Monday, May 27, 2013

YouTube Videos

Do you have a YouTube account and subscription?  I found out I do. Google helped connect all of my blogging and Facebook and Google Plus and so at the top of this Google dashboard is a YouTube tab. I can manage subscriptions so new YouTube videos come on my email. Oh my goodness! I also have YouTube on my iPhone! I can hear and see videos on Alzheimer's that my husband doesn't see during a school planning period instead of listening from our den computer. (I really do not want him to worry about his Alzheimer's by hearing a YouTube video at home. I keep his life as calm as possible.)

Singer Amy Grant's father has dementia and she put out a warm YouTube video called Amy Grant's Three Caregiving Tips here. Very nice.

Author Linda Born is one of the first books I reviewed here. Now Linda has just announced her YouTube videos on her book and I went there and subscribed. Two videos are out and my subscription will alert me by email when more are out.

Week One: Hold to Hope 

Week Two: Steps to Take As a New Caregiver

This promises to be a great series. Thanks, Linda.  

One video here is on Alzheimer's Coaching and Remembering4You. I got that link on Joe's blog and I was the first to subscribe on YouTube.

But wait! I am now on YouTube!!!!

I write on the board
MC AC raps at the end of good classes.

Yes, I now have a new YouTube channel for my raps thanks to my Alabama high tech family. Nine raps were video taped several months ago and are coming out this summer on three YouTube videos (three raps per video).

When do I rap? For several years I have practiced  my raps during the last five minutes at the end of every on-task class when I susbsitute teach in middle school and high school. It takes sometimes months to write a rap and currently I am working on more raps.  Right now there is a wonderful YouTube commercial for the raps of MC AC The Rap Lady.

How was this name chosen? My niece and nephew decided on this name. I guess MC is for Ms. Carol and AC is for Aunt Carol. They have always referred to me as AC.

How did I have time to do this video? I don't. My family are producing them and they are doing a very professional job with these videos.

How does a senior citizen get into rappping? When I wrote Getting Off the Niceness Treadmill, I put a poem on social media in the ninth chapter and found I could "rap" it. I have added lines to that rap as more social media have come out. Then I started writing more raps so I would have more material when I substitute. The benefit for being good all class period is that Mrs. Johnson (AKA MC AC now) will rap.

Students I substitute teach for keep teaching me what works and what doesn't work in a rap and so I keep adapting and improving my raps.  Friday one high school girl said she was stopping being a bully because of one of my raps. Her friend said she no longer is a drama queen because of my "Use Your Mind, Not Your Emotions" rap. Especially now at the end of the school year it helps to have this aid for keeping control, although I wish our tax refund had come and I didn't feel I have to substitute teach now. We will be so poor if that tax refund doesn't come soon! IRS what are you doing? Just testifying in Congress??? 

Do I study other rappers? No. Sometimes I explain it is a poem if students say it is not really a rap. I go for entertainment and also a message in many of the raps. It's a quick way to leave a legacy as evidenced by my feedback last Friday. 

So where is this YouTube channel? There is a tab at the top of this blog that directs you there and it is below. My nephew has photographic credits and my niece and her husband are producing the videos. Go there now and subscribe so you can hear and see all  my raps for the 2013 season.

MC AC The Rap Lady

Friday, May 24, 2013

Senior Health: Thyroid Nodule

In the 1980s I had Graves Disease, or hypothyroidism. I was treated with radioactive iodine and too much of my thyroid was taken out. Consequently I have had to have thyroid pills, currently 100 MCG of Levothyroxine for some thirty years. Maybe 15 years ago I had to have a thyroid biopsy for the nodule and it was benign. That nodule has shown up last fall in a hospital visit, and May 7th when I also took two other tests. Good news is that my bone density is good, although I am shorter than I used to be. No problems on my mammogram either. But the thyroid needs further testing.

Since May 14th I have not been taking thyroid medicine. June 17th I will have my second test on the thyroid to determine what the nodule is and I was told  that in addition to not take the thyroid pills, to not take fish oil tablets, and to not consume fish.

