Saturday, June 16, 2018

Sammy And His CBD OIL

Sammy, our oldest Lab, turned 13 on May 10. For some years he has had lipomas, masses, thankfully benign, but they don't seem to bother him. It's age. Oh isn't it.

I flew to Missouri then took a train to Illinois when he was just 4 months old to get him. The woman who had him just needed to find him a home and even though we already had Sophie and Fergus, what would one more Lab be.  We started obedience and then agility. He was fantastic but his anxiety was overwhelming and we had to stop. Just being home with me and the pack suited him just fine.

He was a swimmer and constantly in the pool , with or without us. He sat for long spells on the step in the deep end just "thinking". Our vet said that his being in the pool and swimming has helped his flexibility in his paws and joints but now I'm seeing his hind legs having a bit of trouble.


There's a weakness on his left rear leg and he wasn't able to get up on the couch or chair without a boost and the stairs to the coach were a challenge. "Come on Sam, you can do it!!!" is the cheer from the top and he comes in.  Roger takes him and Ozzie on long slow walks, Sammy's choice, then he comes back and sleeps.

Sammy and Ozzie

As you may know I have pain from osteoarthritis in my hip. Probably the long slide down our attic stairs years ago then standing on said leg for years as I painted.  What you may not know is I am a "researcher" . As soon as I hear something I need to read all about it on google, so when I heard about the benefits of CBD oil for humans, I started to read everything I could find.  People have used herbs for centuries all over the world for pain and ailments so why would this be different?

From healthline.com  This gives you a quick reference. I also will add the only side effect that I have felt has been dry mouth. Yes I did purchase a bottle starting low at 250mg. and bought Pure kana, vanilla. The first week was one drop in the morning and one at night. Every article that I read said to start slow so you can find that "sweet spot" and the pain diminishes. Second week I did two drops but near the end of that week I did three. I started to feel a difference. I slept through the night with no annoying hip burning or shoulder pain. (Oh ya, that started too)  That night I woke about 2 A.M. and felt like I did in my 20's. I got so giddy I tossed and turned like a fish just because I could. (felt it the next day..silly me)

Back to Sammy! So if CBD oil is helping me and, yes, Roger, what could it do for our Sam.  He was sitting panting most of the day except when he slept. Was he in pain? Should I call our Vet?  Sammy is the first one out the door on walks and he still is fighting to be active, would CBD oil for pets help?



Back to Google!! Read a zillion reviews on every oil for pets. I'm a "you pay for what you get" person, poor Roger, but it seems like in this area it's true. I had read people went from oil to oil trying to find the best one for themselves and my thought was, buy the best for what you need it for and it should be fine.

This is what I bought for Sam.  Sammy's Oil  It's 300 mg full spectrum, Hemp extract, 100% natural and no preservatives. Let me also add there is no THC in the product so Sammy never gets high. That's the joy of CBD oils.


I am so not a math person so I have to go on "reaction" . The first day I gave Sam one drop in his food in the morning then one drop at dinner.  I did this for a week as I did mine. His panting continued. The second week I started two drops. Third week, three and at the end of the week, 4. That night he wasn't panting and he was sitting up on the couch alert and watching every move. (We were having dinner...lol)  I have settled on 4 drops in the morning and 5 at night since he's been out on long walks three times during the day, consisting of hills. He's getting up on the couch with ease and the chair. Before he had to try and get one back leg up high enough to boost himself, or one of us would help, but now it's two paws on the seat and a hop with both back legs coming up. 


I'm sure some dogs as they age start to give up just like people, but Sammy is a fighter. He loves traveling and sniffing every ounce of where we stop, sigh, not complaining but it takes him forever. Just a true love of living. (Ok, now there's a life lesson for me right there...)

I'll keep watching to see if the drops need to be adjusted but right now they seem to be doing just fine. Our bottle says "Muscle and Joint" but from everything I read it does help where it's needed. 

I hope this blog has been informative and I'll keep you posted on Sammy's journey. For me? The oil is fantastic. Pharmaceutical medicines and I don't mesh well at all as I get horrid side effects, so this is perfect for me! 

