Sometimes it isn’t so easy to find new ways to get things done. Things that have changed and that you have to now reckon with.

Yesterday I put on my brace and worked on the patio for a little while.

Ordering A TV:

Then I went to Best Buy and ordered a TV. I’ll put it in the living room, as I can no longer read what’s on the 32-inch TV I have.

I’ve pushed my recliner up to be closer to it about as much as I can without having it be in the middle of the darned floor.

When I moved something happened to the TV in the bedroom. It stopped working.

I don’t really care if I have one in the bedroom. The one in there is about 15 years old.

But having to get up to read what a show or movie is about made me decide to go buy a slightly bigger one.

I don’t care for huge TVs. There’s just something about them that makes me cringe. But this one will be one size up from what I’m accustomed to.

It is supposed to arrive on Tuesday. I’ve paid them to come out Wednesday, put a stand I’ve already purchased on it so it will fit in the same place, and get it ready with Wifi, etc.

Then I won’t have to try to figure out everything.

Total Tech Plan At Best Buy:

I hated to pay for them to do all that, but Kendra told me it was worth it. She has had people out to help her with her TV in her new home, and it still isn’t right. She still has no Wifi.

Best Buy’s Total Tech plan does have quite a few benefits.

Outside my apartment are blooming trees and plant coming up

Why do most TVs now have those silly little feet at either end that are hard to fit on surfaces? This is why I had to buy the tabletop TV stand or it wouldn’t fit where I have my TV in the living room.

Then I went to Kendra’s to see how things are coming along. They’re still working outside on the outer part of the house. So nothing inside has been done since last I was there, she told me.

Her ex-husband built her a shed (she paid for all the materials) as she has gone from a 3000 square foot (I’m estimating, as it had 3 levels) house to a 1600 square foot house.

She said she’s either sold or given away at least half of what she owned and still things are crammed into her one-car garage.

So much of what she owns is still inside boxes.

Kendra’s Neighborhood Parking Rules:

In her neighborhood, people cannot park on the street. If the police come by they will give you a $200 fine, she told me. So I didn’t stay long. Her single-car driveway always has workmen’s vehicles in it.

They are coming out soon to install a bigger driveway so her son can park his car in it too. No one wants a $300 ticket.

Anyway, I walked around the backyard, which I hadn’t really seen before, looking at this and that. But I must have walked around a bit too long. I was trying things out with the new brace.

She gave me back a few galvanized tubs that were on my old patio. I shudder to think how heavy those tubs were for her to dump the dirt out of. That’s why I didn’t take them myself.

She said she just doesn’t have room for it all.

When I got home, I came inside to get my big cart to take the tubs from my car to my patio.

Vintage mason jars on a shelf in my living room

After I left Kendra’s I had to go to Flemings Shoe Store to get a shoehorn and have them help me figure out a better way to put a shoe on over the brace.

I’ve already rubbed a place off the hard plastic of the brace because it’s so hard to get a shoe on over it.

Tuna Casserole:

I came home and made a massive tuna casserole I’d never made before.

You had to boil the noodles and saute onions and then put everything together. Which meant I ended up standing too long.

This is the recipe I used, but I must have doubled it or something. I called the next-door neighbor to come to get a couple of dishes of it. And I still had a lot left.

Kasi is coming over for lunch in a bit and she’ll be eating tuna casserole!


My ankle and hip hurt throughout the night. I was disappointed because I’d put so much faith in the brace, but I don’t know why. My ankle is still the same. I’m just wearing a brace over it.

The brace is not a miracle worker. It is just an aid.

This is a disability. I hate to even write that word. Because I’ve always thought of it as something that gets bad a few months out of every year, but eventually gets better with therapy.

Which means then I can go back to doing more of what I want to do inside and outside. A disability means finding new ways to get things done.

I watch my next-door neighbor, who is 77, go out every day for a long walk. And I’m so envious because I’d love to do that myself.

Disability Is A Hard Word:

Under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), you have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity.

