Saturday, April 22, 2023

Good Bye Covid, Hello Lingering Cough


I don't know ANYONE who LOVES to be SICK.  It is just not much fun.  About the most fun I have ever had being sick was in 1964 when the Olympics were being played in France.  I had the flu, and as I recovered I watched the Olympics on a small TV (like a 5" by 3.4" screen) right there at my bedside.  THAT I enjoyed, even though I was sick as a dog.  This COVID crap, nope, no fun at all!

It has been four days since my last blog.  I have been well for the past two days, and feeling very good today...if you define 'very good' as being tired, exhausted, having a persistent cough, and feeling like you're in a brain fog.  Today is Marcia's first day of feeling well.  She is constantly a couple days behind me with this.

We both had a temperature while being sick with COVID.  Mine was a bit higher and lasted longer than Marcia's did.  I hit 101.5 at one point, but Theraflu and Advil brought it right down.  Our sore throats were about even, but her ears hurt much more than mine did, and is her biggest pest right now.  Thank goodness, neither of us found anything sneaking into our lungs.  Even the cough we both have comes from our throat, and not our lungs.

Indy the champ through all of this.  She KNEW we were sick, and as I recovered, she spent her attention on Marcia.  She is such a good little girl, until my brother Jim, sister-in-law Carol, or Niece Kathryn goes by, or she sees them in the kitchen window...then she turns into a little devil girl.  On the other hand, when her cousin Parker or her 'new to her' cousin Cocoa is out in the yard, she is just a happy little girl playing with her little doggie cousins.

Tomorrow we celebrate Mom's 93rd birthday, which technically is a few days away still.  I will sit in my camping chair near the door, Marcia will sit in the Motorhome and come up to the door now and then.  I doubt either of us are contagious anymore, but why risk it.  Of course I am especially looking forward to Arny's BBQ of Tri-Tips...I am so TIRED of soup and broth!!! 

As for this cough...I am afraid it will be with us for a few weeks.  I have it under control at times, then it hits like a female dog in heat...nothing seems to stop it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Covid Attacks Us


Three years and a few months after the Virus hits America, it has finally hit me, and now Marcia.  With the brain fog that I have had with this, and yes, I am still reeling from the effects of the virus, I wonder why I am even trying to write this.  If parts don't make sense, I am sure you will understand.

Since our arrival nine days ago I have spent a lot of time with mom, getting her to socialize again by doing lunch and dinner at the dinning room instead of her room.  She has had, and continues to have, moments of confusion, even seeing things that are not there when she is alone.  I think the socialization helped because she was not talking about people who were not there.  Then this past Saturday I went over to try and gather a urine sample that the doctor on Friday could not get...I had no luck too since she did her business before I got there.  I left around 10:30 and headed back to the motorhome.  By noon I started to feel very exhausted, with a unusual for me headache.  Three hours later of sleeping in my chair, having chills, head feeling like a T-Ball stand at a kids Baseball Game, I knew I was in trouble.

We tossed out our COVID tests because they were out-of-date just before we left Florida.  We did not bring a thermometer.  I went to Walgreens and went to the drive-up and asked for some COVID tests and a thermometer.  Despite the thermometers being ten steps from the drive through window, I was told I had to come into the store to get them.  I informed her how sick I was feeling...but nope, she would not get them.  So I went into Walgreens with a mask on, found the thermometers, got the tests, and left.  Back at the motorhome I test, and BINGO, Dave became the winner of the next person getting Covid.

Saturday night I got about 4 hours of sleep, with the last hour between 9 am and 10 am.  My head hurt so bad, and every bone and muscle in my entire body seemed to scream out in pain.

By Sunday night my sinus were blowing up in pain, yet I wasn't totally stuffed up.  By Monday my throat was on fire.  Started taking Theraflu Cold and Cough Medicine, the Green Tea and Honey Lemon Flavor.  It provided relief to the throat, which still hurts now (Tuesday 5 pm) but it is definitely showing signs of improvement.  

The headache was for the most part gone this morning, sinuses are fine.  No sickness or pressure in my lungs.  I am VERY tired, but Monday night I did get three episodes of sleeping for up to 90 minutes straight, but at least 60 minutes.  I get a number of cat naps.

Marcia started showing signs on Monday, and by Monday night she had the headache like I had, and cough which is like mine, but more frequent than I have had.  

