Friday, April 27, 2007

Greetings all

From Carol...Barb and I enjoyed hosting Pop for the partial week he was here. We got to show him the NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) Iris garden that I help maintain at the clinic in Penn Yan where I get my treatment for manic depression/bipolar. Barb took Dad to see our cousin, David Winton Clarke, who lives at an assisted living facility here in Penn Yan. He was recently feated for a commitment ceremony with a lady at the facility who is now sharing his room and heart. Never say you are too old to fall in love! I think he is near Dad's age. The three of us enjoyed the cute family flick "Firehouse Dog" together at the Penn Yan movie theater where there is always ample seating and rarely a line for ticket purchase. We got a very brief visit with "J" and Ian when they picked up Dad, but the weather was looking ominous and they headed home to beat the worst and have daylight for travel. We really enjoyed having Dad here and hope that he will feel free to visit again soon.
I had my follow up doctor visit this week and (sigh of relief) my blood pressure has improved. I had only lost a few pounds, but at least the number was lower! We are both working on eating better and exercising more. Thank goodness for better weather. The fields are still very wet, but it is not a river anymore. After the wet snow we got, the water was threatening to float us away. We try to get out for a walk every day we can now and it helps that Buddy needs to be accompanied for his pottying needs. When we let him off leash, he takes so much delight in running his little legs off, that I try to do it often. I love to watch his face as he races up the path to catch up with me. Total glee! The daffodils are beginning to bloom - ours are always later than Penn Yan and Rochester. Not much yard work yet, still too wet, but I am ready to get out there and garden.
I have been enjoying work on a mural at the home of our founding father, Morley Schloss, in Rochester. He spends most of his time in Florida now, but Rochester Naturists still hold swims at his house. Our friend, Rich Hauver, is now living there so we have greater latitude to hold events there. Previously, his son was there and we only used the pool. Now we stay overnight in one of numerous beds on three floors. Anyway, I am creating tropical scenes on the walls around the pool, hottub and door to the sauna. Last session, we added blue and gold macaws, flamingo with baby in nest, a tiki hut, palm trees, a volcano, and a beach. We plan another trip this week to work on it more. I plan to add seagulls, a sailboat, colorful umbrella(s) to the beach, sunbathers in lounge chairs, brightly colored tropical frogs perched on foliage and children playing in the sand on the beach. I have been getting plenty of positive feedback, which really makes me feel good. Being the main artist was feeling like pressure at one point, so it means tons to have people be impressed and express that they like what I have done. Yes, we are taking pictures and will share as we are able.
We are still up for a conflaggration here Memorial Day Weekend, let us know when you know, if you can make it.
It is getting late, so I will close for now.
Hugs all 'round,

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mix and hopefully match

I guess I should respond to Sherm's questions and comments, and I'll do it all here in this entry, I think. Thus the title.
Of course I'll give Dad a hug for you. As for chemistry, wasn't it George Clare who said to Carol "it's all just chemistry"? On some level, I know that's true.
Nevertheless, I am thrilled to see improvement, but it doesn't happen every day. He still has blips like he did this morning: when I went to lay out Dad's prescriptions, I discovered that he had gotten it into his head that I had suggested he take the key out of the front door after locking it. I know I did no such thing, because I'm concerned about him being able to open the door should there ever (God forbid it) be a fire in the house, and having to look for a key in the drawer of the table by the door could be deadly. I do remember that he had asked me yesterday if there was a second key for that door and I had told him there is not. Somehow that question morphed in his mind into thinking I told him to take the key out of the door. Weird.
Sure, I've been sullen, quiet, enraged, even not a talker at times (believe it or not). I am concerned for you Sherman, because your descriptions of Sonny have told me that he has violent capacity that could be unleashed upon you unexpectedly. He may be no Cho, but as you said, there is a matter of balance, and he's more on that side than I would like for you to have to deal with. I hope you can find a way to place more distance between you and him, safely. If I can help, I will.
Yes, there are smoke detectors on both floors of the house.
Since comments are not so obvious and require an extra step to access, perhaps it is better to post larger items or ones that are new subjects in blog entries rather than comments. Did that make sense?
I'm not familiar with LibraryThing. I'll have to check it out. I do not know of other similar software. Actually, I'd like to find a journaling software and be able to search my own entries by date or keyword or whatever. I checked NotateIt and one or two others briefly but haven't pursued it further for a long time. I may just do well to use my Palm Desktop since it ties into daily events, tasks and memos, and I can work on it from my PDA and then synchronize to the laptop and access e-mail that way.
There evidently were crossed signals in both directions between Dad and Pat. She has a hard time just understanding what Dad means and felt that her skills were not a good match for his difficulties. He thought he had made several overtures requesting time for counseling and she hadn't understood. He felt like she was avoiding him. I don't know how Pat views Dad, except that she knows of his sacrificial service to people.
The psychiatrist is actually what Dad has asked for, more than once, and counseling is something that seemed to help Mom. I told Sue Bostwick that Dad would have a hard time speaking directly about his inner state, and tried to give some other helpful information.
Have a good Sunday! I'm off to take Ian and his best friend can and bottle hunting, in the wake of Hot Dog Day. I won't get started about how I feel about that . . .

