Monday, February 22, 2016

Hiedeman's Third Time, But No Charm

Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 11:20 pm

Aaron Hiedeman sent sprayers to do Carpenter's field today. He didn't notify me. He didn't notify Ron either. This is exactly what he's done the previous 2 seasons, and we've complained. This makes 3. It seems obvious to us that its deliberate. This time they're spraying the Carpenter's field that's clear down on the other end of the property. There was no reason for them to stage it (park the tanker and spray rig and do the refills) across from my house.  They could have staged it on that end just as easily, and more conveniently. It seems to me that he did it just to be an ass. If not, he would have at least warned us. Hodges applied just 4 days ago, without notice, so its still too toxic outside for me to even go out. I was trying real hard not to be completely depressed by the injuries I received from Hodges' application, and the imprisonment from that. I was playing Wii "Pirates of the Caribbean," to keep my mind off of it when all of the sudden here comes a spray rig and pesticide tanker pulling in across the road from me! It was about 2:30 p.m. It put me into a panic. I called Ron; no answer. I called him again immediately. Thats our signal for an emergency. He didn't call back. I called 911. The dispatcher had a deputy call me back: Deputy English. He was a nice enough fellow, but there isn't a lot he can do. To start with he was 40 minutes away. There was no way he could get there to stop them, before they started filling the spray rig, so I could leave with less injury. He did everything he could, though. He called Hiedeman as he drove to this side of the county. He came out and talked to the applicators, and spoke to Hiedeman in person. Ron called as soon as he was able and came home to help me prepare to evacuate. The deputy talked with him. Apparently Hiedeman told the deputy that he doesn't have a problem communicating with Ron. Ron told the deputy that obviously he does, because he didn't. We'd explained the problem with them staging right there. They were supposed to remove their equipment. They didn't. We waited several hours for at least some of the VOCs to dissipate. Then we transferred everything into the RV, as cleanly as possible. Both Rosie and I got wrapped up in sheets. I changed clothes as soon as I got in here, and threw those clothes out the door with the bags. Everything else Ron brought out in garbage bags. He dumped the contents for me to sort and took the bags back for more loads.  My throat, face and mucus membranes were already burning, even in the house, before we started gearing up.  By the time we had everything in here my eyeballs were burning, too, and my teeth were starting to ache (glyphosate). As we set out I discovered my vision was really blurry. Thats when I also saw they hadn't removed their equipment like they'd told the deputy that they would. I drove carefully to the Port area. Ron assured me they hadn't done any spraying there yet. For tonight I'm parked in a closed 'day use area' that belongs to the Port. I got set up at 10:30 pm. Ron then went down and spoke to this City's Police Chief, to let them know I was here. Since its supposed to be day use, and closed, they might come out to run me off. The police chief's a Port Commissioner. He appreciated the heads up and told Ron if I need "anything, anything at all" let them know. Kindness like that makes me cry.  It was a long grueling day. Since we had no notice I didn't have a chance to preheat the coach. Its freezing. I'm waiting until it warms up in here before I try to go to bed. I'm so sick and exhausted this is as far as I could get. I didn't want to risk driving the 2 hrs into the mountains, after dark, in my condition.

Tomorrow, in the daylight, I'm heading up to Anson-Wright. Its completely closed down. No running water. But I'll have power and sewer. Ron will follow me up there, to let me in and help me get set up. There will be no camp host, no phone or internet. Its going to be very isolated.  When I run out of water, I'll have to come back down the mountain to get some. Ron left me the gate key.

I was supposed to have Joey on Saturday, for his birthday. I won't be home for a least 10 days. Ron says maybe he'll bring Joey up on Monday. He has it off. It will be very cold. I don't think that will work. We'll have to see. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

I spent a hard night. My lungs were hurt badly, even with using my VOC filter mask, while getting into the RV. I spent the night coughing and hacking up mucus. My bodies attempt at trying to protect my lungs.  Then there were the unaccustom noises: trains, on one side, and the barges on the other. They ran constantly. Ron called at 7:00 am, apologizing for waking me. I'd actually just got up to check the time, so no problem. He wanted to know if there was anything I'd forgotten. Not that I'd thought of yet. 

Because Ron had topped off the fresh water when he got home yesterday. With no one inside, we hadn't known one of the faucets was slightly opened. Enough to drip. I keep the drain plugged to keep tank odors from coming back into the coach. By the time we got me into it last night, the sink had over flown big time. Its pretty damp in here - again.  I wanted coffee this morning, but didn't want to add to the humidity since I can't open the windows to air it out in this location. I settled for cocoa. I microwaved the cup of water, added baking cocoa, sugar and half-n-half, stir. I measured the EMF on the microwave. Lets just say I won't be using it much... 

Ron arrived to potty Rosie, unhook me from power and follow me up to Anson-Wright. We got up here and set up by 10:30 am. I drove slower because my fibro was in full flare and its hard to command a screamingly painful body. My vision was less blurry but  there's an intermittent shiny white patch in my field of vision. I pray its not my retina detaching... 

I was finally able to take Rosie out for a good long walk, so she could really do her business. Ron walked with us and said the rest of the family voted that he postpone his Saturday/Sunday business trip until Sunday/Monday and bring Joey up to see me on Saturday. I might get to see my little Joey after all. I asked him if they could shower, put on safe clothes and use my car, so they could come inside, while they were here. Ron thought that was a good idea. They're still talking about maybe moving the business trip to further out. My daughter suggested it. She and her husband would go along and help with the work. 

I'm running my heat pump. Its keeping it really cozy in here. I have a vent and a window cracked open and its drying out. The nicest thing is that it blows warm air into the bathroom. No icy cold toilet seat! My towels that I used to clean up the water mess (and the least damp rug that I kept), are drying out nicely too! I made that lovely pot of hot coffee. I'm trying to rest and de-stress. I warmed up the water and washed up a bit, too. 

