Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Seafood on Sunday

On Sunday, Lorraine (Ed's sister) and Ray Barkett and Ray's brother, Tom Barkett, came over from Ft. Lauderdale for lunch. Wouldn't you know - the first rain we've had in days and it hit just about the time they got here! Lorraine and Ray had never seen our RV before, so they got the inside tour, but it was too wet for the "basement" tour.

We darted between the raindrops and went about 5 miles south to a restaurant called Joe's Crab Shack. Ed found it on the internet and lucked out. It's on the water overlooking a marina and on a sunny day, there's probably lots of boat activity but not this Sunday! We all had fish of some type and really enjoyed it. It was nice to spend some time with Lorraine, Ray, and Tommy.

We're moving up to Tampa next weekend. Lorraine and Ray will be there to visit their two daughters and their families. If things work out, we might join them for church and brunch on Easter Sunday.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Most Beautiful Woman

This was written about my sister, Anita Krull, by her 21-year-old daughter. It was part of her birthday card on March 18th and I thought it was so lovely that I wanted to share it.
The Most Beautiful Woman I Know
by April Dawn Krull 2009

I know several beautiful women, but the most beautiful one I know is my mother. The first thing that sticks out to me about my mother is her big, lovely smile. When she smiles her whole face lights up, she gives off this ray of kindness and beauty at the same time. Besides her wonderful smile are my mother's eyes. Her eyes are the most gorgeous light blue there is. When you look at them you can tell she is good-hearted and a wonderful person. Finally is her hair, which is her natural color of salt and pepper. The black is a rich, dark black that has a great natural shine to it. The white in her hair is as if it lightly snowed on her jet black hair. Most women see make-up and hair with highlights as beauty, but my mother's natural beauty is what makes her, by far, the most beautiful woman I know.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Blood-count Brings the Blahs

Ed has been scolding himself because he feels so tired and just doesn't feel like doing anything. I think his 3 days with the hiccups sapped a lot of energy because he didn't get a lot of sleep. His bloodwork results Friday also explained why he's so beat....he is really low in everything, and his platelets dropped from 94 down to 41. Then again, this shows that the chemo last week is doing something.

We stopped for lunch, came home, and Ed had a nice long nap, which is the best thing for him right now. This is one of those situations that I am aware of how helpful the computer is for me...at least, I do have a social life, even if it is in cyberspace! Sometimes, I go out shopping for a bit but mostly feel better just being around here with him.

Ed's my best buddy, even with the blood-count-blahs.

Saturday afternoon:
I've been doing irksome tasks like laundry and cleaning up a bit. Ed seems to feel a bit better today. He's outside reading but it's too sunny and windy for me. My dermatologist gets enough business from me as it it!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Lunch with Carol Steingard

Yesterday we went to Naples (about 45 miles south of North Ft. Myers) and met one of my dear friends, Carol Steingard. We taught foreign students (ESL) together in the 1980's. Carol is still Carol - interested in life and people and very active. They summer in their house in Lake Tahoe, and also have places in Sedona, Arizona and Boca Raton, Florida.

We socialized quite a bit in the "old days" and had fun catching up on our mutual friends and each others families.
It's hard to believe that their twin granddaughters, who still live in Boca, are now 16 years old and driving!! We could have talked for hours more. I'm looking forward to hearing about the cruise they're taking soon to Copenhagen, Denmark.

Mark was busy setting up an art show at a gallery on Fifth Avenue South there in Naples, but he did join us for lunch. He's been in the fine arts business for many years and his business is called
International Fine Arts. I had seen all sorts of paintings and works of art in their home for all those years but had never closely scrutinized the signatures of the artists. I had been looking at works by Salvador Dali, Marc Chagall, Picasso, Miro, and many more! If anyone's interested in investing in fine arts, Mark is the one to get in touch with!

I'm mad at myself.......I charged up both our cameras, but did I remember to take some pictures? NO! Well, suffice it to say that, both Mark and Carol are looking good!