Before May 14th I would blog several times a week. I would work on the house and write on blogs and attend to hubby.  I do not have the energy to write this up as I usually would do. I am very tired. Now I see myself slowing down and hoping that I do not gain back weight I was happy I lost. My blood pressure seems good, but my stamina is gone. I need those pills, apparently, but the doctors want to see what else is going on and so for over a month I will not have thyroid medicine until we see what is going on with my thyroid and with that nodule. I have nine more days of substitute teaching booked through June 7th and three Saturdays teaching a class for DUI offenders. I know this is a small problem, but do appreciate your prayers.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What Excess Weight Did to Kenny

Kenny Sexton , volunteer caregiver neighbor, was interviewed HERE last week. The reason Kenny lived in a nursing home and studied Alzheimer's patients first hand, was that Kenny was very overweight. When I showed him the above graphic, he said he experienced many of the above conditions.  Again we are sitting at the dining room table in our family room with hubby watching TV nearby. Kenny and  I prayed about this interview.

Carol: I am thrilled that you are so willing to be candid in this interview, Kenny. Why are you willing to talk about your 350 pound weight loss and all the health concerns?

Kenny: I do not want others to go through what I have gone through and I am happy to share what I have learned. I take 17 medicines and will continue to have medical problems, even though I lost all that weight. I also had to learn to deal with emotional eating and with gluttony as a sin. I had to learn that food is not me and that God can help me overcome. Most sin gives us attention or something we need.  I needed to practice getting my needs met through my faith.

Carol: Did anyone ever try to talk you into bypass or lapband surgery?

Kenny: Yes at the nursing home, but they told me I had to lose weight before that surgery, and as I lost it I thought I could just continue and not need that surgery.

Carol: What have been the subsequent health issues above that you are dealing with? Let's take them one at a time.

Kenny: Migraines was not the big thing for me, but depression was. Depression was a precurser to over eating, and then the more I ate the more depressed I became.

Carol: Can you identify triggers to depression?

Kenny: I felt worthless and others made me feel worthless. With Christ I have realized that my worth is in Him and God has given me strength to forgive and to overcome the depression. Then I was able to get the help I needed by living in a nursing home and being in a program for two years.

Carol: You told me that some of the conditions above you do not have (migraines, Dyslipemia Hypercholesterolemia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, GERD, and Gout and of course Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). But all the others you have and we don't know about mortality on the chart above, as if any of us know when we will enter our restored bodies and be with the LORD. Obviously your quality of life has vastly improved.

Kenny:  Oh yes. Seven years ago I couldn't even walk to my mail box and I was afraid I was going to die. I needed help and the nursing home and Concord Care near Youngstown, Ohio helped me gain my life back. I have kept weight off for five years now.  

Carol: Which of all the conditions above are causing the most difficulty?

Kenny: Definitely Type II Diabetes. No one in my family has had it and it is weight induced.
Carol: Explain.

Kenny's Leg Cellulites
Kenny: Diabetics take a long time to heal when they have a sore. I have cellulites, an infection of the skin. I go to have my bandages changed by a nurse at least five days (at one point seven days). Twice a month I see a foot doctor. I may loose a toe due to infections. My Venous Stasis Disease is not resolved yet unlike the above graphic. I have my diabetes under control with shots twice a day and pills twice a day, but this will continue as long as I live. I have learned that I can have sweets, but in a moderate lifestyle. I have learned to not do without certain food, but to plan wisely what I eat.
Carol: What about liver disease?
Kenny: When I first found I had Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, I was in stage four. Before I had too much amonia in my blood, I would fall asleep and forget things.With medication my liver functioning has gone down to stage one.  At this point I do not believe I need a liver replacement, but will continue to have to take medicine for my liver. A lot of this change is that I watch what I eat and have never had a problem with alcohol even though I have this liver disease.
Kenny: I do have COPD (Chronic Pulmonary Disease) and Asthma and yet I have never been a smoker. They say this is from second-hand smoke from my father and four grandparents. Asthma comes along with the COPD. I didn't not have problem with Asthma until I was so heavy. The COPD was diagnosed later.
Carol: What conditions have improved since the weight loss?
Kenny: Cardiovascular and hypertension, urinary incontinence. Degenerative joint disease I still have, but not as bad because I have less weight. My joints hurt from it, and I hope to lose between 75 and 100 pounds to help with this. The more weight I lose, the less disability I will have. 

