Monday, May 21, 2018

Dad's Lungs Are Better!

Dr. Gries came by this morning; he said Dad's lungs sound better than they did last Friday! The pneumonia is gone! Dr. Gries also checked on the Remeron (Mirtazapine) dosage; it's at 7.5 mg so he increased it to 15 mg to begin this evening. The down side is that Dad could become more lethargic, if so, Dr. Gries will consider a different appetite stimulant. RN Ellie and I tested Dad's current state of alertness; I told her to wake him up to take his morning meds. After they increase the Remeron we will do the same and see how responsive he is. For breakfast this morning Dad only ate a quarter of the tiny pancake and a couple pieces of papaya; he drank 360 ml Breeze and 240 ml Plus. For lunch he had 260 ml Breeze and 240ml Plus but no solid food.

I started out my morning by visiting the periodontist. What was I thinking! Actually, it was only a check-up to see how I was doing; before I left Washington I had oral surgery on the lower half of my mouth and was told I needed the upper half done, too. In October 2017 Dr. Ching checked out the lower half and found I was doing well except for one deep pocket way at the back; the upper half of my mouth had improved so that I no longer needed surgery! Winner! In November, after doing a check-up on the periodontal deep clean that he did in October, Dr. Ching put me on a 6-month follow-up. Today was that 6-month check-up to see what was happening with the deep pockets way at the back next to where my wisdom teeth were extracted. The ones at the very back of my lower jaw are still deep enough to be a concern but are not as deep as before; in late June I will have another deep clean with antibiotics, then have to use a Water Pik to try to keep it clean. After that follow-up we will determine what else is needed; hopefully the pockets will improve & I can just continue using the Water Pik.
The view from the periodontist's chair.

In preparation for my walk down to Maunalani Park, I had been eating a packet of Trader Joe's Simply Almonds, Cashews, & Chocolate Trek Mix at about noon. But now I am all out of them. I tried a couple small sandwiches, some with chicken, some with peanut butter; I want protein but not anything bulky. The sandwiches had too much carbs (bulk) and not enough protein. I think I have found a solution: a hard boiled egg. Plain. No seasoning. And they're easy to prepare! Put in a pot, cover with water, bring to a rolling boil, turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Cool in an ice bath for 5 minutes, peel, & package individually in a Ziploc snack bag. High quality protein ready to go! Good thing I like plain hard boiled eggs! But then again it might be because I am having a craving for protein. I'll let you know how I feel after this 1st batch of hard boiled eggs.
Yum! Protein!

My research in to sun protective clothing has been enlightening; those who know me well know I am not into clothes so this has been an eye opener. I also found out my favorite long-sleeved plaid flannel shirt that is currently my only option probably has a UPF rating of 5 or 6; while sun protective clothing typically has a UPF of 30. I happened upon an online article about different brands; it highlights 5 of them, one of which I have already started looking at (Coolibar). I was pleasantly surprised to find that Patagonia has a line; I like their environmental & socially responsible activism. The other 3 were way too fashion-conscious for me. I want my sun protective clothing to be utilitarian & durable, not cute & sexy; I keep wondering, 'How will they do against blackberries?'

For dinner tonight I made Classic Smothered Chops with Onions and Bacon; it didn't quite look like the photo in the ATK Pressure Cooker Perfection cookbook; but The Roommates liked it!
The Recipe.
The Result (in the big bowl, the others are our salads). The chops are under the onions & bacon.

Happy Birthday to Clancy!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Evening Walk to the Park

Today I walked to Maunalani Park at the end of the day, around 7 pm, because I had forgotten my hat and it was really hot at 3 pm when I usually walk. It was a very different feel than walking in the hotter part of the day, even when it's overcast or drizzly. I walked back tai chi slow so I could take in all the different night sounds.

Before I left Maunalani to walk to the park, I took Dad out to the 2nd floor deck on the west side of the building to watch the sunset. He enjoyed it while it was sunny, but the winds were blowing the clouds over the Ko'olaus and Palolo Valley was filling with chilly clouds. So we headed back in.

Clouds rolling through Palolo Valley.
Great example of atmospheric perspective!

Before I left for Maunalani this afternoon, I did a load of laundry & hung it outside. I almost forgot about the laundry. Which would have been really bad since the water sprinkler goes on at 7 am every morning!

I also saw that there was a very ripe papaya and several half ripe ones. I picked the ripe one and one of the half ripe ones. I'll pick the other half ripe ones tomorrow.

While hanging the laundry earlier, I also checked out the pakalana & orchids. I found the first pakalana blossom cluster! Yay!
Very young pakalana blossom cluster.
Blossom sprig on Mom's last orchid.

I looked at yesterday's mail and found one was a tax document from Edward Jones. I opened it up and found that it was still unhelpful.

