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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Sunday, June 07, 2009


The orthopedists at the Milwaukee VA hospital agree with Dan; there IS something wrong with his right knee replacement. He couldn’t convince the orthopedist at the VA hospital in Iron Mountain so at least that Dr agreed to “forward” Dan to the BIG facility…that is how/why he ended up there last week.

One thing we know from this visit is the right leg IS about ¾ of an inch shorter than the left leg…which was not the case right after the surgery (guess it has been 2 years on that knee now and 3 on the left). This most likely is the reason for all the hip and back pain Dan has.

The Dr in Milwaukee thinks the “spacer” between the upper part of the knee and the lower part is crushed or out of place. There is also the possibility that there might be an infection going on (but Dan’s white blood count has been normal).

Dan will have to go back to Milwaukee to have a test performed; they will take some of his blood and “radioactivate” the white blood cells. Then about 24-48 hours later, they put this blood back into Dan and x-ray the knee. This is supposed to tell them if there is an infection going on I guess. Dan seems to think it will show them if the “spacer” is gone. Ladies, you know you shouldn’t send your fellas to the Dr by themselves…not if you want to know what is REALLY going on. Maybe I should invest in a tape recorder??? One that is voice activated so Dan doesn’t forget to turn it on???

So, we are waiting for “instructions” from the VA to see when they want Dan back. THIS is one of the major drawbacks to being self employed…I can’t go with him….and he will have to be gone maybe 3 or 4 nights. Or it could be longer. Dan won’t be driving himself so will have to depend on the DAV van which runs from here to Iron Mountain on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays. The VA bus, which takes the vets from Iron Mountain to Milwaukee, runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This could be a scheduling issue to get Dan home even after he is released.

Anyway, when this is all done, there is a strong possibility of surgery which CAN be put off till next spring. In the meantime, they would supply pain meds and a shoe lift. The reason we would put it off till spring is because of our plans for this fall/winter…and the fact that I can’t go with him NOW due to our business. ARRGGGHHH!!!! Ya sure you don’t want to buy a nice, clean campground and lodging?? Or even learn how to run it???

And speaking of our next fall/winter plans, we think we know where we will be after our stay at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. When we leave there the first of February, it looks like we will be working at Bardwell Lake which is about 5 miles from Ennis, Texas and about 40 miles south of Dallas. The temp there yesterday was close to 90. sigh....


  1. Somehow it makes me sad to hear that you will be leaving the U.P. in February....
    But I know you will stay blogging and you will post pictures of Texas for us to love and learn about!

  2. Retired One, we are actually leaving about October 20th!!! It won't be long and I can count days instead of months!! We are due in Manteo at Alligator River Refuge about 10/25 for our first positions.

    I HOPE to be able to blog but I don't know what kind of connection speed I will have. I've thought about getting an AT&T wireless card but it is $60 per month.

  3. You HAVE to blog when you are there!!!
    We will take up a collection to get you the card....
    otherwise I will go into withdrawal or something!!!!

  4. Retired One... and I have to keep up with the blogs I follow and see what everyone is up to!!

  5. Anonymous12:15 PM

    Cathy my dad went through what Dan is going through with his knee. His knee was operated on three times and replaced twice because the first Dr. put a knee in that was not only too big but caused his leg to be too short and turned outward! The statute of limitations expired on the first Dr. so he was forced to find a new and more experienced Dr for the last replacement and it came out great now. As for part time help with your campground when you need to be away, if you're interested I could refer you to my buddy Ed whom I've mentioned to you before. He's the one who lives down on 3 mile (CR446)right on the trail. He's still semi-retired with plenty of time on his hands. Jeff

  6. Anonymous,

    I sure hope Dan doesn't have to go through all of that! We hope it is an easy fix, but won't know for a while.

    I appreciate the offer but it isn't that easy to train someone to all aspects of actually running the park 24/7 (computer, credit card, reservations, etc). Plus it would have to be someone who could STAY here 24/7...that is hard to find.

    But thanks!!


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