Grandpa...

Jun. 17th, 2014 07:15 pm
hlmauera: (Default)

Grandpa Kinman passed away at 7:30 this morning. He'd been on hospice care for about two weeks and of ever diminishing mental acuity for the last few years. He had delusions often related to his time in the war. (paratroopers landing on the front lawn, etc.)

When I was younger, grandpa was a master finish carpenter making decorative alder items for tole painters. They loved his work because his pieces were always as smooth as glass and they never got splinters- ever! I loved to pet his finished pieces because they were so soft and smooth. I have wonderful memories of sitting next to the wood stove in the shop happily sanding on a block of wood, or when I was older one of the pieces that needed finish sanding, while grandpa worked on cutting out or assembling other pieces.

Before that, grandpa and Dad owned a commercial Salmon/ tuna boat and we spent summers at the coast. I also spent many hours in the woods with dad and grandpa cutting and stacking firewood. I have seen them cut down a tree twice as large as their largest chainsaw bar and using a springboard to work on trees over large banks.

He was an amazing man who taught us all the value of hard work and making an honest living against all odds. My dad is the man he is because of the example grandpa set and that has been passed down, I hope, to my brother and me.

In some ways, this is a relief. The man I so admired has been lost to dementia for many years. He is no longer confused and suffering or wondering where grandma is or why he's in this strange place.

We have been missing him for years and today, although we have the sorrow of loss, we also have the blessing of completion and victory for a life well lived.

hlmauera: (Default)

This week has been a bust! Tuesday night my stomach started hurting. Wednesday my stomach was in my throat all day. Thursday and Friday involved many trips to the bathroom and unhappy stomach cramps. Today has involved stomach cramps still but I'm feeling a bit better. At least three other people have been out at work so maybe it's just a bug that's going around. Whatever it is, I want it gone.

Needless to say, I have gotten very little done today except making mom a new rice bag for her shoulders. I intended to make myself one but don't have, or didn't readily find, a big enough scrap for the second one. I made a square one for my eyes instead but still want to make the shoulder one. Mom heats and uses hers multiple times a day and finds it very helpful.

The last one I made her suffered a fatal accident on Friday when dad pulled on it, not realizing he was laying on it, and tore it almost in half. The fabric was dingy and weak so it was time for a new one anyway. I love this fabric. I wish I had enough to make a dress out of it but this is all I have.

hlmauera: (Default)

We heard today about a high school classmate's death. I think it's the first one in our class. The circumstances are so sad!

http://www.valleycentral.com/m/news/story?id=1025929

Earl caught his wife cheating on him about six months ago, shortly after their last child was born. He kicked her out and she indicated that she didn't want anything to do with the kids. I thought he was getting his life sorted out but now he's dead and his kids are without the father that adored them.

I've been so sad all day!

hlmauera: (Default)

They moved Dad on Friday to Eugene Rehab. They took him off all his narcotics because of his reaction to them which has left him with just Tylenol to manage the pain. They speculate that his kidney function is too slow to remove the drugs from his system. This is suboptimal and he has a lot of pain and is very discouraged. He's been occasionally plain out mean and nasty. This makes it harder to be sympathetic. In addition the protocols that the facility has for managing diabetic insulin is insufficient to manage his blood sugar and he's had his highest ever blood sugar readings. (Max dose is 13 units, dad regularly takes 75-100, especially given the high carb meals that they provide). It's hard to hear him so discouraged.

Mom is frustrated and discouraged too. She hasn't been able to leave during the day even to get food for herself (the facility has nothing to offer her) and she is just now (8:30) eating for the first time since this morning. This makes her cranky!

The facility has been trying since Friday to get an order for Tylenol 3, hoping it might work where the other meds have been too much but his Drs office hasn't responded. Mom plans to make a stink about it tomorrow.

They administered a cognitive function test to dad today and he got 14 out of 30 questions correct. This is worrisome because we don't know how much is related to his current condition and how much is long term. It confirms what mom and I have both notice about his decreased cognitive function in the last couple of years but we are hoping it won't stay quite this severe.

On the other hand, he walked 23 feet today, which is farther than yesterday and he has 93 (% or degrees) of flexion which is pretty good. Extension is a little harder.

We are going to have to make some accommodations at home. We'll remove the shower doors and install bars. I sure wish we'd been able to get the remodel done before now so that they had a more open layout and a walk in shower but it just wasn't possible.

