A Town, Moving on and a Loss

I’ve neglected this space and I feel it. Actually, I’ve been dealing with new health issues, but when you have chronic illness, there’s always something new, at least it seems. It does feel much like when I was being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The stomach issues I’ve experienced doesn’t seem to have an easy identification. Currently, I’ve been taking medication to heal stomach ulcers and they’ve made a decent amount of improvement. Fingers crossed that I can go back to spicy Thai, rich guacamole and vegan ice cream. I’ve also been dealing with a negative head space after seeing a “friend” for who she really is. I think as you get older, your tolerance level for some things just gets depleted. I think more of myself than to be friends with someone who has mastered the art of abuse. I’ll leave it at that.

Recently I went back to my hometown, Cape Girardeau, and saw several family members, including a drive to my grandparents’ house, where we had my great nephews first birthday party, at a nearby park.

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It’s funny, for years I thought I’d never enjoy returning to my hometown. I couldn’t wait to leave, but now I’m seriously pondering my return. I suppose because I now have health issues, which have caused me to go on disability. Where I live now, I have no one. I mean I have my husband, but we have no other support here. All of my family is in the Cape area and, although it’s only two hours away, that is a big gap when you need some immediate support. Driving past my grandparents house reminds me of all of the wonderful times I had there. It seems so small and distant now. I suppose those memories will forever be in my heart, but seeing that house makes me both smile and tear up. If only we could rewind the clock a few years.

Finally, I have been in a sad place due to the death of my 15 1/2 year old baby, Tux. He was my kitty bear, literally, at nearly 20 lbs, he was my gentle giant, my big baby, and mommy’s boy. Back in the late 1999’s, I went in search for a black kitten. I wanted a black kitten to “grow up” with me and I knew that black cats were the hardest to adopt; I don’t have a clue why. But when I went in search for my black kitten, I found and fell in love with a ginger. He was absolutely perfect! He was sweet and licked me constantly! Woodrow will always be the sweetest cat I’ve ever known and I was lucky to be his mommy. About two months after Woody came into my life, I heard a cry at my door. It was early, 2am early. It was raining and I could just barely hear the faint cry of a cat. When I opened my door, there was Tux. He was just a little boy. Both Woody and I fell in love immediately. I guess I needed to have two cats in my life and I now understand why. Tux lived a very long and happy life, until we got Chase. He and Chase never got along and I spent the last 6 years keeping them apart; which became a full time job. Tux had a few health scares, but overall, he lived a long and fairly healthy life, albeit, a large life! He never missed a treat! I had to be careful to not say words that sounded like treat, because he would stare at me, just waiting for me to get up. He would often just stare at me, waiting to see if he could hypnotize me into getting him a treat. Tux was my gentle giant, and I miss him very much. I hope there is an afterlife and I certainly hope my two big boys, Woodrow and Tux, are together. I miss you boys!

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Man with cerebral palsy completes IRONMAN triathlon

Article is shared from Good News in the World: Click here for article.

Man with cerebral palsy completes IRONMAN triathlon

  • Tuesday, 09 September 2014 08:18

“Team Twin” Steen and Peder Mondrup complete IRONMAN in Copenhagen – Image Credit: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images for Ironman

Peder Mondrup became the first person with cerebral palsy to complete the IRONMAN Triathlon.  With the help of his twin brother Steen, they completed the triathlon in 15 hours and 32 minutes.  The brothers finished the race under the bright lights and the loudest crowd to any finisher.  The brother’s had a custom made bike which allowed Steen to go 112 miles with a wheelchair in tow; Steen also swam 2.4 miles while pulling Peder on a raft, and then ran 26.2 miles while pushing his brother’s wheelchair in front of him.  When it was all said and done, Peder said “for the first time I felt like the person I see myself as.”

