Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Have a HEALTHY New Year

January is check-up time. I get these little reminder postcards. It has been 100 years since your last appointment. Call now to schedule your next visit. Tra la. The whole sequence started in January 2009 when I had a series of tests. Since then I have been battling a number of health challenges which seem overwhelming when I list them. Identified in 2009 were problems with heart (leaky valves), lungs (COPD), bones (osteoporosis/scoliosis), & joints (arthritis). My eyes, hearing and teeth are doing okay.

So I might be getting new glasses today. I hate that part of the exam when they touch my eyeball. Yewww. But I wouldn't mind some new frames. Time for an updated look. I see older women with their frames from the 80's and I don't want to look like them. I got these frames in 2006. Times up.

Tomorrow I see my primary physician and start the chain of referrals and tests. Somehow, despite all the ailments, I feel pretty good and able to enjoy my life. I just keep chugging along with my paisley cane and my very expensive designer orthopedic shoes. But the medical folks want to keep tabs on me. So I go along and check in every January.

I will turn 75 later this year. It is hard to acknowledge old age and accept the physical limitations. My big fear is that I will lose my brain. It already has some holes in it. Which is one reason I have this Blog and I'm on Facebook and Twitter and Ravelry and Goodreads. Trying to keep current in the Electronic Century. I even bought a Kindle.If the body betrays me, I hope to still have my brain.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Winter's Wrath

As I sit here at my computer my house is rattling and shivering in the high wind that is sweeping down out of The Gorge. Portland metro area is being battered by a vicious winter storm. Tonight the prediction is for icy rain. We have had several days of snow and rain and flooding and traffic accidents and stalls and slides and cars and people swept away by rushing water. Houses in the hills have mudslides. Conditions at the Coast are dangerous and the mountain passes are impassable. Down into the Willamette Valley homes are lost to floods. Hundreds of big rigs are lined up at the entrance to The Gorge which is only three miles from here. Even with chains on they will have trouble navigating I-84. It is dangerous out there but thankfully it is the weekend and sensible people can stay safe.

This is the 4th day I have been voluntarily housebound. Warm and safe on my couch I have watched all the devastation on TV. And heard almost constant sirens coming from the nearby freeway. The creek down the road has flooded and my ingress and egress is limited if I wanted to go anywhere which I don't. I am high and dry here. Thanks to Amazon and my Kindle, I can order a book without leaving the comfort of my home. The power is still on so I have heat, my computer, and my coffee pot. The cell phone still works. If the power goes out, I can stay warm in my car which has a full tank of gas.

Some people have suffered devastating losses. My heart goes out to them. For some it is an Act of God and the weather. For others it is stupidity. Some of the rescue stories are hard to believe. People went camping! People tried to drive through four feet of standing water. People cleared all the brush off the hillside which then slid down on their neighbors below. A couple got lost in the grocery store parking lot and drove into the creek where their baby drowned. How do you live with something like that?

This is a night to go to bed early and plan to sleep in tomorrow morning. Grateful that I am warm and safe.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Weekend Weather

We have had some very unseasonal days so far this year. Beautiful sunrises every morning. Bright starry full moon nights. NO RAIN. Today the weather has shifted and rain is pouring down. Very gray and dreary and I am glad to be inside and warm and dry. This is the Oregon Winter I know. And hate. So depressing. I am a sunshine person and I have been transplanted to this soggy wet place. The only reason I stay is for my children and grandchildren. Family is everything. But frankly, it is a lot to put up with.

So the K's save me. Knitting and Kindle. Oh...and coffee. I am grateful that the newspaper is delivered right to my front porch. No getting wet involved in retrieving it. The mail is a different story. The bank of boxes is across the street and there is no way to get the mail without getting wet. Sometimes I struggle out and then there is nothing but junk mail. I used to get a handful of bills but now I do everything online. Paperless.

I will tell you...TV sucks on Saturday afternoon. And this week's movie from Netflix is for Ember. 101 Dalmations. One of her all-time favorites. I watch HGTV amd I do like Househunters International. Virtual travel. But tomorrow is Sunday and Masterpiece Theater. My favorite show this season is Downton Abbey. Something to look forward to.

My sweet little granddaughter will be here soon and she'll stay overnight. We'll make popcorn and wrap up in blankets on the couch and watch the movie. I enjoy these times we have together. She's old enough now for us to have real conversations. She has opinions! And a great sense of humor.

So Winter begins. Maybe snow tomorrow. Maybe not. Can't trust those forecasters.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Downton Abbey Addict

Downton Abbey may be my favorite show this year. I am absolutely addicted to the life of the aristocrats and their servants in England at the beginning of the 20th century. If you haven't watched it, you are the only one in the country. It has amazing popularity and is rated the best show of 2012. I have to put this up here to remind myself how much I am enjoying it during the winter here in Oregon.

Last summer I spent quite a few weeks watching another PBS drama Monarch of the Glen. I thought it was my favorite until now. I think they are a tie. Already looking forward to Sunday night.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Progress seemed a bit urgent to dive into the stack of papers and bills. I want to start 2012 with a system (hah!). It would be a good idea but I have said it before. This time I am serious. I have a box of file folders, a three ring binder, a stapler, a hole puncher, scissors, scotch tape, paper clips and a determined spirit. Oh this is too much to even fathom.

I pulled back the tablecloth and found the birthday present I intended to send a friend. Surprise! There is so much under there and stashed in boxes piled in front of the hutch. I have to start somewhere. I am focusing on medical stuff today. I am going through the loose stacks before I open the boxes. Putting records in the big red notebook, stapling and paper clipping and making file folders.

Progress so far: two full bins of shredded paper going in the recycle bin. I am already bored. This is going to be tedious but my plan to do a little every day will eventually make a dent. I have always been a fan of incremental progress. (Remember the story of the driveway on The Ridge?)

So I am done for today. Time to fall asleep reading my Kindle. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

2012 Resolutions

No more New Year’s Resolutions for me. This year I am changing my life in increments. My plan is to decide on a project for each month. A resolution just for that month. What can I do in 30 days? I think if I work on my project a little each day I will eventually make some noticeable progress in getting my life decluttered and under control. I just watched my neighbors give away bags and boxes to the Veterans who come by in a big truck and cart it away. They are moving to a retirement "assisted living" facility. There goes a lifetime out the door. I am not strong enough to do that. Yet. But I can throw away or donate some of those "Why are you keeping this?" items.

Each month of 2012 I will make a decision depending on my mood, the weather, and other factors that might interfere. Here are some of the things I am considering. Not in any particular order. Not fixed in stone. Subject to change.

Sort & organize medical records & insurance papers
Set up filing system for all the papers in the haphazard sliding stacks and miscellaneous boxes
Find important documents & keep them in a safe place (passport, birth certificate, etc.)
Reorganize both bedroom closets and the hall closet
Start assembling the Grandmother's Garden quilt blocks my Mother made in the 1940's
Finish UFO knitting projects
Go through all the digital photos and pick the best for albums
Lift up the table cloth that is hiding who-knows-what under the corner table
Lose some weight (LOL)
Cook some good healthy meals for my daughter & grandaughter (might be more than a month)
Plan my plot in the Community Garden

Today I put all the Healthnet medical insurance brochures, booklets, provider info for 2007,2008,2009,2010,2011 in the recycling bin. Started a three-ring binder to keep prescription information. There is so much to go through. Tedious. But I am determined.