Archive forNovember, 2011

A brighter world

Yesterday morning I had my right eye cataract removed. Today I found out that on the 12th (in less than two weeks), I’ll have the left one done.

I got back home yesterday and felt a little disoriented and uncomfortable for the rest of the day. Today I feel and can see better, but now I’m faced with one eye that can see and one that can’t. That situation is uncomfortable and makes me queasy but I’m sure that once I have the second eye done, I’ll be able to quickly adjust to good vision which is equal in both eyes.

As my right eye vision has cleared, I’m amazed at how bright the world is. I see “white” as much much brighter than white was before the surgery. And the color blue just pops!

I didn’t know what I was missing, but now when I look at the world from my right eye only (covering my left), everything in the “new view” seems to sparkle. The view from my left eye (covering my right) has a muddy yellow tinge, there is no pure white by comparison, and it’s of course less sharp.

The photos below show my impression of the way the view has changed. (The left is now. On the right before the surgery.)

Before and After my Cataract removal\

The right side is actually a little brighter than it should be to accurately depict my view, but the yellow cast and lack of definition is similar.

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Today I kept pushing dust around. I polished the floor tiles on my hands and knees, and they are looking better. But the dust everywhere is discouraging. I tried collecting it but all I succeeded in doing was batting it into the air so it came down on things again. I have dusted some furniture pieces a dozen times and they still look neglected.

The new shower needs a curtain or glass door but so far we haven’t been successful finding anything we like. Finally we “borrowed” the clear liner from the other bathroom and it looks nicer than the colored curtains we tried.

Our very good friends Linda and Ron Ringenback stopped in and I was ashamed that everything was still so dirty but she seemed to understand and had some nice things to say about our place (first time she’d seen it). Hopefully the next time she’s here, it’ll be polished up and glowing with holiday decorations.

Hopefully within the next couple of days, I’ll feel that everything is back to “normal”. Right now most all the cleaning has been complete, but the dining room and the guest/music room still need my attention. I’ll work on that over the weekend.

Someone said that tiling is like moving. I think it’s much harder to cope with. When you move, it’s clean and new. With tile, it is disappointing because it seems so overwhelmingly dirty/dusty.

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A Wonderful Thanksgiving with (Lots of reasons to be Thankful)

elderlyYesterday we started the day serving a Thanksgiving dinner at our church. It was free to anyone who came. The crowd wasn’t huge, but it was rewarding. What food was left was put in carry out-containers and taken to the nearby disadvantaged community of Wimauma. I was in charge of dishing out the stuffing. (I developed a great two-handed two-spoon technique to serve the sticky stuffing to each individual in fairly equal portions.)

We were back home about 2:30. After resting for a couple hours, we went to Richard and Shelly Brooks’ for a wonderful Thanksgiving feast.

There were about eighteen of us. Everyone brought a dish and Richard and Shelly did a great job on the turkey. It was a fun evening in their beautiful condo.

The conversations were interesting and lively. Stephen Cooper (ret’d Judge Cooper) has stories galore. We got to know these friends better and liked what we discovered about each person.

What a great day!

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What’s happened since my last post?

My right eye cataract surgery is scheduled for Monday the 28th.

I was provided with a whole packet of instructions including three prescriptions which must be administered from now until February 4th. That’s just for the first eye. The left eye will be on a similar schedule so it’ll probably be late February before I’ll be finished with the drops in my eyes.

Two of the prescriptions, were moderately expensive after insurance coverage, but the third (Acuvail), wasn’t covered by our policy at all and cost more than $145 for a 15-day supply. That means it would cost about $800 for that one medication during the required two-month period. That prescription is totally “packaged” in individual sealed vials. My doctor had given me one sample box of five vials. After trying to find a way to avoid the huge expense, I was able to get two (still sealed) full boxes of the vials that another patient couldn’t use. That will reduce my cost significantly and in fact may be enough to get me through.

I have to be at the surgical center Monday at 7:15 a.m. (No coffee, or anything at all by mouth after midnight.) I should be back home before 11:00 but for day or so, I’ll have to wear an “eye covering” and for a while I won’t be able to read with my right eye. It’ll be worth it!!

Our tile project was completed yesterday. We still have a lot of cleaning to do to get things back in place. Things are dusty and dirty. Windows and screens need to be washed. Floors polished to get rid of any grout and dust that got on the tile.

Starting as soon as the crud has totally settled, I want to get our Christmas decorations out.

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Tile is nearly installed

The tile folks are ahead of schedule. It was supposed to take until the first week of December, but I know they will be starting a huge project after Thanksgiving, so they are anxioous to finish us up.

At least part of the crew (Billy) will work all weekend (continuously) to finish things up. We are happy thus far. The main body of the condo looks really nice. The lanai tile has been laid and looks better than we expected (but also busier). It’ll take some getting used to the bold tiles. The master shower stall has been stripped bare in preparation for tile. Hopefully it’ll all be done soon.

Tomorrow (Saturday) the plumbing contractor arrives to make the construction of the shower stall possible by doing the piping and stuff assigned to the plumber. It looks like Tuesday or Wednesday, they’ll finish everything.

The crew has spent long hours so they have earned the “sooner than expected” completion.

I’ll soon post the before/after photos. We’re satisfied.

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Too Nice

elderlyFolks here in Sun City Center, FL, are sometimes too nice. I do appreciate their courtesies and good manners, but sometimes it’s time-consuming.

You approach a four-way stop corner and the rule says the car on the right has the right of way, but not here. If you’re a woman, you get to go first, at least that’s how the guys feel. So we all sit there waiting to cross the intersection. Everyone waits. Maybe we should get out and compare i.d.’s to see who is the oldest, who is female and who is male. And what do we do when encountering a 90-year-old male driver, if you’re a female in your 60’s? If age earns respect, do you give him the respect he deserves, or do you let him feel gallant and manly.

