Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Mid August at Silent Valley

Hello Dear friends, family and new readers,

We are still here at Silent Valley, in site D-311.  We saw that the people in the site we like best were leaving this past Sunday, but before we could decide if we wanted to pack up and move there, someone else had started moving their stuff in!  The only thing we aren't too happy about here is that we have to take our tablets outside and walk about 75 feet away from the RV to get connected.  Alas, small price to pay for being here.  It has been hot enough.........up to 99 a few days ago, but nothing like down in Banning (103) or Palm Springs (114)!  So we really can't complain.

I was asked to write about our experiences with different types of satellite dishes for our TV reception.  Before retirement, we TRIED using the most basic manual dish.  At that time we were contracted with DISH Network.  We had nothing but frustration, and could ONLY get that dish to work when the RV was parked in our driveway at home!  Several times when we were camping, other campers tried to help us, but to no avail.  We were also not completely happy with the service we got from Dish Network with our set up at home, so we made the switch to DirecTV, and were much more satisfied, but still no reception with the manual dish.  When we retired and bought the Itasca motorhome to full time in, we had a dish added on the roof.  We thought that was the very best way to go.  However, we found that sometimes in campgrounds we could not acquire a signal if any tree branches or leaves were over the dish.  Many times we had to move to a different site to get reception.  In 2013 we traded the Itasca for the Gulf Stream Endura, and instead of the roof mounted dish, we purchased one called the Anser from Camping World.  Most of the time it worked well, but it was powered by a DC cord that had to be plugged into the cigarette lighter, and it could be difficult to get the dish positioned JUST right to find a signal.  The power cord connection was not good, and we had to replace it several times.  A couple months ago Camping World had some satellite dishes on sale, including one called the King Quest.  For some people, the drawback is that it ONLY works for DirecTV, but of course that is not a problem for us.  It is very light weight, so it is easy to carry outside.  It does NOT require a separate power cord, and it is FULLY automatic.  With the Anser, it sometimes took us over an hour to find the perfect position and lock onto a signal.  With the Quest, Jim sets it outside, I turn on the TV and the receiver, press one button to start up the search, and within a minute or two.................we have TV!!!!!  It was on sale for about $477 when we bought it, but at any price, it's a good deal.  It is compact and light weight, and works like a dream.

We got our new 10' by 10' Instant Screen House last week.  It really was a piece of cake to put it up.
  As you can see, we put it up several feet away from the RV, as this makes access easier.  It has zippered doorways on two sides for easy entry, and IF one wanted to, the doorways can be secured open with a toggle and loop hook to the corners.  The poles are permanently attached, so you just raise it up into position, and stake down the corners and tie out loops.  Once we had it laid out on the ground, it only took about one minute to raise it, and maybe 5 minutes to stake it down!!!  It is smaller than we are used to, but it's still very nice.  When it wears out someday, we may get the same kind but bigger next time, but for now, we are happy with this one.

Although I haven't gotten any bird pictures yet, there are many nice birds here, including woodpeckers, mourning doves and ducks over by the fishing pond.  The area here is quite scenic.  
There are sites closer to us, but they are not occupied.  This is our closest neighbor here.

 Here are some of the others around us, across the road from us actually.
 If you see the red building at the end of the road, the adult pool is to the right of that building.
 These are a few of the trees behind our site, where some of the birds are located.  There are also lots of squirrels around and the dogs watch them whenever they come near.
 This is our neighbor's nice, large screen house......really nice.  We didn't see him put it up, or take it down yesterday, but it must have been pretty easy to do, because he had it down in no time at all!  

I heard from Judy & Frank yesterday.  Sadly, her daughter-in-law still had cancer found after the surgery, so she will be going through five months of chemo to try to get rid of the last of it.  Please say a prayer for her if you feel so inclined.

We were called by the nursing home where Jim's brother Norm has been living on Sunday morning.  He was having some problems and they wanted to let us know he was being sent to the emergency room for evaluation.  He was admitted with pneumonia and sepsis.  Yesterday we got a wake up call at 3:30 am asking for consent to give him a blood transfusion.  Three hours later the nurse called asking for consent to insert a PICC line (that's a long IV catheter that goes in through the arm and goes almost into the heart).  They had the doctor talk to us as his prognosis is very poor.  Again we were asked to make decisions about what should be done if the situation gets worse.  I am mentioning this again because many of us also put off making decisions about these issues, and leave family members to make these important choices.  I really wish we had talked to Norm about these things last year when we visited him in July.  If you have not yet made your final wishes known, and put in writing, PLEASE do so, as soon as possible.  Please don't leave it up to family members to try to figure out what you want done.  Be as specific as you can.  In other words:
1--If your heart stops, do you want care givers to perform CPR?
2--If you are not breathing, do you want to be intubated?
3--Would you want to be put on a ventilator?
4--Would you want life support with IV fluids or a feeding tube?    
5--If none of the above, would you only want comfort measures provided?
6--Or would you want ALL heroics and advanced measures used?

I fully understand that these are not easy questions, and your family members may try to stop you from even talking about them.  However, some day ALL of us will become sick and maybe close to death, and these issues will then become VERY important.  Your family members will be upset, and that's NOT the best time to make these decisions.  And if you don't have any family, or have not chosen anyone as your health care proxy, then the doctors will be forced to make these choices for you.  I'm not saying you have to decide everything today, but I do think you need to begin the conversation NOW, and before anything serious happens, make your wishes known.

That's all for today.  Stay well, keep cool and hydrated, and take care of your furry kids too.  Best wishes to all of you, and blessings to all.  Jesus loves you.


