A Short Day

Kate and I got to bed late night before last. As a result, yesterday was a very short day. It was almost 1:00 before she got out of bed. She didn’t want to shower, so we were able to leave for lunch close to 2:00. I was afraid we might be looking at 2:30 or 3:00. As it was, we didn’t get back home until 3:30. I wasn’t surprised that she was tired. She took a nap in the family room while I checked email and watched a little football.

We ate so late that I didn’t feel like eating much. We went to a nearby Mediterranean restaurant where I got a bowl of soup, and Kate had salmon over basmati rice. Her meal came with a salad that I ate. That leads me to make a comment about two changes in Kate’s eating habits since her diagnosis.

The first is that she was known for her salads and desserts. Her mother was an outstanding cook, and Kate took after her until Alzheimer’s entered the picture. When our children were little, she was especially careful to prepare nutritional meals and snacks. As children Jesse and Kevin enjoyed her homemade yogurt, granola, bread, and whole wheat pizza crusts. She even made yogurt popsicles with orange juice for their snacks.

After the children left for college, she and I started eating out more often. That was the beginning of a lessening of her interest in cooking. One of the things she kept up with was making very good salads. Since Alzheimer’s and her shift away from salads, I have missed those. She is now a “meat and potatoes” eater. I have learned to order her “Bacon Turkey Bravo” sandwich at Panera without bacon (too hard for her) and lettuce. I sometimes ask that they omit the tomatoes as well since she often doesn’t eat them. When we split meals at restaurants, servers often ask if we want them to split the salad or bring an extra salad. I always tell them to bring just one salad and give that one to me.

My explanation for this change is that she has been guided for years by what she thought was nutritionally appropriate. With Alzheimer’s she eats the things she likes without regard to any dietary or nutritional concerns. This is not unusual for people with dementia. For a long time broccoli was one vegetable she would eat, but that is just about gone now. It is not just taste that is relevant. She frowns at the mention of certain vegetable options at restaurants. I recently mentioned our having squash soup at two different restaurants. She didn’t like the idea. I got her to taste mine, and she liked it.

One of the big surprises has been a change in her taste for Dr. Pepper, her favorite beverage after iced tea. Now she frequently comments that there is something wrong with it. When she asks me to taste it, it seems fine to me. I have taken advantage of this by often ordering tea for her just to avoid the calories. I still keep Dr. Pepper (8 oz. cans) at home. She often fails to finish one. That is not unique to Dr. Pepper. When she was drinking apple juice, she rarely finished one glass.

Another change that has occurred involves her sense of hunger. I know from others that this is very common among people with dementia. It is not uncommon for her to ask, “When are we going to eat?” within an hour or so after a meal. Because she has so little memory, this is understandable; however, she often doesn’t feel too full after a very filling meal. This does not mean that she has lost her ability to feel full while eating. Sometimes she tells me she is full. Other times I can’t be sure whether she is full or didn’t like her meal. I make this point because we had a filling meal at lunch yesterday. She ate a lot of bread, her entrée (minus the spinach), and our eggnog cheesecake. We finished our meal about 3:00. At 5:00, I told her I didn’t feel hungry right then and would like to wait until 6:00 to leave for dinner. She was comfortable doing whatever I wanted but would have been happy to go at 5:00.

Having slept late yesterday morning, did not affect Kate’s bedtime last night. She got in bed around 9:30. She was ready to go to sleep. It was not one of her talkative nights. When I got in bed a little later, she was still awake. I moved over close to her. She said something that made me think this was one of those times, she didn’t recognize me as her husband. Then she pushed me away. She often feels hot after she gets in bed. Most nights I move close to her when I get in the bed. I don’t usually remain that close for long because I get hot, and she gets hotter. (I’m talking body heat now. <g>) This made me ask if she was hot. She said, “Yes. That’s part of it.” I said, “What’s the other part?” She said, “I’m trying to think of how to tell you. Let’s talk about it tomorrow.” That’s quite a note on which to call it a day. I know she won’t remember this when she gets up this morning. I’ll never know what it was she was trying to think of how to tell me. I do know this. Within a few minutes, she moved closer and affectionately put her arm around me.

