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    Sang in church this morning, then picked up a few things at the grocery, filled up SUV with gas, and put more air in all the tires. Big snowstorm forecast, but as of now, just a little light sleety snow, and no accumulation yet. (About 1 pm--lunchtime.) The sky looks very threatening and there's that feeling that you just want to hunker down in a warm, sheltered place and get ready for the storm.

    Hang in there, Charlotte.

    Just edited this to say that no sooner did I post than it started to snow heavily.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTime7 days ago
    We got our dusting of snow but it has warmed up to 32 so is melting. That should be it for us in the near future - just cold weather but as long as it stays above 20 at night I will be happy. Went to take Jas out at 8, she saw the snow and ran back up the stairs. Whimpy dog!!!!!

    Stay warm and safe Elizabeth and all others that are in the path of bad winter weather.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTime7 days ago
    We had an ice storm with high winds. The winds usually come in November when the jet stream drops below us and we start getting the polar air flows. They arrived early this morning when my windows were rattling at 5 in the morning and the cat was staring at it wondering what was going on.

    I think we set a record for snowfall in November. Usually it's none. We often get through December with a few light snowfalls. Day one - ice storm. Global warming is not happening around here.

    A lot has happened though. My sister was in a serious car accident but is OK. I had a big scare when I must have strained myself and couldn't move without serious pain for a day. My friend's sister died of Alzheimer's. And my next door neighbour found out his live in girlfriend has been bopping motorcycle man across the street.

    But my old cat has gained some weight back and is more lively. I finally watched the one movie I've never been able to - with tears rolling down most of the time. And even though I can't think of anything I'm looking forward to in my life, it's not hard to live it anymore - which is something I'm pretty sure I'm going to be appreciating for as long as I've got.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTime7 days ago
    A friend sprained her ankle yesterday and it was really bad today. Her husband is in the early stages of dementia and doesn''t drive, so after gassing up the car, I went to Costco and bought 2 rotisserie chickens (one for them and one for me) a shrimp cocktail (which I split between us) and some other stuff and dropped it off. When I got home, I cut off the meat on my chicken and used the carcass to make soup, which is most unlike me, since I don't like to cook. Then I finished weatherstripping the windows. I wanted to hang a wreath on the shed - it's one that lights up at night - but it started snowing and I was afraid I might slip going down the hill, and I decided not to risk it. So I vacuumed out the pellet stove and brought a bag of pellets in from the garage. Also cleaned out the cat litter box. I don't know what got into me, since this is more that I usually do in a week. Now I'm hunkered in, hoping we won't lose power.

    Wolf, that's a lot of disasters in a short time. I'm glad your sister is OK and you 've recovered. That is terrible about your neighbors. I thought they were friends. BTW, what was the movie?

    Elizabeth, I'm impressed that you know how to put air in the tires. I never mastered that.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTime7 days ago
    Two more inches of snow this morning on top of yesterday's ice. Welcome to the north pole. Since 8am this morning the traffic on the main street down behind my house has been crawling. Usually 'rush hour' isn't a thing.

    Myrtle, I don't know what other couples do - or, in this case, did. We went to the theatre fairly regularly growing up taking in films. We went to the Rocky Horror movie in an obscure theatre on the other side of Toronto over several years joining in with the theatrics where people called out lines like "We'll just say where we are, and go back to the car. We don't want to be any worry."

    We used to incorporate lines from movies we saw into our lives as an inside joke such as The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. If things were going wrong one of us might say "we're going to have to earn it" or we might lift Ringo Starr's line from the Magic Christian when he goes to see MacBeth and says "I've seen it" as a way of saying we weren't interested in doing whatever was under consideration.

    We watched some couples change over the years where they might sometimes get on each other, but that didn't happen to us. We remained friends over the years whether anyone else was there or not. One of the things we did was watch the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks movies Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail. Turner Classic Movies and other stations often put them on together and we often watched even though we knew every scene by heart.

    They're just romantic comedies but You've Got Mail is the movie that rips my heart out because it's not so much a movie as the way we were. I watched it yesterday for the first time in a decade and it was Niagara Falls.

