INDIANA: LAND OF THE HOOSIERS

I have often wondered how the people of Indiana got the nickname “Hoosiers.” There are MANY theories how it came about. Here is one of the more “colorful” stories: There was once a contractor named Hoosier employed on the Louisville and Portland Canal. He preferred to hire laborers from Indiana. They were called “Hoosier’s men” and eventually all Indianans were called Hoosiers. If you want to know more just Google “how people from Indiana got the nickname Hoosiers.” 😉

Since COVID, I haven’t seen my older sister much in the last 2 years. Jack and I decided to stop in Spencer, Indiana, on our way back from the northeast states and visit. Peggy, has lived there most of her married life. Peggy and her husband, Ed (whom she met when she attended Indiana University in Bloomington), have been married 47 years. Ed grew up in Indiana, so I guess that makes him an original Hoosier!

We stayed at The Retreat at Hickory Hills campground a little north of Spencer, IN. Peggy called and wanted us to experience their Apple Butter Festival. Also, she wanted us to see her twin granddaughters (Abi and Emma), who are seniors in high school, in the marching band, march in their final Apple Butter Festival parade. We were able to extend our stay for a few more days. 👏👏👏

The whole family was there to cheer on the Owen County Marching Band right in front of Peg and Ed’s home on Main Street.
Several of us made signs.
It was a really HOT day, so the band didn’t wear their full uniforms.
They’re identically twins; PLEASE don’t ask me which one is which! 😉

We went to McCormick’s Creek State Park one day for their annual BBQ & Blues Music Festival. Both the BBQ and the music were great. Another day we went there and met up with the whole Hines crew for their monthly Family Game Day. They had rented a pavilion, and we had delicious food and a wonderful visit with all of Peg and Ed’s kids, grandkids, and extended families. If you’re in the area, McCormick’s Creek State Park is Indiana’s very first state park and a beautiful place to visit.

Another place we visited was Cataract Falls, the largest water fall by volume in the state. The falls were actually pretty close to our RV park, so Peg and Ed came up to visit us at the RV for most of the day. Cataract Falls was really a beautiful place with the added bonus of an old covered bridge over Mill Creek. It consists of two sets of waterfalls separated by about 1 mile. Both falls consist of a series of drops. The total height of the Upper Falls is approximately 45 feet. The Lower Falls is about 30 feet.

Peggy and her husband, Ed.
Here we are on the covered bridge. L to R: Jack, me, Peggy, and Ed.

When we returned to the RV we played cards and visited. Later that afternoon we decided to build a fire even though it was a hot September day. We wanted to roast marshmallows and make S’mores. They were SO good!

Ricky and Lucy wanted to help Peggy play cards.
Lucy stayed and helped Peggy.
Getting ready to the start the fire even though it was 90+ degrees! 🤣
Finally! Enough hot coals to roast the marshmallows..
Time to put all the ingredients together!
Time to eat S’mores!!

Another thing we did that week was eat out a lot. Two of our favorite places were Hill Top Restaurant and Millgrove Country Mart and Cafe. Hill Top is closer to Spencer and is a really nice place. The food there is DELICIOUS and they serve all the sides “family style.” Millgrove is north of Spencer and north of our rv campground in a small community known as Quincy. We ate brunch there one morning. The food was fantastic and the service was superb! HOWEVER, Our favorite place was Owen County Winery.

L to R: Me, Jack, Robin (Peggy’s oldest daughter), and Peggy.

We played more cards, laughed until our sides hurt, and truly had a wonderful time during our week in Indiana. It was SO good to reconnect with my wonderful sister!

From Indiana we headed back to Missouri for two months of visiting our parents, family, and deer season (of course!).

So for now ….. “On the Road Again!

Betty

Spring 2021 – Part 2

On our way back to Missouri from Asheville, North Carolina, we wanted to make a stop near Paducah, Kentucky. We frequently drove to Paducah when we lived in Dexter to shop or just get away for a weekend “B4RV” (which means before we started RVing full time).

Not far from Paducah is Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, and an area called Land Between the Lakes. Near the lakes is a town called Eddyville which is very close to one of our favorite places to eat: Patti’s 1880s Settlement in Grand Rivers, KY.

Patti’s has quite a history (it’s story is on the menu!) and the best pork chop you will ever eat! Well, all their food is delicious. If you are ever in the area, you will want to make plans to eat there! Don’t eat much the day you go to Patti’s!

