2019 Life Logs, Day 7: Tennessee to Cape Cod

2019 Life Logs, Day 7: Tennessee to Cape Cod
Date: Monday, January 7, 2019
Weather: Mostly Sunny; Temps on Cape Cod–High 34, Low 22 degrees F
Location: Back Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

It is always good to get home, but I hated to leave my sister to deal with all of Joe’s health issues. She has her daughter Janet to rely on, but having me there gave her a break from the everyday chores of cooking and cleaning and also gave her someone to talk to about the issues. I called this evening when I got home and she said that today the home health nurse came, plus the occupational therapist, the physical therapist, another nurse that had a lot of questions, plus a speech therapist. That is a lot of therapists in one day! When the occupational therapist came last week, I asked her if she could get Patsy a copy of the hospital report on Joe’s condition as they did not give us anything when we left the hospital. When the occupational therapist looked it up on her tablet, she was very surprised that a CT scan Joe had while in the hospital showed evidence of an ‘old’ lacunar stroke. Patsy had no idea that had ever happened. Maybe that discovery triggered the need for the speech therapist. No one mentioned that addition last week, but speech therapy will be happening now as well. Some therapists come one time a week, some two times per week, and some three times per week. All of these sessions are going to keep Patsy busy for a while. Hopefully it will help Joe’s current situation which is basically that he sleeps 22 out of 24 hours unless the visiting nurses and therapists are there to work with him. This is a very complex situation and I just hope my 85 year-old sister that weighs only 88 pounds can stay strong. Go, Patsy!

My trip home took 9 hours, but the flight was only 2 hours and 20 minutes. The bus trip from Logan Airport to the Park and Ride where my car was waiting took 2 hours and 10 minutes. And then the drive home took another 25 minutes. Add in the wait time at the airport and wait time for the bus, and the trip takes all day. While I was waiting for the bus at the airport, I got a text from Heather inviting me over for an early dinner as all three boys had Scout activities tonight, I jumped at the chance to see the Goldstones and not have to cook dinner. Thank you, Heather.

On my way to Heather’s for dinner, I stopped by my house to turn up the heat and to check on the aquarium. I used an aquarium vacation feeder which allows the fish to eat at will and found that the babies have doubled, even tripled in size in the past two weeks. I turned the light off in the aquarium for the time I was away and when I got home this evening, the two glass fish the boys and I added to the aquarium in November were swimming around. I have not seen them since the day we put them in the aquarium, so I assumed they had died. But it seems they are alive and well and living in the aquarium castle. I’m going to get the Goldpebbles to build a Lego ship wreck for the aquarium and then take the castle out for a while. Maybe then we can see the glass fish. But I have to say watching the baby Platys grow is such a delight. They looked like little bugs when they first appeared and now they looks like miniature adult Platys, each with his or her own distinctive look. I really enjoy having the aquarium. Knowing that I can leave it for two weeks and that the fish do just fine is also a great relief.

Yesterday I took down my sister’s artificial Christmas tree and got it stored away. It comes apart in three pieces and is quite difficult to handle. When I got home this evening, my ‘live’ Christmas tree was here to greet me. So now I must get the ornaments stored and the Christmas tree (still green and beautiful) out the door and ready to be ‘recycled’. The rest of my week will be spent putting away Christmas, meeting with the orthopedic surgeon about my knee (oh, my poor knee), and going to various meetings and appointments. Tomorrow I have an 8 am appointment to get an oil change and tire rotation on my car and then at 12:40 pm I will pick up the Goldpebbles from school as it is an Early Release Day. No lack of things to keep me busy around here!

2019 Life Logs, Day 6: Last Day in Tennessee

2019 Life Logs, Day 6: Last Day in Tennessee
Date: Sunday, January 6, 2019
Weather: Sunny; High 63, Low 44 degrees F
Location: At Home with Patsy and Joe Kerwood in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee

It feels like I just got here, but it is time to fly home tomorrow. I have an appointment with the knee surgeon on Wednesday that I really can’t miss. It takes so long to get an appointment and I would like his opinion on what has happened to my knee since the fall on Halloween. I’ve seen his assistant twice, but I want to see the surgeon to make sure that whatever I have done is not going to cause problems with rehab after the surgery in February. So home I go.

