Sunday, August 31, 2014

To Move Or Not To Move

Rantoul, IL.

72 deg. cloudy, SW wind @ 6 mph.
Forecast = Partly cloudy with isolated storms. Highs around 84°F. Heat index around 91°F. Southwest wind to 7 MPH. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.

Jim and Linda got an e-mail from Alternative Resources Friday and I suppose that any of you that use them for your mail forwarding service got one too. Alternative Resource in South Dakota has been our "official" residence and mail forwarding service ever since we went full-timing way back in 2001. In fact they started receiving and forwarding our mail even before that!!

Alternative Resources has been sold and the name changed to Dakota Post.The new owners are making some pretty drastic changes and most of the changes are good, but one of the changes involves them moving to a larger facility and thus, changing the address. This would mean that Jim and Linda's address at all banks, credit cards, checks, insurance companies, plus driver's license, that they have would have to be notified and changed. Plus, there's family and friends to notify also.

Not a small task!!!!

However,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  in the past, Jim and Linda have discussed moving their "official" address to their double- wide address, down in Florida, but had pretty much decided that for now, they'd just keep using South Dakota.

You can see what's coming here, can't you?

Yep, you guessed it. They haven't made up their minds for sure, but it doesn't seem to make much sense to change everything to a new address in SD and then in a few years or so, change it again to Florida!!!

They'll need to do some more research on this, but there's a few good Mail Forwarding services in Florida that they can use when we're traveling, and they do have the address of the double-wide to use.

Hmmm!!!! I wonder how many other RVers will be leaving SD because of this change?

Did you know that according to the U.S. Census Bureau, of the population of 282,556,000, the people that moved was 40,093,000? That would make the percentage rate to be 14.19 percent annually.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Our Favorite Holiday, Another Dinner With Mike And Terri and More Tests

Rantoul, IL.

71 Deg. partly cloudy, SW wind @ 10 mph.
Forecast = Mostly cloudy with scattered storms. Highs around 84°F. Heat index around 89°F. South southwest wind to 15 MPH, gusting to 21 MPH. Chance of precipitation 60 percent.

Ahhhhhh!!!! Labor Day!!!!!  Our favorite holiday!!!!

Why is it our favorite holiday?  Well,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  , there's quite a few reasons, but probably the ones that I like most are that from now on, until Memorial Day, it'll be much more quiet in almost every park or campground that we'll be going to. (Except down in Florida this winter). There'll be less people, RV sites available that you can't get without a reservation during the summer months, less traffic on the roads because "vacation time" is over for most folks and, if you want to head to a National Park or popular attraction, you'll be able to see the sites or attractions without the big crowds. ;-)

It's been quite a few years ago now, but I can still remember the time we went to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons in late September and almost had the place to ourselves! :-) The CG we stayed at was almost deserted and there were deer wandering around, throughout the park and CG.

Louise says that she has 2 groups coming into the park next weekend, but after that, there'll only be a few RVs that come in off of the highway now and then until the the CG pretty much closes at the end of October. (This CG is open all year, but there's only electric and sewer hookups during the winter months).

Mike and Terri returned from their trip up to Northern Illinois Thursday afternoon. Before they left here on Monday, plans were made to go out to eat when they returned, so about 5:00 Jim, Linda, Mike and Terri hopped into Big RED and went to the Urbana Gardens Restaurant down in, (where else?) Urbana.

The food was good but the company and conversation were even better. ;-)

Oh, and Jim and Linda did get that new Sleep Number mattress assembled Thursday. Jim had a little problem with one of the hoses, but got it worked out. Now, they're both sleeping better than they were on that poor excuse of a mattress that came with Nora. :-)

Linda got a call yesterday and found out that she'll have to get an EKG and a Urinalysis test before she can have Cataract surgery on the 8th.  So,  Tuesday, she'll have to get that taken care of. What a bummer!!!!!  She was hoping to have one week off from seeing doctors or having any medical procedure, but that's not going to happen!! :-(

Also, yesterday, Big RED took Jim and Linda to Walgreen's to pick up some prescriptions, (eye drops for Linda's cataract surgery), and then to the County Market Grocery Store, where Jim went in and purchased some much needed groceries.

Nothing much planned for this weekend. I'd say that the park is more than 1/2 full already and there'll be more RVs coming in today. The weather forecast for this weekend isn't very good though, so I'm wondering if all the campers who called and reserved a site will show up?

Did you know that Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day a holiday on February 21, 1887? By the time it became a federal holiday in 1894, thirty states officially celebrated Labor Day.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Jim's Test, Linda's Pre-op and Two Big Boxes

Rantoul, IL.

