September 2009

It just sounds like complaining, endless whining.  Caregivers are often very boring conversationalists.  Someone says, “Hello, how are you?”  Caregiver responds, “I was up fifteen times last night and eight times the night before.  We slept late in this morning, but I can’t concentrate enough to read anything more than the captions on pictures.  Simple tasks seem overwhelming, and by the way, what is your name, and what is it that you just asked me?”

Last night was a moderately restless night for Mary Ann.  We were up maybe once in each hour during the night for one thing or another.  That pattern is more bearable than the really restless nights when it is multiple times throughout the night.  She got up early this morning, but napped for a couple of hours. It just doesn’t seem to work for me to try to turn on the napping switch and sleep whenever she takes a nap during the day.  Anyway, I relish the time to do the things I can’t do when she is awake and in need of help.

The truth is, there is no way to communicate to anyone who isn’t in the same circumstances just how hard it is to get pretty much of anything done when the sleep patterns are completely erratic, with no ability to plan when there will be sleep and when there won’t be sleep.

While I was on the retreat in Oklahoma, our Daughter Lisa stayed with Mary Ann.  The first of the two nights, Mary Ann was very restless, and Lisa didn’t get much sleep.  Mary Ann was up early as she usually is after a restless night .  The next night, they both slept like a rock and slept late into the morning.  When we talked after I returned, it was apparent that she had a sense of what it is like to have the kind of erratic sleep patterns that are our normal experience.  She, of course has two young children and knows what is it like to have difficult nights and little sleep.

It is just nice to have someone in the circle of support who understands how hard it is to plan and do anything when there is no sleep pattern.  One of the reasons that I enjoy the trip to the Spiritual Renewal Center is that the many hours of uninterrupted sleep seem to return my ability to read and understand what I am reading.  I can’t say that I have read any of the book on Quantum Physics and Theology other than on the Oklahoma Retreats.  I often feel embarrassed at how little I manage to get done each day, and how poor my memory has become.  I am hoping that both are a function of the sleep patterns rather than the disintegration of my brain.

One of the problems the lack of sleep increases in Mary Ann is the intensity of the hallucinations.  I have mentioned that often before.  Today, she got up and headed toward the bedroom.  I asked what she was doing.  She was reluctant to tell me, probably not wanting to hear my opinion on whether or not she should be trying to do what she was planning.  She was going in so that she could sew a button on.  I don’t know what button needed to be sewn on to what.  She had just asked me to help her take off a corduroy shirt of mine that she uses as a warm layer to wear when she is cold.  After I took it off, she hung on to it, rather than letting me put it on the railing post, as usual.  I inferred that she had in her mind that there was a button that needed sewing back on that shirt.  There were no buttons missing.

I did not interfere with her plan.  I decided I would only intervene if she ended up with a needle in her hand and was hurting herself.  I stayed out of the bedroom as much as possible while she got out some balls of thread (probably more for cross stitching or something like that) and handled them for a while. I never saw a needle in her hand.  I just waited it out, helping a little when the thread on a couple of the balls got tangled.

I still don’t know exactly what was in her mind, nor do I know what went through her mind as she finally put the balls of thread back into the drawer and gave up on the plan.  I do know that it is painful to watch her confront the losses she has been suffering for so many years. The losses have been going on for twenty-two years in one way or another, sometimes more slowly than at other times.  Today was one of the times the contrast was especially obvious between the skilled sewing (made our first drapes, has made many quilts) she has done in the past and the inability to so much as get a needle, the thread and sew on a button — as well as the confusion about what was or was not there needing the sewing.

While I am busy complaining about the frustrating sleep patterns, she is busy trying to survive the loss of so much of what brought her joy and satisfaction throughout her life.  I guess I just need to finish this and get to bed so that I will have less to complain about.  So far tonight she has stayed asleep.  We will see how the rest of the night goes.