I had another massage today compliments of my niece Janet and did some shopping for Patsy. Her entire house, except for the bathrooms, have wood floors and she didn’t have any easy way of mopping them. So I bought a Swifter Wet Jet for wood floors. I came home and mopped the whole house except the master bedroom and it was so easy. Plus the floors look great. I bought other household items—extra sheets and a new mattress pad–and then I came home so she could go to the grocery store to finish the food shopping I did yesterday. She can no longer leave Joe alone, so as soon as possible Janet is arranging help to come in three days a week, but in the meantime, she has plenty of food, an easy way to clean floors, and extra sheets. Now she just needs a live-in housekeeper to cook the food, clean the floors, and change the sheets. But I’m afraid neither of us can afford that!

It was a beautiful, warm day here with a high of 63 degrees. It actually looks like early springtime. When I arrive in Boston tomorrow afternoon, the forecast says it will be 30 degrees but feel like 21. Ouch. I am going to have to do some quick adjusting.

2019 Life Logs, Day 5: Sunshine

2019 Life Logs, Day 5: Sunshine
Date: Saturday, January 5, 2019
Weather: Sunny; High 59, Low 36 degrees F
Location: At Home with Patsy and Joe Kerwood in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee

Finally, we had a day of sunshine. It was sunny on the day I arrived but has been overcast and rainy since then. We spent a quiet day at home. Janet and Monica came over. Janet worked with Joe, getting him to move a bit which is real challenge, while Monica performed handyman tasks. In less than hour, she installed a new kitchen faucet, a safety handle in the shower, and did a deep cleaning of the washing machine and its filter. I was totally unaware that washing machines even have a filter! I went to the grocery store mid-afternoon to buy things to stock Patsy’s freezer so she will have ‘instant’ meals for Joe. When I got home I had a Skype video call with Heather and gang and then Patsy and I took all the ornaments off the Christmas tree and Patsy put those away. Tomorrow is Epiphany, the day I have adopted as my official end of the holiday season, so we will take down the tree and box up Christmas until next year. Lucky me, I get to do this again when I get home!

2019 Life Logs, Day 4: Nashville Music

2019 Life Logs, Day 4: Nashville Music
Date: Friday, January 4, 2019
Weather: Mostly Overcast; High 51, Low 36 degrees F
Location: At Home with Patsy and Joe Kerwood in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee

A visit in the Nashville area just isn’t complete without taking in a little Nashville music. Tonight my niece Janet and her partner Monica took me into the Music City to hear Fireball Mail at The Station Inn. According to Trip Advisor, “The Station Inn is a concert venue in Nashville, Tennessee, hosting the greatest bluegrass, blues, roots and Americana in the world. The Station Inn is the last true music venue in the Gulch area who has held true to the Nashville classic music scene.” I smiled when I read that last sentence as that is just a nice way of saying that the bar has not changed one little bit in the past 45 years of its existence. It has a well-worn look with an unfinished plywood floor and a hodge-podge of tables and chairs, but the music was world-class bluegrass. The Fireball Mail band played a mixture of original, progressive, and traditional songs and invited a few guest singers to join them at times during the evening. One guest tonight was Jet Jurgensmeyer, a fourteen year-old actor and bluegrass singer who plays the guitar. This band won the 2016 Telluride Bluegrass Festival and each of the five members of the band have won individual awards of excellence in guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin, and fiddle. I thoroughly enjoyed the music. The head of the group is the husband of a friend of Janet’s who greeted us, bought us beer, had her husband take the time to come by to chat with us, and gave us complimentary copies of the band’s latest CD. When she brought a pitcher of beer to our table, I said something about her being an angel to which she replied, “I like that. A beer angel!” It was a fun evening in Nashville.

2019 Life Logs, Day 3: Dreary Weather

2019 Life Logs, Day 3: Dreary Weather
Date: Thursday, January 3, 2019
Weather: Overcast; High 43, Low 41 degrees F
Location: At Home with Patsy and Joe Kerwood in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee

What dreary weather we are having here this week. It is warm enough, but no hint of sunshine. But I guess that is what comes with January. Otherwise, things are progressing here. Today the home health care nurse visited and outlined the level of home care for my brother-in-law Joe for the next couple of months. He has multiple issues, including the early stages of dementia, so health care is complicated. After the home health nurse left, my niece Janet stayed with Joe while I took Patsy to Costco. Joe seems to really enjoy his time with Janet. Today he got to open some belated Christmas presents which actually got him to smile. Patsy has been homebound with Joe for a few months and has very little chance to get out. And she loves going to Costco. So off we went. Our day tomorrow will be spent dealing with in-home occupational and physical therapists. Then tomorrow night, Janet is stealing me away to go see a Nashville musician that she and Monica really like. That should be fun.