64 deg. partly cloudy, no wind.
Forecast =  Partly cloudy with isolated showers. Highs around 82°F. East northeast wind to 7 MPH. Chance of precipitation 20 percent.

About 1:30 yesterday afternoon, Big RED took Jim and Linda down to Dr. Anderson's office. Jim had to take a field of vision test, (which he passed with flying colors), and Linda needed to see Dr. Anderson for the pre-op for cataract surgery.

Linda's pre-op went well and she is now scheduled for the procedure to her left eye on the 8th of September.

They dilated Linda's eyes so when Big RED brought her and Jim back here to the CG, she was wearing some large dark glasses to help with the glare.

While they were gone, I had some excitement!!! I was taking a little nap when all of a sudden I hear a noise just outside of the door. I'm not big enough to see out of the window next to the door, so I couldn't see what was happening but I knew someone was out there doing something!!!

I didn't find out what was going on until Jim and Linda returned and Jim brought 2 huge boxes inside.

And, I couldn't tell what was in the boxes until I jumped up on top of the large one and read was it said on the box.

Yep!! A new Sleep Number mattress!!!

I knew that Jim and Linda weren't happy with the original mattress that came with Nora, but I didn't realize that they had ordered a different one. I shouldn't have been surprised though because neither Jim or Linda were sleeping too well on the old one.

Jim and Linda have had Sleep Number mattresses before. They had one when they had a house, before we went full-timing and then purchased another one when they had Myrddin. That mattress was moved into Emrys, but stayed there when Emrys was traded for Bobbie T., because it wouldn't fit in her.

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  Guess what today's big project will be????  I hope everything goes well, because it just won't work to have these 2 big boxes sitting inside of Nora for any length of time.

Linda seems to be doing pretty well. By the time she went to bed last night, her eyes were feeling much better. She said that her right eye still felt a little scratchy from the injection though.

Did you know that the average blink of an eye lasts for about 1/10th of a second?


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mike And Terri Head North and It Gives Me The Heebee Geebee's!!!

Rantoul, IL.

69 deg. Partly cloudy, no wind.
Forecast = Partly cloudy with scattered storms. Highs around 82°F. Northeast wind to 5 MPH. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.

Monday morning, Mike and Terri packed everything up and after h and h,  (hugs and handshakes), left to visit family for a few days, up near Freeport, IL. They should be returning here to Prairie Pines tomorrow. :-)

Then, around 1:00 Monday afternoon, Big RED took Jim and Linda over to Fisher, IL for Linda's follow up  appointment with her primary care doctor. Linda's vitals were with-in normal range and everything went well at the doctor's office. After the doctor's appointment, Big RED took them over to Thomasboro to pick up their mail before bringing them back here to the CG.

I know that Linda's been worrying about her up-coming appointment with Dr. Gandhi since she went to see him last Friday and received the news that there was a problem with her right eye. By Monday afternoon and yesterday morning, she was pretty upset. :-(  I can't say I blame her. The procedure he said was necessary was not pleasant to even think about!!! The treatment is to actually inject some medicine right into the eye!!!!!

Brrrrrr!!!!!! I get chills and the heebee geebee's just thinking about it!!!!! :-O

Well, yesterday about 1:00 Big RED took Linda and Jim to Dr. Gandhi's office, (down on the South side of Champaign), and Linda had the procedure.

I'll tell you what!!! Linda was much braver than I would have been!!!! The procedure went well and soon Big RED was pulling back into his parking space here at the CG.

Linda's right eye felt scratchy and her vision was blurred in that eye but the Dr. gave here some drops to use in the eye. By the time she and Jim headed to bed, she was saying that it felt a little better. :-)

Today both Linda and Jim have appointments at Dr. Anderson's office. Linda for a pre-op for cataract surgery and Jim for a field of vision test.

There shouldn't be anything "creepy" happening today!!!!

Did you know that out of all the muscles in your body, the muscles that control your eyes are the most active?


Sunday, August 24, 2014

China Express and A Slow Weekend At Prairie Pines

Rantoul, IL.

69 deg. partly cloudy, no wind.
Forecast = Partly cloudy with patchy fog. Highs around 90°F. Heat index around 107°F. East southeast wind to 8 MPH.

Linda talked to both  Laura and Joe on the phone yesterday. Talking with them seemed to help her mood a lot and by the time it was time to go out to eat with Mike and Terri, she was feeling a whole lot better. :-)

As planned, at 5:00, Jim, Linda, Mike and Terri hopped into Big RED and headed over to the China Express Restaurant, here in Rantoul.

Jim and Linda are by no means "experts" on Chinese food, but they thought the food was quite good and so did Mike and Terri. ;-)  In fact, Mike thought it was good enough that he went back quite a few times to get more food from the buffet. :-)

It was about 6:30 when Big RED brought the 4 overstuffed people back here to the CG. :-O

The rest of the evening was spent watching the NASCAR race from Bristol, TN on television.