Carol: Again, Kenny, I am so grateful that our LORD is now using you with several Alzheimer's patients including my husband. Do you think when you legs clear up you may be able to get off on disability and work in this field.

Kenny: That is my goal. I would like very much to go back to work.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Another Hospital Trip

Picture of sitcom from link below
I got one of those cries this morning from the bedroom:

I've fallen and can't get up.

It was 6:30 am approximately and sure enough he was on his rear end. I put in a text to my back yard neighbor Kenny who came over. I got on the computer and canceled substituting for the day. Two hours later hubby was in a non-emergency ambulance on the way to Plant City Baptist Hospital ER again.

I drove to ER and I went into ER Room 7 with my iPhone and charger and had friends all over praying. I texted hubby's adult children. I posted a status on Facebook. I texted people who do not do Facebook. I chatted with Facebook friends who play Words With Friends with me on the iPhone or on Facebook. Kerry from church put out email prayer to every one at church.

Again many things were checked out. Hubby had a head scan which is standard procedure for falls with seniors and he hadn't fallen because of a stroke. Xrays revealed that there was no broken bones. His urine was checked and not another UTI, although I didn't think so because he wasn't acting like he had in April. Near noon hubby was released to go home. A nurse helped get hubby into our gas guzzler car--so high up.She went to get someone else to help.

Nurse: How will you get him in the house?

Me: That’s why we came to the hospital.

At home hubby deboarded the car and used the walker and painfully made it to a spot on the couch where I usually sit which has a pullout for elevating one's feet.

Left spot has leg elevation pullout,
Right spot is hubby's Archie Bunker spot.

Later in the afternoon, hubby longed for his Archie Bunker spot. He got stuck at the end of the pullout which we can't get to fold up. There was about an hour of debating how he would get up. 

My husband has a favorite spot across from the big TV like Archie Bunker had above  in the 1970s sitcom. See Archie's chair HERE.  Archie's  son-in-law Mike "Meathead" once broke it, or once sat in it, etc. This sitcom chair was legendary and I believe is in the Smithsonian. Even though hubby could have been comfortable watching TV with his leg elevated at the left spot, it was not his spot opposite his special coffee table with all his stuff. He felt he had to move.

Kenny was not home because he was volunteering elsewhere as an Alzheimer's caregiver, but Kerry had kept in touch with me by text and had her husband Dave come by after his work to help hubby get up and over to his spot. In addition to the walker Dave helped him use crutches which I happened to have to move the few inches. Now teaching someone with Alzheimer’s something new like the use of crutches is difficult. Thanks, Dave.

It was time for bed and Kenny's brother-in-law came over to get hubby off of his spot and into bed. Unlike the whole afternoon, however, suddenly hubby was able to walk. I think it was the magic of his Archie Bunker spot which he insisted on sitting in and of course the prayers of you all who knew of this ER trip. And the ice and the elevation somehow made hubby's right leg better and this morning he is walking. I wondered why in the ER they didn't elevate and ice right away.

This brings up the point of falls and avoiding them. I have put a chair by the bed where hubby fell yesterday and he has accepted this change of furniture. He still has an ace bandage on his knee to remind him of the fall and limps a little.

Chair by bed for safety,
Almost looks like Archie's chair.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Interview With Our Amazing Volunteer Caregiver

Kenny Sexton lives with his extended family on the property in back of us. That property used to be owned by the first owner of our home, and there are barns and two dwellings there. At one point this property used to have a rodeo as pictured above.  

Various people have rented back there and now Kenny and his extended family live in dwellings (not shown) back there. Even though they are right in back, to get there I would have to jump the fence or drive back there on a dirt road a house away from us. No longer. As I wrote earlier, Wayne has installed a single gate to join the properties.

Kenny Sexton is a younger man on disability who now, despite his disabilities, volunteers to check on my husband while I work, using that gate. I finally had a chance to interview him on his great service to us.

Carol: How and why did you come to take care of my husband?

Kenny: We were talking with each other over the fence and I told you what I had done in the past and volunteered to help you if you needed help.

