Thursday, November 30, 2023

Two old ladies get a job done

From the table talk, it was apparent to me that Rose wanted an RSV vaccination in addition to the current Covid jab we had here at the Atrium. I wanted the shot, too, and made a phone call to the drug store to make an appointment. I was told the shots are also available every Thursday, without appointment.

Another night at dinner I told Rose I was going to the drug store for an RSV shot today, and if I could figure out how to get her into my car, she was welcome to come along. I thought with Uncle Walt's handy little stool and some sturdy perseverance we could get the job done. In fact, we decided to have a dry run of inserting little Rose into the Pilot on steroids last Tuesday.

As luck would have it, last Tuesday Aurora had a snowstorm on steroids. We had more than a foot of snow, with high winds, lasting to early afternoon. It was so bad I even cancelled my long awaited mammogram. Rose and Joanne did not leave the building. It was do or do not today.

I was in the lobby, with the upside down stool on my walker and the key on my finger, waiting for Rose to come back with her "outing" walker. Nathan came from his office, probably headed for the men's room, and halted abruptly. I know I looked suspicious, and he began a conversation. I told him it merely was two old ladies with adventure in mind. He volunteered someone to bring the car around, warmed up. I handed him the key.

Rose returned, but no car appeared. I told her Nathan had gone to fetch it and I sure hoped nothing was wrong. I hoped the low tire light wasn't on again. I'd promised the dealer I'd make an appointment to fix it in that event. Finally Nathan and the Pilot appeared. He had snow in his hair, and had spent all that time cleaning the car!

Nathan supervised Rose climbing into the car and even stowed the stool and her walker. We were off.

At the drug store, Rose led the way, straight to the correct window. There were two people ahead of us, but already shot up and leaving. After the administrative preliminaries, Rose and I were seated in the line of chairs. While we waited, two more people took seats, one on either side of the two of us. The nurse approached, with two (and only two) syringes in her hand, asking who was there for RSV shots. 

The woman who was seated to my right offered her bare shoulder. "Excuse me," said I; "Rose and I were first." The bare shoulder retreated. A clerk called out to her, "Are you registered?" The bare shoulder went back to the counter, Rose and I had our jabs and were off.

Nathan is a new character and if you want to identify him in this charade, he is the Managing Director of Independent, Assisted and Memory Care units. A very nice fellow.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Good company

This isn't easy! I was working on a draft for the next weaving project, first working it out, then daydreaming over it; thinking about some interesting colors, or applications of color. Perhaps hemstitching top and bottom. Then my mind interposed: blog before you forget what fun it was!

This year the dining room was arranged in two longish tables, consisting of a dozen or so of our square dining tables arranged as two long tables down the dining room. There were plates and napkin wrapped silverware settings on each side of the tables, plus a setting for the head and foot. About twenty settings were put out at each table.

I arrived in the Bistro, and attached myself to Rose, her daughter and son-in-law. In the dining room, Rose was seated at the foot of the table, I was on one side and Lauren and Mike opposite. At the last minute, in came Frank. His party had been ignominiously cancelled, he said, and he was looking for a meal. If he promised not to talk, could he sit by me. I answered "Yes," on the condition he did talk. And so he did.

The five of us were a very congenial group. Frank and Mike had lots in common and knew a lot of people in common. Lauren and I even had similar interests; we both ride (rode) motorcycles. Lauren has several skydives to her credit, a sport I would never take up. Rose conducted the laughter.

Dinner was good, too. Turkey, ham, baked sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, cranberry sauce. Pie and ice cream for dessert. I noted all the marshmallows were scraped to one end of our bowl of sweet potatoes. We ate our way through the feast, and kept laughing and talking. 

Finally Mike noticed all the other thanksgivingers were gone, save we five, holding down a table and a quarter. The kitchen staff were clearing the tables of festivities, table cloths, napkins, till only we five were left. It was still a couple more stories, before we took the hint of Rose's and my walkers produced from their parking places along the wall. So, Goodbye, a pleasure to know you, and with a couple of dinner rolls in my pocket, we went our separate way.

A lot of pictures were taken (by staff), but none have posted yet on Facebook. Here's a picture of our dining room. For the "feast", the staff had a long table down the center strip. It leads to the kitchen. All the square tables were lined up like railroad tracks. The staff distributed bowls and platters of food around the tables, to be passed. It was lovely. And the rest of the time we have dinner in groups of three or four around the individual tables.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Big Changes

Laura dropped by, with a bouquet of flowers. She called me, a month or so ago, to announce she was back, no longer in Greece. She ended her term prematurely, for two reasons. Her asthma, souvenir of one of her several bouts with Covid, seriously inhibited the twenty minute uphill hike from her residence to her classes. And, she was homesick.

She still intends to go to Australia, "which will be very different," but first she has fences to mend and bridges to rebuild with her university advisors. This won't happen for at least a year.

