Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the VA

We drove out to the Valley to visit the Matsu VA CBOC (Community Based Outpatient Clinic). A funny thing happened on the way to the VA.....

Michael saw this truck's tire blow. He didn't realize it. He kept driving, even though I was hanging out the window, pointing at his tires. Michael pulled ahead of him, flashing lights and then pulled off. He pulled off and Michael let him know what he saw. Yep - he was thankful.

We met Michael's new Primary Care Doc at the CBOC. This is a BLESSING. We were told the only option was another care facility or telehealth. Still thankful for the angel/man at Anchorage VA that saw Michael's chart, made a few calls and got Michael on with a doctor. We would have gone to an LPN or PA - that's what we had in Eugene.  In any event Dr. B seems nice, caring and he did offer a few new suggestions for pain management. He also gave Michael quite a few referrals. Finally.

We enjoyed lunch together and then we headed back to the VA for an "Initial Info" meeting. All have to go through this when the begin treatment at the Valley CBOC.  It was fairly pointless for us. Info on how to be seen, where to be seen, how to get your claim through the VA and such.  But we jumped through the hoop like pros.

We were tired that night and instead of socializing opted for dinner and games at home.

Black Spruce Travel Camp and Otter Lake Animal Sightings

We have been staying at an RV park in Palmer since arriving in the area.  This allowed us to get to know our new town a bit. We were close to services we are putting in place for VA.  It had a great view of the mountain and was right next to Arctic Organics.......we were able to take walks in what we hope will be our new neighborhood.

BUT..... it was like being a sausage in a Styrofoam container .....

Today, we took a chance and moved to Black Spruce Army Travel Camp, on JBER.  Everything on JBER is first come/first serve. There are 14 full hookups on the Fort Rich side.....only water and electric on Elmendorf. We want to settle. We have about a month before we can hope to close on our home.  At $33 a night for a full hook-up it will save us some change. When we drove through last week all the full hookups were taken. We like full hookup so that we can do LAUNDRY at our site.....and us girls would rather shower at Uchi than run risk a bear encounter on the way to the shower-house.

Michael had Stacia and I drive to the camp and try to secure a spot. We did just that. This site is on the outer loop - less traffic. I thought it would be long enough for Uchi with the trailer. We parked and defended our claim against all marauding campers.  There were more than I expected.
Staking our claim 
The camp host stopped by and we chatted. He said if we didn't fit, we could unhook and use the tent site next to us for the trailer. Perfect.

Meanwhile, Michael had to go in a different gate with Uchi and the trailer. He and the boys saw a Grizzly - by the COMMISSARY.

We set up camp when they arrived. Michael ran to Eagle River to pick up a part which we'd mailed to JaRissa and Josiah's place.
It fits..and we parked Nimo in the site next to us....per host suggestion
 We've not completely set up a  site since leaving Northern CA last November.  While Michael and Nolan ran to Eagle River, the rest of us dug out chairs, mats, tables, grill......our thought, at this  point, is to stay put until we close on the house. Rest...enjoy this area....though there have been a couple of bear incidents on the installation.

Michael and the boys replaced the motor in the step. NICE to have a working step again. 

Stacia and I made dinner while they worked on that project. We have a 30 amp hook up. I have a Convection/Microwave oven - takes quite a bit of electricity to run. I turned off the dryer, unplugged the electric hot water pot.....and it STILL tripped breakers when I started the smashed potatoes in the Instant Pot (4 min at pressure).  Michael heard my continued troubles and had Alex hook up an extension cord to the 20 amp plug at the pole. No more problems.

Though Yuuki did not approve of the change and insisted on moving her blanket to her normal spot and glaring at us. 

Michael hasn't been feeling 100%. We are starting to wonder if it's a reaction to one of his meds.  After dinner he crashed - the kids and I went off to explore.  After hearing there was a Grizzly at the commissary...and reading a comment on FB "Oh, yeah, we have 3 cubs and a sow hanging around....," I decided we are just going to have to be "bear aware," and keep going with life....because if the commissary is considered the "wilds," there aren't many places we can go.

 I thought I could find my way to Otter Lake - and I did. 


It occurs to me this would be a good site for some Senior Photos. 
Alex, Nolan, Stacia

Along the way we saw animals....I had my small lens. I must remember the bigger one for future evening walks and drives. 
Moose

Porcupine

Ducks

Bear
I was exceedingly glad we went for a drive, rather than a walk. Yes, we are aware Fort Rich is the site of the mauling this weekend. We DROVE and I did not get out of the car to take the bear photo. 

THIS is how we like to full-time. This Travel Camp and the Fam Camp on Elmendorf side are like state parks....a much better fit for us than an RV Park. 

Animals we saw today  - 
1 Grizzly - by Commissary - Michael and boys
1 Moose
2 Porcupines
1 Mama duck with her ducklings
Fish jumping
1 Black Bear - though he looked like he had a hump, but his snout didn't look "wide" tome....
11 million squirrels