Carol: I remember thinking that this summer I could introduce you and my husband and see how it went. Never did I realize how soon I would need you. Things went faster than expected and while my husband was in the hospital, Wayne installed the gate making it easier for you to come to the French doors at the back of our property.

Kenny: I realized you needed help right now because he was more confused and you couldn't leave him alone. His doctor wanted to put him in a nursing home and I didn't feel this was the correct decision.

Carol: I didn't know what we were going to do, but was so glad that you were stepping in to volunteer. Tell our readers how you gained the insight into helping Alzheimer's care receivers.

Kenny: There was a time in my life when I ended up in a nursing home and I observed Alzheimer's patients because I lived with them.

Carol: You enable me to leave the home and not worry about my husband because you are checking in on him. You will see that he gets his morning pills and then text me that he has had them.That one Saturday night when hubby would not get off the John, I called you and you came right over and advised me what to do, and helped me get him in the car so I could take him to emergency again. Why do you so willingly give of yourself to be there for us now? 

Kenny: You know, Carol, I feel that God moved us here for a reason and part of the reason is that I get up in the morning so I can serve you all. If I wouldn't be active, I wouldn't get better myself and not be listening to what God has said to me. 

Carol: This is such an incredible blessing to me right now. THANK YOU, LORD! How have you approached working with my husband? Give us an example.

Kenny: I try to be respectful in working with your husband. I don't want him to feel that I am looking down on him. I try to give him his space. One day when I was fixing his lunch, a BBQ sandwich that I warm up and give him along with his yogurt and coconut oil fudge, he said to me, "I could get used to this!" I knew then that he appreciated my checking in on him. 

Carol: Before you came, I would come home and his cold sandwich, yogurt and coconut oil fudge would still be in the refrigerator and he had not had his morning pills. We both have trouble getting him to take his morning pills. How do you do it? 

Kenny: I tell him, If you take your pills, I will go ahead and leave. Then he would take them right away and I would leave out of the back of the house chuckling to myself.

Carol: We learn how to deal with them by trial and error. When I couldn't get him to shave one evening, in disgust I left the house and texted you. Do you remember that evening?

Kenny: I called you and told you that sometimes we have to get out of the situation.

Carol: I was so relieved that you said that. This was still when he was recovering from that nasty UTI infection and I feared we had a worsening of the Alzheimer’s.

Kenny: When do you think you might make the decision to put him in a nursing home.

Carol: I am not ready for that and actually have a fantasy that he can live here all his days. However, as I interviewed Dolores, Latane and Dana on this blog, these fine ladies taught me that it may happen someday. I have seen others in my Alzheimer's Association Support group who were able to care for their care receiver with the help of Hospice. The LORD will be there for me. I am assured of that and try to live each day knowing that the future is in His capable hands. He gives me encouragement along the way, such as a happenstance Christian caregiver right in my backyard!

Kenny: How has having a husband with Alzheimer's enriched your life, or has it been a detriment?

Carol: First, Kenny, even though I am semi-retired and in my 60s it has forced me to grow up in so many ways. Financially, I have to plan. Time management. Simplifying our home which I blog about with The House That Cleans Itself. Taking care of my own health by diet and exercise. I have a thyroid scan next month and now am off of thyroid medicine until that test. I monitor my blood pressure. When hubby was going through his UTI my blood pressure shot up to 144/95. Early this morning it was a wonderful 101/62. Also I value my faith with meditation on God's Word, prayer and disciplined intercession for others.

Kenny: I see that you genuinely care about your husband and struggle with the upkeep of the house but do well. I also see how you bridge the gap with youth with your tales of your rapping when you substitute teach. I think this blog you have been writing may help others as well.

Carol: Thanks so much for letting us interview each other on my notebook computer around the dining room table with hubby watching old movies in the same room. I look forward to the next interview of you on your health issues.

I am now off to substitute teach this afternoon. When I come home, Kenny will have popped over to check on hubby. Thank you LORD, and thank you Kenny!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Book Review: Caresharing

Marty Richards dedicates this book to her Aunt Toni, who died at 102 1/2 as I [Richards] was writing this book. She indeed has been, and continues to be, my teacher and "the wind beneath my wings." This book came highly recommended to me by a social media friend who is in the field of caring for seniors.

