Sunday, April 24, 2011


Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 68 degrees, high 80 degrees, partly cloudy skies, windy

It looks as though Janie is not going to help her big brother by pulling the RV with the truck for us. I thought I was starting to sway her, but apparently not. It's not like she doesn't have a husband to take care of or a job that she likes a lot. Oh, wait. That's probably why she won't do it. Her husband Wayne is a great fellow, but is a homebody who doesn't like to travel. plus, she is a paralegal with many years of experience. Dadgum it, as Bobby Bowden would say.

I took another short walk this morning, in the ongoing attempt to build myself back up somewhat. I was going to walk again in the afternoon, but my temperature spiked again, as a result of the pacemaker being installed last Tuesday. It was easier to recover from the spike this time, since we knew what to do to bring the temperature back down. After an hour, it was barely above normal, and I felt much better. It is so important to have a person to help me at times like this, and Carolyn is a tireless taskmaster when it comes to getting me to do what I need. Thank you, Dear.

At lunch, we went to a local buffet for lunch, where I couldn't find anything on the buffet that tempted my appetite. Looking on the regular menu, I found a small sirloin steak with a baked potato that worked just fine, especially with the restaurant not putting any salt on it. So, that was what I had, being able to eat about half of it. I brought the rest home for another time.

Janie will be going home tomorrow, unless we can find a way to keep her here. She has been great company for us, and we enjoyed catching up with what's happening in her life. She has a fantastic attitude about life, and plans to work as long as she feels that she's useful. I can never see Janie not being useful to her employer, so we'll see how long she does it. I expect to be around for her retirement party, many years in the future.

I have to have lab work performed tomorrow in Athens, at which time I will try to see my doctor to firm up my appointment to see an Amyloidosis specialist at Emory University in Atlanta.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - New Paltz, New York: The Heart Of Ulster County

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Small Crisis Last Night

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 63 degrees, high 80 degrees, partly cloudy skies, breezy

I'm still working on convincing Janie to pull the RV with our truck, as we travel and see the country. It seems like a perfectly logical thing for her to do for her big brother, but she still resists the idea. However, I do sense that I'm wearing her resistance down. The only problem is that she's leaving Monday, so I may run out of time. Maybe I'll at least plant the seed of acceptance for down the road.

Speaking of Janie, Carolyn took a picture of Janie and myself. I don't know if you can tell or not, but I have had a lot of weight loss that I'm trying to stop. Another consequence of Amyloidosis.

Here's the latest picture of Janie and Carolyn. I'm surrounded by good looking women, and on top of that, they are good people. I love them dearly, as I do the rest of my family.


After I posted the blog last night, I began having a fever with chills and pain. The fever was high enough that we called my niece Traci, who is trained as a trauma nurse. She said I needed to start walking in the house, take a pain pill, wash my body with a cold wash cloth, and drink fluids. Along with all that, I called the emergency number that I was given to call if any of the things I listed above occurred. Unfortunately, it took about three hours to get a call back from a doctor, and by then the fever had lowered somewhat, and the pain had eased. He told me that I probably had an infection from the surgery earlier this week. His advice was to continue all the things I had started, and if the temperature went back up, he would call in a prescription for antibiotics for me. Traci was a great help to me, even if it was over the telephone.

After a relatively easy night, my fever was gone, as was the heat around the incision. I woke up hungry for breakfast, which Carolyn prepared for me. It was the most I had eaten in quite some time, and I've decided that I will try to eat as much for breakfast as possible to make up for the lack of appetite later in the day. It seemed to work today, and I feel much better than I did last night.

I went for two short walks in the neighborhood today, and Janie went along to keep me company. The total distance walked was probably just under a mile, but I'm grateful for anything I can do. My goal is to keep doing the short walks in an effort to build myself up enough that when I seek further treatment for the disease that I'll be a viable candidate.

Tomorrow, we'll be going to a buffet in Athens for Easter lunch. I'm looking forward to trying several different dishes in an effort to find more food that I can eat. Wish me luck.

I still have anther day to work on Janie about pulling the RV. As I said, I think her resistance is wearing down.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Hood River, Oregon: Wind Surfing Capital Of America

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pain Medicine

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 61 degrees, high 79 degrees, partly cloudy skies, windy

My sister Janie is staying with us a couple days during her visit to north Alabama. Judy brought her over just after lunch, and we spent most of the rest of the day getting caught up with what's happening with each other's life, including our children. And grandchildren. Don't want to forget them.

I had a rough night from a sleeping standpoint because my arm and shoulder were aching from the pacemaker implantation. Today, we went to town and had a prescription filled that should take care of the pain tonight. I don't like to take pain medication, but I can't get by with no more sleep than I got last night.

I have been steadily receiving e-mails from the Amyloidosis support group that I joined yesterday. Every message has been a positive expression of support, which is important to receive. And, many of the messages offer suggestions for treatment options that we didn't know existed.

The nurse for my doctor in Athens called today, and said that she had gathered all the records on my case in order to be able to send them to Emory University in Atlanta, where I expect to be going in the near future for further evaluation of my case. Thank God I have medical professionals here who are taking such an interest in my case. I was not happy at all with what happened a couple weeks ago in Birmingham when I saw the doctor there. I may have gone down there for the wrong reason, which was to make it more convenient for family. Future care will be based on what's best for me.

Traci mowed our yard today, so it doesn't look like we need to get a herd of goats to eat it down.

We ate supper tonight at Ruby Tuesday's, where I found a meal that only had about 200 mg of sodium. I'm not going to say it was tasty, because I couldn't taste it. I ate what I could and brought the rest home, where I'll try to eat more tomorrow.

Since I can't drive for another eleven days, Janie drove into town in my truck. She had never driven anything as big as that, but she did good.

Hmmmmm. I wonder if she would be interested in pulling the RV down the road?

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Vicksburg, Mississippi: Red Carpet City Of The South

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Surprise Visitor

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 54 degrees, high 66 degrees, cloudy

Even though I woke about every two hours last night, I felt that I slept pretty well, compared to the past few months. I didn't have to get up and stay up, being able to sleep on my back as well as my right side. Sleeping on my back is an obvious improvement that the pacemaker seems to have made.

