Thursday, January 31, 2013

Basking in bureaucracasy

After a brief break to deal with garbage cops and misbehaving home appliances I am back where I belong --. in bureaucratic hell.

I am still trying to work out  Maggie's medications with Anthem Blue Cross. This has been going on for weeks. They now require certain medications to go through their "specialty pharmacy" but that pharmacy will not work with medi-cal and the cost to Maggie is $150/month for two different medications. Maggie does not have $300 month and if she is not in this program the cost to her is zero. We like zero better.

I gathered all my patience and made the call to once again try to get this resolved. The woman was reasonable and informative and had me re fax the forms directly to her and confirmed they were received!! I asked her if a written explanation would help as Maggie's situation does not fit into any form every created. She said if I wanted to fax that I could.

Why yes, thank you, I believe I will.

I'm sure you don't want to see the entire letter, so I will just give you some excerpts.

I have been trying for several weeks to get assistance regarding an exemption from the Specialty Pharmacy Program for my daughter Mary Margaret McDonald. I have had several conversations with Blue Cross, who would refer me to Curascript, and countless conversations with Curascript all without resolution.  (In addition, I was receiving at least 6 or 7 Curascript robo calls every day asking for more information but receiving no assistance.)  Finally, I was advised by “Mr. X” at Anthem that there is a method of seeking exemption.   I followed instructions, obtained the proper forms, went to the doctor to have them completed , forward (faxed) the completed forms signed by Mary Margaret's doctor to exempt her from the program, but never received any response. I followed up this morning. I was instructed to fax the forms to a different number than is printed on the form (!), and did so. This morning’s conversation with Ms. X seemed to (finally) break some ground. She confirmed receipt of the form

Mary Margaret receives medi-cal, California State program for the disabled or indigent, to help defray her extraordinary medical costs.  Medi-cal picks up the co-pays and provides coverage for some things that are not covered by private insurance. This includes the co pays on medications, which in Mary Margaret’s case can total thousands of dollars each month.  I have explained this to Curascript and to Anthem in the past, but I cannot make anyone understand the complexity of the situation. They have suggested that Mary Margaret  pay the out of pocket co pay of $150 per medication and seek reimbursement from medi-cal. First of all, Mary Margaret does not have $150 a month to pay and, in any event, Medi-cal does not work like that. There will never be a reimbursement.

I recognize her situation is very different from the typical insured. Most people on medi-cal do not have private insurance,  but she does.  However, the existence of private insurance should be a help, not a hindrance, to getting her the medication and services she needs.   

I think that last line is my favorite. I should receive a decision in two to three weeks, which is great, since I've been trying to get one for seven weeks already. 

Stay tuned.  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Airing Dirty Laundry

Maggie has somewhere between 75 and 100 scarves. She wear sometimes two at a time to cover her trach and we use a lot of them every day. I just learned that Maggie's extensive scarf collection lasts six days before I have to do laundry. Before this week I never let it get low enough to figure that out. However, when your washing machine breaks on a Friday and the guy doesn't come out until Tuesday, you learn important things like this.

This house without a working washing machine is not good. I do a TON of laundry because one unnamed young woman in this houses produces at least two loads a day on her own. Getting behind on laundry is not a good idea, and I am almost constantly behind. Fortunately, last week I caught up for the first time since at least last May when Tim moved home.  Tim also produces a ton of laundry, but he washes his own stuff. There was almost always a giant pile of his stuff in the laundry room that I would ignore.When he left for Chicago three weeks ago, he got everything clean. Of course that meant he hogged the facilities for several days putting me farther behind, but finally last week everything in the house was clean -- for about five minutes. That would be when the washing machine decided to take a break. Now I'm behind again.

 I washed a load Friday morning with no problem. I put in another Friday afternoon and the machine would not turn on. The lights went on, you could hear something start, but nothing. It just would not engage. I tried various things, switching cycles, water temps, opened and closed the door and the detergent drawer. Nothing. When Steve got home he looked at it. Steve can fix anything. Not this. Because there's an electronic panel on the front I did my favorite thing, unplugged the machine, let it reset and plugged it back in. Nothing. By this time it is the weekend and the repair place won't be open until Monday morning. 