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Maybe that is a little dramatic — three exclamation points — but we do now have a number of new items of food in the freezer.  While our Daughter, Lisa, stayed with Mary Ann for the three days I retreated to Oklahoma, she made lots of things that are within my cooking comfort zone and put them in the freezer.  She wrote the preparation directions on pieces of paper and put them with each item.  Gratefully, they are mostly the kind of directions that say, thaw, cook in oven for an hour at 350 degrees.  I can handle that!

Pete and Carla stopped by with a meal this noon.  They are very thoughtful folks.  I was sorry to miss seeing them since I was at the lake while Volunteer Jan spent time with Mary Ann. Jan and Mary Ann seem to enjoy each other’s company.  This afternoon Elaine came by, picked up Mary Ann and took her to the Quilt Show.  Mary Ann loved making quilts for a number of years.  She especially liked piecing the tops together.  She spent two years hand stitching the quilting on her first quilt, a queen sized sampler quilt.  After that, she took them to be machine quilted once she got the tops pieced. It has been hard for Mary Ann to accept the loss of the ability to make quilts.  After such a busy day, Mary Ann crashed late this afternoon, so the evening service at church was not an option for us.

This morning’s time at the lake provided a couple of interesting treats in observing wildlife.  The first is a repeat of an encounter I had a few weeks ago.  Again today there were two Ospreys sailing overhead.  One came right over the car, so I got a very good look at him through the binoculars.

I made my usual visit to the Delaware Marsh, which now has very little visible water in it.  The area that I walk has one large puddle left.  As I approached it from a distance, walking a on tall ridge alongside the marsh, the water in the puddle seemed to be almost boiling with activity.  When I focused the binoculars on the mud sided puddle, it was boiling, not from heat but from the movement of snakes, maybe a dozen of them. They were twisting and turning rapidly, in constant motion.

After watching a while, it became apparent what was going on.  The water had dried up in most of the area, leaving that large puddle as the last, very confined, place where the frogs and fish were trapped.  While I am not absolutely sure about the fish, I could see the frogs jumping out of the water, flying into the air, with snakes in speedy pursuit.

Some of the snakes were pretty large, at least two or three feet long — some probably longer.  The snakes began slithering off in the mud and marsh grass as I approached.  One large snake and one medium sized snake remained in the mud at the edge of the water even though I was not far away.  As far as I can tell, looking online, they were white bellied or yellow bellied water snakes.  They did not have the telltale triangular head of a venomous snake.  While I am not particularly fearful of snakes, I kept my distance.  The binoculars provided as good a look as I would get even if I tried moving closer.  I am sure they would have moved away quickly if I had climbed down the ridge into the marsh.  My visit to that puddle probably provided a stay of execution for some frogs and fish.  I doubt that the stay will be for long.

Uh-oh.  There seem to be signs of restlessness being revealed by the video monitor.  I hope Mary Ann sleeps well tonight since tomorrow includes two different Sonograms, heart and carotid artery.  We always hope for no change in the condition of both.  Blocked heart arteries, some weakened heart muscle and a dented and rough surface on a large lesion on one side of her carotid artery keep us aware of the harsh realities of her condition.

Each day is a gift!

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Remind me how much I loved weeds and bugs as a child.  I seem to remember writing something about that in an earlier post.  I just about had my fill of weeds and bugs on this trip to St. Francis of the Woods.

I have always loved the outdoors, but I have also always loved being comfortable.  Trudging through waste high, sometimes head high, weeds for a couple of hours, bugs surrounding me, checking me out at close range, stretched my idyllic view of the outdoors to the limit.

I remember walking the woods at my parents’ place in Northern Illinois, loving everything but the deer flies.  They kept me from idealizing the outdoors beyond reality.  Then there was the Poison Ivy.  The world of nature can be a hostile place.

This trip to St. Francis of the Woods was different from the last few times I have gone.  When possible, I usually go after the first frost and before the bugs have come out in the spring.  Cool and crisp air, dried weeds and clear skies have welcomed me the last few years.  This time it was warm, muggy and cloudy.

