Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom

Today we are grateful for the plumber.   The bathroom is not usually the most talked about room in the house but when your only wheelchair accessible bathroom toilet is having an issue, you realize quickly just what an important room it is.

For the past few days, Jamey has had to bring his wheelchair to the door of our other bathroom and then use his crutches to actually get into and maneuver in the bathroom.  That is both difficult and dangerous for him as it increases his risk of a fall.

Thankfully, the plumber was here this morning and Jamey’s wheelchair accessible bathroom is now fully functional once more.   (The cats did go into the bathroom to check it out after the plumber left but I didn’t get the shot, so this is just a plain vanilla picture of part of the bathroom showing the safety grab bars by the toilet.   The tub/shower also has extra grab bars and a wheelchair transfer bench.)

What makes this a wheelchair accessible bathroom is the wider door, room to maneuver the wheelchair, extra grab bars by the toilet and in the tub, and open area under the sink so a wheelchair can pull right up to it.
What makes this a wheelchair accessible bathroom is the wider door, room to maneuver the wheelchair, extra grab bars by the toilet and in the tub, and open area under the sink so a wheelchair can pull right up to it.

Once again, we owe a thank you to Kuni for making this happen in a timely manner.

If you would like to read our (almost) daily gratitude posts, please see the follow us options on the left side of the post.  If you are using a mobile device, please click the three lines at the top right to see the options for following us.   Thank you very much.

 

our old dryer, our new dryer, and Johnny

I need to start this post off by expressing gratitude to Johnny for retrieving the cap to the OxiClean that I dropped behind our old dryer and was unable to reach.  Earlier today I heard her playing with something that didn’t sound like one of her usual toys. It turned out to be the missing cap.  I never thought of using that as a toy for her but since she seemed to be enjoying it, once that OxiClean is empty, I’ll wash the cap off thoroughly and add it to her growing collection of kitty toys.

In gratitude to Johnny for retrieving the OxiClean cap when it fell behind the dryer, I'll wash it out and give it back to her as her newest toy.
In gratitude to Johnny for retrieving the OxiClean cap when it fell behind the dryer, I’ll wash it out and give it back to her as her newest toy.

Johnny is such a helpful kitty at times.  I had thought I would have to wait until Jamey moved our old dryer in order to install our new one tonight before I could reach the cap.

That leads to another gratitude.  We ordered the new dryer from ebay as none of the local places had an apartment sized dryer.   Apparently we need one with a 110 hookup and their dryers all needed 220.  The ebay seller sent it via FedEx. They delivered it to the office for our apartment complex instead of to our apartment. The dryer weighs 46 pounds (53 while still in the box).  At 30 inches high, it is also more than half my size of 54 inches (4’6″) tall. There is no way that I could have picked it up and brought it down to our apartment and Jamey certainly couldn’t do so in his wheelchair.    

Our new 110 volt dryer is compact but still too large for me to carry as I am only 4'6" tall.
Our new 110 volt dryer is compact but still too large for me to carry as I am only 4’6″ tall.

Thankfully, our apartment manager went over and above the call of duty and brought it over for us.   I am very grateful to her for doing so.  Thank you, Kuni.   You are the best.

A great deal of gratitude goes to Jamey for all that he did to set our new dryer up and Johnny who watched carefully as he worked.   Let it never be said that she does not take her catly Snoopervisor duties seriously.

Johnny is a smart cat. She is close enough to watch but far enough away that she won't be under his wheels if Jamey backs up suddenly.
Johnny is a smart cat. She is close enough to watch but far enough away that she won’t be under his wheels if Jamey backs up suddenly.

 

I am extremely grateful to everyone who helped with it as it is much easier for me to do our laundry at home then to have to walk across to the apartment laundromat to dry the clothes or ask Jamey to drive me to the town laundromat to do the special care clothing.

 

 

one second gratitude practice

I am always on the lookout for other daily gratitude blogs and blog posts.   Earlier today I found one that taught me a completely new gratitude practice: Recording one second of your day for 365 days.      You can read the actual post at https://medium.com/@timsaekoo/i-recorded-1-second-of-my-day-for-the-last-365-days-here-are-10-things-i-learned-146defe3e6bb

I enjoyed the post thoroughly and was intrigued by the idea of one second videos.  I watched the Ted video on the topic then sent a note to Tim Sae Koo to ask permission to reference his post on our gratitude blog as I think this great idea needs to be shared in as many ways as possible and his “10 things I learned” post was quite well written.

 

 

If I was going to do a one second gratitude video today, it would be on the half cup of hot coffee that I spilled as I was preparing to log into my desktop computer to write today’s post.  Why am I writing about that in our gratitude blog? Because my “Find the Silver Lining/ Gratitude Practice” kicked in immediately and I didn’t get upset at all.