While I was in the hospital, I was restricted to a heart healthy diet, which apparently didn't scrimp on the sodium. As a result, I gained more than four pounds of water weight in two days, which I am now in the process of trying to remove. Carolyn is cooking like I need, with low or no sodium, so I should see a difference in the next few days.

My activity level was low today, as I recover from the hospital stay. Tomorrow, I will start trying to do more, including walking within reason.

I had a huge surprise this afternoon, one that would be difficult to outdo. My baby sister Janie lives in Florida, and imagine my surprise when my sister Judy brought Janie to see me. She flew up for the weekend, and will go home on Monday. I've written many times about how important family is to me, and it was reiterated to me when Janie showed up. We had a very good visit, and she will be coming back tomorrow to spend a night or two with us. Great surprise!!!

I continue to hear from people who have us in their thoughts and prayers, and I want to say it is all appreciated.

Janie was kidding me that I needed to mow the yard, since it is a little ragged looking. That's just another indication of how badly I have been feeling. I'm hopeful I'll be feeling better soon so I can take care of it. I enjoy working in the yard, but now now.

One of my greatest pleasures now is browsing through some RV blogs that I follow on a routine basis. I'm living vicariously through other people's adventures, but I guess that's okay, since I hope that my blog has helped other RVers.

I joined an amyloidosis support group today in an effort to find information on what treatments are working and where I should go. My mailbox is already receiving messages, so it will be interesting to see what I can find out. One thing positive I found out is that Shand's Medical Center, a branch of the University of Florida, is active in research and treatment of the disease. One more resource I didn't know about.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Georgetown, Texas: Sincerely Yours

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Back Home

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 63 degrees, high 72 degrees, cloudy, showers

I had the pacemaker installed yesterday, and the most immediate effect I noticed was that I was able to sleep for about five hours in the hospital last night. Plus, I was able to sleep on my back. It has been months since I could do that.

The doctor who performed the procedure said it went well, and he thinks I will notice an improvement in how I feel as I heal from the procedure. It seemed as though my appetite was better after the operation, but I noticed at lunch that some things still don't taste good that used to. Maybe that will get better with time.

I have to go back to Birmingham in six weeks for a followup. Several restrictions have been placed on what I can do the next two weeks, including no driving. I'm still optimistic about my future going forward. That was enhanced some today, when my doctor in Athens who found the disease called me at home. A biopsy sample was sent to Mayo Clinic for further refining of what type of amyloidosis I have. The doctor received the results today, and wanted to share them with me.

There are three basic types of amyloidosis: primary, AL, and genetic. The biopsy shows that I have the AL strain, which my doctor says gives more treatment options than the primary type does. He will be gathering information for the next two weeks on possible treatment plans and facilities. I will be seeing him at the end of that time, when we will discuss what to do going forward. That is the most encouraging thing I have heard since I was diagnosed, and gives us hope that something is going on that will benefit me.

In the meantime, we would like to thank all the folks who have been keeping us in their prayers and thoughts. You don't know how much it means to us.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Chattanooga, Tennessee: Gateway To The South

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Back In Birmingham

Birmingham, Alabama

Weather: low 41 degrees, high 71 degrees, mostly clear skies

We spent a little time this morning preparing for the trip to the hospital in Birmingham, then took off. As I noted, the weather was good, and traffic was not too bad. Near the Tennessee River, we saw the biggest fields of red clover that we had ever seen. Red blooms stretched across fields that had obviously been planted as a crop. Too bad we couldn't stop and take a picture.

The great RV migration north must have started today. We passed literally hundreds of RVs of all types. It was fun to imagine where they might be headed. Alaska? Nova Scotia? New England? Points unknown? I wonder how many of them are heading to their summer base after a winter in the south? How many of them are just following their noses? That sounds like fun to me.

We got into Birmingham and checked in at our hotel, within easy walking distance of the University Hospital. After a late lunch, we made sure we knew where to go in the morning. The last thing I want to be doing is trying to find out where to go and only having five minutes to get there. No problem with that now, and we might even be able to get a shuttle from the hotel to the hospital.

I have to be at the hospital at 0600 hours in the morning, which means we have to get up at 0430 hours. Ouch! That brings back memories of when I was working. But, I'm hopeful the pacemaker that is being implanted will help me feel better. Once I've recovered from that, we're going to evaluate what to do next in an effort to find more relief from the disease. With all the information I'm receiving from people who are helping me look, I should be able to find some possibilities that have promise.

I don't know if I'll be able to post tomorrow, but I will be back for sure once we get home late Wednesday afternoon.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Birmingham, Alabama: The Magic City

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cold This Morning

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 36 degrees, high 70 degrees, clear skies

Brrrrr! Did you notice the low temperature last night? I sure felt it when I got out of the warm bed this morning, and the warmth from the gas log felt good. Could this be the long awaited Blackberry Winter?

In all the stuff going on with me being sick, I don't think I've given enough credit to Carolyn for helping me with it as she has. She must have been a medical person of some sort in a former life, because she seems to have a sense of what to do to help me when I'm having a difficult time. In addition, she helps me maintain a healthy sense of optimism. And I haven't even mentioned how hard she works to prepare foods for me that are low sodium, healthy, and taste good. That's a trick in itself. This morning, she heard me getting up. By the time I was dressed and came into the kitchen, she had prepared fresh fruit, eggs, and a real treat for me, two slices of low sodium bacon. Total sodium content for the meal: 170 mg. That's really good for a meal that was tasty and healthy. I have limited myself to less than 500 mg of sodium a day, so that left plenty to stretch over the rest of the day.

Thank you, Dear, for all that you do.

After breakfast, we lazed around until about 1100 hours when we planted some annual flowers that Traci gave us. The flowers were placed in a large planter that we can move wherever we want it, including the screened porch. While we were at it, Carolyn trimmed the roses that she planted about three weeks ago. The roses had some dead blooms on them, and trimming should promote more blooms.

My brother Terrell called this morning, and we had a good conversation about all sorts of things. Kathy is back on the chemo, and it is giving her fits. We really feel for her, and hope she can get a break from it soon. She needs to gain some weight. Eat up, Kathy!