Its raining, and there are still patches of snow on the ground. They didn't put me up at OHV because there is still a lot of snow and ice up there. I guess I'll be finding out if we managed to seal that leak...? I should probably get a humidity meter and a dehumidifier.

7:02 p.m.

Darkness descended at 6:00 p.m.. There are no park lights on, so its complete, deep, dense, inky darkness. Rosie's ready for bed. Really, I am too. Except I'll wake up too early, and it will be really cold. I made a tasty soup for supper. Turkey broth (from Thanksgiving) with carrots. I added my usual raw egg yolk, sour cream and cheese. I figured with the glyphosate exposure I'm really going to need the bone broth and egg yolk. When it got dark it got too cold to operate the heat pump, so we're using the IR space heater. 

So far, I haven't noticed any more water leaking in. I didn't get the cab carpet dried out yet. If its not raining tomorrow I'll go ahead and open the driver's  door to get more air to it. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

7:12 a.m.

We got up at 6:00 a.m., but it was still pitch black out. Rosie didn't even want to go out. I opened the door for her, incase she really had to go, but she gave me a reproachful look. You know the one that says, "If you aren't going out there, I'm not going!" We waited until 10 minutes till 7:00 and went out when it was lighter. I heated up the leftover coffee from yesterday, and drank it. At home I'd have dumped it. In the RV, with limited drinking water, I didn't want to waste it. Tomorrow I'll make less, so I don't have to drink stale coffee. I checked the cabover leak spot. There was a little moisture. The carpet spot in the cab is still damp, but no more than last night. There was tons of condensate on the windows. I mopped that up and sealed the soggy paper towels in a ziploc bag. Hopefully that will take some of the moisture out of the air. I switched over from the space heater to the heat pump after we came in from our walk. At first it was blowing barely warm air. Its starting to get with the program now. I noticed that I need to crack open a window or it draws air from some tiny leak, which smells like gas. In toxic location we'll only get to use the space heater. 

3:46 p.m.

I worked all day on drying it out in here. As the day went on the carpet spot became more wet. The water must still have been working its way to the lowest spot. When the clouds were high and the sun was out I opened every window, vent and door in the place. I pointed the space heater at the wet carpet spot. I blotted it. I tried everything. Its still damp. I'll work on it some more tomorrow.  At 3:30 a dense bank of fog rolled in and the cloud ceiling lowered dramatically, so I shut everything down.  It was kind of eery. It made me think about superstitious people from past centuries and why they'd attribute things like that to evil omens. 

Earlier I did find a piece of engineered wood, under the dinette seat that was growing mold/mildew. I opened up that seat, dried it out, sprayed it with tea tree solution, put the heater on it, and when it was good and dry, I doused it with clove oil. Both tea tree and clove oil are toxic. I know tea tree kills mold, but full strength is too much for me in t,his small, enclosed space. Thats why I used the clove oil. I'm hoping it will kill the root system and any remaining spores.  I also removed the cabover cushions and thoroughly dried out that area. Then I checked under all the other cabinets and seats... I didn't neglect Rosie. We've been out for several walks today, too. In between chores, I just sit. I'm too tired to do anything more creative.

The doe with last year's fawns, now fully grown, have made several appearances today. We also heard some mighty loud, impressive "tweedling." I didn't have a clue what kind of bird made that call. Finally I spotted a pair of bald eagles, which seemed to be the source. I'd no idea they made that noise! It was something like a meadow lark only much, much bigger. 

Its 4:07 p.m. now and the fog is gone. Weird, huh?

I'm making myself do some spinning. If I don't stay with it, I'll never get enough yarn for that blanket. Jesse Stone is keeping me company. Its pouring down rain. I used to love the sound of rain on the roof. Now I worry about leaks.

7:30 p.m. Exhausted. Heading for bed.

Saturday, February 14, 2016

I woke up at 4:30 a.m.. I wasn't able to get back to sleep so at 5:30 a.m. I got up and made coffee. Then I began my "morning calisthenics." In other words, drying all the condensate off the windows and checking the cabover deck for moisture. I was thrilled to discover there was tons less moisture accumulation! Yesterday it was beaded up in Western Oregon sized raindrops (small green pea sized) and the slightest touch triggered an avalanche, or is that a deluge, of water rushing to the bottom of the glass. Today it was more like breath on the glass. Tiny droplets that kindly stayed in place while I was trying to remove them from the window. At first you might be confused as to why I'd refer to them as calisthenics. Remember, I have to do the truck cab windows, too. That means climbing over the engine 'dog house' and under the steering wheel to blot the floor. Its definitely still wet. @@ (eye roll).  Then I have to wrestle the cabover cushions down and climb up there to check for moisture.  Being 55, infirm, overweight and in poor physical condition, this kind of activity rivals the worst day of elemenary school gym class. Remember those days where we had to prepare for the Presidential Fitness test? Yeh that, and throw in some rope climbing. Anyway, I'm happy to report there was evidence of only one small leak in the passenger side front corner. However, the high humidity in here isn't helping the condition of the deck, or the calking that was there. The wood has soaked up so much water that the calking is coming up. If its sunny today, I'll move the cushions outside to air/dry out, too. They may well be holding moisture. I'm leaving them off for now and drying the decking out as much as possible.

Mostly, I'm just waiting for my company. To help pass the time I darned a couple pairs of hand knit socks. I was hungry at 11:30 a.m.. When they hadn't shown up by 12:30 p.m. I went ahead and ate.

1:10 p.m.
No guests yet. Did I misunderstand? I'm worrying that something bad may have happened at home. I expected them at 11:30 a.m. and put everything away so we were ready. 

