Thursday, November 7, 2019

CLEARING OUT THE FAMILY HOME.

I have several large plastic bags with stuff that we took from my family home.

I am not calling it mom's house as my sisters and I do as it is really the family home. My family moved there when I was 5. My (now) middle sister was 6 months old and “baby” sister was 7 years in the future. While I remember the apartment that my parents and I – and middle sister briefly – lived in before the house, my sisters have no memories of any other home growing up. It was a huge house to me coming from the 3 room apartment we lived in before. When middle sister was born I was moved from sleeping on the opposite side of my parents bedroom from where they slept (I often wonder how they managed to create my sister with me sleeping in their bedroom) to a cot in the living room. Since the only TV (a large 1950s console set) was in the living room I got to watch such late night shows as “the Late Show” (old movies) and the early versions of “the Tonight Show – back when Johnny Carson was just a page at NBC, California with my parents – or they could not watch them. I have been thinking a lot about those early days of our family lately – both as my mother is 90 and with the clearing out of our house for the sale of it. I have not taken a lot of family stuff as I am in my mid 60s and have no children to inherit any of the family house – it will eventually reside with my niece or nephew any way.

Since we had the bed bugs here in our home I am always concerned about getting them again. We have a device called a Packtite. It is the size of a very large softsided suitcase with a rack and a heater in it. It is intended to place suitcases in after one has been on a trip to heat the suitcases and what is in them to kill any bed bugs that might have come home with one. Because I am a crazy person, we have it set up with a laundry basket – that we drilled in holes in the bottom of to allow for air flow – in it and we heat any soft items – paper, fabric and the like that we bring into the house – that we are concerned might have bed bugs in them. So the items from my family home - mostly papers and needlework of mine from when I was much younger – all has to be heated.

I am doing so in small batches and have finished two large bags so far. I am going through these items I took when there or my sister set aside for me. (She said she had a box for me – I expected an office files sized box- there were two of them plus other stuff in the box she left.) It is a trip down memory lane and a record of what I considered important enough to keep at one or another point in time. I have found work appointment books from my early days in accounting (could have used one of them when I was positive that I knew a building in a scene on “Blue Bloods” and went crazy to find it and then figure out how I knew it – it was where a client had his factory – the work appointment books also have clients contact info). School grades – I did as badly as I remember. Lots of occasion cards – birthdays, engagement – ours and friends, anniversaries, Valentines (old boyfriends same went straight to the paper shredder), and so on. I have been weeding through – baby age birthday cards, one copy of wedding related paper items, cards from certain people – parents, sisters, husband, a few very good friends, a special aunt &uncle, my grandparents were kept – others were shredded. I found some remembrances of things such as graduation or awards programs – kept, articles I had published in the college newspaper – kept, personal diaries – kept.

Of course I am keeping my needlework – finished or not. I did leave behind two latch hooked throw rugs that were finished except for the edging as I figured they might sell and make a couple of buck for mom, plus husband said to me as I looked at them “Where would we put them?”. I did decide after leaving them if when we went back they were still there I would take them – but we did not get back while they were still in sight.

So I am trying to figure out what to add to the mess of stuff here in husband and my home, without going overboard. I was a bit “lucky”. My toys would have been the hardest to deal with and decide who “lived” and who “died” but the house was hit by Hurricane Sandy and the basement where most of the toys were flooded and they had to be tossed out then by the crew that came in and worked on the basement. Not only were they not there for me to deal with, I had already “mourned their loss”.

There were 5 items in particular that I was looking for. My Girl Scout sash -with my few badges and my annual star pins on it. I had put together a loose leaf book with hand copied lyrics to old folk songs. My dad had given me one of his army shirts from when he was in same during World War II during the late 1960s/early 1970s when wearing army shirts was popular. There is a stapled binding, thin, soft-covered book about our family in “the old country”. Lastly, when I was in high school I embroidered a table cloth. When I got married we could not find it, I figured if any of it ever would turn up – it would be as the house was emptied. I have the army shirt and the loose leaf book of song lyrics. The other items did not show up.

There has been a tag sale by a company that my sister found and much of the contents of the house are gone. We have to go in and clean and fix it up a bit before we sell it. The next day neighbor already is telling us about someone she knows who is interested in the house.

Just in case anyone is interested – mom has had her pacemaker (or its battery – story of what is to be done was different to my sister and me) replaced, so we won't have to figure out how to plug into a wall outlet if it dies. :-) She has also had (within the same week) surgery to remove a lesion that was causing her anemia. As of tonight she is back in her apartment at her assisted living facility – pretty good for a 90 year old woman I think.

THOUGHT OF THE WEEK - If you were getting ready of your family home – or your own home – what would you be looking for as you would want to make sure that you kept them?


Thursday, October 31, 2019

DEEPER AND DEEPER

It just keeps going wrong.

MOM -

We took mom to have the leg scan – again – at the same doctor's office this past Saturday.  She had a 1 pm appointment and was suppose to be there 15 minutes before.  Husband was concerned about parking as it has been a problem when we have gone during the week and we figured that Saturday would be even more crowded.  There is free valet parking – but we don't valet park our cars so that would be of no help. 