Well, the towels sure are winding down. I began probably my next to last set of towels, garnet. I love this color, and my fond memories of childhood vacations, squatting in North Carolina creeks with my dad, looking for garnets. Fun little stones. My grandma had a garnet necklace I really admired. I'm sure it wound up with my cousin, who never understood that his grandma had another set of grandchildren!

The garnet I started this morning, after a serious round of housekeeping. The only task I cannot do well is to vacuum, and I set about doing laundry, and folding and putting it away, emptying wastebaskets, cleaning sinks, blablabla, with determination.

This is all that is left of that warp Caroline and I wound on last January. Enough for the garnet towels, and possibly a few more cream towels. The black towels are done, on the web site and on the shelf.

In less boring news, I must give you an update on life at the Atrium, a year and three months later. In spite of that time, it's still hard to believe I am stepping out the door into Portage County, not Summit County. It is half an hour to forty five minutes back to anywhere I need to go in Summit County. And since most of those "needs" are doctor appointments, I decided some time ago to find doctors who practice closer to home.

I saw the first of these "new" doctors Friday, a new kidney doctor. He told me I presented well, certainly not like an eighty year old. Who recommended me to him, he wanted to know. And I told him he'd met my basic requirement, the first available appointment when I'd called scheduling, months ago. 

He warned me about trusting to luck. And I told him another requirement had been fulfilled when I scheduled a new primary. The scheduler told me the first primary available next February was Mary Grace..."Tell me no more," I said. Mary Grace Charisma, repeated the scheduler. When I finally looked it up, the spelling is totally different. But who cares.

And last, and least, a look from my window (and Kitty's):

My green area grows smaller and smaller. That's not just a drive way to the two back doors. It's a parking area for about five cars.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Table talk

I've been here something over a year. That and a contentious election helped me settle a couple of issues. Last fall I approached the activities director to see if she could help me sort the more liberal from the more conservative. Her response was to pull up her tortoise shell. All the residents are old, she said, and mostly more conservative. Hell's bells. I could deduce at least half of that for myself.

Conversation around our dinner table was friendly, non committal and restrained after my outburst about forced vaccinations. Then one evening Rose and I lingered after Betty left. Margaret was semi gone; she moved to a condo with her daughter, but seemed to be here all the time, with Frank.

In short order Rose confessed she was voting for both the abortion right and marijuana consumption bills on the November ballot. I confess it was wonderful to hear that from someone ten and more years older than I. I know Marilyn, my next door neighbor, and Madi, a floor mate, agree, but I don't have opportunity to be together as much with them.

And now both bills have passed, and reproductive rights are a constitutional right in Ohio, our Republican legislature is having none of it. The mildest remark has been it all must be tested in the courts. But the extreme right position is to overturn it or ignore it. So, the fight goes on. I wonder how many more liberals I'll turn up.

My sister made a quilt for Kitty. She diabolically used a wool batt to quilt the little thing. We both know, from a long history with cats and wool, they find it irresistible. I was not here, and Kitty chose to hide when Jan delivered her little goodie. When I came in:

And after supper, when Kitty usually is busy at play,

I bought Kitty a bed, a sung little igloo (in size large), and set it up on the other end of her sofa. The next morning I found it in an ignominious lump on the floor. Not only dumped, but beat up. Tomorrow Jan is bringing a new quilted igloo floor with wool batt to fit the bottom of Kitty's new room. We'll see.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Better luck next time

Yesterday I made a list of all I wanted done. Top of the list, "Ask Diana how to use the new washing machine." It was my day for housecleaning, my best opportunity to find Diana and myself near the machine at the same time. It's pretty much the opposite of the old machine. Instead of turning on the machine last, turn it on first. That activates the panel to make the selections.

It was a fairly long list of mundane jobs I would forget or overlook otherwise. Get gas. Pick up script. Etc. The job I didn't put down, because of course I would remember it: Put snow scraper in car.

I pass it on the way to the door. Easy peasy. I needed a new snow scraper because the old snow scraper went to Minnesota, with the Subaru. Did I remember it? No! Did it snow? Yes!

The good news is I have nowhere to go for a week, and after the weather gets over snowing, then rain, it will be sunny for a few days. And yes, it is an unholy trash mess out there, as we go into the second winter of construction. In my lifetime there will be a lovely green courtyard from out the window!

Kitty now is the mistress of most of her domain. She holds her post on the sofa no matter who comes through the door. She watches them carefully, and only leaves if the new person approaches with outstretched hand. Fair or foul, she leaves. And petting still does not please her. One stroke and she leaves. She also leaves for the vacuum cleaner, the other intolerable intruder.

I guess she's also in charge of me. I've quit buying what I think she will like and stick to what I know she will like. The banana toy, for example. It's just a fabric banana stuffed with catnip. She loves it. Oh, great, I thought, and bought a fabric pickle, stuffed with catnip. Total disdain. 

The old banana is worn out, chewed flat. I bought a new new banana toy. It's being thrown about the living room at this moment.