Travels with Bentley

Travels with Bentley
Bentley - our Heartland Bighorn

Friday, June 22, 2018

Sunday, June 17, 2018 to Thursday, June 21, 2018

Sunday, June 17, 2018 to Wednesday, June 21, 2018

Sunday, June 17, 2018
Today is moving day from Hillside RV Park in Oswego, KS to Treasure Lake Resort in Branson, MO where we will be parked for at least 3-4 weeks, maybe 5.  Dean's surgery is Monday, June 18th.  We know we will remain in Branson until Dr. Anderson releases him to pull the rig.  He has a follow-up appointment with Dr. Vorheis on July 23.  We are not sure if we will remain in Branson until then or not.  We may return to Oswego for awhile before returning to Branson for the last follow up appointments with doctors before we head east to see our son and his family in New York.  We have finally decided to quit trying to make plans on when to leave and just wait to make plans once the final doctor appointments are over.  The original route we planned to take has been scrapped, and we will now follow a pretty straight route to get to Matt's, with several stops along the way.  We talked about rushing once we got the chance to go, but have decided we just need to slow down and we'll get there when we can.  This life is supposed to be about slowing down and enjoying each and every day.  Rushing all of the time is stressful for both of us and we want to be relaxed and enjoy our time with the kids once we get there.  That's more important! 

We decided I would drive the van and lead the way to Branson.  We will be making quite a few trips back and forth to Springfield, and once Dean has his one week checkup, we know we will want to do a few things here in Branson.  I think we'll save on fuel purchases by using the van versus the truck and even though I don't mind driving the truck, I prefer driving the van.  We are in the process of making a decision whether to sell the van or not.  We really do not have anywhere to store it for long periods of time while we are traveling, we don't want it sitting out since it's almost always been garaged and we really don't use it except when we are in Oswego.  I have enough family in Oswego that if I had to have a vehicle to use if Dean was using the truck, I could probably find someone to either take me or let me use one of theirs.  Since we are together most of the time, I don't imagine that would happen often, and knowing I won't have it, we could arrange our schedules around that for the most part.

Misti stopped by this morning to wish Dean a Happy Father's Day and we had a nice visit with her before she left for church.  We left the park around 10. 

I had to stop to use the restroom once we reached Springfield.  Dean didn't need to stop so he went on, arriving at Treasure Lake just a few minutes before I pulled in.  (I stopped at Freddie's to use the restroom and decided I'd get something to drink.  When I went to pay the young man waiting on me asked if that was all I was having.  When I said yes, he said it's on me.  Wow, that's the first time that has ever happened to me.  I thanked him and said God Bless You - he said, The same to you.  I need to pass this on when I have the opportunity.)  

At the office we paid for a 3 week stay, parked the truck and Bentley in the overflow parking, then took the van to find a site.  Fortunately we found someplace that worked perfect for us, especially since we have two vehicles.  It is a pull through site which is always a big plus in Dean's book, with room to park the truck behind us, and enough room for at least two cars to park in front.  It is a really wide site.  When you register the office gives you a card to place on the numbered post at your site, so before we went back to get Bentley we did just that, so it wouldn't be taken by someone else while we were gone.

Once we had Bentley parked Dean set up outside and I got to work setting up the inside.  Dean is on an all liquid diet today due to his upcoming surgery tomorrow.  I made him Campbell's chicken and noodle soup - he drank the broth and I ate the noodles.  Misti sells Advocare products including protein shake mixes.  I had purchased chocolate peanut butter ones from her awhile back.  Dean had one for breakfast and another tonight for supper and it really helped him make it through the day. 

Monday, June 18, 2018
We left Treasure Lake around 8 this morning and arrived at Cox Hospital South about 8:45.  Dean has several family members arriving and we wanted to be sure to see them before he goes to the Surgery Prep room.  It was about 9 or a little after when Joyce (sister), Marie & Jerry (sister & her husband) were walking toward the front door.  His brother Larry & wife Sandi arrived a short time later.  Brett and Misti both arrived a little before 10, when we expected Dean to be called back for surgery prep.  Dean checked in for surgery about 9:30 or so.  We waited quite a while before a lady walked up and asked us if we had a pager and if it had gone off.  Yes we did and no it had not gone off.  She asked the name and come to find out Dean had a defective pager - they had been trying to page him.  We headed back to his surgical prep room.  We had sufficient time there for most everyone to come back to see him before they took him to surgery.  

Dr. Anderson said the surgery would be about 2 hours long, and shortly after the two hours passed he came out to see us and let us know things went well.  Just shy of two hours later a young lady came to tell me he had been taken to his room.  When we got there, I knocked on the door and went in.  Dean was awake but not very coherent.  We had the same conversation over and over, reminding me a little bit of the movie Groundhog Day.  What a relief the next morning when he asked me the same questions for the last time.  While I knew it was the medicine talking it was a bit disconcerting to hear him ask me every 30 minutes or so the same questions over and over.

Fortunately, Dean had a private room this time, and we both had a good night's sleep.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

When Dean's nurse came in this morning to take his vitals, about 4 am, Dean was glad to find out I was in the room with him - asleep on the couch.  He could not see me and thought he was alone, and wasn't even sure where he was, thinking he might still be in recovery.  

I knew all was well when he started asking for something to eat!  Thank you God for taking care of my husband...and he really has.