A Montage of Surprises, Confusion, and Frustration, But a Good Day

People who know me well understand that I like routine and predictability. For more than six months I have been looking for Kate to get up on a schedule. I would definitely like it to be somewhat early. Around 9:00 would work well for me. Since I get up between 5:30 and 6:00 most mornings, that would give me plenty of time to myself and also allow me to spend time with Kate. For a while it looked like she would sleep as late as 11:30 to 12:30. Within the past two weeks she surprised me by getting up between 9:00 and 10:00. More recently, she has slipped back to sleeping late again. That has made me think she is settling into late pattern rather than an early one. But is she really settling into a pattern at all?

Figuring I had plenty of time this morning, I was slow getting Kate’s clothes ready for her. When I checked on her shortly before 9:00, I found that she was up and looking around for clothes. She was confused and had been going through a closet in a guest room where she keeps her dressiest clothes, the ones she never wears these days. She was glad to see me and wanted my help. I took her to the room that we call “Kate’s room.” We used to call it her office, but she gave up any activity of the kind that she would do in an office. It has the closet where she keeps all her everyday clothes. I grabbed one of the new sweaters I had bought the day before along with a pair of pants and walked her back to our bedroom where she could take a shower in our bath.

Her confusion continued. She wanted me to tell her what she should do for each step. As I was doing this, she said, “Who are you?” I said, “Do you mean ‘What is our relationship or my name?’” She wanted my name. I went back to the kitchen while she showered. When I returned fifteen minutes later, she was in bed. She almost always gets back in bed after her shower. Since she had gotten up earlier than I expected, I decided to let her relax a while.

I returned forty-five minutes later. I assumed she would still be in bed, and she was. When she saw me, she said, “Are you my daddy?” I told her I was her husband. She was surprised but didn’t challenge me. I told her I would like to take her to lunch. She gave her customary response, “Where are my clothes?” I showed her and then helped her put them on.

We ate at the Tupelo Grill for lunch. She wasn’t talkative, but we had a nice time. It was three weeks since we had been there, so we had conversation with our server about our respective Thanksgivings. A little later we had another conversation with her about our Christmas plans.

On the way home I turned on the radio. George W. was beginning his remarks at his father’s service. She listened attentively. When we got home, she wanted to stay in the car to listen to more. I told her I would turn on the TV, and she could watch the rest of the service inside. She liked that and quickly became engaged. She especially liked the music, but she was trying to follow everything. She was still watching when the sitter arrived. I was pleased to see that she gave the sitter a warm welcome before leaving.

When I got home, she and the sitter were seated in front of the TV though Kate was working on her iPad. They had not left the house at all. Apparently, the service and follow up afterwards had held her attention. That was a rare event. I was glad to know that she showed such interest. I am sure she couldn’t follow much of it, but she could sense the emotions of the moment.

After coming home from dinner, she started working on her iPad. Several times she asked for my help. At least one of those times, she had accidentally opened a different app. The others, however, involved her having trouble putting the pieces in place. Once was when she first opened a puzzle. The pieces were scattered across the screen, and she didn’t know what to do. This was not the first time this has happened; however, it always surprises me. Since she works puzzles six to eight hours a day and had just finished a puzzle, it seems like her “autopilot” would take over when a new one is opened. She encountered another problem that also seems surprising. There was only one piece remaining. It was the bottom, left hand corner piece and was clearly visible (to me, at least). She couldn’t figure out how to finish the puzzle. I showed her the piece and then showed her the place where it was to go. A few minutes later, she became frustrated and asked me if she could go to bed. It was just before 7:30. I told her that would be fine and got her night clothes for her and helped her get into them. I am hoping this will make it easy for her to get up in the morning. We will need to leave for my doctor’s office by 10:00.

Tomorrow I have my labs in advance of an appointment next week.

