Thursday, March 16, 2023

Progress report

Let me start out telling you about bingo. A while back I ran out of quarters. That's the euphemistic way of saying my wins did not cover my losses. I blamed it all on not locating that original card that was a winner a couple of weeks in a row. I bought two ten dollar rolls of quarters.

I steadily lost those eighty quarters. I said to the room that I would give up the game if I did not have enough quarters to play. We play for an hour, a quarter a game and four quarters for the jackpot game. Four dollars generally is enough to cover the cost.

Mary Lou has been winning steadily. She sits to my right, and we've become buddies. One time she was so tied up with physical therapists she was out of breath when she arrived for bingo and worse, had forgotten her quarters. It was game time; too late to go back to her room. "Sit down, Mary Lou, I'll stake you" I said, and put four stacks of four quarters in front of her. She made enough to repay me at the end of play. She loves to tell how I fronted her bingo money.

Mary Lou generally comes out even or ahead. Lately she has been way ahead. Sadly there were jeers from the other tables, criticizing her good fortune. She won almost every game, and come time for the jackpot game wondered if she should sit it out. I told her to ignore the sourpusses and play. She did, and she won. She was ashamed and embarrassed by the not so good natured ribbing.

One of the ribbers was the Mary Lou at my dinner table. I took advantage of her proximity to tell her how upset her table made my Mary Lou. She didn't really believe my Mary Lou was that upset; however, since then I've heard her shut down the other three at her table when their ribbing began.

So to return to the story, last Friday I was two quarters short of the four dollar stake to play bingo, assuming no wins. Mary Lou was so upset; she would give me the two quarters. I refused; it was time to quit. But on Monday I bought a new roll of quarters, and showed up, to Mary Lou's great delight. I only needed two more quarters, for crying out loud.

I'd tried out several different cards over these losing weeks, never coming up with a winner. Monday I picked a card that gave me a couple of wins. Wednesday I picked a card that gave wins like the very first week I'd played. I think I lost two of the first twelve games. 

Then come the jackpot game. It's cover the card, with a marker on the Free Space and on the lucky numbers. This time they were 7; cover every square whose number ended in 7. The game began. I covered and covered as the numbers were called until one number remained. Pretty much the story of my previous games; I waited and waited, and it was not called. Someone else won the jackpot. I asked the caller if the number 67 has been called, and she said it was a lucky number, to be covered at the outset. My mistake, my loss. The winner wanted to split her jackpot with me but I didn't. I lost fair and square.

My daughter Beth belongs to a group that holds an occasional, very popular white elephant sale. She volunteered to take my towels, and took every one I had woven. After the sale she texted me the recap of my sales. I read that I would be receiving over $1,000. Woo-hoo, that would pay my taxes.

Tuesday I took the car to get new front end brakes. Because the towels made so much, I paid cash for the brakes, $400. When Beth came with a huge box of towels to return that night, I knew something was wrong. She does accounting backwards from me. I was only getting $400, which won't pay a $1,000 tax bill.

Fortunately, it won't be paid before April 14th, so I have ample time to decide which Peter is robbed to pay Sam. Bingo could stay very lucky, especially if I remember to cover all the lucky numbers.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Real cat whisperer

Beth and Caroline were coming this morning, so I kept an eye on Kitty, after all her morning routine was accomplished. Now, after she eats, she approaches me for a treat. I toss out a dozen or so for her, then I put them on the edge of my chair to encourage her to stand up and take them or eat them from there.

When that fails, I eventually put them away. Kitty trails sadly away, to whatever hiding spot she has selected for the day. Lately she has selected my red Lane recliner. The little minx discovered the spot where Toby split the liner to slip in.

Caroline immediately asked, "Where is the cat?" and I replied "In the recliner." That was fun for a second, but her face was so sad when no cat was obvious that I relented and told her there is a cat hole in the lining, and a cat in the hole. She got down on her back, shimmied under the chair, found the hole and reached in for the cat. She fumbled a bit, announced there is a cat sized 2x2 to sleep on, and eventually produced an armload of cat.

Kitty was satisfied to squeeze into a small space. Speaking of small space,

Kitty stuck out her tongue to let Caroline know how she felt. We were very impressed that for all the handling done her, the cat was fairly docile. She did not hiss, spit, bite or scratch. On the whole, she mostly looked for a way to safely escape. She badly needed her claws cut. She has not hopped up to the scratching pole in the month she has been here. So, Caroline took care of that.

