Wednesday, November 22, 2017

November 22, 2017

Seven years ago when I woke up on the day before Thanksgiving my biggest problem was preparing the next day's big meal.  By that evening my life as I had known it was over.  My husband/best friend had a terrible accident.  It was horrific.  It's said that the worst stress that a person can endure is losing a spouse.  I can definitely testify to the truth of that.

I woke up thinking about it.  I find that writing my problems down in my blog is very cathartic. 

Now that I have that off my chest I hope I can have a productive day of unpacking boxes and setting up my house.  It's been unsettling living in a messy house.  But, I have to take it slowly so that I don't overdo.  The house is getting a little better every day.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

November 14, 2017

Whew!  I've been busy.  Everyday I unpack a box or two, clean up the resulting mess and start again the following day.  I probably have at least 50 more boxes to go.  Why do I have so much stuff?

I sold and gave away so many of my things before I left Houston.  Now I'm continuing the purge.  I've already taken one big box to Goodwill and I have another big one packed to go.

Before I moved here I had planned on finding a part time job.  So I kept a lot of my work clothes. That was pre-bus accident.  Now I'm still recovering.  I get exhausted easily because of the pain.  Tomorrow is my 6 month follow up with the trauma surgeon.  I want to ask him what else I can do to get better.  I still go to physical therapy, stretch and exercise.  Have I hit a plateau or what?

This morning I went to a meet up group of 60+ singles.  They were a great bunch of people and do a lot of activities together.  Every Tuesday morning they meet for coffee.  It was at 9 AM across town.  I got my butt up and went.  I plan of going next Tuesday, too.  Tomorrow they play games.  It's at 3 PM across town again.  Maybe I'll try and go to that next week.

Tomorrow morning I'm going to the first meeting of a book club in my neighborhood.  I learned about it on  We're meeting just a few blocks from my house.

Thursday I'm attending the ASG Fashion Lunch Bunch.  Once a month they go to a restaurant and show their latest creations.  I hope it's warmer Thursday so I can wear something I made.  All my stuff is for the Houston climate.

I'm finally able to do some of the activities I had planned on doing when I moved here.  I wish I could have done more when it wasn't raining and cold.  But I am doing them now!

Sweetsie is enjoying her backyard.  Sometimes she runs back and forth.  I still am hiring a dog walker because she needs more exercise than that.  I walked her once in our new neighborhood.  The sidewalks are crummy and she was pulling me along on the wet leaves.  I was scared of falling even though I was using a rollator (walker).  I'd rather be safe and let someone else take her.  She loves her new dog walker.  They go around the park which is nearby.

Sweetsie and Stella are already in bed waiting for me.  Good night.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

October 24, 2017: one more day

The house matches Sweetsie!
I have one more day living in the retirement home.  I've made several friends here and will miss them.  My physical therapist leases space here so I will be returning at least once a week for rehab.

 I do the stretches and exercises on my own.  My bones are healing.  But the trauma sent my right leg muscles, including my giant butt, into spasm.  (My secret super power is stopping buses with my butt.)  My physical therapist works on getting the muscles to straighten out and stop causing me pain.

Tonight I am taking a bit of a break.  I've been working so hard packing, getting my home repaired and preparing for the move.  It's a good time to document on my blog and then watch "Madam Secretary" on amazon TV.

Today I met delivery men at the house at 8 AM and they installed my refrigerator and washer/dryer.  I carried a few boxes and a suitcase from my apartment into the house.  Then I went to the bank and the post office.  I got totally exhausted.  It's very painful getting in and out of the car.  My legs are super long and the seats in my Subaru Crosstrek do not go back far enough for my injured leg.  Guess I'll need to buy a roomy American car.  I have to wait for the lawsuit to get settled first.  That could take quite a while yet.

Thursday the movers are coming at 9 AM to pick up my stuff in my apartment.  After they drop it off at my new house they go to my son's house to pick up my china cabinet.  And finally to my storage unit.  All my stuff will once again be united!  I don't even remember what all I have.  I haven't seen what I packed and is in storage for almost 6 months.  It'll be like Christmas!   Unfortunately, I can't be the excited little kid but the parent who's stuck putting everything away.  I'm sure my new house won't be able to hold all my possessions.  So, it will be a long process.

This whole move to Portland has been quite the harrowing ordeal.  I didn't apply for Medicare B immediately on the day I retired.  Then 10 days later the bus crashed into me.  My employer didn't give me the correct forms for Medicare.  My Medicare B didn't finally become effective until 10/01/2017.  My cobra retirement insurance (costing over $700/month) refuses to pay until all bills are first sent to Medicare B and denied.  Aetna is very much aware that my Medicare B just started this month but is refusing to pay nonetheless.  My different medical providers' billing departments are refusing to submit to Medicare B because they know the claims will be denied.  I'm referring them all to my lawyer.  Hopefully she can talk some sense into them.

I hope the Astros win the World Series.  Houston deserves something good to happen after that hurricane.

Oopsie!  A bit of good news -I painted the whole interior of my house in pink.  I've attached a couple photos of it in process.

Monday, October 9, 2017

October 9, 2017

Busy, busy, busy!  I've been preparing my little house so I can move in soon.  First, I had an exterminator treat the crawl space.  He's coming back tomorrow to put down a vapor barrier.  Today there was a crew doing mold remediation in the attic and crawl space.  Day after tomorrow another crew is coming to put insulation in the crawl space.

All this work is for a house that is relatively recent construction for Portland - 1981.  So many of the houses in Portland were built in the early 1900's.  I'm used to all the new buildings that make up Houston.  My house there was built in the 1960's and was considered ancient.

