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.

Mama said there’d be days like this….

Posted by Posted in Biographical Scrapbooking, News & Current Events, Products & Merchandise Posted on 29-12-2017

Well, after giving my little dissertation regarding housekeepers, something mama has warned each and everyone of us about has apparently occurred. Something has all of a sudden turned up missing. And of course it had to be something of meaningful value to my family, not to mention me.

A treasured was stolen from my house which was a wide gold band identical to the one top-left in the adjacent picture with a diamond inlaid belt buckle similar to the one on the lighter gold band to the lower right. The ring was one which I had purchased back in the seventies and had worn as a ‘pinky’ ring for many, many years.

At the time the ring was taken it was in the top-right corner of the top-left drawer of my chest of drawers unfortunately in plain site. I had recently put the ring there with the intention of giving it to my little sister next time she came over. That is, if I remembered to do so.

It was the one thing she had wanted to have and keep as a remembrance of me when I had finally boarded the train for Cemeteryville. I don’t guess much else can really be said about the ring disappearance.

No way to know who took the ring for sure… just speculation. Since March I have had numerous caregivers here in the house along with the housekeepers mentioned in a previous post. And although I don’t think the ring was taken until recently, that’s just the way it goes when you start letting strangers into your house, no matter under what guise they may be. And I bear almost as much fault for leaving such a treasure out in basically plain sight… 🙁

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! 🙁

Lexi Lu & Santa….

Posted by Posted in Biographical Scrapbooking, News & Current Events Posted on 06-12-2016

Back in June of this year we had a new edition to the family. I now have a new little “doggie niece”, compliments of my younger sister. She’s a cutie and they named her Lexi Lu. She had her first visit with Santa recently and I just had to share her photo….

lexi-lu-and-santa-dec-2016-small

Happy Thanksgiving….

Posted by Posted in Cartoons & Jokes, News & Current Events Posted on 24-11-2016

editorial-cartoon-013

Home Christmas decorations already….?

Posted by Posted in News & Current Events Posted on 05-11-2016

Well, to each his own I suppose but seems to me it’s way too early to be decorating the outside of your home for Christmas. Thanksgiving is still three weeks away and Christmas is some eight weeks away but there my neighbor was yesterday decorating away. And besides that, the house is for sale and he hasn’t lived there for almost three months. As you take a look at the photographs below (click on photo to enlarge) it’s easy to see that there is no snow on the ground and the leaves on the trees are still green. Well, I’m just sayin’….

neighbors-decorations-01
neighbors-decorations-02

Sidney, the lioness….

Posted by Posted in News & Current Events Posted on 27-10-2016

The Little Rock Zoo lost its oldest residing lioness, a 22-year old lioness named Sidney this past weekend when the lioness had to be euthanized for health reasons. Admittedly I had no long running personal ties with this lioness although on my last trip to the Little Rock Zoo in 2006 on a photographing adventure of sorts, I do definitely recall spending quite a bit of time at Sidney’s enclosure trying to get a nice photograph of her.

The press release regarding the death of Sidney read as follows….

The Little Rock Zoo has announced the death of 22-year-old lioness Sidney.

Zoo veterinarian Sarah Kline says the animal was euthanized Sunday after a corneal graft on her eye deteriorated.

Kline says the lion had surgery on her eyes in January and a rupture on her left eye was repaired in September. Kline said bloodwork indicated progressive kidney and liver disease and the decision was made to euthanize rather than put the animal through another surgery to remove the eye.

Sidney was born in 1994 and came to the Little Rock Zoo in 2000 as a donation from Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri.

I was fortunate to capture a fairly nice photograph of Sidney as can be seen below when I was on that photographic adventure back in 2006 which I previously mentioned. Be sure and click on the image to see a much larger version of the photograph….

sidney-the-lioness

It is always saddening to hear of a loss of one of our zoo animals but over the years certainly not unexpected. I’m at least glad in this case that I actually had a reasonably nice photograph of the animal….

Celebrity Encounters of the Third Kind….

Posted by Posted in Biographical Scrapbooking, News & Current Events Posted on 19-10-2016

dizzy-dean-3I sat and chatted with none other than Dizzy Dean on a flight from Dallas International to Adams Field in Little Rock in early 1967, passed little old Nick Adams, nick_adams-the-rebel-1959-2“The Rebel” in the Honolulu International Airport while changing planes in Hawaii in late 1965 and this past Monday shared my eye doctor’s waiting area with none other the NASCAR driver Mark Martin.