6:21 p.m.
They arrived about 1:30 p.m. I saw them walking up the hill. I grabbed my coat, hat, the gate key and mittens, and Rosie and I ran out to meet them. Joey squealed my name and ran to me. I scooped him up and Rosie leaped around us, as high as his head, trying to get her licks in. I covered his little chapped cheeks in kisses and twirled him around. He laughed in delight and pushed this old smoochy grandma away. I set him down and gave Ron the key. Joey, Rosie and I came scrambled back up the hill in the frosty damp air, back to the RV, while Ron returned to the gate for the car. I made them soup and baked beans for their lunch. Ron brought the baked beans. He didn't want to deplete my stores. The cheery warmth of their company was the best nourishment for this lonely old soul. Then I made 'bowl of birthday cake.' We sang "Happy Birthday" to Joey and he sang right along. I divvied up the cake. Most of it to Ron and Joey. I just ate the goo in the bottom. It was just the right amount for us. The weather had turned cold and rainy so we stayed in. Joey was pretty excited. He loves visiting me in the RV. He climbed about on the couch and bench seats and I put him in the cabover. He spent the afternoon climbing in and out of it, turning on the lights and opening and closing the privacy curtain. A variation of peek-a-boo. I took turns with him popping in from either side, or the middle, with a variety of silly sounds. It gets Joey to giggling pretty hard. Its refreshing watching little children play. The simplest things are engrossing to them. Everything is special and new.  He remembered his last visit and asked to take a nap. He wanted his "nest," (Ron's RV sleeping bag), and asked to have it up in the cabover. He laid down to nap for about 30 seconds. Then it became about hauling the sleeping bag into, and pushing it out of, the cabover. Ron napped, propped in the dinette benches. Well, as much one can nap with a 3 yr old clambering over him. When Joey would get the sleeping bag on the floor, in a big wad,  he'd go to the very back of the RV and run forward pitching himself into the pile. After awhile Poppa woke up and put Joey's sweater hood on his own head. It has bear ears. We told Joey he was a poppa bear. We asked Joey what bears ate. Joey felt they ate cereal. I asked Joey, What kind of cereal?" Poppa suggested Honey nut Os. Joey felt sure it was chocolate cereal. After that it was just chocolate. This conversation made Joey realize that he wanted some chocolate. I told him he'd have to sing the "Bears love Chocolate (Honey)" song. He clambered down from the cabover and up into my lap. We sang the song together. He got a little piece of chocolate and returned to his perch in the cabover. He drooled a little chocolate on the blanket while he was up there. I cleaned it up. He was very inquisitive about it. What was I cleaning? How did it get there? In his mind there was no connection between his actions and the chocolate getting on the blanket. We played the Chocolate Bear game about 3 times before he felt he'd had enough chocolate. Then while climbing back up into the cabover he noticed some shadows in the DC lights that are under the cabinet. He said, "Oh, no! More chocolate." He thought the shadows inside the light covers looked like those chocolate drool marks. I told him it was dead bugs or sawdust making the shadows. He got the most comically appalled and fascinated look on his face. He insisted we clean the bugs out of every light. Mostly it was just sawdust from the engineered wood cabinets. If I didn't do a thorough job he insisted I do it again. Poppa got involved then and insisted right along with Joey that I re-clean the lights of every fragment of sawdust. Smart-alecky Poppa! I transferred the job to Poppa. When the boys actually did find dead bugs Poppa made horrified faces, just for Joey. They had  a great time dumping them out the door. It had only been 3 hours since lunch, but Joey suddenly sat down at the table, patted it, and said, "I'd like some dinner. Poppa sit down. Lets have dinner." It didn't come out sounding quite that clear, so I asked to be sure. His response was an enthusiastic "Yes!" I scrambled eggs and sprinkled them with cheese. Then it was time for them to go. I loved my day with Joey and Poppa. 

After they left, Rosie and I went out for a walk in the pouring rain. When we came back inside it was time to clean up, and journal about our day. Surprisingly, Rosie and I are both exhausted. 

Sunday, February 15, 2016

I tried to stay up later last night, so I'd sleep in. It didn't work. I woke up around 2:00 a.m.. I have trouble getting back to sleep because my mind goes round and round like a squirrel on a wheel, over all the horrible things that have happened. I try very hard to think about positive things, to get my mind off of negative, spiritually toxic things. I think I finally fell asleep again around 4:00 a.m.. I eventually woke up just before 7:00 a.m. It had started raining yesterday afternoon, and it still hasn't let up yet (11:00 a.m.). I repeated yesterday's mop up procedures after coffee and a soggy walk. Due to the extra bodies and the rain, there was more water on the windows. There was also a little water in both front corners of the cabover. I'm leaving the cushions off for most of today, hoping to help it dry out. I included a little extra window cleaning this morning. And for something to do, I darned more socks. Its not like there's much excitement around here. We did have the doe and her fawns wander by within 50ft of our window while I was journalling. 

While we didn't talk much about it because Joey was here, Ron did mention Aaron's bad behavior to Joe Taylor, one of the Port Commossioners, who is Aaron's friend. Apparently his only response was that he'd known Aaron a long time and he'd never known him to act like that. Why is it that people don't seem to get that prejudiced and bigoted people only act hateful to the person against whom they are bigoted? If they are a racist, they don't treat others of the same race as themselves with hatred, just those of other races. In Aaron's case, his hatred is displayed t'word me, a chemically sensitive old lady. I have no idea if its the fact I'm weak and ill that makes him think he's superior to me, or the fact its the chemicals that he makes his livelihood from that make me sick, that ratchets up his hateful behavior. The fact that I'm old and no longer attractive does tend to make me less deserving of compassion in some people's eyes. I'm amazed at the amount of disrespect many people display t'word older people! Anyway, I probably ranted on this last year...

Remember that part on the privacy curtain, for the cabover, that I told you I broke when I took it down to wash? I got that fixed today. It wasn't a big deal. I just kept forgetting about it. I also made more toothpaste. It smells nice and minty in here. Having the essential oils out reminded me to check the spot I treated with clove oil. It looked fine. I pulled out the yarn scraps and made another jar sleeve. That, a walk and lunch got me to 3:00 p.m.. Its colder today. The heat pump didn't have enough outside heat to draw on. 

