Sometimes we look at sights in nature but don't really see. While hiking in the woods the other day, it became a realization that we need to open our heart and eyes to see the beauty of the simple things in nature with each season. There is so much order and purpose in His creation. God has given us awesome beauty in this world to see and enjoy... if we would but stop to see and feel it. Join us as this blog is about stopping to see the real beauty around us...to touch and feel it... "Through the Lens".

Our Friends

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Remember that Glitch???


Remember that glitch I told you about??  Well......

Funny thing happened on the way to Hiawassee.  As we were breaking camp at McKinney Campground our little Shih Tzu, Nick had a sneezing episode.  Now he has these quite often because he has really bad allergies.  This one though produced some nasal bleeding.  Not much but some.  We went ahead and drove in to Doll Mountain Campground and a little later that day he sneezed again and once again it brought some bleeding with it.  Not much but still...some. So we decided to call our vet in Alabama.  He told us what to do and we did exactly what he said.  The third time this happened we decided to take him to a local vet.                   
So first thing Thursday morning we broke camp hooked up the camper and drove into Ellijay to see Dr Redman.  He took a look at Nick and gave us an "A to Z" of what it could be.  The worse being a tumor in his nostril.  He felt like we should take him to a facility that could do CT and MRI scans as well as scope procedures.  He recommended the Auburn University vet school.  He would call to get us in.         

We immediately decided to drive back to Auburn and await our call.  On our drive home we both were a bit bewildered.  He's our furbaby!! Our 11 year old four legged son!! We also started thinking about how you go from a sneeze ( which he does regularly) to a wicked tumor??

Nick sneezes when he's excited, when he's stressed and when he's been outside awhile.  He just sneezes a lot.  He's done this for over 3 years and our vet in Lagrange diagnosed him with a bad case of allergies.  He takes Benedryl when they get bad.                

So we decided to see our new vet in Alabama before going to the "big" hospital.  Dr. Wagner examined him and asked a plethora of questions.  He went through the same "A to Z" of what could be going on.  He also said a nasal tumor could be the issue BUT he really didn't feel like that was it since there wasn't a lot of bleeding with the sneeze....only a small spray.
He drew several viles of blood and we should know those results tomorrow or Monday at the latest.

 One thing it could be is an infection or bad teeth causing an infection.  Nick has already had issues with an abscessed tooth and had five teeth removed. The Dr did notice the front ones were loose.  The other thing is a blood clotting disorder.  So now we wait....
In the meantime he's on a high powered Benadryl called Hydroxyzine and an antibiotic called Clavamox.           

    

He has not had anymore bleeding.....sneezing yes, bleeding no!!

Could we have ignored these signs and went on to the rally? Yes, but we would not have enjoyed things and worried about Nick.   He's our furbaby and we chose to be good parents to our four legged boy!!               


There is always another rally and the mountains aren't going anywhere.
If all goes well and the blood work helps to diagnose this issue we will be heading back to our......                   


Beloved North Georgia Mountains!!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Doll Mountain

                     
Today we drove further north toward our rally in Hiawassee.  We found ourselves at another gorgeous COE park.  Doll Mountain campground is located in the North Georgia mountains on Carters Lake.  You will find camping, hiking, boating, fishing, hunting (bows) and a playground in this heavily wooded area.

       "Carter's Lake embraces a
         spectacular tract of foothills
         scenery in the Blue Ridge
         mountains of North Georgia.
         It covers 3,200 surface acres and
         has 62 miles of undeveloped
         shoreline"        Recreation.gov
Taken from our patio
Also from our patio

Our site backs up to the lake....well we are actually above the lake with a nice drop off down to the shoreline.  We have a very nice wooded deck in a cul-de-sac type setting with five other campsites.   With all the trees it makes for a very peaceful feeling.             



 We had a tiny glitch!! Always something huh??  Our little Shih Tzu, Nick has terrible allergies.  This morning before leaving McKinney he had a bad sneezing spell after sitting outside with us.  His nose started to bleed.  We called our former veterinarian in Lagrange but as luck would have it he was out of the office this week. So we called the veterinarian our son takes his doggie to in Auburn and talked with him.

