Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mom/Grammy/Cynthia Update

Mom is progressing and is now eating an unrestricted diet. Last night her meal was Chicken Pot Pie! But it is clearly the ice water and sherbet that she likes the most.

Joanne Fontaine, the geriatric care manager has visited mom twice now and has been in contact with the social worker and discharge planner. I received the following email from Joanne this afternoon:

I visited with your Mom today. What a difference from Wednesday! She is obviously very tired but looks pretty good for what she has been through. She remembered me and told me she knows that if she makes it home she will need help. I spoke with Judy McKenna and Barbara (discharge planner) and Life Care [of Littleton] has offered your mother a bed when she is ready [to begin the rehab process]. Concord Health Care will sceen her this afternoon. There is no date for discharge as of this morning.

Dr. Kennedy called me later in the afternoon and said they were aiming for discharge on Sunday or Monday. They do not have any idea why she fell or why she was unable to move toward the telephone, only two feet away from where she was lying. All tests were negative and the test findings have been reviewed by at least 3 other doctors. An unfortunately, Mom remembers nothing.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Crazy Morning for Laurie

Laurie's ride on the train this morning was very eventful. Here's an excerpt from an email she wrote about the experience:

"I had a pretty traumatic morning today. If you happen to hear on the
local news (except for you, Cakie, Sander, Andy, and Nancy) about a man
having been struck and killed by an MBTA commuter rail train in Belmont
at 7:00 this morning -- I was on that train.

The conductors did tell us that we may have hit "something" (first), and
later that we had "struck a trespasser," but needless to say, they would
not offer any details. I found out definitively when I got to work that
it had been a man and that he had been killed. It was very unsettling.
There I'd been, quietly doing a crossword puzzle or something ....

At the back of the train, where I was, we did not feel any kind of jolt,
so I thought that perhaps someone had been glanced by the train. The
horn was not blown, either, though, so it's likely he came rather out of
nowhere and perhaps was after this exact result. Very upsetting.

After that, we were not allowed to leave the train -- which stopped
immediately after this happened, of course -- for an hour and a half or
so, while the powers-that-be began their investigation of the crime
scene. We were told that buses were on their way to pick us up, but with
chain link fences on one side and several railroad tracks for hundreds
of us to cross on the other, they finally decided to evacuate us by
train instead. So that no one would be tempted to walk back toward the
accident scene to have a look (ghoulish) while we were transferring,
they pulled the empty train up to ours EXACTLY aligning every door, so
we almost just walked straight across into the new one. The whole thing
was very weird.

I got to work about two hours late.

Judging from how horrible I felt when I reached the office and read the
online headline, "Commuter train kills person in Belmont," it's no
wonder that they wouldn't give us any information at the scene!"

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mom/Grammy/Cynthia is in the hospital

I received a call Tuesday afternoon from Wendy at the Wound Clinic in Concord. Uncharacteristically, Mom had missed her Monday appointment. Wendy is the manager of the clinic. She tried to reach Mom by telephone Monday afternoon and again Tuesday, with no answer. Wendy called me at work to tell me she was concerned.

I drove to mom's and my heart sank when I saw five or six newspapers piled up next to the front door. She always reaches outside to get the paper in the morning! I found her in her bedroom lying on the floor, sort of semi-concious with only a thin blanket over her. I called 911 and then threw as many blankets on her as I could find. The house was at its night-time temperature of about 60F. She was shivering and asked for some water, which I gave her while waiting for the ambulance.

An ambulance from Lincoln Fire showed up, and a Rescue Truck from Concord Fire, an the advanced life support unit from Emerson. Mom was very quickly carried off to Emerson, where they put an IV into here and started rehydrating her. They also hooked her up to oxygen which brought color back into her skin, and a Bier Hugger began heating her up. The "hugger" is a pillow type blanket into which hot air is pumped through a hose that looks like the jointed white hose used on clothes dryers. She's going to make it!!

Right now she is in the Wheeler wing at Emerson (room 536). They are doing all kinds of tests, as they are unsure why she fell. They have ruled out a heart attack. They are doing X-rays to rule out broken bones. She has an elevated white count and may have pneumonia. I worry that she might have had a stroke, as she was obviously unable to get to the telephone which was a mere two feet away on a bedside stool. But, a brain CAT scan was negative. An MRI is also scheduled. Her kidneys are functioning well. Folks are shocked that she is still alive after this.

Going back to the house today, the oldest newspaper I found was from last Wednesday, which implies that she may have been lying there as long as 6 days. Can't remember when I last talked with her; it may actually have been 7 days ago when I was showing her pictures of Aishling and Guthrie's baby on my laptop.

I have enlisted the help of Joanne Fontaine, a geriatic care manager who Laurie knows and recommends. Joanne is wonderful and can help in the process of choosing an appropriate rehab facility and then help determine and implement a reasonable plan for mom's ongoing care based on her particular medical issues, whether it be at home with many supports, an assisted living situation, or a nursing home. Joanne says a lot will depend on the level of her rehab sucess.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sunset from our office parking lot

This sunset was seen from the parking lot of my office building. The stripes in the sky are jet contrails, as we are just a few miles from Bedford's Hanscom Air Base.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Blue Ribbon BBQ in Arlington

At the recommendation of Matt at the office we all chipped in and got BBQ for lunch on Friday. Below is a link to Blue Ribbon BBQ of Newton and Arlington. Laurie and I have to go there sometime.

