Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Update on Services

Last week the fellow who is my case worker came here to talk about my specific needs and to tell me about my options.  He is knowledgeable and courteous.  I have found that I become irritated with those who treat me like a child just because I am old.  There was none of that. 

The result of our conversation is that the home health care people will come in twice a week to deal with my legs.  The nurse called me today to set up an appointment for Thursday this week.  Duane has that day off from his job so he asked to be here.  That way he can learn how the health care workers deal with my legs and he can be a backup if needed.  This is Minnesota.  We have ice storms.  We have snow storms.  A backup is a good thing should the worker be unable to get here.

My case worker is setting up a cleaning service that will come in for three hours a week.  They will do the basics - clean the bathroom, mop the floors, dust, vacuum, etc.  Should there be time after that, they will do specific jobs like cleaning out a cupboard or washing windows, etc.

These services are not free.  I did not expect them to be.  The cost to me is based on my income and which services I require.  Bottom line - I pay $59 per month.  I was surprised.  I thought it would cost me more than that.  The fee is well within my budget and as far as I am concerned, worth every penny.

This will take some getting used to.  Having people who are not family in my home three days a week is not something I normally do.  But I will just have to adapt, for I think this will be a good thing.  As my youngest son said when I called him to tell him what was happening, "Good, Mom.  Now maybe life will be easier for you."

He may be right.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

I stole this...

from "Spinster Stitcher".  I found her in the sidebar of "The Polka Dot Chicken," a blog that I adore.  I have been known to spend a considerable amount of time browsing through the 'Chicken' posts, drooling over her beautiful pictures of all things quilty  and stitchy.  Her sidebar is loaded with more of the same.

Anyway, when I saw this picture...

made me laugh and it so reminded me of the crowd that would gather whenever I was stirring up goodies to bake.  When you have four children who were born within six years and they are all waiting for the beaters, it seems like a crowd.  Two got one beater each.  Two got spoons and the bowl.  Everybody was happy.

I think the world might be a happier place if we all had beaters to lick.  :)

Friday, October 27, 2017


Slight headache.  Chills.  Snotty nose.

I can be found in my recliner, snuggled under the green fuzzy blanket, listening to Agatha Christie mysteries in audio book form.

I shall return when this crud goes away.  In the meantime, the folks listed on the sidebar have some good posts.  Hope you all have a fun weekend.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Our local weatherman...

 tells us there could be some snowflakes in the air in the next couple of days.  My first reaction was "Noooo!!"

And then I remembered that those protesters who like to gather in the town square or on the freeway to bring traffic to a grinding halt don't like to march while spewing their hate filled slogans or stand on the highway waving their 'No Justice - No Peace' signs when the wind is howling and the snow is falling.

Maybe winter is not a bad thing after all.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Friday Ramble

We have had a couple of lovely warm fall days and today looks like more of the same.  I have a couple of windows open and the fresh air is welcome.  Some years ago the city planted some small trees downtown.  I noticed that some in my block have already dropped their leaves, but the one outside my window is a brilliant yellow.  I expect that tree will be bare before long.  Winter isn't all that far off.

I have been busy clearing off one of the shelving units in my living room, getting it emptied so Duane can drag it home.  He helped yesterday by moving  cases of bottled water and 25 lb. sacks of sugar and flour.  To make space on the other unit for the water, sugar and flour, I moved a tub and a couple of laundry baskets full of fabric, yarn and quilting supplies.  I am about halfway finished sorting through, organizing as I go so I can actually find what I need when I need it.  So far I haven't tossed anything.  I am a quilter.  We keep even the smallest of scraps of fabric because they might come in handy for another quilt.  That's just the way it is.  Sigh.

When I planted my windowsill garden some time back, all the plants died off.  Except for the green bell peppers.  They are still flourishing in my kitchen windowsill.  They have been blooming like crazy and I actually have one pepper that is about as big around as a quarter.  There may be more, but so far they are too small to be sure.  Anyway, the pot of pepper plants is pretty, so even if I don't get more peppers, it is alright.

My granddaughter, Boston, emailed me this.  Boston is on the left and I believe her dance instructor is on the right.

Then she called me to tell me about it.  It is an honor for her to participate in this show.  Years past in dance competitions she nearly always had a tap solo.  She loves what she does and is really good at it.  I hear that she did a good job dancing in the show.  She also told me it had been a busy week.  She found out she was to be inducted into the National Honor Society.  I am so proud of this girl.  But the best part for me was that she made the effort to call her Grandma to let me know what was going on in her life.  I just love that kid to pieces.

That's pretty much all of the excitement here in my little 'Home Sweet
Apartment.'  The days go by, stuff gets done and now and then one of my grands makes me smile.  It really doesn't get much better than that.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sense of Humor

When I told my youngest daughter that my goal in life was to live long enough to be a problem to my children, she replied that my work here on earth was done.  I love her sense of humor.  And this has become a family joke.

While being interviewed for the county services, I was asked about my goals.  At my age, waking up tomorrow is a pretty good goal, but I didn't say so.  And I didn't mention my goal of having at least one year's worth of food put back, for most folks think you are a hoarder or you are crazy. 

I did make the mistake of quoting the above mentioned family joke because my youngest son was sitting there and I thought he would find it funny.  I then went on to talk about more serious goals like keeping the cellulitis under control in order to stay out of the hospital.

I suppose I should have explained the family joke to the interviewer.  Not everyone has a sense of humor or the ability to recognize humor.

I received a printed copy of the interview in the mail.  Sure enough, under the heading of Goals were these words.  "Vicki has the goal of living long enough to be a problem to her children."

Sheesh.  Now I suppose I will need to explain to a case worker the difference between real goals and family jokes.  :)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I Have Been Evaluated...

and it appears I qualify for the services I need. 

