Archive for the ‘Family’ category

Second Tuesday

October 9, 2018

Okay, today is the second Tuesday of the month and that means that the ladies at the Assistance League of San Pedro/South Bay are having their monthly luncheon meeting. Go to hyperlink to learn more about the Assistance League. Both Paula and Mary are members and usually attend. Paula runs the Chapter Relations Committee and she needs to be there early. Getting there early means that she gets prime parking. This is important because Mary can’t walk too far.2018-10-09 09.04.19.jpg

So we got up bright and early, had breakfast and hit the shower. We got Mary up, fed and dressed. Mary needs help getting dressed these days (that’s Paula’s job). At 9:00 AM, I walk Mary down to the elevator and wait for Paula to drive around to pick Mary up. So I load Mary into the Prius and off they go.

One of the nice things about our condo is that it’s all on one level. No stairs. That wasn’t an issue when Mary bought the property, but it is now. There is an elevator that takes us down to the garage. Mary doesn’t handle stairs very well anymore. We need to always be keenly aware of handicap accessibility. Another fall would probably kill her.

That means that I am free for the next four hours. So I headed to Albertson’s to do some grocery shopping. First thing, I head to the Starbuck’s and order my usual venti iced coffee.  I also order a pumpkin scone. The barista tells me that they were out of “venti” cups so she had to give the larger cup. Twist my arm I tell her. I sit down at one of the small tables and sip my coffee and check the news on my iPhone. Ah, life is good.

So the first thing that the Barista asks me is “Where’s Paula?”. She’s at a meeting with her mother, I tell her.  I’m flying solo today. The butcher and checkout lady ask me the same question, “Where’s Paula?”

So, i finish my shopping and head home. I unload all the groceries and sit down for a quiet lunch. Now, I finish this blog post and it’s time for Red Sox baseball.

 

Mary

July 23, 2018

Well, it’s been a while since I wrote a post on Mary. So today’s the day.

She continues to get more and more weak and frail every day. Her memory is pretty much shot. She remembers Paula and my names, but that’s pretty much it. I give her three things to do: brush your teeth, wash your face and get dressed. She only remembers “brush your teeth”.

Last week, Paula took her to her dentist to have one of her molar crowns replaced. Doctor put a temporary crown on the molar. He told her not to pick at her teeth. Mary has a habit of picking her teeth with a tooth pick. Her tooth picks have been put in hiding for the duration. (Maybe forever, disgusting habit.) Permanent crown will be installed first week in August.

So we took Mary to church this morning for the 10:30 am service. She knew about going to church, but she couldn’t remember the name of our church. (The church that she has been attending for over fifty years.) So after the service, I pointed out the view of LA Harbor out the back of the church. The name of the church is “Ocean View Baptist Church”. Do you think that seeing the image of the harbor will help you remember? Nope, not a chance. We went to the Pacific Diner for brunch after church. The owner comped her breakfast that morning.

We were going to go to the Chili Cook-Off at lodge, but decided that it wasn’t worth getting Mary out of bed and dragging her off to another function. Better for all of us to have a decent afternoon nap. Leftovers for dinner.

Every now and then Paula and I have the discussion about whether the time is right to put Mary in a nursing home. We have decided not yet. We have a regular sitter that watches Mary for short term gigs, so that we can go to a movie or something. We have an agency that we use for longer term service. We have a couple of weekends scheduled for August OES events. (One in San Diego and one in the Bay Area.) It will be good to get away for a weekend.

And finally, a hat tip to our Uncle Jack (Mary’s younger brother who lives in Louisiana) who is a faithful reader of this blog.

TTFN,

Joe

Date Night

May 10, 2018

Thursday was a different kind of date night. It was date night for our son Mike and his wife Theresa. That meant that we would be watching the kids. Jonathan is 6.5 and Sarah is 3.5. We seem them quite often. There was not a single peep out of them when they were dropped off. They are pretty used to us now.

So while Mike and Theresa were celebrating their 10th anniversary, we played with the kids and fed them a fine meal.

2018-05-09 19.17.29We started with a snack. Cheese and crackers and Pretzel Goldfish. So the main menu for tonight was chicken fingers coated in Bisquick, tater-tots and green beans. Dessert was cookies and ice cream. We splurged and got Ben & Jerry’s. Pint of Chocolate Dream and a pint of Strawberry Cheesecake.

Mary

April 16, 2018

2018-04-16 10.25.51Time for an update on Mary. She is doing pretty good for 94 years of age. Her memory though is failing badly. We try to get her out to events where people know her and will interact with her. So we get her to church on Sunday. She doesn’t seem to put up a fuss about going. We usually can get her to OES meeting. And, of course she gets her hair done on Fridays.

While Mary is under the hair dryer at the beauty salon, Paula and I get together for coffee and to do grocery shopping. Wonderful to get some time alone together.

So on Saturday, Mike and his family came over for dinner. Sunday was Mike’s birthday. We watch the kids so they can go out to a movie. So on Sunday morning, Mary sees the Happy Birthday balloon on our table and asks “Who’s birthday is it?”. We tell her “Mike’s”.

