Monday, August 28, 2023

Weather, whether or not

Last week we had an incredible storm. Actually, a tornado or two came through. So many trees took out so many power lines that we woke to no power last Friday. All the public areas of the facility had power, and one elevator functioned on the power from the generator.

Breakfast was served, as usual, Friday morning, and everyone had light in their apartment due to the atrium setting of the building. My room faces west, so I had light all day. There was Happy Hour as usual, Friday afternoon. Our entertainer has no power at his house, so he was just one of use.

We wondered about dinner Friday night, and at 5:00 o'clock on the dot, the kitchen doors opened and out rolled carts of dinner containers. The kitchen staff spent the afternoon preparing a meal of excellent ham and cheese wraps, chips, carrot cake. We gave them three cheers! One staff member produced a bag of flash lights and went through the Bistro passing them out to anyone without a flash light, along with a solemn promise to use the light to go to the bathroom.

The good news was, power was restored as daylight faded. I wondered if the facility was prioritized because a couple hundred or more seniors live here, and couldn't be relied on to remember to use the flash light to find their way to the bathroom. Toni, our fitness instructor on Monday and Thursday, also lives in Aurora, and remained without power this morning. She came in with half a dozen plastic gallon milk cartons which she filled with water for cooking and hygiene. Their neighbor is away on vacation, and they are relying on jugs of water from their pool to flush toilets.

Then, to add insult to injury, we had an earthquake over the weekend. It even made my news feed; a 5.0 earthquake in Madison, Ohio. Well, it wasn't a 7.0 in Perry, right by the nuclear power plant, like the last one I knew of, way back in 1986 or 1987. And, the current earthquake was downgraded to a 4.5 when the meteorologists more closely studied their graphs. Small achievements. Reminds me of a screen shot my daughter sent me recently:

 Those were the days! Now to turn our attention where it's really required, lets pay attention to Idalia, heading to Florida and promising damage. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Home again, home again

In truth, I was home Sunday evening. I've spent the intervening time on catching up on sleep, a lot of sleep! I neglected to take my pillow with me. The bed was decent, but the pillows were those hard, flat versions. Two nights of bad slumber left me awfully deprived.

Then, laundry. and, oh, yes! Sunday night Kitty barfed, big time. I slept through it. Somehow I did not slip in the puddle I encountered in the middle of the night, and when I woke and found that mess in the morning, I was not pleased. Puddles all over the carpet. 

I got through it, and that's all I have to say about that. Except, much as I love Blake, who came Saturday and Sunday to take care of Kitty, he also fed her half a jar of those very rich cat treats. And Sunday night, she gave them back.

Letchworth! I am amazed at how far back our history goes with this park. My parents took we four children to Letchworth. It turns out, Ruth and Bill took their children to Letchworth. The children grew up and took their children. Beth and Bill rented a cabin for several summers. Mine camped with Mom and me and their cousins, in a camper and a tent.

Here we are. Caroline, my youngest granddaughter, Beth, me, Ruth, overlooking the Grand Canyon of the East. I was last there probably in the eighties. So much has changed, so much remains the same. We found a pioneer cemetery, relocated there years ago, but the first time any of us saw it. All the major areas have been expanded and improved. The rest rooms are first class.

No groundhogs to be seen. Those remain a big part of my Letchworth memory. Many of the "meadow" areas along the upper park are no longer mowed lawns, but returned to wildflower areas, with ample stands of butterfly and bird attracting vegetation. The Mary Jemison statue has been iron fenced off, to protect from vandals.

All the overlooks remain, but there is a lot of view obstructing vegetation between the top of the "canyon" and the river below. We started at the north end of the park and worked south, to the great falls of the Genesee River. I did most of my "walking" with the aid of two canes. I was exhausted at the end of the days, and in fact made my last "expedition" to see the falls in a transport chair Beth had brought.

The weather was exceptional; blue skies and big white clouds. At the falls I had the good fortune to have a freight train crossing the bridge. The hard part was getting Ruth and Caroline to turn around!