My Bro's Birthday

Today is the birthday of my one and only brother, Philip, who lives in Waxahachie, Texas.

Happy Birthday, "Philodendron"!

With love from your sister, Beeba

p.s. Also, a happy birthday to Cousin Bobz Freeman, who lives in Asheville, North Carolina!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Replacing a Window

With Monaco RV Company (and almost all the RV manufacturers) closing down, it's going to be next to impossible to get parts. Ed managed to track down a replacement window directly from Atwood, the window company. It was pure luck that they actually had one in stock.

The window is the one by the passenger seat that was broken when the RV was robbed last year. The thieves took were our new, beautiful green bedspread and nice blanket. They probably used them to wrap all the TV's and electronic equipment that they stole from other RV's in the storage yard near Cape Canaveral, FL. Our TV's are so old that they were rejected!

Ed was going to try to change the window himself, but when Camping World didn't have the sealing tape he needs, he called our good RV Repairman, Greg. Greg replaced our window and put on 2 vents so we can crack the windows for ventilation without rain coming in. Ed's had the vents for a while but finally acknowledged that he just didn't feel up to doing the job. Greg made it all look easy.

BTW (by the way), if you're in the North Ft. Myers area in the winter, we highly recommend...
Greg Jillson
Jillson Mobile RV Service.
Cell: 508-226-5220
Home: 508-369-5263

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hiccup Mystery May Be Solved

Thanks to our friend, Barbara Elliot, who is in the medical field, we now at least have a reason why Ed might have had the hiccups for several days. She sent us a page of links about Hiccups during Chemotherapy: Corticosteriods the likely culprit. Thank you, Barbara!

Before the chemo, they give Ed an IV of
Decadron, a trade name for the generic chemotherapy drug Dexamethasone, a Corticosteriod that is mentioned in the articles in these links. Its purpose is to prevent nausea. Ed's decided that in the future he'll ask not to have the Decadron and will use the anti-nausea pills afterward, if needed.

Sometimes you just have to see the humor...last evening he had a burp and a hiccup come out together - another noise as strange as the snore/hiccup sound he'd had earlier while napping. We both burst out laughing! It is fascinating to me that the "cups" are consistently at 6 second intervals.

Last night, he finally fell asleep about 2:30 a.m. - I knew he was asleep because he was softly snoring between hiccups again. Isn't it amazing that someone could sleep while hiccupping? After about half an hour, the hiccups finally subsided. This morning all is quiet and a tired Mr. Ed is trying to catch up on some sleep.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Lovely Day Anyway

Our friends, John and Marcia Murray from Illinois, came over about 12:30 and we went on an outing. John and Marcia have been coming to this area for 5 years so have gotten around a bit and were our tour guides for the day. We made 2 stops, one at KFC and one at Subway to ensure that everyone was happy with their food.

We went to a park in Cape Coral that was on the water. It was sunny and a bit windy but just a delightful setting to relax at the shady picnic table, eat, talk, laugh at John picking on Ed, and enjoy watching the water.

We drove to a big development on the water, checked out the menu at the Rumrunner restaurant (I'd like to dine there one of these days), and browsed through a few shops.

Cape Coral is famous for its
Burrowing Owls. There are little protected areas staked out here and there, several of which are near the library. The owls are only about 6 inches tall and you might see these little yellow eyes peep up out of one of the holes. There are little wood perches right by every hole, which they use. John and Marcia have seen them sitting on the perches - but we had no luck today.

The luck was that we got out and about and we had a delightful afternoon with our new-found friends!

The Hiccup King is Still Hiccupping

Poor Ed, his hiccups just keep on keepin' on. We've tried most of the magical methods, including the sugar on the tongue. The first time we tried the sugar, it worked.......except that the hiccups returned in about 20 minutes. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to when they start or stop or how long they last. He might go a couple of hours and we'll breath a sign of relief, only to have them start up again. Naturally, he isn't getting a lot of sleep or he only gets small periods of sleep.

