Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pros and Cons on Coconut Oil

Today I am grieving the loss of a special young lady--age 2 years and 8 months. I remember when her parents and this toddler came to help with our yard sale in the fall of 2009. Her dad drove with my husband and Jake to deliver some furniture when my husband was still driving. I asked the young dad later what it was like to be in a car with two men with Alzheimer's; he told me it was weird when these husbands kept asking him the same question over and over. He was such a gentleman about it. Pray for the grieving parents now and for us as we grieve with them. Sad time, but not without our Christian hope.


From Pinterest
Alzheimer's Reading Room on Coconut Oil  I commented here today and often read the Alzheimer's Reading Room. Lots of good information here.

Dr. Mercola on U-Tube explains that the saturated fat of coconut oil is good for us. It is hydrogenated vegetable oil and transfat that is not. I tend to notice that we don't get some of the viruses and colds that others get.

I wrote on Plant City Lady and Friends in April about oil. Dr. Mary Newport's video on coconut oil is the most popular one on this blog so far.

Coconut oil tub at right is from Tropical Traditions

Check out these links in red for yourself.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Would Have Never Thought. . .

1. That God is so faithful every day. But how could I doubt this?!  Early on in this process when I began this blog I thought I would be a basket case by now. Not so. I am not and He is not letting me lose heart.
2. That there is real joy in bearing the burdens of others especially in prayer, not just in concentrating on our own needs.
3. That our neighbor would mow our front and back yards earlier this week.
4. That the LORD would gift us with friends in the same situation--Sally and Jake. This week were have two outings with them.
5. That I have a hearing problem and we can joke about it and MY memory at times--not just my husband's loss of functions.
Hubby says something like "I need some more ice tea."
I ask from another room, "Please repeat. I didn't hear you."
Hubby says, "I can't remember what I asked."


I start to tell him something and forget what I was saying and I say, "I forgot what I was going to tell you."

He says, "It won't matter, 'cause I won't remember anyway!"
6. That my husband's prayers are so precious to me. Today at Wendy's he teasingly prayed LORD please forgive Carol for hitting me with her straw cover. We always blow that cover at each other when we eat out. His prayers when we turn in at night are sincere and wonderful.
7. That coconut oil seems to help stabilize DH's mood and maybe help him stay in stage one of Alzheimer's.
8. That my family and my husband's family would be so supportive. I heard/read that Alzheimer's brings out the best and worst in families.
9.  That I don't have my head in the sand about what's coming down the road; somehow part of me wants to be prepared. I also am watching my health so I don't have a heart attack and can't take care of my husband. I want to be able to care for my husband all his days. I say both think ahead and take one day at a time.
10. That blogging is such a wonderful support system and therapy even if no one reads it or comments. Blogging seems to have a life of its own.
11. That ads are creeping onto my blogger account even though it is not monetized. They just seem to be for me. Hope you all don't get them as well. Oops! It was spyware, but computer has now been cleaned up thanks to a friend from church, my computer guru.
12. That there have been almost 400 hits but no comments on the 7/5 Brain Health. . . Kit below. Is this causing some advertisers to think?
What are you surpised about in the past few years of blogging or of your life?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Problem of Evil in the World

Christian Research Institute has a caller ask about his Christian grandmother who has Alzheimer's. Is this Christian grandmother responsible for her misbehavior and anger? Hank Hanegraaff points out that she is covered by the righteousness of Christ. One day her soul will be reunited with her restored body at the resurrection in heaven. My husband swears horribly when he is irritated, but that is the disease of Alzheimer's--an opportunity for me to practice patience. Hubby didn't swear like this when I married him in 2000. He forgets later about his swearing and I know he is covered by Christ's righteousness even as that grandmother is.

What is the origin of evil? Hank Hanegraaff says that God creates the potential for evil. Of course secular people, some call them humanists, believe in the goodness of man. How can anyone believe in the goodness of man when you have a James Holmes open fire at a Batman movie? The problem of sin will be gone in heaven. This is the great hope that I as a caregiver/lovegiver have.

Was God in Control of 9/11? Hank says we live in a fallen world where both the righteous and unrighteous suffer. We Christians can have peace in the midst of the storm and rely on the justice and sovereignty of God.

