I started the day at 7ish with the alarm waking me to a sunny morning in Oregon. I am very conscious that this is my last Monday on leave and have started to worry about returning to work and making it to Susie every day. It is important to her (and to me) to see me, and, as it is, unfortunately, true, Susie gets better service and care by having me show up each day. Also, with the dropping of masks and many people believing, or at least trying to believe, that the pandemic is over and social distancing and masking is a thing of the past, return to work will include more risks for Susie and me. It would be a near disaster if I was exposed to flu, cold, or Covid-19 and had to stay away from Susie. So I worry.
Glenda is cleaning the floors and has her flight back to her home in North Carolina. She, Susie’s Aunt from North Carolina, is returning on Friday night via a redeye flight. I have taken these flights often, as getting up on a dark morning and rushing to an early flight are the pits. The time difference of three hours makes the flights back to the East Coast, and the timing for arrivals is quite messy.
Returning to the narrative, I wrote the blog, and Glenda continued to clean and organize. The old microwave oven was in the car as my old Apple laptop, propane tanks and bottles, and various old electronics. Once I was done, Glenda and I took Air Volvo, loaded up like a cargo plane, and headed to SBC Recycling. Glenda picked up the $18 recycling fees (including $5 for the microwave). Finally, the old propane tank and bottles found a home, yeah!
We stopped by the UPS Store and learned that bubble wrap is not recyclable here in its various forms and goes in the trash. That was disappointing as Glenda had collected it and hoped to find a happy home for it. But, nope, it is headed for the garbage.
I forgot I had a nice Ruben sandwich in the frig and instead made a sandwich, ham and cheese. Glenda found more leftovers for lunch.
We then traveled to the Forest Grove Rehab and Care Center at 3900 Pacific Highway, Room 44A, without seeing any extra-legal antics from our fellow drivers. I am still using the traffic light and turning into the back streets to reach the facility, which seems safer.
Susie was in her Wheelchair when we got there and was just finished lunch at the tables near the nursing station. One of the other residents is taking all the nurse aid’s time as the resident tries to wander but will fall–they have to have someone with her all day.
It is cold and gray in Oregon on Monday, so we stick to pushing around Susie in the home. I also got Susie’s vax card, now updated, back from Pre. Susie had, finally, her third shot nearly a year after the last one–I had my third one some time ago and am headed soon to shot number four, 50 being long ago in the rear-view mirror.
I also ensured that paper copies of my letters were received and put in Susie’s chart, with the phone number hand-corrected. For example, one letter states that Susie is leaving in May for a new place. I like to state my intentions in letters, but I do not make demands in these notes. Implementing my preferences is left to the facility’s staff as they often have forms and processes that I am unaware of. We also check that the DNR for Susie is still in place and corresponds again to yet another paper letter; it does.
Susie, Glenda, and Leta (Susan’s mother) have a friendly chat on FaceTime using my iPhone. We chat for a while and even cover some less exciting topics. Soon, Susie is getting tired and tuned out for some of that. But, we notice that and soon say goodbye.
Susie had speech therapy today and had more treatment scheduled in the afternoon. We finally are getting Susie some services at Forest Grove! I will sign her up for “In-Home Care” when she moves to Tigard in May.
Glenda and I took Air Volvo home. There Glenda continued with her archeological work in the pantry. The granola bars were from 2010! Next, I started to repair the bookcase. I drilled and re-enforced the shelves with cabinet screws. Many central shelves can no longer be moved, but they also cannot fall. One of the too-short shelves got a 2″ screw to ensure it would handle the weight of books. Unfortunately, there are a few extra holes in the bookcase as I have to find a 1″ plywood board while balancing it on books. I have also countersunk some screws and discovered that they looked worse than just leaving the screw heads visible. I also first drilled pilot holes but soon learned I could, if the drill is set correctly, just drive the screws in with the drill without a pilot hole. It was at the limit of the drill’s power, but it saved a lot of time.
I was pretty tired out by all that, and I recycled a twenty-year-old set of dull drill bits. I had a new set of bits that I had forgotten, and it worked better until I realized I could manage with just the screws. But going into a plywood shelf sideways with a screw was again at the power limit for my battery run drill.
Aside: The old bookcase is made of plywood with a veneer of hardwood, making it look like an old-school plank-built bookcase. The plywood will not warp but is more rigid and heavier than plain wood. A few shelves were 1/4″ too short, which caused them to wear against the metal pegs used to hold the shelves up. Now the shelves are permanently set in place. I did just the middle shelves as the bottom and top seemed to have no issues.
I rested a bit and then made dinner. I used the defrost on the new microwave as the chicken thighs for dinner were still frozen after being left out for a few hours to thaw. The new appliance worked perfectly and fast. I had the chicken thighs, skinless and boneless, baking with just Herbs de Provence on a rack. I used the spice bag we bought in Holland at the Van Gough Museum (the spices are made in the same location as Van Gough painted in France) to remember my last trip with Susie to Europe in 2019 (the herbs are fading, but my memory is still bright).
I made couscous to go with it. I cook spices (cinnamon and cardamom) in hot olive oil with almond slices and raisins. I then toast the couscous, it absorbs all the oil, and then add hot chicken broth to the very hot pan. I stir and add water or couscous, depending on how the absorption goes. I remove it from the heat. You must service it immediately, so add the liquid at the lost moment and, if you have to, remove the pan from the heat if your timing is off and reheat the pan a bit then later before adding the hot liquid (I warm the broth in a microwave sometimes).
We also opened the last can of Freestone peaches and discovered plain peaches again, not the wonderful stuff I had last year. So no more Del Monte Freestone cans, sad.
I watched a bit of PBS news after dinner. Corwin had some dinner too. It was plain but good: nothing too dressed up and all easy. After some news, I went into the bedroom and chatted with some friends on the phone and learned the latest goings-on at Nike IT. Glenda read her book, and I read too. After that an early bedtime, I was soon asleep and never saw midnight on the clock.