She wondered if Daughter Lisa was looking for an apartment for her and the girls.  I realized quickly that there had been a dream/hallucination/delusion at some point about our Daughter and Son-in-Law.  Mary Ann was convinced that Denis had asked for a divorce.  When I explained that they were solid as a rock, happily married and there was no divorce talk there, she said she had wasted a lot of time with her stomach in a knot.

Then came a part of the dream that she even thought was pretty silly.  There were Mormons who were trying to take over Denis’s Dad’s farm.  I guess they were some of his brothers, who were trying to talk him into becoming Mormon.  I have to say I am at a complete loss to figure out from where the scenarios for some of the dreams/delusions/hallucinations come.  Many seem to simply be misfiring neurons that use bits and pieces of material residing in distant corners of the memory banks.

When she insisted on getting up early, I knew today would be a difficult one.  I thought there might be some napping, freeing me to do other things.  She was up most of the day, confused for the majority of the time. When she is alert and just on the other side of lucid, it is more difficult for me to manage than many of the other challenging times.  Like many who are retired some days it takes me a while to figure out what day of the week it is.  I did not try to count how many times she mentioned the day and got it wrong or asked what day it was. More than once, she thought it was Easter.

There were things (invisible to me) one place or another in the house, things that needed explanation or needed to be picked up or dealt with in some way.  She stood up dozens of times to do something, often not knowing what.  I could not leave her side for more than minutes. It helped a little that there was an NCIS marathon on television.

She did eat pretty well. Very early this morning she started snacking since she had eaten very little at supper last night.  There was tapioca at 3:30am, applesauce at 5:30am and chips at 6:30am or 7am.  She ate her normal breakfast and lunch (with ice cream), and ate lots of the sausage, potatoes and onions I cooked for supper. It was her idea to get the ring of sausage the last time we went to the store.

While I did feel sort of tethered to Mary Ann’s side today (she doesn’t much like my hanging around and jumping up with her, always asking where she is going) there was a treat that helped keep me interested and engaged in the day.

We woke up to between five and six inches of snow.  Since the construction began, the birds have not been around.  The feeders had to be taken down so that they could work on the deck. The snow brought the birds back, by the dozen.

The waterfall was a draw.  There were birds of one sort or another in it most of the day.  There were still three feeders hanging from a stand in the back yard next to the waterfall.  There were some places that because of the overflow of water had hundreds of sprouting sunflower seeds.  A few birds managed to find there way through the snow to a spot in the back yard.

At the front of the house where some small feeders are located by and on the window, birds were busy.  The street in front of the house was filled with Robins drinking the melting snow.

We have a very good quality speaker in the house with a microphone outside, the wire coming through at the corner of a casement window.  When that microphone is on, the sounds of the birds are full volume inside the house.  The speaker is made for that purpose.  It was a present from our kids.

With probably a hundred or hundred and fifty birds spread among the trees in the back yard and the neighbors yards, the bird songs were constant all day long.  The birds came in shifts to the options, bird feeders and waterfall.  There were a lot of Starlings, certainly not a favorite.  There were Grackles and Robins and Mourning Doves, an occasional Bluejay, Brown Headed Cowbird.  In front there were sparrows, finches, a Cardinal and more Robins.

There was one bird represented in the back yard that brings back wonderful childhood memories.  Lots of folks are not fans of this bird because it can sometimes be found in huge flocks that can be a little overwhelming.  It is the Redwinged Blackbird.  Often, the color visible on the wing is actually yellow.  Redwinged Blackbirds are often found in swamps, sitting on or among cattails.

I spent some of my happiest times as a child, playing at the swamp a short block from the house.  I can still picture that crystal clear water with the cattails all around, filled with huge water bugs that had what looked like two large oars, one on each side of their bodies, tadpoles, and dragon flies everywhere.  Mom sometimes came down with the willow switch to bring me back home, fearing that I would fall in or hurt myself in some other way.  That did not deter me from my adventures there.  Once I made the mistake of describing the muskrat I saw down there.  Mom and Dad decided it was probably just a regular rat.

The cattails at the swamp were filled with singing Redwinged Blackbirds.  The moment I hear that sound, I am back at the swamp, feeling the wonder and joy and peace that I found there.  I only sctually saw and identified one Redwinged Blackbird in the yard today.  I heard more.  They were there all day long, singing often enough and loudly enough that I could hear them through the constant squeeking of the Starlings.

Late in the day, Mary Ann settled for a while, napped with her face on the little table in front of her.  She would not let me help her move.  During that time I was able to get the driveway and sidewalk shoveled.  Still later, I got the deck shoveled off and spread large quantities of oil type Sunflower seeds on the deck and next to the waterfall in hopes that there will be more visitors tomorrow, coming to eat.

Mary Ann’s three childhood friends arrive from Northern Illinois tomorrow evening.  Tonight as I was helping her into bed and giving her the night time pills, she heard them arriving.  I reminded her that it was tomorrow night that they were coming.  I hope she rests well tonight.

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