2016/03/27 (N) Squirrel Nuts
Jasper started trying to get my attention around 7:15 AM. He comes up close to my head on either side to get his head “scritched” and goes eyeball-to-eyeball with me from just a few inches away. I finally got up at 7:30 AM and Linda got up around the same time. She took her morning medications and returned to her seat bed while I tended to the cats’ food, water, and litter tray. Linda was hungry and wanted breakfast so I cut the grapefruit in half only to find out that she cannot have grapefruit while taking the steroids. No problem, it needed to be eaten and I can certainly eat an entire small grapefruit all by myself.
I did not feel like getting dressed right away to walk over to the office and get a couple of cups of free, but not very tasty, coffee so I ground up some of our beans and made a pot. I have not done that since we got to Jetty Park and it was nice to have our own, special coffee again. Once the coffee was brewed I plugged in the toaster and heated a couple of cinnamon raisin bagels for breakfast. Linda went back to sleep after breakfast while I lingered on the sofa, enjoying my coffee, working on my blog post drafts, and playing a few games. I eventually got a shower, got dressed, and took the trash to the dumpster.
The long range forecast was for afternoon high temperatures in the mid-80’s, plus or minus, with high humidity and rain chances. The TV weather people have been describing the current whether as “summer like” which simply confirms for me that Florida is not someplace I want to be in the summer. (Overnight low temperatures at home, however, are still dropping below freezing, so we are OK with where we are.) I am tired of listening to our air-conditioners but this was going to be a mostly stay-at-home day given the weather conditions, the fact that Linda is not up for going anywhere or doing anything, and that today is Easter Sunday and many businesses are closed, even in Cocoa Beach. At least the air-conditioners are keeping the humidity in the coach at a comfortable level, it’s the evaporator fan noise that is irritating.
A stay-at-home day is usually a good opportunity to upload some more posts to our blog and update the BCM page on our website. The posts for the last third of December 2015 still needed to be edited before uploading so I started working on them. I had just finished the ones for the 21st and 22nd when Linda wanted to go for a walk. We walked over to the dumpsters to throw away our daily bag of trash and then walked to Pat and Vickie’s site where we found them sitting outside in the shade but without any breeze. They decided to join us on our walk and we headed to the beach. There was a steady offshore breeze but the sun was hot so we headed back to the campground in search of shade and a breeze.
We found both on the other side of the street from our site. We got out our four folding chairs and set them up over there along with our little plastic folding table. Yes, we own an old Prevost, but in many other ways are RVing lives are simple. Vickie went back to their coach and returned with a beer (Leinenkugel’s Cranberry Ginger Shandy) and a bag of pretzels. At the same time I brought out pretzel nibblers, peanuts, and almonds along with water for Linda and a beer for me (Yuengling Traditional Lager).
The air temperature was in the lower 80’s with somewhat elevated humidity, but we sat in the shade with the cool, pleasant breeze enjoying our snacks and beverages. The squirrels here are used to people and one approached quite close to us looking for a handout. For whatever reason I decided to share the remaining peanuts with it, which immediately attracted a couple more squirrels. When I ran out I went inside and got more and washed off some grapes. When the squirrels started having a territorial dispute over the peanuts I decided to quit feeding them. About that same time we were all feeling a bit tired (relaxed?) and decided to go take naps. Naps are good; I like naps.
At 5 PM we walked over to the shipping channel to see if one of the Disney Cruise Line ships was departing. We got to watch The Disney Magic come all the way down the channel, led by the harbor pilot boat and followed by the Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas. As the Magic was just rounding the bend from its dock into the straight portion of the channel someone spotted a pair of dolphins swimming up the channel. We saw their dorsal fins but I was not able to get a photo of them. After the two cruise ships were clear of the channel we walked to the pier. Along the way the tugboat American Champion pulled in a barge with Scow 6 stenciled on the side. A small derrick boat then came in from the ocean and a little while later chugged back out again.
By 6:30 PM Linda was thinking about her next steroid pill, which she had to take after dinner, so we walked back to our coach. A can of Amy’s Chili with some Soup & Oyster Crackers made for a quick, easy, tasty meal along with some black grapes. After dinner I was able to tune in one of the PBS affiliates. We watched a documentary on Harry Gordon Selfridge and Selfridge’s Department Store in London, England. That was followed by an episode of Grantchester, another of the BBC Masterpiece Mystery series. We split an apple for a late night snack. At 10 PM we switched to CBS and watched an episode of Elementary followed by the evening news, during which Linda converted the living room captain’s chairs into her nighttime convalescence bed.
The only part of the news that interested yes was the weather as a significant front was draped from northeast to southwest and pushing east out of the Gulf of Mexico across central and northern Florida with heavy rain and lots of lightening. The TV weatherman said it would impact Orlando between midnight and 3 AM before finally moving out into the Atlantic Ocean. I figured that meant any impact on us wouldn’t start until at least 1 AM and peak between 3 and 4. Once I had a sense of the weather I turned off the lights in the front of the coach and retired to the bedroom for the evening. I did not feel like writing or playing games so I flipped channels for a while. I could not tune in either of the PBS affiliates, and nothing else caught my interest, so I turned off the TV and the lights and went to sleep.
2016/03/28 (M) ENT Markets
I was up at 7 AM and discovered that Linda had also just gotten up to take her morning steroids. I put on my robe, put away the clean dishes from last night, fed the cats, cleaned the litter tray, and made a pot of coffee. Once the coffee was brewed I toasted the last two cinnamon raisin bagels and we had those for breakfast. After breakfast Linda played word games and I finished up yesterday’s blog post draft.
