Monday, April 24, 2017

“Lasts” Day

Today was such a beautiful day that we sat inside all morning.  I had the windows and doors open enjoying the breeze while I talked on the phone.  After lunch Duane took a last bike ride for a while.  I sewed a Christmas present.  We did take our daily walk, the last one together for a while.  Duane ate his last meal—fasting required after midnight.  He had to shower this evening in special antibacterial soap, then wash each knee with special antibacterial wipes for three minutes—twice.  We were informed that his surgery will be at 7:15 Tuesday.  This means that we have to be there at 5:15, and that means that Duane has to get up at 4 to shower in his special disinfectant soap again and be ready to leave at 4:30.  YUCK!!!

I’m posting this tonight since we won’t have time in the morning.  We expect all to go well and to have a good report for you tomorrow.

Louise and Duane

One Last Sunday

Since we will soon be staying home a lot, we spent Sunday with the family.  We started the day with breakfast at Denny’s.  Jennifer, as usual, decided that she was much too comfy in bed.

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The rain kept everyone inside on Saturday, so today ended up being chore day. 

Jennifer power washed  the porch wall.

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The rest of us went down to the Fishin’ Shack at the river.  Jeremy explained that the pump was installed in the new well. Since it didn’t need to go all the way to the bottom, it is suspended partway down the pipe and  held in place by those straps

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Duane helped him to build a frame for the concrete floor around the well head.  Eventually a pump house will be built here.

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I played ‘good Grandma’ and followed kids around with the camera.  Luke discovered this unfortunate black snake.  Jeremy planted grass by laying down this mesh which held grass seed.  Unfortunately, this snake got under the mesh somehow and couldn’t get out.  It was in bad shape with several raw patches where it scraped off its scales and skin.

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We let it rest in the sun for a while before releasing it away from the ‘mesh’ grass.  It eventually crawled away.

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Meanwhile Allie honed her balance skills, (Jeremy was below, ready to catch),IMG_1237

and Luke got brave. That’s Jeremy holding Allie below.  She didn’t fall.  She didn’t want to shinny down the pole so she lowered herself onto his shoulders and he lifted her down.

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Back at the house Luke and Gramps rested with a game of Battle.  Battle is the Texan name for what we Midwesterners call War.  This was a rainy day staple at my house when I was growing up. I found it amazing that Duane, who grew up only about an hour away from where I lived,  had never played it.

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Meanwhile I went to see if Allie wanted to play cards.  She was in her room doing homework.  This is her nice desk.

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This is where she was doing her work.

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Too nice a day for cards.  We went outside for fun and games.

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About 3:00 Luke had to go to baseball practice. Duane decided that he’d had enough fun and we headed to the house.

One more day of freedom.

Louise and Duane

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Opposite

Today was gray and rainy with steadily falling temps.  My response is below.

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Tomorrow will be better.

Louise and Duane

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Destination This Time

Beautiful riding weather made it necessary to head out on an all-day ride.  Today we had a definite destination in mind.  Once again we traveled north west toward Greenville, then kept on going to the tiny burg of Celeste.

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In Celeste US69 goes through between two short rows of buildings.  The ones on the north are empty and boarded up.  The ones on the south are used for a Masonic Lodge, a saddlery/leather store, and this wonderful quilt shop.

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Inside Vickey and her staff made my visit productive and satisfactory.  I found a large display of cowboy fabrics, the latest projects, new and retro fabric patterns,  and of course Christmas fabric.  All of the fabric I looked at was priced at $11-$12 per yard.  The shop also has a long quilter and offers classes and a three day seminar.  If you are traveling in your rv, there is plenty of room to park in front of the defunct shops across the street.  It is worth a visit.

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When I emerged from Quilt Mercantile we rode another 15 miles to our son Duane Jr.’s business and gym in Trenton.  We goofed off with grandkids Coy, Alyssa, Ava and Emma for a couple of hours while Jr. worked and Brandey conducted a class in the gym. 

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Outside we discovered that they had added a trampoline to the two playsets (see Cooperation blog).

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When Jr. was done for the day Brandey was still occupied, so Jr was in charge of feeding children.  We followed him to this place in Leonard.

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I got a chuckle out of some of the menu items, especially the Oklahoma Prime Rib and

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the piggy themed appetizers.

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Everyone say ‘cheese’, except for Ava, who is sucking a lemon.

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After a thoroughly satisfying day we completed it with a pleasurable ride home in the beautiful evening light.

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As dusk descended and the temperature started dropping, we stopped in this picnic pull-off to add a layer, then continued our ride.

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Our ride today was a round trip of about 230 miles and 5 hours.  Nice.

