Between A Diary And a Letter Home???

Seriously … that is what I think this essay will read like.   I love the idea of writing an essay for my BLOG … I mentally edit my actions and thoughts throughout a day … and my conclusion is that they are not that thought-provoking!!!   Another conclusion … I do enjoy writing … so I will just keep writing without too much “censorship!”

I have been very fortunate with medical activities.   My hip is still wonderful … and it has provoked me to  begin a daily exercise routine … walking!   Remember, I have to get to a mile walking in this coming year.   I have worked myself up to (???) 1200 feet per day.   If we had a calculator, we could compute that I would need to do about 4.4 of my 1200 days to equal my mile walking!!!   Not bad.  At times, I think the “arithmetic” might have been almost as bad as the mile walk could be!!!

Next Thursday, the 19th, is my appointment with my eye doctor to make sure all is OK.  Exactly two weeks ago today, I had the cataract removed from my right eye.   I need my five pair of “Amazon” readers since we set the result of the cataract removal to be that I would see well at a distance!  I am still not use to not seeing “close-up.”

I do want to write more about life in an assisted-living complex … I see so many things in day-to-day activities that remind me that I am so pleased that I was able to be with Pete during his time here.   Of course, I do have my mental faculties — and, almost, all of my physical faculties … and would not be here except for taking advantage of their providing assistance as I recover from my surgeries.   But … others here surely notice the residents who are alone.   We usually have two staff members for a floor of 32 residents … and this is a top place.   There is also at least one staff member per floor who administers medicine.  Each floor has a nurse assigned to it.  There are also others providing various supports.  I could provide a quick glimpse of a day for many residents:  get up, get dressed, go to breakfast. back from breakfast, wait for lunch, go to lunch, back from lunch, nap, go to dinner, get ready for bed, go to bed, …  .   Many of the residents need help with activities such as getting dressed, going to meals, etc … that is why they are here!!!  Of course, there are activities throughout the day … card playing, exercises, walks, scenic drives, out to restaurants … but the resident has to come here with an appreciation of these activities in their background … or mentally alert enough to learn a new activity … which usually means that you are mentally competent.   Pete was not able to learn or understand any activity … but he and I could react to each other in our apartment.  I could understand if he needed or wanted something.  It is difficult to have needs and wants that you cannot express.

At this time, it appears to me that the fortunate older adults are the ones who can afford to be in an assisted-living complex such as this one.   Should each of us plan to be in an assisted-living complex???  As I write about what I see when residents are alone … I digress and immediately think of all the other older adults who may not have the support of such a community as this one … what do they do???   So many people would be thrilled with life in an assisted living complex.   Clean … three meals a day … plenty food.

I’ll let this essay rest for the evening and see if it makes any sense tomorrow.   Rockies … Colorado baseball … are leading 2 to 1 so I will go watch the end of the game.

Returning … 10:00 AM Thursday, August 12th … I have put my clean clothes in my drawers and closet.   Around here the staff … not the same ones who take care of residents … does laundry once a week for each resident … folded and returned next day … I have spent free time these last couple days just doing nothing … so clothes needed attention this morning.   The lady who does housekeeping was also here this morning … so nice.   She comes once a week … obviously Thursdays.

I have nothing planned for today.   It is strange not to have anything to do … it is OK … I just fixed myself another cup of coffee … really good.   K-cup with good cream.   Craig got us the Kuerig before Pete and I even moved in … and it has been just perfect.   Have to get dressed myself … during the time I was letting my hip heal, I had the staff shower and dress me.  So perfect …the ease of my getting the care I needed is why I have had these medical procedures now … I can come “home” and have the care I need.

Oh … the Rockies won … 2 to 1!!!   The Rockies are not good this season so 2 to 1 is a real victory!!  Our football Broncoes may not be any better … they lost one “real” game and have a second “real” game this Sunday.   You know … people ask you “What is your favorite place?”   For me it is Sunday afternoon watching football with Pete … and he fixes popcorn… at least I do have the football.   Don’t interpret that as a “whine” — I am OK.

Have to write notes to the grandchildren … have a little something to send each.   Lori is walking in northern France … Craig is getting ready to teach his two classes this afternoon!!!   Yes … I am OK!!! 

Love y’all

Do You Just Want Me To Write About Life Here???

I wrote this title at least a month ago … and I still do not really have a captivating topic.   I had my left-hip replacement surgery June 12th — a good 8 weeks ago.   Met with my hip-doctor yesterday for the 8th week check-up.   I am doing so well — absolutely no pain.   I am mainly walking with my walker … I am just not that well balanced … I did do my walk this afternoon with my cane … certainly not steady!!!   Both Lori and Craig are setting goals for me!!!   Craig’s are re-learning to climb at least one-two steps … and practicing walking every day.    He is an excellent motivator!!!

