Thursday, January 31, 2019

Cover Choice Revealed... or maybe not... WATCH!

It is so exciting to be sharing our story.  Publishing this first book on Amazon has been a learning experience.

For those who have been asking, yes you WILL be able to order the paperback and have it in time for the book launch party at Cattle Dog in Inverness, Florida, USA at 10:00 a.m. on March 23, 2019.   The Kindle will be available for pre-order and will download to your device (as I understand) on the launch date, March 21st.  So,YES! I will be able to sign books at the launch parties.  

Please spread the word, as  a portion of my proceeds will be donated to Alzheimer's research and/or Caregiver relief/respite.

Mark your calendar!  The video to reveal the cover choice premiers at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time U.S.A. on Monday, February 4th.

If video doesn't work, click here!



Sunday, January 27, 2019

Alzhiemer' Trippin' With George Release Date Set

I am excited. You are excited.

The local County-wide paper did an article about the book and the launch party.


Launch celebration is set at Cattle Dog in Inverness at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 23rd.  There will be coffee and mini-muffins and folks chatting. 

Since this is my first book on Amazon I still am stumbling through it.  Each time I change my mind on the book cover it causes problems on my bookshelf on Amazon.  And it causes problems for the sites I have contacted for book reviews and promotions.  Each time I decide to delete more pages, it cause problems that have to be fixed.

I set a lower price for Pre-sales.  But then one of my mistakes kicked me off of Amazon's pre-sales ability.  Arg!  So now I am stepping back and letting things settle before I dig in again.   I have written Amazon and asked for forgiveness and can I please get some help.

The thing is, I envisioned me having copies of the book for the book launch so I could sign them for people, but I have not figured out how to get copies of the book without a stripe across the front that says, "NOT FOR RESALE".  More research is needed.

So we may just be giving away book marks at the book launch and then doing book signings at the local library.  Living and learning for sure through this!

A friend in the neighborhood had just launched her book, Our Journey by Kathie Heimsoth.  She is encouraging me and telling me to relax, it will turn out OK.  She didn't do any pre-sale promotions.

I have already been invited to speak at an Alzheimer's support group.  I was pleased to see someone I sent a review copy to send on a quote from the book to their support group leader.  So I will be speaking briefly at the  Alzheimer's Support Group on Feb. 15.  The group meets at 10:30.  I don't want to take up much of their time, I know how important it is for those who are in crisis to share and get support.

In the meantime I have had to give up some of my party-time with friends.  Not all of it, though.  Lots of fun times.  Last week I went with Debra and Frankie to listen to Jo Jo Moyes at the local pub.  And yesterday I went with a fellow Dementia Diva widow to hear a Beatles Tribute band.  We danced, we laughed, we sang along!

Today, a cold-rainy day, I have a couple that our staying with me getting shelter on their bike trip from the Keys to New Orleans and beyond.  They found me through warmshowers.com

Hopefully I will post again soon with some good news about the progress of the launch.  For now I am stuck in limbo.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Caregiver: Entertainment Engineer, Snot Cop

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

This week the Divas and Princes asked me about the specifics.  They want to be ready when their time to deal with incontinence arrives.  It will come. I was going to include instructions and tips here in this post.  But I have decided to create a separate post entitled Dementia Doodoo Diva.  What do you think?

Instead I will talk about keeping George active and trying to satisfy his "go and do" urge.  This "go and do" need is something that is not uncommon among persons with dementia.

In our support group there are persons with dementia that want to go and do and there are persons with dementia that don't want to go anywhere or do anything.  I am lucky that George wants to go and do.   Though sometimes it drives me nuts that he sometimes just can't sit and do nothing, I would much rather he want to go so that I can go.

Since we returned from our Hurricane IRMA escape trip we have biked and walked and visited folks and gone to meetings and parks.

We continue to ride bike.  George seems to still enjoy it.  He gets the bikes out and is anxious to go.  Folks that know George from his days at the Floral City bike shop or on the trail chatting with folks will yell out, "Hi George!" as they pass.  He waves at everyone.

When we ride, he keeps up sometimes, and sometimes he lags behind and I have to turn around or stop to wait for him.  Many Tuesdays and Thursdays for 1/2 the ride, our friend Zip rides with George so I can enjoy the ride without having to watch my rear-view mirror.

Most of the time George doesn't shift gears on the trike in preparing to stop or climb a hill.   I asked at the bike shop about an automatic shifter....  They can't put one on his current trike.  So I would have to buy a new one.  $7,000 for the trike and shift package!   Oh my!  I guess I will just keep trying to help him shift at the intersections.  Or maybe I will send him to adult day care once in a while so I can ride longer and faster.  It will take a lot of day care to use up $7,000!

