Thursday, May 30, 2019

REHAB! Having a Ball - Taking Baby Steps

At Sister's House - Citrus Heights, CA


First, apologies for quality of the pictures...all taken with my cell phone.  Above, Dad is in therapy "Having a Ball".  One goal, build up his leg strength, and squeezing a ball between yours legs is one of many exercises they had him do today.


Tuesday they brought him to the therapy room and had him stand between these horizontal bars.  He stood twice, it wore him out completely, and that was pretty much it for therapy that day.  Back to the room and he was short of breath, and thankfully the Respiratory Therapist came in the room, monitored him, put him on a breathing medicine machine, added oxygen, and got the doctor's opinion.  OOPS!  Someone missed the part where the doctor from the hospital said, "Needs oxygen when doing PT."  Within 30 minutes all was fine, and he has had oxygen during PT ever since.  Wednesday they did upper body strengthening, and he did very well with that.  Above is a picture of him being led back up into the horizontal bars for today's therapy...I held my breath.


Today the first thing they did was some leg exercises...weights on his ankles and lift, lift, lift.  Rubber exercise bands on his ankles and up-down, up-down, up-down many times.  Then the ball between the legs (first picture), and it was time to get up.


They help him up...

 Dad's Physical Therapy

...he is up and takes a few steps...

Dad's Physical Therapy

...before long he was at the end.  Back into the wheelchair, pull him back, monitor him, and it is up again...but this time, "You get up as much as you can Al."  With very little help, he is up, and walking to the end...much faster this time.  Back in the chair, back to the start, rest, and then, "Ok Al, YOU have to get up on your own this time."   And he did.  He walks again toward the end, and back to the chair.  WOW...I am sure he wondered if he would ever do that again!

Dad's Physical Therapy

Oh, but it is not over yet...today it ended with the hand peddle machine, aka: arm bike.  He hand peddled for 15 minutes...without a break, without a sweat.  Today was his best day at Physical Therapy...had a ball, and took baby steps.


Friday, May 24, 2019

Checked Out & Checked In

At sister's house in Citrus Heights

Sutter Roseville Medical Center


Dad checked out of the hospital...feeling LOTS better than he did when he arrived Monday.  Pain is better than when we four went to dinner last Friday...but his strength is still a bit low.  Which is WHY ...

Pine Creek Rehab

...he checked in at a physical therapy skilled nursing facility.  How long, we don't know...long enough to get his strength back.  This is the same facility mom was at with her hip surgery back in 2014.  Dad and I picked this place for her, and Sandy and Patti picked this place for dad this time.  They do have good reviews...but none of them match up to the quality of the hospital...Sutter Roseville is a real good, friendly hospital.

In the meantime...Patti broke her foot while down in the Santa Barbara area this past week.  I'm afraid to post pictures...she is now wearing a boot.



Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Guess WHO is in the Hospital

At sister's house, Citrus Heights, CA

Sutter Roseville hospital

Monday morning Sis (Sandy) called at 5:30 am to tell me that...

Sutter Roseville hospital

...DAD was at the hospital.  He had been talking about having a crick in his neck for a couple of days, and his lower back has been shot for a few years now.  On Friday Mom, Dad, Marcia and I went to dinner for their April birthdays.  Sunday we were having lamb, but due to rain and dad not feeling well, they passed on that.  Monday before 5 am he could not move, get up out of his lift chair, so he called staff at the Independent Care Facility.  They decided to call 911, and off he went.  Tuesday they ran a series of test, including two MRIs...and above, after a shot of Morphine, they transferred him and took him away for a couple of hours (pictured above).

Sutter Roseville hospital

Mom waited with both eyes shut...I took Marcia back to Sandy's house, Roger and family left.  When I got back I got the above picture of mom...sound asleep.

WISH there was more to share, but it is past noon on Wednesday and still no word from the doctor.  However, the pain is a bit better, he is eating well, and very alert (Morphine was only a single shot...first time he had anything that strong before).  

Update...they assigned another doctor, she has ordered another MRI, and they are concerned because he has good heartbeat, but relaxation between beats is struggling.  