Lori’s goals came from a conversation we had yesterday …  she and Mike are doing the “Burning Man Festival” in Reno these next two weeks … she indicated she and a friend were then going to Paris to do a walk along  the El Camino … about two weeks ” walk” beginning on the French side.   So the conversation then humorously goes to my joining her on such next year!!!   Well then … to reduce the challenge … maybe I could set a goal of walking three to ten miles next year !!!   Well then … maybe one … one mile did not sound so bad to me … so maybe “ I can walk one mile next year.” … I hear myself saying that — and I set that as a goal!!! 

I love those … our … children!!!

You might remember that “Little Mary” is Pete’s great-niece.   She is the grand.daughter of Pete’s brother, Art.   -Maybe a generation younger than our children.   Mary and her family … husband, Bryan, and children, Gregory, Anna, and Catherine (Cat!!!)… have come to Colorado for a couple years now ,,, to enjoy Colorado … and to visit Pete and me …  and to visit just me now.    Talk about gifts … Mary and the family visiting me!!!    I am so pleased and so proud … that they would visit me … I am serious … we were tied together because of Pete … now it is friendship and love that holds us together… I am so blessed.  I know I could be sounding a little sloppy … but I had to indicate just how fortunate I feel.

Mary and the children keep me acclimated to current “trends” — children trends.   I found out that Anna loves her Colorado sweatshirt (Christmas???) … she wears it to bed, dress, everything she does!!!   So, obviously sweatshirts for each of the children.   Now … it also happens to be Anna’s birthday around the time here.   So … “Mary. what does she want?”  “Oh. of course, LOL Surprise gifts.!!! ”  As Mary explained, “These are little dolls that turn blue when they put them in cold water.!!!”   Of course..   Well, I have to say Craig and I hit a home run.   (Rockies” vocabulary.)   Anna loved the suitcase with many items for the dolls — and for Anna.    All three children played with the various items in that gift for most of the evening.

All of us … did dinner at one of our favorite Tex.Mex restaurants around here.   The next morning Mary and Bryan … and children … brought breakfast here to the apartment … breakfast from McDonalds … it has been at least 3 years since I had McDonalds!!!   Pete loved McDonalds’ breakfasts … and most always “snuck” out, wherever we were, to get McDonalds breakfasts before anyone else was up!!!   Good memories … good conversation with Bryan and Mary … and hugs from everyone as they headed back to Omaha.   What a lovely time.   (Anna wearing her sweatshirt.!!!)

My hip is great!!!   I have had the cataract removed from my left eye!   It has been a week today … I can see the television — and people — without glasses or contacts.   Yesterday I wrote the first part of this current essay … when the doctor told me my vision would go from about 3 feet to faraway — he was correct!!!   I cannot see close-up!!!   I knew that — but it did not register until I was on the computer!!!   So — I have just ordered several “readers” from Amazon … and several “chains” to keep the readers around my neck!!!   We could comment on how old I will be appearing!!!   Next week … Wednesday … my right eye gets the same treatment!!!   I have been so fortunate in choices of doctors.  My hip doctor also does knees … we shall see if I have my knees done.

Today is Craig’s first day as a post-secondary teacher — instructor at Red Rocks Community College.   He just wanted to see if he would like it.   He basically retired from Actuarial work this past January.   Obviously he knows the mathematics … algebra and statistics … but he has had to get acquainted with the Colorado community college support — technology — system.    I am really impressed with the system …  including practically everything online that you could think of that might possibly help a student  … homework and hw grading, video of almost every lesson,  oh … textbook,  all grades within 5 days of an exam,  duplicate problems … except for numbers … so students can practice, and , I am sure, more.  I am really impressed.   Those of you who know me, you have to realize how great it is just to talk with Craig about his mathematical experiences.  If I went back to teaching, I would have to teach graduate/abstract courses … that would not be on an online system!!!

This should be interesting.

Love y’all.












What do I do?

What do I do tonight???   The baseball Colorado Rockies’ game with/at Washington (DC) has been postponed because of weather … the Rockies’ games are my first choice for evening television.   So … I optioned to return to my BLOG to share this most uninteresting time of my day!!!  I can see on the patio below my window a beautiful friend … Katherine with a “K” — name spelled same as mine … sitting with her husband … second … just enjoying the evening.   “Katherine with a “K” is 99 years old.  She is just lovely … her husband is 70-something … I think.

