ok and the company great.  After dinner a Bluegrass Band called The Dusty River Boys played for a couple hours.  We've heard them before and enjoy their music and comedy skits, so we stayed until the end.  Very entertaining group and well worth listening to.

We stopped by Steve and Judy's for a couple drinks and visited for a while.  We haven't seen them much lately due to them having company and us with our medical appointments.  Steve had some special beer set aside, but I couldn't talk him into sharing a bottle with me.  I will work on him more and maybe get one before he drinks it all.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Happy Anniversary Jane & Larry Jr.

This is another of those "my how time flies by" moments for us.  I had the opportunity to take a new position in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in 1982 and accepted the job after talking it over with Gerry and Larry Jr.   Jr was 11 years old and thought it sounded interesting so he agreed to go with us.  That was good, since I was committed to the job by that time anyway.

He did really well until it was time to get on the plane from JFK to Paris and that is when it hit him.   NOOOOOOO  I don't want to go.  Fasten your seat belt, we are on the way.  He had a rough 1st year there at the school since they gave him a test the 2nd day after his arrival, and the teacher was surprised he failed.  The fact that he hadn't had that subject yet never entered her mind since there wasn't a lot of space there. 

One thing that made the transition easier was that he met this beautiful young girl there who he hit it off with from the beginning.  She and her family were there for her father's job with the Embassy and the young ones became fast friends.  Since he was 11 years old at the time, he didn't see any reason to talk to his parents about his friends, but he did talk about her.   Oh Oh, our boy is noticing girls.

We went to visit one of the many US Navy ships that put into port in Abidjan and managed to capture the picture shown below of the two of them.  No, can't touch a girl yet.  Icky.

Jane & Larry Jr on right - Abidjan 1983
Larry Jr. wasn't much for writing letters, but he did keep in contact with Jane after her father was transferred to another post.  He did mention her a number of times over the years and kept in touch with her via letters, emails, phone calls, mutual friends, etc.

He received a call from her in 2005 and by then she had been married and divorced and had a son, Grant.  One thing led to another and he invited her to Maryland to go on a Jeep Rally with him.  Jane, being the adventuresome person she is, said why not.  She didn't know what she was getting herself into.   She visited him and then he traveled to Oklahoma to visit her and finally moved out there to be with her.  They were married on Jan 23, 2006 in a civil ceremony and then later at the Dahlgren Wedding Chapel in Boonsboro, MD on June 23, 2006.

Jane & Larry Jr.
   Today is their 7th wedding anniversary and they are still in love as much as when they were younger.  This past weekend they were at the baby shower for grandson Ryan & his wife Dee.  Henry took this photo and as you can see they are still a happy couple.  Grant is in the photo and has readily accepted Jr. as his dad.
Jane, Grant & Larry Jr.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Joint Camp

The day started early for us with a trip up to the rec center for the Tuesday morning coffee and donut treat at 9AM.  We had a salesman from USA Insurance & SKYMED provide the donuts and also a short sales talk.  Most of his talk was directed at mobile home owners so it was easy to tune him out.  Then we had a lady from the Food Bank give a little speech about what is available and how to sign up for free food.  A number of people in the park volunteer at the food bank and every Thursday they bring back some fresh vegetables for all of us to enjoy.  Lastly, a lady from a community service group explained what they do and was looking for volunteers.  Triple header!

Yep, Gerry and I went to camp today and joined a few other campers to hear what lies ahead for me with my knee replacement on Feb 4.  It's bad enough I have to have it done, now they are explaining in detail all the things I have to go through.  It reminds me of the advertisements on TV about new prescription drugs that are wonderful, except for all the side effects.  The side effects would keep me from trying any of them unless I was out cold and didn't know they were giving them to me.

The Joint Camp is required of all people who will be going through hip surgery or knee replacement.  It took almost 1 1/2 hours and they presented the information very clearly.  I imagine this is typical for all hospitals that perform these surgeries, but I found it very informative and interesting.  Gerry will be my coach through this and it seems like she has a tougher job than what I will be going through, except she won't have the pain.