During the week before this appointment we had taken mom to the doctor who will change her pacemaker for a presurgery check.  She came up a bit anemic at same and the scheduling of her procedure for same was up in the air.  One thing that will help determine if they can do it is this scan.  We arrived at the doctor's office at 12:30 pm – we found the parking lot strangely mostly empty – this had us concerned.  Since there was room we got mom out of the car and into her wheelchair at the parking space and wheeled her towards the door which goes directly into the doctor's waiting room.  The room had minimal lights on, no one there, and looked completely closed.  Just to be sure I opened the door to the examining rooms and yelled in “hello?”.  No answer.  The other side of the waiting is for a different doctor – it was just as dark.  The hall light to the rest of the building was on.  I started to panic – I had in my appointment book to pick mom up at 11:45 to get her there on time – was that a mistake?  Were we suppose to be there at 11:45?  There is another door into the building which has a desk and I said I would go there – husband suggested that walking out and then back into the building was a shorter route, so I left him with mom and did so. 

When I went in the other door there was a desk with what appeared to be a female receptionist and there was a man in a security guard's uniform.    I explained to the woman  - she stared at me and pointed towards the security guard.  I went to his side of the desk and repeated my story – though he should have heard it the first time.  He told me that no one was there – most offices closed by 1 pm and the doctor mom is seeing closes at noon so he had no idea of why we had a 1 pm appointment.  He also 31 B.  I asked what that meant.  He told me to go up the hall to room 31 B and ask there.  I went to same and told the man behind a reception desk there the same story.  He knew nothing either.  (This is a building run by a hospital group – and all the doctors in are involved with same.)  I headed back to mom and husband to say that we were leaving.

When I got back to them husband told me that a patient had walked through, seen them, told him to sign my mother in and someone will come.  He did so.  He had as much trouble with sign in computer tablet as I had at past visits and he had told me that I was crazy that I had problems.  We waited.  Husband saw movement in the offices on the other side of the waiting room, opened the door and yelled in.  A woman came out.  We explained.  She was confused as to why we would have an appointment at this time – I showed her the page we had been given and she took it, went away, and came back and said that the tech would come shortly for us.  Ah, at least someone was there to do the scan.  Nice man came and took us – I was able to stay with mom – and did the scan.  This surprised me – the office staff had told me that the woman who does the scan is only there Wednesday and some Saturdays – and he was not definitively not a woman. 

We then all went out for lunch at Wendys.

I then heard from my sister – after we had taken mom back to her apartment – about the anemia and the procedure might or might not be done this week.  I later heard from my sister again that there was a “Catch 22”  over mom's procedure.  Since she was anemic the (good) doctor could not do the procedure unless he knew why she was anemic.  To do this he needed to have endoscopy and another similar procedure done.  The doctor who would do same would not so unless the doctor who wanted them signed off that it was safe to do – which he could not do without seeing the results of the procedures. 

Mom has now been in the hospital for 5 days with tests being done and hopefully she will have the pacemaker changed sometime this coming week. 


HUSBAND - 

We assembled his new loom and warped it (put on the long threads to weave through).  He has been using it on a small table he bought for same.  He decided that he needs a stand for the loom so he can access the underside of it for some of the things he needs to do.  The loom cost US$145, the stand that is made for it costs US$100.  You can see why he did not buy the stand.  He decided he will make a stand – he is also an accomplished woodworker with a comprehensive workshop in our detached garage.  We went out yesterday (Tuesday) to buy the stuff to make the stand – but we had gone in our car and he decided that the wood he needed would not fit in the car.  So today we went back in our van to buy the wood.  It was raining and while he paid for the wood I got the car and drove it under the overhang to keep the wood dry. 

When we arrived home and went to put the wood in the detached garage, husband went into the house for the extra key ring he has (and I have one also) with the keys to the garage and our sheds so that we don't have carry them all the time.  He then put the wood in large garbage bags to keep them dry.  When he got to the garage – the out buildings key ring was missing.  I ran in and got mine and we put the wood away.  We then spent about 20 minutes looking for the missing keys – he was getting sicker and sicker.

VAN -

As I drove up  at the store to pick up him and the lumber he heard terrible sounds coming from the van.  As we drove home I telephoned our mechanic – who is no longer surprised when I make these calls – we go there for repairs on one or another of the vehicles seemingly weekly lately.  When he could not find the keys husband was getting more and more upset and excited – as he knew we had to get to the mechanic before he closed.  I finally convinced him to drop off the van and then come home and look more.  We told the mechanic if he found the keys to let us know.

HUSBAND – AGAIN -

 We kept looking at home.  To me, the keys to our house were not included so we would find the keys or we would replace the locks.  He envisioned someone finding the keys and going into the garage and taking all of his large power tools and taking the mowers and the snow blower, etc. from the sheds.  I tried to convince that we would notice someone emptying the garage of major power tools – and with a car in front of the garage it would hard, but he was too upset.  We checked everywhere in the house – I even took all of the dirty laundry out of the laundry bag.  He finally got himself so sick – he had to go to bed. 

I kept looking, sure that I would find them and make him feel better.  I went back outside – something he does not like me to do without telling him and I did not.  I looked around  - kicked the piles of leaves again, etc.  I was heading to where the van had been parked, figuring now that it was clear there, I might find the keys there.  I had put on an old pair of slip on sneakers.  As I walked towards where the van had been parked I stepped on something.  I was about to keep walking, when it dawned on me to see what I had stepped on – there they were – THE KEYS.  By this time he was too sick to appreciate them, but was happy that they were found.  We had a small dinner and then he went back up to sleep.

