Cooler and Brighter

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

When we were in Ecuador, I ordered a new alternative down comforter for our bed. We liked it so much, we ordered a new one for the RV when we returned. This is the color we bought, it's reversible to the tan shown at the top. Very lightweight but warm, and machine washable


We love it....except that we are in Florida until mid-June. We are already hitting temps into the low 90's and it's not April yet. (This is why we never planned to retire in Florida).

Rather than keep running the A/C all the way down to 68 degrees at night, we decided we needed to buy a lighter weight bedspread for summer. I also didn't want to pay a lot for it. So I hit the Internet and kept Googling until I found what I wanted.


It's even reversible to a solid and comes in several colors and patterns. It arrived today and I'm thrilled. The weight of maybe two sheets combined, it's a quilt with no batting. Perfect for summer. Tonight will be the first night we sleep with it and I'm excited.

Ciao for now!

4F: Family, Food, Fridge and Friends

Monday, March 28, 2016

It's been an interesting week, to say the least. Stu left Maryland last Wednesday and made good time arriving home here in Florida (okay, Home sub2). Weather was good and he beat the rain moving in here.

Me? A bit more interesting time. First was two days of sinus headaches - bad sinus bags under my eyes to prove it. The weather had been so nice I had the windows open all day and slept with the window and Fantastic Fan Vent open at night.


Then on Thursday I smelled ammonia. Anyone who has ever had an RV refrigerator knows what that means. The cooling unit is leaking. Since the fridge was staying cool at 40 degrees, I figured it was a slow leak. NOT! Next morning it was 62 degrees. Eeep!

I had set the alarm for 8am to call our local repair guys, the ones who have worked on several things in our rig, as soon as the opened. They were booked solid. While I was looking for an alternative, knowing with it being Easter weekend nothing would really get done until Monday, they called me back. The owner had time to run out...and best news was he brought me a mini-fridge. I only had to toss out a few things (all my no long frozen bags of vegetables for one) but I saved the meats in the freezer and all the condiments and dairy products.


Fast forward to Sunday. We were invited to a casual Easter dinner with our friends, Chris and Charles Yust (also our wonderful insurance agents). They had also invited our good friends, Nick and Terry Russell. We arrived around 2pm and stayed till 9pm. That's what happens with this group. Delicious food (I never took photos, sorry) and great conversation. They're all in this area until April first but we will meet up again at the Escapade in Vermont this July.

Here are a few photos that Chris snapped, which is why she's not in any of them. LOL!

Pineapple encrusted ham - OH MY! It was delicious! 
Me and my good buddy, Nick Russell. Bailey the Bichon-Poodle rescue pup behind us.
Guess who? Nick wants his hat but without the Harley logo.
Charles Yust and our own, Miss Terry in the background.
Two topics of conversation, other than RVing and mutual friends, were cruising and, wonder of all wonders, refrigerators. Both couples have residential refrigerators in their motorhomes. They convinced Stu and when we came home, he took off all the doors and got the old fridge ready to pull out. Stu is, right now, on his way to Home Depot to buy what we need. It will be interesting. I do lose my drawer underneath the current fridge so I spent an hour this morning rearranging things. Always an adventure! By the end of this week we should have the new fridge in and running.


Last note, family. My grandson is now in Colorado with his mom and step-dad, working on getting all his medical referrals lined up this week. We are still hoping for a full recovery!

Ciao for now!

A little of this a little of that...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

First things first - my grandson is doing very well. Thank you to everyone for all their thoughts, prayers, good wishes, support and encouragement. It's been slower than we might have wished for but better than we anticipated. He still has a long way to go but he keeps smiling, albeit a bit crooked.

He has no insurance and faces months of therapy as his various broken bones heal and he works to regain function lost from the brain injury (and skull fractures). Family is helping as much as possible and his friends are chipping in, too, with the creation of a GoFundMe page.


Smiling through it all (hoping the right side joins in the smile soon).
He was discharged yesterday, spent a night at his dad and step-mom's and friends are driving him from Kansas to Colorado Springs where he will continue his recuperation with his mother (my daughter) and step-dad.

Stu has been enjoying his visit with family in Maryland and Delaware. He spent several days with his brother and nieces (and all their offspring).

Brother, Scott, and Stu 
Nieces, grand-nieces and grand-nephew
Then he moved to his youngest daughter's house and enjoyed our youngest grandbaby, Waverly. Many meals were consumed, many steps were taken in the mall, many smiles were given (and taken).

Step-daughter, Bev, and granddaughter, Waverly
At the mall to see the Easter Bunny - no go. Didn't like it any better than Santa. LOL!
Now he is in Delaware with Olivia, Jesse and of course, Sadie (who still loves sleeping in the sun).


Today he is getting the bike serviced and if all continues as planned, he will head homeward tomorrow. He plans to take the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel, which adds a few miles but makes it a more interesting ride. He should arrive home on Saturday (just in time for a week of rain here).

Ciao for now!

Life in the hood....

Thursday, March 17, 2016

When I left you, Stu was getting ready to ride the motorcycle to Maryland to spend time with family. Three deaths in the span of a month are a bit much. He left around 1pm on Monday and arrived at his brother's house late Wednesday afternoon. He had a good ride with good weather. Of course, they are now saying there is a possibility of snow this weekend. Never fails...but I suspect he will be able to head back south on Monday or Tuesday.