6:30 p.m.
I'm back to spinning. After I finished the Jesse Stone series I put in "The Hobbit" to keep my sad thoughts and the loneliness at bay. I wish I could drum up something more pleasant to write about, or even interesting, but I'm tapped out. There just isn't that much to tell. Day in, day out, its the same stuff over and over. 

I did remember that fluorescent lights cause sleep disturbances; my main coach lights are fluorescent. A couple of hours before bedtime I switched to the DC lights; the ones that had the bugs and sawdust in them. They are dimmer and get hotter, as does the plastic cover (volatizing), so I don't use them a lot.

Monday, February 16, 2016

8:00 a.m.
I slept much better last night. I roused a bit around 4:00 a.m., but went right back to sleep. I woke up without chest pain, or feeling like my heart was going to give out, for the first time since just after the spray rigs arrived. I also noted I'm developing chemical burns where I 'm sweating. Well, today is shower day, thank God! Not being able to shower, in general, drives me nuts. Being forced to do without for survival, when I should be doing it to remove sweated out chemicals, is so much harder. Thats one of the complications of being forced out after they've chemically bombed me. If Hiedeman had notified, I could have left without as bad of exposures; it wouldn't be as big an issue. I've skimped and saved water all week, to make it till tomorrow. I've managed to save enough to make it, plus a quick shower. Ron did go on that out of town trip. He'll be available to fill me up tomorrow. I'll drive down to his office, get restocked, and return. At this point, I'm thinking I'll go home Saturday afternoon. I'll time it for when Ron gets back from Joey's big birthday party. The whole rest of our family gets to be there, plus some of Joey's friends. I wouldn't want to take anything away from the others, but It hurts to be excluded. 

8:30 a.m. The sun peeked out. I've thrown open both cab doors to try to air out the carpet. The rest of the sky is pretty cloudy, so the sun won't last long. 
I'll leave the doors open at least until the water is hot. 

7:00 p.m.
That was a very long day. I got that shower and it felt terrific. While I was in the hall, doing my hair, I thought I heard the rumbling of a diesel truck. I looked out the windows but didn't see anything. I reasoned it must have been going down the road. When I got all put back together I took Rosie out. We started down the hill, only I thought I smelled a whiff of chemical. Then it was gone.  Suddenly I was struck with a terrible pain in my chest. It felt like when I burned my hand on the element of the oven. As I took a couple more steps forward, the smell came back stronger and the pain intensified. I reversed course and staggered back up the hill and into the RV. I rewashed my face and threw every remedy I had at my symptoms. I was pretty shaken. I'd thought I was safe here. The chemical smelled like some kind of wood treatment product. I thought maybe it had come from that truck I heard. The wind was blowing from the direction of the road. Perhaps it carried it into the park...? A couple hours later I had beat the symptoms back and Rosie still had to go potty. I figured I'd try to take her up the hill behind us. That way we'd avoid the chemical that seemed to have gotten trapped at the bottom of the hill. Only when we tried that, I smelled more chemical that way. I must have been wrong. Maybe the truck I heard was up behind the park. Maybe the guy that owned the property behind the park was out treating fence posts or something. It was a really warm day, I'd guess over 50°. I took Rosie directly into the wind, to the ridge above the highway. The air was fresh and clear. She got her business done and we slunk back into the RV, sniffing our way cautiosly. 

Of course emergencies don't happen in neat tidy packages. At the time that I was desperately trying to mitigate symptoms my cabinet door above the refrigerator broke. There's a rivet that holds the hydraulic lift to the door hardware. It snapped off. Without it the door won't stay shut and when I drive all the dishes will come flying out. Once I got my symptoms tamped down I had to figure out how to fix the door so we could go for water tomorrow. I took stock of my tools and supplies. No hammer. I'm going to add that to my list. I have a screw driver, a universal tool, and various bits. I just happened to have a small piece of wire that might hold the two parts together if I could clear the broken rivet. I think it may have been one of those cheap split rings for keys or something. I tried prying at the remaining edges of the rivet stub with the knife from the universal tool. It didn't help remove the stub. I tried using one of the bits as a punch and whacking it with the back of the screwdriver. I would have gone out and got a rock, except for the toxic chemical thats out there. That didn't work either. Then I put a drill bit that was in the bit set, into the screw driver and hand drilled the rivet. I was pretty lucky the drill bit that I had was just the right size. It took awhile, but it worked. Both my arms hurt terribly for hours afterwards but I got it cobbled together. Something else happened but I'm so tired I can't remember what it was. I was pretty bummed that my being clean lasted such a short time. I was also vexed that the humidity was high in the RV again from my shower and I couldn't open the windows because of the toxins. The wallpaper trim is starting to peel off in a couple of places...

I waited until after 5:00 p.m. before taking Rosie out again and getting the grey water emptied. We stayed well away from the stinky areas. I also checked the fresh water tank. It looks like I have plenty of water for tonight and tomorrow morning. I'm pretty shaken. Is there no where safe for me?! I so need to find that safe piece of property!!! 

