Saturday, October 29, 2022

Another day in the life of a sick weaver in Aurora

It has been six weeks since I moved here. This cold is a setback, the damned trash fall was a set back. The entire loom had to be "tied on" again. All of the above notwithstanding, I finished the orange yesterday, (finally!), but saved cutting it of until this morning. Or maybe last night. Not important.

It's for damn sure a Ricola between doses of cough medicine does not stop a bout of coughing!

This morning I got to the loom after breakfast. Actually to the serger. I remember the bout was cut off and ready to finish for the washing machine. I serged each cut end and moved on to the sewing machine to further secure each end. This simply means two more rows of sewing through the serger threads.

Buzzing along, paying no attention, the machine jammed. I'd sewed right off the edge of my fabric and continued along for an inch or so, until the sewing machine said "Stop Now."

The needle was half through a stroke and would neither raise nor lower. I kept taking off parts until the entire bobbin assembly was on the table and the thread freed. Then to replace the bobbin bits and snap them in place. Remember, it was breakfast not long ago.

At noon I quit and had an ice cream for lunch. I was expecting Beth sometime this afternoon, so I retired to the computer to wait. She appeared at supper time and before she left I asked for her help. She balanced the machine on its back and balanced the parts where they belonged. Snapped closed the case and I  was back in business.

After she was gone I gathered the roll of fabric and headed across the hall. Both washers were running. Ah, well. Tomorrow is as good as today.

Halloween is being celebrated here this weekend (and probably Monday, too!) I wore my cat sweater.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Surviving on ice cream

The lurgy, or whatever it was returned in full force over the weekend. All I could do was cough and blow my nose. Then fall asleep and wake up two or more hours later. At one point in my terminal delirium, I remembered winter is coming and I still don't know how to operate my 2014 headlights. 

This is a problem to be solved only by my daughter, the Subi expert. I called. I could not sound healthy, try as I might. I went back to sleep after we talked. In a bit, loud banging on my door. It was Jenny, the concierge, with a lovely handle bag from the drug store. 

Her message from my daughter was "Take this, it's the only thing that works. And, please stop licking the doorknobs." I laughed so hard I doubled over and then had to find a handkerchief to catch the flying snot. Jenny said "Oh dear. I will order your dinner brought up." And I responded, "Two ice creams, please."

I struggled with the printing on the box and then on the bottle and the little measuring dose cap. Even with my shiny new glasses I could read nothing. Oh well. I could still drink it. I struggled with the cap, to no avail. I'd just sorted the heavy duty pliers from the tool box when another knock, knock, knock, and my dinner was at the door. 

I asked the nice young man to open the bottle, and he did. I slugged down dose one and put the ice cream in the freezer. The current selection is Buckeye Salute. No, not Ohio State. Buckeye's! Candy to be made nowhere else. A peanut ball center dropped in dark chocolate and served by the gross. Some people serve them in little paper candy cups, some with toothpicks. Serving them in excellent vanilla ice cream is shear genius.

Beth promised me a picture to help me understand how the lights work.

Look, dear old Mom can figure it out now. So nicely labelled and everything. Later today I had to go out, and remembered to take a picture of my own:

In my defense, I've not been well.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Living lite

I like listening to the gossip of the old timers who have been here since Hector was a pup. There have been significant changes in their time, and many of those changes recent. I've mentioned we have five meals a week served in the common dining room and two served in disposable dishes in our rooms.

This change happened during the Covid interval, and I've heard plenty of chatter about how sad and difficult those couple of years were. Since the return to more "normal" times the facilities have faced the same problems as everyone else, the lack of hired help, especially kitchen staff and servers.

Dinner in the dining room is served cafeteria style, from large, heated, domed servers. The food during the week is very good. The selection is one kind of vegetable, usually a couple of starch, potato selections, usually up to three meats. From this week I can remember pecan crusted salmon,  rolled pork roast stuffed with something, rolled beef slices, various casseroles. Moving on to desserts, which run the gamut.  Then excellent ice cream. We can take as much as we we want to our rooms, as prepared meals are not served at lunch time. There is a refrigerator and freezer for storage, plenty of cupboards and a stove. 