I called Monday, but they couldn't come until Tuesday. OK. I looked at the scarves and they were holding out. I had until about noon Wednesday before I had to start washing them by hand. The guy arrived right on time and we headed down to the laundry room together. I told him my sad story, he pressed the button, listened and then reached over and ....TURNED ON THE WATER. Then it worked fine. I stared at him and said, "You have to be kidding me." 

It is a complete mystery how that water was turned off. I didn't do it, Steve didn't do it. Maggie' can't do it. The nurses don't go down there. We haven't had any workmen here. I better make sure Brisco the wonder dog gets some steak because he may be playing tricks on us. 

Oh, and the cost of having the guy turn the spigot? $90.

The stupidity I feel?  Priceless. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Radio Interview

This is the last one, i promise.

Here's the link the the Finch Files featuring the Garbage Cop story by yours truly

just click on the one called "Garbage Cops"


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Shameless self promotion

Monday  I am going to be on the Finch Files on KGO Radio 810. Peter Finch interviewed me the other day about the Garbage Cop story and the interview will air tomorrow a few different times over the course of the day, taking my complaining and rabble rousing to a new high.

Hopefully no one overturns my garbage cans in protest. Of course I've only received  positive feedback  about speaking out about how ridiculous the whole thing was. We shall see what happens next.
Hopefully I won't be on the most wanted list of the Garbage Cops.  It will be hard to clean the splatted tomatoes off  the house.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Update on Justin

Justin's transplant did not happen.

The family gets the call and makes the trip from Vallejo to Stanford nervous and frightened. Justin is prepped for surgery which is going to begin about midnight and last 12 hours. There is another delay but they are all ready to go to the OR when the doctors determine the lungs may not be compatible after all and cancel the surgery.

The family headed back to Vallejo around 4AM.

We have been through a lot in all Maggie's medical experiences, but nothing like this. Please keep this family in your prayers.

Also pray for the family of the donor, whoever that is. The reality of organ donation is that someone has to lose a loved one for it to work. This particular person may not have worked as a donor for Justin, but several other patients were saved because he/she was an organ donor.

This donor didn't save Justin's life, but the next one will.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I just received some exciting news.

Scary, but exciting.

Maggie has folks she knows from all her hospital stays. One of those is her friend Justin who I've written about before.(Maggie World: My Heart Grew Three Sizes that Day) He is generous and sweet and has spent way way way too much time in the hospital battling cystic fibrosis.

This picture of Maggie and Justin is from a few years ago. He is much more teen aged now and will probably cringe when he sees this old picture (but your mom said it was OK, J.) That was from a barbecue following a walk to raise money to fight cystic fibrosis because this family quite literally walks the walk.

Justin just  received the call they've been waiting for and right now he is on his way to Lucille Packard Children's hospital for a lung transplant. I started to cry when I read that.

If you pray, toss a few his way and add in a few for his parents Tina and Rob too, because they need support too.  If you don't pray, send some positive thoughts. This is a very big deal and can be life changing for him.

Godspeed Justin.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Distressing Morning

Saturday morning, we had to sign papers for the refinancing of the house. The notary was at our house at 8:30AM so we could sign the dozens of documents to make the horrible loan process end. We have been working on this for over three months. Even though we have excellent credit and a ton of equity in our house, it seemed as though this loan was not going to close. I found the process to be quite onerous – much more so than in past times and we had to jump through a million hoops to get it done. Other missteps by the lender almost caused me to pull the plug on the whole deal just a few days before closing, but the thought of starting again, or going through all that for nothing forced me forward.

Of course, when the notary arrived with the papers there were questions.  The documents had mistakes and were unclear. The notary kept pushing us to sign anyway saying we could rescind within three days, but that is not how we roll (and that is bizarre advice for a notary to give). She was clearly irritated with us, but neither Steve nor I cared. The financing for the house is a little too important to worry about the feelings of the person whose only role in the whole thing was to witness our signatures.  We were on the phone with the lender clearing up the confusion. Their work was sloppy and trying to unravel it on the phone was difficult.  They were asking me to compare these documents to ones forwarded to me in an email several months ago to explain the confusion. This did not please me but I went over to my computer to do the search.