Have a great day, and let the good news be yours,

Jeremy

Focusing on the Positive

Over the past two years, I admittedly, have been very concerned with a lot of negative situations occurring in my life. Whether it’s my health issues or the neighbor/landlord issues, and recently, a loss of a friend. The real truth is, I am not a negative person by nature. I tend to always see the good in people and situations. This new negative outlook, has affected me in a lot of ways. I don’t feel content in my own home and I’m sure it’s affected my ongoing health issues. We live in a world where the news shows at least 15 minutes of terrible news and rarely focuses on the positive aspects happening in the community. I admit that I get consumed with my anger towards certain people and have actually felt hatred for one, in particular. That’s just not me. I don’t normally harbor feelings of hate, no matter how much someone has hurt me. It upsets me that I allowed her to get to me like this, but I also know that I can change all of this. I may not change how she sees or talks about me, but I certainly can stop the hold she has over me. She’s not worth my time and energy, and definitely not worth my health.

Therefore, I’m going to make a very concerted effort to focus on the positive things in life. I recently watched how mindful meditation can help with easing the symptoms of chronic pain and I’m sure decrease my anxiety. I am committed to making this a part of my daily routine. It’s going to be my own experience, whether 30 days of mindful meditation will decrease my symptoms and will overall improve my quality of life. I want to be that serene, happy and content person, I know that I’ve always been. So let the journey begin.

I’m the Modern Day Gladys Kravitz

I am the modern day Glayds Kravitz, and I’m proud of it! In case you may not remember, she was the “nosy” neighbor, I prefer to say she was inquisitive, on Bewitched. She actually knew that Samantha was a witch and saw several clues and signs, yet no one believed her.

 

I’m still in the same apartment I’ve been in, for over five years now. We debated moving this Summer, but due to rent prices, cost of moving and the fact that we do, indeed, love our apartment, it was more feasible for us to stay. Granted, I know that means I am putting myself in a bad situation, in regards to my neighbor and management. I get it, no manager wants to hear any complaints. No one enjoys hearing about issues that need to be resolved, however, I also would not choose to be an apartment manager if I can’t handle “issues” or complaints. I naively hoped that with all that happened with the prior neighbor, specifically the fact that she was “squatting” here and stole from me and other neighbors, that things would improve. That it could have been a learning experience and for management to intervene and get the issues resolved in a timely fashion. I was wrong, dead wrong.

My current upstairs neighbor should never be living on a top floor apartment with wood floors. He enjoys his heeled shoes and loves to push furniture around all hours of the day and night. The worst of it is his love of using a floor buffer. At first, I thought he was vacuuming his wood floors, using the lowest setting. But, I could hear that he was going over the same spot, over and over again. My mom, who was visiting, thought it was a jet fighter flying above my apartment. I had written and later spoken to the owner, after giving up on management. The owner said all the right things, but nothing has been done since. My main point to him was to perhaps require that tenants put down rugs, to cut down noise. I can tell my neighbor doesn’t have rugs, because when he walks in his heeled shoes, there’s never a break. Again, I realize it may sound petty, but when a heavy man wears heeled shoes, it sounds very much like someone walking and hammering the floor, at the same time. The last “advice” we received from management, when we could not hear our own TV, because the neighbors crappy 70s music was blasting, was that we should just turn our TV up louder. No discussion with the neighbor about being more courteous, rather, let’s just ignore the issue and create an even bigger noise issue! Besides, when we turn our TV up, his music goes up. It’s a lose-lose battle.

I’ve recorded a couple of his noisier moments; one sounds like he’s sawing a tree upstairs, but it’s his floor buffer. He must have the shiniest floors in the building! My goal of talking to the owner was to get updates to the lease and request that people put down rugs and be more considerate. He agreed that they don’t do a good enough job with that, but I’m not going to hold my breath that actual changes will occur in the future.

 

This Catlady has turned 40!

Yes, it’s true, I turned 40 this Summer and I don’t feel any different. Do we really feel any different when we get a year older? I joke that I feel like an 80 year old, but seeing my 80 year old neighbors get around, I might be feeling much older! I don’t put a lot of stock on birthdays, I’ve never been one to want a birthday party or big get together’s. I’d much rather order my favorite Thai food and stay home and watch episodes of Snapped or Dateline. Yes, I’m really 80! I did make some major changes this summer, including weaning off a medication that I hated taking to begin with. It was meant to control my chronic pain, but it honestly wasn’t making a huge difference. It was a really rough two months, but I’m proud I’ve come off it. I still take medications, but coming off that one was a big accomplishment. We also decided to stay put in our apartment. If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’d know that we’ve had quite the drama where we are now, but financially, and the fact that my cats are happy here, weighed out the negatives, for now.

