Monday, October 16, 2017

Successful Surgery and Tom is Feeling Better

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Monday, October 16, 2017

When we left for the hospital, which is just down the road, at 7:30 this morning it was still dark. They took Tom in for the procedure around 10:15 and about 10:50 the surgeon came out to tell me that everything went well and he would be in recovery for about 30 minutes or so. A short while later they stopped to pick me up in the waiting room and we headed back to his room. While he was in the room resting and waiting for his discharge I took a ride over to Walgreens to pickup his prescriptions so he would have them when we got home. I went outside to a beautiful blue sky and wonderfully crisp air. It was one of those perfect fall days were everything looks clean and bright in the sunlight.

Our community hospital.
This hospital has been a part of our community since 1884.
Though not at this present location.

The drive in.

The top right photo is of the entrance.
In the bottom photo the black dot near the road is a large turkey.
The sisters, who live on the grounds, feed them along with the
deer so it is wise to take your time driving in and out.

I took a few pictures around our yard last Friday.

Our burning bush is turning a bright red.

The last of Tom's flowers.

Our maple it turning color quickly. One strong wind
and all the leaves will be on the ground.

Now the healing and waiting begins. Tom has a post op appointment with the surgeon on the 24th and he, the surgeon, thinks Tom will be good to go as long as he does what he has been told. The most important thing is to not pick up anything over 10 pounds for the next four weeks. So, though we will continue to play it by ear, as of right now we are still looking at backing out of the driveway on the 27th. I will continue packing but we have decided to not count the days down. How Tom is feeling will determine the final decision and for sure, when we do leave, we will plan on short driving days and stops as needed. The really, really good news is that, just like the nurse and doctor said this morning, Tom walked out in less pain then when he walked in. 

We are glad you took the time to read our blog today. 

Comments are always enjoyed and welcomed.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Counting Down the Days

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Six more days and Tom is scheduled for his hernia repair and we are counting the days; since, every day that goes by he is somewhat more uncomfortable. I mentioned in our last post that our planned escape day is October 26th though I am guessing it will actually be the 27th. We have decided not to count those days down until we know how Tom feels after the surgery. We are getting some extra things done around the house so that is a good thing. It is what it is and we cannot change it so we are just enjoying our time here at the house. We are slowly putting things in the Stinger "B", as we think of it, and maybe this year will not forget anything. (We can dream.)

One thing for sure is, for the most part, we are having a beautiful fall. Looking ahead the weather is going to stay pretty decent the rest of the month. Certainly not perfect but if the weather predictions are right we should only see a couple of nights below freezing through October. 

St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church
( In the summer of 1948, Bishop Thomas L. Noa approved a petition for a church on the north side of Escanaba. More than 300 people signed the plea. The new church, being the first established by Bishop Noa, was named after his patron saint.) 

The above information is all I could find online about the history of the parish. I do know that the school building itself opened in 1956, we were the first class to go through all eight years in the building, and it closed in 1971. At that time the four Catholic Grade Schools in Escanaba were consolidated into one school, Holy Name Catholic School.

Presently we belong to St. Anne's Parish here in Escanaba but we are seriously considering changing parishes and joining St. Thomas. This is were I went to grade school, 1st through 8th grade. I also made my First Communion and Confirmation at this parish. Our son and daughter-in-law were married at this church and had their three children Baptized here. It is also the church where all four of our parents' Funeral Masses were celebrated.

The upper left picture is what was the entrance
to the school.
Before the church was remodeled the other two
pictures are of what was the main entrance. It is
now a side entrance into the church.

The Altar
Statue of the patron saint,
St. Thomas the Apostle.

These two statues of the Blessed Mother and
St. Joseph used to be above the side altars
when I went to grade school here.

Plague in what was the entrance
to the school.

This emblem is on the floor at the entrance
we used when it was a school.
As children we were never allowed to walk on
this emblem. 

The center "shield" was the emblem
 we wore on our uniforms. 

The Family Inn in Wells, MI.
This seems to be the place we always end up for 

breakfast after Sunday Mass.
We came here with our children and now
sometimes our grandchildren join us.

Our granddaughter, Charlotte, was over and I
caught this of her. She was totally concentrating
on making, as she called it, a wiggly straw to
drink her chocolate milk.

