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The Eclectic GardenMaking a little bit of everything look just right.
Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:35 am
I don't like saying this, but I don't think my dad will be with us much longer. He has kidney problems and they have been slowly shutting down. He sleeps the vast majority of the day and hardly drinks any water. We visited with him recently and he clearly wasn't with it mentally. He was born on October 11, 1936, so he just turned 81 last month. This isn't something that I want to prepare myself for, but I can't ignore the signs.
I wish I could say that I have a close relationship with my dad, but it's just not true. He's always been around, but we never really bonded as father and son. He coached my baseball team when I was a kid and I worked with him for nearly four years. In all that time I can't remember one really in depth conversation. I have no doubt that he loves me. Somehow we just never built a relationship. That's really a sad statement.
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Two Hurricane Jokes
Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:39 am
They aren't really jokes, but two things happened after the hurricane that have made me question the goodness of mankind.
First, a so-called relative drove all the way from Alabama to give us an estimate on removing the tree from the house. His estimate came in at $6200. It seemed really high to me and after checking with others in the tree business I found out just how high it really was. The average for that kind of removal is $3000-3500. Thankfully, I never agreed to have my "relative" take care of it. I am still at a loss for words to describe how despicable this was.
Second, we had an adjuster come out nearly two weeks ago. He took pictures and told us that he would let us know when he submitted his report to the insurance company. When we hadn't heard anything after nearly a week we started calling and finally found out that he quit before ever turning in our paperwork. In fact, he never turned in any of his claim paperwork. So, twelve days after the first adjuster came out we were at the house again talking to a new adjuster. Two weeks wasted! So frustrating. I blame the first adjuster for quitting, but I also blame the insurance company for not following up with his clients.
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After The Hurricane
Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:39 am
I feel like I have been in a time warp since Hurricane Irma hit us on September 11th. We are still dealing with the insurance, but I don't see how the house could be anything but totaled. When the tree fell onto the living room it shifted all of the rafters in the whole house, blew out the front picture window, knocked out the rear sliding glass door, bowed out the back porch windows and even separated all of the kitchen cabinets from the walls. The more I look at the house the more structure cracks I see. The building inspector told us to get what we needed and get out.
We had an insurance adjuster come out eleven days ago. He was super nice. He took pictures and told us that he was going to write everything up and send in the report. When we didn't hear back from him I started calling. I finally got through to him this past Saturday and he told me that the company had moved him out of the area and that we would be getting a different adjuster. I was shocked, disappointed and just a bit angry. I have since learned that he never even submitted his report. What in the world? So, today another adjuster is coming out. I just went back to work yesterday and now I have to take time off to deal with it.
To say that this whole ordeal has been a nightmare would be an understatement. The stress has been unbearable, family tensions are running high and everyone's emotions are on edge. I try to look at the good side and be thankful that no one got hurt. I try to think about how this could actually help my family financially but, to be honest, none of those things seem to help. I just want it to be over so that we can move on with our lives. One thing is certain, our lives will be different from here on out. My wife and I have both determined that we do not want to live in the same location that we were living before. There are painful, personal reasons that I don't wish to get into driving that. Hopefully, this visit from the insurance adjuster will start us on the road to recovery
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Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:43 pm
So, all is well with my brain. My wife may disagree, but according to the doctor everything looks good with the gray matter. No signs of stroke. No abnormalities. Of course that is good news and I am thankful for it, but it doesn't explain the visual problems that I have been having. Seeing as how the opthamologist says my eyesight and eyeballs are in great shape I can't help but wonder what's causing it.
The doc says it could be stress. I can see that with my friend's death, my son moving to Canada and a stressful situation at work. Hmm... maybe I could eliminate one of those stressors by quitting my job. Somehow, I think that would only make things worse.
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Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:16 am
I have had an MRI before, so I wasn't worried about it yesterday. I arrived on time and went in feeling pretty good. I laid on the table and the tech explained that there were two tests. The first would be about ten minutes and the second would be thirty.
She put the headphones on my head and then moved this mirror thing in front of my face. It reflected the scene just outside the window and actually gave the impression of opening up the space. She moved me into the machine and I had a view of the the roadway and some trees and a small apartment complex. I couldn't even tell that I was inside of a small tube.
I thought I would be okay, but after the noise started I broke out in sweat and suddenly heard my voice go, "Oh!"
My insides knotted up and I recognized the signs of a panic attack. I had the call button in my hand, but decided to push through. I kept telling myself that I could do it. I looked in the mirror outside and started counting the number of red cars that went by. Anything to get my mind off of the MRI. I heard the tech tell me to stay still. Time dragged on. Finally she said, "The first test is over. Are you okay?"
I responded, "You mean we're not done?"
There was a short pause then, "I'm coming in."
She slid me out of the tube and took everything off of my head. The air was welcome to my lungs. I asked again if we were done. To my dismay, that was only the ten minute part. There were still thirty minutes left.
I broke down. Tears welled up in my eyes. The panic once again started to ratchet up.
That was the worst part of it. After about a five minute break I calmed down some. She gave me options. Call the doc for a sedative and come back later or reschedule for the bigger, open MRI. I made the decision to try again. I already had to take off work and I didn't want to leave and come back. Mostly, I want to know if something is wrong with me.
So, taking deep breaths and quoting scripture to myself, I went back into the tube. This time was much better and I somehow managed to get through it. However, this morning my insides are still shaky. But I did it! Thank God, I did it.
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Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:32 am
A few years back I was diagnosed with ocular migraines. Basically, my eyesight goes screwy for 20 or thirty minutes and then clears up. I never actually get a headache, but I am physically spent when it's all over. Weird, I know.
