Not much news…

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Things have been pretty quiet. Both our bikes are still at the Harley dealer…mine because of rain, Stu’s waiting for parts. Hoping they are both ready by the end of next week. We're both MORE than ready for some riding...need the bikes AND some good weather. LOL!

Stu’s PT appointments for his knees has been going well. He has one more week of them and then he will be on his own. Hoping he gets a printout of what he needs to do, then I can share with those interested. We are trying to ride the bicycles for 20-30 minutes on the days without PT. Then he has his colonoscopy next Monday afternoon. Joy, joy…

I have a chiropractor appointment tomorrow (Fri), hoping to get some relief from a big muscle spasm in my back that causes both numb areas and pain when riding for longer periods. Time will tell.

Sadie continues to have a blast with her sister, new photos in her blog. She ignores the mosquito bites, scratches and sore muscles. Must be nice to be young. LOL!

I’m testing out Live Writer again, hoping to use it for better blogging. Time will tell. I did update to the latest version.

Oh, for more exciting news….we’ve pre-ordered a new Kindle Touch 3G for me and Kindle Fire (tablet) for Stu. They won’t be released until late November so they will be our early Christmas presents to each other.

We’ve got dinner tonight with friends, dinner tomorrow night with family and then hoping for a weekend with some nice weather to enjoy. Time will tell…

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

PS. Did a publish to draft from Live Writer and lost all my paragraph spacing. Any thoughts from those who use it?

I love my sissy….

Yup, it’s official…I do love my sissy, Fiona. We play and play and play…and then we sleep and sleep and sleep. Sometimes I don’t go home till way after dark…maybe someday daddy won’t come to get me and I can have a sleepover. THAT would be FUN!

Mommy SPECIALLY likes this picture…she says I’m smiling. [snicker]

I know mommy and daddy are going to dinner with their Thirsty Night friends….maybe they’ll let me have a sleepover?

Sniffing and lickingly yours,

Fall is here....

Monday, September 26, 2011

We've had rain, rain and more rain...the only reason we aren't fussing is that both our bikes are in for service. Temps have dropped to 70-80's during the day and 50-60's at night. I noticed that the red maples are starting to turn...a sure sign of fall.

We're still clearing up chores and taking care of medical issues. Stu gets his colonoscopy done next Monday and I'm about to book an appointment with a chiropractor (first since I was a kid and tagged along with my aunt on her visits). Still have dermatologist appointments for both of us but looks like we'll be doing those in TN. Same for an ENT for me (hoarseness). Just not enough time....LOL!

For those interested, here are our Jell-O plans:
  • Leave for TN around Oct 16th
  • Leave TN for Branson MO around Nov 26th
  • Leave MO for New Orleans LA around Dec 13th
  • Leave LA for Summerdale AL around Dec 22nd
  • Leave AL for parts unknown in FL around Jan 6th
  • Spend all of Feb at Bee's RV Resort in Clermont FL (where we were last year)
  • Meander our way back to MD the first two weeks in March
  • Remain in MD from mid-March till July, then on to New England (all dependent on Stu's recovery)
  • Back to MD in mid-August (unless we never left) for annual stuff
  • Move to TN by mid-Sept when we will leave on the bikes for Route 66
  • Spend up to two months doing Route 66 & the return
  • By December, head to parts southwest

That's a rough outline and is definitely subject to change other than Feb-Jun which is pretty much burned into the sand. LOL!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

What's up with this?

Mommy kept telling daddy that I was getting bigger, mostly taller but maybe heavier. Why do they worry about it? I am what I am...jeesh, I want to be big and strong like my sister.

So anyway, daddy had mommy get out the scale and after my bath last night (yeah, sissy and I were playing mudpies again [snicker]), daddy picked me up and weighed us. Then he weighed himself. I'm 41.4# now...

But I know it's not fat, it's muscle....ALL muscle!! I'm gonna be a doggie body builder when I grow up. [snicker]

Sniffing and lickingly yours,

I love my toys....

Saturday, September 24, 2011

..and they all have names. You remember Pumba, well I also have Quaker, Wooly and balls (LOTS of balls). Now I have Sneaky Snake....I really love him!

Sniffing and lickingly yours,

Spam, knees and more....

There were a lot of comments and questions about Stu's knee surgery so thought I'd just post the answers and clarifications here rather than in the comments.

First of all...yes, I know our blog was hacked. Well, not really hacked but they spammers took advantage of a boo-boo made by me. I'll clarify to help others not make the same mistake.

We use Google Calendar to co-ordinate our schedule, it updates our phones and keeps us in synch. When I enter an event that Stu needs to attend, I invite him through Google Calendar and it sends him an email. Normally I enter his name and chose him from the list. For some reason I started entering his email address, saw his name pop up and clicked. Well, long story short (or not), it was the email address for our blog (enabled so we can email blog updates when we are sans computer). The appointment goobledy-gook was then published on our blog and for whatever reason, the email address it was sent to also showed. Oops...