Back to the question of what has happened in this horrible massacre in Aurora. One blogger pastor writes a moving account of a young woman who was hit by bullets in that movie theater. By God's sovereignty she came through difficult brain surgery. That pastor says that the mother and he "know a miracle when we see it". Read about this story Petra's Miracle in Aurora. I cried when I read this. Pray for Petra and her mother Kim.

Added Comment in August. Jay and Ruth Younts have an amazing testimony about trusting God concerning Ruth's brain cancer.  Listen at Shepherd Press.

I do not know what miracles or suffering await us in this life and in this God-permitted Alzheimer's journey, but I know the ONE who has the answers. He is working out His plan in our lives and I see His miracles and answers to prayer every day. Death, as horrible as it is, will never be the worst that can happen to a Christian.

Monday, July 23, 2012

What an 18 Year Old Asked Me

I didn't expect her question last Saturday afternoon. I was tired and overbooked. I had had a busy week taking an addiction workshop for my recertification to teach DUI classes.  Saturday morning I was up at 5:15 AM to get to a 7 AM Weight Watcher meeting. Then I taught one DUI session from 9 AM to 1 PM and this was my second four hour class from 2 PM to 6 PM--a state mandated class for first-time drivers. As a senior citizen, I don't relish being so busy.

In the Saturday afternoon class I talked about our crash with a DUI driver that I wrote about earlier in this blog (December of 2010).  I feel telling about our crash helps instill safety and seriousness behind the wheel for first-time drivers. I mentioned that since one of our two cars had been totaled, we now have only one car. There is not a second car home when I am gone. My Alzheimer's husband can't drive off and get lost as often happens with those silver allerts. I talk about that crash and the students listen carefully. Apparently a husband who will die one day also interests one young lady.

The young 18 year old woman who is raising one child and expecting another one asked a perceptive question. Her sincere question deserved an answer I realized.

Are you upset that
your husband will die?

Usually a teacher doesn't talk about her personal life. There must have been something about me that made her comfortable to ask such a personal question.  I hadn't mentioned being upset and she wanted to know. A personal answer is not part of the curriculum, but this is where connection, so important in education and in really being a role model, needs to happen.  Connection was stressed in that addiction workshop I attended the previous week. I answered from my heart.
I take one day at a time and am not sad each day. I believe that my LORD will be there for me each step of the way. My job now is to keep my marriage vows "in sickness and in health . . . until death us do part." 
We had made a brief heart connection.

After class she said she wanted to see me again. I said that I wasn't allowed to keep up with students outside of class. She said she would call the office that schedules my classes and visit me when I taught again. Young people are watching how we deal with issues that life brings our way, or at least some of them are wanting our answers.

Coconut Oil Recipes

Masque With Coconut Oil
 I AM OFTEN ASKED WHERE I GET COCONUT OIL. We use it all the time and so I order online from Tropical Traditions or from Vitacost. Links are at the right on this blog. When I run out, I buy it wherever I can. Dr. Newport also posted about "Fuel for Thought" and that link is also on this page. When I run out of my Tropical Traditions order I may try that. A missionary I know makes coconut fudge from coconut oil produced from a real coconut and adds coco and honey.

Strawberry Covered Chocolate and Coconut Oil
Combine coconut oil and chocolate chips (equal amounts) as I do when I make coconut fudge for my husband (recipe from Dr. Newport's book). Instead of freezing in ice cube trays, dip strawberries in the mixture and chill. Variation: sprinkle with flaked coconut.

Here is one recipe I got from Coconut Oil Recipes for Summer. Lick on their link for more ideas.

Gluten Free Almond Coconut Bars
2 cups whole raw almonds
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup almond butter
2/3 cup virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons molasses or honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 oz 70-85% dark chocolate

1. Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan on the stove on low heat.
2. Line a 9x9" baking pan with wax paper.
3. Pulse almonds in food processor until it resembles coarse sand (the goal is something a little coarser than almond meal).
4. Add the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT the chocolate to the food processor and pulse until it forms a textured paste (the bits of almond and coconut shouldn't be too small). I also finish with a good stir by hand to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated evenly.
5. Pour into baking pan and smooth out to the corners. Refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour.
6. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Drizzle over almond coconut base and spread with a spoon or rubber spatula until evenly coated. Place bars back in refrigerator for approximately 5 minutes, until chocolate is solid but still a little soft (for ease of cutting). Cut into bars and store in a plastic container in the fridge.  Recipe  by Sarah, Marietta, GA

Friday, July 20, 2012

Our Dog Ziggy

My friend from a writing class always sends forwarded e-mail. This picture is from one and captures what I want to say about dog, Ziggy.

