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Friday, May 15, 2015

Hmm, I think this one took about a week to get out *sigh*

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 @ 1:56 PM

Good afternoon – this is us and we just got writing to Dr. Marvin so we figured we’d cheat a little and use that email here.  This explains how things went with the new Dr. Dorman.

Hi Dr. Marvin,

This is us.  We are outside now with the dogs off the front patio.  We'll have to untangle them in a little, but they are getting drowsier with the sun.  They seem to appreciate the shade as much as the next guy.  I just got two of them unstuck and Max grabbed the tug of war toy to bury it in the leaves.  I don't like when they chew on the grass, but it’s hard to keep them away from it ... is this just a dog thing.  It takes forever that they all lay down at the same time.  Max laid down in the sun so don't think that is going to last long.  Dakota and Lady are on the cement with me in the shade good dogs.

Well, as far as Dr. Dorman, it was a good appointment.  I did misunderstand the time in that it was supposed to be at 2:15 instead of 3:15 pm, but he still saw me and spent time getting to know us.  I had a couple of sheets with me from Dr. Albright from this last visit and from the visit one year ago.  He looked them over and it appeared that somehow my medicines were in his computer already - not sure how that happens.  He verified the medicines that each you and Dr. Albright have been in charge of.  He was a nice person - though you could tell he could be very stern when he wanted to be.  He definitely had his ideas and they weren't all in agreement with Dr. Albright.  

The most notable were that he didn't want to give injections as a first route.  He gave me a couple of exercises to do for my elbows.  He said they were actually a problem because of the overuse of my wrists.  So the exercises were in stretching them out.  He had all the professional names for things just we weren't picking them up.  We made sure and it looked like his practice to type out on a sheet going home with us the specific directions we needed.  We told him about the moderate impairment in our ability to recall.  He said that he gives the injections that the other doctor talked about, but he asked us if we wouldn't do some PT first and then we would see - his logic was to address the problem directly.  We told him we had a very hard time leaving the house with the exception to your appointments, and that sometimes that was hard too.  He dropped it for a moment, but then came back and said that because we were homebound for the most part, he could have therapy come to the house.  We figured that was an acceptable decision although we'd have to work then on the getting showered and dressed part every day.  

A few moments the first person called from that service.  She said that he'd ordered PT and OT.  That was a surprise to us.  She said that the PT would be for the core exercises and that the OT would be for helping us do things that were difficult and for upper body - so we told her about the problem with our wrists and elbow and she said yes the OT would cover that but they would come in with a full evaluation.  He also wanted to see me cut down on about 20% of our computer and quilting work.  I had no response to that, except to think not likely.  How are you going to judge that kind of thing anyway?  This lady on the phone said someone - maybe two people would contact us before the end of the day to set up appointments.  I told them they couldn't be on Tuesdays and Thursdays, because those were the days we were seeing you.  Our head is already in a jumble over it ... thinking we have to worry about having clothes and being able to clean up.  Maybe that's something the OT person could help with though is getting us in better ability to do things here.  I don't know.  She asked if we could take showers or baths and I said yes, though we needed a new chair, and she said that was something they could most likely help us with ... didn't see that one coming.  Our legs on the chair have been folding in for quite a bit.  Just figured that wasn't going to go over with a therapist.  

Kind of scared with what they are going to say or do.  We talked to Rich about it a little, but didn't know it would involve OT too.  I’m sure he'd be happy to know that in all reality.  Just not sure if we're already in over our head.

I had a hearing problem yesterday because of having cleaned my ears probably incorrectly so he gave me something to soften that.  And, I don't know if you knew, but I had a dentist like problem on Monday and had to make an appointment for 9 am on Friday. The space where we lost the tooth a month or two ago started hurting as did the space above it - and all of a sudden we were having trouble with icy water or pop.  This week has been scarier than hell.  I called into the dental insurance place.  I don't think they cover much, but they are located in Aurora ...Rich took me to the doctor yesterday a couple towns away in Yorkville because we were falling apart and the dogs did ok with us out about 2 1/2-3 hours, so we're going to have to trust it for the dentist too, because Rich goes fishing Friday morning through Sunday evening.  Maury and the girls are supposed to be here Friday night and leave after dinner on Saturday.  Just way too much going on for me.  

Dr. Dorman set the structure of the appointment and he seemed to do good listening things.  I did ask him if he was on the side of believing or not believing in Multiplicity.  He said he really only knew about it from TV and he thought that probably wasn't very factual.  We appreciated his candor.  We just said that we had 19 parts, it was diagnosed in 1990 and that we've been working with you for 16 years.  He seemed fairly settled with that and that you would deal with those kinds of problems.  We did sign something to get the last lab reports and MRI results from UIC. 

I was glad for the result in having seen him.  By chance too ... yesterday the UIC pain clinic called after 3 weeks to schedule me - they said I'd be seeing someone the 15th of June ... they didn't ask me or say how are you or anything just told me when I’d be coming in and it was over a month away.  I will cancel that appointment.  I will probably be seeing Dr. Dorman again about the 15th - 6 weeks.  He like Dr. Albright would have - my new Synthroid level has to be checked.  Otherwise nothing much interesting he asked family health questions and checked operations.  We didn't talk about the diabetes much - he did when we said something confirm everything would be better with less weight ... No surprise there.  We'll have to see what happens next.  We were down from the 309 we'd gotten up to - to being 303.  Not much, but a nice surprise.  I think we lost some during the flu.  

We'll talk to you tomorrow when you call at 11 am, but pretty much thinking this is it.

Ok, we’re back – the above part went to Dr. Marvin, but we don’t really expect a note back.  There was nothing he had to comment on it was just a report. 

All three dogs are doing well – seems that Max prefers sitting in the warm sun – maybe it has to do with arthritic legs or something.  Not sure … Oh spoke too soon and now Lady is at the door as if she wants to go in. We didn’t see Rich go past – not sure where that is coming from.  Ahh that’s been confirmed … Rich just called and he’s leaving from Crete – it’s where his main job is at.  He still has to stop by the bank, the fishy store, Walmart and his mothers.  He said he’ll be home just in time to make dinner.  Yah that’s a sure bet – probably later than 5 pm.  It’s only about 2:15 pm now … We’ve got a good stint ahead of us.

