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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

3364 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!



"What filth is this?"

I have determined that I should restrict myself to Breakfast in the restaurant of Clarewood House because of the cost. For dinner tonight I had a Weight Watchers "Slow Roasted Turkey Breast"(170 calories). I cannot remember such a terrible meal. The turkey tasted like the ass end of a tom turkey that was so ugly no hen would accept his advances. Either that or the meat was created in Dr. Frankenstein's lab and stored for several centuries in a barrel of sawdust and ice. The mashed potatoes were so tasteless and runny that I had to mix pieces of wheat bread in it to activate my taste buds. I suspect the cardboard container would have had more flavor. I did however score a container in which I can heat frozen vegetable for future meals. I will not replace this item ever!

This morning I "volunteered" to help collect donations to the Houston Food Bank. I was teamed with a woman (Jo Ann? Winters) who has been here for 6 years. She knew everyone who passed the table by name and room number. She is the only other one on my future floor 9 who has a cat. She will be moving to room 802 so her apartment will be directly below mine. Shortly after my shift started a woman pushing a walker stopped to drop off her donation. As the woman left she made a remark about 95. Jo Ann confirmed the woman was 95. Not long after Don stopped and somehow in the conversations I learned he was from Lawton, Oklahoma and is also an unpublished author. He is writing a book he titled "An Oklahoma Boy". He knew the Cement Cyril area very well. Small World indeed! Both Dan and Jo Ann? Told me that in a recent gathering of residents over 90 118 residents attended. No one really knows how many are over 100 but they are certain there are over 6. The 95 year old woman moves faster and seems more alert than I do.

I did learn that I can chose the TV supplier. I can chose Comcast with a pitiful few selections or Direct TV with almost as many channels as I had at home. If this is true I will opt for Direct TV. I will have to find some way to use headphones so I do not annoy my neighbors.

 


Posted by wayne at 9:15 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 15 September 2014

3363 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!



"Only 2 laps"

The Home Health Care nurse was here this morning to begin my daily (?) workouts. After she left I prayed for a paper work snafu that would keep her away. Except for maybe once a week. I could handle once a week. She arrived with 3 pound strap on weights for my arms and legs. That sounded kind of puny for a guy who used to routinely work with 50 pounds. Fifteen reps for each arm of bicep curls, lifts overhead, swing from shoulder to shoulder, and up from my side to parallel to the floor. Legs were 15 reps each of high stepping, moving foot forward, moving foot back, sideways lift. All these were tolerable. Then she directed me into the hall and told me to walk to the far end and back to my door. This counted as 2 laps. The further I got from my room the further away the distant end of the hall looked. The vista reminded me of the time I walked the railroad tracks from Markham to Bay City. The terrain there is so flat that is seemed the track converged infinitely far away. As she left she told me to make three laps tomorrow and increase the count each day. When "we" get to 10 "we' will move outside.

I had to have a taxi take me to Dr Fields for the follow-up visit. As usual none of the tremors or high pulse rate manifested themselves in the doctor's office. He accepted my testimony and did a thorough examination and announced that I was in decent shape and are still recovering from being so sick. YD was still in Louisiana with Rob.

I got back from the doctor's office so late that I missed dinner. I had to do my breathing exercise first. I had a Weight Watcher Smart Ones dish of Pasta with Ricotta and Spinach and left over fruit pancakes from breakfast. I had intended to have a Lasagna with meat sauce but grabbed the wrong box. I had never intended to eat the Pasta with Ricotta as it just sounds nasty. I only recently started eating cooked spinach. Surprisingly it was quite good. Well better than I expected.

I have searxhed all 11 cable channels and cannot find Monday Night Football so I am going to put away my washing and go to bed with a book about Shirley Temple and the Great Depression.

Tomorrow morning I have been volunteered by the women on the 9 th floor for an hour manning the drop off spot for the Houston Food Bank. Pleasant Dreams All!


Posted by wayne at 9:52 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 14 September 2014

3362 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!



