Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dancing to a New Ankle.............

     Well the time is finally here.  First it was years, then  months, then weeks, then days, and now it's about 16  hours until my surgery for a total ankle replacement.  It's scheduled for 11am tomorrow morning at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, AZ.  We're taking the Class C motorhome up there for Gary and Bandit to stay in.  Rusty is staying home with a friend from our park taking him out and keeping him company.  Here's a drawing of what the ankle replacement looks like.
     Bandit had his neuter surgery and a hernia repair last week.  He had to wear the cone of shame, because of licking his stitches.  Now, if only I could heal as fast as he did.

     I mentioned we really liked the Show Low, AZ area.  It looks like we'll be able to get a summer home there next year.  This is a rough picture of it.  I'll include more when we actually close on it next July.

     To travel there, we go through the beautiful Salt River Canyon between Show Low and Globe, AZ.  Here's a picture of that area.

          Here's a turkey vulture airing out his wings on the road in front of our park.  Nothing special, but I though it was interesting.

     Of course we also have our glorious sunsets.

     That's it for now.  Time to get this posted.  The next time I blog, I will have a new ankle.  YIPEE!!!
Dancing to a new ankle....................
Hugs, Katy, Gary, Rusty, and Bandit too!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Dancing to Dr.'s with Medicare

     We made one last trip to Salt Lake City, UT, to visit with Gary's family before leaving Wyoming.  It's only 75 miles from Evanston, so we make several trips during the summer.  While it's always hard to say goodbye, but we'll look forward to seeing them again next summer.  While there  I stocked up on several 12 packs of Vanilla Diet Pepsi.  We bought several pounds of our favorite bacon at Ken's Kash in Oakley, UT, several packages of Kluski noodles at Smith's, and got some Henna lip balm at Anita's Hair Salon.  These are all items that we cannot get in Arizona.  On the other hand, Arizona does have Trader Joe's.  We understand they are opening a store in Salt Lake City next year, so we'll look forward to that.
      In the couple weeks before we left, we bid farewell and good wishes to two grandsons' heading for college. Cory was heading to Northwest Comm. College in Powell, WY for his second year and Keegan was heading to University of Wyoming in Laramie, for his first year.   It will be fun to hear from them during the year.  I know they will both do well.
     We enjoyed Cowboy Days over Labor Day weekend and the PRCA Rodeo's in town.  At one time it was our favorite weekend with all the country dances.  Now we enjoy seeing and getting together with old friends at the rodeos.
     One of our last activities was helping the local Volunteer Fire Department with their annual fundraiser, the demolition derby.  We have done this the past several years, in Robert's memory.  We enjoy it and it allows us to stay involved with the fire department.
     A couple days before we were set to leave Evanston, we got a message from old friends who would be coming through on the same day we were scheduled to leave.  Since our plans are fairly fluid, we postponed leaving by a day and enjoyed the visit with Mabel and Lloyd, old managers from RoVer's Roost, our RV park in AZ.  We even got to meet their two new furry traveling companions. 
Geocahe #2,525

     Our trip South was fun and uneventful, considering we were traveling with an ill car.   The Warrior performed just fine, but our Honda was without the ability to charge.  Having been told, after diagnosis that the problem was the alternator, we ordered one and Gary spent a whole day taking the old one out and putting the new one in.  While this is a 2 hour job in a mechanic's shop, when you don't have the tools, or the experience, it easily becomes an all day event.  When it still wouldn't charge after Gary finished, it was really disappointing.  Rather than delay our leaving and deal with mechanics we didn't know in a Honda dealership, Gary decided we could leave anyway.  Since we were towing the car, it worked out fine.  We charged it with the motorhome when we got where we were going and only drove it minimally, recharging it after we got back.  It all worked out and we were able to see everything we really wanted to see.  It restricted us slightly on our geocaching, but we still managed to get 25 caches on our trip.   Back in Casa Grande, we took it to Gary's favorite mechanic, who diagnosed a bad alternator.  We ordered another one, exchanged the one Gary had put in, and after Bill replaced a fuse, it is back in working order.

     We started off in Richfield, Utah where I visited their quilt shop and Gary enjoyed the golf course.  We stayed at the Elk's, which is right on the course.  From there we went to Lone Rock Beach, UT, just north of Page, AZ.