I don't know what's going on here at Prairie Pines Campground. Hardly any campers came in for the weekend!! The only things I can think of is that they have been forecasting very high temperatures and possible storms for this entire weekend and also, next weekend is Labor Day weekend, so maybe the people are just waiting for the holiday weekend to go camping.

Louise says that she's pretty well booked up for that.

Nothing planned for today. It's supposed to be really hot and humid so Jim and Linda probably won't be out and about much. Tomorrow Morning, Mike and Terri are leaving for Northern Illinois for a few days. I'm thinking that they said that they'd be back on Thursday. Also, tomorrow, Linda has that follow-up visit with her primary care doctor over in Fisher, IL. The appointment's not until early afternoon though, so she won't have to get up at the "crack of dawn" this time. ;-)

Did you know that when KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) first translated its advertising slogan "finger lickin' good" into Chinese, it came out as "eat your fingers off?"


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Not So Good News and More Doctor's Appointments

Rantoul, IL.

71 deg. foggy, no wind.
Forecast =  Partly cloudy with isolated storms. Highs around 88°F. Heat index around 101°F. East wind to 5 MPH. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.

By 7:30 yesterday morning, Jim and Linda were heading to Dr. Gandhi's office. It was raining when they left here, but Big RED says that he ran out of it down by I-74 and only had sprinkles the rest of the way to the South side of Champaign,

Once at the Dr's office, both Jim and Linda had to wait awhile and then Jim was called in to get his eye scan. The scan didn't take long and soon he was waiting with Linda again for her turn to be called in.

Soon Linda was called in and a retina scan was preformed. The news was not as good as both Linda and Jim had hoped for. Linda does have some further damage to her right eye!! :-(  She will need treatment and the treatment will start next Tuesday. Dr. Gandhi said that Linda will be able to go ahead with her cataract removal though, so that's good.

This was not the kind of news that Linda needed right now. :-(  Her mood was really "down" for the rest of the day and there were even a few tears from time to time. She and Jim did a lot of talking about the whole situation and I think by the time they headed to bed, she was feeling a little better.

This next week will be busy. Mike and Terri are leaving for a few days, Linda has 3 doctor appointments and Jim has one Dr. appointment.

Yesterday afternoon, Jim and Linda made arrangements with Mike and Terri to go out for Chinese tonight. There's a Chinese restaurant in Rantoul that has a buffet and they're going to try that.

Did you know that each of your eyes has a small blind spot in the back of the retina where the optic nerve attaches? You don’t notice the hole in your vision because your eyes work together to fill in each other’s blind spot.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Dinner With Mike, Terri, Hank And Selene, Saying Good-Bye and Doctor Appointments

Rantoul, IL.

77 deg. cloudy, humidity 88% NW wind @ 13 mph, thunder in the distance.
Forecast = Partly cloudy with isolated storms. Highs around 90°F. Heat index around 104°F. West southwest wind to 10 MPH. Chance of precipitation 60 percent.

The temperatures and humidity have been rising here in Rantoul the last few days and we've also had rain showers at time. This has caused Jim and Linda to pretty much stay inside of Nora. They did go to pick up their mail at the post office and go to ACE Hardware to pick up an item or two on Tuesday and then went to Walgreen's to pick up Linda's prescriptions on Wednesday though.

Also, on Wednesday, they contacted Mike and Terri and Hank and Selene to find out if they'd like to go out to eat Wednesday or Thursday evening. After talking to both, it was determined that yesterday evening would be the best, so plans were made to go to the Blue Start Family Restaurant over in Fisher.

So, About 5:00 Big RED took Jim, Linda, Hank and Selene over there and Mike and Terri followed along in their car.

Once again, everyone enjoyed their meal and the Blue Star came through with flying colors. ;-) The food and service were very good, and the company and conversation were great!!

Hank and Selene are leaving here this morning. It sure has been great getting to know them better and spend time with them. If everything goes according to plan, we'll be seeing them again in NC next spring. :-)

Jim and Linda said their good-bye's yesterday evening because early this morning, both Linda and Jim have eye doctor appointments at Linda's Retinaologist. Linda to see Dr. Gandhi to have her retinas checked and Jim to have scan of his eyes to make sure there is no further damage from Glaucoma. The results of that scan will then be sent to Dr. Anderson's office. (Jim's regular eye doctor).

If Linda's exam goes well and Dr. Gandhi doesn't find any problems with her eyes, those results will also be sent to Dr. Anderson's office and more than likely, Dr. Anderson will schedule appointments to remove Linda's cataracts soon after Labor Day.