Charlotte takes dance classes and there are a few
classes, at the beginning of the year,
that we are allowed to go and view.
Last Wednesday, October 4th, was one of them

Top photo: She is second from the right in the front
row as they work on their tap routine.
Bottom photo: She is in the middle with her back
towards us. To end the class they are having fun
bouncing the balls in the air and onto the floor. Then
they had just as much fun scampering around picking
them up. 

So last week we had a delivery from Amazon and it was just like opening Birthday Gifts. I finally decided on what camera I wanted to purchase. You can see below it is the Nikon D3400 and the best thing is that I was able to order the instruction book, "Nikon D3400 for dummies". I have got a feeling I will need all the help I can get learning how to use it. Earlier this year when I was trying to make the decision as to what one to get I had emailed Al of "The Bayfield Bunch"  for some advice. I had noticed on the sidebar where he lists his camera equipment that he owned one. Having followed his blog since we had decided on this lifestyle I knew he would be the person to ask. If you want to see some beautiful pictures click on the link above. I just wanted to thank you, again, Al for your advice. I appreciated it and your quick response.

All the pictures you see in our blog Tom and I have taken with our Samsung phone cameras and I am anxious to be able to take pictures with a "real" camera again.

The second package was Tom's drone and it was his Birthday Gift just a little belated as I was not sure which one to get him.(I think I really surprised him this year.) With the help of Bill of "On Our Way"  I was able to decide on the one below. If you read Bill or Patsy's blog, "Chillin' with Patsy" you will know why I contacted him for advice. (Plus, we met the two of them while parked near Borrego Springs and after only spending a few days parked next to them I knew he would be someone I could ask for help.) He not only flies a drone and shares great pictures he has taken but he also flies RC Planes so I figured he was the man to ask.  He let me "bug" him a couple of times and got back to me with the information I needed and quickly. Thank you, again, Bill for your help. I really appreciated it and your quick responses. The good news is Tom was happy to get it and is excited to be able to try it out. And Bill he also wants to thank you for helping me pick it out.

My sister left yesterday morning after spending 4 days visiting. We had not spent any real time together in a while. So it was really nice to have her here. Unfortunately, neither one of us thought to take a picture. Just the same we a great time talking, laughing, and just being together.

We are glad you took the time to read our blog today. 

Comments are always enjoyed and welcomed.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Back in Escanaba and Plans Change

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September 28, 2017

We arrived back home Monday night around 9:30PM and amazingly it was still around 71 degrees. It is always wonderful to spend time downstate with our son and his family. I do not think we even get 5 miles down the road and we are missing them all. Knowing we probably will not see them again before May makes it even harder to leave. Our grandchildren change so much between visits. The nice thing about today's technology is we are able to video chat with them. Not as good as being with them in person but still great to see all their sweet faces in real time.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Waiting somewhat patiently, out on the porch at Cracker Barrel,
for our table. Thomas trying to explain checkers to our 

grandsons. While Nadine entertains our granddaughter. 

The food has been ordered and chocolate milk makes the
wait somewhat easier.

Monday, September 25, 2017

We decided to check out a new RV park near Algonac, MI before heading home. This slight detour  put us on some back roads as we headed north.

Mostly traffic free back roads as we cut across to I-69

We are on I-69 and there is some Fall color starting.

Turning off and heading north towards Frankenmuth, MI

Just got a quick shot of the RV park we usually stay at when
we are in Frankenmuth. No RV this time just the Jeep.

The reason we are stopping is so we can buy Christmas
Ornaments at Bronner's. Honestly, if you are looking for a
Christmas decoration and they do not have it I would wonder
if it even exist. They cover the other seasons as well. I love driving
through the grounds, especially in the winter, they have everything
decorated year round and there are lights galore.

Frankenmuth itself is a tourist destination. There are a shops, restaurants, wine tastings, brewery, a water park, several nice hotels etc... We have stayed here more then once over the years and it seems like more and more things have been added. It is fun to browse and walk around but like most tourist destinations it is an expensive place to visit. These days Bronner's is usually the only place we stop and it is about ornaments and having them personalized. (Side note: just a few miles down the road on I-75 is Birch Run's Outlet Mall which has been a stop for us more then once.)

Continuing north on I-75 we were seeing some red's and gold's but we thought there would be more color on our way home. Sadly the amount seemed about the same as on the way down. Maybe with the unseasonably warm weather the trees could not decide what to do. It was in the 80's until the sun started to go down.

The road ahead.

Lovely clouds today.