My plan to have all my things moved out of the southwest bedroom by the end of today did not go well. I had forgotten that we needed to move things out of the living room in order for the "new" couch to be moved in next weekend. It's like one of those little square puzzles where you have to move the 15 little squares around in the 16 spaces and line them up in ascending order.
Looking at southerly wall of southwest bedroom.
Looking southwesterly in southwest bedroom.
Looking westerly in southwest bedroom.
Looking northerly in southwest bedroom.

Last night The Roommates and I also watched a Filipino soap opera and a samurai soap opera. I think we are planning on watching it again next week so we can see what happens with the confusing plot lines. I will try to take screen shots and tell you what we have figured out about the plots. Coming in during the middle of a movie is confusing, it is even more confusing when you come in during the middle of a soap opera. No matter what language the soap opera is in!

Happy Birthday to Arden!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Dad Slept Well Last Night

Dad slept through the night last night, no trying to get out of bed. He surprised me by eating about half of his papaya this morning. Except for the 1 piece of sausage, that was the extent of eating real food at breakfast; he also had 360 ml Breeze and 120 ml Plus. He pretty much slept through lunch. I hope this doesn't make him stay up all night.

The walk to and from Maunalani was uneventful. No cool birds, no friendly dogs, no interesting people. I was hoping to run in to Kelly again so I could find out about the sun protection clothing he used when he was on Hokule'a, but he wasn't there today. I have already started researching it, but I thought I might be able to shorten the process by getting info from him. I will be out in the field with Kyle from 1 pm to 7 pm. In either a pineapple field which has no trees, or a marsh but in the part without trees. And my long-sleeved flannel shirt just won't be able to provide the protection that I will need from the Hawaiian sun. I've checked out the Coolibar website which looks promising; I'll have to check out more sites.

The Roommate Who Is Learning How to Give Xander His Meds cooked dinner tonight; it is his 1st cooking attempt at dinner for the household. He made a shrimp & asparagus stir fry, it was very good. I told him since he only has to cook once a week, he should perfect 4 recipes. Then he can put them on the calendar in the same order and we would only be eating it once a month so we will not get tired of him only being able to cook 4 different meals. Winner!
Prep work.
Shrimp Asparagus Stir Fry.

The new black boxes for the television arrived last night, a day earlier than expected. I was going to install them today but I found out from Curtis that the box that I installed actually does work! Apparently I did not switch the mode from TV to HDMI so that's why it did not work; not what the customer service rep told me. Curtis switched it and it worked! I wonder why the customer service rep did not tell me to do that? At any rate, when I got home there was a movie on. And this time I knew which one it was! Independence Day! For some reason I must have watched it in its entirety at some time, but I can't remember why; may be I was on a Delta Airlines flight to/from Hawai'i? I recognized Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum. Before they got in the space craft, Jeff Goldblum was wearing his flannel shirt like I wear mine, rolled up to the elbows, totally unbuttoned with a sleeveless shirt under it; he looks better in his than I do in mine. (Sorry missed the photo on that one.)
Jeff Goldblum & Will Smith in Independence Day getting ready to plant the virus. (Screen shot from AMC)

On Thursday the pakalana celebrated its 1 year anniversary of being planted in our backyard. It has grown a lot, I can't wait for the flower clusters to start forming. I am hoping to get enough blossoms this year to be able to make at least one lei; it is my favorite lei flower, I love the spicy sweet fragrance, which I should be able to smell in my new room! I have not been able to find any products based on its scent, I guess its fragrance is not popular with enough people to be marketable. FYI The silk lei band on my Gore-Tex hat is pakalana.
Pakalana on the back fence.
One of the blossoms on Mom's last surviving orchid.

Happy Birthday to cousin Scott!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Dad the Night Owl

Apparently Dad stayed up all night. And also tried to get out of bed 4 or 5 times last night! On the plus side that might mean he is feeling better; on the minus side he is at risk for falls. This morning Dad ate half his banana but fell asleep after that since he stayed up all night! He also had about 360 ml Breeze & 240 ml Plus. For lunch he concentrated on the liquids: 360 ml Breeze & 120 ml Plus.
CNA Jessa helps Dad with breakfast.

I checked out the nutritional info on the Breeze and the Plus. The Breeze has 250 calories, no fat, and about 8 g protein. The Plus has 360 calories with 130 calories coming from fat and 14 g "high quality" protein (that's what the back of the box said).

I delayed my walk today; usually I go around 3 pm at shift change but RN Ramona said Dr. Gries was coming this afternoon and today was the last day for the IV fluids so he would be determining whether to continue them or not. Because Dad is not eating or drinking much dehydration is a concern while he recuperates from the pneumonia. Dr. Gries said Dad's pneumonia was getting better but he wanted to keep him on the IV fluids for another week to make sure he was getting enough.