It’s a bit uncanny how you see these celebrity types a hundred times on television and yet when you actually stand in the presence of one you just can’t seem to make up your mind whether it’s the celebrity they resemble or just another clone of the human race. When I first saw Dizzy Dean I finally concluded he was the Governor of Arkansas and was on the plane sitting next to him before someone came by and addressed him as Mr. Dean. Nick Adams is the only one I got right off. As far as Mark Martin, for almost half an hour I sat in that waiting room and tried to decide if it was or was not the Mark Martin of NASCAR fame.

mark-martin-combo-01

At one point he got up from his chair and went outside to take a call on his cell phone. Got a good look at him at that point but he looked to skinny and small to fit my preconceived picture of him. It really wasn’t until one of the nurses came into the waiting room and called, “Mr. Martin” that I assured myself that was really him. Then as he disappeared down the hallway a couple of other men who were sitting closer to him began jabbering away at the fact it was Mark Martin.

As crowded as the waiting room was at that time I was somewhat amazed that no one had spoken to him at all. When there is a celebrity in the vicinity usually at least one person is bold enough to approach them but not the case here.

I did get a chuckle about how he got called out of the waiting room by the nurse. She called out “Mr. Martin” in his case. When any of the other patients were called they were simply addressed by their last names with no “Ms.” or “Mr.” The eye clinic personnel certainly were aware of the elephant in the room. 🙂

It should be noted that seeing Mark Martin in Little Rock should not be that big of a surprise at all given the fact that he lives in a small town northeast of Little Rock. Especially if he is coming to a well-known medical facility and eye clinic in Little Rock.

A true miracle or just simply serendipity?

Posted by Posted in Health Information, News & Current Events Posted on 25-09-2016

It’s that time of year for us Medicare folks when we are given the opportunity to change our insurance plans or jump ship to another insurance carrier entirely. So from now through mid-December many of us will begin finding our mail boxes inundated with all those offers from all those other insurance companies touting the glory of their plans. Well a few days ago I got my “2017 Renewal Information” booklet from my Medicare Part D carrier who happens to be Humana.

humana-2017-renewal-booklet-cover

I’ve been on Medicare some ten years now and they have, for better or worse, been my Part D carrier that whole period. And each year when I receive my renewal booklet for the upcoming year it goes without saying that the monthly premium always seems to go up. Imagine that huh? Well it would seem rather than getting that old generic rate hike this year I would experience the miracle that was referenced in the title of this post. My monthly premium for this year will actually decrease $2.10 as you may note in the page below (click to enlarge the page).

humana-2017-renewal-booklet-rate-page-hi-lite

Now we could probably debate whether this is a true miracle or simply serendipity till the cows come home but given the fact we are talking about health insurance and the year is 2016, I don’t think there should be any question that this can not be anything but a miracle. Medical insurance never goes down…. we all know that! 🙁

Currently on the run from the IRS….

Posted by Posted in News & Current Events Posted on 24-09-2016

tax_fraud

Yesterday must have been “Black Friday” at my house. Received two calls from Arlington, VA, one at 11:15 AM and another at 1:51 PM. The calls were from two different IRS agents, one male and one female, letting me know that the IRS had discovered fraudulent information in my latest tax return. I had let my answering machine get these calls so both agents warned that I should return their calls or suffer the consequences. Here’s the information on the number of origin….

Arlington VA

(703) 879-8780

WASH-DC, VA

A quick check with Google and it was quickly confirmed this was a fairly well-known number associated with an IRS scam. Fortunately I had been made aware of these type scams via a number of previous media reports. Below is a statement issued by the IRS regarding theses scams….

“There are clear warning signs about these scams, which continue at high levels throughout the nation,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “Taxpayers should remember their first contact with the IRS will not be a call from out of the blue, but through official correspondence sent through the mail. A big red flag for these scams are angry, threatening calls from people who say they are from the IRS and urging immediate payment. This is not how we operate. People should hang up immediately and contact TIGTA or the IRS.”

I should note that what is most disturbing regarding this matter is the fact that these scammers have my phone number. My phone number is unlisted but nevertheless by googling my name plus the text ‘phone number’ I was able to find a posting of the number. But where do the scammers get my phone number from, that is the worry-some question?

So life is apparently not quite over if I can still experience this type of excitement in what would have been an otherwise rather boring, mundane day. And whose to say…. I may just pack a small bag, grab some of that loot the IRS is trying to recoup and head to ‘Vegas’! 🙂

viva-las-vegas