Saturday, March 31, 2012

Photo Class Rap Up and Heading Out Soon

We wrapped up our final Photography Class out at White Sands National Monument. I must say, I was a little disappointed in the instructor, he was very disorganized and a bit of a scatter brain. However I did learn a few things, so that is good. I didn't take any worth wild photo's during that final session, but did listen a lot to what he was telling the other students. In his defence however, it was his first time teaching a class, but unless he gets his thoughts more organized, he and further students will suffer.

We have also decided to leave New Mexico earlier than planned. Sheryl's back has been giving her real fits lately, the injection must have really irritated the nerve on the right side, because it is worst than ever now. We found a Laser Back Surgery Institute that looks like they can help her, but we have to go to Tampa FL for the procedure. We will also have to change our Tri Care Insurance Region, so they will pay for it. We'll be going to OKC and getting our new region set up with a referral to Tampa. We wanted to have it done at the AZ facility, however Tri Care West will not cover it (odd, you'd think Tri Care would cover nation wide, but nope)

Before heading out, we'll need to get a couple of things done, oil change for the truck and a suspension lift for the rig. With the new air bags in the truck, the rig will have to be lifted so it will set level. There are holes for this in the leaf spring hangers, just need to have it done.

Poor Sheryl is just in agony, we were going to wait until after my Colonscophy, but my procedure can wait a couple more month's till I can get Sheryl taken care of.

That's it for this issue, not much to post about lately, but that will change as we prepare to head back out and once on the road again.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Snowy Day in the Mountains

After two days of being cooped up in the rig due to the massive dust storms and high winds, I was about to go stir crazy and needed to get out. Looking up into the mountains, all you see were the storm clouds, but I didn't care I needed to get out. Down here in the valley, it was a yucky day also, but the winds were at bay, so I headed out and up.
On the road up, I stopped at this old produce stand, it was just begging for a picture. Love how the red stands out against the weathered gray wood, snow and dark winter trees.
As I drove around the mountains the snow came on and off. Nothing like driving the mountain trails with a few inches of virgin snow on them.
Since there is alot of private land intermixed with the National Forest, you find these old corrals along with several other types of structures from days gone by.
After a few hours up in the mountains, it was time to start heading back, of course, I had to take a few of my favorite trails back down.

It felt good to get out, this southern NM spring sure is bringing some crazy weather, 85 and beautiful one day, crazy wind and dust storms the next. Can't forget about the temperature drops into the 40s, but it also seems that way throughout the U.S. this year.

Sheryl and I are counting the days till we can head back out on the road again in May. Is it just here or does it seem like it it takes so much longer to get doctor appointments than it used to? Along with wait to get in, there seems to be a long wait once you show for your appointed time, at least 1-2 hours, each year just seems to be getting worst.

Ok, enough complaining, It won't be long now, and hope to see everyone out on the road!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Air Bags Installed

Ahhh, it was a beautiful day for an Air Bag install. The weather was great so I grabbed Gerald (a fellow RVer) and we got started. From Reading the instructions (I know, Real Men don't need no stinkin but I did anyway, hey I was board, the install looked pretty easy and strait forward. Gerald, however had installed a set on his truck, also a Dodge, so it was nice to have a helper with some experience. Step one, remove the bump stops. Pretty easy as they are just bolted on.
Step two, pre assemble a couple of parts, fit them in place and bolt everything down. This is where the extra set of hands sure came in helpful.
Step three, run the air lines. Again pretty strait forward, as all you need to do is insure a strait cut on the lines and insert them in the coupler. You then run the lines along he frame, using zip ties.
Step four, drill a couple of small holes to place the inflation valves. Install the valves and plug the air hose into them. I chose to drill the holes on either side of the license plate, just below the tailgate. They are out of the way, yet accessible.

Step five, fill the bags to the desired PSI (min 5) and enjoy your new ride. I put about 40 PSI in them and left it for an hour, in order to see if there were any leaks. No leaks, so aired down to 5 PSI and took her for a test drive. No a big difference empty as you could expect, however they did seem to soften the jar when hitting bumps and rough spots in the road. To say the least, I am very pleased so far. I saved the bump stops from step one, just incase we buy a one ton truck later. This way I can change them over to the new truck as they fit both.

Update on Sheryl's back procedure. The injections went without a hitch, however she sure is sore from the injections. She's looking forward for the pain to lessen, as it's doing each day and enjoying her back being much better.

My knee is doing much better from the steroid injection, plus walking around with my crutch hasn't hurt either. However, I decided to take a little bike ride today and got in a situation where a bit of effort was needed to get over some gravel. I can tell you the ole knee said, What Are You Thinking, Ouch!!!. Lesson learned, stay on the street.

This weekend we may head up into the mountains to see how the spring bloom is coming along. If I get some good pictures, I'll be sure to share them with you. Until then, take care and we'll see you back here soon.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Air Bags Have Arrived

The airbags arrived a couple of days ago, as you can see, we bought the Firestone Ride Rite System, now just have to pick a day to install them. Since Sheryl has her back procedure Tuesday, Wednesday sounds like a good day for an install or maybe Thursday, ahhh the retired life, no need to be in a hurry to do anything.  I know once the airbags are installed, I will have to have the 5ver lifted a little as in already rides a little bit nose high, and that's with the truck squatting. Luckily the spring hangers have the height adjustment holes to allow for another 2-3 inches. This should allow the trailer to ride level (or pretty darn close) along with allowing for more clearance between the wheels and the wheel shrouds on the trailer. The way the trailer sits now, the wheels are almost in contact with the shroud.