That’s when Maggie had an episode of respiratory distress. 

I hate those things; they are scary as hell. They are scary for Maggie and for anyone who happens to witness it.   After the second one in September, we took her to the ER. They wanted to admit Maggie then, but they did not know what they were looking for. I cajoled and promised to follow up with the pulmonologist and we avoided admission and allowed to go home. She had an exam under anesthesia a few days later and the doctor could give me no reason for these episodes. But they seemed to stop, so I did not worry.

Now they are back. There were a couple of episodes over Christmas break, two last Thursday and one on Saturday.   That is five in about three weeks. Not good. I do not see any pattern to them and I cannot figure out what triggers them. Something happens that starts a chain of events and in about 10 seconds, Maggie is not breathing and turning blue. She seems to be holding her breath and because she is panicked, she cannot “remember” how to stop herself from doing so. Her arms are extended and fisted and it is very frightening. They can last several moments and even when she starts breathing again, she is completely freaked out and needs a large amount of oxygen to calm down and get back to normal. Needless to say, everything stops when that happens. 

On Saturday, it hit as I was on the phone with the lender and the notary’s irritation was growing. I saw it start and said “Steve, she needs oxygen.” Steve was already in action before I even said anything. I told the lender we had a medical emergency and she needed to figure things out and call me back. I look at the notary who had gone from irritation to shock. I actually felt a little sorry for her. If she could have flattened herself against the wall, I am sure she would have. I tried to sound calm and said, "don’t worry, this happens sometimes, we know what to do" -- all while I hoping we really did.

Maggie recovered. The lender called back acknowledging mistakes resulting in an error in our favor (of $32) and said keep it. The notary whipped through the paperwork and could not get out of here fast enough.  

 After she left and we all relaxed, Steve and I could not help but laugh at how completely ridiculous our life can be. 

At least we made $32.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Presidents and Waiters.

America is an amazing place. In the last 12 hours I've been equally inspired by the President of the United States and a waiter in Houston.  Talk about equal opportunity. The president promoted lofty ideals without specific ways to achieve them and the waiter demonstrated how to make it happen. 

Let's start with the President. We watched the inauguration this morning. The pomp and circumstance was beautiful and very moving. Maggie politely sat through the speech because her girls Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce were going to sing. She did seem to be listening to President Obama, though. Good thing, too, because it seemed to me that he was talking about Maggie and her peers. My favorite line was this:

We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. 

Maggie definitely has the happiness part pegged.  In fact, we should all strive to be as happy as she is. But her freedom is very limited by access issues, lack of tolerance, and so many other things.  There are places we cannot go because Maggie is not welcome or will not fit or makes people uncomfortable or whatever. Some of that is my doing. I simply cannot do all the things necessary to care for her and face the crowd at the same time. I stopped wishing for miracles long ago. Maggie is just Maggie and that's ok. But I would love it if we could live in a world in which (if she cannot be healthy and able bodied) Maggie can be free to go wherever she wants without difficulty and without judgement. 

The president did not mention how exactly we can accomplish that as a society.  But another excerpt from his speech gives a clue. ...we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice - not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes:  tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice. 

Apparently the waiter in Houston is already making it happen because his action preceded the President's speech by a day or so. 

Michael Garcia, a waiter in Houston,  refused to serve some people in his restaurant who moved tables to avoid sitting near a child with down syndrome and then followed with derogatory comments about the child. There was no doubt as to why they moved because they said, among other things: "special needs children need to be special someplace else." Even though they were regular customers, Mr. Garcia refused to serve them.  He put his job on the line but he did the right thing,  (see the whole story here or a million other sites

Michael Garcia, who did not lose his job,  is making it happen. He took a stand for tolerance and opportunity, justice and dignity. We all need to follow suit. 

Our country needs us.


Here are the excerpts from President Obama's speech that seemed to be aimed at me and Maggie. 

We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity.  We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit.  But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.  For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn.  We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. 

 And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice - not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes:  tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

No Mother, I am NOT ready for some FOOTBALL?

