On the Road with the Princess and the Frog

Follow our full-time RV travels with the two of us and three dachshunds.

Needless to say, it’s not much of a blog when my last post was in September of 2016! I’m sure some of our “followers” quit doing so after weeks and months of no new posts. Well, this post is an attempt to bring you all up to date. And I will do my best to stay up to date, at least on a weekly basis. So, here goes.

We did, indeed, head back to North Carolina the first of October. We stopped at the KOA in Wilmington and had a nice visit with our son, Matthew, his wife, Jen, and our grandson, Mason. It was about this time that hurricane Matthew began threatening the east coast, so we decided we had better move on upstate.

Connie’s horse was now being boarded at Painted Sky Ranch a few miles out of Mooresville, NC. This is a beautiful 10 acre horse farm newly developed by Debra and Jeff Shook (Debra has been Connie’s friend and equine instructor since Connie has had her horse, Midnight Lady). When Debra and Jeff were expanding their barn before moving horses in, I suggested that they include a full RV hookup in their plans. Well, they did just that, so we “moved in” at the horse ranch.

Connie decided that she would begin helping out by cleaning stalls for 7 horses in return for our “RV site.” Meanwhile, we enjoyed the beautiful fall weather, taking a couple of road trips in the Jeep to see the fall colors in the mountains, and generally just taking it easy.

As December approached, it be came evident that I needed to have some surgery to remove some kidney stones. I wasn’t in pain, but they were in my kidney, too big to pass. Arrangements were made for laser surgery in mid December to remove the stones. The surgery went well, and I was able to go home the same day.

That’s when things began to go south. I had a bad hip to start with, but after the surgery, it was much worse. I could hardly walk, and the pain was excruciating. One day after surgery, my foley catheter stopped working, and I had to have it replaced. Two days after surgery, it stopped working again, and I was admitted to the hospital. What happened for the next three weeks is a blur in my mind. Because of the problems with the catheter not functioning properly, my body went septic. Because of the sepsis, my AFIB went haywire. In addition, I required three pints of blood to replace what I lost through the catheter, and I was hallucinating due to some medication. Finally, after almost three weeks in the hospital, including Christmas, I seemed to have stabilized, but I wasn’t going home.

Remember when I said I couldn’t walk? Well, I was transferred to Genesis Healthcare, a nursing home/rehab center in Mooresville in January. There I would stay for three months as I underwent daily therapy to help me walk. I started in a wheelchair and managed to walk out with two canes in April. The therapy continued for four weeks through home healthcare nurses.

During all this, my wife, Connie has been a real trooper. She even learned how to dump grey and black water tanks and has taken great care of me, our doggies, and the RV while continuing to clean horse stalls 6 days a week (now for 9 horses). God has truly blessed me with a wonderful wife.

I am still walking with two canes, and it is painful at times, but I am getting stronger each day. I am also working hard to lose enough weight to have that bad hip replaced. I have about 12 pounds to go to reach my goal. We are planning to stay in North Carolina at the horse ranch until I have lost the weight and have the surgery. Don’t know how long that rehab will be, but we’ll be right here at Painted Sky Ranch until the doctor clears me to travel again.

I hope this brings things up to date. Not exactly the way we wanted to begin retirement, but God works in mysterious ways, and we are looking forward to whatever God has in store for us in the future. In the meantime, we would appreciate your prayers for my continued recovery and future surgery as well as for Connie as she continues to look after me, our home, and the horses.


The Princess and the Frog


7 thoughts on “We’re Back!

  1. Jean McDonald says:

    So sorry your retirement started out this way, but so thankful things are looking up. Will be praying for you and Connie and looking forward to more updates.


  2. gene overcash says:

    Wow! Sounds like a rough retirement start. I can relate to that after I retired early due to disability. Praying GOD heals you fast and you get back to doing things you want to do.


  3. Carol Kinney Stewart says:

    I’m glad to hear from you again, Rusty. I’ve been worried about you since you quit posting. It sounds like you have indeed been blessed with a wonderful wife who loves you and is up to the task. I hope you’re able to have the surgery soon so you can rehab in time to make the class reunion October20-21. It just wouldn’t be the same if my old band buddy isn’t there. Check the reunion page to keep up with details.


  4. John Ramsaur says:

    Sorry to hear that you two have had such a rough time and fervently hope you are in for future years of clear sailing through life!


  5. Connie Bowen says:

    So sorry you have had a lot to deal with, we will be
    praying that all of your medical problems will be healed. Tell Connie to hang in there.


  6. Nell Uzzell says:

    Rusty and Connie, thanks for updating us, sorry I have not been any good at doing something to, at least let you know I love you. I am still missing Scott so very much, I don’t think that will veer be anything better. I love both and miss you.


  7. Nellie Goodman says:

    So glad to hear from you again! I’m so sorry to hear about all the difficulties, but I know our wonderful Lord will bring you through victoriously. I sure miss both of you – your music was such a blessing and it will be with me forever. You have been and will continue to be in my prayers and from the recent pictures you posted on Facebook, you both look great! May God’s richest blessings be yours as you continue your retirement journey. Love you both.


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