Monday, February 28, 2011

Quita Storm!

We found out that we were correct to stay one more night in Sweetwater. A storm moved through today that left us rockin' and rollin' with heavy rains, high winds and loud thunderboomers. We could imagine crossing Jellico Mountain with this whipping us - NOT!!! The storm stopped late this afternoon and we winterized the Montana. And we thought we were through winterizing! We leave in the morning probably for Wapakoneta, OH. Then it will be a short hop of less than four hours to get home Wednesday. Carol may even be able to see her dad later Wednesday, Thursday at the latest. Now that we are winterized, we have no water so have to walk to the restrooms instead of our own bathroom and toilet. Carol talked with her dad on the telephone today so that made the day even better!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

We moved to Sweetwater, TN

We discovered that the storm heading for the mountains is probably real so we moved to Sweetwater, TN today. We will winterize tomorrow here and then move on from further north Tuesday, when the weather is supposed to be better. This move placed us five hours or so closer to home. Since the storm will pass right over us, we will for sure know when it is done. Thanks again for all of the thoughts and prayers. Joe has another "stable" day. He is getting "antsy" to take a walk or do something other than lay in his bed. He is still hooked up and there were no PTs at the hospital today so maybe tomorrow, if he is still doing well.

We're back in GA

Carol's dad is "stable" again now so we drove from Michigan to Unadilla, GA yesterday. We sure hope this is our last 15 1/2 hour trip anywhere. We used to do long drives but the numbers (age) is finally catching up. We will winterize the Montana here and then tow it back to Michigan. Tomorrow, thunderboomers and strong winds are forcast for along the route and we won't tow through the mountains in the strong winds. We will try to make the trip Tuesday and Wednesday - still long days but halved from the straight through sessions of the past week. The most important thing was that Carol and her dad were able to see each other and talk and hold hands!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Carol's dad update.

Carol's dad has been up and down like a yo-yo. Yesterday, he was down and his blood platelets (sp?) were very low again. He was given another blood infusion and he came up some today. He is relatively stable now and, if he is still quite stable tomorrow, we will go back to Unadilla, GA Saturday where we will winterize our Montana and bring it back home. We then hope to be back mid-week. Your thoughts and prayers are very much appreciated by us all!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Carol's dad getting better!

Carol's dad is now out of ICU and into the Oncology Unit. He took solid food last night for the first time in almost a week. Today he took a short walk with a Physical Therapist. It is still not dancing but we'll take it! He is set for more Chemo Thursday, though. We keep on praying that all involved are doing the right thing. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, February 18, 2011

We are returning to Michigan

Carol's sister called last night to report that their dad was in ICU with complications with his chemo he received for his Lukemia. We brought the Montana to Unadilla, GA where we are going to leave it until we can return and pick it up. We will continue our trip the hospital in Livonia, MI in the morning and hope to arrive at least by mid-day Sunday. We can not take those long drives any more and will break it up either in a rest area or a motel for a few hours sleep. Prayers for Carol and her dad would be appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

February Florida Montana Owners lunch

Today we attended the February Montana Owners Club Florida lunch. Steve and Patti Emmel put it together in Haines City at T Bones Restaurant. About 40 members showed up and a good time was had by all. I just hope that I did not miss anyone in these pics.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Punta Gorda Murals

Today, we moved from Punta Gorda to Wauchula, FL, a short hop of one hour north up US 17. We are at the NACO Thousand Trails Peace River Campground. I hope to do some panning for sharks teeth sometime during the week that we will be here. Yesterday, we walked downtown Punta Gorda and saw some of the beautiful murals that abound around the town. Some were painted on walls and some were tile inlays on walls. We did not see all of them so we will have some more to explore when we return, maybe next winter. The work that went into the tile inlaid murals was fascinating. We were fortunate to see them in the sunshine and they had water falling from top to bottom and catching the rays from the sun. Tomorrow we go to Haines City for a Montana Owners Club lunch and get to see some old friends and meet some new ones. Maybe this weekend we will have time to pan the Peace River. Many years ago, Florida was covered with water and that is why the sharks' teeth are here. A story around every turn! We were told by a man photographing the birds that these white birds are called Iron Heads, because of their grey heads and necks.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Great to see my old partner again!

One of my partners from the old days in the Detroit Police Department drove up from their home in Fort Myers today with his wife, Mary. What a wonderful day it was. Sat around a table an Italian restaurant in Fisherman's Village and swapped lies for a couple of hours and then came back to our Montana to continue to see who could tell the best one! I always knew he was a winner and it was proven out today when Sunshine put her "paw of approval" on both Roy and Mary. Tomorrow we are going to a Greyhound Meet and Greet in Punta Gorda and then to another dog park, close to the Gulf of Mexico. It has been wet and cloudy for two days, now, but the sun has told us that it will shine again, starting tomorrow. Sounds like a plan!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Punta Gorda at its best!

