Saturday, August 31, 2013

True Confessions

Let me begin by saying, "It wasn't my fault."  I would like to blame my small transgression on modern technology.  If it weren't for computers and cell phone this little lie could never have happened.

It all began as Terri was giving me my usual buzz cut.  It's simple, she clips on the #3 attachment and in a few minute I have very short hair again.  The catch this time was I had a sudden funny idea.  I told her to just cut each side and not the top.  Done.  We  looked at it and laughed.  Next I told her to narrow the remaining hair down to a stripe down the middle.  And there I sat with my first Mohawk.

We laughed some more.

That's when technology and fate took over.  I had my cell phone in my pocket.  I quickly snapped a self portrait.

Within seconds an evil idea had occurred to me.  In another few minutes Terri had finished my normal haircut.  My Mohawk had lasted less than 5 minutes.   After we had cleaned up the hair mess I rushed to my evil computer.

Remember this was not my fault.  The evil computer and evil cell phone were to blame.

Within a few minutes I had had typed out a slightly altered story of what had actually happened.  I added a real photo of my "5 Minute Mohawk".  I hit the publish button and the deed was done.

Sister Sara replied to my request for dye coloring suggestions with a request for orange to match the upcoming wedding colors.  What my baby sister wants, my baby sister gets.  I down loaded the Google/Picasas version of Photoshop and within 10 minutes my "5 Minute Mohawk" was orange.

Isn't technology wonderful. 

A slightly altered version of the truth.

Now because I want each of us to learn from this experience with evil computers and evil cell phones, I believe we should all reflect on the fact that not everything we read or see on the internet is the truth or real.

Remember this was not my fault.  In the words of a recent Verizon commercial, "Bon Jour".
Honest Russ ranger with his evil computer.
No So Random Photo of the Day:
Candle light dinner the night before the big wedding.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

It Rained, It Poured, the Old Man Snored

We've had rain, showers and downpours. That was before it started to really rain.  We are camped on Alder Lake which is a man made lake, therefore there is a massive dam that has held the water back for decades.

Today may be a test for it's endurance.  At least we are on high ground in a section of the park called Elk Plain.

Alder Lake - the view from our campsite yesterday before the monsoons.
The lake is emerald green in the sunshine.
Today we couldn't see across the lake the rains were so heavy.
August in Washington State.

This morning we had to make a run back into Tacoma for some blood tests.  My new Warfarin/Cumadin test meter gave me a really high reading on my weekly test.  Group Health wanted to confirm the number with their own blood draw.  Turns out the meter was a little high, but the Group Health test showed my number double what it should be.

I'm feeling great so the test just means they are adjusting my medicines for a while.  I'm improving every day so I was a little surprised by the number.

While we were in the big city, Terri and I each purchased new bike helmets.  I looked for an orange helmet to match my "Mohawk" but decided to get a blue one to match the bike. While we were in the shopping mood we bought a new bike rack to fit the Fit.

Styling in shiny blue,
Flattens my do,
A little moose,
I'm as good as new.
My poetic talents may be better than my artistic rock stacking, however, I have more decades as a poet.  Just ask Phoebe.  I wrote her hundreds of poems when she was little.
Maybe Trinity can dig up a few jewels to share with us.
Random Photo of the Day:
I'm holding my eldest Granddaughter, Phoebe Rainier Falk in 1996.
She still likes tie-die.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rainier is Only Half There

It was a nice day for a road trip.  We were in the Honda Fit, but this looked like a better way to see Mount Rainier National Park in the day.  That's a classy ride.

We started the day being lazy, as per doctors orders. That lasted until about 10:00am when it was time to hit the road.  The early morning rain had stopped and the rest of the day was pleasant.

Terri in front of half of Mount Rainier.
The top was shrouded in clouds or had disappeared.

We stopped along the way many times to view the waterfalls.  These were my favorites for the day.

Great bridge and waterfall shot.
Best falls of the day.
We took several small walks along the road trip.  I just had to go cross this log bridge on the Nisqually River. The flow at this time of the year made it look like a creek not a river, but it had a view straight up to Mount Rainier so I needed to "walk not hike" down to the river bed to see for myself.

Sometimes you have to go see for yourself.
Standing on the log bridge viewing half a mountain.