Dr. Anderson stopped a little before 8.  He told Dean he would see him on Tuesday, June 26.  He is to stop downstairs from his office to have an x-ray before coming up for his appointment.  He said they sent samples to pathology but he thinks he will be fine.  He has to wear a catheter until the appointment on Tuesday.  Dr. Anderson said it was fine to walk as much as he wanted as it would be good for him.  After having lunch, we were released to head home a little before 1.  

We went for a walk later in the day, making a quick stop to visit with friends Frank and Joyce, who are parked a row over from us.  They have been wonderful, checking on us to see if we need anything.

Today is my son, Marc's birthday.  What a blessing he has been to me.  It's hard to believe my kids are grown with kids of their own and doing such great things.  Many of you follow Marc's Facebook Page - Sawshack Redemption where he posts pictures of many wood products he makes for sale.  I am so proud of him, for the husband and father he is, for the work he does and for doing such a great job of checking in on me and Dean regularly.  I love you Marc!

A little later there was a knock at the door.  When I answered it there was a woman standing there who looked very familiar but I could not place her.  She had noticed our Labette County tag and originally being from the area she decided to just say hello.  Well, to make a long story short, I'm so glad she did.  She was a sister to our former neighbor down the street, Lee;  and, I had visited with her and her husband many times while I was working for the City of Oswego when they purchased property in town and were thinking of building a new home there.  No wonder Marilyn looked so familiar.  She walked back over to their Excel 5th wheel (that they purchased from the same dealer we purchased our Heartland from) to get her husband, Bill.  Dean came out and we set at our picnic table for an hour or more where we thoroughly enjoyed our visit.  It sure helped the evening pass.  Thanks again Bill and Marilyn for stopping by.  It was great to see both of you again!

During our conversation we told them about our Escapees camping club and encouraged them to join, and we sure hope to see them at a future rally or casual campout.

We called it a night about 10:30.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Today was pretty quiet.  We walked a bit this morning, and again later in the day.  For the most part Dean watched TV and I spent some time doing laundry and cooking.

It started raining not too long after our walk and rained almost the entire day.  

Later in the day, around 4:30 or so, and after the rain stopped, we went for a ride just to get Dean outside for awhile.  I had called our UPS mail service yesterday in Pittsburg, KS to have our mail sent to the Branson post office via General Delivery.  We decided to see where it was located and then drove on to Hollister to drive through the "older" downtown area just to check out what shops are there today.  It's been many years since we had driven by.  There were a few changes.  I just love the architecture of the buildings there.

We have received a few phone calls with folks checking on Dean and several comments on Facebook or Messenger asking how he was getting along.  We do appreciate each and everyone of you who has said prayers for Dean and I as we have gone through this trial in our lives.  Your prayers and thoughts have been so helpful to us and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  We are very pleased with how he is doing and know this will all pass soon and we will return to our everyday life.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

We made a trip to Walmart today - partly because we needed a few things, but again just a chance to get out.  We took our time walking through the store, looking for things on the list before finally heading back to Bentley.

What a beautiful day it was today, as it was much cooler with a nice breeze.  We set outside for a short while.  Dean is still doing good but wasn't feeling quite up to par today.  He watched a number of shows on TV and later in the afternoon I walked over to Frank and Joyce's motorhome to visit for awhile.  Joyce and I set outside and it was so refreshing to be out of doors with a cool breeze, and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit.

Dean was feeling much better when I returned.  I fixed dinner and then we watched a movie, "The Mountain Between Us" which was pretty good.  We ended up purchasing one moth of Internet services from Treasure Lake so we could stream movies from various Internet apps like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc, saving our hotspot for writing the blog and downloading pictures .... now I just need to take some pictures to share!

Another day passes with Dean feeling better everyday.  Thanks be to God for his healing and his love for us.


Saturday, June 16, 2018

Saturday, May 19, 2018 to June 16, 2018

Saturday, May 19, 2018 to Saturday, June 16, 2018

Many day to day things have happened since May 18 but I'm only going to focus on a portion of that time.  I've not written much because we received some news in mid-April that simply put, really upset our day to day life.  At the time neither of us were ready to talk about it except to each other and immediate family members, but now that we've had time, Dean has told me it's okay to share it with all of you as well.

Shortly before we left for Texas, we had physicals and some routine tests with our doctor.  When the results of Dean's PSA (prostate) test came back it was 4.1, which is slightly above the range they really want to watch it.  The doctor wanted him to have a follow up test while we were in Texas, which he did, and it came back at 4.3.  They called us and recommended he have a biopsy when we returned to Kansas.  Dean agreed and our primary care physician set up the appointment with Dr. Frogge, a urologist in Joplin, MO for April 9th.

On April 16th, we had a follow up visit with Dr. Frogge to go over the results of the biopsy, expecting to be told all was well and they would continue to watch it through regular PSA tests.  Unfortunately, that was not the case.  Instead we learned Dean had prostate cancer.  Fortunately, it was caught early.  After discussing the options, Dean asked Dr. Frogge what he would do in his case and he suggested that we talk with a urologist and an oncologist before making a decision.

