Monday, August 14, 2017

Very Sad News!!!

Champaign, IL.

77 deg. overcast, no wind.

Forecast = Cloudy skies early, then partly cloudy after midnight. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low 68F. Winds light and variable.

About 9:30 or so this morning Jim and Linda hopped into Lily and headed to a little cemetery, out in the country between Champaign and Fisher. Some of Linda's distant relatives are buried there and they usually go out there when we are in the area.

After viewing the graves, they decided to head to Rantoul to stop in at the Prairie Pines CG to see if Paul and Louise were there, and say Hi to them if they were. When they arrived, Jim noticed that Louise's car wasn't there, but the office door was open, so they parked Lily and went up the walk. As they got up to the office, Linda, one of the people who had helped Louise with the CG last year came out and greeted them. Upon asking about Paul and Louise, she told them that while they were down in Texas, in December, Louise had a stroke and ended up in a hospital. While in the hospital, they discovered a large cancerous tumor, (I think in her mid-section).

I don't know all the details, but in March, Louise passed away, from the cancer!!!

Don't know what else to say. We're all in  shock!!!

Paul is living in his 5th wheel trailer at the CG and helping out as much as he can. He is suffering from dementia and is having a lot of trouble. Luckily, his son, Mark, is staying there with him to help as much as possible. Both Jim and Linda said that they doubt if Paul will be able to do much of anything pretty soon.

A very sad  situation.

While they were there, Ron and Marilyn stopped by, (friends of their's that are staying at the CG) and they talked for a little while. They have made plans to meet up at the Urbana Gardens Restaurant for a meal soon, and maybe Jim and Linda will learn more about Paul and Louise then.

Rest in peace, Louise. We'll miss you.



Saturday, August 12, 2017

Doctor's Visits and The Woodspring Suites Hotel

Champaign, IL

67 deg. clear, N. wind @ 8 mph.
Forecast tonight = Mostly clear. Lows overnight in the mid 50s.

Forecast tomorrow = Sunny, high 81F. Winds light and variable.

Since I've last posted, both Jim and Linda have been fairly busy. Monday morning, Lily took Linda and Jim to Fisher, IL, where Linda had an appointment with her GP doctor. Everything went fine, except her blood pressure was a little high, (which often happens when Linda goes to the doctor's office), and she needed Linda to come back for a fasting blood test to check her A1C glucose count. (She scheduled her to come back on Wednesday morning).

Tuesday was open, but Wednesday proved to be a pretty busy "doctor" day.

Wednesday morning, Linda's appointment with her GP doctor was at 9:15. After the blood test, they stopped by the Blue Star Restaurant in Fisher for breakfast before coming back here. Then, at 2:30, Linda had an appointment with her retinologist, (Dr. Gandhi). Again, everything went well and he told her that her eyes were "stable", which considering everything, is very good. :-)  Then, at 3:00, Jim had an appointment at Dr. Gandhi's office to get a OCT Scan of his eyes to check on his glaucoma. (These results would be sent to his Glaucoma Dr., Dr Anderson),

It was after 4::00 by the time Lily brought them back home.

Thursday and Friday were free days, but this morning, Jim had his appointment with Dr. Anderson, so they left here about 9:30 so as to make his 10:00 appointment.

Again, everything went well, and the Dr. gave Jim the good news that his eyes were doing fine.

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  , except for Linda having to go back to her GP doctor on the 28th of August to get the results of the A1C test and to get her blood pressure checked, both Linda and Jim are done with their doctors!!

Now, let me tell you a little about where we're staying. It's called Woodspring Suites and is an extended stay hotel. (Click on  name to go to their web site). It is kind of spartan, butt that keeps the cost down. They don't furnish dishes, pots or pans, or even have much furniture in the room except the bed, table and 2 kitchen  type chairs. There is a kitchen with a full sized refrigerator, microwave and a 2 burner electric cook-top. And of course a large TV and a full bathroom. Jim and Linda brought along 2 comfortable lawn chairs that they sit in while watching TV or they can lay on the bed which is supplied with bedding.

Some folks may not like this set-up, but Jim and Linda brought along an electric skillet, some cookware and silverware, went to the local Goodwill store to buy a pot they needed and seem to be getting along quite nicely. And, being that they are staying for a month, the nightly rate is less than $35.00 per night.

Not too shabby!!! ;-)

Nothing much scheduled for this next week. I know Jim and Linda have some things they want to do and people to  see, so they'll probably do some of that. In the meantime, I'll just say that Linda was very relieved to get the good news about her eyes and in fact both of them were happy that all the doctors visits went well.