In case you were wondering "Artist Ranger" is at it again, stacking rocks.  After a one month break, I have created another piece of art in the Nisqually River Valley.  You will need to go soon if you want to see it. It will be under 6 feet of water shortly.

Fine art for your pleasure.

One of the many glacial valleys.
It shows how wide the rivers become in their season.

And for my last photo for the day I bring you another "Dead Tree" shot.  Maybe someday I will publish a book of "Dead Trees".  I'll let you know when it comes out or you can keep checking the New York Time best seller's list.

A silver dead tree.

Today marks two months since Terri's retirement.  She still feels like she is on vacation, but I guess when you are living in a motorhome it's closer to being on vacation all the time.  We are both enjoying our permanent vacation.
Random Picture of the Day:
My dad with his mother in 1925.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It's Time for a Major Change

As you all know I'm a pretty conservative guy.  I've always considered myself to be a regular guy. My personal appearance would not standout in a crowd.  My "Look" has not changed in decades.  I am what you might call "Joe Average".

Unlike my wife, my children and their spouses, my nieces and nephews, I have no tattoos, piercings or other body art.  My hair has turned white and it's been decades since I paid my small children a penny per grey hair that they could find and pull out.

I have always been more comfortable being "Regular".  That is all going to change as of today.  I want to be just like the younger generation of my family.

It is time for a MAJOR CHANGE.

There is a big family wedding this weekend and I want to be ready. I want to fit in. That has prompted my decision to change my personal grooming and adopt an entirely new look.

It was time for a haircut and I thought, "Why not change today, why wait one more minute."  The decision was made.  I am now the proud new recipient of a "MOWHAWK" haircut.

The wedding is on Saturday so I need a little help deciding what color I should dye the new Mohawk.  My girls have had their hair every color in the rainbow, so that gives me a lot of inspiration.
Right now I'm leaning toward a neon blue, but I could be easily swayed to a hot pink.  Or maybe a two-tone dye job would look better.

I think it would be best to leave that decision to my family and friends.  You make the call.  Be creative, remember, I'm a clear pallete for you to paint.

I look forward to your creative suggestions.  You will be seeing the new me at the wedding on Saturday, a colorful new guy.  Not regular.

A clean new pallete waiting to be painted.

Sister Sara's Choice
 Sara might be right, I look great in orange.
 Although I am still leaning toward two-tone.
I'm not sure what the second color should be.  What would Sam and Laura approve of for their wedding.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Two for One Today

We headed for Mount Rainier today after what I hope was my last doctor's appointment in a long time.  I seem to have the "go ahead" to get back to normal life, albeit at a more reasonable pace.  I'm feeling much better each day.

We got up early this morning and cleaned the gardens in front of the square dance hall.  Raking, pruning, weed pulling and general sprucing the place up for the Labor Day Campout.  We don't have a garden anymore so Terri likes to pull weeds any time she can.

Kitsap Square Dance Center - Our Home Away From Home
Although we won't be at this year's Campout/Square Dance we are grateful for having had KSDA as our home base each time we had to return to the area for doctor's appointments.  We appreciate the friends we have made there over the years.

Grandma and Grandpa Ranger enjoyed going to the Old Time Fiddlers shows through the years.  The fiddlers and square dancers share the wonderful KSDA complex for 5 days of live music and dancing.  They will have 40 RV's using the campgrounds and several hundred people will visit during the long weekend.

The late night campfires make for the best music, as the fiddlers ply their trade.  Sometimes a little competitive fiddling, picking and playing happens in those late hours.  I can say that some of the best music I've ever heard was two fiddle players around midnight.  It was a teacher and her former student playing.  Each took their turn playing a short piece.  Each song became more complicated. They quietly played back and forth, each one upping the other.  I'm not sure who the best was; but it was a magical moment to be sitting around the fire.

Meanwhile we are going to spend a quiet week at Alder Lake near Mount Rainier.  We will drive up the mountain to Paradise and do a little walking (not hiking).  Most of the week is set aside for rest.  Saturday will be the big wedding of my nephew Sam and Laura.  My sister has described the wedding as, " a 4 minute ceremony and a 20 hour party".   I like that idea.

If all goes as planned, we will be heading to Yellowstone National Park the next day.  We will take a leisurely pace getting there.  There's several stops we'll make along the way, but the general plan is to spend the whole month of September in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons.