Only a couple more days of freedom.

Louise and Duane

Friday, April 21, 2017

Long Ride

From Kilgore, TX to Shreveport, LA is only about 80 miles and 1 1/2 hours, but it seems  longer because I20 is pretty boring:  straight, flat, and not much to see.

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I was on the lookout for new and interesting things.  All we saw was this gas burn off.  Neither of us remembered this being there last year.

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Crossing the state line it took me a minute to realize what was so different.  Gone is the long grass studded with wildflowers, and replaced by mown roadsides (at least along the Interstate).

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Everything was as we remembered it in Louisiana in general and Shreveport in particular, including the atrociously bumpy roads.  Warning to rvers:  Traveling over these roads can open cupboard doors, spill water jugs, and leave you needing dental work. Shreveport also has icky tasting water.  I’d forgotten about that until we bought a fountain drink at a fast food place.  It tasted of moss.  Duane couldn’t taste it, of course.  This taste is not dangerous, nor is it consistant.  Sometimes I can taste it, sometimes not.  It is  just something unique to the water system. 

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We visited our dentist and our financial guy, both with satisfactory results.  That done,  jarred our way back to Texas.  We were going to pick up US80 for a more picturesque ride, but opted instead to go south to visit our old house.  We lived here for 4 years until Duane retired from the Shreveport GM plant.  The place is for sale again. We decided that we both liked this place and would consider it if we were done traveling—which we’re not.

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We opted to take FM2625 west.  This is a typical TX country road:  very little traffic, a few dips and curves, and scenery varying between foliage and scatterings of houses/towns. 

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As we travel these roads we’ve noticed that in every town/city, we’ve found at least one donut shop,

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some kind of church (usually some kind of Baptist church),

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a Tex Mex or burger or fried chicken place—sometimes all three,

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and some kind of dollar store.

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These places are scattered around between towns.

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We enjoyed our ride up until about 10 miles from home where we ran into a heavy rain shower.  Fortunately we were able to run out of it without getting too wet.  We made it home in time to avoid two more heavy showers before the rain finally moved on.

More rain in the forecast but we hope to take more bike rides.

Louise and Duane

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Old Diner

Louise informed me that I had not published this blog from a week or so ago. So here it is a little out of order but but not by much.

To take advantage of a beautiful afternoon, we hopped the bike for a ride to Kilgore.  We’d eaten at this restaurant several years ago, and decided to give it another try.

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Inside is an open area with a bar at one end.

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The rest of the place is eating area.  This is an upscale version of the basic Texas b-b-q joint.  Usually you go in, get your bbq cafeteria style, and find a table.  Here we had a waitress who rattled off the menu, took our order in her head, and brought it to our table.  The bbq was typical delicious Texas fare.  My brisket was good.   Duane enjoyed his brisket and ribs.

We had only a couple of reservations:  the brisket was just a tad dry, and the meals were a bit pricey.  Otherwise, everything was fine.

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After a pleasurable hour we stopped for a few errands, then went home..  (We couldn’t visit our kids.  They weren’t home.)

Later, gator.

Louise and Duane

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Off Again

After 6 weeks in Tyler (TX), we went back to Kilgore to Shallow Creek RV.  In spite of Duane’s bilateral (double) knee replacement scheduled for next Tuesday (April 25) in Tyler, we had several reasons for relocating 30 miles away.  Shallow Creek is just around the corner from our son and his family, who are my backup support. Shallow Creek has smooth pavement throughout the park which will make it easier for Duane to navigate when he returns home.  If necessary, we can open the back ramp for him to walk up because the sites here are spacious.

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This park has a work out room at the end of this building, (which also houses a large activity room, laundry, restrooms/showers, office and camp supply store)

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and a hot tub.  Both the hot tub and the workout room will help Duane with his recovery and both are open 24/7.

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He could also use the pool when it opens.  Rest assured I will.

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There is also a little fishing pond in case he gets bored.

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Of course all of these things make Shallow Creek attractive to other rvers as well, as will as these two new additions for kids—a splash fountain (like the pool, not open yet) and playground equipment in the rear. 

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Not only is there a nice dog walk, but also pick-up bags and disposal.

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View from the top of the hill.

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The park is bordered on two sides by a golf course, which is now under complete reconstruction.

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View from our living room showing the only part of the golf course that hasn’t been completely dug up.

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We still have several trips to make to Tyler, but we thought that, all in all, we would be better off in Shallow Creek to make Duane’s recovery easier, and close to Kilgore because I will be more comfortable driving where everything is easier for me to find and there is a lot less traffic.

Tomorrow’s another day.

Louise and Duane