When Caroline considered Kitty trim enough to pass on, I got her.

My lap kitty. Well, almost. True to her type, I doubt she will ever voluntarily sit in my lap. She probably will sit beside me, when she is more comfortable. In the meantime, I am satisfied she spent half an hour in my lap and found nothing hurt her.


Friday, March 10, 2023

Friday afternoon happy hour

Another week has rolled on by. Every Friday afternoon we have "Happy Hour" in the hour before dinner. The entertainer tonight was a singer who everyone appreciates. Then it's on to dinner, which became quite subdued. 

Betty, who is new to our table, with the loss of Eileen to assisted living, was unhappy because "that woman" talked too loud. I told her "that woman" is Lara, who comes in almost every day to assist her mother, Gloria. I like Gloria, if for no other reason than her mother named her Gloria because she was "born in the glory of the morning". I love the little memory. 

Gloria used to have three table mates, little Marge, big Marge and me. When I first moved in I was offended by big Marge, who coughed and coughed and would not wear a mask. I protested that although she said it was chronic bronchitis, she had a mouth full of alien germs, and I sure enough caught a cold that lasted four weeks.

Big and little Marge are gone, moved to assisted living. No one has been assigned to her table yet, and I've noticed Lara stays through dinner to keep Gloria company. I also remember being very unhappy at that table with three very deaf comrades with whom conversation was impossible. I may mention the table mate need to the dining room supervisor, but I have no solution.

Conversation at our table mainly concerned those who have moved on. Mary Lou especially is bothered, and since she outranks Betty and me, knows a litany of people who have "moved on". This is bothering her tonight, why we are here and how quickly we become mist that floats away and is gone.

I felt badly for her. I was the youngest when I came here, but so many have moved in since and I am startled at how young many appear. But why not, I've asked myself. It's a place to live, and most of all, it's a safe place to live. If I fall and break something else, I have a button to push.

In the last month a fairly young couple have moved in. Sixties or less. I've been told the story and don't recall most of it. Apparently the man has a terminal illness that involves his brain and is affecting his memory and reasoning. They are not married. The man will cheerfully tell you "I have a ring in my pocket, but she's not ready to take it." He was diagnosed with this problem years ago, and she said she would stay with him to the end.

Remember Joe, the darling old man who had to dance with everyone. I posted a picture of him dancing months ago. He passed away maybe six weeks ago, before this new couple moved in. The man with the ring in his pocket loves to dance. I don't know if his lady friend is as interested, but she obliges him.

I hope they dance happy hour away for a long, long time.

Sunday, March 5, 2023


I'm getting older and slower. It amuses me that my children, at least my oldest daughter, expect I can produce stuff as fast as ever. The next towels on the loom are pistachio, and Beth expects a set of 12 for her show next weekend. I worked as long as I could all weekend, but it won't happen. But what I do have will fill two shopping bags when I see her.

It has been the usual uneventful weekend. I went to the drugstore this weekend. I packed up several loads of "donatables" to benefit a local women's shelter and moved them downstairs, in several loads. I have an order to ship tomorrow and a trip to the dentist on Tuesday.

I haven't updated the construction outside my window. It has continued, in abbreviated fashion, all winter. It has been a very mild winter, almost as if the only effect was some discomfort. There was one snowstorm, and past that, unending rain. 

There have been small crews working, two or three men. The snow was swept off several hundred square feet of flooring when necessary. Once the second floor was begun, snow and rain were less of a problem.

You can distinguish the units: window, door, next door, window, etc. The skeleton crews spent a lot of time getting the second floor laid and mechanics lowered under the floor and covered. Then the time has been spent downstairs.

There is a lot of mud and a small amount of water visible in the previous picture, but a lot of water in this longer view of the length. The crews seem to be accessing the building site from the opposite side.

Here's some cat news: Kitty now voluntarily approaches my outstretched hand, but will not take a treat from my hand. I messed up the other day; she approached my hand dangling over the chair arm with the intent of head butting my hand. At the first butt, instinctively I slid my hand to her head to stroke her, and she bolted. I must remember this is all her show, not mine.

