Crossing One of the Last Thresholds….

Posted by Posted in Biographical Scrapbooking, Health Information, News & Current Events Posted on 01-01-2018

Well nothing perhaps outstanding or striking about the building shown above, well at least on the surface anyway, but just a few days ago I opened the door to this exact building shown above and perhaps crossed the threshold into my new future and a potential major change in lifestyle. How’s that you may ask? Well that is one of our local assisted-living facilities named Elmcroft Assisted Living and I was there checking the facility out with my little sister and considering whether it would soon be my new home.

Yep, there is that all too familiar word “home” we often hear spoken of when relating to usolder folk. Seems to take on a little different context when we think of it in light of an assisted-living facility or nursing home. We can all relate I’m sure to the all to familiar comment uttered under the context of humor, “Yea, we had to put poor old grandpa in the home last week.”

It may be simply the “home” to the  discerned onlookers but for those of us who are about to make our beds and take our meals there, it becomes important to us both for our mental well-being and our overall health that we do try to make it our home, a home little different from the one we may have been living in the many years.

The living quarters are quite small but for folks like me with COPD small places with short distances to get from one area to another are a blessing. The building halls, day-rooms and dining areas are quite large so now I have to consider adding a wheel chair into my life and daily existence. You sit in the darkness and ponder all these things and secretly morn these aging turns of events and yet in the light of day you cope. It’s just what you do.

When you live alone you have much to consider and you have family to consider. You have to try and make decisions that don’t make your life a burden on their lives. Love works both ways. So now I sit with my family and we discuss tomorrow and all the changes that will come in the next few weeks.

And regarding the living alone, when you move in to one of these places you are about to inherit a gaggle of roommates. So I assume you best get ready for a kink or two or three in all that quiet time you were so used too.

The Housekeeper Experience….

Posted by Posted in Biographical Scrapbooking, Health Information, News & Current Events Posted on 23-12-2017

Well it’s been quite a year in so many ways. Had my first experience with having a housekeeper. I refuse to live in a messy or untidy home so what little I do mess up, I normally immediately clean up. But around the first of this year my limited mobility pretty much alerted me that I should perhaps start thinking about hiring a housekeeper.

So the first thing I did was hire Molly Maids and they came to the house in early March, four of them came, and did a great job of cleaning but boy was it a bit expensive – $340. And then to return every two weeks they wanted $135. Plus… if they were there over two hours they wanted an additional $85 an hour. Well, at those prices it was obvious I was going to have to come up with another plan.

In late March I was seriously considering moving into an assisted living center but finally settled on hiring a caregiver to come in a few hours a day, take care of fixing a couple of meals and taking care of the housekeeping duties. Most of the local caregiver companies charge $20 an hour for their services. So I had part-time caregivers coming in until just a couple of months ago. They didn’t work out so well for me either but that conversation is for another day.

Then a few weeks ago I hired what I guess you would call a freelance housekeeper. She wanted $60 for two hours if she worked every two weeks. She was here twice before I let her go. She only spent about an hour cleaning the house and then wanted her $60. I figured my keeping a clean house had some effect on the speed at which she cleaned but I wasn’t going to pay anyone $60 an hour to clean my house.

And then finally about three weeks ago I ran across a small house cleaning service and was fairly impressed with their business pitch. So they gave me an estimate of $87 for two hours of house cleaning for every two week commitment. I gave them a try and they did an excellent job, It was just one girl but she was a worker. Today was the 2nd week and she was here just a little over an hour instead of the two I expected. She kept on commenting as to how clean my house was, I guess so as to justify her time of one hour (vs) two hours.

As it turns out, my sister and I re-visited the assisted living center we had visited in March again yesterday and I, at this point, am 99% sure I will be relocating there within the next two weeks. And as for this newest housekeeper, well no more two hour’s pay for one hour’s work at my house…. and that goes for any housekeeper! 🙁

“DNR Alert”…. Is it for me or the refrigerator?

Posted by Posted in Health Information, Humor & Satire Posted on 30-10-2017

As one gets older and begins to have suspicions that some measure of senility may slowly be creeping into their minds, perhaps in some way that is a blessing and allows them to express themselves in ways not familiar to others around them. As we all know its not unusual for such individuals to express to us concerns we may not quite relate too. Due to recent events in my life I have developed this deadly fear regarding the death of my refrigerator verses my own death.

Although it is quite common in our culture today to litter our refrigerator’s doors with a potpourri of items from pictures of the grand-kids, cartoons, advertisements, coupons to various “To Do” lists, from time to time it becomes incumbent upon us to attach something of some significance or importance to us on our refrigerator doors. I admittedly had a few magnetic ads on my refrigerator’s freezer door but fell sadly short of the quantity I would need to keep pace with the norm found in most homes. Such was the case for me a few months back.

