Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Western Edge of Beryl

After three days of nearly non stop rain, thunder, lightening and two water spouts we've survived with little damage & an additional load of laundry today.

According to a neighbor's rain gauge, 6.2 inches of rain fell from Sunday evening through this morning. The intersection next to our home, our yard and a portion of our private road flooded.

The onslaught of sideways water and wind may have talked George into installing windows/screens on the porch at some point. The rain never stopped long enough to dry anything out and no matter what was covered & secured, the wind managed to make way for the spray.

We're fortunate to have an indoor drying rack, a rod across the tub enclosure and a 4-foot rod near the bathroom. After each deluge, I toweled water off items, wrung the towels & hung them up. An old shower curtain covers our wicker sofa but one edge repeatedly got wet. Within 2 hours it was dry this afternoon. The carpet on the porch floor was rolled back in places but required laying plastic on the decking in order to keep the area bug free.

If we'd had a straight downpour my work would have been less, but at least we were here to take care of matters.

The only real negative was a small roof leak where the new porch roof joins the mobile home. It dripped at the door frame most of the time & Kitty Kitty decided it was her new water dish - until it slid down the threshold & spilled.

A mysterious wet spot in our bedroom revealed another leak. Here's hoping George either allows me to climb the ladder to the roof with enough roof coat for a temporary fix. If not, we need cool weather & him feeling well enough to coat the entire roof or him willing to hire someone to do it - usually something he refuses.

He goes to his new doctor tomorrow. After insisting the humidity in Florida "never got to him" he's admitted it adversely affects him. I suspect this summer is going to be much more sedate than he anticipated. He's been off oxygen since before moving here which doesn't help but he's too stubborn to pay the $45 copay every month.

Tomorrow's been three weeks since I was prescribed Aricept. I think it's helping at least as far as maintaining my daily activities. I only drive in the Inglis/Yankeetown area when feeling well & take all meds/supplements on schedule. I've changed my diet to more vegetarian, cut out any sodas or junk food and do a few Yoga moves every day.

Life is still wonderful and we're content. That's something to celebrate!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

We'd Heard Commercial Shrimping Was About Done Here

When we arrived here, we immediately heard that commercial shrimping was just about dried up here.
High cost of doing business; shrimp farms in Mexico? and various other reasons were given.

Tonight we went for a drive in search of a guy who used to shrimp on George's boat. Didn't find him the first time out but ran into a 31-year-old man who's shrimped since age 16 and been in this area nearly the entire time. He didn't recognize George until he told him what boats he'd ran, then the real talk began.

Now, having not participated in that endeavor, it does sound at times like a foreign language. But, I did catch the part of why shrimping has nearly died here.

Seems the federal government - in their infinite wisdom - decided foreign shrimp operations needed more access to our market so shrimpers here were basically bought out. According to this man, they waited years for any money from Uncle Sam, but were eventually paid. Meanwhile, shrimp is imported here for much less than our shrimpers were paid. Of course, it's all about the money.

The guy we talked to now works for two Chinese men who bought out a shrimp house but leave 4 of 5 boats tied up. They run a small boat with strict instructions NOT to push any dying shrimp over the side. It all gets shipped overseas where their people will eat anything. I suppose in an over populated country where millions are still very poor, food is food.

Now, I'm sure I don't have all the facts, but as usual, our livelihood has been degraded.

I mentioned that we're anxious to have our boat on the river so we could see ALL the boats up close. He said all of them tied at a former fish house had been there for years unused. In fact, he could count on two hands the number of boats of any kind from his space on the river & west that go out more than twice a week! Tt's another sign of how messed up things are.

Of his former shrimping buddies, three have died, five work in other types of jobs, two retired, two are in prison and the remainder survive on part time work.

I told George it was a good thing he left when he did. His eyes were misty & he said, "It's a damn crime."

Kitchen Cabinets

Before and after photos of our kitchen. Still have some touch up to do but am just too tired and grew tired of having everything stacked all over. Area to right of top cupboard will be painted white. Window valance in blue/yellow/white and assorted things hung on the wall will add more color. Sweetie surprised me yesterday by installing ceiling fan/light in the porch. It was intended for our former home but never installed. It will eventually be removed to install ceiling but for now it's great relief from humidity and extends our porch sitting.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Investigating the Neighborhood

