Thursday, August 01, 2013

The Dog Days of Summer


Wesley Chapel, Florida (high 94, low 74)


We are still in Florida and there is no end in sight.  We had to take Mom to an ENT doctor Monday.  She has an appointment for a barium swallow test next Tuesday, then it’s back to the ENT doctor.  He thinks one of her problems is reflux.   We’re a bit depressed that we’re not able to leave for the cooler weather in the mountains, but we’re trying to stay positive, and do what we have to do.

It’s always hot in Florida in the summer, but the past week has been really hot with temps getting into the mid 90’s.

Our neighbors have a very nice high end 5th wheel trailer.  It looks to be pretty new.  She is a veterinarian and works 3 days a week nearby.  This is their week-day home.  They came home the other day to find the a/c had kicked off and their three dogs were inside with a temperature of 99 degrees!  Fortunately, the dogs were fine, but it could easily have gone the other way.  The mobile Rv tech told them their one a/c unit worked too hard and popped a circuit.  They are going to be adding another unit to the rig as one isn’t really cutting it in this weather.

The lesson here, is to be aware of the possibility your a/c stopping while you are gone.  These metal boxes heat up very, very quickly.   If you have anyone that can check your rig while you’re gone for long periods of time, that would be good.  I just ask our neighbors to notice if the water is draining from the a/c unit onto the concrete.  If it stops, the a/c isn’t working.

In this heat, we try not to be away too long at a time. 

We have our generator set to come on automatically, but it doesn’t go by temperature but rather when the battery voltage gets too low.   I hope it works!  I would sure hate to come home to dead kitty cats.


We have a “permanent” site here at Quail Run Rv Park.  In Florida, it can be difficult to find a nice site in the winter months, and since we need to be able to come and go as we want, we just kept this site.  It’s no fun to pay rent on a site when you’re not there, but it assures us a site whenever we need it.  This campground is one of the nicer ones in the area and they are pretty much booked for the winter months already.  In fact, to look at it right now, you’d almost think it was winter.  Most Rv parks in Florida are trying to encourage their winter residents to leave their rv’s in Florida for the summer, to save on fuel costs.  They offer a special rate and many snowbirds have taken advantage. 

We still are hopeful we’ll be able to get back up to Georgia this summer and to the Keys this winter, but in the meantime, we decided to make our site a little more comfy.

Many people here have purchased small sheds and we finally decided to bite the bullet and get one as well.  We also have an indoor storage unit nearby.  We want to downsize that one to a smaller/cheaper size and we decided a small shed at the site will help us to do that.

So….we purchased a shed.   With it raining so much (everyday), it will be nice to have somewhere to keep things dry.  It will also be nice to have a place to store a few things that are frequently in the way inside.  The plan is, to sell the shed when we give up the lot. They can be moved for $150, and there seems to be a good market for used sheds.

Here is our shed arriving yesterday.



It’s a solid beige. The marks are just reflections from the sun.


We have our patio chairs, bikes, ladder, firepit, and a lot of other things inside already.  Today, we intend to go to the shed and work on downsizing there.   When we go to Georgia, we will bring some things up there and leave them in the little cabin.


Most of you know that Al and I went Vegan a little over a year ago.  We have both lost weight and have been enjoying a completely different way of eating.   

A few months ago, Al asked the doctor about going off of his Lipitor (cholesterol lowering drug).  The doctor said it was okay and to stop taking Lipitor for three months, and he would monitor things to see where was.

Unfortunately, when he had it rechecked, his cholesterol and triglycerides had gone back up some.  We figured he would have to go back on the Lipitor, but the doctor said to take 2000 units of fish oil daily and have it checked again in 3 more months. 

So, Al just had the levels checked again and the fish oil seems to be helping.  His total cholesterol was 201, down from 250 after stopping the Lipitor.  The triglycerides went from 286 and are now down to 170.  Not where we want them to be, but heading the right direction.

We’re hoping to get both numbers down to 150 or below.   We are thinking since he was only on the fish oil 3 months, the numbers will come down some more.

So, if any of you are trying to lower your cholesterol or triglycerides, fish oil seems to be working for Al.  He got the Omega 3, not the 6 or 9.


If any of you are interested in an easy, good vegan chili. I stumbled across one that we both like a lot.  I know it’s summer in Florida, but for some reason this has tasted really good to us.



Karen’s easy Vegan chili recipe.

I sauté a handful of onions and a bit of garlic (if I remember), then add the veggie crumbles.  I add green peppers if I have them.


I just use about a quarter to a half cup of the Light Life brand. 


I imagine the chili would be just fine without them, but I like the meaty texture.  You wouldn’t know you weren’t eating ground beef if you didn’t know they were vegan.

Then, I pour in a 10 oz can of Ro-Tel tomatoes (Al likes the hot spicy one)

Original Diced Tomatoes   Green Chilies Make Great Queso   Ro Tel

A 14 oz can of tomato sauce

A can of kidney beans (drained) or not

I put a pinch or two of turmeric (if I remember) but it’s not necessary.

Heat it up and you’re done.

It takes less than 5 minutes, and only makes enough for about 3 bowls of chili, so you’re not eating it for a week!

With the veggie crumbles, you don’t have to brown and drain hamburger, so it cuts the cooking time way down. 


Here are a few more pictures from our backyard.






  1. Sorry you have not been able to get back to Georgia. It has been so hot we are thinking about getting out of here in a couple of weeks.

  2. Looks like you are definitely settling into your FL spot:)

  3. Nice looking shed, it's a good size too.

    Fish oil? Sorry, I'll take the Lipitor!

  4. I have hign cholesterol at times too. Not enough to go on anything, but I take the fish oil daily as well, and it seems to do the trick! I refuse to take anything prescribed if at all possible. Good for both of you!

  5. It's sad really, how all of the health issues that arise later in life are as a result of what we stick in our pie holes.
    And Rick, you can get fish oil in capsules, although my wife and I were taking some lemon flavored liquid fish oil, and it was tolerable. (I'm not going to exaggerate.)
    Apparently if you freeze the capsules, it takes longer to digest, thereby ending up down in your gut, as opposed to getting chewed up by stomach acid. Haven't tried that one.

  6. Nice pics. What camera did you use to take them?

  7. How does Baxter like the Dog Days of Summer?

  8. Yep, it's been hot in Georgia as well!!
    I like your storage shed and I know it will really come in handy!!
    My biggest fear when RVing was the loss of power while we were out and about!! We have our doggies with us and would never want anything to happen to them like that. So glad your neighbor's dogs were ok.
    Hoping all things turn out well for your mom!

  9. Sorry to hear about your mom and the heat. Really hope you'll be able to get back up to Georgia soon and that All's numbers keep dropping.

  10. When we were in the high 90's here I worried about that. The AC going off, so we took the dogs with us. Unfortunately there was no one to check and I wasn't taking the chance. I am so glad the Vet's dogs were ok wow that is hot.
    I hope all your Mom's tests come out ok.

  11. If you want to stick with being vegan, use algal oil rather than fish oil. That's where the fish get it to begin with. I take an algal oil supplement daily.

    Sorry to hear about your mom. Mine went through the same thing.


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