What to I do these next few years?   My hip has healed so well … my eye surgery is this August.  I am staying in the apartment Pete and I shared until that is all over.   Am I going to do a left knee replacement?   I don’t know  as long as I might do some surgery, I will stay here … so I can have their staff help me.   But … what if I get in reasonably good shape?   I know I have been through this argument/discussion before … I am closer to it now.  Tomorrow afternoon Craig and I are going to a relatively new Assisted Living place ... just to see it.   The only other place I really know is the one Pete and I stayed in  before this one … and that is certainly not a good comparison.   Four of our bridge players from here have moved to the one we are going to see.

Do I want another assisted living???   I know Craig and I both realize the merits of being “home” if I need medical help!!!  But … I really feel now … right now … that I am morphing into someone who needs assisted living.   The population here is probably 90 % in need of help … right now that is bothering me.   I would love a good dinner conversation … There is sometimes a good conversation about the “food”  but I really do not remember any other topic that gave me a few comments that followed each other!!!  So … do I choose an independent living arrangement … basically a condo where some minimal services are included.   I think I could handle an independent living arrangement associated with this complex … because I already know people there.    I do not want to shop for my food … nor fix my food!!!   I like so much the idea of getting to know even better the people who live in the independent part of this complex.   But … no medical services are provided in the independent part of this complex.   What do I do? 

I am in the same apartment Pete and I were in … what was really his room is really not used.   I like the two bedrooms and my “huge” living room.  I do not want to move.  Would I take a two bedroom apartment somewhere else???   Would I take a one bedroom apartment?   With a big living room???   Craig and I will look at an Assisted Living / Independent complex tomorrow … it is good to get ideas!

Love y’all.

July 14, 1961; July 20, 1969; June 12, 2019

July 14, 1961:  Pete and I were married in the Loyola Catholic Church on the Loyola Campus … right next to Tulane’s campus.   4:30 in the afternoon.   That makes today our 58th anniversary.

July 20, 1969:   The Landing on the Moon … Pete and I, and Lori and Craig, were in our cabin near Dannebrog, Nebraska … on a lake that was an irrigation lake for area  Nebraska farmers.   Pete and a local contractor built a really nice cabin … screened in front porch, kitchen, bedroom, bath and a ” large” living room on the first floor … and a loft area bedroom for Lori and Craig.  It was July 20, 1969 … the children were asleep. and Pete and I were laying tile in the living room … and watching the moon landing on our little black and white TV.   I seem to remember the landing was during the early part of the night … maybe 10 – 12 PM.   We clearly saw the landing and heard the words of Neil Armstrong (I think).   And,  I kicked over the can of glue we were using for the floor  … I do not remember Pete being as perturbed as I was with the mess …  I don’t remember if we finished the tiling that night … but soon did and continued to spend a summer or two in Nebraska … on an irrigation lake that was needed by the farmers every summer!!!

June 12, 2019:   Left hip replacement surgery … it is now 5 weeks and 6 days since my hip replacement surgery … and the hip is wonderful.  It really does not hurt when I walk or anything,   Nurses have even commented positively on the perfect scar.   That does not mean these almost 6 weeks have been without pain.  My plan was to come home immediately after surgery … but I went to a “re-hab” place because our P.A. said I was not ready to basically know what I needed … and she was right.   I do not ever remember such pain as when I put my weight on the “new” hip.    I have been told that I was probably not a good patient during those days right after my surgery and also in re-hab.  Some 5-7 days in re-hab , and I had to somehow walk … and I did … and it HURT!!!   Two weeks in rehab. and Craig and I were both ready for me to go home.   I went home on a Thursday afternoon … Friday and Saturday passed nicely with my getting use to my walker being my companion.   Sunday morning, I am watching television, and walk about three steps to get a different pair of glasses… without my walker — and promptly fall backwards … catching myself with my right hand!!!   I call for help … get back to my chair — and the staff calls for someone to x-ray my right hand.   It is not broken … but it hurts!!!   I am just now feeling a little less pain in my right hand!!!   Up till almost now, I could not figure out if my hand hurt or if it was my new hip … HORRIBLE!!!  As I said before, the hip is really alright … but the right hand still hurts.   My recovery is really just now looking toward what I would consider an improvement.   Craig comes daily to walk with me … my exercise.   This past Monday, Craig and i did lunch out … and did a marvelous coffee yesterday.   I have my walker with me always.   Did my first post-op with my Doctor this past Tuesday … and hip looks just great.  Strict orders … “walker for at least a month more” … I have already learned my lesson … and “do not touch my toes for another month!”

