Saturday, March 17, 2018

7th Year of Travel–Our Plans

At home in Holiday / Tarpon Springs area

2018 Planned Travels

After our motorhome burned in a storage fire back in 2014, we have come to understand that our plans are just that…’our’ plans.  Plans can change…but you still need them.

On Wednesday we plan to go to church, and hit the road that night.  The fridge will be turned on Monday morning, and Tuesday I will bring it by the condo to load up our clothing, food, etc.  On Wednesday all we should have is our computers, a few toiletries, some dirty clothes, Skruffy, Marcia and myself.  Hoping that Wednesday will be an easy day, it doesn’t take too much to secure the condo (disconnect TVs and appliances from outlets, shut down water heater, turn off water, plastic wrap over toilet bowls and tanks…stuff like that.)

I have two maps, which will remain private, which I made with planned stops for the trip to Citrus Heights.  We MUST be there no later than the morning of the 29th…hoping to arrive on Wednesday, perhaps Tuesday night…but it is more likely we arrive Wednesday.  So one map is for arriving on Tuesday, the other for Wednesday, with where we plan to stop each night.  Both have us in Phoenix on Monday morning where we plan to have either an early breakfast or late breakfast/early lunch with our friend Laurie.  Dad turns 90 on the 1st, mom’s birthday is on the 25th.  In early June they celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary! 

In May we do plan to do a trip which will probably include a short visit to the Santa Cruz / Monterey area, then over to Yosemite, and from there we ‘might’ go south and around to the east side of the Sierra’s, up to Tahoe and back to Citrus Heights.  That is not shown on the above map…but is part of plans so far.

After the Anniversary, we will have about 6 weeks before my oldest son gets married in July over near Santa Rosa.  During that time we plan to go up to Southwest Oregon, where we spent much of last summer.  It is cool, not too full of people, and we really enjoyed that last year.

By August we plan to head east, going through Salt Lake City to visit my daughter, then take our time going through Colorado.  I’ll have to visit my Doctor in Little Rock again this year, and will probably do that after visiting my son in Kansas City (along with other relatives), heading through Fort Smith for a visit with Marcia’s relatives, and then on to Little Rock.  This appointment has not been made yet, so I have no ‘for sure’ time period yet…but most likely it will be in September.  From Little Rock we plan to head up to Chicago, where we will probably camp in North West Indiana again, and visit with friends and relatives of Marcia’s up in that general area. 

Marcia needs to renew her driver’s license by late September…and that is our plan as to when we get back into Florida.  That can also be done online, so if we want to stay out longer, we can…but we are planning to be back in late September.  So it will be a quick trip out to California…not so quick getting back.  As always…I do much better about posting a blog while we travel than I do sitting in one place for extended time periods.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Skruffy Sees the Vet….AND…

At home in the Holiday / Tarpon Springs area


Hello EVERYONE, Skruffy here.  I just saw my Holiday Florida Vet last week.  They poked me, they felt me, they rubbed my body, they petted my head, they even pried my mouth open.  Of course, the WORSE part is when they stuck those things up my A…

Skruffy, I told you not to talk about that to everyone!

Ok dad, but you know…that feels real strange…have they ever done that to YOU?

Not at the VET’s office Skruffy, but at the Doctor’s office they…Hey, just get back to your story.

Ok….So the visit at the Vet’s office lasted about 8 hours…

Skruffy, it was NOT 8 hours, more like 45 minutes…

Well, it FELT like 8 hours, especially when they stuck that …

Skruffy, enough of that, you want me to tell this story, or will you be good and continue???

Ok, I will be good.

Vet Exam Room Wall    Vet Exam Room

Above are pictures of the exam room.  They put me on this big, cold metal table (the one that says Trifexis, whatever that means).  Dad took these pictures as they had me in the back room taking a blood sample and sticking this huge instrument up my …

Skruffy!  I warned you…

Ok dad…anyway, I like the stuff up on the wall…and dad wishes they had that TV on because I think he got bored while I, ugh, well, I had better not go there or dad will yell at me again.