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Home Sweet ‘Our Family’s' Home

At Sister’s House, Citrus Heights, CA

Sister Sandy and brother-in-law Arny's house, Citrus Heights, CA


We pulled in at my Sister and Arny’s house around 5:15 Thursday.  Hoped to be in earlier, but had a leak in one of our tire extensions, which are needed for our Tire Pressure Sensor System.  As we started out from Bakersfield, our left front motorhome tire was down to 47 psi…should be 65 psi.  The RV Park had a inflator, and got it up to 72 psi, and it seemed to hold there.  As we drove north along US-99, known as the eternal bumpy highway, we were dropping 1 psi per 10 miles, so we stopped at America’s Tire Store (known as Discount Tire’s in other states) where they quickly diagnosed the problem (after waiting an hour for ‘our turn’) and we removed the extender and the sensor and drove on north.  The rest of the drive, outside of ‘Devil’s Revenge’ in Atwater where the road was much like the Yukon as you near Alaska, went fairly well…considering we hit ‘Rush Hour’ in downtown Sacramento.

Sister Sandy and brother-in-law Arny's house, Citrus Heights, CA   Sister Sandy and brother-in-law Arny's house, Citrus Heights, CA

The DOGS are probably happier than we are…and we ARE HAPPY ourselves…to be here.  They LOVE Arny, Sandy, and the backyard.  Bubba has rolled in the grass more than I can remember.  Skruffy, despite her eyesight problems, knows right where everything is, and she chased her first Squirrel yesterday.  It won’t be long before the Squirrels start teasing her by coming down to her face and laugh at her…but we hope brother Bubba will step up and give teach them a good lesson…time will tell.

Sister Sandy and brother-in-law Arny's house, Citrus Heights, CA

Last time we were here I mentioned that they got rid of the Turtles, and now the turtle pens have been converted to a nice garden.  Here is the home of half of the Naked Ladies, some Tulips, and these various bushes and shrubs.  They also got rid of the rose bushes that ran along the patio, opening the patio up to the nice grass without fear of getting poked by Rose Thorns. 

Sister Sandy and brother-in-law Arny's house, Citrus Heights, CA   Sister Sandy and brother-in-law Arny's house, Citrus Heights, CA

Sister Sandy and brother-in-law Arny's house, Citrus Heights, CA

Sat outside for awhile yesterday and today listening to and watching the various birds that come and go from the backyard.  This guy above (top two pictures) was just singing away, turning its head back and forth.  The three in the bottom picture live in the Oleander Bushes which are on the neighbor’s property, but which intrude into Sandy and Arny’s yard.

Sister Sandy and brother-in-law Arny's house, Citrus Heights, CA   Sister Sandy and brother-in-law Arny's house, Citrus Heights, CA
  
Sister Sandy and brother-in-law Arny's house, Citrus Heights, CA

So far there are fewer Doves, but numerous of the other birds…including the Humming Birds.

Sister Sandy and brother-in-law Arny's house, Citrus Heights, CA

And I think this squirrel will learn ‘real fast’ that Skruffy is not the threat she seems to have been in past years…but it sure was checking her out far below…it just did not understand that Skruffy never did see it, but her nose sure was twitching a bit.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, Liver and Onions and Steak for Dad and me.  YUM!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Orangless Bakersfield

At Orange Grove RV Park, Bakersfield, Ca

Orange Grove RV Park, Bakersfield, CA


After leaving Phoenix on Monday morning, we stopped in Needles at the Fender's River Road Resort & Motel where we have stayed a few times before.  At $19 for full hookup, it is a pretty good park…but I did not take pictures this time...tired or lazy or both I guess.  We had a detour along the way…we drove to Prescott where I met my long time friend and co-worker at the Pine Bluff Library, Roger.  We started on the same day at the Library in Pine Bluff…I think it was Monday, January 7th, 1991.  We have stopped to visit Roger a number times during or travels, but sometimes he is out of town as we come by, or we are quickly going through Phoenix and can’t make it up to Prescott.  Roger is the Director of the Prescott Public Library now.  Today we drove from Needles to Bakersfield, visiting another RV Park we have stopped at many times, the Orange Grove RV Park in Bakersfield (pic above, more down below).  Unfortunately, no oranges this time of year…they are winter oranges, and they are all gone.  Late November through January is the prime time, but we have found some in March before.  You can pick as many oranges as you wish…free.  Well, nothing is free because this RV park cost $45 per night with Good Sams, AAA or AARP cards, more if you are a bigger rig and need 50 amp. 