With that introduction, you might suspect that this trip was not a good experience.  It was.  First of all, while I am concerned for the environment and the well-being of all creatures, insects included, it seems to me that the person who invented the insect repellent Deet should be awarded the Medal of Honor.  I was not bitten by one mosquito, nor did I find one tick on my body, and while the bugs were everywhere, when they landed on me, they didn’t stay for long.

One benefit of coming at this time of the year was that there were flowers everywhere.  The sights were beautiful.  The flowers drew butterflies.  There were all sorts of butterflies of different sizes and colors.  Every once in a while one or two would land on me as I walked through the weeds.  There was one particular species that caught my eye.  It was probably a Fritillary, but I am way outside of my comfort zone in naming a butterfly other than a very few.  It was fairly large, and the brightest, almost, iridescent orange.  There might be as many as three flying around one another in a cluster.

There are now a couple of bee hives at the corner of one of the fields that I walk through.  I gave them a fairly wide berth.  Through the binoculars, I could see hundreds of bees flying in and out and all around the hives.  I am not particularly fearful of bees, but I didn’t want to have any unnecessary encounters by moving into their home territory.  I noticed as I walked through a nearby field, that the flowers were covered with bees.  St. Francis should have a great harvest of honey when the time comes.

The first evening’s trip through the woods provided no bird sightings at all.  The next day, there was more activity.  I was snorted at by some deer hiding in the woods as I walked by.  At one point a couple of does ran through the weeds in front of me from the woods on one side to the woods on the other.  There were a couple of groups of White Pelicans flying overhead, appearing to be headed the wrong direction for a fall migration.

It was hard to find a spot to put my three legged stool so that I could read a bit.  I didn’t want to be completely buried among the weeds.  I managed to find a spot with short enough weeds that I could sit, eat an apple and then read a very few pages.  The muggy, warm air and flying bugs around my sweaty brow made it uncomfortable enough to discourage me from staying long. I did catch sight of a flock of Common Nighthawks going by.  They are not often seen in the daytime except when passing through in the spring and fall.  Nighthawks are in a family of birds called Goatsuckers.  I just get a kick out of knowing that and saying the word “Goatsuckers.”  I need to check online some time to find out how that name was chosen for them.  I wonder if it had anything at all to do with goats?

I walked down to a newly discovered pond very close to the cottage I was staying in.  The pond was sort of ugly and messy looking, very small.  I saw a large turtle sunning itself when I came closer to the pond.  It slid into the water since I was too close for comfort.  I looked at the water through the binoculars to see if I could locate more turtles under the water.  Then I saw him.  I can’ t really know for sure how big he was, since he was just under the water at the edge of the pond nearest me.  The light refracting through the water can make something look bigger than it is.  It was a Snapping Turtle that appeared to be close to two feet long and a foot and a half wide.  He looked far too big to be living in such a small pond.  I watched him for a long time, and when he moved, I was glad he turned away and moved down farther into the pond.  I would not have been interested in him coming my way.

The most meaningful and valuable time on this retreat was the four and a half hours of catching up with a friend from the Oklahoma City area that I hadn’t seen in over thirteen years.  I have to say that John is as close a friend as I have ever had in my six and a half decades.  During the nine years in Oklahoma City, John and I spent many hours early in the morning at Ingrid’s German Deli talking about our faith and journey we were on living it out, John caring for Sherrie, dying of Cancer, and me dealing with the impact of Mary Ann’s Parkinson’s on our household.

When I went on ahead of the family to start serving the congregation in Bethany, Oklahoma, I lived for five months with John and Sherrie, and their children, Hope and Joel.  I cannot imagine more gracious hosts.  Their spirituality was a marvel to behold.  I have been around lots of folks who are committed to their faith, and sharing it with others.  John and Sherrie did it with such genuineness and humility that those around them never were made to feel inferior.