The worry is that crossing intersections he can be very very sloooow.  I and others are telling him, "Pedal George, Pedal!"  But he is usually in the wrong gear and pedals verrrry slooooow.  I tell myself that if he gets hit, it's a better way to go than this slow fade he is living through.  But of course it would be tragic and it might not kill him, just hurt him.  That isn't good.

So if anyone one out there knows of a cheaper solution to the shifting problem, let me know.  I though about a tandem trike.  Those are way expensive also.

****************

Though we came out without damage to our home from Hurricane Irma, our next door neighbors had a tree land on their roof causing the tiles to break.

I was supposed to be watching over their house and I somehow felt like a bit of a failure.  Before they arrived home, George and I scooped up the debris.


RESPITE

On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons I have a woman coming in to provide respite care.   Her name is Jean. Jean is pleasant and positive and we like her.

Jean isn't as fit as George and so when she takes him for a walk she thinks going around the block is a long way.

Next time she comes I am going to give her better instructions on how to deal with George's toilet.  The last two times I got home from my time away and George had pooh in his disposable diaper/pants.

She asks him if he wants help and he refuses.  I will instruct her in how to do it in a take-charge matter-of-fact way.  "Let's go into the bathroom and clean you up."  

What do I do with my respite time?  I often feel I need to get as much into and out of these hours as I can.  So I feel a little pressure to use that time wisely.

The fall has been VERY hot.  During respite time I have to find indoor places to hang out away from the heat.

Often times I have taken my computer over to the neighborhood clubhouse.  I spent $400 on the course to get re-certified as a fitness instructor, personal trainer, senior fitness specialist.  But so far I haven't gotten through much of the training materials.  Sometimes I do that during respite or while George is watching movies.  It isn't so much time chunks as it is priorities and energy and drive.




Some of my fellow Dementia Divas stay home while their relief help is in the house.  I do my banking online at home but then I want to get away so I don't hear it.  I am always listening for his movements and his needs.  I want to be able to shut down that part of my brain for a little while.

Activities for me during Respite include:
Socializing with friends
Time in the Gym lifting weights
Walking (though in the heat that wasn't an option)
Blogging
Catching up on calls and emails and paperwork
Getting my hair cut or nails done
shopping

Activities for George:
Movies
Going places (with me)
Eating
24 piece puzzles
coloring
sorting different colored poker chips, cards, things
sorting coins
build wooden block towers
walking (with me or Jean)
Yoga (with me)
Exercises (with me)
Visiting others who are home-bound (with me)
Sometimes Glen comes and takes George to the bike shop or the hardware store with him

We just went to a social gathering and there was food out.  I handed George the pistachios and he was content to shell them and eat them.  I didn't think about that.  Maybe I can buy a big bag and have him shell nuts.  It is also an activity for him while everyone else is chatting.  He wasn't grabbing so much to eat when he had the nuts to shell.  Cool!

The other day when I picked him up from day care he was working with one of those kindergarten toys.  Oversized screws and nuts of different sizes and colors.  Putting the nuts onto the bolts.

Jodie tried to interest him in one of those boards with different latches and locks.  It didn't seem to keep his interest long.  But maybe we can watch the thrift shop for toy tools that work.

Someone suggested stringing Cheerios for the birds.  I got the Cheerios, then we ate them. I never got the string and big needle.

He used to play games on his ipad.  But now, even easy ones have things that pop up that get him off in other places on the internet.

This week he turned 70.  He got a lot of wonderful greetings on Facebook.  Since he never looks on Facebook, it was time for me to end his account.  They only offer the option to delete it if he is dead.  So I said he was dead.


A BIT BONKERS

I think I am going a bit crazy.  I mean I would never have spent money before on getting my nails done.  The nails is another sign I am going a bit toward the nutty side of the sliding scale.  But my nails were breaking easy and with all the rag squeezing and butt cleaning I didn't want to deal with breaking nails and such.

Which reminds me.  I removed my wedding ring the other day.  While squeezing a rag I gouge a knuckle yet again.  Enough, I don't want open wounds on my hands with the stuff I get into.

Another sign I am not acting logically... today I signed us up for a fundraising walk for an organization that helps caregivers by giving them small grants to pay for respite care.  The fundraising walk cost us $50, almost the cost of a full day of day care.