Within 30 minutes I had deleted the bad blog posts but it was already too late. That meant the spam-bots quickly picked it up the email address. That is how the next three spam blogs got posted. As soon as I realized what had happened, I disabled the email access in Blogger and then enabled it with a new address. The downside is anyone using an RSS feed or email, received notification of the "new" blogs and either saw the garbage if they got there before I did or saw nothing it after me. Sorry everyone!

Okay...on to the knees. As most of you know, Stu is a retired firefighter and his bad knees are a result of that career choice as well as lots of youthful exuberance in his younger years (like sneaking out of the house as a teen by jumping out of a second story bedroom window). He's already had one knee scoped and has had multiple cortisone shots as well as the newer injections like Orth-visc and Sync-visc (sorry for mispellings).

This year he visited his GP, then his orthopedic surgeon who referred him to the specialist that does knee replacements. The consensus was, his knees are both bad and aren't going to get any better. He's taking Celebrex for daily relief but that can't go on long term.

His surgeon does not normally do both knees at once but asked him several questions and determined that he was definitely a candidate. He is now undergoing PT sessions and will continue the exercises they give him from now through till the surgery. They have found they get better results doing PT before the surgery to strengthen the muscles.

So we will be back in Maryland in mid-March for all the pre-appointments (physical, labs, dental). We will rent a car for a month (or longer if needed) so I can drive (even if I learned to drive the Freightliner well enough to be comfortable in heavy traffic, it would be next to impossible for Stu to get in and out of it).

We have read a couple of blogs from others recovering from knee surgery combined with living in an RV and appreciate the referrals to more. Being prepared is a good thing!

Hope this answers most of the questions...

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Where are we now?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

We finally got moved back to MD from PA, we ended up staying longer than anticipated due to needed maintenance and repairs on the 5th wheel. Stu decided to do some PM work and found a bad bearing. Some of you may remember our TX fiasco when another bearing went out, we sure didn't want that to happen again!

He also took time to completely wash the Freightliner and the 5th wax but they look much better (at least until the next heavy rain).

Last but not least was heating the steel bumper and pulling/pounding it back into position. It's been that way for over two years, glad to get it done. Looks better and will look MUCH better once he gets it painted.

Sadie enjoyed her play time with her new friends but she was also happy to get back to MD to play with her sister after helping Stu with his repairs.

We've been busy with family meetings, doctor/dental appointments and taking motorcycles in for service. I left my bike at the local HD dealer before we evacuated to PA...after almost three weeks, they said it was done. We went to pick it up when Stu took his in for his 30k service...found out they only did the things I have to pay for...none of the warranty items were addressed!!

Next was the news that Stu's bike had metal in the transmission they are pulling it completely apart and rebuilding it. Glad we have an extended warranty! We are hoping to have the bikes back tomorrow or Saturday...time will tell.

Stu learned that he will be getting both his knee replacements done next spring...that means no trip to Arizona this winter. We'll be staying in the Florida again. Sort of good news/bad news scenario. He'll be glad to get his knees fixed but we will miss all our friends in Arizona as well as missing the Gypsy Journal Rally there (we also had to miss the upcoming Ohio one...sigh), but this will allow us to go on a 7 day western Caribbean cruise with some of our friends this February.

Not much else is new...definitely nothing else exciting. We spent one day babysitting Stu's grandgirls...had a blast! All the doctor appointments have gone well as have the dental, vision, etc. That's always a good thing...especially since I have had too many friends die in the last six months. Once again we are reminded that life is too what you love and love what you do!

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and Stu

Back with my sister!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mommy told me you guys missed me...awwww, that's so sweet! I've been busy playing every day with my sister, Fiona. We have so much fun racing around her yard playing tag, keep away and tug of war.

Before we left our last parking spot, I helped daddy fix the wheels on our house. No, really, I did! Mommy even took some pictures...she said I was a BIG help. [snicker]

We were both really tired after all that work....

Sniffing and lickingly yours,

Meet my new friends!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Mommy took some pictures of me playing with Fiona [she's the black tall one], Maggy [she's the brown roundish one], Hailey [she's the blond one as well as Dave and Annie [they're the two with the LONG ears]. We had fun...

When we came home I took a nap...I earned it!

Their mommies and daddies took them camping and I'm stuck here without any playmates again. Sigh....

Sniffing and lickingly yours,

10th Anniversary Ride to Remember 9/11,

As we mentioned before, we had signed up to participate in the 10th anniversary "Ride to Remember". Every year the America's 911 Foundation has organized a memorial ride to honor those lost on 9/11 in Shanksville PA, at the Pentagon and World Trade Center.

We started our trip on Wednesday the 17th, heading to a hotel in Waldorf, MD for the night. We had an 8:30 meeting with a planned 10 am departure from Motovation Cycles in Mechanicsville, MD the next morning.

