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This category contains 27 posts

No Good Deed…

You know the rest!

With both my roommate and I having infirmities and physical limitations (along with no longer being 22!) sometimes things get procrastinated about, or just ignored.

One of those things is our back ‘yard’.

Living in a small townhouse, the yard isn’t particularly large, but my roomie, with her love for the flora, has numerous plants, both potted and in the ground, which sometimes require tending.

And between recent other adventures and doctor’s appointments, the yard has not seen proper maintenance.

And a number of ‘volunteer’ plants have been added to the mix by Mother Nature.  Like lantana, which has taken over to the extent we cannot reach the hose bib or electric box!

Now, there is a time constraint, as her first shoulder surgery is scheduled for March 21.  And I suspect nurse will be added to the title chief cook and bottle washer for me.  And, with her right arm immobilized for a minimum of six weeks, her physical abilities will be severely limited.

So, Thursday last, I carved out some time in the morning to take a stab at the yard.  Because it was necessary. (It didn’t help a number of massive fronts were coming in from California starting Friday!)

My target:

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(the white structure on the right is a non-functional Jacuzzi – now a plant stand)

I popped a significant pain pill, waited for it to kick in and headed out.  Wishing in all seriousness I had a machete ala Indiana Jones.

I had a rake, a shovel, and a weed-eater.

The plan was to work until it was done – no excuses!  Then, the pain pill wore off.  At about two hours.  When not involved in manual labor, they last four or more!

So much for THAT idea.

BUT, I cleaned up 75-80% of the yard, obtained access to the bib and the utility box (getting stabbed byagave-americana the century plant at least twice!), and trimmed back the palm tree by the back gate as to only get attacked by one palm frond, in lieu of three.

With palms like these, who needs anemones? – Thelonious Monk (from the liner notes for the Dave Brubeck ‘Take Five’ album)

More obviously needs to be done.  But that’s for another day.

And Friday and Saturday I paid for my good deed…

My arthritis kicked in big time, as did muscle pain, general tiredness and malaise.

And my doc wants me to limit use of NSAIDS, having over-used them for the past twenty years or more.

SIGH.

The Twelve Labors Of Hercules 

Hardly. 

But trying, nevertheless.

With my knee being ‘iffy’, and The Horrible Chair, just going downstairs can be a challenge.

And, when my roommate having breathing difficulties and sometimes staying in bed, it’s up to me to be  (as my Father would label himself) the chief cook and bottle washer!

That is, take care of the livestock and fetch medicines, water, soda and food for the ‘infirmed’.

I’ve no complaint about so doing – after all, it was my roommate who saved me from possibly having to live on the street with my income decreased and I lost my home.

The ‘problem’ (and this is a joke, folks) is the livestock in question sometimes makes it difficult to do chores.  Because, they, too, want attention.

Or just to be in the way!

The first hurdle is (are?) the stairs.  I know, not livestock.  But just going down them can be painful.  And sometimes the kitten (Belle) plays the ‘can I trip him on the stairs’ game.  (Does this count as a second hurdle?)

Belle

Belle

Hurdle Two – the Cage.  (In no way resembling Star Trek-TOS episode!)  We have taken to giving the livestock the run of the downstairs.  We used to pen up the older dogs in the downstairs bath-as a makeshift kennel.  And that worked for many years.  But, as they have aged (both 16 now), their hearing and vision has diminished.  And D.J., especially, gets scared in the dark when he cannot move about freely.  This wouldn’t be a problem, except he starts barking.  One yelp every eight seconds or so.  ALL NIGHT.  Or until he finally falls asleep.  The yelping resumes when he awakens – even at 0300!  Letting them go free gives them enough ambient light to patrol the downstairs and see enough not to bark.

D.J.

D.J.

Unless, of course, a stray cat appears in the back yard.  No plan is perfect.

(Back to the cage)  We have a ‘cage’ kennel we have used for Lola (the puppy-now two, but forever nicknamed as such) which also is just the right size to block the dogs from going upstairs.  They are supposed to use the designated paper by the back door, but sometimes they like to sneak to the upper landing.  And we don’t like that.

