Bill and Cathy McArthur on the Road 2010: 21

  Monday, November 1, Bill was up at 5:00 AM. He thought about kayaking, but the weather was iffy and Dan Carroll was due around noon to work on the shower. It's a good thing that he didn't go because, while Cathy was at the gym, Century Link showed up to connect us to DSL. It took the installer two low crawls under the house to get it right, but we ended up with a very fast Internet connection. Bill set up the TiVo and Blu-Ray player and the iPhone so that we were all connected. He also enabled streaming NetFlix and loaded the guide on the TiVo. Cathy came home from the gym, made fruit for Bill, and headed out to meet her student at the Golden Gate library. Cathy's student didn't show up due to a mix-up on which day to meet, so Cathy came home. She ate lunch and headed out for a walk. Meanwhile, Kevin Sands came over to take a look at construction of the back steps. Dan Carroll came by later to caulk the shower drain and reconstructed the park's steps. The cost was $300. We went to Happy Hour on the bridge. During and after dinner, we viewed "Casino Royale" on Blu-Ray - quite a good spectacle.

  Tuesday was an off and on rainy day. It rained hard first thing in the morning when Gloria, our line dancing teacher, came by during her morning walk. Bill decided to do some errands, but then saw the possibility of squeezing in a 5 mile run in the light rain:

Bill took a shower in the utility room. The caulking seemed to have worked. Bill's new bike rack for the utility room arrived. Cathy helped to assemble and install it. It was a big help in uncluttering the utility room. After lunch, Bill went out to run some errands related to Cathy's upcoming birthday. When he returned, he went out for a 23 mile bike ride. He found that North Road was an acceptable training route:

Bill was thinking about signing up for a time trial at Ave Maria on Sunday morning. Our sister-in-law Shannon called to set up a visit by her and Charlie on Sunday morning at 10:00 AM. Bill tried to figure out a way to make both of those events compatible. During dinner we viewed part of a streaming NetFlix movie, "The Job". It didn't hold our interest long enough to finish it. Cathy went inside the unit to watch MSNBC while Bill viewed "Secret Yosemite" on streaming NetFlix.

  Wednesday morning, Bill was up at 5. He found the weather and tide right for a kayak paddle and headed out at 8:42 for a three hour tour (like Gilligan) of some of the canals and lagoons of Aqualane Shores. He covered 11.3 miles. The air was warm, verging on hot, and the water was calm. It was a good day to be on the water. Bill showered in the utility room afterward. Cathy went to two classes at the gym and then to Publix. After lunch, we went to the post office downtown (and Bill went to Starbucks) and then to Home Depot. We ordered a shade for the door of the utility room for privacy of the shower. Later, Bill straightened up the back seat of the XTerra so that we could have passengers back there. We had quinoa and a frozen meal for dinner. We viewed the Blu-Ray version of the Final Cut of "Blade Runner", always great.

  Thursday was Cathy's birthday. Bill started off the morning by sending the following email:

   Happy birthday! I've decided to give you the present that you've been hinting at for quite some time now: retirement from cooking. This will be a phased transition over the next few weeks. Starting on Friday, when I'm slated to grill anyway, I will begin an apprenticeship of sous chef to learn your ways of making salads and cooking the "standard" meals. I will do all of the work, but I'll require you to be at my side giving me guidance for each step. During the ensuing week, I'll need to make a quiche, prepare pasta your way, and do tortellini. I will also need to get up to speed on meal planning and shopping. Luckily, I'm not a stranger to cooking and I actually like doing it. It should be interesting. I will let you know when I'm ready to go it alone.

       Love, Bill

Later, when Cathy arose, Bill gave her a jellyfish windchime produced by a local Naples artist. Also, Bill presented a shorts and top outfit from Tommy Bahama's. Finally, Bill showed Cathy his email. The day was off and on rainy, but Bill found an off time slot to go for an easy 5 mile run:

He took a shower in the utility room afterward. Around mid-afternoon, Bill went over to John and Linda's house to help John with his project of saving his LP collection on CDs. The main issue was learning how to use iTunes to change titles and use playlists. We left the house at about 6:00 PM to pick up Jerry and Lou Hale at their Lely Pines apartment. Jerry used his electric wheelchair to get down to the car and used his cane and walker to get around otherwise. We went to Bonefish Grill for dinner. We all enjoyed our meals, especially the Bang Bang Shrimp. It was raining hard again when we dropped them back at their apartment. Cathy headed for a shower and Bill headed to the bedroom to read before going to sleep.

  Friday was chilly and windy. The high temperature was only 70 degrees and the north wind howled all day. Cathy went to an exercise class at Rock Creek and then to the gym for another. Bill used Brillianize on a couple of the acrylic windows in the Florida room. He noticed that the window closest to the utility room was off track and loose at the top, so he took a photo and emailed Kevin Sands about the situation. Kevin called and told Bill about the adjustment screw at the bottom of the edge of the window. Bill adjusted the screw and fixed the problem. Bill waited awhile for the sun to warm the air and then went out for a 13 mile bike ride. When he came back, he reversed the door on the dryer, as Cathy had requested. After lunch, Bill headed out on his kayak. Because of the strong north wind, he headed up Gordon River and paddled into the Nature Conservancy among the mangroves. When he exited the mangroves, he headed up to the end of Gordon River. At the connection of the river with the Golden Gate Canal, water was boiling into the river. The tide was going out, so the river was running very fast. Bill was propelled down the river by the wind and current and some paddling at a high rate of speed. He landed after two and a quarter hours and eight miles. After a shower, Bill assembled our grill. We went to the bridge for Happy Hour, where Bill invited Norm and Marianne, our former neighbors, to come and visit our home. He gave them a guided tour and then returned to the almost empty bridge. We headed home and Bill acted as sous chef during the preparation of a grilled burger dinner. We viewed "The Losers" during and after dinner - pretty good adventure movie.