We bought our place sight unseen (except for overhead maps & real estate pics) and knew no one here before arriving. I've said we hadn't expected it to be as nice as it is & the neighbors on our road have been a blessing. However, the place next to us sold about the same time we bought here. The owner lives in Naples & comes up on the weekend. The project has required extensive clean up of yard & a new roof. Now they begin inside. Have not been inside but I hear they have a lot to do. His mother's boyfriend, who must be George's age, befriended us when he came by to mow the lawn and tear off a back shed. He's been a stand up guy & we enjoy him. George decided it was time he introduced himself to the owner. He came home and said: "He's an arrogant ass." Sad to hear but there's one in every crowd. Three places are for sale on our block so we took pics of them for friends out of state. I suggested we ride down all five roads while we were out. What an eye-opener! the further west we went the worse it got. Many homes are abandoned. One had trees growing through it and the roof caved in. A few were inhabited but looked like they had been plucked from a third world country. One place had given up on the mobile home & set up a 5th wheeler. Scrap, garbage, old boats and cars were everywhere. I came home thinking, "God, I thought the whole neighborhood looked like our road." There must not be any zoning against trash or basically dumps. Across the road is the river. Naturally, the places on that side are beautiful, are very large and gated and there is little to see except palm trees because the lots are long and narrow. Thinking about the road out here from the highway, I'd say we live on the last decent road. Once again, I am thankful for how everything turned out for us, but amazed at the difference one road can make.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Living With the Unpredictable

My dementia diagnosis has opened my eyes even wider to something I know inside anyway: life is unpredictable. No matter how rich or prepared or healthy or happy or famous or educated or intelligent or blessed you are by any definition, life still holds disappointment, defeat, surprise, unpredictable events and more. No wonder the saying: The best laid plans of mice and men." This morning was my return doctor appointment: ALL the tests results were in and it still boiled down to what doc suspected and claimed last week and what I've known inside for awhile now. The only real news was I also have high cholesterol. So, off the drug store we went to fill my two scripts: one being Aricept and pick of two refills for George. We made two more stops after that and headed home to relax. Or so we thought. Nearing our house we realized we were behind a neighbor we had not yet met & George wanted to talk to him. We parked by his drive & the guys talked boating,etc. while I stayed in the cool car. George never said another word about him except that he had a motor George might be interested in. After unloading the car, he went to the porch and I laid on the sofa with the blinds closed and AC running. Later he comes inside and asks if I remember what the guy's name is. Me? That is funny. He goes back outside and I hear our boat motor start up. I assume George is tinkering again. Later he comes inside and says he's going for a ride to a boat ramp on Lake Rousseau with Pat. I was in my own orbit and had NO CLUE what he was talking about. I didn't react well either. Long story short, the whole even scared me and I kept asking who and what he was talking about. George grew more impatient each time & finally said, "I'll be home later." He went out the back door and I went out the front door in time to watch him disappear into a strange blue truck I didn't recall. By the time he returned, I was in the fetal position on the sofa holding a wet napkin and hugging a pillow. He realized he had missed the obvious: my brain had slipped a gear earlier. He soothed me, apologized and suggested we go for a ride after picking up a Subway sandwich. He was going to show me the boat ramp the neighbor had showed him. We both had a good laugh when he got lost within three miles of our home & had to backtrack TWICE before finding the ramp. Such is life today. Perhaps after a few weeks of Aricept it will even out a bit.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Porch SittingO

Our screened porch has become our favorite "room" in our home. Kitty Kitty has a perch for surveying the yard; I have an antique wicker sofa with great PINK flowered cushions (hate pink) that I covered with random pillow shams and a quilt and George has his chair and a table in the opposite corner. I didn't take a picture of that area because it serves as his work bench/smoking station/bug spray "cabinet" in the "short term" he claims. The area rugs were in the house so we're using them until we buy indoor/outdoor carpet. The floor is decking with gaps, not plywood so a carpet will breath but keep bugs at a minimum. The porch is ONE foot longer than the original we replaced due to termite damage. Naturally, we'd like to have extended it another 4-8 feet along the mobile home but it serves it's purpose and didn't require a building permit. Another advantage is, it adds 96 square feet to our 652 square foot home. There are days when I'd gladly swap those dimensions but, it is what it is and we're blessed. Well, time for some more porch sitting. Have a great day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