VAN – AGAIN -

 In the interim our mechanic called.  Problem is what he feared it might be – need a new catalytic converter - $1400!  I told him to go ahead.  I have not told husband yet and will do so tomorrow morning.  That will get him sick all over again. 

FINANCES -

We are missing 4 credit union statements (from same credit union).  Our credit union (functions as a member owned bank for those who might not know) decided to change their name and theme – to ones that are awful is as is the “puke green” (per my husband) that will be their logo color from now on.  The account statements went out late – even though they did not change.  We receive one each as a member, one each for our retirement accounts, and I receive one for my embroidery group as treasurer of same.  4 of them go to our PO Box – we had changed all 5 to same, but one was changed back to our home address.  We changed the address to our PO Box as we have been having, ironically, problems with delivery of mail at our home.  We received the statement which comes to the house, we have not received the others.  I have been calling and screaming at credit union employees about this.

Last night I was paying bills and noticed on my computer accounting software that we had a credit card that we should have a statement for – that should have gone out 3 days before to be paid a week in advance, but I had no statement.  I looked and looked.  I checked that I had not paid it and forgotten.  I then looked and the charge slips that match to it were never matched up – so we never received it.  I telephoned the charge card company, reported the lost statement, got the balance due (in full) and the mailing address and paid the bill with a letter – they will send a copy of the statement.  When I saw the date the statement had been mailed it hit me that the statement and the missing credit union statements should have come to us about the same time.  I wrote up the info to speak to someone at the post office when we went there today – it was pouring and I left the letter in the car, so I will do so tomorrow.  If I did not keep my bills to pay organized, I never would have noticed this.

THOUGHT OF THE WEEK -

This has to stop sometime – right? 

The house is getting more and more disorganized. 

Things are started to get lost.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

MOM AND MY FAMILY HOME

We are currently dealing with mom and two cardiologists. For those of you who joined since or have forgotten, mom is 90. Shortly after her 90th birthday she started having problems (http://wheredidileavethat.blogspot.com/2019/05/sometimes-fate-is-having-fun-with-one.html) and can no longer live at home alone. She went through short term physical rehab at a very nice local facility and since then has moved into their assisted living facility. While they do a great job of helping her and taking care of her – mostly she gets around by herself - they have been doing physical therapy and she can walk with a walker better than she has done in years - and she is back in her full mind again from just the fact of having people around her and things to keep her mind active.

Back in August it was found that she blood clots in her legs and she was given medication. She was also referred to my brother-on-law's cardiologist who is also a vein doctor for followup scan about a week after the clots were discovered. I posted the story of that nightmare - wheredidileavethat.blogspot.com/2019/08/29 Her leg was not scanned. We ended up going back not the 3 weeks later that this doctor wanted, but instead on October 7 as it took until then to get an appointment. The scan was not done then either as the appointment was made by a third party appointment service for someone who does not do scans – understand we drove out to where mom is, got her into the car, took her to the doctor's office and had her medical history taken – and nothing else – TWICE (and of course her medical insurance was billed for 2 office visits). When we left the second time we made an appointment for the scan – for this coming Saturday (remember this is about 2 months after we were told that she needed to have her legs scanned right away and then a week later when her leg was not scanned - we were told it needed to be done in 3 weeks). Despite everything we had been told, the doctor does not do the scan, so after it is done we will first have to return on November for the doctor to interpret the scan.

Next problem – mom has a pacemaker. It was put in 10 years ago. The battery in it is tested every few months and the last test was at the start of October and we were told that the battery had less than 2 months left on it. Soooo, the replacement of the pacemaker was moved into priority. This came up shortly before the second time mom did not have the leg scan and we asked that cardiologist's office (per the doctor – they only do heart “plumbing” and we need someone who does heart “electricity” for this) for a cardiologist who would do this procedure as mom's doctor for same is an hour away where our family home is. We were upset that this doctor would have the same sort of circus for an office as the other, but it is quite the opposite. Mom was seen by this doctor (M) a week after she had been in the other doctor (B)'s office. Yes, she needs to have her pacemaker replaced. I was telephoned the next morning with two appointments – a week later (yesterday) for presurgery exam at hospital and next week she will have the procedure. 2½ weeks and this will be done – the other doctor 21/2 months and still nothing has been done!

In the middle of running with mom (plus all the car problems) I realized that I had to renew one of husband's medications and called the pharmacy. The doctor refused to renew it without an exam. We really cannot fit in a doctor visit for us right now – mom's pacemaker does take precedence, so I telephoned and explained and made appointments for us the first week in November. Ummm, I missed that we are going for blood work in the morning of the day mom is scheduled to have her scans read – and it is election day! Well, we work it out somehow. Doctor renewed prescription for 10 days – when we were not due in for 3 weeks – but we had enough left to work it out.

Then it occurred to me that the scan of her legs would be done between the presurgery testing and the surgery – telephoned the doctor doing the surgery to make sure that this would not be a problem – we did not want to give up the appointment that would, hopefully, finally resolve her leg scans, but the pacemaker is more of an emergency. It is not a problem.

My sister will get mom to the hospital for the pacemaker surgery as it is 9 am. We figured out that between allowing for rush hour traffic (as we do not live near where mom is) and then the hour and a half we need to pick her up, get her in the car, drive her the 20 minute trip (and again – it is rush hour, so need more time) and then get her into the hospital – at 8:30 – would mean that we would have to leave home at 5:30 am. My sister lives near mom and the hospital.