Keep me posted if you decide to go this route with your pets. I'd love to hear how it's working for them!

Warmly,
Sheila



Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Oh My My Oh (Heck) Yes....

Yes, borrowed from Tom Petty...but now to the point! The Blackstone Griddle!!!  I have had my eye on this baby for months after reading reviews from other RV ers , campers and just people who love being outdoors at their home. While we were in California it wasn't a good time to purchase since all the rigs were so close together and then in Arizona for a month not so convenient. I would wait until we arrived in New Hampshire. I think I made it for 3 days then got right onto Amazon, ordered and in two days I had my dream griddle.





Roger is the cook in our household but since this came I have been having a blast cooking.!

Blueberry pancakes! 

Along with the griddle I also purchased the set of spatulas which also come with two plastic bottles. I use one for water to clean off the griddle and the other for Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It also comes with a cleaning "blade". 

The round top with the handle you see in the photo I got for covering prepared food and is also used for covering food cooking, as in melting that cheese to perfection on your hamburgers.


Day 2 of cooking.. Avocado toast! Toast with loads of avocado smeared on top, two slices of tomato and topped with a "griddles" egg! Healthy and delicious!


The day my sweet griddle arrived!!


Before using you need to season the cooking surface. I did use two cans of propane to accomplish this. Once you do light the griddle it does self light after that which is a bonus. So after the griddle top is heated you squeeze out the oil on top of the surface and let it steam away until the top blackens and the steam has subsided. Wait a bit til the top has cooled and do it again. I did this about 3 times and did notice that areas along the sides and back weren't blackening but after googling found that it would as you used it. Happy to report that is correct!!

So, pancakes, black bean burgers, regular burgers, eggs, bacon ,toasted buns and chicken for tacos ,oh and hotdogs. You name it, you can do it on this griddle. The man in the site next to us has the larger version and the family behind us has the next size up from ours. This one fits our traveling life style perfectly. I also purchased the cover and carrying case for it.

As you order your griddle they do give you all the accessories to add on or bundle.

Sheila, you're excited over cooking?? On a griddle?? 

Yes, I am. For a short period I was a cook at a Friendly's restaurant, yes go ahead an laugh, but now I'm feeling we are getting healthier by using this plus it's just plain fun! Did I mention things cook up faster? I'm loving it and the black bean burgers actually came out great and tasted fantastic! The griddle came with some recipes so next is the "Salad Pizza" . I'll let you know.








Ok, off to cook something for breakfast before the rain starts again...(deer in headlight look right here!!)

Warmly,
Sheila
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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Now We Get To Rest

And clean CiCiBlue.

The Dust!! Being 5 months out west, dealing with the Santa Ana winds and desert dust and dirt, I am finding it everywhere. But let me go back..

We spent the night at the Pilot Truck stop in Newburgh, New York.  Sleeping in between two huge rigs with their motors running all night actually wasn't that bad as long as one closes the windows so you're not inhaling diesel fumes all night. I actually slept! We got up early and fed CiCiBlue then head out on the highway. Yes, she's got fine tastes!!


It was raining and our hope was to pass the front line of the weather so we would be in sun for the rest of our drive to New Hampshire. Not on your life.


We were on our way!!! As we traveled on I'd check the weather ahead of us to see that we were spared being in a downburst or a fast moving tornado. Angels were definitely traveling with us, slowing us down at certain spots or letting us get ahead a bit through the traffic.  Huge trees totally uprooted were lining the highway and scores of electric workers lining up to get sections of cities electric back on.


Fog was also added into the mix. Oh and I forgot to add, an occasional gust of wind to keep us on our toes. Roger did an amazing job getting us safely through all of this.



Lola's foot. It really has nothing to do with the story but I started to get a little stir crazy just sitting and as I looked down, there was her amazingly large foot. Just had to take a photo.