Ziggy doesn't like me to leave the house just as hubby misses me.

I'm getting dressed and Ziggy is getting upset.
When I leave, I kiss hubby and Ziggy. When I call hubby tells me how Ziggy misses me.  Meanwhile, Ziggy is a wonderful companion for hubby while I am gone. I do not believe that my hubby would wander as some Alzheimer's patients do, because he and Ziggy are devoted to each other.

from Pinterest
Now there are dog people and cat people. We are dog people. I do think that the unconditional love of a good pet helps the stability of persons with dementia. On my husband's daily clipboard are reminders:
  1. Has Ziggy been outside?
  2. Has Ziggy been fed. 
Sometimes he will forget to shave, take his pills, eat lunch when I leave the house early, but care of Ziggy is his top priority. Pets are such good therapy both for persons with dementia and their caregivers/lovegivers.

Friday, July 13, 2012

"When the Parent Becomes the Child"

From Pinterest Group Alzheimer's Board
Greg Asimkaupoulos is a pastor who writes thoughtful and funny poems. He gave me permission to post this poem here on this blog and another thoughtful one follows.

When the Parent Becomes the Child
by Greg Asimakoupoulos
July 13, 2012

When I was but a boy of three,
my mother took good care of me.
She cooked my food and washed my clothes
and dressed me for the day.
She helped me tie my laces tight
and tucked me in my bed at night.
She put my needs ahead of hers
and never once complained.
When I fell down or lost my way,
my mom was never far away.
She recognized my helpless state
and made me feel secure.
But now my mom's "the child" in need
who struggles daily to succeed
at little tasks that tax a mind
that frequently forgets.
She needs my help to get around
or look for things until they?re found.
And when her eyes betray her fear,
I hold her trembling hand.
At times her needs can drain me dry,
but when I start complaining why?
I think back to my childhood
and how she cared for me.

Originally published at http://www.partialobserver.com/ . Used by permission.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Saga Twenty-Six

Car trouble. It's leaking fluid on Wednesday. Hubby notices when we are on errands. Says that someone who parked in our place before must have had a problem. Several hours later I also notice this liquid in our garage when I go to bring something to the car. Hubby has more long-term memory of car repairs than I ever had. I have also never driven a car with so many miles on it. I show DH the problem liquid in the garage.

You may recall that our newer car was totaled. See Saga Seven. The 1999 lots-of-mileage-gas guzzler has been our means of transportation for the last year and a half. It has served us well with our camping adventures. No more popup camping and probably no more camping. Hubby is very happy to stay around home with ventures out for activities and errands. He has accepted not driving as reported in Saga Twenty, despite the fact he passed two Alzheimer's driving tests.

"Call triple A," he tells me. I do that and the same Plant City tow company that picked up our totaled car comes and takes the gas guzzler away. The driver remembers out totaled car being in their towing yard when I show him the picture. I tell him how I use that experience with a DUI driver when I teach classes for DUI offenders.

"Where is our car?" hubby wants to know and I tell him what happened.

Again, "Where is our car?"

"I am bored," he proclaims. This is curious to me because he is usually content watching his extensive collection of old movies which he keeps right before him on the couch. There is no car for us to venture out of the house. I realize that he does like variety. He likes going to Toastmaster meetings with me and of course to our church. He loves going out to a movie if I can find one that has a strong plot, without complicated dialogue and intrigue, that would suit him.

We go to bed at the proverbial old people's time of 8 PM. Thursday and Friday the car will be repaired. I have appointments to change and need our car Saturday and all next week.

It's Thursday morning and I talk calmly about the car being fixed. He has forgotten about the estimated $800 needed to fix the car, but I haven't. I miss the strong hubby who used to take charge of car repairs.

LORD, help me just to do the next thing at home and to trust you for the outcome.

