47 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 4-21-18

  1. That is a sweet birdie up there…we are having so much fun with our fella…he sings and chirps all day long…and he will interact with us when we talk to him…he is quite a blessing to us!
    We didn’t get the measurable snow they predicted….maybe a half inch, nothing on the roads but my oh my it is beautiful. The pines are lightly flocked, the ground is covered and there is an icy fog rolling in this morning…oh the still beauty of a spring winter!

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  2. Good Morning Everyone. My “redemption” for my foul the other day will be to make 100 real estate contacts today. I have a database of 789 phone numbers. Surely I can speak with 100 of those. The back up plan is to go down to the Fairhope pier and talk to strangers. If you know me I am better at approaching a stranger than asking a friend.

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  3. There is a neat device in the men’s room at Friendly Ave. BC
    Hadn’t thought of it before, but all public rooms should have it.
    The front door is a light switch. When you enter, a light goes on. I don’t know about the timer, but at a certain time, it goes off again.
    I’ve never seen that before.

    Good morning Nancy, Kim, et. al.

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  4. Morning Chas, Kim and all…Kim I cannot fathom talking to 100 people in one day. That for me would be overwhelming!
    Chas that would be kind of like walking into a refrigerator don’t ya think…without the cold air…! Light goes on when you open the door…goes off when you shut it 😊

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  5. Chas, we have a light-sensor switch on our bathroom light that was put there to make it easier on the girls. Trouble is, if you’re “sitting” for a while, it goes off and you have wave your arms at it to get it to turn back on again.

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  6. Funny, Linda. Lots of public restrooms have that feature, but I never thought of that, having not lingered. 😀

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  7. On Chas’ comment yesterday about the people he sees in the hospital spending the end of their lives in chairs sitting around – it is sad. That is one reason why I question the institution of the nursing home. We no longer put children in orphanages, because we know it it is detrimental to their development, but we do put the elderly in institutions. They are cut off from other generations and surrounded by peers who have the same conditions as them. It is as though we imprison our elderly for the crime of getting old. Other cultures think Westerners are cruel in the treatment of our elderly – I’ve seen that point made in several Hindi language films. Homecare may be part of the solution, but something else needs to change in Western culture, something in our mindset. It has been repeatedly pointed out during my studies that Western culture is geared toward youth, and the image of perpetual youth is actively marketed. We are, in fact, prejudiced against those of advanced age, and it is a problem. Nowhere can that problem been seen more clearly than in the assisted dying movement. I have remarked to my mother, who turns 70 this year, that we spend more years in old age, especially with our current average lifespan (it is up to 82 in Canada), than we do growing from infancy to adulthood. It is time we embraced that fact instead of running from it.

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  8. We have offered a home to both sets of parents. We built the house with that in mind. But neither parent will take us up on it. They don’t “want to be a burden” to their families. Their families would love to help them but we can’t force them. It is a two way street. On the other hand, I have no desire to grow old in the homes of any of my children. I would prefer to grow home where I am so I understand.

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  9. Roscuro – The only reason we eventually put my MIL in a nursing home was because she was fighting being helped, which became a dangerous situation for us both. She was unsteady on her feet, but any helping hand would be smacked or pushed away, which also caused her to be even more unstable.

    Would I be correct in assuming that non-Western cultures have more children, and thus, more hands to care for their elderly?

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  10. On a lighter note, Chas’ observations reminded me of hospital visits my family used to make on Sunday afternoons. There was an elderly couple – they were childless – who attended the church, but who had become unable to attend after the wife had fallen and broken her hip, whom we and another couple – who were also childless – would visit at least once a month on Sunday afternoons to visit and sing hymns to. When the wife of the elderly couple again fell and broke her other hip, she was installed in the long term care section of the local hospital, so we went there instead to visit them, as the elderly husband went every day to visit his wife, although she no longer recognized him by that point. There was a lounge at the end of the hallway, where we would sit. We children would not always pay attention to the conversation of the adults, and instead would observe the other occupants of the lounge, sometimes to our amusement.

    There was, of course, a large TV in the lounge, and there was two other occupants of the long term care wing who often sat in the lounge of a Sunday afternoon. One was a retired schoolteacher (how we learned about these people, I’m not exactly certain, though I think it may have been by our own observation), who looked like an aged Norman Rockwell rendering of a schoolteacher, complete to the spectacles on the nose and the bun at the back of the head. The other was an elderly padre, who was easily identified by his clerical collar and his Catholic Irish surname. The schoolteacher enjoyed sitcoms and soap operas of a somewhat colourful description, and whenever she entered the room, she would seize the remote and watch, at high volume so we could all hear it quite clearly even if our backs were turned and at the other end of the room, what she wanted. If she left the room, the padre would immediately seize the remote and switch the TV off. It caused us considerable amusement to witness the silent struggle for control of the remote between the two of them.

