Monday, May 16, 2011

Kitty Update; RV/Truck Update; Nearing the end of my Fifties; Learning to Knit

My kitty would have been 16 years old yesterday, and he was down to less than five pounds. The decision was very tough, as it was not an emergency situation, and he still had an appetite. But, he was constantly thirsty, due to the kidney failure. I realized that I was only prolonging the inevitable with continuing to give him subcutaneous fluids. And the last thing I wanted was for him to suffer needlessly. His last ride was in the truck, looking out the window with his little fur blowing in the wind. He loved riding in the truck, and it always reminded me of "Toonces the Driving Cat" from SNL. We buried him with the ashes of his littermate, Mr. Buck. I loved, loved, loved those two cats and they went through so many life changes with me. I miss them both very much.

Our RV is scheduled for inspection by the dealer this week! Whoo-hoo! And, the truck is on the way, and is scheduled for delivery in one week. We almost didn't get the color we wanted because of the tsunami. The pigments for the paint came from Japan. Who would have thought? So, we are hoping, hoping, hoping that this time next week we will be moving into the RV and readying the truck with the hitch. This little 23 foot motorhome is tight, but we have managed fine. I have to say - I am so excited!! We still plan to hit the road July 5th. Whoo hoo!!

I had a birthday yesterday, and now I am on the last year of my Fifties. Wow, time flies! Phil gave me a hat that one would expect a Ram owner to wear. It was sort of a joke, but I really like the hat! It was the coldest birthday that I can remember - low 60's in mid-May is not the norm for Tennessee. We had a wonderful dinner at my favorite Thai restaurant, then stopped to pick up a Krystal Kreme donut and a birthday candle so that I could Skype my granddaughter Addison and have her "blow" out my candle. She is so cute! It was a good day. 

Phil only has two more weeks before retirement! I am taking knitting classes, as I have always liked needlework. I have crocheted, embroidered and done needlepoint, but never knitted - until now. I really like it. My first project is a neckwarmer. I made it from baby alpaca, and it is super soft. And, I am adding two big buttons. I'll post a picture as soon as it is finished.

Life is good!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Crowded Nest; Truck, RV and Kitty Update; RV-Dreams Rally; and Tornadoes

Wow, busy times. We are still waiting on our NEW TRUCK and NEW RV. Our truck has a supplier issue, in that the seats will not be available until mid-May. Yuk! Our RV is finished, and probably already in Tennessee, but will need to be inspected by the dealer before delivery to us. Believe me, the nest is a little crowded. We are still in our 23' motorhome, with the dog and the cat. Needless to say, we are ready to move into the much larger 350 sq ft space!!

My kitty, Paleo, is still hanging in there with his kidney failure. We have learned to give him fluids under the skin to rehydrate him, and give him softeners for his poopy problems. Seems kidney failure contributes to dehydration and constipation. Poor kitty. He is one old cat, and sometimes loses his balance, or wakes himself up nodding during sleep. He is very skinny, which also goes along with the disease. I dread the day I am faced with the decision to let him go, however, I don't want him to suffer.

We attended the RV-Dreams Spring Rally in Sieverville, TN, which was awesome and far exceeded our expectations! Howard and Linda Payne really know how to bring people together with a common goal of fulltiming. We had seminars on Choosing an RV, Choosing State of Domicile, Emotional Impact of Making Decision to Fulltime, Costs of Fulltiming, Internet on the Road, Boondocking, Choosing a Campground, Workkamping, Packing the RV, and a session on making the trek to Alaska. It was great to meet other fulltimers and wanna-be fulltimers and see that they are not crazy, lazy, nor broke, but are instead people that want to see this beautiful country and experience all that there is to offer. We met so many interesting RV'ers and were invited into their homes during "Open Rigs", shared wonderful meals during "Pot Luck" and "Chili-Cookoff", and shared laughs during the "Ice-breakers" and the "70's Theme Party".  We made lots of new friends, that we plan to stay in touch with and hopefully meet on the road in the future.

We were very fortunate to have survived the deadly tornado outbreak on April 27th which killed at least 350 people, mainly in my home-state of Alabama. The hardest hit in our area was Ringgold, GA which is 10 miles from our campground. We skirted tornadoes for 15 hours, from 8:00am until 11:00pm. The bathhouse in our campground is small, and many trees lie on the western side, so I did not feel the structure would survive a bad tornado. So, we left our RV early Wednesday morning to go to a friend's house in Chattanooga, which has a basement. We didn't make it before the first tornado hit the area. We quickly pulled over and ran into a CVS Pharmacy about the time the power went off in the store. Thankfully, the pharmacist said we could bring our dog inside, as I know she would have been freaked in the truck. When the weather calmed, we went back to the campground to catch the weather. More tornado activity was on the way, so we headed South to Fort Oglethorpe, GA and went into a Costco so that we could watch the weather reports. I talked to a friend of mine who lives outside of Chattanooga, and she said that the first round of tornadoes took out 4 huge trees in her yard and flattened everything in her yard except for a St. Francis statue that we had given her during our downsizing. She was pretty freaked. We then decided to go further South, to Dalton to ride out round three, which promised to be the worst yet. We went to a restaurant bar and was there when Ringgold was hit, and we heard it had been totally wiped out. Our waitress tried to get in touch with her husband in Ringgold, but all of the Verizon phones were down. We had AT&T, and she tried on our phone, but she could not reach him and needless to say, she was very worried about him and her little girl. Another waitress called her sister who was at work at a Ruby Tuesday in Ringgold. Her sister answered the phone begging for help as the roof had caved in and they were trapped. They were then disconnected. Ruby Tuesday was flattened. Seeing these ladies concerned for the welfare of their families was heartbreaking. The restaurant closed early and we went across the street to a hotel lobby to wait until all was clear to go back to the RV, not knowing what we would find at the campground. Finally, the weather cleared and we headed north to return to our campground. As we passed the I-75 exit to Ringgold, traffic going South was totally blocked, and backed up for miles and miles and miles. Two huge tractor-trailers had been caught in the tornado and their twisted remnants and contents were spilled onto the interstate. Metal signs were wrapped around trees, and naked tree trunks could be seen from the interstate. The Ringgold exit was closed to all but emergency vehicles, and they were not letting anyone in. I thought of those poor waitresses that would not be able to find out if their families were safe. We finally got back to our campground around 11:00pm. Our little RV was safe, and all was quiet. A couple of RV's were damaged by fallen trees and branches, but our campground was spared the devastation. That was one day I, alone with many others will never forget. I hope the waitresses found their loved ones safe.