Then, my baby sister Janie called. She sent me a funny greeting card last week, which I really appreciated. Another good telephone call from one of the people that are important in my life.

We will be going to Birmingham tomorrow so we can spend the night there in a hotel. Then, we have to be at the UAB hospital at 0600 hours Tuesday morning to have a pacemaker implanted in an effort to relieve some of the strain on my heart caused by the amyloidosis. If everything goes well, and we expect it to, I should feel better with more energy and strength. Once I'm over the procedure, we will be evaluating what steps to take next in my fight against the disease.

Judy and Roger are going with us to the hospital, and we appreciate all the help they have been during this time of illness. It is so nice to have family around at a
time like this.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Grants, New Mexico: Uranium City, USA

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 46 degrees, high 52 degrees, cloudy, windy - cold day!

The rain that came through yesterday was timely, since I had put out some weed and feed fertilizer on the yard. This afternoon, I noticed that some of the weeds were already looking a little limp and sick. Maybe what I did will give the grass a fighting chance against the weeds.

Since I am going into the hospital next Tuesday to have a pacemaker installed, Carolyn sprang into action this morning, acting as though we had company coming to visit. She made like a whirlwind through the house, cleaning places I hadn't even thought about. I helped where I could, mainly by hanging on and trying not to get blown away by the whirlwind. Eventually, I found an excuse to go to town to get some dog repellent to keep neighborhood dogs out of the flower beds.

In addition to the cleaning, Carolyn finished another piece of furniture. She did an outstanding job, and the pieces she has finished so far look like store bought pieces.

When I first found out about my disease, the information I found gave few options for treatment. John, my son-in-law, has a sister who works in the research department at Georgia Tech. John told her about my disease, and asked if she knew about any research being performed on the issue. She was familiar with the disease, and pulled up information on 122 research items going on at this time. That information is going to be made available, and anything new that comes up will be passed on. I feel blessed that I have people trying to help me, as well as keeping me in their thoughts and prayers. Once I get over the installation of the pacemaker, we will evaluate where I am as far as feeling better. As soon as I can handle it, we will be getting a second opinion on what my options are beyond the pacemaker.

I have given much thought as to whether I should announce my disease on the blog, beyond saying what I have so far. I've come to the conclusion that since the disease is usually so difficult to detect that it would be doing a disservice to someone else reading the blog that might be having the same issues that I have been, yet the doctors couldn't find the problem. Having said all this, the name of my disease is amyloidosis. Rather than try to explain what it is or means, I will leave it to the individual reader to find the information on the Internet.

I will say that if anyone is having problems getting a problem diagnosed, don't be shy about getting other doctors involved. I shudder to think what might have happened if we hadn't found the doctor here who diagnosed me. I had several wrong diagnoses prior to coming here. I'm not angry about the missed opportunities to diagnose the disease sooner, but am disappointed. I trusted the doctors to help me, and they didn't. If the disease had been diagnosed sooner, I might have had more options.

I hope this post wasn't too much of a downer, but if I can help someone else with the same problem, then it will have been worth it.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Binghamton, New York: The Parlor City

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Squeaky Wheel

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 57 degrees, high 59 degrees, cloudy, rain all day, and everything that goes with bad weather in the south in the spring

We didn't get much done on our list of things to do today, since most of the items need good weather to complete. Besides, after three fairly busy days, it was time for a little rest.

About 0815 hours, I received a telephone call from the surgery scheduling nurse at the facility that will be doing my heart pacemaker implant. She apologized for it taking so long to contact me about my surgery, and was very helpful in telling me what I needed to do to get ready for the procedure. She said she had a slot open for next Tuesday, and wanted to know if I wanted to take it. Of course I said yes, since it has been impressed on me how important it is to get this done as soon as possible. So, I am set up for the procedure to be performed next Tuesday early in the morning. I will have to remain in the hospital overnight, then go home on Wednesday. We have hopes that the pacemaker will make a difference in a positive way for my quality of life. I know that it won't solve all my issues, but at least this should be a good start.

Does the quick response today after me complaining yesterday about not hearing from the scheduling nurse mean that the squeaky wheel gets the grease? I don't know, but I have a feeling that if I hadn't said anything, I would be waiting until the cows came home.

Even though we couldn't work on our to do list, we still did a few housekeeping chores. Those things never go away, and Carolyn does not like to wait on them to be done. In addition, we went in to town to the local Publix store and bought some groceries, looking primarily for low and no sodium foods. Does anyone realize how hard it is to eat a diet that has no salt, or very little? I think that as s nation, we have become accustomed to eating out, take out, or convenience foods at grocery stores. About the only foods that don't have much sodium are non-processed, which means that much more cooking is being done in our house. That's tough on someone like me, who loved to try out new restaurants. When we did cook at home, we had old standby recipes we both liked that required more sodium than what I can have now. Hopefully, the pacemaker will help with that, in that we may have more latitude with the sodium.

While we were tn town, we noticed several RVs on the interstate and US highways. That was surprising to us, since we made it a habit to be sitting somewhere when bad weather was upon us. I felt that traveling in heavy rain was too dangerous, and it wasn't fun at all. Besides, the RV will get filthy in rain. I guess some people are in a hurry.

Our daughter Terri lives in Tuscaloosa, where the worse of the weather hit today. They had several tornadoes in and around the area today, but nothing hit where she lives. We were in constant contact with her as all this was going on, and kept her posted on what the Weather Channel was saying, as she was hanging out in the bathroom, the safest room in the house. We're thankful that nothing happened where she was.

I received something unexpected in the mail today, a greeting card from my baby sister Janie, who lives near Lakeland, Florida. It was a nice gesture on her part designed to keep my spirits up, and I appreciate it. We hope to see you soon in Florida, Janie.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Lakeland, Florida: A True Sense of Place

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Chore Progress

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 45 degrees, high 76 degrees, clear skies

Our busy day yesterday made us a little slow to get going this morning. Both of us were so tired last night that we were asleep before 2200 hours. Sleeping early didn't help as far as my sleeping problems, but I was still able to get enough sleep that it didn't bother me today. No sandy feeling eyes or everything looking like it had a yellow haze around it. That sound familiar to anyone who's had trouble sleeping before?