I think I have made it … will probably think twice about any knee replacements!!!

Love y’allam watching Hurricane Barry.

There are days … not many … but some:

One of those days … today …right now!!!

I am just down … I am thinking of Pete and our Louisiana home … and  am also realizing that I am thinking of the “Louisiana Home” and Pete before his fall/stroke.   I know that what I am thinking does not exist anymore.

Cheryl and Al visited yesterday (May 28th) … Cheryl took me totally out of yesterday’s down … contacting our dear friend, Diane, and talking for ever … and ending with the thought of the three of us meeting somewhere next year … we used to meet at math conferences … and used them to set the stage for so many good memories!!!!   Yes, we must do that again!!!   

It is two weeks until my left hip replacement.   Seriously … the left hip hurts so much … I will also have surgery on my eyes, … cataracts and glaucoma … I have put that off until September or October … this year.  Craig and I will do the “pre-op” for the hip replacement tomorrow afternoon.   I am so thankful he is here … or, should I say … I am HERE!! 

I had thought three of us — from the Assisted Living residents — would do lunch out today … but, I did not reserve a car … I know I am probably too late for a car anyway!!!  So we are going to meet in my apartment and just talk.   Toni does not feel well, and Kathleen’s husband passed away about a week-and-a-half ago.   And … I am sure I can use a glass of wine after lunch!!!  And, wine is much better with friends .

I am not sure the following little “incident” is really funny … or an insult.   I have rethought it many times … and I knew I had to share it whenever I was writing an “odds-and-ends” essay!!!  (That is how I think of these BLOG-essays with no specific topic !!!)  I have been a resident here about a year-and-a-half.  I assumed the staff who took care of the residents knew that I was here because of Pete.  I walk around both the third and second floors for exercise.   My apartment is on the second floor.   I had finished lunch … dining room on the third floor … and I just decided to walk around the third floor since I was already there.  I guess I walked one or two times around the third floor … when a darling little CNA (HELPER STAFF) came up to me and said, Mrs. Pedersen, this is the third floor.  Your room is on the second.”   Have I been here so long that I have “morphed” into someone who behaves as if I do not know where my room is??? 

I am probably getting closer to that description of a resident than I think … just finished lunch … Sunday of this same week … I am thinking that I might need to change where I am living   …  Craig has reminded me that I have many options open.   Right now, all I can think of is  Louisiana before Pete’s fall.   Maybe after I finish my surgeries — if all goes well … hip, eyes … I will do my left knee next spring … and then I will find a place more conducive to my needs … which I hope will be in the line of my doing teaching or such.

If you haven’t guessed, I am quite uncertain about everything except my surgeries.  Let me share my Mother’s Day card from Craig …   I  almost cried … it could have come from Pete!!!

Trying to share Craig’s Mother’s Day card to me is what has delayed this “essay” so long … I have the pictures of both sides of the card … but I cannot remember how to insert a “picture” in this essay …So … as word descriptions … On the front is a picture of two cats — with rolling button eyes :



It was Pete!!

Love y’all

Another Glass of Wine, Please!

You know?  Sometimes here … in this apartment … I feel that I have been removed of any responsibility.  I can have another glass of wine … I can do … or not do … dinner.   I just bought three pairs of capri pants … all white … $9.00 each … from JCPenney.   I have plenty jeans … but really no summer pants.   We did summers in Wisconsin … and I wore jeans!!!   I do have my second glass of wine here on my desk!!!

Haven’t told y’all how last Wednesday (the 15th) went.   You may have heard about the students shot at a school named “STEM” school … in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.   This school is very close to us … so I expected evidence of something at “my” school.  There were substitute teachers … and more security … but nothing else that I was aware of.   So, at 9:30 … the little ones came into the teaching room.  We immediately began to work on perimeter and adding fractions.   Time was supposed to be over at 10:00 … but the next four students did not come in … we checked their classroom … and it was empty.  I guessed that they had a substitute teacher, and our arithmetic was not on his/her schedule.   The four early  students “came back to our room” — and we continued working.   We had been doing one student at the board ,,, now, they wanted to work in pairs.  You know that was OK with me.  At 10:45 that morning… some bell rang … and they finished.  During all the time … from 9:30 until 10:45 ..those 4 students were adding fractions at the board … two girls at the board … two boys at the board …one girl, with the other monitoring .. one boy. with the other monitoring.  We finally ended up with all four students at the board … adding fractions.  It was wonderful.  I am thinking they will surely remember their work on perimeter and adding fractions.  We have area … and, obviously … multiplication of fractions … beginning tomorrow.   I do think I will spend time on perimeter and adding fractions with those who missed the class last Wednesday.