Okay, so 4 doctor appointments for mom, 2 doctor appointments for each of us, I have to go to a client tomorrow, my birthday falls in the middle of all this which is all within a month – and at some point we will be called to go pick up our RV out of state. We also had reenactment event, board meeting, and general meeting – which husband as VP had to run and we had signed up to do a presentation for the meeting – over the past weekend. And on the day between our blood work appointments and our doctor appointments I have my embroidery guild meeting.

That's a lot of stuff – well, we can go for weeks with nothing to do, so it is a lot of stuff for us to do. But that it is not all. We - mostly my sisters - have been working on getting stuff out of the family home so it can be sold. http://wheredidileavethat.blogspot.com/2019/08/clearing-out-my-old-closet-at-family.html A tag sale company is will hold a sale in the house this coming weekend. My sister had set aside of box of stuff she came across of my stuff. Since the sale starts Friday and I have to work tomorrow – we had to go today and get the stuff. I had hoped it was one or more of the items I told her I wanted – a tablecloth I embroidered in high school which has disappeared and a small book about our family in the old country. I expected a small, office size file box. There was a huge box waiting for me. Some was not mine and I left them for the sale, some we tossed out, most of it I don't really want, but much of it had my name or other info on it and I took it home to shred it. I also now have an embroidery that I made for one of my parents special anniversaries for them.

THOUGHT OF THE WEEK -

I was about to write the thought of the week I was going to write about with all this going on I have kept up – I am doing the laundry, the vehicles are taken of…

Then I remembered – we checked the oil in the car today (it has a problem, there is a class action suit, and we hope it will recalled and fixed) and it was down ½ quart – and we forgot to add oil. Normally it would not matter and I make note to add the oil tomorrow, but tomorrow I am driving to almost Manhattan for work and will be driving in stop and go traffic, at least one way. So I texted husband upstairs (yes, I am that lazy) and he came down and we added the oil – in the dark.

Then I remembered – that it had been raining Sunday when we arrived home from the reenactment event and we had not unpacked the van – we had brought 2 folding reproduction stools, only one of our box benches, a flat table top, the legs to the table and a twin sized blanket (it was cold I used it to keep warm until the sun warmed up the air a bit – and then when it rained, it kept me dry.) Husband will be driving the van tomorrow as I will have the car – so we had to unpack the van.

What more can I say for the thought of the week than – it is life, it goes on, one has to do what one can do, when one can do it.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

CAR - VAN - RV

Well we made it last Thursday to the RV dealer in PA – left at 8:30 am, arrived at noon – should have been 2 ½ hours was 3 ½.  We were able to keep in sight of each other almost the entire trip – which kept husband happy.  He was worried about traveling alone and we could not find anyone to go with him – the night before I had an idea (after he went to bed).  I took 2 of the smaller stuffed teddy bears I have (under 6 inches tall), put them in a small box and sat the box on the passenger seat of our van which he was driving to the dealer (so we could come home after we left the RV) and seat belted the box in place – if he felt alone he could just glance down at them – don't laugh, it worked.  We did have walkie talkies with us – which worked except for one spot that had static – so we could talk enroute.  I was in front in our RV so he could see me ahead of him and I could also let him know what was happening on the road ahead.  When we did this before (we had to drive the car and the RV both home from buying the RV)  we would meet up at each rest area on the 2 turnpikes we drove on.  This time there was only one of them available to us due to construction and closing of a rest area.  As we approached it – he was maybe 2 -3 cars behind me – I told him that while we did not meet up, I did need to make a stop.  No problem finding the RV dealer for either of us, which was good as they just got a new location for their service center.  We left the RV and left in the van. 

The RV dealer sales office was on one side of a road and the service center on the other.  There is a shopping center a block from the dealer where we have spent many a day while having work done on the RV and were worried that with the new location we would not be able to do so.  (Normally we just go in the RV and walk around the stores while they work on it, get the RV back and drive home or to Lancaster for a trip.)  As we drove to the shopping center, we looked – it is less than half a mile further away and there is a safe place to walk the entire distance – sigh of relief.  We went to the stores for lunch before starting home.  Since it was only around 12:30 it was a bit early for us – who normally eat lunch at 2 pm, so we went to a small dollar store located in the shopping center.  For some reason this dollar store always seems to have different things than other ones – found a small toy bear for the village.  Lunch at Wendys.  We then decided to visit a supermarket that was “sort of” on the way back to the turnpike.  Then we started home.  Boy, the rush hour traffic near Philadelphia is worse than that at home.  We got home around 6:30 pm – ordered a pizza for dinner – something we rarely do as it is too high in carbs for our Diabetes.  Husband went to bed right after dinner.

We had the weekend to recover.

Over the weekend we drove our van as we were concerned about the car and NEEDED IT to take mom to the doctor – she has trouble in getting into the car – the van would be impossible.  Saturday night husband noticed the van was leaking “something”.  Sunday we figured it was antifreeze. 

Uh oh!! We needed the van to drop the car at the transmission shop Tuesday morning.  We could not cancel taking mom to the doctor – her battery is running out – what could we do.  Luckily our mechanic is 4 blocks from us and he – and his guys – are very nice and understanding.  Husband was up first thing Monday morning, called him and we left the van with him right away, luckily mom was a 4 pm doctor's appointment.  While at the doctor's office I called and the van was fixed, needed a new water pump, well $500 isn't $1,000 at least - we picked it up after we went home from mom's appointment and stopped in Tuesday to pay for it.