They delivered quite a feast. All kinds of pulled meats, brisket, cornbread, black eyed peas, corn something-or-other, slaw, several bbq sauces, and bulky rolls if you wanted to put it all into a sandwich.

The trays of baked cookie bars in the foreground were courtesy of Nina... possibly (I don't want to create any problems) the best baker in the office, especially if we are talking about chocolate.

Blue Ribbon received a "Best of Boston" Award in 2008.

Here's a plate (first helping, that is) before I put on the bbq sauce... Yum.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Good Sunday Morning Picture

I took this picture in Carlisle. I liked how the Unitarian Church looked in the glow of the setting sun. It is the First Religious Society. Jaimie, Tyler and Reed went to Sunday School there, and Laurie and Peter were married there. (The Church stands straight; the distortion here is from the camera lens *grin*. It is fixable in software, but I would loose the wind vane at the top)

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Concord River, on the drive home last night

On the drive home last night about 5 pm, I couldn't resist parking the car and walking to the center of the bridge (Rt. 225/4 over the Concord River at the Bedford-Carlisle line) to take these shots... The horizontal is taken looking downstream/east, and the vertical is looking upstream/west.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Day Trip to Maine (York, Ogunquit, Wells)

Laurie and I did a day trip to Maine on Sunday, driving up through York, Ogunquit, and Wells. Below are four of the dozen pictures I posted at

In York we gazed at Cape Nedick Light and took pictures as we climbed around on the rocks. This is one of the most photographed lighthouses and it is easy to see why. Had it been late afternoon instead of 10 am, that red outbuilding would have had some nice color on it. It is difficult to see, but there is a big green wreath on this side of it. The lighthouse is separated from the mainland by just a little bit of water. It may be possible (I don't know for sure) to walk across at the very lowest of low tides. Ogunquit has a great little area called Perkins Cove. Lots of little shops on a peninsula (and a year-round coffee and pastry shop at the end of the peninsula, where we met a couple from Westford - small world!) with a little harbor on one side for a small lobster boat fleet, and basically open water on the other side. Below is a picture of most of the fleet. There is also the Marginal Way, which is a paved one-mile path along the edge of the rocky coast. The path was a bit snowy and icy, but we managed to stumble our way to the end of it, and back. There were many folks out enjoying the sunshine and warmth, many with binoculars (we forgot ours) checking out the birds. For lunch we drove a little further north, to Wells, for a stop at the Maine Diner. Surprisingly busy, and we needed to wait 20 minutes for a table. A pretty popular spot, for sure. We would definitely go back to explore the lunch menu further. Plus, they serve breakfast all day long! When in Maine....

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Photo Club Enters Photos in the Greater Lynn International Contest

Our photo club tries to get as many members as possible to participate in this international competition. A maximum of 4 images per person is allowed. Thousands of images are entered from all over the world. Here are the 4 I selected.

Only about 30%-35% of images are accepted for the public exhibition in April. Regardless of the outcome, the thrill of getting a "report card" from 4 judges is worth the $5 entry fee!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Magic Monday at Mt. Sunapee

I did a solo trip to Sunapee yesterday to take advantage of $40 lift tickets (on "Magic Mondays"), an outstanding weather forecast and really nice ski conditions. I was not disappointed. From Westford it is only 80 miles, and even after stopping for gas and a trip into the supermarket in Warner, NH, my 7:15 a.m. Westford departure was plenty early enough to get me to the mountain by 9 a.m. The parking lot filled up quickly, but with Sunapee's excellent uphill capacity there were no lift lines to speak of. As you can see in the picture above, other than the two in the chair ahead of me the chairs were empty!

The lodge at the top was open and was a nice spot to stop for a cup of coffee and a chocolate chip cookie at 11 a.m. I then skiied until about 1:30, and went to the lower lodge (a new building, completed sometime during the last few years) for lunch. As is my usual habit, I added a fleece vest under my parka and changed socks before heading out for more runs before quiting at 3:30. A very enjoyable day. And, I was able to get home before it got dark! Here are a few more pictures. Can you (Dad, Rich, Ty, Reed, Jaimie) figure out where they were taken?

I posted 12 pictures (including the 4 shown here) in my zenfolio photo galleries, here:

Monday, February 9, 2009

More Baby Pictures

There was a lot of hand activity going on during this set of pictures.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Camera Club - February Meeting

This was a month for both images and prints, and I had five that placed. For digital images, "Bee Hind" scored first place in the Nature Category and "Lilies After the Rain" received an honorable mention.

In the color print contest, "A Morning For Fishing" got a first place and "Kittery, Maine" got second.

In black and white prints, "Misty Morning" got first and "Old Mill Stairwell" got second.

Monday, February 2, 2009

XC skiing great at Great Brook Farm

Nice temperature for skiing on Sunday. Stuart Johnston (spell?) still runs the place and continues to write guide books for bicycling. He's doing a series on "rail trails" now.