Once we finally got some energy going, I finished putting fertilizer and weed killer on the lawn. That only took me a couple hours to finish, when in the past, I could have done it in a half hour. At least I can still do some things.

Carolyn completed staining and finishing the piece of furniture she was working on yesterday, plus started another piece. The first piece turned out well, so it was a good investment. She thinks she will complete all the pieces by next Monday, if some projected weather coming through here tomorrow doesn't slow her down. In her spare time, she planted some bulbs, which is a little late for this year. But, she'll get to enjoy them next year. The important thing was to get them in the ground.

My brother-in-law Roger came by for a visit about midday. Judy and Traci had to go to Birmingham, so he spent some time with us. He and I decided to go McDonald's and get a fish filet sandwich for lunch, one of the few things I can still eat at that restaurant. I think we might start getting together every week for lunch. We had a good visit, and it was nice to sit and talk to a person I consider not only my brother-in-law, but one of my best friends. We are fortunate to have Judy, Roger, and Traci here as we go through my medical problems.

Speaking of medical problems, when I saw the specialist in Birmingham last week, he said I needed a pacemaker installed as soon as possible. I agreed to the pacemaker, and urged them to get me in to the hospital quickly so it could be done. That was a week ago yesterday, and I have still not heard from anyone about when the procedure will be performed. This past Monday, I called and asked that I receive a call back that day letting me know what the status was, which was agreed to. I heard nothing.

Today, I called again, expressing my concern that nothing seemed to be happening as far as setting up my appointment for the procedure. Could it have fallen through the cracks? Did I need to go to another facility? I was assured that the doctor's nurse was going to check into what was going on, and I would get a call back today. Well, guess what? No call today. What am I expected to think? This facility is supposed to be ranked in the top ten in the US. I have to say they are not showing me anything. If I don't hear something soon, I will be talking to my doctor in Athens about having the procedure performed in Huntsville. I don't feel like I can afford to wait, even if the facility in Birmingham is rated as highly as it is. We're talking about my health and life here.

RVing is a lot more fun than this.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Boulder City, Nevada: A World Away For A Day

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 45 degrees, high 72 degrees, clear skies

I wonder how many people use lists to keep up with what they have to do? We use them and I used them when I was working to ensure I didn't miss something that was important. Lately, we have slacked off on a lot of things, and the use of lists to keep us focused was one of them. So, yesterday we resolved to get our rear ends in gear and start doing the things that we feel are important. Like, start a list of things to do, work the list, and keep it updated.

The first order of business was to generate a list, naturally. After about 20 items, Carolyn said that's enough for now. However, both of us added more items during the day, and now we have about 30 items, even after working off a few.

Today, Carolyn worked on some cleaning that she felt was important. After she was satisfied with that chore, she asked me to move an unfinished night stand from one of the guest bedrooms to the garage so she could sand it down and put stain and a polyurethane sealer on it. She finished that by the end of the day, but will probably put another coat on it tomorrow. Oh, and she experimented with making a copy of the frozen Starbucks mocha latte' that they sell in their stores. It wasn't bad, but both of us agreed it needs more work. She'll tweak her recipe tomorrow.

I, on the other hand, did manly things all day. My pace was much slower than in the past, but after sleeping better last night, I had enough energy to do a few things. The first chore I did was flush the water heater, which had probably never been done in this house. I had a little trouble with the drain valve on the water heater getting clogged up, but that eventually worked itself out.

While I was working on the water heater, I decided to change the bottom heating element. It has been burned out since we have been in the house. Getting another element required a trip to town to the plumbing store, where I bought an element and a tool to change it with for a total of $13.95. Not bad as far as cost for something that a plumber might have charged $150 or more to do.

After lunch and resting, I decided to tackle spreading fertilizer and weed killer on the lawn. In the past, that job would have taken me about 45 minutes. Today, I worked on it for almost two hours and still have about 1/3 of the yard to finish. I'll do that tomorrow, if I'm up to it.

So everyone won't think I was slacking off while Carolyn was working, I helped her when she needed it. Doing these little jobs today made us think about how easy the RV is to take care of, compared to a house. There are things that have to be done in an RV to keep everything working, but it is so self-contained that it just seems easier.

Both of us are tired tonight, but there is a sense that we have control of what we need to do, and now we have a list to help us stay straight.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Annetta, Texas: The Friendly City

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

High Fuel Prices

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 53 degrees, high 70 degrees, clear skies, breezy

The weather has cooled off again, much to Carolyn's delight. The low tonight is supposed to be near 40 degrees. Could this be the long awaited blackberry winter?

Last night was the worse for me in several weeks. It was difficult to sleep, and near morning, I started having problems breathing. That was the end of any sleep for me. I spent the morning lazing around, trying to get some energy up so I could do something productive. I will be glad when the pacemaker is installed. It may not solve all my problems, but I'm hopeful some of the symptoms will be relieved.

After lunch, I decided to go to town to run a few little errands that I have been putting off. Carolyn decided to stay at home, since my sleepless nights are starting to affect her.

My first stop was at Lowe's, where I bought some caulking. We need to do a little caulking around some windows, and I think I can do that if I take my time. In addition, I bought some weed and feed fertilizer for the lawn, since the weeds are making a serious attempt to take over. There were a couple other items I was going to get, but I thought the prices would be cheaper at the WalMart Mall.

Leaving Lowe's, I drove around the corner to the Mall. I was right about lower prices on the other items I needed, so it was a good decision to go the mall. It seemed as though there were a lot of cars in the parking lot, but the store didn't seem that busy.

On the way home, I stopped at a gas station to fill up with diesel. I try to fill up before I get below a half tank. That makes me feel a little better about the price of fuel, but not much. I paid $3.899 a gallon today, and that was about the cheapest around. It'll probably be higher tomorrow.

Speaking of fuel prices, why is it that the US does not take advantage of all the energy sources we have in our country, instead of sending all that money to countries that wish we would disappear from the face of the earth? It just doesn't make sense to me. Much like not controlling our borders doesn't make sense. Both political parties are to blame.