The Rest of Our Day Yesterday

Since our sitter was unable to come yesterday, I decided to see just how long Kate would sleep if I didn’t wake her. When she was still sleeping soundly at 11:30, I decided to put on some music. About fifteen minutes later, I checked on her. She opened her eyes as I approached the bed. I won’t know how long she would have slept, but I decided it was better to get her up. Although she sometimes takes as long as two hours to get ready to leave the house after getting out of bed, she was ready in an hour and fifteen minutes. Except for needing help getting her pants on and misplacing the underwear and socks that I had put with her clothes, everything went smoothly.  (I haven’t gotten used to the rapid disappearance of things like her underwear and socks. I looked in the obvious places around the chair where I had put them without any luck. I keep a large supply of both items. It comes in handy at times like that.) I asked if she wanted my help getting dressed. She didn’t, so I felt sorry for her when she had to ask. She still wants to be independent. That is something I understand.

We went to lunch at Panera and stayed there for about two hours before going home. When we came inside, Kate went directly to the bathroom off the laundry room. I went to the back of the house. I walked back to the family room where I expected to see her. She wasn’t there. I looked in several rooms and still didn’t find her. I called to her. There was no answer. Then I went to the living room. She was lying down on the sofa. It was obvious that she wanted more sleep. I let her stay there until 4:30. Then I decided she would be awake all night if I didn’t get her up. It turned out that she was awake although she must have been dreaming something. When I walked in, she said, “That’s funny.” I asked what was funny. She thought a moment but couldn’t remember. I asked if she had been dreaming. She said, “Maybe so.” The she asked, “Where are we?”

We went back to Panera. As we got out of the car, she asked, “Where are we?” I told her we were in Knoxville. She said, “I know that.” Then I said, “Panera.” After we sat down, she said, “I think I remember this place.” A few minutes later, she said, “You’re a nice guy. I guess that’s why I married you?” I said, “And we’ve been married 55 years.” She looked skeptical and said, “You must have been gone a lot.” Then she said, “What’s your name?” She asked me to repeat it slowly. Not too long after that she said, “I think I’ve been here before.”

From Panera, we went to dinner. She told me she was sleepy and might go to bed soon after we to home. When we returned to the house, she said, “They take very good care of this place.” Once we were inside, she commented on how much she liked the family room. She does this almost every time come back home. It always sounds like it’s the first time she has seen it. Sometimes she doesn’t recognize it as our house. I’m not sure what she was thinking last night. She asked what she should do now. I suggested she might want to brush her teeth. She said, “Where’s the bathroom?” I said, “I’ll show you” and showed her the way.

She had asked if there were something on TV that we might watch. I decided to try the DVD of Les Miserables again. This was the first time I recall that it did not get her full attention. She worked on her iPad, but put it down periodically to focus on particular songs, but it was clear that it did not grab her the way it had in the past.

Our son called, and we had a nice conversation with him. I handed the phone to Kate to answer. In previous occasions when I have done this, she has declined and handed the phone back to me. This time she accepted it and took the lead in our conversation. She handled herself well except for getting confused about what Kevin was telling her about a recent business trip. After his call, she got ready for bed but was still awake an hour later when I got in bed.

A Different Kind of Monday

So much of my attention is focused on Kate and the changes she experiences that I often overlook the fact that change us occurring for everyone on a daily basis. I think of that now because Kate hasn’t even stirred yet, and I know this Monday will be different for us. Last night, I received a phone call from the agency that provides the sitters for Kate. Marilyn, who was supposed to be here from noon to 4:00 is sick and will not be able to come. They were quite willing to send a new person, but I declined. I would rather change my plans for the day than bring in a sitter that Kate has never met. Actually, I am rather glad to have another day without a sitter.

Kate’s morning routine continues to be erratic. After thinking that she was settling into getting up late, she got up early several days in a row. The past few days she has gone back to sleeping late. Yesterday was another day when I had to get Kate up earlier than she wanted. Fortunately, she was very cooperative, but I felt bad about it. She has been very tired in the morning. I thought it might be good to let her sleep this morning but knew that the sitter comes at noon on Mondays, and I didn’t want her to wake up after I had left for Rotary. It’s not that I don’t think she could handle it. I just know that she often needs my help when she gets up. Of course, at some point, I will probably have a sitter to help in the morning. I don’t think either of us is ready to do that right now.

