Here we go again.  Tim says it is not Belle and the twins who have returned.  It is a new family that has moved in.  Tim’s conclusion is based on two things: One is that they could not have made it back from so far and crossed the Interstate to do it.  The second reason is that his reputation as a trapper extraordinaire would be injured if it were.

As expected, the return of the raccoons and the conversation about it has sparked Mary Ann’s expectations for seeing them in the bedroom at night.  When we arrived at the bed in preparation for lying down, she looked down to the floor along side the bed to see if she could see little feet — raccoon feet.

Assuming that we accomplish the goal, I can only hope that the trapping and relocating of this little raccoon family will remove that hallucination from the library. After we completed the task of trapping and relocating five raccoons a few weeks ago, while the hallucinations didn’t cease, there were fewer including raccoons.

Today continued to be a pretty good day.  Mary Ann did well at her morning Bible study group.  She spent much of the afternoon with a friend while I ran some errands.  They were on the deck for an hour or so on this beautiful day — something Mary Ann rarely does.  This evening another Volunteer/Friend spent a couple of hours with her.  It is especially satisfying to me when Mary Ann has had a good day and time with others.  It is tough for her to be stuck with me for long periods of time without a break.  Of course, I also appreciate the breaks.  Having time apart improves the quality of our time together.

By the way, that infernal Alien from planet Pedometer Prime that is trying to take over my body managed to send me outside to walk three times today!  This is crazy!  The little device he manipulated me into attaching to my belt says I took 17,581 steps today.  On top of that, the walks brought great pleasure since the day was spectacular.  What a devious plot this Alien is perpetrating.

Gratefully, so far I have successfully frustrated his consumption of my flesh.  By eating large quantities of meat and potatoes, chips, and sandwiches and anything else I can lay my hands on, I have reclaimed the a pound or two of the flesh that he had consumed in the last week or two.  Whew!  That was a scare.

The assessment of the condition of my body in preparation for the exercise and weight control program this Alien presence forced me to join was scheduled for tomorrow.  Maybe the power of the Alien is weakening.  The appointment was written down for the wrong day and had to be rescheduled to a day a couple of weeks from now.  Maybe I will be released from this evil possession before then.

I will report the progress on this round of the raccoon relocation project as soon as there is some.

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There they were, Belle and the Twins, Tommy and Sally.  Tommy and Sally have grown much larger, but are still young.  Probably teens, judging from Tommy’s belligerent attitude.  He takes after Gus, his Dad.  Gus snapped at Belle one evening while they were on a date, having dinner on our deck.  Tommy snappped at Sally when the two of them were both eating at the sunflower seen platter last night.

While they were not ready to leave, and responding slowly to my attempt at shooing them off the deck, they did finally leave.  If Gus had been there, I would have stayed inside.

We thought the Raccoon Relocation program had taken them far enough that they wouldn’t find their way back.  So much for that idea.  For now, I am back to bringing in the feeders at night.  That wreaks havoc with the birds early breakfast call.

I hesitated to mention their return in Mary Ann’s hearing, since their presence outside is likely to trigger more hallucinations of them in bed with her.  She explained to a friend that they can flatten themselves out and crawl under the door.  I did mention them when having dinner this evening with our Son, Micah, and Granddaughter, Chloe.  Before doing so, I thought it through and concluded that Mary Ann’s sense of security would be lessened if I tried to mislead her, or whisper behind her back to others rather than just being open about it. There will be some sort of visible activity brought about by their presence anyway — as in starting again bringing feeders in at night and putting them out in the morning.  I am not sure about the possibility of trying to trap them and relocate them again.  They may all be too smart for the trap now.

I have tried to keep everything above board and as clear to Mary Ann as possible.  I use the word, dementia, in front of her rather than only using it secretly.  I would rather deal with the consequences of the truth and how it feels to both of us, whether we happen to like that truth or not, than to get wound into some sort of complex fabrication, trying to hide the truth, worrying about the chance of it slipping out.

The time has slipped away and sleep is anxious to have its way with me.  Enough for now.

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Apparently I have miscounted!  It is not only Gus, Belle and the Twins who have been feeding at the wildlife sanctuary that serves also as our back deck.  They eat the food I put out for the birds.  When the fourth one was in the trap two nights ago, I saw another one coming over to commiserate.  Apparently, the twins have an older sibling, uncle, aunt or cousin. 

Yesterday morning, number five was rummaging around in the trap.   I noticed that he had a darker coat of fur than the others.  He seemed a little bigger and somewhat more active.  Tim reported that it appeared to be a very aggressive male.  He had managed to pull the sheet metal holding the handle down into the trap.  He growled at Tim all the while he was handling the trape.  The others had not done so.  We are guessing that it might very well have been Gus. 

I put the trap back out last night, in case there are more.  No one showed.  It is out there again tonight.  My hope is that the entire family is now reunited in the lush corn field to which they have been relocated.   This adventure has been a bit of a distraction for this Caregiver.   I have used the nighttime trips to the commode as Raccoon check time.  Somehow it helps make the usually frustrating nights a little more bearable. 

Just an update on the sleepless nights:  Last night Mary Ann slept like a rock.  She was sound asleep until I talked with her a few minutes before the Bath Aide arrived around 8:45am.  She does seem a bit restless yet tonight, but I am hoping sleep will come soon.  I was up early to prepare for the Spiritual Formation Group that meets at our home at 7:30am.  Tomorrow morning would allow an extra hour or so of sleep.  My hope is that tonight will allow some catching up.  At the moment it is only a hope. 

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