Saturday, February 28, 2015

If I Don't...............

My winter routine: One eye open and with blurred vision, I try to focus on the cable box at the foot of my bed. Initially I can make out blurred blue. Eventually the blue shimmies and shakes and settles into numbers that my brain can translate into the time. It's time to roll out of bed from my Restoril induced sleep. I've had my six hours of unconsciousness.

Swinging my legs over the side of the bed, my feet find the shaggy green throw rug as I rock forward, the momentum carrying me to a standing position. I let this stance register to the rest of my body that it will be moving soon.
Quietly I wobble around the end of the bed and aim toward the door. I wouldn't want to wake the husband and ruin his 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep. I can exit the bedroom door without a sound. I've had a lot of practice at doing this. I'm very familiar with my bedroom. Do not attempt this with any hopes of success in motel rooms. I've had to crawl out using my iPhone flashlight accessory to navigate the unfamiliar room, the suitcases and the shoes left abandoned in the rush to relax after a long day of driving.

I got this. I'm well on my way down the "T" shaped hallway and into the kitchen. Rote like, I put on a pot of coffee and retreat to the bathroom. Morning absolutions finished, I slip through the pocket door and into the living room, grasp the remote control and delve into the morning news. A few minutes of news, I break for the coffee pot, morning meds and more news.
The husband will remain in bed until ten-ish which totally endears himself to me. I don't need conversation and the stress of having to be nice to anyone at this hour. It's good enough to just sip and watch the news channel though comprehension in full will take another cup of coffee.
Soon I will tidy up the kitchen and make the bed after the husband appears. And that's just about the total of my days activities!
My excuses? It's cold outside. I'll do something when it warms up.
If I don't get a plan and a goal for some daily activity ....if I don't..........

Friday, February 20, 2015

Does Anyone Believe

So much in the news to talk about and what do most people remember? BC Brown (Bobbi Christina) and her medical condition. Does anyone still believe that this young lady is alive? Found face down in a bathtub full of water, no heartbeat nor breath, she was probably clinically dead but unpronounced when they found her. The paramedics arrived and did CPR until they could get her to a hospital where she was put on a ventilator. I've been expecting for days, the family to finally accept the fact that she isn't coming back and allow the doctors to remove her from the ventilator.

I remember watching the news reports when Michael Jackson was found and transported to the hospital. He was already gone too but it took hours and hours for the hospital to announce his death.

..and the other big story is the death of Kayla, the aid worker killed in Syria. I've noted this before but will again on this blog. She voluntarily went to a country that was a known  antagonist of the USA. After being captured, her family thought she should be rescued by the USA by either trading a prisoner/terrorist or by ransom of money they requested.
My feelings on this? If you voluntarily go into a country at war, you do it without expectations of being rescued by the US government. In addition, maybe they should be required to sign a formal paper releasing the USA from any responsibilities in your rescue should you be captured.

I feel the same about those climbing mountains that need rescued and endangering the helicopter pilots and the rescue squads that have to go get them. Before leaving on that trek, they should be required to have a rescue team "on call" should they become stranded on that mountain and require their services and of course at the expense of the climber.

There are plenty of places here in the USA that could use aids to help the children, the homeless and the ones in dire need of health care. Why go to a hostile country?

I started this post almost a week ago and am just now getting back to it. Since I started this post, BC has now had a tracheotomy done and reattached to a ventilator. Intubation is done on a temporary basis. The airway is accessed through the mouth and hooked to a ventilator. This is temporary; a trach is long term. Apparently her family is insisting on keeping her breathing.

And on the health beat around here, the husband has not been felling up to par. I believe he has a case of the nasty stuff going around here right now. Aching, nauseated and tired, he has spent the week stretched out on the sofa beneath a fuzzy blanket, awake watching TV or quietly snoozing. I've tiptoed around the house letting him dictate when I cook or clean. Rest is the best medicine usually.

Myself? I'm feeling scandalously fine. I skated through my 3 month check up with the oncologist. My tumor markers were not increased at least for now. I questioned the Nurse Practioner if I could have the mediport removed. Her answer was not comforting. She 'suggested' I might want to keep it in for a while longer which translates to "you're gonna need it for chemo again'. She didn't have to bluntly say this; it was there non the less.

We are in a run of frigid temperatures for the deep south. Frigid to us is temperatures somewhere in the 40's. We have no desire to go anywhere and we haven't for the past week. The husband because of being ill and me because there wasn't really a need for me to leave the cozy warmth of my house.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

And The People You Meet

Yesterday was another long day being hauled down the highway. The husband's job was driving; mine was looking. You can only look so long at identical clumps of sage and miles of soft tan earth before hypnotically you begin to dose off. Huge yawns kept reminding me that I don't sleep when someone is driving. I want to be awake to witness any major calamity which could endanger my health. I try to keep my driving instructions to myself as the husband has voiced his displeasure, loudly, any time I interject my views. So far, so good. He has been event free which probably comes from all those millions of miles he has logged alone in this truck going to and from all those rig jobs. Amazing? Yes, I don't know how he has done it without me riding side kick.