I know I chose to stay in this area so I could help in this sort of situation but I find it frustrating too and I'm not available much because of my job. I know mom doesn't want me taking time off to help but I may look into FMLA if this goes on too long. They figure dad will be at the rehab facility for at least two weeks but mom is going to need some respite care if his improvement is really slow.

hlmauera: (Default)

My dad had a complete knee replacement surgery yesterday. Today he's in a lot of pain- which I expected but mom and dad seem surprised. Apparently the medication they are giving him for pain is making him so loopy that he doesn't understand why he has to stay in bed and he keeps trying to get up. That would be disastrous! So mom is going to stay with him tonight and I suspect it will be a very long night.

I get a little wigged out by this medical dementia because it is so like the stuff we dealt with with grandma and now grandpa. I hate that my dad is in this mentally weakened state. It scares me! I also worry about him damaging his knee and leg as well as hurting himself in a fall.

I'm no help because I have to work since I'm the only one in my office for the rest of the week.

hlmauera: (Default)

I decided to make chili with the contents of my fridge and pantry and a crockpot. Ingredients:
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 can white kidney beans
1 can black beans
4 pints of home canned tomatoes
5 small sweet peppers diced
~1 cup green chilies
3 large handfuls sliced mushrooms
1 medium diced onion
1.5 T diced garlic
2 T chili powder
1 t cumin
Black pepper











I browned the hamburger over med low heat with the onions and garlic. Dumped into CP.
Sautéed the mushrooms and sweet peppers in the green chilies and a splash of water. Dumped in CP and added the rest of the ingredients. Stirred very carefully to keep the CP from over flowing. I'll let it simmer on low until I go to bed. Hopefully it will be hearty and tasty with cheese.

Mt. Pisgah

Mar. 15th, 2014 04:40 pm
hlmauera: (Default)

I just got back from hiking to the summit of Mt. Pisgah with my mom. My tracking app failed in a spectacular way (I promise it was not a straight line to the top). The map says it's 1.4 miles to the top which would make it a 2.8 mile hike with an elevation change of 1050 feet. Plus the hike to and from the car ( I'm guessing .3 miles each way). We started at the trail head at noon and returned to the same spot at 2:20. It took an hour and a half to go up and 50 minutes to go down. My legs feel like jello and it's a bit discouraging to go so slow but one hike at a time, with persistence, I'll get better. I may post photos later when I'm on my laptop. It was a beautiful day.

I'm all done in! It's a good thing I did two hours of weeding and pruning before I went.

hlmauera: (Default)

It turns out that Mom didn't realize I had received my tax return and couldn't figure out how I had all this "extra" money when they were having to help me out.
In the mean time, I have figured out a way to pay my bills without the help but not very comfortably.
However, they insist on paying the loan for now. There was a big brouhaha first. Mom is still upset but she's not talking so it can't be helped.
Family! What can you do? I choose to not continue to let it upset me. I'll keep working on finding a better job so it's not such a tight squeeze to pay the bills each month.


hlmauera: (Default)

Canned tamales come individually wrapped in paper which should be removed. Oops!

hlmauera: (Default)

Some time during the last week of Holly's life, a cat peed on the floor next to my love seat, perhaps several times. I don't know which cat but it was, but probably, hopefully, Holly. It smelled awful, and for the last week I've been scrubbing on the floor but not finding the right spot or method to remove the stench. I picked up some enzyme cleaner with an orange fragrance because the scented one was on sale. The combination of orange and cat urine was nauseating and I'd had about all I could take. I wanted to avoid my usual nest because of it. I know the enzyme cleaner works! I've proven it for myself several times. So I had to conclude that I wasn't getting it into the right spot.

Tonight, when I got home, I moved all the furniture away from that space, put about two inches of hot water into a bucket, added some cleaner, and preceded to pour it all over the floor determining the parameters by nose. I scrubbed it in with my fingers and then sucked it up with the little green clean machine. Then I poured full strength cleanser on the floor in generous quantities and worked it in with my fingers. I allowed it to sit for about 20 minutes and slurped up the excess with the green machine. It smells incredibly orange but I don't smell urine at all. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I got it and that the carpet will dry. I'll use the green machine again to bring up any excess water if it hasn't dried in a couple of days but the enzymatic cleaner works as it dries so I want to give it a chance to work.

While the living room smells distinctly citrus, the kitchen smells wonderful! Before starting on the floor project, I started tamale chicken in the crockpot and set a chicken stock (with some chicken) to steep with onions, garlic, carrots, and parsnips. I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but I had cooked a whole chicken in the crockpot and couldn't let the juices go to waste. The carcass simmered overnight and needed some flavoring. Besides, my parsnips needed cooked. I found a recipe for creamy cauliflower soup that I will use part of the stock for tomorrow. Tonight it is cooling- I've strained out all the bits and pieces but suspect it will need another skimming, once it cools, to remove more fat.

