Saturday, July 25, 2015

We’re in Keiser, Oregon


July 25, 2015                                                                                                                           Lorraine’s report

So we are back on the road, headed into Washington!  Yea, it is nice to finally be back on the road after such a long, tiring process.  I can not tell you how great is is to be back on the road.  I wasn’t sure I would make it, but with Chuck pushing me forward to complete all my stuff, I felt like I could make it.  Thank you Chuck, with you I can do most anything!!!

I want to thank Susy and Kaitlyn and Mike and Mark for helping me through the “Hard Times” we went thought.  It was hard, but with my family & friends, we make it until we completed.  Thank you everyone!!!  It was scary and to have to go with it was so hard, but we make it!

So now, we are headed home to see my sister, Thelma and her family.  I still pray for her and her problems; I pray God will help them through these “hard times.”

So that is it for me, I’m happy to be “going home”.  Have a safe trip and we’ll see you “down the road”. 



7/25/15                                                                                                                                      Chuck’s report

Yes, we are back on the road, heading towards Washington.  I thought about sending out an update before we left but just didn’t get around to it until tonight. 

In our last blog we were waiting for Lorraine’s neurologist visit, hoping he would give his approval for us to leave.  Once again, he was pleased with Lorraine's progress and said we could leave with his blessing.  He did say he didn’t think Lorraine was at risk for any more stroke episodes from her aneurysms, in fact, he said he didn’t think she was at risk more than someone who had never had a previous stroke, yea.  We liked to hear that as he originally said we shouldn’t leave the Bay area doctors for maybe up to two years. 

Susy had her follow-up doctor visit on Monday.  She said Susy could stop using her neck brace, start driving again and return to work on a limited basis.  Good new on that front too, yea. 

Although we’ve really enjoyed being around Susy and Katie for the all this time, I’m sure they are glad to get their lives back to normal once again.  Lorraine and I are glad to be able to resume our travels once again and return to our normal travel mode. 

We left Santa Clara on Tuesday morning.  We did not move the coach for the four months we were there and I was a bit nervous about something not working.  But everything worked normally, only problem was one HWH jack didn’t come up all the way and needed some assistance with a 2 X 4 but it worked fine since. 

Our first night’s stop was at Rolling Hills Casino just South of Corning, CA.  Everything worked fine on the way and no issues when we set up either.  Surprise, we did go inside the casino too, both of us even won this time plus we had a great buffet there too.  We only stayed the one night and next morning headed out continuing our trip.  

Second night we spent at 7 Feathers Casino and Campground in Canyonville, Oregon.  This is one of the nicest campgrounds we’ve found in our travels and we like to stop there whenever we are in the area.  We had another great buffet here too but weren’t as lucky on the slots here. Once again, this was just an overnight stop and we were back on the road in the morning. 

We drove up to Salem area here in Oregon where we stopped at a Speedco Truck oil/lube place to get some of our annual service done on our coach.  We had the oil and filters changed in the coach and the on-board generator and the coach greased as well.  We normally have this service done in April but were a couple of months late this year due to sitting so long in California.  I checked and I think we only drove 7,000 some miles this year so this service was one that was due by the calendar, not the odometer. 

We left Speedco and drove over to the Elks Lodge in Keiser, our normal stop when in the area.  They have 45 sites here and only had two open when we got here.  We had to take a back-in site and the roads are a bit narrow so it makes it harder to get in place.  But with Lorraine’s direction we made it with no problems.  We got set up and headed over to the lodge for dinner, we happened to hit it for their steak night. 

Friday morning we went to the large outlet mall in Woodburn, Lorraine likes this place.  We picked up a few items then drove into Clackamas to a shoe store Lorraine really likes.  This place carries wide shoes, hard to find them in most stores but they specialize in wide shoes.  Lorraine found two pair she really likes so we bought them for her (Happy Birthday Hon).

On the way back we stopped at a Wal-Mart to pick up some stuff we needed then called it a day.  We headed back to the Lodge for dinner once again.  They have a very nice restaurant and have specials most nights but also you can order off the menu which is what we did. 