Dr. Frogge's office set up two appointments for us.  One was with a urologist, Dr. David Anderson, in Springfield on May 10, who performs "Robotic assist laparoscopic radical prostatectomy" - in other words removes the prostate through laparoscopic surgery; and the second appointment was the following day on May 11 with Dr. Myers in Pittsburg, an oncologist, to discuss various options of radiation.  When we met with Dr. Anderson, Dean asked if we could go ahead an set an appointment for surgery, and if he decided radiation to be a better option, could he cancel it and they said yes.   We were given a surgery date of June 1.  He kept the appointment with the oncologist so we could hear what he had to say before making a final decision.  My girlfriend who is a nurse, and whose husband also had prostate cancer suggested when we meet with the urologist that we ask about tests to see if the cancer might have spread, and Dr. Anderson agreed to order both a bone scan and a CT scan.  After weighing both of his two options for treatment, Dean chose to move forward with the surgery.

On May 25, we spent the day in Springfield, MO having the bone scan and a CT scan, and pre-registering at the hospital (1 1/2 hour meeting) for the laparoscopic surgery on June 1.  It was truly an all day event but amazingly everybody was right on time, or early, at each appointment we had.

Again, we expected nothing to show up in the tests - however, what the tests showed were really surprising.  The CT scan showed Dean had an abdominal aorta aneurysm and the veins in his upper legs had plaque buildup.  Dr. Anderson's office called us the day after Memorial Day, May 29, and advised he would not do the surgery until Dean saw a vascular surgeon.  

We were shocked, but so grateful we were able to get an appointment so quickly with the vascular surgeon for June 1.  He showed us the CT Scan and it was a mess.  The aneurysm was 4 mm in size and while they typically do not do surgery until it is 5 mm, since the laparoscopic surgery for the prostate would be in or near this area and with the plaque in his veins the vascular surgeon thought he should have it repaired before having the prostate surgery.  

We were back in Springfield on June 5 for another surgery pre-registration at Cox Hopsital for the repair of the Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm.  

On June 12, we got up very early (4:00 am) and headed to Cox Hospital in Springfield, MO where he had Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Endograft Repair.  The surgery was a total success.  He spent one night in the hospital and we were back in our RV in Oswego the following afternoon.  Unfortunately, it was a long night at the hospital.  He had a roommate who was in quite a bit of pain and had his TV on all night.  Needless to say we had a good nap after we made it home!  We were thankful Dean had no pain from his surgery and was feeling great immediately afterwards.  The doctor told me after the surgery he did not know how he was not having pain in his legs from the amount of plaque and junk he had.  I've always said Dean is like an old plow horse, he just keeps going.  I'm so thankful they found this and it has been repaired.  

He will have the Robotic assist laparoscopic radical prostatectomy on June 18 in Springfield.  It will also require only an overnight stay at the hospital.  

At this point I have to say, God had to have his hand in these appointments.  It's not unusual to wait weeks or even months to get an appointment - his were scheduled so quickly we felt we were constantly on the run, and they have consistently kept things moving from day 1.  We are so thankful for that - first to God who we feel orchestrated it, but also to the staff at both doctors' offices and the hospital.  We have been provided with excellent care everywhere we've been in the Cox system.  

We are heading to Branson Sunday morning, June 17 for a 3-5 week stay at Treasure Lake RV Resort.   We are a member of the park and therefore only pay a nightly rate of $8 to park our RV there, it's only about 35 minutes from the hospital in Springfield, and since we will need to make at least 3-4 follow up visits with both doctors during that period it makes sense to stay here.  Dean will not be able to drive at all the first week, and we are not sure when he will be released to drive the truck or pull the rig, so it's easier to just stay close by until he's given the okay.  It could be as early as 3 weeks after the surgery to 4-5 weeks after.  We have several friends in the area and there is quite a bit to do, so we hope it will keep us somewhat busy during this downtime in our life.  Treasure Lake has entertainment at their clubhouse almost every evening and we enjoy attending those.  We also enjoy the walking trail in the park and utilize it most mornings when we are there.  

We've been able to get back to almost daily walking even though it's getting pretty warm in the mornings now.  We enjoy being outside and getting the exercise.

We would appreciate your prayers as Dean undergoes this second surgery.  We will be praying for God to direct the surgeon in each step he must take, that there will be no long term side effects, and that he recovers quickly and completely.

I have to say that we are so thankful to Jesus Christ, Our Savior for all he has done for us.  While we do not understand it all we do know if he had not been diagnosed with prostate cancer, we would not have thought to even ask about testing and without the testing we would not have been aware of the aneurysm and the need for stints in his legs.  God has been so good and we are so thankful for his loving care.  Again, we cannot praise him enough for all he has done for us!  And as I mentioned before, we give him thanks for how quickly everything has fell into place, with the scheduling of appointments, testing and surgeries.

While I am way behind on writing the blog, we have been so busy with doctor visits, trying to get in visits with family, dealing with paperwork related to both surgeries, dealing with insurance, etc. doing some projects around the RV (to keep us busy when we did have any down time), etc. that I would not have had much time to blog anyway.  It was too hard for me to write unless sharing the whole story, but it just wasn't mine to tell until Dean agreed.  So now that I have been able to share our journey of the past couple of months, I hope to return to daily or weekly posts.

Thank you so much to everyone who follows along.  We are anxious to get back to our travels and at this point we see no reason that will not happen sometime toward the end of July or first of August.  We still plan to head to New York to meet our newest grandson, Samuel and visit his family, and do a little traveling in a few New England states.  It won't be as extensive as we originally planned, but that's okay, we are able to go and we are doing it together.  That's what is important!