Rest Area, I-40 just before Barstow, CA

This picture above is similar to other I have shown before from the last rest area on I-40 before Barstow California. 

Rest Area, I-40 just before Barstow, CA

Rest Area, I-40 just before Barstow, CA

Every time we drive west on I-40 we stop here…and every time the dogs look for grass to do their business on.  For sure this is one of the most desolate rest areas for dogs that there is!

Rest Area, I-40 just before Barstow, CA

Bubba found some grass first and started in with his routine of SMELL, SNIFF, SMELL some more, then business time.  Without grass, it sometimes is near impossible for Bubba to do his business.  From here it is a good 2 hours to Bakersfield, so it is there last stop of the trip.

Orange Grove RV Park, Bakersfield, CA   Orange Grove RV Park, Bakersfield, CA

Orange Grove RV Park, Bakersfield, CA

We have been to Orange Grove RV Park many times before, sometimes with the park nearly full to capacity…that’s nearly 200 spaces spread out on 40 acres!  Today we have so much space between our neighbors…it is just WONDERFUL!  Not as wonderful as our next camping spot…in the backyard at Sandy (sister) and Arny’s (brother-in-law) house.  Dogs won’t have trouble finding grass there, that is for sure!

Note: We had planned to stay at Red Rock Canyon State Park tonight, about 80 miles to the east of Bakersfield…but a little more research found no Internet, no Cell Service (or very, very poor service) so we decided to skip it for now.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Laurie, Laurie, Laurie

At Roadrunner Campground, Lake Pleasant, Phoenix AZ


This is WHY we came to Phoenix…no, not the dog, but Laurie.  Marcia has known Laurie since she was an early teenager.  Her mom Joyce, a good friend of Marcia’s, passed away a few years ago, but we still love coming through Phoenix to see Laurie.  This time, we got to meet her “Best Bud”, Gary..no, not the dog, her good friend who works for the Post Office.  Recently retired from Home Depot, Laurie is enjoying retired life.  She is an avid follower of our blog, and says, “You get a bit wordy now and then Dave”.  Well, my intention was to just post pictures after this point, but with what happened today, I just can’t end without some words…probably many words.

Police Incident at Lake Pleasant
At 1:00 pm we left the motorhome to go to Laurie’s house.  As we got close to the park gate (entrance/exit) there is a long line of cars, much like you see above.  There is a helicopter flying over just past the entrance.  A lady is going from car to car saying that they have closed the park due to a lost diver in the lake….but Marcia and I did not buy that.  I called the park’s number, but being a Sunday, all I can get is the reservation person…who did not know anything.  We of course called Laurie to tell her we would be late, and we waited.  Suddenly a police car comes shooting by, headed for the entrance gate…followed by two more about a minute later.  Hmmmm, how did they get into the park, they came from the campground area?  There must be another entrance/exit which is normally closed off.  Another ten minutes and they start to turn everyone around, and finally, around 2, we are out of the park using a back entrance/exit.  Called Laurie and decided to meet at the restaurant we were going to, and we pulled in there before 3.  Found this article from ABC15 which explains it all.  About 5:30 we depart the restaurant, and as we get close to our exit there is an Interstate Information sign which says the road we need to get back to the park is closed at marker 19.  Hmmmm…how are we going to feed the dogs if they don’t let us back into the park?  Fortunately for us, the suicidal man with a gun gave up, they opened the road just after 6, so by the time we got to the Lake’s entrance road, it was all cleared up.

Sunset at Lake Pleasant

Sunset at Lake Pleasant   Sunset at Lake Pleasant

With that ordeal over (the getting back into the park, not the dinner with Laurie which was a pleasure….as was the dinner last night with Laurie and Gary), I saw what looked to be a promising sunset…so I went out to capture some pics.

