Wednesday, April 27, 2011

GOODBYE CHECKERS AND MAX

Al and Kelly at the Bayfield Bunch have lost two of their beloved dogs this week. Checkers of a serious illness and Max of old age. My heart goes out to them and the great sadness they are feeling.

CORRECTION

Okay gang. In yesterday’s post I mentioned that Jim just dropped me off at the dentist’s and then drove away – coward that he is.

That’s not exactly the way it happened and I want to make sure everyone knows the truth.

I sent him away. He would have come in with me, he would have held my hand, he would do anything I needed him to do to protect and help me. Why do you think I married him? He’s my knight in shining armor.

But I really didn’t know how long this appointment was going to take and he had already given up fishing to take me to the dentist. (One of the drawbacks of only have one vehicle.) So I put on my big girl panties and decided I could handle it by myself. As it turns out there was no drilling or filling so no big deal.

I still am in pain. I was so hoping that fixing the bite would take care of the problem. But no such luck. So I’ll call Dr. Trevor again today and see if we can try the antibiotic route. I’m also going to talk to him about a mouth guard thingie like a couple of readers have suggested.

David – that scotch suggestion sure makes a lot of sense and let me tell you, if they don’t figure something out pretty soon, my posts could get really interesting as I take you up on that suggestion.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

PAIN AND AGONY

IMG_0791 Easter was a wonderful day. After Church we took my Aunt Happy out to the Black Angus for Easter dinner. The Black Angus was one of her and Uncle Don’s favorite restaurants when Uncle Don was still alive and I think she really enjoyed reliving some memories of those times.

She is slowing down somewhat – not her mind but her body. Mainly her balance isn’t as good as it used to be. She fell out of bed a couple of times and couldn’t get herself back into bed. So she now has a hospital type bed and seems to love it. It keeps her low enough to the ground so if she does fall out she won’t get hurt and she can climb back in again. Still amazing for being almost 98.

Monday, I finally bit the bullet. I have had a tooth ache for the last week and a half. You need to realize how much I hate going to the dentist. One of those really irrational fears. But I didn’t have any choice. I couldn’t stand the pain any longer.

Being a retired Federal employee, our dental insurance is really lousy but I figure every penny helps. I went to the Blue Cross website,  found a list of providers in Apache Junction and picked the first one on the list. Remember, I’m desperate at this time.

They were able to get me in at 1:45. Jim dropped me off (coward that he is for not going in with me) and said call me when you’re done. I filled out all the paperwork and let me tell you – these were the nicest, friendliest group of people I have ever dealt with in a doctor or dentist’s office. Really amazing customer service.

Climbed into the dentist chair – trying to be brave. Lori took a couple of X-rays and it didn’t even hurt. Boy, have they really improved that procedure. I used to hate those big things they stick in your mouth and then tell you to bite down when you can’t because the x-ray thingie is so huge. These new ones actually fit in your mouth.

She and I both looked at the x-rays and things are not looking good at all. She goes out and in comes Dr. Trevor Caffall. He looks like he’s about 12 years old. Not really, but he’s young. He looks at the X-rays, taps on my teeth, pokes around in my mouth and then looks at me and says – “I can’t find anything wrong.” The X-rays show absolutely no signs of any cavities or infections or anything that could be causing my pain.

At this point, I want to do nothing but cry. I can’t live with this pain anymore. Dr. Trevor does some singing along with the oldies music that is playing (really oldies for him) and some thinking, and tries a few other pokings and tappings. He then tells me that all he can do is make an educated guess and there are two things that could be the problem.

1. I could have a sinus infection which is causing the pain to show up in my teeth. However, this is not likely. It really doesn’t show up in the X-rays and I don’t feel like I have any allergy type issues. He had me bend forward while standing and shake my head really hard. The pain didn’t get any worse so we ruled this one out.

2. I may have bitten down onto something really hard and stretched the ligaments that hold my tooth into place. I should also tell you, that tooth is an anchor for a bridge. The ligaments are inflamed and the tooth has no where to go but to push upwards and that makes my bite misaligned. Dr. Trevor ground down the tooth and told me to give it a couple of days to see if the pain eases.