I don’t know why it has been so hard for me to accept this. Maybe because accepting it meant it was a permanent/lifelong condition.

Ivy laying on the couch

Don’t get me wrong. I know that I’m very fortunate.

But the whole gardening thing has stuck in my craw. I miss my patio garden. Because when I was putting it together, things weren’t quite as bad physically and thus I got a lot done.

And I’ve had to say goodbye to my hard work of 8 years.

Here, I’m starting over. I don’t have access to a good water source. And my yard has proved problematic because of the different levels.

But I’ll figure it out.

Finding New Ways To Get Things Done On My Patio:

I’ve put out a few patio plants. But I keep telling myself: Don’t put out so much that you can’t get everything watered through the summer.

My plan is to put containers on and just outside of my patio this first year to see how things pan out. Like how much shade there will be when the tree above gets its leaves. And how hard things are to get water to, etc.

I know I’ll figure it out and come to enjoy my outside area. But it’s going to take time. I doubt very much that I will have things the way I want them this season. That’s silly to even contemplate. But patience has never been my virtue.

I’m finding new ways to get things done. And that’s all I can do.

An area of my living room with a plant on a stand

Neighbors & Loud TVs:

I hadn’t planned for the man who lives on the second floor to run his TV night and day so loudly. Everyone else who comes here even notices so it isn’t just me.

I left him a note on his mailbox last week, but it didn’t do any good. So I’ve been forced to turn my sound machines up. Or try to drown his TV out with mine.

Yesterday a bottle of soft foam earplugs arrived from Amazon. You can be sure I’ll be trying them.

Kendra mentioned that yes, it’s loud, but he’s probably hard of hearing. Well, so is Steve next door. But he at least uses a hearing aid.

I don’t know the man upstairs. I’ve only seen him a couple of times. I’m tempted to leave him another note. But if the first one didn’t work, so I doubt another one will.

I knew when I moved here that this would be a possibility; noise from upstairs. I just didn’t think it would be a day in and day out kind of thing. Who watches TV that much?

But life goes on.

Life is full of stumbling blocks. Nothing is perfect. Little goes according to plan.


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  1. Maybe it is that you did too much with the new brace, and need to get used to it before it gives you more mobility. As for the neighbor with the TV, leave him some tuna casserole with that note – maybe the key to appealing to him is through his stomach!

  2. Brenda I, and no doubt a lot of your other readers, have one or more disability, unfortunately it is just part of getting older. First we are in denial, how/why is this happening to me? Then after a while (longer for some than others) we have to accept that whether we like it or not it is what it is and we put on our big girl panties and deal with it. Thankfully we have so many more options than our grandparents did to help make our lives easier. And as my dear, no-nonsense handicapped granny would often say “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet”.

    Hopefully the earplugs will help you cope with your noisy neighbor, if not maybe you could check into noise canceling ear phones. Since you are in a senior apartment complex I would imagine hearing loss is a common disability and many who need or even have hearing aids choose not to wear them all the time.

  3. Brenda, I’m concerned about your eyesight. Have you had an eye exam lately so they can check for cataracts? I say this because I am just a little older than you and all of a sudden my “baby” cataracts blossomed and I now need cataract surgery on both eyes. My first is in May and the second is three weeks later. I can’t wait to see better. Wishing you well.

  4. I am so sorry about the noisy neighbor…why is it that we who are sensitive to noise get the loud ones?? We have already had one incident with the one above us too…just in 10 days but after 2 solid hours of kids JUMPING off something, hitting the floor so hard it swung the fan and light…I had had it. But talking to them was useless. So my son wrote it up, what happened and took to management. Within a couple days the carpet layers came and put down carpet up there (we could hear them doing that). I hope it helps…the good part is those kids are not there all the time. It did get quieter after I went up there…maybe the guy saw my beautiful daughter…divorced men are always on the prowl…heh…too late buddy, you showed your true colors already. Or maybe saw my buffed son who is 6 ft tall. I am glad they got quieter. I hope it will be managable…housing is so tight is only reason we agreed to move to a non-55+ place. Good part is the main one we share side wall with is old folks like us and we have never heard them yet. Hope your situation gets better soon!!