You do know … I related the story of my  students adding fractions … for 1 hour and 15 minutes … at the board every time some one was nice enough to listen!!!

Honestly, the rest of this week has been filled … but seems so quiet now.   Wednesday morning “class” was, again , just my one group.   I tried an introduction to area … mentioning multiplication of fractions.   They were “Oh, yes” … but “we” could not multiply fractions!  Lovely Amy, the person who has put together these 5th-grade penpals group activities … and my “teaching” … had arranged a picnic with the 5th graders and the Assisted Living people … “us” … and my little darlings were more interested in the picnic than in me and fractions!!!   The picnic was really good … loved seeing my “class” play!!!

Thursday afternoon got my hair frosted.   Have found a wonderful person here … but I do think it just looks as if I am covering up gray hair.   I keep telling myself to let it grow out!!!   Friday morning was Bridge … and Saturday afternoon. there was a party for a couple here who were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.  The wife, Katheryn, was suffering from past strokes, and John, her husband,  was taking care of her.  I always felt a “kinship” with them.

Lori and Mike are due in tomorrow afternoon.   Mike will cook dinner for us … including Craig … in their “bnb” tomorrow night.   It will be lovely wine and conversation … I am looking forward to it!!!


Love y’all.

Good Morning!!!

Good Morning!!

This past Wednesday … my first tutoring times … just seemed to become such a wonderful day … I was so excited after the teaching that everything was at such a “high level.”   I do not want to imply that other days are not wonderful … I am so very fortunate to be here.  But, this day jumped so far ahead!!!  I received a phone call around noon  … this same Wednesday … and it is Lori, and she and Mike will be visiting around May 20th.   This is Lori’s first visit since her father passed away … and I know it is going to be very difficult.  …  Received another phone call this same Wednesday … afternoon …  and very, very good friends from Illinois will be visiting this coming Monday or Tuesday .

So … how did the teaching go?   First … I really worried about getting to the school … I had to worry about something!!!   The van … complimentary transportation by the facility … was not available.  Amy was not responding to my texts … so  I called my Jim … I was even texting Jim at 12:37 AM to ask about a ride … I asked him if he could pick me up around 8:45 AM and take me to the school … and return me back to this complex around 10:45 or so.  Of course, at 8:45 AM, Amy and Jim are both waiting to take me to the school!!!     Amy takes me to the school … since I cannot remember where my “room” is!!!   And Jim will bring me home!!!

Amy gets me to my room … it is Room #133.   Of course … there is someone in “my” room … I know next time to wait in the entrance lobby!!!   Just a few minutes go by, and the other teacher goes with his students to another room … and my first group of four students come in … I introduce myself … “Katie Pedersen”  … and I get the first name of each of the students.  They have their copies of the problems … first problem ... “the perimeter of a rectangle.”     I had decided to start with adding just two fractions … and then a reminder about what “perimeter ” is!!!   I was so very lucky when one of the students agreed to go to the board.   In general the other students got 21/27 as the sum of the two fractions … beautiful!!! … and the same as the board.   I noticed that the “key”had reduced such numbers … and the students did not appear to know about reducing fractions.   We talked it through in a partial conversation.   (I have made a note that I want to do this many times so that they know reducing fractions by the end of our work.)

We were now ready to work the first problem on their paper:  find the perimeter … I asked them what perimeter was and got many answers such as “inside”, “outside”, distance, … They knew some words so we went with “distance around.”   I used my “imaginary red ribbon” to outline a rectangle on the board … listing the length of each side as we covered it by the “red ribbon” … their job was then to compute:  6/9 + 3/27 + 6/9 + 3/27 .   Student “B” did this on the board.   Other students worked at their seats.  We had moderate success!!!    It was, then, time to go … and I thanked the students for their time and for letting me spend the time with them — and they all thanked me.   They were darling…

The next group of four students came in … and we did basically what the first group did.  A beautiful student whom I knew from a previous activity volunteered to go to the board … and he really did a nice answer.   We did not get quite as far as the first group, but we have the same skills … for each class … to work on next time … reducing fractions and using the concept of perimeter.

I have done my best to describe how I saw my teaching go … it is difficult to describe.    I always get down to too fine of details.  You probably would believe how much I have erased!   I love the time with the students.    That is really my reward for doing this tutoring!!!  They know immediately that I like them … and that I enjoy the mathematics we are doing (well, sort of!).

That’s it … I will plan for next Wednesday!!  The van can take me.   And, I am so pleased with everything.

Love y’all.