Sunset at Lake Pleasant

Sunset at Lake Pleasant

Sunset at Lake Pleasant

Sunset at Lake Pleasant

I quickly took the car from the campground, to a couple of day-use areas before the campground, and then up to the Discovery Center area just past the campground.  Such a pretty sunset…what a way to end our trip to Phoenix.

Sunset at Lake Pleasant

Sunset at Lake Pleasant

Sunset at Lake Pleasant

See you on our way back to Florida Laurie…we sure do love you.  Very glad to finally meet Gary, what a nice guy!

Note: We have changed our plans and have decided NOT to go to Yuma for glasses in Mexico.  Monday we head to Prescott to visit Roger, who started at the Library the same day I did back in January 1991.  Today, Roger is the Director of the Prescott Public Library.  From there, we will make our way up to Sacramento, planning to be there on Thursday, Friday at the latest.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Emergency Engine Derate – 5 MPH Max

At Roadrunner Campground, Lake Pleasant, Phoenix AZ

Semi-truck headed down highway, google image


No, not us…it was the semi-truck right around Laguna Pueblo New Mexico.  We started our day at 6 am, leaving the Enchanted Trails RV Park by 6:30, full of gas and coffee from the nearby Love’s and on the road again by 6:45.  About 35 miles down the highway, I suddenly come upon a Semi-Trailer going 5 mph, lights flashing, in the right lane.  Now in this particular area, due to the hills being illuminated by the morning sun, it was a bit hard to notice the truck going so slow, and hard to see its flashing lights.  With a few cars and semis coming up behind me in the left lane, I had to put on my brakes, I hit my emergency blinkers, and when safe, made it around the 5 mph truck.  A “Dangerous Situation” Marcia and I said as we went by…he had at least another mile and a half to the nearest exit, and there is NOTHING at that exit.  I had my eyes set on a rest area near the Sky City Casino about 15 miles from where this truck was going so slow, it was time feed the dogs.  That rest area was closed, but the casino had parking.


First Leg I-40 trip to Phoenix


We were there for perhaps 15-20 minutes, and got back on the Interstate.  Within 5 minutes we see a police car headed east, lights and sirens going.  Hmm, wonder what that is?  Another few minutes and we see another headed east with lights and sirens….gee, I wonder?  I look on Google Maps, traffic mode, and sure enough there is a red line in that area where we passed the truck.  About 5 minutes later two more police, lights and sirens…one a unmarked car, go by east bound.  An hour later we do a google search on “New Mexico” “I-40” “crash” limiting the search to the past hour…and news station KRQE has a small alert about I-40 being shut down with the following map…

Site of I-40 wreck

Follow up articles don’t include much, there is no mention of a semi going slow or even being involved in the wreck.  But my theory is that the semi had a DEF failure, which puts the engine into Derate Mode, giving the driver just enough energy to get the big-rig off to the side of the road or to the nearest exit.  Since the truck surprised me, I am sure it surprised other, less cautious drivers.  Someone either hit it, or lost control trying not to hit it, causing a wreck which shut I-40 down westbound for about 6 hours.  I wish I could say that was the only crazy thing about Friday’s drive…but nope.  As we came to a construction zone, they shut the left lane down.  I look in my mirror and see a car way back there, coming on fast.  NO WAY, he is not trying to pass me before this merger is he…but he does not slow down.  The left lane is already collapsing to the right lane, and he is still coming.  I don’t change speed and goes shooting by at 75 mph in what is now a 55 mph zone with just inches to spare…just to slam on his breaks since the truck in front of me is less than a tenth of a mile in front of me.  Of course, he did get to hear the sound of my horn.  Funny thing, after the freeway went back to two westbound lanes, he did not go above the speed limit.  I think his wife was a bit irritated with him for putting them, and us, in danger.  I think I heard her yelling all the way back from my safe driving distance…

Roadrunner Campground, Lake Pleasant

We made it to Lake Pleasant by 2:30 (gained an hour due to Arizona not, in campsite by 3.  This is our second time here, and being a weekend, it is FULL.  Three nights with reservation cost $104.00, but that is much less than an RV park in Phoenix, and those RV parks don’t get these views.

