Thursday, April 17, 2014

They Stole Our What?

So, things are a bit of a mess right now. We got to Junction City, the only city on earth that has thousands of RV dealers and NO Internet. We are now at Guaranty RV center, the best service place on the planet if you listen to other RVers, ensconced in their free RV "park." Basically, it's a giant parking lot with lots of RVs, and some hookups. We have power. We have water.We have no sewer (thank God/dess we emptied our tanks before leaving Newport). Most important, we have no Internet.

And since we're still working on organizing, lots of our "organization" fell apart on the road from Newport to Corvallis. I've spent the evening picking up and putting away things I've already picked up and put away.  Time to get out the museum putty and nail this shit to the wall or counters or any other horizontal or vertical space I can find.

Since we have no propane, we can't cook unless we use the microwave or the coffee pot. We do have a gas leak, hence the empty tanks. One of many things we will get fixed while here. So we had to go find food. In Eugene, 10 miles away, because there is no food that I could see in Junction City, only RVs.

After a fine dinner at KFC, we went to Fred Meyers to get a few things. Since I overdid yesterday, I waited in the car while Jenny went in. After awhile, she came out to tell me she needed my debit card. Hers was at home, as was her wallet.

She went back into the store and came back to tell me someone had stolen our groceries. Fortunately, a) we hadn't paid for them yet and b) the clerk chased the guy down and got them back. We now have grapes, mayonnaise, and flea stuff for the animals.

Yes, the animals have fleas already. Of course, they have had fleas many times before. But usually we don't forget to put that flea stuff on their necks that creeps down their bodies and causes the fleas to die or jump ship.

I took NO pictures today, being mostly in pain. But I do have some good ones to upload for later.

Keep coming back for more of the adventures of two old batts....We'll see you soon. In fact, Portland peeps, we will be in PDX next Monday to run some errands. If you need us, we'll try to hook up.

And, BTW, in addition to our usual phones, we also have a Verizon phone. If you can't reach us on T-Mobile (the Burgerville of cell phones...Oregon and Washington folks know what I mean) you'll have to call us on the McDonalds phone. That number is 971-801-4415.

Time to go find my Nook which seems to have gone missing somewhere in the truck. With no Internet and no TV (I just don't feel like figuring it out tonight), I guess I need to read a book. Like that's news. Right now I'm reading Stephen King's sequel to The Shining. It's called Dr. Sleep and has the scope of The Stand. I'm loving it.  And then a new Alex Cross mystery (written by James Patterson) is waiting for me tomorrow at the Multnomah County Library.

On Overdoing and Some Successes

Some of you may be aware that I have a tendency to overdo on good days. It's not that I hate good days; I love them. But when a fibromyalgiac (great word I made up, huh?) has a really good day, we like to take advantage of them. Which, of course, causes bad days. Yesterday (Tuesday) was a good day. Good weather, lots of energy. Let's go swimming!

We are trying to exercise every day, and this was not the first time I've been swimming since this adventure began. But I know I have to observe ridiculous limits to avoid flares. Well, instead of 20 minutes of water exercise, I did 35. Nothing wrong with that, you think. Well, then, you don't have fibro. Twenty solid minutes of water exercise is my outside limit. Thirty five is beyond the pale.

Today I am paying for it. And, to top it off, today we had to drive which meant we had to close up the fiver and then set it up again. It also meant travel on a crappy road, with lots of bumps, and, because travel days always mean extra work, I got in and out of the truck NINE times. I know. That's only half as many as last time, and Jenny was very kind when I finally announced I was not getting in the truck again, but I'm afraid tomorrow will be a not-so-good day. I can already feel it in my muscles and brain (yes, you heard that right. My brain.)

On top of all that, tomorrow they come at 10:30 am to take our trailer into the service bay. So, until sometime tomorrow afternoon, we will be homeless. And we'll have to box up the cats and take them in the truck with us. I can hardly wait.

On the success side, Jenny and I are both working at losing weight and so far I've lost 10 pounds and she's lost 8. My goal is to lose 62 pounds in the next year, a pound for each year. I'd brag that I'm ahead of Jenny except then I'd get jinxed. You'll have to do the bragging for me.

Our youngest kid, Meg, has challenged us to do the Whole 30 plan starting the day after Easter. Oh, and my Lenten discipline was to give up Diet Cola for the duration. I've been drinking iced tea instead. I did cheat once, when we went to see a movie and they had nothing I could drink. But it was Sunday and Sundays, as all you good Christians know, are always feast days. Which explains why Lent is 40 days long and not 46 or 47. SUNDAYS DON'T COUNT!

Will I go back to Diet Cola? Who knows. Maybe occasionally, maybe not.

Later, gators.

Look What I Can Do!

Before we left PDX, I splurged and bought a good camera to take on the trip. I was planning to get a Canon EOS T3 but was a bit nervous about having to think about things like f stops and apertures and light meters and all that stuff.  Then I heard about something called "bridge cameras." These are for those of us who want to pretend we know what we're doing, but don't actually have a clue and prefer to remain clueless.

I bought a Fujifilm Finepix S8200 for about half the price of the Canon AND I can actually make it do things. Cool things. Look:

 Probably the coolest picture I've ever taken.

  This is either a buoy, an oil rig, or the tin man after he's been attacked by seagulls and left to rot in Newport Bay.

  See that thing at the bottom? It's a seal!