The tamale chicken smells great but it's a new recipe for me so I'm not sure what to expect. It's fairly low carb and makes good use of the chicken that I just can't eat plain.

It starts with onions and green chilies. Then adds sour cream, olives, cheese, cream of chicken soup (I used mushroom because I didn't have chicken), a can of beef tamales, chopped, chicken (8 chicken breast halves but I used the whole chicken and it looked adequate), a can of stewed tomatoes, chili powder, garlic powder, and pepper. It's mixed all together and topped with more cheese. It looks like the best sort of glop and smells divine! I'll have it for lunch tomorrow with some avocado and more sour cream.

Good grief!

Dec. 8th, 2013 06:36 am
hlmauera: (Doorway)

Are we still in Oregon? The weather report says that it is -8 degrees! We have 10-11 inches of snow that is becoming hard packed ice. I know to some states it doesn't sound like much but I don't know that we even have snow plows in the Willamette valley! Brrrrrr!

The heat pump is having difficulty keeping up, but the house is still reasonably comfortable. So far nothing important seems to be frozen. I really do not want to see the electric bill this month!

This picture is from Friday, and we got quite a bit more snow after it was taken, but I haven't left the house since I got home from work at 2:00ish on Friday.

I've been decorating instead:

I hope you all are safe and warm!

hlmauera: (Panther)

Friday morning I decided to rinse one of my wool dresses in the tub. I flipped the lever and put a little water in with some Woolite to soak. The tub drained to quickly for a good soak and so I spot cleaned, rinsed and hung it to dry.
Saturday morning I went to shower and the tub wouldn't drain. Dad suggested that maybe the plunger unit needed to be adjusted so I took the lever plate off and gently pulled the mechanism up to discover the bottom half missing. That would explain the plugged tub, of course, but try as I might I could not get a hold of the other half that was still in the pipe. I had appointments so dad came over in the evening and went fishing he was very successful and the other piece came out on his first try.

We decided to replace the old assembly with a new one and had it all affixed to the lever plate when we discovered that the pipe and the assembly were not of the same vintage standard and, hence, the new assembly would not fit in the old pipe. So we went back to the old pieces and put it all back together. We ran so water and... It still wouldn't drain. We pulled the drain plug back out and the water didn't drain... Apparently the two were not related. I ran a full bottle of drain cleaner through it- it slowly leaked out but water still stood in the tub.

I took my shower this morning and ended up standing in ankle deep water which still hadn't drained an hour and a half later.

Dad tried to use a snake but the pipe angles wouldn't allow it. We ran about two boxes of baking soda and a full bottle of vinegar into the drain. It was fun chemistry but didn't fix the problem.

So now, all that's left is to call a plumber, or plan on bailing water after every shower. Of course I don't have any money for the plumber. I am incredibly frustrated to the point of wanting to scream and throw things.

hlmauera: (Panther)

I missed yesterday and I'm not going to try to go back
Blessings:
Tomorrow is Friday and scrapbooking night.
We passed the fire inspection today- the fire inspector said it was nearly sterile.


Curses Challenges:
Rebekah - she's driving everyone crazy not just me. I managed a pleasant conversation with her reassuring her it will be ok even while I was really annoyed. Sueann took some issues to the Dean and he appeared to listen because he mentioned it to me later.

hlmauera: (Default)

Blessings:
Quiet day
Surplus picked up the furniture that made us non-compliant with fire code BEFORE the fire Marshall's inspection!
I got the furniture all moved where I wanted it in the forth floor
Had a nice lunch with Karla.



Challenges:
It sounds like both Karla and Amy may have jobs elsewhere shortly- since I'm the only one who knows how to do their jobs I expect I'll be asked to fill in for at least scheduling and licensure request. This has me anxious in the extreme. It should just be for a short time and in kind of an off season as it were.
I'm feeling really tired still and it's a struggle to go to work. But I'm employed and can go to work.

hlmauera: (Default)

Blessings:
Sunday fellowship
Sunday lunches with friends
Sunday naps
Time with my parents
Clean laundry!
Funny cats that love to make clean laundry cat approved





Challenges:
Knitting for two hours and discovering that I started on the wrong pattern row and having to tear it all out and spend too much time figuring out how to fix a dropped stitch. Luckily, it was only a couple of rows and not more.