    After the wife of the elderly couple died, we continued to visit the husband at his home on Sunday afternoons. When I began to learn the violin, he asked me to play hymns on the instrument, as he had, long ago as a boy in the early 1900s, walked twelve miles to take lessons on the violin (he had to give it up, because on a farm, there was little time to practice). I learned more quickly than I would have, how to play difficult keys on the violin. Have you ever observed how many hymns are written with five flats (D flat major) in the hymnal? I hadn’t either, until I was asked to play them. The violin I had was not a very good one – it had been broken at some point in the past and repaired incorrectly – and Youngest sibling had started taking violin lessons too. One Sunday afternoon, the elderly man went to his backroom and brought out his violin, and gave it to us. The elderly man passed away during the SARS outbreak in Ontario (he did not have the virus, but all the hospitals were locked down during the outbreak so we couldn’t visit him when he was hospitalized for heart trouble) and we played at his funeral. Since then, that violin has traveled many places since, having been to Idaho and back, and also to West Africa and back, and now regularly travels on the train between the city and my parents’ place, so the memory of its giver remains ever fresh in my mind.

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  11. Kim, do you ever have have “days off”? Talking to that many people sounds exhausting to me, too. Or do you just have utter the words “real estate” somewhere into the conversation and that qualifies? “Interesting ‘REAL ESTATE’ market these days, so how’s the family?”

    I slept in with some crazy dreams and I accidentally put liquid Cetaphil on my hair instead of shampoo in the shower after I finally got up. A momentary lapse, but there it was. So I had to then shampoo my hair twice to make sure I got it all out.

    Michelle, I saw something earlier this week about that chic fil-a column (NYT?) and read part of the original piece but not all of it.

    there was also this posted by Veith yesterday:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2018/04/a-description-of-the-early-christians/
    ________________________________________

    An Ancient Description of the Early Christians

    APRIL 20, 2018 BY GENE VEITH

    An article at Aleteia entitled This is How Christians Lived in the 2nd Century by Philip Kosloski put me on to a remarkable document that attempts to explain Christians to citizens of the Roman empire–those strange people who don’t expose their infants but let all of their babies live; who reject sex outside of marriage; who endure cruel persecution cheerfully; who do good even to those who hate them. …

    ‘… They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. …’

    … These Christians do not withdraw from their cultures, but rather, on the surface, are “indistinguishable” from everyone else. “They follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in.” “And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives.”

    Do you think Christians could become this way again? How much persecution would it take?
    __________________________________________

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  12. We had offered to add on a little section to our home so my mom could stay with us when her health began to falter. But she wanted to stay in her own home, which I can understand. When she became ill enough that she needed in-home care, SIL and I were able to take turns being there for her, including spending the night with her.

    I don’t mean this to sound uncaring, but I wish that some people who insist on wanting to stay in their own homes when their family needs to take care of them would consider that that can make things much more difficult for their family. Of course, it would be different for each family, but for many, having the elderly loved one in their (the grown child’s) home would be easier than having to be ever-present at the parent’s home. In the grown child’s home, taking care of the parent would then fold into the other daily duties and responsibilities of family life.

    And then there would be those who would prefer to keep their parents in the parent’s home, for their own reasons.

    SIL and I were pleased that we could take care of Mom as we did, but if it had gone on for a long time, it would have been more difficult, being away from my own home every other day and night.

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  13. Interesting link, Michelle, I like Stephen Carter and follow him on Twitter, but haven’t seen much from him lately (could just be I’ve missed his tweets and haven’t thought to check in on his twitter page in a long time).

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  14. Another matter that also plays into why so many elderly are put in nursing homes is that so many women work outside the home, they are not available for the daily care an infirmed elderly person needs.

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  15. Kizzie, I do hope that no one here feels condemned by my observations on a general cultural trend. It is the overall trend which is concerning, not the individual cases. The cousin I mentioned who is caring for my great uncle is facing similar safety concerns, as my uncle is exhibiting dangerous behaviour and he is a very strong man for his years (he always has been – he used to, when his memory was clear, tell about how he, as a teen, consistently hit the bell at that high striker attraction that always appears at every fair and carnival, much to the owner’s disgust and financial loss). So, my great uncle does need the supervision of professionals.

