Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Moving sucks

I feel as if I’m attending my own funeral.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Aging is not EZ when it impacts loved ones.

My dearest Glenda’s vision is rapidly fading. She suffers from both the beginnings of cataracts and fairly severe macular degeneration. She can no longer read even large print. When writing she often writes over top of the last line that she wrote. Yet she is persistent and faithful in writing in her journal and taking notes 📝 in church when she hears a nugget she feels would be good to recall regularly in our lives and in the lives of our children. No one will ever be able to read this. Bless her, Lord, for her good heart and faithfulness.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Beyond not EZ to hard -- losing friends from this life.

I got heartbreaking news this morning that my high-school best friend, Ronald Hardy Estep, has passed from a massive heart attack. Ron shared birthdays with Glenda, delivered by the same doctor in the old Magic Valley Memorial Hospital in Twin Falls on February 19, 1950, and was my absolute best friend thru school and some years beyond. Ron was a runner before it was popular and would regularly push me to run until I dropped (I was always the slow, fat, kid). He said that pushing his body to the limits of endurance made him feel more alive than anything else. He always pushed me to perform better--physically, academically, and socially. I served as his campaign manager when he won election to the student body presidency for our senior year. He and I performed a stand-up comic routine together for a high-school Junior Year talent show. Ron was my straight man. We also performed a cover of Paul Revere and the Raiders hit, "Kicks," at the Senior Year talent show, with Ron on lead guitar, me on bass. I don't remember who our drummer was. In 1971, I performed a speaking role in the stage play Ron produced and directed as his Idaho State University drama class year-end project. He still managed a passing grade! A graduate of Idaho State University, he became a high school history teacher and tennis coach and later a school administrator in Couer d' Alene, Idaho. He and his wife, Sandy, joined the LDS church as adults and together they raised a large family. He did not attend the recent Valley High School reunion in Idaho as he and Sandy were serving a mission in Detroit. I feel like he'd still be pushing me to be better. RIP, Ron. I will miss you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Preparing to move for downsizing

Thanks to the generosity of my children, we have professional help -- an organizer and a stager -- helping us to prepare to move; Amanda and Raquel of ABCOrganizing. They do good work, but that requires us to cooperate and make decisions on what to keep, what to sell, what to donate, and what to discard. Much of what we choose to keep must be packed away somewhere out of site so the house can be nicely "staged" for sale. Even with help, this is not EZ. Plus, I've had a bad case of 'dropsy' the last couple of days. Everything I touch tumbles or falls. If it weren't for the floor or the ground things would go all the way to China (where some of it probably came from).  If it weren't for gravity God only knows where things would go when my grasp doesn't grasp them.

Shots here of Raquel and Amanda at work.

We also had our kitchen countertops refinished from a 1970s avocado to a modern granite look. Yet to go, repainting selected items and rooms.



Thursday, June 14, 2018

Moving is not EZ

You never know how invested you are in your community until you start to seriously consider leaving it behind for a new stomping ground after decades of aging in place.

  Insurance - We are enrolled at the San Antonio Military Medicine Center with Medicare and Tricare and have the providers we have needed - because we get our care and our prescriptions at the Army facilities, we VERY rarely ever have a co-pay or deductible to worry about
  PCM - Dr. Kosik - For both Glenda and me
  Medical records - All of our records are in the Army hospital's electronic system
  Pharmacy - We know where they are, how they work, and which is best for each need
  Specialty clinics - Dan
    Cardiology - Drs. Barnwell, Garasimon, and Thomas
    Urology - Drs. Hudak and Reed and Ms. Schadee
    Orthopedics - Mr. Gaffney (PA) and Ms. Blasingame (orthopedic oncologist, Dr. Quinn)
    Dermatology - Dr. Sorensen
    Oncology - Dr. Arballo
    Gastroenterology - Dr. Shaffer
    Dental - Monarch Dental - Dr. Shah (for Dan and Glenda - with Delta Dental Ins. of Texas)
    Optometry - Dr. Delgado (for Dan and Glenda)
  Specialty clinics - Glenda
    Cardiology - Dr. Bush
    Plastic surgery - Dr. Brostrom
    Psychiatry - Dr. DeLlanos
    Neurology - PA Weiss
    Ophthalmology - Dr. Webber
    Pulmonary - Dr. McInnis

Our life insurance and annuity advisor - Mark Gregory
Our property and casualty insurance agent - Steve Villa
Our massage therapist - Sheryl Pursley - Rubbing us the right way since 2008
Our personal trainer - Cynthia Flores
My mechanics - Tony and Kaylee
Our home cleaner - Annette Kjar (In fairness, she's moving, too)
Our Optician - All Seeing Optical
Glenda's hairdresser of 20+ years, Anna Medina
Our neighbors - Martha, Jay and Jayne, Steve and Linda, Nick, Nancy and Edwin, Rob and Andrea, Marc and Cindy Lavesque, Clayton Perry (city councilman for our district and long-time friend)
Our LDS ward and stake - 200 friends and associates. We've been in this ward since 2010 and in this stake since 1973 (with gaps)
Friends in Harmony - 200 men of good character who love to sing directed by Artie Dolt--internationally renown director
N.E. Senior Assistance Center and the staff of volunteers
San Antonio Cars and Coffee
The local Dunkin' Donuts
The local HEB - The cashiers know us by name
Gym membership at Gold's
Taco Cabana
The Edwards Aquifer
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union - has served us since 1973
Margie, our mail carrier