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Overdue Kitty update

I suppose we simply have settled into an "old couple" routine. Kitty spends a good deal of time with me, but in the same room, not in the same chair. I am permitted to stroke her once or twice as my reward for giving her some treats. Absolutely no petting. I have never lifted her from the ground. That would lead to claws and snarling, as does an extra stroke before treats.

If we progress no further, I am satisfied. How far we have come from the cat who hid under my bed. Whose worse case scenario happened last March, when I had that pacemaker setback and went to assisted living for a couple of weeks. Kitty found a tunnel to "under the covers" of my bed, and lived there until I came home and displaced her.

Even now she disappears when someone comes into the apartment. Gone Kitty. My cat is a bit of a joke. I do have pictures on my camera. She does spend a good deal of time in my presence. It's not a large apartment; I know all her hiding places. She is still up when I get up in the morning, waiting for her treat. If I get up to use the bathroom, she dogs me the entire route, asking for a treat, which does not happen.

She is still up in the morning. I greet her, and her first request is for a treat, which happens pretty soon after I get up. Then I finish my morning routine, eat breakfast, provide another treat and move on to take care of her food, water and cat box, before I leave for my first 10:00 a.m. exercise class. Perhaps she plays some more, perhaps she just stalks off to sleep.

Kitty seemed ill lately, excessively wheezing and coughing. Eventually I traced it down to a wooly sheep toy she daily attacked and killed. It turned out she was clawing bits of the sheep away and eating them. It went out in the trash.

I bought three replacement toys, a catnip banana, which has mildly interested her, a different rolling ball toy, also mildly of interest, and a ball I must look into some more. It's smaller than I thought, and will go straight under the chests, the refrigerator, the bed. I must look into it some more before I release it.

This weekend I am going with Beth, Caroline and Ruth for a "Hen Weekend" at Letchworth State Park in New York State. The weather is supposed to be much colder; I'm packing accordingly. In the meantime, in our usual evening posture, Kitty is on the sofa behind me, keeping an eye out for her evening treat. We know each other well.

Friday, August 11, 2023

Brief update

I'm hemming lime towels and they are on the web. Yay!

I retrieved the deep orange (actually terra cotta) from the shelf and have begun weaving:

It's a great color, the first time I've woven it.

That's most of the news fit to print. Kitty has been unwell the last couple of days, but seems to be recovering. It seems to involve her extra skin flaps, and an extraordinary amount of snuffling. Today she has been just fine, her old "normal" self. I can only play all this by ear; we've only been together six months.

In the last of the news, I fell again, and took a nasty crack to the back of my head. Of course I fished out the emergency button and pushed it, to no avail. I fell in the laundry room, across the hall. The floor is concrete. Yuck.

I managed to get to my butt, and then slid across the floor to the heavy metal chairs. They were too low for my use, but I did slide to the door, pulling a chair along to use. I got hold of the door handle, and between that and the chair, got to my feet. 

I sat in the chair to recover a bit, then got up, loaded my laundry and went back to my room, on my cane. The next day I called the "front office" and told Robin this is unacceptable. My battery was dead. She has upped the replacement schedule by one month. I'm tired of being the one who trips the alarm. Have I told you about the last time I fell?

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

One person, one vote

Well, the semi-legal August vote had exactly one state wide issue on the ballot, and according to Akron's rag, Issue 1 went down. But no, it didn't. Yes, it did not pass, but it so succeeded with a million, seven hundred thousand and counting votes to a million five.

This initiative was entirely GOP sponsored. To start, Ohio's GOP controlled state legislature had decided August elections were too expensive and to end them. Yes, a good idea, until a "bad" citizen sponsored ballot item began gaining traction. It was speedily resurrected in hope of putting a greater obstacle in front of those who opposed  the GOP agenda. 