Anyway, after they drew the blood, and gathered some of my wewe out on the lawn (thank goodness I had to go), they took me back and talked to dad about me.  My weight?  I lost 1/10th of a pound, which is GOOD for a diabetic dog (we normally gain and gain until we get sick…)  They would like me to get my teeth cleaned, but dad does not want to put me under, so that just isn’t going to happen.  I did not need a rabies shot, and they gave me some medicine to drink, and told dad that my blood work would be ready on Monday.

In the meantime, dad did the taxes and got them off in the mail, and on Saturday we drove 45 miles over to see the great-grand baby (did you know that it took us 90 minutes to drive 45 miles both there and 90 minutes back?  Tampa traffic this time of year is very hectic…had something to do with a Grandprix, the Gasparilla Music Festival, some guy named Tiger, and Snowbird season all falling at the same time.)  On Sunday, mom and dad went to church, then came home, then went out to eat again with Ginger.  Finally, Monday came.  Mom had a final appointment with the Neurologist, who said that she is doing just fine, and will see her again next year.  Then we dropped mom off at Bible Study, which is really a bunch of older women who sit around and… what ladies do.

Skruffy!  Now be nice, you know that these nice ladies don’t sit around and talk.  Mom has been going to this Bible Study from way before we brought her into our family, and they really do have study lessons…maybe not for the entire 2 hours, but for much of it!  Anyway, are you going to get to the news about your blood work?

Yes dad, and sorry to any of those ladies who might read this.  I just know that when I get together with the dogs in the doggie park we talk about our owners all the time!   Anyway….while mom is at the Church, dad and I go over to the motorhome, let the engine run to charge up the batteries, and this time dad used this lemon furniture polish on all the woodwork getting us ready to leave next week.  Then we picked up mom, and we stopped at the vet to pick up the blood work.  I stayed out in the car with mom, and when dad came back he said….

Skruffy and her Award of Excellence (photoshopped into picture) 

…I earned a medal of EXCELLENCE!  My Fructosamine came back at 257!  Normal is between 177 and 314, so I am right in the middle of normal, which is EXACTLY what you want with a Diabetic dog!  (Single fructosamine measurements should be interpreted in the light of clinical signs of diabetes, body weight, and blood glucose concentration. In general, the closer the fructosamine concentration is to the reference range for healthy dogs, the better the glycemic control.)  In fact, all my blood numbers we looking good.  Can’t wait until I can tell Bubba that I got an Award of Excellence…we will be seeing him in just 2 more weeks, because dad says that next Wednesday, after church, we will be back on the road headed to Uncle Arny and Aunt Sandy’s house…which means, I get more Pork Treats in my diet, and I get to run all over that beautiful backyard and chase Squirrels…and I hope that Mallard that Bubba has made friends with is still hanging around when I get there.

Thank you Skruffy, you did a good job.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

They FINALLY Sent Pictures of Bubba, and Time in a Bottle

At home in Holiday / Tarpon Springs area

First…Happy Birthday to my oldest…


Bubba got a hair cut from Petco on Saturday, and they sent some pictures of him to us…boy, doesn’t he look good!  For those who might not know it (new to blog), Bubba is our other dog who is not allowed to live with us in the condo.  Skruffy can live with us because she is Marcia’s service dog.  Since we were only going to gone from Sacramento for 3 months, we asked my sister Sandy and husband Arny if Bubba could stay with them while we were gone.  They agreed, and PROMISED to take good care of him.  So, I blew up the picture to see just how they are doing taking care of Bubba…

Bubba lost a leg (photoshop)

HEY!  You forgot to tell us the groomer cut his right front leg off!  WTH????  (That “H” stands for “heck” mom)

Bubba Crying

And “THEY” say he is “SO HAPPY”…well, what is with all those TEARS coming down his eyes?