Life is good.  Retirement is better.

Random Picture #2 for the Day:
Sam - several years before his wedding.
Don't you wonder what mischief was on his mind?

Charity is Special

There is no one on earth quite like my daughter Charity.  Most of you that read this blog know exactly what I mean.  For those that don't know my youngest child I'm about to give you a small glimpse into a very "Special" person.

Although Charity is 33 years old, she has managed to still have the heart and spirit of a 9 year old girl.  Don't get me wrong she has graduated for the UW, worked the past 15 years and is a responsible adult in almost every way.

She just never lost the joy of being a kid.

Charity and her cousin Margaret
Not a lot has changed in three decades, both women still march to a different drummer than most.

Her eyes still go closed when she smiles, which is most of the time.  In her own opinion she is hilarious.  Almost everyone she has ever met agrees.  When she graduated from the UW she was one of four commencement speakers.  The first three speakers were good, but serious.  Well, Charity sees the world a little different.  She had several thousand people laughing with her throughout her much less than serious speech.  That is how life is around her.

What brought the notion to write about my kid was a phone call from her last night.  Charity loves doing crafts.  Anytime she has a whim about something new she jumps right in.  Last night's call started with her saying, "Dad I'm going to learn book binding."  We talked for the next 20 minutes about her new endeavor.  I have no doubt she will be an official book binder by the end of the week.

Back a few decades Charity announced, "I have joined the girls basketball team at school."  That might seem like a normal statement from any other kid.  Not from Charity.  To the best of my knowledge she had never picked up a basketball, much less taken her first shot at the hoop.  I asked her how she had prepared to enter this arena of sports.  She replied, " I went to the library and checked out a book about basketball and I have read it."

I suggested she go out our backdoor and take a few shots at the hoop in our driveway.

Random Photo of the Day
All 7 grandkids at Grandma and Grandpa's house on Willow Street.
The little boy sitting on Grandpa's lap is Sam.  He's getting married this weekend.
Grandma and Grandpa would be happy and proud.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

New Tunes

We had a great customer service experience today.  Car Toys installed a new Radio/CD/iPad/iPod system in the motorhome this morning.  The guy that helped us decide what to buy knew his business and was able to find us just what we needed at a great price.  The price included installation and that is where Car Toys shines.

The installer was quick and when he finished the installation he spent all the time we needed to understand how it all worked.  Then it got better.  He asked how we were going to use our new system.  At that point he got on my laptop and showed us what we needed to do to get the most from our iPad and iPod.  Then it got better.  He asked if we were going to use a thumb drive in the USB port.  I told him that that was next on my "To Be Learned List".

Next he set us up for the thumb drive.  And then it got better.  He downloaded 1,165 songs from his thumb drive onto my iTunes file.  Score.

Would I go back to Car Toys?  In a second.  I'm one happy customer.

When did they ever think a radio should not have a big round knob?
They do now and it's great.

We discovered after we started traveling that our old system was dangerous to both of us. The stereo was on my side of the RV.  If I tried to do anything with it while I was driving, I became a very distracted driver.  Old men can not see tiny buttons at 60mph. Or maybe that's 54mph because I drive a RV just like all those old geasers that I used to yell at.

If Terri did anything she had to unbuckle her seat belt and get out of her seat to make any changes.  The problem is the motorhome is too wide.

The solution was a very good remote control.  The other thing we needed was a USB port and a way to use our iPad or iPod as a source of music.  There hasn't always been a radio station available as we traveled this last month and we don't expect that to improve as we head East and South to Yellowstone, the Tetons and Utah.

While they were installing the new system we had them remove a large power amp that served no purpose for us.  Our music does NOT go Boom, Boom, Boom so we had no need for it.

We can now nicely balance the music throughout the RV.  Score one for Terri.

So, if you want to see the ever changing light show on our dash, come on over.

I washed half the RV this morning.  I believe I'm showing great restrain in my activities.  I could have washed the whole thing.  But being a reasonable person I only did half today.  I will catch the rest tomorrow.  I'm feeling much better, if not smarter.

Random Picture of the Day.
Aunt Claudia,  Grandpa Ranger's sister.
I don't think she was in the Navy, there must be a sailor somewhere without his uniform.
There must be a good story there somewhere.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Boys are Lookin' Good

So which one of these young men is getting married next weekend?  Sara says Sam used that same pose for many years for all photos.  It will  be interesting to see if any of his wedding photos use the same pose.