Now I have to measure our shower enclosure and also the lip on the entry to the shower.  Our shower is a sort of semi-circle and may be the biggest obstacle in this adventure.  They recommend you have a chair to sit on so you don't fall down.  I'd have to get a bicycle seat to sit down on if that is required.  No, not really that bad, but it would be a small chair.  Hmmm, I wonder how long I could go without a shower before Gerry takes me outside and hoses me down?

They stressed pain management and will be asking me how much pain there is on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest and most pain.  This is always subjective and depends on how much pain an individual can stand.  The therapist said I was lucky since my kidney stones would be a 10 and the knee pain would be less.  Of course the kidney stone pain was for a short duration the knee will be a lot longer.  Great!  

Gerry and I went out for an early lunner (lunch/dinner) and stopped by Applebee's and managed to get there in time for happy hour.  We went with the 2 for $24 meals with an appetizer and walked out of there full to the gills.  Neither of us even wanted to think about eating anything later, but we did manage to eat a small piece of the Blueberry cheesecake that we bought at the dessert auction.  It just filled in a few cracks and was more than enough for us.

The beautiful weather has been holding up and today was the nicest one this year.  It was up around 82 with a clear blue sky.  It doesn't get much better than that.  I do feel sorry for our daughter Cassie and her family back in Maryland with temps down around 0 tonight.  Now that is cold for that part of the country.  Hope it warms up real soon for them.


Harbaugh Dog Fight

The upcoming Superbowl is a promoter's delight.  It has everything and I am sure we will hear all about it in the next two weeks.  This must be the first time ever two brothers are coaching against each other in the NFL title game;  pre-superbowl and all other title games in the past.   They did coach against each other a few years ago and that was the only time brothers have coached against each other in NFL history.

Their father also was a football coach at the college level and had a good record for the years he coached.  So, they are sons of a coach and have probably been around football fields all their lives.  What a learning period they have had with all that exposure.

The Baltimore Ravens have Ray Lewis at linebacker and this is his last season playing.  He was drafted by the Ravens in 1996 and has played his entire career in Baltimore.  There are a lot of people who love Ray Lewis and many who don't.  He was involved in the stabbing death of two fans in Atlanta and accepted a deal to testify against two members of his party.  Many people feel he got away with something and aren't that happy about it.  I wasn't there, so I won't pass judgement.

London Fletcher of the Redskins has almost identical stats for his career and has played at a very high level since he came into the league in 1998.  It is interesting that he hasn't gotten all the publicity that Lewis has

             Lewis          Fletcher
 Games   228                240
Sacks       41.5                37
Tackles  1336             1685
Int              31                 23   

I must admit I don't have a lot of interest in the game this year, but will watch it to see how the QB for the 49ers does against the Ravens defense.  It should be an interesting game.

The nurse said I would need a platform at the base of the steps of the motorhome in order to be able to ascend the steps after my knee operation.  I planned on building a platform, but found a wood pallet that I can cover with plywood to make the platform.  All I have to do now is pick up a 4 X 4 sheet of  plywood at ACE Hardware and screw it into the pallet.  One more task almost accomplished.

Friends of ours, Debbie & Dale asked us a lot of questions about fulltiming and we must have given the right answers since they bought a 40ft Winnebago Journey and hope to begin fulltiming this spring or summer.  They have the right attitude and should have a great time on the road.  Hopefully we can run across them somewhere in this great country of ours.  If so, it will have to be warm for us to be there.   

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Then there were 2 left. 49ers vs Raven

Well, it looks like it is down to Jared, Sean and me with the Superbowl winner pick.  Everyone else is eliminated and Jared and I both have the 49ers left in the huntwhile Sean has the Ravens.  So, it will either be a tie or Sean will be the winner.  Those grandsons of mine really follow the NFL teams and it's only by sheer luck that I still have a team left.