The walk to Maunalani Park was uneventful except for Derrick from housekeeping offering me a ride; he thought I was leaving. I told him I was just walking down to the park & back for exercise.

Because of the flu outbreak and Maunalani discouraging family members from coming to visit, we decided to postpone the fireworks viewing we had planned for tonight until the outbreak is cleared. Instead, the Potential Most Favorite Roommate made dinner tonight, Japanese style curry served over udon type noodles. Then we went to 8&1/2 Desserts so the Roommates could try their unique flavors of ice cream.
(L) Japanese style curry over udon type noodles, (R) green salad.
Clockwise from upper left: 8 Confessions Chocolate, White Peach with Lychee Ice Cream, 8 Confessions chocolate with Pineapple Ginger Sorbet.

Curtis wasn't able to come and stay with Dad this afternoon, so I did the whole day. The contractors were delivering the new refrigerator and range! The kitchen remodel is coming along.
New kitchen cabinets installed. (Photo by Curtis)

Happy Birthday to Robert, Mark, Neil, Bill, Susan, & Danny! And Happy 38th Anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Lost Kolea

The Kolea (Pluvialis fulva, Pacific Golden Plover) is lost or kinda confused or perhaps it is a young bird (although it has the breeding colors of an adult male). It showed up at Maunalani Park again today. It flew in, then flew out; I just barely got a photo of it this time. I'll have to keep watching for it and see if it stays through out the summer.
I've got 5 other photos that look like the one I took on May 8th.

Curtis needed to be in town early this morning, so we went to breakfast at Zippy's Kahala really early. We actually sort of opened up the sit-down eating section; the sign said it opened up at 6 a.m., we were seated at 5:57. Curtis had the Chili Moco, I had the Zippy's Chili Omelette.
We got seated before they officially opened.
Chili Moco. (Photo by Curtis)
Chili Omelet with wheat toast.

Since I was up so early, I got a lot done this morning before I needed to head up to Maunalani to relieve Curtis. The biggest task was reconciling all of Dad's accounts, I had been rather lax during the period he was bouncing around between the ER and Kaiser Moanalua and Maunalani. Fortunately Mom had put a lot of things on auto-pay, and I have been doing it for long enough I knew which things I needed to look for in the incoming mail to pay individually, so everything is fine. I also mailed off birthday presents to Mary Ellen (already 2 weeks late!) and Robert (whose birthday is tomorrow so when he receives it, it will be late). I also spent some time coordinating my flight and Kai's flight to Wisconsin & Michigan. It looks like I will be in transit for about 12 hours to get to Green Bay! Whatever, being able to spend time with Vivian, Margaret, & Jess is worth every minute of it! As an added bonus, we'll also be able to spend some time with Robert!

While running around doing errands I also saw a hover of helicopters flying in formation. Not sure what that was about. I have also on occasion seen a bunch of helicopters flying by from Maunalani.
I am surprised at how good a shot I was able to get with my phone.

A major thing I noticed today is how much hotter it is in Kaimuki town where I was running errands, than it is up at Maunalani. It felt like there was at least a 10 degree difference at around 2 pm when I went up. I wonder if they can grow strawberries there? My plants are struggling in the heat down in the lowlands. I have read that when they grow them on the slopes of Haleakala they start at the lower elevations at the colder time of the year and steadily plant beds at higher elevations as the year warms up.

Happy Birthday to Gary!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018


Kimo the Terminix guy showed up on time and did his inspection quickly and thoroughly. Which left me with a bunch of time to do a bunch of things. I started with a quick load of laundry since I have a limited number of sleeveless things, plus I only have one shirt that can keep the direct sun off of my tattoo and it was getting saturated with A & D ointment!

Then I switched over to trying to get the television working. I called Spectrum and found out the I needed to connect the little black boxes in the Cisco boxes. When I arrived 2 years ago Mom asked me what they were for, she had none of the paperwork that came with them so I was clueless then; the customer service rep was helpful. Fortunately instructions to hook things up were in the box. So I proceeded to hook things up; which meant removing a bunch of stuff to get access to the places I needed to access! After everything was hooked up I called Spectrum again to have the account switched on. Shelby asked for the serial number, I gave it to her, then she said these were the old boxes, not the new ones; apparently if Mom had hooked them up when she got them they could function, but since the switch happened before they were hooked up its not happening. Shelby will be sending 2 new boxes that should arrive by Saturday.
The Mystery Box. Mom kept wondering why Cisco sent her this box since she had sold all her stock in them years ago!
The Black Box. Look! An instruction booklet!
Now where do I connect everything up? Oh, yeah, behind all the stuff!
I labelled all the plugs.
The "new" old box does nothing to fix the snow.