This afternoon, he laid down on the couch. What happened isn't funny, but I had to laugh quietly inside....within a few minutes I was pleased to hear a gentle snore.............followed by a hiccup - in his sleep! (His hiccups are 6 seconds apart.) Then, it was snore...hiccup...snore...hiccup, then.......snore/hiccup together! That was one strange sound! He woke up shortly thereafter.

We've talked to several other people who said they've had the hiccups for a couple of days. It doesn't seem to be an emergency and Ed still doesn't want to call the doctor. However, not getting sleep is going to catch up with him. He's already been reading online and the hiccups are not listed as a possible reaction to chemo.

He's having medicinal ice cream now and just came out with a burp/hiccup combo! We both laughed at that one! Let's hope he ice cream does its job.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Horrific Hiccups

Ed's blood counts were better yesterday, not great, but good enough for an 80% dose of his chemo, which is carboplatin and gemzar, along with Aloxi and Decadron. He's scheduled for blood work for the next two Fridays, then a scan and a meeting with the doctor on April 10th. That means we'll be here in North Ft. Myers until then.

Last night was a long one because Ed had the hiccups all night. We googled "
How to get rid of hiccups" and came up with all sorts of magical cures. Ed tried some of them and found that the "breath-holding" technique seemed to be the easiest to do and it worked.......for about 15 minutes and the hiccups would come back!

We had lunch about a half-hour ago and he hiccuped the whole time he was making a sandwich, but (I'm afraid to say this because it might jinx things) by the end of lunch, they quit.

, the hiccups just returned. As with most men, Ed refuses to call the doctor because he already has enough drugs in his system.....which I have to agree with in this case. I think I see a nap on the horizon for us both.....then again, maybe not!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Little RV Joys

(Click on each photo for a larger view.)
We had forgotten how tender and sweet the "real" ones are!
A good internet connection makes for a happy camper.

A new USB wireless card with antenna to boost the internet signal is a joy. (The huge medical bills we could do without!)

Pretty dishes make food taste better!

We love watching the palms swaying in the breeze with a backdrop of blue sky rimmed by fluffy white clouds......and there's just something intoxicating about the sound of the rustling fronds......

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Happy B-Day, Anita

Happy Birthday to my dear and sweet sister, Anita!
MaryMay Angelil, Anita May Krull, Cousin Bill Freeman, and Philip May (Summer 2008)

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Ed went to the oncologist on Friday expecting to have chemo. His blood counts were not in a range that it would be safe to administer the chemo. So, much to his displeasure, he was given a shot of Procrit.

We'll go back next Thursday and hopefully, he'll be able to take his chemo then. That will be his 7th round. The doctor plans to take another scan the following week.

Ed asked him if he would be able to take a break from chemo for 6 months or so if the scan showed more shrinkage. The doctor wouldn't answer but said when he gets the scan results, we'll sit down together and plan the next course of action.

The Procrit doesn't seem to have made Ed quite as lethargic as the previous ones. We have been taking it pretty easy but doing some things, too. This evening we went to a Potluck at the clubhouse, which was enjoyable and as always at Potlucks, we ate lots of good food. The park is clearing out......several RV's are heading out daily. Many people head back North before April.

Our NC friend, Preston Mintz, recommended a guy to fix some things on our RV. He replaced the propane hose (now we can get it filled), took down one of the awnings and got it sewn, and, much to Mary's delight, reversed the bathroom ceiling fan so that it blows out instead of in. This fellow is coming back this week to look at another few items. It's nice to have someone who can do things, be timely about it, and doesn't charge an arm and a leg (only an arm's worth).

We saw the space shuttle go up this evening. It was amazing that, even with the clouds and Cape Canaveral being a couple of hundred miles away, we could clearly see it go up. The lighted trail had the sunset pinks reflected in the lower part.....it was beautiful. Like the lift-off we saw last year when we were staying near Cape Canaveral, people all come out and it's like a big bunch of happy kids oohing, and aahing together.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pepper's Big Day

Hi, it's Pepper again and I wanted to share my BIG day with you. Daddy put my pink harness on me with a leash and took me OUTSIDE! It was my first time EVER to go out, except for a few foiled escape attempts in the past. I really wanted to go under the RV, but they wouldn't let me. Anyway, I'll have lots of new things to dream about tonight!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pepper's Perceptions

Hello, I am Pepper, Queen of this RV.

You may think I look rather strange and many folks say, "Oh, a cat with no hair!", but that's not true.

Cats usually have two coats, the top coat and the down coat. I have only the down coat and, if I do say so myself, I feel like velvet. I am a Cornish Rex.

I came from a North Carolina breeder called Tribetta Cattery. My grandmother, Frances May, was shocked that my parents would drive all the way to N.C. and PAY for a cat!! Ed has had Cornish Rex for years because we don't shed and we are people lovers.

My parents were nice enough to make several nests around the RV for me, that's a good thing because, as you probably know, we cats sleep about 18 hours a day.

Does this mean I'm a closet queen?
They close the door during the day or else I'd sleep there all day!

But, hey, I do help out.

Bye, bye for now.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Blood Gone Bonkers

As is typical with someone going through chemo, Ed's blood reports are bonkers. His lab printout showed results for 15 items. At least his red count came up slightly since last week so he got off with a procrit shot rather than a transfusion. He reported to the nurse that, on her advice, he's been drinking 64 ounces of water daily and isn't quite as dizzy. She told him he needs to tell Dr. Harwin about the dizziness next week at his appointment. It's nice to have a nurse who explains things.....like why the procrit shot hurts so much.....it's subcutaneous (right under the skin) as opposed to intramuscular, like most shots. The pain did subside in about 10 minutes.

The money involved with all this is appalling. The procrit shot (for the red blood cells) is $700 but Medicare only allows about $400.00, so Ed's 20% co-pay is $77.00 for each shot. The neulasta shot (for the white cells) is $7,000.00 but Medicare allows only so much so Ed's co-pay is a mere $400.00 +.

We stopped at Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Ed treated himself to a bag of their fries. (He doesn't like their burgers because they're dry and expensive.) They really are THE best fries and they give you a brown paper bag filled to the top! They're even better than McDonald's used to be. I ate a few fries, then got a salad and 2 wings when we went to Walmart for a few groceries. Ed also got some wings so as to add protein to his lunch. If you know Ed at all, you probably know he's the "Protein King" AND you know he's very particular about his food!

He and Pepper are having their afternoon nap now. It's 78 degrees with
a light breeze blowing through the RV and it's so quiet....hmnn, I might go take a nap myself! ZZZzz!

p.s. Ed just got up because his restless leg syndrome has his leg ajumpin'. RLS is another medical mystery but he feels that his isn't bad enough to want to take any drugs for it. We have observed that tomatoes at supper will usually set it off, but often, we have no clue what makes it "kick up." Sometimes he'll go for a long spell with no problem.

We look forward to hearing about what's going on in your lives and appreciate your comments and/or emails....so please, let us hear from you now and then! We might not be able to respond to every note but this blog, hopefully, is keeping you updated.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Free Lunch - Who Says There Isn't One?

Wednesday was another glorious weather day AND a free lunch! There are about 300 rigs in Tamiami RV Park, so there were lots of people there. We went to the clubhouse at noon and got fried chicken, beans, potatoes, applesauce, cookies, and lemonade.

I couldn't imagine that we could sit at tables in full sun and be comfortable. My dermatologist will be proud of me for remembering to slather on the sunscreen before we went.

Butch and Lynne, from Greenbay, Wisconsin, sat by us and we enjoyed talking to them. They have a 33 foot 1980 Beaver RV and have been looking at larger RV's, as they're finding that to be pretty close quarters for long-term traveling. They like the Holiday Ramblers, which opened a whole realm of conversation as Ed shared the latest on the dying RV industry. We hope to see more of them. We also talked to Preston and Mo (from North Carolina), the ones we met when we were driving around the park a couple of weeks ago.