As to anything more being said on medical, I think we covered it pretty good with Dr. M.  We are worrying about a few things not mentioned like how are we going to do clothes and if she’s going to make us do meals and stuff.  What about the regular stuff we’ve been having so much problems doing.  We’re thinking that when we make ourselves do it then it is something we’ll do good enough, so probably won’t need their assistance.  It’s just that if we tell them we need some help with something then they are going to make us do it, and then it will be like they do it with us once and then that is all.  Not anything that might be real helpful. 

It seems like the biggest walls we’ve worked on already especially with Dr. Marvin.  Like now we can be outside.  It’s like 3-4 times where we’ve come out.  Of course we’ve got the dogs – that’s been the biggest incentive so far.  They are doing pretty good in consideration of Don across the street putting something on his lawn.  And, they did well with the guy from the management company spraying around stuff with the front of the park lawn.  Lady barked a few moments.  We turned on Adele and we’re watching a particular robin – that’s all good stuff, right?

Ok, definitely avoiding the chat on having people come out to the house to do therapy.  One thing for physical therapy, but Dorman was tricky and threw in the OT too.  Just didn’t see that coming.  On the one hand, it would be nice if someone could help me do stuff like shopping for clothes.  BUT, we have been able to do this … Just that it’s hard.  Maybe it’s just a matter of getting the right parts out.  Who does our shopping anyway?  Hmm, looks like Lady wants to play…  Two of them walked over the fence and Dakota grabbed the other end of Lady’s rope, but they’re getting even more mixed up as to chains … guess we play it out until they HAVE to be untangled

Ahh, it’s about 8+ minutes after and all three dogs are down again.  It was pretty much tug of war between Dakota and Lady, but then Max got in there and it turned into more of a physical battle, but they must have decided they were too tired, because they didn’t rough house very long.  Whoops, Max sees something he wants – probably Don’s dogs …. Hoping he lays down.  He wants to go inside.  Let’s see if he gives that up in a few moments or if they are all going in that direction.  There, he just laid down on the top of the steps … that works for us.  Not sure, but thinking we’ve only been here for about 45 minutes.  It seems a lot longer, but I think I caught the start time about right.  I’d like to carry it to at least the 3 pm time.  Usually Max is the first one that wants to go outside, but he and Dakota just had a umm pee-off … I’m pretty sure he’s good.  Today is warmer, but there is a nice breeze.  Wow!  Just checked out the weather.  It’s 80 degrees, 50% humidity, 0 precipitation and about 8 miles wind coming at us today from the SE.  That’s nice since we’re on the SE corner of the house.  Direct hit! 

I am going to run out of water soon.  Might have to do something there, and we’re kinda hungry.  Hmm, now there is a LOT more to consider.  If I ate something.  What would it be?  I had a sandwich for lunch.  Maybe a little soup OR vegetables?  I wonder if we have some of those. 

Maybe just 8-10 minutes – then we can at least say that we made it an hour.  That be good, right?  Oh shoot our first little bee.  He seemed to pass us up but he seemed a little bigger to us than we remembered.  Is it going to be another one of those summers where we don’t get to come out here because we’re terrified? Oh Lordy, we hope not.  We’re starting to collapse just huddled in shoulders face close to the keyboard and staring.  Hmm, lots of cars and SUVs coming in people are coming home to catch the school children I think.  They’ll be here in about 10 minutes.  I do want the dogs used to the kids coming in where they lay down and don’t be barking on them. 

Hmm, I’m going to have to get a grip on shaving legs this summer.  Just looking at how furry they look.  Maybe that’s something an OT person can help with?  Why can’t we figure it out ourselves?  Just have to get something to do it with right?  Can Rich pick something up?  Is there a kind of cream so it doesn’t hurt so much, cream and shave?  Why don’t I know these things?  I sure hope we have a nice person who maybe knows these things.  If someone else knew these things it be a good time for them to come out, you know?  Before we embarrass ourselves? 

Didn’t we have a plan to mark cars coming in and out?  Is it too late?  Maybe we should be trying this again.  Oh oh Dakota is up –AND I don’t think he saw Joe’s dog – maybe Don’s.  Chain caught again.  Good he’s lying down.  This table is going to be the death of me yet.  I just uncaught Dakota from the scroll at the bottom of the legs, and now Max got himself caught because he thought I might get out a spare pet or something.  Silly dogs.  It be nice to have a fenced yard, but we’re not the kind of park that allows them.  Garden fencing is one thing, but NO ONE of the 35 has a regular fence so we’re thinking it’s against the rules.

Hmm, I think the woman just said her name was Doda, but we’ll ask her to spell it tomorrow when she comes.  She’s the PT and she’ll be here somewhere between 12 and 3 pm.  I told her not regularly on Tuesdays or Thursdays, but tomorrow would be ok for the evaluation.  She said that she’d be in the area and she would call when she knows the time for certain.  Three hour blocks of time?  That’s going to be way too wide!  I can’t let people push me around … HMPF!  This is sounding scarier than I want to deal with. 

Moms arehere up front for the picking up of kids – ahh another one.  It’s 3:04 pm.  Must be the time.  Dogs leashes are caught-up enough so that they aren’t going to go out that far.  I don’t want to be the neighborhood threat because we have the three dogs.  It’s not like they are vicious.  Just hoping they keep their good manners and don’t bark at kids.  We really want them to be able to do that.  This is new where we are here at the same time as the kids.  Here comes the bus.  At least one of them.  I know they have at least two busses.  One on the outside and one that comes in – 3:08 pm and everyone is gone.  Dogs did great and the lady in front of the house said something nice about them being attentive.  Good boys and girl!

I am going to have to use the washroom in a few moments.  So, I should probably try wrapping things up.  We are going to need coming back to unravel the leashes.  But, maybe in a bit, right?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 @ 4:27 pm

Hi hi it’s me again.  Were offline out here and I don’t want to go in to fix the problem, so we’re going to continue this blog entry.  At least it seems like it … when I get inside online, I will figure out if we’ve already pasted.  Should probably though skim the last 6 pages to see where we’re at AND hey by the way – did you know we have a robin’s nest over the light outside?  Kind funny – I heard about it, but we didn’t realize how big it was … and when we came out the mom flew off the nest … Hey, we were here first!

We’re back again.  We just finished reading the old entry, AND we went in to fix Rich’s PDF.  Good Ann.  Rich let Dakota in when I went in, but then he wanted to come outside with me again.  This time we brought a blanket – It’s really nice out here and the sun is out though we’re in the shade, but the temp says only 57.  That should feel colder, but especially not with a blanket.

