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Fort Mill/Charlotte KOA, Fort Mill, SC

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Rainy Day and Searching for Sea Glass

So far vacation has been nice and relaxing. We haven’t really gone anywhere, other than to the beach a couple of times to walk around. That is just my speed this week. After we walk at the beach for a while, then I come back and take a nap!

Monday was a very quiet, do nothing, “read a book and watch tv” type of day.

Early in the day, we could see a little bit of the shoreline. But by the afternoon, you couldn’t even see the water from the deck.

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We just stayed inside and relaxed most of the day.

Tuesday was much nicer. From the time the sun started peeking over the horizon, it was easy to tell it was going to be a more pleasant day.

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We went down to the beach and looked for sea glass. I will take a picture of our finds later, but basically they are small smooth pieces of glass from broken bottles and other glassware that the ocean polishes and deposits on the beach every morning when the tide goes out.

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We probably found about 15 or 20 pieces yesterday, mainly clear, but we did find a few colored pieces as well. We will go back today and see if we can add to our collection. Smile

Monday, September 27, 2010

Football Sunday

The nice thing about having a great vacation afternoon with cable is being able to relax and watch the games. The not so nice thing is being in MA where they televise the Patriots game instead of the Giants game. Annoyed So the only Giants watching I was able to do was on the little score listing on the bottom of the screen. I probably could have found the game on the computer, but I’m not quite at that point yet. But we did have a great afternoon of football.

It was a beautiful day. In the morning the sky was blue, and there was a great breeze coming off the ocean. Harry enjoyed some time out on the deck.

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It got a lot breezier in the afternoon – we still thought it was very nice, but Harry’s daughter Gretchen isn’t as used to cooler temperatures. Let’s just say she’s not going to go home with a tan. Sarcastic smile

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In the afternoon, the stormy clouds started coming in.

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Harry and I went for a walk on the beach. It’s not that far away – just 3/10 of a mile down the road, but it’s too far for me to walk right now. We drove over to the beach access, and then walked for a bit. It was high tide so there wasn’t a lot of beach at that point.

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Right now it’s a little rainy and damp out, so it will probably be a relaxing and quiet day. We brought lots of movies, and some books, so there is plenty to do – I don’t have a lot of excess energy right now anyway. If it stops raining, we will probably go for another walk on the beach later.

The view from our deck this morning….

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

We Are Here

I intended to write last night after we got settled, but I was just too tired. Packing the car and driving three hours took a lot more energy than I realized. So we just relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful view.

Here we are on our chairs on the deck enjoying the ocean. Smile

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Here is Harry getting our computers up and running on the internet.IMG_3047

The place is very cozy – two bedrooms upstairs and one bedroom downstairs. We are in the downstairs, and Gretchen, Will and Schaun are in one of the upstairs rooms. We have another friend arriving on Tuesday.

Harry got up early this morning and took some pictures of the sunrise.

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Looking forward to a beautiful week!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Packing Day

Originally this would have been my last day of work before vacation. It’s so hard to believe that I’ve been out now for two weeks. The pain is pretty much gone – I think much of my discomfort was coming from the staples. Basically, what I notice the most is that I just get tired more often and more easily (and after doing not much). I had an appointment with my primary doctor yesterday, and I now have a projected return to work day – October 18th. So I have three weeks left to rest up and get my stamina back.

Today’s main project is getting ready to leave for vacation. The food has been purchased, lists are made – we just need to actually get our clothes packed and then pack the car. There is one main thing before we leave that I’m not looking forward to, and that is dropping the cats off at the boarding place. I feel so bad that I have to leave them there for the week. Some people may think this is crazy, but for me, one of the things I love the most about our future RV lifestyle is that we will be able to travel all over the country, and have the cats with us as we are traveling. Unfortunately, though, right now we are still at the point where we have to rent a place for vacation, and so we have to leave the cats at home.

So anyway, back to today – Harry is on vacation now as well, and so we will be getting stuff organized. Tomorrow I will probably wait and do my first entry from the vacation place!! (Yes, we do have internet there and all the comforts of home.) Be right back Won’t be long now!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Quite the Staple Remover