By the way, my son Matt is in the back, cousin Don has the big cheesy grin and Sam is up front looking good.  They're all in their 30's now but this photo is exactly how I still think of the cousins.

We are enjoying a quiet weekend at KSDA in Gorst.  It has become our home away from home during July and August.  It is our quiet retreat whenever we have our list of doctors appointments to keep.  We had a couple of appointments yesterday and will be going to one with my pulminologist on Monday.

Then it is off too Alder Lake near Mt Rainier for the week before Sam's wedding.  Sam and Laura will be married at a beautiful retreat location near the entrance to Rainier National Park.  Sara has told me they plan a 4 minute ceremony and a 20 hour party.  Sound like great family fun.

Random Photo of the Day 
Speaking of family, here's my family in 1960.
Men in brother Dave and I were Cub Scouts..... I'm the good looking one.
Nice knee high socks Sara.  You should go back to that look.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Good and Bored

I know I'm supposed to be kicking back and taking it easy for a few weeks.  Don't worry I'm not overdoing anything.  I am being good.....Good and Bored.

So the mind has had lots of time to wander and wonder.

I've always referred to our new home as 300 square feet.  But I didn't know that for sure.  Not wanting to give out false information it was time to do some serious measuring.  I'm happy to report that we live in a much larger space than we thought.  As a matter of fact, after checking the figures several times, getting out the calculator, doing several formulas to determine the exact truth, the numbers are in. 

After all this blog is known for adhering to the whole truth at all times.

I'm pleased to announce our true square footage is 14.33333 percent larger than I had previously reported.  That's right, after fact checking, the first error has been found in the Lone Ranger's Blog.

My apologies to all that have been misled by my lazy reporting.

The truth is we live in 343 square feet.  But of course that doesn't include our basement.  I'll save that information for a later report when I am really bored.

Parked at Camp Crites......Shan and Beth's home.
Shan is building his dream hot rod.  He began with a 4 car attached garage and recently added another 2 car garage.  He followed with a beautiful storage building for his tools and toys that looks like a small home.

Now if you do the math, he now has room for six vehicles.  They own a truck and a SUV as their daily driving cars.  Add the one hot rod, that makes 3 vehicles.  

Six spaces and only 3 vehicles can mean only one thing.  He needs more hot rods.

Shan and Beth - Thanks for a wonderful visit, great food and lots of laughter.

Random picture of the day:  Who's the lady on the bike in 1959?
That's my Grandma Ranger - Ida Ranger in the front yard of our Parkland house.
Notice that Grandpa Ranger - John Ranger is in a wheelchair.
Charity and Trinity, you weren't pioneers in your wheelchairs, your Great Grandpa lead the way.

Covered Bridges of Clark County

There is only one covered bridge in Clark County, so I used a little poetic license in the title.  It's my blog and as you know the whole truth is not always told.

Several years ago after reading the book Terri and Shari took a road trip to visit the bridges of Madison County.  They still have a "thing" for covered bridges.

Cedar Creek Grist Mill in Woodland, Washington.  Built in 1876 it is still milling flour in the original structure with the original grinding stones. It is water powered from a flume 650 feet up the creek.

Terri and Shari went to do the tourist thing while I stayed at the motorhome to putter around.  I did a little fixing, a little cleaning, a little rearranging and a lot of resting.  I got a bunch of small stuff crossed off my "To Do List".

I'm a List Writer and nothing feels better than crossing an item off my list.  Only we LW's know what I'm talking about.  Another big advantage to being a LW is that I always have something to do when I wake up in the middle of the night.  Don't misunderstand what I just said, I don't actually do a task, I just write long lists of random things I should do.

Once again it's not my fault that I'm a LW.  I blame it all on the inventor of Post-It-Notes.  Next to duct tape they may be one of the greatest inventions of our times. 

