48 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 9-23-16

  1. Elvera asked, “What time are you leaving?”
    Eight fifteen, about an hour from now.
    “Is it daylight yet!”
    No. But it will be.

    You see, I can’t leave ’till daylight.
    But it’s getting light now.

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  2. That is just like here for single gals, Chas. We can only go walking when it is light and it is always dark by 7. That is why I have a car, even though this is a small place.

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  3. I have a story to share. I am not sharing it for a pat on the back, but because it represents a shift in me.
    As you all know, my mother was a non-functioning alcoholic. It became more and more pronounced. By the time I was in 8th grade it was really bad and some things that happened to me at school has left lingering scars.
    There was a girl I became friends with, we will call her Miss Kansas as she doesn’t live here anymore. She is the one who finally told me why I wasn’t invited to spend they night with other girls anymore, and why no one was allowed to accept my invitations to spend the night. She was not kind with her information. She was superior and blunt. It was one more blow to a child who had already lost her best friend (the one from 3rd grade) because of the actions of her mother.
    Years passed and sometime in 2011 or 12 we reconnected through Facebook. It seems that Miss Arkansas had become a drug addict. Sometime around 16 years ago she was overworked, exhausted, and fighting a cold. She took some cough syrup that had been prescribed for her husband and thus began a downward spiral ending in her losing everything: her accounting practice, her children, her home, her mother and brother. She would tell you there were no lies she wouldn’t tell or manipulations she wouldn’t use to get what she wanted. She ended up going to jail, but where she lives they have a drug court and the judge sentenced her to rehab with the threat of going to prison if she failed. She has been very open about herself.
    She has tried many times over the past few years to reconcile with her children. You see where this is going? I identify with her children. I understand them not trusting her. I have encouraged her over and over again to not stop trying. She has tried and has been hurt by their rejection and I have told her she is the mother, try again. She does.
    During all of this she has developed some sort of gastro-intestinal issues and a fistula. She is in and out of the hospital and on home health for wound care. She won’t take pain medication because that is what led her down this path. She is on an IV nutrition source (I am not sure of all the details). She cannot eat with the fistula. She was released yesterday from another lengthy hospital stay. During that time her utilities were turned off to her apartment and several other “disasters”. The hospital where her doctors are is another another city from the small town where she lives, so sometimes it is necessary for her to spend the night in the city.
    Even though she was released from the hospital yesterday, she had to be back at 5:30 this morning. When this happens she has a hotel near the hospital where she stays and they give a special rate of $55. She didn’t have it. I told her I would pay for her room for one night, so I called Wednesday and gave them a credit card.
    I tell you all this because I could sit back and hold a grudge over the pain she caused me in middle school. I could relish in her addiction and be smug about her comeuppance. I could decide that what goes around comes around. She hurt me and now the tables are turned and she is the addicted mother whose children want nothing to do with her…but I don’t. My heart hurts for her and it hurts for her children. I paid for the room because she is trying. She is really trying to go straight. Even through everything she has gone through over the last few years, when she goes to the doctor, she always posts on FB that she is at Cracker Barrel having coffee and watching the sun come up. She is always so joyful and thankful through it all. I don’t know that I would be. As a matter of fact, I know I wouldn’t. I would be having a big ol’ pity party. I paid for the room because I could and there was a time in my life that I couldn’t have, as you all know. She is thanking me and calling me her “angel” for doing this for her. It makes me extremely uncomfortable. Last night I finally told her that I didn’t do it for her gratitude. I did it because I could and there was a time I couldn’t. I told her that we had both been through our own kind of hell and recognized a fellow traveler. I told her that the only thanks I wanted was for her to pay it forward one day just because she could.
    Please pray for Miss Kansas. God knows who she is.

