Saturday, June 28, 2014

What's any better than a good vacation?

What a great way to end the month of June!  We're streaming through some of the best weather we've had for a very long time.  I love it.

I had some news Friday that I knew was coming but really didn't want to hear.  I've known about some cataracts for quite a while, years, in fact, but now they're interrupting my vision.  I had a regularly scheduled appointment with my eye checker and told her my vision had changed.  I was having a hard time focusing in a distance and had to take my glasses off to read.

She gave me the full exam and much to my surprise, there's no change in my prescription.  Cataracts, said she.  She went through a full explanation of what was happening and I mentioned I had several friends who had gone through them, and none had the kind of symptoms, or problems if you wish, that I am having.  She told me I am a different person and cataracts can act differently.  Then she said that she'd bet I'm a lot closer to what those friends faced than I believed.  She first warned me of the cataracts a few years back, so this didn't come as a surprise.

She's giving me a little time to adjust my thinking about cataracts and didn't want me to change my July vacation plans.  But when my wife and I get back home, seriously think about the eyes and give her a call.

Absolutely no one I know who has gone through this has said anything bad about it.  If I mention this to my Fearless Friend, he'd tell me, again, that I'd probably be looking up at a blurred ceiling when all would go black and a minute later be able to count the holes in the tiles.  A couple days later, I'd be wondering why in the world I put it off.  Several other people have told me basically the same thing.  One woman I know faced the same trepidation I'm facing, went through with it, and was so happy with the results she called to have the second eye fixed as soon as she could.

I'm not going to let my fears keep me from having a great time on our vacation, but for this blog, the vacation is beginning right now.  I'll be taking the month of July, or a good portion of it, off.  A little bit of it will be a trip to the Pennsylvania Dutch Country (Lancaster) where we have tickets to a great production.  I hope you continue to enjoy your summer.


Monday, June 23, 2014

The slow times continue.

I just realized the last, beautiful weekend is over.  Goes to show you, doesn't it, just how uninvolved in about anything right now I am.

My wife has had her schedule at her part time job changed, at least for this week.  She now works Friday through Monday with Tuesday through Thursday off.  She's giving this schedule a chance, but she certainly isn't too happy about management changes at her work place.  She has asked how much time she must give to quit.  The standard two-week notice is necessary, but she can include upcoming vacation time in those two weeks.

The pollsters are driving me nuts.  I get at least one call, usually more, each day, including Sunday.  I hope someone is paying for the time.  About all I do is either just hang up or get very rude, which, as you know, accomplishes nothing.  I don't think just hanging up accomplishes anything, either.  Sunday's call was a very long one and I was bored with the television, so I answered about 50 questions concerning just about every issue, including moving the Boston bomber trial to Washington.  It only consisted of pressing one to four for the usual choices.

I got the gals in my life a little upset with me over the past weekend.  I reminded them that in just nine days (from then) I'll be able to say,  "Thankfully, the football season get underway next month."  The Florida Gators, who I had been following very closely, open with a game at the end of August.  I doubt I'll be following them quite as closely during this coming season.  They still have the coach that has destroyed the once Mighty Gators.  Last year was the worst one in several decades as the non-coach led the team to a very losing season.  Not much hope for this year, either.  It appears the school's AD is having a hard time facing the fact he made a really bad decision hiring the coach.

A sign of the times:  There's a commercial on the Telly showing a young man and a young woman texting each other on a telephone trying to reach agreement on a vacation.  The camera pulls back and shows the two sitting at the SAME table touching elbows.  Texting to each other.  Whatever happened to the ability to hold a conversation?

I think I've sent just two text messages in the dozen years I've had a cell phone.  The first one was to my Fearless Friend that simply told him I was seeing how the thing worked.  The other was seeing if I could text while driving.  That was close to a disaster.  I've not sent another text message since that I can recall.  I still have my original phone, and I got it long before the so-called Smart Phones came into being.

I got my phone shortly after my heart incident back in 2001 just so I'd have a way to get help in case of an emergency.  40 days in a hospital will do that to you.  But once I got it, naturally I had to try it out.  Now my phone is never on unless I need to initiate a call, like one to my wife if I'm going to be late so she won't get worried.  Only about five people, two of them outside my family, have my phone number.

This is the week with the last Wednesday of the month in it.  I'm looking forward to going to lunch with my fellow retirees again.  I missed the last two sessions while I was attending my balance workshop.  It'll be good to try to get back into the conversation stream again.

I hope you have a good, productive rest of the week.


Friday, June 20, 2014

What a great stretch of weather!

Another weekend is upon us and we're looking at another great summer weekend.  All this past week has been really good, although I must admit the humidity made the mid-week a little dicey.  There are times when I'm really, selfishly?, happy I live in Maine and not in the mid-west.  We do complain when the short summer is interrupted by a storm, but then we watch the visuals from the middle part of our country.

We are prepared for a little heat, though.  My house has central air-conditioning and it was checked out and started up for this season recently.  We really don't run it very often, however.  One can almost hear the little wheel in the meter spinning when we're drawing electricity for the A/C.  I'm really not sure our so-called Smart Meter has a wheel as I've never bothered to check; but when that electricity bill comes, in our case at the end of the month so one will be here next week, the difference between months when we don't run the A/C and those when we do is dramatic.

When the temperature is reaching into the high 80s or low 90s, though, I don't hesitate to turn the cooler on, especially at night so we can get some sleep.

Nothing was wrong when it was checked this year, so now we'll just hope we don't have to use it too often. 

Wouldn't it be nice if the summer just merrily rolled along with sunny skies, temperatures in the upper 70s and low 80s, and a very gentle breeze off the ocean?  Now that's the kind of weather I really like.