Yesterday's drive provided another view of a burned vehicle complete with fire trucks and rescue vehicles. A van, unrecognizable in color as the paint was totally burned off of it was only smoldering by the time we got to the scene. This incident didn't slow us down as it was in the west bound lane while we were in the eastbound lane. I can't help but wonder about the people that have lost their vehicles to flames while on a trip. Do you just give up and go home? Rent another vehicle and go on? I'm afraid my vacation mood would have abandoned me at that point.

A few miles down the road we stopped for gas. A young couple, in separate  vehicles had stopped to get gas. The young lady, wearing a T shirt and tattered jeans, arms full tatted to the elbows was handling all the finances. Her husband, a young man in his early 20's was standing beside the truck he was driving, pulling a tall, painted dull black homemade trailer. He looked exhausted. Their trip had taken them from Alaska, down through Canada and to Mississippi where they had spent a few days with her family. The last leg of their journey was to New Mexico where she has been stationed in a branch of the military. He had mustered out a year ago and was following his wife to her new post. The young man was not happy. The trip across the frozen heaved roads of Alaska and Canada, he said, was the worst part of the trip. The credit card they carried, was the second worst part as it had failed to allow them to make charges on the last stops. They still had many miles to go before their journey ended. It might be time for them to get a room and a good night's rest but depending on her leave time, that might not be possible for them. I too was ready to get a room. Another 100 miles down the road and the Best Western Sunday House Inn in Leesville, Texas is where we ended yesterdays' trip. We are very close to San Antonio and most of the sage and sand is behind us while Luling is in our future. Stopping for some BBQ at the City Market is a must once again.

This morning, I'm in the lobby of the hotel waiting on the breakfast room to open. I didn't set my watch forward yet. I thought it was 0500 hrs. so I quietly and in the dark, made my way to the bathroom where I could turn on the light and slip into a pair of black leggings, a bright red sweater and run a brush through my hair. No makeup. I'll attend to that after coffee.

I made my way to the hotel lobby only to discover the coffee shop wouldn't be open for 2 hours!!!

Coffee sat in big urns on a black granite top table along the back wall. Paper cups and lids lined up neatly against the wall, creamers, both flavored and plain were contained in black wire baskets. Perfect!

A cup of coffee, heavily creamed, a desktop computer and I'm in business!

As I sipped my coffee, a man entered the front doors. He sang out a "good morning" which I returned to him as I swung slightly in my chair to the right to greet him. Dressed casually in a golf shirt and a pair of faded blue jeans, his full head of hair, dark at one time, interspersed with a light dusting of grey, I thought George Clooney had just appeared. The gentleman drove a white Mercedes, a few years old, visible through the double doors. He was checking out.

As he walked to the coffee urns, I asked "Do you have a long trip?"  He was very cordial and filled with energy at this early hour. He stopped and said he was on his way to Houston after having left California yesterday. When I mentioned Lafayette, he said he had spent a lot of time there. His job was in safety containment which supplies a service to people that work in mines, tanks, rigs, etc. He is a diver that has spent time hovering at depths in the ocean awaiting the workers who might get in distress so he can rescue them.  His job takes him to nuclear power plants and other areas of danger where breathing could be endangered. There was 5 of them and he is the only one left for his company. He was trained in the military as a diver. I should have asked if he was a Navy Seal.   Most interesting conversation with him.
His final question as he headed for the door "Are the crawfish in season?"
I laughed and assured him they were and they were nice this year. "I'm gonna have me some mud bugs!" he said as he moved through the double doors to his car.

Our journey today should get us home. I'm ready to be home for a while. This has been a long trip but a perfect time to be traveling. Gas prices remain low; 1.89 and 1.65 with California prices averaging 2.25/gal.

I have my sights set on New Orleans for a day trip before the heat of summer returns but that's a few weeks away.

I have one more hour to kill before the dining room is open. I'll spend some time catching up on reading the news online!
..and I'm gone.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

February 6th, 2015, Lordsburg, New Mexico

We left San Diego and the sea; the sea of sea lions, surfers and bikini clad women and plunged eastward into desert, cactus and sand. It's warm. We are talking in the 80's. Stopping in Casa Grande for an hourl, we visited one last  time the husband's childhood friend. Around 1500 hrs. we were back on the road and heading toward Tucson. We knew we wouldn't be driving all night and planned to stay in Bowie, Arizona but finding no accomodations, we continued on to Lordsburg, New Mexico where you find us at this moment.

Upon arrival we approached a Best Western Motel for a room. The only rooms available was "smoking" rooms. I so remember a time when the husband and I would be overjoyed to be staying at a hotel that had "smoking' rooms. That time has come and gone. We drove on. Though tired and road weary, we drove on. We found a beautiful room at a Hampton Inn and as I crawled out of that truck, I had to lengthen the legs and stretch a bit to be sure my legs were still functional.