Oh, one last thing.

I've changed the "layout" of this blog just a little. If you scroll down and look over on the right side, you'll see the URLs for "Past Blogs For Jim and Linda". I don't know how to make the URLs into links that you can just click on, so if you want to bring up the blogs, you'll have to copy and paste to your browser. The blogs go way back to January 23, 2008 when Myrddin made his first post and follow all of our travels and daily living since then.

For those of you that do decide read the old post by Mryddin and Emrys, I hope you enjoy!!!

Did you know that on this date in 1956 - Elvis began work on his first movie, "Love Me Tender"?


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Laundry Day and A Cook-out With Hank, Selene, Mike And Terri

Rantoul, IL

64 deg. fog, no wind.
Forecast = Partly cloudy with isolated storms. Highs around 86°F. Heat index around 91°F. South wind 5 to 15 MPH, gusting to 17 MPH. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.

As soon as Linda was finished with breakfast yesterday morning, she and Jim dug out all of the dirty clothes and sorted them into loads of laundry to take to the laundromat. After sorting Jim took the bags out to Big RED and then he and Linda headed over there.

It's more expensive to use the laundromat than it is to do the laundry here at the Campground, but it takes much less time than it does here with only 2 washers and 2 dryers. In fact, Jim and Linda were only gone about an hour and 45 minutes before Big RED brought them back.

After they returned, Hank and Selene stopped by to ask Jim and Linda if they'd like to come to a cook-out around 6:00? Of course they said "Yes"!

During the afternoon, Jim and Linda put all the laundry away, took naps and then Linda cooked some green beans with bacon, (Thanks, Hank and Selene for picking up that can of green beans for Linda at the store),  :-)  Then, around 6:00 they headed next door.

Jim did remember his camera, so he did take a couple photos. (You can click on them to enlarge if you'd like).
Terri, Mike, Hank and Selene enjoying the meal and conversation.

Selene, Linda and Hank who was heading for more great food. 

I was watching out of the window and it sure looked like everyone had a great time, visiting and eating. After eating, Hank started a campfire in the fire ring between their MH and Nora and they all gathered around and talked and talked.

Jim and Linda came back here around 8:00 because the bugs were starting to bug them, but I think Mike and Terri stayed awhile longer.

The rest of the evening was spent watching TV, before going to bed after the news.

Thanks, Hank and Selene for having the Cook-out. Jim and Linda had a great time. ;-)

No big plans, so far, for today. Jim has an item ordered at Ace Hardware that needs to be picked up and there should be mail waiting at the post office. They're forecasting possible rain and T-Storms later, so he'll probably do those things this morning.

Did you know that today is 'Black Cow' Root Beer Float Day?


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Hank And Selene Arrive

Rantoul, IL.

65 deg. overcast no wind.
Forecast =  Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. Highs around 79°F. South southeast wind to 9 MPH. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.

It was around 2:00 in the afternoon when Hank and Selene pulled up in front of the office. Soon, Paul was leading to the site 25 right next to us. Jim and Linda talked to them a little at that time but tried not to distract them too much during their set-up procedure.

While Jim was over talking to Hank, Paul brought over the fixins' for taco's and gave them to Linda. You see, Paul and Louise were giving a taco party at the local VFW because they are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary and had invited Jim and Linda to come over and join them. But because Linda still isn't too steady on her feet at times, Jim and Linda decided they wouldn't go.

So, Paul brought the makings for the tacos over here!!!

Wasn't that nice of them???? Thanks Paul and Louise!!!!

Jim and Linda didn't eat the tacos last night though. Being that Hank and Selene had just arrived, it was decided that they'd order pizzas to have with them and save the tacos for today, so Linda covered everything up and put it in the fridge.

When the pizzas arrived, Hank and Selene came over here to Nora to eat and catch up on what's been happening since Jim and Linda have seen them, back in 2011 at a Rally in TN. About the time they finished eating, Mike and Terri returned from a shopping trip and came over to talk.

I couldn't see the clock from where I was, over by the dinette window, but I'm guessing it was about 6:00 or so, when they arrived.

Mike and Terri and Hank and Selene also know each other from previous meetings and so there was never a lack of things to talk about. In fact the talking, laughing and joking around lasted until after 8:00, when Terri realized that she needed to head back to their RV to take some medication!!

I think it was a very enjoyable evening for everyone and I'm sure they'll all be getting together again during the next week that Hank and Selene will be here. In fact there's already plans to go out to eat sometime soon. :-)

Did you know that today is "World Honey Bee Day?



Friday, August 15, 2014

More RVing Friends Coming To Visit and Linda's New Hat

Rantoul, IL.

52 deg, clear, no wind.
Forecast =  Partly cloudy. Highs around 79°F. East southeast wind to 5 MPH.