And the other day I sat eating cookies while reading instructions from my doctor on how to lose weight.

I don't mind being a bit off center.  It gives me permission to do stuff differently... maybe with a bit more pizazz.

I was commiserating with a fellow Dementia Diva about worrying about the money lasting until we women die.  Then I told her my sister said, "Don't worry, it is only money." and "It will all work out just fine."

I said, "well, maybe I will get dementia and it won't matter." 

She responded: "You are my sunshine - such a kick! 

So the light at the end of the tunnel - could be the darn train!!"

It is great to have these fellow caretakers sharing their journeys with us.

And the folks with dementia too, sharing their experiences.  Herb Terry had an article on the front page of the Citrus Chronicle (local newspaper) about his experience with dementia.  It really hit me how very aware he is of what is happening to him.




George isn't very verbal, so the only clue we have that he is aware is his teary laugh and his self-introduction, "I have dementia."


MORE HAPPENINGS

It only took a couple weeks after our return before the piles of brush from the downed trees and limbs were removed from the sides of the road.

Our biking friend, Zip, continues to volunteer to ride with George on our bike rides so that I can zip ahead if I feel like that.


We walked around Cooter Pond by downtown Inverness to see if the water level was up after Hurricane IRMA.  I was amazed at the amount of vegetation that had grown since we had last walked there.

I drive us closer to the pond.  We used to walk the three miles round trip from home, but now that is too far for George with out lots of long bench sits... which drive him nuts..."ready to go?" he says over and over.
Our friend, Regis, had given George a coloring book of hot cars.  George seems to enjoy coloring them which keeps him occupied while I cook or make calls.  He says, "See?"  and then "See?"  and then "See?"  and each time I try to come up with an original comment in return.

"Wow, look at that!", I say.  "What kind of car is that?"  I ask.  "Is that my car?"


After returning from our IRMA escape trip, we looked forward to breakfasts with our bike group.  They greeted us warmly.  We are so blessed with their on-going acceptance and inclusion.  One of the hazards for caregivers and those with dementia is social isolation.  Not for us!  Thanks to George's smiles and quiet, cooperative demeanor and their love.  Thank you!


After breakfast one Saturday we biked south on the trail with Debra and Glen.  We saw hundreds of tiny frogs jumping on the trail.  Debra and I winced as we rode through...  we didn't want to squish them.


We stopped at Townsend park to see how high the water had risen.  It was interesting, Hurricane IRMA came through weeks ago and yet the river just peaked a few days before in this area and will peak a few days after this picture further down stream.  Some people in neighborhoods along the river are still wading and boating to reach their homes.


I was glad to see that our favorite tree in Townsend Park was still standing, and there is an old oak nearby that survived the storm also.

On our way back to town, George and I turned off onto the ramp that would take us up to 44 and the sidewalk to Winn Dixie.  The ramp had not been cleared yet.   I stopped and tried to pull things off the trail, but all I did was gain an appreciation for the volunteers and staff that did all the work to clear branches entangled with vines all along the trail and roads in Citrus County.

On Sunday the drum circle was going on at Fort Island Beach (on the Gulf near Crystal River).   I picked up our friend, Jerry, that loves these things and we went to do a little drumming and dancing on the beach.

Some people are dressed in costumes and belly dancing outfits.

I was surprised when we arrived to see one of the Dementia Divas and her prince enjoying the music.





George likes to watch movies on the big screen.  I don't have headphones that work with our big dumb TV.  The noise makes it hard for me to concentrate on tasks I want to attend to.  So sometimes I bring George into the den with me and use the headphones with his ipad.  Nice and quiet.  At least until his movie ends... or messes up... or loses his attention.
One of the people renting a bedroom from us got sick and had to return to her Parents home.  The day she moved her things out she left me a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a thank you card.  Thank you Lydia!
 


I decided to leave that bedroom open for a few months because I want it available for family and friends that are coming to visit this fall and winter.  George's daughter is coming to visit for a couple weeks so she can assist me in caring for George.  I am looking forward to having some time to sort through some stuff and clean and organize the garage and attic and closets.

Debra and Glen drove us to the Villages for dinner and dancing on the square.  The music was by The Clint Barrio Band.  They were awesome. After we got home Debra investigated and found out they were playing again in the Villages on November 25th.  We made plans to go see them again.

George's daughter, Jodie, will be visiting then and we will take her along.  She can help watch George and dance with him too.

