Sunday, December 30, 2012

We've Got to Get The Little RV Out of Here Before it's Too Late

Snow!  Snow and more snow with more snow in the forecast.
Don't get me wrong, I do love snow.  I grew up in Montana, but I'm supposed to be enjoying temperatures in the mid 70's in Southern Florida. You know what they say about the best laid plans.

This was the lovely view from the windows of the little RV this morning just after sunrise.  

Later this morning Alex got his industrial sized snow blower out and cleaned up half of the neighborhood. 

I thought it looked like a lot of fun and was considering asking for a lesson but then I realized I would have to go outside and quickly changed my mind.  It was about 25 degrees at the time. 

Later, when it warmed up to 33-ish degrees we sprouted icicles.  
 If you could choose, where would you be right now?


the beach?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

There's a Storm on the way to the Little RV and Rob Update #3

I finally got to bring Rob home from the hospital at 4pm on Christmas Eve.  That evening we spent a couple of hours in the house with family and friends.  We had a lovely dinner and watched the kids open their gifts.  We adults has gifts as well but watching the kids is so much fun.  
Christmas morning we woke up to snow.  It wasn't much but it was an exciting surprise.  We weren't expecting a white Christmas.

Meg and Alex were determined to take Amelia outside for a ride around the yard on the sled before the snow melted.  Rob was able to go out and watch and he got some great pictures

This evening I looked outside and it was dry and very cold.  About an hour later Rob opened the door and found about 2 inches of snow.  The weather forecast predicted snow and I prepared for it today by picking up groceries, filling the truck with diesel, and filling the propane tanks.  We don't need to go anywhere so let it snow.  

Update on our repairs.
I contacted our repair person, Eric a couple of days before Christmas.  The parts he requested a couple of weeks ago have not arrived. Today he attempted to contact DRV, the manufacturer, to see where the parts are.  I haven't heard anything yet.  Hopefully we'll have them soon.  I did get a 100 lb. propane tank today and had it filledWhile I was at the hardware store I tried to find the parts to hook the new tank into the RV propane system but was unsuccessful.  I contacted Eric who requested a couple of photosHe is getting a part and will help us get the tank set up so we can go longer than 3 days without having to fill a tank.  We have about 150 lbs. of propane and I am hoping that will last us until we leave for Florida.  Eric will also be installing a new regulator when he is here next.  We're hoping these repairs will be finished soon and Rob will be well enough to travel so we can continue with our travels. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Rob Update #2 and Icicles on the Little RV

I was hoping Rob could come home with me today so I got ready and headed to the hospital early.  His cardiologist came in around 1 pm and we talked about Rob's normal breathing and how far from being back to normal he really is.  The cardiologist decided to have the pulmonologist see him again. They may want to do some additional testing. Rob sent me packing around 2 pm because I had to get home and get the propane tank filled (AGAIN).

Tomorrow makes day six in the hospital for Rob and I have no idea if he will be home for Christmas.
Tomorrow is also Rob's birthday.  What a sad way to spend your birthday!

This morning I woke up to strong winds and snow.  We're talking RV rocking winds.  This evening there is snow on the ground and there are icicles on the little RV.  
I thought we were supposed to be in Florida right now.  Since the world didn't end yesterday with the Mayan calendar running out, I guess we'll get there eventually. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Update on Rob

Rob is still in the hospital.  He is breathing and resting much better.  He has seen multiple specialists and had some pretty extensive testing.  At this point the doctors think it is his Congestive Heart Failure and perhaps something involving his lungs. We don't believe he has any new conditions but they have put him on an antibiotic.  We are hoping he can come home soon.   I'll update again when I have more information.  Thanks for all of your well wishes! 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A BIG Birthday in the Little RV

I turned 50 today.  Specifically, I turned 50 at 3:10 am in the emergency room of a downtown Hartford, CT hospital.  

It's been a very long day.  It's 10 pm and I am sitting in my bed with my laptop and my dog.  See the doggie feet in the upper left corner?

Rob is not here currently.  I'll explain and if it doesn't make perfect sense, forgive me.  I'm a bit tired.  

If you read my last post you know Rob has been sick with some sort of upper respiratory bug which conveniently settled in his chest.  Over the last few days he was started on a short course of antibiotics, had lots of rest, fluids, etc.  We really did everything right, but by yesterday he was having trouble breathing.  Both Meg and Alex came over at different times and took a listen to his lungs but he was still doing OK at those points. I finally fell asleep at about 11:30.  When I woke up a short while later, it was my birthday.