He advised us what to do and thought he might have a slight infection in his nose...I guess like sinus infection.  We just happened to have some Clavamox that our former vet had prescribed and he said that would be perfect!!  So we have medicated our little buddy and hope that he is better with this medicine.  He is 11 years old and I do worry about him.

Tomorrow we will head to Hiawassee and our site at Riverbend Campground. 


Thanks for stopping by!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

On the Road Again...


Finally the wheels were rolling!!!   We left Chewacla State Park, our home base in Auburn, Alabama, around 10:15 a.m.  We are on our way to our beloved North Georgia mountains for the "Eggs on the Hiawassee River" rally.  This is a fiberglass rally of all kinds, shapes and sizes of fiberglass trailers and some of the greatest folks you'll ever meet.                          


We began our journey by stopping at McKinney Campground.  This is a beautiful COE campground sitting on Lake Allatoona in Georgia.  We are not quite in the mountains yet but it's so nice to be out and about doing what we truly love.                                 


             

As many of you already know two years ago this August I had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.  I went through seven months (12 treatments) of chemotherapy.  Through the grace of God my scans and test have all been clean and clear since that August.  But I do have to visit my oncologist every 3 months for another year and then I can go every 6 months.  So that creates some creative planning in order to be back in the Auburn area every 3 months.
It's ok because I have a new appreciation for life and being able to go anywhere at all.  It's a blessing and precious gift to be well and able to travel.            



This January Mike discovered he has cervical stenosis in his neck/shoulder area as well as 2 pinched nerves in his neck.  Very painful....so he has been doing physical therapy a couple times a week all winter until recently.  Last Wednesday he had an epidural shot and although the doctor said he might not know if the shot helped for a couple weeks he already feels less pain.  We are hopeful this doctor can help him manage the pain with this condition so he can avoid surgery!!        




We both feel that we have so much to be thankful for and are so blessed that we should enjoy this life God gifted us with.  We are pushing forward and enjoying this awesome lifestyle!!                
Looks like an empty raft for someone to be on and glide on the water

While we were walking we came across this grave within the campground.  As Gerri walked up to the site she noticed a fenced in gravesite where the wife of McKinney is buried.  She was born in 1832 and died in 1858...a very short life.            


Tonight should be beautiful on the lake and then tomorrow we will travel further north toward those beautiful North Georgia mountains.

Thanks for stopping by.....hope you had a good day doing whatever makes you smile!!

"Healing doesn't mean the damage never existed.  It means the damage no longer controls our lives."

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Missing Our Buttons and Other Stuff

Yes, we are still alive and yes, we are still full-timing in our Ollie!!  I know some might have thought we would have come to our senses and aborted ship by now....nope not us!!    There just hasn't been a lot of excitement going on...well not much anyway.
                 

These fellows come near our campsite almost every afternoon

We are missing our buttons!!  You know that wonderful button you push and your awning goes out and you push a button and the awning retracts.  Yea, that one!!  We don't have that button.  Why would we want a button that would take away the fun of getting out and working those muscles?  Our awning is manual...nothing is manual anymore except our awning.  What were those folks at Oliver thinking anyway!!

It happened innocently enough.  The little end piece on one of the poles that extend the awning just snapped.  


Hey, any of us can snap can't we??  Well that is exactly what happened to this end of our awning pole.  We called Fiamma and they were on it immediately.  So our little "thingy" part on the end of the pole is making its way to us as I write this.  Problem fixed!!
                    
 The next button that we miss is the one we pushed that sent our automatic Winegard Slimline Satellite Dish up searching for a  satellite so we could surf through channels discovering that there is nothing really worth watching on TV.  This awesome button lived in the cabinet of our Dutch Star.....boy those were the days!!  But think of all the fun we missed going outside and starring at the sky??

It happened innocently, again!!  We currently have the Winegard Carryout G2+ and it was working beautifully!!  
           

We could surf through channels to our hearts content....until Wednesday.  On Wednesday it all stopped and the TV screen told us our satellite couldn't find that special satellite in the sky.  So Mike got busy trying to track down the problem.  It seemed strange that the TV was receiving stations one day and less than 24 hours later....nothing.