As to my grandson, not much has really changed. His blood pressure came up enough that pain medication was added, helping him rest better. They extracted some fluid from his lungs to help his breathing and his O2 levels went from about 50 to 80 and settled back in at 70. They also installed a filter to keep any blood clots from his lungs and heart.


They feel all his fractures will heal with time: skull, temple, ribs and pelvis. But he won't be able to stand and put weight on his pelvis for at least a month. The swelling and blood in his brain hasn't changed but they feel it will dissolve over time.

He is still on the ventilator, after several attempts at changing sedation and other meds to allow him to come off it. Tomorrow will bring another attempt to get him off it and see if he can breath on his own. Once that is done, they will stop the sedation and hopefully see him wake.

He has a really long recovery ahead of him. Family is already talking to social services about what kind of help he will be available to receive. As a twenty-two year old student without medical insurance, his bills will be staggering. Family will help as much as they can and a close friend has started a GoFundMe page for him.

Me? I'm hanging in there, doing fun things like sorting out stuff to give away, cleaning house, doing laundry, oh yeah, and TAXES! I am getting in some research and writing for my first novella in the Lei Crime Series Kindle World. No idea if I will get the first draft done before April 1st, but that's my goal.

Let me leave you with this image...10:30pm, me in my jamies and slippers, outside with a flashlight and my iPad Mini, on Facetime with Stu while he talks me through finding the lever to pull to dump our gray tank. Yup, kitchen sink was full and the garage had some water from the laundry I ran today. Guess who forgot to do this when we came back from the cruise? Fun time in the neighborhood!


Ciao for now!

Crusing and Families - Top of our news

Monday, March 14, 2016

Never a dull moment, at least we try to keep it that way. We took off for the "LONG" 90 minute ride to Port Canaveral. We left enough time for a McDonald's breakfast (having stripped down the fridge of anything that wouldn't last - like milk). We lucked into the coolest McD's! Definitely done in Key West style, here are a few snaps.









We really enjoyed the atmosphere - it's just off Hwy 528 (the old Bee-Line Expressway, now called the Beachline Expressway, I think), exit 9 according to Google Maps.

We parked and then boarded fairly quickly, arriving close to the 1-2pm suggested time. We dropped our bags in our room and went to the atrium for a drink. Not much news there. LOL!

The cruise went about as expected, we had ended up being wait-listed for the Your Time Dining, so we stuck with the 8:15 late seating. Since we never asked for a table size, they seated us by ourselves. We had a nice table and enjoyed watching others and chatting. Great servers, even though we didn't eat there every night.

Stu managed to dive in Cozumel, Belize and Roatan but by the time we got to Costa Maya, the weather had gotten nasty and it was too rough to go to port. So we ended up with another sea day...and I ended up spending 24 hours in bed to stave off the queasies.

The only port I went into was Roatan, managed to snag a couple nice t-shirts for us. Of course we've been to ALL these ports multiple times. I didn't take many photos since we've been to ALL these ports multiple times. LOL! You can see all the photos in our Smug Mug album, as well as other photos from our other cruises.

But I did get a lot of writing done...my new MacBook Air is the perfect solution. (Yes, I sold my Chromebook. While it did work, it was awkward keeping things synced and finding apps that worked for me.)

Remember on our cruise in January when Stu was so kind as to bring me shells WITH LIVE CRABS INSIDE? This time he brought back a rusty pair of bandage scissors he found on the bottom. Knowing they didn't belong there, he brought them back.



And just for fun...Stu said he never knows if he is coming or going.

Here he is going...


And here he is coming...


Before the cruise ended, we picked up a couple of these to share with family who have served.



You can read more about Operation Homefront here.

The rest of our news is about family. We had been on the cruise for one day when we got the news that Stu's brother, Scott, lost his wife in her battle with cancer. This came less than a month after his late wife's daughter losing both her father and her brother.

We made the decision that he when we go things squared away at home, he would head to Maryland for a couple of days to see family. Today he will head out on the motorcycle, please keep him in your thoughts for a safe journey.

To make things worse, I woke up yesterday to a text from my oldest daughter. My grandson, Ryan, her only child, was involved in a bad accident. On his way home late Saturday/early Sunday, he rolled his vehicle. He had a fractured skull, fracture in his temple, 3 broken ribs, a bruised heart, a bruised lung, a pelvis broken in two places and to top things off, he aspirated his vomit on the way to the hospital. He was heavily sedated and due to low blood pressure, not getting any pain medication. He was also on a ventilator.

Thirty or so hours later, the swelling in his head hasn't increased, his blood pressure has come up enough that they can give him pain meds and they hope to wean him off the breathing machine soon. His mother, father and step-mother (and assorted siblings) are there with him in Topeka. I will be on stand-by if I need to go out there.

Time to pull your loved ones close and tell them you love them. Tomorrow isn't promised to anyone.

Ciao for now!

My PERFECT shirt!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Back in 2012, someone mentioned a term that I found interesting. I researched it and adopted it for my own. I even found a great t-shirt, emblazoned with the saying. It has been worn during many writing sprints but it is slowly fading away.

So I started searching for a replacement. Not to be found anywhere! So I decided to give TeeSpring.com a chance. We have bought several shirts from them (scuba, firefighter, etc) and I figured I had nothing to lose.

So, if you have a friend who writes, this would be the perfect gift for them. If you write, buy one for yourself! I'm ordering mine tonight - can't wait.

Oh, the saying?

BIC HOK TAM
Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard, Typing Away Madly

Here is the link to order! teespring.com/bic-hok-tam-writer-shirt

Ciao for now!