Post-It-Note displayed right up front.  Almost like performance art for the LW.
The biggest advantage of a Post-It-Note over the common piece of paper is that it can be stuck anywhere.  And for we LW's that's right where it can be seen and immediate actions can be taken to cross one more item off the list.  Or maybe I'll just wait until tomorrow to get to that next item.  But at the very least I know what I should have done.
Random photo time.  What do you do  when you are a bored 8 year old?  You find Grandpa Rangers masking tape.
Don't you wish we adults could have this much fun? 
Think I'll give it a try next time I'm bored. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I'll Have My Burger Well Done

It was a beautiful day to visit the mountains.  Shan, Beth, Shari, Terri and I drove up to the Mount St. Helens Visitor's Center which is as close to the crater as you can get without hiking.  Even after 33 years it still looks like a site of devastation. The mountain looks barren and the valley is still gray sand for miles.

After the collapse of the side the mountain the wave of water, dirt and trees traveled across the 5 mile valley coming up thousands of feet to go over the ridge we were standing on.

We watch a 16 minute video in the visitor's center.  It was like watching a horror movie, but this one was what has really happened.  The audience was shocked and silent by the end of the video.  As the video ends the screen rolls up and the curtain parts to give you a full view of what's left of the mountain.

I sat there wondering if I had a front row seat for the next explosion.

If you place your hands on each side of the mountain photo at the slope angle of each side, where your hands meet will show you how much of the mountain slid and disappeared that day.  They're missing a lot of mountain.  It was the biggest landslide/collapse in recorded history.

If the mud/water slide didn't kill you the heated vapors from the blast would have done you in.

Terri looking at the remains of the mountain.

A family lunch miles down the mountain overlooking the Touttle Valley.
A great burger outside the blast zone.
Terri had her burger well done.

Fine mountain folk art.
Two trees growing up through the inside of an old logging truck.
It's been there for a while.  If that isn't art, what is?
A few family members have asked how I am doing.  I haven't broken any of my promises to not hike and over do things.  I'm mastering the fine art of napping.  Each day I feel better and can now breathe a full deep breath.  Oxygen is my new best friend.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Best Campsite Yet

It doesn't get better than this!  We're at a beautifully landscaped location, deep in the woods just up from the Touttle River near Mt. St. Helens.  The campsite cost is the best anywhere and it comes with free electricity and water.

There is good public art to view and wildlife to see.  The camp host greeted us upon arrival and made us feel right at home.  I've walked the grounds and must say the preparations for our stay are top notch.

If you read Chinese you will know the entry sign says "Serenity"

Although we are spending three days here, I can say we'll be coming back after only being here a few hours.

Tomorrow the camp hostess will be leading the early morning nature walk as well as the afternoon Mt. St. Helens tour.  Is that service?  You would think this camping site would be overly crowded but we seem to be the only guests.  We've seen a lady wandering around and we have heard she is from California, but seems to display no strange habits common to California residents.  At least not yet.

We'll see what other surprises await us in the next few days.

We're enjoying our time at Terri's brother and sister-in-law, Shan and Beth's home, who are great hosts.  A bonus is Terri's sister flew in from San Francisco to be with us.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

He's a Great Fisherman

For three days we have been watching the resident Osprey fishing our little lake.  The very large white bellied bird has great patience as it waits looking down into the lake.  The lake is stocked heavily but there is no fishing allowed.  This rule does not seem to apply to the Osprey or perhaps he hasn't read the sign.

We watched him for several hours today as I waited to shoot a splendid nature shot of him in action.  My skills using a cell phone to capture the action may not have been a good plan.

Every time he flew over the second or so delay in the shutter speed allowed him to be well out of my lense view.  I was able to capture a dozen fine views of sky and trees, but no Osprey.

Finally as we were getting ready to head back to the motorhome for dinner one of the grandkids yelled, "Here he comes and he's got a fish."  I began clicking and pointing wildly hoping to catch something.  As he flew over us I was certain that I had failed again.

When we got back I reviewed all my final shots.  In the lower right corner of one frame was something white and blurry.  I enlarged it until it was even fuzzier.

So here for your entertainment pleasure is my first nature action shot.

That slightly blurred image is an Osprey holding a fish.
I know. I was there and I have witnesses.
I just don't have a great photo.
I have gained a whole new appreciation for nature photographers.  Maybe next time I'll go prepared with something other than a cell phone.

Tomorrow morning we will be leaving Circle 8 Ranch to deliver the 3 grandkids back home.  From there we will drive South to the Touttle River and Mt. St. Helens to spend a few days visiting with Terri's brother and sister-in-law, Shan and Beth.  They have a beautiful home on the river and plenty of space for us in our rolling home.  Terri's sister is flying in from San Francisco to spend three days with us.