I often mention that Kate either sleeps late or surprises me by getting up early. She has experienced one other change in the past week or two. She doesn’t seem to go to sleep as quickly as she used to. There are some nights when she hasn’t gone to sleep as long as an hour or two after going to bed. I don’t ever recall that before. Of course, that could easily play a role in her needing to sleep in the morning. At dinner, she frequently tells me that she is going to “crash” early; however, she seems to get her second wind after we are home. When she was on Trazodone, she went to sleep rather quickly, but I don’t want to go back to that just yet. On the whole, I think she has been more alert since we discontinued it six or seven months ago. Her only groggy moments occur when she wakes up in the morning. Trazadone could exacerbate her confusion.

At any rate, I don’t plan to go to Rotary today. I also had a United Way meeting scheduled at 2:00. I will skip that as well. Kate and I usually have nice days together. I’ll take advantage of this change in the sitter’s schedule to enjoy the day with her.

I should add that yesterday was another good day. Since Kate got up late, we went directly to lunch. That gave us a brief time at home before going to see the musical Buddy at one of our local theaters. We had a good time. From there we went to dinner and then back home to relax the rest of the evening.

Another Early Start

This time last week I had assumed Kate would continue getting up late, but I was wrong – at least for the past four or five days. This morning I checked on her at 8:30 and discovered she was already in the shower. I put her clothes where she would see them when she walked out of the bedroom and started making a few preparations for the Trick-or-Treaters tonight. About fifteen minutes later, I heard her call my name. When I reached her, I found that she wanted help fastening her bra. This is clearly becoming a new morning custom. She also wanted help identifying the front and back of her pants so that she could put them on the right way. That is the only help I gave her this morning apart from selecting and putting out her clothes.

We arrived at Panera shortly after 9:00. I suspect we will stay here for another hour or so and then go back to the house before going to lunch. I much prefer this schedule because we get to spend some time together. It also means I don’t have to rush her to get ready for lunch and return home for the sitter who arrives at 1:00. Getting up early lets us enjoy a more relaxed morning. I tend to think that is good for Kate, but it really is good for both of us. We’re off to a good start. And, I didn’t mention that she is in a cheerful mood as she has been for at least five days in a row.

An Early Start Today

I don’t know what has happened, but Kate was up early again this morning. At 8:35, I heard her say, “Hey.” I was in the kitchen. Before I could get back to her, she had said “Hey” a couple of other times. Note that this is a new way to call me. Until the past few days, she has called my name. It may be that she is substituting “Hey” because he doesn’t remember my name. She was standing in the middle of our bedroom and wanted to know what she should do. I asked if she were ready to get up. She said she was, so I told her she might want to take a shower. She said, “Where?” I pointed to our bathroom. Then she asked about her clothes. This was a morning I had slipped and not put them out for her. I said I would be glad to get them. She said, “That would be nice.”

Fifteen minutes later, I checked on her. She was sitting in a chair across from the bed where I had laid out her clothes. I asked if she needed anything. She said no. Then she asked, “Who are you?” I gave her my name and said, “I am your husband.” She gave me her usual look of surprise. My curiosity got the better of me, and I asked, “Who did you think I was? Your boyfriend?” She said, “I don’t know.” I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth. When I returned, she said, “Are you my father?” I said, “No, I am your husband.” This time she didn’t look surprised and said, “I guess I’ll get used to it.”

