There’s Never Too Many Clothes

Upon seeing my closet, most people might assume that I am a clothes horse. I will admit that the closet is near the bursting point. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m off clothes shopping every chance I get. Sadly, I haven’t the money nor the time it requires to seriously shop for clothes.I’m genuinely pleased to add a new blouse to the collection every three or four months. It just boosts my mood to have something new to wear.

Don’t tell anyone this, but I don’t always weed out old clothes. Especially if the clothes were a gift. I figure when clothes are gifts, it’s a free pass to keep the old. Even if I am the ‘gifter’ on special occasions; like my birthday or for someone’s wedding, or celebrating my 75th blog post… The possibilities of gifting to oneself is endless.

Seriously now, I have a perfectly logical explanation for why I keep my closet so stuffed. I can’t physically stand up to lift the hangers from the clothing rod in the closet. Instead I tug at the sleeve of the garment I want, and hope that it slips off easily. I don’t want my clothes falling to the floor. If they hit the floor, I can’t help but think that they are already dirty. Plus, I don’t want to do the little bend and stretch to pick the piece of clothing up. That’s the beauty of having a stuffed closet. All the clothes keeps the garment I’m after suspended long enough to get a good grip to pull it the rest of the way out.

So, that’s my excuse for having a stuffed closet, and I’m sticking to it!

 

It’s Voting Time, Yeah or Ney

Here’s a little tidbit for the current voting haze of  today.

The last election, my vote did not count.  I know this because a month or two after the election, I received a letter stating as much.  They rejected my vote, because my signature was not the same as the one I used when I first registered to vote.  This was not news to me, as my signature is never the same  due to having Cerebral Palsy[CP}  Developing my own unique signature was never in my scope of functions.

I discussed this fact with the election’s officer upon registering.  At that time, it was acceptable to make my mark, and then have someone sign witness by, followed with their name.  i was never 100 percent certain if it had to be the same person who helped me register.  I assumed it wasn’t the case, since I’m never with that person; and they have actually moved out of the state.

When I got the rejection letter, the first thing that crossed my mind was that I wasted a lot of time studying the measures.  It takes detective work  to decipher any hidden meanings.  I think the  writers of the measures quite often try to make them sound so convoluted to get us to vote one way, when in reality if the measure was written clearer, there’s no way people would ever vote for half of what’s on the ballot.  Half the time I’m scared of voting for something I’d be opposed  to, that I almost would rather skip voting.

Then I was mad they rejected my ballot. i started thinking what if the person tallying my ballot didn’t like the way I voted.  What’s to stop them from looking for any loophole to discredit my vote. and found it in the discrepancies in my signatures.  My imaginary conspiracy theory is working overtime here.  I don’t know the rules for counting the ballots once they reach the elections office.  However, I do think that over time people’s signatures do change from a list of different factors.  In that vein, there should be an easy way to indicate rather or not someone is authentic, instead of rejecting ballots because there is a discrepancy.  So what if it takes an extra month to get everything sorted  out.

So, this election I am determined to make my ballot count.  One of my PA’s suggested I take my ballot to the bank I use, and have a notarization done on my ballot.  When we called to set up an appointment, they said they didn’t notarize ballots.  They suggested calling the City Clerk; the City Clerk suggested calling the Elections Office.

We completely flustered the Elections worker by explaining that my last ballot wasn’t counted because of a problem reading my signature, and I wanted to make certain  my ballot was counted.  She said something rather snarky like I needed a signature stamp.  She then hastily ended the phone call. [Maybe she just didn’t fully understand our question.]  We called her right back, and asked if I could go to the Elections Office, and sign my envelope in front of some credible person  there.  She basically said I needed update my signature  each voting period.   So, I will do that with no complaints.

If you find any ballets in this post, rather then ballots, know that I would prefer being at the ballet than blogging about ballots!

To Chase, Or Not To Chase The Mouse

How useful is a computer without a mouse?  Pretty useless, wouldn’t you agree?  In a pinch, you can use the Tab and Enter keys, but it is not always easy to tell where the Tab has moved to, if it has moved at all.