"Oh my aching knees"

Senior daughter with her husband and son came today and we went to IKEA for furniture shopping. For those who have not shopped at IKEA let me tell you the store is huge. The store is also laid out so that, in general, you have to wend your way past every item IKEA carries.


Click the picture for a blog explaining the layout of the store. We ate lunch in the store restaurant before starting the shopping. When we found an item that we agreed on for my studio apartment SD or her husband took pictures of the info label and item for later reference. I only had to pee twice. By blood oxygen stayed in the 94 plus range the whole time. We did not get to shopping for lamps and small utility tables. After a couple hours working our way around the store and the huge crowd of people I had an anxiety attack. Over the last couple of years I have learned how to keep myself from tipping over into a full blown panic. I covered my eyes and imagined I was petting Rascal while sitting by the swimming pool. I was so thankful that her family was sympathetic of my feeling. When we got back to my room. She made a list of the items selected so that I could order them on-line. Tomorrow I will ask the administrator if it is OK to have the IKEA flat-packs delivered to room 521, my present room, for storage until room 902 is available. My initial budget for furniture was $1000. I think I was $600 over that budget. If she gives approval I will go on-line and order: a desk, file cabinet/printer stand, dining table, two chairs for the table, a couch, an upholstered hair, two cushions with two sets of covers for the cushions, mattress for hospital bed, floor lamp, and a goose neck work lamp. We still need to find a table for the kitchen area for a microwave and additional kitchen supplies, two shelf book case to fit under window, small radio, alarm clock, sheets and blanket.

I am so weary that I am headed to bed at 10 pm after my shower. God night all.


Posted by wayne at 10:39 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Saturday, 13 September 2014

3361 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!



"About yesterday"

I intended to report on my long record of not winning at bingo in my last blog but was distracted by something bright and shiny. Bingo is played twice weekly here. I was able to play Thursday. They play straight bingo until 25 winners holler "BINGO!" In the 20 games played I was exactly one square away from a bingo in several different diagonals and straight lines. ONE! So my record stands. I have not won at bingo since I won a cheap plastic billfold when I was in 6th grade at the Markham Elementary School Thanksgiving Festival. The very first time I had any folding money to put in the billfold it split along every seam. Sixty one years. That must be approaching a Quiness world record.

I have been drinking a glass of prune juice with breakfast each morning. I doubted the stories my people told me about the juice. I do not now.

I did not walk very much today. All the walking the past week has caused my knees to ache when I first stand up and take a few steps. I need to ask Dr Fields if there is anything I can do to ease the pain.

Click on the picture below for a larger composited photo of the scene outside my window in room 521. The Reliant football stadium, now called NRG Stadium, is barely visible to the right of the Texas flag. Shattered Manor is in a line with the White box truck but many miles away and hidden by buildings and trees. I miss home.


I was supposed to shop with grandson today but did not feel up to it. Tomorrow Senior Daughter and some of her family and I are going shopping for furniture at IKEA. Time for breathing and BP then bed. Night all!


Posted by wayne at 12:01 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 12 September 2014

3360 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!



"61 years and counting"

Today was a strange day. I spent most of the day recovering from the most difficult exercises I have ever attempted. While I was on the Extended Care area both physical therapists kept pushing me to breathe with my diaphragm. I have tried but do not really know how and likely forgot shortly after starting to smoke at age 9. Today while doing my 4 am breathing therapy I googled for "Diaphragm exercises". I read the instructions several times and lay on the couch with two books on my belly. Hard to do and I did not do well but after 15 minutes I did sorta breath with my diaphragm. My stomach lifted and my chest did not while inhaling and vice versa upon exhalation. I tried again after lunch. Both sessions resulted in deep relaxing 2 hour naps.

Amongst naps, breathing therapy, meals, BP monitoring I started 2 more lists.

