Book Kiosk Find

When I took the stool sample to the Wayne County Hospital today, I came home with To Distant Shores by Jill Gregory, a thick romance from 1980.  Today when I went to catalog it into my Read/Want to Read file, I noticed the first page was stamped with Humeston Public LIbrary, but not marked as withdrawn.  (Last time this happened, I'd paid $.75 plus shipping and handling, so I guess I have a bit less to lose, as Humeston is within 20-25 miles of me.)

I looked up the on line contact info and sent off a query.  I don't know yet if I'll be reading and returning or finishing the catalog entry and keeping the book.

Doctor Visit

I finally got to the doctor.  I'd called a week ago for a appointment, but he'd been out sick.  (Occupational hazard?)

His office partner, who'd treated me over the years and knew that I'd used Testalon pearlies instead of cough syrup when I got past the point where a cough drop was working, had called in a script for me, which I'd picked up and used as needed.  (I could have up to three a day, but only took one if I couldn't quit coughing when I went to bed, so had only had three, not seven by the time I actually got to see my doctor.)

I'd also had bleeding which my former nurse sister labled hemorrhoids off and on since before the election.  

When he entered, he noted I looked a bit pale, and added blood work to the known issues list.

I told him I hadn't been going outside much, even though the weather has been far warmer than expected for this time of year.  

He looked up the last time I had a colonoscopy, which I'd already had the nurse do last week when I'd first contacted the doctor's office.  The fellow who performed the surgery had told me I didn't need another one for ten years, but I'd had that one in Jan. of 2011.  My doctor countermanded his advice, as I was now having issues.

He ended the visit with the promise that we'd be seeing a lot more of each other.  He kept patting my shoulder when he'd come or go from the room as various other people got me the supplies I needed for the stool sample, drew blood, etc.

I ate at Hy Vee's cafeteria afterward.  I'd tried to do a fasting as I knew I needed a blood draw sometime soon, but since this was a replacement appointment, it wasn't until 2 pm, and I didn't last that long.  I broke down and had a slice of Texas toast with butter and grape jelly about 11. 

Maxine Cards

A friend sent me some new Maxine cards, some of which she'd never seen.

Some of those I’ve never seen, either.  My mother got me hooked on them.  She turns 93 in May.  Last year, at her birthday party, she forgot her grandson’s name three times.  I was sitting next to her, and she asked, in three different ways, “Who’s that handsome young man at the head of the table?”

In February of this year, she was again at a family birthday party (for that same grandson).  She forgot his mother, WHO IS HER CAREGIVER, and had brought her to the party.  So sad.  She used to love to read, but is now nearly blind.  She has Alzheimer’s.

When we were all in Mississippi at her competency hearing, she was asked how many daughters she had.  She said “four” (the number of CHILDREN she has.)  The judge then asked her to name them.  Without hesitating, she came out with “Lou, Bonnie, Louise and Sandy.”  Other than giving Lou, twice, she named them in the order of whom she saw most frequently.

We put her in a top assisted living facility.  I took her around like I was introducing a new horse into a strange pasture and wanted to be sure it knew that it was home, how to get to food, water, salt and shelter.  A worried nurse’s aide was trying to help her, but had no idea how to do it, so I just sort of took over.  I’d link arms, ask her what she wanted to do and WAIT.  If she came up with something doable, we then did it at once.  If she was stuck, I suggested things - go outside for a walk, go to her room to rest, go to the cafeteria for a snack, locate something to read (books and newspapers were NOT in the same place…) where to get help, how to get back to her room.

If she messed up, instead of reacting, I’d wait until she asked something.  “Is this my room?” she popped out with once, having turned left instead of right, but getting on the proper side of the hall and the right number of doors down from the corner.  I did NOT want that to be a “lose” instead of a “win”, as she was only one misstep off.

“What do you think?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Are you in a safe place?”


“If you mess up, will anything bad happen to you?”  (She’d been meeting and greeting for over an hour at that point, and NOBODY was anything other than kind and helpful, whether they were resident or staff.)

“No.  Should I open the door?”  I nodded, and she did, peeking in.  The secretary, who had a wide window area on the far side of the office instead of a solid wall, so was well aware of what I’d been up to, smiled helpfully at her, but said nothing.

“That’s not my room, is it?”

“Nope.  Do you see anything anywhere that you recognize?”

Turning in a 360° circle, she saw the entryway with the doors outside, the huge table with a beautiful huge bouquet of colorful flowers on it, the hall she lived on visible on the far side, including her door, with a sign “Emily Reed” on it, sticking out.  She got very excited and said, “I see my room!”  Two visitors and the secretary CLAPPED for her!