This year, my birthday gifts were many and very interesting.  The first one came at 1:30am in the form of a request from my dear husband to call for an ambulance because he was having so much trouble breathing.  

That taken care of, my next gift arrived within minutes.  What was this gift you ask?  MANY men in uniform pouring into the little RV.   They worked Rob over and determined he was headed to the ER. When we all poured out of the RV it looked like half the emergency vehicles in this neck of the woods where lined up in the driveway with lots of lights going.

My third gift was an ambulance ride (in the front seat) to a downtown Hartford emergency room.  Lights going and some siren action at intersections.  Apparently they feel that it is rude to wake people up in the middle of the night.  

Now, we are no strangers to emergency rooms.  Rob has some pretty serious and scary conditions and we spend a fair amount of time in hospitals.  One of Rob's conditions in angina which they cannot fix.  The only way to treat it is to use nitro.  We have multiple forms of nitro and we use it regularly.  The breathing problems were causing some pretty severe chest pain for him as well.  He also has congestive heart failure which seems to be at least part of the diagnosis this round. 

Around 7am  Rob was admitted and sent upstairs to a room.  At that point, Alex had gotten off work and came by to pick me up and take me home for a bit.  I needed to let Grant out, feed him and try to sleep for a bit.  Also the guy who pumps our black tank comes every Tuesday morning like clockwork and I had to be home to meet him.  I got all of those fun chores done and crashed at about 10am.  At exactly noon I woke up, showered.  Today I took the longest, hottest shower I've had in 4 months.  After all, it is my birthday.  

The hospital Rob is currently residing at is in a highly populated area so it uses a parking garage for visitors and patients.  The beast does not fit in parking garages.  Alex, to the rescue again, has loaned me his car so I can get back and forth to see Rob while he is recovering.  He will be driving the beast.  I know it's tough but someone has to do it.  

I gathered up all the things Rob needed and my carefully prepared stack of Christmas cards (which I dumped in the mailbox on the way out of the driveway) and headed to the hospital.  I am not in any way familiar with Hartford and even though Alex gave me great directions while he was driving me home this morning I could not remember the name of the exit I needed.  I managed to get there in spite of myself, parked the car and actually took note of where I parked it.  

I could make this story go on forever but I'll spare you all and leave out the events of the afternoon.  I sat with Rob for several hours and tried to help make him more comfortable.  At about 7:30 I left to go home and spend a bit of time with Grant, feed him, have some dinner myself and get some sleep. (You'll note I am still not sleeping.)  On the way home I grabbed some dinner and got lost briefly while attempting to find my way back to the freeway.  I got home, parked the car and carried my stuff into the RV.  I ran over to let Meg and Alex know I was home and update them.  Back in the RV, Grant greeted me as though I had been gone for months.  You have to love a dogs greeting!  We talked and hugged and were so excited.  

I'm going to digress here for a minute.  About 11 years ago, I had weight loss surgery.  I have a small plastic ring just about my new stomach (pouch) that is the size of a dime and is meant to constrict the opening of my stomach.   

So Grant and I were having some quality time and I was bustling around the RV.  I was so hungry and not paying attention and ate my dinner way to fast.  It got stuck.  When that happens I can feel it and it is very uncomfortable and usually means I'm going to throw it up.  Sometimes it take a while and sometimes I have to drink a gulp of water to make it happen because it's so miserable.  I have to say, this one was one of the two worst throw ups I've had since surgery.  My neck, jaws and throat are so sore!

Now I bet you think this story is all gloom and sadness.  WRONG!  When I got home to the Little RV there were several birthday cards from family and friends, a box from my daughter and her family and a cupcake from Meg and Alex.  How great is that?  But the frosting on the (cup)cake was being told that I get a do-over!  We've got big plans.  We just have to get Rob feeling better and well enough to come home.  Thanks to everyone who played a role in my 50th birthday story!  You can't make this stuff up.  Come home soon Rob!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Puttin' the Quarantine Sign Back Up on the Little RV

Crud!  The crud is back.  Rob has some kind of gnarly upper respiratory thing going on.  It's quite similar to the bug little Amelia had last week.  He's on day three or four.  So far, I have dodged the bullet.  

All this quiet time has allowed me to get some things done.  I've been battling with our printer for a couple of weeks.  We upgraded to Windows 8 and then our printer refused to cooperate.  I got it working (yay) so I've written and printed my Christmas letter and printed my mailing labels.  I also finished a bunch of crocheting, and put together and hung a board to hold my jewelry so I can see it but it won't get all tangled up while we're moving.   

