Sunday, November 7, 2010

Picking up some loose ends

Our little break in the routine ended when we arrived home Friday afternoon. We had a good time visiting with my brother in Palm Bay and seeing so much of his family again. Ricky owns three homes in Palm Bay, two of which are rental properties. His older daughter, Tammy, and her boyfriend, Mike, did a major remodeling of one of the homes. Built in the 1950s, it needed a lot of work and they did a most excellent job. A completely new kitchen, floors, walls, ceiling, lighting, cabinets and appliances. It looks like a brand new home. They also did considerable work in the rest of the house including major upgrades in the bathrooms. Mike even talked Ricky into vinyl siding on the outside and the results are amazing.

The house Ricky kept for himself and Linda is the best of the three, naturally. It is newer and Ricky had done a lot of work on it over the years. It abuts a park and the morning sun rises over the small pond in the park. If I were able to take the following picture in the early morning it would show the sunrise.

Having the house in Palm Bay, Linda did not feel safe without a guard dog to protect her so last year they got Mya.

Don't let her size fool you. She can be a terror! Plus, she can really raise a ruckus.

Ricky was thrilled that he would be in Florida so close to Cape Canaveral for the last space shuttle launch which was supposed to be on November 1st. Then it was moved to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and eventually it has been put off until the end of the month. Since Ricky has to be back at work in Boston tomorrow, he will have to watch it on TV. Helen and I have been more fortunate in that we have traveled to the east coast three times and each time we got to see the shuttle launch. Sometimes it was 20 minutes late, but we were never shut out.

In Palm Bay, we stayed at the Breezy Palms Campground. The choice was easy to make from home. The first campground we looked into had a NO DOG policy. Ugh!!! When I called the lady at Breezy Palms I inquired about our dogs. She said that if they were well behaved and we cleaned up after them there would be no problem. The have a dog walking area at the rear of the park, but when we got there she said that as long as there were so many empty spaces we could walk them anywhere if we cleaned up. The dogs actually preferred the dog area at the rear. On the way to the dog area, we passed by the motorhome in the following picture.

I don't know what year Winnebago is represented here but I'd guess about 1990. I also realize that they were sometimes referred to as "land yachts". However, the radar has me puzzled. Can he drive in fog with the radar on? Perhaps he pilots his rig through the salt flats of the western US. I also noted that he has a TV antenna rotator, so when he gets to his destination he can mount his large antenna and aim it from a console inside the camper. I'm stumped! Unfortunately, there was never anyone there during the week we stayed.

Now I'm down to Sandy. Not much has changed since we adopted her. She has been growing since we first picked her up at the shelter. She had no concept of play and would watch as Helen would toss the tennis balls for Jodie and Coco. Then she would run with them, and eventually she learned how to beat them to the ball as she is considerably faster than either of the labs. Now, Helen has her dropping the ball and then fetching it again.

She not only plays with our dogs, now she has started to initiate the play and we find our two mattress muffins getting more play and more exercise. The three have been a pack for sometime and they get along extremely well with nary a growl between them. Jodie and Coco have never been aggressive in any way and Sandy is the same. She is just a natural fit into our house. Riggs, this is for you. Sometimes when we get home, Jodie would greet us with something from the floor or couch, generally a shoe. Sandy quickly picked up the same habit, only more so. She will bring us something even if we just come from another part of the house. The other day I got up and was greeted by Sandy with the TV remote. Usually she will give me the shoe or sock that she has, but that day she wanted to play. I had to chase her to get the remote back and I was hoping she wouldn't put too much pressure on it. It was unbroken and now does not sit where she can get it.

Yesterday we went to "The Cove" for chicken wings with Barb and Rita. They stopped by at first to discuss cameras and have screen covers put on the lcd screen of their cameras. They have the same as I do and we are all learning to use them bit by bit. I had a few less than successful moments with mine on the east coast, but I'm learning. I had a single lens reflex camera years ago and forgot that if you are not in AUTO, you have to watch what you're doing. I was careless and I have the poor pictures to prove it. Barb and Rita are off to some botanical garden in Alabama to put some practice time on theirs.

On a personal note, I was having a few problems related to my stomach stapling more than 12 years ago. Recently I was put on a strong dose of Prilosec and I also had two iron infusions. All was going well until just before our vacation. On the last couple of days we had the pups I was outside with them, but not very long and mostly in the shade. I got a terrible sunburn on my arms just below the elbow. It was a very bright red and sore. When it started to peel, it spread down toward my wrist and up toward my shoulder, where I got no sun. I also got it on the back of my thighs where I also got no sun. Medically, I'm stupid, but thankfully I have Helen who is medically astute. She wanted to know what I was taking that was new. I of course said "nothing". Helen persisted and asked about the new medicine and iron infusion and I said "Oh, that".

We got on the computer and looked up the side effects of omeprazole. Sure enough, the side effects include sunlight sensitivity and flaky peeling skin. I will meet with the prescribing doctor on Wednesday to see what's what. I suppose I could turn Helen on him, but he really seems nice enough. I'll keep you informed.

That's it for now.

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