Due to having C.P., I can’t use a standard mouse. I just don’t have the fine motor skills it takes to operate  a mouse. I have had an adapted mouse\joystick that has well placed function buttons under a grid to prevent me from hitting a command I don’t want to make. I had two such joysticks. One for home use, and the other for work.    As it turns out, both joysticks stopped working the same week. What are the odds of that happening?

I suspected the joystick at home was on it’s way out. In preparation, I went to Best Buy, and bought the only thing I thought might halfway work. A wireless Trackball, an upside down mouse, if you can picture that. I knew it wasn’t exactly what I needed, and that it would cause me loads of frustrations, because the buttons were too close together. However, for a quick fix, I told myself I could make it work!

I played a lot of solitaire, just to practice using the Trackball. Strangely enough, I discovered I could control the Trackball better if it was turned around, so that the mouse moves in the opposite direction that it usually goes in. By using it this way, I’m less  likely to press unwanted keys. Within a couple of weeks I was pretty pleased with how well I was using the trackball; I was actually winning some games!  However, when I tried to do some finite work, using the trackball became the most amazingly frustrating chore ever!  I would get the mouse exactly where I wanted it, only I couldn’t depress the right click, or I’d get so excited that I found the mark, that a wayward finger would brush against the ball and send the mouse clear across the screen.

I have a vivid fantasy of picking up the trackball, and flinging it out of my room, down the hallway, and running it over and over and over again until it is crushed into millions of tiny pieces!  Fortunately, for the trackball, it is shaped so irregularly that I can’t get a good grasp on it to throw it. Even if I did manage to throw the trackball, my new power chair would merely push it around until the wheel found a way to skirt past it!  Anyway, crushing the trackball would do no good service to myself. However, the act of describing my fantasy got out my frustrations!  Ah, the power of writing!

To be continued…………

 

 

Nothing Has happened!

I should give you all an update on my housing situation.   Well, nothing  has changed.  I am still living in my apartment with no prospects of moving any time soon. Of course, I am well aware that the last statement could change at any moment!

In December, when no new developments had happened, and I was stressed  out to the max, (I mean who in their right mind wouldn’t be freaked out knowing that their home life was in jeopardy?)  I wrote to the people in charge of  finding a suitable living situation for me and the gentleman whom I barely know.  In the letter I gave them a timetable of some questions I wanted answered before I could commit to sharing a home with the person in question.

The questions were as followed:

1.  Could I keep my Supported Living status?

2.  Could I keep my Section 8 Housing Stipend?

3.  How much care does the gentleman need?

My letter was never answered.  I am stunned that the letter failed to generate a response I thought at the very least the timetable would produce some needed forward motion.  instead, it just fizzled seemingly as soon as I sent the email.  I didn’t know what to do next. If I became the squeaky wheel,  where would that land me?  In a home where I would flourish, or in some place that I resented, and wishing I had fought like heck to come up with a solution that I could live with.

I am ashamed To say that I feared I wouldn’t keep my backbone straight when I most needed to, and cave in to something because I felt it was  the only option I had. I have to hope and pray that I will sense  some define presence that gives me a strong feeling of making the right decision.

Oh, I would be remiss if I I didn’t add the following bit of  information.   In February a house popped up on the radar. It was about seven blocks from where I’m currently living. Here is the kicker.  Before I could arrange a time to see the house, someone had already snatched it.    Lesson learned!  The next time a possible house is in question, I will call around to my friends and family until I find someone who can take me to see the house.

Draft sa

Between A Rock and A Hard place

On May twenty-seventh, by phone call, I was told I had to cut two hours a day of my 24 hour care. The two hour alone time went into effect that following Monday. I wrote an email, of course, with all my concerns, but the email was more about my feelings as to how it was brought to my attention. I made a snap-ish decision based on my comfort level. I went with taking the two hours at night, since I tend to have an active bladder in the mornings! But after I had time for the new schedule to sink in, a lot things started popping into my head. I would have to be more regular about when I eat my meals. Regulate when I drink. Plan to go to no more late night parties, concerts, movies, or plays. Unless I go with friends or family. In general, I will need to be more vigilant about how I use my time with my PA’s. I changed the two hour time block, to a hour one each end of the day. In case you haven’t added up the hours being cut, it adds up to fourteen hours per week. This is doable, I will make lemonade out of the lemons