We spent some time earlier talking to Rich before going out, and then he multi-tasked to finishing filling out his passport.  I think he want to go to Canada at the end of the month.  Some things he just can’t procrastinate on much longer.  Happy that he got it done and now he’s moving around in the kitchen – win/win for us! Dakota is laying down in front of the table and we’re here.  Before talking to Rich, we were at Dr. Marvin’s office.  Dakota and us drove in today.  HEY and we DID want to say that it looks like the people who own the park put up new signs for Chrissy Drive and Peggy Drive.  We’re on Chrissy.  Looks sharp – the other ones were soooo faded.

Anyway – not too much happened during the drive to Dr. Marvin’s or back. We did stop for gas, and we were right by MickyD’s so we stopped for one fish sandwich and fries – and it came with a small orange hi-c.  That was my favorite part of McDonald’s the orange drinks.  PLUS beside not being over too much on calories, the fish sandwich is small enough to eat when driving VERY important when you’re on a schedule.  Still can’t beat BK’s fries, but they got ate anyway.

We took Dakota for a break after we got in to use the tree, and that was fine.  He’s really good at urinating *big smile* give them credit where it counts!  We got there in time to read a couple articles in the doctor journals and then Dr. Marvin opened his door for us.  Yup we were there in plenty of time … Oh do have to say this one part – toward the last few moments we were still talking about not looking forward to anything, and then someone inside suggested a candy bar since we didn’t have any before the appointment.  We only had $1.25 which is what you need for a candy bar.  We looked over appreciatively and saw there was Milky Ways which we’ve been eating of late, but mistakenly pressed the buttons for the snickers bar which made me a little GROUCHIER.  But then, the corkscrew turney thing stopped before my candy bar came out – ok, lets say that it was a little bit of a freak-out if people can still say those kinds of things now days.  Being a volleyball player, the instinct then was to hit it with the right heal of our hand as if we were going to spike the ball.  Then the little whirly thing started again and kerplunck down came the snicker’s – no problem any candy bar is better than none, but then?  Whirrrrr, and KERPLUNCK TWO candy bars.  Ok, by this time we’re grabbing and stuffing them in Dakota’s bag and hustling out of the area not believing our sudden turn of good luck.  WooHOO!!!

So that was all the good stuff of the day – and they all had to do with eating.  Funny that! Dr. Marvin’s was no fun and yes somebody tells him that when we get all done and feel worse than when we started.  It was that kind of day.  Most of it seemed to be going through all the blechy things that happened since we’d seen him. We missed one of our Dr. Marvin appointments, had to go see the new doctor, and then we had two PT appointments we didn’t consider fun AND to throw in with that mess – there was a Dentist appointment, many more to come and we only talked to Dr. Marvin 15 minutes on the phone.  There was NOTHING promising there.  We did watch Maury’s dogs for the week – and on the good side there … Dakota really had a good time.  AND, we did see Maury and the two girls Saturday for an early dinner.  Maury washed a couple loads of clothes and then we thanked him for making us feel like a mother because we ended up folding his clothes.  He said no problem!  He did help us with the dog stuff outside, and he did bring in my sewing stuff – so there were a few plus’ there.

It was a busy week AND Rich was out of town for most of three days – hmm, at this point we could consider it pretty much a challenge and we actually did very good getting through things.  Sunday we set up the sewing machine, and then Monday we did a little sewing.  For one of the blanket backs, we sewed on two sides and the top which was two pieces.  Linda agreed we got extra credit for cutting too!  Just have to put on the bottom and make sure things fit between top and bottom and we’re all set with one.  The tops are done for both quilts, so we can finally finish them up and bring them to Linda on our next trip June 7th’ to WI.   I hear that Rich is already got a fishing date for then.  So that’s a pretty good deal. 

You heard most of Dr. Marvin stuff it was really complainy and he said it was really good that we were able to let go of it all here – meaning his office.  We didn’t good about that at all and we were frustrated we were still feeling bad.  There was one funny story.  Yesterday was the first time doing the exercises for PT.  We had a problem settling down Dakota – because he thought there was a new friend to great AT his house!  Needless to say the imp followed us into the guest bedroom.  I laid down on the bed, and then my big floppy dog jumped up on the bed between me and the PT person.  It was like OHNO you can’t be here, so we got off to the side of the bed and tried to pull him off, but he wasn’t budging.  So we got up and said sorry to him because we were going to have to shut him out of the room.  So we got him on the other side and shut the door.  Then we laid down on the bed again.  Before I could rest my head on the pillow – FLUFFY FACE came charging in – and in two leaps was again laying on the bed again between me and the PT person.  OH LORDY dog – we’re not PLAYING HERE!  So unfortunately, we had to put him in the sunroom with the sliding door.  That made him look forlorn, but he needs to know some kind of manners!

So that was our funny story of the week.  He did have such a nice happy face when he jumped on the bed a second time – Just like Lassy coming through the window – SUPER DOG!!!  LOL

Well, I suppose that’s enough … it’s time for super dog’s dinner and my fingers are now a little chilly AND I’m thinking that’s the Robin Mom scolding me for being in her space.  She should be warming up the eggs.  Ok, then maybe our dinner’s ready pretty soon too?  Better get to checking that out!