It's been an interesting week, to say the least but through it all, I've been thankful. My Sweetie, George, has been patient, understanding, helpful and humorous and helped me realize that I won't travel this journey alone. I've read about early onset dementia until my eyes have blurred and learned so much - mainly, it's not a death sentence but a journey down a path I have observed before. Now, it's my turn. I've slid into this place gradually and much of the advice fellow travelers have is what I'm already doing. One is, keep a routine as much as possible. Do - or not do - only one major thing a day. Yesterday is was drive with George to Dunnellon for shopping. Day before it was laundry. I've started a notebook in no particular order: thoughts, what I forgot, silly things I did and reminders or references. I already had sticky notes here and there but now there are more. Some are decorated with stickers, buttons, ribbon to catch my attention. We may have friends coming to stay with us for a few months. They need to save money & we need the companionship and break from one another. We trust them, share the same interests and they've decided to return to Florida. It will give George someone to fish with and me someone to walk with or help around the house. They're leaving everything behind but clothes, computers and box of kitchen stuff so they'll do fine in our spare bedroom. Our Apache neighbor who stopped by so much has fallen off the edge of the earth. Asked a neighbor about him & he said, "He's like that. He'll come around again in a few months. Either he's dragged down by his own illness (transplant patient) or his wife's and he's just chilling. When he stopped visiting, we missed that. Neighbor also said his wife never meets anyone here. Sticks to her family and him & no one has been in their home. Okay. Their life is what it is. Have another doc appointment Thursday. If they want me to have more tests and specialists, I'll have to pass. No insurance and don't qualify anyway. Well, time to rest. Thanks to all of you who've sent messages. I appreciate it - and spellcheck!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

To All The Mothers

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms. You do the best, most important job in the world. Many of you extend your mothering to neighborhood kids, adopt other children and are the only positive role mother countless children have via church, Scouting, 4-H, sports, school groups, as a teacher and in any other capacity in which you connect with the world. My own childhood was not an Ozzie and Harriet scene but I found mothers, none-the-less. My high school English teacher, my grandma, my 4-H leader, my favorite aunt and today my elderly friend back in Michigan. Only the last two are still here and I'm so grateful I've had them in my life because everyone needs their mother - even at age 59.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

If I Lose My Memory

I always used to joke about being forgetful by saying" "Everything will be new again!" NOT TRUE. Some things will be incomprehensible and downright frightening as they have been a few times lately. Further tests will be done this month but there is no cure for any of the various forms of dementia. I knew how to get to the doc's office today but stumbled a few times filling out the forms. I got home without incident but couldn't find the credit card I used to pay the $100 office call. I didn't remember our address but did when I got home. I've been very tired and thought it's the MS or my blood sugar or perhaps leukemia because I have all those symptoms too. Thank God for spell check or this wouldn't make much sense! One never knows what life holds and now I'll really experience that. I am trying to remember what I don't want to forget. I like to read but keep losing track and George wants me to stay away from the stove for awhile. Salad and peanut butter is going to get old - I think. I just wanted to say I will not be here much and I will miss you all.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Birthday in Cedar Key

Three pictures of Cedar Key and one of the Sunflower yellow I'm painting my kitchen cabinets. Loved the 50's diner where we sat on the second floor porch overlooking the Gulf and ate a delicious lunch. We walked a few streets & took lots of pictures before I realized I was using the disposable camera & save for pics I send to my Dad. Once they're developed maybe I'll take a pic of some of those pictures! We had a leisurely drive, lovely lunch, sea breeze and exercise then did some porch sitting. My son and father called to wish me happy birthday, then I painted some of the cabinets before taking a siesta on the sofa. Rain is in the forecast. We need it as always and hope for a brief break in the humidity - until the rain stops! Thought of Sixbears while walking by a restaurant in Cedar Key. In a little clearing well away from the building were three containers for waste veggie oil. No one around to ask for more info about it but someone in the area must be using it. Well, time to answer a few messages and dream a little. Blessing to all of you.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Still Moving

I was going to say "Still Kicking Here" but I've had the Drunken Sailor Syndrome again for a few days. Sidelined me in the midst of priming the kitchen cabinets in prep for a coat of semi glass Sunflower. Add to that humidity of 69% and 90 degree temps with very little sea breeze and we's suffering. Us northerners have a bit more acclimating to do, it seems. In the meantime, I've tried a new recipes of my own creation: curried pork and okra salad as well as okra casserole. My 59th birthday is Sunday and we plan a trip to Cedar Key for lunch and a walk along the Gulf. Hope to have an early start before it gets too miserable outside, then head home for a siesta. If we could only set out internal clocks to get up early while it's cool and take a siesta every day, we'd get more done, but life goes on anyway. So, why get too concerned, right? Checked out a few mysteries from our library & enjoy then - as long as I can stay awake! What a life we lead! Stay safe and sane and enjoy your weekend, Treesong