Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day Sunday Morning

Here we sit in our easy chair all smug and comfortable.  We decided to attend the Saturday night church service in town, so we have all day to ourselves.  However, it is not a day to be outside. There was heavy fog when we rose at 6:30 AM and  presently, the fog seems to have cleared at ground level, but it is windy and very dark  It just makes one want to remain inside

Last night I spent a lot of time reviewing the diary of Lewis and Clark.  I knew on the return trip, one member (Colter) left the Corps and returned to Yellowstone.  I was curious about when he left the Corps.   So naturally, it was easier to use Google to learn that tidbit verses finding it in the diary.  I learned a lot more about Colter than I expected.

Colter and his partner ran into a war party of Blackfeet.   They killed Colter's partner when he wouldn't come to shore.  Then they stripped Colter naked and told him to "run".   After a few miles, Colter realized that only one Indian brave was close to catching him.   You can do a Google on Colter and read the story on Wikipedia about how he eventually escaped and returned to a fort 12 days later, still naked!

After three close calls with the Blackfeet, Colter decided that it was time to settle down near St. Louis.   It should be mentioned that prior to the run in with the Blackfeet, Colter explored the Yellowstone and Teton NP areas.   When he reported his findings to civilization, they thought he had lost his mind and called the area "Colter's Hell".

So much for today's history lesson.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Resting for Memorial Day Weekend

I didn't get all of the grass mowed because I tore up the second belt I had purchased.  I'm not sure why the second one bit the dirt, but it did.  When I compared the second belt with the original, it was obvious that it was not of the same quality.  So now I'm waiting until we go to CR where I can hopefully get a belt from the manufacturer.   I've already purchased one and took it back because it was really the wrong size.  (width and length.)

So to keep ourselves busy, we moved the RV up to the normal on-the-lawn parking spot.  We still left some tracks, but not bad.   We also tried to organize our outside storage.  I'm not sure if I'll ever get it right.  (We carry too much stuff.)

Late this afternoon, the rains came.  Actually very light, but it made the grass wet. The good thing was that there was no wind.  Looking at the radar map, it was a broad general area, not a sharp moving storm area.

It is very quiet in our house tonight.  Sandy continues to work on the June Newslettere for our Escapees Iowa Chapter (and I've learned that the TV needs to be OFF.)  With that, it is time for my evening snack!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Trying to catch up

We've missed a few days but we'll try to do better.  Just hang with us.

Today was another one of those days.   On our way back from Cedar Rapids yesterday, we had   picked up a replacement belt for our lawn mower.  I even had the help of one of the clerks to make sure I got the right belt.  But it was wasted effort.  When I pulled the belt out of the holder and compared it to the original belt, the new belt was about 12 to18 inches too short.  Plus it was a half inch belt (the broken belt was a 5/8 belt.)  Needless to say, I was not happy.

So back to plan B, which was to use the belt that I had bought locally on Monday.   But since it was being shredded on one side, I decided to remove the mower deck and see what the problem was.  To my dismay, there was a reason for the problem.  Apparently sometime ago when I had re-mounted the belt, it ended up on the wrong side of a guard to keep the belt on an idler pulley.  Thus the guard was pulled into the pulley and acted like  a knife to shred the belt.  With that problem resolved and the mower back together, we again attempted to mow the lawn.   We made about 5 rounds and the belt decided that it had seen enough and broke.

So another trip into town to get a replacement.  As expected, they didn't have it in stock, but it will be here tomorrow morning.

Back at the farm, we decided that it was time for a little siesta.  But shortly, the sky became dark, the winds came up and then the rains came.  We hunkered down in the motorhome for a while and then decided that it was a rocking a bit too much.  So we pulled the slides in, hoping that it would be more stable.  We looked at the radar map online and eventually, it was past us and all was well.

Tomorrow is another trip into Cedar Rapids so that Sandy can get her annual physical.  Also, we can return the short belt and get our weekly allotment of groceries from Walmart.  On the return we'll stop in to see my mother at the Amana care center.  Perhaps we'll get a belt locally so that we can mow the lawn, maybe!


Monday, May 23, 2011

The more I hurry, the hinder I get

I'm sorry folks, but we're really been de-railed on getting 2 to 4 posting out per week.  I guess I always have an excuse (at least in my mind).  We'll try to do better!

This past week was spent in Winterset (Iowa) where we hosted our Computer Rally again.  We journeyed over last Friday (May 13) so that we could get an early start on stuff.  For starters, it rained (and rained).  Plus we were asked to move by the fairgrounds management because we were in front of the other building where there were two high school graduation receptions to be held.    So we moved, no problem.

Saturday found us putting on a hundred miles to attend the chapter spring luncheon in Boone, Iowa.  It was great to see so many friends again.  We were early and it looked like we'd only have 3 or 4 couples.  Then presto, we had a room full of people.  One couple hadn't yet arrived at their summer home in north Iowa and one couple was on their way to a work camping opportunity in the Black Hills.  I think a good time was had by all and we especially treated our stomach WELL.  (Nothing was needed Saturday night.)

The computer Rally last week went especially well.  Sandy did her usual bang up job of impressing everyone. Now if they'll just practice what they have learned.  One of the fellows led a seminar on using Linux which really got my attention.  We shall configure one of my spare notebooks to use it.