Monday we took mom to the doctor – this one is to change out her pacemaker for a new one – the battery had less than 2 months left on it when it was tested a week ago – and unlike cell phones and many other devices, there is no way to plug it in and recharge it.  This doctor is from the hospital system with an office at the hospital itself, and we anticipated the same mess and confusion.  We were happily surprised that it was not so.  Mom was in the exam room just about the time of her appointment.  They scanned into their computer the papers my mom and sister had filled in, which had been mailed to her in advance and handed the originals back to me.  Doctor came in promptly – had a good, gentle personality.  He agreed that she needed a new pacemaker (they do not change out the batteries).  He also knew the doctor who had done the original procedure on mom 10 years ago.  We were called the next morning as we had been told we would be to set up the appointments for the procedure (exam and surgery).  We will take her for the exam – between driving out there in rush hour and needing about an hour and a half to get mom out and to a place 20 minutes from her we cannot get up early enough to get there for the surgery and my sister who lives near her will take her and we will meet her.  Drove mom back – I had arranged for her to sandwich in room as she missed dinner (does anyone eat dinner at 4:45pm?) and we settled her back into room after going to the wellness office to let them what we did and what they should expect to be asked for from the doctor's office.

Dropped the car at the transmission place Tuesday morning.  They could not find anything wrong – it is a little off, but not such that it can be fixed as it does not have “a code” yet.  So we have it back, but are concerned about driving it. 

So now it is Wednesday again.  I did manage to scan some magazine articles I pulled out years to keep.  I have not left anything undone that should have been done this past week.  Laundry is in washing – the timer is about to go off for me to switch loads… there it goes, be right back.

Back again.  I back up my computer each time I have a work session on same and then once a week I back it up onto another flash drive – monthly and quarterly on or about 15th of the following month I back up the computer again. I went to back it yesterday on the regular daily drive backup (alternate between two drives).  It would not do so.  I ended up copying my data drive over again new.  I tried to delete the old backup which would not update – but could not.  So I ended up copying everything else off that drive (flash/stick drive) to an external hard drive, then formatting the stick drive and then copying the data back to the stick drive – and we had terrible storms here that ended up with us losing our electricity mid copying back to the stick drive!  I had managed to back up the computer, data, calendar, and client data for last month and last quarter before I went back to getting the daily (B) drive back for use.  2 posts about how, why and when I back up my computer - http://wheredidileavethat.blogspot.com/2016/05/organizing-your-computer-data-to.html
http://wheredidileavethat.blogspot.com/2016/06/organizing-computer-files.html

I think I also posted that husband is not as regular in backing up and this has led to problems – most recently when his hard drive died and then the new one did also.  (He has had a lot of problems with his computer lately – all involved with electricity, so we just bought and installed a new surge protector for his computer – hope that resolves it all. 

Oh, we were called by the nice lady in our RV service department – the new batteries we bought (elsewhere, our mistake, trying to travel not as far) for the RV are no good.  Having read about the scam artists that the place we had them installed in is – we are not sure if there was a problem with the batteries or we were given bad batteries on purpose so that we would come back and give them more money.   Our RV service department is seeing what they can do with the warranty on the batteries before we lay out another $1000 for new batteries again.

THOUGHT OF THE WEEK -

As crazy as we both get – luckily generally not at the same time – everything works out somehow.  One or the other of us will keep our head and get the other one/both of us through the problem.  Husband figured out to drive mom to the doctor and take the car to have the transmission looked at the day after same instead of trying to squeeze it into last week and having the transmission place not getting it back to us in time.  I figured out to put the little bears in the car to keep him company. 

Let those around you help you when they can.  Don't go crazy – look for alternative ways to solve a problem that seems too big to deal with.

Back up your computer – soon!




Thursday, October 10, 2019

GOOD GOD ANOTHER WEEK GONE ALREADY!

So, we took mom to the doctor again.  I called and made an appointment.  When asked what the appointment was for I told them Dr B told us mom had to have another scan of her leg and we needed for the scan to be done.  Dr B again not available for a month and I accepted an appointment with a nurse practitioner “W”.  I asked if Dr B would read the test and was told that W would do so.  Well, it has to be done so, okay.  The morning of the appointment I called the “wellness office” at the facility that mom is living at to see if what info they would need from or have for the doctor and got their direct line/fax number.  The woman was surprised that we were taking mom for the scan – they can do at it the facility.  I explained that we did not know that. 