While we were at The Villages and I was up dancing without George, I had to keep one eye on George.  He got up a couple times and started walking away, attracted by the vendor booths around the square.  I took him for a stroll then around to see the vendors.  I thought it would satisfy him.  One of the vendors was selling belts and it just so happened that George had just outgrown his belt.  So I got him a new one that should grow and shrink with him.  He has grown from a 28 waist to a 34 waist.  As he grows I put his old shorts in a pile in his closet.  He will someday not eat so well. and his waistline will shrink again.




SNOT COP

I have become the snot cop.  Watching for the dribble and the dangle so I can remind him to blow his nose or catch it with something myself.  This is another milestone that I have to wrap my mind and heart around.  My old man with a snot dangle, oh my.  Poor George, losing more and more of himself.

He usually dribbles in the morning at breakfast.  I am thinking I will get tissues and keep them close to the dining table.

He used to have a very distinct sound when he blew his nose.  If I lost him in a store or a crowd it wasn't for long.  He would blow his nose and I knew which way to go find him.  Now his blow is quiet.

I have a theory on the nose drip.  The runny nose is because he has this forest in his nostrils that collect the moisture from his lungs until it can't hold anymore and it drips out.   He has slept all night without blowing his nose, so he drips in the morning.

Sometimes during the day I have to remind him to blow his nose.  If he is real foggy I hold the hanky to his nose and tell him to blow... no horn blow now.  

POOP POLICE

Oh my!  My sense of smell is playing tricks on me.  I can't trust my nose anymore.  I smell pooh so I check and there is nothing.  I don't smell pooh and do a periodic check anyway and there is pooh.

Even so, I guess among the Dementia Divas and Princes, I am looked to for information.  Probably because of this blog I am now looked at as the one with experience and expertise on how to deal with incontenence.  I am still learning.  My method works on George, it might not work on anyone else.  Each person with dementia travels a different journey with different behaviors, abilities, and emotions.  Each caregiver comes to the task with different talents, abilities, and issues of their own.

The trajectory for Alzheimer's puts bowel incontinence closer to the end stage.  George isn't near the end stage yet.

George's brain damage has occurred so that he doesn't sense he has a back body anymore.  It is evident when he showers and only the front of his body that he can see gets washed and dried if I don't assist him.

Rarely does he go to the toilet to pooh, though it does happen on rare occasion.  He goes pee in the toilet about 1/3 of the time.

I have wondered if he has no sense of his anus and backside, then he could poop while I am cleaning him.  Well, since that thought occurred, it has happened.  I am wiping and wiping and not getting to the end.  It is like a magician pulling all this stuff out of a hat.  I keep scooping.  "Hold still, I am not done yet."  .... "Not yet, there is more to clean."

This week I finished cleaning his bottom and put him in the shower while I got undressed to join him.  I step into the shower and see him standing with his hand full of pooh and more on the floor of the shower.  He is totally unaware of what is happening, he was just trying to rinse the stuff off his hands.

"Whoops!  Stay, don't move." I said, and stepped back out of the shower and got some wipes and the waste basket to clean up.  As I clean him I try to comfort him, "This is just the journey we are on."  If he is aware at that moment, he needs comforting.  If he is aware he won't be aware for long.  That thought comforts me.

I now have him face his sink while I clean his bottom.  I keep having to remind him not to move.  "Not yet, I am not done yet."  The other day while I was cleaning his bottom he picked up his toothbrush and tooth paste and brushed his teeth.  Ha ha.

I have a couple objects I toss into his sink and tell him to play with them.  But they don't keep his interest.  Maybe I should get some of those oversized plastic bolts and nuts...

So, anyway.  I am going to do a separate post dedicated to toileting.  I hope it either helps other caregivers or at least provides someone a laugh or a giggle or a smile.

******************
If you enjoyed this post, please click the join button so you can be notified when Susan posts again.  This blog post is part of the book Alzheimer's Trippin' with George - The Journey Continues.  The second book in the Trippin' Series by Susan Straley.


Monday, September 5, 2016

Day 106 - Home Adjusting, Looking Back, Looking Forward

Sunday, August 4, 2016

The cruelest part of dementia, I think, is the roller coaster.  Just when you are feeling adjusted to the loss of your loved one, they have a great day. 

George is back!  I fall in love all over again.

How does that happen?  If the brain cells are dead like the doctors say, then how can someone who couldn't carry on a conversation for many weeks is now all of a sudden able to chat with you?  Someone who can't think what to do with themselves now thinks to take out the trash and the recycling. 

