Surgery, Jobs and Road Trips OH MY! – The August Journal

juggleAugust was quite a month! The RV burned down so we have entered our animals into the local “Fernley Circus” in order to save up for a new one. The pay is little but Brewy’s juggling act draws quite a crowd, and the straw beds are better than nothing. The Ringmaster makes us all drink from the same water bowl. I know, first-world problems, right.

We got jobs!

Just kidding! August was busy though. We started the month off securing our jobs for the next year. As I may have already stated, we will be in Texas working at Amazon for the X-mas season. Our two new engagements will be Wichita, Kansas and Mackinaw City, Michigan. We will be camp hosts at both, and we are excited to be able to work in places we have never ventured.

With the upcoming year all “jobbed out” we can now focus on other things like health problems. I have lost 13 pounds since I started working outside as camp host. After the weight loss, I discovered that my belly button looked strange. Now to me belly buttons are strange anyway…a lasting scar to remind you that at one time your body sustained itself by sucking a good portion of your mother’s daily nutrition intake like a parasite, only to be finally rejected by your host and your feeding tube unceremoniously snipped off so you now have to feed from the same hole you now breath through…which causes me to choke several times a year…But I digress.

The curse of the hernia!


Actual photo of me discovering hernia.
Actual photo of me discovering hernia.

What I mean by strange is it was bulging like a hernia, well not like, but it was a hernia. With Amazon coming and our current insurance running out at the end of the month, I decided to give them a call to see if I could get it looked at in Reno. Unfortunately our network only covers Las Vegas which is 400 miles away. Now you may think 400 miles isn’t bad, and it isn’t, but if you have never driven the stretch of 95 from Reno to Las Vegas I’ll save you a trip. Get some paint, any paint will do, and make it a neutral brown color. Now go to a wall, it doesn’t 

brace-yourselves-the-roadtrip-is-comingeven have to be your wall. If you are with me so far you now paint a portion of that wall this lovely neutral color, enough to cover your field of vision. Once you have come this far, you sit and watch it dry. Don’t take your eyes away from it for the 2 hours it takes to harden, and after that keep staring for another 4 hours straight. You have now completed the nothing-but-desert-drive from Reno to Las Vegas.

We needed a place to stay and fortunate for us, we have family in Las Vegas. I called my aunt and uncle and explained the situation. They very graciously said we could stay as long as we needed and we could bring the dog. The couple that we are work camping with said they would check on the cats. Since it is hot in Fernley this time of year we also have a camera inside our RV which I put a thermometer in front of so we could make sure the AC was working while away. I wrote a review of our pet-nanny Belkin Netcam here. I will say this several times, thank you to all who helped us with this situation; thank you very much.

The Live Book on Tape

We started out on the trip. Natalie wanted to drive there because if I ended up having surgery I was going to stay and she would return to Fernley alone. It was on this long drive that we discovered a great driving entertainment source, a live book on tape. I happen to have a few classic free books on my phone, one of which was Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. In a moment of desperation to simultaneously talk and busy myself from the same scene I had been staring at for hours, I asked if I could start reading it aloud to Natalie. She agreed to not throw me out of the moving vehicle for doing so; therefore I read.

Fortunately I do not get car sick, and those that know me know that I love to talk and read. Natalie likes stories and as it turns out likes to hear me read. She says I do all the little voices of the characters and it makes it interesting. It is also fortunate that I am somehow able to read out loud for several hours straight. So this drive and any future ones may turn out to be greatly shortened by Levi’s Library of Live Audio Books.

More Road Trip 🙁

We saw our general practitioner who confirmed I had a hernia and got referred to a surgeon the same day. The surgery was scheduled a week later. We traveled back to Fernley and then took the trip again when my surgery was scheduled. The surgery went well and as I am writing this I am hernia free. Natalie went back to Fernley to continue work while my aunt and uncle opened their home to us once more. I say again, if you are reading this, thank you for the hospitality and great food and everything else. My aunt even met Natalie halfway in order to exchange me.

Levi the Secretary

I am doing excellent after the surgery and recovering nicely. I can not lift however for several

Sometimes it's one deep breathing exercise after another...Or hyperventilating, yea thanks what they call it.
Sometimes it’s one deep breathing exercise after another…Or hyperventilating, yea that’s what they call it.

weeks, which means that I am now working in the office. I have a newfound respect for Natalie’s part of the work camping job. It is a special talent to be able to answer phones for 2 separate companies while checking someone into the park, taking a whole separate reservation at the same time, and managing not kill someone with an office chair.

Natalie the Maintenance Worker

Natalie is now working outside maintenance which includes cleaning bathrooms and pulling weeds. She says the work is hard but you don’t have to deal with people, which is a nice change. So I can’t wait to get back outside, and Natalie doesn’t mind if it takes me a while.

The Other Stuff

Other little fun things that have happened: Natalie was hired with the school district here as a substitute, just a few weeks ago.  We heard from an RV park in Texas that said a site was confirmed for us when we start with Amazon.  Temporary health insurance was set up for the next couple of months, and we are in the process of joining Escapees and all the many benefits it has to offer. (More on health insurance and joining Escapees in future posts.)  

Our final day here in Fernley is October 15th, which is quickly arriving as the days pass and the weather gets cooler:)

Lesson of the month: Hernias suck, family is awesome, and surgery comes with nice drugs.

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