Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Leaving MsTioga behind

Readers have written about feeling sad for me because I had to leave MsTioga behind. It's true! I did have to leave MsTioga in a Bakersfield, California towing yard. Not only was MsTioga left in that towing yard, but pretty near everything that I possessed was left in that towing yard as well.

When the ambulance took me away from that field alongside Interstate #5, all that I had were the clothes on my back, my wallet and iPhone. Thank God that I had my wallet and iPhone!

Maybe it seems strange, but I did not feel sad about losing all of my stuff. However, I had a lot more than "stuff" to concern myself. I had a bad heart. And with my upcoming open heart surgery, I had no way to attend to MsTioga and all the things of mine inside her.

Several days after my open heart surgery, I was released from the hospital. I then made the decision to do my initial recovery in a Bakersfield hotel room. In that hotel room I had only one responsibility. I had to rest and take care of myself.

You may recall that after a few days staying in that hotel recovering, I used a taxi to take me back to see MsTioga. But I had no ability to rescue all of the stuff inside MsTioga. In my post operation condition, how could I do that rescue?

As the days passed, I was amazed to find out that leaving all my stuff behind was not so tough on me. After all, everything that I left behind was only stuff. MsTioga was dead. No use grieving over her.

And then it came to me that I had a fantastic opportunity ahead in my life. A chance to remake myself in a whole new life. Unencumbered by any stuff from my old life. Wow! Pretty neat, huh?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Five hours assembly required

I've been waiting about a week for my new desk and office chair to arrive. Wow! Was I surprised when the two delivery men showed up at Guava Gardens with two flat boxes with my desk and chair inside! Unassembled!!

"Do you assemble these things?", I asked hopefully. "Not us. We're just delivery people. We don't even work for the company that you bought this stuff from."

After talking with the Office Max customer service people from where I purchased this desk and chair, it was confirmed that "they" expected "me" to do the required assembly. "But I don't do assembly!", I protested weakly.

Anyway, my new desk and office chair were not accepted, and went back from whence they came.

This afternoon I went over to "Lamps Plus", a furniture store near Guava Gardens. I bought a white colored desk with a glass top uniquely named, "Typhoon Desk". Also a black colored desk lamp with LED lights. Black lamp, white desk. I am going to have an extremely eclectic furniture collection.

Wait until you see my black and white adjustable kitchen chair. The seat and back of this chair sort of look like a fancy soccer ball.  I also picked up a bedside two-drawer cabinet, cherry color.

I lost my camera when MsTioga died on Interstate 5 on March 15th. So, I took this pic of my new soccer ball chair with my iPhone! 

I'm quite delighted with myself for figuring out how to get a pic on my iPhone to end up in my blog!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

First nite-Guava Gardens

When I left John and Mimi's home yesterday morning, I had a hunch that I had just spent my last nite at their home. Yet, I returned to watch some TV shows with John and Mimi Saturday evening. After a movie that we watched together ended, I said, "Good nite", to the two of them. And then drove back to my Guava Gardens apartment for my first nite there.

I don't know why, but I did not tell them that I was going back to my apartment home.

It was not just my own bed which called out to me. It was the pleasure of a hot bath. And I found out something really neat too! This bath tub is longer than most. Really wonderful!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bed, WiFi and kitchen stuff

So far my Guava Gardens apartment has a twin size bed with a really nice fitted sheet, a top sheet, two pillows and quilt!

Also, a bunch of kitchen stuff: forks, knives, spoons, table spoons, one cup, two glasses, a plate, Lodge cast iron skillet, etc, etc.

The most exciting thing that happened today was the arrival of the Cox Communications tech guy. I showed him to the first floor room where all of the cables for the apartment house come into a big box. All of the electric meters are in that room too.

He quickly found my room #309 cable not hooked up to anything! After he had the cable hooked up, we both walked back to my apartment together to see how the cable box and WiFi Modem were working.

I am on the internet now using the Cox WiFi Modem. My internet speed is pretty fast. I get about 350GB of internet data per month for about $50. Cable internet is a real bargain compared to WiFi internet!! AT&T WiFi costs about $80 for only 10GB.

Early next week, my desk will arrive with a swiveling office chair. I am really looking forward to having that desk because that will super organize my apartment!

