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Gorgeous day.  Not that much wind (around 14 mph/22.5 kph).  Just stray little tufts of puffy white clouds in a vivid blue sky and the usual scum of clouds low on the horizon.  The predicted high was 89F/32C, but I’d bet we got up to 90 F/32C.  Last week, I finally took the comforter off the bed, and the very next day a cold front came through, although not that cold.  I have a microfiber blanket on under the spread, but I bet next week that’ll come off, too.  I haven’t turned the AC on yet and, touch wood, I can make it into May before I have to. I don’t turn the AC on until the thermostat registers more than 80F/27C inside the house because 80F is where the thermostat is set.

I’m just about to start reading Betrayer, book #12 of C. J. Cherryh‘s Foreigner series.  There’s supposed to be three more, making (fortunate) 15 in all, but the 15th one hasn’t been published yet.

I daddy-sat today with my 90-year-old dad while my mom had some “respite” time — a bridge luncheon.  She’s out again on Wednesday, and I’ll go stay with dad.  Mostly, all I do is keep an eye on him and fix a meal if I’m there at mealtime.  He is what is called a “marginal ambulator” — he has to use a rolling walker and if he falls, he can’t get up by himself. He’s so frail, bless him.  Just skin and bones.  I fixed his lunch today, a serving spoon-full of mashed potatoes with gravy and a chicken drumstick.  He ate some of the skin off the drumstick and two bites of potatoes, and he was ready for his “Little Debbie Nutty Bar” for desert.

Saturday morning, the younger of my mom’s two surviving brothers, who is 92 and in failing health, was put in the hospital again after having cut himself badly enough to require stitches.  He has congestive heart failure, a pacemaker, is oxygen dependent, and can’t do much of anything any more, and he has become increasingly despondent of late for perfectly understandable reasons.

Thursday, one of my mom’s nephews (her oldest sister’s son) is driving over from New Mexico, and wants to take us out to lunch.  He’s 13 years older than I am, is retired, and he and his wife and her mother live out in the country with 2 dogs, 4 horses, and a cat or two.   It’s about a 4-1/2 hour drive from there to here.  He’ll drive in, have lunch, visit for about an hour, then drive back.  Since his wife and MIL (who’s in her 90’s) will be alone until he returns, he’ll be anxious to get back home before dark. I’d like to go see them if I could scrape the money together to rent a car.  I wouldn’t dare take my 26-year-old Toyota Crayola out on the highway, especially across that part of New Mexico.  There are some long (50-60 mile), lonely, stretches of highway between here and where he lives, and the cell phone reception is spotty at best. Basically, you catch Highway 380 at Brownfield (TX),  follow it through Roswell (NM) to Capitan (NM), turn left, and keep driving til you get there. You can’t miss it.  It is, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein, the only there, there. Out here, we measure distances in driving time rather than mileage, but we’re talking approximately 500 miles/804.6 km round trip.  For the UK folk, that’d be like driving from Portsmouth to Leeds, having lunch and a bit of a natter with the rellies, then driving back to Portsmouth, all in one day.

On that note, I think I’ll call in a pizza strike, read for a while, and call it a night.