Pulling Leaves, Plants and Strange Behavior

We are now approaching the middle of the summer, and we have not made a trip to Lowe’s for plants. Last year and the year before we were making such trips almost twice weekly. The last time Kate expressed an interest was during the winter. We went there but found they didn’t have much and said they would start getting things in late February. On several occasions, I have asked Kate if she would like to go. She has said with a groan, “Not now.” I have even suggested that she might want to put some plants in the pots beside the spa as well as some others for the patio and front porch. She has unenthusiastically agreed that it would be nice but has never picked up it so as to take action. I take this as a critical sign in the progression of her illness. It is equivalent to her giving up her computer (email, Facebook, and finally, her photobooks). Fortunately, she is still pulling leaves although our recent weather has meant that she comes in after being outside for a short time. It also means for showers and changes of clothes.

I have also made a change. I am no longer suggesting that she wear work clothes outside. I just let her wear whatever she has on when she decides to pull leaves.

I have mentioned several strange behaviors of Kate’s, but I don’t think I have mentioned that she has been taking paper napkins from the restaurants we frequent. At first, she was doing this to have them in the car when she might need something for her salivation problem. Now, however, she is tearing them up (along with the paper towels she has used in the house) and put them in a basket in the garage. It is similar to her collecting hickory nuts and putting them in the basket on our island. The big difference is that she is using the nuts as a decorative effect. I didn’t realize what she was doing at first. I thought she was tearing up napkins to put in her compost. When checked the compost, I didn’t find any. I do find an occasional Dr. Pepper can and yogurt containers as well as the tops of the containers. I haven’t asked her to explain why she is doing this. She wouldn’t remember. On at least two occasions, I have been walking out the door of the kitchen on the way to the car when she starts to take a yogurt container to the compost. In those instances, I have pointed out that they go in recycling and not the compost.

The combination of the increasing problems she is having with her puzzles on the iPad and the heat is that she seems to be more restless (behaviorally speaking). What I mean is that she spends a little time at Panera until her frustration pushes her to go home. Then she works outside for a little while until she gets hot. That is exactly what has happened this morning. We were at Panera for a little less than an hour between 9:00 and 10:00. We went home where she pulled leaves. She came in and took a shower. She came into the family room where I was writing this post for my journal and said, “Are you coming?” She was ready to go back to Panera. That is where we are right now. It is 11:19 a.m. I think we will just work a while on our devices until around noon when we will have lunch. Then I imagine we will go back home. I feel sure she will pull leaves a while until we are back here since we don’t have any other plans until 5:00 when we have a visitation for a former neighbor.

In the car on the way over here, she pointed to her cup that was sitting in the cupholder and motioned to me as a way of asking if it were all right for her to take a drink. When we parked at Panera, she did the same thing only this time she was asking if she should take her cup into Panera, something we do every time we come here.