Basking in Immediatelessness

Aside from the fact that we had plans to be in Southern California this week, we have no place in particular to be and nothing in particular to do. I'm sure we'll find causes and tasks and challenges, but so far retirement has been just doing what we feel like doing. Oh, and putting the stuff in the RV away.

Here's a picture from the process:


It gets a bit better every day, and we've already made a trip to Goodwill to get rid of stuff. Downsizing is actually pretty fun when you get going....Of course it would help if the big slide could open and if we were both taller. Some of the cupboards are up there. Well, and I accidentally dropped the little step stool back behind a recliner in the slide and can't reach it. 

Speaking of short people, over the past year (since we got rid of both cars and bought the truck) I've been pretty much stuck at home most of the time. I've only gone out in the truck three or four times a week. That's pretty much fine with me, but it created a problem last week.

In one day, I climbed in and out of our huge Ram 250 EIGHTEEN times. That's EIGHTEEN times up and EIGHTEEN times down. For some of you, that is nothing. But remember this: short people. To get in, I have to stand on the running board, which is almost waist high (well, maybe knee high, but still too high) grab hold of what I'm pretty sure is the sissy bar, and hoist my not inconsiderable girth up until I can get both feet on the running board.  (Did I mention that rainy night, and the big rock that I couldn't see? The running board on my side is a little smashed which makes all of this more difficult.)

Once I'm on the running board, I still have to turn around so that I can fold into the seat the right way. Trust me. Not easy. Oh, sure, if you're tall, or young, or limber. But upper middle-aged, fat, and fibro-y does not make this an easy task.  Now multiply by EIGHTEEN.

Then, to get out, I have to believe that the ground is really there. Since I've never been too sure about gravity (and made an appointment with the school priest when I was in third grade to discuss the matter), and I wonder if things exist if I'm not there to observe them, every time I get out of the truck I have to slide cautiously down the seat until I run into the ground. Sometimes I actually run into the ground and that doesn't work well with torn ligaments in my ankle. Old news. Go read some posts from last year. Or do you think I had a cast on my leg for eight months just to get attention? Another reason I don't drive much.

So, doing this EIGHTEEN times in one day left me with some very sore muscles. So sore I could barely move. In fact, I was beginning to worry that my walking days were over. Breathe easy. I'm okay. But I sure wasn't.

What I learned: I still have fibromyalgia even though I've pretty much retired from everything else. I'm still short. Lifting my body in and out of a truck should only be done three or four times a day. Fibro still sucks, still causes extreme pain, and still prevents me from being as active as I'd like to be.

Breakfast with Fat Albert

Our friend Liz wanted to see us off so we agreed on breakfast the day we left. This is Liz:

This is Fat Albert's in Sellwood:

 A great little breakfast place. Only serves breakfast. If it's crowded, sit at the group table and meet some new people.

Look who we ran into:

  This is an ex-boyfriend of our youngest daughter. Chase used to want to be a medical examiner and had a very scary MySpace page that had all the parents twisting. But we knew he was a good kid and we were right. He's now an accountant, with his own business. He's the kind of kid who ran for class parent by being funny and ridiculous and won. Then did a good job. (Lincoln peeps, think David Polonoff's run for Student Body President and the fur-lined mukluks.)

 Special thanks to Dan Quayle (Dan Who?) for the sentiment. Special thanks to me for getting it sideways. 

Blog? What Blog? or SHEEEE"S BAAAACK!

I know, we promised a blog. And there shall be a  blog. But we're on the shakedown part of this cruise, discovering new things all the time. For example, blogs require Internet, something the Oregon Coast seems to lack in any reasonable speeds. And here at Whaler's Rest, just south of Newport, there isn't even cell service.

We finally escaped  Beavercreek on April 6th, just a couple of weeks later than planned. This was due to unforeseen circumstances, such as the RV falling off a stabilizer while we were in Seattle visiting the middle child. At 3 am. Cats and humans flew in all directions, one of us assuming that the entire West Coast was heading into the Pacific and/or Mt. Rainier was erupting. The other one went outside and fixed it. Sort of. But this meant another trip to Curtis Trailers (whom I don't really trust), another unreasonable delay, and one cat who absolutely refused to get out of the RV.

Yes, we are traveling with cats. Three of them. More on that later. When the RV finally came back, we had to hurry and stow stuff, but were unable to open the slides because there was no power. We, of course, have no idea how to open them otherwise, although I suspect there is a crank or something. Of course, maybe the crank is just me.

We spent two nights at Silver Spur RV in Silverton, making trips back and forth to the house. At last, we took our overloaded fifth wheel out on the road, all the way to Newport. That's about 153 miles from our former home in Beavercreek. We were on our way.

Until we tried to put the living/dining room slide out. The RV has been to Curtis twice to have this problem fixed, and each time they told us it worked just fine. Even though they had to come to the house one time to put it in for us.

Short story: slide wouldn't go out. Called two different (and highly recommended BY CURTIS) RV specialists here at the coast, only to have both of them tell us the slide was faulty, the problem was structural, and continuing to try to open the slide could lead to the entire wall of the RV exploding. Somebody tell Scott it's not too late to follow us around with that video camera. An exploding wall could make for great television.

So we're still in Newport, waiting for our appointment with Guaranty RV in Junction City (supposedly the best in the country) starting on April 17th. It should take only two to four weeks to fix (by replacing the slide), quite an improvement over Curtis keeping the trailer for six months while watching our warranty run out and doing virtually nothing. Not even ordering the parts. There will be discussions.

More to come.....