We stayed at an RV park in Eddyville called Venture River Water Park Campground. It’s a new water park and campground combo that I’m sure will be very busy during the summer months.

Here are a few pictures of Patti’s 1880s Settlement.

Patti’s has THE BEST bread that they bake in an actual clay pot (just like the photo above) served with real butter and their special blend of strawberry butter. Oh! I wish I had some right now! I absolutely cannot believe I didn’t take any photos of the inside the restaurant or of our food!

We arrived in the St. Louis area on April 1st and spent our time there visiting my sister, her husband, and my dad. My dad turned 91 years young this year, and he still loves to play a card game called Three Thirteen every time we are home. Most days he wins more games than we do.

On May 1st we headed to Springfield to visit with Jack’s mom, his brother, sister, and her husband. We were supposed to stay in Springfield for three weeks then go over to Edmond, OK, to visit our youngest son and his family for a week. Welllll …. Things changed very quickly.

Jack’s left elbow had a small sore on it (he must have scratched it on something). One day he said his elbow hurt, was red, and slightly swollen like when he gets gout in his foot. I looked at it then googled “gout in the elbow” and the pics of it looked just like his elbow.

We went ahead with our errands and chores, and that afternoon we went over to Jack’s mom’s house to play Skip Bo (like we do every day). However, by then the redness and swelling had spread some and his elbow felt warm to the touch. Jack’s mom said that he should go see a doctor, but Jack wanted to give his gout meds that he took a chance to work.

The next morning his arm was much worse, and I said we were going to the doctor whether he wanted to or not. The Urgent/Ambulatory Care doctor ran some blood work and did an X-ray. She gave him IV antibiotics to which he had a reaction. We then stayed longer so they could give him IV steroids and Benadryl. They drew lines on his arm around the redness and said we were to go directly to the hospital ER if the redness went outside of the lines. We were given a prescription and told to come back the next day to let the doctor check his arm.

He got up the next morning and the redness had stayed within the lines. However, a little before it was time to go back to see the doctor, the swelling and redness had begun to go outside the lines and the arm was now hot to the touch. We went to the same doctor anyway, and as soon as she saw him, she said she was admitting him to the hospital. Well, to TRY TO make a very long story short …

Jack spent six days in the hospital on IV antibiotics. We learned from the cultures taken the first day in the hospital that he had a MRSA infection (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus). MRSA is hard to treat because of it being so resistant to antibiotics. Because it was MRSA and in the elbow joint, they assigned an orthopedic doctor and an infectious disease doctor to Jack.

After being on IV antibiotics for four days and seeing NO improvement, Jack told his doctors that enough was enough; he was ready to go ahead and do the surgery to clean the bursa sac (or remove it) and flush out the whole area that had the infection. They did the surgery on Tuesday, his arm was MUCH better the next morning, and he was discharged from the hospital that afternoon.

Ugly scar the day after surgery before the drainage port was taken out.

When you get a MRSA infection like Jack had, you have to follow up after your hospital release with more antibiotic treatments. Fortunately our insurance agreed to the two IV antibiotic infusions (the alternative treatment is oral antibiotics for several more weeks). He took the first infusion on Thursday, the day after he got out of the hospital, and the second one was scheduled the following Thursday.

However, we had to stay another week to see the surgeon and get the stitches out. That doctor appointment went well, the stitches came out easily, and Jack was finally officially released.

The day the stitches were taken out.
His elbow today – all healed up! That scab is ANOTHER scratch he got the other day. He now cleans every new scratch with soap and warm water before covering it with a bandaid!!!

All this time in Springfield put us about two weeks behind our scheduled RV campground stops for the whole summer. We did some calling and rearranging and fortunately it was fairly easy to “fix” our three week delay. The Springfield RV park was GREAT and was able to let us stay the extra time without us having to change sites (thank goodness because I would have had to move the RV by myself!).

This encounter with MRSA is something I hope we never experience again! We did learn something new: Left untreated, a MRSA infection can kill you within 36-48 hours! If you ever have swelling and redness that is warm to the touch, do not wait! Seek medical attention as soon as possible!! Jack is very fortunate; with as bad as his infection was, he could have lost his arm or worse.

So, for now ….. we are truly glad to be “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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