Thanks for reading this and check back again. I'll be posting about things that are happening during this next week.

Did you know that in  In 1991, Wayne Allwine, the voice of Mickey Mouse, married Russi Taylor€”the voice of Minnie?


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Florida To Illinois

Champaign, IL

68 deg. Overcast, no wind.

Forecast tonight = Mostly cloudy skies. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low near 60F. Winds light and variable.

By the time Jim and Linda got all of the remaining things packed into Lily, most of the electric in the house shut off, and the water turned off, we pulled out of the car port at home about 10:45 AM on Sunday, 7-31-17. We really weren't in much of a hurry as the Motel that Jim had called, had a 3:00 Check-in time and Jim figured out that it would be about a 4 hour drive up to Monticello, FL. where it was located.

The route we took was US 17 up to Barberville, Rt. 40 over to near Ocala, Rt. 326 around the north side of Ocala and over to US 27A which took us to Chiefland and then US 19 up to  Monticello.

We hit some heavy rain on the  way, but by the time, (3:45, and 221 miles), we arrived at the Econo Lodge, it had cleared up nicely.

The Motel was very nice. It had a medium sized room with a bath, a king bed and a small refrigerator to put food, out of our cooler, into.

Jim seemed to do pretty well driving up there, but by the time he and Linda brought all the necessary items into the room, he was pretty tired.

But, after a good night's sleep, Jim was ready to go again in the morning, and after loading up the car, we left the motel at about 10;35 and headed further North, on US 19 first up into Georgia and to Albainy, Then, US 82 up to Columbus, and then I-185 and US 80 around Columbus and into Alabama. and then US 280 over to Opelike, AL.

After stopping for gas in Georgia, and a Cracker Barrel for lunch, near Columbus, it was right at 2:10, central time, when we pulled up in front of another Econo Lodge. So it had taken us about 4 hours and 35 minutes to travel the 208 miles over there.

This Econo lodge wasn't so nice. Jim had trouble with the door lock up arrival and the inside of the room wasn't very well maintained. It was clean though and it had a small fridge like the first one, so we stayed overnight, being sure to deadbolt the door.

Tuesday, Jim and Linda decided to do a short day, so we left about 9:35 and only drove up to Albertville on US 431, stopping again for gas, which brought us to the King's Inn after 148 miles and at about 12:45 in the afternoon.

A nice short 3 hour and 10 minuted drive. ;-)

The King's Inn was very nice. A nice big clean room with a King bed and a nice big bathroom. After we were settled in, and Jim took a nap, he and Linda headed over to a Shoney's Restaurant for a nice  dinner.

Wednesday morning, we left Albertville right at 10:00 and continued Northwest on 431, taking it up to Huntsville where we turned North on US 231. 231 took us up into Tennessee and to Murfreesboro, where we turned NW on I-24 and then North on I-840 and I-40 East back to 231 to miss city traffic and small roads. Once back on 231, we followed it up into Kentucky and to Scottsville where we pulled into a Executive Inn just outside of town.

It was 3:10 when we pulled up in front of the office, so it took us 5 hours and 10 minutes to travel the 198 miles up there and that included a very severe rain storm near Murfreesboro, where we were driving as slow as 30mph on I-24!!!

The Executive Inn was very nice. a large room, spotlessly clean and very friendly people in the office.

Thursday morning we left Scottsville about 10:25 and followed US 231 up to near Bowling Green, where we turned off on the William H. Natcher Parkway which took us up to Owensboro and across the Ohio River on Rt 161 into Indiana. When we came to the little town of Reo, we turned West on Indiana Rt. 66 and took it over to the I-164 belt route that goes around the East side of Evansville, IN. 164 took us up to I- 64 which took us West over to US 41.

Just south of 64 on 41 we went to a and Amish Restaurant where Jim and Linda had great Buffet. Then we crossed 41 and checked into the Super 8 Motel. It was 3:10 by the time we arrived, so it took us about 3 hours and 45 minutes to travel 145 miles and have dinner.

The Super 8 was very nice but at that Motel, you have to go in through the front entrance and then down the hall to your room. Luckily the room wasn't very far down the long hall so that Jim and Linda didn't have to carry their luggage too far.

As far as the room goes, it was also very nice with a king bed and a large room.

Friday morning, just before 11:00 we left the Super 8 and headed North on US 41. Following 41 up to Vincennes where we turned West on US 50. 50 took us to IL Rt 1 that we took North for a ways and then took some side roads over to Rt. 49. 49 took us up to I-74 where we turned West again and followed it to the Urbana Gardens Restaurant, where Jim and Linda had coffee and pie.