Friday, May 18, 2018

May 8, 2018 to May 18, 2018

Tuesday, May 8 to Friday, May 18, 2018

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Continuing on with doctor visits I headed back to Pittsburg this morning to visit the dentist again.  When we were there last week one of my bottom front teeth was even more sensitive than previous visits.  Dr. Herron recommended replacing the filling since it has been in place for a number of years.  That's why I am here today, to take care of it.  I am a big baby when it comes to dental work so I was not looking forward to it.  Even though I did not enjoy one bit of it, I got through it okay.

Afterwards I stopped by The UPS Store to pick up our mail.  It was almost a waste - as it was mostly junk.  Since almost everything we do is online we do not get much genuine mail anymore.  We are expecting a couple of things, but I'll probably hold off checking again for a couple of weeks.

From Pittsburg I headed to Parsons.  I needed to return the frames I checked out from my eye doctor last week.  While I was waiting on someone to help me I started looking at the frames again and found a few I didn't remember from last week.  Once someone was available she told me the ones I picked out today just came in.  After trying the two I checked out on against one of the new frames we both agreed we liked the new one better, so that is what I went with.  

I made a stop at Walmart to look for some poster board (the thicker type) to use on the inside of the cabinets that I mentioned in the last post.  I thought it seemed high so we decided to wait and check at Hobby Lobby when we are in Joplin later this week.  

After making a final stop at the Taco Bell for a chicken burrito, I headed home, where I spent the rest of the day working on paperwork.  Too bad I never made it to the 2017 Income Tax pile!!  Thank goodness we filed for an extension.  I must get busy on it soon!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Today I made the decision to cut my hair short again.  It was very thin and straggly looking on the ends.  Now that it's getting warmer I think I'll be glad to have the length gone.  I really like it.  For those of you who know me well, you know how much I detest messing with my hair, so I hope I can manage to style it so it looks decent.  We'll see how that works out!

My new Do!
Later I had lunch with my good friend and former co-worker, Carol.  Time just flies by when we get together.  We worked together for 29 + years, her husband and I were in the same class during high school and our kids all know each other, so by the time we go through the kids and grand kids and catch up with other family members - there's never enough time.  I always enjoy it though and look forward to the next time.  

Thursday, May 10, 2018
Today we made a trip to Camping World at Stafford, MO.  On the way we had to make a pit stop at the Missouri Travel Center just outside of Joplin.  Guess who needed for the driver to stop here?  

Cute worker outside the Missouri Travel Center outside of Joplin, MO.

Beautiful artwork using old license plates inside the travel center outside of Joplin, MO.

We stopped for lunch in Springfield at Firehouse Subs, our first visit there.  I chose the Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket which was very good.  Dean laughed at me for ordering something else with brisket.  I love it when it's cooked properly but it's not often I find brisket I like that much, but for a sub sandwich I was impressed.  It was extremely tender - a little messy with the BBQ sauce - but I didn't mind that too much!  I would definitely order it again.  Dean chose Turkey Bacon Ranch.  He thought it was just okay.

We stopped in Joplin on the way home at all of the Home Improvement stores looking for Reflectix to put in the full panel of windows in one of our slides.  Not one store had the size we wanted.  Our love seat sits in the slide and it is starting to get pretty warm in the late afternoon ---and it's not even that hot yet.   We are going to try the Reflectix to see if we can't keep it a little cooler inside.  

Another stop was at Hobby Lobby to purchase some of the corrugated posterboard to put on the inside of our window cabinet doors so it will block the sight of items on the shelves from the inside.  I was in luck it was almost $4 less than the price at Walmart and it was 40% off.  Our final stop before dinner was at The Dollar Store to get a birthday bag for Gideon's present----for his birthday party on Saturday.

By the time we finished all of our running around it was time to eat again so we stopped at Logan's.  I chose a salad and Dean ordered a burger.  They were both excellent!  

Friday, May 11, 2018
We headed to Pittsburg this morning to run some errands, pick up our mail, and then we stopped at Freddy's on the way home.  Of course one of the errands was to stop at Home Depot.  We can hardly go to any town without hitting a home improvement store!  Just saying!!  We are really trying to watch what we eat and hope to get back in to regular exercise this coming week.

It was a pretty quiet day.

Saturday, May 12, 2018
We had breakfast at Circle L here in Oswego this morning - Dean's favorite place to have breakfast.  It was perfect - as usual.  It's always fun to visit a local restaurant in your home town as you get to visit with a lot of folks you know, which is always nice.

Afterwards, we headed to Wichita, KS for our grandson Gideon's 9th birthday party.  We always enjoy the drive to Wichita, passing through the Flint Hills.  I never get tired of the beauty of this drive. 

Scenery from the Flint Hills on 400 Highway

Once we made our way to the area of the bowling alley, we made a quick stop at Lowe's just a mile from the party.   Fortunately Lowe's had the Reflectix we have been looking for.

Gideon's party was at the West Acres Bowling Alley.  It was fun to see the kids, to watch them bowl, and especially watch Gideon open his presents.  He had such a good time and I think everyone else did too.  Oh....and the cake was really good!!  Here are a few pictures.

Gideon - The Birthday Boy!

His Cake

Friends & Family
Papa Dean, Heath (Gideon's Dad), Granddaughter Emerson & her Daddy Jarred
Emerson hugging Tigger.