depression and counseling

I was a little surprised in your message about Dad visiting the counselor that you said Pat B was feeling uncertain about how to deal with Dad. I thought it was the other way around. As someone who has never had a counselor (Bob used to say HE was the one that suffered for that), I imagine that there needs to be a certain distance. Well, maybe not, there just needs to be walls between the interaction during life and during counseling. Certainly Dad dealt with lots of congregation members over the years where he knew stuff about their feelings and actions that couldn't be shared. It is probably impossible to maintain that distance when you're dealing with anything that approaches mentor/mentee or hero situations. I don't know if Pat considers Dad a mentor or hero.

My head continues to swirl. Nicely. I think I'll go read a bit more of the paper and then really concentrate on my ARLIS stuff and then go up to the National Academy where the "High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967-1975" show is closing today. Then I can slip down to the Met to see the newly reopened Greek and Roman galleries. Somebody said the interactive opening on the web is pretty exciting but I'd rather be in real time and space when it comes to art! The link must be someplace on or near that page but I don't see it immediately.

Ciao for the moment.
Love to you all and to whatever siblings might be reading this....

P.S. I accidentally signed a message yesterday "Sheman" and one of my coworkers said I must be suffering a case of gender confusion. You knew that!


I've been thinking about doing LibraryThing for my library. Have any of you used it? A couple work colleagues (at least) use it happily. It is linked to various other sources so you can do copy cataloging. You can mark your books as read/unread, or rather you can use that as one of your tags.

Do any of you know about bibliography software that can be used similarly? That is, I've been thinking that may be the way that the newsletter bibliography could be more evolutionary and cumulative. I know that *I* am the librarian and should know about it but this is the era of social computing.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

All about Dad, and maybe something more

Hello Siblings,
Dad spent last week with Carol and Barb, the idea being that while Jeanette and Ian were visiting her uncles in South Carolina, I would get some things done at our house and Dad's, and spend a little time camping out and getting some solitude. I got some things done over the weekend, but as soon as we all went to lunch after Hub Watson's memorial service on the 10th, I realized I was coming down with a stomach bug. I drove most of the way back to Alfred from Rochester with the window open, trying to keep my nausea down and get Pat Bancroft and myself home, before my body went into full rebellion. It took several days for me to feel right again. Jeanette and Ian picked Dad up from Branchport on their way home Friday, and then came to Alfred.
Sherm came that night on the bus, and we all went to church and then to lunch on Sabbath day. Sherm spent some time with Dad and his friend Elizabeth Gulacsy at an Asian culture program at the University while the hill Clarkes went to the Chief's dinner at the Fire Hall.
We had breakfast and lunch with Dad and Sherm on Sunday, and then Sherm went back home on the bus. He called later to let us know he'd made it safely, as there was some crazy weather going on between here and the city. We went to the Fire Co. business meeting Sunday evening, at which time I was re-elected as an engine captain and Jeanette was elected secretary.
Monday was a busy day for Dad and me: I took him to get glasses to replace the ones that were scratched and cracked when he fell at the Parish House, after getting some lunch at "Billy Schu's" in Hornell. Then I took Dad to Dr. Coch's office, where he froze a basal cell skin cancer on Dad's right arm, trimmed the callous on the out-step of his right foot, and drew blood for analysis. Well, I got a call yesterday from Dr. Coch reporting that Dad's serum sodium level is back where it needs to be, at 137mEq/L. From 130 to 125 the symptoms include nausea, headache, myalgia, general malaise, decreased appetite, confusion, and depressed deep-tendon reflexes, but at 124 and lower, which was the lowest I believe it got to, symptoms include lethargy, disorientation, agitation, depression, and psychosis.
The following morning Sue Bostwick from Allegany County's Outreach program came and interviewed Dad (and me) about his health and mental health. She is setting him up to have a psychiatric consultation and counseling to help him deal with depression. Dad had tried to counsel with Pastor Pat Bancroft but she was reluctant and didn't feel qualified to help him very much, so I hope this will help, along with the Paxil that Coch has prescribed since the stint in the hospital (Dad had been on Prozac and his dosage had been doubled just before he ended up in the hospital). Carol, I did talk with Sue about our concerns regarding antidepressants and that Coch may not have taken all the steps he could have to protect Dad from side-effects. I will probably go with Dad, at least for his initial consults with counselor and psychiatrist.
Dr. Coch, in response to my question on Monday, gave Dad a sample of Aricept, which is something Dad was giving Ethel back when he was still living with her. Aricept is used mostly with Alzeheimer's patients, but evidently is useful for other forms of memory loss and dementia. Dad and I think that after only a couple days of use, he may already be seeing improvement in cognition and memory.
That's the good news, and I hope to have more later.

