Story 30April2022: Last Day of April

I started the day at 6:30, thinking it was strange not to sleep in on the weekend, but I got started anyway (I did sleep in until 7:30 on Sunday). I managed to get going, missing Glenda, who stayed with us for two weeks, and write the blog and read emails and news items. I had to be in Forest Grove before 10 this morning, so I rushed.

I was clean and dressed and ready to board Air Volvo by 9:20. I then drove in unusually heavy traffic for a Saturday to the Forest Grove Rehab and Care Center at 3900 Pacific Highway, Room 44A. I reached the facility using the back entrance before 10AM.

I managed to use the touch screen to electronically record my status for Covid-19 (no exposure, no tests, no symptoms, and so on) and headed to Susie. She was, as I was expected, still in bed. I woke her.

Apparently, breakfast was in bed with someone feeding Susie before I arrived. While she has made good progress and her hands are working better, she cannot lift a spoon with much dexterity. Also, Susie is still on pureed food as the stroke damaged her ability to swallow. Asperating anything into her lungs would be a disaster, and previously her left lung collapsed from an infection caused by her inhaling water and food into her lungs. No repeating that!

Michelle from Allegiance Seniors Care was on time and brought an RN with her. I helped them enter and then did the touch screen Covid-19 check-in. We headed to Susie’s room, and they met with Susie, who was still in bed. They asked Susie some questions, and most she could answer. Susie’s use of language was much improved, and she had a few conversational answers. We answered a few questions about food preferences and if Susie can stand on her own (not at this time). The purpose of the meeting mainly was to meet and greet, and Susie was happy to talk to someone new.

Michelle and her RN left after about thirty minutes and would start the process of moving Susie to their adult foster care at Allegiance Seniors Care, 9925 SW 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97223. This is going the other direction (northeast towards Portland) instead of west towards the ocean and a more leisurely drive for me. Susie’s new home will be just after the Washington Square Mall on Hall Street and adjoining Metzger Park. Easy.

I stayed with Susie until after 11AM, and she was sad to see me leave so soon, but I had a strangely busy day for a Saturday and soon had a kiss goodbye and off to WholeFoods.

Zoraida came after I left and met with Susie. They had a nice visit.

Returning to my narrative, there were more masks than I expected at WholeFoods, about 30%, and everyone still kept to social distancing. As usual, there are a collection of people picking and packing groceries for delivery. The staff is mainly masked. I pick up flowers for Susie (to be delivered on Sunday), milk, eggs, bread, bananas, and some extra meat items. I plan to use the frozen ham and some extra meats to make Jambalaya (no seafood this time) which needs various meats. I got some hot fatty sausage from our local Olympic Provisions meat company: Smoked Chorizo. I got an artisan loaf for dinner with me, believing that buttered bread would go well with dinner.

I brought that home and found room for everything. Finally, I started rigging a model of a balloon I am making for Dungeons and Dragons. I could not work on it during the last cycle of chemotherapy as I was too ill to use any extra energy for model building. I picked up the circle with tiny metal hooks and started attaching a line to each. Then I take a smaller thread and make a binding for the loop. I cheat with a bit of fast-drying cyanoacrylate glue from a brush bottle. I learned about the bush bottle by watching an expert modeler, Alex Modeler, use it. So much better than trying to use the typical bottle with too large or too small of a nozzle. I managed to do four out of the six before my back and hands reached a limit. I need to not overdo this too.

I also started my Nike laptop trying to let it update and resettle into the Nike network after three months. It was a lot of re-logging in and providing my password over and over which was not always accepted. I think it is ready to use on Monday.

I read for a while and then started dinner. I defrosted some ham pieces and added some excellent kielbasa I also bought at WholeFoods. I had noticed that the sausage in my last meal from Nona Emillia’s was cut into small squares. So I just cut the sausage length-wise. I heated the meat with no oil; the chorizo made plenty of oil until it was browning and the pan was almost burning (almost a disaster). Next, I added stewed Italian-styled shopped tomatoes–was did not find any Mexican flavored that I preferred, but the Italian version was good. I deglazed the pan with the tomatoes by rubbing the bottom of the pan to get all the good brown bits into the pot. I added two cups of water and the rice package from my fav mix, Zatarain’s. I let it simmer on low for twenty-five minutes once it reached a boil. It was perfect.

I watched some news while eating. Glenda left out some butter, so the bread was easily buttered. I cut the artisan loaf. I have to admit I might have taken seconds! It was not a good mix for a diabetic, but it was delicious.

I then drove to Richard’s house to play the somewhat regular Saturday night games. We started this time a bit late, 7PM. I got to Portland and Richard’s house without issue and light Saturday night traffic. I missed the traffic jam at 4-6PM that I usually hit when headed in early for a game in Portland.

Kathleen and Richard were up for the board game Unsettled. This is a new cooperative game that is a SciFi story of survival. It hints back to the grand-daddy of cooperative games, Pandemic, but uses a more role-playing style than we usually see on board games. Also, the game allows the other players to do things during other players’ turns, important things, so the game turns are much more exciting and well cooperative. The game was designed in Vancouver, just across the river from Portland; I know the game designers.

Unfortunately, we died–it was my first three-person game, and we did have some inefficiencies I did not expect from three players, but I think everyone had a good time. Kathleen’s brain hurt, I think, a bit after the game as it can be intense. Richard, while impressed, was still happy to play my copy. It is a very unusual game and very different from other cooperative games–I think it will hit the game table more in the future.

I drove Kathleen home; she lives south of Portland. We chatted about her work and game design and the Kickstarters we support. I got Kathleen home after 11:30PM and reached the Volvo Cave after midnight. I then had a bagel; I bought two more to use up the cream cheese from New York City, took my pills, and was soon asleep before 1AM.

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