Richards encourages us to share the caregiving journey with others and considers it a spiritual journey where whatever your faith you ponder questions about life's meaning and purpose (p. xiii).

As in another book I reviewed on this blog she uses the term "carer", but she adds "care receiver" and "care partner" to the mix. She says this journey is a dance where there are three moves:
  1. Offer help
  2. Ask for help
  3. Receive help
She explores many emotions and growth areas that I ponder in my Christian faith: sadness, anger, guilt, fear,  failure of others, failure of self, forgiveness (a whole chapter on this one), coping, grief, and hope. She explores family expectations and roles and writes: all generations are affected when someone in the family needs care (p. 69).  She is reaching across different faiths, and so does not use Scripture as I would have done (and will do on my seminary counseling dissertation). It's as if all the issues I have addressed on this blog or may need to address are in her book.

Richards helps me want to know my husband more and not just the disease that has him. I woke up this morning and interacted with him before we even got out of bed; finally he said to turn over--he wanted a few more winks of sleep! I want all the interaction I can have with him at this stage and it is important. I am not working outside the home today and I am a lovegiver today, not just a home economist. I want to validate his feelings and learn his stories. Relating to him is just as important as all my other "to dos", some of which others can do for us. And, recently I have seen what others can do with our neighbor Kenny and Wayne who stepped up to the plate to mow our large lawns; also I now enjoy texting support from others in my church--they pray for us and I pray for them. They are caresharing.

Build on what your care partner can still do, advises Richards. Affirm their value. Ask yourself what is going on with difficult behaviors. Connect soul to soul. Even though I feel so busy much of the time, I read Scripture with my husband most mornings now, as a result of this book. I have had a habit in recent years of going through the whole Bible every year, but didn't think hubby would be able to comprehend this discipline. Instead we read from the Psalms and Proverbs and he often prays. Kenny prayed yesterday before I left to substitute teach.

On page 207 she has a hope inventory for areas of your life--the world around us, our work life, our home life, our relationships, our physical health and our sense of self-expression. She asks us to check off if we feel hopeful or hopeless in each category. WHERE DO WE NEED A NEW PERSPECTIVE on HOPE? Write an ethical will in the Orthodox Jewish tradition is one suggestion. Write a spiritual autobiography (I did that with Getting Off the Niceness Treadmill). She offers other strategies for our senior years as well.

You can get Caresharing: A Reciprocal Approach to Caregiving and Care Receiving in the Complexities of Aging, Illness or Disability, new or used, on Amazon HERE. It is well worth reading and very economic when purchased used. My used book was withdrawn from the New York Public Library and I wonder why this hardly used book was withdrawn, but am grateful for this book and its insights. I will read this book again in my journey with my husband's dementia, and practice the dance she encourages.

My Amazon review was just published HERE.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Gardening Report on The House That Cleans Itself

It has been two months--TWO MONTHS--since I reported to you on this project and signed off as an "amateur watta-be gardener". I have bravely battled  AREA # 8 and AREA #9 (the backyard) with my never-ending struggle with weeds that I am sure will continue over the summer and into the fall. Weeds are like paper clutter, don't ya think? The broken weed killer spray bottle was returned to Home Depot and exchanged for a new one that works.

I have noticed that one plant flourishes and the same plant does not, thinking I have one green thumb and on the opposite hand a non-green thumb. 
Why is the right pot flower better?
One bush thrives and a nearby one is turning brown maybe due to the watta-be gardener's over-zealous use of the weed killer.

Turning brown

I have encountered the possibility of snakes, poison oak and poison ivy in the backyard. A snake-looking parasite is growing along a branch and I clipped it several places but it isn't seeming to die.

Parasite on branch

Hubby doesn't want his wife to mow lawns and wonderfully a volunteer Wayne has come forward to mow our lawns for free when he is in the neighborhood mowing someone else's yard for pay. I am so appreciative and have found myself cutting branches so his mowing will be easier.

What I did backing up the gas guzzler


Wayne also repaired the fence gate that I had backed into and put in a gate to our neighbor's back yard so that Kenny can easily come to our house from where he lives.  Thanks ever so much Wayne! It takes a village to be an Alzheimer's caregiver!

