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Skunks, Scorpions, Spiders, & Snakes!

Skunks have been visiting our campsite at night for a couple of weeks, but I’ve been unable to get a decent pic of them so borrowed one from my friend, the internet. You know I’m all about the visuals…don’t just tell me, show me, too.

I think they’re beautiful little creatures, so I enjoy watching them from my late-night-quiet-time-alone spot on the porch.

I ain’t tryin’ to get sprayed, but gotta admit that I like the odor from a distance…evokes childhood memories of visiting my Grandma at her little house in the woods near the lake. Not that Grandma or her home smelled like a skunk – I think you know what I mean.

The first scorpion sighting here at the ol’ homestead was just yesterday evening. I would have missed it, but Ginger (our dog-kid) was on the porch with me and I noticed her staring intently at something on the ground. Nope, it wasn’t the cute baby kitten or bunny I’d hoped to see when I looked over the railing, but it was a great reminder of why I check my shoes before putting them on! It scurried off before I could get a pic, so had to borrow again from the internet…never knew they’re so fast on their feet.

Spiders are anywhere and everywhere, whether you see them or not. A good reason to shake your clothes before dressing…in a camper trailer like us (where we do see them!) or a conventional sticks & bricks.

Fortunately we haven’t seen any snakes at the campsite, but I monitor our small-town community page, which has had frequent posts (of late) about the slithering serpents…in particular, rattlers. This photo was shared there recently, a 5-6 footer. I pray they stay away from here!

Picture Party

Celebrating 8 years of taking pics of anything and everything, then sharing them on my photo blog! Join me, shall you?

Here are some of my favorites from the first month, and also a link to the photo blog if you wanna check out some more. They’re all categorized, and archived by month and year.

Taking pics brings me joy…it’s the simple things in life that make me happy.

Wicked Wind!

Almost 11 months into this full time camper-trailer living and I still like being in our little 22′ abode…’cept on blustery days! Our first 4 months were spent in Windy City, Oklahoma, and the last 7 have been even worse here in Batten-Down-The-Hatches, Texas. I do not like the feeling of my entire home shaking…especially on a near daily basis!

On a recent ‘breezy’ day I took video of the miniature windmill weathervane in our yard, and the trees behind our site (see below)…it’s maddening on the too often windy days, if you can imagine. Matter of fact, the campground manager finally got tired of the little weathervane toppling over, so just last week he set the legs in cement. A day or two later he had to reattach 1/2 of the campground sign that the wicked wind had wreaked havoc on.

Needless to say, we don’t get to use our awning much.

I will now attempt to attach the above mentioned videos to this post, although they don’t fully capture the intensity of the insanity!

A Visit to the Doctor…Sounds Simple Enough

As Bob’s secretary/wife, I’ve been dealing with the VA Health Care System (Bob’s a Viet Nam Vet) for 20 years and they’ve efficiently and professionally been outstanding. Anytime I’ve read or heard negative comments about the VA’s medical care (which is often in the news) I’ve reminded Bob that we must be lucky cuz we’ve never had a complaint about their service, in any capacity.

However…I’ve recently had to spend entirely too much time on the phone with the above mentioned organization, simply trying to set up an appointment to address Bob’s most recent hernia issue…he’s had several over the last few years. And believe me when I say that this particular “bulge” ain’t a small problem at this point in time…apparently Bob’s prone to hernias, if that’s even possible?!

Anyhoo, we’ve finally got an appointment soon for the surgery consultation…at a VA facility 265 miles from home! They say that zero local surgeons are dealing with the VA right now, so we have no choice but to travel cuz this could sooner than later become an ER type situation, and we’re not willing to chance it while waiting for a local Dr to come onboard!

So I guess it’s not really the VA’s fault that civilian doctors aren’t wanting to work with them (or is it?), but it’s a new and frustrating experience for us…Bob’s had surgery through the VA in the past with no such ridiculousness involved. The runaround on the phone is also unusual for the VA, in my experience at least, and they blame that “confusion” on being short staffed. What is going on with the much needed Veterans Administration?! Our soldiers deserve better.

I realize that we’re not the only ones to ever have to deal with this type situation, but that fact doesn’t diminish the inconveniences to us. We’ll basically be driving 4 1/2 hours one-way to have probably 15 minutes of dialogue with a Dr.

Since my Military Vet is visually impaired, I do all the driving. I miss being a passenger sometimes, able to look around for those things that absolutely must be photographed, although I’ve gotten pretty good at being on the lookout from the driver’s seat…no wrecks so far! But I digress, the main point is that I don’t do well on long (to me) journeys…my hands fall asleep while holding the steering wheel, my hips start aching, the ol’ back hurts, and my legs get cramps. Also, the moment it dares begin to rain, well that there’s a dealbreaker, I’m pullin’ over…my eyes aren’t as bad as Bob’s, but precipitation sure does mess with ’em. So between frequent stops to bend and stretch, potty (I’m 60, ok?!), and possibly wait for the raindrops to cease, I can turn a 4 hour trip into a 7 hour trip no problem!

If Bob could drive himself to the appointment then I’d gladly stay home, and be in a much better mood. Simma down now…I’m not a bad wife, I’ll definitely accompany him to the actual surgery, just sayin’ that he could handle the consultation like a big boy, without me. We’ll have to utilize our hometown pet hotel cuz I won’t leave our furry-kids alone even for a daylong trip, but especially cuz I sure am gonna take advantage of the VA’s offer to stay overnight free in their lodge, to avoid driving round trip in 1 day! We’ll actually be paying for the kids to stay 2 nights cuz the drop off/pick up times for the pet place don’t coincide with our travel plans/appointment time. Ugh, I don’t like complicated!

The financial “inconvenience” of making this trip will not only include the cost of pet care, but the obvious gas needed to power our vehicle, as well as our own daily fuel requirements…we gotta eat! I know of a couple off the wall drive-thrus with value menus though, so that’ll help the budget. Not many folks have heard of these little places, so here’s a shout-out to them.

We’ve been told that the VA may assist with travel pay, aka pennies for petro, so we’ll be checking on that for sure. Our van actually gets pretty good gas mileage, thankfully, but any little bit helps, especially since prices seem to be rising every other day!

So after getting over my initial utterly-annoyed reaction to what I had thought would/should be a simple local visit to the Dr, I’ve decided to calm down and make the most of it. I’m going to appreciate the extra time allotted by our overnight stay, and consume it with taking pics of misc things in the area…cuz playing photographer makes me happy. There’s always a silver lining!