We left the party and headed for home, but not before stopping to have a late lunch/early supper (lupper) at Red Robin before we left Wichita.  I went in with the idea of having a burger, but ended up with another salad.   At least I really love salad.... but I love burgers more, and Red Robin's are some of my favorite.  It was a difficult decision.   Fortunately the salad was excellent and I wasn't too disappointed.  Dean on the other hand ate a big fat juicy hamburger!  I tried not to drool!!

The drive home was nice.  We were tired but it was a good day.  We are glad we were able to attend Gideon's party.

Sunday, May 13, 2018
Misti invited us to dinner at her house after church this morning.  She baked a ham in the crockpot, made some crockpot macaroni & cheese and some green beans.  It was perfect and delicious.  I especially loved the mac & cheese - a very different taste but very good.  After dinner the three of us, Haleigh and Logan had a nice visit before Logan had to leave.

The rest of the afternoon was spent cleaning and washing our cars.  We used the wet/dry vac to clean out my van and Haleigh's car, then Dean power washed my van, Haleigh's and Misti's cars.  It took some major elbow grease to get Haleigh's car washed well since it had been setting outside for quite awhile and had lots of car sap on it.  It looked pretty good when we were finished.  Misti's friend Colby stopped by and stayed to help.  We might still be there if he hadn't offered his assistance. He also helped Haleigh get the car seat covers in place.  He was pretty contorted in order to get them underneath the back of the front seats.  Thanks so much Colby!

Once we were done, Dean, Misti & I drove to Columbus where we ordered from their Sonic and brought it home to eat...just in time to watch American Idol, and that was how we ended our day!  

Monday, May 14, 2018
Dean played golf this morning.  I was excited to have lunch with 4 former city clerks who are very special to me - Mary, Betsy, Gail & Barbara.  They were all mentors of mine when I first became City Clerk in Oswego and have remained good friends as they each retired from the profession.  Mary & Betsy met me here in Oswego, and then I drove the three of us to Columbus where we picked up Gail, and then on to Joplin where we met Barbara at her workplace.  We drove just a few blocks away to Red Onion Espressoria where had a delightful lunch and visited for almost two hours.  What a great time it was spending the afternoon with these great ladies.  I asked a lady standing near us if she would mind taking pictures of our group and she quickly agreed.  Here we are:

From Left
Me, Gail, Mary, Betsy, Barbara

Dean went to see son Brett this evening and I attended the monthly Council meeting here in Oswego.  One of our former Mayor's, Jim Stephens was recognized for 50 years of service to the City of Oswego.  He has been actively involved in the community in one form or another during the last 50 years, including 3 terms as Mayor, a Councilmember, Members of the Hospital Board, Economic Development Committee and the Planning & Zoning Board.  It was an honor to work with him while I was City Clerk.  He's a great guy!

Afterwards, I visited with his daughter Jamie and her husband Kenny.  Jamie and I went to school together.  We had a great visit, and I had the opportunity to visit with many other of their family members.  All of them are wonderful people. 

Later in the evening there were a few storms in the area.  I called Dean to see where he was, as it looked like it might get kind of nasty in the area he was driving home from, but it didn't rain too hard.  I'm thankful for that.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018
This morning Dean and I had our 6 month checkup with our primary care provider in Webb City.  Dean was complaining a bit about having to be there so early - our appointment was at 8 and it's an hour drive; however we were the first patients of the day and out of there before 9.  That makes it worthwhile to me!

Since Dean was having a fasting blood test, we did not eat breakfast before leaving Bentley so our first order of business was to find a place to have our most important meal of the day.  We really enjoyed Kevin's Cafe when we were here a while back.  We had an excellent breakfast then, so we decided to try it once more.  We would still recommend it.  

We needed to make a stop at Lowe's for a 50 amp breaker.  Son Brett is going to put in a 50 amp RV hookup so we can park Bentley there for a few days now and then.  

We headed home and I started another load of laundry.  Several members of our Escapees Chapter will be attending the Escapade in Sedalia, MO.  Since our Chapter includes MO, KS, OK & AR we will have a table set up on the "ROW" where information on all four states will be available to those attending or visiting the Escapade.  I had contacted the City Office earlier to see if they still keep Kansas travel information on hand.  Dana called me back to tell me she had the information I was looking for.

Kansas Brochures & State Map

Shortly after that, my sister Cindy called to see if I might want to ride to Parsons with her.  I said I would go.  Dean has a prescription to pick up at Walmart so I can do that while we are there.  I asked Cindy to stop by City Hall so I could pick up the travel information.  On the way to Parsons, I called my eye doctor's office to see if my frames might have come in today and sure enough they had, so I was able to stop and pick them up as well.  

My new specs!  I'm still getting used to them but liking them better every day.
While we were at Walmart I saw this neat little sign.  If the colors fit better I might have been tempted to buy it for Bentley.  

Sign I found in Walmart - it fits RV Life perfectly!

Tonight I decided to get outside and walk, and managed to log a little over a mile.  At least it's a start!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
We woke up late this morning, but we wanted to walk.  We only walked 1.69 miles, but at least we got started and that is what counts.

Dean played golf and I went to Bible Study this morning which I thoroughly enjoyed.  It's always a blessing to hear and study God's word.  After I returned home, Dean and I had a sandwich and then I got right to work doing more laundry.  Three loads later and I'm good for several days.