From there, it was just a short drive over here to the Woodsprings Suites Hotel, where we'll spend about a month.

 It was 3:10 when we pulled up to the main entrance, so it took us about 3 hours and 10 minutes to travel 176 miles and stop for coffee and pie.

So,  ,  ,  ,  we traveled 1097 miles to get here in 6 days.

All in all, it was a very good trip. Jim is real happy with Lily and really likes the way she drives. She gets great gas mileage, (over 30mpg on each tank of gas), and hasn't given even the least bit of trouble.

This Blog post is way too long already, so I'll tell you more about Woodsprings in my next post.

Did you know that there is an old law in Indiana that states that "Hotel sheets must be exactly 99 inches long and 81 inches wide"?


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Busy, Busy, Busy and Packing Up

DeBary, FL.

78 deg. clear, NE wind @ 8 mph.

Forecast = Scattered showers and thunderstorms. High 88F. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

Jim and Linda have been really busy since I've last posted. They've been gathering things up, packing them and then seeing if there''s enough room in Lily to get them into her trunk. They've just about got it figured out though and as of yesterday afternoon, have decided that they'll be able to get everything in. :-) 

In fact, about 2/3 of Lily's trunk is already packed!! 

We will be leaving here tomorrow, (Sunday), and will take 6 days to get up to Champaign, IL. We'll probably spend a couple of nights somewhere in Alabama, but like always, it's written in pencil and Jim was sure to pack that big eraser of his. ;-) Actually, I don't think that Jim is going to have problems as far as stamina is concerned, he's been doing a lot the last few days and seems to have quite a bit of energy. 

I'm getting really excited about going on a "'Road Trip". I've never been on one in a car, and don't really know what to expect. I suppose I'll have to ride in the back seat, but i'd really like to be able to see out of the windows. Also, I've never been in a Motel, so that'll be another new experience for me. I guess it's going to kind of a re-learning experience for Jim and Linda too. Jim says that he thinks the last time he and Linda stayed in a Motel was way back in 2001, just before we moved into Maraiah, their 35' Winnebago MH!!

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  a new adventure begins. I don't know how this will go, but I'm sure we'll work it out somehow. At least it's not as scary as when Jim and Linda sold almost everything they had and went Full-Timing. Living out of suitcases for an extended period of time, (probably about 3 months), will have it's challenges, but we've always been able to overcome them in the past. I don't see why this should be any different. 
As for me, I'm READY!!!!!

A Quote to Ponder, "One man with courage makes a majority."  Andrew Jackson


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Happy Birthday Linda and Starting To Get Ready

DeBary, Fl.

75 deg. partly cloudy, no wind.

Forecast = A mix of clouds and sun. High 94F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.

Nothing real exciting going on around here. Jim and Linda have been getting things together to take along on our Illinois trip. They've made some lists so they could remember what they need to take and have already started packing some things into boxes and bags. 

Saturday, was Linda's birthday, so at noon, they met Laura, Lindsey and Anna over at the Longhorn Steakhouse for lunch. Then, in the evening, they headed to Laura's where they had Cupcakes and ice cream. Marv, Inez, Ashley, Chris, Anna and of course Laura and Lindsey were there and it sounds like everyone had a good time. ;-) 

Linda blowing out candles on cupcakes

Yesterday, Jim took Lily and went to Walgreen's to pick up a few prescriptions and to the local Winn Dixie store where he bought some groceries to use on or trip up North. Today he wants to get outside early and get a few things done out there before it gets too hot. We're right in the middle of the hottest time of the year down here now and almost every day, the temps are in the mid-ninety's with rain showers/storms in the afternoon, causing lots of humidity.  :-( 

Jim seems to be feeling pretty well. For now, most of the side effects from the Opdivo seem to be gone, but he is still taking medicine to counter those effects. Hopefully by the time that medicine is gone, so will be the side effects. 

It's still not completely decided on just when we'll be leaving DeBary. If they get everything ready, we may leave here as early as Sunday. I think Linda is worried about how Jim will be feeling after traveling for 4 or 5 hours a day, and said yesterday, that she thought that adding an extra "rest" day to the trip would be good. 

Well, that's about it for now. I'm going to make a real effort to post more often, especially while we're traveling.  

Did you know that on this date in 1966 - The Monkees recorded their first single? The song was "The Last Train to Clarksville" and was later included on their self-titled debut album. 


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Yeee!!!! Haww!!!!

DeBary, FL.