At the end of April I had another one... only my eyesight didn't clear up. Two days later I found myself in the ER with a neurologist testing for signs of a stroke. Thankfully, there weren't any so I was referred to an opthamologist. A couple days later, in her office, she did a full check on my eyes and said all was okay. The only problem was that my eyesight was still messed up. So, she referred me back to a neurologist.
My eyesight started clearing up, but the end of May I had another ocular migraine and it got screwy again. It took all the way until last week before I could finally get in with a neurologist. I have an appointment on Monday for an MRI on my brain. The doc says he'll have to wait until then to see if he can find anything wrong. For now, my eyes seem to be working properly, but I do have visual disturbances occasionally.
I tried to get the VA involved, but over two months after contacting them I still haven't heard back. Anyone who thinks government health care is a good thing should try getting care through the VA.
This blog entry has been viewed 51 times
Out To Sea
Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:03 pm
Well, my friend is officially out to sea. I said goodbye as I watched his ashes mingle with the water. I'll admit, that day was emotional, but it has gotten a lot easier since then. It's been almost two months since he passed away unexpectedly and I have finally come to grips with it.
It has caused me to step back and begin preparing for worse things. He was a good friend and I fell apart. How would I react to losing someone really close? My dad is 80 and in bad health. My mom is 76 and also in bad health.
If anything good has come out of my friend's death it's that it has caused me to slow down a little and appreciate the people that I have around me right now. Life is fleeting and can come to an end suddenly. Appreciate who you have while you still have them with you.
Last edited: Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:03 pm
This blog entry has been viewed 172 times
Over A Month
Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:01 pm
My friend died on August 22, so he has been gone for over a month now. I thought that I was doing better with his death, but this week has been especially hard. I'm not sure why unless it's because I've been at his house packing things up. If everything goes as planned today will be the last day that I have to go over there. It does bother me to walk through his house.
On Friday I will be taking his ashes out to sea. He left very specific instructions about what to do after he died. He didn't want a service or even an announcement in the paper. He wanted to be cremated, put in a cardboard container and spread in the ocean. He made it clear that a lake or river was not acceptable... unless the river led to the ocean. So, my daughter helped me by asking one of her friends to take me out in the Gulf of Mexico near her home in Marco Island, Florida. We'll be doing that around 10:00 Friday morning.
I'm hoping for some kind of closure after we do that. I know the pain of loss will not go away, but maybe it will bring a little peace and comfort to the situation.
Honestly, I don't know what to expect to come from it. For all I know it will make things worse for me. I do know this. I am ready to move forward. Now, if I can only get my emotions to follow along.
Last edited: Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:07 pm
This blog entry has been viewed 99 times
Things Just Happen
Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:27 am
So much has happened since I last posted in July. For starters, my youngest son moved to Canada after marrying his on line sweetheart. That is a story in itself, but I want to focus more on the fact that my wife and I are empty-nesters now. It's hard to believe that all three of my children are married and out of the house. It's pretty depressing to me because I love having my kids around. At least the other two are still in the same state as I am.
The second thing that happened is that a good friend died unexpectedly last week. He was 67 years old, but in good health. It is believed that he died from heat exhaustion. It was so sad because he didn't have any family that I am aware of. I've been dealing with everything and it's opened my eyes a lot about how to deal with the death of someone. I can honestly say that I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about that.
Between those two events I am emotionally drained. I'm praying that things can go back to normal soon.
This blog entry has been viewed 115 times
Category: Life As I Know It | Posted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:12 pm
We ended up at the ER with Cory this past week. He was in a car accident and is thankfully okay.
There was an elderly couple sitting by us in the waiting room. He was in a scooter and she was in a wheel chair. How they actually got to the ER in the first place is still unclear. At one point my phone rang. After I got off the man said, "We finally get all this hi tech stuff and I'm at the end of my life so I won't get to enjoy it."
It was an awkward statement, but he was smiling when he said it so I got up and walked over, "I'm sure you had some good stuff when you were a kid."
He was hard of hearing, made clear by the fact that he was talking really loud. First, he proudly told me that he was 94 years old. Then, he said that they were the first house in his neighborhood to have a radio because his dad was an engineer and figured out how to put one together.
We spoke some more then he asked me, "I bet you never met someone who voted for Roosevelt?"
"No sir, I haven't. Were you in the military?"
Come to find out he's a WWII veteran, infantry division. "The only injury I got in the war, though, was poison oak."
At this point he looked at his wife and said, "I told her that God protected me so I could be here to take care of her."
She smiled at him. I looked around and there were a few other people who had been listening. One woman was shaking her head, also smiling.
At this point we left to the other side of the hospital. When we came back I looked for the elderly couple. He was sitting in his scooter, asleep. She was nowhere to be seen. I hated to leave without saying goodbye, but I didn't want to wake him up.
He opened his eyes and saw us. A big smile came across his face and he greeted us with that booming voice. Then, behind us a nurse came in pushing his wife in the wheel chair. She was wrapped in hospital blankets from head to toe, obviously cold from the A/C. His eyes lit up and he said something that captured my heart. With excitement and love in his voice he yelled out, "Here comes my play mate now."
My daughter-in-law let out a big, "Awww!"
She was wheeled over to him, smiling the whole time. We shook their hands before we left and my wife thanked him for his service. We said our goodbyes and I left the hospital feeling as if I had left some good friends behind. It was definitely a moment in time that I will not soon forget.
Last edited: Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:44 pm
This blog entry has been viewed 165 times
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