Not more than two weeks into my “new normal” I got a call from the lead supported living manager saying she wanted to meet with me, along with my sister and another bigwig at the agency that supports me. She wanted to have the meeting on Thursday, but was thrilled to tell her that I work Thursdays! At first, I just thought they were coming to talk about my email, however, I knew it wasn’t what the meeting was solely about. In my gut of guts, I could see the axe lowering on my neck! Long story cut short, this agency has been eating $87,000 over the top of the monies I get from the state and federal budget. They have been eating the money because my sister is a loyal employee and they didn’t want to lose me. $87,000! I want to puke every time I think about that kind of money being spent on my care! Of course, the agency can no longer justify shelling out that money on me. SO, I have big decisions to make, and set into action, by August first! Lots of asinine and horrid suggestions were thrown on the visionary table for me to “ponder” over.

Here are my options so far. Move to another agency with a supported living program. But with everybody facing budget cuts, what are the chances another agency will take me into their program? I could downsize everything I own and move back into a group home. Not a thrilling option! Really not an option, unless it’s something totally appealing, which is very unlikely.

Nobody wants me to lose my apartment, however, this means I will have to stretch myself beyond what I ever dreamed I could do. Like staying alone eight hours at night, and installing a bidet. Hand and hand with the bidet idea, I would wear a gown that would spread open as a person sits down. In theory I would go commando at night. If I should have the need to use the toilet at night, I could transfer myself onto the thrown, do my business, use the bidet to clean myself, probably sit there to drip dry for a spell, and transfer myself twice more before getting into bed. When I calmly reminded them of the fact that most home accidents happen in the bathroom, they replied that they knew, and would equip with a “help I have fallen, and I can’t get up” necklace. Oh, so fancy! Fat chance the necklace would do me any good if I fall, crack my skull, and bleed to death. it’s as if the agency is banking on me getting hurt, and possibly becoming further disabled. If that’s the case,… Never mind, if I write that thought, it might come to fruition, and I wouldn’t be me anymore!

Actually, What it all comes down to, by August first, they’re hoping to trim 14 hours of paid PA supports from the day. Eight or so hours at night, and four hours during the day in addition to the two they have already removed earlier this month.

They said they were willing to buy technology that would increase independence, as opposed to having human PA’s. I was also encouraged to look at other agencies.

The way supportive living was set up to run in this agency, was to have the person going into the program interview an already pre-screened person that was interested in the job. If the two people thought they could live together, the live-in would get a flat stipend each month, live rent and utilities free, get one evening a week off, and one weekend per month off. You’re smart readers, can you think of some problems that might arise from this type of living environment? Regardless of its obvious deficiencies, I have been open to this situation for years and yet have gone four years without a person willing to fill this live-in position. Now the agency has given me about six weeks notice to find a solution and are pretending that this is one of the options.

Okay now, at Tuesdays meeting, lots of ideas were tossed at me. The following idea is just really asinine! There is a long standing relationship between a woman and her live-in. Let me say that I think most people would find it taxing to live with the person served.. With this in mind, the idea would be to ask each woman separately if they would be willing to forgo the apartment and the life they have built together to move into a bigger place, and be open to live with a man who is also in the program. If the women and the gentleman agree to do this, and if the agency’s accountant can get the numbers to work, the agency would buy a duplex. The three would live together, and I would live on the other side. There are a lot of ifs in this plan! I think my chances of becoming a millionaire are greater then this duplex idea! I say don’t mess with a good relationship!

I know what is happening here! I’m not a fool! They gave me all these unrealistic options, in the hopes I will pick the option that is best for them This is the oldest tactic in the book for dealing with disabilities! Do I have the strength to fight for my independence? .

No, I’m not dreaming. I just asked my PA to pinch me, and I didn’t wake up!

Please comment .orgif you have any ideas for how to deal with this situation. Its imperative that I do something very soon, before I am forced out of the supports that enable my independence.

Should Have Happened Way Before Now!