Lola

Lola

SO, I’ve descended the stairs, and prepare to move The Cage out-of-the-way, when Gracie becomes involved.  She likes to sit on top of said cage and add an addition three or four metric tons to it’s weight.  HER nickname is BAC – for Big Ass Cat!  Plus, she can be kinda snotty if asked to move and might hiss at you!

Gracie aka B.A.C.

Gracie aka B.A.C.

Now that we’ve made it down the stairs, and moved the cage, there’s the kitten, again.  No, she’s not gone away.  If I walk past The Horrible Chair, she will jump up on the seat and demand tribute!  Which means flopping over and belly rubs!  (the cat, not me)  I must admit this is not much of a trial, and rubbing the belly of a purring kitten is quite pleasant.  😛

tribute

tribute

She can continue with an additional trial, following me incessantly and meowing tiny mews, until I either fill up the water, the food, or change the cat box.  She always lets me know.  But every time I walk by The Horrible Chair I must pay!  🙂

Okay, okay!  I know.  Animals are a blessing, and three (or four) interactions with them first thing in the morning is great! (Except for the B.A.C.!)

And four is not twelve.  Perhaps I need to rethink this.  But The Three or Four Challenges of Hercules just doesn’t have the same ring to it.  😛

The Horrible Chair (A Bleg)

Being disabled, including a fused right hip, makes raising up from seated, especially of the lower variety chair, difficult, painful and sometimes ne’er impossible.

So, after my roommate’s stepmother passed, when we were tasked with emptying her home for sale, I was most grateful I was offered her ‘lift chair’!   Having a fulcrum in the front of the recliner, it lifts one up out of the chair from seated. The process is reversed to sit.

pride-lc105-electric-recliner-lift-chair

Quite nice, really. 

The control extends the chair to operate as a recliner, and even lays out flat, for sleeping!

However, it’s been in regular use for a few years now, and the controller module is failing!

Meaning it will no longer recline, is stuck in one sitting position, and sometimes will not elevate.

A problem for me, meaning my knee often goes out when I get up! Sometimes I can get it back into place in twenty seconds – sometimes not in twenty minutes.  Sigh.

And it’s VERY painful.

(And knee braces are not possible, for too many reasons to go into here.)

A problem for my roommate (besides having to listen to me yell and whine) because SHE will need the chair soon to sleep in (post shoulder rotator cuff surgery). (I’ll be sitting in a straight chair in the interim.)

And a replacement control unit is almost $100 !

Funds are always tight, even more so now with her working less with the bad shoulder.  She hasn’t worked a ‘regular’ work week in over a year, with her many health issues.

Sigh.

I don’t usually bleg, but contributions to my PayPal account (on the right sidebar) in any amount would be most appreciated!

Failing that, a good thought or prayer if that’s what you do.  She will probably miss 12 weeks of work.

The surgeon says if she doesn’t have the repair surgery soon, it will become a replacement (!)

And please don’t tell her I asked – she’d have a fit. (she doesn’t always read the blog.)

Thank you for your kind consideration!  🙂

Life

It’s a cereal; it’s a board game.  A defunct television series.

It also is what it is.

My favorite line from the James Bond books, is ‘M’ (the head of MI-6, Admiral Sir Miles Meservy) telling Bond when he complains about receiving an assignment change, “Things change, 007.”

M

‘M’

And that might be one definition of Life.  Things changing.

Of course, the best part are the good changes – grand nieces ascending from 6th Grade, and another graduating High School.  Others having birthdays.  A dear friend’s birthdays and their elder daughter getting her doctorate!

The bad?

That dear friend (Bob Hall) being unable to be present for his daughter’s doctoral degree.

Daily dealing with issues regarding aging, illness and finances – both my roommate and I.

Friends, relatives and acquaintances becoming severely ill.  Some almost certainly in their way out, others hanging-in-there, but…?

And some already gone.  More than I ever expected.

Even some leaving voluntarily, but still present.  Apparently, friends no longer.  😦

“Things change, Guffaw.”

I haven’t needed a fictional intelligence department head to tell me.

I already know.

Things are as they are.

This just in. Ray Carter passed this morning.
Puts my whining in perspective.