We had trouble finding our meeting spot, not well signed for those not in the know. LOL! But we did and we weren't the last ones arriving. We finally headed out about half hour late, truck & trailer leading the parade of about twenty bikes.

After a fuel stop and a nice lunch in Hancock, MD we finally arrived in Somerset PA. Registration was going well at the Quality Inn and we waited for the orientation meeting. Afterward we headed out to the Shanksville Memorial site but once there, we discovered it was closed already (we got there at 7:15). Disappointed, we headed back towards town.

We stopped at McDonald's for a bite to eat and coffee. Stu needed to get his clutch adjusted before the trip and the HD dealer in Somerset was open till 9pm so we headed over there next. They took him right in and in less than 15 minutes he was back out the door, no charge. Thank you!

Then it was dark and we had to head to our hotel which was 17 miles out of town. We ended up with a long procession of bikes behind us...we all made it without incident via some twisty roads that would be awesome if ridden during the day. In bed around 11, we set the alarm 4:30.

Up, bikes loaded and joined a group heading back into Somerset at a little after 5am. We ate snacks for breakfast, glad we fueled the night before. I can't remember the last time we watched the sun rise. Spirits were high, everyone was chatting with the folks around them....finding out if they had done the ride before, discovering that many/most had not.

Before we knew it, it was time to leave. Listening to the over 1700 motorcycles start up was like nothing we'd ever heard before. Helmets on, engines roaring, flags waving...we slowly headed out towards the original Shanksville Memorial site. 1700+ bikes slowly circled the building and then proceeded out on to the highway, heading east. What a sight!


The early morning sun caused a few slowdowns, spots where we just couldn't see the road. Riding a motorcycle at 10-20mph for long periods of time is exhausting, mentally and physically. Our first leg of the day was 4.5 hours in the stops, no fuel, no food.

To make up for that we had people lined up on the sides of the road, no matter how small the town. They were in the fields sitting on their tractors, they were in chairs by the side of the road, they lined the bridges and overpasses, they were on top of their cars, they lined the sidewalks, they stopped mowing lawns, they waved, they had flags and homemade signs...THEY WERE AMAZING and we didn't think about our pain anymore. We waved back, we tooted our horns, we wobbled at slow speeds in awe at the display of patriotism being shown. This was OUR America!

Children who weren't born yet in 2001 listened as parents explained who we were and why we were riding. Children who were in elementary school in 2001 displayed their handmade signs proclaiming, "We will never forget" and "We will always remember". Fire departments, police, EMS squads lined the roadways saluting us. Waves, high fives, V for victory was never ending and more than made up for the fatigue we were feeling.

Initially I felt strange when I passed someone saluting us...then I realized that they weren't saluting us, they were saluting those we represented. At registration, each participant received a card memorializing someone who lost their life that fateful day. Stu rode in honor of Martin Coughlan, 54, a carpenter from County Tipperary, Ireland. I rode in honor of Conroad K.H. Cottoy Sr, 51, who worked for Carr Futures on the 92nd floor of Tower One.

Several towns made an impression on us, Cumberland MD first, followed by Leesburg, VA and topped off with Hightstown, NJ (the home of Todd Beamer, "Let's roll" on Flight 93). We were staggered at the outpouring, the support and the welcomes. We continued to be staggered by the logistics...closing major highways for miles like I-70 and I-95, pumping gas for over 1800 motorcycles at one time as well as parking and feeding them, and the chore of maintaining a safe route. Thank you to all the volunteers, police officers, Fire/EMS workers, riders and other supporters for making this year's ride a success.

We spent several hours in New York City after the final ceremony...a moving one. We walked the perimeter of ground zero and spent some time at Station 10-10 (Engine 10, Truck 10), adjacent to the towers. The bronze murals were unbelievable and I wish I could have captured them better. The construction was going on as they build the tribute to the towers and we saw a lot of activity.

We knew a big storm was moving in so we hit the road by 1pm...and we didn't out run it. We managed to make it to a hotel in Mount Holly, NJ after spending an hour under an overpass. What an end to an unbelievable four days!

I don't have the final count but estimates were over 1700 motorcycles leaving Somerset, PA and over 2000 arriving at the World Trade Center in New York City. Over 200 motor officers volunteered their time and spent their money to work as escorts for the ride. Meals were provided, gratis, at several lunch stops as well as the final night in Linden, NJ (Applebee's, you ROCK!!!).

Were there glitches? Sure. Was it a hard ride? Positively grueling. Do we regret doing it? Absolutely not! Would we do it again? Possibly, but differently...and we would volunteer to help in some way. It was worth every mile, every hour, every dollar spent...

Here are the links to all the photos we took as well as two short videos of the closing ceremony:

Till next time - keep on rollin',
Donna and St

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