We are having a nice quiet weekend. Maggie is a bit under the weather, but not terribly so. Yesterday we did our weekly trip to the Mall. Maggie was trying to decide if she should get a 49er t-shirt or stick with her giants. Decisions decisions.

We  are going to walk over to Safeway in a few minutes to get food for dinner and for the afternoon of watching the 49er game. Maggie and I will be in and out of there before the rest of the crowds even wake up. The game starts at noon so we can add a walk in the park to the mix.

A walk in the park is mandatory this morning. I definitely need to do something with Maggie while I can  because Maggie will not enjoy the football game. She does not care that it's the NFC Championship game and a trip to the Superbowl is on the line. It's too long, too fast and too loud for her. She doesn't mind baseball because she can actually see what goes on. Baseball is relaxing and allows for lots of time to keep Maggie engaged. We ask her opinion on balls and strikes and she cracks up. Football is too fast for that and, worse than the pace of the game, we are less interactive with her. Football requires closer attention. That does not please Maggie who firmly believes all attention should focus on her at all times.

I've mentioned before that Maggie really doesn't watch television at all. She can SEE it, but she really cannot process the movement of the screen. Generally if we are watching it she is using her dynavox to say "I DON"T LIKE TV." And I generally give her one of the following responses. "too bad for you, we do" or "yes, you've mentioned that several times."  She laughs for a minute and then says "I DON"T LIKE TV" over and over again.

It's very relaxing.

We finally got a big flat screen TV at Christmas time. It was a gift from Steve to me. A gift I did not want because our old TV worked fine and because we could not figure out where to put it. The old cabinet that Steve handmade was not going to work because it was so deep. Where would we put it , yada yada yada.
Steve put it on the mantel, which I don't like because I think it detracts from our beautiful fireplace and it takes over the living room.

Despite my nagging and general lack of appreciation of the gift I have to admit, I really love the quality of the picture on this new set.

Even Maggie tolerates watching the new TV for a while. Because it's so clear and so big and out in the open, she can SEE it much better. The first day it was up I turned it on in the morning and Maggie sat there transfixed watching "Enchanted" and laughing at the appropriate places. That only lasted about 20 minutes, but it was a new record.

I do not expect Maggie to suddenly embrace professional football or the dreaded instant replays, but she will enjoy the cheering when they score, or intercept, or sack the quarterback. But she will only have to suffer through it for an hour because her nurse comes at 1:00 PM and Maggie will be the center of the world again and can ignore her embarrassing parents in the front room yelling at that infernal television.

So we are off to Safeway to stock up. Maggie wants earplugs.

Go Niners. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Get this.

People have all sorts of reactions to Maggie and to our life with Maggie.  Most people cannot grasp our life at all. That's fine. It's our life, not theirs. We don't expect anyone to completely understand our situation. Everybody has something in their life that others don't understand. In our case, though, our differences are very obvious and visible and involve a larger than life personality like Maggie, so we have come to expect
various reactions.

Some "get it" and and meet us where we are. We treasure those people, but they are very few in number.

Some are strangers with a kind word to say or strangers with a bizarre comment who, for some reason, find no problem sharing their insights with me. 99% of the time those insights have absolutely no bearing on our life. Those comments are generally harmless and worth it for either the humor we find or, in that 1% of the cases, the connections we do make.

There are those who THINK they "get it", but really don't. Perhaps their cousin's brother in law's nephew has a disability completely different than Maggie's so they think they understand. They offer advice and comments that don't make any sense. These people are mildly irritating, but also harmless and generally well meaning.

A more difficult situation are those who SHOULD "get it" by this time, but still don't. It is tiresome to explain over and over and over again that we have limitations, we are not as free as others in our age group. No, we cannot take Maggie to this place or that, no we cannot come away for the weekend, no she does not want to "just try" some food. They too mean well, but cannot seem to grasp reality. Still, these are generally people we love or need and we learn to overlook the naivete.

The toughest group are those who don't "get it" for a different reason. They may fully understand the limitations and difficulties, but they cannot understand WHY we do it. These are generally people on the fringes of our life. For the most part they don't say anything, but they project a sort of disapproval. These are the people who think Maggie should be in some sort of institution so that we can live our lives. It may be at some point we cannot care for Maggie here, but while we can, we will. And this particular group thinks by doing so we are ruining our lives.