    That IS terrible about my neighbors. She's the person I've called the tomato lady in the past and she's certainly not attractive. My next door neighbour met her at one of the large parties motorcycle man used to throw with a hundred people and a live band. She was one of his x-girlfriends and went home with my next door neighbour (across the street) and has been there ever since. It turns out another x-girlfriend of motorcycle man emailed my next door neighbor and told him to look into her cellphone. He found messages that showed this had been going on the entire time which is about six years now.

    I can't tell whether she's still there or not. The truly depressing thing to me about this and so many other examples I know, isn't how people treat each other where getting caught up in situations happens to many. It's how caught up people get in their own struggles being themselves without struggling nearly as hard to take charge of trying to solve or even identify the real issues.

    I don't say that lightly. I know how hard that is to do. I don't take full credit for our own good relationship either. Our personalities fit well and we were both intensely sincere people. That was lucky.

    About shrimp cocktail. It's easy to make just as well as store bought. Ten parts ketchup to one part yellow mustard and two parts horseradish. The first time make about half the amount you want to taste it. Buy mild or hot horseradish depending on your preference. That lasts in the fridge for years. Add more ketchup until you can't taste the difference between what you just made and store bought. Tinker with this once and you'll never buy shrimp cocktail again.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTime5 days ago
    Tomorrow I get the shot in my back into the nerve to calm it down - hopefully. It has not been as bad the last month - I put a 3 inch foam on the desk chair and if I adjust my hip before going to bed I don't wake up form it hurting. But, my right knee with the bone spur is always painful - keep the lidocaine patch on it most of the time especially at night. Just wish they would stick so I don't need to tape it.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTime4 days ago
    Yesterday was the Copper Ridge semi-annual plan meeting. Most of the departments had a representative at the meeting, though the people would come in and out since they also have to look after the residents. It was productive. Due to Leannah's recent declines I attend in person rather than by phone. One of my SILs attended by phone.

    Productive. Nothing unexpected but it helps keep all of us on the same page. I mention my observations and staff usually can confirm them since they are around her much more than I am.

    Apathy and lack of initiation are advancing. Leannah needs prompting for more tasks, including tooth brushing. I had noticed that her toothbrush wasn't showing any wear so now someone is with her for her bedtime prep. Usually Leannah needs to be reminded to brush her teeth and have toothpaste put on the toothbrush for her, but then she can brush the teeth herself. She needs assistance dressing, she will often try to put her feet through arm sleeves.

    She has lots of preservation, she will wash her face with a washcloth and keep rubbing until someone stops her. This also happens in exercise class. Even when writing in a test she got stuck on a word and wrote it down 20 times.

    Often Leannah just needs help with cueing. She had resented getting help with tasks but she accepts it more once she understands that she is getting some assistance but she will still as much of the task as possible.

    We talked a lot about meds. One new med has been removed and her walking is much better, though she still needs reminding to take larger steps. But her falling risk is now minimal. While the ALF director was present I said to not worry about her weight since she isn't pre-diabetic. The first priority is to manage her behavior. Help with QOL issues, such as tremors is important. While she has gained a lot of weight the weight gained has slowed down a lot and we can't worry about long term effects. The director's face showed relief when I said that because she and the facility director were very concerned about her weight, which resulted in trying out meds which weren't to Leannah's benefit.

    Test scores (MOCA, MMSE, and other tests) were down a lot from a year ago, though the NP may conduct tests again since Leannah is now off a med that caused walking issues. I don't expect any improvements. Saw problems with memory tests for the first time. Lots of trouble drawing cubes and the clock. She did so poorly on the simple Trails test on the MOCA test that they didn't bother doing the regular Trails test. The Trails test is an important exam of frontolobes, so this shows that the FTD is progressing a lot.

    Most interesting was seeing Leannah after the meeting. She was at a concert and seemed happy to see me but didn't want to get up and talk in the hallway with me. This is a huge change and I reported it to staff before heading home.
    I've been thinking for a couple days about some of Charlotte's posts about her situation, and trying to come up with some useful suggestions for the future.