Back in 2008 when fuel prices got up to almost $5.00 a gallon, I began to think that the price would stay high from then on. Then, with the economy failing, prices went down to as low as $1.60 a gallon. I knew that wouldn't last, but it was nice for awhile. I wonder how low it will go in the future? It's hard to believe it will drop much.

Carolyn is getting good at cooking with low or no salt recipes. She uses a lot of spices to make up for the salt, and is even eating the same thing as me in an effort to make me feel better about what I have to eat. I appreciate her trying to eat like I do, but is there any reason for both of us to be miserable about the diet?

Tuesday night is one of the best nights for television as far as I'm concerned. NCIS is on, and starting tonight, the new episodes of Deadliest Catch begin. That's one of the best reality shows on television, and I admire what those guys do in cold, wet, dangerous conditions.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Childersburg, Alabama: The Oldest City In America…1540

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Messed Up Sleep

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 64 degrees, high 80 degrees, partly cloudy to mostly cloudy, breezy, showers late in the afternoon

It is so aggravating to be sleeping soundly an hour after going to bed, then wake up to go to the restroom and not being able to go back to sleep for two hours. Then, wake up again two hours later and repeat the whole cycle. This disease I'm fighting has got my sleep patterns all messed up.

We needed to go buy a few groceries, but it seemed to take all morning to get up enough gumption to get out the door. We finally left home about 1100 hours, and went to Wendy's, where I was able to get a baked potato with the trimmings and unsweetened tea for lunch. Total sodium - 50 mg. I stopped at a store on the way in and picked up a salt substitute in an effort to get a little more taste in the food, and it wasn't too bad. Carolyn had the baked potato, but also some chicken nuggets. She can use real salt, so I'm sure her meal was better than mine.

After lunch, we stopped at the WalMart Mall and spent some time looking at food labels for nutritional values, primarily sodium content. I don't worry about calories or fat, since it wouldn't hurt me to gain a little weight. However, we have found that if the sodium content is low enough for me, the food is usually low in most other things. It's a continual quandary trying to find food that tastes good.

When we got home, we decided to have a homemade tomato pasta sauce, along with pasta, naturally. It wasn't as good as the sauce in a jar, but again, not bad. We have already thought of some things we can do to spice the sauce up.

Several weeks ago, I contacted the person who sold the house to us about him fulfilling the terms of the contract. Since then, I either didn't hear from the seller, or he offered excuses for not doing what he was supposed to do. The result was that the work was still not done.

This past Saturday, I finally had enough, and went to see him again. I think I made a deep enough impression on him this time, as I was very definite in telling him that I thought we had given him more than enough time to do the work, and I needed to know when it was going to be completed. He assured me he would get on it today. I replied that's fine, but that he had said that before, and nothing happened. Again, I stressed that we wanted the work completed as soon as possible. Today, the seller called me to say that the company where he bought the material was no longer handling that material, and he was going to have to find a new supplier. That tells me this is the first time he has made any effort to do what he was supposed to back in December, and it really ticked me off. I will give him a short time to get back to me. If he doesn't, I will be seeing an attorney. That's something I would rather not do, but may be the only avenue I have to get the contract honored.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Chiefland, Florida: Gem of the Suwanee Valley

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Terri Went Home

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 63 degree, high 82 degrees, clear skies

When our daughters visited us in the past, we always tried to have a number of things scheduled to do in the area. The last few visits, I have been unable to do much, and the girls have shown no inclination to do much of anything but stay close and visit. This weekend's visit by Terri was the same, as she didn't leave home except when we went out to eat. I'm so glad they understand my current limitations. I'm hopeful that implanting a pacemaker will make a big difference in how I feel and what I'm able to do. I would sure like to be able to go visit them with the RV!

Terri left in the mid-afternoon, as she and Thomas had to get back to Tuscaloosa to check on their cat. It was a good visit, very low-key, which is the way I would like to keep them. We had a lot of good conversations, and she gave me some good tips on alternative foods and diets, as well as found some information on the web about salt substitutes.

After Terri left, I treated Carolyn to a mocha latte' at McDonald's. I had an ice cream cone and unsweetend tea. I know my choices probably don't make a lot of sense, but it works for me. At least they are low sodium.

Speaking of low sodium, I have not had any food with added sodium for the last five days. Can you imagine how plain grits taste with out salt? Last night, I had baby back ribs with a dry rub that only had 150 mg of sodium, total. Of course, there was no sauce, and the meat was a little plain tasting, but it tasted good to me. I had enough left for lunch today.

This afternoon, we watched the Master's Golf Tournament. Imagine our surprise when I turned it on to find that Tiger Woods had played himself in to contention. Only one problem - he ran out of holes, while the players behind him kept playing well. It was an exciting tournament, and probably one of the best Master's in some time.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Brazoria, Texas: Home Of The No Name Festival

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ruby Tuesday, Twice

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 66 degrees, high 80 degrees, clear skies, breezy

It was another beautiful day in north Alabama. Could it be that we're going to skip blackberry winter?

We spent the morning visiting with Terri, catching up on what's been happening with her. At lunch time, we decided to go out to lunch. The question we had was where could we go that I could get food that wasn't full of sodium. Terri suggested Ruby Tuesday, so I looked at their nutritional values for their offerings. I found sirloin steak with a baked potato and steamed broccoli for less than 300 mg of sodium. That worked for me, so off we went to Athens.

There was hardly anyone in the restaurant, even though it was almost noon. When our food was served, I checked it out to make sure there was no salt, and then started eating. Now, I haven't found anything to replace salt yet, but my lunch was not bad. It could be that I'm getting used to no salt. Carolyn and Terri said their food was good, also.

When we left the restaurant, we stopped at a health food store to see if they had any salt substitutes. The clerk said we have sea salt. Well, duh, that's still salt. Anyway, the answer was no salt substitute at the health food store. Strange.

On the way home, we stopped at the library and exchanged our books. It was the first time that Terri had been to this library since we left the area over 20 years ago. She said it was like stepping back in time, because the biggest change was the availability of computers for people to use.