If this doesn’t work, we really aren’t sure what we will be doing. Please, please, please let this work.

I was really impressed with Canyon Vista Dental Center here in Apache Junction. I do know that if we ever need a dentist in this area, this is definitely where we will go.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

HE IS RISEN

He Is Not Here, but Is Risen

By President Thomas S. Monson

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus took a text from Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound” (Isaiah 61:1; see also Luke 4:18)—a clear pronouncement of a divine plan to rescue the sons and daughters of God. But Jesus’s preaching in Galilee had been merely prelude. The Son of Man had always had a dread rendezvous to keep on a hill called Golgotha.

Arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane after the Last Supper, deserted by His disciples, spat upon, tried, and humiliated, Jesus staggered under His great cross toward Calvary. He progressed from triumph to betrayal, torture, and death on the cross.

For us our Heavenly Father gave His Son. For us our Elder Brother gave His life.

At the last moment the Master could have turned back. But He did not. He passed beneath all things that He might save all things: the human race, the earth, and all the life that ever inhabited it.

No words in Christendom mean more to me than those spoken by the angel to the weeping Mary Magdalene and the other Mary as they approached the tomb to care for the body of their Lord: “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen” (Luke 24:5–6).

With this pronouncement, those who have lived and died, those who now live and one day will die, and those yet to be born and yet to die had just been rescued.

As the result of Christ’s victory over the grave, we shall all be resurrected. This is the redemption of the soul.

Of Him who delivered each of us from endless death, I testify He is a teacher of truth—but He is more than a teacher. He is the exemplar of the perfect life—but He is more than an exemplar. He is the great physician—but He is more than a physician. He is the literal Savior of the world, the Son of God, the Prince of Peace, the Holy One of Israel, even the risen Lord, who declared, “I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father” (D&C 110:4).

“Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: ‘I know that my Redeemer lives!’” Of this I testify.

 

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   A joyous Easter to all mankind

Thursday, April 21, 2011

TRAPPED IN VEGAS

This is our year to be locked either in or out. First we got locked out of the Clark County Shooting Range campground. Next, trapped in the rest area near Wickenburg. Then we got locked in our RV. And now we’re trapped in Vegas because of the wind. (I just realized three of these events have taken place in Nevada. Must mean something but I don’t know what.)

As Jeri said – we are casino-ed out. Yesterday we got some odds and ends of things done – like grocery shopping and hair cuts. Jim accomplished a major chore – he got the new lock installed on our door. It’s so nice to be able to shut the door properly again. We decided to stop in at the RV place right across the street from the Road Runner RV Park to see if they had the lock. Didn’t really think they would, but we needed something to do. Lo and behold, they only carry one type of lock and it was the one we needed.

IMG_0788 Scooter is doing much better today. She still needs help getting in and out of the motorhome and is really cautious about jumping down from the couch. In fact, she spends a lot of time laying in the nest area that Skittlez built. But she’s not whimpering at all anymore and her eyes aren’t glazed like they get when she’s in pain.

IMG_0787 Somehow Skitz was able to get pillows and blankets under the dash and proceeded to build this nice little nesting area. Then she loaded it up with toys to make it all comfy and secure. Now the girls take turns laying in there.

Think we’ll go to a movie this afternoon.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

ROOS-N-MORE


Had a fun time at dinner Monday night in Las Vegas. We met up with Jeri and Terry and Jerry and Janice at Terrible’s for their 2 for 1 dinner buffet. The brisket is wonderful and Jim almost od’ed on shrimp.

We had planned on going to Valley of Fire on Tuesday but our Scooter isn’t doing real good. She has problems with her back and I think she twisted it when she was so freaked out the night we got locked in the motor home. We carry pain pills for her but we gave her the last one and need to get them refilled. We had found a wonderful vet her in Las Vegas last year and they treated Scooter’s back at that time. We decided to scrap the plans for Valley of Fire until sometime when we can take the time to enjoy it and not worry about the girls.

