This blog was formerly dedicated in 2009 to my Dad who died of Alzheimer's in 2013. It's been three years now...and I find myself missing blogging...so I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dad's Painting Of The Titanic, Water Heaters And Other Excitement...

Mom went to visit Dad today.  She wheeled Dad to the alcove, a visiting area off the south wing, close to Dad's room. Dad was mesmerized by a painting of water with a reflection, on the wall of the alcove.  Dad told Mom, if she looked closely, she could see his signature on the painting he did.  Mom complimented him.  He told her it was "when we hit the iceberg and so many drown".  Mom asked if he meant the Titanic.  Dad smiled and said, "That's right."...

Mom just nodded her head.  Dad began talking about his son K_____ coming to visit and how he spoke to everyone to help them with their businesses.  (My brother owns a trucking company.)  Mom said he rambled on quite a while on my brother...saying Dad did not make much sense...

Dad told Mom he had not seen any of his grand children in a long time and how much he missed them.  Mom told him they were all back in school.  "Oh", was Dad's only reply...

Mom asked if he would like to go outside on the patio and Dad was very enthusiastic.  The nursing home was "over run" with nursing students, and all very nice.  Dad loves the ladies and really enjoys flirting, so when Mom tried to suggest they go sit in the far side of patio where there was more shade, Dad insisted on staying closer to the ladies and having the sun on his face...

A nice woman sat on the bench near them, so they all engaged in conversation. Mom said she was quite pleasant and was not sure if she was a resident or not...

After a while, Mom took Dad back inside to his room.  Mom had brought him a National Geographic, which Dad has subscribed to for years.  When Mom checked in at the nursing station, the social worker reminded Mom about Dad's new glasses, so Mom pulled them from his drawer so Dad could read.  She put the old ones in her purse to take home for a future spare.  Dad complained he could not see out of them.  I think he forgot how to look through bifocals, he has been without his glasses for so long.  Mom showed him how to use the bifocals and Dad read aloud from the magazine to Mom.

She brought out his Bible with larger print, and Dad was very excited to read his Bible.  Mom gave him some Memento candies, one of Dad's favorites, which delighted him immensely.  He loves the way the mints make his mouth feel so fresh.  Mom had also brought a new bottle of Aveeno lotion with Dad's name on it for the skin care Angel to use on Dad. She left it for her at the nursing station. His skin looks better today, then it has the majority of his life, thanks to her.

Several of the staff, Doctor-Doctor, and the nice male CNA who accompanied Dad to the vascular surgeon, came to Dad's room to chat with Mom and Dad.

The nursing home is having new windows installed and they were working in Dad's room, so Mom wheeled him to the dining room for lunch.  They sat at his usual table with the salty sailor and his girlfriend.  Mom said the girlfriend does not have any teeth and usually chokes every time Mom has been there.  Today was no different, as she choked on her food again.  Maybe she is trying to eat as fast as her boyfriend!

Dad gobbled up a tasty smelling beef enchilada with sour cream and salsa, green beans, Spanish rice, fruit cocktail and strawberry ice cream.  They also gave him a can of Ensure, with he gulped down along with  milk, coffee and water.

After Dad gorged himself, he usually gets sleepy.  Doctor-Doctor came in and told Mom she would keep Dad company until they finished installing his new window.  She assured Mom they were almost done.  She would take him back and get him cozy for a nap. Mom kissed Dad good bye and left him in the capable hands of his Doctor-Doctor...

On her way out, one of the office ladies came up to Mom asking if she got the letter from Medi-Cal.  Mom had not received anything and inquired what she was talking about.  She told Mom it was the paperwork she marked to receive Medi-Cal too.  Mom told her she never applied for Medi-Cal and had her own insurance and did not want it.  She found out the woman in the office she always spoke with and who kept all Dad's things in order has left and no longer works there....

Once home, Mom attempted to call Dad's Social Worker at Medi-Cal.  She had to leave a message.  Mom called me and I could hear the stress in her voice.  She hates paperwork...I may have to call her and find out what it is all about...

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UPDATE ON WATER HEATER:  I called American Water Heater this morning telling about having to have the plumber (step-son) come back today and how the conversion kit did not work.  He asked me if the plumber had removed the "orifice" from the old part and installed it on the new part.  WHAT?  HOW RINKY-DINK is that??? 

He went into some explanation about following the instructions, #7. I asked why they did not include that piece in the conversion kit with everything else?  What if I had thrown it away or it was damaged?  I told them it was really poor customer service.  He went into the various desert and mountain altitudes and making sure to have the correct size, blah, blah, blah. 

We had thrown the old part in the trash, so I had to retrieve it, but could not find the instructions.  I wrote down what he told me.  He further explained, without the orifice, the gas line would allow too much gas and it would get too hot and the sensor would turn off the pilot light.  This information made sense because yesterday, when my step son (the plumber) turned on the water heater, flames shot out the sides of the water heater.

Just to be on the safe side, I called Sears to schedule a service call on our warranty we just took out recently on our washer, dryer, refrigerator and added the water heater.  Luckily, after my explanation of no hot water for today being the sixth day, she said she would send someone out between 8am and noon.  THANK YOU LORD! (Just in case we would have to replace it...)