I checked on her again at 9:40, she was in bed. It is not uncommon at all for her to get back in bed. Normally, she does this before dressing. I could see her top and pants on the floor. I asked if I could help her. She said, “Get me some clothes.” That was not said as a command but as an answer to my question. I handed her the top and pants. I asked if she were wearing her underwear. She said no. I found them and gave them to her. Her shoes and socks were on the bedside table. I said, “I’m going to leave you and let you dress.” She said, “Don’t leave me.” This, too, was not said with the sound of an order but as a plea. It turned out that she thought I was going to leave the house, and she would be alone. That sent me an important message about the value of having a sitter. She may prefer having me to having a sitter, but she doesn’t want to be left alone.

Another Nice Day. Confusion is a Constant

We didn’t do anything special, but yesterday was another nice day. Kate was cheerful all day. She got up rather easily around 10:00. I had turned on some music about 30 minutes earlier. I think she was awake most of the time between then and when I got her up. We got her muffin at Panera and then went to lunch at Applebee’s.

She was especially interested in my name, her name, and the names of her parents at both places. This was another of those times she was also confused about who I am and not just my name. This came up when she asked her name. When I told her, she said, “Where did Creighton come from?” I told her that was my last name and that she had taken it when we married. As on other occasions, she was surprised that we are married. This time she said, “Well, I guess it could be worse?”

Things went very well with the sitter. Mary was waiting for us when we returned from lunch. Kate asked who that was. I told her it was Mary who stays with her when I go to the Y on Wednesdays and Fridays. She didn’t express any displeasure at that. She greeted Mary warmly when we got out of the car. I set up YouTube videos of the Tabernacle Choir for them to watch. Kate was especially eager to watch them. When I got home four hours later, they were still watching. I was surprised. It is a very rare event if Kate remains in one place for four hours. I suspect she didn’t even go to the bathroom. Right after Mary left, Kate said, “I want to go to the bathroom. Where is it?” I haven’t mentioned this before, but on a number of other occasions she has asked the location of the bathroom. Once she called me as she was walking to the bathroom to ask if the toilet was working. That may have been prompted by a plumbers visit three weeks ago.

She got up on her own today. That enabled us to get to Panera at 10:45 for her muffin. I was glad we got off to a good start since Tom and Angie Robinson are coming in for a visit today. They should be here by 11:30. We’ll meet at our house and then go out to eat. We have been visiting back and forth for almost 50 years. We have experienced a lot of changes over the years. I remember when we used to pack up all the children’s paraphernalia and stay overnight. We simplified that later on. Now we just make day trips. We eat out, enjoy one another’s company, and return home. As always, I will be interested in how Kate handles herself. She has changed a lot since they were first aware of her Alzheimer’s, but she still seems to mange well in social situations. There will come a time when she doesn’t. I don’t expect that to happen today.

Adapting to Changes in our Morning Routine: Part 2

Those who know me well understand that I don’t like change. I do, however, grasp that change occurs whether we like it or not, and the question is how to successfully adapt to it. Living with Alzheimer’s demands a lot of change. When I first noticed that Kate was sleeping late in the morning, I tried to determine why. What I really wanted was to be able to control it so that it didn’t impact our whole morning. I didn’t want a whole morning to myself.

That led me to do several things. The first was to consult her doctor. He suggested eliminating Trazadone from her daily meds. That resulted in her sleeping less time in a 24-hour period; however, it meant she went to bed a little later. Her pattern that had been so regular for years was disrupted.

Along with that has been a change in my whole morning routine. I was most concerned about her getting up early enough on the days we have a sitter. I wanted time for us to have lunch together before the sitter arrived. The other concern involved what time we eat lunch on the days we don’t have a sitter. We have eaten as late at 2:30 a number of times. Since I eat an early breakfast, I am ready to eat as early as 11:30 though eating between 11:30 and 12:30 works fine.

These two concerns led me to focus on getting her up earlier, not to get to Panera at the time we had been going but to be ready for lunch around noon. That meant that I let her sleep until 10:00 or 11:00 before attempting to wake her. Most of the time that gave her enough time to prevent her feeling rushed. Over the past week, it has been more difficult for her to get up.

