Friday, September 19, 2014

Happy

Some days, you get a song in your head and it just won't leave.  When Mom sent me the picture of Lyn after day hab, I heard Pharrell's much played song "Happy" and I wanted to dance with her.


One of the staff at day hab had curled her hair and pulled it into an up-do for her.  She was delighted as you can see.

So, since it is Friday and she's happy, I suggest we all dance and enjoy a moment of happiness.  To that end, I share with you my favorite video set to Pharrell's song.  I hope you enjoy it.  I love it.


Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Not Big Hungry

Lyn's verbal skills have slipped since I saw her just last month.  She's transposing words more frequently.  She knows what she's wanting to say and the words she's saying make sense to her.  However, it is taking a few minutes to figure out what she means more.

Earlier this week, she announced she was ready for dinner by saying "I'm getting hungry but not big hungry."  When she was finished, she stated "I done eaten finish all."  Mom tries to not openly laugh because it upsets Lyn but sometimes, her speech pattern is amusing.

During an episode of Maury, she said very emphatically "That's totally inappropriated!"  Mom struggled to not laugh at that one.

When she was 7, she was only about 2 years into verbal communication and she did much the same thing.  I remember serving as her interpreter whenever we were together which was constantly unless we were in school.  Even Mom needed me to translate.  Now, I suspect Mom will have to translate for me because she's with Lyn much more than anyone else.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Changing TV Habits

Lyn's television viewing seems to be changing.  Mom and I are a bit amused and a bit confused by it.

Lyn has long watched Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and PBR.  She doesn't watch PBR much any more.      She also has long watched Cops.  I never realized before, but I think she likes the tension and drama. Her newest television favorite is The Maury Povich Show.  She now asks Mom if they can watch the show because she wants "to see if he's the baby daddy."

She watches and comments on the guests' attire.  She doesn't approve of the big earrings or revealing clothing.  She comments on the fighting.  She disapproves of fighting and bad words.  She comments on the twerking.  She disapproves of it too.

She cannot keep track of the relationships or the drama being explained.  Mom sees her expression go slack when the people are seated and talking.  She just responds to the high action and drama.  I think that's also why she continues watching Cops.  She doesn't have to follow a plot; just provide color commentary to the action.

We don't know how she's come to know of the Maury show.  However, it makes us laugh that she enjoys it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fair Encounters

Lyn had a great day at her new day hab.  She was greeted by name when she arrived and threw her hand over her shoulder in a backward wave to Mom, dismissing her.

They went to the State Fair.  While they were near an ice cream vendor, the staff jumped up and physically interposed between Lyn and a man who came out of the crowd to talk to her and attempted to hug her.  It took a moment to sort things out to the staff's comfort.  It turned out the man was our Uncle, Lyn's Godfather and he was with one of our cousins.  The staff don't know him and he didn't think to introduce himself to them.  Knowing him, he spotted her and just came up to visit with her.  Once the relationship was clarified, the staff relaxed a bit but kept a wary eye on him until he and our cousin said their good byes and headed off.

I have to laugh over the images this story caused in my mind.  I can see him doing this and not realizing that he should probably set a bit of context for the people around Lyn first.  He loves Lyn and would think nothing of popping over to hug her anytime he sees her.  He is a tall, weather-worn man who can be a bit gruff sometimes.  The staff was completely right to try to protect Lyn from someone they didn't know or recognize as safe or acceptable.

As they walked around some more, Lyn ran into a group from her previous day hab.  The two groups recognized each other and the previous day hab staff greeted Lyn by name.  One even hugged her.  None asked her questions or did anything that made her upset.  The encounter was very brief as well.

When Mom picked Lyn up, she was bubbly and excited.  She had a great day and the encounters added to the excitement of the day for her.  She is looking forward to tomorrow.

Moving Lyn was the right decision and it looks like this facility is a great match for her needs.

Monday, September 15, 2014

New Day at a New Day Hab

Lyn starts with her new day hab today.  She is very excited!

She will have a busy day meeting new people.  Both the staff and the clients are mostly new to her.  Lyn may not remember it, but some of the clients are people that she has previously known from Special Olympics or school.  New dynamics will have to be worked out as Lyn settles into a new routine.

Her first day is looking to be a good one because she will have a trip to the State Fair.  Tomorrow, she'll participate in a cooking class.  She likes the schedule that the staff has provided and that it is set for a full month.  She's consulted it many times already and knows that the day's activity will not be changed out on her as a result of someone's whim.

Mom feels as though a weight has been lifted.  The change in day hab won't stop the tears that are a natural part of Alzheimer's.  However, we believe the staff won't be instigating them either.  That alone is a huge and positive change.

Tonight, I'll check on them and see if the day went as well as we hope.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Pie Town or Bust

Yesterday, Mom and Lyn drove out to Pie Town in search of Pie.

To get there, you drive South of Albuquerque about an hour and hang a right at Socorro (not a left at Albuquerque as Bugs advises) and drive straight for another good while.  You'll pass the Very Large Array (VLA) and know you still have a ways to go.


Each of those radio telescopes are 80 feet tall and their tracks form a Y that is 13 miles long in each direction from the center.   There's not much on the San Augustin plain other  than antelope and the VLA installation.

So, you'll keep driving until encounter a gas station, grocery store and cafe all wrapped up in one.  Chances are, you'll be in Datil which is 15 miles East of Pie Town.  Because you're so far from buildings and have been driving for so long now, you'll stop to confirm this fact with a local to ease the anxiety of your traveling companion who has Alzheimer's.  Assured that you're on the right road, you'll strike out from Datil on the last leg of the journey and pull up in front of the Pie-o-neer where you had planned to stop for lunch and, of course, pie.


If you time it just right, like Mom did, you can pull up in town and discover every business, including the cafes closed.  It was noon on an early September Thursday and not a person was to be seen or a business open.  Well, the Post Office was the only thing open but I don't think that counts as a business.  It turns out that Pie Town shuts down for a day or two in preparation for their annual Pie Town Festival which happens on the second Saturday of each September.  They all go home to bake pies.

Fortunately, your traveling companion is assured that the cafe back in Datil is open and you turn your car around.  They serve pie in Datil too and it is pretty good.


One of these days, Mom will succeed in having pie in Pie Town.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

An Unscheduled Vacation

Lyn is having a bit of an unscheduled this week.  Because she's transitioning between day hab programs, she and Mom are finding fun ways to spend their days.  Yesterday they went to Santa Fe.  Today they are going to Pie Town.

When Lyn goes to Santa Fe, the whole point in her mind is to visit the outlet mall.  So that's what they did.  Most of the shops are closed.  Hopefully they'll get new shops in and not have to close up.  Lyn picked out a green hoodie at the Nike store.  At the kitchen store, she just wanted from item to item saying "Look at this.  Look at this."  She was overwhelmed by everything that she saw.

She then wanted to look at the purses at the Coach shop.  Mom was overwhelmed by every price she saw.  Mom suggested that if Lyn needs a new purse they can go to Target.  Lyn gave her The Look.  (I can't say I blame Lyn for giving The Look this time, but I understand Mom's hesitation for buying expensive purses.)

When Lyn asked if it was time for lunch, Mom suggested they visit the Plaza Cafe where we had lunch last month during our visit.  Lyn was fine with that.  She'd gone shopping and that's all that she cared about.  Mom was determined to get more prickly pear lemonade and I don't blame her for that either.  It is delicious and the cafe has the best coconut cream pie I've ever tasted.

Ok... Now I'm envious of their day trip.  I'm not sure I want to hear about their trip today.  They're going to Pie Town to have pie.

Hopefully today is as good as yesterday.