Now, I know what you are thinking.  He is home in familiar surroundings.  But before we left on our trip we were home and he wasn't listening and comprehending my side of phone conversations and was forgetting about the trash and recycling.

He had good days when we were traveling.  On Sunday after we got back from our trip George had a VERY good day.

I have heard of people on their deathbeds.  Laying there close to death for days and then, just before they die they have a day where they sit up in bed and have conversations and seem so much better. 

The brain is one strange organ and life itself is a mystery.

****************

As you may recall, we arrived home in the early evening on Wednesday.

On Thursday morning as soon as the clock said the bank was open, I called.  I talked to someone and told them our story and they said they could not make the account they had shut off active again.  So I pushed and prodded, but then I finally asked, "Well, what do I do now?" and just then our connection ended.

I SCREAMED at the phone!  "AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH", I yelled.  "HOW CAN I FIX THIS???  AAAAAAAAAA".  Then I saw, George standing by me watching and I looked at him and smiled and started laughing at myself.  And he smiled.

I stood up and hugged him and laughed, but then the laughs turned into sobs.  I was crying!  Not a little weep but a huge dribbly honking loud cry.  George started crying too... but he was quiet about it.

I went and blew my nose.  I was shocked.  I thought I was handling things pretty well.  Where did THAT come from???

I packed up some papers and looked up addresses.  As much as we didn't want to get in the car right away again,  We had to drive to the bank and the Insurance office to get things straightened out.

Fortunately there is a Blue Cross office in Inverness.  The agent told me not to worry.  That there is a grace period.  And he let me call from his office phone to pay the bills that were behind and keep George's insurance.  It was a relief to have that taken care of.

 Our bank is in Ocala... the Villages, actually.  I thought I was driving the right way up 41 and 200.  But when I started entering Ocala I realized I had gone the wrong way.  We were supposed to take 44 East!

I pulled out the ipad.  We were 45 minutes away from the bank, probably further away than from our home.  Sigh.  More driving.........

At the bank we opened another account with George's name on it  but with me as custodian of the account.  I asked after we signed if I would be able to see the account when I logged in.  He assured me I would be able to see it.  I needed an account in George's name to have his Social Security Checks direct-deposited.

Anyway, we walked out with no paperwork and I have yet to see the account on my page on the banks website.  So I will have to call them again after the Labor Day Holiday.

Thursday night was the Hurricane Hermine.  Our neighborhood didn't have any problems.  The wind was blowing strong much of the night and I worried about the big oak tree near our home, but nothing fell. 

Friday it was still raining on and off, but the wind had stopped. 

I had George wait outside and I went in and sprayed the house for bugs.


Then I drove us to Anytime Fitness.  Anytime Fitness was closed!  Reason... no power.  The power was out in parts of town.

We went next door to Winn Dixie.  A clerk by the door told us we could only by stuff off the self.  All things from the coolers and freezers were being destroyed.  The power went out at 2 a.m.  It was now 9:30 a.m.

Staff were gathered around shopping carts full of wrapped cheese and other items from the coolers.  They were scanning them in and the scanner was saying "DESTROY"  "DESTROY".

I told George it sounded like a video game.  How sad to have to destroy all that wrapped cheese after only a few short hours.  I am sure it was lawyers and a sue-happy society that came up with that rule.

We drove back home and went to the clubhouse where we did yoga with a video.


As always, it felt great afterward.

I worked on getting the checkbooks all up to date and to figure out where we were after selling the two rental homes during our trip.

On Saturday mornings our bike group meets for breakfast at the Hen House in Inverness.

I set the alarm so we would be up in time. 

George had changed the tube and not the tire and it must have still had something in it because my front tire was flat again.

No problem, I have a two wheel bike for such occasions...


There was a lot of debris on the trail still from the storm.



I didn't bring the camera in and take pictures of our bike group.  There were about 16 people at breakfast.  AND, Dick M. bought our breakfast!  He said he was glad to see us back safe.

Thank you Dick!

We biked a bit with the Snails of our group.  But rain threatened so we turned around after only 5 miles.

After running some errands on our bikes and getting quite wet, we arrived home.

Later the sun came out and I went out and mowed the lawn and trimmed bushes.  We have a service that is very affordable, but the rain kept them from coming and our grass in places was Thigh-high.  Time to mow!

While I was out our neighbor, Dianne D. came over and gave us a fresh tomato off the vine and three fruit from her cactus.   She said the seeds are crunchy and the fruit is slightly honey sweet.
 

We liked them!  I don't like growing cactus because they are hard to weed around.  But the flowers she gets from her cactus are gorgeous and these fruits are pretty cool.


