Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 31, 2017

My son, Andy safely made it through Hurricane Harvey.  He said it was "an interesting week."  That's one way of looking at it - especially if you don't own property.  He still is not back in his first floor apartment.

I heard from my old neighbors that the section of Dumfries Drive where I used to live in Houston did not have flooded houses.  The national news made it look like total destruction in Houston.  Luckily there a few pockets that are okay.

Meanwhile in Portland:  The house that I had wanted to buy on North Fowler Street needed quite a few repairs.  I requested that the seller make the repairs.  He countered with an offer to reduce the price by $10,000.  That would not be enough to cover the necessary repairs plus I did not want have to deal with finding and scheduling contractors to do the work.

I was not totally enamored with that house.  It had many features that I wanted but it was on part of the street that looked messy.  The next door neighbor was letting people camp out on his driveway and in front of his house.  There had been many complaints against this neighbor but the campers remained.  I terminated the contract.

In the meantime I kept looking at houses online.  I went to one of them.  It is SO much better than the other one.  It was lovingly cared for over the years and was beautiful.  The street was well kept. 

I put in an offer on that house yesterday.  I offered to buy it at the asking price.  The seller is supposed to review offers on Sunday.  Houses in North Portland often sell for more than the price listed.  I included a letter to the seller telling her why I wanted the house.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that the seller will let me buy the house.  I think inspection would go well on this house.  The seller took good care of it.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

August 27, 2017: Hurricane Harvey

I've been happy that I moved to Portland.  I get to see Kevin and family often.  But, I have had regrets - especially about getting hit by a bus.  Also I miss seeing my son, Andy, working at Rice and being with friends.

Hurricane Harvey has changed all that (except the part about the bus).  I would be terrified owning property in Houston now.  I always worried about the high water.  My house never flooded but all the construction has been causing more places to be in the flood zone.

In the past if I was caught out on the road during heavy rains, I could always pull into a mall parking lot or a fast food restaurant.  Now Harvey is shutting the whole city down.  My friend Bert said that the McDonald's in my old neighborhood already has 2 feet of water in it.  And it is supposed to keep raining heavily through Wednesday.

People that I talk to in Portland don't seem to comprehend the extent of Houston's flooding problems. Previous storms have had people drowning in underpasses, canoes paddling down freeways, houses being destroyed.

The most terrifying time is at night when you can't tell how high or fast the water is rising.

I hope that the predictions are wrong and that the city isn't destroyed.  Please may my Andy and my friends stay safe.

Friday, August 18, 2017

August 18, 2017

I had a busy day today.  Every morning I wake up, put on some clothes and take Sweetsie on a walk.  I figure she needs to go out as fast as possible after "holding" it all night.  She has only had one accident since we've been in an apartment.

Then we went to Walgreens and Fabric Depot.  I just needed some black wool blend felt.  Fabric Depot is huge and is only about one half mile from my apartment.  I'll have to go back and look around.  I was already tired from going to Walgreen's so I didn't stay long.  But, I did take a photo:

Yesterday I used my sewing machine for the first time in Portland.  I'm making a new bag for my walker.  Sweetsie has been tough on the bag that came with it.  Even though I plan on being able to give up the walker soon, it will come in handy for transporting stuff.

In the evenings I hand sew little kitty cats from felt while I watch TV.  This little kitten is on its way to Japan.  I gave my first kitty to my daughter-in-law's mother.

I had  physical therapy after lunch.  Then I was so exhausted the three of us took a nap.  (Getting in and out of a car is difficult and tiring with a broken hip.)  I only brought a twin bed with me to Portland so I have to fight the cat and dog for space.

I made an offer on the house that I mentioned in my last post.  It was accepted after some give and take.  Tuesday is inspection day.  If all goes well,  I'll move in in late September.  It will be the fifth place I've resided in since May 19, 2017 - first apartment, hospital, nursing home, retirement home and lastly my own house.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

August 9, 2017

I was speaking to the receptionist about my trip to Walmart.  I told her that I forgot to pick up the batteries that I meant to buy.  Another resident overheard me and asked if the batteries were for my hearing aid.  HUH!  I don't have a hearing aid - yet.  I told her they were for my Amazon fire TV remote.  "What's that?"  AARGHH!

I miss being with young people or even people of my own age.  I like older people but it's hard being with them exclusively so much of the time.  When I moved in the average resident age dropped to 85.

Today I went to Kevin's side of town to meet a realtor.  I liked 6 houses that I looked at online.  Three of them already had sales pending - since this morning!  One had lots of steps from the sidewalk to the front door.  One was on a very busy street.  The last one was nice and if it doesn't sell before tomorrow morning I plan on making an offer on it.  It costs more than my house sold for.  It's tiny but on flat land, is one story and has a driveway.  These are big considerations for me.  It is also only a mile from my son's house.

