Still sitting tight (but not for much longer!)

We’re still sitting tight in a cramped site in Berea, Kentucky. I don’t mind the cramped site so much until I take LizzieBelle out to do her business and I wind up spending most of the time out there trying to keep her from going under something. Under the picnic table; under the truck; under our neighbor’s truck; under the camper; under our neighbor’s camper; and so on. There’s just not much room for a blind dog to wander around and find the perfect spot to do her business. I try to stop her because she’s been known to get under something and then stop and wait for us to pick her up. I wind up waiting for her to realize she’s not getting picked up and for her to eventually wander back out. Oh well. A couple more weeks and we’ll be moving on.

Even though we’ve been sitting tight we made a trip to Florida the beginning of October for a wedding. My nephew married a lovely girl and her young daughter and they make a beautiful family. We’re are so thrilled for them!

As usual, I had my camera and I snapped a few (OK, more than a few!) candid photos of the wedding and the venue. The venue was the gorgeous Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville, Florida. We arrived early so that I could wander around and take some photos before the start of the wedding.

As I meandered around totally absorbed in the surrounding beauty it dawned on me that I shouldn’t linger or get carried away because I could miss the wedding.

I walked a bit further but never got very far as one thing after the other caught my eye and challenged me to capture its beauty with my lens.

I hadn’t wandered very far down the mile and half paved walkway before I headed back. I made it back in plenty of time to witness the usual pre-wedding jitters, anticipation and shenanigans.

We had a great time at the wedding and reception which was also held at the gardens and all to soon it was time to congratulate the newlyweds and bid them farewell.

Our trip down to Florida was a test of my patience in which I failed miserably. The drive consisted of simply hopping on I-75 (of which we are less than a mile from) in Berea, Kentucky and getting off on 200 in Ocala, Florida. It was a Saturday, the day before the wedding. It should’ve been an easy peasy trip with the usual delays around the Atlanta area. But no. Long before Atlanta three lanes were being merged into one for some construction that wasn’t even happening. We crept along the interstate for an hour before the lanes opened up. Our fellow travelers were once again happily zipping along and then BAM – we were creeping again as traffic was being merged into one lane. This happened one other time all with no actual work being done. Only in one slow down did we see a couple people picking up cones. I was beginning to wonder if we’d even make it to the wedding the following day.

Add to the extra time and creeping along is the fact that LizzieBelle has to relieve herself every couple hours thanks to the diuretic she’s on for her Congestive Heart Failure. We found ourselves pulling to the shoulder of I-75 during the creep-alongs so she could do her business and worming our way back into the line of traffic. I vowed right then and there that we would not be taking the interstate back to Kentucky. And we did not.

The following Saturday we left in the wee hours of the morning when LizzieBelle woke up and needed to go out. We chose to take the long way home by way of 301/441. We knew it would be a much longer trip but we knew we would be traveling in a lot of uncharted territory for us so we were looking forward to it.

Just as the sun was beginning to rise above the horizon we spotted something large and black about a mile away in the middle of the road. As we got a bit closer the large, black thing stood up and headed towards the woods. It was a bear! Our very first sighting of a bear in the wild. What a cool thing to see at the beginning of our long journey home.

Not a mile down the road was the intersection for 301/441. LizzieBelle had to go again so we stopped at the stop sign and I scrambled out of the truck and set her down in the grass so she could go. The whole time we’re out there I’m encouraging her to hurry up because who knows if there was another bear nearby that would amble out of the woods. Or maybe the same one. I’m not sure how fast they travel. I’m also not really sure why I continue to talk to LizzieBelle since she can’t hear me. I imagine it’s more for my sake than for hers. Either way, once she was finished I snatched her up and headed for the truck as quick as I could.

We drove through Paynes Prairie and saw parts of Gainesville that we had never seen before. Of course, since we’ve only recently seen the area around Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and the section between I-75 and Shands Hospital (where we would occasionally transport a patient when we worked in EMS) seeing any other parts of Gainesville would be easy to do since we hadn’t seen that much of it.

The slower pace of travel allowed us to enjoy the scenery; look at houses seemingly in the middle of nowhere and ponder their reasons for living there; easily stop to get fuel and let LizzieBelle do her thing; and the slower pace was certainly much more relaxing.

Soon we found ourselves driving through the Great Smoky Mountains. Many of the trees were showing off their Autumn colors which added to the beauty of the scenery.

There was one point along our drive through the Smokies where we crept along with hundreds of other travelers but the difference this time was that there was something to look at and we only crept along once.

Before we knew it we were coming into Pigeon Forge.

Now here was a place we thought we’d never see and my, what a busy place it was with all sorts of colorful, themed buildings being frequented by the tourists.

Pigeon Forge is not a place we would typically plan on visiting but we were glad we got to see it.

As we approached Knoxville I saw something that I thought I would never see again – the Sunsphere.

It was built for the 1982 World’s Fair and I had the privilege of attending. It was the only World’s Fair I’ve gone to and the one thing I remember is eating Haagen Daz ice cream for the first time. It was SO good! It figures my main memory of the fair would be food.

As we left Knoxville we decided to hop on the interstate. The hour was getting late and we knew there were no construction zones between here and our Berea exit.

The further north we went the deeper the Autumn colors were.

Soon the sun was dipping below the mountains and we were almost home. Seeing the beautiful colors was like the icing on the cake of our long journey home.

Taking the long way home was definitely longer than zipping (or not) along I-75 but it was much more relaxing and we saw things we never would have seen otherwise. It was worth it.

We’ve not been doing much since arriving back at the campground. My days are spent reading, knitting, taking LizzieBelle out, knitting, taking LizzieBelle out, reading, taking LizzieBelle out, knitting, and so on. Lots of time to chill. Ronnie has the task some time during the morning of taking her to some open sites to let her stroll as we call it. A place where she can wander without bumping into something or walking under something. A time where she can walk until her little legs become tired. We’ve been fortunate with some beautiful weather that allows this stroll to happen however those days will be coming to an end next week and then it will be too cold for her to be wandering about for very long.

The one thing we’ve both been doing is learning about cellular healing. That’s a whole blog post in and of itself but I’d encourage anyone suffering from chronic or autoimmune diseases, inflammation or gut issues (to name a few) to research it. It’s fascinating stuff. We’re making changes and taking back our health. Doctor’s try but in my opinion they’re going about it the wrong way. Just my opinion. But, if you’re not getting better with the route the doctor has given you then check out cellular healing.

We’re currently in the process of switching to organic everything. It makes a difference not only in the flavor but in the fact that we’re not ingesting pesticides which wreak havoc with our gut health. “All disease begins in the gut” as stated by Hippocrates. Recent studies are proving this quote to be true and many doctors are researching it and realizing the truth of it themselves.

Of course, not everything can be found as organic so we do our best and often do without. We’re using things up because with the current prices at the grocery store it would be foolish not to but once many things are gone they won’t be replaced.

The state of one’s health doesn’t decline overnight so improving it will definitely be a journey especially since we have much to learn.

Soon we’ll be leaving Kentucky and heading to Arkansas for Thanksgiving. Yay! We’re excited to be headed to another location and to spend time with family for the holiday. Eating better will be a challenge during that time but we’re going to make a conscientious effort to limit the things we know we need to stay away from. Will it be easy? Absolutely not. But, we hope that in reminding ourselves of the after-effects of eating something we shouldn’t will be the catalyst we need to stay away and not put it in our mouths. One can hope!

After Thanksgiving? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see (wink!)

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