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Happy 4th of July!

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July 4, 2021 · 10:09 am

Duck Update


The duck is still living in my flower bed, but he’s moving about more now and enjoys exploring the front yard too. He gets excited when I feed him duck pellets & dried mealworms. Guess there’s little incentive for him to leave now that I’m feeding him and giving him fresh water every day.

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A duck moved into my yard

A Muscovy duck showed up in my flower bed.

This large duck has been sitting in my flower bed since Friday and naturally, I am a total failure at getting him to leave. He gets up and walks around, but doesn’t go very far and then he goes back in my flower bed and lays down. And me, being me, by Saturday I put a large bowl of water near him and was googling what to feed him. I talked to him and told him that he’s a pretty bird, but he needs to go somewhere else. He turned his head and looked at me when I talked to him and when I told him he’s a pretty bird, he stood up and shook his tail feathers … then he plopped back down. One of my sons asked me on Saturday, what I’ve named my duck. He’s not “my” duck. I’m assuming he is injured or sick, judging by how little he’s moving.

On Saturday I called an animal rehabilitator for avians, but she had a recorded message stating she isn’t taking any birds and a phone number for some emergency animal hospital an hour away.

This morning I called my local animal control and was informed they don’t handle wildlife and she referred me to my local police department. I called my local police and the lady transferred me to the state police, who transferred me to someone else. That place referred me to some state agency with an 800 number, that has a message – all of their lines are busy, call back later – every time I’ve called it.

So, my current “plan” is to find some food for this duck, that he will eat, keep giving him fresh water and hope he gets well enough to leave under his own steam. Let’s see, he didn’t eat grapes or carrots cut in small pieces. He has been eating wild bird seed and he’s eating spring mix lettuce. Oh, and he’s very adept at catching flies. There are woods right behind my back yard, so it’s not like he has to travel far to find some natural woodland habitat. There’s a small stream in those woods too.

I guess I’m going to have to break down and buy duck food.

And yes, I know I should have just ignored him and not given him food and water, but I did. He seems stronger today and has been standing up a lot more.

At least I haven’t named him yet.

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Happy Easter!

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Good-bye 2020

2020 is winding to a close. It’s almost habit now for most people to lament about the awfulness of 2020 and wax on about it being the worst year ever. Unarguably, lots of terrible things happened this year. Close to two million people have died from COVID-19 this year. Along with new social distancing rules, Americans around the country experienced all sort of new rules limiting their movement and personal liberties, in an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We also experienced political turmoil, civil unrest, and even some shortages in grocery stores.

This year was filled with lots of worries. Perhaps it took reaching saturation point on the constant 2020 hysteria every time I turned around, but I reached a point a few months back, where I decided I was done with paying attention to journalists fomenting constant drama, done paying attention to articles or videos selling fear, drama or feeding worries and done with watching any prepper videos that blare a warning about some coming catastrophe.

Sure, I still think being prepared is important and learning preparedness skills certainly is worthwhile, but I’m done with paying attention to people urging me to rush to stock up or hunker down for some dire, but unspecified catastrophe that’s assuredly just ahead. I’ve learned a heck of a lot about food storage and other preparedness skills this year and am grateful for the knowledge, but in 2021 I want to focus on organizing and rotating the extra canned goods and supplies. I want to take more time and think about what foods I want to stock up, rather than reacting to preppers online with their endless lists of “must-have” items.

Focusing on preparedness has been a worthy undertaking (especially with the turmoil in 2020), however an even more important undertaking for me, a person who tends to accumulate clutter quickly, is to focus on becoming better organized and to gear my undertakings to being more purposeful and more carefully thought out. In other words, my energies are going to becoming more proactive in my choices rather than reacting to fear or media hype

Most of all, I want to live my life hopefully and with good cheer, not spending it borrowing trouble. Cultivating calm and finding ways each day to bolster some inner-peace will be my 2021 path.

Wishing all the best to everyone and hoping 2021 brings blessings and good things your way.

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Merry Christmas!

Sorry to be so late with posting Christmas greetings. I hope everyone had a safe and happy day, spent with those near and dear to them. Every little bit of normal we can preserve in our lives this year will strengthen us and our families. Wishing you peace and joy this Christmas season!

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Happy Thanksgiving

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Happy 4th of July!

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Pelosi’s “Italian grandmother’s move” failed

Two weeks into my husband’s home hospice care, some things don’t change.   My husband, laying in a hospital-type bed here at home, still wants his TV on FOX News 24/7, even though he pays very little attention to it.  Likewise,  I didn’t listen to any of the impeachment speechifying, but did catch bits and pieces of President Trump’s State of the Union address.

While I haven’t followed much politics, I’m learning that caring for someone confined to a bed is a challenge and I’m acquiring new skills by watching and talking with the CNAs and the RN, who make several home visits a week.  I’ve mastered changing a bed with a patient in the bed, because they don’t want my husband out of bed (not sure yet if that’s permanent or if he’ll regain enough strength to sit in a chair some) and I’m learning a lot of ins and outs of 24/7 bedside care.  These home hospice CNAs and RN have become my lifeline and I am grateful beyond words for their care and kindness.