My son arrived at 8:30am.  He had it finished and the water was "warm" by 9:15am.  The Sears man called and was on his way.  While my son was waiting, he shimmed our toilets.  After the Sears man arrived they both talked and assessed the situation.  By this time, our water was HOT!!  WHOOOO-HOOO!!!  Everything seemed to be fine, so they left. 

I took Izzy for a walk.  I was suppose to take my car in for an oil change and over all check up of brakes and tires to be ready for my upcoming California trip when I get THE CALL,  from my pregnant, younger daughter.  It was gorgeous outside, a lot cooler with hardly any wind.  I decided I better finish painting our four big planter pots, which are badly weathered and starting to lose paint.

I prepped all four pots, trimmed the spiky Desert Spoon plants in the pots, and spray painted all four pots with a good first coat.  Menopause makes a woman's temperature gauge hyper sensitive and mine could have boiled water faster than our water heater!  My face was as red as a fire engine, and I had to take three water breaks and wet my hair and face down to cool off.

I finished about 12:15pm and went inside to take a nice shower.  The water so was so HOT, I actually (LOL) had to turn it down, to take a cooler shower.  It felt so good!  Way better than a sponge bath with cold water!!!

After my eye appointment, my face had returned to normal color, and I was off to get my car done.  I only needed to rotate my tires and get a new engine filter.  I have life time free oil changes.

Driving home, I could hardly keep my eyes open.  As soon as I hit the door, I did a swan dive onto the couch and slept until 6pm.  My youngest daughter and I plan to go to see EAT PRAY LOVE tomorrow together...and out to lunch at Panera Bread....only, she will go in California and I will be going in Nevada.  We talk on the phone before and after the movie.

I started to prepare dinner and my husband came home, kissed me, gave Izzy a treat and went to the garage for a soda.  He yelled to me to come to the garage.  As I walked into the laundry room, I could smell gas.
My husband was cranky!  He calls his son and tells him about the gas.. I open the garage door to vent the garage and get on the land line to call the gas company...

The Gas Company emergency after hours person, tells me to not smoke, cook (too late), open the garage door (too late), turn on any appliances or lights (too late), to wait outside and they will have someone there ASAP!

My husband is sitting at the table eating his dinner.  I tell him we are suppose to wait outside.  He informs me he is NOT MOVING.  He is going to finish his dinner!  I ask what our son said, and my husband explained "I" should take a spray bottle with soap in it and spray it in front of the water heater and if it bubbles, we have a gas leak.  His son thinks the pilot light went out again and thinks we should call Sears and get a new water heater...

I can't eat.  I think we should go outside.  My husband said, "if it was gonna blow, it would have done it already", and puts a fork full of chicken in his mouth...as you can see, my husband does not let too much excite him.

I on the other hand, am opening the back door, closing the front door and the double doors to the laundry room leading to the garage (which is a fire door).  Just about then, I hear a truck pull up, and it is the gas man.  While he takes a reading of potential gas leaks from the street, I feel him in on the past few days...

He advices me to finish my dinner and he goes into the garage.  Apparently, two nut valves for the gas sensor and the pilot light were loose.  The pilot light was still on.  He tightened them up and told us we should not have any further problems.  He also advised us to unplug our circulation pump for the water heater to make the gas hot on demand.  He said we might have to wait a minute and we would have hot water and it would save us considerably on the gas bill.

So far, so good, on the water heater. We are fine.  My hands are sore from trimming the plants and spray painting.  My left arm is sore from the T-Dap (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Whooping Cough) vaccine I had yesterday so I can see my grandson.  My daughter had told me there is a whooping cough outbreak in California, so she, her boyfriend and the new baby will all have the shot.  I am not taking any chances of missing holding my grandson!!!

I am going to enjoy another nice, long, hot shower and hit the sheets as I am looking forward to my day with my daughter tomorrow. I've had enough excitement for one day...

5 comments:

Mari said...

Oh my word! What a day!
I'm glad your Mom had a nice visit, but it's too bad the paper work lady is gone. I can see that would be stressful.
The water heater situation is unbelievable. I sure hope this is the end of it.
You husband is funny. I can hear mine saying the same thing!

Wander to the Wayside said...

Wow, you've had quite the week! I'm with you on gas issues - I don't want to take any chances that something might blow up while everyone else (always a man) is saying don't worry!

Have you seen that whooping cough commercial, encouraging getting the shot? Every time that baby coughs I just cringe, it is so horrible.

Looking forward to hearing when you get THE CALL.

That corgi :) said...

oh my gosh with the gas and then the problems they had in the Bay area; scary indeed Donna!! it seems like the nursing home does serve good meals, I got hungry looking at all your dad was served. Paperwork is so confusing sometimes at any age, I think as we get older, it is especially so; I wish there was a way to make it less complex for older people.

love your idea of time with your daughter in different states by same activity! very clever! enjoy!

betty

gayle said...

That was some day!! Enjoy you time!

Chatty Crone said...

You sure had a day Donna - your mom too. I tell you -paper work is a nightmare. Sorry. sandie