We had stayed here last Spring and really enjoyed being able to camp on the beach, despite all the sand in the rig.  It takes a really, really good sweeping when we leave, to get all the sand out.  While there, we toured Upper Antelope Canyon.  This had long been a goal of ours, but we had always put it off.  This time we made the reservations and really enjoyed the tour.  It's on Navajo reservation, so you need to go with a Navajo guide or tour company.  We spent about an hour in the lower canyon.  It was all level and only about 1/4 of a mile long, so Katy could handle it.  I'll include a few pictures, but they don't really do it justice.  There is also a Lower Antelope Canyon, but it has more elevation change, with ladders, etc.  We'll tour that one another time.

     From there we went on to Meteor Crater, AZ to visit with friends from 7 years ago when we worked there.  As usual, it was loads of fun to catch up with Paul and Faith and hear what all they had been doing.  After two days, we went on to Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ.  We stayed at Scotty's Reservoir there.  Its a nice campground that is free, with a five day stay limit.  There were volunteer camphosts there this time, so things were in great shape.  We visited the local quilt shop, or course, and friends from the Roost, Frank and Suzanne.  We really like this area and hope to spend more time there in the future.

     Then it was back to the Roost, a little early, but we wanted to get things opened up, unpacked, and settled in before Katy's  Dr. appt. on Oct. 1st.  Bandit did pretty good on the trip south.  Like most kids, everything goes in his mouth.  It will be nice when that phase is over with and he has his permanent teeth.  Although he was a little young, his fur had gotten soooooooo long and heavy that we just knew he  had to be miserable in the heat, so we took the plunge and had him groomed.  While Katy will most likely do it in the future, she thought it would be easier to keep up with it after having it done professionally once.  They did a beautiful job and it was fun to discover there was a real dog under all that fur.  He looks just as cute and is still just as mischievous.

     Since everything goes in Bandit's mouth, I cleaned out all the books and magazines under our coffee table.  Within a few minutes Bandit decided it was a pretty good bed.  I added the cushion from his night time bed and now he has a day time bed too.

    Well today is October 1st, as I write this section.  It is a momentous day, as it is my first day on Medicare and it has been put to good use already.  I met with my ankle surgeon today and had 3 x-rays there.  He agreed with the previous two Dr.'s that an ankle replacement is the best option for my right ankle.  We discussed three different devices and which would be the best for me.  Then he ordered a CT to evaluate the structures and bone around my ankle to make sure all the devices were suitable or weed out any that would not work.  He'll call me with the results of that and then we'll schedule the surgery.  Most likely it will be in 2-4 weeks.  It's scary, but exciting to finally be doing something to end the pain.

     I've had a lot of people ask me what caused my ankle to deteriorate.  In the research I've done, I found out that an ankle that has had severe trauma &/or been broken is 70% more likely to develop post traumatic arthritis.  I broke my right (bad) ankle in 1984 and  my left ankle (no problems so far) in 1987.  Other than that, who knows why these things develop.  I learned long ago not to say, "why me?"  The only answer is, "why not me?"  I know we've been very fortunate over the years to have good health, so I'm not complaining.  I may not run again, but look forward to walks, hikes, and especially dancing.  I'll post on facebook when the surgery date is set, but will probably not do another blog until a month or so after surgery.
     RoVer's Roost fell victim to a 100 year flood this summer on July 4th.  A few sheds were affected, but the main damage was to the clubhouse.  Although there was only a few inches of water inside, it soaked up the sheet rock inside and ruined all the carpeting.  In a flood, it's never clean water, but very dirty.  Repairs are underway, with the sheetrock having been replaced and the painting finished last week.  What a mess for our poor summer residents.  Here's a picture from near the entrance to the park.
     I almost forgot to mention the excitement that awaited me the first time I did laundry at the Roost.  I'd had gone over to change loads from the washer to the dryer, parked my scooter and gone inside.  After a few minutes I came back out to wait for the other load to finish.  I stepped outside and then heard a funny noise.  I started looking around and saw the rattler about 2-3 feet away from me.  I must have stepped over or next to it as I came outside.  Lord only knows where it was before I went inside.  Even with a bad ankle, I moved quickly away, screaming and hollering for Gary as I went.  He got Francis, our Manager, who removed it from the park.  I guess I must have momentarily forgot to breathe during this, as I was gasping for air when Gary got there.  In the picture, the snake is in the same coiled position, he was in when I first saw him.  You can see the door sill to the laundry.  He hadn't moved for at least 10 minutes (guess, my screaming scared him).  The next Sunday Gary was doing laundry and found a scorpion behind the laundry, so definitely beware of the creepy, crawlies back there.

    That's it on this end.  Until I write again, I'm dancing to the Dr.'s with Medicare........................
     Hugs, Katy, Gary, Rusty, and Bandit too!