It’s Official…

I’ve been ‘disabled’ since I was age 12.  Legg Calve’ Perthes disease destroyed the cartilage and bone in my right hip, and was starting to attack my other hip and both knees.  After much failed experimentation, ‘they’ were able to stop the advancement.  ‘They’ decided the best course of action was to cast me, fusing my right leg at the hip.  In 1966.

So my right leg is substantially shorter than my left, and fused at the hip.

I’ve lived my life this way.  I’m used to it.

And, anyway, a hip replacement is elective and expensive.

In spite of this (in my youth), I ran, played, jogged, walked, took Kenpo karate, lifted weights…all manner of things!

Sadly, this disability kept me from joining the military or becoming a cop.  Childhood dreams dashed.

But, in spite of my limitations, I never felt, well, disabled.

Yes, sometimes ‘it’ got in the way (like needing leg room to drive – straight leg, and all), but it never kept me from most things.  I usually avoided wearing ‘Ed Sullivan-the really big shoe’* when I was younger, because I thought it made me look crippled.  Which I was.

And I rarely felt sorry for myself.  Well, sometimes.

But Life brought the addition of a serious car accident, diabetes and lymphoma, all potentially more lethal.

And Diffuse Type B Cell Lymphoma is listed as the ‘official’ reason for my Social Security Disability Income.

As of age 58.

And I am still here, now approaching age 64.  Wearing ‘Ed’ more often.

My roommate J. has been having her own health issues for many years.  They needn’t be enumerated here. Surgery pending on some.  Suffice it to say we don’t get to gun shows much, anymore.  Too much walking.

😦

But she never asked for one of those disabled mirror hangers!  I obtained one a while back, and we kept in in her car, as she does most of the driving, her car being in better shape then mine.

She finally remembered to ask her primary care doc for the form to get one!  And got hers!

This meant I got to have and use mine for the first time the other day!

20160521_085240

It’s official – I’m a gimp!

*Ed Sullivan was an entertainment reporter who hosted a TV variety show, from 1948-1971.  He would announce he had a really big show, but pronounced it as shoe – hence the pun.

 

The Great Escape

(Sadly, not the exceptional book by Paul Brickhill, nor the film based on it by John Sturgis)

I rent-a-room from my ex-gf J.  We dated a few years ago for about four years, and have remained friends.  Hell, she offered me a room in which to land when I lost my home!

The point being, we have been acquainted for going on eleven years(!)  And I with her menagerie – a smattering of chihuahuas and cats.  Some of whom have passed on (Mike was a terrific boy kitty!).   Others remain, and continue to age.

Fooling us into complacency.

The drill used to be to make certain the gate from the back yard into the parking lot was secure, because DYLAN could escape.  And has.

When I first met Dylan (which I privately spell Dillon – gun folk will get it), she was three, and very animated and active.

And she did get loose a couple of times, running willy-nilly, constantly checking for pursuers over her shoulder and laughing.  She was a rescue dog, and had probably lived on the street for some time.  Of course, the main fear was she’d run into the street and get killed.

Now, she’s going on 15-years-old, and has an arthritic back leg.  Spends most of her time sleeping, sometimes with one eye pealed for the cats or the puppy.  She moves kinda slow.

We were alerted by the (evil) HOA to keep our back gate unlocked (an impossibility, due to the spring-loaded lock) lest they need access to make ‘authorized’ repairs and improvements.  For a specific three day period.  And we were used to the gate being closed and secure.

So we had to leave it ajar for the three days.

I wasn’t worried.  Dylan could barely walk, and D.J. (the happy boy idiot dog) wouldn’t leave, regardless. And Lola (the puppy) generally used paper inside by the back door.  (She was a showgirl, ya know!)

Part of the morning routine was to check the backyard for maintenance folk, close the gate, THEN let the critters out.  But the habit, based on years of programming, was just let them out.

You can see where this is going, can’t you?

I let them out, then looked up to see the gate still ajar about a foot.  I wasn’t worried.

Then, Dylan looked at me and bolted out the gate like a shot!  I quickly ran (well, relatively quickly) and called to her.  There she was, as if she were again three, running away, looking over her shoulder at me.