Yesterday, we were visited by friends from Brighton who stopped by for the day. Rick and Karen Rupp came up from their condo in Naples and we all went to Fishermen's Village, on the Gulf of Mexico. The temperature was in the mid 70s, it was sunny and there was a cooling breeze coming in off the Gulf. Fishermen's Village was once a fish dock/processing area that now has added shops and live entertainment to the mix. We wandered around there a while and then came back to the Montana for a late lunch/early dinner on the patio. Once again, Sunshine was the perfect hostess for our guests. Great friends, great conversation, great weather - I could get to really liking retirement!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Bird Brains!

Yesterday, we went for a drive and came onto a "dish" that the State of Florida places on top of power poles for Ospreys. Here, mama Osprey is keeping her chicks warm waiting for pop to return with some food. Here he is, looking like an Eagle up there soaring. Then, this morning, a small bird sat on the roof of a shed just behind our Montana looking at itself in the reflection of our rear picture window. It must have thought that it discovered its soulmate because it danced in the air looking at the reflection, perched on the sills and preened itself of the rear ladder. When it pecked at a window, I pecked back hoping to thwart its insistence on pecking on our window. It must have thought that it was being pecked back by the reflection because, instead of being shooed away, it got more excited - finally leaving after being unsuccessful in meeting the reflection "up close and personal!"

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Saturday in Sunny Florida!

The big birds were plentyful around the park today, hunkering down preparing for the rain that was to arrive in the mid-afternoon. The temperature went up up the mid-70s and we took Sunshine to a do-it-yourself dog washing place called U-Dirty-Dog and gave her a bath. She is all soft and fluffy, now, and told us she wanted to show it off to someone/thing special so we took her to a Clermont Greyhound Meet and Greet. She immediately mingled, sniffed and was sniffed by about a dozen other Greys. She really believed that she was in heaven. She has slept pretty much ever since then. Carol and I went to the campground's weekly Ice Cream Social this evening and I really believe that I may never eat another drop of ice cream ever - I can't even write this with a straight face. IT WAS GREAT!!!! I sure am full, though. I will wait until at least tomorrow before indulging again, I promise!

Friday, February 4, 2011

It's Friday Already!

Since retirement, time doesn't mean the same thing that it did when I was younger and hustling and earning. I don't recall ever working a five day operation. When "coppin'," I worked a seven day schedule and when in business for ourselves, we could not have the pleasure of vacation days, comp days, personal days or sick days. When a client would call and ask for something, I would say "I can do that!" Then had to figure out how to shuffle time and projects around to answer the latest call. Now it seems like there are six Saturdays and one Sunday each week. This makes it great for traveling - don't have to rush somewhere so that we can enjoy it quickly and then rush back, thinking all the while about the project that was put on hold for a day or two and now we were up against a wall again. Loved it, though. It is now Friday here in Central Florida and we know that because tonight is the All-You-Can-Eat fish dinner at the on site restaurant on the campground. Tomorrow and Sunday is a huge art festival in Mt. Dora. Think we'll go and walk the town for a while and then to the beautiful Mt. Dora Dog Park and let Sunshine let off some steam. Then again we may either just go to one of the huge flea markets around here or just stay around here. See, it is tough decision time again!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I see we missed the big "Snowout!"

I rationalized for years how I loved all of the four seasons of Michigan while shoveling and later snowblowing the snow that amassed at our doorstep. That made it easier to cope with the stresses of long, slippery drives and piling the snow alongside the driveway and sidewalks. Rationalization made it easier to cope with. Now, I am really glad to listen to and watch the birds outside our Montana and walking Sunshine as we explore the woodsy/marshy area around the campground. We just missed seeing an Armadillo this morning. Some neighbors were all excited and running around with their cameras looking for it to return. Carol and I worked hard for many years and now are enjoying some of the rewards of doing so. We would much rather see reports of the "Blizzard of the Century" on television or in the newspaper (yes, I still read the newspaper) than have to deal with it directly. Think I'll go take a nap under the patio awning.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It just gets better!

Today, the sunny day got to almost 80 - quite the contrast to what our friends and family are facing back home. We went to Haines City and visited with MOC friends Steve and Patti Emell and Dennis, Sharon and Jennifer Maisen. Had a nice lunch at a little diner just down the road from their RV park and then back to the park for great conversation under the awning out of the directs sun. We are looking for a park to bring the Montana to next winter, from right after Thanksgiving through March or so. We really like 3 Flags in Wildwood, Wilderness in Silver Springs, The Bees in Clermont and the one we visited at today, Westview Ridge RV Resort. Sunshine is turning into a real lady when we travel. She stayed quietly in the truck while we ate, and then was the perfect guest at the Emmel's Montana.