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

It's a dog day afternoon

Monday, May 4, 2015 @ 11:16 am
Good morning, or what’s left of it.  We’ve been up and down for a while, but for the moment we’re up.  J  This is the Monday after a quilting weekend so we’re not sure how its going to turn out or not.  We’ve also got Maury’s two dogs Lady and Max, so there are other excitements going around.  They play tug of war until they drop, and then they get up and play some more.  We were all up about 4:30 am and Rich said he was up with them at 1:30 am.  I think we then slept from about 7 – 9:45 am and have been going since.  Dogs have been fed and taken out several times – and we’re thinking that if we took our shower early we could go outside with them, but we’re thinking it’s going to be a lot of untangling of cords.  But, would get them fresh air so that be good.  I don’t know if we’ve got all three leashes out there – I asked Rich for them, but we’ll have to see.  Plus we’re going to need keeping water out there for them, so might have to bring out a gallon. 
Eh, maybe this afternoon.  I’m pretty sure we’ll bring the little computer and then just see how that goes.  Biggest barrier to the point is that I need a shower, AND I have some toothache WITH no dentist in site.  It’s been a long time since we’ve gone and the one we used in Brookfield became too pricey.  I’m having trouble with a space the tooth broke off … we’re thinking its infected below the gum line.  I guess we’re going to have to call the dental insurance and see what we can do.  Rich has taken a dentist from them in Aurora and I’m thinking we’re not going to get any better or closer – though there are some in Sandwich and it be really nice to be close to home.  Just don’t see that it’s going to happen.  Up to this point the space didn’t hurt, but now it does and its being affected by the cold diet coke we’re drinking … TRIPLE Rats! 
I’ll see what Rich has to say first.  I don’t think the dental plan offers a lot.  There IS a dental credit card like thing that we had, that still might be good, but maybe only up to what?  Just don’t know.  Has to get checked out.  Don’t remember the name.  If it isn’t in my cards, we’d have to find it somewhere.
Ok, doing something at least … didn’t find the other card, but located my cards and found the dental insurance.  We’re on hold to talk to a representative.  Just interested in where she’s going to send me for a dentist.  I’ll take a closest name, and then compare it with Rich’s information.  Most likely we’ll end up going with him, but recall him saying it wasn’t any special treatment – more the kind you get for being on a “plan.”  That scares me.  Wish I could remember the name of that other dental card – thinking it’s in one of the paperwork folders, just don’t remember what we filed under.  I think the last time in we were quoted like about $8,400 worth of work necessary to be done … That’s just not going to happen, we don’t have that kind of money.  You know?  Especially – in that Rich has dental problems too. 
Don’t think we can fool around with it any longer – not being able to drink a cold drink coming up to summer would be really bad – plus by now you REALLY know something is wrong.  Dr. Albright saw it too when she looked in there the other day – she just said, “Oh you have dental work you need to do.”  Don’t think anything is hiding in there.
Hmm, Lady is growling at the table … Pretty sure she wants Dakota’s Aardvark up there, but it’s there for a reason.  She would take it apart – where Dakota just uses it as a security blanket – he carries it around lovingly and lays down with it.  Sorry Lady that aardvark isn’t going anywhere.  If she jumped up on the table she could get it, but she’s already up on the fireplace stones don’t think she’ll dare it.  She’s interested though. Now we’re kind of teasing her.  Hmm, should I put it up high and get it out of the way or chance having to chase her down when she nabs it … whoops, she’s barking now better hide it.  Hehehe
That was a good Ann … we put it up on the mantel.  Hmm, now she’s noticing where we keep our doggie snacks over there.  She’s kind of inquisitive.  She must have a good nose and plenty of energy to be up and snooping while the other dogs are taking the break to rest.  She’s staring at it … nope that’s not going anywhere.  I think she’s exploring elsewhere now.  Good for me.
These are the kinds of things you think of when you are put on hold.  It doesn’t hurt too much if we take small sips and let it go straight back.  My phone was blanking out on the numerical keyboard screen when it gave us an option one to have them call back.  Drat hate waiting, BUT it’s not so bad if we get to type, right?  We’ve got it on speaker phone.  The recording isn’t as bad as the one for the doctor’s office and the machine periodically tells us they appreciate us for waiting that helps ;)
Ok, what’s next on the agenda?  We did post the smaller 4 page note yesterday that we’d written out on the patio after the quilting … I love when we get something down and it seems now that we’ve been a little more regular.  Maybe not too much interesting though.  I don’t know if we’re really done talking about the sewing weekend.  Might want to think of that a little bit.  The one thing I know is that we didn’t talk about our sewing project.
What we worked on was the two 5 x 5 blocks for the two girls’ quilt backs.  That seems to have taken up most of our time.  There was some time toward the end to cut the first cuts on the fleece material.  We had gotten the two patterns and Linda helped us with the numbers in cutting out the material, but we didn’t have enough fabric for the pillows – so have to come up with something for that.  We do have the pillow part done with the 3 blocks, but just don’t have the nice fleecy material.  AND, we didn’t have enough fleece material for the binding or border – so we’re glad that wasn’t precut first before the regular back. 
What we did cut was 6 – 38” x 60” blocks and 1 – 35” x 60” block.  It isn’t perfect cutting, but there’s extra just to hold it on the machine.  We’ll need 4 of the former pieces for tops and bottoms, and then 1 and a 1/3 pieces will cover the extra 18” those pieces need and then we should have enough with the other piece and 2/3 to cover the side pieces.  Each of these pieces surround the 5x5 blocks in the middle which are like 35 ¾” … It should work.  We did not have enough of the sash to finish the blocks on the back.  We had enough to do the vertical/column pieces on each of the 25 blocks on both quilts, but then we brought some extra black fabric of another color and used that for the 12 horizontal lines.  You would have thought that we could do more than that, but it’s about all.  There was extra time taken in premeasuring things and discussing with others, especially Linda about how to get things done.
I’m left a little grumpy thinking how in the world did I spend a whole day quilting and only get that much accomplished?  Shoot – that’s the pits!
Ok, in the meantime, I got a hold of a representative and he said that I already have a dentist Dr. Donald Teller at 143 S. Lincoln Avenue in Aurora.  So we made an appointment for Friday at 9 am.  That seems to be a pretty good idea.  We’ll have to call ahead – LATER to assure that I won’t have trouble brining in Dakota.  I might cut cold drinks short though this weekend, and I’m guessing ice cream is off the block too.