There are games, activities, movies, yoga, exercises, bingo, the library, the pool, and more. If we drive, our car in on site. The bus can be reserved once a week to go to the grocery and drug store and small town attractions.

I have no idea what others do with the rest of their time. Personally I am four bobbins from clearing off the rest of the orange warp from  the loom. The next warp will be some variety of red.

There are a couple of small metro parks here in Portage County that I must investigate for potential. I confess, first I must learn my way around the county better. I did sort out my County ballot and fill it out. A couple of judges did declare their political affiliation, a couple did not, and one was a proud Republican, on Google, but not on the ballot. Those I proudly left blank.

An atrium on my way to dinner. The foliage is getting thin and sparse.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Muddling on through

All is well with the new digs except--I have a problem to solve. Today I just got angry and went for it. I've had the same table mates for the entire month, and apparently could have them forever. I have a problem with the system and with my table mates. I was arbitrarily seated and told this is my chair forever. The woman to my left has no interest in anything. She claims to remember nothing she did during the day and doesn't talk. Next around is profoundly deaf; anything must be repeated several times. She tries to be interested, but is more into her pot of tea. The woman to my right is 93, and also quite deaf.

I spent a week trying to make conversation, to no avail. I do know the first woman came with a husband who died a couple of years ago. "He was a drinker!" she said. End of that conversation. The next woman I've quit trying to learn anything about; conversation is impossible. The third woman I like; she tries to participate. I help two and three open their creamers and locate the sugar. The third, Marge, has begun to open up to my oft repeated questions.

In addition to her age, I've learned she used to work for a Cleveland furniture store, Sidley, I believe. Her job was to run the nursery, where customer's children could be deposited. She loved that job and had it until she fell and was a long time recovering from broken bones.

There has been no mutual conversation, but at least I can elicit a little history from one. I thought I could leave it at that; I was getting to know a number of the other women who came to some of the activities and they teased me about the dead weight at my table and suggested I ask for a change.

Then I caught Marge's cold. Marge on the left has been coughing since I arrived. She assured me she has been tested for everything and it is a chronic condition. About a week ago one of the employees began insisting Marge wear a mask. (There are two Marge's. On my dinner left, big Marge. On my dinner right, little Marge.) It was a power struggle and big Marge disobeyed as often as she could. The cough got worse, and I caught it. My first cold in forty years.

Yesterday I was too sick to care. I wore a mask in public and to dinner, which I was too sick to eat. I did tell Marge I caught it from her, and today I called the director and told her how to handle the problem. And that is exactly what the staff has been doing all day. 

I said they could move Marge or move me, I didn't care which. When I was over the cold and mask wearing, they could find me a new table, a little more animated, though it would be kind to send little Marge along with me. 

Of course half the population knew the situation by lunch, which amused me no end. My table didn't, however, so I sent word over that I was recovering from Marge's cold and then would move to a new table as Marge needed to get to the bottom of her "chronic cough", and take care not to pass it along in the meantime. I am surprised the powers that be did not not insist on it. The director told me that Marge claimed to be cured and I said where was the proof?

But, this is the same administration that does not update information packets, pass out mandatory buzzers on a timely basis, or issue third room keys when requested. Why do something as simple as ask that a chronic cough be cured or OK'd by a doctor, especially in the face of a rising new Covid wave.

I'll just tell you now, tomorrow I may well do battle with maintenance. I bought a new towel assembly to replace the el-cheapo unit in the bathroom. John, Mr. Maintenance, told me I had to buy anything I wanted and he'd install it. My apartment, my purchase.

So I made him a nice list: put up the towel bar, bring screws to repair three kitchen cupboard doorpulls. After one, I tested all and found three door pulls are short the bottom screw! Then he can straighten out my Netflix and Hulu, and finally, rehang the clock Beth climbed a stool to take down to change the battery, but even tiptoes wouldn't get her high enough to replace it.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Stuck for a title, but a lot to write about

I've been in my new home for three weeks, I think. I'm no good at that sort of calculation. And, my new glasses need some serious adjusting! I wonder why that fact sprang into my head as a factor. I just wrestled with the calendar and concluded Saturday, September 30th  was the two week anniversary, and I can add the weeks since then. Or, I moved four weeks ago, and am quite settled (easy enough in three hundred odd square feet and divested of a reasonable amount of furniture).