BUT – we did spend the morning at Roos-N-More. Sharon told me about this place and I knew it was someplace I had to visit. The problem is they are open to the public a few days a month and today was one of them. We made sure Scooter was comfortable in the motor home and took off.

I don’t know the names of most of the animals in these pictures but I sure hope you enjoy them.

DSCN0847 The following is taken from their website. “Roos-N-More is the home that Jay, Valerie, Zach and Hailey Holt share with 160 or so animals. We never started with the intention of becoming a zoo, but as the population of animals increased so did the desire to share with others. Everything just sort of fell into place. One day I was sharing family pets with my children's classmates and the next day I was fulfilling a life-long dream.

DSCN0812 Baby MACAW







DSCN0820 This fellow is known as a lesser anteater.

Jay and I are both Veterinarians who own and operate a small animal/exotic practice in Las Vegas, Nevada. When we graduated from LSU Veterinary School, Jay had dreams of becoming a surgeon and I wanted to work in the zoo. Plans have a way of changing and soon we were parents of two children and running a busy veterinary practice.

DSCN0814 In 2002, a Bennett's wallaby joey named Pogo joined our family and I caught "Roo Fever". Before long, we needed to think about a bigger place to live.





DSCN0846 One thing lead to another and in 2006 we relocated to Moapa, Nevada, with our mob of 15 kangaroos and wallabies. I had big plans.





DSCN0826 This friendly fellow is a lemur.









DSCN0828How about a bearcat?

Soon I wanted animals that I never even knew existed. I found that I was drawn into discovering and learning about uncommon species. I also wanted to share everything I had learned.



DSCN0833

The zoo is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that offers a totally ed-zoo-cational opportunity to our guests. DSCN0841 We believe in conservation through education and hope that the up-close and personal encounters with our animal ambassadors will inspire people to help save their wild counterparts.


We are accredited by the Zoological Association of America and are dedicated to making sure our animals are as happy and healthy as they possibly can be.

DSCN0852


DSCN0868 Isn’t this fellow beautiful? His beak looks just like plastic and it kind of feels like that too. Wish I could have gotten a picture of his tongue. Looked like a long, very thin stick.

DSCN0869

DSCN0872








We are still a work in progress, but I am so proud of what we have accomplished. I have fulfilled my dream. I was unable to bring the veterinarian to the zoo, so I brought the zoo to the veterinarian.

DSCN0875 Along, with the zoo, I found my home. Valerie Holt”









DSCN0877


DSCN0878 Isn’t she just the cutest baby ever? I wanted to take her home with me.








DSCN0894 It’s been a long time since I have had such a delightful experience. The animals are just incredible and you can tell how much they are loved by how well they react with humans. I can hardly wait to go back again.




DSCN0892

THESE THREE ARE FOR YOU

For Dan, Phil, Linda, Robin, Loralie and Terry.

Last year when we helped with the Walk I made a vow that I was going to walk one mile this year. Compared with the miles walked by the others, this is a very small goal, but for me it was huge.

However, I not only walked one mile, I walked three miles!!! What an experience. I walk very slowly so I didn’t let anybody walk with me cause I knew I would hold them up. But trudging up and down those hills for three miles in the peace and quiet of Death Valley, gave me a chance to think about my wonderful friends that are fighting cancer or are on their way to being survivors. And to all of you, thank you for giving me the opportunity to take on this challenge in your names.

I love you all.

THE WALK – DAY TWO

IMG_0744 At least it didn’t start quite as early. We had to be ready to go at 7:00 a.m. I have bags under my eyes from lack of sleep.

IMG_0746 The bus took the walkers back to the stopping point from yesterday and today the walk is 9.5 miles into Furnace Creek. The walkers start out with a long steep hill in front of them and they rapidly get spread out. Suzanne is off and walking. We won’t even try to keep up with her and her flip flops.

IMG_0747 The hills today wipe out a few of the walkers and they need rides back to the Welcome Tent. But Samantha does the entire walk both days. Now lots of other people make it both days but Samantha is only 9 years old. What a trooper. And she finishes in the middle of the pack with her Mom and her Aunt.