Tuesday, February 17, 2016

3:00 p.m.
Its been a long day so far. We got up around 7:00 a.m. I made coffee, put everything away and broke camp. I let myself out through the gate, which looks like: drive up to gate, turn off engine. Wait for fumes to dissapate. Get out, unlock gate. Drive through, turn off engine. Wait for fumes to dissapate. Get out, close and lock gate. Then we set out on the 2 hr drive to meet Ron for water and food. All the outside hose bibs at his office were turned off for the winter. We ended up at the maintenance building. Since we were there, and they have the equipment, I had him check the air in my front tires. They felt spongy. They were low. He added more. Then we found a quiet location to off load empties and take on food, drinking water and paper towels. I'm going through a ton of them on the windows. We took the time to chat a little too. Looks like my son and his family won't be attending Joey's birthday after all. My daughter-in-law's dog is too close to whelping. She informed my son they weren't coming. Ron's out of town trip was uneventful, though he didn't accomplish as much as he wished. Finally we went for fuel. Ron noticed one of my backup lights wasn't working. He fixed it while he filled the tank. All together, it took an hour to get everything done. Then he went back to the office and Rosie and I headed back up the mountain. The whole way home my stomach complained it was starving. I kept telling it, "If you're that hungry, make sure your LES is relaxed so that when I do eat, the food gets in!" I just had soup. We'll see if my stomach listened. Anyway, we got up here, did the gate thing, set up and I took Rosie for a walk. Poor dear! She hadn't been out since right before we left this morning. I gave her an extra big treat for being such a sweet girl. On the way up we did see a lynx, or maybe it was a bobcat? I don't know if there's a, or what's the, difference. It was very beautiful.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

6:15 a.m.
I stayed up 'til after 9:00 p.m. last night. Rosie complained the whole time. She thinks that as soon as it gets dark, and I close the curtains, we're supposed to go to bed. She'll go to the bedroom, turn and look back at me with the look that says, "Why aren't you coming?" Since it gets dark at 6:00 p.m. I have to resist her entreaties for hours. Last night I carded wool. Its still that merino fleece for the blanket. There's so much of it. Lots of it is too short for spinning. I'm separating that out to use as stuffing in a couple of antique chairs I'm reupholstering at home. Did I tell you that already? 

Coffee's on. I have the window open to let out some of the moisture. The air coming in smells like snow. The sun isn't up yet so Rosie thinks we shouldn't be either. I actually got up because my esophagus is killing me. Its that spot that got chemically burned Monday. I figured if I drank some coffee (w/cream/cocoa) it would soothe it.  Its working, a little. Its not a miracle cure or anything. Organic coffee and cocoa have tons of antioxidants and healing nutrients. They do help. The cream acts like balm. 

I guess today will be more of the same. I'll dry the windows when it gets light out. I'll take Rosie for walks. I'll card wool and watch movies. If its sunny and less humid I'll open all the doors, windows and vents. I'll hope no one does any nasty chemical stuff.   Thats about it. 

7:35 a.m.
I think I just became a Sasquatch sighting. I was out walking Rosie. We were down the hill from the RV, but still in the trees, about 300-400 ft off the highway. A white flatbed truck was going by on the road. At that moment Rosie was sniffing a particularly interesting spot and I was standing still. The truck slowed as it passed the gate. I was in line of sight to the gate. The truck continued on around the hill. I felt sure the driver must have seen me. A second car went by. It didn't slow down. The truck came back and pulled in at the gate. I stood immobile for a second. It could be a park employee, who was going to come in. No one got out of the truck. I turned, softly queuing up Rosie and moved quickly out of sight, keeping an eye on the truck as long as I could still see it. I headed directly for the RV figuring the truck fumes would get me if I didn't get inside before they got in the park. Only they didn't. They didn't come in. Its been half an hour. So who was it? Why did they stop? Were they looking at me? Have I become some strange, mythical creature, rumored to live in the woods? 

5:00 p.m.
It was a cold, windy day. We took a couple more walks. Mostly, I wiled away the hours carding and watching movies, like I said would. I did see the dark green truck leaving. I never see him enter. Perhaps thats really what the white flatbed stopping at the gate was about. He could have been leaving it unlocked for the ODFW truck. Who knows? I thought the other explanation was more entertaining...

Thursday, February 18, 2016

7:49 a.m. 
We went to bed with wind and rain, and woke up to crusty, sloppy snow. There isn't a cloud left in the sky. Sometime in the night the driving rain turned to sleet, and then to snow. As the golden sun is streaming over the mountain tops, the crusty top layer of snow on the tree boughs is being shaken free by the fitful breeze. Glitter rains down. Its breath takingly beautiful. 

Rosie and I were out before the sun poked up, though the sky was light. I'm on my second cup of coffee now, and Rosie's deer friends are grazing their way up to the RV. Rosie is sitting quietly in the front seat watching. This is their second pass. Normally they only go by once. They got a little concerned the first time, and circled around. I was cleaning the water off the cab windows. 

9:30 a.m.
So much for clear skies. Its completely clouded over. Worse weather must be coming. Four more deer have joined us in our sheltered nook. I'm guessing the biggest one is a buck (no antlers this time of year), a doe and two very small yearlings. They are much smaller than the other doe's yearlings. Perhaps they were born late. They came out of the breaks along the creek and fed around the ridge by the highway. We jumped them from behind the RV when I took Rosie out just now. They must have circled around.  So now we have the uphill deer, and the downhill deer. 

1:00 p.m.
Those clear skies didn't last long. Before the hour was up, the sky had lowered until clouds covered the hill tops, the wind was blowing 20 knots, and driving sleet and snow. Rosie and I ventured out for a potty break, but neither of us cared to dawdle

I made fresh soup for lunch. Beef and veggies. I'm warming up butter for cookie dough. Its a good day to play with the convection oven feature on my microwave. 

5:30 p.m.
The wind died away. The sleet and snow turned to rain. I'm spinning and watching movies. The humidity inside has increased, therefore it feels colder. I ate more cookie dough than cookies.

Friday, Frebruary 19, 2016

7:52 a.m.
It is damp, windy and cold outside, but not frozen. I've only done part of the windows so far, they have less humidity. The deer are growing bolder. When we are outside, they stay just out of sight. They have stopped running away. Though I cannot see them, Rosie tells me they are right there. This morning she signaled both the uphill and the downhill deer. The downhill deer were just over the top of the hill next to the highway. Every so often I'd hear a twig crack as I waited for Rosie to do her business. The uphill deer were on the rim of the bowl, on the opposite side of the vale. They stayed hidden in the brush. I only heard one branch snap from that direction, but we were walking.