I’ve been occupying my time with a new “hobby” which is of trial watching. I’ve always had this fascination with trials and watching true crime shows, but now they allow cameras in many courtrooms and I can watch right from my TV. It’s like a soap opera, but real life drama. I’ve also listened to spreecasts about trials and follow many fellow trial fans on twitter. I’ve rekindled my love of baseball, specifically the St. Louis Cardinals, so I’ve been watching each of their games. I’m looking forward to football and basketball season; I just recently completed my fantasy football draft, go Maneaters! I’ve tried out new recipes and enjoy cooking, but I much rather cook during the Fall and Winter months, versus the Summer. I hate the Summer and heat!

My cats are all doing great. We still miss our beloved Woodrow, but our newest kitty, Minnie, has been a very welcome part of our family. Chase is still a bully, but he makes up for it with cute points by fetching a ball. My Tux is still my gentle giant. All of us have gotten older, but we’re still hanging in there. I’m still focusing on my health and may be getting together with a casual group of ladies, who also have fibromyalgia. It might be nice to meet with a group of ladies who share the same difficulties. I don’t get out of my apartment much, both because of chronic pain and the fact that I’m a homebody. It may be nice to force myself out every now and then.

This catlady is now 40, but I don’t feel that much different than 39.

My Apartment Search Ended Where It Began

As I previously wrote, this past Saturday, my mom and I went to check out four other apartment complexes to see if they would be a better fit for my husband and I. Specifically, issues related to wanting a washer and dryer located inside my apartment and an apartment that has a better sound proofing system. All of the apartments we looked at were one bedrooms, as having the washer and dryer in the unit, makes the price hike up pretty significantly. So a one bedroom is downsizing from the two bedroom, hardwood floor, apartment we currently live in, with the washer and dryer located in the basement. All the apartments I found were online based on a specific search within our price range. I scheduled for us to see four complexes and we rated three other apartments, online, that didn’t have any for us to look at this Saturday. I created a paper with a score sheet for us to each rate, so that we could provide each other with appropriate feedback.

The first apartment was not a good contender. First off, it was pretty dark because it had trees in front of the only windows in the unit and when you stood at your front door, to the right was the window to your bedroom. As a person who is very safety conscious, that was not going to work for me. The bathtub was somewhat dirty, it had a yellowed tint to the plastic covering the tub. We left that location and went to the second apartment. During the down time between each appointment, we drove by the other three we rated online, which were all a “no” when we saw them outside. They did not appear neat and clean and I just didn’t get a good feeling from them. The second apartment was my favorite of the four of the day. We got to ride around in a golf cart, that sounded like it was on it’s last leg, but it got us around the property. We loved the one bedroom unit, but the one they would have available in our time period was a third floor unit. I had lived on a third floor apartment previously, and I vowed I’d never do that again. Plus, avoiding stairs was a main concern, so that wasn’t going to work. There was a two story loft apartment, but it would not be private and it had stairs as well. The apartment was very cute, however, but it would cost us about $100 more a month than we currently pay.

The third apartment was probably the second favorite, however, the only one bedroom unit available, was located sandwiched in by four other units. So I’d only get light from the balcony, which had a very low overhang; I don’t like a dark apartment. My current apartment is more like a condo, it has light on both sides of the apartment, so I get a ton of natural light throughout the day. None of the apartments we looked at, provided windows on both sides of the unit. Most newer apartments don’t, however; my current one is an older fourplex. The last apartment we looked at was awful. The layout wouldn’t work for me and it honestly had the feel and look of a retirement community, plus it was farthest from my target area, and not located close to stores, like I am now. After the end of the search, we decided that we were best suited in my current apartment. Even though I have issues, like the poor sound proofing and having my washer and dryer located in the basement, it has positive aspects, including beautiful hardwood floors and newly renovated as we moved in. So it has the feel that we’re the first ones in this apartment since they updated it before we moved in. Also, we pay less for our two bedroom than we would for any of the one bedrooms that we looked at. Also, the new apartments are now making the tenant pay for water, sewer and trash, which is included where I live. That’s a new thing, because I’ve never had to pay that at any apartment I’ve lived in, in the past.