Tiny little ants have found out we are home.  They are in the cupboards and on the counters.  So one of the errand stops was to pick up these ant stations.  They take the food home and it kills off the queen and the whole colony.

We got a call from our Canadian neighbors, Louise and Richard.  We do a lot with them in the winters and have gotten quite close in the few years we have known them.  They told us they might not make it down this year.

I turned the phone over to George so he could say "Hi" and George started to cry.  "I miss you guys," he said.  Louise was surprised he was so emotional.  The part of the brain that keeps that in check is gone.  Plus he is dealing with having this dementia happen to him.



Sunday the ants were still around.  How long do these things take?


We have a wasp building a nest by our door.  And I took pictures of this old abandoned nest.





Sunday, we were going to go for a trike ride.  I announced on Facebook we were going for a ride and asked for company.

We stepped outside.  Hot and very humid.  I was suddenly feeling VERY tired.

I got a call from my sister.  We had a nice chat.  I told her I had been thinking about looking for a duplex in the area.  The lawyer had said to buy a big house because if George needs nursing home care it will take all our funds before we can start getting financial assistance from the Government.  They allow the well spouse to keep the house and a car. 

Right now we live in a manufactured home on rented land.  So that isn't much of an asset for me to keep if I should survive George.  Anyway,  I mentioned this to my sister.   I was in the kitchen talking.  George was in the living room reading.

After I hung up George came in and said, "So you are thinking about buying a duplex?"  It surprised me.   He's doing good today!
 

We went for a drive instead of riding trikes.  We became gawkers, we drove toward Crystal River and the Gulf Coast to see if we could see any damage from the Hurricane/storm.


 A few piles of carpet outside of homes, mostly branches and sea grass, on the road out to the beach a lot of sea grass that had been already cleaned off the road.

Mattresses....
 The most furniture we saw on the curb was at a Government office.


But at the park, folks were out on their boats... maybe they were gawking from the water side...


Utility workers were stringing up lines on a Sunday....  Thank you Utility Workers!

We tried to get to the beach where we heard the dock was out.  But the road was closed.  So we drove back home. 

I was still exhausted and like a hypochondriac I started to worry that I had pneumonia or something...

But around 2:30 I felt energetic again.  So I asked George if he wanted to go for a trike ride.  Yes he did.  He had changed my tire, we were ready to roll.

We were riding in the afternoon heat.  I said, "But it will be cooler in a couple hours."

As we rode I started feeling better and better.

In Floral City we saw they were working on putting in a parking lot for the rest-stop.  I turned around to take pictures and George followed.




While we had been gone our friends Regis and Cindy had sold their bike shop and retired.  The shop still looked good and open for business.


I started feeling really good and even did some sprints.  George and I were both happy to be on this nice wide trail with shade and without having to stop and read the map.

At Townsend park we went down to see how high the river water was.  Our favorite tree had lost a branch recently, but the big ones were still there.




I asked George if he wanted to go into Nobleton and see if the ice cream shop was open.  He smiled and said, "Sure!"

It was 4:00 on a Sunday.  I thought it might be closed.

It was open!


The owner dished out our ice cream and then told us we could go behind the shop and sit in the shade by the river...

 Oh my!  It was lovely! 

We sat for a long time... as grey clouds rolled in with booming thunder.


One lone duck, beautiful, came and watched us cautiously.  We could see that the owners had put out corn meal for the ducks... but he was too nervous with us right there to come close enough to eat.

 But then three ibis arrived and the duck seemed so happy to have company.  The ibis started eating right away, the duck did too.



After a long sit we decided to head back.  We made it two blocks and  could see the rain coming.  We pulled over and stood in the doorway of the Nobleton Post Office waiting for the worst of it to pass.


George used to complain and avoid the rain like it was acid or something.  Now he says, "It's just water."




When it lightened up we headed out again.  A bit cooler but not uncomfortable.

How wonderful to be on our trail, wide enough to ride side by side.


Monday morning I went for a walk before George was out of bed.  I saw my neighbor Diane and walked with her a bit.  I told her about needing to buy a house and she told me that she and her daughter are both nurses.  They will help me when it is time.  I don't have to put George in a home!  She said we were much better off staying in this neighborhood where we have support.

I said, "When he starts wandering..." and then I realized that in this neighborhood people would know where he belonged.  We have support here.

I am relieved and want to believe.

I signed up for a September 14th "Coping with Dementia" for caregivers.   If I learn something new, I will share it with you here.



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