Ryan         Seahawks & Patriots
Barb          Skins, Denver
Gerry        Skins, Texans
Henry       GBay, Denver
Larry Sr    49ers, Texans
Sean          Seahawks, Ravens
Jared         49ers, Patriots
Steph        Panthers, Patriots  <===== It's a blond thing.
Dee           Skins, Denver
Taylor       Denver, Packers

I have to confess that I watched the 49er - Falcons game and thought it was a good game.  Since I don't care for either the Ravens or Patriots, we turned that game off.  I was hoping both of them would lose.  LOL

We stopped by the Hotrod Cafe after church and found out they have a bar and an upper deck and you can sit outside there, too.  You can see the campground from the upper deck and we took a couple pictures, but Gerry's camera didn't have the range to bring the photo in close enough.  She did manage to take one photo that shows the motorhome three units down from us.  It's in the lower right hand corner of the photo right above my signature.  The campground is about 1.4 miles from the Cafe, so it was a long shot.

It was a pleasant day here with temps in the low 80s and lots of sunshine.  We recently had record setting low temps and now they are calling for possible record setting high temps.  Weird weather, to say the least.

The other day we pulled out the small coin change we've been collecting and found that we had $40 in quarters.  We used to save quarters for the laundromat and also for Gerry to play the quarter slots.  She added small winnings to the pot and since the slots nowdays don't use real money, we decided to get rid of it.  Ron & Dee K use the laundromat here at the park and since they have to buy the quarters from the park office, I offered them to Ron.  He dug down deep into his coffee can and found the $40 and both of us were happy with the transaction.  Thanks, Ron.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ladies Free Breakfast & Dessert Auction

This was a busy day at the recreation center at the park and it started off early with a free breakfast for the ladies.  They do this once a season and it's called Ladies Appreciation Day. We guys had to pay full price for the breakfast so it was like getting it 1/2 price for the two of us.  We enjoyed the breakfast and the chatting with fellow guests and then went back to the motorhome to get some chores finished.

I managed to spend a couple hours on a number of small tasks and finally took a break and finished reading a book that I had started a couple days ago.  It was a mystery and kept my interest all the way to the end.  600 pages of excitement and it wasn't easy to figure out what was going on.  I like the ones that aren't obvious.

Gerry baked a banana-pineapple bread for the auction and we bought a blueberry cheesecake pie as our contribution.  Everyone kept bringing over pieces of the dessert they had purchased and shared them with us.  I couldn't finish all the dessert and we brought it home with us. 

Last year they auctioned off a date with Carl, but this year you only got him to wash your dishes one night.  The high bidder said they were going to save up their dishes for a week in order to get his money's worth.   Good luck on that.  

It was a good night for the auction and over $750 was raised for the year-end party.  Everyone had fun and Dick the auctioneer kept up with great banter and the auction went very smoothly.  Job well done.

It was t-shirt and shorts weather here today and it was most welcome after all those cold days.  The weather forecast for the next week is more of the same.

Upgrading TV

Our TV in the bedroom has worked on and off and then finally off.  We rarely watch TV in the bedroom so I wasn't in a hurry to get it repaired or replaced but upcoming events made it more important to have a TV back there.  Now, if we were in a house it would be a simple task to buy a TV and plug it in and we would be good to go.  Not so in a motorhome.

We had a 26 inch Panasonic tv back there and the only thing that would fit into the space is another 26 inch tv.  No problem, just buy another 26 inch tv and put it in the space.  Have you tried to buy a tv that size lately?  They are few and far in between, but we found a Vizio that will work and fits in there.

Today was the day to install the tv and it took Ron K and me about 3 hours to finish the job.  The problem was the plate on the back of the tv that held it in place.  We had to cut a piece off the plate and then cut a bar to make an opening large enough to hook up the wires in the back.  It looks pretty good and I have it all tuned up and we did use it for an hour or so.  There is a lot of difference between a 42 inch tv and a 26 inch tv.  Bigger is better.

We did luck out and had a beautiful day here with temps in the high 70s, so working outside was a pleasure.  Ron K had a nice grinding tool and that helped speed up the job, otherwise I would still be working on the task.

Now that I am worn out, it is time to hit the hay.  