    I am bound to note, however, that those professionals are people like me, who are not necessarily any stronger than family members. I have training to subdue someone who is acting out, but how well I can do so depends on whom I have to subdue. Nursing is one of the most dangerous professions to work in because of violent patients, many of them – though by no mean all – who are not in their right minds, and most nurses are women. I have been struck by an elderly patient refusing help. It doesn’t hurt any less when you are the nurse being hit. Physical restraints, for those who will not stop struggling, are dangerous, so that they are used very little and only under strict condition – there were one too many cases of any elderly patient dying in restraints. Chemical restraints are used more frequently – I remember the nursing home I trained in having to use them repeatedly for one patient who went on the rampage nearly every evening – but their side effects can shorten the life of the elderly, as they are hard on the heart. There were ten patients to a personal support worker (rough equivalent to a nurse’s aid) and thirty to a nurse where I trained – when it comes to safety, that is a much higher ratio of patients to caregivers than any family would experience.

    As for the question about whether other cultures have more caregivers, that really depends. In West Africa, there were certainly many descendants in a compound to take care of the elderly, and there were relatively few elderly, since the average lifespan is some 30 years shorter than Canada’s average lifespan. In India, the population control tactics of the past decades have done their work, and families are having far fewer children – most of them boys due to sex selective abortions after sonograms – but in the films, much was said about the care of parents being a sacred duty in the Hindu faith. Sacred duties, for the devout, are not easily set aside, even if they are inconvenient.

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  16. DJ, on your link to the Veith article: That 2nd century description of Christians from the Epistle to Diognetus is the same section which I have quoted several times on both here and other places (https://travellerunknownblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/the-diognetus-option/) over the past several years. Veith just used a translation with more modern wording than the late 19th century era translation that I had access to through the public domain. Glad to see someone with a more high profile than yours truly has finally noticed the significance of the description.

    I love that 2nd description because it so closely echoed the words of the New Testament. There are strong parallels between the passage in the Epistle to Diognetus and Hebrews 11. Modern day Christians need to remember they are strangers and pilgrims. I once, on another blog, noted that the culture wars are to the Church what the wind and waves were to Peter when he got out of the boat to walk on the water. We need to look away from the cultural train wreck and look to Christ. Only then can we truly be salt and light in this world.

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  17. Roscuro – I did not take offense at what you wrote. I understood your point.

    Nightingale has told me that restraints are not allowed. Maybe she meant that in a more general way, and that they may be allowed under extreme circumstances. I’ll have to ask her about that.

    She says that even bed-rails are not allowed, except for the ones that are only up near the head and shoulder area.

    Falls are something the nurses dread finding or seeing, not only because of the harm that may come to the patient, but also because of the amount of paperwork and phone calls that need to be done for each one. Even if a patient merely starts to sink a bit, and is gently helped down, it is still considered a fall.

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  18. I once was in a group of Christians meeting after church (a former church, which I was visiting after a time away). One of the people at my table was a married woman who had never had children, and she was a nurse, and the only other person at the table (other than me, and the nurse and her husband) was another married woman who had never had children (though her husband had children who were already grown when she married him). The nurse said very passionately that she thought it was selfish for people who had gotten old to expect their family to care for them rather than going into the care of professionals.

    I had just stopped by the table to chat with them for a few minutes, so I wasn’t “in” the conversation nor part of its context. And I knew this lady probably would not have family able to care for her, which might have been part of the emotional background to her outburst. But I thought something like, “Whoa! What really is selfish is to have parents you could care for, but decide instead to leave them to the care of ‘professionals.'”

    There does sometimes get to be a time when you just can’t meet the needs of someone (you can’t lift them anymore, you can’t keep them from running away no matter what you do, etc.), but that should not be an easy or quick choice.

    I too think that most women working outside the home is a big part of it–people just aren’t present. One of my friends in Nashville was working two days a week, and she found out that a relative was going to be putting her two children in daycare. My friend spoke to her husband first, and then went to the young couple and offered her time. She didn’t ask for payment except to cover food an expenses, just did it as an act of live to keep those children out of daycare. Her mother later ended up in a nursing home when she became too big a fall risk for the brother who was caring for her (she ended up with a head injury), but my friend went to that nursing home faithfully at lunch time to feed her mother lunch, and her brothers and other family members visited as well. She wasn’t just “left” to the professionals, but put in her care while the family continued to provide what care they could on their own.

    I also don’t understand the modern tendency to think it is “better” to die in a hospital than at home. If there is a reason to be in the hospital (monitoring of pain medication, for instance), that is one thing. But dying at home with family around would seem a better ending, if it is possible.