I applied for and was awarded a $3000 grant to widen both my bedroom and bathroom doors, and improve my kitchen drawers. The paperwork just applying for the grant seemed invasive, and when it came time to sign on the dotted line, it felt as if I was signing my life away.  The construction took approximately two days, with minimum disruption to my mental state of mind.
However, for those short periods of discomforts, I am very pleased with the functionality of the
remodel, but not really the aesthetic look of the finished work.

Before the renovation, my bedroom doorway was tucked into the corner of the room, where upon I had to  immediately veer to the left to avoid running into the closet wall. Of course, I had my laundry hamper right beside the door, narrowing the path even further. I can not  begin to tell you how many times I have ran into the closet wall and had to readjust my approach. A lot of times I got through just out of the memory of having done it a thousand times before. I get around my apartment in my manual wheelchair, and because it is easier to go backwards rather then forwards, I am sure you can see that sometimes I can get myself into a jam if I am not paying attention to where I am going.  My bedroom door now has moved over about a foot and is a good two to three inches wider. The bathroom door is now directly across my room making it much easier to navigate between the two rooms.

Now that my permanent structure has changed, my turning radius is getting some time to become natural. I am finding myself backing up into a  wall that did not exist before and wondering why I am not moving. After I made a mental note not to start turning before I can see the whole entrance of the bathroom, I have stopped hitting the wall as much.

Maneuvering up and over the metal strip which separates the carpet in the hallway from the linoleum in the bathroom was hard. Most of the time I grabbed the door frame to pull myself into the space. Now I have a grab bar just inside the door frame so that I can get into the bathroom much easier and faster. Except once in a while my front tires get cockeyed upon the strip, resist going over the small hump, and I nearly pull myself out of my wheelchair on the way to my throne. The coolest feature of the remodel is that the contractor built a cubbyhole in the bathroom wall for the door handle to slide into so that the door stands flush against the wall,  therefore giving me more space to move in an already small space.

It is funny how two different viewpoints can see a situation.   When  the county inspector came to see what modifications I was wanting. He said that at the most I would only gain is a few inches to the doorways. Well, to me those few extra inches make the world of difference!   My personal assistants are no longer ramming me into the door jam when they are pushing the wheelchair. My wheelchair had hit the spine of the door so often that it’s hinges were dangerously loose!  We all took bets on when the door would come crashing down on us.  After enduring a two hour plus Lift rides, I have been known to head directly to the bathroom upon arriving home. Before the doorway was widened there was no room for error in getting the power chair through the doorway. Quite often there would be the squeak of the wheels rubbing against the jam. Now the power chair glides right through the doorway without coming close to either side of the door jam. I am an ecstatic camper!  Yes, such things as wide entrances thrill me to no end!

The kitchen drawers were off their tracks and threatened to plummet to the floor. I asked to have handles put on the drawers, so that I can open them more easily, rather then gropping at edges of the drawers trying to get a firm enough hold to open them.  However, I secretly hoped that the contractor could figure a way to keep the drawers on the tracks, so that they will not fall out on me. I am happy to report the drawers now open without dropping down,  and glide relatively easily out and in. The down side of things is that I am well aware that the fix on the drawers is at best temporary.  There is just so much one can do to repair cabinetry make out of particle board.  I will just live in bliss while the drawers hold up!

I mentioned earlier that I did not care much for the aesthetic look of the finished project. The woodwork looks great!  I have no beefs about that!  However, most of the projects look unfinished. I do not care who you are, people expect renovated projects to blend in well with the existing environment. There is a foot length of poorly patched carpet that I am afraid is going to work it’s way loose, and I imagine myself tripping over it one day. There is a crack in the wall from when the old door frame was ripped out.  The grab bar now stands over it, but you can still see the crack. Each of the drawers has two drilled out holes where gliders were installed which is an eye sore now.  If I were the contractor, would have taken more pride in the finished look of the projects. Nonetheless, my quality of life has improved, therefore making the grant a success, in my humble opinion!  I no longer have to weave my way to the bathroom when I am still sleepy in the mornings, and in my way of thinking, that is saying volumes!

No more excuses

Happy New year, everyone!  As you can clearly see, I have taken a hiatus from
writing. I was not intending on doing so. In my  head I had a few great posts
all laid out, but typing them out seemed like pulling all my teeth out,
parachuting out of a small airplane, ascending Mt. Everest, and hearing the
sound of fingernails scrapping against a chalkboard,  all rolled in together!
I had every excuse in the book, too!

