Monday, August 18, 2008

Holed Up in Missouri, Watching the Olympics

Well. It's been awhile, hasn't it? Forgive me for not updating as much as I should. Life has been moving a mile a minute, while we've been following at a mile a month.

We're okay, don't worry. But it's been so long since I posted, I'd better just start right where I am.

We are here. *Here* is a smallish town in southern Missouri. I've no idea how long we'll be here. We're sitting out the time as Walter's employer trudges its way through analyzing his worker's comp case.

Or not. They're actually short on staff in that department now and seem to be paying him no attention at all. Apparently the holdup is that the local doctor Walter saw last Monday (the 11th) hasn't sent in his report yet. Till then? No income. Not even the weekly worker's comp checks we were getting before. This is probably not legal of them, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

So me, I'm holding down costs by cooking our meals here in the hotel room, using our nuker, "camping" toaster oven, and two coolers from home. I'm very glad I brought them, because the hotel doesn't have nukers and fridges in every room yet.

They will, says the Front Desk. They would have already, but the hotel was hit by lightning recently, messing up electricity and delaying the planned amenities upgrades. So they aren't available yet in the single rooms Walter's company pays for, the block of rooms they set aside for truckers visiting corporate HQ.

Here's the view as you open the door. I'm trying to keep the kitchen from being glaringly obvious, just in case an uninvited maid or nosy desk clerk tries to get in here. In this particular establishment they drip massively horrible Scented Products behind them in their wake. Eeeekkk! Not allowed. Do Not Disturb!!!

Here's the kitchen as I, the cook, see it. The kitchen cabinets are on the left.

Do hotels like guests to cook meals in their rooms? Of course not. Does it amuse the hell out of me to do so? Of course it does. It's not just entertaining, it meets my health needs. Hey! Diabetic superallergic here! heh! Besides, if you put fridges and nukers in the rooms, what do you expect? Nothing but hot tea and warmed up leftover pizza?

The dresser is the perfect size to stash my kitchen needs. How convenient! The top drawer has the daily plates and silverware and whatnot.

Next drawer is the pantry. The last drawer has the ziplocks and trivet and cheese grater and such.

There's probably a reason they put all the truckers on the third - and last - floor.

Now I'll give you a mini-update on the last several weeks.

We didn't leave home anywhere near July 25. Nope. We checked in to this hotel on Friday, August 8. It was one of those leaving times when it seemed like everything that could go wrong, did.

We got the Isuzu serviced for the road trip. Then our inverter blew, and it was only sheer luck that kept it from blowing up the car.

Got a new inverter. Decided to set it up with its own battery this time, professionally installed. That took a couple days right there.

I had surgery to remove that Mystery Thing on my left leg. The surgeons did a great job. The leg? Not so much. The incision decided not to heal right, then to get infected with MRSA. More doctor visits, more fatigue.

And we were both so very sick with allergies that tending to these little matters took huge efforts of will.

Road tripping costs more than usual these days, and it isn't just the fuel. Spending money to eat at what's available in restaurants or fast-food joints can carve a big hole in the wallet - especially if it goes on for days or weeks.

Now consider this: Say you're allergic to all foods, not to mention the perfumes, *air fresheners* and cleaning products one encounters at such places. Say both drivers are battling fatigue and multiple illnesses, knowing that stopping to find a restaurant can slam down your momentum to continue after you've sat down and stopped for a while.

Yeah. Generally speaking, it's a good thing to avoid when we can.

On top of everything else, cooking in the Isuzu purely cracks me up. Just as cooking in this hotel room does. So the Great Escape preps had much to do with remaining self-sufficient in our food needs, both on the road and at the hotel.

I was mostly packed and ready to go for a couple weeks before we left. Considering the speed I was moving at, and the incredible amount of stuff I truly need these days, that's rather miraculous right there.

I wonder sometimes...Do any of you reading this remember me from the long-ago days I'd grab my little prepacked bag and hit the airport a half hour after deciding to pop off somewhere? Can you imagine me now, requiring a whole caravan to house me and my necessities?

Remember, if you will, that we had no idea if we'd be here for a few days or a few weeks. This resulted in a sort of Hurricane Preps approach to packing: hope for the best, prepare for the worst. As it turned out, we've been here a week and a half with no end in sight, and have needed virtually everything we brought.

If you don't think that's a bit...odd...then, for your edification and entertainment, I'll leave you for now with a peek at my *Must Have* list of things to bring.

For Trip

Into Isuzu
Sleeping bag
Twin size bottom and top sheets
3 pillowcases
Beach towel
Both small back pillows
Foot stack
Hand pump
Route map printouts

Toaster oven
Espresso maker
HEPA machine
Head lamp

Business & Entertainment
Laptop & wireless keyboard
Air duster
Camera, extra cards, charger & box
Cell phones & charger
AA batteries & charger
Binder clips & paper clips
Stapler & staple remover (from car)
Calendar from the monitor
Mr. Budget, banking
Bring Citizen's insurance policy to read
Papers to sort, things to do
Sprint booklet
Pix of D&D's
Stamps (reg. & postcard) & envelopes

Food & Cooking Supplies
Frozen smoked turkey leg soup
Frozen baked beans
Bread - w
Tortillas - corn & flour
Refried beans
Tuna salad
Egg salad
Beef base
Sliced dill pickles
Sweet pickles
Miracle Whip
Hot sauce
Sweet onions
Any carrots, celery, broccoli, etc. in kitchen fridge
Peanut butter
Garlic & garlic press
Cream Cheese
Tapioca pudding
Choc sauce
Tea - k & w
Sprite zero
Popcorn, popcorn salt
Popcorn bowl
Cheese grater
Aluminum foil
Small dishwashing liquid
Dish towel
Plates, bowls, silverware, straws, cups
Cooking knives
Knife sharpener
Small cutting board
Can opener
Gallon of water
Freezer drink cups & drinks

Personal Care
Regular soap
Rubbing alcohol
Bandaging supplies: bandaids, 4x4's, tapes, sleeves, wraps
Creams: Silvadene, cortisone, mupirocin, antifungal, antiviral
Latex gloves
3 weeks' pills & vitamins in packs
Pain patches (Fentanyl & lidocaine)
Next pain patch Rx
Night splint
Eye drops
Cream rinse
Hairbrush, comb, bobbypins
Electric toothbrush & toothpaste
Tooth desensitizer
White strips
Nail clipper
Nail file
Waxing strips
Respirator (from car)
Battery-operated personal fan
2 pairs reading glasses
Leather flip-flops


Desert Cat said...

Glad to hear you're doing ok, and even well with your numerous innovations!

It still seems so strange to me that they would make you travel hundreds of miles at your own expense for this, and then dawdle along with the medical evaluations. Perhaps I am tainted by my Dad's experience, but this makes me suspicious it is part of a "wearing down" campaign. Praying for you, I am.

Nancy said...

Dang girl...

well. Here's the good least you're out of Florida right now, and we don't have to worry about you riding out a hurricane.

Check your paypal.

Pretty Lady said...

They'll NEVER wear you down. Not when you're this well-prepared. But I imagine that repeated phone calls to the non-reporting doctor, along with polite legal noises, might be appropriate at this juncture.

Jean said...

I'm thinking you'd rather be home about now and enjoying this weather

Am very glad you are doing well where you are, though.
Keep 'em on their toes, k!

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Geez. They all said just what I was going to say!...

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

PS: If I ever have to evacuate, I'd like you to go with!