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  19. That is the reason we think of putting sixteen year old into care. The running away. When she is in that mindset, she would, perhaps, be safer in an environment with watchers and alarms and restraint options than here at home where I could get into trouble and you would see me in the news for restraining her. Which is why when I see a news story about a parent arrested for restraining their child, I think, what is the rest of the story? Some of these children can be quite difficult. God has blessed us enormously in not giving us any really tough children. But I can see how it could be challenging.

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  20. Cheryl – Even pain medication can be administered at home. My mom was on fentanyl patches for a while, and then on a morphine drip. The morphine drip was set up so that it couldn’t be overdosed, by the visiting hospice nurse. But there are probably other meds that would be more difficult to monitor, such as psych meds.

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  21. Mumsee – A few years ago, there was a report in the news of a toddler with autism who was found wandering the streets early in the morning. The “man on the street” interviews the reporter did consisted of people berating the parents for their negligence. My thought was that a smart toddler can get out of the house if they want to. (Happened to a dear friend of mine, who had her two year old brought back from the apartment complex playground by one of the maintenance men. She was humiliated that she hadn’t realized he was gone, as it was very early, and she and her husband were still asleep.)

    Sure enough, a couple days later, they interviewed the tearful mom, who talked about how smart he was and that they could not find a lock that he couldn’t figure out.

    For a while when MIL first came to live with us, we had a lock on the front door that needed a key to open. That kept her in when she wanted to leave each afternoon to “go back home”, but it would have been dangerous in case of a fire. Eventually, she accepted that this is where she lived, and didn’t try to leave anymore, so we put a normal lock on the door again.

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  22. Kizzie, one of Eldest’s four sons, in his toddler years, once slipped out of the backyard due to an unlocked gate and headed for a nearby construction site because he was fascinated by the big machines. When Eldest realized he was gone, she set out to search for him in panic, only to find him being carried home by a police officer. The officer was understanding, but informed her that he would have to write up a report. She has never had any trouble since, so it was just a routine support.

    That being said, there is no justification for the children reported being found locked in cages or chained to beds. As Kizzie says, restraints are pretty much taboo for the elderly – I meant they were extremely rare under and only used under highly unusual circumstances, Kizzie, and I think the rules against restraints have tightened further since I was first trained – because of the terrible consequences. It is not just the patients who struggle and strangle or suffocate themselves, who can be hurt by restraints. It is not commonly known, but complete immobilization, whether from a fall where someone lies on the ground for hours, or from restraints pinning them down, can actually cause a condition called rhabdomyolysis, where the muscle breaks down, causing kidney failure, and thus leading to death. There are other, slower and more silent, effects of enforced immobilization which are very detrimental to the elderly. If they are detrimental to the elderly, they are also detrimental to children.

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  23. I am not endorsing putting children in cages or chaining them to beds, I am wondering how folks get to that point. As it is, when the stories are aired, they are looking for sensational and rarely give us the rest of the story when it turns out not to be the sensational thing they were hoping for.

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  24. Mumsee, I certainly did not think you were endorsing putting children in cages or chaining them to beds. In saying there was no justification for such behaviour, I was replying to the idea that someone who actually cared about the children in their could ever get to such a point. There are many parents and guardians of children who have very challenging children to deal with, but those challenges do not ever lead them to think that caging or chaining the child like an animal is the solution. But there are evil people in the world, people who enjoy controlling the lives of other human beings, and who view their children as property to be disposed of how they please, and they are quite easily brought to the idea that it is acceptable to chain or cage a child who is not acting the way they want the child to act. We do not have a hard time believing that serial killers are evil people, we need to acknowledge the fact that serial abusers are also evil.

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  25. Two recent stories that came to my attention to illustrate the above post:
    The story of a child who had very great difficulties (this was shown in one of my classes recently – the girl in the story is now an adult):

    The story of a parent who considered children (and spouse) to be possessions to be controlled (Warning: very disturbing details): https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/apr/07/he-saw-our-children-as-possessions-my-husband-killed-our-sons

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  26. Neat story! The first one.

    Evil man, the second one.

    But a lot of the cases where people get into trouble, it appears they just couldn’t find the therapists or mental health help or whatever, to make it work. I just would like, when the world attacks people, to get the rest of the story. I realize that will never happen.

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  27. The Joshua Tree couple, were they evil? Or were they doing what they thought best for where they were? Their children were not tortured, or restrained, or malnourished, or anything else. They simply lived their lives differently from a lot of Americans. But the story was in the “horrible, dirty, uneducated” (nontraditional) life they were living.

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  28. Mumsee, the Joshua Tree family didn’t cage or chain their children, and there were many people, after the initial reports, who came forward to testify that the family was doing their best with what they had. They are not in the same category as the Turpin family, whose adult children were so stunted by their cruel treatment that they appeared to be children. The media initially made the mistake of confounding the two cases, and they were wrong to do so, but using the Joshua Tree family as an example of the need to find a reason for why parents cage or chain their children, when they were never accused of doing so, is also confounding the two cases.