On the other hand, the former hyper-allergenic, Toby, remains very happy at Bec's house. I cannot make out the surroundings, but the general state of chaos has Toby pleased. He is a boy, after all.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

In case you wanted to know

 Someone asked if I'd finished the warp that Caroline helped me put on. First, I must confess, it may be the warp from hell, a name we occasionally had to give to difficult threads. I completely forgot the number of turns is 150, and gaily told Caroline 250. It didn't look odd to me until we took of the thread guides for the first bout, and the thread was stacked so high it just tumbled off. We unwound fifty turns

I just finished the turquoise towels, and no sooner had them posted than I had an order for four! Now I am working on pistachio. Here is the turquoise:

Today is Dr. Seuss day, I understand, and most everyone here was in the theater this afternoon for a YouTube presentation of this life and accomplishments. I seldom look at the movie schedule, and missed another good one. Since it is available on YouTube, I can still have a look.

The facility has a lot of lovely large windows. I have three in my very small apartment, and had to hang lined drapes to stop the cold. However, this is not about the air flow. At dinner tonight I saw a bird fly past the window and circle back, to land on the sidewalk in front of a residence. I was not close enough to make an identification, but by the tail, it was a hawk. A small, buff chested hawk with brown feathers on its back.

I said to look and it was a hawk. The woman at a table by the window agreed and said she didn't know what kind. Looking it up now I think it may have been a young red tailed hawk. It took a couple of turns into a little grove of trees, then left. I'll look more carefully next time.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Kitty says:

I was going to post a picture the other day, and could not find it. Now I have, and it's fun.

You know this is different; she's facing the opposite direction! As I looked them over, another in the sequence came up.

And that is pretty much how she assesses her situation! She still lives under the shoe rack and comes out mostly at night. She appears for the treat can noise, but hasn't accepted from my hand, yet. She's been here since February 11.

I would write more except I have a nasty split in my left index finger, and I want it healed sooner than later. Good night until there is news to report.

Monday, February 27, 2023

It's all a crap shoot

I am the youngest resident, at 79, due to be 80 in a month. There are close to 100 residents in independent living, many in their 90's and the balance in their 80's. A whole lot of respect is owing to these men and women, in my opinion, except when it isn't. I would recommend to anyone who is considering the move to an independent facility, devise some method of judging the ideas of the residents. I based my decision on the overall cheerfulness I found here. It never occurred to me to make any judgement call on "political" issues.

Sports are a hot topic here, and Cleveland has plenty of sports teams. One tiny old woman, Mary, is past 95, is spry as they come. Walks quickly, with no walker or cane. She feels totally entitled to cut into a line and no one challenges her. Another resident came into one of the common rooms wearing an old Cleveland Indians tee shirt. Mary immediately began (or in her case resumed) her favorite topic, "They should still be the Cleveland Indians! What are these "Guarders" anyway?"

I listened a while, then asked if she was familiar with the Guardians, what they represented, where they were. "No, but I suppose you know and are going to tell me!" I said, to the audience, they were a series of award winning art deco figures on the Hope Memorial bridge crossing the Cuyahoga River from Loraine to Carnegie Avenue. The several figures represented traffic that built the valley. There is a farmer, pioneers, construction and more I would need to look up on Wikipedia. Or they could. Mary said I was a Ladeda educated person and turned her back. So much for letting a group know that prejudice is not acceptable.

So that's a little background of listening to rude remarks about people of another culture. One example is the tip of the iceberg here in this very red county I have moved into, but less than ten miles.

I eat dinner with three other women, whose company I enjoy when certain topics don't come up. All three are Catholic, as are most residents here. My table mates are sincere Catholics, and one is past sincere to the extent of forming a Bible study group. When I was asked to join I inquired into the topics she might cover. From a short list, I latched onto the Song of Ruth, and even re-read it to be prepared. But the topic of the first class is the 23rd psalm, and I said I could not do it justice and did not join.

Sadly, I have a bigger problem I have not found a way to address. All three are deeply against LGBTQ+, and have exchanged some bitter remarks. I have looked all three in the eye and said nothing. I have no broad platform to address them, no Hope Memorial Bridge to walk across. 