Grant update:  The raw food didn't work out.  He loved it but after about 10 days he started throwing up about half way through his meal.  Very strange but we don't need another food problem so we went back to cooked chicken. You can read about Grant's medical issues here.  

I spent hours searching the internet for some kind of prepared dog food that didn't contain any of the foods he is allergic to and found exactly two.  One food turned out to be very hard to find and with us moving around the way we do, I was worried we would run out and not be able to find more.  The other is a prescription diet.  I was able to get a prescription from our vet and purchase the food at PetSmart.  This food should be fairly easy to get no matter where we are.  Grant loves it and we are slowly switching him over.  However, it is ridiculously expensive!  Oh well, what's a doggie mom to do?



Thursday, December 13, 2012

Walking Down Memory Lane in Newport, Rhode Island

Rob spent his teenage years growing up in Newport, Rhode Island and when we visit New England we always spend a little time in Newport.  We crossed the bridge into Newport at sunset so we were able to snap a few photos.  The first things I saw when we got off the main road was this lobster
The next 20 or so minutes were spent racing from place to place snapping photos before the sun got too low.  
Newport Marina

Wyndham Vacation Resort on Long Wharf

 The Beast posing in front of Newport Shipyard

The Newport Bridge from the road to Goat Island
We drove to first and second beaches.  Rob spent a lot of time at those beaches in his youth.  He said, "This brings back a lot of memories, both good and bad."  I did not ask him to elaborate.  We had dinner at a local place called Anthony's Seafood.  Not only did they have great food, they sell fresh fish and seafood in the front of the building.  While we were in Newport we picked up a Christmas gift for a family member and headed home.  If you ever get a chance to visit, go for it.  Newport is a beautiful place.  

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Busy Week in the Little RV and a Visit to Providence, RI

Rob started his life in Providence, RI.  He has roots and many memories there.  His father and other family members are buried in and around Providence.  One of the things we wanted to do while in this part of the country is visit his father's grave. This week we also learned that a family member has just had a very serious medical diagnosis.  We are waiting for more information but Rob wanted to go to the church he attended as a child and light candles for his family members. 

We drove from Connecticut where we are visiting, up into Massachusetts and down into Rhode Island.  The route sounds a bit out of the way but the roads are like spaghetti here.  It only took us about an hour and a half to get there as the states here are so small.  This is one of the buildings we saw on the way home.  It caught my attention so I had to take a picture.

We visited the cemetery where his father is buried.   It's a beautiful place surrounded by woods.  We placed a wreath on his headstone and said a prayer. 

Since it was so quiet there we decided to let Grant out for a run around the green space around the cemetery.  It only took a split second but Grant was gone.  If you know Grant, you know he never leaves our sight...ever!  We called and called for him and finally I headed in the direction of the road noise I was hearing.  I got as far as I could go without jumping off the 6 foot rock wall.  I fully expected to find that Grant has been hit by a car but there he was in the grass below the rock wall trying desperately to jump up to me.  I called for Rob to drive around to the road Grant and I were near and a kind neighbor helped Grant into the truck. I was so relieved to have him safe in the truck!  He was terrified and stuck close for quite a while.  Bullet dodged, lesson learned!

Rob and his family are Armenian.  They attended a couple of different Armenian churches in Providence over the years. We went to  Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Armenian Church. You can see it from the freeway.  We went inside and a nice woman took us to the sanctuary.  It was dark outside so she turned on the lights for us.  The church is old and very pretty.  
The lady who let us in told us that the amazing Swarovski chandelier in the center of the sanctuary had been donated by a church member. 
After visiting the church we headed back home.  That was a long and very stressful day but today we heard the news about our family member that we had been praying for.  It's the best possible news!  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Decorating the Little RV for Christmas

When we downsized our belongings to only what we could take in the RV, I let go of many boxes of Christmas decorations but choose to keep one small tote with some of my smaller, more versatile things.  Flat things like snowflakes and stockings made the cut.   I also kept some berry garland knowing it would be easy to use but not in the way.  

We have what most would consider a big RV.  It's certainly got a healthy allowance of storage and living space by RV standards. By no means does it have an excess of either.  Surface spaces are the hardest to come by.  I don't even consider taking a square inch of my beloved kitchen counter space for something as frivolous as decor.  So, when I started decorating the other day I mostly stuck to high places.  There are three small cabinet top spaces in the kitchen area that I decided to decorate.  You can see two of them in the photo below.
We are stationary until just after Christmas but if we were moving I could still decorate the same way by using museum putty and sticking it all down.  It would stay right where I put it until I decided to take it down.  Great stuff!  I also used clear Command Hooks that are removable and don't damage the surface you stick them too.  They are a staple around here.