So far Mom is not sick...but she was seeing imaginary people again.  Jim (oldest brother) and wife Carol arrived late Sunday and his daughter (Kathryn) arrived today.  Mom's 93rd birthday is a week from today, and I am confident we will be feeling better by then, but will still have to mask up around people once we end our isolation.

Last time either of us has been sick was late November / early December when we both caught a cold which Sandy caught from Dad just before he passed.  Where and How I got COVID will never be known.  Outside of going to lunch and dinner with mom at the Assisted Living Facility, I have been to the grocery store twice, Walmart, and got food from Jimboy's and Extreme Hummas, the latter on the day we arrived so it couldn't have been from there. 

Monday, April 10, 2023

Sandy and Arny's Backyard Again


Here is a picture of the Backyard of Sister Sandy and BIL Arny's home from 2020.  It has not changed, except that we are here so early that the tree is just not blooming, ready to put out leaves in the next few days after it dumps a lot of yellow crap all over our clean motorhome.   Oh ya, that's right...we could not get it clean due to let it crap all that yellow pollen. 

Indy felt 'RIGHT AT HOME' with our return.  She greeted Jack, the next door neighbor's dog, first, then her cousin Parker (Patti's dog), and of course, Arny, Sandy and Patti.  Later in the garage, she greeted Joe and Ed, the next door neighbors, owner of Jack.  She did not bark at any of them, all the dogs got along great, and it is as if we never left!

Went by to see mom around 5.  She was down at dinner.  I told her I would be back around 10 am, and again around 4 pm tomorrow.  She has gotten off her eating schedule, and my first goal is to try and get her back on it again.  A number of folks commented to her how nice her hair was (Sandy cut her hair a day or two ago) and how nice it was to see her again (she had been taken her meals in her room the past week or two.)

She knew exactly who I was, and after dinner she drove her Hoveround right to her apartment, although as we got close she had a small delay in recognizing which door was hers.  It really sucks to get old...and we talked about that.  Overall I found her in fairly good spirits, she knew me and others in the dinner room, and after 10 minutes or so after to committing to meeting her at 10 am, she was able to repeat the time to me.  Can only hope she will be ready when I get there tomorrow.

Our drive today was fairly easy with only about a dozen crazy people weaving in and out of traffic.  One very dark blue two door car was followed very close by a CHP car, which turned its lights on him shortly after they passed us.  However, we did not see them for another 10 miles where the officer was busy giving him a ticket.  Yes, we are limited to 55 mph, but the speed limit was at 65...this guy was going around 80.  At that speed and that distance, the CHP had its lights on the guy for about 10 minutes.  Surprised he (CHP) did not have other CHP cars surrounding him and locking him up.  But oh ya, we are in California...where you can loot, break windows, toss Molotov Cocktails at vehicles and endanger people in the street, and business establishments and have it all be deemed a peaceful protest with no arrests.

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Orange Grove in Bakersfield...again


We have probably stayed at the Orange Grove RV Park in Bakersfield more times over the years than any other park.  Some we have stayed at for weeks, even months...but we stay at Orange Grove at least once, and many times twice per year as we travel back and forth from Florida to California.  The above shot is from 2019...tonight's spot looks much like this one, but we are on the far south side of the park.

Took Indy to their little Dog Park twice, and she met other dogs each time.  Right now, she is out like a light.

Hope to be at Sandy and Arny's by 2 pm, perhaps by 1 tomorrow.  Had planned on getting the motorhome washed again at the Blue Beacon, but they are closed for Easter.  Hoped to have dinner from Jimboy's too...but again they are closed for Easter.  

Last night we enjoyed a Good Friday service via the Internet, and then watched The Passion of Christ from Amazon...truly made it feel like Good Friday.  Hope to catch church as we drive tomorrow...Marcia can watch it while I listen.  Hope you all have a nice Easter Day.

Needles California


There always seems to be certain places that we seem to stay at every time we in that area.  Fender's RV Resort/Park in Needles, California is one of them.  Since 2015 we have stayed here at least seven times.  It is not a great park, it is more out of convenience and price (Passport America just under $20).  It is an easy drive from Phoenix (although the highway at times felt like we were in the Yukon again).  If we are coming across I-40, which we have a few times, it is just over 500 miles from Albuquerque...a distance I don't like to drive any more.  But from Winslow it is not that bad either.  From here we typically stay at Bakersfield, then up to Sacramento area.The first time we stayed here there was about 35 sites and 8 motel rooms.  