IMG_0749 These people are so incredible. They actually pay money to subject themselves, especially their feet, to the pain and agony of blisters and leg cramps, heat (106 today), and the sun in Death Valley.

IMG_0751 Way to go gang. You are an inspiration to all of us.

WHAT CANCER CAN NOT DO

IMG_0707 Cancer can not:

Invade The Soul

Suppress Memories

Kill Friendship

Destroy Peace

Conquer The Spirit

Shutter Hope

Cripple Love

Corrode Faith

Steal Eternal Life

Silence Courage

IMG_0771 You may have cancer, but cancer does not have you.

DESERT EVENING

IMG_0759 After dinner, the names on the scroll are read and candles lit in their honor by walkers. These names are people who have survived their battle with cancer and those who did not. The walkers are their family members or dear friends.

IMG_0763 Two gentlemen flew their plane into Death Valley to honor the wife of one of them who did not win her battle. I’m not sure how they heard about this walk but knew that this was the only way they could show their love and friendship.

IMG_0764 Friends of Sharon wrote a couple of songs to celebrate life and others talked about their struggles with cancer or the one they lost. It was a beautiful evening.

IMG_0768

THE WALK – DAY ONE

What gives???? We have to be at the registration table at 5:30 a.m. That’s 5:30 in the morning. I’ve forgotten that hour even exists anymore. Thank goodness the alarm clock remembers it.

Got everything set up, sent Jim to have breakfast, and started to register the walkers. By 7:30 I was done with the registration and the bus was loaded. Needed to get them on the road while it was still “cool”.

IMG_0740 The bus took all the walkers out to Badwater which is 18 miles from Furnace Creek and dropped them off. They walked 8.5 miles the first day to the turn off to Artist’s Canyon.

The support vehicles were loaded with cases of cold water, the frozen fruit and the snack bags we put together. Kathy stayed at the front of the walkers mainly to try and get people to slow down as they passed them. A different Jim stayed at the very rear with the last walker to make sure they were safe.

IMG_0737 Two other vehicles, including Jim and I, drove back and forth from the front to the rear and back again, making sure people were okay and had everything they needed.

Sean pulled the port-a-potty and became the most popular person along the trek. Even more so than the water people.

IMG_0738 The walkers, 52 of them, started off together but it wasn’t long before Suzanne began to leave everybody else behind. What is so amazing, is the fact that she does this walk in flip flops. My feet hurt just watching her walk. But she has a rapid walk pace and never varies from it whether it’s going up or down the hills. If she needs water she holds out the bottle, we take it from her, fill it up and then drive ahead of her so she can grab it as she goes by. Amazing. (See that vehicle way up ahead – that is where Suzanne is.)

The walkers ranged in age from 9 to probably 70 or so. It doesn’t take long for the group to spread out. Eventually it’s about 4 miles from the leaders (not counting Suzanne) to the ones in the rear.

IMG_0741 Uphill and downhill. By 11:35 all the walkers had reached the end point and were transported back to Furnace Creek Campground. Everybody was more than ready to go swimming and relax until time for dinner at the campground.

104 degrees.

WALK FOR LIFE

Got the shed unpacked, wash cloths rolled, double checked the walkers registrations and the names for the scroll. The scroll contains the names of those who have lost their fight with cancer and is read at the campfire Saturday night.

Loaded the van with all the items that need to go out to the campground, got the numbers ready for the walkers, and we’ll head into Pahrump Thursday morning to load up on water, Aleve, oranges, and trail mix.

IMG_0733 Friday morning we’ll peel oranges and separate the slices so they can be frozen for the walkers. Friday afternoon we set up the camp – tents, screen rooms, candle holder, grill, and chairs.

 

 

IMG_0736 Friday evening is the fishing tournament. Guess who’s in charge of that?

Saturday morning at 6:00 a.m. we will have breakfast in the restaurant and then I will handle the registration process.

See you after registration. By the way – it’s hot here. 96 today and going up.

ROAD TO DEATH

Valley,that is.

After spending an extra night in Pahrump because of the door ordeal, we finally put in the last 60 miles to Furnace Creek, Death Valley, CA.

