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

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Random Photos

August 25, 2015

Sometimes life does not go as planned.

Weather, illness, mysteries, death, new life and other things can change the direction of your life. 

 I'm on an Amtrak train heading back to San Antonio and then will drive the RV to Aransas Pass to work short-term at the tax office preparing returns on extension. 

Here are some random pictures from my summer. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Lake Catherine State Park

Poplar Bluff, MO - Thursday, July 30th

Lake Catherine State Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas
Friday, July 31st

After leaving Camp Lakewood on Thursday morning, I traveled down I-57 through IL and across the Mississippi River into Missouri.  I decided to take it easy with short traveling days and a lot of stops along the way.

Thursday night I stayed at Camelot RV Park in Poplar Bluff, MO - not far off the highway, but not too busy and I had a quiet, peaceful night. Everyone was very friendly.                .

My preference is state parks, but they are not always where I need them to be and sometimes they are booked well in advance.  I did not make any reservations for this trip back to Texas because I was not sure how I would be feeling or how far I would travel each day.

On Friday, I ended up at Lake Catherine State Park in Hot Springs, AR.  I did not go into the city of Hot Springs, as I had been there before.  If there were sites available, I would have stayed a second night. Weekends in state parks can be crazy, this park was full, but it was very quiet and I had a large beautiful site at the end of a row.

Friday night, I walked a short trail near the rental boats and the swimming beach. On Saturday morning, before leaving the park, I went on a short hike to the waterfall.  There was just a trickle of water running down the rocks. Oh well, it was a good morning walk anyway.

      A short swinging bridge on the trail

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Camp Lakewood - Effingham, IL

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Camp Lakewood, Effingham, IL

This post is about the date listed above. Seems like I lost some time. Since my last post.  I have been to Chicago and back to Texas. Today, August 7th,  I am in South Padre Island, TX.

This is my 3rd visit to Camp Lakewood.  It was the 1st campground I stayed at when I sold my house and became a full-timer in November 2011.  I allso stayed here in May 2015 on my way to Chicago. It is a convenient stop that is about 200 miles south of Chicago.

For a commercial campground/RV park is it very nice. Most of the sites have a view of the lake. I have stayed in 3 different sites and have been happy in all of the sites.  The park is a short distance from I-57 and about a mile from Walmart.

                     Behind site #1

                   Site #1 W/E only, back-in

              Site #3 full hookup, pull-thru site

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

After my last blog post, on May 18th, I traveled North to the Chicago area.  I driveway camped for 3 days at Jim and Genny's house in Geneva, IL and then on the morning of Memorial Day I drove to my sister's house in Palos Heights, IL. My daughter and her family arrived the next day, they could only stay for a few days before returning back to Texas.

Before arriving in Chicago, I had scheduled some routine medical exams and was planning on a visit to the opthamologist. I did not plan to spend so many days going back and forth for medical tests and procedures. I spent more time with doctors this summer than I have my entire life.

I was having mysterious medical issues while in Chicago. I ended up staying in the area for about 10 weeks. I underwent many, many tests and procedures and after not finding anything else, it was determined was that I am anemic. My iron levels were low, but my B-12 levels were high. Anemia, a loss of red blood cells, causes you to not have enough oxygen circulating around.  I was prescribed iron pills and need to have my levels checked in a few months.

I was trying to follow a heart-healthy vegan diet, but was obviously missing something. I am currently back to eating meat until I talk to a dietitian or nutritionist. None of the doctors that I saw mentioned anything about nutrition. I also discovered that many packaged items, like cereals, almond milk and juice smoothies have added 50% to 100% of the daily B12 - and I was taking a daily B-12 pill. Although B vitamins are water soluble and any excess is supposed to leave your body, I was getting way too much and it was showing up as an excess on the blood tests.  I think the doctors ordered the B-12 test to check for a deficiency and were surprised to find the levels so high. The last blood test, before I left Chicago, still showed high levels of B-12, but not as high as 2 months earlier. I have been avoiding any foods with added B-12. I probably should have just been taking a multi-vitamin that included iron, instead of a daily B-12 pill. 

I also found out that I need to wear driving glasses, so those were ordered, my new glasses are progressives. My eye doctor thought it may take up to 30 days to get used to the new glasses, but I did well with them after a few days. The 1st full day of driving was kinda weird, but I just had to make a minor adjustment.  But there is no way I could now drive without them.

My family and friends took very good care of me. Driving me to appointments, giving me a place to stay and feeding me very well.  Now I just have to keep up with eating iron-rich foods and making sure I eat enough. 

I had originally planned on spending the summer in Mackinaw City, Michigan.  My last test results were received on July 27th, so instead of heading North, I decided to just head south.

I am going to try and add posts of the missing dates and travels. 

***An interesting sidenote:  I currently have Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas PPO health insurance, and because I have a multi-state plan, all of my medical bills in Illinois were covered.  Blue Cross had announced that they will not offer this plan in 2016, so I am not sure what my options will be for medical care while traveling in the future.  Do I need to change my state of residence, so that I can get the best medical insurance plan for traveling? 

Drake Tax Software

Overnight stays in these states:

Overnight stays in these states:
It is the sandstorm that shape the stone statues of the Desert. It is the struggles of Life that form a person's character ~ Native American Proverb