Then they bought the park next door, and now they have about 140 sites and 8 motel rooms.  We always stay in the front by the motel rooms so that we don't have to unhook.  Today we came in during lunch break, so we just went to our normal site and waited until the office opened again.  When the young lady got back from lunch, she quickly found me in the computer, and shortly after I was walking out the door to our site...the one I pulled into.  (To be honest, a person affiliated with the park told me it would be ok to pull into our normal site).

We have had a relaxing afternoon, and after Blue Bloods, which is from 9-10 here, we will be calling it a night.  Only 560 miles to go, and Bakersfield is right around the half-way point.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Dinner with Laurie, Quiet Do Nothing Day

You ever have one of those feelings like, "I should be doing something...but what I am doing is just sitting back doing nothing?"  That describes Thursday.  Other than taking Indy out for a few breaks, pretty much did nothing until we left to meet Laurie at Texas Roadhouse.

Laurie and Marcia after dinner

Leaving Indy alone is always a concern.  If I leave her treats, she does not eat them until we get home.  I don't have cameras in the motorhome, so what I have to say is just a "most likely" scenario.  

We are leaving, I have the TV turned up a bit and on FidoTV.  The AC is on, and AC fan is on constant low, so if it gets down to 74, the fan will still run.  I hear Indy doing a small wimper...I leave a window shade open next to my computer chair.  I go to that window and see her looking out.  We drive off.  More about this after dinner....

Laurie pulled up in her Mazda MX-5 (I think that is what it is) just before we do (she texted me a picture of her in the car).  We are all about 10 minutes early...which is typical with each of us.  Two hours later we are saying good bye.  It was a nice dinner, very nice company, and always too short of a visit.

It takes us 25 minutes to get back to the motorhome.  Indy has been alone for 3 hours and 15 minutes.  She is ALWAYS so happy to have us home, and I got her outside before Marcia got into the motorhome.  I sit out with her for a bit, but she won't do her business...she wants to lick my face, and then she wants inside.  Inside she jumps up on Marcia and then goes back and forth between the two of us.  I give her about 2 ounces of my steak that I brought back, and she gobbles it up.  Then I give her the bone (I had the Ribeye Steak with Bone-in).  At first she sets it in her bed, then comes over to us again.  I change my clothes, and take her out where she does do her business...and then she wants right back in.  She goes to her bed, where she left her bone, and for the next two hours the bone stripped clean.  I got her to bring it over to me after the first hour, and although she growled at the idea, I needed to cut off a small bone end that is barely attached...then I give her the big bone again.

As for what she did while we were gone...  The cover over the window of the driver door has this 'cave' which just fits her little head and neck as she looked out that window.  Marcia's window is the same.  My computer chair, which has a cover over it, now has the cover all bunched up on the seat, as she certainly put her paws up on the back to look out the window.  I am sure she went from window to window to window.  Eventually, she probably fell asleep.  Hard to say if she even watched the TV at all.  Now, she is crashed with a full tummy, tired from the anxiety of being alone, and tired from gnawing on that bone for two hours.  When I took it away from her I praised her at how well she did with it, and tossed it in the trash. 

While out with I caught this nice sunset with my cell phone. The cactus and bush was pretty much in the middle of the sunset, so I took a picture to the left of the cactus, and another to the right.  2 minutes later it was all gone...

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Lake Pleasant - Roadrunner Campground


This is our forth or fifth time we have been at Lake Pleasant just north of Phoenix.  The picture above was from our 2019 visit, as is the one below.

Yes, I/we took pictures, but without a photo editing program I can not make the physical size of the picture small enough so that Blogger will let me publish.  I plan on downloading Photoshop Elements once I am in the Sacramento area, and sometime, I hope, I will publish some of these pictures.

It was a very easy 160 mile drive.  My biggest concern was getting gas, but there was a Pilot right at the freeway entrance when we left the Fairground RV Park.

Check-in at the campground starts at 1:00 pm, and we arrived before 1:30.  We have a nice wide spot, level enough that we don't have to use our level ramps, and Indy has two or three dogs nearby to keep her attention...however, each dog is four times her size, but that doesn't stop her one bit.

I enjoyed using their showers...nice and clean, parking right in front of the facility, if only when you pushed the on button it would give you more than 30 seconds of water.

It will be nice to not have to get up in the morning at any particular time, and to have a relaxing morning and day.  We have been on the road for seven straight has been exhausting.  