And then, after 5 hours, yes 5, hours of bouncing on pot holed roads we finally started down the campground road. It was stiff raining and my job is to get the car off the dolly so we can get to our spot. Hugs and hellos from people we knew last season and finally I did get the car unhooked and we were on our way to our, I was going to say "Final resting place" but that sounds a bit morbid and quiet FINAL. Nope, we are leaving come the middle of September, not giving in quite yet.


And here we are!! It's still raining so not all the chairs are out but it's a start. Today I started cleaning inside and washing the curtains in the living area. Right now I'm tired but happy and CiCi smells less doggie!! Poor girl! 


Ozzie got back into position and is sort of on the lookout but I'm seeing both eyes closed. Just happy to be "home" for a bit.


This morning Lola and I walked up through "Her field" and stopped at the apple orchard to smell the blossoms. I held one to her nose and she started doing her twirls and leaps and I knew she knew exactly where we were. 


Shes over here poking my arm so it's time to go for our walk . Then my plan is to sit over where she is sitting and relaxing for the rest of the evening. 

Hope you are too...

Warmly,
Sheila

Friday, May 18, 2018

A Bit Of Life On The Road Getting From Point A to B

So, Sheila, what's it REALLY like driving from place to place? Are you comfy? Is it fun?  The answers to those two questions is yes it's comfy but remember there are some 5-6 hour days. Comfort only goes so far some days and a lot depends on the road. I'm sure CiCi needs shock adjustments which is on the list, but for now she is doing just fine. The comfort also comes with being able to get up and hit the bathroom or make a sandwich when you pull into a rest area. That in itself is a bonus. Is it fun? Yes it is. You live simply and get to see great places and small towns right from your own comfy chair. But..then there are the days where you may be tired and are in the "are we there?" mode. Then..you may have a moment like we did the other day on our way to a park.


Before we left the park in Virginia it decided to just pour up along the area to where we were heading in Pennsylvania. We hoped it would stop but of course we drove in the rain. I had called our "go-to" campground in Pa. but it was full due to a huge car show in the area so we chose one in Gardners which was close by. Mountain Creek Campground. 


Mountain was the operative word here by the way! Our GPS has a tendency to take us on the "quick" route but in actuality, it's the longest. So now we are driving around twisty windy roads, but pros after California, except for the fog that blocked our view. I wish I could say it was the fog that had us driving on the narrow road right passed the campground, but it wasn't. Now what? It's not like we can do a u turn right there so we kept on driving. I spotted a church "house" that had a side area for parking and we turned in. I got out to help direct Roger for the turn around but had him turn instead too short and now was face to face with a tree and a ditch. Our dilemma now was that we can't back up because we have a tow dolly and car so after staring at each other for a few moments, we decided to take the car off and then take off the dolly. Did I mention that it was still raining? 

Photo of the entrance to the campground that we drove right by!


I got into the car to start it and it didn't. While towing you tie off the steering wheel so it doesn't move but sometimes, with cars that you step on the break and push a button to start, that wrap that is holding the steering wheel will dislocate the mechanism. Thankfully this has happened before so it was an easy fix. And it's still raining. The car finally was off and the dolly unhitched and CiCiBlue turned the correct way. We hitched up the dolly and I followed Roger to the campground.

We stay two nights and unwind while having coffee and watching the rain. No one was there until late the second day and it was heaven.

This morning we got up around 6:30 A.M. so we could get on the road for an early start. It would be about a 5 hour drive and our goal was to get to the Pilot in Newburgh, NY in enough time to find a space for the night. Coffee made, poured and a few sips taken then we take the dogs out. I feed them then start the ritual of putting the chairs and a few other things on our bed so they don't roll around while we are moving. Roger is outside unhooking the hose and sewer connections then we meet back inside to bring in the slides. Slides in, now my job is to get the car back on the dolly. 

What they do while we work!!!


The ramps are inside the car so I take them out and place them on the dolly so I can drive up and on!. It's been raining for days and the ground is soaked. Half way up the ramp it juts up and out of it's place and the car and I fall to the ground. Thankfully all is fine but with all the muck I have been walking through for days at this point I really don't care. I'm ready to turn into the Hulk and pick the car up and put it on there myself. Roger thankfully suggests that we drive up closer to where the office is and maybe the ground is harder there and it was! And we were off!!!

