Category Archives: Getting Old

Meanwhile back at the ranch.

IMG_1466To say there’s been a lot going on in my life since my last post is like saying the Titanic sustained some minor damage from an iceberg hit. I got a new job. I broke my hip, my daughter got married, I learned to surf. Ok that last one is a lie.

In August I was contacted by on of my web clients, The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder,  asking for me to recommend a print designer. The Spokesman-Recorder is a weekly newspaper for the African-American community, it’s the oldest Black owned business in Minnesota. Their designer had left for another job and they were looking for someone who could take over and help them with laying out the paper and handle collateral design projects.

I’ve been tossing around the possibility of getting a part-time job, a few hours a week to supplement my retirement income. But given the fact that I can’t really bend my knees or be on my feet for long periods of time, I’m kind of limited to what I can do. I already failed as a barista. But doing some design work in-house a few days a week would be perfect. So I recommended myself. I’ve been working there for a couple of months now and I really enjoy it, great people to work with, perfect hours and a regular paycheck. Between Social Security, my freelance income and this, I’m almost as much as I did when I retired.

Actually I didn’t break my hip. I broke my greater trochanter. Which is the little nub on the outside of the top of the femur where the glutes connect to your leg to articulate your hip. If you’re walking through a house that has a sunken dining room, looking back over your shoulder talking, it’s the part that hits the floor first when you miss the step. Yup, that’s what I did. In Chicago at the rental house we were staying at, two days before the wedding. I had the pleasure of escorting my daughter down the aisle on crutches.

The fracture wasn’t displaced and didn’t require surgery. They didn’t see the crack on the X-rays in Chicago, they diagnosed it as a bone bruise. It wasn’t until the pain wasn’t getting any better and I went to a local bone doc who discovered the break. I didn’t have much pain in resting position, but there were certain movements that gave me a breathtaking shot of pain. I was told to use crutches until the pain went away and start physical therapy. It’s been about five weeks now and the pain has pretty much gone away, it seems to be getting better by the day. I’m down to one crutch now, and sometimes I find myself walking around without it. I’m hoping to be crutchless next week for the Gopher Women’s Basketball opener.

Yes, Lucia and David got married. I’m going to save this story for another post.

Overheard at the Nursing Home

Yesterday I visited my friend and neighbor who is recuperating from surgery at a nearby rehab center. It’s the same place that I spent a week in after I broke my hip. If you have to be in a place like that, it’s a pretty good place to be. The people were really great and my therapist Kari set me on the road to an amazing recovery. I not only had a broken hip, but at the time I was minus a knee. They had to remove my first artificial one for about six weeks because of an infection. I fell while on crutches and broke my hip. At that point I wasn’t sure if I would ever walk straight again.

Visiting my neighbor was sobering, he’s in pretty bad shape. That’s another blog. I was feeling pretty down as I left him, but between his room and the front door of the center, I had an encounter that left me laughing to myself the rest of the day.

In order to get from the rehab area of the building to the exit, you have to pass through the common area of the nursing home section. As I entered two women in wheelchairs were meeting in the hallway, one was being pushed by an attendant ant the other was in a motorized chair. They looked to be well into their eighties at least. As they passed I couldn’t help overhearing their conversation. For the sake of the story I’ll call them Mabel and Alice.

Mabel, in a teasing tone, “What’s this I hear about you….”  I didn’t catch the end of the sentence.

Alice replies, loudly, “Oh that’s bullshit!”

I proceed to the elevator and press the down button, not realizing that it had a security code so the inmates couldn’t escape. Fortunately one of the nurses came along and let me out, I was beginning to think they were going to keep me. But the delay was a good thing because it resulted in my standing there long enough to hear another exchange with Alice. She had been motoring along right behind me and stopped at the nurse’s desk, where an elderly gent we’ll call George was standing, conversing with the pretty young aid who was holding down the fort. Speaking to George she cracked, “Are you paying her by the hour to sit there and listen to you talk?


“Are you paying this poor girl by the hour to listen to your dumb stories?”

“Who put a nickel in you?”

“You did.”

George must have been at a loss for a good comeback, because as I entered the elevator, he was grumbling away in German.

Problem Solving Test

By way of introduction, there’s a couple of things I want to mention about this next story.

As far as being relevant to this blog, It serves as a baseline for my cognitive skills. Over time I expect that they’ll deteriorate, and this way my kind readers can let me know when it’s time for institutionalization. I fear when you read this you might find that ship has already sailed.

Here’s the situation as it I saw it this morning at 8:00 am.

  1. I was desperate for caffeine.
  2. I had the ability to make coffee.
  3. I had no cream and no milk.
  4. I don’t drink coffee without cream or milk.
  5. The temperature was -8.

So I had to make some decisions. There was no way that I’m going to drink coffee without cream. Coke, that’s out. On a morning like this I need the reassuring companionship of a hot beverage. So what should I do? I could go to the store and get cream and milk and come back and make coffee. I could go to Caribou and get  coffee and cream hot and ready to go.

Neither of these alternatives seemed very good to me, given the temperature, but as every addict knows, your Jones can get you to thinking in peculiar ways. Necessity however, is the mother of invention (not, as many people think, Frank Zappa) and she gave birth to a stroke or genius. I can make espresso! That’s right, I chose, out of the array of RHD retirement gifts, a combination drip coffee and espresso maker. I can slam down a shot of expresso without any dairy products in it. And that I did. In fact, since you can’t make just one shot on this machine, I slammed down two. The second one with sugar and caramel flavoring. Problem solved!

Not quite. I still felt the need for a soothing hot liquid to sip while I’m working. It hit me like a flash, Tea! Green tea to be precise, Jasmine green tea to be more precise. Next question is how to make tea? The one thing you need to know about that question is:

I am not a tea bagger,

I am a tea infuser.