After getting home, rest was in order for the rest of the day, until we decided to go back to Ruby Tuesday for supper. I thought if they had something I could eat for lunch, maybe I could find something for supper. Looking the menu over after checking the sodium levels on the net, I decided to try the dry rub baby back ribs. Along with grilled green beans and french fries, all with no salt. Again, I was able to eat well, without much sodium. Still, I miss the salt. I never ate a lot of salt, in the past, but when you've been told to reduce the amount of salt you eat as much as possible, it makes you aware of how much salt is in our everyday food.

The evening was spent reading, watching television, and surfing the web. Nice and relaxed.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Kosciusko, Mississippi: A Great Place To Live

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Met Another Neighbor

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 63 degrees, high 80 degrees, partly cloudy skies

Both of us were tired today after the road trip yesterday. I wanted to do some painting on the screened porch trim, but couldn't muster up enough enthusiasm to do it. My rationale was that the recent rain probably wet the wood too much for painting. I don't know what excuse I'll use tomorrow.

Carolyn did some more genealogy today, finding a possible link to another ancestor on my father's side that we had never heard of before. She's still checking the possible connection, making sure there is something valid there. I hope there is, since that would give us another possible route to take my paternal line back beyond the 1850s.

We met another neighbor today, a former NYC cop who retired to the area about 20 years ago. Jonah is a typical New Yorker who has lived in the south long enough to pick up many of the same mannerisms that we associate with southern people. He loves it here, and says he would never consider moving back to the city. He owns 85 acres of land up near the Tennessee state line, and invited us to use it for shooting, picnics, or whatever. Very nice guy, just like every one else we have met here. To top it off, we had some common memories of the city and Hudson River valley, since we were up there for 15 months about ten years ago. It was a great experience living there.

Terri and Thomas came up for a weekend visit from Tuscaloosa, arriving about 1800 hours. We served them some of my famous Oriental Beef Stew for supper, and they said it was good. I have no idea if it was or not, since I couldn't taste the nuances of flavors that are usually present.

I'm having to watch my sodium intake, so I had broiled fish, along with yellow and zucchini squash, and broccoli. It wasn't as good as it might have been with a little salt, but I guess it'll have to do. I did put some seasoning packet stuff that the doctors gave me on the food , but that stuff is a far cry from salt. The fish was prepared with garlic, black pepper, onion powder, dill, parsley, paprika, and a little lemon juice, and wasn't bad at all, even without salt.

Tonight was the first time we have used the air conditioning since we moved here. Carolyn is already fussing about the weather being too warm.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Hutto, Texas: Official Hippo Community Of Texas

Not all who wander are lost.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Little Road Trip

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 46 degrees, high 70 degrees, mostly clear skies

After the news we received from the doctor at UAB yesterday, you'll never guess what we did today. Well, maybe you'll guess if you know us at all.

We got out of bed at the usual time, had breakfast, and did some talking about what we were told yesterday. Talking about it is not off-limits to us, because what we're facing is life, in it's most basic form. But, that's not what I was talking about doing earlier.

We got in the truck and went on a road trip. Yep, that's right, a road trip. Being on the road makes us happy, and we felt we needed to do something that we like after all the stress we have been under. The trip was not as long as some we did when I was healthier, but it made us feel good again about the possibilities of life.

For some time, we've been wanting to go on the Natchez Trace again, and travel a part of it that we had never been on. The portion we drove on today was from near Summertown, Tennessee, to near Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. Getting there was most of the fun of the trip.

We left Elkmont and drove north to Pulaski, Tennessee, where we took US 64 west to Lawrenceburg. This little town has the most decentralized downtown we have ever seen. Almost all the town appears to straggle along US 43, running north and south.

We stopped in Lawrenceburg at McDonald's so I could get a fish sandwich, one of the few things that still tastes good to me. Along with unsweetend tea, that was lunch for me, and not too bad.

After lunch, we continued north on US 43, seeing several Amish horse and buggy teams along the way. No pictures, as we saw them too late. I have to admire these people for standing by their beliefs in this world of temptation. We eventually turned west and drove toward the Trace, eventually coming to what we thought was one of the highlights of the trip, Yoder's Store. This store is located in the middle of nowhere, and is run by a Mennonite family. Imagine our surprise to find that they had a large inventory of dried fruits and vegetables, baked goods, and home canned jellies and relishes, along with all types of other stuff that's hard to find. We bought several items, including a natural granola bar that was very tasty. I wish we had bought a half dozen. To top off the great place we found, the prices were what I would consider very reasonable.

Continuing on to the Trace, we entered the Trace at the Meriwether Lewis Memorial Area. Now, here's where we learned the history lesson for today. Lewis (of Lewis and Clark fame) was traveling from Louisiana to Washington, DC, when he stopped for the night at this point on the Trace. That night, he was shot under mysterious circumstances and died the next day. He was buried in a cemetery near the Tavern, where the State of Tennessee erected a monument over his grave. Here's a picture of the monument where Lewis is buried.

And, here's a picture of the plaque detailing what happened.

After leaving the Meriwether site, we drove south on the Trace at the speed limit of 50 mph. This section of the Trace doesn't seem to have as much of interest as other sections we have driven, but the natural beauty and quiet of the road was enough to make us happy with it. One thing that did stand out was the beauty of the dogwood, red bud, and wild plum trees. Here's an example.

By the time we got to the Lewisburg exit, we were ready to head home. Our total drive on the Trace wasn't that long, but it helped us get rid of some wanderlust. I think you'll see us doing this more often as a way to fight the downer news that we sometimes get. We're tired tonight, but it's a good tired.

Hmmmm. I wonder what we can get in to tomorrow?

Today's Town - Lawrenceburg, Tennessee: The Home Of Southern Gospel Music

More later, be safe.

Not all who wander are lost.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Doctor's Appointment In Birmingham

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 35 degrees, high 65 degrees, clear skies, frost this morning

The day for the doctor's appointment in Birmingham finally arrived, and I was more than ready for it to happen. Judy and Roger had to go to the same general area for Roger to see his pulmonary specialist, so they invited us to go with them. What a help they were in finding the clinic we needed to go to! We would have been lost in all that hustle and bustle, but they knew exactly where we needed to go. Thank God we had their help. And the company on the ride there and back was good.

