Friday, December 23, 2016
Soon I need to start getting ready to head to Mayo for my radiation treatment. I have 3 more next week, then I'm done. I'm just now having some small reactions, nothing major. I am so ready to be finished with all this.
The weather in northern Arizona is deteriorating into snow and wind and very low temperatures so I'm staying put here for the rest of the Holidays. I'll take a gander at the weather next week to see if I'll head up for New Years.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Sunday, December 18, 2016
It is quiet here now that it is just Bosley and I. Rasta was always the troublemaker, into everything and immediately making friends with anyone who showed up. I keep second guessing myself and wishing I had realized there was something amiss early enough to fix it. It is too late at this point. I don't plan to get any other pets now. Bosley is ok being an only cat.
I am settling into my new park. I met my neighbors last night. I need to sort out where to get things and how trash pickup works and all the other details of living in a new place. Other than that I'm just hanging out until the radiation treatments are complete.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
Jim and Sandie got me moved on Thursday. I like my new park. Other than street noise it is quiet. I am on a list to move further back into the park away from the street. One of the advantages of having wheels on my home.
I am 7 radiation treatments down, 8 more to go. So far so good.
Sunday, December 11, 2016
I can tell when I’m talking to people that I’m starting to make more ambitious plans for ‘after the treatments’. I guess I’m feeling beer over all. I think the vitamin B12 that I’m taking is starting to backfill the deficit I showed in October. In the short term I’m sleeping a lot, though. I don’t know if it is the radiation ‘tiredness’ that I was warned about, seems early in the process for that, or just my general laziness.
I got laundry done yesterday, and I also bought some real food (something other than peanut butter sandwiches and coffee), and I’m working on getting the RV less cluttered. On Thursday Jim and Sandie Dixon will help me move the RV to the park where I’ll stay the rest of the winter . I am grateful they are willing to help as I’m thinking after the next 3 treatments I’ll have had at that point I may not feel up to making all the decisions needed to move. I’m sure Jim will keep the RV pointed correctly, and Sandie will keep me pointed properly as well.
Wednesday, December 07, 2016
Mayo took me at my word that I needed to get these 15 treatments started and done by the end of the year. A scheduler called me right before 4pm yesterday and asked when and where were my preferences. I said, my preference was just to get finished by the end of the year, make it happen however. I start tomorrow afternoon.
I didn’t bounce very well to the news yesterday I am not in the study after all. Normally I try hard to just let things roll along, but I had a bit of a down day. So I went up and visited Mom, then came home and defrosted the refrigerator. I know how to have a good time!
I am so ready for this to be finished.
Tuesday, December 06, 2016
I finally heard from my radiologist at Mayo that I am not in the 3 radiation treatment study after all. My insurance won’t cover the study treatments. Also, apparently I’m not a good candidate after all. I’m wondering if the insurance issue didn’t cause them to go looking for a medical reason to give me as well. So back to the 15 radiation treatments over 3 weeks. Running out of time to get them in before the end of the year. There are worse things I could hear, so I’m not getting too upset.
Think I’ll go for a walk.
Sunday, December 04, 2016
I had my host of appointments at Mayo on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. The upshot is that I am in the study that allows me to only need 3 radiation treatments rather than the standard 15. I ultimately had a CAT scan of my breast, and now I wait while they figure the technicalities of the actual radiation treatments. I should hear back and start the process in the next 2 weeks. I’m told that I will have any reaction a week later. Mostly I will feel tired and like my breast is sunburned. I’m to keep lotion on my skin as much as possible starting now and continuing, well, the rest of my life. That skin will also always be more sensitive to the sun, so I’m to keep 30 SPF lotion on it all (even under clothes) if I swim or am in the sun. Living in Phoenix, that will be most of the time. So, I wait.
In the meantime, I finally got back on the Buckminster Fuller Institute site and this morning was reading about their Challenge winners. One of the ideas I really like of Buckminster Fuller’s is the idea that there are enough resources available on earth for everyone to live a good life. On the institute site are several of his quotes. He is not easy to read, as I’ve tried to get through a few of his books. The listing of the Challenge winners, though is inspiring to check out. I especially enjoyed last year’s winner. If you like to read about new, different approaches to problems, check them out.
I still have not taken the tour at Arcosanti. Maybe next week I’ll make a run up there if I don’t hear from Mayo about the radiation schedule. I just need to get over the visual I got of the buildings after studying the likes of Bucky and Frank Lloyd Wright and their buildings. Which reminds me I also need to go tour the Frank Lloyd Wright house in Scottsdale. So much to do if I just look around.
Sunday, November 27, 2016
I spent 3 days up at Mike’s for Thanksgiving. He has some friends from Alaska visiting. We had a good feast and a nice hike the next day. I headed home yesterday as he needed to pack to be working out of state again for a couple of weeks, and he planned to leave very early this morning. I was wearing pretty much all my layers of sweatshirt/sweater/jacket while up there, and begging for a fire in the woodstove even during the day. I made one the first morning I was there, and after that the guys jumped up to make the fire whenever I started for the wood stove. I’m out of practice. A house can be expected to smell like smoke some when using a wood stove. Right?
I’ve just been hanging out with the cats other than that. And also healing. I go in Tuesday to start the meetings and simulation for the radiation. I don’t know if that is when they figure out the settings, or when they decide if I’ll need drugs to (mentally) get through this. Actually, most of this has been much easier than I could have expected. I almost feel like an imposter when I mention I’m a cancer survivor. So, I will report here after the appointments on Tuesday. I do believe I am in a radiation study where I will receive fewer but stronger treatments.
