Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Two granddaughter weekend

I saw Caroline over the weekend. She dropped by bearing gifts in the shape of vegetarian protein drinks "you might like", and with hints on making them more palatable. For example, "you can put them in the freezer for a while, then shake them vigorously and the drink is like a slushy." I last had a slushy thirty odd years ago and don't imagine the flavor has improved since then.

However, I did take advantage of the opportunity to bestow her high school graduation present--two years late.

I borrowed this picture from the internet; of course I neglected to take a picture of Caroline's set of four tumblers. My friend Deb Bures makes these. Bures Pottery.

Kitty, of course, made no appearance. She did stare back at Caroline from her refuge, behind the storage units on the shelves.

Laura stopped today for a chat. I haven't seen her since last September, almost a year ago. She is through another year in school and is happy to have passed everything. Next hear she will spend the first semester in Greece, specifically Athens.

The second semester will be in Australia. That I knew of. When I asked why Australia she replied "They speak English!" Actually, it's mind boggling, her going so blithely from  continent to continent to continent, with a side trip to Chicago to apply for the visa to Greece.

We were talking of the museums in Chicago and she said the only one she has looked into so far is the Museum of Illusions (something like that!). She has about a month at the end of the semester in Greece. She will travel around Europe until it's time to leave for Melbourne, Australia. That's as much as I know.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Kitty's no good, bad, terribly horrid day

I wrote the title of today's blog yesterday evening, before I even began  to read the blogs. In the event Kitty was her old self today, I certainly would need some reminder. 

Caroline is home for the summer. She applied for and got the job at Case Western Reserve. She will merge into an ongoing project, counting the food deserts in established areas and analyzing the changes, up or down. That is my best core dump, don't ask me any more. It may be top secret.

Kitty and Caroline are firm friends, I thought. Caroline visited once last year, before she returned to Minnesota, for college last year. Caroline easily enticed Kitty from a secret hiding place last year, then observed she needed her nails trimmed and did it. Afterward Kitty accepted some treats from Caroline and then went away for an afternoon nap.

Assuming they remained on the same footing, Caroline approached the usual spot to find Kitty, after the front door had been open. The shelf in the closet.

But it wasn't a happy kitty to be found on the shelf in the closet. Almost before Caroline could begin speaking, Kitty darted from the closet, from the room and was behind the shipping room shelving. Caroline and I left her own devices and went downstairs to the Bistro, for some lunch.

On returning we did not find Kitty behind the shelving or back in the closet. We did see she made a mad dash for a new hiding place access in my bed, and missed.

She generally goes under the bed and comes up where the bed meets the corner. I was amused at her crazy mad dash to hide and saw that the usual entrance to that corner is still in use, though Kitty is not under the comforter today. The new hiding spot remains a secret.

Kitty is back on speaking terms with me today. Well, at least we can be in the same room.


Saturday, May 20, 2023

Too much going on

I know I'm still recovering from all that anesthesia to both place the pacemaker and then surgery to repair the lung puncture. I'm still sleeping a lot! I've caught myself dozing off and waking up an hour later. I was informed at the Heart Failure Clinic (I love typing that ominous name) that I must stay on top of the edema and leg elevation is the best and easiest method to address that.

Unfortunately, I can do nothing productive with elevated legs except sleep, so sleep it is. Once I awoke in my recliner (with legs elevated) and saw Kitty stretched out on the sofa, an arm's length away, staring at me. So Kitty does use the furniture, and I've found her out.

I decided to use her paws down favorite liver treat to entice her to come up on the sofa...with me. We are into serious shoulder skritches, and it's time to up the ante. I can only approach her while she is eating treats, and she asks for vigorous shoulder rubs. First one, then the other, then both together. When she's had enough, I get a swat from extended claws. She's never hurt me, but her intent is obvious. Enough. I wish I understood her background.

So the liver treats are kept in the corner of the sofa, and I've tried tempting her to jump up and share the sofa with me and enjoy some liver treats. So far, no luck. She puts her front paws on the sofa, but she cannot reach the treats and she cannot pull the trigger and jump up. One of these days it will happen. Then maybe we can watch the TV together.

