Thursday, March 31, 2016

Whirlwind Update

Activities are moving along quickly.  Mom is driving again.  I had told her we both needed to put something in the storage unit we had rented just to get started.  I went home, puttered a bit, sat down with a cup of coffee.  Mom showed up at my door with her keys in her hand saying she had her car loaded, what was I taking?  I hurriedly grabbed a box to put in the car, and off we went with her at the wheel.  She said it was like she never stopped driving.  So, I think the stroke thing is a note in history, something to be remembered and worked around but not really affecting much today.

Another thing I’ll note about Mom is that she pretty much does what she wants and I just follow along and try to help.  She has decided she is moving up to Peyson, so I’m trying to make it as easy as possible for her.  It is not time for me to interfere in her plans, and I’ll put that off as much as I can.  She checked the location of facilities such as the hospital and public transportation for if/when she can’t drive, so I think we are going down a good path for now.

As for me, I’m pulling things out of corners and closets.  I’m finding some things that I couldn’t previously put my hands on when I wanted them, and finding other things that I can’t figure out why I put where I did.  I am also getting rid of some things.  That part needs to move along faster.

I found an older Roadtrec on Craigslist yesterday, and Jim and Sandy met me at the time the seller had agreed to so Jim could check it out for me.  The seller never showed, and after several phone calls finally someone else at the number said it had already sold.  I’d talked to the seller an hour and a half before the meetup and he had said it was available…  So Craigslist folks are as flaky as I’ve heard.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

And we are off!

Mom got approved this morning for a rental in Peyson, up the ridge about 2 hours from where we are now.  So, we need to move her, sell her mobile home (anyone want a couple of nice mobile homes in a 55+ park?), get her settled, sell my mobile, and I need to buy an RV.  No problem…

I’m pricing storage units as an iterim step.  Mom is on the list for some appartments in Peyson and will need some furniture and things when that comes open.  This current rental is a 5th wheel in a nice small park so she won’t need much with her for now.  I plan to possibly move my future RV to that park as well.  Rent is around half of what it is here, and utilities will be cheaper in a smaller space, hopefully.

I said I needed a change…

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Saturday Morning Walk in Mesa

We started around 8am and walked around downtown Mesa to find some more of the painted pianos.


We found all but one of the remaining pianos on the map that are actually in downtown Mesa.


The one below is by far the most elaborate.



It even has mirrors on the back!








Some are more colorful.



A few other scenes from our walk:


All in all a nice way to spend some time with my Uncle on a nice Saturday morning.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Testing the email function again

This is Waylon Jennings' tombstone. I had no idea he was buried here in Mesa. I learn a lot when people visit and have researched places they want to visit.
Sent from Huawei Mobile

Off to Sedona

My Uncle from Kansas City is here visiting my Mom.  I’m taking them up to Sedona today as he has never been.  He is going to also go to at least one, maybe 2, spring training games of the Kansas City Royals while he is here.  He travels around (no so much anymore) taking pictures of groups of things.  He has pictures of the State Capitol buildings for all but 2 of the lower 48 states.  He has pictures from visiting most of the Presidential libraries.  He has pictures of most of the painted fiberglass statues that different cities have had over the years, guitars in Nashville, pigs someplace else, and now I guess we’ll be finding the painted up pianos here in Phoenix.  A long term collection he is getting is pictures of the graves of Country Music stars.  So, the first thing we did when he got here was go visit Waylon Jennings’ grave here in Mesa.  I didn’t realize Waylon is burried here.  I’ll post a picture of his gravestone when I get back from our trip.

We lost electricity for 5 minutes around 3:30am, after me reassuring Croft and Norma that only happens in the summer around here.  I was informed by my Uncle who tracks these things that is hasn’t rained here for 31 days.  I hadn’t really noticed, but I guess I am thinking it is time for some rain.  The snowbirds are slowly starting to head out of here and the weather is getting warmer during the days while still chilly at night and early morning.

And, that is what is going on so far.  I’m not going to make any big decisions until at least the end of the month.  I told my Uncle that I went and got myself fired just so I could spend time with him and my Mom while he is here.  Don’t think he believed me.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Transition Time

First off, Mom is doing great.  She isn't using any cane or walker.  She is a tad slower than before and she hasn't tried to drive yet.  She has an appointment with the neurologist next Monday.  So far so good.  My Uncle is due tomorrow or the next day for a couple of weeks, so she is busy getting ready for that.

Transition.  I keep trying to figure out the way to phrase this that give is the right tone.  I was not happy at work.  I saw them setting me up.  In the end they were making up stuff to write me up about.  Nothing surprising there.  I am no longer working there.  I am not that unhappy about it.

That said, I have been waiting for a sign of which direction to turn for awhile now.  I've even told some folks I have no idea why I'm still here, in that job, in this park, as it seems like I should have moved on.  So, I am now trying to figure out the next step.  I would have liked to have stayed till the end of the year to have been in shape to retire.  I may do that yet.  Just have to figure out what I want.