You would think this people are the most distasteful of all to us, and in a way I suppose they are. But instead of anger or resentment, I find myself feeling a little sorry for them.  They see only the burden and none of the joy. They think my life is somehow less because Maggie is part of it when, in fact, it is so much richer because of her. I cannot and would never even try to explain that to them because they are unable to comprehend it. That makes me feel sorry for them.

Don't get me wrong. I would love to be able to travel freely and be a bit more carefree, but I can't. And, what some people will never understand: that is okay. It's a trade off and I got Maggie in the deal, so I don't really feel short changed at all.

Life is more than the places you go. It's the people you meet, the experiences you have, and it's the love you give and receive. And we have a very full life indeed.

Get it?

Monday, January 14, 2013

A million here, a million there...

San Francisco columnists Matier and Ross mentioned my encounter with the Garbage cops in today's chronicle.

Here's the excerpt

Garbage raid: Sally Coghlan McDonald was a bit taken aback to get a knock on the door about 6 p.m. recently from four members of San Francisco's "garbage police."
The Department of the Environment crew members announced that they were there to "educate" her on the proper use of her garbage, recycling and compost bins.
McDonald had already suspected something was up, because about a month earlier she had awakened at 5:30 a.m. to the sound of an inspector "with his head all the way in my garbage can using a flashlight and writing things down on a clipboard."
She later received a notice, complete with pictures, showing the sorting mistakes she was making.
"I threw a napkin with food on it into the recycle bin when it should have been composted," McDonald said.
Department of the Environment spokesman Guillermo Rodriguez confirmed that as part of the city's effort to achieve "zero waste," 10 inspectors and outreach "ambassadors" have been assigned to flip the lids to look into how folks are sorting their garbage - at an annual cost of $1 million.
So far, nobody's been ticketed.

Read more:

One million dollars!!!!!!!!!! to send people to look through trans and then to my house - four at a time-  to "educate" me. I know a million dollars is not a lot in the world of government, but it is still A MILLION DOLLARS. That money could make quite a difference for the disabled children of this city. 

Their version was a little less outraged than my initial reaction in my post of December 7

Maggie World: Garbage Hell


Let's start the week off on a positive note.

The Sports Illustrated Sportskids of the year are two brothers, Conner and Cayden Long who compete together in triathalons. They don't win because they do things a little differently and have a more difficult road. Cayden has cerebral palsy so Conner pulls his brother in a bike trailer or pushes him in a stroller. These two are the very definition of sportsmen and deserve this award.

 Watch the video by clilcking the link below. And listen to Conner. He is a very wise young man.


CONNER and CAYDEN LONG are the 2012 SportsKids of the Year

Seven-year-old Cayden is unable to walk or talk on his own, but his nine-year-old brother Conner had an idea that would allow them to participate in sports together. A year and a half ago, they began competing in triathlons together. Conner swims while pulling Cayden in a raft, bikes with his little brother towed behind him in a trailer, and pushes that trailer when they run.
Over the past 18 months, the pair from White House, Tennessee, traveled up and down the East coast to compete in races. Seeing the brothers working together has inspired onlookers, while bringing Conner and Cayden closer than ever. Their amazing determination and spirit is why the Long brothers are the 2012 Sports Illustrated Kids SportsKids of the Year.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


There are few things more satisfying then planting an Amaryllis.  You simply give it water and it grows like a weed making one feel like a master gardener. And then you get these beautiful flowers for a few weeks.

Maggie and I planted this on December 1
December 1 - the beginning

January 1, Happy New Year

January 6, blooms!

                                                                January 8, bigger every day
This morning Jan 12th. Everyone open and beautiful!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Year, New Hoops

There's nothing like New Years. Clean slate, fresh start, new beginnings, resolutions. Every thing starts again and it will be better than ever!

 That lasts until the fist real work days of the New Year.

Then it's just January.