I had the privilege of ministering to and being ministered to by Sherrie as the Cancer entered her life and became the means through which she touched the lives of so many on her way to her death — and life with the Lord on the other side of death.  I had the additional privilege of conducting her funeral, attended by so many that the Sanctuary couldn’t hold them.

If that was not enough, I had the joy of performing the marriage of John and Peggy, as each was led to the other at precisely the right time to begin building a new life together.  It was refreshing to hear how their spirituality has grown and how their life together has unfolded in the years between then and now.

Not only did the retreat provide the refreshment that comes from engaging the natural world at close range, being fed by a meaningful friendship, but I probably accumulated almost twenty-four hours of uninterrupted sleep in those two nights.  This morning there was a gentle rain with soft rumbles of thunder on occasion in the background, providing the perfect setting for lying in bed, sort of semi-conscious, just savoring the moment.

All went well with Mary Ann while I was gone.  Daughter Lisa had some good quality time with her Mom, and Son Micah, Becky and Chloe were able to come over so that we could eat Pizza together tonight.

The time away provided the opportunity to think through how things are going for Mary Ann and me.  As always, there has come a renewed resolve to be more effective as a Caregiver.  Whether that resolve will result in any changes in what I do and how I do it remains to be seen.

If you want to write a comment about this or any of the posts on this blog, look to the column on the right side of this page, titled “Recent Posts,”  click on the name of a post and you will find a box at the end of that article in which you can write a comment.  Clicking on the title of the post you are reading will accomplish the same thing.  Comments are appreciated.

This one is a veritable Life Boat, not just a Life Preserver.  Thursday morning (day after tomorrow) I will get in the car and drive a little over five hours on the Interstate through the Flint Hills and on into Oklahoma to St. Francis of the Woods Spiritual Renewal Center.  I will stay over two nights and return Saturday afternoon.

What about Mary Ann???  Mary Ann will have a great time while I am gone.  She will have our Daughter, Lisa, all to herself for that entire time.  Hopefully. our Son, Micah, and family will be able to join the party at some point.  Lisa is flying in from Kentucky as a gift to both Mary Ann and me, so that we can have a break from one another.  Admittedly, 24/7 does wear on both of us. Our Son-in-Law, Denis, will be serving as both Dad and Mom to the girls for the time Lisa is gone.

I have described St. Francis of the Woods in earlier posts.  Lisa provided the opportunity to go some months ago.  While I am at St. Francis, I will walk for hours, read, meditate, all among beautiful wooded paths and open fields.  The Renewal Center includes a 500 acre working farm.  There are only three cottages in the part of the property on which I will be staying.  The cottages are not in sight of one another, so it is not unusual to see no one for hours.

Maybe my love of solitude is the result of being the youngest of five children by so many years that I was raised almost as an only child.  I spent much of my childhood outdoors by myself.  I loved it.  I don’t really remember ever feeling lonely when I was outdoors in a natural setting.

I will take with me a very small three-legged stool strapped to my backpack so that I can stop to sit and read.  I will read some Scripture, a book on Spiritual Formation, and a book titled Quantum Physics and Theology, written by a Theoretical Physicist who later in life became an Anglican Priest.  I will carry my binoculars and look for birds and other wildlife.  I will watch the sunset from a wonderful spot on a hill that provides a panorama to the west stretching for miles.

I will probably sleep for many hours.  At this point, it is quite an unusual experience to have uninterrupted sleep.  I have checked the weather forecast for Coyle, Oklahoma (the nearest town — very small).  The weather is predicted to be partly cloudy, in the low to mid 70’s during the day and the upper 50’s at night.  That would be hard to beat.

One treat that may or may not materialize is a visit with a very good friend who was a member of the congregation I served in the Oklahama City area.  As a physician attached to a University Hospital, his schedule might not allow us time to talk.  I ministered to him and his family as his wife battled terminal Cancer.  Actually, we ministered to one another as we dealt with the Parkinson’s at the same time.  We spent hours at Ingrid’s Deli early in the morning a couple of times a week processing our experiences.  We haven’t seen each other in over thirteen years.