For dinner tonight, Dean grilled some burgers.  First time we've had the grill out in weeks.  They sure were good!  

It started to rain while Dean was finishing up the burgers.  Once it stopped, I asked Dean if he wanted to go for a ride and he was ready to go.  We rode to Riverside Park here in Oswego to look at the river.  We decided to drive on to Chetopa and as we came to the 4 way stop here in town, we saw this beautiful rainbow.  

At Chetopa we had to check out the river there too.  As we came back to the highway from the east, I suggested we drive to Bartlett, since we haven't been there in a long time.  It's just a few miles west of Chetopa.  From there we drove north to Highway 59 and took it back into Oswego.  We really enjoyed the drive through the countryside.  Dean loves driving in the country as much as I do and I'm so glad we have that in common.

Thursday, May 17, 2018
This morning we walked 2.12 mi.  I hope we can keep this up as we really need the exercise.  Dean played golf this morning and I finally got all of our tax paperwork together.  Now we just need to get it to the tax preparer.  Hopefully we can do that this coming week.  

I visited my Aunt Lil after lunch.  I've not had much chance to see her since we've both been busy with different things, but today finally worked.  We had a nice visit and then cousin Scott stopped by and I got to visit with him as well, before I headed back to Bentley.  

Tonight Dean grilled salmon steaks, and I finished them off with dill weed butter.  Delicious! I made herb rice and nuked some broccoli & cauliflower.  A great meal.  
Grilled salmon with dill weed butter, herb rice and broccoli/cauliflower mix.  Yum!

Friday, May 18, 2018
We walked 2.04 mi. this morning.  It was a beautiful day.  We've seen a lot of activity in the city's RV park the past few days while we've been walking.  I like to see that.  There is an event this weekend.  Next week the SKP SOLO's will be camping here.  I'm happy it's getting a lot of use.  It's a great spot for an overnight stay or a week.  It has water and electric hookups and a dump station on site.  

Dean played golf again this morning after our walk of 2 miles.  I spent the morning going through all of our files here in Bentley, throwing away old papers, re-labeling files and just getting everything updated and in good order.  I've been wanting to do this for awhile and now it is done!  Whew, what a good feeling it is.

About 5, we took a few things to the storage shed and brought a couple of things back with us that Dean needed, in order to work on a few projects for Bentley.  

When we returned home I warmed up the two leftover burgers from Thursday evening - they were just as good tonight.  

We've been watching Bonanza - one of our favorite shows.  Dean loves Western's and I'd rather watch them than most of the shows on TV today, and since I'm working on the blog I really only half watch it.  Following Bonanza was a movie called Gunsmoke:  The Long Ride.  It starred James Arness and was first shown in 1993.  Neither Dean or I had ever seen it.  It was a really good movie.

Now it's time to turn out the lights and head to bed.  Good night!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - Monday, May 7, 2018

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - Eye Appointment; Lunch with Friends; Laundry

I had my annual eye appointment with my optometrist this morning.  I gave him an update of my eye history and changes over the past year.  After his exam he told me the pressure in my left eye is a little higher than they would like to see.  Fortunately it is much lower than it was in July last year, and has not changed since December so it's holding just barely over the range they prefer, so I'm thankful for that.  My right eye pressure is good.  He told me I have a cataract forming on my left eye.  He said it would probably be a couple of years or more before surgery is needed.  My right eye is doing fine.  They will make some changes in my lenses that should help improve my sight for both close up and distance.  You might remember I've mentioned having a hard time reading with my glasses on.  Sometimes after reading I find it difficult to adjust from reading to watching TV or distances if we go outside.  It typically adjusts after a short while which is an improvement, but I can tell some correction is needed.

Once I returned home I straightened things up in Bentley before Peggy picked me up at 11:30.  Friends Peggy and Linda, and I are heading to Parsons to have lunch.  The three of us served on the Chamber of Commerce here in Oswego many years ago and have remained good friends, later being involved in our Community Foundation where we were all founding members.  All three of us are retired now and we enjoy getting together a few times a year for lunch and just a good visit.  As usual, we had a wonderful lunch (ordered from Upscale Country) that we enjoyed at Parsons' Forest Park.   We had a great visit during our ride to and from Parsons.  On the way home we took a slow drive through the countryside which I always enjoy.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018
We walked 2.06 miles this morning.  It was nice to be back in our city park and fairground area.  We have such a lovely view from our overlook and we often see the "resident" fox when we are there.  I love listening to the birds that early in the morning - it's a beautiful sound.

Dean scheduled an oil and fuel filter change and having the tires on the truck rotated at the Chevy dealer in nearby Columbus, KS.  The appointment was at 9:30.  I decided I would ride along with him - thinking it would take about an hour.  Imagine my surprise when we did not leave Columbus until after noon!!  It was almost 12:30 when we returned home.  

Once we returned, Dean went out to do something and realized they had rotated his tires, putting the chrome side to the inside, rather than leaving it out.  He called them and took it back so they could fix it.  

Prior to leaving for Texas, we set up a date for him to have a colonoscopy when we returned and tomorrow is the day.  He hasn't had any solid foods since lat night and he's awful hungry.  I made some chicken broth for him, and picked up a few things at the grocery store that will hopefully help curb his appetite a little.  