Picked up mom to go to the doctor.  Drove there – we allowed an hour to pick her up and have a 15 minute drive.  I was prepared with a touch screen stylus this time so I could check mom in (I don't show up well on tablets or cell phones) – still had to do it all twice.  The place was quiet and not a madhouse as it had been last time and I started thinking that maybe we just picked up a bad impression based on the one visit.  We were called about 15 minutes after mom's appointment time – I consider that normal and much better than the hours late last time.  W (a nurse practitioner) came in.  She had mom's file on the computer in front of her – she asked the same questions as last time – back to the start of mom's life.  She tried to weigh mom – ummm, woman in wheelchair who can barely stand with walker – and she wanted mom to stand on scale which had nothing to hold onto.  Did not work.  Then she asked why we were there!!!  Huh, this was set up on the phone call and the purpose of our driving 45 minutes to get mom and bring her there…  I explained again about the scan.  “There is no request for a scan on her record.”  I told the entire story a second time.  “No, no scan requested and I don't do scans only X does and she is only in on Wednesdays and sometimes Saturday.”  My BP was rapidly rising.  Apparently Dr B had not many notes on our appointment – then again he had take a call and left us to leave on our own so maybe he never got back to same.  She entered into the computer that mom needs a scan and told us to make an appointment at the desk before we left.  Well, that was an improvement, last time no one told us to do that and made a mess of trying to make an appointment for her.  I stopped at the desk.  We explained and also explained that we needed a different type of cardiologist (yes, cardiologist for her legs) as her pacemaker was checked at her facility and needs to be replaced within 2 months.  They made an appointment for us with a different doctor whose office is at a local hospital.  (And with the craziness in this office I have called the office to make sure that they do the procedure needed and to confirm the appointment.)  We also made an appointment for mom to come back and have her legs scanned and then a separate appointment to have the doctor go over the test with us.  My sister and I agree that mom's scan should be done at the facility she lives at and sister will discuss with mom and set it up as Dr B is BIL's doctor and mom has decided that he is god and she has to have test with him.  At the end of the visit we got a print out with what had been done (nothing, but it does not say that), a list of her meds – that we gave them – and the upcoming appointments.  After we walked out I realized that we had not received any papers like this last time – probably because the doctor never did the paperwork so no scan, and no request for us to make an appointment.  Oh and the appointment with Dr B that would be a month wait when I called for same  - 2 weeks.  When I asked why the appointment was made with Wendy if she could not do the needed test and why same was not scheduled I was told that when one calls one gets a central booking office in Florida (about 8 or 9 states away from here) and they have no idea what they doing – great setup!  We are not sure if this setup is a Medicare scam or just the worst organized doctor's office we have seen.  Another day wasted.

We are to go tomorrow (Thursday) to take the RV to our dealer two states away about the battery problem – but more about this later.

Yesterday we had our car at the mechanic for an oil change and husband mentioned a funny feel when he brakes.  Car needs transmission work.  Husband was suppose to drive the car while I drive our RV so that after we dropped the RV off we could get home.  Now it cannot be driven that far.  Panic set in trying to figure out what to do.  Then I remembered – we have the van also.  The van has not been driven out of state at least since we have the RV if not before.  I asked the mechanics and they say that should be fine to drive the van that far. 

Today is the last day of the Jewish New Years holiday and the most significant/solemn holiday of the Jewish calendar.  We need the car Monday to take mom to the other doctor – she could not climb into the van.  What to do?  We had planned on husband calling today (as I am not suppose to be doing everyday things today) and making an appointment for the transmission work.   Our heads have been swimming and we have been going crazy for a week.  If we don't have the car Monday either someone else has to take mom or we have to change the appointment.  While we tried decide about making the appointment for the transmission work – husband had an idea that relaxed it all a bit.  We would call Friday for the transmission appointment on Friday, take mom to her doctor on Monday and then have the appointment after same so all would get done – hopefully. 

So this week – Monday was doctor for mom, Tuesday car was at mechanic, Wednesday was my holiday, and Thursday we are going out of state to drop off the RV.  Another week gone. 

When I got home after religious services tonight set up everything up in the van and the RV for the trip.  Two sets of directions (I REALLY don't need same, but he insisted), spare shoes – it is suppose to rain tomorrow and we hope we get ahead of the rain and miss it, but in case,  spare eyeglasses for me, walkie talkies (hopefully we will stay close enough together to talk back and forth – when we bought the RV and drove it home separately we were able to do so), emergency snacks for husband in case his blood sugar drops low, and so on and emergency stuff for him - like the snacks – have to be where he can grab them easily while driving.

Friday I will get to do everything I have not done all week (I hope). 

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK -

It is the start of a new year.  It may not be a new year for you, but as I have mentioned in the past, every day is the start of a new year.  Please feel free to use this ancient start of year to start working on your organizing and decluttering – even cleaning. 

The craziness we have been going through started last year shortly after the Jewish New Year with husband's shoulder and arm going into terrible pain, luckily not the heart attack we feared – for what happened then -  http://wheredidileavethat.blogspot.com/2018/10/i-was-finally-catching-up-bit-and.html

We are hoping for a good new year and a change in how life is going for us.  I hope others have a good year ahead.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

LIFE LAUGHS AT US

Good thing we did a craft event last week and husband sold weaving. I was short $220 (rounded up a few dollars and sense) to pay the last of our bills for September. Between $80 in cash we had sitting around to take on trips or use if cash needed beyond what we have in our wallets, $40 of the cash I had in my wallet, $60 from cash sales, and $40 from our change box for when we do events I managed to find the $220 and cover the bills. And that was after my Social Security for the month, $400 from a client for her taxes, and money still in the accounts from husband's Social Security for the month. Next week hewill get his Social Security payments and be solvent again. Ouch. But as Mama would say in “Mama's Bank Account” (movie – “I Remember Mama”) we did not have go to the bank, well we did have to go and deposit the cash, but did not have to take additional money out of savings.

