Friday, August 27, 2021

The Biggest Change in Our Lives

 The big change was delivered yesterday   -   a power wheelchair.  It seemed as though we would never get it; the plans were laid near the first of the year, and then we had one delay after another. First, the doc's office didn't sign certain documents, and then Medicare and/or Aetna declined to pay for certain aspects of it; such as a seat belt, a transportation package and arm rests Can you believe they would deny those 3 items?  I can't - it was ludicrous!!

Finally, we were able to get all the details worked out and a delivery date was set. Yesterday afternoon, it came, and we got a demo of how to use it and some final adjustments in the fit were made. Of course Jim had a hard time telling the guy what was and was not comfortable for him, so after a few days, we will undoubtedly need to call for another adjustment. I am not surprised!  

Here he is in the "tilt" position, with our granddaughter Jessica. He will certainly be more comfortable tilted back most of the time, as it removes pressure from the hips and legs. Wish us luck!

Monday, July 05, 2021


 When someone sends you an email, you have choices. You can 

     1). Delete it without response.

     2). Read it, without response, but forward it on.

     3. Read it and respond.....nicely.

     4. Read it and respond in a bitchy manner. 

If you do the latter; complaining because they sent it to you and it may have a virus attached, do you immediately assume that was their intent?  Or do you think it may have been sent unknowingly. Or assume that just maybe it was sent because:

     1. They were thinking of you, with love.

     2. They thought it would be of interest to you.

     3. They thought it was educational.

     4. They thought you would enjoy it or laugh. 

Friday, July 02, 2021

A Cautionary Tale: Our electrical problem

 When we moved in here almost 6 years ago, I soon noticed a problem with the lights in the kitchen. We have a wall panel with 4 switches on it; two of which have dimmer switches. 

Every time I was cooking and turned on the overhead lights and the under cabinet lights, all the lights in the kitchen/laundry/garage would go off. What a bummer it was, having to go to the breaker box every time that happened. Eventually, I left the under cabinet lights off, so as not to have the problem. 

I asked our handyman about it, and he said the dimmer switch on the overhead lights was faulty. He replaced it and both lights worked in tandem  for a while. Then they started going out again. 

About 3 months ago, my floor lamp, which was plugged in to a floor outlet sort of blew up. The mogul bulb blew out and three smaller lights wouldn't work after that. I removed the floor lamp, and discovered that the two floor outlets would not work any longer. They were where I plugged in my laptop, phone charger, power chair and another floor lamp, so I needed them in working order.  

Two days ago, I touched the wall panel in the kitchen and it was hot to the touch. That was scary enough for me to call the electrician (after years of dithering.)

The electrician came today and repaired the floor outlets (that had a broken wire.) When I told him the kitchen lights problem, he got on a ladder and removed one of the spotlights. Written right on the side of the bulb, it said...."Do not use with a dimmer switch."  Apparently, former owners of this house (we are the 4th or 5th) used the wrong bulbs and he also said that the wrong light fixtures had been used. It seems that at least several of the houses in this neighborhood, which were all built by the same company, have had similar problems. We don't know of any fires, so far, but our hot switch plate was a fire in the making. Lord knows how long it would have lasted before bursting into flames.

He suggested we replace all the pot lights with LED lamps, and we would never have to change a light bulb there again. I don't really like the light from LED lamps, but these had different switches for choice of warm or cool color. We settled on a warmer light and he installed them all within a few minutes. He also replaced the dimmer switch to the proper type.  

All this happened on our 57th anniversary. I have had better presents, but when I consider how one or both of us could have perished in a fire, I am counting it as one of our better presents!!

Another good present we got today is a ramp for Jim's wheelchair, so he can go into our sun room and from there to our back patio, where he likes to smoke a pipe. He has not been able to access that area for almost 2 years, due to a 4" drop from the den to the sun room. The ramp makes it very easy, and once we get his power chair, it will be even easier! Thanks go to our granddaughter Jessica and her brother James, who built the ramp today, after purchasing plywood and lumber. 

I cooked lambchops, mashed potatoes and steamed asparagus for dinner, but I had failed to get anything for dessert. Jessica saved the day by buying several boxes of "Crumbl Cookies", a new shop near us. If you find yourself near a Crumbl Cookies, do yourself a favor and purchase a few. They are rich and tasty! Believe it or not, the one I ate was called "cornbread cookie". It comes with a sweet buttery topping, and it is scrumptious!!

Thursday, June 17, 2021

There was a question on Facebook.....

On Facebook: One guy said about cell phones:

and I answered that I wear a "Dick Tracy watch/2-way radio" (the Apple watch) on my wrist. I often try to imagine how I might explain that to my parents and grandparents. They would surely think I am exaggerating. 

I remember my grandmother's first plane flight, when she was in her 80's (I think).  When we took her to the airport, she told me about hearing of the Wright Brothers first flight at Kitty Hawk. Of course she got her info about it from the newspapers, as there was no TV in those days. She was very surprised to know that someone had been able to fly at the time, and even more surprised to find herself about to fly to Florida to visit family.  She loved it - being above the clouds was fantastical to her. She wanted to fly again, but I don't think she ever got the chance.

My mother was afraid to fly...and so my poor dad never got his fondest wish to fly to Australia. He wouldn't go without her. 

My first flight was to NJ when I was 18. I took a cab to Manhattan and gawked in wonder at all the tall buildings, just like all the other tourists. I enjoyed that flight and I still love being on a plane. There is nothing as good as seeing the countryside and cities from a great height. 

