Sunday, May 8, 2016

May 8th, still at Silent Valley

Hello everyone,  
It's Sunday, Mother's day, and all is well today.  Jim walked the dogs, and then he made me a lovely breakfast of French Toast with strawberry cream cheese.  After a nice hot shower, we had a pleasant, quiet morning and a nice phone call from Matt, followed by a great lunch (Jim's specialty sandwich of Spam, glazed with mustard & brown sugar with American cheese on top).  Millie and Willie gave me a wonderful pair of light weight Bushnell binoculars for a Mother's day gift.  WOW!!!!  Now I'm ready the next time we go bird watching!

Now I have much to bring you up-to-date on, and there won't be very many pictures included today.  This week has been a roller coaster to say the least.  

On Monday I made a bunch of calls trying to locate a mobile RV service that would come up here to service the brakes on the RV.  Everyone makes mistakes, but the day we came up here, Jim didn't realize he drove up the hill with the parking brake on.  When he got here, it smelled terribly overheated.  One of the mobile repair guys we had used before suggested we should take the RV to a place in Banning called TruckWorks.  We went there Tuesday (by car) and talked with Terry.  He couldn't give us any kind of quote without seeing the RV, but gave us some possible estimates........let's hope it only needs the less expensive options!  We are going to have to call Auto Club to take the RV down the hill, as we are not willing to take the risk of driving down that hill (with 6% grades and very frequent turns all the way down) without reliable brakes.  We are going to go down a day early and have a reservation to stay at the KOA at the bottom of the hill on Wednesday night, so we can get to TruckWorks by 8 am on Thursday.  

We have a reservation to go to Wilderness Lakes on Thursday, so we hope they will be able to finish the work that day.  If not, we may have to stay at a motel in town for one night.....or we might be able to stay in the RV at the shop overnight.  It all depends on how much work has to be done, and if they have to order any parts that they don't have in stock.  We are praying for it to be just a small job and we'll be on our way to Menifee the same day.

Monday afternoon we also got a call telling us Jim's brother Norm had been admitted to Buffalo General Hospital with a pretty bad case of pneumonia, and he had experienced a small stroke.  Since it was already around 8 pm back in New York state, we waited until morning to call to talk to him.  He was pretty agitated and didn't make too much sense at that time, so we told him we'd call back in a day or two to see how he was doing.  Wednesday we talked to his nurse, who said he was doing fairly well and generally stable.  We got about the same news from his nurse on Thursday morning.  A couple hours later we got a call from his doctor saying he may have had more of a stroke than they had previously realized.  Later they called again saying he was having seizures and it was compromising his respiratory status, and they couldn't give him medication to control his seizures.  After talking to Norm a few months back, we had told the social worker at the rehab place he was at, that he did not want to be intubated and put on a ventilator.  But now they said they needed to be able to control his airway, so we gave consent for them to intubate him.  He was transferred to the medical ICU and put on a ventilator.  Friday we got calls three times from doctors caring for him, and were told the prognosis was not good.  They did an MRI and felt that his stroke had extended, resulting in a larger area of brain damage.  Needless to say, we didn't get a lot of sleep that night.  We were afraid that we had made the wrong choice about the ventilator.  Saturday, we called for an update, and were told that he was stable, and that they had been able to stop his seizures.  I called this morning and we got a little better news.  The nurse said they had been able to take out Norm's "breathing tube" and he was able to breathe on his own.  Then she said that although he is not verbalizing yet, he was responding appropriately to simple commands.  It's not a full recovery, but it was a small sign of improvement to us, and we were happy to hear it.  Please pray that he continues to improve in the days ahead.      

When we first got up here last month we met a delightful couple named Jim and Diane.  She is recovering from neck surgery several weeks ago.  They have a house in Yucaipa, where my sister Donna and her husband George live, and spend a lot of time in a 5th wheel trailer up here.  When they choose to travel, they use a tent trailer that they can tow behind their van.  Yesterday we invited them over to our home for a spaghetti dinner.  Jim made some Italian bread, and I also baked a spice cake with cream cheese frosting.  It was a wonderful day.  We played Mexican Train too.  As always, we are so grateful for the wonderful friends we make along the way in the campgrounds we stay at.  Diane's husband Jim was a respiratory therapist, as was my Jim, so we all had "war stories" to chat, and sometimes laugh about. Dinner was great, Diane brought a wonderful salad which I really enjoyed, and we drank a little moscato wine with dinner.  

Weather-wise it has been rainy, cloudy and cold a lot this week.  Since it rained all Friday night and was cold in the morning we didn't have much luck with sales Saturday.  The lady who was supposed to come back this week, didn't, and we only had one sale all morning.

That's all the news for now.  Stay well, and continue enjoying life and enjoy America.  Happy trails to all.  Bye bye. 


  1. Glad to hear you had a nice Mother's Day! Prayers continue for Norm and that your RV brake expenses won't be too high. Hope that goes well. Nice photo of your new friends. That surely is one of the joys of RVing ... the friends we make along the way! Hugs!

  2. Yes, we have been blessed with the wonderful people we have met while camping in the many marvelous places we have been. We also stay at Elks Lodges sometimes, and have met some of the "Best People On Earth" at the BPOE lodges! At most lodges, they welcome us and make us feel at home.