Though I have four qualifying grandchildren, I think I'll start with all my friends from my art days. All three of these dinner companions wear art show clothing and jewelry, and probably would be stunned to know I recognize some artists and their gender might surprise them. It goes from there to a discussion of what makes people feel comfortable in their skin. I could even used my acquired grandson as an example; without identifying his relationship to me, I am more than happy to explain this is a person I get along with as a man far better than the old days, as a woman. This identity is comfortable for him.

I'm pleased I made my views known on the Cleveland Guardians, and I have nothing to lose putting out my opinion on bashing people for their gender identities.

I need to add, I looked into several independent facilities and chose this based on the genuine sense of pleasure among the residents. My three table mates have a far wider circle of acquaintances than I, and at the table they often discuss recent residents and what facility they came from. Facilities chosen for lower cost are being left, in favor of the Atrium in Aurora. Lower cost in other facilities is reflected in the quality of food, the amount of housekeeping, programs offered, and the attitude of staff.

Finally, kitty extends her nose from under the shoe shelf for the rattle of the treat can. I must keep my feet out of sight; she disappears at the sight of my toe. If we wind up in the same room by mistake, she continues whatever she's out for, never takes here eye off me and gives me a wide berth in passing me.

Here is another profile of Kitty: but I cannot find it. I've screwed up my photos. Here's an old picture of a pretty cat:

Monday, February 20, 2023

Yes, I have a cat

Hopefully, the last cat post. Not that you won't hear more about her, but only as she appears and participates in living. In the meantime, I have seen Kitty again. One evening I was working quietly at my end on the room. I did not hear Kitty emerge from under the bed in the room to my right and not only work her way quietly behind me, across the room to the window seat and without sound, jump up. To her advantage, my hearing aids were out. The kibble caught her up. I heard that and looked left. 

We had an interesting conversation. I asked if she would still be there when I looked in the viewfinder? I didn't hear the response, which must have been yes, and she was still backed away from the dinner tray, watching cautiously. I gathered the scene quickly. It was about ten o'clock. I'd drawn the curtains because it was darn cold, and returned to reading blogs on the computer.

Kitty probably had come to the end of the bed, waiting for me to go to bed. Generally about that time I was closing curtains and picking up cat kibble. I had not "starved her out" by that point by not leaving food available when I was out of the room or asleep. She had been without food for two days, and, I figured, hungry. So I had changed operations and decided to made food available all the time. And she appeared because she was hungry.

So, we had a nice chat while she ate and drank. 

That's the last I've seen of her. I do hear the balls knocked around at night. I put the feathers away. They would be disintegrated by morning. Tomorrow is housekeeping day, which is good. The carpet is coated with toy scraps.

Friday, February 17, 2023

The case of the abstracted Kitty

Kitty came to live in my apartment on February 11th. You saw her once, briefly,  enigmatically looking at us from the "outhouse", and perhaps a small sneer curling her left cheek as she considered her next move. 

I petted her and spoke nicely. Her fur was surprisingly stiff and bristly. I said Good Bye, and left for a bit. When I came back, I found Kitty had abstracted herself. I've dealt with cats for seventy years, or more. I was not concerned. 

Her food bowl was full, as was her water bowl. I began looking for her. I even used my flashlight for behinds. I checked "unders" to the best of my ability. At weeks shy of my eightieth birthday, I dare not get down to the floor to check the absolute "under", to the wall. I convinced myself she was not under any chest or cupboard, behind any book case, or on top.

That left only the bedroom. I checked as far under the bed as I possibly could, then gave up the affair. I got up the next morning and found she had ingested a substantial meal. Excellent! Obviously she would not starve on my watch. And her little snores in the middle of the night from her redundant pharyngeal membranes, drifting up from under the bed, were oddly comforting.

As the day went on and she did not appear to say Thank You, or give any sign of gratitude, I began to reconsider. By bedtime I'd decided to make food available only when I was in the apartment, and to buy treats the next time I sent a shopper to Heinan's. I also ordered feather toys, which were delivered yesterday.

And so the week went on. Water was drunk. Food was eaten. I never saw her, but I did see the the occasional kibble dropped on the carpet, and definitely gone in the morning. The litter box showed she was not going hungry.

Kitty is the source of great discussion among the residents, and considerable research. I am applauded for doing everything right. I am nothing but instinct, and my mother and grandmother telling me, "When they are hungry, they will eat."

