Monday, October 23, 2006

Family News

Happy 14th birthday Deidra!

Dayna went back to work a week ago. She was pretty wiped out at first but gradually got her strength back. She saw Dr. Kristoferson Wed. who gave her pictures he took during surgery. The tear in her cartilage (I was wrong - only one is torn - the lateral meniscus) looks pretty bad and that's what he clipped a rough edge off of. The ligament is so stretched I'm surprised she has any stability in her knee at all. She goes back in two weeks to determine the next step. She can only bend her knee about 90% but I'm sure that's normal. It's just a wait and see game now but we know she'll have to have, at the very least, a ligament graft.

Darin and Diane have put a bid in on a cute little house in Cleveland and should find out today if it was accepted or not. It's got dormers and nice porches front and back. They wanted something larger but, to stay in the same school district, they had to settle for a smaller house with less land. It will be such a step up for them from the falling apart mobile they've been living in for years. They are so excited and we're thrilled for them.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Where are we?

I added a link to this page under "Other Links" that will answer that question. It links to a map used by many of us who have Hughesnet satellite internet systems. The majority of the users have a unit made by Datastorm that is mounted on top of their RV's and automatically finds and locks on to the satellite, but many also use a tripod mounted system like we do.

There is an option at the top right side of the map to link to Google Maps using our location. You can toggle to see a satellite view from there. No, you won't be able to see our trailer.....

I have to manually update our location every couple weeks or it drops off the map. I'll try to remember to keep it updated.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Since this is not "no news" it's not good news

The bottom line on Dayna's knee is that it's blown. All he could do today was clip a part of the medial meniscus that's torn and hope that will relieve her pain. Her ACL is stretched to the point it's folding over on itself, thus not prividing any support in her knee & why it hyperextends. Her lateral meniscus cartilage has a "double bucket" tear.

Her surgeon said the next step is an ACL graft which would be a 2-3 hr surgery & mean nine months of rehab. We didn't ask if that would mean she would have to be off work for that long or just a lot of PT. Probably the latter. If that doesn't work then she will need a full knee replacement.

She wasn't ready for this news since he had told her he couldn't see anything on the X-ray or MRI. She was beginning to think it was all in her head or something very minor and she almost cancelled today's surgery.

She's home and resting and only time will tell what the next step is. Thank you all for your good thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, October 8, 2006


We're back in TX at the same campground we were at before we left in June. Dayna is having knee surgery on Wednesday so we don't know how long we will be here. This is the knee injured in the trail bike accident when she was 13.

She has little control over it anymore. It hyperextends on its own and causes her a lot of pain. The doctors can't find anything on the X-ray or MRI so will be doing exploratory surgery arthroscopically. If he can find something fixable that way he will. Otherwise he will close her up and then reschedule major surgery for a later date. So right now our plans are on hold.

But her luck continues to hold - sort of. She was in a pool tournament with Sally employees a few weeks ago & won a TV!

Deidra & Dom have no school today due to one of those teacher days and have free tickets to the state fair so we are going to take them. But not until we drop the scooter off at the repair shop. The coolant sprung a leak before we left CA so the scooter needs to get fixed. That's the first of many repair/maintenance items we have to do while we're here.

Friday, October 6, 2006

HDT Rally

We arrived in Wichita on Saturday and joined about 45 others who tow their RV's with converted big rigs. Since everyone does their own thing, it is fun to see how each person customizes their rig. Some have motorcycle loaders like we do, some have very bare bones conversions and one even has ramps to load a car on the back of the truck and still pulls a big trailer. There are many colors and makes, though Volvo is more common than any other.

We spend a lot of time just talking and sharing experiences, but there is a schedule of events as well. The primary sponsor is Doonan Peterbilt that is located just across the street from the campground. The owner, Kenny Doonan, provides busses, technicians, space for the meetings and his considerable influence in the Wichita business community to arrange for tours and speakers.

The Rally started Sunday night with a pizza party kick off. Monday we had seminars on big rig testing equipment and brake systems. We also had a presentation by the Teton factory rep who came down from Wyoming to be here. Many of us have Teton 5th wheel RV's. Tuesday was a class on tires and a defensive driving course for those who wanted it. It was put on by the local community college. There was also a driving course contest for those who wanted to participate. That evening we had a BBQ.

Wednesday started with a tour of the Cessna Citation plant here in Wichita for those of us who were interested. It was very interesting so see that they still build every plane by hand. The construction methods have changed little in 50 years. After the tour we had a class on diesel engine maintenance, a presentation on tire monitoring systems and another presentation on RV suspensions and braking systems.

Thursday we had a roundtable Q & A session with Doonan's technicians, and then several of us visitied a B29 restoration project going on at Boeing. I really enjoyed that tour. They are rebuilding a B29 to flying condition. It is amazing to consider that it was built over 60 years ago. We also took the group picture yesterday afternoon. All the trucks were lined up in a large parking lot and the Wichita Fire Department brought over a ladder truck so the photographers could get a birds eye view of the rigs.

Things wind down today with only a motorcycle ride planned during the day and our final steak dinner scheduled for tonight. We may leave tomorrow instead of wating until Sunday but have not decided yet.

This has been a very enjoyable week for me. Dianna has not participated in much, but has spent a lot of time on the computer. I bet she really added to her Pogo points this week.

From here we make our way down to Denton for a few weeks. Time for doctor visits and a grandkid fix.