What Christmas decor' would be complete without a Christmas tree?  I found this "ornament tree" online.  It comes apart and is very small and flat when disassembled.  Very easy to store!  It actually came with three tiers but was just about 1/2 inch too tall for the space.  I'll surgically alter it before next Christmas so it'll fit.  The bird is Finneus.  I had to keep him.
 Christmas decor' in the little RV so far this year!
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Murder in the Little RV

Rob and I ran some errands yesterday including a trip to the grocery store.  When we go to the grocery store together we always end up splitting up and then Rob appears later with something unexpected.  Yesterday's surprise?  A bouquet of red roses and two LIVE Maine lobsters.  My first reaction to the lobsters  was "They're alive?"  My second was "I don't have a pot big enough to cook them." 

I attempted to put the live part out of my mind but all I could think of was the scene from one of my favorite movies, Julie and Julia where Julie has to cook 3 live lobsters.  I have linked the scene so you can fully appreciate what was going on in my head.  

I rustled up a large pot from the kids and pulled the lobsters out of the fridge.  I had been secretly hoping they had died in the fridge but no, they were still moving.  See the big pot of boiling water in the background?
I'm convinced I could see terror in his eyes.  When it came right down to it, I had to get Rob to put them in the pot.  I have rarely seen him laugh so hard.  Apparently I was quite funny and he was rolling with laughter.  To add to my trauma, the pot was only big enough for one lobster at a time. I was determined to suck it up and plunge the second lobster head first into the boiling water.  I couldn't do it.  
I had 12 minutes each time to get over my trauma.  Those lobsters were certainly tasty.  Thanks Mr. T.  I'm glad I can count on you to kill food for me.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Decking the Halls in the Little RV

 The last few days have been pretty busy.  Our son-in-law Alex took Rob to a hockey match last night in Hartford.  Rob loves hockey so it was a real treat.  I hung out with our granddaughter Amelia while they were gone until mommy came home from work.  We went down the street to Meghan's dear friend, Kelly's house for a quick get together and a glass of wine.  Kelly has a beautiful home and family.

It's that time of year.  Winter is coming fast. We've had snow several times here in New England but it's a bit warmer todaySince this is our first Christmas in the little RV, I haven't decorated it before.  Hmmm... no counter space, no open wall space, a couple of very high and very small ledges.   Should be interesting!  I'll let you know how it turns out.

I was thinking something like this - 
Too much?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Snowy Day in the Little RV and Updates

I love snow and today has been a beautiful, snowy day in New England.  Early on the flakes were very small but as the day went on they became much larger.  The type that swirls as it falls.

I knew it was going to be a busy day so after the septic truck came and pumped our black tank, I headed to the grocery store.  I wanted to make a hearty, spicy chicken taco soup.  Just the ticket on a cold, snowy day.  While I was at the store, our RV repairman (Eric) called and said he'd be earlier than we expected him.  Who can complain about a repairman arriving early?  Not me!!  

Just over a week ago Eric ordered parts to repair the Little RV.  Since we are still under warranty, the parts were shipped from the factory to the repairman.  The parts arrived yesterday.  

The black tank has continued to leak despite previous attempts to repair it.  New valve in hand the repairs commenced.  We are now leak free and have a new water pump.  Unfortunately some of the other parts they sent were incorrect and not even meant for this model.  Eric will have to reorder those parts and I imagine we'll wait at least a week before they arrive.  Luckily these are nuisance items and nothing that makes life too difficult.  

Now we're just gearing up for the holidays.  I have gifts to ship, cards to prepare, a bit of shopping to do and some decorating.  This will be our first Christmas in the Little RV so it's my first experience decorating it for Christmas.  I think it will be a case of less is more.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Taking Down the Quarantine Sign from the Little RV

I think today we are well enough to take the quarantine sign off the door of the little RV.  We certainly won't be doing any hard labor but if someone were to come by, I think I'd actually let them come inside. 

Yesterday, Rob felt improved enough to go out and get me some chicken soup and flowers.  What a guy! We also watched the Apple Cup from 3000 miles away and the WSU Cougs won.  Go Cougs!

After much discussion we have decided to stay here in New England through Christmas.  We are still in the midst of our repairs.  Who am I kidding, the parts are still "in the mail".   We have been wholeheartedly welcomed to continue moochdocking in the driveway.  An offer we cannot refuse.  My only concern is that we'll end up snowed in for the duration and never get to warm and sunny Florida.  I suppose that wouldn't be the end of the world.  At this point I just needed to know where we'd be spending our first Christmas in the Little RV. 

Should be interesting!