Thursday, February 02, 2017

We’re Still Alive


Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 78, low 52)


It’s been so long since I posted a blog, I had to go back and read up to see where I left off.

We managed to be able to stay up in Georgia until the first week in December.  We’ve  never stayed there that late in the year, but the weather was unusually warm so we stayed until the cold weather pushed us out.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, we bought a Fifth Wheel that we are keeping on our lot. We thought it would be easier to come and go, but now I’m not so sure.  We had to remove any products that would be damaged by the cold.  No food products to attract mice or bugs, and we had to winterize!   We need to work on our exit strategy the next time, because it was a lot of work. Hopefully with more practice, we’ll speed up the process.


As I previously posted, I found a lady (Stacy) to live in the house with my Mom, and assist in her care in exchange for room and board.  My brother also lives there, so it’s working out well, and we couldn’t be more pleased.  It has taken a big load off Al and I.

Mom has been having some major issues again.  She gets these urinary tract infections which in elderly people can make them crazy.  She hallucinates, is argumentative, mean, and extremely uncooperative. Getting her to eat and drink is next to impossible. She had been on antibiotics but nothing seemed to help and finally ended up back in the hospital after she got so bad that she kept telling everyone she was dead.

She is resistant to antibiotics due to overuse most of her life, so finding an antibiotic that works is difficult. After many tests, was sent home with a diagnosis of another UTI and a prescription for five days of antibiotics for a total cost of $5000.      Thank goodness her insurance paid for it.  She improved some but we think the five days didn’t do the trick and we’re waiting the results of another urine culture.  

So, despite the fact that we have Stacy, my brother Steve and also home health care 7 hours a day, I don’t feel comfortable leaving town while she is like she is.  Hopefully we can get her back on track soon.

Our plan is to head down to the Keys on March first. Our Rv lot there  has been rented since December and will be waiting for us when/if we are able to get there.   Hopefully we’ll get things figured out with Mom and be able to get back to our happy place in the Keys.



Our big excitement this winter was going to Lazy Days for tires and an oil change, and then 2 days in Ocala, at Rainbow Springs State Park and another 2 days at Silver Springs State Park.

Since we got last minute reservations, the best we could get was two nights in a row, but it was nice to get away and it gave us a chance to run the motorhome, which had been sitting for over a year. 

We didn’t do any kayaking, but enjoyed a little time enjoying the beautiful Rainbow River.



Rainbow River

We were shocked to see some construction of a natural gas pipeline near Rainbow Springs.

gas pipeline being built.   Rainbow Springs SP


We do not intend to keep the motor home after Mom is no longer with us, but the tires were aged out and we didn’t feel like risking a blowout, so we bit the bullet and got new Toyo tires.  We had done some research and decided we were comfortable with them and they were much cheaper than the Bridge Stone’s we previously had. The six tires cost $3000 out the door.   Two days before our appointment to replace them, I put an ad on Craig’s List to sell the old ones.

I had heard truckers buy used RV tires and we figured anything we could get would be better than nothing.

I stipulated they would need to pick them up at Lazy Days on the day we replaced them.  There was no way we could haul those big things home in our truck. I didn’t have much hope, but figured it was worth a try.  Long story short, we sold them for $450!    Sometimes things just work out! 

Before the tires, Al decided to replace all six batteries which were 6 years old.    The motorhome had been sitting unused too long, and when we got back from Blairsville, the engine wouldn’t start.  We pushed the battery boost button and immediately heard a loud boom.  We hoped our cat Baxter knocked something over, but it turned out to be a battery that had blown up!

Motorhome battery pictures

Al marked each end of the cable to the corresponding battery post and successfully got them all re-connected properly.


Motorhome battery pictures


We did some other fun stuff in Blairsville before we left and I have some pictures.  Maybe one day I’ll go back and post some of them. 

Wish us luck getting to the Keys.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Rv Issues, More Critters and Fall Foliage


Blairsville, Ga (high 70, low 45) 

We had a cold front a week or so ago which brought overnight temperatures down into the 30’s.  Wouldn’t you know that would be the time our furnace decided to quit?  We don’t have a heat pump on the Cameo, and have been very happy with the furnace which is much quieter than the one in the motorhome.  We never use the furnace in the motorhome because  it’s so noisy. We have been enjoying having a quiet furnace and not having to worry about the heat pump quitting when the temperature got below 40 degrees.