Travel broadens one doesn't it? I've learned a lot on this trip. The landscape, the food and the hotel habits have been most educational. The televison experience is something I'm still researching. I've found that the hotels in Texas, maybe not all, but the ones I've stayed in will have Fox News on their lobby and breakfast room TV. When quesitoned about this, I was told they had a contract with Fox and the TV had to be on that station. Later I found, if I wanted to change it I would have to poll everyone watching and if NO ONE objected, I could change the station. We stayed in that Holiday Inn in Casa Gande for 10 days. We then moved to a Holiday Inn Express in the same town as all the rooms at the big Holiday Inn had been reserved for the Super Bowl Game. Again the same thing. Fox News. The remote was left close to the TV and the breakfast room was empty as I was the first one to arrive there for coffee. I looked around the room, took a poll and when there was no one that objected, I quickly changed the TV channel to anything but Fox. I did this every morning that I stayed there.
Our next hotel was a Best Western Inn in Mission Bay, San Diego, California. The TV station there was tuned to a cartoon channel. At least they were being neutral!

I'm now in New Mexico at a Hamilton Inn. The hotel is beautiful and the breakfast room is well appointed. Paisley clad  sofas line the walls with mini tables in front of them. The center is dominated by a long black granite island with bar stools on each side and electrical receptacles to plug in one's laptops and  the best part is the TV on the wall at the end of this island is not tuned to Fox. No contract here in New Mexico?
I suppose this state doesn't garner a lot of electoral votes. If we don't make it home today, Ill  have another hotel to review.

On another note, I'm hopeful we can buy a bag of chilis. Deming and Hatches are on our route; two towns that are known for their green chili. We like to pick some up and roast them at home, package and freeze them for future meals.

I"m hoping our passage gets us to Luling, Texas for one more meal of BBQ. We plan our traveling on arriving at our favorite places to eat? Yes we do!

This trip has went well. No unexpected adventures and I'm ready to be back home. We have plans on some house renovations so I'm gearing up to be in "house mess" mode for a while.

We have miles and miles of sand and cactus to travel today. I don't mind and truly enjoy the different lands to see. We have San Antonio as our goal and anything beyond that will be gravy.

I'm off to repack, reload and hit the road!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

San Diego 2015

The road trip from Casa Grande to San Diego displayed desert scenery for the first part of the trip and  large green fields of crops for the remainder. Row after row for as far as the eye could see, crops irrigated and grown out of desert landscape proves what a lot of water willl do for an area.

We encountered one slow down on the interstate when an auto was on fire. We waited while the fire truck and police arrived. The flames were out, the paint had melted off it and the tires were gone. Someone isn't having a good  day.

By 1500 hrs. we were checking into our room in Mission Bay. Driving in this area has it's good points; roads are wide and well kept, downside; lots of traffic and the roads are not east/west or north/south. Tricky intersections make it a drive around town that will keep you on your toes. Cars parked beside the road leave  inches of clearance keeping in your lane while squeezed from the lane beside you by huge tour buses and the local MTA buses.

The architectural views are stunning. Most of the homes and buildings are a soft white which works well for thel light in this area. Spanish tile decorates the roof tops and the homes are tiered on the hill sides allowing everyone a view down the streets to the bay. Have I menitoned the streets? Oh, not the conditon of them but the steepness of them. At times the nose of the truck was pointed skyward, the other side of the road not viewed as it dropped away so steeply, one never got to see it until the nose of the truck reached the summit and propelled itself down the other side.

The airport is in the middle of the downtown and watching commercial jets skim the tops of the office building was another treat. Driving to the center of town, a loud roar filled my ears. I looked up to see the rivets holding the metal sheeting together on the underbelly of a big jet plane. Oh my! I'm viewing a plane crash, I thought. A few seconds more and we were driving past the big fence that seperates the street traffic from the airport runway! A plane had just landed.

Our trip so far has taken us to Pacific Coast Beach. It's February and the first days of that month. Seeing folks strutting the beach shirtless while the young women lay out on blankets catching the sun and surfers paddling out to catch a wave is such an uncommon sight for us. Though we live in Louisiana and the winters are usually mild, they aren't this mild!

Walking through the sand, we reached the pier and walked along watching the people on their surfboards and wet suits diving through the waves and paddling out to find a good wave to ride back on. A couple standing on the pier had caught a huge lobster while the young man standing beside us was trying to catch a fish. He had helped the couple with their lobster but had warned us that keeping a lobster caught there entailed a five hundred dollar fine. We were just there to watch. Apparently he was a local.

Yesterday found us at Balboa Park. It's huge and a must see for tourists and locals alike. Many museums, art galleries and manicured gardens with miles of walking so wear a good pair of shoes.  Lunch was at a little roadside "walk up to order at the window place" on University Street called Carnitas Snack Shack. Order your lunch, take a ticket and go to the open air seating in the back and a waitor/waitress will bring your food to you. The sandwiches were great and much to much to eat at one meal. We got to go boxes and had the remainders for dinner last night.

It's time to go back to the room with coffee for the husband, get a shower and wander around again today! I'm gone.