Yesterday’s main event was a trip to the Surgical Services Office at Albany Medical Center to have my staples removed. The morning was uneventful. I rested up, and took my shower earlier than I have been this past few days. Harry came home from work at noon, and at 1 pm we headed out. Sure do feel bumps on the road more acutely these days, although at least that has subsided a bit since my trip home on Saturday. We were lucky to find a spot in the parking garage on the roof. It seemed like the last one, although the machine downstairs was still letting cars in, so maybe we missed one on the way up. I am so glad that I have spent the past 6 months getting into better shape, because I can’t imagine how little stamina I would have if I had been in March’s shape when this all happened. It wasn’t that far from the parking spot to the elevator, and we walked very slowly, but I was sweating like I’d just had a huge workout. We checked into the office, and after a short wait, my name was called. Then it was time to sit in the little room - I have never understood why the wait is always the longest once you actually make it to this point. It’s like they’ve done their part by getting you into someplace private within 5 minutes of your appointment time, but then you wait 30 minutes in the next room for the doctor to make an appearance. Anyway, after the obligatory wait, the doctor appeared and he was great. Answered questions, took his time with his explanations AND took out the staples!!! He had this handy dandy little tool that went right under the cross piece and just crimped it, and those little spokes just came right out. So nice and easy, and I hardly felt it. Smile

After that, we trekked back over to the car and headed for Walmart. I haven’t mentioned it much this week with everything else that has been going on, but we are actually leaving for vacation on Saturday. So we needed to go buy some supplies and food stuffs to bring with us. I did ok, but I was tired and sweating by the time we had what we needed. I had intended to use one of those riding carts to move around the store, but it died before we even made it to the grocery section. Needless to say, I was tired when we got home. It was a very busy afternoon. After that, it was time to rest!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another Day

Well, if I thought it was challenging sometimes to come up with stuff to blog about, I think some of these “recuperatin’ days” are going to top my previous challenges. I’m feeling pretty good, considering. I definitely have to think more about finding a comfortable position to relax in, and eat or watch tv. For a while, the days of just flopping down on the couch are going to be a memory. These days, my every move is choreographed and planned. Walking around is not too uncomfortable, actually I think the main factor causing me discomfort when I walk are the staples pulling – and they come out this afternoon! Open-mouthed smile The thing I’ve actually noticed the most so far is that I get tired so easily. I’ll be up for a few hours (as in three or four hours), and then I feel like I’m getting tired, so I lay down and take a 2 hour nap; then I get up for a few hours and repeat the process! Then by early evening, I’m yawning and feeling like it’s time to head to bed after my long day. One happy recovery I did make as of yesterday – my morning cup of coffee tasted good again! Smile

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Recuperating

Yesterday was my first full day at home where I spent the majority of it by myself. Harry (AKA the King – no, I haven’t let him live that down yet Winking smile) had to go back to work. It was a very strange feeling to be home on a Monday. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever had something major to get well from. I’d never stayed in a hospital before, and my only trips there were 2 or 3 short ones to the ER when I had an ear infection on the weekend and needed an antibiotic. So this is uncharted territory here….

The first thing I had to do was get my appointments set. They told me on Saturday when I was released to call the clinic on Monday and make 2 appointments – one on Wed. to have my staples removed and one with the surgeon in 2 weeks. They told me that I would have the staple removal probably done by a nurse. I also had to make an appt. with my primary doctor. So, as soon as the respective offices opened yesterday, I phoned to take care of that business. Primary dr. appt. was made with no problem. The person at the surgical clinic wasn’t quite as easy to deal with. I start off by saying I need an appointment for Wed. to have my staples removed. OK, so she has me repeat this to her a couple of times, gets my name, and puts me on hold. She comes back and says, ok, so you need an appointment with Dr. so and so (the surgeon)….and I say, yes, but first I need an appointment on Wed to have my staples removed. She gives me an appointment for my 2 week follow-up (good, we’re halfway there) and then she says, well, Dr. so and so isn’t here this week….and I respond, yeah they told me a nurse would take care of it. Her turn: well, I can’t make an appointment with a nurse, it has to be with a doctor…Me (Miss Logical) – well, go ahead and make it with whomever, I don’t think I’ll really be seeing a doctor for more than a minute, so it doesn’t matter who it is. Back on hold I go. This time I’m on hold for several minutes. Now she comes back and says, I have your discharge order here, it doesn’t say anything about calling to have the staples removed. Annoyed Well, if I’d known that would be an issue, I would have asked them to write it down for me, but I figured I could remember to call and make an appointment to have 26 staples taken out of my abdomen!! (I also thought about saying that I thought Harry had a staple remover, but didn’t think he was up to it.Sarcastic smile) I was good though, I said, yes, I have my discharge order here too, and I know what it says, but this is what they told me to do. She finally relented and gave me an appointment for Wed. at 2.