Added Saturday morning, July 14th. Got car back last night with the $1127.75 bill;  took $500 out of savings and charged $627.75. Labor was $878 to get to the problem. Something about the heater and cooling systems. Mileage for this 1999 gas guzzler is 192, 485. Maybe it will last to 300,000 miles now. Have a busy week ahead and glad for two days it could be fixed. Grateful for Sally and Jake who took us to get the car and had dinner with us. Hubby and Jake are soooo funny together.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Handling Clutter, Part One

FlyLady (see link at right) writes today:
     Some of you still don't believe me when I say that you cannot organize clutter; you can only get rid of it! For the life of me I can't understand why you won't just try it. I have given you little assignments to clear off areas so that you can feel the difference the free space has on your life. Yet you are still refusing to let it go!
     The result in not releasing your clutter is that you are not finding success with your routines and you are not FLYing yet. The guilt is weighing you down. You are blaming everyone but yourself for the problems you are having. Some of you blame our emails and complain that they are the clutter, while others of you blame your spouse or children. The truth is you are the problem because you will not let it go!
What have I blamed? Our crash that kept me from doing much due to my back. No longer. Working? Not so much this summer. Just teaching one class for DUI offenders and attending one DUI training and taking one seminary counseling class. So it is back, folks--TIME TO WORK ON CLUTTER--rested from vacation, my cruise.

My friend Sally is also my inspiration to work on clutter. She has a new office and has handled/is handling her clutter at their charming home. She also has an organized storage room. We both know that our days of functioning husbands (before Alzheimer's takes it toll) are numbered and the more organized we can become the wiser we will be. Dolores moved, downsized, and handles clutter very well--also an inspiration to us all.

Sally and Jake (not their real names) will be here later and our husbands will hang out while we go to our monthly Alzheimer's Association support group. Then we four will go to dinner observing Weight Watcher ppv (Points Plus Values) at the restaurant.
Meanwhile I am de-cluttering so Sally sees my progress before she comes. I am pinning some progress on Pinterest on my Organizing Board so you might want to follow the pictures there. The link is at the lower right. I have SO much to do in this house.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

What My Husband's Dementia Means, Part One

My hubby has mixed dementia, meaning the neurologist diagnosed him with about 50 % Vascular Dementia and 50% Alzheimer's. The Family Doctor Organization helps explain what the broad category of dementia is.
• Recent memory loss. All of us forget things for a while and then remember them later. People who have dementia often forget things, but they never remember them. They might ask you the same question over and over, each time forgetting that you've already given them the answer. They won't even remember that they already asked the question. Perhaps this is the most annoying aspect until you get used to it. DH's grandson talked to him on the phone before church today and I heard my husband ask repeatedly "What have you been up to?" Special events in the past month and even year he does remember, but day-to-day conversation with him can be taxing if you aren't used to it.
• Difficulty performing familiar tasks. People who have dementia might cook a meal but forget to serve it. They might even forget that they cooked it. Hubby has always had me cook or plan the meals. He can warm up things in the microwave that I have clearly labeled for him. He can leave the lawn mower outside and forget to put it away. Or, it could be his lack of initiative for finishing a task. Jake, on the other hand, loves to feel useful and will even pack up their RV to go camping even when they aren't going camping! AS THEY SAY, WHEN YOU HAVE SEEN ONE CASE OF ALZHEIMER'S YOU HAVE SEEN ONE CASE OF ALZHEIMER'S--EVERY PATIENT IS DIFFERENT.
• Problems with language. People who have dementia may forget simple words or use the wrong words. This makes it hard to understand what they want. They say that with dementia the nouns are the first to go. I have seen this once recently, and LOL I can't remember what it was that he was trying to describe to me. He did describe a function of an object without that word.
• Time and place disorientation. People who have dementia may get lost on their own street. They may forget how they got to a certain place and how to get back home. Today my husband wanted to clarify where he lives and I told him Plant City, Florida. This surprised me, but it shouldn't.
• Poor judgment. Even a person who doesn't have dementia might get distracted. But people who have dementia can forget simple things, like forgetting to put on a coat before going out in cold weather. DH still has good judgment, but I notice that our friend Jake needs to be watched. Sally caught him spray painting something that didn't need it. Jake has lots of initiative to do things, in fact he helped my husband mow on Saturday.
• Problems with abstract thinking. Anybody might have trouble balancing a checkbook, but people who have dementia may forget what the numbers are and what has to be done with them. I do the finances now. He turned them over to me when I retired from full-time work several years ago. I really appreciate the systems he set up--on-line banking and an Excel spreadsheet to help maintain the budget. Hubby loves movies, but the older ones without subtleties are best for him.
• Misplacing things. People who have dementia may put things in the wrong places. They might put an iron in the freezer or a wristwatch in the sugar bowl. Then they can't find these things later. So true and I have blogged here about loss of keys and cell phones.
• Changes in mood. Everyone is moody at times, but people who have dementia may have fast mood swings, going from calm to tears to anger in a few minutes.  Life can be confusing for him and the result can be swearing and anger. Later he will forget the incident.
• Personality changes. People who have dementia may have drastic changes in personality. They might become irritable, suspicious or fearful. Knowing this I try to keep his life as calm as possible.
• Loss of initiative. People who have dementia may become passive. They might not want to go places or see other people. My husband is an extravert and so he does enjoy people still. He also wants to go places. However, he does show loss of initiative; often he wants to do the masculine jobs still, like mow the lawn, take out the garbage and carry heavy things, but I walk a fine line between encouraging him to mow the lawn and nagging. This will be worse this summer because of all the rain here.
The link above also deals with hallucinations, agitation and wandering, problems that are not huge so far.