Driving back down to Mesa from Williams I started out in several heavy layers of clothes. First order of business when I got out of the car here was to peel out of most of them as it was 70* here. The cats were happy to see me. Tomorrow I plan to drive out to where I’m moving the RV in a couple of weeks and make sure all is still ok on that end. Then more sorting and moving and getting rid of stuff in the storage units. Plans only go out to December 15 at this point, the date I’m planning to move. After that, I’ll start again attempting to figure out what I’m doing with the rest of my life.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
I was a bit disappointed in my stop at Arcosanti because it was not at all what I was expecting. I was thinking Art Colony and I saw a place that looked more like a setting for a dystopia themed science fiction story. The concrete buildings did not seem to go together well, and the metal looked more rusted than aged. This bothers me as I am very much into architecture that has form following function and siting that takes the sun and other features of the area into consideration. I enjoy reading about Buckminster Fuller and Frank Lloyd Wright and studying each of them in more depth is on my list of things to do. Solving problems in new ways is a short version of what interests me. Since I was having such a negative response to the site I declined to take the tour this time. I am doing more reading on Paolo Soleri and his ideas and I’ll stop and take the tour next time I head up. I may be too proletariat to appreciate all this, but I wonder how the issues of food, clothing and water are handled in this urban living experiment. To me, selling over priced bells and ceramic tiles as the main industry lacks a certain sustainability. Then again, it is near Scottsdale.
As an aside, one time I was staying at a hiker hostel in north Georgia prior to taking a hike on the AT. At breakfast we were sitting around a table talking with one of the women who was new to the area. She mentioned that she really liked the small town there as it looked like real people lived there. “It looks like a place you can get real items you need, you know, like bullets, whiskey, tampons…” The lone male at the table pondered the comment for a minute and suggested that sounded like a dangerous combination. However, I tend to look at settings now to see how basic needs for commodities are handled, and that seems to indicate how long that setting can survive.
Everything else is going well. I’m waiting to hear when I start the radiation treatments. I’m feeling really good, and am walking a lot to get my overall health to where I want it to be. Mike and I took a walk to some pictographs while I was up there this past weekend, and I was able to enjoy the walk. This shows I’m getting into better shape. Here are a couple of pictures of Mike taking a picture of the pictographs. Say that one fast 3 times.
Friday, November 11, 2016
I've made a couple of trips up to see Mom since the surgery. She is enjoying her new apartment. She is also having a difficult time finding room for everything she kept. A lot has found new homes.
I am off to see Mike today. I hope to take time on the way up to stop at places I usually drive by thinking I really want to see that 'sometime'. I'm declaring now as the 'sometime'. A few weeks ago Mike and I went to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum and I renewed my membership. More trips out there are on the agenda as well.
Time to get going. On many levels.
Wednesday, November 02, 2016
I am back in regular clothes and I haven't taken any pain pills since yesterday morning. Tonight I can take a shower. It is the little things. Mostly pain free at this point, just some soreness sometimes.
I sent Mike home for now. He left me plenty of food. I could drive now, but I'm mostly just sleeping. I'm in no real hurry to get back into my normal routine, whatever that is.
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Tuesday, November 01, 2016
Saturday, October 29, 2016
The results for the second biopsy, that time on the left breast, came back clear, no cancer. Back to Plan A. Simple lumpectomy on the right breast on Monday, followed in a few weeks by radiation.
I have clean teeth now after the trip to Algodones yesterday with Geodudec a local friend from an online message board. We went to Dr. Eva Urena. I like the practice there better than the first place I went, but it is all personal preference. She is very nice and professional. She did the cleaning herself. Geodude opted not to have his extractions done as she couldn’t do all 4 that day. He wants to only have to sit through the procedure once. He will make some decisions while I’m healing. I’ve offered to run down there again with him in January. I’m usually up for a trip to Mexico.
I won’t get my things moved out of the smaller storage unit this weekend, so I’ll give the 30 day notice when I stop by there today. I’ll run up to see Mom and take a couple more of her boxes of stuff, and maybe even move some of my smaller things into the larger storage unit while I’m there. I need to clean out the car a bit as it is looking a bit too lived in.
I decided to just meander through the next 2 days. Monday will get here soon enough.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
I’m lifting this link from a post on a message board. It had me laughing on a day when a laugh is appreciated. Monks try tumbling:
Today is my day to get the little things done so I don’t have to think about them while going through the surgery. I canceled an appointment the day after the surgery as I’m pretty sure I won’t feel up to going to another doctor that day. I am going through some things here at the RV to take to storage and get them out of the way. I’m doing a lot of nothing as well.
Public service announcement part of the entry:
I seem to always have lumps in my breast, the right one. It was always a cyst, a liquid filled bump I could feel. When I was in my 40’s I had a doctor that insisted on a second mammogram when the first would find the lump, then the ultrasound that confirmed it as ‘just’ a cyst. Then she would make me go have it drained. Twice. Even the doctor who drained it with a needle and syringe would be asking why I was there, as the cyst was not big deal. After doing that twice I never felt the cysts again. I got lazy about breast exams, figuring that it was just a cyst if I had felt something.
The lump that is cancerous I cannot feel. Even though I know it is there, and it is .9x.9x.6 cm, I cannot feel it.
The radiologist last year said she saw ‘calcifications’. I figured, hey, I’m getting older, no surprise there would be something called calcifications in my breast. I put off getting the second mammogram until this year. When I told my Internist this year about what was found last year, he ordered a 3D mammogram. Once the lump in the right breast was discovered to be cancer, I brushed off the calcifications in the other breast as trivial. A radiologist looking at my scans from last year did not.
Turns out that calcifications are debris that is thrown off when ‘something’ is going on. I have not had ‘something’ defined for me yet. The biopsy yesterday was to determine what that something is. I was put into a type of mammogram x-ray machine with a window in the plastic for them to access the area of interest. It was automated far more than the other ultrasound guided biopsy. It seemed more extensive. I did not have any real pain with either biopsy, nor has there been any lingering pain afterwards. I was given small ice packs to use on the area, and that was all that seemed to be needed. No pain after the numbing used during the biopsies wore off. Sort of like getting dental work, a bit of pain while the numbing stuff goes in, then nothing.