At that time it had become necessary for me to enlist the care of a part-time caregiver who was mainly involved in house cleaning duties and some measure of cooking. In the early stages of this care-giving endeavor I was informed that since my “Living Will” stipulated that I should not be resuscitated due to a cardiac arrest event that I would need to post a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) form in my home visible to the public and particularly to any EMT personnel who might be called to the house should it be necessary for the caregiver to do so in an emergency situation.

Immediately I thought what could be any more appropriate that posting my “Do Not Resuscitate” order on the door of my refrigerator. Who could miss seeing that I wondered? And so it came to past….

A few days later as I passed by the frig and glanced over at the DNR form it all of a sudden occurred to me that perhaps this might cause some confusion in an emergency situation. The “Do Not Resuscitate” seems at this point actually quite apropos for both the frig and me. My concern over this issue arose from a blog post, “Taking It To the Limit One Day At A Time“, which I recalled having written in June of 2014 about my old, reliable refrigerator that I had owned for so long and the fact that it was over 25 years old.

Now of course it is completely silly and outrageous of me to think anyone would think the posted DNR form on the refrigerator door was for anything or anyone but me since I am the only “living” thing in the house. Nevertheless what if I wake up in a hospital one day and they inform me that my refrigerator has been buried. What if one day I come into the kitchen to find my refrigerator no longer running, I faint from the shock, and the EMT crew takes me to the hospital and the refrigerator to the morgue without trying to resuscitate it. In that referenced blog post I basically talked about the age of my dear old reliable refrigerator and surely wondered just how much longer the frig would be with me. So this scenario is not completely out of the range of possibility.

For now, the only solution I can come up with to alleviate my fears is to tape the DNR form to “my” back and remove it from the refrigerator door. My family of course thinks I am being quite silly over the entire thing but they are simply not aware of the true insight you get as you make efforts to master your consuming senility…. 🙂

Wheelchair Driving for Dummies – 101

Posted by Posted in Biographical Scrapbooking, Complaints & Grievances, Health Information, Humor & Satire Posted on 07-08-2017

Although I have not been actively blogging over the past few months, I have been actively pursuing what must surely be just routine for most elders and that is doing my best to make it from one day to the next. Over the last couple of months due to some issues with my legs and of course the always present COPD I was determined that I just needed to get me one of those motorized wheel chairs to help assist my mobility around the house and my life would be back to some measure of order.

My doctor assured me that as long as I could take a step every five minutes or so and maintain an upright position I would have to fight Medicare tooth and nail to get one through them so I just avoided that headache completely and went out and bought one myself. Got what I thought was a really nice one at not too bad of a price and I was ready too rock and roll. But mostly as it turns out it was more like “bump and bang” than “rock and roll”. She’s a beauty though….

The poor doors and door facings, not to mention the molding, have basically met their demise due to my expertise and controlling a motorized wheel chair… at least in my house. Below are a few photos of the subject demise (click on photo to enlarge)….

Those photos were taken several weeks ago so quite honestly they only reflect a minimal amount of the damage done at present. But I am fortunate enough to have save a can of the original paint and now have the wood-filler, spatula, and sandpaper required to return them to so measure of their original condition. Oh yes, and I also have some of the felt color sticks for the paneling. 🙂

And just by chance if you’re wondering whether the wheelchair is too wide to fit through certain doorways in my house… well the unfortunate response is no, it will fit through them all just fine depending of course on the skill of the driver. 🙁

Gotta’ love the “Clicklist”….

Posted by Posted in Biographical Scrapbooking, Food & Cooking, General Information, Health Information Posted on 24-12-2016

There has been a lot of talk about this new Walmart convenience feature they call “Walmart Pickup Grocery” that allows customers to shop on-line for their groceries and then go to Walmart at an appointed time and pick them up. You apparently just go to a designated pick-up location, stay in your car and a Walmart employee brings your ordered groceries out and puts them in your car and you pay the employee for the groceries. Not being a Walmart grocery shopper I didn’t give the whole idea a whole lot of thought. Then a short time back I heard that Kroger, the grocery franchise I use, was starting to offer a similar service at some of its locations. The information again registered but still I gave it little thought at the time.

But here recently, given my COPD condition and the fact that I do live alone, I began feeling a more urgent concern about how I was going to get my groceries when it became much harder for me to get around. I have pretty much always assumed I would probably have to hire someone to come in at least weekly and do my shopping for me. And of course nothing is free so I was wondering what I would have to pay for a service like that. It’s disconcerting and frustrating to think that they’ll surely come a time when you can’t even do your own grocery shopping.