After two days of steroids Linda’s voice and hearing were slightly improved, but not much, and she continues to be tired, even listless, and sleep off and on through the day. Today, however, she got dressed and settled in to work at her computer reconciling our charge receipts and bank balances.
We had decided that we would leave Jetty Park on Friday and were discussing where we might go next. We knew that Linda needed a follow up appointment with her ENT back home so I called to arrange that. We were surprised to find out that Linda’s ENT, Dr. Michael Seidman, was no longer at Henry Ford. I was able to get an appointment with a different ENT for late April, but in the course of doing that I found out that Dr. Seidman had moved his practice to Celebration, Florida. That’s the home of Disney World and is only about 50 miles from where we are camped!
By searching online we located the practice Dr. Seidman has joined, the Head and Neck Surgery Center of Florida (HNSCF), which is affiliated with Florida Hospital, a 7th Day Adventist facility. I called and was informed that Tuesday, April 5 was the first day he would be seeing patients, so apparently his relocation was in-process. We got an appointment for 11 AM. The clinic asked me to contact HFHS and request a copy of Linda’s medical records which I decided to take care of later. For now our immediate concern was figuring out where we were going to be camped between now and then.
At about this time Vickie called to let me know they had decided to leave on Monday, April 4 and that we could have their site starting that day if we wanted. The trick was that we needed to go to the office together so she could cancel their reservation starting that day and I could immediately pick it up. That prompted me to meet her and Pat at the office where I signed up for site #303 for Monday and Tuesday evenings with departure on Wednesday, April 6.
We were already set to move to site #358 tomorrow at noon for three nights so I needed a site for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. The only sites that were big enough to accommodate our bus and available for all three nights were in the boondocking area by the shipping channel. I preferred that to having to move one or two extra times, and trying to squeeze into sites that were marginal in size, so Pat, Vickie, and I walked out to look at the available sites. I selected site #3 and went back in to complete the registration process. Vickie thought we would enjoy being parked with a view of the channel and Pat noted that the lack of trees was offset by a constant breeze. We would also be parked facing north, so we would not have the sun on our windshields. It came up later that we might have tried Sherwood Forest RV Park near Celebration, but at this point I did not want to move the bus very far prior to Linda’s appointment and risk having a problem which I would then have to deal with.
With all of the reservations taken care of I returned to our coach and explained the arrangements to Linda and then settled in at my computer to edit the blog posts for the last nine days of December 2015. Around 2 PM I called the Henry Ford Hospital West Bloomfield ENT clinic to request a copy of Linda’s medical records be faxed to the Head and Neck Surgery Center of Florida. I was transferred to the medical records department, where I was informed that they could not send records to a hospital or clinic based on a patient request and that the request would have to come directly from the receiving clinic. The medical records clerk provided me with a phone number for the clinic to use. We had exchanged a couple of e-mails with Sylvia at HNSCF so I replied to one of them with the relevant information.
Mid-afternoon Vickie called again to see if we wanted to ride to town with them. Linda was feeling up to it so we agreed to go. Our first stop was at the Sunseed Food CO-OP on N. Atlantic Avenue. We bought a few things that did not need refrigeration and Linda made note of their extensive selections of Amy’s frozen entrees and pizzas as well as the Coconut Bliss non-dairy ice cream. Out next stop was the small Coastal Produce market in downtown Cocoa Beach where Linda and Vickie bought some fresh produce. We stopped at Sunseed Food CO-OP again on the way back to the campground and stocked up on Amy’s frozen entrees, got a couple of pizzas, two pints of non-dairy ice cream, and some nutritional yeast. Vickie also bought some nutritional yeast as she had seen several recipes that called for it but was not familiar with it.
On the way back to Jetty Park Pat detoured through the western end of Port Canaveral on the south side of the shipping channel to show us the various dining options (restaurants, bars, and grills) located there. The Disney Cruise Line terminals are a bit farther west and on the other side of the channel but we did not drive over there as we had fresh and frozen food that needed to get into our refrigerators and freezers.
With the food put away I resumed editing my blog posts from late December and managed to finish the one for December 31st just as Linda was putting dinner on the table. I pushed the wrong button on the convection microwave oven and screwed up the sequence but the pizza still came out OK. The fact that she felt like fixing dinner at all was one of the first good signs we have had in two weeks regarding her health. Dinner wasn’t fancy, just a nice salad and vegan pizza, but it was tasty and it was nice to sit at the table and eat it.
After dinner we met up with Vickie and went for a long, slow walk. Linda got to see site #3 and thought it would be nice for three nights. We also walked the entire length of the paved sidewalk that meanders through the southern edge of the park property and saw lots of the feral cats that live here. The cats are fed by official volunteers and we spotted numerous plastic bowls at several locations with cats hanging about nearby. (My understanding is that feral cats and not “wild” cats; they are domestic cats that have returned to the wild.) When we eventually made it to the beach the ocean was just an hour past low tide so there was more beach exposed than we had yet seen. There were dark clouds visible from southwest to northwest moving slowly east so we walked north along the beach and the over the dunes to the concession building. Linda spotted the sun just setting and it was enormous and orange-red. We scurried up to the observation deck to get a better look and tried to take a few photos with our smartphones. They generally capture good images with proper exposure, but the correct exposure for sunsets and sunrises can be very tricky.
With the sun out of sight we walked back along the channel to the campground office where Vickie and I each got a cup of coffee. We then headed back towards our coach and finally went our separate ways at the fork in the road. We were back at our coach at 8 PM and turned on the TV to watch our Monday night CBS shows. Almost all of our TV viewing this winter has been CBS and PBS and we have been fortunate to be able to receive these signals almost everywhere. Linda decided to try sleeping in bed for the first time in a week. I watched the beginning of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert but turned the TV off at midnight and went to sleep.