Monday, April 16, 2007

banff nose in full

I was trying to do a twisted arm trick.

Atlanta info late April 2007 sherman

Flight Information
TICKET #: 00623302104154
Bkng Meals/ Seat/
Day Date Flight Status Class City Time Other Cabin
--- ----- --------------- ------ ----- ---------------- ------ ------ -------


Sheraton Midtown Atlanta Hotel at Colony Square
188 14th Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30361 United States
Phone: (404) 892-6000 Fax: (404) 872-9192

Sunday, April 8, 2007

finally getting a round to-it

Well, Jeanette and Ian left Friday for South Carolina and got there Sabbath afternoon. Dad and I came over to Barb and Carol's today (Sunday, April 8) and had a fine dinner with them and Barb's two sons (David and Jim) and David's girlfriend, Star (and two cats and Buddy, the dog). We had decided that it didn't make much sense for Dad to travel so soon after hospitalization and all, and that it wasn't sensible for me to drive down and only have a day or two to see friends and have time to myself, as I had hoped.
Jeanette and Ian are spending time with her three uncles who all live around Columbia, South Carolina, but are especially going to see Winston, whose health is not so good. Clifton's wife will be taking them to a zoo and museum, and I'm sure Linwood and Mary will have them over for something, as Lin is her favorite uncle.
When we were thinking about Dad staying in Alfred but three of us hill-Clarkes going to SC, I had asked Carol and Barb about Dad spending this week with them. So when we concluded that Dad would not go, I asked them if they were still up for Dad coming over, and they said it would be fine. While he's here at Carol and Barb's (for the week), I'll try to get some things done that don't get done otherwise, and spend a little time by myself (I need it, and Jeanette keeps encouraging me to do so, but I always seem to get way-laid with some responsibility or another).
Since we got Dad back home from the hospital we have gotten a number of services started for Dad, including LifeLine (he wears a push-button that calls for help via the phone line, anywhere within a hundred or more feet of the base unit), meals on wheels, home health aid, and a nurse.
I'll head back to our house later tonight or in the morning, and try to get started on stuff.
Sherm, are you still planning to come to Alfred next weekend? I'm going to be working on several things at 33, and either I will come get Dad or Carol and Barb will bring him back at the end of this week. Jeanette and Ian plan to be back for the weekend, too, so be ready to see all of us, eh?
I'll write more later, but I need to help Barb with some computer problems and such . . .

Monday, April 2, 2007

Sorry Folks!

Hi Siblings,
I'm sorry that things got ahead of me so some of you learned that Dad was home, without my letting you know here at the maelstrom. I started to do so several times but never got more than the beginning of a draft, going. Last week was a logistical challenge, and the week before was full of both joys and disappointments. I may detail those later, but suffice it to say that Cathy came to see Dad, and I didn't get the Facility Manager job at the Equestrian Center.
Anyway, Dad is home (he came home on the evening of March 27th) and I've got him set up with LifeLine (so he can push a button on a lanyard around his neck and that will call a service which will call me or another designated person, or an ambulance if we're unavailable, at any time of the day or night. Dad also has home health assistance on a short-term basis and meals on wheels for the duration.
We're looking into his going to South Carolina with us, starting Friday, if we can get the Edwards to call us back. Otherwise, we'll head to Columbia anyway so Jeanette can see her three uncles, two of whom have had significant health troubles recently. We plan to be back for the weekend of the 14th, so Sherm's visit makes some sense, although I must get some things cleaned up before then. I've got our income taxes and Dad's to do, along with everything else, so I won't take much time here at the blog.
If Dad doesn't go to SC with us, perhaps he can go to Branchport, or Carol and Barb could stay with him while we're gone???
More later.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

deeesscee is also back

Hi, guys! I'm back from Kansas City and wrote entries on both of the next two entries, i.e. Carol is back and Cathy is on the blog.
Carol, sorry to hear about the diet restrictions. Jamison talks a lot about her life with lithium: not too much, not too little, taking a life-sustaining amount without dulling her senses too much.
How's Pop? Since there are no reports, may I guess that he returned home more or less on schedule early this week? Hope so!!
Buckets o' love!