We meet Laurie for dinner at 4:00, and Indy won't like that...perhaps I can find a dog movie to keep her occupied.

Tucson - Fairgrounds RV Park instead of Cracker Barrel

We were on the road by 8:30 headed to Tucson.  The winds started immediately, and were the worse so far over the past few days.  My hands still hurt as I type this blog!

As we got close to the Arizona State Line, we hit, or we were hit, by a small dust storm.  The picture below, which I found on Google Images, shows a bit of what we faced, except ours did not cover the entire road, just the edge of the dust storm was on the road as we drove by.

It was enough to move us over a lane, and then back into our current was just luck that no other vehicles were close to us at that moment.

Figuring that when got to Arizona the winds might die down, but they did not die down, but became more tolerable. 

While we were stopped at a rest area called Texas Canyon (it is a lovely rest area, very scenic) I looked and saw that temps in Tuscon were dropping into the mid-30's tonight.  I immediately decided to scrap Cracker Barrel, and go to the Pima County Fair RV Park like we did last year.  $35, there are hundreds and hundreds of spots, and we will stay warmer with electric heater going, and furnace backing up as it gets cold.

Crossing into Arizona meant another time change.  Arizona does not do daylight savings time, so for about half the year they are on Pacific Time, and half the year they are on Mountain Time.  Currently they are on Pacific Time.

As we parked the motorhome at our assigned spot, the guy who lead us there said that tonight's low 'could' be as low as 30...and next Monday the high is suppose to be 92.  What a swing in temps around here. 

Monday, April 3, 2023

Vado New Mexico -- A Day of Firsts


Western Sky's RV Park is one of those older parks, but it seems that management has a good handle on those people who are in the park.  The picture above is the office, and the handrail on the right has seen better days...hope they replace it soon before someone gets hurts when it breaks.  The office has Christian literature, and the bilingual manager was super nice.  It is a Passport America Park and cost $22 for a pull-through, 30 amps, water and sewer (although I did not hook up the sewer since we emptied two days ago).  Note: they don't have 50 amp.  This is our first stay here.

We left Sonora at 8:15 after filling up at a Road Ranger Gas Station, and got two coffees to go.  First time I had ever been to a "Road Ranger", just the same as any other gas station convenience store.

It was a 415 mile drive today, gaining an hour just past Van Horn.  This is the first time I can remember while "RV-ing" that we did not stop in Van Horn for the night, or at least for gas.  The gas in Sonora held us over to El Paso.  We also gained another hour passing into Mountain Time, but our cell phones did not change time for over an hour!  That's another first for me, never had it take an hour to change over.

After getting fuel at Flying J, we took the bypass route, Highway 375, north around El Paso.  I had read about others who had taken this route...but now the construction is nearly finished, and the entire route is clearly labeled as "North Loop 375".  It was easy to follow, and it was much easier and quicker than going I-10 through El Paso, even though it around 4 miles longer.  So taking the by-pass around El Paso is another first for the day.

Finally, we had only sat down for less than 30 minutes when the wind made a couple of thumps on the motorhome.  My first thought was the slide awning had ripped and was thumping against the top of the slide...but thank goodness that was not the case.  This is the first time that I did not bring our ladder, so it was hard to see up on the roof.  But when I backed up far enough I did see that the old (2005 ear) satellite dome had this huge intent right in the front, a little to the driver's side.  Apparently the high winds pushed the dome in, almost as if someone sat on it.  Nothing I can is something we have never used and wish it was not up there, and I doubt it will blow away because it would have done that today in the high winds.  If I had a ladder, and had a Santa Suite, I would put a manikin up there and tie it down!

Tomorrow is a 300 mile drive to Tucson for a last Cracker Barrel overnight stop.

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Sonora Texas


Some may not know who this is in the picture above.  It is Lady Bird Johnson, wife of President Johnson, and it is she who is responsible for all the wonderful wild flowers that we enjoyed today on our trip, especially after we passed San Antonio.  

We enjoyed our stay in Baytown, nice to have cool air to fall to sleep with...and even nicer at 1 am when I turned off the A/C and we enjoyed the cool 65 degree weather.  At 7 am we were already up, and by 7:30 we were on the road.  Buc-ee's for gas and coffee, and an easy drive through Houston on Sunday morning.  San Antonio was a bit harder due to construction to the east of town...but by 2:30 we were in Kerrville, where we planned to stay.  