At an RV RV Dreams Rally, quite a few years ago, Jim and Linda met a couple named Hank and Selene.  Well, after sending some messages back and forth, and since they are traveling through this area, they've decided to stop here at Prairie Pines for awhile. :-)  Mike and Terri also know them, so it should be a fun time. ;-)

Oh, speaking of Mike and Terri, I forgot to mention this yesterday. Most of you know that Linda had chemo treatments for her cancer. Well, you probably also know that chemo makes all of your hair fall out. Linda has been wearing some knit hats that she got from the American Cancer Society and they are very nice, but she only has a few of them that she likes. Well, the other night when Mike and Terri went to the Apple Dumplin' Restaurant with Jim and Linda, Terri gave Linda a really nice knit hat that she made!

That was really nice of Terri. Linda wore the hat most of yesterday and really likes it. Thank You Terri!!!! :-)

Hank and Selene should be arriving sometime this afternoon. The family with the 5th wheel that was in the site right next to us left yesterday and I'm thinking that Louise may put them in that site when they get here.

Did you know that  one of the earliest known examples of true knitting was cotton socks with stranded knit color patterns found in Egypt from the end of the first millennium AD?


Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Apple Dumplin' Restaurant

Rantoul, IL.

65 deg. clear, N. wind @ 8 mph.
Forecast = Mostly sunny. Highs around 77°F. North northwest wind to 7 MPH.

Not much happening the last few days but Tuesday, Jim and Linda asked Mike and Terri if they'd like to try out a restaurant that Jim had heard about from Louise, the Prairie Pines Campground host.

So, about 5:00 yesterday evening,  Jim , Linda, Mike and Terri all got into Big Red and headed the 11 or so miles over to the Apple Dumplin' Restaurant near Urbana, IL.

Louise said that the food was very good and nobody was disappointed. :-) So, what did they have for "Supper"? Mike had the hot beef sandwich which was huge with mashed taters and gravy, Terri had a BLT which was very large, Jim had chicken fried steak with glazed carrots and mashed taters and Linda had Swiss steak with corn and mashed taters.

The portions were large, the food was very good and the waitress was great!! This is definitely a restaurant that needs further study. ;-)

Now, there was one problem!!! The portions were so large that neither Jim, Linda, Mike or Terri were able to try out one of their famous Apple Dumplin's for desert!! :-(  They were just too full!!! I guess they'll just have to go back again some other time cause Louise says that the Dumplins are "to die for"!!!  :-)

It was about 6:30 when Big RED brought everyone back here to the park. For Jim and Linda, the rest of the evening was spent watching TV, reading, playing with the computer and relaxing after the very large and excellent meal.

Did you know that Apple dumplings are a native food in the northeastern United States, around Pennsylvania? A very common recipe among the Amish, it is often eaten as a breakfast item, but they are also a very common dessert item after meals. It's also popular to eat them with ice cream or in milk.



Monday, August 11, 2014

A Little More "Entertainment" and Lunch With Joe And His Family

Rantoul, IL.

68 deg. cloudy, NW wind @ 6 mph.
Forecast =  Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. Highs around 79°F. North northwest wind 1 to 6 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 55%.

All of the campers that were here for the weekend left yesterday morning providing a little more "Campground Entertainment". It's always fun to watch them try to get everything packed up and put away in their RVs and other vehicles. Most seem to bring way too much "stuff" and spend a good part of their weekend getting the "stuff" set up and then put away again. ;-) Then, of course, there's the hook-up process which in many cases is very entertaining.

By noon, almost all were on their way back to their homes and the CG was nice and quiet again. :-)

About 12:30 the phone rang and it was Joe, saying that they were just about to leave Momence and head to Gilman, IL to meet up for lunch. So, in just a few minutes, Jim and Linda took Big RED and headed up there to meet them.

The place they met was the K & H Truck Plaza at the intersection of US 24 and US 45, about 1/2 mile East of I-57. The K & H Truck Plaza has been in business since 1967 and is known for it's very good restaurant that serves home cooked meals, (not your usual truck stop food).  I don't think Joe or his family had ever been there before, but Jim and Linda had, and in fact Jim used to stop there when he was driving truck, many years ago.

The timing was good and Joe, Nancy, Sami and Amber got there just as Jim and Linda arrived. The timing was also good in another respect as the Sunday lunch crowd was just starting to leave and a table for 6 had just been cleared. :-)

The food at the restaurant did not disappoint.  Everyone had something different and everyone enjoyed their meal. Joe, had the fried chicken special, and said that it was excellent!! The service was also excellent, and the waitress was very friendly and efficient.