Sitting with my husband, I did watch Nancy Pelosi’s staged spin stunt of dramatically tearing up her copy of Trump’s speech at the end.   Our American politics, despite the weeks of dramatic speeches about “upholding our constitution,” remains just endless, boring spin soap opera/reality TV antics.  Our American political class in Washington’s, only bipartisan work seems to be destroying the dignity of our constitutional republic.  It’s embarrassing watching so much of Trump’s reality TV/sideshow presidency, but it’s also embarrassing watching so much of the Dems and media staged spin show too.

When Nancy Pelosi regained the Speaker of the House position last year, the mainstream media tirelessly spun up Pelosi as this larger than life feminist Amazonian warrior/goddess persona, a woman who would beat Donald J. Trump into submission by the sheer awesomeness of her presence.  Pelosi’s daughter, Christine Pelosi, the Democratic Party’s Women’s Caucus Chair, has become a mainstream media fixture since 2019, fabricating and amplifying this “I am woman hear me roar” mystique about Nancy Pelosi’s toughness and political superpowers.  The mainstream media hypes these insipid and disingenuous Christine Pelosi takes on her mother:

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is from San Francisco and her daughter Christine Pelosi, the California Democratic Party’s Women’s Caucus Chair sat down today with ABC7 news anchor Kristen Sze.

She says the Speaker’s move to rip up the President’s speech was completely unplanned and came after a string of events.

Being seemingly snubbed by the President when she extended her hand to shake his before the speech and having to sit through what the House Speaker calls a series of untruths.

In fact, the Speaker was quoted today saying that the President shredded the truth, so she shredded his speech. Christine Pelosi says it’s an Italian grandmother’s move.

The House Speaker’s own mother once took away the dinner plate of a rude guest and then came back to the dinner table and carried on as normal.

Christine Pelosi also dismisses critics who say that Madame Speaker’s move was not reflective of taking the high road and that it’s standing up to the President as she has done many times before.”

https://abc13.com/5906883/

Yet watching the steady stream of Chuck Schumer/Nancy Pelosi staged preemptive spin antics, as they traipsed to the White House to do battle with Donald Trump, this post SOTU Pelosi spin antic came across as weak, pathetic, beneath the dignity of her office and a new low in this destructive spin war, not as some tough “Italian grandmother’s move.”  C’mon, as far as optics go, Pelosi tearing up Trump’s speech comes nowhere close to the impact of the horse’s head in the bed optic in the movie, The Godfather.  Pelosi ain’t the spin warrior queen who can slay Trump and she’s looking sillier and more unhinged the further she goes trying to beat Trump at these absurd spin war antics.

Trump’s loud, lowbrow reality show presidency receives constant criticism from the mainstream media, much of it deserved, but this same media fails to hold Dems to the same standard (just like FOX News and most conservative media make excuses for Trump’s excesses).  Pelosi didn’t come across as strong by tearing up Trump’s speech; she looked like an angry, vicious shrew.  And it appeared to me that she had planned this spin stunt, as tossing a bone to her rabid far-left faction, who wanted to boycott the SOTU address.  Her explanation that tearing up Trump’s speech was “the courteous thing to do” speaks volumes about the complete collapse of ethical standards in Washington.  Her daughter trying to cast tearing up Trump’s speech as some bold “Italian grandmother’s move”  made me wonder how many Dem spinmeisters worked on coming up with that spin line.

Pelosi looked petty, vindictive and frankly afraid of her far-left base, which added to the complete disarray of the Democratic Party’s 2020 primary process, bodes poorly for Dems chances in 2020.  It also makes me still believe that somehow, someway, the Clintons are going to orchestrate a spin narrative and political maneuver for Hillary to swoop in as the avenging angel, who will unite Dems and lead the charge to finally defeat her 2016 nemesis, Donald J. Trump.  How this might come about, I have no clue, but if anyone can finagle a political path for Hillary, Bill Clinton, one of the smartest political minds in America, would be the person to do it.

Yes, I’m still of a mind that the mainstream media’s other feminist goddess might rise from the ashes of her 2016 defeat to try save the Democratic Party… and America from a second President Donald J. Trump term.

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Finding a new normal

We’re settling into a new normal here.   My husband has late stage COPD and acute respiratory failure, along with normal pressure hydrocephalus.  He’s had COPD for over 20 years and still was smoking 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day, the day before I took him to the ER on January 19th.  Days before that our primary care doctor had put him on an antibiotic and prednisone, because his lungs sounded terrible and he had ordered a CT scan.   Long story short, my husband is too weak to even sit up unassisted and needs complete care.  I don’t want this to sound like I am angry at him about the smoking, just stating the reality.  Every time a doctor or I tried to talk to him about smoking, my husband got belligerent.  My husband is 64 years old and has smoked since he was a young teenager.  His mother died of late stage COPD and acute respiratory failure.  So here we are – with an expectation of less than 6 months to live.