I get the results of the second biopsy tomorrow. I believe the only difference in the Monday surgery a finding of cancer there would be is that I’d have ‘lumpectomy’ on both breasts. That is as much as I know now.
Public service section off.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
I’m on the 10 year plan for colonoscopies. No polyps. The person who came up with MoviPrep should be drawn and quartered for the low life scoundrel he/she is. Other than that it was a nice nap. In recovery the nurse looked at my chart and declared me a cheap date. Apparently it did not take much to put me totally out.
After sleeping most of the afternoon, Mike was restless so we took his truck, which he drove down this time, and took a load of Mom’s stuff up to her. I just walked over to the U-Haul place and picked up a box truck. We will hopefully get the rest of the stuff of Mom’s that is in the storage unit moved up to her today.
On Wednesday I have the biopsy on the other breast. On Thursday I hopefully get the stuff in my small storage unit moved over to the big one where Mom’s stuff will (hopefully) no longer be taking up the room. Then I can let the small one go.
On Friday I take a friend down to Algodones, MX where we both have dentist appointments. On Saturday and Sunday I tie up any other loose ends, get groceries, and such. On Monday is the surgery, barring anything from the second biopsy that changes anything.
That’s how it is supposed to happen, anyway.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Around 4pm on Friday as I was driving home from Mom’s I heard my phone ring. I pulled over and I had missed a call from Mayo. A voicemail from my primary care doctor said he was leaving a message on the online portal for me. I checked that (thank you smart phone) and it seems that a radiologist got around to comparing the images from last year that I had dropped off over a week ago with the ones from this year. The upshot is that this doctor thinks I should STOP EVERYTHING until I can have the other breast looked at. I guess if it was easy, everyone would want to joint this club (not). I am hoping that this is just an over reaction on his part. I had a nice, neat plan. The upshot now is that with every possibility back on the table again (until proven otherwise) I actually felt myself getting physically ill while reading all the literature they sent home with me that details all the possibilities. I can’t do anything on the weekend, and have put in pleading messages to my cancer surgeon to make sense of this, and don’t postpone the surgery. I may know more on Monday.
At 7:45am on Monday I report for my colonoscopy. I am eating soft, white foods today, mostly oatmeal. Tomorrow it is clear liquids (hopefully coffee counts as clear liquid…) and then I start the cleaning out process in the afternoon. My life is just a whole bunch of fun right now.
Mike will arrive tomorrow evening, after hopefully helping Mom clear out her rental 5th wheel of everything she hasn’t already moved to the new apartment. She slept there last night and is really happy right now. On the way to the clinic Monday morningI hopefully can call the scheduling folks and see if I can get in for the biopsy on the other breast the primary care doctor wants this week, prior to the surgery. In reality, I hope my surgeon looks at things and says we don’t need to worry about it right now.
Methinks the fun is just beginning.
Friday, October 21, 2016
As I mentioned, October has been medical tests month at Mayo Clinic for me. I decided to go there because I was not happy with the group I chose last year. Prior to last year I had not been to a doctor for any routine tests in about 15 years. In passing I knew that they found ‘something’ on my routine mammogram last year, but they ALWAYS find ‘something’ which is ALWAYS just cysts. I had asked to go straight to the ultrasound last year, but the radiologist refused. I walked out. I had all I could handle at the time getting my thyroid issues worked out. I was honest with the doctor at Mayo this year that there ‘might’ be an issue. He had me in for the diagnostic 3D mammo on Tuesday last week, which morphed into an immediate ultrasound. That morphed into a biopsy on Thursday. Which ended up in a call on Monday telling me that yes, it is cancer.
I had the appointment with the cancer surgeon yesterday. I’m lucky. It is a small, ‘well behaved’ little tumor. I’m having a lumpectomy on 10/31, and will have radiation for a few weeks afterwards. Basically 2 weeks from mammogram to surgery. They are efficient at Mayo. I’m hoping to have a lot to celebrate in December when I have my next birthday. I am now a member of the Big C club, but it seems that I’m getting off pretty lightly. I am thankful.
If any of you can send healing thoughts and prayers my way on the 31st, I would appreciate it. I’ll keep this journal updated as well. I’m hoping that this will be a very small blip in my life.
Mom finally gets her apartment today. So, we will be moving her stuff during all this. And, I still have my colonoscopy on Monday. Mike is coming down to help with both events, driving me to and from the test and helping move Mom’s stuff.
I will admit that it seemed disconcerting to suddenly see ‘Breast Cancer’ everywhere I looked after I got the call that I had it. Then I realized it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (day? week?) and it made sense. I thought for awhile the Universe was trying to tell me something.
Fight Like A Girl!
Sunday, October 16, 2016
It is still hot in Mesa. Next year I’ll try to be someplace cooler until November 1. I do still like this park. I even went swimming a couple of times. I have found a cheaper place in Apache Junction to move at the end of the year. A lot cheaper. It also has a swimming pool, community room, laundry room, fitness room, etc. I may look into finding a larger trailer to leave in the Apache Junction spot, and just travel in my car and camp during the summer. Plans for that are in Jell-O. Once I get through the medical appointments, I’m planning a trip back east to visit family, maybe Rod and Favorite Neighbor. Those plans are also in Jell-O at the moment. I’ll need to hire a service to check on the cats while I’m gone now that Mom is not close. She will get her apartment in the senior housing complex finally in the next week or so, so Mike and I will be helping her move her stuff from storage down here in Mesa to that apartment in Payson.
In between all that I’m getting an eye exam on Friday, and calling tomorrow to get a dentist appointment for myself and a friend who hasn’t done the Mexico dental trip yet. I’ll need the trip back east just to rest from all these appointments.