Darrow's Family Restaurant in Mackinaw City.
This is our favorite place to stop to eat. We have never
had a bad meal or service here.
Just to be honest, the main reason for this stop is the pie.
Delicious homemade pie. 
We cross the Mackinac Bridge and are back in the UP.
Looking down tonight as we started across there were
people swimming in Lake Huron. 

Looking over the railing across Lake Huron we can
see Mackinac Island in the distance.

We are now on US-2 going west and the sun is setting so you will be spared several pictures of the lake and trees as we travel.

I did take several pictures of the sun setting and had a hard time deciding on which ones not to share so I am afraid what follows is most of them. The first two we did make a stop to take. The rest I caught while we were moving. Tom thought it would be nice if we got home before midnight.

September 26, 2017

Today is Tom's Birthday. He turned 70 and we both agree we do not know how that happened. It seems like just yesterday he was walking me home after a school dance and saying goodnight at the door around the corner past the burning bush in this picture. Time sure does go by quickly.

Our burning bush, that my mother planted quiet a few years
ago, is turning a beautiful red.
(We bought this house from my parents in 1994.)

Now to explain why the title of this post includes the words "Plans Change". People who RV often say plans are written in jello and for us evidently the planned escape date of October 11th was written in just that. Tom unfortunately found out a couple of weeks ago he has a hernia. The earliest he could see a surgeon was on September 26th, Happy Birthday Tom, and after seeing the surgeon he found out the earliest date open for the surgery is October 16th. Though he is on the list if something opens up sooner. So prayers and fingers crossed that, that happens especially since he is not enjoying the pain involved in the wait. The doctor told him if everything goes well, and we expect it will, as long as he does not lift anything we can be on the road within a couple of days following the surgery . I am insisting we wait at least a week maybe even a little longer. So the new date of escape is now October 26th. (A request: if you are reading this and you believe in the power of prayer, we do, please say one that everything goes as planned with Tom's surgery.)

The good news is that the Stinger B is ready to go. (She did not get totally waxed like we wanted but Tom can do that down the road when he feels up to it.) Before this happened we had purged, cleaned out the inside, and cleaned out along with rearranging the basement. Tom had already took her to have the oil changed and whatever else had to be done to head out this year. All that is left to do, before we back out for this years adventure, is put back in our personal belongings and food. Both of which I have been slowly doing and can finish so he does not lift anything.

Even though we had hoped to be on the road somewhat earlier this year, if everything goes as planned we will leave Michigan six days earlier then last year, so it is all good...

Smiling Face With Smiling Eyes on Apple iOS 10.3

We are glad you took the time to read our blog today. 
Comments are always enjoyed and welcomed.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Visiting With Children and Grandchildren Downstate

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September 18, 2017

When I posted the first day of school photos I did not have this little guys available. This is Jonah waiting for the bus on September 7th so he can head off to his first day of pre-school.

His mom said, the dandelions in his hand he
picked for his teacher.

September 15, 2017

We headed downstate around noon on Friday to spend some time with our son and his family.

This sign just keeps standing even though the restaurant burned
down several years ago.

The leaves are beginning to show their color in the UP.

Driving along Lake Michigan the water was a beautiful
blue green today.

You are on a curve coming down a hill when you first
spot the Mackinac Bridge.

Crossing the bridge.

Surprisingly we saw more color below the bridge.

I do not know how many times over the years we have went by
this sign. It is just past Gaylord, MI. I finally remembered to
have my camera ready and snapped a picture.

September 16, 2017

Our grandchildren playing outside on a beautiful Saturday in
September. It was 80 degrees.
(Noah (7) in the orange shirt, Jonah (5) in the blue shirt,
and Marcella (3) )

September 17, 2017

On Sunday we went to mass at St. Margaret's Catholic Church the parish they belong to. It is a beautiful church and is certainly family oriented. At their 10 o'clock mass they have a nursery for the little ones and a Catechism class for pre-school and kindergarten age children. Plus, they have a children's liturgy of the word during mass for the younger children.

A prayer area at one of the entrances
into the church.

The Altar

The Tabernacle in a prayer area next to the altar.

Baptismal Font

September 18, 2017

Today was Nathaniel's first day of Early Head Start.

Waiting for the bus on his
first day.

"Life is short.
Do stuff that matters."
~Siqi Chen

We are glad you took the time to read our blog today. 
Comments are always enjoyed and welcomed.