And laughing.

I let D.J. back inside, secured Lola in her kennel and yelled to J that Dylan was loose.  She ran out back with her car keys.  I searched the opposite direction on foot.

J. is asthmatic.  Going to her car is her best bet.  I’m crippled.  Hobbling slowly after a very fast puppy old lady dog is the best I could do.

Dylan did her best to stay about 60 feet ahead of me, even taking time for a ‘rest stop’ – just to mock my pursuit!  J. drove around the parking lot slowly, searching.  After about 15 minutes, I chased her to Judy, who scooped her up into her car and went home!

She ended up running a few hundred yards.  Which I ended up walking.  Slowly and painfully.

The important things are Dylan is back home safe, Judy is breathing okay, and I have additional pain medication.

Here is Dylan, after her little ‘adventure’.

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BITCH!

I See Dead People

dead…or rather, I wish I did!

A number of folks close to me have pre-deceased me.  And with some (not all) it would be nice to have another 15 minutes.

Or a day.

My Mother, who passed when I was in the Second Grade.  My maternal grandfather, Gramp, when I was 24.  Of course my daughter Molly, when she was 12…

And a couple of others.

But, I’ve never had that kind of  spiritual connection.  And I’m a little envious of those who have!

My friend Bob – who saw a vision of his mother in the moment of her passing.  Five miles away!

A girlfriend who saw ‘something’ resembling my deceased dog Ilsa wandering around my house.

My daughter had a childhood friend and neighbor who awakened one night to see a black cat outside on her closed window sill.  My daughter loved cats.  And the cat opened her mouth and laughed, sounding just like my daughter!  Of course, this could have been a dream – except the girl’s mom ran into her room and exclaimed, “I heard her, too!”  This was about one month after Molly’s passing.

But for me, bupkis.

I like to think I’m a spiritual guy.  Perhaps I am, but just not in that way.

Damn.

Youth Is Wasted On The Yutes

I’m sitting here this morning (actually, a couple of days ago), doing my morning routine:  shower, dress, morning rituals, medications, the all-important diet soda, the GiA blog, reading other blogs, news and emails…

Waiting for the stopping point.  When my muscle pain and diabetic neuropathy kick in!  Sometimes in an hour, sometimes more.

Pain in my extremities, feet, legs and even hindquarters.  From SITTING for chrissake!

AND, I already took medications!

And I remember being young.  Well, younger…

Lifting weights, walking long distances, jogging, karate – even with a fused hip!  And the hot shower accompanied by perhaps a couple aspirin did the trick.

Well it did in my 30’s.

But alas, no more.

And I remember older people from my youth, whining and complaining about this pain or that ailment, and me having no understanding.

And even thinking it was funny.

Karma IS a heartless bitch!

And then I think of Bob, a recent 1/2 leg amputee currently braving throat cancer, and my attitude improves…

Gratitude, my friends, is the key!

What About Bob?

I was able to communicate with one of the many Bobs in my life last night.  (Long-time readers know I’ve many friends named Bob and Dave.  One childhood friend was even named Robert Davidson!)

The dear friend with whom I was a private investigator, and later worked together in a firearms emporium.

The one who lost the lower 12″ of his left leg due to diabetic complications.  And almost lost his life.

Fortunately, things are going well as can be for him.

He’s been using a prosthesis now for about six weeks!  He still has need of a wheelchair or a walker for some life activities.

The most important thing is he is active, continuing to test his limits, and has a terrific attitude.

One daughter is preparing to graduate from a local university; the other from Northwestern.

He is most proud.

I’m proud of him for his ongoing attitude.  I’ve my own health issues – And he continues to show me that attitude is everything.

Thank you, Robert!

Ed Sullivan II !

The really big shoe, the sequel!

I’ve been in need for a replacement big shoe for over seven months, now.  Bought the shoes, but simply didn’t have the funds to get the orthopedic build-up needed.

Until a couple weeks ago.

I now present to you, Ed Sullivan II, the sequel!  🙂

20150522_081833Funny how the shoes wear-out on the inside, and I started walking crooked without even knowing.  These new shoes are like having new legs!

HUZZAH!

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…