Cats are fine, Mom is fine, mostly I’m fine. I’ll try to keep y’all updated in a more timely manner. The new blog header photo is one Mike took of me when we were hiking up in northern Arizona a few weeks ago. Notice I have on a fleece. I’m dying of heat stroke down here in the Valley. Note again to self: don’t come back here until November.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
I am moved back down to the valley, about 6 weeks and 20 degrees of hot too soon. The original place I thought I had reservations decided they didn’t like the looks of my rig in their snooty park, so they denied me entrance at 2:30pm on a hot afternoon. I had to have electricity to keep the cats cool with the air conditioning. Mike had them in the car for the move, but that wouldn’t work for the evening, and I couldn’t boondock and have air conditioning. I was making frantic calls around for a place for at least one night with power. At one of the parks when I gave my name I heard “(shadowmoss)! This is (former office manager where I used to live in the mobile home). Sure, come on over’. I was welcomed not just for a night, but they also have a fall special and I’m here until the end of the year.
I will NEVER, EVER stay at a Cal Am resort, no matter what I am living in.
Mesa Spirit is a really nice, friendly park with better facilities and cheaper with all that is included in the base rent. I won’t be able to afford to stay after the special price ends, but I’m good for now.
I’m hiding waiting for the temperature to drop. It is still 100* during the day, and unlike Payson there is no shade here. I came down early because the park in Payson is doing construction and needed me to move. The cats have forgiven me. They hate moving. It didn’t help that I took them to the rabies clinic at TSC for their rabies shots the night before we moved. Poor Rasta had to deal with a dog in line in front of us that looked at him intently, and it was obvious he was thinking ‘lunch!’. We all survived.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
I have not had reliable internet, other than when I was at Croft and Norma’s place in Canada, since I moved out of Mesa in June. My Consumer Cellular hotspot doesn’t work on the weekends, I assume because of the huge influx of weekenders going through the only highway to higher elevation camping from Phoenix. It is slow and metered when it does connect, and I blow through the allotted 4G of data within 2-3 weeks just reading emails and such. However, I move back to Mesa on Thursday. I’ll be camped right under the free wifi tower at the park. I’m going to watch videos to my heart’s content, and stay glued to the internet 24/7 for awhile I think. And, when I leave there in December I will hopefully have a better plan in place to connect to everyone.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
This is the Canada Man who is perched on the rock at the shore out from Croft and Norma’s place. As Canada has won gold medals at the Summer Olympics the Canada Man has acquired similar ones around his neck. I’ve been watching the Olympics with Norma and Croft and it has been exciting. It is always entertaining to watch how another country reports on news and sports, and I’ve seen a lot I like. I do like the spots on the Canada station that has the tag line ‘we all play for Canada’.
There is a paved walkway along the shore that I’ve taken several walks along. This morning I took some pictures. There is a coffee shop not far along and I stopped. $2.75 Canadian for a small coffee that was good. I tipped $1 because, hey, its not quite a US dollar, and I only had a credit card as I have no Canadian money.
Further along is a small park set up by the local Rotary Club. There are a few of the chainsaw carved wooden statues.
It is also a Memorial Garden, with small memorials on rocks along the sides. I walked a bit further. Everyone smiled really big and said hello. I realized later that I had on long pants, a long sleeved t-shirt and a hoodie. All the locals were in shorts and sandals. I think they were laughing at me… Pretty much everyone here is complaining about the heat and just how hot it is. I’m comfortably cool. It may be 80*. I’m afraid if it ever got to 95* here we would lose the entire population of the Island to heat stroke.
I’m eating well. I’ve discovered that I love smoked salmon. Croft stopped on the way up here from Victoria at a small seafood shop and got a baggie of the stuff. I think he may have gotten a couple of bites of it. One taste and I’m hooked. He took me to a dockside fish and chips for supper when I got in, and we have gone to a dockside fish and chips place here in Campbell River as well. Turns out I do, in fact, like seafood.
This is for Al in Bayfield:
I am in my first ever Tim Hortons eating a carrot muffin and drinking a coffee. It was really good. I can see why Al has a habit of getting them. I had gone with Norma and we got haircuts at a local salon. My hair is pulled back into a French braid. I only got 6” cut off, so it is still down my back, despite how it looks in this picture.
That is what has gone on so far. Eating, Olympics, walks, Olympics, Eating, and did I mention how well I’m being fed. So far Canada is a hit with me.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
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This morning, after some issues from yesterday I'll talk about when I return to AZ that will require putting the car in the body shop for a bit, I woke to my 4:30 am alarm. On the road to the airport by 5am I made my flight to Seattle with no issues. I'm in the air on the way to Seattle as I type, and I'll post this once I land there. Ongoing posts as I go.
Looking forward to studying the Canadian Snowbird in its native habitat.
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Friday, August 12, 2016
We took a short hike near there. I'm trying to get into shape to get out to the neat areas that Mike knows about.
*whenever getting directions from me, always verify east/west, north/south, and left/right. I tend to get them mixed up. I'd blame old timers disease, but I've been this way all my life.
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Sunday, August 07, 2016
Friday, August 05, 2016
Called and made doctor's appointments at Mayo Clinic for the next couple of months. Progress.
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Thursday, August 04, 2016
I had thought that maybe I should stay here instead of going back to Mesa in September, but I think this rv needs dry, warm weather. I have water in 2 places that I can't figure out how it gets there. It is clouding up again, so I need to go stash the stuff I laid out to dry in the car.
Welcome to summer in northern Arizona.
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Wednesday, August 03, 2016
Saturday, July 30, 2016
And now, today's disaster is brought to you by:. Water
Actually it was the day after the hike. When getting up to make coffee that morning, instead of carpet on my feet i felt water. I realized it was not raining, but the sound of water was coming from under the sink. I yelled for Mike to turn off the water at the outside supply while I pulled on clothes to go buy a shop vac. From the size of the pond under the rv, the leak had been pouring out water most of the night. Mike requested that I put on coffee before making the run to Walmart for the shop vac.