Then more recently one of my sisters mentioned in casual conversation that one of her daughter’s had begun using the grocery pickup service at her local Kroger store in the town where they lived. My sister also noted to me that even though they are offering the service, it’s only at certain stores. So I told her I would have to check it out and see if any store close to me was offering it. Turns out the local store I used wasn’t offering the service but another Kroger only a little over a mile away was so that was good to know.

Now I already had an on-line account with Kroger because the pharmacy I use for all my medication needs is the Kroger pharmacy located at the store where I do all my grocery shopping. And while on the subject I can’t say enough good things about them. I really like the pharmacy and their friendly staff. Anyway, as is quite normal these days you can go on-line and set up an an account with Kroger and then you are able to track all your medication needs and transactions on-line for your pharmacy.

So… a few days ago I thought I would take a look on the Internet and see if I could learn more about Kroger’s grocery shopping service which they call “Clicklist”. I signed on to my Kroger account and noticed a tab at the top of the page that read “Order On Line” so I clicked on the tab and was immediately taken to the Kroger store closest to me which offered the service. Well, as I looked over their website I was a bit taken back after clicking on one of the site’s menu items titled “My Recent Purchases” because it appeared to contain every item I had purchased at least over the past 6 months. The “screen capture” below (click to enlarge for a much better resolution) shows a portion of the webpage I am referring to along with several of the items I typically purchase….

Then I realized they were getting and tracking my shopping habits through my Kroger Savers Card which they scan each time I shop to apply any current savings on the specific item I have purchased that day. That gave me a bit of a eerie feeling to know they knew that much about me. Since virtually every item I normally purchased was listed in the “My Recent Purchases” section, that mean’t if I were shopping I could finish selecting my weekly grocery items in a few short minutes, submit my order and be done. So, that’s exactly what I did. I had to see if this service could satisfy my needs due to my health issues and facilitate my future mobility issues.

I made an appointment for the next morning to pick up my order between 9 and 10 AM and then submitted my order. Shortly thereafter I got a confirming email. Then the following morning I drove to the store and went to the designated pick-up area and parked. There was a sign posted there giving you a specific phone number to call. When you called that number you let them know you were there and give them the number of the parking slot you were parked in which was also posted on the sign along with the phone number. In a short time they came out with your groceries on a cart, you paid by credit card, in my case they then put the groceries in my trunk as requested (no tipping by the way) and that was it…. I headed back to the house.

Should note at this point that this service is not free. At the store I am using, for your first three orders there is no charge for the service. After that, each time you use the “Clicklist” service there is a $4.95 charge and as previously noted, there is no tipping the grocery clerk who brings out the groceries and loads your car.

After arriving back home I unloaded the car and checked out my groceries. I was completely pleased. It was as though I had done the shopping myself. Had even ordered ¾ lb. of shaved smoked turkey from the Deli and it was perfectly cut and packaged.

Finally I should note with regard to purchasing of fresh beef, I am quite particular and for this type of service the purchasing of beef was my biggest concern. Having someone one else pick my beef selections was a bit unnerving. I noticed while doing the on-line shopping that their sirloin tip roasts were on sale and since it’s pretty hard to screw up on a roast I ordered one. The one they chose for me is shown in the adjacent photo (click on image to enlarge). The choice wasn’t all that bad although I’m not sure it is the one I would have chosen but obviously without the selections in front of me it is hard to say. At any rate I cooked the roast yesterday and it was really good.

I suppose this is a rather lengthy post but I just thought that someone in the same boat as I am with regard to lack of future mobility that had never considered this new service being offered by so grocers might like a bit of a review from an old person who had actually tried it. I did like the service and there is no doubt that I will use it a number of times in the future. The only roadblock I foresee is if something were to happen to my ability to drive a car. 🙁

More brief notes on getting old at my house….

Posted by Posted in Health Information Posted on 26-10-2016

As I get older and begin to suffer from one affliction or another, I find myself beginning to have to do things (or rather not do things) that I don’t particularly like when it comes keeping the inside of my home as I like. With the affliction of COPD I find that I can, after some 70 years or so, no longer make up my bed without it being a major under taking. And changing the sheets is totally out of the question. I imagine that I never paid much attention to what all went in to changing the sheets on a bed when I was in better shape. But there is a lot of pulling, pushing, lifting, and tugging that goes on during that insignificant household chore. But if you have COPD, it’s like a none-stop six-hour workout at the local gym.