7:48 p.m.
Its been another long day with nothing much happening. I carded wool and watched movies, the same ones I've watched before. They block out my redundant, frustrated thoughts. We went out for our usual walks. Though something disturbed Rosie. Her usual joyous tail was clamped down tight. I've noticed it several times this trip. I've also felt creeped out. I must assume there is some animal lurking that she's unfamiliar with. The only other sign besides deer that I've seen had been elk. So thats most likely it. I've been watching out for bear or cougar, as they'd follow the deer and elk down to lower winter elevations. But not having seen any sign, heard anything that could be interpreted as their noises or seen any fear aggression in Rosie, I continue to believe she senses elk.  

Tomorrow we try to go home. If its still toxic enough down there that my teeth react, we come back. I'm anxious about it. I don't want to get hurt, and I'm tired of being cold, going without showers and being confined. I'm also lonely.

Saturday, February 19, 2016

7:03 a.m.
Greg Gutierrez, thats who he said he was anyway,  was lurking around the park this morning before 7:00 a.m. He was dressed in camo. He claimed to be trying to take pictures of elk. He said he "thought that it was o.k. to walk in, even though the gate was closed." I told him that when the gate is closed, the park is closed. I told him he was not supposed to be here. He insisted he was just taking pictures and started to walk further into the park. I stopped him with a firm "No." I can't remember what else I said after that. He did leave. Rosie and I walked down the hill far enough to see the gate. His car wasn't there. I turned and went up the hill to the top of the ridge. It was a small silver car. He must have been parked in the turn out. I've seen that car quite a bit this trip. Maybe he was why I've felt creeped out this trip, and Rosie's been uneasy. I should mention that on one of those stormy nights, my door knob rattled, hard. The door shook back and forth. I always lock the deadbolt, so it didn't come open. Rosie barked. Its never done that before, and Rosie and I have weathered some pretty severe storms. It was very odd. I shut off the lights and looked out, but it was pitch black. I couldn't see anything. Maybe it wasn't the wind...

I had been going to take leave in a leisurely manner, including a shower. I didn't. I made coffee, emptied waste water and headed home. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

The January Trek

Sorry this one took me so long to post. One exposure has followed another...

Thursday, Jan. 21 2016

My father's birthday is in January. Every year he throws a party. . He usually rents a large house out of Newport, Oregon. He pays for the accommodations of anyone who attends, that there's no room for in the house. Usually its people with small kids. The party goes for a couple of weeks. People come and go the whole time, with a big dinner on Saturday. This year he had scheduled the beach house, but the weather was so bad they rerouted the festivities to his house. He was a bit disappointed; I think he didn't think people would come. But, we go to see him, not the ocean.

Last year we loaded up the RV and headed down after my husband got off work. It was an eventful trip. Since I didn't want a repeat, I scheduled an alignment for the RV. We also were planning on leaving first thing in the morning, so if there were problems they'd be in daylight and stores would be open. Ron and I did pre-trip equipment checks a week before.  All systems were go. The only thing was that crabbing thing the front end was doing. The alignment didn't resolve the problem. The mechanic said it was the tires. So I had them rotated, balanced and inspected. They had lots of tread and looked fine. Rotating helped a lot but she was still pulling to the right. We figured we'd have the mechanic take a look at it again when I took it in after we return. When he was under there, I asked him to check for a gas line leak. He found a tube hanging down. He said it was going to an activated carbon filter connected to the exhaust system. I had him hook it up. The day before we were to leave I discovered the refrigerator wasn't working right, just after I stepped out of the RV into a horrific cloud of super stinky exhaust fumes - dirty like I'd never smelled them before. Since the mechanic had hooked up a loose hose while he was under there, I thought it was possible the two were connected. The previous owner could have made modifications. I don't know!!! After that, every time I turned on the refrigerator, the ground fault plug-in that the power runs through, kept tripping. I hit the internet trying to figure it out. There wasn't much. The most common culprit, a blocked flue. We checked the flue; it was clean. So, could that tube have been additional air for the refrige? For the trip I figured I'd just have to use an ice chest. Finally this morning, before we were to leave, Ron thought to check the ground fault plug in itself. It was the problem. He put in a regular receptacle. I packed ice bags in the refrigerator and freezer and we got on the way about 10:00. It went well until Hood River, only I didn't figure it out until Cascade Locks. At Hood River I smelled fresh gas really strong. I thought it was a car that was passing us. At Cascade Locks another tire lost its steel belts, just like one did last year. This time there was no warning thumping. All of the sudden horrible loud banging on the wheel well and the RV was bucking and jumping. Ron pulled over to the shoulder, put on the hazards and continued slowly to the exit. This year the horrendous racket only lasted 5 minutes. Then it got ominously quiet. Ron said he saw the tread spew out behind us and roll off the road. We crept into a Dept. of Transportation work yard. It was nice and flat. Ron had bought a bunch of tire changing tools for me for Christmas. He climbed out of the RV, put on his coveralls and started "playing" with my Christmas tools. I was in a particularly generous mood, so I let him. ;-P The delaminated tire was on the left rear inside (duallies). It was completely inflated. Just naked. When the belt started to go, I'm guessing back at Hood River, it probably tore out the gas feed hose, causing that smell. It runs from the fill cap to the tank. Ron said there wasn't much left of the feed hose. Those tires hadn't been removed in a long time, so Ron had quite the wrestling match getting them off and then the spare and outside tire back on again. It took about an hour. As we set off in search of the nearest Les Schwab tire center (I got directions from my roadside assistance concierge), we both had come to the conclusion that the mechanic may be more right than he knew. Since that was the second tire of a set to blow up with out warning, due to steel belt failure. We both figured the whole set was probably bad and we were teetering on the edge with the remaining two front tires. I had a gut clench on that was so tight it was making me nauseous the whole 32 miles it took us to get to Les Schwab's. I prayed the whole way. I have to say, they won't be making a commercial out of any letter we write. It was an hour of waiting before they even got to us. The people at the front desk we surly, rude and ill tempered. We bought 4 new tires. It didn't improve their demeanor. It took them an additional 2.5 hrs to get them mounted, balanced and installed, though the young man doing it was pleasant. I'm reminding you that we run without heat in areas of traffic due to no "recirc" on my older vehicle's air system, and way too many toxic VOCs in the outside air. It gets brutally cold in here. I cuddled up with Rosie on the sofa. She was pretty stressed out by that monster trying to bust in through the floor. She handled it well, even though it scared her. She didn't freak out. It did take a while for her breathing to return to normal. Anyway, when the technician got the right front tire off it had a large bubble. We were lucky to make it there without another tire failing.  Getting all new tires did resolve all the front end problems. 