The GOP agenda: to support the Supreme Court's decision to end Roev.Rade, a woman's right to an abortion. The problem: a citizen initiative gained enough signatures (and then some) to make a new Ohio law, replacing that right. (An answer to the dare SCOTUS threw down!) The GOP solution: to change our constitutional right how a new law is put to a vote. Currently our constitution says citizens can initiate a new law by asking by majority, can it be placed for a vote at the next election.

The GOP was asking for a super majority. 60% of the voters had to request the initiative go to the ballot. So, not one person, one vote. 1.1 persons, one vote. That harks back to some evil days. Right here in the present, it says one woman needs to find another to make her vote count. The same applies to any man who supports her position. 

The majority GOP suddenly realized the first best way to thwart the citizen initiative  currently meeting all requirements for the November ballot was to make it more difficult to reach the ballot. A retrospective attempt, but who's counting legality? They threw the super majority on to a resurrected August vote. It will cost the State twenty million. Then it will cost each county an additional amount. Cuyahoga County has appropriated $3.2 million. And so forth and so on.

Those in favor of putting a super majority in place say it will prevent monied "Out of State interests, plus the ACLU," from hijacking our constitution. These are the sort of ideas that are thrown out to people afraid what they have will change. In my opinion, the way to change that is to organize, get out and vote for what you want. Don't simply make it more difficult for the opposition to make change.

One counter argument I heard made me laugh, quietly. It was that the majority of our counties are rural and it's more difficult to get out and vote. I pointed out that when they wanted Bush, they got out and voted. And then when they wanted O'Bama gone, they got out and voted for Trump. Twice. 

A supermajority makes no sense. As I learned in eighth grade civics, you change your constitution by amendment.

Ohio is the only state with an "abortion" issue potentially going to the ballot. We see the GOP is afraid of the outcome. Why? It's a woman who is pregnant. It is her decision to the course of the pregnancy, not the decision of the state! 

From The Farmer's Almanac for 2023. I wonder if it correlates?

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Housekeeping, yesterday and today

In truth, today's housekeeping has been recovering from yesterday's housekeeping. "What did you do?" Betty asked. I ran the vacuum. Emptied it and ran it again. And housekeeping comes Tuesday. But I cannot brush Kitty, so I resort to vacuuming to collect her fur. My vacuum and housekeeping's vacuum. Since I am unsteady on my legs, cleaning even as small a space as mine takes t.i.m.e.

Speaking of housekeeping, more than one variety may be in the mix next week. It was already being tested Friday, when two of the young men from the kitchen staff showed up to run the Friday Bingo game. They explained that Joan, our activities director, was on a week's vacation. That explained why she had made a new set of explanatory cards for the games we played every week.

These sweet young men probably had been issued excellent instructions, but the one they both seemed to remember was it might be a good idea to wear disposable gloves. They wear them at night to serve our food, and Bingo involves handling a lot of dirty quarters.

We (the ten Bingo players) wasted valuable playing time telling the two of them some "our" house rules, but then we were off. The two of them ran each game more efficiently than Joan, if that were possible, and there was even time for an extra game of five in a row. 

The last ten minutes of each session is for the last game of cover the board, and it costs a dollar to play, not just a quarter. Eventually Joanne (not I) said bingo, and while the boys were checking her numbers, Phil, across the table, asked if they had called a certain number. The answer was no, that was a lucky number, to be covered for free. "In that case," Phil said, "I've had 'bingo' for some time."

This has happened to several of we players, myself included. The "house rule" is call it or lose it. But the sweet young men put their heads together and decided to split the pot. And Phil took it. The boys asked Joanne if she were OK with that, and she mumbled yes. She's from the generation of men are right, even twenty year old college sophomores. 

Christina, the dining room manager, told us "the lot of them" will be gone at the end of this coming week. Their various college classes will begin again. 

I've been weaving. Down to the last row of lime bobbins. A couple more days. And the fellows outdoors are digging trenches and pouring more concrete. I want to throw open the window and yell to be careful of the tree's roots (!) because of all the digging going on. And I see the photography program has updated again, because I no longer can see how to upload a photo. Oh, well. Next time.

I found it!