I was to be short on time this past week – the Jewish New Year started and it is an evening plus 2 day holiday. (Remember from past years - feel free to use this New Year to start anew in your organizing if you need a reason to start now.) We were to drive our RV back to the place that installed our new RV batteries at the end of July as they still do not work properly to have them look at it. We were told that we had to leave it for 2 weeks – makes sense as the problem is that they are not holding the charge – worse the old batteries we got rid of. Husband was in a panic - we would have to bring our car and the RV to the battery place. I would be driving the RV and he the car, but we have only been there once before and got lost at the end. He was so upset that I was very worried about him. We could not figure out who to bring with us that could ride with him and help him the find the way. Basically no one. I was awake at night even after he fell asleep trying to figure out what to do and I was starting to have panic attacks worrying about him.

Then I had an idea, one I was sure he would refuse as waste of money. If he was upset because he did not know where to turn etc. (even with GPS he was upset), why not take a trip down to the place in advance? He would be able to see the route, see where turns would be, we could figure out where to meet up before we left the Garden State Parkway, and in general reassure him. It costs us around $40 in tolls per vehicle to make the trip plus gas and I figured he would argue with me about spending same. When to go? This was Friday overnight. Well, the holiday was to start Sunday night and end Tuesday night, my embroidery meeting was Wednesday and we had made arrangements to go the next day – Thursday to the RV place. Only day to go was Sunday. Our holidays basically are suppose to be days of prayer and I try to keep away from things like trips, TVs, computer, cell phone and such. But I also know that health is more important than anything else. If husband was ill or injured and needed something there would be no question that I would take care of him – holiday or not. And basically he was ill, just not physically. I proposed the plan to him – drive down leisurely later in the day, see the route, and then have holiday dinner at Golden Corral (normally one does not eat out on our holidays). I was ready to point out that money was minor compared to how he was and that if he had to go somewhere locally and was this upset we would go in advance just like this.

He thought about the plan and did object and thought it a good idea. We started out after lunch on Sunday. I let him do the driving guided only by the GPS and kept my mouth closed other than to point out landmarks when he was already making turns. We were riding on a main (limited access 3 or 4 lane) road in NJ and had to get off of it to get onto the Garden State Parkway. As he was about to exit we saw that the exit was blocked off and closed. I had to get involved as he started to panic- what do we do? I told him to keep going and get off at the next exit. The GPS kicked in and sent off at same and had him turn around and head back to the road we had been on – in the opposite direction of course. Why I hate and don't trust GPS – the road it told him to turn onto to reverse direction back to the main road was one way – the opposite way – panic again – I told him take the next road – we did and were turned around and back to the main road – the exit to the Garden State Parkway was open in this direction. (The GPS also had no record that the exit between these two major roads was closed and it had been closed for over a week and will remain so until November!)

We drove on. The Garden State Parkway has rest areas and there were two of them before we would get off of it. I had figured we that we would meet up at the second one which was about 10-15 minutes from where we were going. We got off there (and having been on the road for 4 hours for a trip that should take 2 hours) used the rest room. We realized that this rest area was too close to where we would get off the road – the rest area is to the left of the multi-lane road and the exit to the right, traffic might well stop us from being able to get across the exit – so we figured we would meet at the first rest area when we actually go. We found the RV place easily and then rerouted the GPS to take us to the restaurant for dinner, even though it was two hours too early to eat, so we went to a Costco (where we bought gasoline) and a Walmart we know in the area to spend the time. Coming home after one of the GPS devices refused to route us the way we wanted to go as a major bridge was closed – it was not and we ignored the GPS.

Husband was calmer as he was more comfortable driving there on his own. Then a problem popped up so that we had to push the trip off to Friday and he sent an email letting them know. Monday I prayed, I read, I kept the holiday as well as I could. I also made and served the dinner I had planned to serve Sunday night and which had been partially cooked before the idea for the trip came up. The second day of the holiday (Tuesday) I am normally a bit looser in what I will do.

Monday night husband was on the computer and suddenly found post after post about the place we were going – almost everyone calling them a scammer – things they put in don't work, they break things and say they need to be fixed, they over charge by thousands of dollars, etc. Husband went back into panic mode. Tuesday I called the woman at our RV dealer and left a message (okay two messages) asking her to call us back. Overnight since we had not heard back, I called again and left a message explaining the situation in the short version. We missed picking up her call – her message was to call the new general appointment number and they would make an appointment. I had to go to my embroidery meeting – did not go out for other errands - and then I called her and left a message again. Husband went out and bought our usual lunch at Wendys and brought it home. I eventually called the appointment number and the very nice fellow said that he had been told I would call and that we needed to make a 4 hour appointment – I explained that 4 hours would not be enough and needed to speak with her. When time passed and we still did not hear from her, we decided that appointment could always be changed – I called and made the appointment for next week. We decided that husband would send her an email with all of the details. She called back later in the afternoon and husband was calm enough to talk to her. We are bringing the RV next week – with the car also – and we leave with them to find out if the batteries are good and if so why they are not holding a charge and if they are no good to see about the warranty or if that falls through – put in new batteries. Another thousand dollars plus is not easy for us to deal with, but it is that or never be able to use the RV again.

Now, at the same time I still had to make an appointments for mom at doctors. I managed to call and make one at the cardiologist's office that is to take an image of her leg to make sure her blood clot has not moved – and it will be done by a nurse practitioner as he needs to be booked over a month in advance (strange he could see her the first time in less than a week and when the appointment was wrong – there was an open appointment with him later the same day). I was also suppose to get the name of one of the other type of cardiologist who can test her pacemaker and asked for same – we have to come in to get that info? This is a big deal practice that is in a center from a local hospital chain - suppose to be the newest and best thing. Husband in his former job used to sometimes go with children in the program to Medicaid clinics – they did not treat their patients this poorly.

