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Armoir showing wrackingThe furniture repair guy, complete with assistant, came Monday to repair all the dings and scratches the movers made moving my furniture.  Unfortunately, he could do nothing for my armoire which was racked to the point that the doors are not level anymore and the bottom doors stick. He was a nice guy, and not only repaired the damage the movers did to my sideboard, but some damage that was on it when I got it at a discount because it was damaged in shipment and had no hardware.  He also repaired the big gouge that the corner of the picture frame put in the top of my four drawer dresser (the one my late sister-in-law refinished) when those kids upstairs bounced off a wall and knocked the picture off the picture hanger.  Of course, he could not fix the broken glass in my china cabinet, and he could not fix my filing cabinet, which was particle board.  Once you pull out screws or fasteners from particle board, that’s it.  You can’t fix it — which is why the filing cabinet was put in the dumpster months ago.

IMG_1366In order for the furniture repair guys to be able to get to my sideboard, I had to unplug and move the kitties’ pet fountain.  After they left, I took the opportunity to empty it out, clean it and put in new filters.  When I filled it up and plugged it back in again, nothing happened.  The pump was not working. I tried plugging it into another plug.  Zip.  I concluded the pump was burned out — a logical conclusion, I thought. I emptied everything out again and left it all in the dish drainer, including the pump.  I tracked down a replacement pump on line and ordered it.  Since Monday was a holiday, it is forecast to arrive 5-7 business days from Tuesday.  The black kitty, who adores the pet fountain, was bewildered by its absence.  He kept going over to where it used to be and looking for it.  The other two don’t use it as much, probably because the black one keeps sticking either his head or his front paw into the water.  Yesterday, on a whim, I tried the pump again.  Nada.  I was reaching to unplug it when it rattled, buzzed, and began working.  Of course, it was too late to cancel the order for its replacement.  I hooked everything back up again, filled it up, plugged it in, and it’s been working ever since.  Go figure.  At least I’ll have a replacement pump on hand now.

Tuesday afternoon, there were several loud cracks of thunder, which I found puzzling since there was no thunder boomer symbol on my weather widget. We then proceeded to have a right old gully washer.  It rained a good deal in our part of town, though not so much in other parts.  There was still pretty heavy run-off in the street gutters when I left to go to the knitting group about an hour later.

The knitting group consists of around 13 women, (some of whom were actually crocheters — but we don’t hold that against them!).  It was fun, even though I only knew one person there.  They were mostly empty-nesters or retired, except the one lady who brought her young teen-aged daughter. I’ve decided I’ll go back.

After I daddysat yesterday, I stopped by Walmart to get gas.  Then I went into the store and bought a new metal filing cabinet  for about half what Office Max wanted for it.  There should be more than enough room on top of it for my shredder and my printer, since I can get all the other stuff like tape dispenser, stapler, etc., in the little top drawer.  I also bought two ramekins to use for food dishes for the kitties.  The dishes I’ve used pretty much ever since I’ve had cats are these great honking, heavy, ceramic dog (don’t tell them!!) dishes. Three food dishes and one water dish take up practically the whole top rack of this apartment-size dishwasher I’ve got here, leaving little room for glasses, and  they only fit in three places in the bottom rack, leaving no room for cereal bowls.  These ramekins are only 4 inches in diameter, and four of them will fit easily in the top rack of my dishwasher.  The dishwasher I had at the duplex was full size and had more room for glassware so it didn’t really matter that the dishes were so big.  Of course, the dishwasher here is old enough that the vinyl coating on the rack posts is worn through and the posts are starting to rust out and break off so there are about four places where I can’t put anything because a post is broken off.  Unfortunately, two ramekins was all they had in the store, but I was able to order a set of six on line.  They won’t be here until the 10th, unfortunately.

While I was in Walmart, I saw a guy wearing a T-shirt that read, “I am NOT an alcoholic.  I’m a DRUNK.  Alcoholics go to meetings.”  He looked like the sort of guy who would wear a T-shirt like that.

My dad has not been doing well since the day before his birthday.  He was responding to internal stimuli* again when I was sitting with him while mom was at choir practice last night, wanting to know who that man was over there (it was just him and me), asking me how the violin business was doing (my brother is the one who sells and repairs violins). He has been weak and disoriented.  He has not been sleeping well at night (and has been keeping mom awake, too).  She said that while she was dressing him the other day, he asked, “Who are you?”

I asked mom (again) if she didn’t think it was time to begin calling around to get put on waiting lists and/or seeing if a place is available for him in some kind of a facility.  The home health people want to put him in an assisted living facility (so they can continue treating him, of course,) but mom wants to put him in this nursing home that is really close to where they live. It’s like I told her yesterday evening.  He’s not going to get better; he’s only going to get worse.  It’s exhausting for her to care for him now, and that situation is only going to get worse, too.  Where would he be if she winds up in the hospital?

He has what is known as multi-infarct dementia. He’s had multiple microstrokes (“infarcts“), and is continuing to have them.  His false teeth don’t fit, and can’t be made to fit, so he can’t chew anything. Needless to say, he is very malnourished, — he’s nothing but skin and bones — and that’s not helping the situation eitherl.  He can’t protect his airway.  Every time he swallows, stuff goes down the wrong way and he coughs and chokes and coughs and chokes and coughs and chokes and coughs and chokes.  (A feeding tube is out of the question.  Neither he nor she wants one.)  His mental status is noticeably worse.

I’m sure my mom is still in denial.  It’s a tough reality to face and a difficult decision to make.  Unfortunately, she’s not going to be able to put it off much longer.  Her health is beginning to deteriorate from lack of sleep and the stress of having to care for him. She’s losing weight.  She’s become sleep-deprived enough that I’m beginning to worry about her safety driving.  She can’t leave the house without there being someone there with him (me).  She can’t get out in the yard to do things.  It’s even hard for her to be in another part of the house for any length of time, like being in the middle bedroom on the computer, for fear that he’ll take it into his head to try to get up out of his chair, start trying to go somewhere (he can’t see), and fall.  When she’s not tending to him or doing housework, she can’t really do anything else except sit in the den and watch TV or read.  She’s beginning to get a little stir crazy.  Something’s got to give, and sooner rather than later.  I just hope it’s not her.

Once my dad has been placed in some kind of care facility, she’ll be able to get a good night’s rest again.  She’ll be able to get on the computer for as long as she wants to, attend as many social and church functions as she wants to.  She and I will be able to go places together, like to the movies or out to eat.  We can’t do that now unless she gets somebody else to stay with my dad.  She said that today she’s going to call up to this one place where she’d really like to put him, and maybe to some other places to start getting on waiting lists.  I hope she does.

*responding to auditory, visual, or tactile hallucinations.