 

What was good about spilling hot coffee?
  • As I wrote about in I love to laugh, I enjoy anything that makes me laugh. This did because right before turning the computer on, I had been watching some weight loss videos on my Chromebook while waiting to find out if I would receive permission from Tim Sae Koo to refer to his post.   (Thank you for the permission.)  The first thought that went through my mind when the coffee spilled and I rushed to clean up before it spread further was “well, this is one way to burn calories.” The irony of the situation made me chuckle and instantly put me in a positive frame of mine.

 

  • The second thought involved the fact that some of the things that got soaked with coffee were things I had planned to wash this week anyway so this was the (rather emphatic) nudge that I needed to do so immediately.

 

  • Then, of course, both cats were attracted by my flurry of activity and instantly went into their Snoopervisor cats mode. They were particularly attentive this time as the coffee spilled on three of their favorite toys and they followed me as I rushed to clean them up wondering why I was doing something with their toys other than playing with them.  I always get a kick out of watching them in Snoopervisor mode.

 

There are other positive thoughts that went through my head (such as “thank goodness I had just been using the Chromebook as if it had been in its usual place, it would have gotten soaked with coffee”), but I think this is enough to show why I included spilling my coffee in today’s gratitude blog.

 

Experience is the best teacher

I can read about lots of scientific studies on the benefits of gratitude but it is things like this happening in my own life that actually show me why my “Silver Lining/Gratitude Practice” is so important.

 

How about you?

I would love to know about a time when your gratitude practice kicked in and allowed you to focus on the positives of the situation instead of getting upset.

 

 

 

 

 

Nudges

Today I am grateful for needed nudges.

For example,  Jamey gave me a copy of the book The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz about 8 or 9 years ago.   I really kept meaning to read it, along with a number of other very good books that I keep meaning to read or reread.

 

The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz
The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz

 

The truth of the matter is that I have gotten very lazy since getting my Amazon Kindle Touch (and other platforms for reading e-books) and mostly now listen to audio books or read e-books (from Amazon/Audible or Overdrive), rarely touching my library of physical books.

Thankfully, Joshua, who also writes a daily gratitude blog (“One Year of Gratitude“) and will be writing our first guest post, recently wrote about how helpful he found The Four Agreements in staying on the course he has charted for himself.   Since Joshua’s chosen course is similar to my own, that was the nudge I needed to head out to the bookshelves to retrieve the book.    I started it earlier this evening.

Thank you for the needed nudge, Joshua.

Was there a book you have been meaning to read that that you kept putting off until someone gave you a needed nudge?  Is there something else that you are grateful to someone else for nudging you to do?   We would love to hear about it in the comments below.

Synchronicity

One of the lessons I have learned from my daily gratitude practice is that the more I am grateful for, the more instances of synchronicity I experience which give me more reasons to be grateful.

Gratitude often leads to synchronicities that lead to more reasons for gratitude.
The more one is grateful, the more synchronicities seem to occur, resulting in more opportunities for gratitude.

 

For example:

A few days ago, Jamey and I looked at the stackable nine cube organizers (hereafter referred to as a credenza) at Walmart for some of his books, DVDs and electronics.   Before he was in a wheelchair, Jamey could easily have picked one up.  Those days are gone.  

I am down to 4’6.”  Many years ago, I was a whole 4 foot 10 and a quarter inches.  (When you are as small as I am, every quarter inch counts!) Between my size and my osteogenesis imperfecta, there was no way that I could lift the credenza.

That left us knowing we would need to ask for help (and grateful that there are people willing to do so).    We talked about asking Denise who assists us with the cleaning I am unable to do.

Lo and Behold, when we were dropping garbage off at the dumpster yesterday, who should come walking by but Denise. This is the first time we have ever met her there – definitely a synchronicity for it to happen when we needed her.

As usual, Denise was happy to assist and it wasn’t long before we were back home with Jamey’s new credenza.   He promptly set it up. Johnny did not like the hammering but came out to see what was going on once it was finished, after all a “Snoopervisor” cat has to do her duty.

 

Johnny and Night “snoopervising” as I take a picture of the new credenza.

 

Thank you, Denise.  We both very much appreciate  you.

 

Thank you, Adam Seltzer for Tracking down a Groucho quote

I usually only do one gratitude post a day but I had already promised the Alpha Centauri one for today, when I found a post written by author Adam Seltzer that I am very grateful for.

I have long loved Vaudeville and the comedians who worked the Vaudeville circuits and later became television and movie stars.  One of my favorites is Groucho Marx.    

Last night, I was watching a YouTube video on some of his best quotes and came upon one that did not sound like him at all:

“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myselfI, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”

so I hit Google.   I was very, very happy to find a 2014 post Tracking down a Groucho quote by Adam Seltzer.   It was very well researched article and answered exactly what I was wondering about.