I do remember the first time I walked into my current apartment. I was in love, I knew it was my home. I love so many things about my apartment and always thought this would be my “forever” home. However, with a couple difficult neighbors and issues with management, I started to feel angry about my situation here. But, I realize that could happen anywhere. When we were leaving the first apartment, a tenant living there asked if I was looking to move there. I told her I was, which she quickly told me I’d be much better off looking elsewhere. She discussed how she’s complained about noise from her upstairs neighbor for the past two years, and they’ve done nothing. Which sounds awfully familiar here. I realize there’s going to be issues, no matter if you live in an apartment or a house. You can’t control the outside environment. But it was also very good for us to see what else was out there so I wouldn’t be wondering if I should move. Therefore, my apartment search made it clear, I’m already home.

My own “Home Hunters” Adventure

In the next week, my mom and I will be going on an adventure. Not quite the fun adventure one would think, but an apartment adventure. My husband is trusting of my decision, so he’s going to stay behind, per his choice. But, my mom and I are going to go search various apartments to see if there is one that might be a better fit for us now. If you’ve read my blog over the past year, you know that I’ve had many issues, namely noise issues with the poor, or zero, sound proofing our current apartment provides. The other issue my current apartment has is that the washer and dryer is in our basement. Although I’m grateful to have my own washer and dryer, I’d much prefer to have one located inside my apartment! Because of my health issues, sometimes it can become an issue bringing clothes up and down the stairs, especially when there’s more than one or two loads. Overall, it would just be a nice convenience to have my washer and dryer inside my apartment and avoid stairs. Also, the basement isn’t a finished basement, so it’s musty and leaks when it rains, so I’m always having to clean my washer and dryer because of the dirty basement. There are some great positives about my current apartment though. I love that we can get Uverse service where we live and I love that the apartment has beautiful hardwood floors; although, I’m not so thrilled my upstairs neighbor also has hardwood floors. Our lease is up in August, so we have some time to figure out what we’re going to do, which is nice that we have time to make an informed decision.

When I say informed, I really mean it. I’m a very organized person and I’ve already made a list of ten apartments that I want my mom and I to check out. My husband and I have decided that we’re ready to downsize for both financial reasons and to help me with having less to keep clean. So, I’ve gone online and researched apartments within my price range and made sure that they have a washer/dryer hookup inside the unit. Like I said, I have ten apartments that we plan to go look at, when my mom comes up to visit on the 24th of this month. I also have a lengthy list of amenities that we will score, 1 through 5, with 1 being very poor and 5 being excellent. Currently, my list includes the following:

Space for a washer/dryer inside the unit

Apartment has adequate sunlight

Apartment is safe and in a safe neighborhood

There is ample parking

Uverse is available

What are the pet fees

Are there move-in specials

Is there adequate bird watching for my kitties (trees/grassy areas outside the windows)

Are there positive/negative online reviews

Is the bathroom in good shape/bathtub appealing to bathe in

Will property provide a letter for my Circuit Breaker (which provides a taxable deduction on my rent)

How is the sound proofing

Is the kitchen updated

Is the apartment close to amenities, like shopping and my doctors

 

This is the list I have currently, I’d welcome any additions! I’m going to have this all typed out and easy to plug in the numbers. My mom and I will complete our scores separately, as well as score my current apartment, and after we’ve viewed all the apartments, come together to decide which is the best apartment for the money and amenities. I think it will be a fun adventure. My mom and I both enjoy shows like house hunters, so this will be like our own little “home hunters” version.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!