Sunday, August 7, 2016

August 7th at Wilderness Lakes

Good Morning Dear Friends and Family, 

 This week has not been a great one, but they can't all be great, I guess.  Sadly I upset my dear friend from Indiana this week.  I tried to apologize, as I never meant to offend her, but I have not heard back from her.  We used to work together when I was an IV nurse, before she moved away.  I missed her terribly until we were able to reconnect via email.  I truly hope she will read this, and know how sorry I am to have hurt her feelings.  As I wrote to her this week, new friends are SILVER, but old friends are GOLD.  I really hope she will write back again.  I would miss her emails full of wonderful stories and humor. 

I believe I posted about the wind last Saturday that pulled out the tie down of our Nook, and that it fell over to one side.  What I didn't report as we didn't notice it right away, was that when it fell, the screen on one side fell against the Velcro fastener on the back of one of our fold up chairs, and that it tore a hole about 8 inches long and 4 inches high when we pulled it back up.  That means the screen room no longer offers us any protection from flies and mosquitoes.  Yikes, up at Silent Valley, where we will be going on Thursday for four weeks, the flies and mosquitoes are every where..........and they love to eat me up!  That means when we take down our once beloved Nook, it goes into the dumpster.  Yes we could have patched it.........but we felt that this proved that the screen material was not strong enough and would tear again.........and the patch would look UGLY!  I was not happy with that idea, so we went online and found another 10' by 10' screen house that we ordered.  It claims to have "heavy duty mesh screening" so we hope it will be more durable.  It will arrive at the local Wal-Mart in Hemet on Wednesday or Thursday, so we can pick it up before we go up to Silent Valley.  Please wish us luck with the new screen room.  We haven't chosen a name for her yet.

Tuesday we took Willie to the vet to get his teeth cleaned.  We picked him up around 3 pm and came back home.  WOW!!!  He staggered like a drunken sailor and could not get up onto the couch without help.  Luckily this passed after a couple hours.  Now he is as good as new.  I am faithfully brushing teeth for both of them in the morning and again before bed.  They DON'T like it, but hopefully they WILL get used to it.  We can't afford to take them to the vet for cleaning too often.  

Somehow, Jim either lost or misplaced his magnetic quad bracelet this week.  We searched the car and everywhere he might have lost it, but to no avail.  I think it is someplace here in the RV, but we just can't find it, so I made him a pair of doubles.  This way he can wear one double on each wrist, or wear them together as a quad on one wrist.  

Yesterday we set up at the park here to sell our jewelry.  There was a huge family reunion going on at the other end of the park.  We hoped that might bring us some business, but that was not the case.  We had several people stop and ask about them, but no sales.  One lady said she would like to come to our site on Wednesday after she gets her social security check, but I'm NOT holding my breath.  Up at Silent Valley they don't have craft sales every week, but there will be a day for sales on September 3rd, so we hope to do well that day.  

We are no longer buying lunch at the restaurant here at Wilderness Lakes because they are now selling fried fish, and they fry everything else in the same deep fryer.  Since I am very, very allergic to fish and all seafood, I would have a serious reaction if we bought anything like French fries.  They had their annual luau yesterday but we had to pass on that too since they were deep frying everything they served!  

We had a guy from Shade Pro come over Saturday (before we ordered the screen house from Wal-Mart) to see about a new screen room that attaches to the side of the RV, but decided against it.  They have not improved it since we bought one back on 2011, and we felt there were some serious flaws in that model.  We also asked about an awning shade, but were not satisfied with what they had to offer or the price for it.  That was when we decided to try once more with the free standing screen house from Wal-Mart.  

Last evening, while we were enjoying our dinner, a yummy home made sausage and pepperoni pizza, some people started parking cars in the open area beside our RV.  Jim went out to ask what was going on.  It seems one of the campers down this row was having company, (party I expect) and needed extra space for parking, so the ranger had told them to park here. Before we knew it, they had NINE cars in a row and were about to drive a truck behind our RV to park it in our space!  I asked Jim to go out and tell them that they should make a double row in the area they had been given to use as it was NOT acceptable for them to park these vehicles in our site.  I was also afraid that if those drivers had a few drinks, they might hit our motorhome when they tried to leave here.  They ended up with twelve cars out here last night!!!!  OMG.  Thankfully, nobody hit our home when they left, but the last car didn't leave until this morning.

Many campers will be leaving today to go home and back to work tomorrow.  That will mean the park will be quiet again.  Rueben & Almita will be coming back tomorrow, so we can get together to play Train again before we leave for Silent Valley.  YAY!  We always love the time we spend with them.  I'll bake a cake for our get together.  I'm also hoping Judy & Frank will get back before we leave, but she went up near San Francisco to help out a daughter who had surgery recently, so we may not see them this week.  

Since yellow is my favorite color of roses, and my artificial flowers in the vase on our dining room table were getting rather lame looking, we bought a small bouquet of yellow roses to brighten up our table.  How do you like them?  

I'm not the only one who likes to use artificial flowers to make my home look nice.  Last week we saw this hanging outside an RV nearby.  We've even seen RVers who bring HUGE potted plants with them and set them outside of their motorhomes.  WOW!!!  Since we do NOT have any talent with live plants, that would never be us.  I am looking for a nice, artificial flower wreath I can hang outside on our motorhome.  It has to be small enough not to touch the outside of our water heater, and the ones I've seen, that I liked, were all too large, so I'll keep looking.  I have one for autumn, and one for winter, but I'd like one for spring and summer.  

Well that's all for today, so I will close now and wish you all a safe, and happy, and prosperous week ahead.  Stay cool, and hydrated, and keep your furry kids well and hydrated too.  Have a blessed day and remember to be kinder than you "need" to be to others, since you cannot know what stresses they are dealing with.