Sunday, January 28, 2024

When the Ceiling is Starting to Fall

Imagine that when you get up in the morning the ceiling to your abode looks about 1/4 inch lower. You do not notice it at first, but something is wrong and you know it, even though you cannot put your finger on it. 

You go to an Architect and he looks at the ceiling and says not to worry because it seems just fine to him. 

The next morning you get up and you are sure that the ceiling has moved, but you have a busy week ahead and you ignore that. A few months go by and you notice the ceiling is almost 1/2 inch lower. Still, it is smooth and no paint is chipped, and it seems that when people come to visit they do not notice, or the change is so small they politely ignore it. There are no cracks where it joins the wall. Odd? 

 You wait a few more months and then make an appointment with a building engineer. He comes by and shakes his head in agreement. He says he has seen this before. "Not much you can do, but keep an eye on it." He gives you a gallon of lighter-colored paint to make the ceiling look higher. It seems cosmetic, but you do it anyway. 

A year passes and the ceiling is definitely lower and looking looming! You have been working at other activities ignoring it, but did move down the drapery rods so that they no longer touch the top of the ceiling. The engineer says you are lucky that you built the house with such high ceilings because those homes with lower or regular ceilings have less flexibility in dealing with the changes. 

As the months pass you realize that just moving drapery rods is the smallest of sacrifices that are going to be made in the months and perhaps, years ahead. The windows themselves may soon get pressure and then be dangerous! Yes, you can crawl on your hands and knees for a while, but eventually, the house will collapse and you will have to move.  If you live with someone who cannot crawl, that will have to be fixed!

Well, if you have followed me this far, I appreciate your stubborn tenacity.  Above is a rather weak analogy, and yet something that came to me when I was having a man who had been laid off and needed money come to add some trim to my bookcases and paint the cracks in my house.  It took three days of living in spackle dust and chair covers and a lack of privacy.  It was surprisingly stressful.

Above is the story of how looming pressure affects those of us who live with someone who has dementia.  Days go by and you do not notice.  Then one morning he asks you the same question three times within a half hour.  At dinner, he thinks he is eating a salad of tomatoes and avocados and it is a salad of orange slices and avocados.  During a busy day, he may interrupt me 5 to ten times to help him with an email, a phone call, or to find something important.

Please do not praise me for my patience.  I have no patience.  It is tax season, and there is a big project being set up (ANOTHER LONG TEDIOUS STORY), and we have a two-week cruise in March with lots of details.  My family is going on this cruise, so we really want to join them as it may very well be the last time we are all together.

I have cajoled and argued and sighed on the worst days, and then a week of normal goes by and I forget where I am in the grand scheme of things.  Yes, there are lots of tools and helpful procedures and I have started to use a few.  I also think writing about it is helpful to me, while perhaps annoying to my readers.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024


My breath that is...I am just trying to catch... my...breath.  I was looking forward to a break after the holidays, maybe daily bubble baths, maybe reading some books from a series...actually re-reading them.  Sipping a bourbon and soda while watching a Britbox mystery.

But even before the first cold snap of January, I found that my weeks were filling once again.  Doctor's appointments for both me and my husband,  a volunteer thank-you luncheon at the mission center, and pick up the Grand-dog in the city for a four-day visit.

This was followed by my laptop refusing to work and the purchase of a new laptop.  They are NEVER plug and play, so some of the stuff did not transfer as well as other stuff.  That meant a day (or more) of working out the bugs.

The next week was playing tag with a chatbot and various appliance repair people to have them fix the wheels on my freezer shelf which was still under warranty.  Then my sis-in-law suggested we add two days to the front end of our upcoming trip in March (that will be for the next blog) and I find have little patience for dealing with airplane websites...but ended up paying someone to assist.  That only took TWO DAYS.  Then I had to find the hotel and call them to cancel a reservation and make a new one two days earlier.

Master gardener meetings and an educational seminar, etc. filled the evenings.

This week is stuffed with planning excursions for our March trip, assisting my husband with a talk he insists on giving at the Senior Center, and finally being around for a friend who has been laid off and needs a job, and thus I have lots of painting and patching for him to do in this not-so-old house.

Oh, one thing I forgot was I am starting to label some of our light switches.  Hubby's dementia means he spends time flipping switches but forgets to flip back if they are not what he wants.  

He still drives, but when that ends, my life as I know it will be very full as he loves getting out and about.

Ok, your turn.  And you had better come up with something less tedious.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Some Trivia and There Will NOT Be a Test.

    2024 arrived here with several days of heavy rain and winds. Cities to the north are flooded, but they lie close to the Bay and usually flood when rains are this heavy and tides this high. We sit on a small hill that is about 18-20 feet above high tide and thus should be dry until we move or pass on. The water did wash over our dock. We went up to the daughter's house for Christmas. 

 We arrived the night before and did the traditional drive-by of the neighborhood light shows and then came home to eat dinner and watch "The Polar Express." This is a tradition hardened over the years and cannot be broken. In the morning we sorted gifts but did not open, waiting for my son and his family. After virtual Christmas mass from the TV, the guys watched football and the gals and the grandson home from RIT watched a comedy romance in the kitchen while we waited for the breakfast casseroles to heat up. It was NOT that cold. Just this family is always big in wraps.
Then when my son and his wife and the toddler arrived everything broke into celebratory chaos.
It was lovely with the 4 grandchildren and both of my children and their spouses. I did not cook a single thing and my daughter prepared easy meals. The gift opening is my least favorite part of the day. I usually forget what I had wrapped and I usually worry that I have no idea what they will want! (I of course have absolutely everything I could ever want on this day, so gifts for me are an aside.) We have a toddler now, and she stole the show. She still does not know what the holiday is all about but she had fun tearing off wrapping paper. It was exhausting and then the son and his wife and the toddler joined us here at my house for the garden in the lights display that is put up every year the week before New Year. This is a big deal and a good money maker for the sculpture garden. It takes them days to cover the two acres with lights.
The event had a perfect ending when we found a stuffed toy turtle on a stick in the gift shop and my granddaughter "walked" it all the way to the car!  She had just watched a cartoon movie about turtles the night before.

And above toddler's hand prints on my deck door was the perfect ending.