Today is a beautiful day with sunshine through the cat's window. No cat, yet, but it's definitely on my mind. The rules say I need a pet  deposit of $250. We all know how well the rules are implemented here. 

For instance, residents are issued a call button immediately on moving in. Mine was several days in appearing and in that time I  was locked out, without the button and without a phone. I had to be very cautious about doors, for outside doors are locked at 5:00 p.m. 

I found it an amusing adventure, finding things to hold to as I worked my way (hopefully) to the reception area, through a very large building with two atriums that could be indoors or outdoors.

But back to the present! My little bottle of quarters took quite the hit on Friday, the only day I was able to play. I won the first game, but so few of us had appeared I barely broke even, and it was downhill from there. The players had a good time joshing they finally had stopped the new girl from wiping them out!

Beth works just a short distance from here, making impromptu visits a pleasant option, if it weren't for the five p.m. door problem. All outside doors are kept locked at all times except the front door, which is staffed at all times.

Most "independent" residents come and go at all times, so the outside doors are accessible by a key pad code. Here is the emergency exit plan for my section of the second floor.

I sized this "extra-large" to highlight details. There I am in room JN. The details are completely discernable; the hall into the living area, the closet/bedroom. The large square to the right on entering is my bathroom, and a small closet. The diagonal area is my kitchen; refrigerator, sink, counter, stove top.

To use the elevator on a normal day, I turn right down the long hall, then left to the end. There are three more apartments here and the stairs or the elevator at the end of the hall. There is another diagram on the first floor to indicate the exit.

The notation "car" indicates the direction the car's parking lot. The stairwell/elevator on this first floor exit into a hallway to more rooms and via short halls to North Aurora Road parking lots. The smaller hall leads to the pool, an atrium, the Bistro, the dining hall, the library.


Wednesday, October 12, 2022

A survey of the lades and other exhilarating news

Where have I been? Even I don't know. I probably am back. I believe I'm getting over sleeping a lot. (That last fall took a lot out of me.) Serious construction has begun on the atrium/addition outside my window. It began Monday at 7 a.m. For a person who does not get up before 8 a.m. and doesn't finish breakfast until 10 a.m., it's unnerving to have the bed shaking about 7 a.m.

The equipment is monstrously sized. I've taken pictures for Margaret's grandson. There is no Digger he is not in love with.

Just getting this fellow on site causes silverware to rattle. But what a digger! One more and I'll let go the topic.

The digger at work. The bucket is filled, rotates 180 degrees and dumps into the dirt hauling truck, which eventually is filled and leaves to dump the load into a holding pile on the edge. 

Beth stopped by one day after work. One more time I had set off the  alarm, that we are asked to wear. I cannot bear it around my neck. I invariably have set it off on the first belt loop, and on the second belt loop. I decided a lanyard might work and asked Beth if they used them where where she worked. 

Short answer, No, but she encountered an engineer who had just tossed one from a conference. They emptied the wastebasket and retrieved it. She came to put the damned buzzer on it and install the affair over my head. It dropped down to exactly where I would activate it against the sink.

Beth wanted to tie a knot to shorten it. I nixed that idea. "Well, just drop it in your bra." That is ideal. No pressure on my neck; it doesn't hang out the bottom.

The social calendar is quite active; someone puts out a bulletin at the beginning of each month. There is Bingo most every day, and I showed up the first time my apartment was clean enough and so was I. It was interesting. Each Bingo yielded a Bistro Buck, redeemable at the Bistro, a small, in-house cafe. Everyone who accumulated four in a row in any game won a Hershey kiss. I had a sizable accumulation of dark Hershey kisses.

I appeared the next day for Bingo, and learned every day but one is Bingo for quarters. Each player puts a quarter in the cup to open each game, and the winner gets the cup of quarters.  For a game of Bingo covering each square, each player contributes five quarters.

