ALMOST… Back to Normal – no pun intended

It’s been quite a while since my last update.  As most of you know, after several urgent care visits, 2 emergency room visits (including the emergency room at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville), a chiropractor and a neurosurgeon, finally John has a diagnosis.  Apparently, he has spinal stenosis.  He aggravated his back by bending over to pick up a heavy water tank while twisting his waist to put it into the belly.  He did this on the Monday we were in Brunswick, Georgia and the pain came in full vengeance a day later.  Friendly advice:  NEVER USE YOUR BACK TO LIFT ANYTHING, ESPECIALLY IF IT IS HEAVY!!

He has finally begun physical therapy and has had only two sessions.  Already he feels a bit better, but not good enough to be in the truck for long distances or long periods of time yet.  Still mending, and boy when you get older, mending is more like weaving.  It just takes longer.

We will be staying at Jonathan Dickinson until mid September and until just this weekend, the campground has been relatively empty.  Not so this weekend.  It’s really neat to see a campground come alive.  People walking their dogs early in the morning and late at night and campfires all around (which I believe is crazy given the current temperature).  Night time is my absolute favorite.  It’s dark because the campground is tucked between Stuart and Jupiter so no city lights affect your ability to see the stars in the sky, while a nice breeze flows in from the water, keeping bugs away, all the while I lay in my hammock.  Now…. that is the life!

On Tuesday, we pick up the unit and drive it to Florida Outdoors so they can install the inverter for the refrigerator that the RV company in South Carolina could not figure out how to install.  I have hopes that this will be a better experience.

Will let you know and will keep you posted.

The Facelift Saga

Our RV is only 15 months old and, of course, we keep it in immaculate condition.  However, I have always disliked the vinyl flooring it came with from the factory, as it looked like a fake marble and no matter how you well you cleaned it, it always looked dirty.  Perhaps the color had something to do with it, who knows, who cares.  Regardless, I’ve never been a fan of vinyl and plain and simply, I just did not like it.  Also, it came with carpet that looked like a short looking shag.  Imagine, each piece of yarn is certainly appears that way.  It was awful, very thin and the dirt it accumulated was just ridiculous.  We also had an issue with the small four door refrigerator.  Because we live in our unit full time, many times we had to choose between food or beer.  I am glad to report that the beer always won, so we went out to eat a lot.  Since we’ve been in Charleston for quite a while waiting for our beautiful baby grandson to arrive, we decided to go ahead and begin the renovations during the week we were in Hilton Head.  

On Saturday, a week ago, we returned from Hilton Head hoping to pick up our RV with all the work completed, but that was not in the cards.  In order for us not to be displaced, we agreed that we would take the RV with us to the campground with the promise to return the unit back for the work to be completed.  

They wanted us to bring the RV back to them and offered to get us a cabin as a place to hang until they finished the pending work.  The day before we were to take the RV back, we checked with the campground’s office to find out what cabin had been assigned to us only to find out that the RV company had forgotten to make a reservation and no cabins were available.  Plan B would have to go into effect.  They decided to lend us a 5th wheel for us to stay in.   All would be good – or so we thought.

Our beautiful grandson Camden arrived and our daughter Katrina was able to fly in from Cheyenne, WY to meet him.  Naturally, she would be staying with us for a few days.  The day of her arrival happened to be the first day we would be staying in the loaner, which was much smaller than ours and the sofa bed was old, hard, and small.  The bed that John and I shared also had a hard, thin mattress which was just not very comfortable.  We were hoping to only stay in it for two days so we just decided to grin and bear it and make the best of it.  Jackson didn’t much care for it either and he chose to show us his feelings in a very expensive way.


We kept going back to the RV company to meet with the owner,  who was very nice and friendly and very understanding of what we were looking to have accomplished.  For whatever reason, they could not figure out how to accomplish what we needed on the steps.  All we wanted was to have a bullnose installed on the steps, they had installed the refrigerator on the platform where the previous small fridge was, so the only way I could reach the top shelves would be with a step stool.  Finally, it was all done and I now have full access to all the shelves in the fridge.

Flooring – before facelift:

Four door fridge (left side) and vinyl flooring before facelift:

After facelift:

Now everything fits – Beer AND food and I can reach all the shelves without the need of a step stool.

The stairs were finally done the way we wanted them built.

Cleaning the floor is now a breeze and my tushy will be forever clean with my new Toto Bidet Washlet.

And I am a happy girl!!

Heading southbound today to end up in Key West for Fantasy Fest!