Once the worst of the water was drained and vacuumed up we investigated and found the connection that had let go. At True Value Mike is lecturing me on how my water lines are bogus and all need to be replaced, etc. I look at the section to be replaced we brought, leave him sorting through the various connector bins, and go find a hose that is meant for connecting to a sink faucet. $6 and done as far as I'm concerned. He gives me a look I'm getting somewhat used to...
Mike replaced the section with the flexible hose replacement and we tested it. That part fixed. Of course, in the process of all this, he found more of my previous fixes and put them right.
Much vacuuming of water took up the rest of the next few days, and I'm still blowing fans on the damper sections of carpet. It didn't help that the next morning I started coffee, and decided to do the dishes. I turned on the water, moved some dishes around, found my phone, sat down to make a big post, and discovered when I went to get coffee that I forgot to turn off the water and it was overflowing the sink. Mike is still speaking to me...
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Friday, July 29, 2016
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
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Wednesday, July 20, 2016
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Monday, July 18, 2016
Not a bad place to camp with a few hundred of my closest friends. It has been a long time since I camped like this, with so many folks around. My back is starting to mutter a bit about sleeping on my backpacking pads. It is fun to see old friends, hear about others. One very good friend I was so looking forward to seeing got as far as Denver and had a stroke on the way here. He is in the hospital and doing better. I am really sad not to get to see him, and am keeping him in my thoughts. Some discussion of the aging of the group. Mostly the consensus is, it happens.
Made it to convention. Nevada is beautiful in places. I drove for miles along a valley between mountains. Topped a rise and before me saw... many more miles of valley between mountains. Welcome to Nevada.
And, edited again to add the picture that didn't come through the email... sigh. This stuff used to work. I'll download LiveWriter to this computer soon.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Since I'm thinking of travel now, and I have until the end of August in my current situation with Mom available to watch the cats, I decided to also go up and visit Croft and Norma in Campbell River. I'm checking flights and such right after I post this.
I spoke too soon about the hot spots. They are working fine here in Mesa, where I'm waiting while they do an oil change on the zoom zoom car. They don't work so well in Payson, where I need them to work. I'll give them another try when I go home today, but if they don't work I'll send them back. The primary reason I got them (one for Mom, one for me) is that Mom wants to get back on the internet. If it doesn't work for her, I really don't need one either as I will end up with a Verizon Jet Pack, I think, once I'm off into the desert. So, the search for internet access is still on-going.
At convention we will be camping. I've been digging around in my camping gear for the first time in about 5 years. My car trunk currently holds 2 backpacking tents, 3 tarps, a sleeping bag/liner/3 sleeping pads, 2 backpacking stoves (5 if you count the pop can alcohol stoves), a cook kit, 2 rain jackets, rain pants, rain poncho/bivy tarp, bear canister, folding bucket, 2 folding chairs, folding table, hiking boots, caving helmet (figured I should take at least 1 piece of caving gear), and several other things in the 2 backpacks and tucked into the nooks and crannies. I did laundry but still need to pack, and think about some snacks for the trip up. I'm sure I"ll forget something, as until this morning I had not put a tent in the pile. I'll leave early Friday morning.
I need to figure the schedules of the Victoria Clipper ferry to get from Seattle to Victora and Southwest into Seattle for my trip up to Norma and Croft's next month. I figure I can grab a cab for the trip from the airport to the ferry. I am looking forward to seeing them again, and having a chance to view Canadians in their native habitat. Lots to do, finally. I was turning into a lump on the couch with no external structure in my life. I'll have to figure out how to deal with that at some point, but I'll use travel as the crutch to get me going again for now.
Thursday, July 07, 2016
Wednesday, July 06, 2016
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Monday, July 04, 2016
While waiting for her to eat breakfast I went up for the first gander at my roof. The good news is that it is sealed nicely. The less good news is that the vent is sealed solidly to the roof. I looked at the situation for few minutes. I texted Sandie Dixon with another plea to send me a Jim clone. Seems he is doing nefarious things with a drill and won't stop long enough to be cloned.
I went over and told Mom to stand down, I am not going to try this after all. I may call my mobile fix-it guy again and pay him to replace it. I may call a buddy from long ago and see if he wants to go hiking over here, and by the way I have a vent that needs to be replaced first. Probably go with calling Can Do mobile fix-it, though.
There is no screen in the vent, a blade is broken off the fan, and now the cover is broken. I have the bottom trim off and the wires capped off. The vent cover is sealed as much as I can with silicon. Now it will be up to Carl at Can Do. Yes, we are on a first name basis now. On a related note, stock in silicon is due to go up. This place will be held together with it before long.
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Saturday, July 02, 2016
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I drove back up the ridge in somewhat heavy traffic but it was Friday of a holiday weekend. About 3 miles out of Payson traffic came to a standstill. Holiday traffic backed up from the first stoplight. At the same time I noticed very dark clouds and lightening off to my left. As i was stopped anyway I called Mom to see if this was the leading or trailing edge of the storm and she said it had just started raining. The time it took me to get the few miles home meant that I missed the brunt of the storm. Mom said it hailed here while I only had some rain. The problem was, my lot turns into a literal lake after a storm like that. Several inches of water where my patio was supposed to be. I took off my shoes and waded in. The cats were happy to see me.
Later after the lake had drained away I had to put my sewer line back onto the hole. I don't know if it floated out or if the neighbor again pulled out the hoses to drain the lake. Yesterday as he was telling me how he had pulled the sewer hoses the night before to drain the lake after that storm he ended up helping me light the water heater. I was trying to light the wrong place. At some point I'll ask what the place was i kept holding the lighter up against in case I damaged it. I do have hot water now anyway.
Last night it was rainy and chilly. I had a cat against me for warmth most of the morning, a vocal one when it was thundering and raining. Bosley hides when it rains so I'm not sure where he spent the night. When I decided to get going this morning around 7 it was 58* outside. So I put on socks and my fleece. In July. In Arizona.
