Thursday, January 12, 2017

It's Out of Control

At least that is how it feels. We had only 1 appointment--our annual physical check-up. We knew that meant we would have to get some blood tests done. That always happens. But now it seems like things are really out of control. Since our primary care doctor is a member of a cardiology office, they do a electrocardiogram each year. Well, it seems one little irregularity in that squiggly line means something. Our doctor came in and said, "John, I've got bad news for you." They call it afib--atrial fibrillation. That has resulted in 8 more appointments for John. Yikes!

From what we have read so far, that isn't too unusual when you are 'our age.' It seems everything becomes more prevalent after the age of 65. The main issue seems to be the greatly increased risk for a stroke. The first of those 8 appointments was with a cardiologist--really her physician's assistant. It led to a prescription for a blood thinner. A baby aspirin no longer does the trick.

Still to come are an echo cardiogram, wearing a heart monitor for 24 hours, a 4-hour stress test, an ultrasound of the carotid artery and an abdominal aortic scan. Then, of course, there is a follow-up appointment to go over those blood tests and another to look at all the heart tests.

What ever happened to the days when we could spend all morning in the pottery shop or wood shop? When we could hike whenever we felt like it? When we had free time and were really retired? I guess those opportunities flew away just like the years have. We have lived nearly 74 years. Where did all that time go?

On the positive side of all this, we are grateful we have a primary care doctor who discovered the issue, we have excellent medical testing facilities and care facilities nearby, and we have really good Medicare supplemental insurance, thanks to the Episcopal Church Medical Trust.

At the end of the appointment at the cardiologist's office, we were nearly overwhelmed with doctor's appointments and with questions. Now it is just an inconvenience. And our goal--and that of the doctors, I am sure, is to see it is only an inconvenience for as long as possible.

And all the while John says, "but I feel just fine!"

Monday, January 09, 2017

Silly Mountain

Silly Mountain is really kind of silly. It isn't what we would call a mountain in Colorado and it doesn't have interesting trails. Everywhere you walk on it you can either see US Highway 60 or nearby housing developments. That doesn't mean no one goes there. Every morning, especially, and throughout the day we see cars in the parking lot. We did hike on the mountain once--that is the reason I can tell you about the views.

This is what the mountain looks like from the west.

What is good about the mountain is the fact it is very near our resort. Since we try to walk at least 10,000 steps a day we are always looking for new places to walk. We quickly bore walking the roads in our resort. Last week we decided to walk to Silly Mountain, not on it. We were able to get about 8,000 steps walking to and from the mountain.

Obviously, there were some recent rains. Just look at the green grass along the path we walked.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 in Review

We have traveled from Arizona to Glacier National Park in northern Montana to Arizona and down to San Antonio, Texas, during the year. We have towed the trailer 12,000+ miles and stayed in 49+ RV parks, four of them twice.

The biggest event of the year was going from this

to this.

Along the way we spent 12 days in a Flying J in Winslow.  It was an interesting experience...but not one we would want to repeat.

That story extended from early May through mid June.

There were two family weddings and one funeral, lots of great family time and outstanding scenery.

But before leaving our winter home in Gold Canyon  we enjoyed our first visit to the Musical Instrument in Phoenix with friends Bill and Ellie.

We enjoyed the Gourd Festival at the Pinal County Fairgrounds when John's sister Cindy came to Arizona for a visit. We had already seen her once, driving to Colorado to celebrate her 80th birthday.

In March our son Eric, wife Liz and our grandchildren Kylie and John visited us during their spring break. We had a great time at Organ Stop Pizza while they were with us.

Our summer travels took us to Chama, NM, and Antonito, CO, where we watched the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad.

This is one of many beautiful scenes at St. Vrain State Park north of Denver where we stayed for the first time this year.

We headed north again, heading for Wyoming and Montana.  I felt at home in Butte, MT, with these mine head frames.  They remind me of Colorado towns Cripple Creek and Victor where my grandfather mined.

We marveled at the scenery along the Going to the Sun road in Glacier National Park.

And enjoyed the many sights in Yellowstone National Park, both thermal features and buffalo.

The fall colors were spectacular along the Million Dollar Highway between Ouray and Silverton, Colorado.

And then we were back to the beautiful Sonoran Desert in Arizona.

We have made two RV trips since then. The first was to test out some remodeling we had done on the trailer with a visit to Laughlin, Nevada, for a barbecue cook-off. We enjoyed our destination and the changes to the trailer interior.

We have spent December in Texas, cheering our granddaughter Kylie on at the Junior Olympic swimming competition and exploring Hill Country.

