…and baby makes three!  Actually, it is Mom and two babies.  One raccoon is sort of a novelty.  Three raccoons is two over quota.  The young’uns are not all that well behaved either.  The banging at 3:30am turned out to be one of the babies knocking a ceramic pot holding an asparagus fern off the old wooden box it was sitting on.

After watching them for a while, I decided it was time to get them off the deck before the kids did any more damage.  I turned the deck light on and off a few times to scare them off.  Not one of them even flinched.  Mom and one of the youngsters kept eating what the squirrels had left in the pan of oil type sunflower seeds I provide to keep the squirrels attention away from the bird feeders.  The other youngster, I suspect, is the problem child.  He/she messed around some more and then finally left a while after the other two had headed off and under the deck.

The lights in the waterfall are now in, and as a result nighttime deck therapy is an  option.  Each of the four levels has a light at its base. The light is invisible until the timer turns it on.  Neighbors Tom and Amy and I sat on the deck for a while and talked, just enjoying the sound and sight of it.

What makes sitting on the deck possible is that the little seven inch screen on the A-V monitor keeps Mary Ann in view.  I can see when she starts moving and needs my help.  Without the monitor, I would need to head into the house every few minutes to be sure she didn’t need something.  This way I only have go when she actually needs me.  I have now ordered a second camera so that both the bedroom and living room can be seen by just moving the channel switch from A to B.  Again, the screen and audio-visual monitor is a Summer 2500 available at Babies R Us.

Mary Ann and I headed into Kansas City to spend time this afternoon with friends we have known since the early 1970’s.  The time there is always refreshing.  One couple in our crew, like us, is a caregiver/receiver couple.  Marlene has ALS. Charlie has retired (mostly) and is now a full-time Caregiver.  He is the one who sent me a beautifully written email when I first revealed my decision to retire and spend full time helping Mary Ann with her needs. In the email Charlie told me what an honor it is to be able to have the role of Caregiver.

As always, we enjoyed the time together.  There is no self-consciousness to distract from the relaxed friendship.  Whatever special needs Mary Ann has are just taken for granted.  Charlie and Marlene often have helpful suggestions.  There are ramps into the house and on to their deck.  The arrangement of furniture allows space for wheel chair movement.  Marlene uses a motorized wheelchair.

We returned home, and I have managed a few minutes on the deck with Mary Ann securely in bed.  Having just fallen asleep for a moment at the keyboard, i think it is time to post this draft and get to bed.

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