The first thing Mike did was move the Winegard around in case a limb or leaf had gotten in the way....nothing.  He moved the Winegard everywhere, really, everywhere.  We even moved sites to see if that would help....nothing.  Our campground is pretty woodsy so we decided that while we were hooked up visiting other sites we might as well drive up the road to a very very open parking lot.....nothing.  So we came to the conclusion it wasn't a tree or leaf, nothing was blocking the satellite.
Looking up from our site, the trees are awesome, but they block the satellite


The problem could still be something wrong with the Winegard itself, the SWM840 which are additional pieces of equipment we bought in order to be able to use our Direct TV Genie receiver.  This receiver would enable us to record shows like we did when we lived in our house.  The suspect in this, with us non-technical folks, is that it just might be the SWM840 since it gets mixed reviews.  In other words, there are people out there that have tried this combination of Genie and SWM and didn't like it or even worse....hated it.  A call is in to Winegard and we, hopefully, will narrow down the problem soon.
                      

A new receiver that works with the Winegard G2+ Carryout that doesn't need a SWM to function is probably going to be the solution.  So no more ability to record a show.  Oh well....life goes on.
              
Mike gets his epidural shot this Wednesday.  This is the shot for his cervical stenosis and pinched nerves.  We are prayerful and hopeful that this shot will relieve his pain and he can avoid surgery!!
Prayers please!!  No more doctor appointments (for awhile) and no more physical therapy so we are free for several weeks!!
                 

In a few days we'll be heading to Hiawassee and the north Georgia mountains to an "Egg Rally."  more on that later.  We will explore around in the mountains a bit to enjoy the beautiful scenery and cooler temperatures.  Got to be back by the end of June for the next round of doctor appointments!!  Sigh!!

Stay well, stay safe and safe travels!             


The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.   Psalm 19:1

Sunday, April 16, 2017

An Easter Tradition

Last week we finally decided it was time to find our Casita a new home.  We listed the Casita on the Casita forum and the Casita Facebook.  Within one day we had a buyer and our sweet Casita had a new home.  It wasn't easy selling her but she needed a new home with someone who will take her on many camping adventures.  She got just that.  So Monday afternoon we said our good-byes and watched her pull away.
             


Today is Sunday......Easter Sunday!!  It has been a wonderful day.   We usually spend this day at Callaway Gardens.  It has become a family tradition to begin the day at Sunrise Service but there is an hour difference in time so we had to begin this Easter at the Callaway Lodge and Spa for a breakfast buffet at the Piedmont Restaurant.   It was delicious as usual.
               



We then visited the Discovery Center.  It is a beautiful area that just sits nestled among the trees and a lake.
                

Years ago Mike was the Recreational Food and Beverage Director.  He oversaw all things food and beverage in the recreational  arena at Callaway Gardens.  That included overseeing the building of this neat restaurant called The Discovery Cafe.  We even saw a young lady Mike hired when this cafe opened many years ago. She still works there and is now the Supervisor at the cafe.     



After strolling around the Discovery Center for awhile we drove to the Brothers Azalea Bowl.
                      

                  

Of course, we were a little late for the azalea blooms but we did see many beautiful flowers, trees and shrubs.
I really focused on the things of nature that were awakening after a long winters night!! Its so much fun to see the new birth at this time of year.
The Brothers Azalea Bowl has a walking trail that leads to my most favorite place......The Chapel.  I always refer to this area as my "happy place" but actually Callaway itself is my "happy place."
          



While sitting on "my" bench we noticed this guy taking a casual stroll.  This Great Blue Heron usually hangs around the lake by the chapel. I suppose it might just be his "happy place."  He is quite handsome and very laid back.  We snapped a few pictures of him because he posed so nicely.
              




We finished up by driving over to the beach area, another one of Mike's venues.  There is a nice pavilion overlooking a sanded beach. A very nice area especially in the summer.
It wasn't very busy today but when summer vacation comes and the temperatures are warmer it will be hopping.        
        


     




We had a wonderful Easter.  A blessed time of remembering the resurrection of our Lord.  Hope your day was blessed as well.