  5. I’m sorry about all the tv noise coming from upstairs. That would drive me bonkers, as I tend to like piece and quiet. I’ve never been a fan of having the tv or radio on all day for background noise. Tuna casserole sounds yummy! Lucky neighbor and Kasi! If Kendra’s neighborhood doesn’t allow street parking, what is she supposed to do if she has company, or a party?

  6. I moved into senior housing in December 2020 and loud TVs seem to go with the territory,I’ve noticed some elderly folks also speak quite loud,it’s deafness no doubt.
    I’m noticing the same problem with the TV,if I’m lying in bed( studio apartment) I can’t see the writing either.
    My maintenance guy came and hung mine on the wall,either you or them can cover them if and when you move again,I’ve decided I’m planted here,moving is such a hassle,so my next move will be with the undertaker!
    Sorry you’re disappointed with the brace but walking on uneven ground is one of the worst things
    to do,I know that’s when my hip starts letting me know not smart.

  7. Brenda, once it fits into your budget, you need to invest in some large sized self-watering pots. There are some from Proven Winners that are pricey but fabulous. That way in the worst of the summer months, you still won’t have to be dragging a hose or pot out there everyday to water. Also, PRP treatments would keep you from feeling disabled.

  8. My husband can’t hear and refuses to wear a hearing aid. He has the tv on LOUD…. I can’t sit in the same room as it gives me a massive headache. I completely understand what you’re talking about!

    1. 😬 People that are deaf or hearing impaired should watch TV with sound OFF.
      Rude to force ppl to listen to a blasting television 24-7.
      Use the closed captioning!!!!
      Marvelous way to hear everything!!!!
      I do. 🧏‍♀️
      Very used to it now. So easy & helpful.

  9. We all have to slow down as we get older, Brenda, and accept our limitations. I can’t work all day in the garden any more, it’s just too much for me. Fortunately, since I now work from home, I can take a break and go out and do a few things, and then work for another while, and then take another break. It works well for me, not only for gardening but for tackling other big chores like stacking wood. I know you’ll do something lovely with your patio – those galvanized planters will be nice to have back – planters have gotten crazy expensive this year!

  10. I live a very quiet life and don’t turn on the TV until about 6:00pm however I have a friend who has it on all day and late into the night. She says she needs the noise whereas I find the noise to be a bit irritating. I definitely understand how you feel about your neighbor’s TV being on (loud) all the time.
    When we have to put limitations on doing the things we enjoy so much it is definitely off putting. And, when we have to ask for help that is actually quite maddening to me – drives me bonkers because I detest asking for help. Ugh!!
    Accepting it all is the key to living with peace – would you agree?
    Enjoy your Friday!

  11. Brenda,
    Boy, can I ever sympathize with you and the loud T.V.! I finally got my husband to get a hearing test; because the volume was so loud and it drove everyone crazy… One night I said I was going to leave or shoot the t.v….. !!! his choice. I left for one night, staying at my girlfriends’ house. The next day he called me to apologize, and had made an appointment with his primary physician, so he could get a referral for hearing aids. Years ago, we tore off our huge deck (about 1100 sq. feet) and rebuilt it as a three season porch. We live in the Pacific Northwest and with the amount of rain we get, (sixty inches is a drought in our area) it was just not usable and the maintenance was neverending! When we furnished our “new man cave,” hubby wanted a large T.V. Well, after a trip to Best Buy, a behemoth 65″ got delivered and installed along with a sound bar and a movie speaker. Surprisingly, I love it. It’s mounted on the wall above the sliding french doors and the clarity of the picture and the sound is amazing. If I want to watch my own smaller T.V. in the living room, I just shut the slider; peaceful solution plus hearing aids = happy ending for all!
    I hope you take it easy and try to limit your walking.
    Happy Easter weekend to you and your family.