We look forward to the coming year and hope everyone has a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas Lights

I grew up in Denver and one highlight of the Christmas season was driving downtown to see the lights in Civic Center, especially on the City and County Building. While we were staying in Roadrunner RV, we visited the Johnson City area to see the lights at the Blanco Old County Courthouse and in Johnson City. What a treat!

The buildings around the square in Blanco were also lighted.

But most impressive were the lighted trees surrounding the Perdernales Electric Cooperative's offices in Johnson City.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Eve Worship

We spent some time on the internet, searching for an Episcopal Church where we could attend worship on Christmas Eve.  That isn't easy when we know nothing about any of them.  We did know we didn't want to be out late.  Not only do we go to sleep early, the traffic in San Antonio is awful so we knew we didn't want a service that ended about midnight. And I wasn't interested in a children's pageant during the service.

We really made a good choice in deciding to worship at St. Mark's in downtown.  It is a beautiful old building and the worship liturgy was wonderfully done.  The altar was decked with red roses, the widows each had 25 burning candles, the junior choir provided outstanding hymns, and the rector preached a good sermon.

The congregation is very friendly.  We were greeted in the parking lot, on the sidewalk outside the church and by people in the pew.  The man I was sitting next to, Gordon, filled us in on the history of the congregation and pointed out local traditions and practices.

We were blessed with inspiring and meaningful worship.  We aren't always sure what we will find in a new community but St. Mark's was a great choice.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Celebrating Christmas in an RV park

Wherever we go in RV parks we see Christmas decorations. Lights can be hung on trees and on RVs. Mirrors on motorhomes sport Santa hats. This year we have been traveling and enjoying how others decorate. We have a small tree inside our trailer, a few gifts, a nativity set and Santa.

We saw the first outdoor decorations in Canyon Vistas before we left on this trip.

Santa was parked in the Junction, Texas, park we stayed in.

At Peach County RV in Stonewall the rocking chairs all sported Santa hats.

Here in Blazing Star in San Antonio there are lots of decorations. The snowman is shivering.

Santa has moved here and shares his trailer with a penguin.

An elf is sitting on this mirror.

The Holy Family is on a patio.

Only in Texas would you find Santa trying to ride a bull!

We even saw Santa in person, riding in a golf cart here in San Antonio.  He gave me a handful of small Hershey candy bars.

Christmas Time on the River Walk

We don't have family or an RV community here in San Antonio to make us feel at home but a walk on the downtown Riverwalk really got us in the holiday mood Friday. We last visited San Antonio in 2003 and we remembered enjoying walking along the river. It is such a pretty setting.

I wasn't the only person taking a picture of this sign outside a restaurant.

Tour boats and river taxis were busy all evening.

We got a kick out of watching this young man being pulled along on his skateboard by his dog. The dog really got a workout.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas

We came to San Antonio for Christmas.  We don't know anyone here.  But we celebrated the birth of Christ this afternoon at a wonderful and meaningful celebration of Holy Eucharist at St. Mark's Episcopal Church.  The altar was decked with red roses, the windows filled with glowing candles, the Children's Choir offered beautiful and inspiring music.  The rector's sermon included all of us seeking to worship Christ at this holy time and the people in the congregation were welcoming.  We truly worshiped and are so glad we chose to join this Christian family for the celebration.

Merry Christmas to all of you who read this blog.

Market Plaza

Friday afternoon we drove into central San Antonio to explore the sights and have a late lunch/early dinner. After parking at the Shops at Rivercenter we took the trolley down to El Mercado on Market Square. When we were looking for the trolley stop, a local resident stopped to help us, telling us where it stopped what type of ticket to purchase. When he learned we are from Colorado, he also pointed out the Colorado Buffaloes are playing in the Alamo Bowl here next week. In addition, the trolley operator was very helpful to us and other riders, telling people when he reached their stop.

These two markets are typical of markets found in Central Mexico.

The booths were full of colorful and interesting items.

Here are some of the Christmas decorations in the markets.

We walked down the street, looking for some place to eat.

We chose La Margarita.

The food was very good and our waitress, Juanita, was outstanding. She asked us what we were doing for Christmas and we asked her what she was doing. Since her husband and son are spending the holiday in Chicago with family, she and a friend are cooking some Mexican food. At the end of the meal she invited us to join them, even giving us her phone number. She said if we couldn't come, she would even bring some of the food to us! We were truly impressed. We won't be joining them because I already have our food in the refrigerator but it was special to encounter such a friendly woman. That was 3 great encounters in one afternoon in San Antonio.

Here is the Christmas tree in Market Plaza.