The TRUTH BE TOLD, we KNOW Bubba is in good hands, and we are just jealous that Bubba probably likes it there more than he would here…after all, WE DON’T HAVE ARNY HERE!!!!!  (or Sandy)  And it isn’t just the Arny Treats and Sandy Treats and Euleda Leftovers that make him happy either…

Time in a Bottle 

The late Jim Croche had a famous song that all us old timers know called “Time in a Bottle”…it is a love song….
If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I'd like to do
Is to save every day
'Til eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you…
Well, although I like that song, what I am talking about is the time change which seems to bottle me up each and every year.  This time change happens this weekend…but it has already bottled me up…  This past Saturday I told Marcia it was time to change clocks…she changed the radio alarm on her side of the bed.  The only other clock we have is the stove clock, which I planned to change on Sunday…otherwise, the computer clocks and the cell phones change automatically.  Other than the car and the motorhome, we have no other clocks to change.  Around 2:45 am I awake to take care of my nightly business (high blood pressure pills make me do that often), and I look at my cell phone and see that it is 2:45…but Marcia’s clock radio said it was 3:45.  I know from past experiences that the cell phone might need to make a call…so I call the Skruffy Phone (the one she wears when I am not with Marcia) and I hear the phone answering message.  I close my phone…it still says 2:45.  I bring up my computer…it says 2:47.  I type into Google “time change” and find out the time change is on March 11th, not March 3rd.  I go back to bed…Marcia stirs…I say, “Ignore your clock…the time change is next week…”  Now, we will have to see if we are late to church this coming Sunday….

Eight Things to Know about…
  • It’s “daylight saving time,” not “daylight savings time.

  • Though in favor of maximizing daylight waking hours, Benjamin Franklin did not originate the idea of moving clocks forward.

  • Englishman William Willett led the first campaign to implement daylight saving time. 

  • Germany was the first country to enact daylight saving time.

  • Daylight saving time in the United States was not intended to benefit farmers, as many people think.

  • For decades, daylight saving in the United States was a confounding patchwork of local practices.

  • Not everyone in the United States springs forward and falls back.

  • Evidence does not conclusively point to energy conservation as a result of daylight saving.

Source: 8 Things You May Not Know About Daylight Saving Time from

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Took the Motorhome out for a 250+ Mile Ride

At home in Holiday / Tarpon Springs area

Marcia and Jerry, 50+ years for friendship

Ever since Marcia’s friend of over 50 years moved to just north of Jacksonville, we have tried to get together with her while we are in the state.  A couple of years ago we met in Gainesville, which is about 125 miles from us, and 100 miles from them.  So on Tuesday, I went and got the motorhome at 7 am, getting back shortly after 8 am, fed Skruffy, we loaded up and were off by 8:20.  It was a nice ride, the motorhome ran very smooth, and no leaks in the plumbing either!

Map to Cracker Barrel in Gainesville

Pulled into the Cracker Barrel at 11:30, after stopping at the first rest area we came to on I-75 for a Skruffy break, and two more rest areas down the road, just shy of Ocala we stopped for a Dave break.  (BOTH of these rest stops have separate areas for RVs from the Trucks….nice.)  Jerry, who was driven to the Cracker Barrel by her daughter Ruth, arrived at 11:45, and we did not leave the place until nearly 2:30.  It is so great to see these two ladies talk and talk and talk…what a friendship they enjoy dating back to when Ruth was just a toddler.  Skruffy did well in the motorhome, although I did go out to visit her around 1:15…gone are her high anxiety days of being alone…but she does much better when Bubba is around.

Lamb Shanks

This has been the week for going out to restaurants.  Mary, our fabulous next door neighbor who keeps a solid eye on our condo while we are gone, turned 82 on Tuesday.  We took her out on Monday to celebrate, and she wanted to go to Tiffany's Restaurant in Palm Harbor where they serve Lamb Shanks as a special on Sunday and Monday. (Like the ones pictured above, and they came with a salad and a veggie.)  Tonight we took Marcia’s brother Mike, wife Sandy and daughter Alysia out to Longhorn for their annual birthday dinner.  Their actual birthdays were within the past few months, but this was the first time we could get together due to sickness within their family, and their granddaughter got married a few weeks ago….so they have been busy and sick at the same time.

One more medical test next week, and a quick meeting with the neurologist to go over the results of the test he had run, and Marcia will be done for the year.  We have pulled silverware and other cooking items out of the RV to run through the dishwasher, and it is time to start putting things back in again.  Yesterday I got the oil changed for the HHR, and tomorrow I get the oil changed for the motorhome.  The next few weeks will be busy getting ready to take off again…

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