Our Family Trust, a Texas Trust, established in January 2018
Texas military Meritorious Service Medal vehicle registrations -- no annual registration fee
Bexar county does not require smog inspections (yet)
Our private pool and hot tub

Moving is never easy. Moving to a whole 'nother community requiring starting over on so very many fronts will certainly be even less EZ.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

NOTHING is every EZ!

Technology comes with such amazing promises. But for me, nothing ever works as advertised. Nothing. Ever. And it makes me so tired.

I have a lot of digital photos. I have a lot of digital music. For storing and using these items, I use an iMac running OS X El Capitan as an operating system. And since my iMac is getting a little long in the tooth, that's the newest OS it will ever have. The machine itself has been updated to have 4GB of RAM and a 2 TB hard drive. But...I use Quicken for managing my meager finances, and Quicken and Apple don't really work well together, so I have a Win 10 PC for that, and I also use MS Office on that machine because that's what I'm used to -- and since I need the ability to print and scan for those tasks, my laser printer/scanner is attached to the Win 10 machine. Win 10 just updated and removed the "Homegroup" option. OS X needs Windows to be running Homegroup in order to access a printer shared from the Windows machine. Sigh...there goes that capability.

I am trying to find the best way to manage/keep/backup my music and photos from the Mac (I use Carbonite to back up the Windows data files.) I do back up the Mac to Time Machine, but that doesn't give me the secondary off-site backup for real security and it doesn't allow me to access the media files from the cloud with non-Apple devices.

A while back I bought a Lima device and a 2 TB USB drive to set up my own cloud for those media files -- the capabilities of Lima impressed me. But, after the Win 10 upgrade, that machine can't access the Lima device. Lima help tells me the Lima is damaged and I should buy a new one. But, but, but...it still works apparently flawlessly from all my other devices and worked from the Win 10 machine before the last Windows upgrade.

So I thought I'd try Amazon Cloud as I'm paying for Prime anyway. So I downloaded the Mac App and started the install routine. It failed and suggested I contact Amazon support.

I have an Apple TV which I want to use primarily to stream media files and "cast" audio and video from my apple devices to my home entertainment system. It's wireless and connects flawlessly to my home wifi network. Except...every time I want to use it I have to restart it before any of my other Apple devices will see it on the network. It's on the network. It has a valid IP address. My router shows it in the IP address table. It passes the wireless network test. But other Apple devices can't see it until I restart it. My Apple-centric son tells me I have a "Bonjour" problem. Yep. I'm about to tell Apple Bounjour for sure.

One of my long-term goals is to downsize to one computer system. Because of the utility of the Windows machine for the things I do so much of, that system seems likely to win the draw. But I want to get my photos and music files safely available in a standard file format and, preferably backed up both locally and on the cloud before I retire the Apple. And the Apple TV (I can do most of what I want with the $29 Roku in my entertainment system.) And then, what makes the iPad and iPhone want to hang around? For what we do, there may be other devices that work better.

But who am I kidding--it's not just Apple--all technology fails and frustrates me. My family buys and installs things that work perfectly from Apple, Ring, Nest, Microsoft, Brother, etc. They love their Google Drive and Amazon Drive and Spotify accounts. NONE of these things work as advertised for me. They just don't.

Nothing is ever EZ.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I'm worried about my dear wife. This morning as I was earlier writing she came and sat beside me and we engaged in some light conversation. The nature of that conversation is what has me worried. She asked if I remembered when her mother, Lennie, had passed away -- no problem, I don't remember exact dates very well myself, but it was quick and easy to look up in family records so I got that information for her. Then, she asked if her mother was still working full-time just before her death. No. And Glenda should have known that. Her mother had been retired for many years and had traveled quite extensively prior to her death. Then the question that really gave me pause: Who was her mother married to when she died? Oh, my stars! Lennie was married to Gerald Eisenhauer at the time of her death; she had been married to Gerry for many years and Gerry was well known to Glenda. Glenda is fond of her step-father.

Glenda's memory has been troublesome of late but that has been mostly short-term forgetfulness. This scares me as it's the first time I've seen something so fundamental slip from her longer term memory. My two eldest siblings both slid into Alzheimer's-like memory deficits in their '80s as did my mother. I expect that will be my fate, as well, but Oh! how I hate to see Glenda moving that way so early in her life, and if we both go, who will care for her? Will I also be a burden on our children. How I hate the thought of being a burden rather than a blessing in my children's lives.