At 3 he started taking the drink they prescribed for him, followed by 20 oz. of water.  At 7 he took the second drink.  Bless his heart it's not a fun thing to have to drink - but at least he  was able to use Sprite and Gateorade to help with the taste!   Drinking this stuff is by far worse than the test itself.

Thursday, May 3, 2018
We were up really early this morning, a little before 4.  We have to be in Galena at 6am and it's about a 45 minute drive.   Since we woke up to rain, we left a little earlier than planned.  Fortunately, we missed most of the rain on the way over.  When they took him back, they had me sit in a small waiting area, a short distance from his cubicle while they got him ready.  In about 5 minutes or so one of the nurses came to get me, and take me to his room, but when I walked into the cubicle I told her this isn't my husband.  I thought she called "Cheri" and she said "Sharon".  Sharon didn't hear "Sharon" called either!!  I seem to have a problem having similar names to others waiting when in hospitals, as this is the second time something like this has happened.

A short time later, the same nurse came back to get me and made sure my husband was Dean this time!  How funny.  The doctor stopped in before the procedure and visited with Dean, asking him a few questions, etc. and before I knew it the nurse was taking him back.  He was gone barely 30 minutes and here they came wheeling him back.  The doctor showed up a short time later to say all was good.  Within 30-40 minutes later, they had Dean up, dressed and were wheeling him down (with me following) to the Kitchen Pass Restaurant located in the hospital.  Wow, what a breakfast they serve!  We both had our routine eggs, meat, potatoes and toast.  Since neither of us had eaten breakfast it was a welcome treat for us both.

Afterwards we made stops at Walmart and Sam's before heading home.  Dean spent the day resting and I did a few things around the  RV, mostly finishing up the laundry I started yesterday.  For dinner, we had the chicken and noodles I made yesterday.  Since Dean couldn't have anything except a little broth yesterday, he was ready to dig in to them tonight.  We spent the rest of the evening watching some TV and maybe looking at the backside of our eyelids until it was time to go to bed.  We were worn out!

Friday, May 4, 2018
Our walk in the park this morning was 2.02 miles.  

Tomorrow we are having a "Cinco de Mayo" evening at my daughter Misti's.  She has graciously agreed to do this at her house since our rig isn't big enough but I plan to do most of the cooking.  

This morning I chopped lettuce and tomatoes, and browned four pounds of hamburger for taco meat.  I had hoped to have homemade tamales but the place I planned to get them from didn't work out.  

This afternoon I filled out medical forms for more appointments next week.  They ask so many questions and I had to do some digging to get everything answered.  It's amazing how long it takes to do this, but guess it's necessary.  You can bet I made copies of all of it for our files.

Afterwards I worked on our budget for April.  I had not updated it for over two weeks and I was anxious to see how we did for the month.  We were both pleased with the outcome.  While we still did not do well on the "Dining Out" line item, we did pretty well in several others that have been high in the past three months, and we came out really good overall.  Rallies have an impact on the Dining line item and so do doctor visits when they are in other towns on a regular basis.  We'll still have a few of those this month, but I do plan on doing more cooking at home when we can.

Saturday, May 5 (Cinco de Mayo), 2018
Today is Oswego's City Wide Garage Sale.  Misti called me last night to see if I wanted to go to a few of them with her this morning, and I agreed.  She picked me up a few minutes before 7 and we headed straight to Kansas Street to one she was interested in, but it did not appear anyone was there.  We stopped at one across the street and looked and as we started to leave there we could see the one she originally wanted to visit was behind the house.  We took a look but left without buying anything.  We did drive around to a couple more and stopped at one where they had the cutest outdoor bench seating and folding chairs to match.  Misti loved it and I took a couple of pictures since they were made of pallet boards.  Another project for Dean, maybe?

After she dropped me off at Bentley, I got myself ready for the day and wrote out a little timeline to be sure everything would be ready by 5:30-6:00 for our Cinco de Mayo dinner.  I had to make another stop at the grocery store for a few things, ran by my sister Cindy's to have her look at a couple of frames I picked out for glasses, and then headed back home.  I printed a few recipes - refried beans, guacamole, and queso - all new to me for today.  

I gathered up all of my ingredients, pans, paper products, cups and food items and headed to Misti's at 1:00.  We spent the afternoon getting everything ready.  Besides the three of us, her son Logan, and two of my sisters and their husbands (Crystal land Lonie; Cindy and Elmer) will be here.  Jody and her husband could not attend due to a family event, and my son Marc and family was not able to attend - he is really busy with his side business now, especially going into Mother's Day weekend.  We invited our pastor and his wife but they were unable to attend.  At the last minute Lonie could not come due to a problem that came up right as they were getting ready to head over to Misti's.  Talk about bad timing - but in the long run it was probably good he was there to get the mesage, but we worry sorry all of the others could not make it.

We had tacos on homemade corn and flour tortillas that I brought from Texas (they've been in my freezer since March); tostada shells, authentic refried beans, taco meat, two kinds of salsa (one spicy and one mild); queso dip, and of course all of the topppings (lettuce, tomato, cheese, and sour cream).  My sisters brought dessert - Cindy a sopapilla cake, and Crystal her famous four layer dessert.  Oh my goodness, we were all stuffed.  We had a great time afterwards sitting and visiting and I thought - we need to do this more often.  There were lots of laughs among us, and a very enjoyable evening.  Afterwards I helped Misti clean up before we headed home.  I was really tired tonight but it was so worth it to spend time with family.