We arrived at my Dad's after dark. Ron got me situated, leveled, and plugged in. My Dad, Debby and her sister Carol, and her sister's husband Jerry, all came out to see me when we arrived. My Dad visited for a bit before they went in for dinner. I know it was a well earned dinner for Ron's part. I got the heater running, the fridge and my cell phone charging before I made some soup. Here in a minute I'm going to switch from running the heater to running the water heater so I can shower. Its a 15 amp circuit. Ron says he'll pick up a 30 amp one tomorrow when he buys a replacement feed hose. 

It was a hard trip but I'm glad I came. My Dad isn't doing well. He'd been saying that he didn't know if he would make this birthday. He's aged a lot this last year. He looked ravaged. My heart broke when I saw him. My tears spilled freely. I think he thought I was crying because of my pain. But they were due to the realization that this will be the last time I see him. 

I still smelled gas inside my RV, so I called Ron and had him stick something in the open end of the gas feed tube. He also covered it with foil.

Friday, January 22nd

I woke to typical Portland weather: cloudy, pouring rain. My little heater is not able to generate enough heat on a 15 amp circuit. So its pretty cold in here. I tried to air it out a bit as the day warmed up but a neighbor zipped up and down the street, in her car, constantly. Just about the time I'd get it opened up and I'd be sitting down, she'd zip by again. I'd have to dive for the window and vent to close them before the fumes could get in. About 11:00 a.m. There was a break in the weather and my husband and Jerry talked my dad into coming outside to see me. He refused to wear the safe clothes we brought him, so I could hug him. He's suffering intermittent dementia. He was currently acting like a 6 year old. He was playing dominoes with Jerry and was put out that they were being interrupted. Debby and Carol had gone for groceries, so she wasn't there to manage him. Ron came out to tell me they were ready. I'd put on my outside clothes. I was keeping this set sealed in a separate bin, and changing in and out of it, just for interacting with fragranced people and toxic environments. Portland is pretty toxic, but my dad's woodsy backyard was better than I hoped. Ron took just the coat for my dad along on our walk. He was going to try again to get him to wear it. When I came out to meet with them Ron went back in the house to get my dad and Jerry. They'd already gone out the back. So Ron, Rosie and I went in through the gate and hiked down the trail through the woods. We met up with Jerry and my dad at the fire circle. Rosie was rather excited to see all the new people, and I had a time reminding her to behave. Jerry introduced himself. Poor guy, we must have seemed quite rude. My dad was grouchy and irritable. This was not what I'd hoped for, but not unexpected. My sisters had been reporting that he had returned to the personality that we had when we were growing up. When he'd met Debby he'd become a much happier man. With the onset of dementia, and the insults of infirmity he was reverting back. He said some waspish things and I turned them into jokes and sent them right back. Jerry remarked that I was definitely "Don's daughter." My dad and I exchanged quips until he was in a good mood again. He always enjoyed witty reparté. Ron tried to get him to put on the clean coat (so I wouldn't be hurt as much when I hugged him). My father refused. Ron tried again. My father grew petulant and said, "No. Why should I?" I spoke up, "Because I want to hug my father! Now put on the fragrance free coat!" He did. I hugged him long and hard. He hugged me back, though I could tell at the time that the significance was lost on him. Its that way with dementia. It wasn't long before he was cold and needed to go back inside. He suffers with hypothermia. 

We tried to get me on their internet, but the field didn't reach to my RV. So I wasn't able to join in by skype. I spent most of the day resting, detoxing from the gas fumes, etc. and playing wii games. 

Debby called me and we went for a walk in the afternoon. Carol was keeping an eye on my dad. Ron and Jerry were repairing some split rail fence for Debby.  Ron was not able to get to the store for those parts.

In the late afternoon we all got out for a brief hike around the trail and I got to visit with my father again. I told Ron I was still occasionally smelling gas. He said he'd get a piece of tube in the morning and temporarily fix it. Since it would be rubber (toxic) I suggested he wrap it in duct tape. When we were home he'd take the tires clear off and fix it right. 