I have a small TV, about 15" on the diagonal. It's also about thirty years old. I use it for Netflix and the like, though gentlemen callers to the apartment would like to show me how to use it to watch regular TV. Due to the age of the set, this involves manipulations I do not care to repeat properly to switch back to Netflix, etal. 

The TV sits on a small chest, on a quilted mat one of our temporary sewers made, years and years ago. The other morning I got up, and was astounded I had slept through the crash of the TV hitting the floor! There it was, flat on its face, on the floor. The remotes were scattered about. Kitty appeared at the sound of the treat can rattle. At least she was not flat as the Roadrunner, and under the TV. I lifted it back onto the chest and plugged in the power cord and the Roku cord. The red light fired obediently up. I have not yet tried to turn it on.

Friday, May 12, 2023

What's going on!

I took some pictures to use in this blog, and cannot find them, except the one of Katherine (of course). So, I will lead off with Kitty, who has become an interesting cat in her sojourn here with me. She's beginning her fifth month here, and she has established a routine. She feels entitled to treats, and when awake often is found asking:

Kitty, requesting a few treats. I am a sucker for that black, velvet paw. She startled me speechless (as if I have any one to speak to save her) the other day when she ate her goodies, walked away then turned and rushed into the side of my still available arm. I used the other hand and arm to pet her. All went well until I collided with her ear. 

She rushed away, then rushed into my arm again. I did a more satisfactory job of petting her this time, and she hung around for ten or twenty seconds. I have not enticed her to jump on the sofa yet. Jan gave me a bag of tuna to get her next to me on furniture, but I think it should be the reward, not the enticement.

In other news, I appeared downtown to keep appointments with the Heart Failure Clinic and then the Device Clinic. I asked Jan to come with me, extra set of ears for an ominous sounding appointment. Shortly into the Heart Failure appointment we began exchanging "looks". You know, the things sisters say to each other nonverbally, after seventy or eighty years. W.h.a.t. a.r.e. w.e. d.o.i.n.g. h.e.r.e.?. as we were explained how excess salt is BAD and how to know to call 9-1-1 when too much has put you flat on your back.

The trip on to Device was not much more pleasant, but because actual testing occurred. The tech speeded up the rate of my heart in each chamber to see if my heart responded and at the expected rate. She said it would be uncomfortable, and it was. I cannot describe the feeling, accompanied by a brief, sharp pain. I did not like it. The tech was quite pleased with my heart's reaction, each time, so that's good, I suppose.

I have been weaving steadily. All that dyed thread I bought a year ago is disappearing steadily. I just finished dark green. I also just checked, and all my pictures showed up. I really liked the contrast of dark green and pistachio, also finished recently, and here's a picture:

Currently I'm weaving periwinkle, and then I'll have a go at scarlet.

The picture of periwinkle on the loom did not upload, so I'll sign off with scarlet, and be off to play bingo, first time in several weeks, for want of quarters.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Trouble in paradise

I have lived here for about nine months, and they have been full of adventure of late. At the beginning of the week, when the "bell hops" (teen age or slightly more mostly college students) began clearing the tables and taking our dessert orders, I placed my usual order of two servings of ice cream. 

Dessert comes "pre-packaged" and we generally carry it to our rooms, along with the daily soup. Kate immediately responded there was a new rule, to keep us from making a run on the finances of the kitchen by carrying so much food to our rooms. We could take nothing to our rooms, all food must be consumed in the dining room. By the low buzz circulating, it was obvious the word was spreading.

Immediately a dining room supervisor standing nearby chimed in that Yes, this was the new rule, from the Managing Director, and possibly even from the owner himself; the food cost overruns were astronomical, and in order not to raise rents, other steps were being taken. Food restriction was one.