I went through her paperwork one more time, and saw the overlooked paper from her trip to the veterinary clinic when she was found. Her age was assigned as five years, probably based on her teeth being intact.

Last night I got up for the bathroom trip. I came out of the bedroom and turned left to walk to the bathroom. At the same time Kitty came down the hall from the bathroom and turned right, to go who knows where.

We met, ten feet apart. I backed into a chair, sat down and began talking kitty. She didn't move. I reached the microwave, opened it and extracted a handful of kibble, which I left in a neat pile on the carpet. Kitty took advantage of the change in the action to scoot into the living room and melt into the furniture.

I went to the bathroom, then back to bed. satisfied we will meet again.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Kitty come home

Ruth, Beth and I met at Rescue Village, a Geauga County animal rescue facility. I wanted to adopt a cat named Tori, surrendered by her  owner because of the owner's health issues. Tori was the longest at the shelter, surrendered last October.

Tori had a room of her own because she disliked being housed with other cats. Big room. We went in to meet her. She certainly had personality. Feisty, even. I saw her as a six year old cat whose world had changed and whose new world was not wonderful. She was happy to interact with us and the toy we offered. We went out to complete the adoption process.

The adoption consultant was so happy Tori was finally finding a home. However, she warned, Tori could not be picked up until Monday. She was participating in a fundraiser. We already were told that, and thought we had obtained a waiver. The consultant went to check and returned to say we were informed incorrectly; Tori could not leave until Monday.

Even Ruth protested. She plays her several years old than me age card very well, but No. This had been protested to the owner (?) and Tori was not free to go today. Looking around only one room, there were several tortus cats who could stand in for Tori, who could not be adopted in any case, since I intended to adopt her. The consultant had tears in her eyes. Tori cannot leave today. The three of us left.

After we settled in the car and fastened belts, Beth stuck out her phone. The Summit County Humane Society was on the long way home. Why not; after the grueling job of assembling an out house for a cat, the job today was to find a cat.

We arrived in short order and chatted with another adoption specialist, also named Beth, who took detailed notes of the sort of cat I was looking for and ran a search on her computer. She came back with a list and off we went.

One room housed several potential adoptees. One fellow named Cesar might easily have been called SeizeHer. He nailed me and drew blood! I was stunned at the back story of most cats. Kittens are the usual problem; cats are cats and have kittens. However, the number of abandoned older cats is appalling. 

I kept coming back to one cat whose age was listed as one to seven years old. She had been found abandoned and injured in a West Akron neighborhood and given to a vet clinic, which treated her leg and turned her over to Summit County Humane Society. Because it was the fall season of the year, the Society named her Holly.

Her history was completely unknown. Did someone own and abandon her? This seems the most likely; she seems to be a housecat. She also has "redundant pharyngeal membranes attached to her soft palate." It does not affect her quality of life, except to make her snore. 

I debated between Holly and another similar cat far more shy; only able to put one eye past the edge of her box to look. She had far to go in her socialization course. In the end I picked Holly, and renamed her Katherine on the way home. I'm sure she had a home once, and now has a home again. I only need convince her. 

She inched herself half way out of her carrier, watching me closely the entire way. When I went to the door for my dinner, I heard the carrier significantly move and when I came back, Kitty was in the outhouse.  She took a long nap. I just looked over and she is contemplating me. Sometime after I go to bed I'm sure she will come out, find her pillows, her food and water. I wonder where I'll find her tomorrow.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Bring on the light

Five fifteen and still light out. Just finished dinner! Half a side of salmon, steamed carrot rings and a baked potato. The detritus needs cleared away, but I also need to write a blog. Oh, and I am crunching a magnesium gummy. After years of suffering some kind of restless leg syndrome, I have a cure. Magnesium in the evening.

I confess it's been a strange day, what with a fire alarm at 4 a.m. Another false alarm, I'm sure. I slept in until ten this morning and missed connecting up with the Mexican Train players because I pushed so many phone buttons there was no sound from my phone when Margaret called to tell me to get downstairs for Mexican Train.

The geriatric cat becomes more of a reality. I have accumulated the $250 non-refundable cat deposit. I need to wait for it to clear my bank, and even then it will be too soon.     