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  4. Yep, Mumsee got it. The butterfly is a viceroy. Very similar to a monarch, but smaller–and this time when I saw it, I’d seen a monarch about five minutes before, so I could actually tell it was smaller–and the viceroy has those curved lines on the hindwing (inside and out) that the monarch doesn’t have. That one was extremely cooperative, staying on the same patch of flowers for several minutes, moving every which way so I could get it from all angles. I finally walked away while it was still there, which rarely happens with a butterfly; usually it’s there for a few seconds and then it’s gone.

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  5. I was wondering the same thing Chas, is this a new local Lions club or are you heading back to your old stomping grounds?

    I will walk my dogs at night generally, although after crossing paths (almost) with a coyote one night I’m a little more reticent about doing that. And it’s hard now that it’s getting dark so early (and I seem to be working later, not getting home until 7 p.m. when it’s pretty much dark these days).

    I loathe getting up before the sun.

    I think Annie’s friend is still in the house, I catch her in stalking mode every so often (in the spare room but also guarding the territory under the sofa this morning. Whatever. I used to stress about (and feel sorry for) what it was she’d brought it, and where it was … now I just figure she’ll get it in due time, there’s not really a lot I can do about it in the meantime.

    It’s either a mouse or a rat, probably a mouse. But she’s brought both inside in the past. Lizards have vanished pretty much and she never could catch them, they’re fast and slip into crevices never to be seen again.

    She finds rodents more satisfying to hunt.

    Certainly preferable to her jingle-bell catnip toys. How stupid is that, she’s thinking when I try to entice her with one of those.

    Political story yesterday, today it’s back to the homeless. I’m due for another coyote story soon, i think.

    I need to get back to ordering bathroom things. Sink and medicine cabinet are next. After that, I still need to find just the right sink & shower/tub fixtures, a window, light fixtures …

    I received free samples of some bead board the other day, looks nice. This is the more expensive version, of course. Another sample from another company (made of PVC pipe) is still coming but I have a feeling it’ll look too cheesy. It is cheap, though.

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  6. Re: the question from yesterday about what we fear about growing older.

    As many said, I don’t fear death itself, but the process.

    I do fear developing some type of dementia. I am already having problems with my memory that scare me sometimes. My biggest fear about that is for my family. People with dementia often become belligerent & very hard to deal with. Others turn into sweethearts. I pray for my family’s sake that if I do slide into dementia I will be a sweetheart.

    My MIL Mary was already a negative, critical, sometimes nasty woman, & Alzheimer’s heightened that. Her ire was especially at me, her main caregiver. People would say “Oh, it’s just the disease talking.” But I had my doubts. I often wondered if she had felt that negative to me before her decent into Alzheimer’s.

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  7. Beautiful butterfly, Cheryl!

    Great story, Kim. It’s a what goes around comes around story.

    I was prepared for “recliner chair hair” this morning! I brought my flat iron in and did a reasonable fix to the spikes.

    Art is really doing great! He may get to go home later. I am in awe at how well things have progressed.☺

    My brother did not get called for an interview. He is discouraged. 🤐

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  8. This is pretty neat: An author, David Arnold, has written a YA (Young Adult) novel in which one of the characters has Moebius Syndrome.

    This man does not have it himself, & didn’t know anyone with it, but he’d come across a YouTube video of a teen with Moebius. He thought it would be interesting to write about a character with it, so he contacted the Moebius Syndrome Foundation, & they put him into contact with three or four people with Moebius. He interviewed them (probably via email) about their daily lives & struggles, & incorporated some of that into the character.

    One of the ladies he talked to, Leslie, read the book. She said the book is not about the character with Moebius particularly, but aspects of having Moebius are written into the story. She thinks he did a really good job of portraying it realistically & compassionately.

    I told Hubby that book is on my Christmas wish list. (I don’t really have an actual list. 🙂 )

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  9. Oooh. Nice. 🙂

    And I just ordered the sink — will be here Oct. 10, was hoping for sooner, but that should be OK. Toilet is shipping late this month (after I had to live chat with the supplier who originally said I wouldn’t receive it until late November!)

