Friday, January 12, 2018

Catch Up, Part One: Merikay's surgery and more

It has been almost four months since I have posted to this blog. 

I started writing this post in early December, but got bogged down because I was, for about five weeks, a one handed person. 

You see, in August while in Alaska, I took quite a fall and hurt my left shoulder.  There followed a four month period of waiting for it to get better, and treating it at a walk-in clinic in Alaska, X-rays in San Diego, physical therapy, two cortisone shots, and finally an MRI. I ended up getting surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff and damaged tendon. 

The first few days after surgery were tough, but since then the biggest bother has been the inability to use my arm. I had plenty of discomfort, and continued to wear a sling until the first week in January when I saw the surgeon again.

I started Physical Therapy in Temecula on January 9. I asked Craig to go with me so he can be my 'Nurse Ratchet' and push me to do all that I should.  I know without help, I'm likely to wimp out on it.

Except for that, and taking care of some other things like getting the Alfa body work done, it has been a pretty quiet autumn. We stayed with our daughter, son-in-law, and grandsons in San Diego while the work was done. 

Jeremy (17) and Dylan (14)

During that stay, our older grandson, Jeremy, had his Eagle Scout final review. He had put it off until this fall so that we could share it with him.

We are very proud of him.

Our daughter's home is only two blocks from the cliffs, and we enjoy walking there when visiting. It is a beautiful place to get to know my new camera, a Sony RX10 iii.

There are often surfers out below the cliffs. 

This shot is with the widest angle setting, which the camera comes up on when first turned on.

I tried out the zoom here. 

We went down to the tide pools below the cliffs.

There I did another test of the lens range  to see how it did on capturing this very small crab and whatever those things are in the hole behind him.
I think I am going to have fun with it this summer after my shoulder gets better and I can hold a camera again. But for now, I am posting some others I took before the surgery!

We picked up the Alfa and settled back into our spot at Jojoba Hills on October 11. 

Speaking of our spot, our location is both good and bad.

Having an unshaded western exposure is not good in summer or hot weather because the sun  really heats up the coach and makes it harder for the AC to keep up.

But in cool weather, the same exposure warms the coach in the afternoons and also give us a great vantage point to see the most spectacular sunsets.

I've had some fun playing with reflections:

And with seeing silhouettes:

This weather vane is on top of a neighbors shed. I had not noticed it before the evening I went out with my camera to shoot the sunset.

Before my surgery on November 29, Craig and I started a big project on the Alfa: the removal of the decals on her sides and back. 

For my non-rving friends:  RVs that are colored, with elaborate swirling patterns, have "full body paint." Some white RVs also are fully painted, but some, like ours have just the base white of the fiberglass with the swooshes and stripes applied as decals. Over the years, the decals fade and crack. (See the window reflection picture above.)

Removal is not an easy job. Craig first removed the colored layer of the decals using a heat gun, a scraper, and for some, a 3M Stripe Off Wheel. Then we both spent many hours removing the glue left behind by rubbing and wiping with paper towels saturated with acetone. We are not quite finished with that step because we ran out of work time before my surgery. I had been able to help then, even though it hurt a bit, but now, after surgery, it will be a long time before I can reach and rub again. So Craig will have to finish the job by himself.  

When all of the glue has been removed, there will still be shiny shadows where the decals had been.

It is hard to see them in this picture, but if you look just forward from the back windows you can see where a decal had been.

 We are not sure what the next step will be. We are considering having new swooshes and stripes painted on, or having a full body paint job done, or just leaving it all white and getting it buffed and re jell-coated. For now just finishing the glue removal is a big enough job to  think about!

To be continued:  

 I promise


  1. Brake cleaner works the best to take of the decal glue, not much rubbing needed and never has damaged the paint.... just a tip...

  2. So good to hear from you again. Hope the shoulder keeps improving and you can get back to having more fun. Congrats to your grandson. I know how much work he had to do to get his Eagle. Those reflection pics are amazing.

  3. Glad you are starting the therapy phase and soon you will be better than ever. Have Craig crack that whip! I kind of like the way your rig looks without any decals. It looks like a big impressive huge white monster machine!!!

  4. It wasn't long ago I was thinking of you folks wondering how you were doing. Very unfortunate about the fall and it's consequences. That's a nice Sony camera you have and that Motorhome reflection photo is special. Know what you mean by faded decals on the coach. Same thing here but I lack your energy to remove them. Wishing you all the best in your recovery and that Craig guy all the best in his scraping and rubbing off of faded Alpha decals:))

  5. So glad to see you posting, but sorry to hear about your shoulder. It sounds like you have a long road ahead, hopefully Craig is giving you all the help you need (including cracking the whip!). The sunsets are incredible.

  6. We had been wondering what had happened when we didn't see any posts.
    Hoping your recovery is a speedy with as little pain as possible.
    That's a great idea about redoing the Alfa. Have seen a few MHs that had murals of their travels painted on. If you are good at Air-Brushing you could paint your own then have it Clear Coated over top.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  7. Good to hear from you. Glad the shoulder is getting better. Take care!

  8. So glad you posted. Sorry about the shoulder, but with work, it will get better! Sending good thoughts your way.


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