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August 2009
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October 2009

Exploring the Sant Ocean Hall

I mentioned in the last post that Joe took me on a private tour of the Sant Ocean Hall, where he's a volunteer docent. It's magnificent! I loved the living coral reef, with Nemo and Dory swimming around the brilliant coral. Psychedelic! I even loved the male giant squid, hanging head down in his case. His is a face -- if you can call it a face -- that only his mother could love. He's... Read more →

Roller Coaster

The emotional roller coaster continues to operate at high speed. Wednesday was bad. I met with the social worker at the nursing home and signed the DNR orders for Mom. Did you know that there are two main types of Do Not Resusitate orders? The first, DNR-A, specifies maximum effort to prevent cardiac arrest, but no CPR should arrest occur. The second, DNR-B, specifies minimal effort to prevent cardiac arrest, and no CPR should arrest... Read more →

Her Sense of Humor

I went through Mom's address book today to gather phone numbers of people we need to call, and I found a slip of paper with three quotes written on it in Mom's handwriting. The writing is pretty strong, so she must have done it some time ago. Mom always kept little things like this tucked away in her purse or address book or notepad; she had "Dave Berry" jotted in the upper-right corner, so I'm... Read more →


I've heard it said that God looks out for drunks and idiots. Perhaps because those folks cannot look out for themselves, God keeps an extra close eye on them, sending an extra guardian angel or two to make sure no one gets hurt. Well, this morning I definitely fell into the idiot category. First off, I slept poorly. I went to bed relatively early, after falling asleep during the premiere of Community. This happened because... Read more →

So It Goes

I am very tired. It has been a whirlwind couple of days. Mom is slipping. The antibiotic has not stopped the renal failure; the Procrit has not helped her blood count. Both have been discontinued. We have moved her to the nursing home unit of the nursing home; we are meeting with the hospice nurse on Sunday. It happened so suddenly! Two days ago she was a little better; yesterday she fell off the cliff.... Read more →

Our Version Of A Spa Getaway, Western Maryland Edition

I always know I'm getting close to a weekend full of laughter and peacefulness (yes, peacefulness) when I spot the Sideling Hill cut in the distance, just before rolling through Hancock, Maryland. Joe and I headed out to the Cumberland area last Saturday to celebrate his brother's birthday. We went up late Saturday afternoon because, hey, it's a three-hour drive and we are pretty much past the point of doing that twice in one day.... Read more →

Ten Things About Jury Duty

Tuesday I reported to the Montgomery County Judicial Center to fulfill my civic responsibility as a juror. Here are ten things about that experience. 1. It rained that morning, so traffic was fucked. Of course, I had to be across the county by 8:30 am. I made it, but not by much. 2. The "Welcome to Jury Duty" orientation and video was good. Among other things, I learned that "voir dire" means "to see and... Read more →

Let Us Move On To Happier Things

Mom is better. Not great, but better. She is still very weak, unable to take a step without help, unable to hold a fork or a spoon without wobbling. We are wrestling with the next steps. But she is better, and I thank you all for your kind words. I hold you in my heart. I have had enough of worry for now. Let us move on to happier things. Like hockey! The preseason begins... Read more →

Who Knows Where The Spirit Goes?

My Mom's been sick with a UTI since Wednesday. Her blood count is very low and her BUN and Creatinine are elevated. Everything points to the beginning of renal failure. When really old people get UTIs, the infection can knock them for a loop. In addition to being very weak physically, Mom's also been foggy and confused. Joe and I went to her assisted living home yesterday afternoon; she was in bed and passed out... Read more →