Since there will be no computer access at St. Francis, there will be a few days break in the postings here.  The only electronics at the cottage will be the portable CD player I am taking along.  By the way, there is a fully equipped kitchen including a microwave and, gratefully, a coffee pot.  I will bring some of those frozen leftovers from the freezer.  Cereal, fruit and granola bars will fill out the meals.

As I have continued this series on a Caregiver’s Life Preservers, I am wondering what Mary Ann would consider to be her Life Preservers.  I am not sure our current capacity for communication will provide the answer to that wondering, but I may just ask anyway.

If you want to write a comment about this or any of the posts on this blog, look to the column on the right side of this page, titled “Recent Posts,”  click on the name of a post and you will find a box at the end of that article in which you can write a comment.  Clicking on the title of the post you are reading will accomplish the same thing.  Comments are appreciated.

When Mary Ann got up from her chair once this afternoon, as usual, I got up from my chair to ask where she was going so that I could help her if needed.  She came the few steps toward me, placed her hands appropriately and began to dance.  This will be no surprise to those who know me well, but even after 22 years of Parkinson’s Disease, several heart attacks and blocked arteries, a stroke, a life-threatening bout with pneumonia, and now a couple of years into Parkinson’s Disease Dementia, she can still dance better than I can.  I stood and swayed a little, while she actually danced.  This is certainly a confusing little world in which the two of us are living.

The last couple of days have been better than the one I recounted in my last post.  Yesterday, Volunteer Edie came in the morning while I headed up to the lake to read, listen to music and watch the wildlife.  As always, Edie made a full and tasty meal for us, so Mary Ann actually ate well.

The meal I had prepared the night before did not thrill Mary Ann (pork chops, stir fried fresh veggies from parishioners’ gardens, and Uncle Ben’s butter and herb rice cooked in chicken broth).  That Saturday was pretty much a bust from beginning to end.

Sunday not only included the good meal that Edie had prepared, but there were football games.  Mary Ann is the more enthusiastic football fan in the house.  Both the Chiefs and the Bears lost, so she was not as pleased as she would have been had either or both won.

Today was a pretty normal day.  Zandra came to give her a shower.  That happens Mondays and Wednesdays.  We got out to the library, which she loves.  The library happens to be near G’s frozen yogurt, so there was the obligatory stop there.

A Volunteer, Jolene, came to spend time with Mary Ann after supper while I headed up to the spot with the view about ten minutes from our house.  I took with me a number of CD’s that I had picked up at the library.   After listening to one of the Celtic CD’s, I put in a CD of Taizé music.  Taizé is a community in France to which young people in particular come to be spiritually renewed.  I haven’t been there, so I can’t really describe what it is like other than what I have heard and read.  The Taizé community is known worldwide for their worship life and liturgical music.  The music is simple, with refrains that are repeated many times, often sung in harmony by whoever has gathered for worship.  Taizé music is in many languages.  It seems to be a place at which national boundaries cease to divide.

The music felt like a life preserver to me this evening.  It is my hope that I will find accessible Taizé resources to add some more disciplined regular times of spiritual refreshment in my days.  I suspect it might help raise the quality of care for Mary Ann and the quality of life for both of us.

If you want to write a comment about this or any of the posts on this blog, look to the column on the right side of this page, titled “Recent Posts,”  click on the name of a post and you will find a box at the end of that article in which you can write a comment.  Clicking on the title of the post you are reading will accomplish the same thing.  Comments are appreciated.

I am not sure I should be writing a post at the moment.  Maybe later in the day will be better.  At the moment she is napping, and I am able to be at the computer to write.  Last night’s post was almost euphoric after the great trip in the country.  I mentioned before closing that Mary Ann was restless.  She was up every few minutes until about 4am.  Then she insisted on getting up at 8:30am after three or four times up to use the commode between the 4am and 8:30am.