I just asked and a thoughtful friend of a backyard neighbor, Angel, burned the trash pile and it is slowly being converted into regular grass in the back yard. Burn piles will be a thing of the past as I am putting yard banches and clippings out by the curb on Saturdays and one really needs a permit to burn in the country I am told.

Burn pile

Grass growing on old burn pile

I made a list for our outdoors of
what I can do and have started:

1. Put clippings by the street to be picked up on several Saturdays.
2. Weed by the backyard deck.

Old shower stool helps me sit to weed.

3. Put an outdoor rug on that deck. (This rug was used with our popup camper that we no longer own.)

4. Go to Fabric Warehouse to get ideas for uphostery of 4 outdoor chairs used on the deck. They will need to be sprayed black again.

5. Straighten up the potting area and get realistic about my gardening capabilities. Get rid of those extra pots--almost like keeping magazines or fabric I never will quilt with!

6. Offered extra chainlink fence material to Sally and Jake for their new dog. Their son came and picked it up.

7. Enjoy my herb garden and find recipes where I can use those fresh herbs.

8.  Make road to the back of the property look neater and keep it maintained.

9. Add items to future yard sale or donate them.  

Problems to live with or wait to solve:

Two-bin compost piles
with cow pasture of neighbors in back

How do I maintain the two-bin compost pile above  that my husband labored at before his Alzheimer's dampened his motivation?  

Small oak trees (that can become large oak trees) seem to want to come forth on fence lines. One oak tree took over an orange tree and both seem to want the same space with the oak tree winning.

I need to hire or enlist someone to do something about the walls stained by my husband's forgetting to turn off the sprinkler all night. (We have iron in our well water used on the garden.)

The metal shed is continuing the go down hill and our dog barks at something maybe living in there.

Houses riding lawn mover and
some other creature--maybe a stray cat

There are two small fountains to get up and running--one in the front yard by the chimney and one in the backyard outside the deck. I bought a fountain pump for one of them that I think needs replacing.

Will continue to work on Areas #8 and #9.  
Any suggestions or volunteers?

Struggling gardener here, 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I recycle the Lipton Diet Green Tea bottles. I am using half Ocean Spray diet cranberry juice and half tea. Cranberry juice helps prevent UTIs. My husband loves this drink and I tell him that along with regular showers (two minimum per week) and cranberry juice helps.

Before he got over this UTI infection, I thought that both shaving and showering would be a problem. I bought a $4 estate sale shower chair shown at the right. I put it in the shower, but hubby wanted nothing to do with something that makes him feel old and he really has bounced back and gotten his strength back.

In fact, I can't tell that this UTI infection made him go into a further stage of Alzheimer's. He is the same fun self and I love spending time with him. He likes to go on errands with me. He lives in the now like I should. Buying that shower chair was premature.

What is not premature, is working on good routines. Even though there is a check list on his clipboard, he doesn't always abide by it. I read we caregivers need to reinforce good routines early on and we will be thankful we did later on. I am continuiing to enforce shaving every other day and regular showers. The routine of taking pills is not easy. He doesn't like to take them. Thankfully I have neighbor Kenny to get him to take his pills when I leave the house in the morning. Sunday night I went to bed, before I saw him take his pills, and I found them in a napkin Monday morning.

I have been so impressed with how Davina is taking care of her mother-in-law. I asked her about showering and she gave me these pictures of the shower put into the mother-in-law's house with a seat and grab bars.

In addition to grab bars, they have the portable shower head. here and Carole Larkin here on the Alzheimer's Reading Room offer tips on bathing and showering our loved ones with Alzheimer's. So far hubby is able to do all of this for himself. He doesn't want anything that looks like this product either.

So for the time being, shaving and showering is not the problem I thought it would be while DH was recovering from the UTI and he seems like his old self, still fiesty about taking pills, but seemingly in the same state of normal as before his hospitalizations and infection. He just asked me, when are we going to bed? I told him when he took his pills, and he took his pills!, although earlier in the evening he had complained about those pills.