Yesterday I began purchasing everything a cat needs, whether it wants said thing or not. There is no negotiation on location. The cat will live in the cat window, from which I can attend to its earthly needs without bending over. It worked for Toby, and will work even better for a new cat, whose obligation is to be grateful for a new home.

I purchased a cupboard that will hide the cat box. It will go diagonally in the back right corner. I bought one with cat tree paraphernalia on top. As I remember, it will all come flat packed and need assembly. Oh, well, Monday is soon enough to worry about that.

I bought a cat carrier. I bought a litter box and scoop. I bought kitty litter. I did not buy food or food dishes. I will hold off on the former, until I learn what she is used to eating. The latter is plain oversight. I think I'll finish and post, clean up my kitchen, and order cat bowls.

Jan got a new knee Friday, and is home today. Wonderful for her, but I've lost Tom for handy jobs for some time. Laura too, unless I can figure out how to nab her. All these PE classes have left me stronger than formerly, and I probably can assemble myself. We'll see how it goes.

I have my eye on a calico named Tori. She has been in the shelter since October, weighs eleven pounds and is six years old. She's a black and orange calico, a mix I find quite attractive. I do wonder why she is named Tori. We shall find out.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

My day

 I have to show up for dinner at five, but here's a recap. I've spent my day on paperwork. I forget most of it, but some of it included trying to convince AAA I'd paid this year's dues. I hadn't, but figuring it out consumed and hour or two.

The "paper" did get consigned to the mail box, eventually, but I did not get to calling the doctor and the dentist. They are still on my note pad, and I think I'll wait a bit to call. It's colder than ice cubes out there and I don't want to deal with it.

No weaving was done today, sadly. I never get to it after dinner. Most of that time is spent reading blogs, and I still don't have time to get to them all. I have on a nice turquoise which I want to turn into towels, so I must get busy.

I did stop for a bite this afternoon. I have a food container I will be sorry to part with. There are four or five bonafide chefs in the kitchen. Well, one chef, a sous chef, a couple of chefs. After that there is a staff of preparers and servers. These mostly are college students. Three or four are on permanently and the rest are leaving this week.  A lot of turnover right now.

I hope a newby did this. There is ice cream available at every meal and some flavors we would die for. Not this one; it's too sweet. The purchasing chef buys ice cream in those big brown cardboard containers, and a kid or two transfers it by the scoop to these smaller units, then label the lid. I mean scoop that has the thumb lever to empty the contents. They serve potatoes and other things with them, too.

We generally bring our dessert back to our rooms. Mostly the kids on ice cream duty put enough information on the label to let them know the contents. When I saw this, I had to have it. Must be a new kid. I take it from my freezer for a spoonful every day and put it back. It's sweet enough to fly away on.

So, I didn't call the doctor for an appointment, but I did order bread, butter and jelly from Heinans'. That should have been straightforward. It wasn't. The shopper even came to my room to explain some of the items. They were on my order, but not my mental list. The one I keep in my head to shopping day. I must check the list before I click OK. I told the young lady OK. I'll figure out what to do with what I have no use for. 

I am back from dinner for a while now. I've been finishing the blog, getting ready to read the blogs! And go to bed early tonight.

I want you to know I'm much closer to getting a cat. The cat security deposit is only about a hundred dollars short. They do not accept credit cards here at the Atrium. Can you believe that! Cash and checks only.

And, my sister is getting her new knee on Friday. She needs a couple weeks recuperation before she faces a new kitty here.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

My world

Hello again. Important things first. I was running short on quarters for bingo. In fact, I was reduced to enough for one more game with two quarters left over. I gave half a jar to Laura, which did not bother me at all, but then I had a couple of dry days; no wins. That's gambling for you.

The morning of the day I could gamble my way to bankruptcy, it occurred to me to call my sister. She was happy to procure a roll of quarters for me, and in fact, two rolls appeared, with a little note, "From the man who cannot follow directions!" They are in the trolley of my walker, back and forth to games. For I have won since that awful moment and my little jar is 3/4 full.

Our weather has been close to abysmal. My car has not been started for a month. Every time it has snowed, a couple of fellows have appeared to shovel the accumulation from the foundations of the construction site and keep on building.

Here's a picture of some of the rest of the operation:

I think next week we'll be looking at the second floor going on.