I hope you all had a better weekend than our friends Jerry & Suzy.  Suzy was feeling bad and off to the hospital they went.  You can read their excitement in their blog.  Our Life on Wheels   They have had an interesting time this last year, but still are positive.  Hang in there, you two.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Maryland & West Virginia Countryside

I thought I'd take a break from daily happenings and post some photos of various scenes in Maryland & nearby West Virginia.  Maryland has a rich history and has played an important role in the evolution of the United States.

 The photo above was taken one rainy day in Colesville, MD when we lived there.  The rain had let up a little and I noticed how pretty the tree next door looked.  If you look closely you can see the rain drops coming down.  Percy, our neighbor took great pride in his lawn and it looked great all the time.  Darn him, he made me look bad.

Burnside Bridge
The battle of Antietam took place near Sharpsburg, MD and this bridge was an important point in the battle.  The Union Army was on the left and the Confederate Army was on the right of the bridge on a bluff overlooking Antietam Creek.  Rather than cross the creek at any number of places, the Union commanding officer insisted on attacking across the bridge where anyone can see, is a funnel.  Many Union soldiers lost their lives there due to his stubborness.

Trout stream near Wolfsville, MD

Old Farm house along side of the road

Brunswick, MD Railroad Station  The Brunswick station was the last station in the CSX System to have a human ticket agent.

Harpers Ferry, WV

Shenandoah St

Armory and gun making equipment.

The United States Armory and Arsenal, established here in 1799, transformed Harpers Ferry from a remote village into an industrial center. Between 1801 and the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, the Armory produced more than 600,000 muskets, rifles, and pistols, and employed, at times, over 400 workers. Inventor John H. Hall pioneered interchangeable firearms manufacture at his Rifle Works between 1820-1840, and helped lead the change from craft-based production to manufacture by machine.
 On April 18, 1861, less than 24 hours after Virginia seceded from the Union, Federal soldiers set fire to the Armory and Arsenal to keep them out of Confederate hands. The Arsenal and 15,000 weapons were destroyed, but the Armory flames were extinguished and the weapons-making equipment was shipped south. When the Confederates abandoned the town two months later, they burned most of the factory buildings and blew up the railroad bridge.  The first Harpers Ferry citizen killed during the Civil War was Frederick Roeder. 

Gerry, Mann & Carolyn taking in the sights at Harpers Ferry, WV.

 Phillip Frankel & Company was a "ready-to-wear" men's clothing store that was located in Harpers Ferry  from about 1858 to 1860. A former business partner, Bernhard D. Hirsh, continued the business until about 1865 when the building burned.

John Brown's Raid John Brown believed he could free the slaves, and he selected Harpers Ferry as his starting point. Determined to seize the 100,000 weapons at the Arsenal and to use the Blue Ridge Mountains for guerrilla warfare, abolitionist Brown launched his raid on Sunday evening, October 16, 1859. His 21-man "army of liberation" seized the Armory and several other strategic points. Thirty-six hours after the raid began, with most of his men killed or wounded, Brown was captured in the Armory fire engine house (now known as "John Brown's Fort") when U.S. Marines stormed the building.
Brought to trial at nearby Charles Town, Brown was found guilty of treason, of conspiring with slaves to rebel, and murder. He was hanged on December 2, 1859. John Brown's short-lived raid failed, but his trial and execution focused the nation's attention on the moral issue of slavery and headed the country toward civil war.

 Confluence of the Potomac & Shenandoah rivers at Harpers Ferry, WV.  The B&O railroad bridge is on the left and the tunnel at the end is in Maryland.

If you are ever in the Harpers Ferry vicinity or Antietam at Sharpsburg, MD, take the opportunity to check out this area.  You can easily spend days in the area seeing all the sights.  We have visited the area more than 20 times and still enjoy the visit.

One last photo was taken at our house in Colesville, MD.  We lived near the Northwest Branch of Rock Creek Park and the area was overrun with deer.  At first it was neat seeing them in the yard, but when we had 15-20 deer in the yard at the same time, it ceased to be that interesting.  They ate every plant in our yard and it was nearly impossible to have a flower garden.  We would put a spray on the plants to keep the deer away and the rain would wash off the spray and the deer would feast again.  The photo below was taken from our patio which was about 50 ft from the deer.

See, I told you this would be a different blog.