Being that the restaurant had pretty much emptied out by the time everyone was done eating, there was no reason to hurry so they all sat and talked for awhile. But, all too soon, it was time for Joe and his family to head back to Momence again. :-(   Out in the parking lot, after hugs all around, Jim and Linda headed back here to the CG and Joe and his family headed back to Momence.

It was a very good visit and a good meal. We'll be seeing them again in late Oct. or early Nov.

It was around 3:30 by the time Big RED brought Jim and Linda back here to the CG.

Did you know that on this date in 1860 - The first successful silver mill in America began operations? The mill was in Virginia City, NV. 


Sunday, August 10, 2014

An Answer To A Comment and A Long But Very Good Day

Rantoul, IL.

67 deg. mostly cloudy, NE wind @ 7 mph.
Forecast = Mostly cloudy with scattered storms. Highs around 81°F. Heat index around 85°F. East/ northeast wind to 5 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 30%.

First of all, I'd like to answer a question to a comment I received yesterday.

Selene & Hank asked how long we would be staying here at Prairie Pines CG because they may be coming to this area?  Our plans are to be here until at least the 1st of October to take care of Linda's cataracts and some other personal things. Then, sometime in October, (I don't know just when), we'll head out to the East Coast to see our 2 sons and then head down to FL, getting down there sometime, mid-November.

We'd love to see both of you, so come on by if you can. There'll be plenty of room anytime except the Labor Day weekend and possibly a site aviable even then.

Friday morning, Jim and Linda took Big RED and headed North to Wilmington, IL. The route they took was US 136 from Rantoul to IL-47 West of Fisher. Then they took 47 all the way up to Dwight, IL and then  "Historic Route 66" from Dwight to Wilmington.

It was about 90 miles up there, and it took almost 2 hours.

After the meeting with their Financial Adviser, (which lasted almost 2 hours and was very productive), they went across the street to the Chick A Dee Restaurant for a bite to eat. When they finished, they found out that their Financial Adviser had called and told the restaurant that he was picking up the tab!!!

Nice!!!! :-)  Thank You, Dean!

From Wilmington, they headed to Manteno, IL and to Jim's cousin's house. It's only abut 25 miles over there, but because of a detour and the town of Manteno to go through, it took about 45 minutes to get to Adeline's house.

Adeline was very happy to see Jim and Linda and they had a great visit with her, catching up on her life and that of her 2 adult sons and grand kids.  She hadn't even heard about Linda's medical problems, so they discussed that too.

About 3:30 after many hugs, Jim and Linda left and headed back down here to the CG. They took all 2 lane roads, county roads and US-45, (rather that I-57), so it took them about 1 hour and 45 minutes to travel the 77 miles from Manteno to here at Prairie Pines.

It ended up being a long day, but a very good and rewarding one. As I said, the meeting in Wilmington went very well and Adeline is doing OK, but she is thinking about moving to an "Assisted Living" facility because at 80 years old, she is starting to have trouble taking care of her house. It was good to see her again and hopefully, Jim and Linda will be able to go and visit her again next year.

Not much happened yesterday. Jim went to the County Market Grocery Store here in Rantoul and picked up some much needed groceries. Then, in the afternoon, he took a nap before cooking a part of a ham steak out on the grill while Linda cooked sweet corn-on-the-cob inside. The evening was spent watching British Comedies on TV.

Today, there are plans to go up to Gilman, IL to meet up with Joe and his family for lunch. Gilman is about 1/2 way between here and Momence, IL where they have been since they stopped by here very early  Thursday morning. It'll be just a short visit but at least Linda and Jim will be able to see them again before they head back to Virginia Beach tomorrow. :-)

Did you know that on this date in 1846 - The Smithsonian Institution was chartered by the U.S. Congress? The "Nation's Attic" was made possible by $500,000 given by scientist Joseph Smithson.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Campground Entertainment and Dinner With Mike and Terri

Rantoul, IL.

66 deg. mostly cloudy, East wind @ 7 mph.
Forecast = Mostly cloudy with scattered showers. Highs around 75°F. East wind to 13 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 45%.

They were forecasting rain for all day yesterday and I don't think we got a drop! It was quite cloudy most of the day, but no rain.

Quite a few RVs came into Prairie Pines yesterday, which provided some "Campground Entertainment". :-) I was looking out of the window

and across the street from us and down the road just a little, a group of trailers came in. Most of them are of the same brand, so I'm guessing that it's some kind of club gathering. Anyway, Paul led this one trailer to a site, got it positioned so that the utilities were lined up with the trailer hook-ups and then left. After Paul left, the owner of the trailer got out and evidently didn't like how the trailer was positioned on the site.

