09.18.18 Final knee doctor visit and a wonderful 64th birthday!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018 – Last Wednesday Roy and I visited with Dr. Peter Blessey at Ochsner in Covington for my final post surgery visit.   He said my knee healing is going really well.  It will probably be another 6 weeks before everything inside my knee is completely healed.  My knee reminded me the other day that it is still healing.  I did too much work in our vegetable garden trying to get the row hills formed and some of the plants in the ground.  I needed the ice chest connected to the ice pad around my knee for a while that evening.  I am glad that is something we get to keep since Roy and I get crazy from time to time and way out do what we are physically capable of.  We will surely need it again in the future!

The pictures below were in the doctor’s office.  Since several people have asked me what a partial knee replacement is all about and these pictures describe it well I am sharing them here!

These below are up close photos of what’s above.  This first one is a normal knee that needs no surgery.

This one shows a knee eaten up with arthritis that is in great need of a partial knee replacement. 

This one shows from the front the knee with all the arthritis damage removed and the new partial knee put in.

So this chapter in my life is over! It’s been a breeze compared to others who have had this surgery. I am thankful to God and to Dr. Blessey that this all went so well.  I have absolutely no pain when I walk and am able to walk without limping or waddling now.

We’ve had some fun things going on in our life recently that I want to share next.  One is the completion of our vegetable garden with everything in place.  Another is being invited and going to Madisyn’s Family Dance at her new school.  The other was the wonderful restaurant in Amite we recently discovered, Boot Hill.

This last couple of weeks have become my birthday weeks and I have so enjoyed every second of it. My oldest son’s family took us to La Caretta in Amite for a wonderfully fun and delicious birthday dinner.  This was after an afternoon of having fun with them and the grandchildren and my sister Harriet and brother in law, George.  This son doesn’t like photos or names used so while I’d love to show you the adorable grandchildren painting with me and fishing by the pond, just imagine adorable children doing that! If not for that I would have written an entire blog post about that wonderful day and evening spent with our son, his wife, their children, my sister Harriett and her husband George.  This Grannie did not stop smiling the entire day!

Our youngest son Chip, his wife Misty, and daughter Kallie took us to dinner last Tuesday at the new restaurant I want to write about Boot Hill.  I think we were all delightfully surprised at how unique the place is and we all enjoyed getting to visit with each other.  Especially visiting with Kallie since her life is so busy right now with high school senior classes, college classes and working way to many hours each week at a local restaurant.  She’s adorable and we love hearing all of the updates on her busy life.  Having a teen age granddaughter certainly brings a different aspect of grandparenting to our lives and we love it!

Chip came to visit with us on his day off.  We had fun visiting and he got to see his dad flying his new drone and seeing the videos and pictures the drone sent to his ipad from way up high.  I’m hoping Roy will write soon about his new toy that isn’t a toy – far from it!

I received a phone call from Chip’s daughter Madisyn during the week inviting me to join her on my birthday day (the 14) at the family dance at her new school. One of the best phone calls of my life.  Yes I’ll be writing about the dance and she gave me permission to do so!  It was a perfect way to spend my birthday evening having fun with Roy, Chip, Misty, Kallie and Madisyn!

My sister Harriett, our oldest son’s sons family and Chip called on my birthday to wish me a Happy Birthday.  I lost count of all the birthday wishes on Facebook! For you non Facebook folks, you don’t know how wonderful it makes you feel to get all that love from friends and family.

Chip, Misty and Madisyn all came over Sunday after church with cake and ice cream and dinner got added.   I’ve never had such a long and wonderful birthday and it certainly made 64 a great age to be starting!

Thanks to all my friends and family who helped making this 64 year old feel very blessed and loved!

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09.14.18 Chauvin Produce Company

Friday, September 14, 1954 – Today is my 64th birthday!  Happy Birthday to me!  Lots of wonderful birthday wishes from my Facebook friends and family, my sister and my two sons.  My birthday celebration started a couple of weeks ago when our oldest son’s family took us out to dinner at LaCaretta – DELICIOUS!!! Our youngest son Chip, Misty and Kallie took us this week to a new restaurant in Amite called Boot Hill – new found DELICIOUS!! I truly think we’ve found our new favorite restaurant in Amite!  Iplan to rite about our meal at Boot Hill since it’s a new restaurant and the word needs to get out! We are celebrating yet again this evening at Madisyn’s school’s family dance. I will share about that later.  Sunday will be birthday cake at Chip and Misty’s house.  I feel so loved!

Here’s what was originally today’s blog post before I started on the birthday kick!