List one enumerates the items I wish to display in my future room. The walls are concrete so building management has to provide attachment points. According to the administrator they will provide for 10 or fewer wall hangings. I only have 6 images to hand and three will be shown in rotation. One is a painting of a lion by my sister in law. I call it the "Farhoudi" in honor of her husband. He was the nicest man I ever knew. The other items will be displayed in a case or on shelves. The method depends on what SD, YD, and I find on our trip to Texas AntiqueWeekend Shows between Carmine and La Grange the weekend of September 26. I will also be looking for flatware of suitable age for my "George Jones and Son" Ruined Abby blue flow dinnerware. Also funky lamps and/or rugs and maybe colorful accent pieces.

List two is a set of questions I need to ask Dr Fields Monday. I am especially worried about the increasingly violent tremors in my hands. I now have to use both hands to guide a fork or spoonful of food into my mouth. I suspect one of the new medicines is causing the tremors. My health and well being seems better each day. I have been eating three good meals a day yet I have lost 14 pounds since being admitted to Clarewood House on August 25. That is if the scale in the fitness room reads the same as the scale in ECC.

I asked my senior grandson to take me to Costco Saturday to get cat food for Rascal. I also need a can opener. Tonight I had to open, partially, a can of Wolf Brand Chili with my pocket knife. I probably dulled the hell out of the blade but I was hungry. While at Costco I might as well look at a small set of cookware.

Gotta stop. Time for breathing and BP tests.


Posted by wayne at 11:20 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Thursday, 11 September 2014

3359 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!



"Looking for a lost Pedometer"

After my recent long silences I had made a vow to write an entry every day. God laughed! Tuesday I strapped on my brand new pedometer and went to Breakfast. I walked all over the first floor. Worked on a bazillion piece puzzle and found about 25 edge pieces. Walked in the garden. It is so good to be free of the oxygen yoke. By dinner time I had 500 paces to my credit. Imagine! Just a month ago a 20 step walk to the end of my drive way exhausted me for the remainder of the day. The breathing exercises, walking, friendly people, and wonderful food have really made a difference. I was comfortably tired so after dinner I lay in my bed and read for a while. At least that was my intention. My phone alarm was ringing for the midnight breathing exercise. I woke long enough to finish and fell into a deep slumber until 4 am. Sometime during all that rumpusing around I lost my brand new pedometer.

I spent a lot of time after breakfast yesterday scouring my room for the danged thing. YD brought over a batch of small stuff I had decided I needed. I took her to lunch. She chose the salad bar option and I had the lunch special. She came back with her plate heaped with boiled shrimp, tuna salad, chicken salad and an egg. Next time I will check the salad bar before ordering. As she has since early childhood she ate all of the egg white and left the yolk for me or any hungry elves. When she left I sauntered to the library to check out a book about Shirley Temple and her influence on America during the great depression. I passed a coven of 3 women working on my puzzle. They hailed me and we began to talk. Just then the Chaplain stopped by and added to the conversation. Turns out Jean, Lauren, and Georgia will all be floor mates with me on the 9 th floor. All three asked if I drank wine. I told them yes but not as much as I used to. The floor often has shared meals and wine is almost always served. Great! I can introduce a new group to my favorite "Windy Winery" Wine. My favorite is now called August Nights. It is great with spicy foods and chili. After a full day of walking and talking I simply forgot to write and entry.

Today I think I am finally getting a handle on some kind of schedule. After breakfast and the 8am breathing session I used my new UPC scanner to build an inventory of kitchen supplies. I intend to automate it so that I can easily print out a list of need supplies for grocery shopping. Also I forced myself to lay down for an hour's nap prior to lunch. I must find a way to elevate my feet at least 3 hours each day. My right foot swells dramatically and tingles if I do not elevate it.

I have an appointment with my doctor Monday so I need to make a list of questions for him. I also need to take him the documents from the hospital. I forgot them on my last visit. I certainly need to ask him why my pulse rate is in the 90 even resting when it used to average in the high 50s.


Posted by wayne at 9:55 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Thursday, 11 September 2014 9:57 PM CDT
Tuesday, 9 September 2014

3357 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!