    Those are the two big items now ordered.

    Meanwhile, I’ve locked the cat in the kitchen and left the front door open a crack for the mouse whom I think is up somewhere near there under something … Don’t know how smart they are, but I’m hoping he sees and head toward the light. It’s his only hope at this point.

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  10. I don’t think the mouse escaped. Oh well, I tried. It’s always pathetic to hear them squealing in fear like they do 😦

    Annie’s stalking but I think she’s lost track of the mouse, which is good. But she’ll find it soon enough. It won’t be pretty. Although maybe the mouse will die of shear stress before the cat gets to him.

    OK. Time for me to get out of here & go to work

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  11. Janice, so glad Art is doing so well. I am praying for your brother. That must be so discouraging.

    I believe Chas said he was going to another Lion’s club, which was smaller and a bit different from his other one. He can set me straight, if I am wrong.

    All this bathroom talk reminds me of how much mine desperately needs attention. My husband who did all the plumbing originally can’t seem to get to it. That is what I really dread about growing older. Everything seems more difficult. Or, as is often said, “Growing old is not for wimps!”

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  12. Kathlina, when you get older, nothing works like it’s suppose to anymore.
    You get tired before you get started.
    And nobody shows up when they’re supposed to.

    I joined the Gate City Lions Club when I moved here. It is a small club meeting in the evening twice a month. The Hendersonville club was large, about 75 members, usually about 35 attending. We met every Friday.
    I worked the Vision Van for 5.5 hours today. I did the hearing exam. I took the exam myself just as I left. I need a haring aid. But I knew that. The test confirmed it.
    Elvera has dementia, it was slow coming on and she had it before I recognized it. But she still has her pleasant personality and is easy to handle. She does what I tell her to do. And she can function in some things. But I don’t trust her with machinery.
    Everyone in Greensboro is exceptionally nice.

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  13. Here I was all pleased as we only saw one rattler in the yard this year, but nine year old just came in from taking out the trash and told me there was one in my garden in the walkway. Sure enough. But it won’t be bothering anybody now. Too small to mess with eating it. The snake yesterday looked almost identical but was a bull snake, same size and colors. I try to teach the children the differences but always remind them to leave all snakes alone. A couple days ago, one was playing with a rubber boa, they don’t really listen to well. it is up to God to protect them and He has.

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  14. That butterfly pic especially ‘pops’ on mobile (phones, etc), interesting how some photos play on different platforms and devices.

    Ordered medicine cabinet.

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  15. Nobody stays with Elvera while I’m gone. DIL and I talked about that today. DIL came in about 11:00 and said Elvera was in my room trying to call someone on the phone. She didn’t know where I was. I will have to limit my “away time”. I still do an hour or so, but need to be more careful of staying away too long. I don’t know how she would do with a caretaker. Just another step I’m reluctant to take.

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  16. Chas – Can your family members step in to “visit” her while you are out?

    With Hubby being an only child, & not having any other of his relatives close (in relationship & in distance), we were it. The girls were too young to leave her with them. (Eventually they were old enough, but by then, Mary was more resistant to letting anyone help her.)

    After the first three months, I did a lot of calling around, & found there was an adult daycare for people with dementia or other health situations that required supervision. We used up the rest of Mary’s money paying for it, then Medicare took over. It was a godsend, for me & for Mary, who was used to being out & about, not sitting at home.

    Funny – she would complain about it sometimes, but cried when she couldn’t go if she was sick. The van driver, Anne, who picked her up was wonderful with seniors, & Mary loved her.

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  17. There was also an older woman (but not as old as Mary) named Bernice who picked her up every Saturday afternoon for Catholic mass. Mary was a lifelong Catholic, & although we took her to our church on Sunday morning, it didn’t “count” to her. (Hubby had been taking her to Saturday mass, & eventually told the priest about our situation, & the priest hooked Mary up with Bernice.)