IMG_0698 Death Valley for me is one of the most beautiful, peaceful places we have been to.

IMG_0703 If you can avoid the tourists, it is so very quiet out in the desert. Offers a chance for you to actually hear yourself think and appreciate the wonders of God.

IMG_0701 However, this year there are many more tourists than were here last year and getting away from them can be tough. Lots of bus tours and rental RVs. The campground is full and as soon as one rig leaves, another one pulls in. You can tell there are a lot of novice RV drivers as you watch them try to park their rig.

IMG_0706 We got parked, had some lunch, then went over to Sharon’s house and picked up the Walk for Life T-shirts. I needed to get them rolled, put a rubber band around them, sort them into sizes, and put them in the drawers so they would be ready for all the people who are walking. 60 shirts rolled and put away.

IMG_0711 Furnace Creek – an oasis in the desert.

On Tuesday Jim and I rode out to see one of my favorite spots in the Valley. Salt Creek where the pupfish live. I am fascinated by these amazing little fish. They only live about 6 to 9 months, and they have a lot to accomplish in those few short months. They need to hatch, grow up, eat, mate, reproduce, and die. The males turn a beautiful blue when they want to mate and become very aggressive about protecting their own territory, as you can see in the video.

Back to work.

video

Monday, April 11, 2011

SEE YA IN A WEEK OR SO

To all my wonderful blog friends. Today we head into Death Valley and we won’t have any internet service while we are there. So you will not be hearing from me until Monday, the 18th. Thank goodness for Live Writer.

We are still able to get in and out of the RV door (not window) and can keep it closed with the dead bolt. It’ll be that way until we can get a new one ordered and Jim can get it installed.

Hope everyone stays safe and I’m looking forward to catching up with all your blog posts. Hopefully we have a great turn out for the Walk For Life and I’ll have some pics to post when we return to civilization.

IMG_0687 Scooter in the dog park at the Escapees park in Pahrump. She is much calmer now that all the banging and yelling at the door isn’t going on.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

TRAPPED IN OUR RV

First, we were trapped in the rest area. However,that was a great trap because we got to relax. Now we are trapped in our RV. Not such a relaxing time.

DSCN0560 Jim went to take the girls out last night before we went to bed, and the door wouldn’t open. Nothing worked to get it to budge. He took off the inside plate of the locking mechanisms and tried everything. Still no good.

 

He then climbs out the bedroom window to see if he can have any luck from the outside. I know we’re supposed to practice escaping through this window but I figured we’d be practicing during day light hours, not at midnight.

He pounded and pushed and unscrewed, and screwed, and levered and banged until I was sure the neighbors were going to start complaining. Scooter was hysterical. She just totally freaked out from all the noise and that thing moving on the door. I was trying to help Jim from the inside but I finally had to take Scooter in the bedroom and try to calm her down. She was a mess.

DSCN0565 Jim finally gave up and crawled back in the window. We got some sleep but were back up at 6:30 this morning to try again. We pulled the jacks up to see if that would be enough to dislodge the door, but that didn’t work either.

Back out the window he goes. At least now he can see where he’s putting his feet. I hand him the dogs through the window so they can do their morning rituals. He works on the door, again with no luck.

We finally called Coach Net. They were really nice and the woman I talked to said this was the second time she had somebody trapped in their RV. They are sending out a locksmith who hopefully can get us out of here. Not sure if we’re going to make it to Death Valley today or not.

DSCN0561 The locksmith finally showed up. He had to climb in our bedroom window so he could work on the lock from the inside. Between the two of them,the guys finally got the door open in about 15 minutes.

 

DSCN0567 See these three pieces? They are supposed to be one piece. I’m sure a lot of you out there will know how this all works and so does Jim.  All I know is this is the piece of metal that caused us to be trapped in our RV.

We can close our door and keep it shut with the dead bolt. When we return to civilization we’ll have the lock replaced on the door and get Jim a new screwdriver. The screwdriver broke while trying to pry the door open. I also didn’t get a picture of Jim climbing in or out of the window. He really wasn’t in the mood.

We aren’t going to make it to Death Valley today. We’ll head that way first thing in the morning.