Phew, making those appointments was more work than I thought it would be! Guess what I did the rest of the day…Be right back …that’s right – nothing much.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Home :)

I am home! I was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon, and arrived home about 3 pm. It was so good to be home! The very first thing that I did was take a shower and wash this hair! Then I made a nice little area on the couch and took a great nap. Obviously, right now top priority is R & R, so this is definitely going to be a short entry.

Thanks to the people who left comments and well-wishes on the blog. I appreciate everyone’s thoughts after Harry’s catch-up entry. I said to him, “will you write a short entry and just let people know what’s going on?” Sarcastic smile haha – so much for short! He did do a great job of summarizing all the events of the week though. I am glad that Harry told me to call the doctor right away that morning – I definitely needed to get to the hospital when I did. I am also grateful that all of the elements came together so well, with all of the key people doing their part. Harry of course…the clinic PA who sent me over for a CT test, the ER person who took my vitals and moved me right along, the surgeons who did such an awesome job, all the nurses and hospital staff – very grateful to all. God is good.

I did want to say one short word in my defense – in “blogland”, facebook, and in person, I’ve had many people say in one way or another, you can’t ignore things like that. Well, that’s the not so positive thing about having a high tolerance for pain. And, by high tolerance, I mean that I just don’t feel some pain as acutely as someone else would. It’s not like I was ignoring this huge excruciating pain all week – I just didn’t feel that bad. I really and truly thought that I had a stomach bug. This high pain tolerance may be a good thing sometimes, in life’s normal everyday situations, but not a help when you don’t realize that you are developing a life threatening illness. Another reason for me to be grateful – God is good.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Update from Harry

As you all may know from Jessica’s last blog entry she has had a stomach bug since Sunday.  Things have gotten worse. On Wednesday morning at 5:00 am I hear this crash. I got up immediately yelled Jess are you ok are you ok. I knew she fell. She responded yes immediately. I got to the light and I was right she is on the floor in our bedroom doorway and oh my god right next to the stairs. I’m over her are you alright and the response “am I in bed”. mine no you are on the floor. She got dizzy and passed out. She didn’t appear hurt so I rolled her over. Now she is staring blankly at the ceiling and was not responding to me. It seem like for minutes but I am sure it was like 15 or 30 seconds. She finally responded I am here I was day dreaming. She sacred the you know what out of me.

Now I get brave and the King of the castle takes authority. The queen is so sick the king can get away with it. I tell I’m staying home today and you are going to the doctors. The king got got away with it. That the last time I want to have to do that. That was a bold move I’m not trying that again for a while.

Got her back to bed and she says wow I actual feel a little better. The gas pain is a lot less.

At 8:00 am, she contacts her doctors office to get an appointment for this morning. The person on the other end of the phone offer an appointment for September 26th. Now Jess just explain the problem and why she needs to see the doctor. What an idiot!! Jess tells her that won’t work let me see someone else. She is given a 9:00 am appointment.

Off we go to the doctors, we hit a traffic jam. I really didn’t need this. I pretty good with the area road so I jump off the highway and drive all the way to Troy NY to get around this traffic jam. It the only other way from where we are. Turns out they started road construction and its backing up traffic. Well I get her to the doctors. I was was like Gretel our GPS recalculating all along our new route.

We get to the doctors, get the receptionist with lots of bedside manner. Not!! We see a PA nice guy she has seen him before. he is doing his thing and very detailed covering everything and pretty quickly. Conclusion part of which I expected, she is dehydrated and needs IV fluids. But the part did expect want you to go to the hospital for a CAT scan to rule out appendix issues. He says I don’t thinks its your appendix because I don’t think we would be having this conversation. You would already be in the hospital. I go to get the car closer to the door as but Jess now not walking great. Get back and she light headed and sweating again. I get the PA and he offers a ambulance to take her to the hospital. Not my Adirondack woman I want to go in the car. Guys if you ever bump into an Adirondack woman be careful they they are tough. Off we go to Albany Medical Center Hospital the biggest hospital between Rochester NY and NYC.

Sorry this taking so long but short won’t do it.

We get to the ER and of course we meet another person with great bedside manner at intake. We get to the little room and they poke and prod a little and take tons of blood. People in and out for a while. now everyone is just great very concerned about Jess. Everyone that comes in and they all ask those same half a dozen questions. I get why they do it but enough already. They all seem to be very concerned about the appendix as her abdomen as it really puffy and tender. They do blood tests, x-rays and a CAT scan. We started in the ER at 10:30 am and now it’s a little after 2:00 PM. The doctor comes in and says its confirmed your appendix burst and we have to operate now. You go right to the top a of the list and everyone else has to wait.

