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 touch and feel it... "Through the Lens".

Our Friends

Saturday, July 22, 2017

What a Wonderful Discovery


The other day we were talking with our son and he told us about a park that was on the outskirts of Auburn, so Gerri and I googled it to find where it was located.  The name of the park is Kiesel Park and we found where exactly it was located.                                                                   
So, yesterday we decided to drive out that way and look it over for a future day of exploration since it was in the mid nineties with high humidity.  When we got there we were so amazed at its beauty that we decided to get out and do a little walking on the paved trails anyway.  Well, here we are with jeans and sandals and not equipped for hiking in this hot and humid weather. Luckily we had our cameras but unlucky on the other hand, we didn’t have any water bottles with us.  So, we ventured out anyway and spent about an hour and half exploring some of the park.  Needless to say when we ran out of steam and had sweated out the water in our bodies, we decided to head to the cold, air conditioned truck…glad we parked in the shade so the truck wasn’t too hot inside.   


A garden with a coy pond behind it
We spent our time here on the main grounds which included a gazebo, the Nunn-Winston Greek Revival Circa 1850 house and herb garden and other beautiful sights.  We will let the pictures speak for our day of exploring.               

Side view of the house
View from the front porch of the house

We never walked the nature trail as it is about a 2.5 mile walk but we decided to come back for that trail when we had some bottled water and dressed in our shorts and hiking shoes.  We were totally amazed with the park and how manicured the grounds were.  This will be part 2 of Kiesel Park.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

We're Still Here


Has it really been this long since I wrote a blog?  Gee, time sure has a way of slipping by.

When I last updated, Nick was doing much better with his allergies and had not had any further nose bleeds.  He did, however, decide to have an issue with his shoulder.  He woke up one Sunday morning yelping so we took him to a local animal hospital where the doctor diagnosed his problem.  He was loaded up on meds and sent home.  We did follow up the next day with his Vet in Lagrange where we lived before full-timing.  He agreed the diagnosis was correct and wanted to give him some laser treatments and bring him off the pain medicine.  He was beginning to act weird.  So several weeks later and a few less dollars he is pretty much back to normal!!!  I guess we aren't the only ones aging in this family!!
As most of you know that read our blog, we have been fairly stationary for the past several months.   We knew we would be limited in how we could travel for awhile due to my cancer diagnosis two years ago this coming August.  We just didn't realize how limited we would be.  I knew I would have to return to my Oncologist every 3 months for the first 2 years after treatment.  What we didn't know was Mike was going to be diagnosed with cervical stenosis and pinched nerves in his shoulder/neck area....C4 & C5, C5 & C6.  He would have to go through some physical therapy on his shoulder/neck and receive a few shots hoping to ease the pain and avoid surgery.  So with my every 3 months appointment with my doctor and his trips to the Neurosurgeon, physical therapy and the pain management doctor we haven't hardly left our site at Chewacla State Park.
BUT THAT'S OK......because full-timing is a way of life.  Life happens no matter where you live.  You don't full-time to avoid life.  At the end of the day, there is no better place to relax, recuperate and heal than in God's creation.  To watch the animals and listen to the crickets serenade you to sleep is about as good as it gets.
Picture taken from inside our rv
From inside our rv
IT MUST BE WORKING.....because when I saw my Oncologist this past Thursday he released me to every 6 months instead of every 3 months.  This came as a HUGE surprise to both of us.  This is about 8 months before I complete year 2.  I can't begin to tell you how excited we both were to hear this.  It just opens up the time between visits so you can actually do things, go places!!!!  The journey is not over and I will still have scans and such but this was a big step in the recovery process.

So even though we haven't clocked the miles in...... it seems like we have all three been busy working on our health and healing!!!

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I will praise Him.    Psalm 28:7

Friday, June 9, 2017

Update on our Furbaby

All Nick's blood work checked out good except his liver enzymes which we already knew about as he is already taking a liver supplement.  Since we were back in the area we took Nick to our family vet and he checked Nick out and though a tumor is low on the list, he feels he has a bad sinus infection along with allergies.  He gave Nick a stronger anti-biotic that he wanted him to take for 2 weeks along with his antihistamine medicine and said the next 2 weeks would be crucial.

It has now been a little over 2 weeks since that visit and we returned on Tuesday to have a follow up check.... there have been No nose bleeds...Yay!   Dr. Whitlow said Nick sounded better and feels he is doing much better.  He even said we should take Nick to Seattle as their climate would be perfect for him...let's see, 2800 miles away, hmmm.  Thanks, Doc!!  
So it appears Nick will have to stay out of extreme heat and humidity since this will probably be a lifelong issue.  

We drove to Pine Mountain today for Gerri to get her hair cut by her stylist.  While there, we drove through FDR State Park and saw a very nice Little House parked in the campground.  We got the phone out and took a couple of pics and wanted to share them.  It was really neat seeing one in person.  The owners were not there so we didn't get a chance to chat and possibly get a tour.   These are becoming quite popular and we've watched a view shows on HGTV on this popular trend.  

So for the past few weeks we have been hanging out at the campground watching our little fella pretty closely.   With doctor visits and fourth of July approaching we might just hunker down here before venturing out again.  Oh well, life happens!!!!

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
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 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."