There were ten of us playing, so the pot was a heavy cup of quarters. I often am a board game trash talker, but this time was more and more quiet.  Especially no looking around to see who had three squares left to fill, two, one, until Bingo and I had won the biggest pot of my life.

On that note, I'll end and hope to be back sooner. Yes, I am weaving. Plenty to talk about later.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

This is post 1801! I don't yet know what it is about

Today I had housekeeping, went to the doctor, picked up scripts and spent a bit of money. Housekeeping had a method, so I just stayed out of the way. They asked for laundry soap and were so excited at my sheets of soap ("Now only use one sheet! That's what the commercial says!"). Earth Breeze is the brand I settled on after I researched to learn how they are manufactured. 

Housekeeping vacuums, dusts (edges), mops floors and launders sheets and towels. When I came home to the neatly folded extras, I had to laugh. I said my laundry detergent was at the bottom of my laundry basket and on the way down they extracted all the wash clothes. Next time I will have them stop laundry at bedding. 

My errand when I left the doc's was to pick up a handful of scripts. The pharmacist is closed from 2 to 2:30, and I got there at two exactly. So I took some pictures.

I knew we were short on rain, but looking for a nice red tree was getting difficult.

This tree was the color above the stripe. I was close to directly in the sun, could barely see the subject and think I swiped my finger across.

This is a picture of an illuminated cloud, out my "side yard", overlooking the muddy yard. Seriously, this is the site of the addition, to be complete in spring. Much of the mud will be more grass, surrounded by an arc of apartments.

Anyway, back to the drugstore, the clerk arrived at 2:30 and gave me the total for my three scripts. It was $143.00. I extended my hand with folded over bills and said "Be careful; there are two quarters in there." She shooed my hand back, saying "I don't need the fifty cents." I assured her she did, and in extending my hand further, dropped the quarters.

No one was behind, so I wasn't flustered. I assured her she did need the quarters and retrieved them. When we were face to face again I told her the sale was part cash and part card, also folded in the cash. She spent a long time explaining why she had thought me wrong. No one was behind, so I listened patiently.

She opened the drawer to receive the cash and found three dollar bills, abandoned. "I wonder how these got here; I haven't used this drawer all morning." No one was behind, so I listened patiently.

She handed out the scripts and then the card. She let go the card long before I reached for it, so once again I leaned way out of the car and retrieved the card I'd received only a week ago in the mail. The strip side slid along the pavement as I picked it up. I hope it works next time. The clerk apologized profusely. No one was behind, so I listened while she went on and I remembered to ask her for Zyrtec that the doctor suggested I try. 

This time the transaction completed smoothly, and I pulled forward to put away the card while she took care of the customer who was now behind me. As I pulled away and could see, suddenly there were three or four cars in the line. I wonder if they were treated to a little chat.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Another day

Actually, it is nearly the end of another week. The activity I booked most of the week has been sleep. So the list of cat attributes include some fussing about and some talking. 

Jan and Tom just left. I bought a mat for under my desk chair. It came rolled into a tight club. I began the unroll by putting it on the heater. The directions suggested a hair dryer and I settled for the biggest air dryer I could see. When I came back, the mat was on the floor and a little unrolled. It spent the week under a movable chair and today it was disposed of.

Here it is where it belongs, under the desk chair, secured by the desk legs. My glass is back in a window (the cat's window):

Here is the other set of windows, over on the weaving half (or more) of the room.

You can see something muddy outside that window. The mud is from raining every night, and sometimes during the day. That has not deterred big bulldozers and little cat units which have been shifting dirt every day.

I've watched them bury a big concrete pillar, fasten a pipe to it and another pipe and pillar the other end and so on. Come next spring they may have another set of independent living units, with gardens, built.

A final "me" note of interest, and I'm outta here. I had a haircut. There are two hair dressers here and I decided what the heck. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The Friday hair dresser is Sue.

The Saturday cutter is Audrey. When this interesting razor cut has been exhausted, I'll give Audrey a go. 

No one knew I had such a large bruise when all the fluff covered it.