Water falls at Taccoa

Water falls at Taccoa
Taccoa waterfalls

Monday, August 24, 2015

It’s Been a Difficult Week-end


Blairsville, Ga (high 82, low 58)


First of all, I want to let you know that we got lucky and our boat was NOT one of the 54 boats broken into (out of 180+ in the storage facility).  Apparently, they were looking for high end electronics that are more permanently mounted in the larger and fancier boats. Another advantage of owning a small boat, I guess.    Now, if we can get through another hurricane season unscathed.


Al had a really bad week-end.  The prescription he had for prednisone pills did wonders to help with his poison ivy/rash until he finished the script. With the prednisone, you start out taking 6 pills the first day, then taper it down until you only take one the final day.  About half way through the course, he started feeling worse.  The poison ivy seems to be clearing up nicely, but he has been getting terrible hives on his back and chest. 

We have come to the conclusion that something else other than poison ivy was bothering him. It seems to me the poison ivy triggers an allergic response to other things, like it makes him hyper sensitive.  I  changed laundry detergent and rewashed everything but he still kept having outbreaks of this horrible rash. We also changed soap and shampoo, but so far that hasn’t helped either. It would get a little better then all of a sudden it would flare up again.  It seemed to get worse at night.

Friday night was terrible.  The itching was so bad he got very little sleep.  Saturday wasn’t much better, but Saturday night the itching was much, much worse.  Neither of us slept much. I was afraid he was going to draw blood. It was driving him crazy.

We decided to go the the walk-in clinic on Sunday because we didn’t want a repeat of Saturday night.

The Nurse Practitioner we saw had dealt with a lot of poison ivy and allergies and she agreed the latest problem was from some sort of allergy and not poison ivy.  She gave him a steroid shot, another dose of prednisone and a prescription for the itching that is stronger than Benadryl.  He felt better and was able to sleep well last night.

She suggested he keep a daily journal with everything he puts into his mouth or on his skin.  It will be difficult to figure out what is causing this allergic reaction, and a diary is the only way.  We know he will be fine for a few days while on the prednisone, and we’re hoping to figure it out.  He takes a few supplements, like Glucosamine, fish oil and magnesium. He is eliminating them and then we’ll add them back one  at a time.


He had a few good days last week, so we took a drive down to Helen, GA and look for a little country store that we had heard about.

On the way, we discovered Cool River Tubing and Zip Lines.  They offer tubing on the nearby Chattahoochee River, but also zip line, rock climbing, and aerial adventure courses. 


The aerial obstacle course looked like a great time for kids especially.






It looks like a really fun place, both for kids and adults, but more geared for kids I think.


Al wasn’t feeling great so instead of climbing he decided to smell the honeysuckle.


We left there and finally found the Old Sautee Store that we had heard about.


It had quite an interesting history dating back to 1872. One of the previous owners was from Norway and started to import specialty cheese from Norway.   Apparently, they do quite a business selling Farmer brand cheese. 

The front part of the store was kept as it was and it quite interesting.


My favorite thing was the nickelodeon, which still worked and played very beautiful music. 



We took it easy today, since Al isn’t feeling great. I guess this allergic reaction he is having is what’s making him feel bad, at least I hope that is it.  

Here are some pics from recent golf cart rides.

The deer were in the field and decided to cross the road in front of us. We stopped to let them pass and they kept their eyes on us, but finally got brave enough to dart into the woods.





It’s not quite like a sunset over the Atlantic, but it’s pretty nice.


Our bird feeders are really busy.



One of the unpaved mountain roads we ride on in the search for the elusive bear.


How about this nice house in the woods.


Our sister Rv park.  Everything is so green because of all the rain we’ve had.




This guy was munching in the soybean field. 


I finally got him to raise his head and look at me.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Burglary, Peaches, Poison Ivy and Rain, Rain, Rain


Blairsville, Ga  (high 78, low 68)



Since we’re in the Peach State, we have access to some really good peaches and great prices.  There’s nothing quite like Georgia peaches, so I decided to make a peach pie, so I cut up a few peaches and got to work.




Poison Ivy

Al continues to suffer from poison ivy.  Most people do not realize  how miserable this is. It itches, blisters, weeps, and spreads.  He feels horrible internally as well and is afraid to touch anything for fear of spreading the rash. According to what you read, it  cannot be spread by touching the rash, but Al strongly disagrees.  From his experience, if he touches clothing that has touched the rash, it spreads to the area where it has touched.  Before we learned that washing clothing once was not good enough, he could put on some clothing that he hadn’t worn for a year and get it started again.

He has gotten worse and finally decided he needed a prescription for Prednisone.  Fortunately, his Tampa doctor called in a prescription.  He only takes Prednisone as a last resort, and he was at that point.

Here is the rash on Tuesday.  We thought it was starting to clear up.

poison ivy, Al

On Wednesday, it got worse.  It was “weeping”, spreading, and becoming darker red in color.  

poison ivy, Al

poison ivy, Al

We have spent a fortune on gauze trying to keep it covered and away from his clothing.  I have washed everything he touches every day, at least twice.  Thank goodness for my big washer and dryer we have here. He has quite a few other rash areas, but the leg seems to be the worse.



Sorry about the disgusting pictures.  I decided to take some pictures to document how bad he is and to help determine if there is any improvement.  He has started feeling better since taking the Prednisone.  I hope that continues when the 6 day dosage is finished.

We have come to the conclusion that we both have to stay completely away from any dogs around here.  Dogs like to come up and say hello and most of them jump in the golf cart with us.  That is where this problem started this year.  If a particular dog doesn’t get into poison ivy, it’s  almost certain they have been around another dog who has, and with Al that’s all it takes.

We have some friends coming down in October and their little dog Toto loves Al and loves to sit on his lap. That’s going to be a problem because Al loves Toto too!



Last night I was reading Facebook and just happened to read an article from a Key West newspaper.  The headline caught my eye when it said there was another big rash of boat burglaries in the lower Keys.

I wasn’t too worried at first but when I read it was at BLK Storage on Big Pine Key, my heart sank.   That is where we keep our boat.

54 boats were burglarized.   Many had lower units stolen.  We are worried about that since we have a brand new motor.

The canvas tops and covers were slashed so that they could get the expensive electronics inside.   Our electronics were not in the boat, but no one would know that until they slashed our cover.

It happened over the week-end and we’re hoping since we haven’t heard anything yet, it was good news.  I guess we’ll know this morning.  Wish us luck.

We just spent $300 on a new boat cover.  I sure hope it wasn’t slashed.

canvas boat top with bad seams

Fortunately, we have comprehensive coverage on it with only a $125 deductible.  As a previous insurance adjuster, I know the importance of being honest with the insurance company, so I made sure they knew the boat would be used and stored in the Keys.   I am sure there are many others who look for cheaper rates and don’t tell the insurance company where their boat is stored.  I fear many will be having some problems when they try to file a claim.

Wish us luck!