Today we planned on just having a quiet, laid back day after three days of travel plus one day of shopping.  Lorraine did want to go to Fred Meyer, a chain of stores in Washington, Oregon and Alaska.  It’s been awhile since she’s been in one and wanted to walk the whole store.  I made my normal quick walk through then told Lorraine I would wait outside for her. 

We plan on heading out tomorrow and stopping at Lucky Eagle Casino in Rochester, Washington for a couple of days.  Lorraine wants to visit with one of her friends from back in high school days.  Judy and Bruce have lived in the area for awhile and this will be the third time we’ve stopped and visited with them.  Plus it makes for a fairly short travel day.

I have an appointment at the Freightliner shop to get a recall done on our Spartan coach on Thursday in Mt. Vernon.  I had the parts shipped to a repair shop in California back in October but we just couldn’t work out a schedule to get it done.  I went by and picked up the parts and planned to have the work done in February but with Susy’s surgery I didn’t give them a call.  I did call them before we left this time and found the shop is now closed, shoot.  So next best was to find someone along our route.  The company suggested this place in Mt. Vernon so I called them and made an appointment back in mid June.  Looks like we will be able to get this done on our way through, only taking one day.

Lorraine has been just fine with this traveling thing, no problems.  We both are missing Susy and Katie but Lorraine calls everyday for a “fix”.  Katie went to Disneyland with her dad for the weekend, hope they are having lots of fun. 

We have reservations at 1000 Trails in Blaine for two weeks and hope to make some hookups at our house and will move over there when they are done.  Our house is empty now and we a want to get it repaired, cleaned, on the market and sold before fall sets in.  We still have two different contractors working on the house, one is repairing damage from the fire, the other is getting the place repaired and cleaned.  We also need to go through the shop while we are there and get rid of lots of stuff we have stored. 

The weather has been nice this week, a bit cooler when while we were in California although it did get hot once we started traveling through the Sacramento Valley.  It was in the high 90s when we were at Rolling Hills, thankfully we had full hook-ups with 50 amp service so we could run both air conditioners.

Today we had lots of clouds in the morning and even got a short rain shower.  It’s been awhile since we’ve had a rain and Lorraine was joking that we usually get rained on as we cross the Washington border.  This time it just came a bit early, ha. 

I know Lorraine took a few pictures as we were traveling but I haven’t downloaded them so none to add here this week. 

Thanks   Chuck


Saturday, July 11, 2015

We’re in Santa Clara, California


July 12, 2015                                                                                                                           Lorraine’s report

Hello from Santa Clara.  It is so nice to be almost done with alllll the therapy and stuff I have been going through…It has been a longgg haul for me.  Thank you Lord for all you have done for me, I am so thankful for all your of your great and wondrous thoughts and deeds that you have given me.  Thank you Lord for it all.  I am so grateful for it.

Thursday was a good day for me even though I had to say good bye to one of my therapists.  What a nice gal.  She sure put me through a bunch of stuff, but I came through with flying colors, and I am better for it.  Thank you Kim!!  You know, this was the 2nd/3rd time I have gone through some of this “therapy”  stuff.  Hope it doesn’t happen again.  If I do, well, this gal was sure good to help me.  

Some of the writing is still hard for me but I am getting it again.  I just have to slow down and at times retype it.  As I have said, I just need to just slow down and rethink it again. 

I have tried to remember some of the things that happened when I had my “time out”, when I had the stroke.  It was pretty awful!!!  It took me a few hours/week to remember and try to piece some of it together.  And  I can’t remember parts of the stroke; it was pretty traumatic for me.

So now I hope we can move on and get on with our lives.  We saw one of new doctor’s last week (the surgeon) and he said we need to get back to our lives.  It was so good to hear that Doctor say that to me.  I just can’t tell you how much that means to me;  I’m getting another chance to go forward.  Thank you all for all you have done for me.  I can’t tell you what that means to me. Thank you!

