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October 15, 2009

Modern Electronic Marvels and What they mean to the RV'er

     As one lives and Travels in an RV, specifically if you are full-time as we are, any "Modern Electronic Marvel"  is welcomed especially if it assists with the life style in any way.  Oh, to be sure there are full-time RV'ers out here enjoying the life style and they do so without even the use of a computer.  Being in the camp (no pun intended), of one who is somewhat "teck savvy" the modern electronic gadgets that can assist with the day to day tasks and or just plain add enjoyment to the day such as this computer does and our blog-------------well, where would I start.

     Obviously the computer has to be high on the list but anyone reading this has one and at the very least can do e-mail and read a blog so I won't dwell on it.

     One electronic tool that makes our travels so interesting and relaxed is the GPS (global positioning system).  I am blown away by what it is capable of doing for us as we boogie down the road.

     Usually some time before we actually start the engine and hit the road we have decided about how far we are going to drive on this given day and have a target town or region in mind.  When I do sit down to fire up the engine I will turn the GPS on and with one or two clicks I have told it where we want to go!  From there it uses the Satellites above to program our route.  A screen comes up that immediately tells us how many miles for todays trip and the estimated time to travel that distance based on our driving style.  With a few more clicks, I can ask it if there are any campgrounds or RV Parks that we have memberships in within range of our targeted end to our day.  That information pops up with addresses and phone numbers and asks us to tap on the one we want, then it asks if we want to go there.  Say yes, and we are off following a live voice that tells us every turn we need to make.  Should we somehow screw up a pleasant voice at first comes on and says, "please make a u-turn", if we  do not comply the voice becomes a little more demanding and usually drops the please, only to say "make a u-turn".  Now if we continue to ignore the plea,---------------well you get the picture, I won't tell you what comes next.

     Following arrival at our destination, we can tell the GPS that we are ready to go out to eat.  It will offer us a variety of food categories such as, American, Mexican, Fast-Food, etc, etc, etc.  We make our selection and press "go to" and were off, again being told every turn and within minutes we are in the parking lot.  No hassle anymore asking someone how to find "Grandma's Kitchen" which we have heard has good food.  The GPS knows where it is and takes us directly there.

     When we are rolling along if we decide we need to stop for fuel we can ask the GPS where the next diesel stop is and from the POI's (points of interest) that I have specifically downloaded to the unit such as all the Flying J, Loves, and or Petro diesel stops in the U.S., again, it will give us choices and all we have to do is press "go to" and we can count on being directed right to the pump.

     I can see how great this is going to be as we continue with this life style.  At 100 yrs old as long as I can turn my hearing aid up high enough to hear the directions, all I will have to do is turn left when I'm told to and or right when I am told to.   I bet our kids are wondering if they will ever be able to take the keys away.  Maybe the thing will even have collision avoidance features by then.  Kathleen says already it would be nice if it would just ask us before we pull out on the highway, "have you pulled in the awning, or taken down the TV antenna, or raised the jacks, etc. etc. etc."  hmmmm 

     I will have to work on that!

October 14, 2009

New Hip -- Day 19

     Post-script to the previous blog!  We now know potentially when we will be leaving this area as the 6 week follow-up appointment has been scheduled.  That appointment is set for Monday, November 2.  It is early enough in the day that if they give Kathleen the OK to depart the area we will hit the road with the 'tininthewind's' nose pointed South.

     It is such a good feeling to now know a target date that we may indeed be able to head South.

     It will probably not be necessary to continue with the "New Hip -- Day ??" theme of our blog as we go forward as Kathleen is doing great in her recovery and already very little is slowing us down.  We will of course continue to post any news relevant to the recovery.

     Stay tuned for the announcement of plans going forward.  We will begin to look at our options.  That in itself is exciting

October 12, 2009

New Hip -- Day 17

     Today was the first check up for Kathleen, post surgery.  First she would meet with one of Dr. Lawrence's PA's to basically check her well being, incision, leg swelling, and overall progress.  Then following that appointment Kathleen would have a check up with a physical therapist, Mr. Jim Bacon.

     There is good news and there is bad news (well not really bad news, just deflating news).  Kathleen is responsible for the good news and I am proud of her.  Both the PA and the Physical Therapist were pleased with her progress and gave her high marks for being well ahead of the average at two weeks post op.

     Now for the deflating news, and I take full responsibility for it.  Way back in the infancy of trying to get this hip surgery scheduled I made up a calendar and I would write down all of her appointments with the date, time, and whom with.  On this calendar I had written an appointment with Dr. Lawrence, Kathleen's surgeon for Oct. 15th (this coming Thursday).  Makes sense, and no reason to doubt the appointment as he probably would want to check her out after a couple weeks post op.  Looking at this appointment timing, the fact that it is getting cold in this area, the fact that Kathleen is doing extremely well, everyone including Dr. Lawrence aware of our unique life style and needs, I let my optimism get away from me and started to think on this coming Thursday he would examine her and tell us we were good to go, and believe me. off to warmer weather we would have headed.