Same for doors… Men open them for women here – ALWAYS! That’s fine; but if you’re a woman, and you’re ahead of an older woman, I was taught you should open the door for her. Down here, often the opener is confronted by an openee who feels that it’s somehow demeaning and you’re treating them as infirmed. And as mentioned above, no matter how old a man is, he wants to show his respect for a woman, while I have been taught to defer to those who are noticeably older.

Grocery store carts are a problem at the corners in the store, sort of like four-way stops. But somehow it’s even worse. You all stand there waiting for someone to go ahead. Few collisions but sometimes it’s difficult to stay sane.

In Florida, marked pedestrian crossings have the right of way, but what if you’re close to the curb’s edge and there’s no crosswalk? It’s not unusual to have a driver stop mid-block and wait for you to cross, even if crossing the street at that time wasn’t your intent.

Sometimes the courtesies slow down the already leisure pace of life. Of course, is refreshing, but a bit of a challenge in our adjustment to Florida life-style.

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Progress is being made

Our tiling project is coming right along. Today is the fourth day of our humungus mess, but the main part of the condo should be back in order tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow, Friday, after the main part is complete, the second phase of the project will begin. They will rip up the carpet toward our master bathroom, our closet carpet, the vinyl in that bathroom, and pull out the fiberglass shower stall.

The crew is working on Saturday and on that day they will install the floor tile in the bedroom hall, master closet, and master bath. The renovated master shower will be started. For 24 hours, we will be unable to get into the master bedroom so we’ll move to the guest room.

Monday the plumber will come to take care of the installation of the shower.

The hope is that they’ll finish our whole project (the living area of our condo) and our friends’, Richard and Shelly’s lanai before Thanksgiving (next Thursday). Friday and Saturday after the holiday, they’d come back to do our lanai with a slate-like porcelain.

Everything should be finished by the 26th.

We are anxious for life to get back to normal.

Obviously as things are put back in place, it’ll be a good time to really clean and soon after that, I’ll want to start our Christmas decorating.

We will still need to revamp our master bath vanity and the shower curtain problem hasn’t been solved, but it will all come together. I’m sure!!

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Our Tile Project!

What a mess we’re in right now.

The tile contractor arrived about 9:00 and started ripping up vinyl and carpet. Mold and uneven floors were revealed. We were pleased to see that the contractor took it all in stride.

But the whole project required moving our furnishings out of the way. All furniture is piled into rooms which aren’t currently being worked on. The master bath is fine, the master bedroom overcrowded with extra furniture, great room is totally bare because the tile is being laid so it’s totally unusable, dining room is filled with furniture, guest bedroom room filled with extra furnishings so that it’s even tough to enter the room, master bath has a bare floor but working facilities, the office is untouched, garage is being utilized for tile cutting and the lanai is overcrowded with extra furniture which wouldn’t fit elsewhere. It’s all a mess.

The work crew didn’t realized that I needed access to the dresser and closet in the guest room where I keep my clothes. But after a minor struggle, I got into drawers and my closet so I’m fine.

Surprisingly, I feel everything is ok.

We’re pleased with the floor as it’s being laid. We are slightly uncomfortable tonight, but so what??!! We have a hooked up television, we’re comfortable on lawn furniture, but who are we to complain? Tomorrow it’ll be better and by Thursday or Friday we’ll have everything back to normal.

We have A/C, comfy chairs, television, access to two bathrooms with showers, access to a full featured kitchen, three vehicles, and everything else we need. We are putting up with what we consider an “uncomfortable” setting but it’s more than what 3/4’s of the world would consider “ultimate luxury.” What snobs we must seem to be.

Life is good.

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The week in review

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, were spent at the pool. Evenings were busy: Tuesday night was karaoke night at the clubhouse. Wednesday evening we had our Country Dance Class and then headed to the Ruskin Elks for spaghetti. Thursday I didn’t get to the pool but the evening was fun with a typical noisy, crowded gathering at the clubhouse. Friday we had fun at an 11/11/11 11:11:11 party at Wayne and Linda Conklin’s condo. After a potluck, we enjoyed about an hour of jammin’ with some new musicians and our group of four. Today at noon our four-some performed as Kings Strings for a radio club(s) picnic.

Yesteray was cooler day (about 70). Today a nice warm-up and by Sunday it’ll be back about 80. Can’t complain. We’ve been here over a month. Time is flying by. We’re enjoying life to the max. Wish everyone could be so fortunate.

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A perfect day

We had a wonderful day today. This a.m. we got on our golf cart and went to our church service at the United Methodist Church, Sun City Center, followed by a luncheon in the adjacent hall. (Those church ladies know how to fix wonderful food.)

At about 1:30, we got together with our good Michigan friends, Wayne and Linda Conklin. We play music here in Florida as a foursome called “Kings Strings.” We needed to practice for a performance this coming Saturday.

It’ll be an easy play so our practice was relaxed and informal.

After our music practice, we enjoyed a few glasses of John’s 2011 vintage wine. (I think it was a tad stronger than we realized.)

The four of us relaxed at our bar on our new barstools while enjoying a breeze coming in all of the open windows and the door. It was a glorious afternoon. The conversation was fun. The temperatures were lovely. Lots of laughing and sharing. Couldn’t ask for anything better.

A perfect day!

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Sunsets in Florida are almost always awesome.

Wednesday evening we went to Little Harbor, Ruskin. We enjoyed the company of 11 friends and excellent half-price burgers.

Here was the view:

Little Harbor Sunset

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