We are looking forward to lots of talking time.

So Who's Reading This?

OK I'm a little curious.  Who in the world is reading this blog?  I started writing the blog to keep in touch with kids, grandkids, family and friends.  I've heard many nice comments and some folks have even enjoyed my daily "Dear Diary" writing.

The stats this morning show 2,150 pageviews.  Huh?  Of course, that is over the past 7 weeks.  That's still a lot, I don't have that many grandkids.

Part of the information I receive from BlogSpot is information on what country people are viewing from.  In the past month my world map shows 10 different countries.  Why would someone from South Korea, Malaysia, Germany or Russia want to read about Grandpa Ranger?  I guess I must be fascinating.

Who in Austria, Spain, Finland and France actually reads my blog?  Why do more Russians (199) read than Canadians (66)?  Have I done something to offend my Canadian friends?  Come to think of it I don't have 66 Canadian friends.

Well to all you that read the "Lone Ranger's Blog" a big thank you.  Whoever in the world you are?

Great Grandpa's annual harvest from his dwarf apple trees in his back yard.
Not only could he chop wood, he could grow apples.
Terri asks me why I put random photos in my blog?  It's my blog and I can.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

"I'm Undefeated...Really"

The grandkids have been playing Connect Four since we arrived yesterday.  They have played dozens and dozens of games.  It's back and forth between competitors.  I've jumped in and been whipped by each of them.

Now for the amazing news.  This morning they each claimed to be "Undefeated". 

How is this possible?  An example would be JR playing against Roseta last night.  He was so sure of his imminent victory that he announced to everyone that he was going to win on the next move.  Well, Roseta dropped the next chip and became the winner.  JR didn't see that coming.

That explains the undefeated status.  You don't actually need to win, you just need to feel that you should have won.  That simple.

This also explains other things in life.  Each of the grandkids are my favorite.  Each grandkid can do no wrong.  Each is also the cutest or smartest kid around. 

I'm so glad the grandkids take after their grandfather.  Sometimes it's best to be a little overly optimistic.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Grandkid Fun

We're here at Circle 8 Ranch having fun with 3 of the grandkids.  Fun in the sun and swimming today.  More to come tomorrow.

The kids are having fun.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Optimist On Board

One of the great things about being a lifetime optimist is that I can ignore almost any bad news.  So today's health report from the various doctors was all great.  At least that's the way I see it.

I plan to live a very long life and when I pass in 2 or 3 decades I will go with a big smile on my face.  The cardiologist says everything is great with my new mechanical valve.  The heart is ticking just fine.

My RA doctor has a Plan B that will keep me moving and walking.  My general practitioner thinks I'll be fine in a couple of weeks.

So what happened?  All 3 doctors agree that I have just overdone my hiking, walking and general activity level following the open heart surgery.  They all say, "Slow down for a few weeks, you've worn yourself out." Or something like, "Let your immune system catch up and recover."

I can do that.

In my own defense I would like to say that I couldn't help myself.  It wasn't my fault. After years of living with a worn out valve I was just like a kid in the candy store.  I could now walk, hike and do things I hadn't done in ages.  I just ate to much candy to quickly.

The new plan is to take it easy for a few weeks and then work my way gradually back into heavier activity.  Terri will have a tough task reining me in, but she is quite capable to making me tow the line.

So if I should write a blog about climbing a mountain or anything dumb you can all come down on me with a gentle reminder that I'm an idiot.  I'm going to try to remember that this retirement thing is not a sprint but a long distance walk (not a run).

So the optimist in me wants to say one more time, "Ain't life great."  I sure think so.

My Dad went a little crazy in his own way after he got his new heart valve.
He started chopping wood.  And then he chopped some more.  Then he really started chopping.
When the pile was the size of a double car garage he did the only logical Ranger thing.
He chopped some more.

Like Father like Son.

As I said yesterday, we Rangers may not be the brightest family but we sure know how to chop wood.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I'm A Free Man, Sort Of

After five days in the hospital I'm finally a free man.  They let me out yesterday because I was back to breathing better and my oxygen was at an acceptable level.  They are still doing tests to see what went wrong, but there is no clear answer at this time.