    Charlotte, I'm just wondering if it would make any sense to get yourself on the waiting lists for subsidized senior housing in the areas where you might want to live. I know that for the moment, your income levels are higher than they will be when you are alone...but when Art goes and your income drops, that should not effect your eligibility--in fact if anything, it would make you more eligible. I know that a while back you were considering apartments but decided not to go that route. But when you are alone, wouldn't it be easier to have an apartment and your car, rather than the MH with all its maintenance...and your car? And I know your dog will be a factor. Up here, some of the senior buildings don't allow pets...and some do. I think that in applying for housing, you can let them know your situation with Art--that he is placed and gradually deteriorating...that you expect your income to go down when he dies...that the housing app is only for you, not for him. You surely are not the only person in this situation. It seems to me that with your own health issues and the MH getting older every year, that the time will come when you no longer want to deal with the maintenance and upkeep of it. A senior apartment would free you from all that, and you would still have your car to get you wherever you want to go. And if you are on the waiting lists and are offered an apartment you don't want yet, you can always say no, and just stay on the lists.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTime3 days ago
    Problem I have found that if I get in now when my income drops unless they have units designated for Section 8 income I still have to pay the higher price until one becomes available. If it is a place where all their apartments are you have to qualify then. Problem with them they are either in not so desirable areas and/or no parking. The complex my friend Paula is in is short on parking - one per apartment. She gets one close to her apartment if she can get the handicap spot in front. Otherwise the garages and carports - both which you have to pay extra for - take up half the parking spots. They have finally come down on people who have 2-4 cars taking up spots when they are only entitled 1, all the unmarked parking is full so when I visit I have to park on the street like many residents. I don't understand how they get away without having enough parking. There is a big complex they built in West Richland that doesn't even have 1 spot for each apartment. One big problem is not knowing how much longer. Yes, he is on hospice, he is still loosing weight, still has the irregular heartbeat - who knows how much longer. He could hold on for days, weeks, months or even longer. Makes it hard to plan. Plus, I am not sure I want to stay in the area when he does die - I won't know until afterwards. So yes, I could move into a apartment where I could move all my stuff out of the storage unit saving that money, but moving would be different. I just don't know - will wait to make it through this winter.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTime3 days ago
    Charlotte, That's a good plan - to get through the winter and see how things look then. Maybe you could use the time to get more info on what's available. Does Washington have subsidized housing apartment complexes solely devoted to seniors? (As opposed to general Section 8 tenants) The senior housing here is usually much nicer than regular subsidized housing.

    paulc, Your wife's situation is one of the most complicated ones I've heard of. It seems like you're hit with something new every few months.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTime3 days ago
    Wolf, Thanks for the shrimp cocktail sauce recipe. I'll try it. You must be taking really good care of that old cat if she is gaining weight. It's strange how seeing a favorite movie can bring everything back.I remember both of those movies. I particularly liked "Sleepless in Seattle" because of its reference to "An Affair to Remember," which I really liked.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTime3 days ago
    There are over 55 complexes which is one I looked into. They are also the one that has only limited number of subsidized apartments. So, if I went in at full rent then my income drops I would have to wait until one of the subsidized became available which could be months - which I would not be able to afford.
    Charlotte, I think under the circumstances you are wise to wait a while and see how the winter goes. I wasn't so much thinking of Section 8 housing...I was thinking about subsidized senior housing. And of course parking is one of the issues you would check out carefully before accepting an apartment. In terms of Section 8, I've helped my nephew get on it twelve years ago here in upstate NY--we found that some of the offerings were pretty bad, but there were good options, too. You just have to know your area and hold out for a good apartment in a good location. My daughter in Colorado is on Section 8, and her first apartment was a real problem due to recurring bedbugs. Some cultures apparently accept bedbugs as being a normal part of life, and were infecting the whole building. Her case manager got her out of there as soon as possible, and for years now she's been in a lovely one-bedroom apt. in a nice complex. It's very similar to the regular full-rent apartment that I am in here in NY. Nothing fancy, but clean, pleasant, and around 750 sq. ft. It's hard to find a rental here that will accept pets--especially dogs--and that is something you will need to factor into your plans.

    It's probably a good idea not to make any major changes for a year after he dies (yes, that old cliche advice), but as Myrtle says, you could be thinking about where you might like to live, and try to get info on the areas.

    Can you realistically stay in the MH for years to come, or will it eventually deteriorate to where you can't live there? Even if you do do all the maintenance? (Sorry if this is a dumb question--I don't know how long they last, or if they last indefinitely.)