We arrived in Birmingham early enough that Judy asked that we all go the cafeteria for breakfast at the VA hospital. I had eaten before we left, but Carolyn ordered something, since she wasn't hungry before we left home. After eating, Judy took us to the Kirklin Clinic, which serves just about every specialty known to man, with about 500 doctors under one roof.

The place was bustling, but the staff seemed to be able to pull order out of the people, doing what I thought was a pretty good job of getting people to where they needed to be and served. My first stop was at the lab, where they pulled enough blood to keep Dracula happy for half a night or so. Next, I had an EKG performed, then moved to another area where I had the most complete echocardiogram performed that I have ever had.

After all that was finished, the results were interpreted by specialists on the spot. Then, I was called in to see my primary specialist, Dr. Bourge. I had heard many good things about him, and had seen his picture before, but was really impressed with the way he came in and introduced himself. Then, he dropped the bomb.

After meeting and greeting was out of the way, I was told I have a very bad disease. He explained where I was at in the progression of the disease, and it appears that some doctors may have missed an opportunity to diagnose the disease sooner. Like, 2-3 years ago, when it was just starting to grab me. I think it may be understandable that a diagnosis may have been missed, since this is such a rare disease. But, I'm still disappointed that I didn't have better results than what I did. Maybe I could have gotten treatment sooner and slowed down the progression of the disease. As I mentioned before, there is no cure, but in many cases it can be slowed with an increase in quality of life.

At this point, the disease has affected the electrical signals to my heart to such an extent that he recommended I have a pacemaker installed as soon as possible. Another option he offered was to do nothing, and my heart would stop pumping to the point that, as he said, I would drown. I agreed to the pacemaker, obviously, and the appointments are being set up for as soon as possible. Dr. Bourge thinks the pacemaker will help my quality of life, and relieve some of my symptoms. At this point, I'll be thankful for any help I can get. The pacemaker will be installed one day, I'll stay in the hospital overnight for observation, then go home the next day.

The pacemaker is not a cure-all for the disease I have, but if it can help me feel better, I'll be happy. The doctor did not give much hope for alternative treatment because of my age and the advanced stage of the disease. He did say he was the resident expert on the disease and keeps up on all the new treatments that arise, and he would call me if he heard of anything that might help. He also offered to help me with any second opinions that I might want to pursue. At this time, I haven't decided on second opinions, since I think it is important to have the pacemaker installed quickly.

The next question that comes up is how will this affect my daily life, and does this mean the end of RVing for us? Those questions remain to be answered, but we are hopeful that the pacemaker will give me the energy and strength to want to be out on the road at least part time. If the doctor advises against it, we'll face that when the time comes. In the meantime, the RV is in safe storage, waiting patiently for us.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Birmingham, Alabama: The Pittsburgh Of The South

Not all who wander are lost.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ice Cream And Moche Frappe'

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low degrees, high degrees, clear skies, breezy, chilly

The weather today is a far cry from what we went through yesterday. The rain continued until about midnight, and it feels like winter around here again. Carolyn loves the cool weather.

My doctor's appointment for Thursday was moved to today, so that meant I had to go see the doctor who performed the biopsy on me last Thursday. He said everything looked good, and I didn't have to go see him any more. Okay, one doctor down, how many to go?

After leaving the doctor's office, we went to lunch at Mickey D's, primarily because I have found I can eat their fish filet sandwich. Along with unsweetened tea, it was food that tastes much like what I remember. As I have said before, most of the food that used to be my favorites no longer tastes good. It's great to find something that still allows my taste buds to operate like they should.

After lunch, we stopped at the WalMart Mall for a few things we needed. It's amazing how little we buy now that my eating choices are so restricted. I have to make sure Carolyn gets what she needs, since it's so difficult to cook for me.

On the way home, we stopped back at Mickey D's and got us a treat to have on the road. I had ice cream (I can still eat certain ones), and picked up a mocha frappe', for Carolyn, which she loves. I'm not a coffee drinker, but this frappe' doesn't taste bad. I might get myself one next time.

Tomorrow, we have to go to Birmingham for what we hope is the beginning of aggressive treatment for the disease that I have just been diagnosed with. I'm looking forward to getting started, but we have backup plans in case we don't like what we see or hear.

I like college basketball, but I think the national collegiate championship last night between Connecticut and Butler was one of the worse college games I have seen. And, to have it be the championship game with the amount of ineptitude that was shown last night is even worse. The coaches did an awful job of preparing their players to play the most important game of their lives.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Blakely, Georgia: Peanut Proud!

Not all who wander are lost.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Diagnosis Confirmed

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 56 degrees, high 63 degrees, heavy rain, thunder, lightning, wind, hail, tornado watches.......

What a weather day this was! At it's heaviest, the rain resembled some of the torrential downpours we came to associate with Texas. Add in the wind, thunder, lightning, hail, and tornado watches, and it made for a rather interesting day. This is the type of weather that Carolyn can't stand, so it was not a good day for her. Fortunately, tomorrow should be much better. Cooler, but no bad weather in the forecast.

My brother Keith and his boys left this morning, bound for parts unknown. That means when they left, they had not decided where they would go from here. I talked to him in the afternoon, and they had decided to go to Florida to visit family down there. I gave him some directions on a shorter route to where they want to go, so hopefully it will help save them a few miles of driving.

I had a lab appointment this morning to take care of. Carolyn was busy cleaning after the weekend, so she stayed at home. While I was at the hospital giving my blood samples, I decided to go by my doctor's office to see if they had the results of the biopsy that was performed on me last Thursday. The results were in, and were as we expected. In other words, the biopsy confirmed what my doctor said he was 99% certain was what I have that's making me so sick. The news is not good, but we don't know the full ramifications of what all this means to us at this time. I should be able to find that out when I go to see a specialist at the University of Alabama in Birmingham on Wednesday.

Repeating what I said in a previous post, the disease affects about 2,000 people in this country each year. Basically, it is a disease of the bone marrow, where too much of a protein is produced by the bone marrow. Normally, the excess protein is absorbed by the body, but with so much being produced, the body is overwhelmed, and the excess protein begins attacking different organs in the body. In my case, we know that the excess protein has attacked my heart, and may have attacked other organs. All that is still to be determined. Because the disease is rare, there's not a lot of research that's been performed in an effort to conquer it because the resources are being spent on diseases that offer a higher payback. That's unfortunate, but the way it is. Some treatment options are available, and you can bet that I will be doing everything I can to get the best treatment possible. I have people who love me and need me around, so I have no plans to check out any time soon.