My heart goes out to Sandy and Jim Dixon as I saw the news this.morning that their dear dog Scooter died last night. I'm holding them in my thoughts as I know how difficult it is to lose a family member as Scooter definitely was. A much loved and spoiled family.member.
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Thursday, June 30, 2016
Several years ago I followed a blog called Walking Prescott that was written by a newspaper woman who had retired there from Chicago. At the time I knew almost nothing about Arizona and had little intention to even visit. I just enjoyed reading the details she wrote about from her walks.
Since I've been here in Payson there are many areas the call out for a similar treatment, which means among other things that I need to get out and walk. This morning, the first Pictures of Payson.
The post was interrupted as I realized it was sprinkling rain so I hot footed it back to the rv. To continue...
This mural is on the back side of Payson Mini Storage, and if I was better at this I would have already researched who painted it and when. This will be a learning process for sure. From my comment about the rain you can surmise that it is a cloudy morning here. Monsoon season has arrived. 68* at 7:45am, cool for short sleeves, especially when I get rained on.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
The cats are settled in pretty well. Rasta got out once but Bosley was chewing him out so I was alerted in time to coax him back out from under the rv.
I'm still working out what to put where but I am slowly sifting out what I want and what can go back to storage. I see at least one more trip to Mesa in the next week. I still haven't sorted out getting online with the computers but that is today's work. The over all plan is to be set up to boonedock by the end of the year.
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Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Progress is ongoing. I ask myself each day which thing is most annoying and work to fix that. I'm moving up the water hierarchy from broken gray water blade to water leak to now sealing the shower. Lighting the water heater is on the list but so far I'm letting the ambient temperature heat the water in the 50'
water hose for my needs. Gotta psych myself up to turning on the propane. Also need to buy a carbon monoxide detector and a fire extinguisher.
This is all why I moved into a park for the first few months. Learning curve and all that.
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Monday, June 27, 2016
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Any idea what the small hose does? I'll head to Mesa tomorrow in search of a replacement T connector.
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Setting up the hotspots went OK. I have a truly annoying issue though. While I can get to Gmail and some other sites, I can't get to blogs or online forums. I turned off my anti-everything AVG and turned off windows defender and windows firewall. I played with the tls and SLS or whatever the initials are for the security settings in Firefox (I did Change them back when it didnt help). Windows Edge has the same issue. I may try downloading Chrome if I can get to that site. My phone even going through the same hotspot works fine. All my other computers are 75 miles away.
Did I ever mention how much I hate Windows 10?
I'm basically off line until I figure this out. This will not doubt mean a trip down to Mesa to get the netbook and one of the other laptops still on XP.
On a different note, I also found a water leak under the sink this morning. Sigh.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016
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Sunday, June 19, 2016
I got up at 5am in Payson and was back in Mesa by 6:30. I’m still clearing out the mobile home. I was good until about 10, 2 loads and I’m still finding small nooks and crannies to stuff the things I want to put in the storage unit. At 10:30 I caved and begged the buyers for another day. If I could work all day on finishing the moving, I could be done. It was 109* by 11, and due to get to 122*. I just can’t carry stuff out to the car, can’t drive to the dumpster and toss stuff in, can’t do much of anything that requires any time outside at all. They agreed to give me the extra day. I am thankful.
I am down to a couple of loads. I’ll get up earlier tomorrow and drive down. I am fairly sure I can find a place for everything important that is left. When I’m living back down here in Mesa starting in September through the end of the year I’ll go through a lot of the stuff again and purge some more. There is a limit to what I can process, and I’ve been moving, first Mom, then me, and searching for and buying and then checking out the RV for the past 3 months. I’m tired.
Friday, June 17, 2016
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
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Thursday, June 09, 2016
I’m still moving things out of the mobile home. I should find out today if the couple who are trying to buy the place are approved to live here or not. The first gentleman who wanted to buy the place had a stroke that night, so couldn’t buy it. The next couple I was in the office when she turned in her application, and the Manager scared her enough that she gave up on even trying to get approved. I wouldn’t be able to get approved to live here, either. The new owners or the Manager one need a reality check, this isn’t Scottsdale. The 3rd party to try to get this place should hear today. They were called into the office ‘to answer a few questions’ before they will know if they are approved or not.
The place is emptying out. Still a lot to move. I can’t give away a couple of my antiques. I’m going to post them on Craigslist with $5 on them. I need to get a small issue fixed on the RV, and am hesitant now that I have some things in it to take it someplace and leave it. I’m pondering that one.
I’ve gotten reconnected with some folks who were my best friends back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, some of which I haven’t seen since then. I need to get out of Mesa and more mobile as lots of new adventures await if I can just get moving.
Thursday, June 02, 2016
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Saturday, May 28, 2016
How shall I go in peace and without sorrow? Nay, not without a wound in the spirit shall I leave this city.
Long were the days of pain I have spent within its walls, and long were the nights of aloneness; and who can depart from his pain and his aloneness without regret? …
It is not a garment I cast off this day, but a skin that I tear with my own hands. Nor is it a thought I leave behind me, but a heart made sweet with hunger and with thirst.
Yet I cannot tarry longer. The sea that calls all things unto her calls me, and I must embark. For to stay, though the hours burn in the night, is to freeze and crystallize and be bound in a mould.
Fain would I take with me all that is here. But how shall I?
I am frozen, almost paralyzed. I am to the stuff that I actually use. I can’t take it all with me. I have not yet started moving into the RV, as I am terrified that I will find that everything I want won’t fit. I actually know that it won’t. The nightmares have retreated a bit, but my self-talk about how I always make poor decisions and that, like a cat, I’m running out of lives or the ability to land on my feet runs through my mind constantly.
Understand, there is nothing that has happened to change my desire to move into the RV, or anything new happened that is a problem. This is my own fight to get myself over this hump.