The living room in my new house has a kind of pretend chimney and fireplace.  It extends about 3 feet into the room and takes up most of a wall.  The fireplace  itself was wood burning but is no longer working.  The "chimney" is just an empty shell with a pipe inside that leads to the roof to let out the smoke.  I am getting an estimate on removing the whole deal.  I'll replace it with an electric fireplace.  The house doesn't have gas.

I'm also getting an estimate on painting the interior.  The paint job is fresh but it's a dingy gray color.  Winter is coming with many dreary days ahead.  I'm torn between painting the walls a creamy yellow or a pale peachy pink.  The inside NEEDS to be cheerful.

My move is set for October 26th.  I'd love to have the fireplace gone and the house painted before I move in.  But then contractors run on a much slower clock than "normal" people.

The kitchen has new cabinets, countertops and appliances.  I do need to buy a refrigerator though plus a washer and dryer.

Then there's all the numerous minor repairs that will probably really add up to big bucks!  Some can't wait - like missing flashing and vents in the attic.

I've never bought a house for just myself.  My son, Kevin lived with me in my Bellaire townhouse.  Somehow, even though he was just a teenager, it wasn't as scary.  I wouldn't be living alone.  My next house I bought when I was engaged.

I'm excited but terrified about my new house.  I still have a lot of healing left to do.  Any activity wears me out.  Today I had wanted to go to Home Depot.  But, my physical therapy totally drained me and I had to take a nap.

Tomorrow I'm going to the doctor about my arthritis.  That was going to be my priority when I got to Portland.  But an irresponsible bus driver changed those plans.  Hopefully, I'll have enough pep to go to Home Depot after my appointment.

When I'm not trying to organize workmen, I am slowly packing up my apartment.  And I'm shopping on craigslist.  As my friends and family know I like things that are quirky.  I can either shop at really high end furniture stores (which I can't afford) or go to thrift and consignment stores.  But, I can peruse craigslist comfortably in my apartment.

I found a shocking pink bistro set on craigslist.  It's a tiny table with 4 chairs.  I'll use it for my kitchen table now and later on for the patio.  I also bought an unusual recliner.  It has cane sides.  The upholstery is yellow with blue birds and coral flowers.  It's so cool!  It came with a little ottoman and pillow.  I should have copied the photos on craigslist before they were taken down.  I'll take photos of everything eventually and post them.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

September 26, 2017

This Thursday, September 28, 2017, I will be closing on my new home in Portland.  I've been busily setting up the utilities.

The seller agreed to reduce the price so I could have some repair work done.  I've scheduled an exterminator to work on the crawlspace under the house.  Here mice and rats are a big problem.  Gross!  Luckily, no roaches.  (I haven't even seen a mosquito since I've been here.)

Then a mold specialist will work in the crawlspace and the attic.  Mold is another problem here since it rains most days for nine months of the year.  Then I'll have insulation installed so I don't freeze my tuckus this winter.

I'm trying to get an electrician to do a couple of repairs.  They are so busy here.

There is a weird fireplace in the living room.  It's wood burning but not working anymore.  There's no chimney.  It has a pipe running from it up to the roof.  The fireplace and hearth take up a lot of space.  I'm going to have it removed and I'll buy an electric unit.

As long as I have to tear up the wall to remove the fireplace I may as well paint the whole room.  Guess what color!

My plan is to move in towards the end of October.  I have to pay another month's rent in the retirement home anyway.  That gives me another month to get better.

I don't feel ready yet to take care of a house on my own.  Today I was exhausted after only going to the grocery store.  So, I'll take the move slow and steady.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

September 19, 2017

Yesterday was a sorry day for the city of Portland. 

It was the day of the hearing for the bus driver who crashed  into me on 5/22/2017. My lawyer picked me up and took me to the courthouse in case I needed to testify.

The driver didn't show up.  A lawyer came in his stead.  The deputy who issued the tickets didn't show up.  My lawyer wanted to show the judge the video of the bus accident.  The judge said that he could not find the bus driver guilty because the police officer did not bother to come to court to testify.

So, the driver's record will be cleared of these 2 tickets for reckless driving and not yielding to a pedestrian.

We don't know if he is still employed by the Trimet bus company or if he is still driving a bus for the city of Portland.

My lawyer discovered that this driver had previous reckless driving tickets before he was hired by Trimet.

Of course, I will continue my civil suit against the bus company which is city-owned.  It would have been more straightforward if the driver had been found guilty.

So, this irresponsible man gets away unscathed.

I have to go now to my physical therapy appointment.  The therapy is always painful.  My injuries will remain with me for the rest of my life.

I am rightfully VERY pissed off!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

September 17, 2017

The house that I have a contract on was inspected last week.  Houses in Portland need so many repairs.  Hopefully the seller and I can come to an agreement on the repairs.  We have until this Thursday to settle.

It's a cute little house.  It has a nice yard - not too big, not too small.

I will have to pay for another month's rent in Russellville.  During October I can have the repairs done and move my stuff over slowly.  I get tired easy so it will take quite a while to make it comfy.

I just gave Sweetsie a bath and freshened up her pinkness.  She was still itchy from being at the beach last weekend.

Today Russellville is having a Brazilian party.  There's a special dinner that comes with an extra (high) special price and Samba dancers.  I'm going - why not? - it's something different to do.

Tomorrow the bus driver is going to court to plead not guilty for crashing into me in a crosswalk.  I hope the detective who gave him the tickets shows up.  He gave him 2 tickets and he also watched the video of the accident.  My lawyer is taking me to the courthouse.  I don't see how he could not be found GUILTY.  But then I don't see how a bus driver could run a stop sign and hit a pedestrian either.  I was wearing bright clothing and walking a hot pink dog. Why wasn't he watching where he was going?

In the meantime I still have to use a walker and go to physical therapy twice a week.  I try to use a cane around the apartment.  This whole ordeal just really sucks!!