The other morning when I turned on the furnace the fan started right up, but it never got warm.  After a few minutes the fan kicked off.  We re-started it 3 or 4 times with the same results. No heat.  We did a little trouble shooting.  It wasn’t an air pocket and we weren’t out of propane, so we called a new mobile rv service that we hadn’t used before.  Integrity Rv service (for my records). The first thing he did was to turn on the furnace and wouldn’t you know it started right up and warmed up right away?  We turned it off and on a few times and it always worked.  He didn’t find anything he thought was wrong, so we paid for a $100 service call for nothing.  Fortunately, it has been working just fine ever since.  We’re having another cold front and so far so good.


In a previous post I mentioned the mama cat and kittens that had been dumped here in the Rv park.  Thankfully, we were able to find good homes for them all.  The mother cat is in a shelter and has recently had another three kittens.  Sad smile


We had been hearing that there was another stray cat hanging around on the other side of the rv park.  The people there had been feeding her all summer and were now worrying about her since everybody was preparing to leave for the winter.  We hadn’t see her, and I figured all these “caring” people that were feeding her would take care of her.   I was wrong!   At that point we realized if we didn’t help this cat, she would be on her own all winter.

We finally realized we needed to intervene or the cat would be on her own all winter.  It turned out a local Veterinarian had lost her cat a few months ago in this area. Apparently it wasn’t the same cat, but she agreed to take this cat if we could catch it and bring it to her.  We figured the cat was pretty wild and would be difficult to catch, but we were wrong. We  quickly located her and in about two minutes she was in my lap,  and shortly after that was in a cage on her way to the veterinarians office and her new home. 

That makes 7 cats and kittens that we got out of our RV park this fall.   We got real lucky that we were able to find homes for all of them.   I hate to think how many cats we would have had here next year after they had a few more litters of kittens.   We feel good that we were able to make a big difference in the lives of these poor little kitties.  I still miss the kittens two kittens we kept for so long, but I’m adjusting and they are happy in their new home.

We still have Baxter but he loves his dad the best.  



Mom has been doing ok back in Tampa. We have some new caregivers and our live-in Stacy has been working out real well.  Knock on wood.   We are in no hurry to go back to Tampa and are planning on staying here until the cold drives us away.  The weather has been warmer than usual giving us days in the 70’s and nights in the 50’s.  This is our idea of perfect weather.

We’ve really enjoyed the fall foliage this year.  We have been in a drought all summer so we didn’t know what to expect.  It seemed the reds have been more vibrant than other years and the color has lasted for weeks now.

Here are a few photos from our travels around town.  Our Rv park is situated between several scenic and popular drives, so we don’t have to go far to find beautiful places.






Brasstown Bald




Brasstown Bald

Suzanne and Heidi who are our part time neighbors in Wesley Chapel and also have a lot here, came for 2 weeks with Heidi’s Mom Madge.  Madge is 80 year old, but didn’t let her age stop her from a hike on the Appalachian trail!

The next picture shows Madge, Suzanne, rescue dog Cindi And Al in the background. 

Brasstown Bald Heidi, Suzy, Madge, Cindi and Al

This next photo is Heidi and Cindi at the top of Brasstown Bald which is the highest mountain in Georgia. 

Heidi and Cindy


Brasstown Bald


Since we are so close to Brasstown Bald, we go there often and on this particular day, it was clear enough that we could see the Atlanta skyline, some 85 miles away.

Can you see it?   The blue haze you see in these mountains is not smog, it is isoprene gas which is caused by decaying vegetation.

Brasstown Bald - Atlanta

On cold days, you have a better change of seeing the Atlanta skyline.   Can you see it now after I zoomed in?

Brasstown Bald - Atlanta


We sometimes get up early and drive up to watch the sun rise over the mountains.



We’ve been hiking, and were really enjoying it since it had gotten cooler.  Unfortunately, Al hurt his knee the other day so our hiking has been curtailed for now.  We’re hoping a few days of rest will help, but we’re already on day 3 or 4.