I am doing the laundry. I sent out info promised today to the members of my embroidery group as to how to sign into our National group's website to download embroidery designs/instructions that we are going to use at meetings. I have written this post. I did not make dinner – we took in Chinese food. So much has been left undone again - Oh, I forgot to mention that I had to call one of our credit card companies as we suddenly got – unrequested by us and with no prior info from them – a new type of credit card from them. I had to call them – first to make sure it was legitimate and not a scam, and then to change it back to what we had (miles card? We don't fly or even take a train or bus and don't stay in hotels) but they cannot change it back yet – husband's card is being mailed tomorrow so I have to call again in two days or later to get it changed back!!!!! There was much yelling by me. Another time waster.

THOUGHT OF THE WEEK -

The world lately seems to be trying to waste time and have everything go awry. I can get myself sick dealing with it or try to take it as comes and try to keep husband from getting sick from it. One has to try to go with the flow even when it is driving one crazy and keeping one from doing anything that they need to do.


Thursday, September 26, 2019

PLANNING YOUR ORGANIZING

Another week – another post – but not much done during the week. 

Last week, as mentioned, I hurt a muscle in my stomach and husband would not let me do anything heavy so I would heal.  This meant that I could do computer work, some cooking (not “heavy” pots) and such.  He carried the laundry bag downstairs so I could do the laundry and then carried the basket of clean items upstairs (twice as I did clothes one day and towels the next) for me.  The basket of clean clothes that I carry upstairs on one hip with one hand normally, he can barely lift.  Unfortunately after feeling better, today my back was hurting – I could not even twist to see the office phone to dial as I had to lean around the file holder stack on my desk – I had to go to the kitchen to call our bank to see if something coming into the account had arrived.  So not much done again this last week.

I will say that we were very pleasantly surprised after using up most of our available time last week to prepare for the reenactment event I mentioned that it was much easier to do than we had figured how it had been explained. 

Rather than hand everything over the fence, we were allowed to drive right to the space set aside for our unit.  The people from the museum that was having the event were the nicest people we have ever met running an event – and we started doing craft shows in the 1980s.  They bent over backwards – if we wanted the space set a different way, they were glad for us to do it and helped us.  They were helping us unpack.  They had tables out for us to use – one less thing for us to have to take out and set up.  When we had finished unpacking I asked one of the men to help me back the van out of the museum grounds.  He sent me up the road about a block to a school that was letting them use their parking lot  - okay, a small bit of disorganization, the lot was small and full – there was a children's soccer game going on.  There were no spaces.  The fellow (not from our unit, but a friend) who was the blacksmith followed me in – he had a regular car and told me he as going to park between the two rows as another car had done.  I luckily saw a father and son heading to their car and got that space.  Not sure what later cars did – demonstrators, volunteers, and the public. 

Despite my back I held up one of the tent poles (this is a reproduction tent – not a modern popup tent) for the unit set up as our members put it up.  We had table next to the tent with plenty of room for the wooden drying racks we were using as display for the scarves husband had woven.  After we set up I found a space between our table and the unit's setup to sit and embroider.  Other members set up across the aisle from us in a group.

I talk about this in this column as organizing a setup for a display – whether a craft show, a reenactment event, a flea market, or a display setup up involves advance planning and then one has to hope that all goes as expected.  We have learned to carry a variety of setup items that we do not normally need or use – just in case.  Even if one knows the space that one will have it may be different than it was last year or otherwise expected.  If the person that the next space is reserved for does not show up, one may be able to expand into their space.  One may have to deal with uneven ground – or even a large puddle or flooded area.  This time we were lucky.  The venue's employees were nice and accommodating and the space well situated and not limited.  We have gone to craft shows where we are supposed to have the same space as the year before – a corner space with 2 sides to display on – and found that the setup had changed or an error was made and one had different space in a different area midaisle with one side to work with.  As we did this when we brought more items for setup than we needed, one has to be prepared for anything. 

Think of trying to organize your home – you have plans to clear out the closet in the spare room and then find items there that you had not remembered.  You are not ready to deal with those items – maybe not enough garbage bags (or the bags you have are too small) or you need help to move what you find.  Or maybe you have to sort a lot of very small items and have no where to sort them.  One has to be ready to deal with situations that one did not expect when organizing. 

As to the event we did – very nice.  Husband has been weaving for about 3, maybe 4 years and has tried to sell his scarves and table runners online.  No sales of same at all.  He has been despondent about weaving and no one buying.  Our thought was that if the pieces could be seen in person it would be different and hoped that to be true.  Craft shows around here for the most part are buy and sell junk shows – no chance of selling an actual hand woven scarf if commercial scarves for $8 each are being sold, which is why he jumped at this chance to sell, especially in the fall (okay, it did not feel like fall, it was in the upper 80/lower 90Fs) but he sold a scarf partway through the day and then near closing, 5 scarves to one woman.  Yippee.  He is again happy to weave. 

THOUGHT OF THE WEEK -

Plan for everything you can think of for a specific organizing chore.  There will be things that happen out of your control, but try to anticipate what you will need and the time you will need to do it.  Then “play it by ear” if something not anticipated pops up!