I have five doctor appointments tomorrow, if you can believe that.  The one thing I'm worried about is my Rheumatoid Arthritis medication.  They have stopped it because it suppresses the immune system.  So now the question is how much do I like being able to walk and move?  That's the 64 dollar question.

So what to do?  Today I went and talked to the doctor that sister Sara works for in Seattle.  She's an acupuncturist and I wanted to know what my options might be for the future, if I have reached the end of the list of RA medications my body can handle.  We'll see if I have to change directions when I talk to my RA doctor tomorrow.  It's all quite confusing right now.

The best part of the day was going to a new Mexican restaurant on Queen Anne with Sara.

We met Sara at her condo after she got off work.  That gave us an hour of quality time with "Fria" the wonder dog.  She took us to the lookout park on Queen Anne Hill so she could be pictured in front of the Space Needle.

What a smart dog.

Terri and Fria on Sara's front steps.
I can't wait to take off to the Cascades on Friday morning.  We're hoping for good weather but the National Weather Service says there are chances of thunder storms on the other side of the mountains.  It's going to be warm.  At least we will have warm rain.
I've had to promise my wife, my sister, several of my kids and a hand full of doctors that I would back-off my hiking activity for the next few weeks.  We'll see how that works out.  I think I have the message but I'm not very smart at times.
We Ranger's may not be smart, but we make up for this with our naturally good looks.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Day Four and Counting

Well I am still sitting here at St. Joe's waiting for test results to come in.  As they learn new information the medicines change.  They now know dozens of thing that "it" is not but they don't know what "it" is that's wrong.

The good news is I'm feeling much better. This afternoon I walked the big circular corridor on my floor for over an hour.  I walked at a good place without stopping.  The nurses called me Mr. Speedy.
My oxygen level was 92 percent after the walk, yesterday after a short walk it was an unacceptable 85 percent.  92 puts me back into the world of the living again.

I should be out tomorrow.  It's time to get back to major walking.

Terri, Sara, Charity, Shaun, Lucy, Trinity, David, Phoebe & Indi all visited me today.  It was very nice to see them all.

Hopefully I'll be writing from a different location tomorrow.

Another old photo for my kids and grandkids to see.
Great Great or Great or Grandma & Grandpa Ranger depending on your generation in the Ranger family.  John and Ida in 1945.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Doctor and Nurses and Procedures....Oh My

It's day three in St. Joseph's Hospital and still no great  answers. The Echo Cardiogram says  the heart is fine.  Examination of the interior of the lungs brought no quick answers.  They'll be doing test on  samples they took out while they were down there.  With the help of Verset, I don't remember anything about the procedure, it' a great drug.

I'm still tired and can't breath very well so I have to stick it out until they turn up the problem and get it fixed.  It's really boring.  At least I now have my computer so I have something to do.

Update:  My doctor just came in to tell me that I will be here a few more days.  They had stopped my heart medicine, Cumadin/Warfarin drug before todays procedure so now they have to get that back in line.  They won't know the culture/labs for a few days so I just get to wait and see.

I'm breathing in drugs to open the airway before they start.
With Verset I don't remember a thing. Did I promise anyone a new car or a million dollars?

Well I don't have a choice of getting better, we're taking 4 grandkids camping this next weekend.  We are headed back up to Circle 8 Ranch for three days.  There will be square dancing for us old folks, but mostly it will be fun in the sun for us all.  Tamra and Robby are coming up for the weekend to camp in their tent.

We have a busy schedule ahead so I need to get well NOW.  Grandkids camping, a trip down to  Touttle to visit Terri's brother, visiting Mt. Saint Helens, camping at Alder Lake, Sam and Laura's wedding at Mt Rainier, picking up our friend Collette in Boise on our way to Yellowstone.

We  have places to go and people to see.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bump In The Road

I find myself back in the hospital the last two days.  Lots of testing to find the problem with my lungs.  They will be jamming a camera down my throat tomorrow to look around my lungs.  Note: this is not the medical terminology that they used when they told me what was coming.

I'm lacking oxygen.  The CT Scan showed abnormal lungs so they need to see what is going on.

 It really gets boring laying around a hospital.  Terri has been spending most  of her waking hours sitting next to me.  Sister Sara came to visit today.  Thanks.

More news tomorrow, hopefully.