Today was our day to pay homage to the medical profession again.  We had a 2 pm appointment to get another B twelve shot and then a 2:45 appointment to discuss our upcoming colonoscopy.  We've had it done twice before and for some reason we were scheduled for an office call with the "gastro......".  I finally figured out that the colonoscopy was routine and the office call was to talk about the esophagus inspection from the mouth.  (Doesn't it make you wonder when they want to do both of them during the same time slot!)  The reason for the esophagus inspection is because I have real problems getting a big pill down.  The doctor asked lots of questions about eating, swallowing, etc and finally told me that he really didn't see any reason for doing it unless I insisted.   Then he noticed that I was vitamin B twelve deficient   and he switched gears.  Suddenly, I needed the test!  So how do they get me to swallow the probe when I'm out?

Of course, we had a few downers here at the farm.  I was out early to mow the lawn and promptly shredded the main mower deck belt.   I picked up one in town this morning and it didn't want to stay on either.  So we picked up the right one in Cedar Rapids this noon.  It may be what the suppler recommends, but it is a narrower belt.   I hope it works.

Enough.  I thought for a moment I had lost my input, but it was there in draft form.  I have an extra blank entry that I'll try to delete.  Writing is one thing.  Site management is something else with these programs!


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Spring is HERE.

Three Cheers for Spring.  There is no doubt that it is here after today.   It was just plain nice out!  There is no other way to describe it.  There were light breezes (only early in the day), and lots of sunshine.  In the afternoon, the wind picked up a bit and yes, it really rocked our boat here on dry land on the hilltop,  but we managed.

I survived the week in reasonably good shape.  As mentioned earlier, I had two teeth pulled on Monday.  The pain was so light that I skipped the pain pills (wasted dollars).  I tried to make sure I ate or chewed on the right side of my mouth and I succeeded most of the time.  Once in a while, we forgot (ouch).

This afternoon, we had one of the dis-solvable stitch ends come out.  That felt good, as it was kind of tickling my cheek on the inside.

Tomorrow we go back to the oral surgeon so that he can check if it has grown back together.  Plus we have a whole list of other items to get done while we're in CR.  One item I'm less than enthusiastic about is visiting the GP doctor about my recent blood test.  Supposedly, the test shows that my vitamin B twelve level is too low, even with the supplement I've been taking.   So his next solution is for me to learn how to use the injectable kind.   For someone who has a real problem with pain and the sight of blood, giving myself my own shots of B twelve just isn't in my world.

But, life could be worse, I think.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Perhaps Spring is here

I think Spring has finally sprung here in Iowa.  At least the temperatures were decent and it was pleasant to be outside. So this morning, we mowed the lawn where the motorhome is parked and then I decided that it was time to burn some wood piles, remains from when some trees were cut down over the winter.

Two of the piles burned nicely.  The third pile didn't start like I expected, so tonight I may be on fire watch duty.  At least that is my guess after an inspection about 30 minutes ago.   I think we're safe, as the grass has been mowed around the pit so it shouldn't be a ground fire.   The wood pile is all of the twigs and branches left when they cut out the main limbs for fire wood.   It is tightly packed, so once it lights, it may be a roaring inferno for a short while.

I mentioned in the last posting that I had a molar and a wisdom teeth pulled on Monday. Surprisingly, I've had very little pain from them.  I watch what I eat and I try to make sure all of the food is sent to the other side.  But then once in a while I forget.   I was intending to keep them for any unknown reason, but in the heat of the battle, I didn't ask for them until I was leaving the office.  The dental assistant said it was too late, they were in the medical waste trash bin, never to be seen again.   It's probably better that way.

While we were laying around in the motorhome, we kept good watch on the three eaglets on the Decorah web cam.   They are really ugly things right now, as they have lots of fuzz and a few feather.  This morning, I told Sandy that a ghost was watching over them.  It didn't take much imagination to look at the tree trunk in the side of the nest to see the white outline of a ghost.  How did it get there?   The eaglets painted it.  They have a unique way of disposing of their body waste.  They put their head down towards the nest center, raise up on their legs and fire away.   A good squirt of body waste goes sailing out over the nest edge, or in some cases onto the tree.   It is natures way of keeping the nest clean.  You can see them at: .


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

We're behind again (as usual)

My apologies for being late again.  I didn't even look to see when the last one was written.  But you'll have to excuse me with the sudden, unexpected passing of my younger brother.  Now I'm stuck with 5 sisters plus I'm mother's Power of Attorney.

To keep life interesting, last week we had a crowned molar tooth decide to give up the ghost. The gold crown broke off along with the top of the tooth. So it was a trip to the dentist last week and yesterday we visited the Oral Surgeon.   (I don't like seeing those guys.)

About 30  years ago, we had a molar extracted that refused to fully come out and was always getting infected.  When I went in then, I told the surgeon that I didn't expect him to have any problem, as I thought my teeth were a bit loose.  I never kept track of how long he worked on the tooth, but I do remember that he took a break and left the office for five minutes.    When he finished, he made an off hand comment that I didn't have to worry about my teeth falling out.  So I was expecting a similar reaction this time.  But I didn't tell him that my teeth were loose.

When it was all said and done, he removed the bad tooth and then with my permission (and a rest for me), he removed a second molar next to it that had not fully extended itself.    He started at 1 PM and I walked out of the office by 2 PM.   He gave me a pain prescription which I haven't used.  Also, an antibiotic prescription to use until it is empty.  I haven't needed the pain pills, but I'm also somewhat walking around in the motorhome in a slight fog.  No running, nor heavy lifting, nor really hot stuff or ice cold stuff.  In other words, I'm being lazy.