Until next time…Hugs to all, 



7/12/15                                                                                                                                      Chuck’s report

I checked our calendar and counted the number of doctor and therapist appointments Lorraine has had since we came here after her stroke on March 22.  I couldn’t count the ones when she was in the hospital after her stroke or when she was having her procedures done.  So in April, May, June and July, she has been to a doctor 19 times and worked with a therapist 37 times.  I figure in just 101 days she has had 57 visits, more than one ever other day and none of these visits were on a weekend.  In the beginning, she had three different therapists seeing her twice a week but for the last two months its just been the speech therapist. 

But I must say, everything seems to be falling place as well as we had hoped now.  Lorraine saw her GP doctor this week and once again got good news/results from her.  She said she didn’t have any problems with us traveling but does want to see Lorraine in 4 – 6 months.

She also had a visit with her speech therapist and she also says Lorraine is progressing very well and suggests she stop therapy and see what happens.  She also had no problem with us getting back to a traveling lifestyle and told us if we though Lorraine needed more therapy that most hospitals could help us find someone. 

Lorraine has one more doctor visit, she see’s her neurologist for a follow-up on Thursday, its been three months since she’s seen him.  At that time he was recommending that we plan on staying in this area for up to two years because of her medical issues.  But in that three months a lot has happened so we are planning on him also giving her the green light to resume a more normal life. 

We’ve discussed our traveling lifestyle and won’t plan on going/staying in remote, more out of the way, areas as much.  We will try to stay closer to cities that have good medical facilities in case we need one.  But that probably will not limit us too much, when I look back at our travels we haven’t been out of touch for more than a week at a time very often.  So based on that, I think we won’t have to change much, maybe a little more advance planning, stay out of West Texas and maybe not drive to Alaska through BC and the Yukon. 

But I will say, every time we’ve had a medical issue on the road, we’ve always been very satisfied with the medical people we’ve found with one exception, a doctor in the hospital in Bullhead City who was very hard to work with.   After we fired that doctor, the replacement guy and the care Lorraine got at that hospital was very good. 

Susy is also recovering nicely and she sees her surgeon for a follow-up on Monday the 20th.  We are planning on her getting the ok to resume with her life too, mostly being able to drive as she is doing just fine except for that.  She will probably get a different neck brace to wear whenever she is in a car, something a little smaller that will allow her to turn her head. 

If Susy does get released to drive on Monday we are thinking we will leave here on Tuesday or Wednesday and head North to Washington.  We will probably take a week to get back home, we don’t have to hurry.  But we are both getting “hitch itch” after being here this long.  Lorraine said this is the longest we’ve been in one spot since we’ve been on the road except for the time I took a part time job back home in 2010. 

I got a text message message from an app on my phone, Gas Buddy, letting me know the price of gas would be increasing in California this week due to lower storage inventory.  Today on the news I heard prices went up $0.40 to $1.00 a gallon in Southern California over the past two days.  It’s only gone up about $0.15/gal here but this is just in time for us to resume travels, go figure.  I don’t know if the prices will be going up elsewhere but what starts in California usually goes throughout the rest of the US quickly.   

The weather has been a bit cooler this week, highs only getting to the high 70s, low 80s.  Even around Sacramento the highs have only been in the lower 90s the last couple of days, not bad for this time of the year.  I doubt if these lower temps well still be around when we travel through there in 10 days but one could hope. 

I checked and once again there aren’t any pictures to add this week.  Instead I guess I’ll just close up and get this posted. 

Thanks   Chuck


Sunday, July 5, 2015

We’re in Santa Clara, California

July 5, 2015                                                                                                                              Lorraine’s report

Happy 4th of July.  Hope you all enjoyed our holiday.  I know we did and we so thank all the service men and women who helped keep our country safe and sound.  It  has been a nice week here.  Hope all is well.  Take care…Hugs,


7/5/15                                                                                                                                      Chuck’s report

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July yesterday and are still enjoying the holiday weekend.  I know we did. 

Just a short update here.  Lorraine is still doing just fine, tomorrow will be a week since her procedure to repair the brain aneurysm.  After her stroke she was sent to a specialist who checked her brain to see if there was any problems.  He found she had two aneurysms in two different places which just happened to correspond to the areas in her brain where she had both this stroke and a prior one in 2012. 