The weather here in Southern NM has finally started to clear. The past few days have been cold and rainy. Before that, wind and dust storms, you hardly wanted to go outside. This week were looking at 70's each day and hopefully a good start towards Spring weather.
That's all for now and well see you fine folks back here before long.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dodged The Bullet, Woo Hoo

Went to the Orthopaedic Doc today and, wait for it.......................NO Surgery required on my knee!!! I do however have a large bone bruise, 1mm fracture and torn knee cushion. He said they will heel on their own over time, but in the meantime a cortisone injection and crutches for 2-3 weeks. We were really worried about it being much more serious along with more aggressive treatment, thank goodness it's not. Lesson Learned, don't be so clumsy (cocky) while hiking. Good thing is, we can go for bike rides without worrying as it's much less stressful on the ol knee.
Speaking of bike riding, fellow blogger, Rick and Kathy commented on Sheryl's bike, that we should pick up a shock absorbing seat post to help with her back. I know it's hard to see in the picture but her bike is a full suspension like mine, so having the rear shock will help with her back being jarred.

Life just keeps getting better and we'll back out there before we know it, well May anyway. Ok, that's the good news of the day, so Keep Lovin Your Life as we do ours and see ya back here shortly!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Double Booked

It's funny how you can go from doing a whole lot of nothing for weeks on end to busy, busy, busy. We'd prefer life to be spread out alittle more, but hey, that's life.
First, Sheryl's has an appointment next week for her back injections, she really looking forward to it and the relief she will get......ahhhhhhh.
We also ordered a set of Firestone airbags for the truck, so no more lights pointed up in the sky when driving at night. Checked on the tracking number and they have been delivered to our address, so now just have to pick them up and get them installed. Installation looks pretty straight forward with no drilling, so I'll be taking on that task shortly. One of many perks to being retired military is, each base has an Auto Hobby Shop, where you can work on your vehicle for a small fee. I took the truck in and installed new brakes last week, nothing like having a fully outfitted garage at you disposal. Total cost $4.50, ($2.25 an hour for use of the shop) not bad. May install the Air Bags there if it looks like it'll be a pain here at the site.

Hard to believe, with all the free time us retirees have, I actually managed to double book myself......let me explain. While looking through the base activities book, I noticed they were giving a couple of classes I was interested in. Two classes were being given by Outdoor Recreation, Mountain Bike Mechanics and Outdoor Photography, so I went down to sign up for both. The photo class was already full, so I just signed up for the bike class. A couple of days went by and there was another Photo class being givin by the Arts and Crafts Center, so I went down and signed up for it. Well, yesterday came and it dawned on me (yup I'm pretty quick sometimes) that both classes were on the same day at the same time, DOH!!!  All turned out well, as I went to the Bike class and only missed the first hour of the photo class, so not to bad as the photo class is 4 parts (each Tuesday in March).

Both classes went well, tomorrow were off to El Paso, TX for my yearly Skin Cancer screening, having very fair skin, I try and stay on top of it. Friday off to the Ortho Doc for my knee, to see what needs to be done.

I must be slipping as you may have noticed no pictures, what the heck, guess I'm just getting lazy. I'll do better as I prefer to post a picture or two, just seems to make posts just a little more interesting. Ok, well I just got a call from the Ortho Doc and they want me to go and get an Xray before Friday, so I'll be off to do that shortly.
Take Care and see you fine folks back here soon.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Signs of the Times

The White Sands Missile Range and Holloman AFB have always been at the forefront of missile testing and the space age. Back in the Glory Days of the Space Age, the businesses around these two installations attempted to capitalize on this, as evident in their signs and advertising. Here in Alamogordo, NM. there are three examples of this advertising left. Driving through here in the 50s and 60's stopping at the Satellite Inn for the evening or shopping at the Rocket Strip Mall, you could feel part of the buzz of the Space Age, if only in your imagination. Check out the rest of these signs of the times on the Photo Page Here.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Good, The Bad and The Shinny New Bikes

The Good - Sheryl got her MRI results back and the showed no major changes from last time and no need for surgery.....Yeaaaaaaa. Recommended continued treatment by her pain management doctor.

The Bad - Got my MRI results back, I guess the terms Tear and Fracture aren't good....darn it!!! We haven't got a call from the doctor yet, but Nurse Sheryl said it doesn't sound good from what she can read. Looks like a referral to an ortho doc will be in order. With any luck it won't need surgery, so wish me luck!

The Shinny new bikes - A couple of years ago Sheryl and I had a couple of very nice mountain bikes which we loved to ride. However with Sheryl's back, she was having a difficult time leaning over to ride hers. I in turn wasn't real comfy on mine either and I wasn't using it much to get out on the trails. We decided to sell them and picked up a couple of single speed comfort bikes, now those get their name for a reason. They were great, sitting up straight to ride made it extra nice for Sheryl. One thing we found though, travelling around the country is, not every campground is flat and trying to peddle those single speed bikes up hill, well, wasn't all that fun. We wanted a couple of new bikes once we started our adventure again and just happened to find these, so we pulled the trigger and picked them up. Sheryl got her a nice comfort style with 7 speeds and I picked up another mountain bike as I plan on hitting the trails more that I used to. I call mine, my mid life crisis bike, and as everyone has been telling us, it's better than a sports car!

Of course we get the bikes before I found out how Jacked up my knee is, oh well, looks like those mountain trails will have to wait just a little longer. Along with my post of how I rode off the side of the trail and ended up 100 feet down wrapped around a tree, but lets not get ahead of ourselves

Hope everyone has a good weekend and we'll see you back here next time.....................