Bonnie, the middle sister, who had showed up after going back to the motel to take her dog for a walk, caught up with us after a successful walk around the outside of the facility.  Mom had walked until she did’t want to any more, turned in the proper direction, and was back by the doors.  There was a large circle you pushed to open them from the outside.

Bonnie, tired after three seconds of mom not figuring it out, rushed over and did it for her.  Great.  And afterward, when neither of us were around, who was going to do that?  I tried to get Bon to let mom think things out for herself.  Instead, she said, “Promise me you’ll never forget who I am.”

I was sick inside.  That was one promise mom would NOT be able to keep, no matter what else might happen.

Lou lives in Minnesota, Bonnie in Raleigh, NC, so eventually, mom needed more care than she was getting down there in Mississippi, with her three daughters at least a thousand mile away, one way.

Lou placed her in a brand new facility only three miles from her home in Rochester, Minnesota.  (Originally, mom didn’t want to be where it was cold, but she was by then past the point where she could take herself outside and be counted on to get herself back inside safely.)

So, Maxine is a happy/sad memory for me.  Thanks for sending them!  I really laughed.
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Magnetic North Shifted?

Today, I sat in my car at the head of the circle drive to be sure I caught the hay guy to give him a message.  The sky filled FILLED with Canada geese, half mile long strings flying in parallel V's.  Don’t know what their excuse was, but at 3:30 PM Feb 1, 2017, THEY WERE WINGING DUE WEST, honking their beaks off. I can think of no body of water large enough to sustain that many until they cross the interstate out of Des Moines.   If they don't tip north to do that, they have a long flight ahead.

Magnetic north suddenly shifted?

Canada Geese Made It to Des Moines

I took Audra the Audi up for service on Monday, a 40's lovely day, and when I left the dealership, there went the Canada geese, flying out to the Saylorville Lake just north of there... Their group had doubled in size.  I was trying to decide if they'd made good time, or not.  In the city, you can't hear the honks.  Too much ambient noise in the background.  (The dealership is the first business off the DM beltline, with four lanes of traffic each direction at that point.  A few miles south, staying on the road as it goes under the interstate, you come to the largest mall in DM: Merle Hay Mall.)

I got some stuff I've never seen anywhere else in the frozen section of TARGET.  Would you believe, I didn't even know they HAD one?  My freezer that got unplugged is now officially full.  Top shelf is the oldest stuff, so I can keep track.  Now all I have to do is eat faster than the freezer burn.

Bummer!  When I got home, I couldn't find the glasses I just put the new lens in Dec. 3rd.  They were the Rayban granny style glasses [or Benjamin Franklins] with a light weight titanium frame, and this time, the techs got the soft focus stuff right.  (Before, I had to tip my head back to keep the book in focus.)  I am sick.  I'm not sure I can afford to replace them right now, after my shopping spree.

I looked up the spelling of the lake, so I'd have it right, and read, "Picture a beautiful eight acre fishing lake that will be surrounded by a great lawn for concerts and games, an open air civic shelter for large gatherings, a picnic ..."

Contrast that with the lake I'm 8 miles southwest of – Lake Rathbun, second largest in Iowa, at 21.13 miles.  Fish hatchery, water purification, boating, recreational locations abound on both sides of the dam.  The "beach" area strikes me as pretty chinzy, however.  (says the girl who lived in Chicago, making multiple trips to a FAR, FAR larger lake...)

Chicago sits on the shores of Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes, which stretches from western Michigan, 118 miles across, to the shores of Illinois and Wisconsin on the west and Indiana to the south.

Canada Geese Sighting!

I was on my way home from the closest town when I spied 15 Canada geese, heading NORTH.  I had just crossed the city edge, going 30, and gradually sped up to 55, counting as I went.  [Not another car on the road, in either direction.]

Oh, those poor, confused souls, once they get there, wherever there is, and the weather reverts to normal…

Six miles later, I pulled up to my mailbox, then drove itno the garage, no geese in sight yet, although the road runs parallel to their route to water at this point.  As I walked from garage to house, here they came, too high to count.  I sure did enjoy the honking, however.  It really made me smile.

This is the earliest I've EVER seen geese heading north, and I'm 71 years old, been living here since 1976.

Did It Again

Today I took my Saturday vitamines.  I'm not sure how I'm omitting that daily routine,  but if I can't end up on the right day of the week, I probably need to add the time I take the morning dose to the chart I record my daily weight on... (Scribbles note to self…)
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