Also, while we were gone, we did a round of taking the dogs out.  We took Max first and he went running up against his collar/leash in trying to get to the new husky next door.  Both he and the husky were barking so we yelled from here and Jerry yelled from his direction not at each other, but at the dogs.  That led to just a stand-off.  Then I thought that Max was going to wrap the chain on a pole out there, so we went inside to put on some clothes.  He’d fixed it AND went to the bathroom so we were happy about that.  Dakota went out next because he’s the quickest – Max is the most urgent, and then after Dakota got back, we let out Lady who LOVES to take her time.  She went toward the end of the line too toward the Husky, but she didn’t pull on the leash – just walked carefully to its end.  AND, in the end all of everything – all the dogs did BOTH functions so they got treated once inside.  Good boys and girl!       
Very successful run AND it did get me dressed.  They see something out to the side front, probably the dog across the street, but we’ll hope they settle down again.  It’s almost 12:30 pm AND we had taken our medicine a half hour early, but we’re thinking its time to eat.  Maybe a can of soup while we type … QUICK and easy!
Hmm, that doesn’t feel so good on the tooth either .. it’s the Progresso Light chicken and Cheese Enchilada soup.  At LEAST we made an appointment – Good ANN!
Time to move on – still feeling like we’d like to say a little more about the weekend.  It’s such a big deal when the girls and us get together.  I think we were having normal type conversations – and I don’t want to spill my guts there – but, can I at least say that the times I’m up there with them are some of my nicest hours – OTHER than those with Rich and the kids, but still really high up there! 
We did have a little different time too in that when we’re up there – Carol the manager seems to spend a little bit of time with us as a group.  We get to hear little bits and pieces of things happening.  Like this time when I’d come in a little boy – about 4 years old ran up to me to pet the dog.  I saw his eyes attach and I looked desperately for a parent, but no one was there.  There were two 8-9 year old girls that came over too, but apparently they weren’t with the little boy directly.  I was very grateful for him that I didn’t have a dangerous kind of dog, but for a little kid to rush a dog like that – could have been very dangerous.  We just had Dakota sit and the little boy pet him for a moment.  Pretty soon he went running down the hall and tried to get in the swimming pool area with a couple other kids.  BUT, one of the hotel people grabbed him and said he was going to have to come back in the office until his parents could be found.
Two hours later, they were still not found and the hotel called the police, which brought the ambulance and fire truck too.  That was about the time Connie Sue was getting there because she saw all that on her way in.  Apparently, the boy did guess the room right, but the parents weren’t responding to the knocks – that’s why the police were there and went in for the hotel.  They were sleeping something off.  There was something to do with a friend of theirs daughter too, but I wasn’t sure of that part – I don’t think it was her responsibility to watch the boy – just knew SOMEONE should watch them.  That’s about all the story I knew … Just the conversation went toward the little boy who didn’t have anyone to pay attention to him and that he was hyper and autistic.  I could see in the old days’ one of our boys – maybe especially Joe do the same kind of thing as to being out of the room.  I was never irresponsibly drunk or high with the boys, but there was one day we were out of it because we’d gotten sun poisoning.  Fortunately our three were with two older boys and they were ok together – still they were young enough so that it could have been dangerous.
I thought of Joe though, because we could remember being in hotels, and Joe waking up first – just like he did this last month when at the hotel with us – and that he would take himself to breakfast at the breakfast bar before anyone else got there.  I think I had the sense that he always thought of himself as an adult.  Thing was he was getting his own breakfast and not running up and down the hall AND he was older!  He’s always been responsible.
The day after – yesterday/Sunday was pretty good too though a little tense for us.  Dakota hadn’t done a stool and he’d passed his third meal where usually its pretty much one on one.  I had taken as long a trip out there as I could, but I knew he eventually was done with it, because he’d stop exploring and come back to us and would sit by our feet.  It’s always hard because of our lack of standing ability.  One of the twins tried to take him once when we were all packing up, but he wouldn’t even pee for them.  I was afraid he would wake us during the night, but he didn’t …. Again it was 1:30 am and we were both exhausted.  I took care of everything with us and our stuff and brought it out to the car about 8 am and then put the 2 pieces in the car and waited for him to try again.  But that was only partially helpful.  So, we decided to go back for breakfast.  It’s a little hard getting your plate while holding a leash, but we managed and breakfast was fine.  Then we poured ourselves finally a cup of coffee and brought it to the car.  Then we drove to the back of the hotel where there was a grassy knoll heheh and then and there he performed the miracle!  Maybe because we were more relaxed.  We were able to sit down in the car – and let him stretch the leash.  We then picked it up, threw it away and were on our happy way!
We felt VERY accomplished – had done the hotel experience and had had no major upsets!  YAY!  PLUS, he was good to go for the whole trip back.
During parts we were feeling pretty tired, but we were resolved to do the trip.  The problem part was that we couldn’t get our phone GPS to work … so after playing with it about 10 minutes, we decided to try the trip without the extra help … FORTUNATELY we did great!  We did the whole drive without needing map assistance.  I was so proud of us, because we don’t usually remember that kind of stuff – EVEN if we’ve been going to this hotel years.  We haven’t caught on real well driving on the farm roads, but we DID IT!  YAY!
I think we wrote about getting back yesterday so we won’t cover that again, but believe me – AND Dakota when we say there’s nothing like being home to be doing “your business!”
I think we watched TV with Rich last night and it didn’t take us long to fall asleep.  Rich is great helping us out there.  He lets us massage him until we drop.  Then he makes sure we’re under the covers before saying good night.  Good Rich!
There, thinking you’re all caught up.  Double YAY!
So moving on, what’s next?
We’ve been having trouble with our Internet, so we’re trying that again.  And hoping for more success.  It’s really slow and sluggish, and I don’t know if we don’t have a bug. 