So,  ,  ,  ,  ,  he started backing up, pulling forward, backing up, pulling forward, back and forth, back and forth, all the while, cranking the truck's steering wheel one way and then the other. His wife was to the rear of the trailer, waiving her arms around in an effort to direct him, but either he didn't know the signals or he didn't want to follow her instructions. This went on for quite awhile and finally the man got out of the truck, waived his arms around and evidently, just gave up, leaving the trailer parked very close to where Paul and positioned him in the first place!! ;-)

Now, while this was going on, Paul brought in another trailer belonging to the group and guided it into the site along side of the first trailer. So, when the guy in the first trailer got out of his truck, he went over to help the 2nd trailer get positioned on it's site. Well, that didn't go well either and soon both of them gave up and just left the 2ne trailer where it was, after a whole bunch of jockeying around!! ;-)

Luckily neither of them ran over anything or hit anything.

Good old fashioned "Campground Entertainment"!! :-)

Being that Jim had been up since Joe called at 4:30 in the morning, he took a good long nap in the afternoon.

A couple days ago, Mike and Terri had called and asked if Jim and Linda would like to go out to eat and plans were made to go yesterday evening.  So about 5:00 Jim, Linda, Mike and Terri took Big RED and headed over to the Family Table Restaurant over on the East side of Rantoul.

Linda, Mike and Terri had the Pork Tenderloin sandwich and Jim  had  French Dip sandwich. Everyone said that their sandwiches were very good and decided that they'd like to go back to the Family Table again someday.

Of course one of the best things about the whole meal was getting to enjoy it with Mike and Terri. Jim and Linda really enjoy their company and always seem to find many things to talk about. :-)

This morning, Jim and Linda have an appointment with their financial adviser. His office is in Wilmington, IL which is about a 2 hour drive from here. After the appointment, they'll grab a bite to eat someplace and then head to Manteno, IL to see Jim's cousin, Adeline. Adeline lives alone now since her husband passed away awhile back and really likes it when Jim and Linda stop by to visit.

It'll be a long day, but Jim and Linda are looking forward to seeing Adeline.

A Point to Ponder:  Money can't buy happiness, but it makes your misery enjoyable.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Big News!!! More Big News!!! and Yet More Big News!!!

Rantoul, IL.

63 deg.overcast, E. wind @ 5 mph.
Forecast = Mostly cloudy with isolated showers. Highs around 79°F. East wind to 11 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 20%.

Big News!!!!!

While Jim and Linda were waiting for the doctor, yesterday, at Jim's eye doctor appointment, the phone rang and it was Joe, calling from Virginia Beach. Linda took the call and Joe told her that he and the 2 girls, (Sami and Amber), were leaving in an hour or so and heading to Illinois. He said that with all of them taking turns driving, he expected to be here early in the morning for a short visit!! :-) You see, they're actually coming to Illinois to go to the Gladiolus Festival  in the town where he was raised, has lots of friends and his father still lives.

Well, early in the morning was an understatement!!! About 4:30 AM the phone rang and it was Joe saying that they were only about 15 miles South of here!! Jim gave him detailed instructions about how to find us in the CG and soon they were pulling up and parking next to Big RED.

Jim went out to meet them and after lots of hugs, everyone came inside where there were more hugs with Linda. ;-)

Nancy was able to get off of work, so it was a pleasant surprise to see her too!!
It was just a little after 5:00 AM when Jim took these photos so they aren't real great!!

Nancy and Joe

Sami (As you can see, she's a freshman at Virginia Tech) 

Amber (She's a senior in high school in VA Beach)

Jim flipped the coffee pot on when he got up, so Joe and Nancy had a cup and the girls found some grapes in the fridge that they seemed to like.

Everyone was very tired after traveling all night, so after visiting for about an hour, they were on their way to Joe's father's house. Once there, they'll get some much needed sleep.

It sure was great to see them. It was only a short visit, but it had been a long time since Linda and Jim had seen Nancy, Sami and Amber. And, it did wonders for Linda's spirits. ;-) .

Now, more Big News!!!!

Jim's eye doctor appointment went very well and Dr. Anderson told him to keep on using the drops to control the glaucoma. She said that his eyes looked fine but she wants him to get scan of both eyes and also another test that I can't remember what it's called. She doesn't expect any problems though.

That, brings us to yet more Big News!!!!

I don't know if any of you are aware of it, but 2 years ago, Linda's Retinalogist, Dr. Gandhi, told her that she was starting to get cataracts in both of her eyes. Well, her vision is getting worse, so while Jim and Linda were discussing Jim's eyes with  Dr. Anderson, Linda asked her if she could do the surgery and remove her cataracts while we're here in Illinois. (Dr. Anderson specializes in cataract surgery).  She said that she didn't see why not and sent in the receptionist to make appointments for a pre-op check and the fist eye surgery which should be right after Linda sees Dr. Gandhi on the 22 of this month, to make sure she doesn't have any additional retina damage.