Shopping for TV system
I've got a quotation from Best Buy for my new TV system. Best Buy claims a "best price" guarantee. However, it seems to me that I have to be diligent in my shopping for the various components in order to actually get that "best price".

My TV system will use the "Apple TV" digital media player. Apple TV will give me NetFlix kind of stuff, and allow my MacBook to download movies from the internet and play them on the TV. I still have not decided on how big my new TV will be. But I am leaning toward "really big"!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Furnishing new apartment

Yesterday I did a lot of buying for my new Guava Gardens apartment!

Cox Communications will be my cable company and will deliver the internet, TV and possibly phone service. Stuff from Cox should arrive at the apartment today, and when it does I'll be able to get on the internet!

A twin size bed is coming from Living Spaces Furniture. There is a twin size bed frame, bunky board and Eden twin mattress. I also bought the bedding for this bed, which should be received late this afternoon. All that remains to buy for the bed is nice quilt.

Office Max is shipping a nice desk and leather swivel chair. I have not been notified when this desk and chair will arrive at the apartment. Soon, I hope!

LazyBoy is shipping a luxuriant upholstered reclining chair with electric powered controls! I am really indulging myself with this chair. It will be sooooo comfortable. However, the LazyBoy won't arrive until the end of May, because it has yet to be manufactured.

I have not bought the TV stuff yet, and plan to get that from Best Buy perhaps this afternoon.

So, today I will be spending a lot of time hanging around my empty apartment waiting for delivery people to arrive.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Guava Gardens

Yesterday afternoon, Rosie, the Property Manager of Guava Gardens Apartments, phoned and told me that she had good news for me. My application for an apartment at Guava Gardens got approved!

I'll be living on the top (3rd) floor. There are two elevators. So, taking groceries and other stuff up there will not be a problem. It is a studio apartment.

I am sooooo excited about this, you would not believe. I still have to get the keys to my apartment. When I get them, I'll take pics for you to see.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

So many RVs

I am traveling home along I-5 south, heading back from Jacky's Passover supper party [which was wonderful-BTW]. There are soooooo many RVs out and about. I look at these RVs, as I pass them by in my spritely Honda Fit. I look in the side windows at the drivers. Do I know any of them? Do they know it's me?

My time as an RVer is no doubt over. I am pretty sure about that. I do not have any "bucket list" of things to do as an RVer. I've done them all. Followed the path of Lewis and Clark on their "Journey of Discovery". Followed the Oregon Trail, from almost the beginning to the end. Travelled all over the Western United States and all over Mexico. Not once, but dozens of times!

Soon begins my time as a guy who lives in a senior apartment. A guy who has a big-screen TV. Cable internet. Roku [whatever that is]. I might get a dog. For sure a parakeet bird. Maybe an aquarium with tropical fish!

Yes, I do look at the RVs just a bit longingly. Those were fantastic times for me. And I am sooooo glad that I did them!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Passover party

My cousin Jacky is celebrating Passover and I have been invited. There will be 15 family members at this Passover meal.  Jacky lives in the senior community of Laguna Woods, about 80 miles from where I am living in San Diego. I figured that I would stay overnight in the area after the Passover party. Bad idea for me to drive all the way back home at night. So, I got a hotel room nearby Jacky's. And I'll drive back home Sunday morning.

You might remember that Jacky and I went to Israel together in 2008. I wrote about that wonderful trip here in my blog. Jacky and I are very close to the same age. She is 9-months older than me. We have been very good friends all of our lives. During our trip to Israel, Jacky and I shared a hotel room everywhere we went. That worked out very well, because we get along so good!

Honda Fit gas mileage
My new Honda Fit is going to need its first gasoline fill-up soon. That's when I will be able to find out what gas mileage my Honda is getting. The Honda Fit is supposed to get a combined gas mileage of 29 miles per gallon.

But I have a hunch that my Honda Fit will get 40 miles per gallon. There is a small gage in the dash which tells what mileage I am getting. When I press on the gas pedal, the mileage goes down. When I ease up on the gas pedal, the mileage goes up.

I've been paying close attention to that small gage, trying to get my mileage as high as possible. On this trip to Jacky's home, I'll be filling the gas tank and find out what the mileage actually is!

1PM - Hot bath at Holiday Inn
The Passover supper starts at 4pm. I wanted to arrive at Jacky's place early, so I checked into the Holiday Inn a little while ago.

My room has a bath tub! Wow! If there was one thing that I missed during my 11 MsTioga years, it was a hot bath. Love those! After David died and I was living at his house taking care of his closing affairs, I used his hot tub almost every night.

If I get the room that I applied for at the Guava Apartments, it will be so good for me! There is a hot tub there!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Found my apartment

I began seriously looking for a place for me to live only 3-4 days ago. At first, I did not really know what kind of a place that I was looking for. It was clear to me that I wanted a small place. MsTioga was only about 160 square feet. Very small. But I was very comfortable living inside MsTioga.

This morning I was phoning around and talking to people who were renting space. Somehow I got lucky, and got referred to a "senior" apartment house. Everybody living there is 62+ years, and must be active. No assisted living. I found a place named, "Guava Gardens".

It's a really nice apartment house. Very well maintained. Nice paint, inside and out. And, there was a studio apartment that is available, right now!

I filled out an application. The manager will return this coming Monday. I am the only person applying for this apartment right now. Everything is looking good. I am soooooo excited!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pismo Dunes Senior Park

I received an email from Reader Peggy that had a link to a story about Pismo Dunes Senior Park [link]. I got a kick out of reading and then researching Pismo Dunes. Because many of the homes at the park appear to be tiny. Some 300 to 400 square feet.

Around where I am living now, there are many mobile home parks with 2-3 bedroom models available. 800 to 1600 square feet. What would I do with such a huge home? MsTioga had only 160 square feet. And I was soooooo comfortable living inside MsTioga.

Anyway, I've been gathering information about mobile home parks. How they work? How much they cost?

I got a haircut today. Not an unusual event. However, this haircut was unusual because it was the first time that I had my hair cut in over four months! I needed a haircut when I had the accident with MsTioga on March 15th. And only recently did I feel well enough to go out and get my hair trimmed.

Feels good to have my hair not touching my ears!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ordinary things

Today I spoke on the phone to my close friend Pete Olsen who encouraged me to continue to write in my blog about what I was doing daily. I was considering not blogging about ordinary things. But I've changed my mind at Pete's encouragement.

Went to Kaiser and looked at Mobile Homes
At 7:15am I drove my new Honda Fit to the nearby Kaiser Medical Center to have my blood checked for Coumadin level. I am on a 6-month program of blood thinning in order to get rid of any blood clots that remain as a result of my medical procedures last month.

I don't have to go for blood tests every day. The Coumadin clinic lets me know when to go. Today my Coumadin level achieved the 2-3 threshold for the first time. This means that I likely will cease giving myself daily Lovenox injections soon.

After Kaiser, I drove around looking at several mobile home parks in the City of Santee area. I don't know if I actually want to live in one of those mobile home parks. But I am going to look at them just to get an idea of what it costs and what the environment is there. Sort of an education thing for myself.

I have not made any firm decisions what my life is going to be like yet. I am sort of letting that decision dangle. After all, I am  still in recovery mode from open heart surgery and the pace maker thing.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Park caretaker job

This morning I went with John to see the park where I might have taken up the job of being caretaker.  Unfortunately, this place really is not a park. More like undeveloped land with some ponds and connecting dirt roads. Close to a busy highway too. This is not a serene place.

At my age and physical condition, it seems to me that I should not be taking up living in a place like this one. Far away from other people. Being alone most of the time.

However, when opportunities come along, I've got to take a look. Got to go see. And I am glad that I went. I will keep looking.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Blood testing

Kaiser has me scheduled for blood testing six days a week. The object is to raise my Anticoagulation Blood Level to between 2 & 3. Right now my Anticoagulation level is 1.3, so I will continue taking 4mg Coumadin daily in order to continue thinning out my blood.

The reason for all this blood stuff, is to dissolve and eliminate two small blood clots at the base of my neck. These blood clots formed there during the operation to install my Pacemaker. It's lucky that these blood clots are small. Because if they were large, that might require surgical removal of the clots including the removal and reinstallation of my Pacemaker!!

So, six days a week I leave home and go to Kaiser for my blood lab work. Then the anticoagulation clinic receives my results from the lab and phones me with instructions for changes in my daily Coumadin intake.

Wow! Medication! I've never taken so much medication in my entire life!!