Thank you, LORD! Help me to navigate
this caregiving with insight.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It Takes a Village, Part Three

Plant City Barber
During the hospitalization of my husband and his recovery from the UTI, I got many wonderful suggestions from near and far. Basically, however, no one is in my shoes, living with my husband day after day, realizing his limitations, my time limitations and our finances. I am the decision-maker, the health care surrogate. No one realizes how stubbornness comes out in an Alzheimer's patient, who cannot be rushed to do anything--take pills, shave, take a shower, or get ready to leave the house. I actually have to combine patience with cunning.

However, last night nothing worked and I left the house and went to Sally and Jake's house. I felt like I was being bullied and ready for step two in the previous post. Let me explain.

Hubby's beard grew with his hospitalization. Last Thursday I stopped by his barber in Plant City and asked if the barber could not only give my husband a hair cut, but also a shave since the razor wasn't working so well with more growth of facial and chin hair. My husband didn't like the electric razor I got him for Christmas. We hadn't decided that he would become Santa, so we needed a solution.

"Get him a trimmer," the barber said on Thursday. "You can buy it at Sally's Beauty Supply." He wrote down three kinds I could get. He showed me how he maintains these trimmers with a tooth brush and oil. He explained that the trimmer can be used on the few hairs at the top of his head that just stick up. He can just go bald there. The trimmer will give him a "day old" beard look popular with movie stars. Why we even have a Sally's in our small town. They had one of the ones he recommended--an Andis Styleliner II. I bought it and last night was to be the trial run with a three-day beard my hubby had let grow since Saturday.

Now I have also been studying my meat and potato hubby. I also know he likes barbecue sandwiches, and the chicken salad or meat and cheese sandwiches I have been making him lately just aren't cutting it. I stopped by First Choice BBQ and got him some meat fit for a Southerner's sandwiches--pulled pork. It works like a charm. Kenny heats it while I am gone.

To also thank this wonderful community, I have to say that with not a lot of time on my hands a shower chair was acquired at an estate sale last Saturday--just what I had been looking for and we have the large shower for it. We are on our way to solutions. Only my hubby wanted nothing to do with old people's stuff. No shower chair for him when he showered Sunday morning. But I am prepared.

Sunday hubby waited until the last minute to take that shower and wasn't ready for church which now meets at 2 PM. I left for church, and really was sad that hubby wasn't by my side at church. However, Kenny was home from his church and was able to check on my husband and heat up some BBQ for him while I was away.

Back to my leaving the house last night. Hubby was angry I tried to use this trimmer that the barber had successfully used on him three days ago. Do I have to go to the barber ever time for his shave? He doesn't remember the barber.

Last night hubby also wouldn't shave with his razor. I was at wit's end when I got to Sally and Jake's house. I held back tears, but I am sure I sounded frustrated and angry. "He doesn't want me to use the trimmer on him, and he won't shave so I left the house," I explained to our friends on their back porch.

I texted Kenny I was leaving and he texted me, "Are you okay?" Then Kenny called me and said I did the right thing by leaving.

Last night I was bearing my soul, confessing my anger at the situation to Sally in person and to Kenny on the phone. Sally prayed with me. Jake got on the phone, called hubby and worked out a deal. Hubby would shave with his razor and the four of us would go out to dinner. Then Jake started shaving himself with his electric razor--that is after Sally told him where it was.

Was hubby ready? A deal had been brokered. I drove Sally and Jake to our house and parked in the circular driveway and Jake went to the door. Hubby had shaved and put on a clean shirt--well actually a clean shirt over the T-shirt he had worn all day. The four of us would go to dinner.

As usual we wives order for our husbands as they can't decide these days. BBQ for hubby and a grilled chicken salad for me. However hubby does ask for a certain adult beverage. Grandpa Johnsons's Restaurant didn't have a Scotch and Water so hubby settled for his iced tea.

At dinner I let a few sinful barbs fly about shaving--just wanted hubby to feel my pain, although today he will have forgotten all about shaving. No solutions yet, other than the nagging wife showing her pain and sin. There are no solutions for dementia eventually. Why am I hitting my head against a brick wall?

I do still like living in Plant City, my village of people. Waiting still to use my new skill the barber showed me. I am open for business, folks!