One of my best memories was of a flight returning home from Costa Rica. We were above the clouds at sunset and the  colors and view were spectacular. I tried to get a pic of it, but the window was dirty or something and it didn't turn out well. 

Anyway, have you every thought about how you might explain modern technology to people in your past family?

Monday, June 14, 2021

It's Been a While.....

since I posted. There hasn't been anything of interest to talk about, except we went to Myrtle Beach for 3 days, with our baby and 2 grandkids.  It was so nice to be at Marriott Grand Dunes is our favorite place at the beach. But I did have one complaint. When you ask for a handicapped room, you expect that it will accommodate a wheelchair, and that you can turn one around without having to do a 3-point turn every single time. It was a nice room, but too narrow for the wheelchair and a person pushing it.  

Perhaps the powers that be need to know what things are needed in a handicapped room.  I will tell them:

Make the aisle at the foot of the beds large enough to push a wheelchair through, and turn it around, when necessary.

Make the opening to the shower larger. This one didn't have a door, but an opening in the tile wall. It was only 24" wide and the wheelchair would not fit through the opening. 

Have enough floor space for a roll-away bed, when needed and see that a person can also walk between the roll-away and the regular bed in the room. 

Also helpful would be one bed that allows a Hoyer lift to slide under it.  Our beds were on platforms and we could not get the Hoyer in place.

All of these things made for  a harrowing bedtime for Mr. K, as well as great frustration for all of us. And another thing:  why do all handicapped rooms have to be the furtherest away from the elevators?? If there was a fire, we'd have a problem getting him out quickly!!

Now that Covid is on the wane, our clubhouse has re-opened and our activities can resume.  Scrabble games on Tuesday, movies on Saturday, documentaries every month, socials and group meetings are coming back wholeheartedly!  I am so happy for that!  Have you started socializing yet?

We went to lunch with friends a few days ago. It isn't easy for us, as we have to get a public transportation service that is wheelchair accessible to pick us up so Jim can go.  It would be great if we could buy a wheelchair van.....but they cost a fortune and so far, we have not been able to locate a used one. My van is too old to make-over as wheelchair accessible, plus we have 140K miles on it - so it would not be cost effective.  

Maybe I'll win the lottery?!  Then I could buy one with all the bells and whistles! But since I turned 80, my baby think I shouldn't be driving at all.  I can't win!!  LOL

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Bits and Pieces....

I have been using Instacart for grocery deliveries for about 2 years now, since Jim went into the hospital the first time. I have enjoyed getting food delivered; not having to shop and carry stuff from the car to the kitchen is a blessing. I do wish I had someone to put it all away (and then cook it when I want it) but that's a problem for another year.

 Most of the time. I don't have any problems with the deliveries....but now and then the person who shops for them either doesn't get something, or makes a substitution that I didn't authorize. I report it and they are always nice enough about it, either replacing or giving me a refund. However, last week I had an experience that made me so mad and frustrated, I vowed to never use the service again. I ordered a fair amount of the usual stuff: eggs, butter, bread, ground beef, chicken, canned goods and bakery items. They told me the cost would be around $175. When the food came, my son was here and he carried it into the kitchen for me - a real boon. However, when I got it out of the bags, I realized that a lot of stuff was missing....and so was the receipt. They always send one on-line, so I didn't worry about it, but the more I thought about what was missing, I got madder and madder. You can't tell me that Publix was out of eggs and butter, ground beef and other common foods, such as pancakes, Eggos, Palmetto cheese and the like. If he had shorted me something really odd or uncommon, I would have understood it, but eggs? and butter? I have never been to a grocery that was out of those unless we were expecting a bad snowstorm or a hurricane.

He made a substitution for the butter pretzels I ordered - giving me cheese-covered pretzels. I didn't think I'd like them, but they are rather addictive, so that was the one good thing that came out of it. 

One of my friends from high school died this past week. I am so sad about it, as I had hoped to see her and her husband again at a future reunion. We were friends on Facebook, but about 2 years ago, after she was diagnosed with some "acronym" illness, she quit posting and only left sporadic comments. I really missed having that connection.  Sharon was a beautiful girl in high school, and she only grew lovelier and more elegant as the years passed.  Her obituary was long and revealing of the wonderful woman she became, and she was obviously loved by all who knew her. Sharon, you will  be missed and I hope to see you again in the hereafter.

I hope you are having a Happy Easter....we are having a laid-back one.....and our grandson is going to cook dinner. He's a very good cook, so we always look forward to his meals.  Not sure what it will be, this time. 

I went to UNC Urgent Care this week - nothing too serious - and this morning, the P.A. I saw called me to see how I was doing. I really couldn't believe she called me on Easter Sunday...I was impressed.  By the way, I am better. I'll check in again before too long; hope you all are doing well and getting through the pandemic with no troubles.  

Monday, March 29, 2021

Another High-School Classmate Gone....

We lost another classmate this week. Sharon was a beautiful girl and a still beautiful, elegant and graceful woman. I admired her so much while we were in school, although I didn't know her well at the time. We came to know each other more and more as we met at our reunions, and after we became friends on Facebook, I felt I knew her much better - and the admiration increased. A few years ago, she announced that she had been diagnosed with Parkinsons. Soon afterward, she stopped posting on FB. Terrible news, that. I never lost hope that she would be one to overcome the progression of the disease, and I maintained hope that we would met again sometime - perhaps a another reunion. Alas, it is not to be, as she passed away a few days ago. Rest in Peace, were well loved.