     Not so fast------------there is no appointment scheduled for this coming Thursday.  In fact there is no future appointment scheduled with Dr. Lawrence, at least not yet.  We had always been aware that they like to keep tabs on their hip and knee replacement patients for at least 6 weeks and that six weeks won't be up till Nov. 6th. 

     Having discovered the error in our thinking that we had an appointment this Thursday and would be able to plead our case for early departure and now finding out we do not have an appointment scheduled we did ask when we could expect to hear when her check up would be.  We are told that Dr. Lawrence is not seeing patients the first week in Nov. (remember 6 wks is up Nov. 6th) but they would let us know the date of her appointment.

     Talk about 'taking the wind out of your sails'.  Thus, a deflating end to the day!



October 10, 2009

New Hip -- Day 15

Place TemperatureHumidityPressureConditionsWindUpdated
La Crosse, Wisconsin  39 °F 38%30.29 in (Steady) ClearWNW at 12 mph 12:53 PM CDT
Rockport, Texas  67 °F 73%30.10 in (Falling) OvercastNNE at 9 mph 12:53 PM CDT
La Feria, Texas  72.0 °F 75%29.91 in (Steady) OvercastNW at 5.2 mph 1:46 PM CDT
Yuma, Arizona  85 °F 20%29.80 in (Falling) Mostly CloudyCalm10:51 AM MST
Emory, Texas  57.0 °F 82%30.16 in (Falling) OvercastNNW at 4.0 mph 1:46 PM CDT
Branson, MissouriFlood Warning Record Report Local Storm Report Public Information Statement   50 °F 76%30.23 in (Falling) Mostly CloudyNE at 5 mph 12:50 PM CDT

Edit My Favorite Cities List


     It is Saturday mid afternoon and you can see that we are not warming up here in La Crosse very much today.  I got up to make one of those "senior trips to the bathroom" about 5:00 a.m. and it was 30*.

     Above is an example of what I follow on one of the weather programs that I like to check each day.  As part of this program I am able to create a list of "Favorite Cities" and follow their weather as it is occurring.  The list above pretty much shows the eventual direction we will be heading when we get released from the hip recovery thing.  I include Yuma, AZ only because our good friends Al and Jean are there with their motor home as they prepare to head down in to Mexico and I like to see what they are experiencing.  You may like to try this INTERNET weather program for yourself.  It is a very good program.

Click on it and give it a try.


     The long range forcast is saying that this should be the coldest day of the next fourteen.  I sure hope they are right.

     Kathleen continues to do really well with her recovery.  She will be evaluated by her physical therapy folks on Monday of this week and then will be examined by Dr. Lawrence, her surgeon on Thursday.  I can't help but believe that they will all be impressed with her progress. 

October 05, 2009

New Hip -- Day 10

     Kathleen continues to improve with leaps and bounds every day.  Today she was required to report to the lab to have her blood drawn so they could decide how many milligrams of blood thinner she should take.  It was her idea to stop along the way and have breakfast at one of our favorite little restaurants.  When we arrived there she said, "leave the walker in the car, just hand me my cane".  She walked in to that restaurant like there was no tomorrow.  I am going to have to rein her in a little I think.

     The weather continues to be very bleak in this part of the country.  Low temps through the 14th of October are hopefully going to stay in the mid 30's.  Then if we can get a couple of weeks of 'Indian Summer' to take us to Nov. 1st we will be sitting pretty.

     Kathleen has an appointment with her physical and occupational therapists one week from today (Oct. 12th) and I trust they will be as surprised as I am about her progress.  She also has an appointment with her surgeon, Dr. Lawrence on Oct. 15th.


October 02, 2009

New Hip -- Day 7

     Hardly seems possible that it is the 7th day following Kathleen's hip replacement.  We moved today from Viroqua, Wisconsin and the fair grounds to Vernon Memorial Campground at West Salem, Wisconsin  so as to have water hook-up, and 50 amp electric.  It has been a very rainy, and cool few days and it looks like more of that is in the forcast.  We will stay here two nights and then will move to Goose Island Campground just south of La Crosse, Wisconsin and camp along our beloved Mississippi River for the rest of October.

     Since we are in West Salem we are going to go visiting our good friends Dewey and Mary Crocker tomorrow.  Kathleen has no trouble going in and out of our Motor Home and no problem getting in and out of the car.  Friends in the area, beware, to pass the time we may just come calling.

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