No, there is no such there as Chauvin Produce Company but as much effort as this garden is taking there should be.  My honey Roy is a beast and works as hard as he can to complete every project he undertakes.

We are moving lots of our flowering plants from over by the RV patio; moving our blueberry plants AND undertaking our first real vegetable garden in years.  Last year’s pitiful effort taught us we need to learn more and do things way different.

First on the plan was to make room next to the house to move the eight blueberry bushes to.  They will be in mostly full sun.  Where they are located now they are mostly shaded.  A little sun but not enough.  The last two years our crop from eight bushes we had two berries one year and three berries the next!

This 25 foot by 8 foot degrassed space will be the home of our future blueberry garden!

The 25 foot by 8 foot area of grass was transplanted to an area we’ve been trying to get grass to grow since we moved here. Peat Moss, Cow Manure and Compost along with Fruit bush fertilizer containing ground sulphur will be mixed in with the soil for our blueberries. Lots more than what this picture shows.

My sweet ex boss and dear friend Donna and her great hubby Chuck said we can use their tiller for our blueberry patch and our vegetable garden.  Next up will be photos of several days of work on Roy’s part digging up the grass.  Yes grass that we hand planted and lovingly helped to grow and spread.  That’s the grass Roy dug up!

 

The seeds planted two weeks ago are ready to be put into the ground!  And my rock row markers!  I added some different vegetables after we started so there was more rock painting for the onions, bell pepper and brussel sprouts!

Here’s Roy carrying the roll of grass down the hill in the wheel barrow.  

The boards Roy got to frame the vegetable garden.

Next time I’ll share all the tilling, adding layer after layer of nutrients, building the vegetable garden frame, digging rows and planting the vegetables I started from seeds.

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09.10.18 – Morning coffee and hummingbirds

Monday, September 10, 2018 – Every morning when Roy and I get up we get our coffee and sit together on the front porch enjoying the hummingbirds. When Roy first put one hanger and a hummingbird feeder in the front garden, it took a few days but the hummingbirds started to visit. We added a second hanger and feeder and then a third and fourth as the number of hummingbirds grew and the fighting over the feeders started.

They are fascinating to watch and to listen to.  Some times they chirp and some times they hum.  I love the humming. They come now in a swarm going from one feeder to the next.  If someone is at one they try to knock that one off.  When they get into a match up they fly upward together and then off ino the air.  They fly around our house, up into the surrounding trees and then back.  They love the rose bushes between the feeders on both sides of the porch.  They hide in the bushes and watch for a feeder to be free.

They will perch themselves on top of the hanger to keep others away from that feeder. The male has prettier colors than the females, with red around their neck and green, blue and yellow on their body.

We’ve enjoyed these morning visits with these tiny birds!  When the feeders were hanging from the trees by where Dora, Roy and I use to live in the side yard we rarely had more than one or two birds visit.  Now it’s routinely around 10!  When they leave for their migration they will surely be missed.  I’ve taken over a dozen videos of the hummingbirds at play and had a rough time narrowing it down to these two.  Hope you enjoy!

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We love how pretty our red rose bushes are and they add to the beauty of our morning coffee time!

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09.04.18 Gas Versus Diesel Motorhomes, by Levi and Natalie Henley

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 – Before we started looking at motorhomes back in 2012 the first decision was what type.  Once we decided we wanted the big Class A we then had to decide whether to purchase a diesel or a gas powered motorhome.  I wanted a less expensive gas motorhome and Roy wanted a more expensive diesel motorhome.

Well Roy won me over because of four things, the engine would last longer, the engine is located in the back of a diesel pusher and is located in the front in a gasoline making it less noisy in the front while driving a diesel, it would have more power so we could go into more mountainous regions and they are built so much stronger that we could carry a lot more of our life “stuff” with us than in a lighter weight gas motorhome.

One cool things is how to tell a diesel motorhome from a gasoline motorhome just by looking at it.  Here’s the trick.  Diesel front doors are always at the front of the passenger side in front of the front tire so you walk into the motorhome in front of the passenger seat.  See Dora’s front door in front of the front tire.

Gasolinemotorhome’s front doors are somewhere behind the passenger seat and behind the front tires.  Here’s photos that show that:

Related image

Okay, well that’s Rosalyn’s lesson on spotting a diesel vs. gasoline motorhome!  Now your life is so much better, right??!!  We have seen, not often at all, a door not being where it should be according to that rule of thumb.   Here’s a really good article that gives some information about what is different different other than where the door is located!  Having owned a diesel the last five years I absolutely would never want to own anything other than a diesel!  That’s just our opinion.  Once I got over paying more, I loved it!  For new folks thinking about buying a motorhome the following article compares the two really well.