"I miss my Rascal!"
I had mentioned that a lab card would be perfect for my computer in my new room. That was before YD took me to Southern Dental to have a mold made for my lower denture. While I was in the office Misty and her man friend did grocery shopping for me from a list I had compiled. Then we went to "shattered manor" to retrieve some small items I had discovered I needed. Rascal came bounding across the room meowing with every step. I had never heard him so verbal. He "told" me about all the stuff being moved and taken and how much he missed me. We sat and traded head bumps and pets. I had an hour with him before I had to return to Clarewood House. My soul was lifted. My $11 cat is precious to me.

I realized that the lab card option will not work for us. He has to have room to lay against the keyboard while I am typing. So I have been looking at IKEA for a corner computer desk. I also will need a small file cabinet to nestle close to the computer desk. SD is supposed to come visit me Sunday and we plan to go to IKEA for lunch and office shopping. Saw these items on line at IKEA so we will be eye-balling them.

HEMNES $279 or MICKE $139 Do not really like design File Drawer MICKE $60.

Today I washed my first ever load of clothes entirely on my own. Usually I could whimper and Caro would finish the job. I skipped dinner tonight and had "Smart Ones" traditional Lasagna with Meat Sauce. It was tasty. I hope in the next several days to construct a data base of food supplies on hand so that I can automate my grocery shopping task. I do not have enough short term memory to write a shopping list for each trip. Tomorrow I am going to have a double shot of prune juice. My system has not returned to normal yet.

I am headed to bed to get my feet up until midnight when my next breathing therapy happens. Sleep tight.


Posted by wayne at 10:16 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 7 September 2014

3355 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!



"temporary victory"
Blue skies smiling at me or so my memory of the song goes. I am ecstatic. The Home Health Care woman came by this afternoon and decided that I do not need continuous supplied Oxygen. My blood oxygen saturation was 98% with no supplied O2. Having to maneuver a small air cylinder while doing any other task is maddening. I have been off supplied Oxygen for the last 6 hours. I am convinced that I can be permanently weaned if I relearn proper breathing and posture. Tomorrow she will test me while walking around the building.
The nurses and I used a lab cart and a wheel chair to move my stuff from the ECC to Room 521. When I was first moved into this room I unloaded the computer from the cart to a kitchen counter top. Over the last day I began to notice that the computer system is a perfect fit for the cart with extra room for a printer and printer paper. Today I moved it all back to the cart.

Instead of a computer desk which is basically immovable why not shop at a junk shop for a sturdy old lab cart. Or how about an old portable popcorn wagon? I could set the monitor in the display case and the computer in the base. I need something with wheels so I can move it out of the way yet still be able to use it when I am forced to elevate my legs.
Do I need a hospital style bed or do I prefer a recliner? I have fallen in love with the hospital bed I am using now.
Tomorrow YD and I are going to make one more attempt to get me fitted for a new bottom denture. After that I need to shop for:
Dish soap
Tide small bottle
Bar soap bath
Bath towels
Wash clothes
Shampoo
Healthy tv meals cheap dozen
Frozen breakfast meals
Frozen corn
Frozen broccoli
Salad mix
Salad dressing
Can chili
Small loaf wheat bread
White trash bags
Large trash can
Kitchen stool or the stool beside my recliner
Oxygen sensor (home)
Wheeled shopping basket
IBC deposit slips
Large storage bags
Salt and pepper shakers
Bubble wrap (home depot)
Terminal strips (home)
USB charger cubes (home)
Blood pressure meters (home)
aaa & aa batteries (home)
Clothes hangers (home)

Later this week SD and I are supposed to meet in Round Top to scout our old flatware and other stuff for my room.


Posted by wayne at 10:28 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Saturday, 6 September 2014

3354 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!