The needs began immediately.  As always, after a sleepless night the hallucinations have been almost constant, resulting it lots of time spent trying to pick up and throw away threads.  At one point as she was sitting at the table preparing to take meds and eat, she asked what the pink mesh was about.  She was convinced that she had it in her hands.

When she has had such a night and gets up early and stays up, there is oddly a great deal of lucidity intertwined with the hallucinations.  She is sometimes almost adversarial.  The restlessness has continued throughout the day up to the nap.  She has been popping up without warning almost constantly.  If I am out of sight for a moment, it is almost a certainty that she will get up.  That means even walking out of the room to get something for her won’t work.

I have asked in every way I know that she let me carry cups and glasses of liquid, since balance and fainting are issues.  Gratefully, it was water and not Pepsi in the cup when she went down, and, gratefully, she was not hurt.  Then there is the button by the toilet stool.  As always I asked that she push it before getting up to avoid falling in the bathroom.  I asked very slowly and carefully waiting to hear her agree to do so, out loud — which she did.  By the time I came back to check, she was half way across the bathroom with her slacks gathered around her ankles.

Last night and today provided a picture of how our lives are now being lived.  Mary Ann’s wants and needs at any given moment in the twenty-four hours of each day determine what I do and when I do it, no matter what my needs are or how I feel.  I have chosen this role, so whining about it is pretty futile.

What increases the level of frustration on a day like today is that there is no one with whom to be angry, no one to blame.  While I am not always shy about letting my feelings be clear, most of the time I do what needs to be done without complaint, and even try to be nurturing when I do it.  It is not Mary Ann’s fault that we are in this situation.  I am not a saint, but it is not my fault either.  Problems like this are not God’s idea of a good time.  God gets blamed for all sorts of things that were not part of the original plan, while often getting no credit for the wonder of life.  God doesn’t play games with folks.  Circumstances like ours happen to good people and bad people and people like us who have both good stuff and bad stuff in us.

I am grateful for yesterday, for a good day, some pleasure for both of us.  I am frustrated today, and struggling to keep it all in perspective.  Writing this post helps give some definition to the day that allows it to begin simply to be a challenging day, not a symbol of our entire life.  There is always tomorrow.

If you want to write a comment about this or any of the posts on this blog, look to the column on the right side of this page, titled “Recent Posts,”  click on the name of a post and you will find a box at the end of that article in which you can write a comment.  Clicking on the title of the post you are reading will accomplish the same thing.  Comments are appreciated.

How could it be anything but great when the destination was Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy Store, and the reward was one Hot Fudge Sundae with pecans for me and one Pecan Caramel Fudge Sundae for Mary Ann?

We spent three or four hours mostly on the road, country roads, traveling nearly 150 miles by the time we returned home.  Madness, you say?  Not really.  While the destination was great, the trip was at least as great.

I am not much of a reader and, as a result, not a writer.  I envy those who have the vocabulary to write descriptively in a way that gives the reader the feeling of being there, experiencing the sights and smells, the layered depths of panoramas that could never be captured in a two dimensional medium.

I am at a loss to describe just how beautiful the day was, the fields and flowers and farms, the colors and textures of this Eastern Kansas landscape.  Between our fifteen years in Kansas City and the almost fourteen years here, this is just about the strangest summer we have ever experienced.  Throughout the summer there have been only a half dozen or so days that were the usual impossibly hot days.  Other than those few days, there have been comfortably warm days and cool nights punctuated every few days with a rain and thunder showers.

The plant life now looks a little like what we saw on our trip to Alaska a number of years ago.  Things are giant.  The Kansas Sunflowers tower over the fields.  The Soybeans look like a different crop entirely they are so tall and deep green.  The corn is tall and only now transitioning into its dry phase, readying for harvest.  Some of the corn fields are still green.

There are huge round bales of hay everywhere.  The fields that have been cut and the bales removed are now that bright green again as in Ireland.  It is as if time has just folded over and spring has become intertwined with fall.  The Sumac is beginning to change color.  The Milo is that rich dark copper color, while that bright fresh green of spring is everywhere in between.