  12. Brenda, I also came to be unable to read the TV and kept moving myself closer. Didn’t help. Turns out it wasn’t the TV it was me, I needed cataract surgery. Have you had your eyes checked?

      1. My eye doctor fine tunes our eyes after cataract surgery every so often so a check up might be in order. Also if your new TV has blue tooth you can probably wear ear plugs to hear your tv and drown out a lot of the extraneous noises. There are a lot of them now that are quite comfortable and effective.

  13. Sounds like maybe you overdid it the other day with your ankle because you were feeling better. Didn’t one of your doctors say not too long ago that another surgery was a possibility? I know surgery is awful, but maybe in the long run it would help and you wouldn’t be disabled?

    Most neighborhoods in Chicago are like where your daughter lives with the parking. Can Kendra get parking permits for visitors? That’s what my friend who lives in the city does. When I visit her, she gives me a parking permit sticker for my car’s windshield so that I don’t get a ticket.

    Ugh on your upstairs neighbor. How aggravating! You should not have to wear ear plugs in your own place because of his noise. I like another reader’s idea of bringing him some food and chatting nicely, and then making an appeal. Maybe if he meets you in person and you explain about the noise, he will be more empathetic. On the other hand, if he’s really that hard of hearing, he might not even hear you when you talk to him! Worth a try though.

  14. Have you tried those garden hoses that shrink and expand. They are very light weight and easy to move. You do have to drain them when done, but they coil up to little or no space needed. I got my 100′ one at Amazon and love it. As I’m in a similar situation with my front yard no water, it’s in the back. But largest yard is the front, go figure. Here is what I have, Toolasin Expandable Garden Hose 75ft with 10 Function Spray Nozzle, Leakproof Flexible Water Hose Design with Solid Brass Connectors, Retractable Hose Expands 3 Times, Easy Storage and Usage, $29. 74. Have had it a year and is going strong.

    1. Still have to have a spigot to hook it up to. All the spigots here at the complex have hoses hooked up to them for the maintenance men to use on things. So I don’t know if they’d let me change them out to longer ones.

      1. Look into getting a diverter for your kitchen sink that you can attach an outdoor hose to. They are not hard to find and effective. Each of these little problems can be solved one at a time.

  15. What a nice day you had being out and about in your community!!

    I would agree that your neighbor may have a hearing disability that causes him to have the volume so high. And hearing aids are wonderful, but for many they are very costly even with insurance.

    He may be lonely and uses the TV for companionship, which is likely if you don’t see him out and about.

    I like the idea of taking over a plate of cookies or a tasty loaf bread etc to break the ice and open the lines of communication face to face.

    You may discover he’s isolated and all alone and just needs a friend.

    As an alternative to a larger tv stand, could the maintenance guy mount your TV on the wall? That would free up a bit of floor space.

    1. I don’t know that management would let me have them put it onto the wall. Wouldn’t that mean they’d have to put holes in the wall? I just want to put it on top of the cupboard where I have my other one.

  16. Have you heard of the website ? Beth has LOTS of simple, simple to prepare foods for the budget minded who want to eat more than ramen noodles or beans, though there are recipes for those too. There is a little gizmo (a technical term ;> ) in the recipe box that you can use to adjust serving quantities. She also has a lot of good information on meal prep. Perhaps you can find some recipes that appeal that won’t require you standing for so long.

  17. I bought an adjustable computer stand (Amazon) that easily raises up or down for the tv. I had to measure the distance of those two tv feet you write of, to make sure I bought a stand wide enough to accommodate them.

  18. Brenda, why don’t you ask management if it is the norm to not have a water spigot on some of the patios? I wonder if they could install one now?

    Great idea to offer a peace offering to the neighbor? I think he just has it on for company. When my husband was in the throes of his Alz he had the tv so loud I could hear it in the other room over my tv. It was nerve wracking. So I feel
    for you.

    1. Well, first of all, I can’t climb the two sets of stairs to knock on his door. I’ve asked the neighbors about the water source issue. They use a very long hose that is at the side of the building. I’d still have to carry it down my crazy yard.