Portland is tough.  So many homes are 2 to 3 stories and have no garages or even driveways.  Here's a photo of typical Portland townhouses.  It would take me all day to climb those stairs to the front door!
Portland-style townhouses
I check for new home listings every day.  The houses sell so fast here.

It's wonderful to be able to see my grandchildren often though.  I'm going back this Saturday for an early birthday party for my grandson.

My physical therapist says that I'm making progress.  I work hard at it and it is paying off.  I still have a long way to go and I'll keep at it.  My goal is to be free of the walker and move to just using a cane.

Monday, August 7, 2017

August 7, 2017

Today I had a break in the routine.  I went to Walgreen's to pick up a prescription.  I got to shop while I was in there, too.

Sweetsie was just as excited to get out as I was.  She loves getting into the car.

Now it turns out that I need AAA batteries for my Amazon fire remote.  Maybe we will go on another outing tomorrow.  I love shopping but I tend to spend too much.  I could just order on Amazon.

I played trivia again today.  Even though I got a higher score than last week I only came in second.  All the Latin, German and Spanish I studied really comes in handy for trivia and crossword puzzles.  I didn't know any of the answers today but I can guess well with my language background.  The trivia players are much more friendly than the Rummikub players so I enjoyed myself.

The weather was better today.  It didn't get over 90.  I spoke to a lady who lives down the block.  I run into her every day while I'm out walking.  She said her air conditioner was running constantly and her electric bill increased by $10.00.  She needs to stay out of Houston.  My electric bill was $300-400/month.  I keep my apartment around 74 degrees.  I couldn't afford to keep it that cool in Houston.

I don't have much to write about today.  If going to Walgreen's is exciting, you can imagine how little goes on here in the retirement home.

As long as I take advil every 4 hours the pain in my leg is fairly well controlled.  Pain is exhausting and disheartening.  I'm feeling pretty upbeat tonight.  Soon I hope to fix up my sewing room and get back to the things I love to do.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

August 5, 2017

Unhappy Anniversary to me.....

In a fair world this would be my 17th wedding anniversary.  The last anniversary I celebrated with my ex-husband was 2012.  That year my ex had already secretly proposed to another woman but still wanted to celebrate our anniversary.

The poor man had suffered a traumatic brain injury when he fell in November 2010.  The brain injury wasn't immediately evident.  At the time we were more concerned with his paralysis.

Most likely he continues to think that his brain is just fine.  That is part of the injured's problem.  I wanted to help him but he did not want my help.  So I let him go.

My life continues on.  I'm healing from the bus accident.  I am very angry that  a distracted bus driver has taken away months of the life I had planned on living.  I had looked forward to spending lots of time with my family and exploring Portland.  Instead I am on the other side of town from the kids and feeling trapped in a retirement home.

My anger is a good thing.  It might sound like I'm depressed.  Anger is depression's opposite.  As long as I'm angry about the accident depression can't set in.

I'm looking forward to getting better and starting my life up again.  In the meantime I enjoy conversing with some of the residents in the retirement home.  Everyone has a story to tell and I learn as I listen.

I'm also doing some hand sewing.  My apartment seems so bare without all my dolls and pink poodles.   Right now I'm making little felt kittens.  I want to make some more felt dolls to populate the place, too.

I don't have the energy to set up my sewing machine, table, etc.  That will come as the pain lessens.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

August 1, 2017

Last Sunday I decided to skip Rummikub and play trivia with a different group.  Out of the 24 questions I only knew one answer for sure.  It was a multiple choice format.  I made some good guesses based on the choices given.  I got 13 questions correct.  The next highest score was 10.  I won!

Most of the questions were about people and events in the 30's and  40's.  I'm just a youngster here so it was surprise to everyone that I won.

I took a picture of the announcement board.  Woo hoo - I'm famous!

I took a photo in the restaurant here at the retirement home of some of my dining companions.  I didn't ask their permission so I'm not going to post it on this blog.  The photo would reinforce my statement that I'm a youngster here.

I picked up my car from in front of Kevin's house yesterday.  Tomorrow I'm driving back there again to meet with a realtor.  There are 2 houses that I want to look at that are within one mile of his house. I wish they were closer.  I think I should be able to move in a few months as long as  I take things slowly.  I still need the services provided here - the physical therapy, meals, the check-ins (every day I have to check in to prove I'm still alive), the mail service, gym, etc.  I feel safe living here.

This is a nice place to live if you're almost 90.  I want to get out and start my life up again.  I want to be near my family - the very reason I moved to Portland in the first place.