Thank you, Adam Seltzer, for doing such a fantastic job of research.    (And, thank  you Google for making it so easy to find answers to most questions.)

 

Thank you, Nathan Lowell

Ravenwood by Nathan Lowell
Ravenwood, my favorite book by Nathan Lowell, is the first book in his Tanyth Fairport Adventures fantasy trilogy. The heroine is a strong, independent woman who has traveled for twenty winters to learn all she can about herbs and medicinal plants. She is a woman of integrity and compassion and that guides her actions in all of her adventures from when she first stops to help a village in need of a healer and on into Zypheria’s Call and The Hermit of Lammas Woods.

I was struggling with adding a RSS feed to our gratitude blog last night so Jamey suggested that I ask Nathan Lowell as he uses it regularly for his podcasts. Even though he was working on his current book Suicide Run (the follow-up to Milk Run) in his Smugglers Tales series, Nathan took the time to work through with me the issues I was having and even researching the link that I needed to get things working.   I have added a RSS Feeder Info page to our blog to try to assist others who may be having similar issues.

If you are not familiar with Nathan’s work, he is the author of one of my favorite series – The Tanyth Fairport Adventures in addition to the space opera series The Golden Age of the Solar Clipper.     If you have read and enjoyed any of his books in the latter series, he does have an active Facebook group devoted to it.    Those who join get their own sponge number and become part of a group of intelligent and sometimes quirky Nathan Lowell fans who post regularly on various topics related to his Solar Clipper series.  

Thank you again, Nathan, for taking the time to help Jamey and me figure out what we were missing on our RSS feed.  Your help was greatly appreciated.

Note:  While many of our gratitude posts will be on what we appreciate about our cats who are an integral part of our daily lives, another common topic will be things that make life easier or more enjoyable for us.  Since Jamey and I are both avid readers, from time to time we will write about favorite authors and books as we are very grateful indeed to the authors who have given us so many hours of reading pleasure.

our mini laundry room

Our apartment sized laundry room
Our apartment sized laundry room

Our laundry room is one of the things in our apartment that I am personally most grateful for as when we first moved into our previous apartment, we had to carry our laundry to the apartment complex laundry room.   This was before Jamey was in a wheelchair and he carried the bulk of it.    Since that is no longer an option, I would have to carry it all myself and that would be very difficult for me given how much laundry I do each week and the condition of my back and hip.

We have the laundry area set up so that

(1) there is a large enough open area between the drying rack and the washer and dryer that Jamey can easily reach it.   Having this area wheelchair accessible came in very handy last week when I needed Jamey to look at the washing machine to figure out why it had suddenly stopped working.     (Thankfully, it was a very simple fix.)

(2) The cats can sit on their cat tree as they supervise the process while I do the laundry.

Both cats using Jamey's wheelchair as a bed
Our cats using Jamey’s wheelchair as one of their beds (picture taken at 4 AM).

While both of our cats take over our beds on a regular basis, I have also created cat beds for them in various places by adding towels for cushioning on the places they prefer to lay.    I wash their bedding at least once a week, more often when needed.   Between humans and cats, I usually do laundry 6 days a week which is why I am so grateful for our in apartment mini laundry.

I would also like to add an extra “Thank You” at this point to Peter for all of his attention to detail in setting up our laundry room, not only making sure we had the right hoses but even tying the dryer in place so that it does not vibrate as much.

Jamey’s wheelchair accessible computer area

Jamey's wheelchair accessible computer areaOne of the things that we are most pleased about in our new wheelchair accessible apartment is how much independence it has given back to Jamey.   The picture shows the very open space in front of his computer area.    It is so easy for him to access it any time he wants that he is now able to enjoy using his computer again. 

We are very grateful to everyone who worked with us from our apartment manager, Kuni, maintenance man, Jerry, cleaning assistant, Denise who worked together to lay the groundwork to turn our need for a wheelchair accessible apartment into a reality within two months time.   We could not have done the actual move process without a great deal of help from Karin, her sons Peter and Terry, and Peter’s son Matthew in addition to Jamey’s friends John, and Julie.

Thank you to all of you and a special thank you to Dad for your support.

 

Thank you, Joshua B.

We are grateful to InMotion Hosting for their customer support
We are grateful to Inmotion Hosting, our blog host, for their wonderful customer service

I called InMotion customer support earlier today to find out how to set up a simple blog with very few bells and whistles as I want our blog to be easily accessible to as many people as possible, no matter how they access it.

Joshua was extremely helpful.  He even came up with a special widget for me that let me set my fonts to arial as the accessibility guidelines that I read suggested using arial, helvitica, tahoma or verdana so that those who use special equipment to read websites can access them.

I still have a lot to learn about using WordPress so I may not have everything correct yet, but it is wonderful to know that the helpful people at InMotion are only a phone call away any time of the day or night.