I've been getting rid of stuff, sorting and clearing.  Croft and Norma helped me with creating a head shot for my LinkedIn profile.  And interestingly enough, a recruiter send me a connect request today.  I accepted it.  I have not posted the new head shot, I should probably clean up my resume at the same time.  I'm working my way to getting back on days again with my awake/sleep cycle, so deep thought hasn't been my strong suit the past 24 hours.  I'm not in a huge rush.  I'm ok for now.  The primary thing is to move in the direction that gets me where I ultimately want to be.

Some things I realize that I need to put on hold as I have no verifiable income.  I had thought about buying an older RV with a loan, but wasn't going to do that without a lot of looking and thinking about what I want.  At the moment I couldn't get a loan (I assume), so I'm backing away from that for now.  I don't want to pull that much money out of my retirement account right now, even though it would lower my monthly expenses a lot to live in an RV.

The medical stuff is new to me.  For the first time I do actually need to have insurance.  I take thyroid medication.  There is no hurry to actually have my thyroid out, but I do need to go to the doctor on a regular enough basis to keep the prescription.  So, that will be my primary financial challenge, I think.

I'm just cleaning, and sorting, and cooking and eating at home, and thinking.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Mom is home

I got a call around 8am this morning from Mom in the hospital saying she was being released.  I had already arranged with Croft to go pick her up as I needed to sleep to do my 12-hr shift tonight.  When I woke up in the middle of my 'night' around 1pm I went over and she was sleeping in her chair.  She woke up enough to give me the prescriptions she needed filled, so I ran over to Fry's and dropped them off.  I went back to bed and before coming in to work I picked them up.  The hospital gave her fairly complete directions on what to take when, and what she said matched the paperwork, so I have confidence that she will take the right thing at the right time.  This also helps me to believe that she has no lasting issues from the stroke(s).

The neighbors are all checking in on her, so I'm comfortable leaving her no-so alone.  When I left Buddy Bill was there.  I told him to keep an eye on her.  He thinks the sun rises and sets for her since she let his wife stay with her when they didn't have air conditioning after the big storm.  Mom also was one who set out food in the community room for the folks who didn't have electricity during that time.  From the number of folks who would stop me on my walks or drives through the park to ask about her, I think she will be well taken care of.  Favorite Neighbor knows I'm worried about her having food, so I know she will make sure there is food around.  That family is always trying to feed me anyway, so I know I'm hitting her strong suit there.

Mom is keeping her mobile home as warm as she wants now, so hopefully she will be more comfortable.  I'm thinking the sleeping was her finally relaxing after being gone for 5 days. 

Saturday, March 05, 2016

So far, so good

Mom is still in the Stroke Center, in a very nice large room all by herself.  Her primary complaint is that she is always cold.  This is nothing new.  When they weighed her she was 103 pounds, and I know when I was that low weight I tended to be cold as well.  Her room is kept at 80 and she can request a hot (warmed up) blanket whenever she wants.  Now that she has figured out what foods she likes from the cafeteria she is eating again.

No obvious damage from the strokes.  Yes, plural.  She was told she has had several mini strokes.  As it is the weekend not a lot is going on and we don’t know if she will come home or go to rehab, and when it will all happen.  At this point she is where she needs to be.

Thank you for the prayers and good thoughts.

Friday, March 04, 2016

A detour

I was asleep Wednesday afternoon, with my third 12 hr shift ahead of me that night, when I heard Croft calling my name at my front door.  “Sorry, but it’s an emergency, it’s your Mom…”  I grabbed for clothes and my phone and ran over.  Mom had said she thought she had a stroke.  Norma and Kris were already with Mom, giving her an aspirin.  911 was called.  Off she went in the ambulance.  Half awake, calling into work to say I would not be in, I asked Croft to drive me to the hospital.  As he cycled through various gears in random order with my stick shift, we got there and Mom wasn’t in the system yet.  I gave them a few minutes, and then she was in the system but not in a room.  A bit later the reception guy walked over and gave us visitor badges.

Croft waited in the outside reception room while I went in.  Later, after finding me some breakfast, he headed home.  Mom had no obvious issues from the stroke, but she doesn’t remember Tuesday night.  She didn’t take her medicines and clothes and stuff were not where she normally puts them.  At 85, this doesn’t sound unusual, except that my Mom is as active and with it as I am (not that that says all that much lately…).

Yesterday a MRI determined that she did have a stroke and she has been admitted to the stroke unit.  Her handwriting and speech don’t seem to be affected at all, in fact I now see little change in her other than she has been mostly in bed the past 24 hours so is a bit shaky when shuffling to and from the bathroom.

Needless to say I haven’t finished my shifts at work this week.  I have plenty of vacation time accrued, so that is not a problem.  I appreciate that Croft and Norma and Kris jumped in and helped us, and that Favorite Neighbor went over to check on Mom when she wasn’t obviously active that day.