Ahh so far so good ... it seems to be working for the moment.  Boy Maury’s dogs are pretty jumpy … they hear a voice and they are like up and barking!  That can’t be a good sign for people living in an apartment?  Hmm, lady just came and dropped a tennis ball at my feet what could she possibly want?  Maybe I better check those leashes, hmm?
Monday, May 4, 2015 @ 1:30 pm
Afternoon … this is just us continuing the work we were doing inside, but now we’re outside with the dogs.  We’ve watched them a bit get there cords tangled in an out of each other.  Right now they are all laying down.  They’ve tipped over their water, Lady and Dakota are on the cement and Max is out by the tree he walked around to shorten his leash.  I think he’s in a position to figure that out!  Yay he’s doing it.  Eventually they will want to wander somewhere so they can walk it out.  Sometimes though we have to help because it gets way too tight.  Hmm, Max is up  and snooping again, but maybe he’ll settle down.  They each seem to be grazing on some of the longer grasses next to the shrubs, house and stuff.  Like sheep they are. 
I did toss out their tug of war toy, but they’re not up to that right now.  Maybe later after they rest and have gotten used to being out and such.  Rich did put out SOME fencing, but they can walk over it and it doesn’t come to the ends of where it needs to be so they are having trouble getting wound up in it.  I figure I’ll let them each get stuck where theyare for a while.  They can then lay down and rest before they choose to tangle themselves again.  I know I know … with three chains and three dogs, it’s hard to get it all straight.  Right now though lady is laying under me so it’s hard to get to Dakota with his really short leash. 
Ok, I took pity on them.  They are all untangled for the moment, but they’reup doing the dance again no promises.  What on Earth are they sniffing!??  And there sits the upside down watering bowl.  *sigh*  Can’t figure out yet where to keep it where their leashes aren’t going to tip it over.  Ahh two dogs down and … three?  Max laid down on the wet cement – suppose that has some advantages.  Dakota is out laying in the grass … and Lady?  She’s still thinking.  I want them all settled so I can  concentrate a little again.  She went over to check out Dakota.  Will she fall for the same tree as Max?  There is sure a lot of piddllin.  They’ve all marked the tree, then Lady went on the grass so Dakota woke up and refreshed that spot.  It’s a nice little front yard ;)     
Hmm, max just blessed the same spot lady and Dakota did … must be their group brand *sigh*
Lady and Dakota down now Max is up?  Lay down boy!  Oh Lord now Don is out …Please please don’t come over here and set them all off again, plus US!  We’re trying to calm ourselves down into the afternoon … Hard with three dogs.  Plus there’s a good chance he could let his dogs out and then the two of them he and his wife will be out there yelling again.  Just want peace – and we’re going to get it even if we have to lock ourselves in with the cat!  Shoot shoot – now there is some kind of buzzing animal –BUT they are all down!  Just gotta hope that things quiet down now over at Don’s place.  Shoot shoot, when did I get this particular? 
Maybe I’m having a hard time paying attention to so many others again.  It’s been a while since we have sat.  Our interruption of sleep this morning should have been covered by the long nap and we’re still 1 ½ hours away from our next medicine.  We can do this, right?  Oh shoot shoot … battery is low.  We’ve got the cord, but we’ll disrupt the animals in the process.  DRAT I hate bad moods.
I fixed the cord, but two of the animals are up again –both of Maurys dogs and they’ve decided to play tug of war – yup yup that’s got Dakota’s interest too.  He figured out how to unstick himself – and now they are all out there
Oh lordy – they’ve all been wrestling – we got some pictures, but we’ll never untangle that mess.  I made them stop, fed them all some water and now 2 of the three are down … why’s this so hard?  Dakota and Lady both laying down on the wet cement – and now max is laying in the cooler leafy garden area – no flowers there, but shrubs.  Go figure.  At least the neighbors don’t think we’re dog fighting here!  Dakota is the noisiest of the three – the other two fight silently.  Dakota is now out there shaking up trouble, BUT there is a nice coolish breeze, maybe they will get into that and rest up?
Hmm, Rich just got home like he said he might … I had forgotten, but it’s now 2pm.  He was coming from the direction of his mothers and he said he’s going to change and then work on the boat.  That’s a good idea I guess.  The dogs are all handling that he’s home without going crazy.  We’re hoping we’re at least making a dent in wearing them out.  That be a good idea, right?
If only one more would lay down.  He’s being bothered by a machine sound in the background.  Ok, there we go … all three laying down.  BUT, the drilling noise continues.  YEEKS … that might drive us a little nutty.  Shoot I did something and it made my screen go darker, but in the meantime I did find my music station.  Least I think we did.  Guess, we have to deal with the darker screen until we get frustrated enough to figure it out again.  I had thought we’d turned off the machine, so I don’t want to mess with the on and off button. 
Dammit dammit dammit.  Here comes Don … I don’t want to talk to him.
There we did it … we waved back – and responded to his voice callout, but we kept typing … that’s a good start … we have to be able to be out here without paying attention to him.  The three dogs went out toward him, but are so woven together they are acting as a three headed dog.  The music is nice – feels it gives me some of my own space that includes movement, but now the dogs are playfighting again.  It’s better with the tug of war … Got the screen a little better, but it’s still not optimal – oh well eventually.  Don said something about sending over two more dogs and we waved are hand no – like please leave us alone.  Well that’s what we were feeling. 
Now another dog wrestling match, but this time all three laid down.  It doesn’t take much to get them excited.  I’m afraid the dog fighting part seems overly serious.  It really isn’t, but I don’t want to scare the neighbors. 
Turned on some softer piano music -  we’ll see how that goes.  Maybe it’s going to get faster and then we’ll have to deal with that too.  Just not sure where we are musically.  The dogs are calming to the piano though so we’ll use that one for a bit.  We don’t have it too loud to shake the neighborhood or anything.  It’s been a trying time.  Hate to think we’re just waiting until we get to the next medicine.  That wouldn’t be great.  Just the first day though right?  We haven’t fell into our pattern – meaning me and the dogs.  Sooner or later.  I do like the temperature out here and the so-so background of cars on the busier 29 th street and people coming periodically into or out of the park.  Some wave, but we try to ignore them by not looking up.  I want people to know that we come out here to be in our own space – with or without the three dogs.  Just couldn’t see being out here and leaving them inside, that just be too wrong.  Dogs need time outside, right?