New Honda FIT
This morning John drove me to my bank to get a cashier's check for my new Honda FIT. Then we drove to the Honda dealer where I picked up my new car.

As you may imagine, this change from MsTioga to a Honda is huge in my life. I am no longer an RVer, as I have been for the last eleven years of my life. However, I am not sad about this tremendous change. To me, it's a new adventure!

And even today, a page in my book of destiny began to turn over. I do not want to say much about this change, because it is not for sure yet. However, I may become a caretaker for a large local park. If this comes to pass, I will be living inside the park.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Back in the hospital

Thru the use of ultrasound testing, Kaiser Hospital determined that the swelling of my left arm and hand was caused by two small blood clots in the area of my neck. These blood clots likely began during the placement of my pacemaker.

I am now in Kaiser Hospital receiving blood thinners in order to dissolve the two blood clots. My doctor advises that I will likely be released from the hospital later this afternoon.

When I go home, I'll bring with me Warfarin, medication which is a blood thinner in pill form. I'll also bring home liquid Heparin, a medication that prevents clotting. I will be injecting Heparin into my abdomen fat. I'll be using these two medications for several weeks, until the blood clots have been absorbed by my body.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Bought a car

Yesterday my friend John drove me to a local Honda dealer. I'd negotiated a special price deal online for a new Honda FIT. It's a really neat car. White in color. I'll pick it up this coming Thursday.

I guess that some would say that a Honda FIT is a poor replacement for my fabulous MsTioga. My famous RV. I would not disagree. However, there is no arguing with passing time.

Kaiser Permanente
My new membership in the Kaiser Health Plan became active on April 1st. Yesterday I selected the doctor who will be my primary care physician.

This morning my friend John will drive me to a doctor's appointment at Kaiser. My left hand and arm became swollen last Saturday. My cardiac surgeon in Bakersfield advised me to see a local doctor in order to insure that nothing serious is going on with that arm. Like a blood clot or something.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Long time to heal

I was told by my doctor, that my surgery would take a long time to heal. Maybe three months. And during this time, I would recover my strength, endurance and breath.

It is a struggle for me to stay still for most of every day. But I have no choice. This morning I walked up the hill, and then back down. A short walk. Maybe five minutes. But I was already tired. Already winded.

Reader writes for info
I try not to think about my loss of MsTioga. My only home for eleven years. But a reader wrote asking for information about how I converted one of MsTioga's beds to a computer work station. I wrote back giving him this [link]. At the end of this video, is a scene showing how the computer work station appeared during the latter half of my journey.

Of course the video shows much more than that. It shows how MsTioga looked back then. Before the accident.

I wondered many times who would last the longest? Who would go first? Me, or MsTioga. I always figured that I would not outlive MsTioga.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Back in the RV life

This morning I drove from my hotel in downtown Los Angeles to my friends' home in east San Diego County. As expected, this was a tiring trip for me. Open heart surgery takes away most of the endurance for persons who have gone thru this procedure.

We returned the Avis rental car and then I took up residence in their lovely Class-A RV which is parked alongside the driveway. This is a very quiet neighborhood. There are good views from the side windows. I am getting such wonderful support from my friends.

I love it here sooooooo much! What a lucky guy I am!

Friday, April 04, 2014

Leaving Bakersfield

I left Bakersfield today after spending nine days in a hotel doing recovery from my heart surgery. I am driving an Avis car rental filled with stuff retrieved from the wreck that was MsTioga.

During the only two hour drive that I did today, I felt fatigue seep into my body. I had to stop a few times to rest. Not to sleep. I was not sleepy. I just got tired.

My destination is a friend's home in the San Diego area. However, I've split up the trip in to two parts. Today's first part finds me staying over nite in a hotel in the Los Angeles area. It is a Japanese hotel in downtown L.A. They have a very nice restaurant here. I've just ordered room service to deliver assorted tempura which just arrived!!

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Road to recovery

It seems that the road to recovery for open heart surgery for me is a long one. But I have been blessed for that journey. It appears as though I have an unusual pain tolerance for open heart surgery. I've had to take no pain medication at all! I'm blown away by this lack of pain.

My biggest problem is that I don't fall asleep at night. This may not be a problem for me however, because I get plenty of naps during the day.

I went to visit my cardiac surgeon this morning, and asked him how he cut open my chest? "It's easy", he told me. "Power tools!"