After about 5-5 1/2 hours we arrived at the Pilot in Newburgh, NY for one night. We got here just in time as the truckers were coming in jockeying for a spot for a few hours rest or for the night. Pilot and Flying J both are RV friendly and welcome you to stay as long as you stay in your area and leave enough room for the truckers to pull in beside you. We keep our slides in and it's a submarine experience. Roger is an ex submariner and is quite at home in these close quarters and me? I'm adjusting. Lola? Not so much, she wants her under the bed spot. We stocked up on bottled water and Roger got two dark chocolate and "ahmond" dove bars so all is well. Tomorrow..New Hampshire until September!!! 


So that's a couple of days from the point A to point B. Not all days of travel are that dramatic and some are quite boring. We have our "time to go" ritual done to about a 1/2 hours time depending on how many sips of coffee I take. Our generator is running fine so not sure what that was that caused her to stop running, maybe a clog.  Just all part of the adventure. 

Well, have a great evening. I'm going to try and find a spot to sit in. The boys have the couch and Lola is close to her "under the bed" spot . All is good and we are safe!

Warmly,
Sheila


Friday, May 11, 2018

It Turned Into A Vacation

Having the second site to the beach was a plus, then finding out dear friends from the James K Polk reunions were in town at the same time and we were going to get to see them!

 Roger and Jim were both submariners on the James K. Polk, SSBN. They were on at different years but it doesn't matter. There is a strong bond between the men who served on her as well as the wives. Margie, Jim's wife introduced me to Tequila Rose many years ago.



I couldn't remember where I placed my selfie stick so we had to glue ourselves together to get us all into the photo. Not a quick process so if people drove by they would see us just huddled together looking a bit strange and laughing non stop. (Of course I remembered where it was at 2:00 A.M.)

Friends like this are hard to come by and we cherish them. It's been about 3 years since we last got together due to work or other "stuff" but it's like we saw them yesterday. Love you Murph and Marg!!

CELEBRATING SAMMY

No, he's still with us and turned 13 yesterday!  On his dinner of his Acana Pacifica and green beans, I placed a big blob of ice cream and quietly sang Happy Birthday! Not sure if he heard as he was gobbling down the toppings! 


Sammy has always been a swimmer. Even when we weren't in the pool, he was. Either sitting on a step luxuriating  or swimming around searching for the tennis ball that was laying on the bottom. Now that he's "older" he's a bit more cautious. His back legs slipped into a hole and I could see a bit of panic but he got right back up and looked at me and I knew that meant he wanted to be in a safer climate. It didn't help that Lola was massively energized and wanted to play. 




So, today is our travel day. Check in is 1:00 P.M. so we can go slower packing up this morning. The week has turned out to be a much needed vacation, unplanned and just wonderful. No art, just reading. Ok , it was about Monet and inspiring but no painting or drawing. I sat in the sun, covered with sun tan lotion and my huge hat, tempted fate and loved it. When I'm working I'm rarely outside so this was a huge treat for me. (Hmm, maybe that's why my vitamin D levels are low in my blood work..well definitely made up for it.)

We are traveling up to Four Oaks, N.C. today to an RV park that some of the reviews say don't like rigs under 2005 age. When I called they asked and I told them CiCi was 2004. Yesterday I did go out and wash off the bird doo from the side wall and rear bedroom window and wiped dust off her from our travels so I think she will pass muster just fine.

Time to have a bite of toast, then start the packing up ritual. (Grimace face here with deer in headlights added on). Onward to New Hampshire!!

Have a great day..

Warmly,
Sheila

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Leaving Florida Again

But not before seeing our grandson Logan and getting our way over due yearly photo.  Just love this guy!!


So, off we drove to Georgia. Our goal was to get to North Myrtle Beach and see family and friends and stay a few days and regroup. Just sit on the beach and energize our souls!