One strange thing I have noticed is that when I am driving hubby will say things like:
  • "That's [whatever] been on the road a long time." Don't think so, but they say never argue with someone with Alzheimer's.
  • "They have been fixing this road for years." Not so.
  • "That car needs to get out of the way." His agitation can be peppered with swearing, but I roll with the punches and at times change the subject. Sometimes he says he is glad that he doesn't drive anymore and of course I am also.
Sally has a backseat driver on her hands when she drives; Jake is constantly telling her how to drive.

Both of our husbands are very protective of us. When Sally was going to go get groceries on Saturday, Jake suggested I go with her while he helped my hubby in our yard. Jake felt better if someone was with Sally. While my hubby likes to go on errands with me, he can tolerate my going out to teach or to Weight Watchers, activities that he can't really attend.

Both Sally and I are in our marriages "for better--for worse" and count our days as lovegivers precious in this stage, knowing that the worse will come.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

For Dolores, Special Plant City Friend from Texas

My blogging friend from Texas who has written on Plant City Lady and Friends, is going through rough times now with her David in a nursing home and not recognizing her. She is lonely.

I have been a widow and grieve with her as she begins the process of grieving while her husband is still alive. She likes large letters so here is what I wrote in a comment on her blog and am reposting here:

Your blog is such good therapy for you and for all of us grieving with you. "Bear one another's burdens," the Scripture says.
I reflect on my grief with my late husband's death twenty some years ago. It was so hard and a counselor helped me through. "Why are you so anxious to replace your husband?" he once asked me when I started dating another widower only four months after my late husband's death. I did heal and learn. It took eight years to remarry a godly, attentive husband, who is still godly and attentive despite his Alhzeimer's.

One session those many years ago, after working through much grief, the counselor said to me, "Get up each morning and pretend you are happy." Pretend? I'm thinking, but I didn't feel happy. Crying out to God and emersing myself in Scripture I did get through that stage and the years to follow. I repainted rooms in the house and forged a new life without a husband. I learned to live singlely.

Years later when the Alzheimer's diagnosis came to my current husband, I thought about the hard times of facing widowhood again.
Enter one lovely DOLORES who taught me to treasure every day with my husband with your comments on my blog. I do treasure every day now, as I pray earnestly for you to be given a "spot of joy" (husband's recent term) each day.
I am so grately for you and your blog, dear Internet blogging friend. I am one of the WHYS for what you are going through.

Hugs and prayers,


Monday, July 2, 2012

Our Separate Vacations

Even before the Alzheimer's invaded our marriage we never had separate vacations. Of course there were times when hubby was in the hospital, but one can hardly call that separation a vacation. Enter respite time, breaks for caregivers. See article  here  which points out that in a survey 80% of caregivers say respite time is the number one need of caregivers. Because of the generosity of family, I had the opportunity to have respite time apart from my Alzheimer's husband.

June 22. My husband flew by himself to another area to be met by his son for a visit through July 1st. DH’s cell phone is off and I call that home. I realize that he had already thought I was on the cruise, but it would be one and a half days until I depart. He calls back, we talk, and I take a shower. I get three calls on my cell during that shower asking "How do you open this suitcase?" I could not get through to him after that shower. I presume that he walks up two flights of steps to get his son to help him with the code to open the suitcase.
June 23, the next morning, I am awakened by my husband's call at 5 AM. He misses me! Did he get any sleep at all? My sister-in-law comes to Plant City and we go to Ikea in Tampa. I get a $20 on sale backpack to use as my purse when we leave the ship. Backpacks are so handy for travel and this one is a favorite color--bright pink.

