Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Happy Birthday Gerry


 Since I'm not a good baker, the cake above will have to take place of a birthday cake.  Since we've celebrated three birthdays in 9 days, I'm sure it will be enjoyed more than another cake.

We are going to the Carriage House Inn in Emmitsburg, MD for dinner this evening to celebrate Gerry's birthday.  It is one of her favorite restaurants in the area and we use it for special occasions.

Gerry & Larry celebrating birthdays

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Dill Gravy & Birthdays

Sept 18-25, 2015  South Mountain, PA

 Barbara & Henry drove up to the cabin on Sep 18 and arrived late in the afternoon.  They changed cars and we headed for the Ott House restaurant in Emmitsburg, MD.  I've written about the Ott House before and won't go into detail this time, but suffice to say it is a favorite of the family.  Cassie, Jack & Bella joined us there and we had a great time.  No pictures were taken this time for some reason.

Gerry, Cassie and Barbara prepared pulled pork BBQ and also a pork chop and rice casserole for Saturday.  It was the first day of special dinners and requests for us.  Luckily I enjoyed all the meals so I was the big winner.

One of the reasons for the visit was to help celebrate Cassie's birthday on the 20th.  We had a cabin full for the celebration with Tom & Darlene (G's sister), Erin & Herbert and three children, Cassie, Jack & Bella, Barbara & Henry and Gerry and me.  Gerry made homemade soup and dill gravy and dumplings, along with a beef roast.  Barbara & Erin wanted to learn the process, as it is a family recipe that isn't written down, so they helped a lot with the preparation.  WOW, we ate good that day.  Not everybody likes the dill gravy so the beef roast was for them. 

Homemade soup

Dill Gravy

We got a cake for Cassie and sang happy birthday to celebrate her special day.   She showed up in style Saturday with her latest Easter hat on and a big smile.  I don't know where they celebrated that day before they got there, but they must have had a great time.

Where're the Margaritas?

Sunday birthday celebration.
Barbara & Cassie

Erin, Abigail, Herbert & Caden
 Erin & Barbara returning from their morning walk of 6 miles.  They both were surprised how much more difficult it is walking up here with all the steep and long hills.  No level ground around here.

Barbara & Henry got me a back scratcher for my birthday.  I was joking with them and called it a toilet bowl cleaner and stuck to that story.  They also gave me a gift card to Applebee's restaurant which will be used right away.

Bella brought her computer for me to check, but it ran fine while she was here.

 Monday the weather took a turn colder and Barbara & Gerry wanted a fire to take the chill off in the cabin.  The heatilator fireplace works very well and it was soon warm and toasty in the cabin for them to work on their card crafting

Tuesday morning Gerry and I went down to the Silver Spring, MD area for our doctor appointments and Barbara went with Cassie & Bella shopping and an appointment.  It was late when we returned and everyone met at the cabin for leftovers.  

Henry had some appointments in the PA, NY, CT & NJ areas and was gone Monday and Tuesday.  

Wednesday morning they headed back to NC around 5:30am and we got up to tell them goodbye but missed them by 10 minutes.  Since we were up, we headed to Gettysburg, PA for breakfast but couldn't find a decent place to eat and wound up in Fayetteville, PA for breakfast at a small local diner.  Same place as we had lunch with Linda & Sherwin last year.

Then, we went back to the cabin and crashed.  Only for a day and then more doctor appointments.  All results have been great so far and it will be nice to have the doctor visits behind us.

Someone with the initials GC has a birthday coming up Tuesday.

That was our week, how was yours?

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Busy Days At The Cabin

We have been busy scheduling and going to doctor appointments.  Our long time GP doctor threw in the towel last year and retired due to all the new government regulations and changes.  Bummer!  We had to find a new GP and that was a little more difficult to accomplish than we thought it would be. 

The doctor we selected wanted all our medical records sent to her office before she would schedule an appointment.  That took us to the last week in town and we didn't have time to see her.  This year we scheduled appointments early and got that taken care of.  Of course she wanted more blood work and test done so she could get a better picture of our health.  More visits to a lab and finally we were good to go.  It takes an average of 2 hours to get in to see the doctor since there always seems to be at least an hour wait for each visit.  

Then we had other doctor visits down near where we used to live and they were 90 miles away.  So much for early morning visits with a 2 hour drive ahead of us.  We continue with these doctors since we like and trust them to take good care of us.  At least we can schedule one visit before lunch and then another after lunch.  It does take us all day when we see these two, but they are worth it.

So far all is well with us other than a few nicks and bruises.  Gerry and I both have one more routine visit and we will be done with doctor visits for a while.  This growing old isn't for the faint of heart.

We had company at the cabin and celebrated some birthdays, but I will write more about that later. My brother has been back home after his heart bypass surgery and is doing well with his recovery.  He didn't bounce back like some people do, but he was in worse shape than many people.  He says he feels better now and is trying to get ready for his major cancer surgery the end of October.   

Looking to leave here sometime the week of October 20 or thereabouts.  No firm departure date since it all depends on factors out of our control.  Weather always dictates leaving the cabin since I have to drive on dirt in order to get out of the parking space for the motor home.  It's a very tight squeeze leaving here and if it is muddy, then I will delay our departure or leave before the rain comes.  It's not like packing a suitcase and loading it in the car and hitting the road.  I do wish it was that simple.  One year we got 14 inches of snow on the day before we wanted to leave.

I see a number of  the snowbirds are already on the road and having a great time.  Most will be leaving the northern reaches and heading out in late October after viewing the beautiful fall weather.