A cheerful little woman sat at my kitchen table, went over my paperwork, asked me some questions, put my information into her computer and announced that I could get the home health care for my legs and I could get someone in to do the heavy cleaning chores.  Works for me.

This service is through my County.  They required one family member to be present.  I suppose they deal  with elderly folks whose memories are shaky at best or some who are sadly living with some form of dementia.  My youngest son, David, acted as the designated relative.  Basically he just listened.  Except when the questions concerned my memory.  I allowed that it was still functioning, but occasionally I will go from the living room to the kitchen and forget why.  He piped up and said that he could ask me about an event fifty years ago and I could remember the details.  I guess that means I passed the memory test.  :)

Anyway, it takes about three weeks to get everything set up.  I will be assigned a case worker who will schedule a nurse to check out my legs and who will train nurse's aids to take care of my legs.  The case worker will also arrange for the house cleaner. 

The lady who interviewed me said what I already knew, that Medicare does not pay for home health care unless it is needed following a hospital stay.  So there will be a fee for the two services that is figured according to income.  She told me the amount per month and it is a small amount that will not in any way wreck my budget.  That was a relief, as I feared I would not be able to afford this.  I can.

I am of two minds about this whole new situation.  I hate that I need to ask for help.  And I am not thrilled about having strangers come into my home for any reason.  I am a private person who likes her solitude.  You, my readers, probably know more about me by now than do some of my family unless they read this blog.

But on the other hand, I know that I absolutely have to keep my lower legs from becoming infected.  Cellulitis includes in some like me, open, draining wounds that may heal and may not.  There is no cure and if infection sets in, it means time in the hospital, which I want to avoid.  It also, if it gets too bad, can be life threatening.  My oldest son, Duane, has done a phenomenal job of helping me stay as healthy as possible by doing the application of gauze pads where needed and the Ace bandage wrapping of my legs two and sometimes three times a week for nearly two years.  He says he would continue, but I think he has already gone above and beyond.  All of my kids are helpful, but if I can get done what needs to be done without having to call on them, then I will not feel like I am a burden.  That is important to me.

I am not overjoyed about becoming involved in a government program, even if it is at the County level.  But so far nobody has asked any questions that I would refuse to answer.  And I found out that there are many other services available to me should I want to use them.  Meals on Wheels was mentioned, but I thought it would be rather silly to request that one considering my deep prepper pantry!

So I will give this program a go.  I will admit to being relieved at having some help with those things I can't seem to manage any more.  I am grateful to my kids for all their help and for setting up this solution to a problem.  Sometimes a person just has to swallow a little bit of pride and do the sensible thing.  Not something I am very good at doing.  :)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Still Alive and Kicking

I have been busy.  I am getting closer to finding the floor of my freezer.  Cases of my home canned food are being transported to Oldest Son's apartment, giving him easier access to them and freeing up storage space for me.  The people in charge of such things will be here in the morning to go over the paperwork and evaluate my living space to see if I qualify for home health care and for basic apartment cleaning services to help with those chores that have become difficult for me. 

With any kind of luck I will be able to get caught up with those blogs I enjoy sometime next week and may even find the time to post more of my usual drivel.  Just wanted to let my blog friends know that I did not fall off the edge of the earth but am up to my elbows in dealing with the stuff I want to get done before the snow flies.  Check out those folks listed in my sidebar.  Good stuff there.  :)

Monday, October 2, 2017


I find it troubling that I was not surprised early this morning when I saw the headlines about the Las Vegas shooting.  I was even less surprised when Hillary Clinton's Tweet about the event was a condemnation of the NRA.  And the newscaster's reports consisting of speculation before the facts are in was expected.

It was reassuring to see how many police, firemen and first responders heroically ran in toward danger to protect and save those in the line of fire.  And the civilians who put themselves in harm's way to save others and the ones who used their personal vehicles to get some of the wounded to hospitals when the ambulances were full are to be commended for their humanity and unselfishness.

What I want to know is why we have gotten to the point where mass killing has become the norm.  Why are we seeing more violence in one years time than I saw in the first 50 years of my life.  Thugs protesting at college campuses, riots in the streets, banning anything that can possibly offend someone and crazies shooting up schools, churches, nightclubs, offices and concerts have become a way of life.

Perhaps we need to take a long, hard look at what has changed.  Perhaps laws should apply to everyone.  Perhaps schools should go back to teaching the basics and not worry about diversity or white privilege or free speech zones.  Perhaps a good work ethic should again be an important trait to have.  Perhaps plain good manners and respect should be the norm again.  And perhaps it was a mistake to remove God from so many areas in our lives.  Perhaps.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Singer

In the past couple of months I have heard someone singing outside my window.  She never sang more than a few lines of a song.  By the time I got to the window she had stopped singing, so I had never seen her.

Minnesota doesn't allow smoking in public buildings, including bars.  So of an evening there are often groups of people out on the sidewalk.  The bicycle shop beneath my apartment set out a wrought iron table and four chairs, and often those are filled with people, talking and laughing.

Such was the scene when I heard the singer again.  This time she sang a song all the way through.  I don't know what the song was, but it sounded like one of those lilting Celtic songs.

I was able to see her standing near the table and chairs out front.  She reminded me of the hippies from the 60's.  She wore a long full skirt, a blouse that we used to call a peasant blouse and a short embroidered vest.  Her hair reached her waist.  She had the voice of an angel.

The bar crowd, while not rowdy, can be loud.  By the second or third line of her song, the only thing I could hear was the sound of her voice.  When she finished singing the last verse, there was silence.  And then applause.

She smiled, turned and walked away.

I hope she sings again and I hope I am here to listen.