Then there are the flowers — fields of them.  Everywhere that isn’t tilled ground, cut pasture, someone’s lawn, buildings or roads there are masses of Kansas Sunflowers, yellow blossoms of all shapes and sizes and kinds, blue wildflowers, purple thistles in blossom, white Snow on the Mountain and other white flowers, all mixed together with the dark tones of mature weeds and grasses fully in seed.  It has always intrigued me that in nature, colors that would never be put together by anyone aware of what colors should go together, look just right when mixed together in the patches between the road and the fence or stretching out in an uncut field of weeds.

The Flint Hills can take a person’s breath away.  They extend as far as the eye can see.  Today there was enough moisture in the air that the mist differentiated clearly layer after layer after layer of hills as they rolled off into the horizon.  The closer hills on the fringe of the Flint Hills were separated from one another by ribbons of trees, wherever water settled after rains or there was a creek flowing (maybe trickling — this is Kansas) between and around them.

The moisture in the air at the moment also provided wonderful cloud formations to see.  Our trip began in mid-afternoon and extended into the very early evening.  The sun began to provide shadows that had an interesting effect on the Sunflowers.  Not only do the sunflowers tend to face the sun and follow it during the day, when they were out of the direct sunlight, the color seemed to change from the bright yellow to a deep rich golden buttery color.

There were few birds to be seen, a hawk lifting up and passing just in front of the car, a few Scissortail Flycatchers, the ubiquitous doves and starlings, and a cluster of Turkey Vultures circling in one area.  By the way, I discovered that a group of Turkey Vultures when perched together is called a “wake” of Vultures. That may come from their sadly hanging heads when they perch.  Then there is a Parliament of Owls — but I digress. I saw no owls.

While Mary Ann doesn’t enjoy the rides in the country as much as I do, she did read some in a book she has on the trip to Braum’s.  She seems to be able to read with the outside light in the car far better than she can with the lights in the house.  She put the book away for the trip back and seemed to enjoy the sights.  All in all, it was a good day.

Just an update on the smoke alarm excitement last Sunday morning:  The security system Tech came today.  He concluded that at some point one of the techs had entered a code incorrectly, resulting in no signal from the smoke alarm reaching the dispatcher’s console.  He also suspected that dust in the sensor had made it hypersensitive, resulting it going off with less smoke than should have activated it.  By the way, he was interested in seeing the manual that came with our system around twenty years ago.  He had never actually seen that original book.  He assured me that the book was still accurate and that our system was fully functional even though old.  He did not have with him or try to sell me an extended contract — for which I was grateful. There was no charge for his services.  Now there is a reversal of the good news/bad news of Sunday morning.  The good news Sunday was that there were no fire trucks roaring into the neighborhood as the horn went off.  The bad news was that no fire trucks came when the sensor went off — what if it had actually been a fire?  Now comes the reversal.  The new good news, the fire trucks will come if there is a fire, the bac new, they will come if there is no fire and I don’t get the alarm turned off soon enough.

Well, unfortunately, the evidence on the monitor seems to be pointing to another restless night.  We will see. I keep forgetting to tell the bath aid, who comes twice a week and changes the bedding on Wednesdays, to use only the white or checked sheets and not the print with the flowers.  Mary Ann always has problems seeing the images on the print sheets as something moving or spots or threads needing to be removed.

For any who are concerned that the time stamp on these posts seems to indicate that they are written in the wee hours of the morning, the time stamp is Greenwich Mean Time, five hours ahead of Central Daylight Time.  It is now a little after Midnight, not 5am.

If you want to write a comment about this or any of the posts on this blog, look to the column on the right side of this page, titled “Recent Posts,”  click on the name of a post and you will find a box at the end of that article in which you can write a comment.  Clicking on the title of the post you are reading will accomplish the same thing.  Comments are appreciated.

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