The Hills are Alive

 With Wildflowers

After a winter of overcast skies, cool temperatures, and lots of rainy days, spring blossomed with an abundance of yellow-orange California poppies growing in the hills. Their presence even made ABC’s Nightly News with David Muir. But what’s even more amazing is that the photos taken and shared with the rest of the world came from Lake Elsinore’s Walker Canyon, right in our backyard, so to speak!


Their colorful appearance against sunny blue skies was a welcome sight for our sorry eyes, as Jeff and I endured a winter of medical maladies and a series of unfortunate events.


First our dog, Murph, would not eat or drink. He lost his spunk and just laid around. Jeff had to carry him outside to do his business. A $1,000 later and lots of inconclusive tests, Murph got a shot of anti-nausea medicine, received subcutaneous fluid for dehydration, and was prescribed an antibiotic for a fever.

Then Jeff had his share of medical issues, resulting in finding a primary care physician, undergoing routine tests, expensive drugs to treat his symptoms, and follow-up appointments to address secondary problems.

I finally visited a dentist to have an infected tooth pulled. Five hours later I left, with 2 teeth ground down, a temporary bridge in place, deep cleanings for my diagnosed gum disease, and expensive antibiotics because at 7:00 PM I didn’t shop around for the lowest cost.

Jeff also scheduled a cleaning and left with a cavity filling and more deep cleaning for his gum disease. (Just last June he had this done in Oregon!) He opted out of having a crown made for a half tooth.


But wait! The RV needed repairs as well. Insurance paid for replacing the door and screen, except for the $500 deductible which Forest River would not agree to cover. (We replaced the faulty door lock twice before a locksmith destroyed the frame and screen to allow us to enter and exit our RV.)

Then we had to replace the protective awning covering the kitchen table/living room sofa slide-out. Heavy highway winds across South Dakota sent the awning roller banging against the RV roof while we were driving.

And finally, the switch on the Fantastic Fan in the bathroom had to be replaced. (While we were in Colorado, the on-off switch broke while the fan was running. Jeff had to climb on the roof and cut the wires to turn it off.)


But wait, there’s even more!

I received a letter from the IRS with a balance due for Jeff’s Affordable Care Act Health Insurance. (No, we didn’t notify our accountant…) I called. I paid online per telephone instructions.

I received a confirmation number. The amount was subtracted from my checking account.

Then I received another notice. I called and gave my confirmation number. I was told that online payments took 8 weeks and to ignore any future letters.

The next letter came registered mail threatening a lien on any property I owned. I called and waited on hold for over 1 1/2 hours. Finally, I sent a letter enclosed with copies of my confirmation number and my bank statement.


Meanwhile, we planned leaving Lake Elsinore in March and had made reservations along the way, traveling north to Port Orford, Oregon. I also paid for a round trip airline ticket, through a 3rd party, flying out of Medford, Oregon to Columbus, Ohio on March 29th in time for my grandson’s 2nd birthday.

Dental follow-ups and Jeff’s medical tests changed these plans! And, because I booked through a 3rd party, I had to forfeit my entire $500 flight out of Medford and book a new one from California.


Oh, I forgot one… Murph needed surgery to remove an ugly growth that suddenly appeared on the inside of his left hind leg. While he was “under” he also had 9 teeth pulled. (5 years ago he had his teeth cleaned under sedation… go figure!)


So, you get it now? Our days were so gloomy, depressing, and financially draining.

We desperately needed a silver lining to our cloudy luck… A rainbow with a pot of gold would do nicely!

The rainbow appeared but not the pot of gold to help pay for everything. So… we did the next best thing. We took to the hills and stopped to enjoy the gift of Spring!


The following photos are from Walker Canyon off the 15 where the hills are alive with California poppies.

2 thoughts on “The Hills are Alive

    • Everything just hit at once… a series of unfortunate events that unfortunately cost a lot of money. So… the RV has its new door, slide awning, and switch for the bathroom fan. Murph’s tumor and 9 teeth were successfully removed and his breath doesn’t stink anymore. Jeff’s nether land woes are going away as he becomes more health conscious and gives up smoking. I returned to the dentist for my post planing and scaling appointment and had to have gum surgery to replace some bone. Now my $10,000 dental credit card is maxed out. So Jeff is going to cancel his post planing and scaling exam because we can’t afford another very costly procedure right now. (You know, I really question if I needed gum surgery, but there was no time or money for a second opinion. And they performed it right away. It was quick and painless… scrape the bone, add some cadaver bone pieces, and stitch it up. ?????) I still have to go back for impressions for my permanent bridge and then wait 2 weeks to have it fitted and placed. Jeff will go back next winter to get a crown and possibly have gum surgery. Both of us will religiously get our teeth cleaned every 4 months no matter where we are!

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