Remember that when you leave this Earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given, a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage. -St. Francis of Assisi

Today...

Where am I today???

Traveling from south TX to Denver

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Navajo Lake State Park

.......in Colorado

There is also a Navajo Lake State Park in New Mexico, 4/5 of the lake/reservoir is in New Mexico and the smaller portion is in Colorado.  The brochures say this is Colorado's answer to Lake Powell.


Sailboats and Houseboats


Two Rivers marina is located just south of where the
Piedra and San Juan Rivers meet.


looking toward New Mexico

On Friday, I was trying to decide what to do with my 2 days off work. I needed a change of scenery.  Around noon, I decided that I would like to go to the Durango Farmers Market on Saturday.  I called the State Park to see if they had any campsites available and asked if they had cell service there.  They had sites but said they did not get cell service.  I left Mesa Verde around 1:00pm.  My plans were to stay one night and then go to Durango on Saturday.  I texted my daughter to let her know I may not have any cell service.

When I arrived at the park, my cell phone still worked and the signal was better than at Mesa Verde. My cell phone worked as a hotspot for the internet, again faster and better than at Mesa Verde.  I was lucky to get a lakeside, full hook-up site ($24.00).

After I got set-up, I went for a walk around the lake and marina. I decided to pay for a 2nd night. It meant getting up early on Sunday and driving almost 1 1/2 hours to get to work in the morning, but it was worth it to stay at this lake view site for another day.



Late Saturday afternoon, the wind was really strong and I was wondering if I made the right choice to stay another night. I was wondering if the winds could cause an RV to tip over.... and then the electric went off.  It was not a bad storm, just a little rain. The reason the electric went off was because a pop-up camper, just down the road from my site was flipped over by the high winds.  The camper was plugged in, so the power was turned off.  Luckily, I had used my surge protector. The rangers and other campers helped to upright the camper. It was a mess, everything was falling out the windows. The owner was able to close it up, but the corners looked like they were crushed. The park had the power turned backed on about an hour later.

I really like this park, it is very peaceful sitting by the water.  Many of the 5th wheels and other campers were towing boats.  I was able to ride my bike on the roads, there were not too many hills. There are several hiking trails and bikes and dogs are allowed on all of the trails.



This weekend I walked/hiked for 5 miles and rode my bike for 3.2  miles. One of the trails follows the old railroad grade, passes the old railroad water tank, overlooks the lake and ends up at Windsurf Beach Primitive Campground.






I also logged many hours sitting and staring at the water and sky. I never did make it to the Farmers Market, Durango is 28 miles from the park and I didn't want to drive to the market and then back to the park.  I was happier to just relax at the park. I can go to the Farmers Market another weekend.



view from my campsite




Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Good-bye, Miss Kit Kat

Kit Kat went to kitty heaven today to visit her sisters. Several years ago, I had three cats in the house, they all lived long lives, the others lived at least 12-15 years.  Kit Kat was at least 17. My daughter rescued her, and we don't know how old she was when she came to live with us.


1995-2012

I was planning to work this morning and then call the vet at lunchtime.  I walked about halfway to the office and turned around and came back and called my manager to let her know I would not be in.

Luckily the vet on call was someone I knew.  Marty, is a tour guide for Mesa Verde and an employee of Aramark. He is a retired veterinarian, working this week a few days while the vet was out of the office.  I felt better that it was someone I knew, and he told me exactly what was going on with her, and this made the decision easier.

I did not like making this decision, and in the past would have my husband decide and take the animals to the vet.  But this is something I had to do alone now. I stayed with her during the 2 shots, they sedated her first.  After she was sedated, she vomited some treats I had given her on Sunday (to get her to take her medicine). The tumor was blocking parts of the stomach and intestine and that is why she would/could not eat. More proof that she was not doing well and I could not let her suffer any longer.




I often said she was a good "watchdog", we just needed to teach her how to bark.  She would sleep at the foot of my bed facing the door staring into the hallway.  In the RV, she loved to watch out the window.  If someone was closer than she liked, the ears would perk up and her eyes would get big.  I wondered what she would do if she thought I was in danger, would she scratch and bite someone?




Traveling Kit Kat, my co-pilot.  I will miss her "talking" to me when I come in the door at lunchtime and after work.  She was always a very "talkative" cat.















Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kit Kat update



Kit Kat, today, after dinner and pills

We had an 11:30 appointment in Durango for the ultrasound.  We arrived early and they started the test early.  She did not want to lay on her back to be shaved so they had to sedate her.  They shaved quite a bit of fur.

No surgery for Kit Kat.  She has cancer and there are too many lesions.

They gave me the ultrasound pictures to take back to the Vet in Cortez. I took some pictures of the ultrasound pics using my iPhone.

The large one at the top of her intestines is still a mystery, it does not have the typical characteristics of gastro-intestinal lymphoma.  She has several other lesions on her intestines that are definitely lymphoma.  There is a new experimental, expensive blood test to confirm what the ultrasound shows, but I am not going to have the test done. The clinic I went to in Durango has seen several cases of this lymphoma recently.

GI tract and intestines with lesions


She has a spot on her bladder, there are also several stones, but the large spot does not look like a stone.  They think it is a type of bladder cancer (TCC) that cats typically get.  The vet tech was surprised to see that she would have both types of cancer.





black area is her bladder
with the tumor circled
There is a medicine for the bladder cancer but it can not be taken at the same time as steroids.  Steroids are the treatment for the lymphoma and may also shrink the bladder tumor and help with the UTI.

The bladder tumor is a host for bacteria, so Kit Kat now has a (UTI) bladder infection also.

I hope to have the typed out report, from the ultrasound, in a few days.

For now, I have to give her 2 pills a day (Prednisolone 5mg) and some special food to get her eating again.



Monday, August 6, 2012

An unexpected visit to the Veterinarian

I had 2 1/2  days off work and made reservations to camp at Ridgway State Park on Sunday and Monday.  I had planned to go hiking today with Mark and Bobbie in Ouray. (click on their name to check out their blog, beautiful pictures of hiking in the mountains)


I guess my "Kit Kat" didn't want to go camping.



On Saturday, I noticed that she was not eating and she was not moving around much. She is around 17 years old and I thought maybe she had kidney problems which is what most older cats get.

She was still drinking some water and using the litter box, so I did not think it was necessary to call an emergency vet on the weekend.

I made an appointment for Monday morning at the Cortez Adobe Animal Hospital about 9 miles from Mesa Verde.  The vet examined her and felt a 'mass' in her belly. The vet did some blood tests and x-rays.

The good news is that the blood test showed her kidney, liver and thyroid functions are normal. They could not get a reading on the CBC, so they sent that out to a lab.  

The bad news is that she a 'stone' or something in her bladder. And there is some type of 'mass' on her intestines.  They had to stick a needle in her bladder to get a urine sample, no crystals in the urine, but there is some bacteria.  They gave her an antibiotic shot that will last for 2 weeks, easier than trying to give her pills or liquid.  She may need another antibiotic shot in 2 weeks.


 lying on her side
white spot on bladder




lying on her back
something on the left side
on her intestines


Tomorrow, I will drive to Durango, for an ultrasound test of her abdomen, so we will have a better idea of what we are dealing with.

Then I may have to decide on surgery for her.  I hate having to decide the fate of my animals.  If she was a child, I would say go ahead and do everything that is necessary.  I feel I will probably do this for Kit Kat, too.

They say she does not look or act like a 17 year old cat, and since she does not have kidney disease, she is actually in pretty good health other than these things in her abdomen. Everyone took excellent care of her today.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Moon Walk





I try to go for a walk every evening.
Last night I went for a walk under the light of the full moon.





Our "employee campus" is on a frontage road that is only about 3/4 of a mile long and stops at a dead end. Many of the employees living here walk or bike up and down this road. Along this road there is an RV park and a few small ranches.








There is a turn off for a steep road up to a subdivision, this is a good place to get a workout. There were some horses at the top of the hill near the back of the RV park.  A deer ran across the road as I was walking back to the RV - it was too fast for me to get a picture.






I am really having fun playing with my new GPS watch, I only walked 1.65 miles this evening, I would have liked to go further, but I was walking while my laundry was in the dryer and had to stop to finish this job.


Walking uphill @ 3.66 mph. I was surprised to see that I've been walking faster uphill than downhill. Uphill is harder on the lungs but downhill is harder on the knees. I used to walk faster than this is Illinois, I thought I used to do a 15 minute mile.  I'm curious to see if I can get to that point again since I am at a higher elevation, with more hills.

On Saturday, when I was hiking on rocky, uneven surfaces, I was being more careful going downhill, so I guess this slowed me down.

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