Its weird but now I’m a little relieved we know what it is and its fixable.

Off we go to the operating room and tons more questions. At 2:30 PM they take her for the operation.

Now I get to wait. They said it will take an hour for the operation and I could see her maybe around 6:00 PM.  At 4:30 PM the doctor comes to the waiting room and tells me everything went fine. Her appendix was totally dead. There was not much left after it burst and they had to open her open and clean out her abdomen. 6:30 comes, 7:00 PM and on and on. At 8:45 PM and guy from the waiting room tells me they just moved her to recovery and I can go up. I get and they tell me she is here but not ready yet. Please sit in the waiting room down the hall.  Off I go and sit where I am told. 9:15 PM my cell phone ring and I don’t know the number. and hear where are you and say who is this. Its Jess her voice sounded different. She says they are looking for you. Where are you? Me I’m right where they told me to wait. How can they not find me? So off I go again now finally to her room to see her.

 

I get there and she looks a 1000% better. She again has color in her face and to my surprise she is pretty alert. I tell her every thing I know that doctor told me. Come to find out she was delayed moving to recovery due to change in shift. She is sore but doing great. At 9:30 PM I leave. They let me stay a little past visiting hours which end at 9:00 PM because I just got there.

She is now up and walking and doing great. Thanks for waiting for the end of the post. I couldn’t do it in a few sentences. The next post will be from Jess as I don’t think she is going to let me write here again.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday was Less Fun than Usual :(

Well, I guess next week when I go to work on Monday, I will count my blessings. Last night I woke up around 1 am with terrible stomach cramps. I tossed and turned for about 45 minutes and then decided to come downstairs as laying down was not going too well. Turned out to be a stomach bug – oh so much fun – NOT! Annoyed The thing is – I never get sick, especially with stomach bugs. So this completely took me by surprise. I had to call out from work -  not much choice as I wasn’t able to stand up and walk around – it tends to be hard to go to work in this condition. I have just now at 4:15 pm ventured from my bed for the first time since 7:30 am. Harry made me some soup which I am sipping slowly – don’t want to rock the boat, so to speak!

Hopefully tomorrow I will be back to normal – and back to work!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday! Football!! :)

Today was a very nice day – things accomplished in the morning, and a nice afternoon of football. The Giants game was a good first start to the season – although I enjoyed the second half more than the first. Go Giants!

This morning we had intended to sleep in a bit, but we were awakened relatively early at 7 am by Ariel, who decided it was about time for us to wake up and give her a morning petting. I actually woke up to find her standing on me looking at me. Sarcastic smile She’s so darned cute I can’t get mad at her, but I sure wish I could teach her the concept of sleeping in!!

We had some coffee and read our morning blogs/forums/facebook pages! It takes a long time to get caught up on what is going on in everyone’s lives. Winking smile 

Harry wanted to finish the windows in the guest room today. They look so nice! Notice how dark it is outside – I took these pictures a little before 6 pm. We’re settling into fall and winter weather – lots of dark, dreary days and not as much sunshine.

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The view from our front step this afternoon….

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My main project this morning was in the kitchen. We’ve been watching shows on HGTV about staging and de-cluttering, and how important it is in the selling process. Even though we’re still a few years away from selling, I’ve become aware of how cluttered our kitchen counters are, so today I decided to tackle that project.

The finished product…

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Wow, I didn’t realize we had counter space!! Open-mouthed smile

Saturday, September 11, 2010

More on the List

I spent the morning working on my usual 5 and a half hours at the branch. While I was working, Harry was also busy at work – on the house – of course! We had the windows replaced on the house a while back, but the staining portion of the job has been an ongoing effort ever since. It’s on our list. Sarcastic smile 

The sunlight made it hard to get a picture without a glare – this is the best one of the ones I took.

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This is the only window in this room not completed. The outside trim is finished – it’s the inside part that still needs the stain.

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Every item checked off the list just seems to lighten the load a little bit!

On another topic, of course today is the anniversary of 9/11. I remember that day so clearly. It was a picture perfect day, just like today. My heart goes out to all those who lost a loved one on that day. I was thinking earlier about the ongoing struggles we still face today (that we already were being confronted with before 9/11, but we didn’t really hear about it all the time like we do today) -the existence of terrorism, and it got me to wondering if I will ever see the day when people can just live in peace with each other. I like the premise on Star Trek: The Next Generation, where people on the earth are able to coexist without conflict and war. Of course, on that show the conflicts are moved out into space, so maybe it’s just a fact of life that is not able to be overcome. I’ll just keep hoping…

Friday, September 10, 2010

First Week at Planet Fitness

It was one week ago Wednesday that we joined Planet Fitness. For the first few days afterward we weren’t able to actually go due to our trip to Burlington for the weekend. We went for the first time on Tuesday, and have gone every day since. So we’re off to a good start! Just in time too, because this week it has been damp and rainy, and its only going to go downhill from here. Harry and I are both getting into the habit of fitting a trip to the gym into our daily schedule. So that’s been the only new occurrence of this week. Other than that, it’s been a quiet week.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Here It Comes!