The normal pressure hydrocephalus causes my husband to feel like his feet are stuck to the floor and in 2012 when he was first diagnosed, he had been falling frequently for about 5 or 6 years, had developed an unsteady, side-to-side gait and developed very noticeable short-term memory loss.  He refused to go to a neurologist until the problem was so severe he couldn’t take even a few steps without falling and he insisted that whatever I was using to clean the carpets in our house was making his feet stick to the floor (even though he had the same problem outside and other places too).  Then in 2012, I made an appointment with our primary care doctor and insisted this was it – he had to see a specialist.  I had already gone through buying him a cane, several years before this, then our daughter had gotten a walker for him, to prevent falls, and he said he didn’t need those…

In 2012, he was diagnosed with normal pressure hydrocephalus, referred to a neurosurgeon and had VP shunt surgery.  The shunt improved his mobility a great deal for a few years, but he did rely on a walker to get around.  His short-term memory never improved.  Both the mobility and short-term memory loss became worse and in 2018, he had VP shunt revision surgery, but his condition never improved and both his mobility and short-term memory loss have gotten worse.  He knows he can’t remember and it frustrates him every single day.  He loved to read and can no longer read even a few pages of a book, because he can’t keep track of what he read a few minutes ago.  He has the same  paperback James Patterson novel, Never Never,  on the table next to his ashtray for a couple years now.  He picks it up reads a few minutes and then sets it down.  He can’t follow TV shows or movies either.

Every day life has become very challenging for my husband in the past 2 years and for me and our family.  As my husband became almost completely wheelchair bound, life has become an endless daily routine of my husband trying to walk with his walker and more falls than I can count.  He didn’t have the strength to move around in the wheelchair by himself.  The doctor ordered a motorized chair, but my husband doesn’t have the manual dexterity to operate the joystick control or the attention span to pay attention to operating the chair, so it’s been assisting him to take a few steps to get him transferred to the wheelchair, all day long.  More times than I can count, he’s tried to walk with his walker or forgot to grab his walker, where he grabs furniture or the wall to try to walk and falls.

Did I mention my husband is very hard-headed and determined to fight on (and against advice),   When he falls, his usual response is a jovial, “I’m a paratrooper; the Army taught me how to fall.”  Apparently, they did a good job, because it’s a miracle he hasn’t fractured a lot of bones and only needed stitches in his head, one time.  And that time, blood was gushing out of his head, I was worried about that VP shunt in his brain, because the gash wasn’t that far from the shunt and my husband’s response was “it’s just a small scrape, I’m fine”… as our son and I got him  loaded in the car and to the ER for 5 staples.

I’m not angry at my husband, just resigned to the reality of his condition and the other thing I feel is immense relief that he has hospice care, because I would have no clue how to care for him in this condition on my own.  Last Tuesday, some hospital lady, not sure what her title was, but she came to talk to me about home health care for when my husband is discharged.  She was happily telling me about the wonders of physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc. and I was seized with fear.  I had no idea how on earth I could care for my husband, in the condition he’s in, on my own.  There must have been some crossed wires there, because a few hours later the doctor came to talk to me about hospice care and it was a huge relief.  Now, I have professionals managing his care here in our home and I have people I can call 24 hours a day, if I need advice or assistance.  He is completely bedbound and keeps asking me to help him get up to go to the bathroom and it’s doubtful that’s happening.  He’s too weak to even sit up on his own.  He is also adjusting to this new normal, but he’s very happy to be home and out of the hospital.

The oddest thing is my husband is more lucid now with the home oxygen than he’s been in several years, so I suspect the lack of oxygen was adding to his cognitive decline.  The home oxygen is another long story… that was first prescribed in 2003 after a hospital stay.  My husband used it a short while, then said he didn’t need it.  Several years later, he had another respiratory crisis and he was once again prescribed home oxygen – same thing.  So, he was sitting here struggling to breathe, didn’t want to go to the pulmonologist the past few years, because the PA there tried to talk to him about the smoking, and we have two home oxygen machines sitting in the garage.  Our primary care was trying to manage his care as best as possible – all things considered…

All four of our  kids came home and helped me get set-up and organized for this new normal of hospice care and I’m much calmer, but the important thing is my husband is getting excellent medical care here in our own home.   He’s not smoking, because I refuse to be the person to give him a cigarette that could end his life.  He misses our back porch, where we had windows, heat and air installed years ago, so he could be comfortable out there smoking, but everyone’s got to make some concessions in this situation.  He’s got nicotine patches.

My husband is sleeping a lot, so perhaps I will be able to get some blog posts written.  One of our sons installed a baby monitor and gave me this monitor that’s about the size of a cell phone, so I can keep an eye on my husband anywhere in the house, hear him ask for anything and I can press the talk button to talk to him.

I keep warning my kids, after all of this 24-hour a day caregiving stuff, for years now, I am exhausted a lot of the time and who knows, I might croak first.

Each experience in life brings surprises, so my first surprise has been the enormous relief I felt with the idea of hospice care.  I was to the point, for several months now, of not knowing how much longer I could manage his care at home alone.  Every time I mentioned getting home health help, my husband said he didn’t want that and I feared no one would deal with my husband being combative or uncooperative to the physical therapy, occupational therapy route again (he had that twice before after hospital stays).  This time, I made the decision.

These hospice workers have been a godsend.

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