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When it comes time to buy a motorhome, there are many choices one has to make. Most of those choices involve floor plans and desired appliances. One big choice seems to stump a lot of people: whether to choose a gas or diesel motorhome. The answer isn’t an easy one. One option is not clearly better than the other as both have their merits. In the following paragraphs, I’m going to compare the two in hopes that it may assist with your decision.

Price

One of the main factors that most RV buyers have on their minds is price. For most buyers, there is a maximum that they are able to spend and motorhomes are not cheap. Of course, there are deals to be had out there, but if you want a good quality motorhome, you are probably going to have to pay for it.

Price is the first major difference between diesel and gas motorhomes. A gas motorhome is generally cheaper. Keep in mind that there are many low end gas motorhomes on the market that you may not necessarily want to live full time in. The higher quality gas motorhomes are built just as well as their diesel counterparts.

Deciding to go with a gas motorhome isn’t just about saving money though. It may also be about amenities. If you are paying less for the engine, you may be able to afford those creature comforts that you can’t live without such as a washer and dryer, another slide, etc.

Gas definitely beats out diesel for price, but like everything in life, there is some give and take as you will see in the next category.

Fuel Milage

There isn’t much of a difference when it comes to what fuel mileage you will get. Most motorhomes, gas or diesel, get between 7 to 10 mpg. The difference lies in consistency. A diesel engine will most likely keep a rather consistent mileage while driving in different conditions such as going up hill. This is due to diesel engines having better low end torque. The reason for this is explained in this article.

On the flip side however, diesel fuel is slightly more expensive than gasoline. However, depending on where and how you are driving, it is possible to come out even in the end.

Maintenance

Both a diesel and a gas engine will require maintenance. Typically, a gas engine is cheaper to service than a diesel engine. Many people are comfortable doing many of their own maintenance tasks on gas engines, as well. As with everything, there is a tradeoff to be had here, as well. Though a gas engine is cheaper to maintain, a diesel engine may require less maintenance.

This may sound like a win for diesel engines, but keep in mind that many people are not comfortable with doing the maintenance required on a diesel engine so they opt to pay for a diesel mechanic to do it.

Comfort

A typical gas motorhome houses the engine in the front of the coach. This means that a lot of the engine noise can be heard while driving down the road. I drive a gas motorhome myself and can attest to this. Most diesel engines have the engine located in the rear of the coach which makes for a much quieter ride. Another feature that many diesel motorhomes have is an air ride suspension which can make for a very smooth ride.

Storage space is important when full time RVing. Typically, a diesel pusher is going to have more storage space than a gas. This is due to the design of the chassis.

Longevity

It’s no secret that diesel engines are intended to go for hundreds of thousands of miles. They have heavier parts intended to handle the higher torque. It is a common assertion that diesel engines tend to last much longer than gas. Though the above statements are true and diesel engines will last longer than you intend on having the coach, most likely, a gas engine will last quite some time with proper maintenance too.

It is possible to get 200,000 miles or more out of a gas engine with proper maintenance and care. For the average RVer, that might take fifteen to twenty years to reach. So diesels may have the better reputation for longevity, but that doesn’t mean gas engines won’t last. You may have to replace more parts on a gas engine to get to 200K than a diesel engine, however.

Resale Value

Diesel motorhomes tend to have a much better resale value than gas motorhomes. The reason for this can be seen in the categories above. Typically, a diesel motorhome will have a better reputation for longevity. They are known for their comforts such as quieter drives and more storage space. Those reasons make diesel motorhomes more sought after in the pre-owned market. Considering there is only so much supply of used diesel motorhomes to meet the demand, they tend to hold their value a little more than gas motorhomes.

Conclusion

Who wins in the end, gas or diesel motorhomes? As with many things in the RV world, this boils down to YOUR preference and what YOU think is important. If you are concerned with a quiet ride, want consistent gas mileage with a higher fuel cost, and plan to sell it in a few years then you may lean towards the comfort of a diesel pusher.

If on the other hand you feel that you don’t mind the sound of the engine and your budget doesn’t allow you to spend an extra $50,000 or more for your motorhome then you may be looking for a gas motorhome.

I personally fell into the second category and my motorhome has a Ford V10 gas engine in it. It is a small 26 foot coach and was purchased used. My wife and I have not experienced any problems in the last four years of ownership. My advice to anyone looking for a motorhome is look for not only what you can afford but also what you can live with.

If you are still on the fence about whether to spend the extra money for a diesel pusher, this site has a great pro and con list of diesel engines.

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