We elected to have him repair the aneurysms by working inside her veins vs through her skull.  He makes a small incision in her leg to gain access to her veins so he can run a camera and other tools all the way up to her brain.  The repair was to put a coil inside, lots of coil, enough to basically fill the whole thing.  Then he would inject a cement type solution inside to finish the job. 

She had two different type of aneurysms, one was like a balloon with a small “neck”.  This one was only required the above treatment.  The other was more like a box or large “neck” type.  The difference with this one was if he filled it with the coil and cement, it could fall out later and block the main artery, not a good thing.  For this one, he would need to put a stent in the main artery, allow it to become firmly attached and then later, in her case 6 weeks later, go back in and put the coil and cement solution. 

When he repaired the first one, he also inserted the stent for the second.  This procedure when well and now we only had to wait the 6 weeks for the second one.  Last Monday she had the second one filled and once again everything went well, no problems.  We have to see 4 of her doctors this month for follow-ups and we are going to try to get permission from each for us to travel afterwards. 

Susy is also continuing to recover from her surgery.  She had two disks removed and three vertebras fuse in her neck.  She is still wearing a neck brace, mostly just when she is in the car and when she is laying down.  But she doesn’t have permission from her doctor to drive yet so she has to rely on someone else to pick her up and bring her back.  We try to be there for her as much as we can and she either spends the day at our place or we spend our day at hers.  I know she is really wanting to get her independence back as soon as possible!  Only good thing is she hasn’t been able to go back to work but that’s just a view from an old retired fart. 

Katie is on summer vacation from school and is busy doing lots of activities.  For example, yesterday she and her dad went to a 4th of July parade in the morning, an amusement park in the afternoon and watched a fireworks display even later.  She had a busy day but then, most of her days are filled with lots of activities. 

We were at Susy’s place yesterday where we had a very nice BBQ pork rib dinner with fruits, potato salad, Costco Apple pie (yea Dave, that one) and a cake decorated up for the 4th.  For sure no one was hungry after all that.  Thanks for a very good day Susy!

We are hoping to get back up to Washington in August, leaving here after Lorraine’s last doctor visit.  Lorraine’s sister Thelma’s birthday is two days before Lorraine’s (August 6th) and Lorraine would like to celebrate together once again.  Thelma and her husband John will also have been married 50 years this August and we would like to be there for that occasion as well. 

We are also having work done on our house we still own back home.  We had a fire inside one of the bedroom in April and the insurance repair folks are still doing repairs.  We are getting the house ready for sale and will get it on the market as soon as possible.  Even though I have a good guy helping out up there, I would like to be around too. 

This guy has replaced both of the decks and will be doing more work on the outside of the house to get it in better shape.  The house is on the water and gets lots of storm/wind/sun exposure and even though the siding is vinyl, the exposed wood on the eves, window and door frames and such needs to be cleaned and painted.  Plus he is going to wash all the vinyl, I guess it’s pretty dirty too. 

After renting out our house for the past 7 years, there is some work that also needs to be done on the inside too.  We aren’t sure of the scope of work for that just yet but the realtor and the contractor will be doing a walk-thru, checking everything out and will make a list of items needing work on Tuesday. 

We also have a large shop that we have been storing some stuff in since we’ve been on the road.  We are going to attempt to go through all the stuff and get rid of most of it.  We are thinking of hiring an auction company to handle it once we pick out the things we want to keep.  We will probably buy one of those POD storage units or something to keep our remaining items somewhere until we find a place to settle down someday. 

So if you know of someone who would like to have a nice house and shop right on the salt water on Bellingham Bay, let us know.  Here’s hoping we have it sold by Labor day!!  It really is in a good location, just South of Ferndale, not too far from Bellingham and a nice, no traffic drive to work at the refinery or aluminum plant. 

The weather has once again been really nice here over the past week, high 80s even a couple of 90s.  Like I’ve said before, this area would be on our short list of places to settle down except for three things, 1. Way too many people and all the problems from that 2. Its California and comes with all the high taxes and fees they have imposed and 3. The prices for everything, especially houses, is just too high.  But it is a nice area and we like being close to Susy and Katie. 

I didn’t check to see if we have any pictures so will just finish up and get this posted now. 

Thanks   Chuck