  Saturday, Bill's left eyebrow and eyelid were of concern. There was a spot on the eyebrow that was painful enough to wake him during Thursday and Friday nights. Also, a rash on the eyelid was very itchy. Bill had scheduled an 18 mile run for the morning. The first 5 miles went well, but the outside of his left knee hurt a bit during the first part of the second 5 miles. He stopped a couple of times to massage his knee. Because of the chilly air, Bill was wearing his running tights and a long sleeve shirt. At mile 8, Bill's right calf produced a sharp pain, reminiscent of the recurring calf problem that had plagued him since 1978. He had to hobble back home for 2 miles. Cathy was out on a lunch/shopping expedition with some women from the campground. Bill changed clothes and drove to the walk-in clinic near NCH on 8th Street. The place was nearly empty, but the two insurance receptionists kept busy checking Bill's ability to pay them. Finally, Bill got to see Doctor Shields. As Bill reported in an email:

   Sorry to bother you, but I've come up with a weird rash on my eyelid and need some guidance. I started to feel a bit of burning in my left eye on Monday. I thought that it had something to do with running the Miami Beach half marathon without sunglasses, although I was wearing a visor to provide some shade for my eyes. Around mid-week, I started getting a very painful area on my left eyebrow that woke me up often during the night. On Friday, there was a discernible rash on my left eyelid and some itching. I went to a walk-in clinic on Saturday (yesterday). The doctor said that he didn't know what it was, but that he thought it might be a bacterial infection. He prescribed an anti-biotic (Cephalexin 500 mg, 3 per day). He said that if it was still the same or worse on Sunday (today), I should get some OTC Hydrocortisone to apply to the area. He didn't want to prescribe anything stronger due to the nearness of the eye. He said that if it was still as bad or worse on Monday (tomorrow), I should check into an emergency room.  Later, when I was checking out of the clinic, as an afterthought, he pulled me aside and said that it could be shingles. He gave me a prescription for an anti-viral (Famvir 500mg TID) to be filled on Monday, if the symptoms persisted. The situation seems worse today with the rash more visible and the itching worse. I'm going to get the Hydrocortisone. I thought that you might be able to provide some guidance for me. I've attached  a couple of photos. Thanks.

When Bill checked out of the clinic, after paying $17, he headed to Publix to get his anti-biotic prescription filled. The cost was $0. Bill also took the opportunity to visit Starbucks. He was limping badly during all of this. Cathy returned home during mid-afternoon. We watched some football games for a while. Then, Bill got a shower and we drove to the Salvation Army church around the corner from the campground. Cathy's student, Elda, had invited us to a retirement ceremony and reception dinner. When we arrived on site, Elda was leaving to help someone pick up a car from the shop. Eldaless, we suffered through a mostly boring 2 hour ceremony, highlighted by a bilingual stream of consciousness from the retirees. Dare one say "Adding insult to injuries?" Afterward, Elda was still not evident, so we left and went to Olive Garden for dinner. It was a surprisingly enjoyable meal. Bill's calf hurt more than ever and he gave up on the idea of competing in a time trial (for bike) at Ave Maria for which he had registered for Sunday morning. Bill headed to bed to nurse his wounds.

  Sunday morning, Bill's situation was about the same. He headed out to Publix to pick up hydrocortisone and also visited Starbucks. His calf felt painful and he had to limp while walking. When Bill got home, we cleaned the house with vacuum and Swiffer. Bill started the Sunday Times crossword. At 10:00 AM, our sister-in-law Shannon arrived. She brought us a beautiful orchid for our home and presented Cathy with a pair of earrings that she had made. We talked and then ate lunch at our dining table in the Florida room. After lunch, we took a quick walking tour of the campground and then drove downtown to walk around and browse along 5th Avenue. Bill and Shannon stopped at Starbucks. Shannon left around 3:30 PM. Bill received some email advice from nieces Stephanie and Erin and made a quick trip to Publix to fill his prescription for Famvir for possible shingles infection. He asked the pharmacist if it was OK to take Famvir and the anti-biotic that he had picked up on Saturday. She said that there was no interaction. When Bill got home, he took a Famvir tablet and then elevated his leg and chilled out for a while. Cathy went to the bridge for Happy Hour and returned with several women for a tour of our house. Cathy gave Bill a night off from cooking and allowed him to rest his leg. We had quinoa pasta for dinner and viewed "The Code" - a trite heist movie, but entertaining. Bill stayed up until 10:00 PM to take his anti-viral tablet.

        Bill and Cathy