Of course early on in my life my mother was my primary motivation for making up my bed. Then when I went into the military they had made an art out of making up the bed, not to mention the dire straits one would be in if they neglected that artistic chore. I guess it was after the military when I was living alone did I realize just how indoctrinated I had become. Now making the bed was a bit of a household obsession and my life was in a bit of a tilt if my bed wasn’t made up and just so-so.

And so we fast-forward some 45 years or so from that point and here we are in a virtual nightmare experiencing bed-lam having to do with an unmade bed every morning!! I am about four days into a new routine which involves little to nothing as relates to now the making of my bed. Gently, very gently pull the bedspread up covering the bed like your covering a dead body… then you leave the room. Bed made (Well sorta, but not really)!


And while were on the subject, I’ll turn my attention to the kitchen where I have had to deal with yet other issues. I do a majority of my cooking in cast iron which can be quite heavy. Bending over to get it out of the cabinet just under the stove top and lifting it up onto the stove I found was becoming quite the taxing chore. Then I realized that storing such cooking necessities on the stove top in lieu of underneath the stove top in a cabinet would furnish me some relief.


So now I find as an elder that not only do I have to deal with the health issues that have come my way but my organized and otherwise well kept home must suffer along with a measure of my pride. I suppose there are yet other surprises I will have yet to encounter before I find myself leaving for Cemeteryville. Oh, for the joy of it all… 🙁

All appliances aren’t just for the kitchen….

Posted by Posted in Biographical Scrapbooking, Health Information Posted on 21-10-2016

I spent pretty much my whole life referring to appliances as things such as refrigerators, washing machines or stoves. Now at the ripe old age of 74 there are yet even more appliances that one may come to know. They fall into a new category of appliances I find myself completely unfamiliar with, in my case most recently it has been a nebulizer and an oxygen concentrator. These are not things I recall being mentioned on any of my favorite television cooking shows. No… these are appliances that I have been introduced to me compliments of my COPD and are more commonly known as medical appliances.

Last Thursday, based on an order submitted by my pulmonary doctor to Alliance Home Care, a nebulizer was delivered to my home for daily to include a specific type of medication. Turns out this is a fairly common medical appliance especially well known among Asthma sufferers but completely unknown to me. When I was a kid I remember the old room vaporizers but this one is of the small hand-held variety it seems.

This device, which dispenses your required medication in a mist form to be inhaled, consists of a small compressor, hand-held dispenser & medication container, a mouthpiece and a length of plastic tubing for connecting to the compressor. The compressor is quite small at approximately 8″ wide, some 5″ deep and about 4″ tall.


My next new medical appliance which follows the nebulizer was just delivered yesterday afternoon. Once again I was called by Alliance Home Care and they were notifying me that my pulmonary doctor wanted me start using oxygen at night while I was sleeping so they needed to bring by some additional equipment. Well based on what I thought I knew about that equipment, I assumed I was going to get some sort of oxygen tank mounted on a cart with all sorts of trailing tubes, some of which would be emitting some sort of cold mist looking similar to a mini-rocket launch platform.

everflo-q-oxygen-concentrator-5-liter-308Heh, heh… well what they show up with is this small unit as shown just to the left that looks like a small piece of luggage similar to something you would see being pulled around an airport. And it doesn’t hold oxygen and dispense it as needed. No, the damn thing ‘makes’ or more correctly stated, extracts the oxygen already in the room, concentrates it and dispenses it through tubing and the nose piece which I am more familiar with. The concentrated oxygen is then breathed into your system.

Now, admittedly there was a little more dread for me with regard to this appliance and its use. Especially since it was to be used while I was sleeping. For me I saw the first challenge as being able to sleep with a foreign object stuck in my nose. And surely I have to sleep totally on my back, otherwise I would be waking up at some point in the night tangled in an array of plastic tubing with  no idea as to where the nose piece part is anymore. And of course there was a noise I would have to get use to although sometimes mundane, constant noises are a welcome by many sleepers since it drowns out most extraneous noises. Even without this new noise maker, I already run a small fan in my room exactly for that purpose every night.

Well, much to my pleasant surprise, I experienced nothing even close to that last night as I pursued my first night sleeping with the device. Even when I initially put in the nose piece and pulled the tubing around and behind the ears did I hardly even notice it. As far as sleeping I was able to turn to either side at any time I desired and within no time at all lost all realization that the tubing was there nor did the tubing at any point tangle up with me or anything else. Ended up getting my normal full night of rest… 🙂

And so the world goes on for a time longer. I’m reasonably sure these new medical appliances will not be the last but who knows. As they say… growing old is not for wimps! 🙁

I had a sleepover night before last….