  • I had many broken fingernails.  I am virtually rendered immobile when I have a  broken nail.  Every time a ragged nail brushes across an object I am set into orbit.  I mean it could be the smallest rip, and I feel it acutely!  My nails are paper thin, so they break easily. I do know I can harden them up of by applying topcoat regularly.  I just need to make it a weekly routine.
  • My back or my hip hurts. If I wake up with hip pain, my usual method of relief is stretching out in my recliner until the pain is relaxed enough so that I can go about my day. It is just plain tiring holding myself up while I am typing. I will find any excuse to move away from the computer for a time while I get out the kinks. Moving around is good for the body, I tell myself when I think I have just settled in from a trip to the bathroom not more than fifteen minutes ago.
  • I will want to escape my reality by reading novels.  The temptation to ditch my work is intensified when I stumble upon a page-turner!  In those times I have to give myself goals to reach before I can pick up the book again!  I will say, “Okay, you have to finish the rough draft of this post, before you can read another chapter of the book!  Just think how good you will feel when you really earned that reading time!”
    Side note: A Dean Koontz novel every six months to a year, gives your brain a good and thrilling workout!  I highly recommend, Life Expectancy!   It’s charming, witty, and most certainly a page turner
  • I have to take a break at 4:00 during the week to watch Oprah!  I don’t know what I am going to do after the last show is aired!  I guess then I will be forced to add the OWN channel to my cable package.
  • I signed on to facebook sometime in August, which I was somewhat pleased with, because within about an hour I had something like Twenty-five friends. It’s a great communication tool, and something I should thrive on, if I am not too afraid I would write something that people would chastise me about.  Then thirty-eight hours later my dear sweet sister whom I love and adore, suggested that I start playing Farmville and Zoo World. Well, I love playing games, especially interactive ones where I am playing with family and friends.  I love the challenge of playing games, and this was a chance to triumph over my sister!  Hours of play can pass like mere seconds.

What I didn’t understand when I began playing, was that by posting my
accomplishments with the games, I was essentially burying my correspondences
with friends.  I didn’t like that in the least, so by the encouragement of a
veteran user of facebook, I started erasing the gaming posts, even stopped the
posts from happening at all.  I got an ear full of criticism from my sister the
next time I saw her!  She said I was a lousy, selfish neighbor.  Through her, I
learned that my fellow neighbors were waiting with baited breath for me to post
my accomplishments on the game, so that they may also benefit from my
successes.

So, here I am stuck between the thought of wouldn’t it be fun to strike up some
interesting dialogue with my friends, and wanting to just kick back and build a
farm that stuns my neighbors.   Do you see the ironic dilemma I am in?  My
friends who merely use facebook for social networking tease and ridicule me for
playing these silly games!  I do agree, the games are totally silly and a
frivolous way to spend ones time!  While on the other hand, my mom who is 80+
has just started playing Zoo World, and it is fun seeing her getting into the
game.  Now I play mainly for her!  I have thought about creating another
facebook account, about I don’t want to juggle between the two.

Could I be in a depressed mind set?  Sure, the signs are definitely there!
Losing my dad, noticing everyone around me not excluding myself aging, living in
times where terrorists could potentially be living in my neck of the woods, and
hiding out because I have a gigantic pimple on my chin.  My sister thinks the
pimple is similar to Horton’s puffball flower.  However, instead of little Whos
running around, I have a whole country full of zombies.  (Ooh!  I have been
reading too much of Dean Koontz.  The family in Life Expectancy rarely had a
conversation that didn’t turn onto crazy tangents!)

Why am I exposing my pet excuses for the world to read? Well, I have to give
myself a kick in the butt somehow!  I figure if my readers knew the truth, I’m
going to work like mad to make you never think, “I wonder what excuses she is
clinging onto today?  While I am not about to promise to post something every
day, that’s just insane of me!  I can commit to publishing posts every other
week.  If by some freak advent I have the writing bug, then hallelujah I get to
treat myself to lunch out, or to a movie.  Then as an extra bonus, I will
report on some aspect of the festivities!

There you have it, my new year’s resolution.