Last week Caroline helped me get a new warp on the loom. This week I straightened out its couple of small problems (one missing thread, which I will run into shortly), and I need to be back to weaving. Caroline really wants to learn more; enter the skill set part of the craft, not just the grunt work.

Like having the quarters meet up with bingo games, I have just about enough time to empty enough of the loom for it to be comfortable for her to learn. Off to the job!           

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Another week

It's been a sad week. You remember Big Marge, my assigned supper mate table partner. She had a chronic cough that she insisted was bronchitis. She would not wear a mask. I quickly caught the cold, was sick for weeks, and wound up at another table.

Big Marge developed leg ulcers, was hospitalized for a while, and had an assistant when she returned. I made a point of speaking to the three remaining table mates. Gloria and Little Marge are the other two. These two are well into their nineties, and Gloria told me her name happened because she was born on a glorious summer day. 

Names are Big Marge's chief problem, or the biggest I deal with. She remembers no name but her own. She asks me mine several time in a conversation. She has other problems with memory that I am aware of, but which don't affect me. Recently an aid let slip a memory issue, and followed by telling us Marge would be moving to assisted living soon. Marge was told Friday afternoon, and Friday evening as tough for her.

Friday afternoon was a cheerful throwback time. Those who wanted to made tie-die shirts. I arrived to watch and found my friend Mary Lou very frustrated. She was late because her physical therapist kept her late. We glanced briefly at the instructions, then went to work on her shirt. She accordion folded it and secured it with rubber bands. 

Several people were already dying shirts folded exactly the same. So I took her shirt and rolled it up into a flat plate. Mary Lou got rubber bands in place in a timely fashion. She went off to dye and I fell in with the ladies cleaning up.

The shirts will steep overnight and be rinsed and rinsed today and returned on Monday. That should be fun.

Then there is the matter of the construction out the window.

One or two men are working on it, daily. I take the older to be the supervisor and the other a younger helper. Well, that's it for the week!

Monday, January 16, 2023

Another week come and gone

Over the weekend I had a room full of helpers to put a new warp on the loom. Technically, the name is "dressing the loom." First to come, my youngest granddaughter, Caroline. Right behind her, Janice, and later in the afternoon, my table mates, Margaret and Rose.

I had everything set up, ready to go, and so were Jan and Caroline.  We put Caroline to turning the crank, Jan switched out empty tubes for ones with thread, and I kept the tension box fairly level. I told Caroline to make 250 turns. Why I said that without consulting my old notes I do not know.  I had Caroline back off fifty turns, which went in the wastebasket. The loom is more full that I've ever dealt with. We'll see.

The thread is to the top of the thread bars, and I even had to use the guides in a couple of places to keep threads from spilling over. I have two and a half bouts left to tie on, and then we'll see how well it comes through the heddles and if I can get the warp to behave until I've use another fifty or more turns.

It took the usual two hours to turn on 250 turns. Caroline had no intention of crying "Uncle!"; she kept steadily at it until done, which turned out to be in the nick of time. Uncle Tom came to drive Jan home, and she took her two towels and left. 

Caroline and I enjoyed a light lunch (ice cream), and then I expected she would be leaving, too. But no, she wanted to stay and help tie on. Never turn down such a good offer. We tied and chatted, tying on is mindless. After another hour my fingers quit and so did we, exactly as you see it in the photo. I have one obligation tomorrow, then I will finish.

I realized on Sunday that Saturday, when all the work was going on, was Caroline's birthday. Furthermore, her twentieth birthday. I straightaway sent a mia culpa text and she answered she had been happy to spend the day with me.

The only other big topic is the construction. I took several pictures, but one is adequate. The weather has been abysmal; I cancelled my dental appointment Friday, not trusting the roads after the overnight snow.

Yes, come Friday afternoon they were back at it, sweeping the snow and water off the foundation and putting up framing. I have a fairly decent understanding, so I'll put it out there and we'll see.