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  29. I take the afternoon break and come back to find a discussion of “putting children in cages or chaining them to beds” — Can’t catch up with that right now, not much to add anyway, although i agree, whenever possible older family members should be cared for by family. Not always possible, though. But had my parents survived to old age, I certainly hope (and think) I would have done that and never could have put them in a nursing home. In fact, it was one of my mom’s fears about getting “too” old (she died at 68, still active and gardening and doing good deeds for others, taking folks to dr. apps, volunteering at the local senior center — she didn’t feel “old enough” mentally to “join,” so she was a worker bee in the office — a sudden heart ‘event’ got her).

    I had a wonderful day OFF from my house (so there, house!). I slept in until 9 a.m., spent much of the day on the patio with my Bible and a cool breeze — found myself studying the butterflies, bees and spiders and birds that stopped by to visit, watered some flowers, and this afternoon leashed the dogs up for a trip to our ocean-cliff park which we hadn’t been to in ages.

    There were drummers to serenade us (along with the off-shore fog horn-buyoy), Tess discovered she’d like to become a seagull herder, I got to check out the new paint job on the 1800s lighthouse (very tasteful), and breathe in all that damp, cool salt air as we walked the perimeter, stopping occasionally just to watch the ocean and gulls and listen to the drumming.

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  30. A rainy Sunday evening here. I went to evening church. First we had a half hour favorite hymn sing. I loved it. I didn’t choose any, just enjoyed what others chose.
    Then we had a video sermon. It was so good. John Piper preaching on Galatians 1 from the Gospel Coalition conference last summer. I haven’t heard anything like that for a long time.

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  31. Roscuro, I was not thinking of the Turpin family. Or the Hart family. I was thinking of one years ago, with children with severe issues, that had gotten to the point of caging them. I don’t believe it was their original intent, but one thing led to another. Locking doors and windows, adding an alarm, locking the fridge, etc. Trying to protect and rear the children mixed with frustration and more restraints and more, until they were in way beyond they had ever thought of doing. But I don’t know.

    I just know that every few days we read another horror story and either it is true or it disappears and it was another false allegation.

    The same thing happens with aged adults.

    Ideally, families would take care of each other. The grandparents would be there to help with the formation of character and the younger adults would be there to care for the aging. But we are a dispersed people, among ourselves. My children are in Colorado, Florida, Virginia, Idaho, Japan, Texas, and elsewhere. They are following their job paths in many different directions. That leaves little time for family. I have watched as others around here have seen their children leave but after ten or more years, some of them come back. But not all. It is difficult.

    In Europe we have seen multiple generations living together, not so much here. Same with China but that is ending.

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  32. I saw Piper years ago at a Ligonier conference (in Texas, weirdly). He was young, so was I 🙂 Colson spoke at that conference as well and I recall that Piper took issue with something Colson said the night before and the parts of the rest of the conference were dedicating to addressing that (Colson had said serving God was our duty; Piper said it is purely our pleasure, duty shouldn’t be part of our mind set about that — I am over simplifying this and may not remember all the nuances, but fun to listen to these guys, including RC sort of wrestle and debate through it from there; I think Sproul’s point was that both were correct).

    My NY friend’s mom in Minnesota was a member of the church where Piper was pastor at the time.

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  33. Still. So. Tired.

    I finally made it back to church. It was great to be back. It seems life group attendance is down, but perhaps the main service attendance is up.

    Miss Bosley is enjoying lap time. Soon I will enjoy nap time.

    Son seems to be making it through his prelim exams before working on his dissertatio.

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  34. Children do sometimes get away from you. Once, in the late 80’s i think, a little girl got up at 2 in the morning and went to her grandmother’s. The fact that she was 3 years old and crossed the highway to do so was scary. The father panicked when he woke up and she was not there. The grandmother did not realize at first that she was at her house, as she had let herself in and was asleep on the couch.

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  35. When I worked in a nursing home in the early 80’s, I remember a restraint of sorts that was regularly used. It was s sort of vest that went over the head, tying to the wheelchair or bed at the waist. It still allowed full range of motion, but prevented lots of falls.

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  36. I assume you have all had a very quiet Sunday as no one has been on the blog. A busy Monday at school. My one child reminded me of loose cannon during free time. So I decided that cannons must be restrained. I told him that he no longer had free centres, but was restricted to the one centre where I had seen him to a good job. If he is okay there, I will consider letting him have another one, etc.

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