Posted by Posted in Health Information Posted on 15-10-2016

Well no, it wasn’t as though I ‘scored’ as they often say. Not to say some 74 year old’s aren’t up to such things but alas, that’s one group I cannot attest to being a part of.

No, my sleepover pal was a ‘Wrist-Oximeter” which was prescribed by my new pulmonary doctor and delivered by “Alliance Home Care Equipment”. It is a device that is worn on the wrist as shown in the photo below with a monitoring device attached to your index finger that monitors primarily your oxygen saturation level along with your pulse. Although the device can be worn at any time, I was required to wear mine one night, overnight, to monitor my oxygen levels while sleeping.


Alliance home care picked the device back up yesterday morning, took it back to their office where they downloaded the information gathered by the oximeter and emailed the data to the doctor for her review. So now I guess I just wait for a call from the doctor or one of her nurses with the results with regard to any further followup required.

Took delivery of a ‘nebulizer’ this past evening again delivered by Alliance home care. This is a device normally used to treat asthma patients as I understand it so we will see what that is all about in the next day or two I suppose. Will see if that turns out to be a greater challenge than the wrist-oximeter…. 😕

Pulmonologist or bust….

Posted by Posted in Health Information Posted on 11-10-2016

female-doctor-looking-at-x-rayWell tomorrow will be my first visit with a pulmonary doctor. My primary care doctor noted to me on my last visit to see him last month that it was time to see a pulmonologist for a more precise evaluation of where I stand with my COPD.

I’m actually looking quite forward to the visit since I hope to get a good evaluation of where I stand ‘stage wise’ with this emphysema. My perception of its progression and an actual evaluation could be at some odds with each other, whether good or bad.

The one thing about this disease when you go to see a doctor, you don’t expect they will prescribe a new medication that will put you on the road to recovery because that can’t happen with a degenerative disease. It seems I go simply for the sole purpose of finding out a more definitive estimate of when the train I’m on will be leaving for Cemeteryville.

Bucket List Item…. Clean out the old man’s attic!

Posted by Posted in General Information, Health Information Posted on 26-09-2016


Okay, it is definitely a given that cleaning out one’s attic is not an activity you might find on a great many ‘bucket lists’ but it did find its way on to mine. You see dining in Paris, kayaking down the Amazon River or climbing driving to the top of Pike’s Peak may be more common ‘bucket list’ items but for me, well it would be the preparing and packing for those trips and not the trip itself where the pleasure would be extracted.

All this is predicated on the fact that I am suffering from a self-diagnosed case of OCD. No, it’s not the more familiar kind of OCD known as ‘Obsessive Compulsive Disorder’. In my case it is an off-shoot disease known as ‘Organizational Compulsive Disorder’. Any sign of disarray sends one into a fit of organizational rage. And if you are planning on moving to Cemeteryville in the not so distant future, how in good conscience can you leave such clutter and mayhem to your beneficiaries.

It seems logical that if someone is suffering from OCD (Organizational Compulsive Disorder) as I apparently am, it therefore follows that one would certainly take great pains in preparing for their own death. And over the past year or so I have gone to some length doing just that. It all began pretty much with my attic which has been the recipient of who knows what all since 1959. Yep, it’s been the family home for that long and I decided to clean out the attic come hell or high water. A patched together composite of my attic can be seen above and clicking on the photograph will give one a much larger view of its sad condition before cleaning out.

Now, as to the cleaning out itself, well that actually fell to my sister and brother-in-law for the most part (bet their wishing about now I had retired in some rural area in northern Alaska). Well, I was just physically unable to offer much help and they were gracious enough to offer their services. Needing and having to have help to do certain things when you have been independent and living on your own for as long as I have creates yet another issue when your growing old but that we’ll leave for another post.

As the attic refuse began to accumulate in one room or another it was evident that I was becoming eligible to qualify for one of those “hoarder” reality television programs. I may end up with a trashed living area but by golly I was going to have a clean attic, fitting for someone who is meticulous about their death preparation.



A day or so later I got the brainstorm that I should photograph all this stuff. Why? Well, then I would have photographs of it to post on the Internet should it decide to sell it or give it away. So that is exactly what I did. I have already given away a lot of old picture frames, tons of old mat boards for framing photos and a number of those old cake and cookie storage tins.

And as for the attic itself, well there were a few remnants of life still lying around but for the most part she had been gutted of all her trash and treasure as is reflected in the composite photo below….


I guess that is pretty much it at the moment. Other posts will certainly follow regarding this OCD project. I am still slowly but surely getting my house back in some as-semblance of order. Taking on this project has been quite taxing for someone with organizational issues. In order to clean out the attic I have to trash my home’s living area. Perhaps this whole thing was not as well thought out as it should have been?