    That lasted until sometime in the last year she was with us. By then, she was pushing people away who tried to help her, even if they were trying to help her when she was unstable on her feet (which she was most of the time by then). The priest told Bernice that it was getting too dangerous for both her & Mary.

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  18. From the beginning of Mary living with us, we realized that she would wear the same clothes day after day. In her mind, she had just worn that outfit that day, & she hadn’t sweated or gotten dirty, so she would set the clothes in her bathroom to wear the next day.

    So I started sneaking into her bathroom & switching out her clothes every couple days.

    Some time after that, a lady at church was dealing with her husband’s decent into Alzheimer’s. She happened to mention that he wore the same clothes every day, & she felt that she was deceiving him if she were to switch them on him. I told her that she was actually preserving his dignity by not having to argue with him over it, or try to remind him he’d already worn those clothes. She thanked me, with tears in her eyes, for giving her a different perspective on that.

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  19. Kim, you’re in Alabama, and you even have snakes that swim. My sister matter of factly lists the names of all the species of snake they’ve seen in their yard and which ones are poisonous. If my husband had been interested in moving to Alabama before the recitation, he wouldn’t have been afterward!

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  20. Chas, I don’t know how my father-in-law’s condition compares to your Elvera’s, but the family doesn’t leave him alone. Sometimes he goes with Mom, but sometimes Mom goes out with my sister-in-law or to a friend’s house or somewhere else (Dad tires easily, and Mom still has a lot of stamina), and when she does, my brother-in-law (their son-in-law) goes over to sit with Dad. My husband has played that role at times, too, but both of them are retired and they live around the corner from Mom and Dad, so it’s easier for them. When we have a women’s event (such as our daughter’s bridal shower this summer), all the men of the family hang out at Mom and Dad’s with Dad.

    If Mom goes to the store with someone and my husband stays with him, when he comes home he reports that Dad kept asking how much longer she would be, and keeps saying she should be due home soon. They’ve been married 61 years and he’d rather have her close.

    I suspect that your Elvera would be well served by your setting up something like that. Even if she doesn’t need it right now, you don’t know when things will change and she will, or when you will leave and she will get confused and try to leave the house to go find you. Also, having established a routine of someone she knows coming over to “visit” with her will help that person get to know her habits now, which will help later, and may help Elvera be accustomed to the idea of “company” before she is actually in need of that. Changes in the way she reacts to things may be subtle things you get used to and don’t notice. I think Mumsee put it well; that someone can be honored to come over and keep her company. I’d happily do so for my mother-in-law if such a time came. And there are professionals who can do it, too.

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  21. Chas – I agree with Cheryl.

    As I’ve said before, please don’t hesitate to ask your family members to help. It will be good for them, too, in their Christian growth. And years later, they will not regret it. In fact, if your own health suffers because you are doing too much, they may end up feeling guilty for not stepping in.

    Taking care of Mary put me through a lot, & it was so very difficult at times, but I do not regret it. Several years later, my SIL & I gave up our own life routines to take care of my mom when she was dying of cancer & wanted to die in her own home. When mom passed (in her own home, as she wished), SIL & I were so glad that we were able to do that for her.

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  22. Chas, another idea is to put a notepad out for her, by her chair. You can tell her where you will be and when you will be back. This is useful with another person there as well. One of the therapists that went to my stepmom’s house to help determine what was dangerous to her in the home (throw rugs, that sort of thing) also put up notes on cupboards and here and there, reminding her to do her exercises. Those had to come down once she started losing her balance or she would have exercised every time she saw them and fallen. But the notes were helpful to her. Now the notebook is used by daughter to tell grandpa where she will be as he is rather hard of hearing and she talks too fast.

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  23. Did Kim say she did the cooking because she knew God was watching out for us?

    Actually, I enjoyed her cooking very much as did the children. Today was hot dogs, brussel sprouts and chips. Kim needs to come back.