The worst thing about January to me is all the new hoops through which I have to jump. There are new rules, new deductibles, new requirements and new documentation etc for Maggie from several corners. Each of them requires hours of attention and even if successful, will cost me more money. Medi-cal changes eliminate  some of her medications. The regional center is changing the way the nurses will be paid so that each nurse needs to complete a 40 page packet of information and wait longer for their checks (just initially, to be fair), the city needs new documentation that Maggie is actually entitled to a parking pass (for $100) for her nurse, PG&E also needs documentation of Maggie's medical needs, and the insurance company has a fresh new deductible along with new rules about getting Maggie's medications. Yet another form signed by the doctor may or may not excuse us from that. I won't know until I actually jump through that hoop.

So if you don't see me around as much for the next week or so, you will know where I am:

Monday, January 7, 2013

Tim's Excellent Adventure

It's Monday and Maggie went back to school. Generally I would be doing my dance of joy right now, but I don't feel very joyful. I'm a bit sad, actually, because Tim left this morning. In addition to putting Maggie on the school bus, I put Tim on an airplane to Chicago.
This is a new adventure for Tim. He is moving to Chicago for an indefinite amount of time. Could be three months, could be a year, could be forever. He's been stagnating here and he was smart enough to recognize that so he decided to take a leap and follow a dream. He will take classes at Second City and see if he can break into the very competitive world of stand-up comedy.

Kinda cool. Kinda crazy. But he's 22 and that's exactly when you should give things like this a shot. At 22 everything is possible and there is nothing holding you back. So you sell your truck, pack your bags and go. No matter what else you may think, this is an incredibly brave thing to do.

To be honest, there's a big part of me that's jealous.

And then there's the mom part of me that's worried.

Tim has never been in weather like they have in Chicago. That made Christmas shopping very easy. I just bought him the proper clothes and accessories for a California boy to handle an Illinois winter. Or what a California mom thinks are proper clothes to handle an Illinois winter.  We shall see.

Tim seems to have found a place to live, though he has to meet with his new roommates and landlord tomorrow to finalize things. He has a friend he can stay with for a week or so until that is settled. In a stroke of kismet (and the absolute wonder of facebook), Tim and potential his new roommate have a mutual friend, which they discovered only after connecting on facebook. The mutual friend is in London but vouched for each guy to the other. Nice little insurance for everyone.

Of course he will have to find a job immediately if he wants this adventure to last more than a few months. Tim is personable, reliable, capable and experienced in a variety of things, so he will find something. I will calm down a bit more when I know that has happened.

So the adventure begins. He said goodbye to Maggie this morning and she gave him a big hug. You can see her hand reaching up over his neck in the first picture. Once we got out in front she grabbed for his hand, which was so sweet.

He told Maggie over and over that he was going to Chicago, but she really doesn't know what that means. She will likely call for him on her talker for a while. "Tim, come home see Maggie" or "Tim, come downstairs." It will take her a few days to realize he is really gone and she's stuck with just her parents again. (Oh the humanity!) But we can skype with him and that will entertain her to no end.

Godspeed, Timmy. You are taking your shot and I admire that greatly. If anyone can make this work it is you.

One other thing: if you hit it big, please remember your mother.

And not just as a punchline.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hotel California

Drive by. Haven't posted in a few days because things are so crazy around here. Everyone is fine and healthy but it's been a whirlwind of activity and I have not had two minutes to sit down and share. We've had visitors galore and outings everyday. Nothing earthshaking, just getting through the end of the Christmas vacation. Monday is back to school day. YIPPEE!

99% of the visitors we've had have been welcome friends, old and new. But there was one visitor that was a bit less than welcome. Woke up this morning and opened the door to see the nurse out. It was still dark and I thought my son had put the garbage cans out on the street but once my eyes adjusted to the dark I realized it was a shopping cart. A homeless guy decided the base of my front stairs was the perfect place for his long winters' nap. It was might cold last night and I am not unfeeling, but I really hope he finds another spot tonight. Please note, this is a first in the 26 years we have lived in this house.

This is what I saw when the nurse left. 

it was a little easier to see him when the sun came up (He slept in)

He packed up and left around 9:30, which was good. Check out time is 10AM and I didn't want to have to charge him for another day.

Never a dull moment.