Regardless of the treatment options we choose, we know that at least the near future will be devoted to finding the right doctors and the right treatment plans to give me the best chance possible in this fight. That probably means no RVing for at least the near future. Longer term, we don't know what it means, but at this time, it's important to get treatment started in an aggressive manner.

I have not listed what the disease is that I was diagnosed with for the purpose of maintaining some semblance of privacy over the Internet. I think we all know what I mean, with kooks and spammers out there that are looking for any way to get in to our systems. If anyone might be having similar medical problems and would like to know more that might help them, leave me a comment on the blog and I will respond to your personal e-mail address or telephone number. If you ask, your comment will not be published, and under no circumstances will I publish e-mail addresses or telephone numbers.

What does all this mean for the blog? At this time, I intend to continue writing the blog every day. I realize there may be times that I don't feel like it, or may not have access to a computer, but I get a lot of pleasure out of the blog. It has developed in to a little diary for us that we can use to go back and see what was happening in our lives. Like, 14 months ago, we were in Big Bend National park, enjoying the majestic beauty of a place that we never dreamed could exist in Texas.

On a better note, I ate better today than I have in several weeks. For some reason, all the experimenting to find food that tastes half-way palatable paid off today, and I feel fairly decent tonight. Now, to keep building on that little success.....

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Cincinnati, Ohio: Porkolopis

Not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Family Meal

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 37 degrees, high 77 degrees, clear skies, breezy - nice day

The company slept in this morning until about 0900 hours. They were tired from their long drive from Hope, Arkansas, to here yesterday. After they were up and had breakfast (breakfast wraps), we spent the morning sitting and talking about what's happening in each of our worlds, as well as cussed and discussed the state of political and other affairs in this country. A good visit with family that I wish could happen more often.

At lunchtime, we went in to a local hamburger place (where else?). I couldn't eat a hamburger, but was able to get the fish sandwich down. On the way home, we stopped at Publix and picked up all the fixings for homemade hamburgers as a family get together with Keith and his sons, as well as Judy and her family.

Have you ever noticed that family get togethers of any size are nice, but the more people there are, the better? Let's see, if we were able to get everyone together one more time, that would be about..... 70 people. Wow, that would be a good gathering. I wonder what it would take to make that happen?

This next week is going to be a busy one for us, as I have lab appointments tomorrow, as well as hope to hear from my doctor what the results were from the biopsy last Thursday. Then, I go to Birmingham on Wednesday to have at least three more tests performed, then see a specialist from UAB about my issues. On Thursday, I go to see the surgeon that did the biopsy so he can remove the stitches from my stomach. That's what scheduled now. Who knows what else will turn up. I hope Carolyn and I can find some time to get out for at least a short road trip of some type, just for pleasure.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Las Vegas, Nevada: Glitter Gulch

Not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Keith And Sons Arrive

Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 38 degrees, high 65 degrees, clear skies, breezy

The weather today was glorious, even if the wind was a little brisk. Tomorrow is supposed to be even better. Maybe the cold weather has finally broken. At least until Blackberry Winter arrives.

I slept the best last night that I have in a couple of months. I was only up once last night, and then for only a little over an hour before I was able to go back to bed. I hope I can repeat that tonight.

The nice weather seemed to boost my spirits, as I felt the best that I have in several days. It may have been partly due to my brother Keith and two of his sons coming to visit from Hope, Arkansas, that helped me feel better, but I can stand more of it.

Keith and sons arrived in the middle of the afternoon, and we spent the time until supper catching up on what's been happening withe all of us. At suppertime, we went to El Olmeca Mexican Restaurant in Ardmore, and everyone said the food was good. I suppose it was, since everything tasted off to me. I ate enough that Carolyn didn't fuss at me, so I guess I did okay.

After supper, we all went to my sister Judy and her husband Roger's house for a visit. As always, that was a great visit, and I think Keith enjoyed it. There will be more visiting back and forth before Keith leaves.

All in all, it was a good day. Great weather, and I saw family. I love it!

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Hope, Arkansas: Birthplace of President Bill Clinton

Not all who wander are lost.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Elkmont, Alabama

Weather: low 40 degrees, high 50 degrees mostly cloudy skies, but the sun did peek out in the late afternoon

One side benefit of the drugs I received at the hospital yesterday was that I slept a good part of the night last night, and Carolyn says I slept about half of the day today. I'm not sure how much I slept, but I do know that I felt sleepy all day, and it was easy to fall asleep.

When the biopsy was taken from my stomach fat, the doctor made an incision about six inches long to be able to get the samples he needed. As a result, I'm suffering from a lot of soreness, but so far, it's not been bad enough to take pain killers. I'm sure the soreness will get better in the next few days.

Since I was under the weather (again), we stayed at home, where Carolyn took the opportunity to do a lot of research on genealogy. She concentrated on my family, with a little help from me when I was awake. She has found records all the way back to 1813 on my maternal grandfather's side. She found records dating to 1781 on my maternal grandmother's side. Previously, she has found records dating to the 1200s on her father's side, and back to the 1500s on her mother's side. The hard area to find information remains on my father's side. We're hoping for a breakthrough, eventually. We don't like to think we will have to do it, but we may have to seek help from a professional on my father's side.

Our niece Traci came over for a visit this afternoon, and brought some rare old plants with her that she had found in a secret location. Carolyn loves that sort of thing, so she spent some time looking them up on the Internet. These are probably not the sort of plants that would do well in a typical yard setting, but it's still nice to know that some of the old stuff is still out there, tucked away in hidden places.

My baby brother Keith is supposed to visit tomorrow with two of his sons. I hope that I feel better so I can be a good host. In fact, I'll be a good host, whether I feel good or not. I enjoy being with family, and am looking forward to seeing them. They are on a man trip, and I don't really know what their destination is. It's great they are coming this way.

More later, be safe.

Today's Town - Mt. Pleasant, Tennessee: Once Known As The Phosphate Capital OF The World

Not all who wander are lost.