You've read here many times that Sandra, my wife, works part time to get away from me.  She could have retired with full retirement benefits ten years ago, but has chosen to work into her mid 70s.  There have been some changes at her workplace and she no longer comes home smiling and happy about what she's doing there.  First, I was hearing about how the mood where she works was changing and now it seems to be getting worse.  Her schedule has been all screwed up and the number of hours reduced and she's beginning to question whether or not continuing is worth it.  From what she says, it's the same "wonder" her fellow workers are expressing.

She has a couple weeks of vacation coming up in July and, she says, they could become permanent.  Then she says she'll give it into August to see if the place returns to the happy, nice place to work it was until some management changes were made.  I'll support whatever decision she makes, but I sure do hate seeing her come home from work as a very unhappy person.

I'm glad I got that off my chest.  Now let's settle down for another nice weekend.  I hope yours is, anyways.  My wife has a new work schedule and it includes both Saturdays and Sundays.  That makes us both unhappy.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Break time!

My wife was on vacation all last week, but she's back at work this week.  Time for me to take a break.  I'm still looking forward, however, to when she will finally hang up her work clothes and enter the wonderful world of retirement.  Can she now?  Of course.  She has a birthday next month and will hit the mid 70s.  When people ask me why she still works, I say, "Simply to get away from me."  She did say last Friday, though, after a week off from work, "I could get used to this."  We'll take her next vacation together.  In July, we'll be heading to Pennsylvania just to get away for a few days.  We both are looking forward to that.  But right now, I'm taking a break from being kept busy by her being home.

Oh.  I got my certificate of completion last week when my eight week balancing workshop, A Matter of Balance sponsored by the Southern Maine Area Agency on Aging, ended.  I feel it was a successful workshop as I did learn some balancing tricks and met some super people.  I also learned of various ways of getting up if I do fall again.  Any senior who has any balancing or falling difficulties should attend the workshop .  The SMAAA holds that workshop as well as many others to assist seniors in different locations throughout Cumberland and York Counties.  Their main office is on Route One north of Oak Hill in Scarborough where you can get all the information and locations near you.

Enjoy your week.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

The weekend started out with a little rain, well, quite a bit in some places.  Let's hope it all clears out for your family celebration of Dad.  I have seen one hint that the warm, sunny day originally expected, might not turn out quite so well.  Nevertheless, it's time for our families to tell us what great dads we are. 

Happy Father's Day, everyone.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Thank you, Scarborough!

I have just a couple of things on which to comment this time around.  One of them was an activity at the voting place in Scarborough today.  We can't often tell of a really nice thing a town does for its residents, but on voting day my town did.  So I want to say "Thank You" to whoever in Scarborough thought of and arranged assistance for handicapped people at the voting arena at Scarborough High School.

I am mobility impaired and need some sort of assisting device in order to walk.  Sometimes for short distances I simply use a cane.  For moderate distances I have a four-wheel walker which most people call a "rollator," but my spell checker says I've spelled it wrong and has no suggestions.  And for long distances, I have a wheel chair.

On this voting day, I chose the walker as I had to get from the school's parking lot to its gym.  The moment we pulled into a handicap marked parking slot and hanged the placard, one of several folk came toward the car.  The people were all well-marked as helpers, probably police officers or trainees.  Their mission was simply to assist us mobility challenged to get into the voting room.  They had wheel chairs and other things at the ready.

By the time he got to our car to offer his assistance, my wife had already removed the walker, but the friendly helper guided us to the gym and gave us all the assistance we needed.  As we left the gym, there he was again to help us get back to our car.

I really appreciated the effort.  Perhaps they've been doing this routine at each election for a long time.  I hadn't run into it before probably because I usually vote absentee.  This is one super service given by the Town of Scarborough to its residents.  It's the kind of story about which we never hear and should get a lot more positive publicity.

Again, Thank You, Scarborough, for working to meet the needs of your challenged residents.

The other item concerns one I read on-line.  Apparently some British schools are seeing serious indoctrination creeping into their curriculum.  As a result one officials has now called for all schools to teach traditional British traditions, values, culture as a major part of the curriculum in all schools, public and private, secular or religious.  On the surface I thought this was a good idea.  I wonder if it also wouldn't be a good one for American schools, too.  We need something to bring our country back to its stated Constitutional way of life.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

A slow week but at least balancing is improving

It's been rather slow around here since we last met last week.  About all that has taken place is my attending my next to last session of "Matter of Balance" workshop at the Southern Maine Agency on Aging.  It was one of the better sessions as an occupational therapist was there for half the two hours to help us learn how to get up if we fall, a major concern for those of us in our senior years.

She did recommend we get one of those alert devices where the person presses a button to summon help.  She did not recommend one brand over another, just that the people who monitor them are very pleasant and helpful.  She did stress, without a brand name, the one that calls for help by detecting a fall and doesn't rely solely on someone pressing the button.

Unfortunately, those devices to have monthly monitoring fees and I'm not yet willing to pay such a fee.  Probably should, though.

Our two leaders, Donna and Ted, continue to guide us through interesting balance exercises and discussions.  I'm not sure I can say that after only seven weeks, I can see a lot of improvement in my capability of balance.  Some improvement, yes; but mostly I seem to be gaining confidence that I can take on normal activities with a knowledge of looking for "fall-ty" conditions and dealing with them.  The exercises haven't been accomplished long enough just yet to really demonstrate their strengthening of muscles used in balance, but for the first time in many, many years I am doing some real exercising regular, actually daily except my day off, Sunday.

The last session next Wednesday is partly review and wrap-up with a small partyish get together for the final half hour.

But that's about it for this week.  The weatherman says our weekend should be very good one so I hope you enjoy yours.