So,  ,  ,  , when Linda goes to Dr. Gandhi on the 22nd, Jim will get the scan of his eyes done at Dr. Gandhi's office. And, when she goes in for the pre-op soon after that, Jim will get the other test done at Dr. Anderson's. Then, if all goes well, soon after Labor Day, Linda will have surgery on one eye and surgery on the other one a weeks or 2 later.

After returning from the Doctor's, Jim took a little nap to rest his eyes. For dinner, Linda heated up some left-over pizza. After eating, they watched TV and read until bedtime.

Did you know that today is "Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day"?



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Shopping Trip and An Appointment For Jim

Rantoul, IL.

64 deg. partly cloudy, light fog.
Forecast = Partly cloudy with widespread heavy fog. Highs around 81°F. North northeast wind to 6 MPH.

Not a whole lot happening here in Rantoul. Yesterday, Big RED took Jim and Linda over to Walgreen's. Jim has Linda's "Mobility Chair"
"file photo"

 in the back of Big RED so they used that, so that Linda could go inside and buy some new make-up to replenish her current supply, some other items that they both needed and a new prescription from the doctor's visit last Wednesday.

Linda doesn't use the chair much anymore, but in this case, it was too far to walk without getting dizzy and needing a place to sit down, so it was easier.

After returning and resting up a bit, Jim fired up the grill and cooked a couple of small steaks while Linda cooked an ear of sweetcorn for herself and some peas for Jim. (Linda doesn't like peas). :-(

That steak sure smelled good!!!! ;-)

 The evening was spent watching the TV, reading and using the computer.

Today, Jim has an appointment at 1:00 with his eye doctor to have his glaucoma checked. Her office is on the South side of Champaign, so they'll have to allow somewhere between 1/2 and 3/4 of an hour to get there on time.

This is one of the appointments that was missed last fall when Linda was diagnosed with cancer and we rushed down to Florida. Dr. Anderson was good enough to renew the prescription for the eye drops over the phone though, so Jim has been able continue to use them every day.

Did you know that on this date in  1952 - Satchel Paige, at age 46, became the oldest pitcher to complete a major league baseball game?


Monday, August 4, 2014

A Cookout

Rantoul, IL.

62 deg, clear, no wind.
Forecast = Partly cloudy with scattered storms. Highs around 84°F. Southwest wind to 5 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 35%.

The weather continued to be very nice, so Jim and Linda invited Mike and Terri over for a cook-out yesterday. Jim cooked burgers on the grill, Linda cooked sweet corn-on-the-cob inside and Mike and Terri brought a macaroni salad and a lettuce salad.

They gathered outside at the picnic table to enjoy the good food that everyone put together and great conversation before, during and after the meal. ;-)

After eating, Mike and Terri helped bring all the "stuff" from the meal inside and then, because it was getting "buggy" outside, everyone came inside to visit some more.

After a little while, Terri helped Linda put together an angel food cake, pear and cool whip desert that everyone seemed to really enjoy. :-)  By the time they finished the desert, it was nearing 8:00 and Terri needed to return to their trailer to take some medications, so they headed back to their 5th wheel.

Again, it was a very good day with very good friends. I don't know how long Mike and Terri will be staying here at Prairie Pines, but I hope it'll be for quite awhile yet.

Did you know that today is "National Chocolate Chip Day"?


Friday, August 1, 2014

Good Doctor's Report

Rantoul, IL.

62 deg. partly cloudy, no wind.
Forecast = Partly cloudy with scattered storms. Highs around 81°F. South wind to 5 MPH. Chance of precipitation near 40%.

Just a quick note to bring you up-to-date.

Linda's doctor's appointment went well Wednesday morning. The doctor renewed her prescriptions and wants to see her in a month to keep an eye on her blood pressure that has been erratic since the chemo treatments.

Since Linda couldn't eat before the blood test, she and Jim went to the Blue Star Family restaurant for breakfast before coming back here to the park. ;-)

We've had really nice weather around here lately, but the temperatures are starting to slowly climb back towards the mid eighty's (where they should be for this time of year), and the humidity is starting to go up some. Today, they're forecasting possible rain for the first time in over a week and it looks like it's going to be warmer and more humid for the next week or so.

Because it's been quite windy lately, Jim's allergies have been acting up and he's been doing a lot of sneezing and blowing. :-(  A little rain may help that situation though.

Nothing much planned for the weekend. Jim's thinking that maybe they'll have a cook-out with Mike and Terri either Saturday or Sunday, depending on the weather and what else is going on.

Did you know that August is "National Catfish Month"?