Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

Once again it has been quite a bit of time since our last blog so we will tie our update in with our best wishes for a Very Merry Christmas!

Gary’s foot has continued to improve and we were able to resume our pre-Christmas activities.  Everyone loves a parade and our parade to love was the Mims, Florida Christmas Parade. 

Not many towns can have an Astronaut High School


Our RV Park participated in the parade and the people on the motorcycle are a couple of our neighbors.


And of course Santa had to make an appearance but he had the most radical Rudolph we had ever seen.


007Our Park had a potluck in conjunction with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.  We had a nice dinner with our visiting Marine and I would have to say the Park really came through on the toys.



20141206_141655Of course I had to decorate the Alley Cat.  And of course Gary had to faux complain that I wasn’t respecting her dignity.

Finally, we packed up the car including Alley, left the motor home behind and made the 1,200 mile trip to the Midwest for the Christmas holidays.  We are spending time in both Michigan and Ohio.  Our last gas fill up on the north side of Toledo, Ohio was at $1.99 a gallon.  Great to have low fuel prices when you are making a long journey.

Monday, December 8, 2014

To Mars

Orion Exploration Flight TestOne of the best things about being here on the “Space Coast” is the rocket launches that occur from time to time from the nearby Kennedy Space Center.  When we wintered here three years ago, we saw three rocket launches.  Our first one this winter was a rather momentous one.  Friday, NASA completed its first test flight of the Orion spacecraft – the first mission since Apollo to carry a spacecraft built to carry humans to deep space (picture at right courtesy of NASA).  The launch, orbit, re-entry and landing in the Pacific went off without a hitch.  NASA hopes that Orion will be the vehicle to take Americans to Mars somewhere in the 2020s timeframe.

We were up early two days in a row as the launch was called off Thursday morning because of some weather and minor technical issues.  But at least I got a good shot of the sunrise.  The next morning the sky was a little cloudier so we didn’t see the rocket for two long before it ascended into the clouds but I did get some pictures of my own.  Our viewpoint on the bank of the Indian River was about 8 miles from the launch site so it took over a minute from seeing the rocket start to blast off until we heard the huge roar of the blast.




Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Tough Couple Weeks

It has been two weeks since our last blog post and it has been a tough couple of weeks at least for Gary.  After blogging about the death of our nephew, Gary was able to secure airline tickets and a rental car to travel to Indiana even though it was the week before Thanksgiving.  The prices were actually very reasonable especially for last-minute travel but they did involve three airports both ways.  There just wasn’t enough time to make the arrangements for both of us to be able to go so I stayed behind and tended to the fort.

Gary said the funeral home estimated 1,100 people came through during the 6 hours of visitation.  Peter was a widely known and respected individual.  There was also a full house for the funeral at the church for the celebration of Peter’s life.

For the visitation and the funeral, Gary broke out the hard soled shoes that he hadn’t worn for two years and are virtually brand new.  He had a bit of sore foot after the first day of standing.  After the second day’s funeral, he could no longer put full weight on his right foot and had to limp to finish out the day.  When he woke up on the third day, he not only had a sore foot, but laryngitis which was a forerunner of quite a head cold to come.  When I picked him up in Orlando after his day of limping through a car rental return and three airports with the first day of a cold, he came up to the car and reported, “I am a mess.”

2011-11-24_17-05-49_88Thursday I had to drive up to the clubhouse for us to attend the Thanksgiving potluck as he could not have walked that far.  At least cold pills and an ankle wrap allowed us to enjoy a very nice dinner with tons of good food with several fellow RVers here in the Park.



20141201_210053-001The foot was somewhat worse by Friday as was the cold too.  By Saturday it had swollen up and turned red and I had to break out the crutches we had in the basement of the motor home for just such an occurrence.  Monday morning we headed off the the walk-in clinic.  (One of the down sides of being full time RVers and being a thousand miles from one’s primary care physician is that you have little choice but to find some urgent care facility where you don’t know quite what quality of care you will receive.)  The physician’s assistant that we saw gave her diagnosis of a blood clot and sent us next door to labs at the hospital for an ultrasound telling us that as soon as they confirmed the clot Gary would be admitted for five days of clot dissolving IV’s.  Gary was seriously lamenting that his lifelong streak of never having been admitted to a hospital was coming to an end.  But the ultrasound of his leg saved him – there was no blood clot.

The clinic strongly suggested that Gary head to the ER which he was somewhat resisting until the “you don’t want to risk your leg” was thrown out.  So off to the ER we went.  Their diagnosis was an infected foot and they gave Gary an injection of antibiotics and a course of antibiotic pills and four and half hours after arriving at the hospital we were out the door.

20141203_190232Two days later, the foot was definitely worse.  It was swelling more with the swelling starting to move up the leg and it was redder as well – just the conditions they told us to come back for if they happened.  Gary asked what the uric acid test had indicated at the last visit.  After some checking, they told him they hadn’t done that.  But this time they did only to come back and say it was above the normal range and that an acute case of gout was likely the culprit.  After another four and a half hours, he left with another prescription and this one seems to be working.  The swelling is going down and the week of crutches is no longer necessary.  And the cold has just about run its course as well.