I was dumbfounded. What business did the Managing Director have laying such a policy change on us via low level staff. What was the management reasoning, in writing, changing this policy I had been told and took as a reason for renting here. I was told we could take uneaten portions of breakfast or supper back to the room. I looked around for a staff member reasonable to complain to, but the dining room was empty of all staff. Everyone had retreated to the kitchen.

As we sat at the tables, wanting to speak, personnel began to reappear. The previous information was a mistake, the chatter began. We could take one portion of anything back to the room. I caught the eye of Christina, the dining room supervisor, and said "Tell me this isn't true!" I do not eat breakfast in the cafeteria, though I hear it is very good. We are not served lunch, and I take a modest dinner. My fondness for the ice cream is such a joke that Christina snuck me a serving of one of my favorites when I was isolated.

Christina said "Joanne, I simply do not care any more. This has been so bungled!" I said I didn't want to make trouble for her, and would settle for one ice cream, which I carried on my walker tray back to my room. This was Tuesday. In my room, I wrote a letter to the Managing Director, telling him how unprofessionally the matter was handled and asking what evidence had they considered in deciding the dining room residents were solely responsible for food cost overruns.

Wednesday my dander was up. I asked Kate for two, not one but two coffee ice creams for dessert, to go back to my room. Kate came back with two ice creams, sent one before me, and informed me there would be a $2.00 room charge for the second. Being the nasty, greedy child assumed, I said FINE! and accepted it. Back in my room I wrote the Managing Director a second letter, telling him how unprofessional was the delivery of this new policy by an eighteen year old to an eighty year old woman whose business experience exceeded his.

Today was a day off for Kate, I assume, as Christina had her table duties. She took our dessert orders and soup orders, and returned with one more ice cream than we'd ordered. She tipped it into the bag on my walker while putting the other on my tray, in clear, and permitted view. The three of us laughed, and Chris said, for our information, this isn't over yet.

She knows more about that than I do. I've made my point, and tomorrow is another day. Interestingly it is Friday, when four to five in the afternoon is happy hour. There is entertainment of some sort in the cafeteria, and we are served drinks while we listen. Tomorrow also is Cinco de Mayo, so the drinks will include Margueritas, as well as wine and fizzly grape juice. For not the first time this week I have wondered the cost of two drinks of their choice to a room full of people costs the establishment.

In the meantime, I have Kitty to cater to. I did purchase the full array of toys, as promised, and in order to keep my living room looking fairly decent, gave her a toy box, like Debby mentioned. I keep it pushed in during the day, and pull it out after supper for her to make choices. Typically Torti, here she is pulling out first the raggedy bit of pink and black rug selvages she brought from the Humane Society.  Yes, the same stuff used to weave rugs.

Before I go to bed tonight, I'll use my "grabber" to reach down the grey mouse she jumps for every night.


Monday, May 1, 2023

Kitty has a new toy

I intended to start a new topic today. We all must be tired of kitty stories. Certainly I am. Stories about having a pacemaker, about living in what essentially is an old folks home. It truly is the last stop before death. The problem is, I've grown to know some residents more closely, and then they go.

But a kitty story it is. It seemed to me Kitty isn't active enough during the day. I hear her playing at night, before I fall asleep, and sometimes when I wake at night. But she only has one toy I know she is playing with, the ball toy.

Other toys I find in new places, the tennis ball, the cardboard tube, but they make no noise. I have the damn bed stored under the sofa and she can't drag it out. She has tried, but she has to get it out from under the sofa, then past my walker, which is in front of the bed.

Looking on Amazon, I found some new toys. Another ball toy that dispenses a hidden cache of treats. A toy to jump for. Some new balls. The jump toy has come and Beth hung it up, yesterday, while she was here.

When  kitty came out that night, I watched for her to find it, though not too hard, as we had doused it will with catnip.

I watched her jump for the "mouse" a few times, then went across the hall to check on my laundry. When I came back, I was greeted by Miss Kitty, wearing the be all, end all of catnip inspired grins. "Fix that, grandma!"

Yes, she showed it. She climbed proudly onto my bed and under the covers. When she gets up, she will find I got it down. I also made it a tad higher.