“Who is Mike?” she says. He is your grandson, we tell her. So we go out to lunch after church at the Pacific Diner. Then, on Sunday night, the question gets repeated, “Who’s Mike?”. Sigh. Then, she asks us what day is it? It’s Sunday. Don’t you remember going to church? Going to the Diner for lunch? Apparently not. More sighs. Got to get rid of the darn balloon.

 

Why Blog?

March 29, 2018

The time has come to answer the question “why blog?”. I have been writing this blog now for about six years. Here I go. In March, I turned 70.

I started the blog back in the spring of 2012. My wife Paula and I had made the decision to sell our house in Billerica, MA and move to San Pedro, CA to live with Paula’s aging  mother. At the time, we had lived in the house for 30 plus years. Moving across the country was not going to be easy. Thus the name of the blog became “Cal-here-we-come”

So, what do I write about? Blogging gives me the opportunity to document the things that are going on in our lives. So I write about Mary and the the trials and tribulations of elder care. I write about our travels. In 2012, I wrote about our trip to Ireland. I write about books I’ve read and movies we’ve seen.

Paula’s mother had her 94th birthday back in January. Back in 2012, she was living alone. Paula’s Dad had died in 2009. Paula is an only child, so there was nobody else to step up to the plate to watch over Mary. We were beginning to hear stories of occasional falls and trips to the ER. Nothing very serious but it was establishing a trend.

She has been living in a 3 bedroom condo since about 2010. There was plenty of room for us.

Another factor that helped in our decision was that one of our sons lives in the area along with our two very cute grand children. We have another son who lives in Salt Lake City. If our sons were still living in MA, we would have flown out to San Pedro, packed Mary up and moved back to MA. But they live out here now, so we are too.

In 2011, Paula had been out to visit about three or four times. I couldn’t go, because I was working as an IT contractor at IBM. No work, no pay. We had a mortgage to pay. After each trip, she came back with more stories of woe.

So on April 1, 2012 our house of thirty years went on the market. We were lucky, we had an offer in 10 days. It happened a lot faster than we expected. So Paula and I both gave our notice to our jobs. Then we both filed for Social Security. They say that the three most import rules of real estate are location, location, location. In our case, selling our house, it was timing, timing, timing.

Closing was set for June 21, 2012. Time to start selling furniture and making arrangements to ship the small amount of stuff we were going to send to California.

We spent two weeks in July of 2012 touring Ireland. Finally, we shipped a few more boxes of stuff to LA and then on August 2 we hit road for LA.

Mary (and other stuff)

March 12, 2018

2018-03-11 12.32.38It’s time for an update. Mary had a tough go of it a couple of weeks ago. She came down with an urinary tract infection on Monday 2/26. So Paula made an appt to see her primary care doc in Torrance. Her doc got a urine sample and wrote her a prescription for an antibiotic and sent her home. He had us give her ibuprofen for the pain. So Paula gets the Rx filled at the local CVS. She was feeling pretty miserable.

Two days go by and she’s still not getting much better. Paula takes her to urgent care and sees a different doctor. New doctor prescribes a new antibiotic and gives her an Rx for Tamaflu. He was thinking that maybe the flu was involved although she wasn’t running a fever.

She’s feeling much better today. She was feeling good enough to come to church with us. It didn’t hurt that our grandson Jonathan was singing in the kids’ choir. The picture above was taken this morning during brunch at the Pacific Diner in San Pedro. (One of our favorite places for brunch after church.)

2018-03-03 19.11.38In other news from San Pedro, I celebrated my 70th birthday on March 3. Paula and I got a sitter to watch Mary while we went out for dinner for just the two of us. It was so nice to get out without Mary. We went to a steak house called “The San Franciscan” in Torrance. I had a steak and shrimp, Paula had the prime rib. Very tasty.

We shared a piece of cheese cake for dessert. When Jonathan saw the picture of my “birthday” cake, he told us that wasn’t a proper birthday cake. Grownups, I try to teach them right. So we got a real chocolate devil’s food cake for last Friday when Jonathan was over for dinner. Much better he thought.

We’re finally getting some rain. It rained yesterday and today. Forecast for rain on and off for the next week or so. It’s been a light rain. No soaker like we had last time a couple of months ago that caused mud slides up in Santa Barbara. It’s finally beginning to feel like a typical San Pedro winter with temps in the 50’s and rain.

Birthday Stories

March 3, 2018

Here are a couple of birthday stories.

I was born on March 3, 1948 which I knew was my parents’ wedding anniversary. When I was a child, I thought that was interesting. It wasn’t until I was much older did I learn that I was born C-section and the birth had been scheduled. When one is four or five years old, parents don’t explain how or why babies came to be.

Here’s the second story. Everyone knows the birthday song, right? Happy birthday to you…

It turns out that the “Birthday Song” is one of the most prolific song ever written. Click here for all you ever wanted to know about it. It has generally been attributed to be written by Patty and Mildred J Hill in 1893. It is considered to be one of the most recognized tunes of all time.

Apparently, a few years ago there was a big stink about the copyright status. So back in 2017 a federal court decided that the tune was in the public domain.

There were a couple of really notable performances of the song. First, was done by Marilyn Monroe singing Happy Birthday to President John F Kennedy. Another was Victor Borge playing the song in style of Bach, Brahms and Mozart.

Here’s the Victor Borge video:

And finally, some Minions birthday humor: