Sunday, November 6, 2011

Change in Plans

It has been over a month since our last blog post. Kathy says “We should have stayed in Oregon!”

First we want to thank the many, many people that made blog comments and sent private emails of condolences over our loss of Raider. With the three of us living together in 400 square feet, 24 hours a day for the past 4 years, everything reminds us of him. We still miss him terribly.

Our plan had been to visit the San Jose area for just two weeks to see our youngest son and take care of the annual doctor’s visits. Then we would be off to Arizona to start our winter volunteer position on November 1st. We had been excepted as volunteers at Kartchner Cavern’s State Park. Kartchner Cavern’s are simply amazing and unlike any other cavern you have ever visited. They were only open to the public 11 years ago and due to tremendous effort and dedication are the most pristine caverns open to the public anywhere. Also unique to our experience, the caverns are a constant 68 degrees and 99% humidity!

Unfortunately, things haven’t gone that way. We both had some issues come up during our annual exams. We have spent 3 or 4 days of each week going either to see doctors or to have various tests run. Kathy has had multiple X-rays and a CT scan. We have put more miles on our truck driving back and forth this month than we put on it all this past summer.

After completing our physicals, Kathy’s doctor confirmed she had at least one hernia. Short version: she is now resting after hernia surgery. The surgeon found 2 large hernias and several small ones, plus discovered some of the sutures had come undone from her surgery back in Jan. 2009. So those were mended.

I have been busy keeping Kathy comfortable, playing nurse and cook.  (Editor’s note: He is beginning to get dish pan hands from all of the dish washing! And he thought I liked washing dishes and doing laundry as a hobby!)

Kathy claimed that I was suffering from hearing loss. I told her it was just wax build up in my ear. My doctor said there was no wax in my ear. So I had to visit the audiologist for suspected hearing loss to keep Kathy happy. With my new amazing high tech hearing aid, I now hear things I didn’t realize I was missing. Like the high pitch sound the propane makes when the furnace or water heater is on. Also bird calls, I can find birds a lot better now.

We contacted the volunteer coordinator at Kartchner Caverns that we were unable to make it by November 1st, due to the surgery. She has been very understanding and we are still hoping that we will be able to get there in time to be volunteers in January and February of 2012.

Bird Notes:

Due to all of the events of the past month we haven’t done any “real” Birding. However, there are a remarkable number of birds both in species and numbers just here in the RV Park. Just doing our daily walking around the RV we have seen:

Spotted Towhee, California Towhee, Golden-crowned Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Oak Titmouse, Eurasian-collared Dove, Great Horned Owl (heard only), Barn Owl (heard only), Red-tailed Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Anna’s Hummingbird, Northern Flicker, Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Golden Eagles, Western Blue Bird, migrating White Pelicans in formation, Scrub Jay, Turkey Vulture, Valley Quail, Common Bushtit, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Rock Pigeon, Snowy Egret, Great Egrets, American Kestrel, California Thrasher, Yellow-rumped Warbler, House Finch, Brewer’s Blackbird, Common Raven, American Crow, Lesser Goldfinch, Say’s Phoebe, Black Phoebe, Dark-eyed Junco. An amazing 38 species without even leaving the RV Park!