Sat near someone in gospel meeting that was wearing a fragrance that set off my asthma. Fortunately, I figured out the cause and was able to move to a seat in the back and in very short order had the asthma under control.

hlmauera: (Default)

Blessings:
Ah the wonder of a hot tub on a cool fall morning.
I finished another skirt
I spent the afternoon with my mom looking at scrapbook stores we hadn't been to before. I love that I can spend time with my mom and feel like I'm with a best friend!
I had a cuddle bug kitty today that wouldn't leave me alone but he was so stinking cute I couldn't even get irritated at the interruptions
I think I have adequate food to get me through next week without buying additional groceries.




Challenges:
Money is a bit tight but it makes me careful of my spending and I consider carefully before making a purchase.
My adventures in stamping on my handmade cards are not going so great- but I'm learning to be patient.
In sewing my skirt, I may have inadvertently turn one if the pieces wrong side up but since it was all together with hand finished seems before I noticed, I'm not going to do anything about it. It isn't noticeable from any reasonable distance and I'm not even 100% sure that's what happened; it could just be the lighting. I'm working on letting go of minor imperfections.


hlmauera: (Default)

Blessings:
I had my first follow up review today and the feedback was all positive. So it appears I'm moving in the right direction but there haven't been any stressful challenges to test it.
Submitted my application for Journey into Leadership- one more positive step towards self improvement.
Got some of the office reconfigurations done today without too much grief. I anticipated where the concerns would be and had a ready answer/ suggested solution. I'm thinking creatively about how to use some of the left over pieces of table tops.
The fourth floor is looking fantastic!
It's now the weekend and I can do what I want with my time.




Challenges:
I'm a little uncertain about a conversation I had with someone from surplus property. She seems determined not to pick up the furniture that will be left behind a Weniger hall when we move everyone else out. I referred her to the head of space planning to talk about a reasonable deadline, because at this point I've done my due diligence and informed the appropriate people of the need- then it's no longer my space, no longer my problem. Still I feel like it wasn't a good conversation but I don't know how I could have redirected it. I talked to the associate dean about it and he said not to worry about it-if there is a further problem, we'll talk about it.
I'm still feeling wiped out but I at least have a place to go to bed anytime I want when I get home from work.

hlmauera: (Default)

Blessings:
Life isn't about work, even though we spend a great deal of time there.
Coworker and friend who gives me feedback to help me keep on track.
Supportive family and mostly reliable ways to get ahold of them.


Challenges:
Paula is bossing me around and I have no recourse. I get tired of always having to bow to her will, even though she isn't my boss. Today made me cry, but I didn't let her see it. Fortunately, today was just about a bathroom window-a stupid issue. It only hurt the pride I'm trying to subdue anyway and I could walk away and make a phone call to my family who encouraged me.

Furniture today was moved a little awkwardly, resulting on a meeting with no tables or chairs available and I didn't frame the conversation as I tried to fix it very well. I want to apologize tomorrow but I'm glad I've worked with these installers often enough that they didn't seem offended. Unfortunately I didn't notice the problem until it was pointed out to me. See blessing above the coworker.

Today was a bit rough but life isn't about work and I was able to come home and enjoy my evening- even though that means early bed again tonight.

hlmauera: (Default)

Blessings:
Mid-week bible study to get my spirit through the rest of the week in good humor
Quiet day at work- no deans but good camaraderie with the remaining faculty and staff.
Progress on the assessment system and a solid date for beta testing to begin
No kitty messes found today!
Adjustment by the chiropractor we are getting close to pre-fall condition and are able to cut back the frequency of the visits.
Lasagna for lunches!
Inbox cleaned out to a reasonable level- from 300 to 15!






Challenges:
In a holding pattern on a number of projects that I would Ike to see completed but was able to clean out my inbox and have a quiet day because of it.

A project that required the movement of furniture did not get completed by the contractor much to the inconvenience of several faculty. I had to send out an apology and reschedule for a week out. It was embarrassing but not my fault. Assoc. Dean complemented me on the email- positive feedback is good.

hlmauera: (Default)

Blessings:
Busy day-made it go fast!
I just realized that when every one is moved into the building in early December, I will have finished a four year project. Awesome sense of accomplishment! I've also established a good reputation for efficiency and efficacy with facilities.
This might give me job opportunities down the road if I want them.
My house is comfortable and I have homemade lasagna for lunches this week



Challenges:
No major challenges today
I'm still tired but I can go to bed now!

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