Ok, now that it’s calmer, is there anything I need to be thinking of? 
I should probably call my mother back to make sure she’s good with the mother’s day gift.  She called while we were quilting and had no time to talk – especially with CS there …  I think she gets the gift and likes it, just didn’t have a chance to really check it out.  AND, last week we sent out copies of pictures that we’d collected of our sons and in-laws and grandchildren.  I’m hoping that she got that ok.  It was a really good collection so we sent it out a few more places like Rich, Dr. Marvin and the girls.  Really proud of my family … they just all seem to be in a very good place right now.  Everyone’s taken care of themselves, working on their relationships and work seems to be just about right.  Nobody is having a disaster.  Sometimes that’s the most peaceful thought one can have. 
Ahh now with the piano music, we are picking up the birds – perhaps singing with it.  It is songs of George Winston. This is the longest that the dogs have held still AND Rich is home everyone is safe and sound.  YAY!
We’re seeing a lot of dandelions when we look up –mostly on the landlords property so we’re all good with that.  We have just a few by comparison.  Ahh nice piece of the song.  Rolling notes!  What must it be like to be able to make those kinds of sounds?  Ahh Just snapped a few more pictures.  This is the peacefulness we were praying for. 
Next?  Lets see any plans for the day?  Not much.  Hehehe you thought we were kidding when we said we’re shooting toward the next time we can take some medicine?  Ok, ok uncle.  That’s not for real mostly.  It is a turning of the day.  I’d say around 2:30 pm is the middle of the afternoon and that’s where we are.  About 3:30 we’re wondering where our dirty dishes are – at least of late.  I think that we’re going to need an late afternoon shower, since we didn’t manage that yet.  Other than that no real plans.  We were caught up with household and laundry on Friday and then both Rich and us were gone.  SWEET!
I don’t think we have too much magical thinking where we think we’ve got the world by the tail.  Just thinking now maybe for the first time in a while – at least over the weekend about reading from the Great Book series.  Didn’t wake up thinking about it – just taking care of the dogs.  Maybe there would be some time for that later.  I think it’s a possibility though that we just watch some Monday night shows.  I think it’s still the good night, but we can’t remember what we watch.  Ok, either tv or Plato hehhe … oh Lordy what’s the matter with our mind.  Better get back to the Plato and now our Bible has come in too – WITH the appropriate markers and pens.  I think we might use the set for marking in the great books too.  Just they don’t have the same wide margins as the Bible.  Wow that’s a nice part about all that … remember that we were reading about things of importance?
We’ve got a change up with Dr. appointments too.  The new Dr. Dorman tomorrow, then on Thursday on the phone with Dr. Marvin – nothing for Tuesday, and then the new dentist for Friday.  Pretty good for doing both that and dogs.  Maury still thinks he’s coming over on Friday for the dogs and a sleepover for the girls.  Guess that will be another housecleaning day.  Glad to get the dentist over in the morning – hope that all works out.  If we are lucky, Rich can come with us because we’re not sure of the work that will be done.  Maybe it will be like his two root canals where they just take xrays and then send you to a specialist?  Could be. 
Shoot shoot.  I refuse to believe that we have to go to the bathroom.  Just low warning signs.  I’m not getting up until these dogs do.  We were always the mother that didn’t like to wake sleeping children.  As long as they are quiet, we can hold ourselves, right?  Ok, this isn’t exactly the profound stuff.  But we are processing and that’s part – maybe mostly what we do.  I think we might have another 15 minutes before the school kids come home and that will cause raucous.  I think we’re going to let in all the dogs and then try to figure out how to unravel all the leashes.  That’s a good idea, and then, maybe when we go inside we can go back and do some of the reading.  We won’t have Dr. Marvin to talk about it to tomorrow, but maybe we can do that, light housekeeping, AND keep up with the blogging.
Mainly I think blogging right now is to be doing something between our hands and mind.  Thinking now of Joe and his snoopy mind.  Hehe … they were good years to be a mother. 
Maybe we can make it a goal to get a couple of references done AND to be remembering them.  I think I’ve got a spot on the couch just set up for that.  Oh oh … Joe across the street had out his collie.  Lucky that the dogs didn’t see that.  Hmm, maybe one of them did … seems Max is sniffing the air toward that direction.  The other two didn’t lift his head.  If Max didn’t charge it then that’s a good sign.  Good animals!
Shoot there seems to be a problem on the top AND bottom of the right side of my mouth.  That can’t be a very good idea.  I think we’ll play Winston inside too – can’t believe the mileage we’re getting here on peaceful dogs!  Now that I think of it – that’s what we remember before is watching the periods in-between dog movement.  Maybe it’s the same as when you had kids?  You play toward when everyone is actively involved OR sleeping!
Funny for being out here so much or maybe WILL be out here, we’re not getting a very good idea of who belongs to all the vehicles.  That last one had loud music – that was untasteful.  Maybe we should start by doing an age/sex check?  That be good – I don’t think we could do better with matching vehicles except maybe green 4 door or red suv, or pink truck.  Well, I would notice that.  Younger female – plus passenger mom type driving a black pick-up to the north side.  AHA vehicle check #1.  J It’s harder I think or will be to identify drivers going down the south side.  To the north of our house is Chrissy Drive and to the south is Peggy Drive.  It doesn’t get more complicate than that. 
Hmm, might not last much longer.  We’ve got hunger issues coming up … forgot to finish the soup for lunch.  I wonder how my teeth are going to react to vegetables.  Think we still have some of them.  It’s almost 3 pm.  Don’t you wonder what we really get accomplished during a day?  Pretty much just think passively about the things happening around us.  It’s a little weird I suppose, but what would be the alternative?  I suppose more doing and less writing, but that wouldn’t be our style.  Ok, two blue and white truck and gray suv both southside one behind the other and couldn’t see either driver.  Gray four door and gray suv … thinking all the mothers getting home for school kids?  First was north and then the second was south.  The north woman was middle aged brown hair. 
Ok, maybe that would get tiresome all day.  Hmm, Joe has his lab out … max noticed and all three popped up.  They are all standing in a line looking wantonly.  Now they’re checking out Don because his door opened and he has his dog out.  Ok ok uncle AND bathroom –better to go in for a bit … Yay we made it to the school kids and the three dots watched – two laying down and NOONE barked!


