Friday, May 31, 2013

My left leg

When I called to find out what time my surgery was scheduled, the nurse said I must be really healthy.  According to Nurse Penny, the more medications you normally take and the more prior health problems you've had, the earlier in the day outpatient surgery is scheduled.  Mine was scheduled for 3 p.m. yesterday and it went fine.

Part of the paperwork I filled out prior to surgery included a question along the lines of "Do you abuse any substances?"  Jim suggested I write down "frogurt."

Anyway, I'm home, my leg is elevated and on ice, and already off the Lortab. 
The hose and pad part of a device that's icing my knee.  The hose in front is connected to something that looks exactly like a picnic ice chest. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The cost of weight

I moved to Utah when I was 23. When I went to register my Chevy Nova, I was told I'd have to pay property tax.  I'm renting, I said.  I don't own any property.  On your car, they said. Plus a registration fee, of course.

When you register a motor home in Utah, you pay a property tax based on value and a registration fee that includes an additional amount based on weight.  I didn't know that last part.  So when I went to the DMV in 2010 to register our new-to-us rig and the clerk asked me what the motor home weighed, I said I didn't know --- because I didn't, off the top of my head.  The clerk asked the me for the name of the manufacturer and told me our motor home weighed 18,000 pounds. She didn't tell me the fee had anything to do with the weight, but I should have surmised. Actually, our rig weighs about 11,000 pounds and can't safely weigh more than 14,000 pounds when fully loaded, which it never is.  But for three years we paid more than we should have when renewing our registration, until somehow it sunk into my brain that the fee is weight-based. Duh.

This year I took our owner's manual to the DMV as proof of weight and stood (sat actually, because it's a "take-a-number" system") with 75 other people until I was called up.  It all was pretty quick, considering how many folks were waiting. And our annual fee is now about $65 less.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Travel plan adjustment

Today we were to leave on our next RV adventure: a trip east and a month's stay with my Mom in Ohio, then north through Michigan, into Ontario, and back west via Canada.

That's still the itinerary. But the departure day is delayed because I'm having knee surgery Thursday. Just the arthroscopic kind, where they make a small slice on each side of the knee, look around with a camera and fix stuff with a laser.

What I need fixed is the c-shaped cartilage called the meniscus.  

I've had some minor trouble with my knee, but nothing that kept me from hiking.  Then I went to a yoga class with my exercise-machine daughter, Ashley.  I was on my hands and knees in a pose when it seemed like part of my knee moved.  It hurt.

Last week I walked two miles with Ashley and my grandchildren.  But my knee is unstable and stiff, and two mile walks would probable be infrequent.  The doc says if I want to be active later this summer, he'd recommend surgery. 

So we're going to hang out in SLC a while longer.  But I'm going to keep posting.
Jim and the rig at the storage lot this morning, rather than on the road.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Plus it's the violation of it all

Last night someone came down our short, dead-end street and went through unlocked cars.  (Note:  I almost always lock the car.  My trusting husband never does, but says he will from now on.) We had three cars in our driveway -- all unlocked.  Each glove box was opened and belongings moved around, but I don't think anything was taken.  Not the binoculars in our Honda CRV, not the tool box in our Scion, not the fairly pricey car seats in Ashley and Shad's Prius.

When going through a neighbor's cars the thieves hit the jackpot, however:  Keys in the ignition. So they stole a new Subaru and left a beat-up pick-up truck (also stolen) on the street.

We live in a treesy neighborhood in Holladay, Utah, ten miles southeast of downtown Salt Lake City.  It's a nice town --- really it is.  But over the years, we've had what seems to be an excessive number of car ransackings and car break ins on our street of nine homes. On four separate occasions the neighbors directly across the street had car windows smashed and back packs or briefcases stolen.  A purse was taken from a car trunk at the home next to them.  Another set of neighbors had a cell phone stolen from a car; when the thieves rummaged through other cars, they left the cell phone in a different neighbor's car. The neighbors who had their car stolen last night previously had someone smash a car window and steal a purse. About 12 years ago, someone stole a gym bag from my car.

The good news is that our motor home -- which is usually in a storage lot when we're home but was on our street for the long weekend -- was locked and untouched. Tonight, all three of our cars are locked. And we're all reminded never to leave purses, backpacks or anything else that looks valuable is inside our cars.  

Saturday, May 25, 2013

From carpet to laminate

Shortly after we got back to Salt Lake, Jim tore out the ten-year-old, light blue carpet that was original to our rig. Then a local craftsman/handyman installed laminate flooring.

We bought the rig used in 2010; the owners before us had a "no shoes allowed" policy and the floors were pristine.  But we're living in the motor home nearly full time and have a very sheddy (is that a word?) dog who refuses to be brushed.  Instead, Cooper removes loose fur by rolling on the carpet. Add the fact that (as Jim says) I have a "bad wing" -- meaning I can't provide the right-armed muscle needed for our canister vac to provide a good carpet cleaning -- and we often have a dirty carpet. Jim does a great job -- but it's time consuming and a hassle. 

We really like the look and easy care of laminate but I was concerned about its weight. Our motor home weighs 11,000 pounds with fuel, oil and coolants. We can safely carry another 3,000 pounds.  That 3,000 pounds includes clothing, food, tools, lawn chairs -- anything we want in the motor home including us -- and it quickly adds up. The laminate we used weighs 35 pounds a box, and we used two boxes plus two pieces from a third box.  Subtracting waste pieces, our new floor probably weighs 60 pounds while the old carpet and pad weighed only 15 pounds.  So we're looking for items to leave home that will counteract the increase.  Or going on a diet.

After installation we had a thought: will the movement of the motor home cause the new flooring to shift or buckle? An RV web sites I belatedly read said leaving a one-fourth inch space around the perimeter of the flooring would solve that, since the boards "float" over the subfloor and that quarter inch allows for movement without damage. We only have an eighth-inch space.  Could be a problem.  But it looks great, we did what we did, and we'll see how it works.

I looked through the thousands of photos I've taken for a 
pic of our old blue carpet.  This one of Cooper sleeping 
on our laundry bag is the best I have. Behind Cooper is 
foam rubber we insert into the rig's sky lights for insulation 
when it gets cold.

Handyman extraordinaire Glen Gutterson installs the new
flooring.  Glen remodeled our basement a few years ago and
did a great job.  Other than ripping out some wall paper 
and installing new cabinet hardware, this is the first major
remodel we've done to the rig. 
Jim said the tear out job was
easier than expected, and fortunately the plywood sub
floor was flat and smooth.
We kept our old kitchen-area vinyl flooring;  here the laminate butts
up to the vinyl.  We looked for  laminate at Lowe's, Home
Depot, Lumber Liquidators and Costco.  We bought
Costco's "Golden Aspen" for $32.99 a box.

Finished product as seen from the dining area.
And, Jim and grand daughter Mia at the front of 
the rig.