Then, off to get a therapist to help me adjust my CPAP machine so it doesn't leak air all night. That hissing wakes Ed up as badly as my snoring did! The adjustments did seem to help. We also had to fight Verizon and Ed got them to remove the $40 charge, as had been promised several weeks ago. After a stop at Lowe's for a few light bulbs, we came home and enjoyed an evening of reading, computing, and TV.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The End of an Industry by Ed


I spent the afternoon looking up the state of the RV industry on the web and am astounded at my findings. Monaco, which makes Monaco brand RV's, Holiday Rambler (the brand of our RV), Safari, and Beaver, is out of business. Elkhart, Indiana has the highest unemployment rate in the country - one of the 2 cities that President Obama visited recently - because most RV manufacturers are situated there and a lot of them have gone out of business. It looks like Winnebago can hang on for a while. Fleetwood shares closed on the NYSE at 16 cents a share and will probably be out of business before the end of the year. So it appears that the RV industry will virtually be gone by the end of 2009.

Obviously, if the companies are out of business, anyone who owns one of the brands involved, which is most of them, will be unable to get parts. We need several parts for our damaged RV and a local dealership told us that parts are no longer available. Now we have the challenge, as will all RVers, to find workarounds.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

First or Second Half-Century

Today was a gorgeous day......high 60's with sun and a slight breeze. I walked across the street to finish looking in the stores at the Shell Factory. I was there for a long time and could spend another day. There are so many different rooms and such a variety of merchandise from clothes, to shoes, to a Christmas shop, to jewelry, to chocolate, to Subway, to bear stuffing, to a room of stuffed large animals, to a U.S. Post Office, to shells and more shells.

Thought I'd get a few large shells for my front hallway - until I saw the prices......conch shells started at $20.00. Maybe if I were in the first half-century of my life when I was acquiring '"stuff", I would "shell out" the $20 bucks. However, I'm in the second half-century and am trying to size down (in more ways than one!).

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Moving Day

It's cloudy and windy here and supposed to go down to the 40's tonight. Our site at the new place in Tamiami RV Park isn't open until tomorrow, so we're sort of boondocking in their overflow area tonight. Actually, boondocking means you "dry camp" with no hookups. We will have 20 AMP service electric so we can use our lights, TV, computers,......... and furnace, if needed.

The park we've been in for February, Raintree RV Resort, is nicer than our new one in that it has a lot more landscaping and palm trees, plus it's laid out with curves and half circles, making it appealing to the eye. However, we have several reasons for leaving:

6. There is no trash service here so we have to haul our garbage over to the dumpster. Guess we got spoiled by other parks so this irks us more than some people. I will give them credit that they recycle most everything. It will be pleasant to put our trash out each morning and have it disappear!

5. When we went over there a couple of weeks ago and were driving around, a guy staying there was outside and talked to us for a LONG time. Preston was really open and friendly (bald, too). We stopped another day and visited with his wife, Mo, who was also friendly. We sort of feel we already have friends there. (The people around us at Raintree were nice but there were about 5 couples from the same hometown in Indiana. Even though they were friendly, they were a closed circle who did everything together.)

4. The place is about 3 miles south of Raintree, still on US 41, which puts us that much closer to Wal-Mart and Ed's doctor. It's directly across the road from
The Shell Factory, where we had that good fish on Tuesday when George and Kay were here.

3. We don't have to turn north and make a hazardess U-turn to go south each time we leave the park. Tamiami RV Park has an opening in the median, probably thanks to The Shell Factory. A nice turn to the right when we leave is so much safer, not to mention, easier on my nerves!

2. The internet is sporatic and when we least expect it, it shuts off. It might take us 10 minutes or more to get back on or we might not get back on for several hours. (It will be a relief to my ears not to hear Ed fussing several times a day!) This internet cut-off is especially annoying when I've worked for an hour or more to put something on our church's website, only to have it quit on me......guess patience is a virtue but I sometimes run out of it.

And the #1 advantage to moving is.....

1. The new place is over $400.00 less per month - we can put up with straight roads for that much money!