And a Hunting I Will Go……

Our friends Linda and Tommy Sexton are avid hunters.  They belong to a hunting club and between them and their family they have a god zillion hunting stands in that land.  They hunt for wild boar, deer and who knows what else when its in season.  Tommy talked us into going hunting with him and Linda when we were in the area and we agreed to go, I albeit a bit reluctantly but excited nonetheless.  I had never held a weapon other than my tongue and a few kitchen knives that thankfully I’ve never had to use for other than maybe chopping some onions and a few tomatoes.  So shooting a rifle was just totally out of my mindset.  I am not opposed to hunting in the least, it’s just that it’s never been in my bucket list, nor had I ever considered it or even had a fleeting thought about even going hunting myself.  I do ALL my hunting in Publix and don’t give it any further thought.

Anyway, we drove from Charleston to the middle of, I mean nowhere, and Tommy meets us all dressed up in camouflage on his ATV, which of course is a motorized vehicle that this city girl has never ridden in either.  So off we turn, (thank goodness we have a dually truck) on this dirt road for a while and soon enough signs of life begin to appear.  A camper here, another there, shanties everywhere.  They do have running water and 30 amp electricity so they are not totally cut off but definitely removed.  But remember you can’t run your a/c and your hair dryer on at the same time.  I probably would not fare very well if I had to stay there for a long period of time.

We took Jackson with us and boy he was in doggie heaven.  Sniff, sniff was all he did and he was smiling so wide that his doggie jaws had to be hurting.

We grilled dinner and off we went.  The doggies stayed behind because they would have barked and scared off the hogs.  Sorry about that Jackson!  

Tommy took John for a ride on the ATV and I rode with Tommy to the stands.  That was a thrill in and of itself.  Dirt roads, air on your face, clean smells, what an awesome experience, but there was more to come.  He made a right, then a left, then who knows where else he went, but I’ll tell you, if I angered that man, I would NEVER make it back to civilization and would certainly become part of the food chain.  Since we were so deep in the swamp and I have yet to become a grammy, I promised myself to behave (as best I could).

John and Linda followed us on the our truck, as four people on the ATV would have been rather challenging.  We arrived at our destination, which was a dirt road in the middle of two huge forest areas around 6 p.m.  We parked the ATV and the truck between Tommy’s stand and Linda’s stand and separated, each to their own stand.  Tommy and I walked to his stand and John and Linda walked to hers.

When we arrived at Tommy’s stand, which again, is something I had never seen other than on TV, was pretty interesting.  All built by hand and pretty sturdily as well, I may say.  It’s who knows how tall, probably around 25-30 feet or so, right at the tree height and amazingly they erected it on their own using very interesting (non-OSHA approved) methods may I say.   They built all their stands at home and erected them in the hunting land, then covered them with (I forget the proper name) brown camouflage nets.   They also have feeders that are on a timer, and sure enough once the feeders go off, 
15-20 minutes later the hogs arrive.

I was so excited when they started to show up.  It is just amazing how you can train even a wild animal to do what you want them to do and when.

Tommy was giving me lessons on how to hold his rifle (a 30 0 6)  against my shoulder blade, how much pressure to apply when holding it, where to look through the scope, how to squeeze the trigger, etc., all with the safety on of course.  But…at the time of the Mohicans it’s a bit different.  Having never ever fired a rifle or anything for that matter, looking at a live, moving creature through the crosshairs of a scope, just like a sniper would, as I’ve seen many times on TV, was kind of thought provoking.  I now believe that squeezing the trigger slowly is more an art than a skill, and if I were to do this again, I would really need to perfect it.  The trigger was very sensitive and slow MEANS SLOW!  I now think that I more clearly understand the term trigger happy.

I know I hit one hog for sure because I have bone fragments to prove it, but I sure wish I would have killed it, because now it’s injured and walking around somewhere in misery.  I know it probably will become part of the food chain, but I really hate that it was on my shift.

I saw yet another potential and this time I really tried to focus.  However that darn trigger did me in.  I squeezed too fast and it obviously wasn’t aimed right.  It’s the darn gun’s fault!  LOL  

We went looking for it and had to walk through disgusting muck and swampy water all they way up to my shins.  The funny part is that Tommy was in cammouflage and I was wearing jeans – can you believe – a coral Columbia shirt and tennis shoes.  You know a city girl’s outdoors hiking outfit (the best I could do without going shopping). Thank goodness I was with Tommy the entire time, otherwise, I might have been a walking target.  At least I proved to myself that I wasn’t such as girly girl and could get down and dirty with the best of them.

John, on the other hand, was not quite as fortunate in this experience.  They saw NOTHING from their stand, but the conversation, at least, was stimulating.

After a few hours, it got dark and we returned to the hunting camp. What a fun experience.  I really wished that the outcome would  have been different, but as Tommy told me that is why it’s called hunting not killing.

Now, we are just waiting for Camden!!!