Well, I was right! That beautiful, warm summer weather that we were having last week disappeared overnight! Since the weekend, it has been cool and breezy. This afternoon I looked out the windows at work, and it was so dark outside! The dark today was from thick clouds, but it will be the norm soon! It’s 7:30 right now, and it is black outside. Annoyed Fall is definitely coming….and quickly.

Have you heard of serendipity? I just looked it up, and one definition is making a fortunate discovery while looking for something unrelated. I don’t know if my “discovery” exactly qualifies, but it seems somewhat serendipitous to me. A little background…Harry and I have been discussing getting a quote for the work that we still want to do in the kitchen. We’ve made some strides in there – Harry installed all new flooring this year, and we have a new stainless steel oven, refrigerator, and microwave that we purchased in January.

Here are the “before” pictures of the kitchen – old floor, old appliances….

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Here are the improvements to date….

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We still have to buy a new dishwasher, but the one we have now isn’t that old, so we are waiting a bit to get that. So anyway, there have definitely been improvements, but we still have a major area that needs to be improved upon – the cupboards and the countertops. SO, having someone in to take a look at our kitchen has been on our list. We thought about using Home Depot, but they charge unless you end up using them.

Back to my serendipitous moment yesterday…I was heading to the gym, and I turned out of our road, and had to stop at the first light. The red light there is kind of long, so I had time to look around and what did I see in the lane right next to me, but a truck with big letters spelling out “Hickory Hill Cabinetry” and below in smaller letters a list which included kitchen cabinet refacing!! I wasn’t even thinking about our kitchen until I saw that, but quickly I grabbed a piece of paper and pen, and wrote the number down. I called today, and what they do is exactly what we need! They basically give a facelift to existing kitchen cabinets, drawers and all exposed surfaces. They also do countertops. Someone is coming in October to give us a quote for redoing our kitchen! I am so excited! This is the last really major thing we have to do to prepare our house for selling. So, whether it was serendipity or not, I don’t know, but I sure am glad I looked around and read the side of that truck!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Somewhat Lazy Day

Today was a kind of lazy day. I didn’t do too much. I got started off to a great beginning, left when Harry did and headed to Planet Fitness for my second indoor workout since we joined last week. I felt pretty good about my workout after 60 minutes working on the elliptical, treadmill and bike. My favorite thing about working out inside is being able to watch tv while I’m there. It really takes my mind off how many minutes I’ve been there when I have something else to focus on.

That was pretty much it for productivity. I did start a load in the dishwasher and ran two loads of laundry, but that was it. Other than that, I relaxed on the couch with my trusty sidekick (see picture below), surfing the internet. Ariel usually sticks pretty close after we come back from a few days away. I will be glad when we are traveling in the fifth wheel and are able to bring the cats along with us.

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My nephews and niece all started school today. I can’t believe that the summer is over. It went by so fast. We got a lot done around the house. We still have a couple projects we want to finish this fall, but in a month or two, we will be taking it down a notch for the winter.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Trip to Salem

Yesterday was a great day. We headed out in the morning to the town of Salem, MA which is about 25 minutes from where Gretchen lives. We were lucky to find a parking spot on the street where parking was free. It was a beautiful day for a walk, and we headed down the street toward the New England Pirate Museum.

View of Salem Harbor from the street…

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When we arrived at the museum, we stopped outside for a few pictures. I thought the outside of the building was very cool.

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The museum was nice, a little pricey I thought ($8/person) for what the tour actually contained. There was a guide who gave a minute long blurb about maybe 10-15 famous New England pirates. Our guide is the “pirate” in the right hand picture with the blue sash. He kind of blends in with the rest of the scene!

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After the museum was the best part of the day. We walked around Salem checking out the restaurants, and found a nice looking one that wasn’t very busy, and had a great outdoor eating area.

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Then on the walk back to the car, we checked out Salem Harbor, and the little lighthouse that was at the end of the pier.

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It was a great way to spend Labor Day. Smile And. even better, I still have another day off before I have to go back to work!