Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Notes on Aging Parents

Mom still dances.  That is, she has an intricate schedule of what she watches on TV through the week.

One of her "Must Watch" shows is Tuesday at 9:00 AM, Dr Ray on EWTN.  He is a Psychologist who approaches issues from a Catholic/Christian perspective.  And he does not duck the hard questions.

Today's episode included segments with recent widows and their grieving processes.  Based on how Dr Ray handles delicate topics I think he would be a fair hand at making muffins. Stir just enough to wet the ingredients and get things going and then pop into the  oven.  It takes a deft hand to make tender muffins.

Four pages of Doctor Ray DVDs available.  Like I overheard in front of the cooler that holds craft beers, "It is only $15.  How bad can it be?"

Gummy Bears
Sometimes the little things make a big difference.  Dad was choking on his vitamins.  Somebody came up with the idea of microwaving them for a few seconds to soften them.  Now they go down-the-hatch without a problem.  I suspect the calories are doing him as much good as the vitamins at this point.

Hickory nuts
One of my eBay failures involved buying hickory nuts on eBay.  The seller claimed they were Shellbark Hickory nuts.  I suspect they are Mockernut Hickory nuts.  She-golly; what to do?

I have been putting them on the window sill where mom and dad can watch the city squirrels stealthily sneak up and take them.  Some times we get a treat and the squirrels eat them right there on the sill.

I had been using some of the nuts mom and dad put on their oatmeal but I could feel the distress of feeding human-quality food to animals.  After all, both mom and dad lived through the Depression.  They put half finished glasses of milk in the refrigerator so they can finish them in the morning.

I want to figure out a way to glue a tether to one of the nuts.  That should be entertaining.

Birds
I saw my first swallows yesterday.  The hummingbirds cannot be far behind.  I think mom and dad would get a kick out of having a hummingbird feeder just outside their window.

Pollen and allergies
This time of year is bad for allergies.  I think the problem is two-fold.  The most obvious reason is that there are a multitude of trees pollinating right now.  The other reason is less obvious.  The weather is so clement that the furnace and A/C rarely turn on.  Outside air infiltrates the house.  Without the furnace fan running there is no mechanism to filter the pollen out of the air.

I suggested that we run the fan for the next few months.  I estimated that it would cost about ten cents a day.  My parent's furnace has a killer filter on it.  I thought it made sense to make it earn its keep during the most pollen rich time of year...May and June.

Electrical receptacles
The electrical receptacles in my parent's house are very, very tired.  The plug on the coffee pot falls out.  And today, my dad's missile launching chair refused to launch, probably due to intermittent continuity.

You have to remember my parents came from an era when house fires were often caused by defective electrical appliances and gadgets.  They religiously unplug devices every night lest they wake up dead in the morning.  That is far more cycling than "kids" like me put on our electrical receptacles.

The wiring still has screw-in fuses.

I asked my dad for permission to replace the two most problematic receptacles.  He graciously agreed.  I did the deed.  Now that I have broken the ice I need to start replacing the other receptacles in the house.

1 comment:

  1. Suggest you replace one receptacle in each fused circuit with a GFI plug as a hedge against old wiring.

    As for the squirrels, may I suggest you use a tether of fine-gauge bungee cord purely for entertainment purposes.

    Here in Texas we already have hummingbirds fighting over their turf, green beans and sugar snaps in the pot, squash ready to pick, and tomatoes passing peach-size on the vine, plums and peaches on the tree. Nothing like garden growed.

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