I walked to Maunalani Park about mid-morning since I did not stay until the mid-afternoon due to the Terminix inspection. It was somewhat overcast with a light drizzle; it was perfect! I met Mana & Brad at the park; they drove in from somewhere. Not sure if that is because they live farther away than the other dogs I've seen or if it is because Mana is an older dog. Mana liked the dog treats! But I forgot photos again. Brad recognized my boots as Keens, he told me the shoe store in Mo'ili'ili is the only place he knows of on the island that carries Keens; I'll have to check it out. (Interestingly, Brad did not have any footwear.)

Dad had no fever during my watch, I hope it stays that way. He didn't eat anything, just drank his supplements; about 240 ml Breeze and 120 ml Plus. Because of the flu outbreak, I am not bringing Xander in tomorrow. During dinner Grace from Maunalani called; I was instantly expecting bad news, like another fever. But all she was calling about was to say they were starting all the residents who did not have the flu on Tamiflu, every other day for 10 days. Whew! No major decisions to be made.

Before I left Maunalani, Curtis told me about his latest sandwich creation: peanut butter & furikake! So I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately the Kokua Market whole wheat bread I really like had gone moldy. I guess I should have expected that since I had not been eating at home during March & April when I was with Dad at the ER or Kaiser Moanalua or Maunalani. I ended up having to use a piece of cinnamon bread that one of The Roommates brought home. I think it would have been better on plain whole wheat, the sweetness & cinnamon was a little distracting.
Oh, no! There goes my really good bread! Even Curtis likes it and he doesn't like whole wheat bread!
Peanut butter furikake sandwich on cinnamon bread.

While outside hanging the laundry I also checked on the plants. Mom's last orchid is doing great, below is a close-up of one of the flower spikes. I also took another photo of the last gift orchid, its better than the other photo I took of it. The oranges are also doing well.
The last surviving orchid that Mom grew.
The last orchid that Mom received as a gift.
Lots of green oranges!

The final thing I did before dinner was continue cleaning up the old bedroom. It's still not done, but I accomplished a lot today. The goal is to be done by the end of the weekend.
Looking at the south wall of the southwest bedroom.
Looking at the southwest corner of the southwest bedroom.
Looking at the west wall of the southwest bedroom.

Happy Birthday to Terri!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Somewhat Quarantined for Flu

When I arrived this morning the receptionist on the 1st floor said they were discouraging people from visiting due to the flu; there were 3 people on the 3rd floor and 1 person on the 2nd floor confirmed to have the flu. All activities had been cancelled since most of them occur on the 3rd floor. Staff goes in to those rooms with the same contact precautions as they are taking for Dad's possible conjunctivitis. CNA Jessa was able to feed Dad a little after she gave him his bed bath this morning.
CNA Jessa wears the contact precautions gear while she feeds Dad.

A part of reducing the possibility of transmission between residents is to keep them on their respective floors and minimize visitors spreading the flu between floors by having 2nd floor visitors come in through the stairwell up to the 2nd floor. Second floor visitors are also asked to use either the 1st floor or 2nd floor staff bathrooms instead of going to the 3rd floor visitors bathrooms. I used the 1st floor bathroom today; it has 1 separate toilet and 2 others that are in stalls. The separate toilet is not ADA-compliant.
It's a 30" wide door with a 30" wide space that it opens in to.

Once again, I saw no one at Maunalani Park during my walk today. I only saw one man walking up the hill as I was going down; he walks a lot slower than I do. I did it in 2.9 mph again, but I was feeling the heat; it was sunny with no light drizzle today.

Just before my walk Dad started with a low grade fever of 99.5 degrees F. RN Ellie gave him Tylenol to bring it down. But when I came back from my walk the fever was now at 100.4 F. CNA Dennis brought in ice packs for Dad.

This morning when I turned the television on to create some noise all I got was snow. According to Curtis the provider Spectrum has gone to an all digital signal and a special box is needed to get the signal. I will have to call tomorrow to find out about it. Until I moved back home in 2016, I had lived in houses without television since 1979. According to Curtis I have missed out on American classics like The Simpsons, Friends, and X Files. And the Steelers winning the Superbowl. I do remember being on the outer edge of a conversation about the Iran Contra hearings & a co-worker saying they were only going to be able to get illiterate, ignorant people for the jury because there was so much TV coverage. He didn't know what to say when I said I had no TV. (Personally, I didn't understand why only illiterate, ignorant people would be the only ones without TV.)

Xander has been acting really strange lately. He insists on sleeping on the same chair as Shiro. Usually he wants to have nothing to do with Shiro and will move to another spot.

Happy Birthday to Janice & Allison!