Our first stop was in Townsend ,Georgia at Lake Harmony RV Park. Small roads for CiCiBlue getting in and out but what a sweet campground. So quiet and shaded. Well, quiet except for the toads that chatted all night. Not a bad sound at all. This is Sammy getting us safely to our park.

Check in is at the old Shrimp boat office. Nice touch for this area. 

Lola and I had finished our walk and were sitting outside as Roger and the boys came around the corner heading home.So peaceful.


We stayed two nights and our friends Betty and Bob from our cross country tour were coming up from Florida and also got a site here for a night. Fun catching up after a few weeks.

Our next stop was to be in Summerton, South Carolina at Palmetto Shores RV Park. Large pull through site and close to Marion Lake.  After we settled we took the kids out for their walk for sniffing the area. I took Lola right down to the lake. The winds were pretty strong that day so waves were lapping up on the shore and she was frightened. One step forward, three back. (You will notice the difference though when we get to the beach)

That evening we decided to go over to the on site restaurant for a nice dinner at 4:00 P.M. And a nice dinner it was. I think we splurged.

I started out with a Caramel Cheesecake Martini.

I'm a wine drinker and a water consumer but tonight I decided to have something fun! It was.


And of course, we threw in desert!!


Roger was happy with his Pinot Noir!


And my dinner. Smothered Chicken. 


We stayed just one night here so we could get to Myrtle Beach and just relax When I had made the reservations, I was asked where I would like to be in the park. I said, ah...as close to the beach as possible. So, is two sites away from the stairs to the beach close enough? ah, yes!!


Happiness is...I can sit right here and see the ocean. As a child, my family had a summer cottage at Cape Cod and we left Brighton on May 30, and didn't come back until after Labor Day. 'I ate breakfast and went straight to the beach. Then as an adult I have lived close to water, Charles River then in Dover and Portsmouth the river and Ocean. Florida we were about 25 minutes from the ocean. It's been a major player in my life. Healing my soul and body.  Lola and I went down last night after we got here and instead of fear, the girl kicked into hyper drive and pulled my shoes and all right into the surf. Her Newfoundland DNA memory was on full charge. The shows dried out but got soaked once again so on my trip to Walmart, I broke down and got a cheap pair of flip flops.


I went down before Roger this morning and just sat in peace and quiet. A few people walked or ran by and I notice, no one is limping. I walked into the water and asked for a miracle. Some healing. And yes, I received it but not in the form you would think. I'll tell you at the end.


People were stopping and taking photographs of something laying on the edge of the ocean so I walked down to see. A very large, very beautiful jelly fish. I'm pretty sure he was dead but the tide was coming in and it would take him back to the sea.


So...my miracle. People were going up and down the beach past me and I got the "poor me" feeling. I went down and stood in the water and asked for a miracle, one that would make me walk stronger, better, without pain. I believe in miracles so I was expecting results soon.  Roger came and joined me then after awhile we decided to head back to home.  Up the beach, over the stairs and down. CiCiBlue is the second rig up. I looked up and a woman was coming towards me walking a bit slow, but strong. She was wearing shorts, about my age and had a determination to her as she came closer. What she was also wearing was a prosthesis, attached above her knee. I said good morning to her but what I wanted to say was thank you, you are my morning miracle. Lot's of emotions here. No more boo booing. I'm here. She was out heading to the beach and I'm sure grateful that she was. A great life lesson once more for me and my morning miracle.

What's your miracle today? Don't think you have one? Just ask, they come quickly!!

Have a great day.
Warmly,
Sheila

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Black Meadow Landing And Beyond To Florida

At the end of February the group decided it may be fun to leave and go to the south east area of Arizona that was near Tombstone.  Our friends found an RV Park, Mountain View RV Park in Huachuca City.  It would take us two days to reach it so we found a half way stop in Gila Bend. Holt Shell RV park is right behind a gas station and a Subway shop.. It would have been a great overnight stop with hookups but alas, it was full. I think with fulltime or long term visitors. It has a great monthly rate so why not.

We stayed that evening in the parking lot and enjoyed Subway.