"So Sad"
I PROMISE THIS IS NOT NOR WAS EVER INTENDED TO BE A FOOD BLOG. But I always intended to write about my interests. Tonight will be the last entry, I think, about food served here at Clarewood House. I did the math over lunch today and discovered that eating in the restaurant here cost $22 per day. That is almost $700 per month for one person. For breakfast this morning I had a Western Omelette with two small pancakes, large glass V8, and a green melon whose name I always forget. That is way too expensive for me.

So Monday I will be shopping at Kroger for cheat TV dinner type meals. There are all kinds with controlled portions and healthy components. I may still eat breakfast in the restaurant but most of the time I will eat in my room or maybe carry the food downstairs and eat on the porch. I like the idea of eating breakfast on the porch and reading the newspaper. Maybe someday I could get Rascal trained to the leash and have a stroll around the grounds with him after breakfast. Ha!

YD brought more of my bric brac this afternoon. Seems the more she brings the more I remember that I need. I really need my blood pressure machines and my blood oxygen sensor.

I went to movie night because the movie was "Some Like it Hot". Caro and I really liked the movie when it first played. I did not remember it quite as played tonight. But about 2/3 into the movie I had to leave. Watching Marilyn Monroe in her hot flesh and knowing she died so young was more tragic than I could stand. Now that I am back in my room I see my feet are very swollen. I have to get horizontal BDQ.


Posted by wayne at 9:12 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 5 September 2014

3353 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!



"Moving on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky"

Thankfully they moved me today. Not to the 9 th floor but to the 5 th. I could not have handled anymore pampering and excellent food. The last meal I had was lunch. As soon as I saw it I was grumpy. I hate white fish. Especially white fish with visible lemon garnish and sauce drooled over the fish. And to top it all off it looked like the chef had poisoned the stuff with Tatar sauce. Fortunately there was a cup of Blue Ball Vanilla ice cream. Once I finished the IC my mood improved to allow me to taste the fish. Moma Mia! My mouth exploded with a saliva bomb and my brain went crazy. The lemon taste was the shadow of a hint of old line lemon trees drowsing in the Florida sun. The sauce was piquant enough to make the cells of the fish tissue scream in joy as they cascaded over my tongue. Then quite by accident I got the tiniest dollop of Tatar sauce on my fork along with a piece of flamboyant white fish. I felt as if I had just caught the fish and was reeling it in. I could feel the salty slap of the waves against the boat and feel the sun sting as I hauled him aboard. I felt the anger for defeating him in the fishes eye.


The chef that concocted the Tatar and cream sauce must certainly be a master wizard.

The sweetest nurse and a male nurse helped me pack all my possessions and move to the 5th floor. She probably weights 105 lbs soaking wet and just oozes that southern charm. She pats and rubs my arm while talking to me. She calls every one baby, or sugar, or sweetie and there is not one ounce of pretension in her body. Both therapy women stopped by to say good bye and remind me that they are always available to anyone in Clarewood house. I intend to visit 3 times a week until we correct my poor posture and movement and breathing habits.

Once again I could not connect to the network so the IT guy came and worked his magic. While he was reconfiguring the smakadiddle I decided to have dinner in the restaurant on the ground floor. Every woman (all many years older than me) gave me the once and twice over look on my way to a small table. I felt like meat on the hoof! Dinner was tuna salad sandwich, French fries, fried okra, fruit plate with cottage cheese, and a small bowl of soup.

After dinner I was hailed by a gang of marauding femmes and cross examined. I am certain that the single women will be collecting notes about the new guy. At least I hope so!

The wall facing the elevator on the 5th floor has something like a fresco scene of a faintly Mediterranean country side. Further exploration shows different scenes of the walls.


I finished a breathing treatment while writing this account and need to repeat every 4 hours. The facility pharmacy released to me all the medication held in my name. I shall not have to use the Kroger pharmacy for more than a month. I need to check with my family doctor about continuing the machine driven breathing treatments or using the Symbicort and Spiriva inhalers. I am going to finish "The Cat Who Smelled a Rat", watch some TV and sack out after the midnight BT.


Posted by wayne at 9:17 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink

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