June 24 hubby and I talk in the morning. My sister-in-law and I leave for Port Canaveral for a week Caribbean cruise on the Freedom of the Sea, luxury ship owned by Royal Caribbean Cruise lines. Hubby and I later talk before the ship embarks.

THERE WILL BE NO MORE CONTACT UNTIL JULY 1ST. Will he remember to wear his ties to church both Sundays? Will he forget and wear the same clothes repeatedly. Will he remember to use the plastic bag I packed for his laundry and will that laundry bag return home in his suitcase? ABOVE ALL AND MOST IMPORTANTLY WILL HE TAKE HIS PILLS TWICE A DAY? I have to leave all those cares behind. I am not paying for Internet/cell phone access on the trip. He cannot contact me about things like his suitcase.

We set sail and travel all night and the next day. I celebrate my 68th birthday with my sister-in-law Monday night, a dress formal night. We meet our lovely 5:30 PM group in the dining room; these wonderful people we will see every night if they can make it. 
From Wikipedia
     • Tuesday we were in fabulous Labadee, Haiti
     • Wednesday we were in Jamaica and got stranded when the motor to our glass bottom boat breaks.   Shortly we were rescued by another ship. "No problem", just a situation, is the Jamaican attitude.
     • Thursday we visit Grand Cayman island.
     • Friday we debark at Cozumel, Mexico.
     • Saturday is another day at sea with so much fun before we arrive back one on July 1st.

I met people in countries and on the ship to pray for. With some of them I prayed right there on the spot. God is not limited by distance. My husband was in the LORD's hands that week; his son had legal and medical documents and authority. There are other concerns in our world than a husband who has Alzheimer's and Vascular Dementia and I was able to see poverty first hand, especially in Jamaica. I know that in Mexico and Haiti there are areas beyond the tourist sections we saw. I left a pile of clothes including my fancy dinner outfit ($15 at the Goodwill) for my cabin steward that she will bring back to Jamaica and prayed with her about her daughter. You know, though, many in these poor countries may be more spiritually atuned than we in the states are.

I brought too much with me, but left some on the ship.
July 1st we carted our luggage early to customs and maybe two hours later at about 9:30 we arrived at my Plant City home. My sister-in-law left for another vacation with her family and she got home about 9:15--actually 8:15 in her time zone Sunday night. I was in time for my church--maybe ten minutes late, and I enjoyed sweet worship. I was a little sad that my husband didn't sit by my side in his usual seat at church, but his plane was scheduled to land in Tampa Sunday night.

Back home from church, my digital camera has over 130 gorgeous photos to download. E-mail at home was way over 500, including Facebook's notice that I had family and friends postings to check up on. In our house there was no water and no home phone. "No problem", just a situation. The mail will be delivered Monday.

I left to pick up my husband at the airport, receiving a message from his son that he was indeed on the plane. Excitedly, I waited to see him. When he arrived as one of the last passengers to walk up a ramp, we hug and kiss. Hubby doesn't have his shaving kit and suit jacket. A flight attendant from US Airways brings his shaving kit out to us after I ask. No jacket she says--oh well--that was a $10 Salvation Army find that does show up later wrinkled in his luggage. We go to the Olive Garden for dinner. At dinner he kept asking how long it would take to get home. Half hour, Sweetheart. Plumber to come Monday. We will also pick up our dog from the kennel on Monday. I keep repeating this information, one thought at a time, and hubby is reassured there is no problem. We are both so happy to see each other. He loved being with his family, but couldn't remember all the details. A grandson thoughtfully posted pictures of his vacation on Facebook.

Today the plumber came and cleared a box of spider webs by the main well and so water was restored. How weird is that! Thursday the phone company will be here for our land line. Just two situations.

Reflections. I have a tan and didn't gain weight. I have been waiting on hubby almost hand and foot, but the ship waiter pulled out my chair and put my napkin in my lap. Waiters with various accents robustly sang "Happy Birthday" to me on my birthday. I got to go to a workshop on nutrition where the speaker said she takes one tablespoon of coconut oil each day. I went to two workshops on napkin folding. About three mornings I walked for 30 minutes. Every night I went to entertainment including ice skating. I am still reflecting on the cruise--wonderful for me. Things don't seem so burdensome at home now because I had been pampered all week. I just relaxed about no water on Sunday.

Special thanks to my husband's family and my family for making this trip possible.