The next day we did get to Mountain View and stayed a month. Nice sites and a small enclosed dog park. Of course it's desert so dirt and dust and stone but close to so many fun things. Fort Huachuca, Tombstone, Elgin and their many wineries and small really good restaurants. We also went to Bisbee. Another copper mining town with fun stores, hotel and..hills. Lots of stairs around that town going to peoples homes. Bet they have great legs!

Then our journey back to the east coast.

The plan was drive so many miles then stay two nights before we set out again. Here is a list of our stops and a brief summary of what they were like. r

 Hi-Lo RV Ranch Deming, New Mexico.  Good site with free wi-fi . Quiet, safe with a desert landscape.  With Passport America I believe it was $17.00 a night plus tax

We left there on April 6 and arrived later that day in Van Horn, Texas at Desert Willow Rv Park . $14.00 a night and basically, go find a spot, park. Roger came back from the office and I asked him which was our site and he said the owner just said, "pick one over in the field" . Full hook ups, not so great wi-fi but right next to the train tracks. Some may not care for that but I loved it.  We did stay there for three nights do to some high winds that came in. Driving on I 10, they would have hit us broad side. So we left on Monday.

Next stop...South Llano Rv Park, Junction, Texas  I think $20.00 a night. At this point the packing up, the unpacking every two days is starting to wear thin. LOL   It's a new park, big sites, pullthrough, wi-fi and a nice view of the river that the dogs can swim in. Ozzie did, Lola got her toes wet. We stayed two nights then on to....

Does Texas ever end?? Happy Oaks Rv Park, Allyton, Texas   $20.00 a night passport America. Wi-fi if you sit on their front porch and maybe three large sites for larger RV's.  A lot of full time people, but a horse that saved the day for me in the field next to the park. Not so happy there. But again, just off the highway and ok for a quick stop.

We traveled on April 13, Friday. None of us spoke of it until we stopped that evening knowing we were all there without incident. Another Oak park Quiet Oaks RV Park, Kinder, La. Two nights was $54.80 with tax. Again, quite a few full time people but the site was a pull thru and we fit. Snug, but we fit! A storm cam in that evening and thankfully missed us but tornadoes hit just ahead of us. A huge clap of thunder did wake us about 4:00 A.M. but other than that and rain we were fine.

The drive to our next stop was thru some strong winds hitting us broadside. CiCiBlue did good but we did worry about the smaller lighter rigs passing us. A strong gust could have them sitting right up front with us.  On to Mississippi.

Oak Lawn RV Park  Ok, it sounded like a cemetery name.. Two nights and large pull throughs here. Two nights with tax, $57.78  We chose Good Sam or Passport America parks the best we could and they really pay for themselves if you get them.

The next stop was Sunset King RV Resort $40.00 a night and a Good Sam resort. So probably 37.00 a night. This park was nice but really crowded. The sites are staggered so you get a large space between rigs. It's on a lake so there is fishing, boating, etc. Again we stayed two nights and this was the last park we would be with our friends in. They were heading south into Florida's west coast to find a place for next winter while we were heading back to our start park and the east coast to see family and friends.

Lake City Rv Resort, Lake City, Florida. Ok..I loved this park. They have coffee and cookies in the club house 24/7. 😆 Dogs can't be tied outside, so no dogs jumped out at us or were running loose through the park. It was kept pristine and a lovely, tightly fenced dog park with a basket of tennis balls that Ozzie proceeded to take each one out and put on the ground. $40.00 a night and we stayed two nights.

That Saturday we arrived at Crystal Lake Rv Park where we have been and were greeted by friends and family. WE DID IT!!!

2,178 miles from California to Scottsmoor, Florida. CiCiBlue did amazing.

Fuel cost: $992.09  With Flying J or Pilot cards I believe we do get a 10% discount on that and the bill comes in at different times depending on when we purchased the fuel.

So there it is...The good, bad and the ugly so to speak. We research, plan and paint our way through our adventures. We will leave here on this coming Thursday and head north to Myrtle Beach to visit Roger's cousins then slowly go up to New Hampshire for the summer.

Thanks for following along....

Warmly,
Sheila