But WHY ruin a short day?  by 3:15 we were on our way to Sonora, another 110 miles down the road.  We are at a RV park called Elite RV Park, which is part of the Super 8 motel across the street.  All electrical outlets are locked...when you pay, you get a key much like you do a motel key for a motel room.  $35, but we again have electricity, Internet is ok, and having AC with temps of 90+ when we arrived is real nice.

Side note:  Yes, we did take pictures today.  I just did not have the urge to look at them, let alone download, edit, and publish.  Another day...

Saturday, April 1, 2023

On to Baytown, TX

We drove just over 200 miles today.  There was a lengthy stretch of construction just at and past Beaumont Texas which slowed us down for about 20 minutes.  Other construction areas did not slow us up too much, and traffic as moderate to light for most of the day except in Beaumont.  

Last night (Friday night) it was a bit too humid for my liking, and it was hard to sleep until after midnight.  Still we got on the road, after coffee percolated, by 8:45.

I mentioned before that our Continuous-Duty SPST Series Solenoid Relay  (which are designed with single-pole, single-throw (SPST) circuitry) may be on the brink of going out.  I got one from Amazon just before we left.  So far, when I check if the engine is charging the house batteries, the light has been green.  Today, it was not green.  We drove about 4 hours today, and for half of the drive the light was not green.  Finally, I clicked the storage/use button (again) and this time (after the fourth or fifth time) the light went green.  The only problem is that without it going green, the house batteries do not charge...which means we are limited to how often we can park at a Cracker Barrel, Rest Area, or other place without hooking to electricity, or running the generator.  I have the part...just don't want to put it in while on the road if I can help it.


We last stayed at Bayou Bend RV Park in Baytown Texas back in early December 2021.  It is a Passport America park, and is a newer park, cost $25 a night, and is clean, friendly and pet friendly.  Called last night and gave them all the info, and when we pulled up today our info was in a mail box near the door with everything we needed for our stay.  I even used their nice shower in their public bathrooms, and boy, did that feel nice!  

When I pulled into the assigned camping spot, known as a "pad" in some circles, I encountered something strange for the first time ever.  I unhooked the car, backed into the spot, and immediately started to hook up the electricity and power.  Just as I was getting ready to connect the cord to the motorhome, I sense the motorhome is moving backward.  I hurry to the driver door, open it up while yelling "what did you do", and put it in park (I thought Marcia might have been putting up the window covers and accidentally hit the stick shift).  Now both Marcia and I KNOW I had it in park previously...and Marcia was reading the packet of info from the park, and there is Indy with her paws on the steering wheel driving the motorhome!  We guess that when I put it in park and engaged the brake, that it was not fully in park.  Indy must have hit the lever, and pulled it into reverse.  Even with the brake on, it slowly moved the motorhome to move backward.  Luckily I was able to re-put it into park and stop it before it hit the fence behind us.  We always leave the engine going with full AC until I get the power hooked up and get the house AC going...perhaps we should think about that for the future...

To "TOP" matter off, after I get everything hooked up and went inside to put the slide out, I was a bit disoriented, and sat down to enjoy the A/C which was kicked in full blast.  About 30 minutes later I look out my window and what do I see?  Our car, sitting in the street still, waiting to be moved into its parking place!  I have never done that before either.

I KNOW this is April is my dad's birthday...he would have been 95 today.  NONE of this was or is an April Fools joke.

Before taking my shower, I went over to the local H.E.B. store to pick up a few things.  WOW, that store is HUGE.  They sell gas there, but I plan on visiting another Buc-ee's tomorrow, but their prices were $3.03 for unleaded, and $3.47 for diesel.  I have seen a few diesel prices as low as $3.35 today.  H.E.B. is HUGE by the way...reminds me of how big Fred Meyer stores are.

Tornado update:  21 dead, dozens injured in 6 states after the Arkansas tornado outbreak.  I think 6 died in Arkansas, perhaps more.  After seeing the damage and the video of the tornado, I would have though it would have been in the hundreds!  It is going to take years to recover from this tornado, and hats off to the authorities in Little Rock (Mayor, Police, Fire Department) and to Governor Sanders for all they are doing to assist those affected.  During the news conference last night that I say, Sarah Huckabee Sanders stood there with all these "guys", most of whom stood a foot higher than her, yet she was not intimidated, and all of those officials who were there were very complimentary of not only the Governor, but all the other officials and how they have been handling this terrible ordeal.  Hats off to them all...and prayers for all those who have been affected.