I showed the mobile to a couple yesterday and they looked around and then said ‘the ad says this will be available by Monday…’ I said that if they made me an offer I’d be out at the end of Tuesday, and I could. I might need to check into a psych ward (I didn’t add that part…). It turns out they can’t apply to live in the park until Tuesday anyway, so I have some time, and they didn’t make me an offer. I’m going to amend the ad to say June 15.
My paid help is to show up Tuesday, so I will again get a moving truck for a day and see how much I can squeeze into the storage sheds.
This is hard. I must be a true basket case, as most folks talk about how ‘freeing’ getting rid of stuff is, ‘think of how much money you are spending holding onto this crap, err, your stuff you aren’t using’ Maybe I’ll get there. I can’t think of the money because when I do I hyperventilate looking back and forth from the expense that is an issue and the idea of just dumping all my stuff. It is difficult enough to put it in storage.
This is one of my better days. This is why I haven’t been blogging much the past few days.
Friday, May 20, 2016
These are truly ‘Before’ pictures as I have not had time to clean at all. I’ve been working on getting moved out of the mobile instead. So, here is the RV:
As you can see, the spare tire is still in the middle of the floor. I started putting some things up on the bed as I needed to clear them out of the mobile to show it the other day. I’ll have a memory foam mattress up there, but I’m sleeping on it currently so it will be one of the last things to go in.
The kitchen should be adequate for what little cooking I do. Storage is another matter.
The bathroom is the door in the back, and has a separate shower. I do need to do some work on the shower before I use it, but all in good time. When I get up to Payson I can either use Mom’s shower or the one in the community room until I get the small cracks sealed in mine.
Everything else is status quo around here. I make small loads to storage, and a few to donate. It is slowly clearing out here. My goal is to have most of the stuff in storage by the end of the month. Then concentrate on the RV. If I sell the mobile, then the plan speeds up. I have places I want to go starting the middle of June, so I will plan to be ready to pack up the cats and leave by the 15th of June or thereabouts.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Yesterday morning I had two folks contact me to schedule a showing of my mobile. They both wanted Saturday mid-day. When I told the second one that I was already showing it at 1pm on Saturday, suddenly she wanted to see it today. I’ve been packing stuff back in closets and got the second storage unit and started putting stuff in it. Not as organized as I was planning, but I’ll go over ‘later’ and organize it.
Which is why there are no pictures yet of the RV. Bill apparently got sidetracked as well as he never showed up to go get the lumber. His wife got home from the hospital yesterday afternoon, so he will be busy taking care of her for awhile. I’m tossing stuff into the RV for now to show the place, but I really will get some pictures. They just won’t be the perfect, clean version as I had planned.
So I”m off to do more clearing of stuff to show the mobile in it’s best light. It really is a nice place, if I can get my stuff out of the way. Part of me wonders if they are his/her of the same couple. That would be funny (to me). I know the second lady is looking seriously as I’m the second one for her today, and she almost bought a different mobile in this same park but something fell through. She is already approved to move in per the resident requirements, so that works in my favor as they had to already pay for the background check.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Yesterday the RV went into B & H Auto Repair to see if the dash air and most things in general in the dash could be made to work again. They brought me home and a couple of hours later I got the call. The air conditioning unit is an aftermarket add on, and it wasn’t hooked up and didn’t have freon. The quote to see if it could be made to work was within my betting limit, so he went ahead with the process. He got it to work, and also got the 12V socket to work as well as the dash light bulbs. Pretty much everything on this 1983 RV now works! I had said it talked to me from the ad, and obviously it wants to become useful again.
After morning coffee klatsch with Bill and Bob I’m going to use the RV to help Bill pick up some lumber. His truck is not running right now. The morning coffee klatsch is because with the new owners here in the park and the office manager, you know, the one who used to keep things running smoothly, gone there is no longer any coffee down at the community room. It is known that I ALWAYS have coffee, so I’m the new center for morning gathering. Heck, I even bought some pastry to have this morning. But, back to plans… Bill and I will go to Home Depot and get the lumber in the RV, then I’ll pull the RV up to my mobile and work on starting the clean up. And, yes, I’ll finally take pictures of the inside. I’ll also check to see if the spare tire is worth keeping. It has a tire cover on it that has seen better days and is mounted to part of an angle iron mounting bracket. I can’t figure out how it fits on the back, and can’t lift it anyway.
I got some harnesses for the cats, but they looked so uncomfortable that I’m going to just get the strap kind and try that. I also got some kitty downer chews and gave one to Rasta, the cat that hates to be in a moving vehicle. He didn’t get sick, so I’ll try drugging him the first few times he is in the moving RV to see how it goes. I only have one crate and the cats don’t get along well enough to put them in the same crate during a stressful time, so I’ll hit up TSC to see what they have. I don’t really think that Bosley needs to be crated, and Rasta may be better not crated as well. It is a work in process.
Sunday, May 15, 2016
I look around the place and think about how ‘I need to do that’ about everything. Then I think ‘First, I need to do that, though’. My circle of procrastination becomes a mobius strip, going round and round with no beginning and, apparently, no end.
I went up to Payson yesterday to take Mom to lunch, but really to focus again on where I’m attempting to land. It is much nicer up there right now than the heat we are having here in the valley. The only thing keeping me here is All My Stuff that I need to deal with, either trashing, donating, or in a very few cases sell. I just need to deal.
I have a history of packing up. I, with lots of help from friends, moved 3 times while living in Nashville, moved to Washington State, moved to Honduras, moved back and then out here to Phoenix. The difference this time is I’m alone. I set my own timeline on things. This isn’t good so far.
Tomorrow I have an appointment to have the dash in the RV looked at, specifically the air conditioning and also the 12V plug. I’m hoping they are just blown fuses. I’m outsourcing pretty much all of the repairs at this point just to get them finished. After that I need to get a hitch on the RV as the one there isn’t really attached properly to pull anything. It looks impressive, but is just to mount the spare tire, which currently is in the middle of the floor taking up most of the room to walk.
