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.



  1. We had a couple of days of 108, today 102, and then the temps will begin to decline for several days... until the next heat wave! What a nuisance to have to go out 75' from your RV to get Internet connection. Life's little pin-pricks.

    As you know, we have King Quest, too, and couldn't be happier with it. When I take my morning walk around Wilderness Lakes I notice that King Quest is the satellite dish of choice of many RVer's.

    You seem happy with your new screen room even though it's smaller than your previous ones. Hope it holds up well.

    Sorry to hear about Judy and Frank's daughter. What a worry and heartache. Will pray for her. We're also praying for an RV friend, the father of 14-year-old twins, who became seriously weak seemingly out of the blue only to find out he has stage 4 liver cancer. This is a young full-time RV family who home-schools their kids. Now Frank is on Hospice and on several pain meds including morphine. It's so tragic and heartbreaking. Frank's wife and the twins are trying to be brave and strong through this wrenching ordeal.

    Sorry, too, to hear that Norm has had another setback. Hope he pulls through.

    Early fall migration has started, so you should be seeing lots of birds around. Enjoy!

    1. I'm not surprised that you see others with the Quest dish. It seems to us to be the best one available.

      Yes, we are happy with the screen room. It seems to be sturdier than the last one, and we like the zippered doors. Still, Millie can get outside by going under the walls. LOL

      We haven't heard anything today from the hospital about Norm. We are praying for God, asking that His will be done.

      We will also pray for your RV friend Frank, but truthfully the prognosis is quite grim.

      We are looking forward to seeing more birds around here. Thanks.