Roadrunner Campground, Lake Pleasant   Roadrunner Campground, Lake Pleasant
Roadrunner Campground, Lake Pleasant

Lake Pleasant reservoir is part of the CAP (Central Arizona Project) to provide water to Phoenix.  Most the water in Lake Pleasant comes from the Colorado River, being diverted near Lake Havasu into an aqueduct that runs towards Phoenix, and the Waddell Canal diverts some of that water to Lake Pleasant where it is stored until it is needed, usually in the summer months.  This year, the lake is very full.

Roadrunner Campground, Lake Pleasant   Roadrunner Campground, Lake Pleasant

The views from the campground include numerous desert views too…

Roadrunner Campground, Lake Pleasant

Along with a sunset view from my easy chair just outside the window.  

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Enchanted Trails RV Park

At Enchanted Trails RV Park, Albuquerque New Mexico

Enchanted Trails RV Park, Albuquerque, New Mexico


We first came to Enchanted Trails RV Park in Albuquerque New Mexico back in 2016.  Our fuel pump had gone out in the motorhome, and we had to be in a hotel for a night while it was in the shop awaiting a new fuel pump to arrive.  It came in the next day, put in, and we decided to stay at the Enchanted Trails RV Park for three more nights because our tow service said that “if we broke down in the next four days, towing would not be covered.”  We felt the Passport America price for two nights, and the Good Sams price for the other night was worth it considering a tow for 100 or 200 miles could cost us hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

Enchanted Trails RV Park, Albuquerque New Mexico

Back in 2016 I wrote a fairly extensive blog about this RV park, the owner Vickie, and the classic cars and trailers that she has here.  You can (should) read that blog by clicking here (it will open in a new tab or windows).

Enchanted Trails RV Park, Albuquerque New Mexico    Enchanted Trails RV Park, Albuquerque New Mexico

Enchanted Trails RV Park, Albuquerque New Mexico    Enchanted Trails RV Park, Albuquerque New Mexico

Above are the two Hudson’s and two of the vintage trailers.

Busted Compression Bushing, water intake to toilet

Wednesday evening we had just started to eat our dinner and we hear this POP and sound of running water.  I hurry towards the bathroom and Immediately realize the water intake line had busted.  THANK GOODNESS we have a turn off valve (you can barely see it in the upper left of the above picture), so the amount of water that hit the floor was very minimal...one towel cleaned it up very quickly.  The Blue Arrow above shows what busted…the white intake line going into the connector had popped out of the connector.  After I clean up what water, I took off the white connector the arrow points to, and find this….

Busted Compression Bushing, water intake to toilet

…the Compression Bushing between the pipe and the toilet intake, which was located in that white cap the arrow points to, had worn out so much that the pipe was able to pop right out of the cap.  Essentially, it lost its compression, and the water pressure popped the intake pipe right out of the cap.  Now had this happened while we were at Ryan’s graduation, or when we visited Cassie, or any number of times that we had left the motorhome for awhile, we ‘would’ have had a huge mess to clean up…water would have be everywhere.  Not only were we here to put an end to it very quickly…right next door to this RV park is a fairly new Camping World.  And they had a new bushing…only one left…for just over $2.  So Wednesday night and Thursday morning we used the shower to add water to the toilet as needed, and after breakfast I went and got the part…and it took longer for them to find the ONLY remaining bushing they had in stock (the computer said they had over 30 in stock, but they really only had one), than it took for me to install it.  WHY did it wear out?  Well, we had a shop replaced the toilet with a tall toilet, which required the new plumbing since the intake is on the back right instead of the back left of the toilet.  We did not like the height of that toilet, and I put in a short toilet later that year.  Then about 18 months later that toilet broke, and I replaced it again.  Just before we left on this trip I told Marcia I wanted to replace the toilet again.  During all of this, I NEVER replaced this bushing.  Frankly, I did not know a bushing was there.  MY BAD!   But thankfully, it broke now, at the right place at the right time.  

Spent the rest of the morning doing laundry, and had a relaxing day after that.  Tomorrow, we head to Phoenix, then to Yuma, then to the Sacramento area, arrive before Mother's Day if all goes well.