Sunday, May 6, 2018
We walked 2.12 miles this morning.  As we left the park, and headed west down the hill, a mother fox and her two kits ran across the road in front of us.  I wish I'd had my camera ready.  

After breakfast we got ready for church, stopping to pick up Misti on our way.  Roger had a good sermon, as usual.  We dropped Misti at her house so she could study.  She has several tests she must have completed by Wednesday before she takes her finals for this year.  She will complete her two year basic classes at LCC this year, and she has since been accepted into their Physical Therapy Assistant Program.  I'm so proud of her.  I don't know how she does it all and keeps up with everything.  She is active in church and school activities, especially project Prom - which entails many meetings and fund raising events throughout the year, she makes time to keep up an exercise regime and still makes time for her kids, other family and her friends.  

After lunch of tacos (I think we'll be eating this stuff for awhile - Lol!), I took time to straighten things up before resting for a short time.  This afternoon we are headed to Columbus to attend their High School Band Concert.  Dacy plays the clarinet and Tucker plays the tuba in their band.  We enjoyed visiting with Renae while waiting for the concert to start.  I love listening to their band and was very surprised to find out they only have 6 seniors.  

It was 5 or so when we got home.  I made taco (are you surprised?) salad for dinner.  It was very good and is one of our favorite salads to make.  No shell, just the lettuce, tomato, avocado, a few chips (tortillas, doritoes, fritoes - whatever we have on hand), taco meat and our favorite dressing for our taco salads - Dorothy Lynch Homestyle Dressing.  Wow, it hit the spot!

Once we finished eating, I did the dishes and we settled in to watch American Idol.  I hated to see anyone go, but we were quite happy with the final five that were selected to move on.  It will be really hard to see anyone leave from this point on, although I do have a couple of favorites I'm pulling for.

Monday, May 7, 2018
This morning it was my turn for a procedure at Galena.  Dr. Broce wanted me to have an EGD after the episodes of dry heaves, and since I have a couple of other sypmtoms - a sharp pain that I get a few times a month just below the middle of my rib cage that will not go away until I drink a fair amount of water, along with the heartburn I started having several months ago.  

Dean and I had the same doctor so everyone was surprised to see us back again.  They had me ready to go shortly before 8 when I was scheduled, however, Dr. Weston had an emergency at the hospital first thing this morning so he was running a little late.  It was about 8:45 before they took me back.  Everything looked good although I had some bile. With the other symptoms he said the next thing to look at is the gall bladder.  Lovely!  At least we know there is no ulcer or anything of that type which was the concern.  Several years ago I had some pains in my side.  The doctor  thought the cause might be my gallbadder but I've had very few of those pains since I've retired.  

We left the hospital about 9:45-10:00.  I needed to make another Walmart and Sam's Club run.  I just needed a few items at both places so it didn't take us long.  Afterwards we stopped at Golden Corral for lunch.  We were both starving since we did not have any breakfast this morning.  We were home by 12:30 and we've done nothing but rest since then.  I woke up at 3 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep so I've cat napped off and on, both on the way home and since we returned to Bentley.  I'm feeling pretty good now.

While we were at lunch we received the first picture of our new grandson, Samuel Peine.  He was born at 11:50 a.m. EST (they live in New York),  weighed 7 lbs 10 ozs, and was 20.5 inches long.  

Daddy Matt, Samuel and Mama Megan

Master Samuel Peine!

Also today our oldest grandson, Logan joined the Navy and was sworn in.  He also selected his school following boot camp and chose medical corpsman.  He will do 19 weeks of training in San Antonio for that.  He is scheduled to leave for bootcamp in October, but it might be sooner.  We are really proud of him.  During our Cinco de Mayo party on Saturday we learned that two or three other boys from his graduating class, and two from the class ahead of him are joining or have joined one of the service branches, and another friend is in the process of joining.  

A pretty exciting day in the life of the Peine's - wouldn't you say?

AND since this will post on Tuesday, May 8 we want to say "Happy birthday to our grandson, Gideon Michael Peine."  He is 9 years old today.  They live in the Wichita area.  The morning of his birth, his dad Heath called to let us know they were headed to the hospital.  Dean wanted to leave Oswego as soon as possible so we could try and make it before Gideon made his way into this world.  The night before was a Council meeting and there were some things I needed to take care of before we left town so I went in early that morning to get them done as soon as possible - and of course we had a storm move in that caused the electricity to go out.  In the meantime, Brett, the next oldest son called to say his wife, Renae and the kids were in an accident on their way to Pittsburg that morning.  There was either a really heavy wind or a small tornado that blew a small building across the highway and it hit their car, driving a post into the passenger side front window.  Fortunately no one was sitting there - both kids were in the backseat.  Finally, the electricity came on, I got the things done I had to do and we left for Wichita.  I think we made it to the hospital right before or right after Gideon was born so it all worked out but what a hectic morning that was!  I love the stories surrounding a special moment though and now we can laugh at how hectic it was at the time and how we are able to celebrate it today.

Do you see a theme with the Peine/Blair family? -  Busy, Hectic, Crazy, Wild, but we wouldn't change it!

How appropriate this particular scripture came up today with all the talk about our grandchildren!