      1. Sorry to hear about all the difficulty you have been having withe the noise from upstairs and your brace. I don’t know if this information will make any difference for you over all but I adopted a disabled teenager who wears a leg brace. I have to buy her a pair of shoes that is a size larger because a brace takes up more space in the shoe than her regular size would provide. I was told by the brace maker to buy shoes in 2 sizes(her regular size) and the next size up for the foot with the brace. Hope that helps our case it did. Mary in Colorado.

  19. The brace may be working better than you think. If you count up the total time you were on your feet yesterday, I bet it will be much longer than you will ever work on your patio plantings. Time flies when we are enjoying ourselves at several different places, and it mounts up when totaled. I tend to overdo when I’m first back on my feet after a pain management procedure on my lower back. I know better, but it’s so hard to be cautious when we are FINALLY able to go out and do things. Rest this weekend and I will be praying it will be much better by Monday.

  20. Here’s an idea about the upstairs neighbor. He’s probably doesn’t have hobbies or interests that occupy him, so he’s got the TV on most of the time. He may be hard of hearing and doesn’t have a hearing aid. A lot of people avoid thinking about getting a hearing aid for some reason or don’t seem to realize that they’re losing their hearing. If you can make the trip to his upstairs door, take a container of tuna casserole or a batch of cookies or some other goodies and introduce yourself, present your goodies to him, chat a little, and then mention that you can hear his TV through the walls, and it would be lovely if he could turn the volume down some. It might work. If you can’t make the trip up the stairs, perhaps you could enlist the aid of your male neighbor to present your offering to Mr. TV Man “from his new downstairs neighbor” on your behalf and explain that you have limited mobility due to a bad ankle, and tender the introduction goodies and request on your behalf, or invite him down to your patio on your behalf to meet you in person, and proceed from there. A bold move but it might work better than leaving a second note. Maybe he’s got bad eyesight too and couldn’t read the first one. Who knows?

    1. You’re right. Who knows. I just didn’t know some people have their TV on night and day. Maybe it’s for company. I have my TV on at the most 2 hours at night. But then, there are no rules, so it is what it is. Which is why I worried about moving to a place where I’d have someone upstairs. But none of the senior places were one level.

      1. My husband plays the tv in our bedroom 24/7. Not too loud – but always on. He worked graveyards for decades and just sleeps better when there’s sound. I guess it’s his ‘white noise’.

  21. In Canada, if your GP will complete and sign a Revenue Services disability application form stating that you are permanently disabled (setting out why) then we can provide that to our Revenue Canada and once approved, at income tax time, can use the disability tax credit ($8000.00) towards calculations towards any income tax still to be paid, or alternatively any income tax refund for overpayment.
    As well, with that disability approval we can apply for the car window disability parking permit for parking closer to businesses in the designated spots.

    With respect to the loud tv of your upstairs neighbour, I bet he puts the TV on as soon as he gets up and doesn’t turn it off until he goes to bed (hopefully!). It may be his background noise, even if he isn’t watching it. He can nap through it, even if it is loud, since he appears to be hard of hearing.

    You’re going to have to turn up your Music just to distract from the noise upstairs! Hopefully you don’t hear the thump, thump of overhead walking together with tv noise. I feel for you.

    1. Wow, Canada rules are very different! I’ve had the handicapped car permit quite a while. My doctor orders it for me. I know when he takes a shower, uses his washer and dryer and when he scrapes the floor getting up from I’m assuming is his dining room chair. I have very good hearing. And I’m susceptible to noise due to Asperger’s. Noise is a big thing for those type of folks. I jump two feet if I get in one of my daughter’s cars and they have forgotten to turn off their radio.

  22. Yes, it is always something. The t.v.’s have those little feet that don’t seem to work just so you have to buy a new stand. Just like 8 hot dogs and 10 rolls to a pack! Take it easy today.

    1. I laughed out loud at that one. You’re so right! I hadn’t really thought about it. But it is typically 8 hotdog and 10 rolls. I am taking it easy today.

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