Monday, May 4, 2015

Wonderful Sewing Weekend

Sunday, May 3, 2015 @ 1:08 pm
Good afternoon! J  Here we are having a very nice afternoon.  The weather is perfect and Dakota and I am out front sitting on the patio.  He’s already watered our trees and checked out the neighbors dogs and everything is just very nice.  We’ve been home almost 2 hours from our WI Quilting weekend and things seem to have gone by very successfully.  Nicest part is that we’re all home and after talking to Rich for about an hour, he’s back to his gardening and we’ve got a few moments to be writing – at least as long as our elbows hold out.  They took a bit of a hit this weekend.
The time always seems to go too fast.  We don’t know how to slow it down, but as Saturday happens, there are markers to let us know that things are moving on from one thing to another.  Like you get there – there’s the set-up time, and then people start coming in and they set-up too and all the while your talking.  Then people start doing work again while talking and about 12:30-1 pm, someone will ask what to do for lunch.  Then there is a nice lunch period where people are talking and eventually someone thinks –hey we should go back to work.  Soooo, more talking and quilting happen until there is another break for dinner around 6-7 pm.  Again people eat and talk, maybe someone has to then go home, and then another, but the hard core like us will be sewing and talking until about 1 - 1:30 am at least that’s the time we looked at the clock once we finally settle down on the bed.  This time Emily couldn’t get there, CS was first out – Linda stayed until 11-11:30 pm and then the Twins and us closed her down.  Every time someone leaves it’s a little disappointing, but overall it’s just the way of the day.
There just had a little break.  Don stopped by for a few moments, but it wasn’t too bad this time.  I kept my fingers on the keyboard – like, ok you are interrupting something here.  He felt compelled to say that both Rich and I were out and only one of us was working – oh well?!  That just seems to be the nature of the beast.  At this point we have to hold on to our thighs to take steps up and down the stairs.  We did go visit Rich and to get Dakota’s bowl so he had something out here for water, but other than that we’re glad to be back at our computer.  It’s still where we feel best of any part of any given day.  Rich brought out our blue canvas lawn chair – and we feel that if the weather and bugs held out, we could spend almost time here every day of this next season.  I did have to go in for the computer cord, but as luck would have it … there is a handy dandy plug-in right on the wall in back of us.  Yay!!!  It’s as if we were meant to be.
There’s just the nicest warm breeze blowing.  Wish it could be like this everyday!
So, hmm, maybe a little bit more of the weekend?  I think we’re up to it.  Sleepy face is doing fine to the side and back of us.  He seems to be using the house a bit as a prop.  That works fine … feels a little spidery if you ask me, but he’s good with laying on either concrete or grass.  I don’t know how he settles a mood to decide which at any given time.  I think he really likes being outdoors and is definitely a shade person.  He’s good at taking care of himself.  As to the chains tied up and caught on pillar posts to hold up the patio roof?  It’s going to be a hard summer if Rich doesn’t get the patio blocked off proper.  I think he was thinking he could get to it before Maury’s dogs got here for the week.  And, I did tell im that Maury is running late on the day so hopefully that works out.  I’m thinking that we used to have 3 gray chains, but might have to get the one Dakota uses on the front side yard when watching Rich on the boat.  I’m afraid though there is only one, because Rich doubled the one in the back side yard – just now getting these things done will make it much easier to be entertaining the dogs outside during this next week.
I’m not sure if we mentioned it already, but Maury is going on a management training program to Atlanta Georgia for the week.  YAY MAURY!!!  He was selected out of hundreds – 40 got selected in all from about a 6-state area.  The first week and the last week of the 6 month program is away and the rest of the training will be done in the Chicagoland area.  I’m very excited for him to be getting this opportunity.  It really is because of the hard work and good numbers he puts in at Comcast as a tech for this last 7 years or so.
I’m glad to be taking his dogs for him, but there is no mistake it won’t be an easy week.  Ya know?
But as to the weekend?  Most of the stuff we had to pack was already in the car.  Neither Rich or I unpacked from the last quilting trip, and now we’ll be going once more by June 7 th, so just over a month, and then we’ll have a month off.  I didn’t realize it until now, but June 7 th was my wedding anniversary.  I would have been married 35 years this year.  I guess though it wasn’t meant to happen.  To put that reflectively, we were together, but separated in 1990 and married officially until Feb of 1994.  We did try to salvage what at that time had been about a 10 year marriage.  So officially, we made it 10-14 years, while Rich and I have now been together for 20 years.  Much better connection though because of the boys and Rich having another family, it seems like less weight that we have been together as when we were married.  Plus, I think just SAYING and being married makes the relationship feel stronger. 
One way or another – the next sewing weekend will cover our old anniversary.  Odd isn’t it? 
It took a little bit of maneuvering to get everything loaded and ready to go from the perspective of being in WI.  Thankfully the Holiday Inn we meet in New Berlin has a couple of those big carts for getting luggage and such from the car to the rooms.  That part helps a lot, but it is still hard to maneuver the big cart where there are little hills and valleys in the parking lot AND when you are trying to watch a dog at the same time.  The best idea was to put him in the car until we were ready for him.  He got good walking next to the cart, but then when you get to the other end, there’s still the loading and unloading of the equipment and supplies, THEN after short breaks you always have to be concerned with getting the dog situated – either for washroom breaks or food and drinks.  It’s a bit of a chore, but we’re glad that we have the extra time – BEING at the hotel overnight to take up some of the slack from the additional 2 ½ hour drive – one way. 
There was a bit of an overlay in that I got to the meeting room about an hour plus before anyone else.  It left me feeling responsible for setting up the room and then just biding some time before people got there.  I was to the point of just needing to plug in my machines when Linda finally wandered in.  She’d had a harder start to her day and hadn’t been feeling real good, so she took it slow.  Soon after the twins came in and then CS well, she usually comes in last.  Maybe because we come from such a distance, we are more challenged to keep our morning schedule tighter.  We want to be there by the time others get there too so we don’t miss a moment.   It seems by coming in earlier, we are able to cool down a bit before people get there and it gives us time to think through our set-up which is harder when your having full conversations.
In general it works.  I’d love to talk of some of the conversations, but we’d not want to do so with the exception of a few loose topics.  Maybe it be better to cover our own?  I think one of the first was with what happened with the depression and the PA Group.  In telling the story, we could tell we were still hot, bothered and a bit too animated yet.  I thought the feelings had died down, but given new opportunity to talk, we felt we were just as bad off with it as the first telling.  Hopefully, we’ve run full circle now and can let it go.   We talked to Jean and Janet a little about what we were doing with the Web page project, but it was still early in the day and the conversation was disrupted after a short while. I realized at that time that we wouldn’t go into it again, because they really are the best to understand and of course Linda has been hearing it as we’ve gone along.  And, we had a conversation about the new billing work cycle Rich is trying to push through, but I think the rest of my stories were more like little additions to other peoples’ stories.  We are very conscientious about trying not to take up the longer bits of time.  I think everyone gets times to talk and it is VERY important to make sure everyone gets those times. 
There seemed to be a fair amount of time where people would break off to have small conversations too.  I think this set of conversations is more like shop talk and we’re in the background of them, because we are the only real one that doesn’t understand all the current flow of quilting conversations, like the shakers and the makers, and the new and trendy.  Like I wouldn’t be able to name more than one fabric designer, where the others now both business and personal and also are read up on things like quilting authors.  I’ve got NONE of that!  We’re good without it though – just recognize it as shoptalk as well as trading things like information on applique or embroidery.  There was a lot on embroidery with three of them into it – and Linda also knowing stuff about it.  I’ve got probably the least amount of interest though the pieces when completed are really very nice.  I know that my sewing machine is supposed to do it, but again we haven’t the interest.
In general though with the conversations, people talk about what’s most important whether it be family, work, leisure, quilting, or a variety of other things that include a lot of laughter and teasing. 
Ahh lets see if this won’t work a little better.  Instead of typing from my lap, we put the computer out on the little bistro table on the patio to see if it would hurt our elbows left.  It’s working so far  though we don’t get to put our feet up which is a negative.  We also untangled the dog a bit so that he’d have a little more space.  He’d gotten up from his position next to the wall. 
That’s something that gets a lot of talking too – What’s going on with Dakota while we’re all together.  He’s like another member of the group, and the girls are seeing stuff he does like I do – as he moves around the room showing interest in this or that.  One of the most fun parts was that Jean had brought back a funny plastic yellow squeaky duck – he bath tub variety and Dakota really appreciated the gift.  He had instances where he went to fetch it, but fewer times he brought it back to anyone.  He really did love his duck and frequently put it between his paws and then laid down with it with his chin over it’s top.  He looked like he’d found a best friend.  He played a little with various people and periodically, he’d go visiting to see if he couldn’t get a pet or share some food.  We had to make sure he understood he couldn’t beg from people and would have to go lie down.  A good part of the day, he tucked himself under our table near our feet and it is always comforting to know he’s there.