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  24. Cheryl those are freshwater snakes and I don’t swim in lakes, creeks, or rivers. I swim in Salt Water and clear all the way to the bottom pools.
    I don’t know what all snakes we have here. I cut them a wide berth. I am terrified of them.

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  25. Good advice.

    My only brush with dementia was with an aunt who lived nearby so it fell to me to look after her, take her shopping, etc. Although since I worked, the time I got over to see her was very limited and I didn’t really pick up on any mental issues until one day she called to say she was in trouble with the bank somehow, seriously overdrawn.

    She was sure it was a mistake, but I had her permission to get a copy of her statement so we could figure out what happened (I had a friend who was a math and accounting whiz come with me).

    Turned out she had taken to ordering lunches & dinners (delivery) through an Italian restaurant almost every day. That did it. When we asked her about it, she seemed not to know anything about it.

    Anyway, her daughter and grandchildren (in their 20s then) lived in northern Cal — although my aunt was seriously alienated from all of her 3 kids — and the granddaughters began to get more involved. I set my aunt up for visits from Meals and Wheels & with a local social worker who was the first one to mention the dementia to me.

    But I really didn’t pick up on it at all when we went shopping, whatever behavior things I noticed I just chalked up to her getting older, I suppose.

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  26. Maybe….
    One of the first ways we knew that something was going on with Aunt BW is she called my mother in law. She told her who she was and asked if this was the number she was supposed to call when she was scared. MIL picked up on something not being quite right, and said yes what is scaring you. BW told her she was at home and there was an old man there and he scared her. BW was in the role of a child and the old man was her husband!

    She was a highly intelligent woman and had taught high school and junior college. We don’t know how long she had been regressing. She hid it so well. We all finally put it together because for YEARS she had been writing herself notes and sticking them on a bulletin board or cabinet.

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  27. It’ll be baked mouse at my house.

    An LA/movie star real estate social media site posted this today about our weather (we’re expecting our typical hot winds this weekend): “Fall in L.A. is just like summer, except windier, drier and (often) smokier.”

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  28. DIL did come over to check on her and bring lunch.
    I thought of calling her several times, but it takes her thirty seconds {no kidding, that long) to get our of her LazyBoy and get over to the phone. It occurred to me, during our discussions here, that we have portable phones now. I will leave a phone on her lamp table when I leave so that I can call. The important thing is that she not worry about where I am.

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  29. This new butterfly is a common buckeye on our sedum. We saw one or two of them at the marshy area, too, and I’d only seen the species twice before (once in our backyard), so I was happy to see them. Two or three days later we had two (one worn, one fresh) in our backyard, and within a few days I was seeing them every day, sometimes two at a time, and one day I definitely had three different ones. (One was a lot more worn than the other two, and I saw the two fresher ones at the same time.

    Adults overwinter in Florida. They don’t breed this far north or survive winter, but in late summer some of them move north, so sometimes we end with some and sometimes we don’t. It’s a lovely butterfly, though, and I’m glad to see them this year.

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  30. Yes, she ought to have a phone close by but be aware, if she is like my sweet step mom, she will be a target for the money grabbers. My dad can’t answer the phone as he can’t hear, so daughter tries to get to it first or at least pay attention to her conversation so she can redirect.

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  31. Mumsee, I don’t worry about money grabbers. For the last several maybe five, months, I have been writing all the checks from her account, except for her tithe. And I help her with that. She thinks it’s important that she do it and physically give it.
    As for giving to phone calls, I will not give to phone solicitations. Even those I support. The reason is that I’m certain they sell your name and number. In Hendersonville, I usually got a call a day from someone wanting money. A female student from USC and Purdue will call for the alumni assn. I’m not sure yet how I will handle that. But the sheriffs association and firefighters and breast cancer, etc. will not get any money over the phone.

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  32. I generally try to turn off my computer by mid afternoon. It seems somebody is messing with it. Don’t read anything in your emails from me unless you know it is from me, and you will know.

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