Sunday, March 30, 2008

Brackets are toast!

I only have one team (North Carolina) left in the Final Four. That's what I get for hoping for upsets. I believe I heard that this was the first time that all the top seeds advanced.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Like a lot of people, I enjoy putting together brackets for the NCAA basketball tournament. I don't follow college basketball as much as I did when I was younger...and certainly not as closely as college football. I do enjoy seeing how my picks come in. This year I'm participating in two Yahoo! groups -- one at work and one within my family. As of early Thursday evening, I'm 8 for 8 at work and 5 for 8 at home. I went out on a limb for my family bracket, but so far none of the upsets have come in!

I have North Carolina, Georgetown, Texas and UConn in the Final Four at work with North Carolina winning it all. At home, I have Duke instead of UConn with North Carolina still winning it all.

I'll see how good I am in a couple of weeks.

Update: UConn's already gone!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Update on my mom

After 52 years of living in her home in Northbrook, my mother sold her house and moved in with us on February 15. When you consider the brutal market conditions, the sale of the house went pretty smoothly. She put the house on the market in August and immediately received interest from a number of parties. After a bit of negotiation, she accepted an offer around Thanksgiving and began plans to move.

The packing, cleaning and sorting was the most difficult part of the move. Mom's a "pack rack" and when you combine the need to save everything with a 52-year history in the same house, it was a recipe for disaster. After spending many weekends packing boxes and moving them to my house, we finally rented a dumpster and filled it to the top with "stuff." Her really good stuff was moved several years ago and was divided between my sister's house and my house. Thanks to her neighbors and friends, the house was finally cleaned up and the last box was loaded into my van.

Mom then attempted to settle into her new life in Elgin. She gave up her car when she moved out so she relied on me taking her to the store (which also served as her social release!). February was a brutal weather month in Chicago and Mom did not venture out of the house until the third week she lived with us.

Unfortunately, her fourth week was not a good week. On Saturday, March 8th, while she was getting ready to do her weekend shopping, Mom fell in her bedroom. I was in the kitchen and heard her fall, but the sound was very slight. When I ran into the room, she was already on all fours trying to get up. We eventually got her off the floor and had her sit on her bed. She felt no real pain and there was no bruising, swelling or discoloration. She did feel some pain when she tried to walk with our aid, but nothing that caused any alarm. She spent a quiet Saturday, but Sunday morning revealed that she was still having problems walking. I called the paramedics to take her to the hospital where X-rays revealed that she had broken her hip!

On Monday she had surgery where three pins were inserted into her hip. The actual incision was only 2-3 inches in length and the surgery lasted just over an hour. By Tuesday, they had her taking small, measured steps in her hospital room.

Last Wednesday she was moved to a rest home (they refer to it as a "transitional center") for physical therapy. That's where she is right now. She hates it and is itching to get out! Although she wants to be out for Easter, she will probably need to stay there for another week. She's making good progress, but needs to regain her strength and balance in order to move back to the house. With Lisa and me working all day, she will be by herself for several hours and needs to be able to walk to and from the bathroom and to and from the kitchen.

Once Mom does move back, the weather will hopefully be warmer making her feel more "at home" in her new home.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Getting my life in order!

The past few weeks have been difficult with moving my mother out of her home of 52 years and getting her settled in with us. Then, she fell and broke her hip last week and has been hospitalized and is now in a rest home receiving physical therapy.

I'm not sure that I've really recovered from our own move last fall and then I had to move her. I really don't want to touch or lift a box for a long time! At least I've finally gotten around to buying and putting together a new computer desk! Since we moved in, I had to sit on the floor while using the computer. Now, I can actually sit in a comfortable chair and read posts, update my photos and generally surf the Internet again. The weather here in Chicago has been horrible and I'm hoping that the weather will turn warm so I can be outside and can start working on our new lawn.