We had lunch at Panera Bread recently and while I have seen a lot of weird things over the years, this one is near the top.  How do you like this hair do?  I think she is a zookeeper or loves leopards.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Quick Trip To Charlotte, NC

One thing about being retired is that others think you have unlimited time to do whatever you want.  We learned long ago that premise isn't exactly true.  Along with our choices of things to do, others think our time can be shared with them.  Now don't get me wrong, we do like to share our lives with our children and grandchildren.

Larry Jr and Jane had a great opportunity to spend a few days in Las Vegas with most of the trip paid for.  They called us a couple months ago and asked if we could stay at their home and get Grant to school and back for a few days.  Their trip fit into our plans so we drove down on Wednesday last week to "baby sit" Grant for a few days.  He is taller than Gerry now so we can't really call it baby sitting.

It's 460 miles between the cabin and their home in Mint Hill, NC.  We jumped on I-70W and then caught I-81S at Hagerstown, MD.  Gasoline was $2.03/gallon at the Costco in Winchester, VA and it was on our way so we filled up there.  The lines were long at the gas station but moved fast since you can't clean your windows at Costco.  

Back on I-81 and the endless line of trucks speeding along at 75mph with almost bumper to bumper traffic isn't my idea of fun.  You had to stay in the fast lane or you couldn't get back in the lane if you pulled to the slow lane.  Even though the speed limit was 70mph you had to drive 75-80 to keep the trucks and cars from running over you.

We connected with I-77S near Wytheville, VA and it was almost as bad as I-81.  The trucks did have to slow down climbing the mountain on the VA/NC border but they made up for it on the downward side of the mountain.  One truck was going at least 80+ and it had the name of a race car driver on the trailer.  Zoom Zoom.

This looked like it belonged here.

While we were in the Charlotte area we visited with Barbara & Henry and got to see all our grandchildren at their house for a Saturday dinner.  They are a great bunch of young adults and always fun to be around and catch up on their lives.  Grandson Sean and Taylor (wife) are expecting twin girls in October and she looked and sounded like she was ready to get the birthing over.

All too quickly it was Sunday evening and time to pick up Larry & Jane at the airport.  They had a great time and made the most of the short trip by taking in the Cirque de Soleil show Zoomanity.  They are both big fans of the Cirque and really enjoyed the show.  It was the first time either had been to Vegas and they were impressed with the Fremont light show also.  Their room overlooked the Bellagio dancing water light show and thought it was great.

Resting up after the trip.

We also had to cat and dog sit while we were there.  They get along fine and rough house it all the time.  The cat attacks the dog and works him over except they had him declawed since he was tearing up all their furniture. 


We hung around another day and finally bid our farewell on Tuesday morning.  They had class and work to attend to and we needed to get back to the cabin and prepare for Barbara and Henry's visit this weekend.

The ride back was easier and the traffic was lighter for some reason.  The gas was $1.86 in Matthews, NC and $1.94 in Winchester, VA so that was great.  The CRV averaged 33 mpg for the trip so we were pleased with the economy.  All in all we drove over 1,000 trouble free miles.

Now we are busy getting ready for the weekend.   

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Brother's Surgery Update

My brother is still in the hospital after his bypass surgery but is recuperating slowly.  Hopefully he will be released to go home sometime this week.  It should help with his disposition and make him more comfortable in his home.

Gerry and I have been working on the cabin with the never ending chores there to make it livable after being closed for 10 months.  We usually stay in the motor home for the first week or so and clean the cabin.  This year we've had doctor appointments and many other chores so we are still in the motor home.  We do use the cabin when visitors come up since it is easier to cook in the kitchen and there is more space for visiting.

We've been thinking that we will stay in the motor home while we are here since everything we use is here.  The washer/dryer is in the MH and it will save Gerry many trips with the clothes.  It will also eliminate needing things and find out they are in the wrong location.  Plus, we are comfortable in the MH.  When it turns cold up here we will appreciate the nice warm furnace and fireplace even more.

I bought a macerator so we could dump our black tank into the cabin's septic tank.  That will make it much easier to use the MH since we won't having to make all the bathroom visits in the cabin.  Of course the first time I used the "made in China" Flojet macerator one of the clips securing it to the drain valve broke off.  Plastic fittings are terrible.  Now I will take it back to Camping World and see if I can get a replacement.  CW is known for their friendly customer relations so it will be interesting to see how it goes.

A short trip to North Carolina is in store for us today.  Larry Jr and Jane are heading to Las Vegas on Thursday for a few days and we are going to stay with Grant.  Mostly it will be to take him to school and visit with him.   He does love his grandmother's cooking so I am sure he is looking forward to our visit.  We will be back early next week and get ready for Barbara and Henry's visit to the cabin.

Otherwise, it's been a slow time around here in PA.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Big Brother's First Surgery Successful.

My brother went in for open heart surgery on Monday.  He had to take a number of tests to see if he could handle the surgery and it was touch and go until late Monday morning.  The doctor finally said it was a go and scheduled him for an afternoon operation.  

Late afternoon after all the delays and false starts but they finished with him around 9:30pm on Monday night.  The text messages from his 7 children and me were burning up the wires on how it was going.  He is still in ICU and won't be released from there until Thursday and then moved to a regular room.

We all are hoping for a speedy recovery for him and that he can go home soon.  He doesn't much care for hospitals and can get a little cranky if he is in one for long.  Little is an understatement when it comes to him and hospitals.

Thanks to all who have said prayers for him and have shown such concern for his well being.  

His next major operation will come in about 6 weeks and that one will take over 7 hours.  I will write more details about that one as it gets closer.  It isn't heart related but will be a difficult one to handle and recovery will take a lot longer.  Thankfully he has great doctors otherwise these operations could not take place.

We have been cleaning the cabin and going to doctors ourselves for routine checkups.  Nothing very exciting and nothing we have been looking forward to.

That's all from here in Pennsylvania for now.