73 deg. clear, no wind.
Forecast today = Cloudy early with scattered thunderstorms developing this afternoon. High near 95F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

Jim was still having the side effects from the Opdivo treatments when he went in to see the chemo doctor on the 7th of July, so he didn't get another treatment. The doctor did decided to raise the dose of the medicine that he was receiving to counter-act the side effects and since then, that has done the trick. ::-) 

Last Thursday, (the 13th),Jim had another PET Scan and then this Monday, (the 17th), he and Linda went to see the Radiation Doctor to get the results. Again, the weekend was stress filled, waiting to get the results, but it seems like that's just part of this whole process. 

So,  ,  ,  ,  , , what did the doctor say??? 

Well, it's all good news!!!!! The spot in the left lung has dissipated and there''s just a little "fogginess" which he thinks is just some scar tissue from previous and latest radiation treatments. and the very small spot in the right lung has all but disappeared. There is just a minute spot that may or may not be something, but at this time he doesn't recommend any treatments. The PET Scan was for Jim's whole body and there is no indication of any spreading of the cancer!!!!

Yeee!!!!! Haww!!!!

Tuesday, Jim had an appointment with the Chemo doctor and after seeing the PET Scan results, she agreed with what the Radiation Doctor had said!!!!

Yeee!!!! Haww!!!!  (Sorry about all the "Yee Hawing", but I couldn't help myself) ;-) 

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  What comes next???  Well, Jim and Linda have already started to make plans to head up to Illinois. Jim has made some reservations at an "extended stay hotel" near Rantoul, and Linda has already set up doctor's appointments with most of the doctors that will need to be seen up there. Jim had already made a "trip plan" that he refined yesterday and it looks like we'll be leaving here on or about the 31st if July!!!!     

Traveling by car instead of RV is going to be a big change, but both Jim and Linda seem to have pretty much figured out what they can and can not take along. The extended stay hotel has a refrigerator, microwave and a 2 burner stove, so once we get up there, Linda will be able to make some meals. She has an electric skillet that she'll take along and can make quite a bit in it, even while we're traveling, and I'm sure, some meals they'll eat out at restaurants. 

Jim doesn't know how much energy he'll have, so he's figured 5 days to get up to Illinois, (about 4 hours a day, traveling). The little trip to Cedar Key helped them get an idea of how to pack the car to get everything in, and staying in that motel helped with learning to cook some food in just a microwave. 

Years ago, Jim and Linda went on "vacations" and managed OK, so it's just a matter of relearning the process. I;m sure that there'll be a few "bumps" but they'll deal with them and I'm sure it'll all work out in the end. 

I can't wait ot get on the road again!!!!!

Yeee!!!! Haww!!!!

Did you know that on this date in 1969 - Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. became the first men to walk on the moon?


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Long Overdue Update

DeBary, FL.

95 deg. Mostly cloudy, SE Wind @ 3 mph.

Forecast = Partly to mostly cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. Low near 75F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.

Sorry about the length of time that has gone by since I've last updated this blog. :-(

Mike, Gina and the kids did stop by on their way down to the attractions, and in fact, they stopped by on the way back also!! Jim and Linda had good visits with them even though they only stayed for a couple of hours each time.

Jim's last Opdivo treatment was to be on the 23rd of June, but because of some digestive side effects from the treatments, the last treatment still hasn't happened!!! :-(  First of all it was rescheduled for the 30th of June and now it's been rescheduled for the 7th of July. Hopefully, the side effect will have disappeared by then so he can get that last treatment.

He does have a PET Scan scheduled for the 13th of July and a visit with the radiation Dr. (Dr. Graham), on the 14th. Hopefully that will not have to be rescheduled.

On the 26th of June, Jim and Linda took Lily and headed over to Cedar Key, FL. where they rented a motel room for 3 nights. The motel was located right on the gulf and they had an excellent view of the Gulf of Mexico from their 2nd story balcony.

They even had a real pretty sunset one night while they were there. ;-) 

It was a good get-a-way for a change. They really hadn't been anywhere since they returned here to DeBary last fall. 

They went out to eat a a couple local restaurants and had seafood, (it's the big thing in Cedar Key). Drove around the island some and basically just "kicked back" for the 3 days they were there. It was about 135 miles over there and it took them just under 3 hours to travel the distance. 

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  , for now, we wait and see what is going to happen with Jim's treatments. The plan is still to try to get up to Illinois yet this summer, (or fall), to see doctors, friends and relatives, but as usual, all Jim's plans are in pencil. 

Jim's feeling pretty well, except for the digestive issues, and Linda is doing well. If we can just get past this bump in the road, we'll be on our way North and possibly up to NC and VA to see the boys yet this year. 

Did you know that 7% of Americans believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows?

Mooooo!!!! (I meant Woof!!!!)