No calls on the mobile home yet.
I’m overwhelmed, does it show?
Thursday, May 12, 2016
The mobile is listed on Craigslist now. I keep packing smaller things away. I feel like I’m stuck in molasses. I know the only thing keeping me here in Mesa is procrastination.
The last things I need to get worked on in the RV are the dash air conditioning and the 12V cigarette lighter. The heat keeps me from working on it during the day. No excuse why I’m not out there cleaning on it after it cools down at night. I even have lights inside now that they put a battery in.
Off to call and get the recommendation for the place to work on the dash air. I should have written it down the first time.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Well, except for the awning, which is being removed. And there is no generator. And I need to add solar. But, all in good time.
Now to finish moving out of the mobile and sell it.
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Monday, May 09, 2016
The city water flange replacement was a success. My Big Lots hose not so much. Buddy Bob and I both got sprayed when the connector came off. I'll fix it when I find a crimp connection... I didn't put full pressure to the water connection, so I haven't completed the attachment yet.
Bob also pointed out where I put a hole on the skin of the RV when I got too close to that building. I has been one of those days.
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Sunday, May 08, 2016
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There were 3 videos I used, each has their place. No, I don’t do pretty links.
The first one basically shows that it really isn’t that difficult. He isn’t a mechanic, obviously just a backyard fixer upper who managed to make the repair. He gets lambasted a bit unfairly for not knowing the finer points. My RV setup ended up being identical to his when I got the old flange removed.
This video really showed me the correct way to do the job. I ended up with the exact brand of flange that he had which included all the necessary parts. As an aside, Camping World doesn’t stock teflon tape. I ended up taking Camping World’s stuff back and getting the correct part from Apache Junction RV, which is where Sandie told me to go in the first place.
This video explains the parts an RV’er might want to carry along and use with the city water connection and why. It was good for me to see some options as I go along. Probably the most surprising was that the screen on the water input is just a rubber washer. The previous videos made it sound like the screen only came as part of the primary assembly, as in ‘yeah, if mine had a screen it got lost a long time ago’ comments. In this video he recommends carrying spares.
Saturday, May 07, 2016
If I had has the wrenches I needed and the correct part first off this would have been a 10 minute job. As it was there was a trip to Apache Junction RV, then a trip to Walmart for the wrenches. I guess all in all this will be a $50 fix but most of that is tools.
I want eyes on the inside when the water is first turned on as well. I have no idea what possible leaks are in there. My coffee klatche buddies will be drafted into helping.
To be continued...
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Friday, May 06, 2016
Look up, always look up. That was Sandie's advice to me the day I bought the RV. I'll add my own note to myself: always walk entirely around the RV prior to jumping in to drive it. The awning was not working when I bought it, but now I'll just take it off until I get around to replacing the entire assembly. The building's corner of the roof didn't sustain much damage.
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Monday, May 02, 2016
The RV is at the Chevy dealership. They recommend changing all the fluids except the transmission, which Jim had already verified looked clean. Also all the belts. The AIR system, which is missing…, is going to cost around $600 to find and install the missing parts. All in all it will be around $1500. About what I was expecting for that age engine in basically good running condition.
I haven’t booked an appointment at an RV place to check the LP, water, electric, refridgerator, heater, air conditioning, etc. That is where I will have sticker shock I think.
Mom signed her mobile home over to the park this afternoon. The last person who made an appointment to look at it never showed up or called. She is mostly relieved, and as I had already gone through and verified there was nothing left at all (I even took the roll of paper towels she was going to leave), she waved and headed off to Payson. I deleted the ad on craigslist. I am really sorry that she lost the money on the whole thing, but she is on her way.
I’m working on getting my place to where I can take pictures to post it on craigslist. The kitchen is almost there. Living room will require moving stuff around. It gets harder from there. We made a stop at the thrift store and dropped off a small load this morning, and I already have a couple of bags to go now. I’ll probably make daily drop-offs as it is on the way to the storage unit.
I’m missing the RV being across the way. I am ready to start moving in, but I’m at least a week, maybe more from being able to do so as the shops have to do their thing, then I have to clean it out. I enjoyed driving it across town to the dealership this morning. I want more.
Saturday, April 30, 2016
I slept well last night for once. I have plans, but the plans are getting more reality-based now.
The RV is an 24’ 1983 Lindy. I have an appointment to get the engine fluids/belts/hoses checked and/or replaced on it on Monday. I’m going to take it somewhere and have the RV systems checked out I have room, given what I paid for it, to replace what doesn’t work, within reason. I’m going on the theory that nothing works, with no concrete reason to believe that, because I figure I’d rather think Woo Hoo, something works rather than, bummer, something else doesn’t work.
I really enjoy driving the RV. That first stoplight the first time I drove it was disconcerting. The brakes are a bit spongy, and I had no clutch to use to downshift, as the RV is an automatic. The consolation as I saw the car in front of me stopped was that it was my car that Jim was driving and I was following. The brakes do work, but I had a heartbeat of panic. I’m hoping it is just air in the lines. I’m remembering my days of working on my similar era vehicles. I smiled as Jim was checking out the way the engine ran and said that it sounded good ‘except for the glasspacks’ and I actually knew what he was talking about. Y’all will know when I’m coming.
I want to clean it up a bit, but I will be posting pictures. It has the bathroom in the back, a small full stove with very small oven, double stainless sinks, Dometric fridge, couch on one side and single person per side dinette on the other. I didn’t want a seperate bed other than the over cab one, so this layout is perfect for me.
Some of the things I had taken for granted as I planned what I would put where in an RV won’t work with this one. No storage under the couch as that is where the fresh water tank is located. No storage under the dinette seats as under one is the water heater and under the other is the furnace. I had planned on using the passenger side front floor for the cats’ litter box. It is not big enough.
I’m now looking around my mobile and cutting out more and more stuff, at least mentally. Already this morning started a new pile to go to the thrift store.