Saturday, January 23rd

This is the big party day. Lots of people would be coming. There would be lots of last minute preparations, but Ron did get that piece in place, though the circuit breaker set up wouldn't allow for an upgrade. The air was immediately better.  It was pouring rain and nasty cold, so no one wanted to go out and walk. Rosie and I stayed in, huddled in front of our heater. I played wii games, mostly Batman. I'd had so many exposures my LES was shut tight and I wasn't getting much in.  People started arriving after noon. Mostly they waved as they went by. Justin and Joey came over to the RV, and Joey and I pressed noses against the glass.  My sister Kathy came over and we spoke through the window for several minutes. My son Ryan visited with me for some time before he went in. About 2:30 I got a call that Joey was ready to come out and visit Grandma. I'd brought Joey's jammies and told my daughter I'd watch him and put him down for a nap if he needed one or my dad needed a break from our very rambunctious little boy. I asked for a couple of minutes to put stuff away. Justin brought Joey out and whisked off his smelly clothes. I took Joey and gave him a quick bath, then put him in his new jammies. I'd built a nest between the dinette seats using Ron's sleeping bag and 
pillow. Joey had different ideas. He pinged around inside the RV like a superball. I told him not to do a couple of things, like go in the front seat and climb on the counters, and he minded. He's growing up! Jumping on the sofa was so much fun, it was a little harder to get him to stop that. I had to warn him he'd get a spank if he didn't stop. I didn't mind him jumping from seat to seat, though. I can hardly object to him doing it, when Rosie does it. She weighs more. He was having so much fun he was giggling nonstop. It was pretty cute. He saw a pencil and asked if he could color. He "colored" for several minutes. He stopped and show me his work every few minutes. I dutifully admired it. Then he went back to ricocheting around the RV, giggling up a storm and playing kitty and puppy. I asked the puppy if he wanted some snacks? He had some cheese and yogurt, along with a cup of water.  He sat nicely and ate it for most of the time. When he started throwing cheese at Rosie, I told him that it was time for a nap. He resisted the nap. Jumping out of the nest. Asking to color. I had to insist and even give one spank, to get him to mind. He climbed into his nest, but he wasn't happy with me. I told him that if he laid down quietly, and closed his eyes I 'd sing. When his eyes were closed I started "Hush a bye" but he didn't want that song. He wanted the "pider" song. I started "The Eensy, Weensy Spider." It was aparently the right one. He settled right down, with his eyes closed. Then he opened them. I stopped singing. He giggled. He closed them. I started up where I'd left off. He giggled. His eyes popped open; I stopped singing. He giggled some more. He closed them, I sang. Then he'd try to peek out from nearly closed eyes and fool me. I'd see his eyes glitter, I'd stop. He was giggling again non-stop. This game went on for several minutes. I switched songs to "Sugar," improvising the words to Booger, when Joey's nose started running. I was thinking he was never going to sleep with all this silliness when mid giggle he drew a deep breath and fell instantly asleep!  He slept for a good 2 hours. I called the house when he woke up, so that he wouldn't miss the dinner. Justin, Alex, Joey and Toby were staying in a hotel for the night. When they left that evening both Kathy and Joey came around to my door to talk to me. Joey had his little back pack and marched up the steps to come in. I asked him if he was coming to take another nap in Grandma's RV. He said, "Yes!" Well apparently napping at Grandma's was fun!? Ron arrived at that time to take him to the car. After everyone had left for the evening Ron, Rosie and I went out to walk the trail. We were standing under a big cedar tree, not far off the road when I got hit with diesel fumes rolling down the hill. I didn't hear the vehicle, because of the hill, so I hadn't taken evasive action. We moved away but it was too much. I went in, showered and went to bed. I'd even put the heater in the bathroom, because a hot shower followed by stepping wet into a cold room is not pleasant. 

Sunday, January 24th

The hypothermia hit in the middle of the night. It was the worst I'd ever had. I shook so hard my bones knocked together and my teeth rattled. Every one of my muscles was clenched so hard, they were giving me horrible pain.  I forced myself to get up in the night and move the heater into the bedroom. Its usually way too hot if I do that.  Relief was slow in coming. Finally, around 7:30 a.m. I managed to get warm enough to ease up on the shivering and fall asleep. Ron woke me up at 9:00. He was worried, since there was no movement. I did not want to get up. I still wasn't warm. He asked what I wanted. I wanted to go home, where I could crawl into a hot shower and not be frozen when I got out. I was terribly dehydrated and drank 3 large cups of water while waiting for my coffee. I was very slow getting going that morning. Ron told me to get the RV ready to leave and he'd get his stuff packed up and do the outside stuff. Normally it takes me less than 15 minutes. It took me 2 hrs. I was still so horribly cold, and every muscle hurt, like a runner's after they've "hit the wall."  I gave Ron the drawing that I was giving to my dad for his birthday present. I wasn't up to taking another walk. Ron showered in the house, put on his cleanest clothes, then came out to shower in the RV and put on RV clothes. 

Everyone else came outside to say goodbye. My father was mentally back to the concerned father and came around and opened the door to check on me. Even though the fragrance on his clothes was hurting me more, I didn't say anything. He would have been hurt and not understood. He was worried. Ron had told them only that I had had all the fun I could stand and was ready to go home. My father was in his right mind enough that morning to realize that meant I wasn't doing well. He asked how I was, and I told him I felt really crappy, but would go home and take cared of it. Then everyone else arrived at the front, cab windows. So my dad shut the door and joined them. I went and sat in the front passenger seat to say my goodbyes. 

On the trip home I kept smelling fumes from outside, so I figured the tire had caused some damage that penetrated the wheel well. I told Ron we were going to have to find and seal it. Once we got out of the Portland area the cloud cover broke and it was much warmer. That helped since we couldn't run the heat very much due to heavy traffic. We were finally able to run it for more than a few minutes at a time after we left The Dalles. Ron had to take care of it as I kept falling asleep. 

When we arrived home I set out the minimum of the stuff I needed brought in. I headed straight for the shower and Ron brought in everything I'd set out and the contents of the refrigerator and freezer. I was so cold that that first shower felt only lukewarm. I took several more trying to get my core temperature back up. I drank several cups of hot herbal tea and cocoa. When I finally got it to a tolerable level, about 6:30 p.m., I went to bed. 

Post Script: it never did have that stinky exhaust again. Ron reasoned that perhaps since it had not been working for so long that it had gotton clogged up, and it had to blow out the accummulated crap. Kind of like the gunk that lines your chimney.

It took me 2 weeks to completely decontaminate the RV. I had to wash everything. And Bellinger "Dropped the ball" again. His manager applied without notifying at the end of the week that I was home.