This is a set of two story apartments, as I've previously noted, which will be mated to the two story apartments where I live, The large door facing will allow first floor apartment dwellers to walk over to our atrium and downstairs. Second floor occupants can take a down elevator, or a staircase that cuts across the two windows to reach the ground floor. And in the event of a fire, of course, elevators are inaccessible and stairs must be used. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Today is Tuesday the 10th

I suppose I'm wild and crazy. It's almost eight o'clock. I just finished posting my new charcoal towels. After a year or so of wishing the edges of the towel pictures I posted were not cropped I learned to keep them intact. Take the picture with "camera" lens. The "portrait" lens produces a slightly larger picture of equal clarity, but with cropped edges or corners in order to fit the given frame. Take lots of pictures and learn!

There still are a fair number of black towels left to pair with the charcoal towels, if so inclined, and all the towels are at the top of the hill, to avoid tripping downhill when packing an order. HaHa.

I thought you might enjoy an update on construction out "my" window. Lumber has arrived in stacks and is being distributed around the site. It makes me happy to see people working and earning money. Now the scuttlebutt is cottages such as surround the north side of the core building, of which I live on the second floor, east, will be forthcoming. They are not two story units, but complete units, up and down,

This configuration is so much more satisfactory. More tenants, more renters, more rent money. I am very pleased with the smiling faces of the new tenants. I don't know how management assesses the overall happiness of the renters, but it seems a good system. I remember when we "walked through", the people we passed were welcoming and friendly, and the conversation ran along the line of "Oh, potential renters. You'll find us happy and friendly!" from the people we encountered. 

Watching the construction of a building and speculating on the outcome is better than bingo! This building outside my window has become a walkway, not an elevator. The entire kitchen facility and all of the dining room remains in my building. Now all these holes have a sensible use.

That "door" at the base is a door and leads into my building to the cafeteria. The upper slots are windows. I've decided parking will be behind the building, back there before the road.

Sunday, January 8, 2023


It's after two in the afternoon and I'm determined to write a blog page. You will think I've slipped away, when all I've really done is become organized, and disorganized. The first I understand well, the last is pissing me off. 

I used to get up, and get on with it. No more. You may remember, the first or second night I lived here I took a header and smashed a tremendous goose egg onto my head. I was so concerned by the amount of blood on the floor (broken nose) that I let my rescuers transport me to the hospital. I was scanned every way to breakfast, and that broken nose was the sum total of damage.

Except--self diagnosis here, although the lump is all but gone, I have a hard time starting in the morning. If I focus closely on each task, I sail on through. But it's a long indoctrination process to get the processes installed. I've mastered the time from getting up through the first thing after breakfast, and that is because it is on my calendar. My Google calendar.

Today I put nothing on the calendar. I decided to make myself responsible for clearing my loom, doing my laundry, fulling my length of fabric, ending about lunch time. Clearing the loom meant getting the length of fabric off and stabilized for the washer. Nothing would be on the computer. No written reference.

I passed with flying colors. I ate lunch, a bowl of soup from the kitchen, beef vegetable. I even spit out a piece of bone. The really good parts involved the very chopped vegetables. Tiny bits of carrots, celery and celery leaves. A couple of nice chunks of beef. Very good. And since then I've been lost. Now it's four and you can see the grand total of words to page.

I did call Jan and we worked out next Saturday for the new warp. I made a mental note to call Caroline, who asked to help with the next warp, before she went back to school.

Caroline, who I enjoy comparing to her namesake Grandmother Lytle, called me there in the lost time period, wondering if I had any news on the loom. What a child! She said it all worked perfectly for her. We did not discuss that it also is her birthday. I think I'll buy some cake to surprise her.

You might like an update on the building beside me. The general consensus is a new set of buildings is going up. Not a hotel, but several two story buildings.

Here is the foundation and all the pipes, back to back with "next door's pipes".

Foundation poured. Now we have given up on the two story building as an elevator. Other than that problem, construction can commence.

Speaking of problems, my credit card was compromised again. No, I did not authorize engaging a package forwarding service on my card. This is becoming a recurring adventure that knocks my attempts at structure galley west.

I should get a new card this week. With luck I will squeak through. I won't need groceries before the weekend. I can visit the dentist on Friday on my checking account.

I perused the computer this morning for hints on not being scammed. Their best solutions are password protection programs. I have one of those that generates fifteen letter/symbol/number combinations. I called the bank to ask a real person the same question.

The answer: Leave your card at home. Don't use your card where it can be compromised, like the gas station or the post office. I was surprised I wasn't told to just carry cash.