Yesterday I tried something different. It was a day for the sitter to come at 1:00. At 10:15, I put on some music to gently wake her. About 15 minutes later, I checked on her. She was still in bed but awake. I asked if she would like me to take her to lunch. She said she would. I told her I had put her clothes out and the bathroom was already for her to shower. Then I left to give her a little time. When I returned thirty minutes later, she was sleeping soundly. I decided not to push her and try a little later even if it meant that the sitter took her to lunch. At noon, I checked again. She was awake but still in bed. I told her that this was a day for me to go to the Y and that Mary would be coming to stay with her. I asked if she would like to go to lunch. Again, she said yes.

After she was up and still having trouble getting going, I decided that I could ask Mary to meet us at Panera. I’ve done that a number of times before. As it turned out, we got to Panera only a few minutes before Mary, so I ate lunch with the two of them. When I finished, I left for the Y. I found that worked well and am prepared to do that on a regular basis if needed. It takes a load off me. I don’t have to be as concerned about waking her. It also allows Kate to do what she wants – sleep and take her time getting ready.

When I got home, Kate was resting on the sofa. Mary said they had stayed at Panera for a while before Kate wanted to come home. I gathered Kate had been resting a good bit of the time I was gone. That is another of my concerns. She seems to be using the time with the sitter to sleep. It’s hard for the sitter to control that, and that might easily explain something else that is happening.

Every change brings about responses that lead to other changes. My concern now is letting her sleep so much during the day that she can’t sleep at night. Until the last few days, that has not been an issue. During the past three nights, however, she has gone to bed early but was still awake an hour or two later. I want to avoid that’s becoming a pattern.

So, where does that leave me? The ideal resolution of the problem for me would be to wake her up at an earlier time. That should help her get to sleep more easily. I think I will try that for a few days and see how she responds. It seems worth a try. I may also be able to take advantage of those few times she gets up on her own. She did that a few minutes ago. She’s in the shower, and its only 10:10. That’s not a bad start.

Looking ahead, I believe that I will engage a sitter for at least a couple of mornings a week. I am not ready to do that just yet. Kate is just beginning to require help getting dressed, and I am not sure she would like someone new helping her. One thing is for sure. The changes are not going to stop. I will need to adapt.

Sleep Again

After getting up very early (just before 7:45) two days ago, Kate slept late yesterday. I checked on her at 10:30. She was coming out of the bathroom. I thought she was going to get ready for the day, but she went back to bed. I checked on her again at 11:30. She was still in bed but resting. I asked her if she would like me to take her to lunch. She nodded and said, “I’ll need some clothes.” I told her I had put them on her chair. She was still groggy, but she got up. She skipped her shower, so we were able to get to lunch a little after 12:30.

We both had appointments for haircuts at 3:00. When we returned home, she picked up one of her family photo albums and looked through it for about thirty minutes. Then she lay down on the sofa and rested for almost an hour. I’m not sure, but I think she was actually asleep part of that time. She was tired after dinner but stayed up until about 8:30 when she called it quits for the day.

I continue to believe the change in her sleep pattern is a general sign of the other changes that she is experiencing. Over what is now seven years and nine months since her diagnosis, the changes have been very gradual. The past six months have been quite different. The fact that she asks so many questions about the names of our family members and where we are suggests that she is working hard to preserve whatever memory remains. It is hard. It is common for her to ask my name several times in succession and still not be able to repeat it. Over a day’s time, it must be very taxing for her.

I’m not making any predictions about the future, but I feel confident that we will make our trip to Texas for Thanksgiving with our son and his family. As for everything else, I intend for us to follow the same approach we’ve had from the beginning. We’ll take it a day at a time and enjoy every moment we can.

Sleep and Our Daily Lives

Kate’s sleeping later has certainly had an impact on our morning routine. Now it seems to be encroaching on our lunch. Yesterday and the day before, it was much harder to get her up than it has been in the past. We didn’t leave for lunch until 1:50 on Saturday. We were so late that I sent a text to our server at Bluefish letting her know that we wouldn’t be there. We went to Panera instead. Then we came back to the house for the balance of the afternoon. She worked on her iPad for a while. Then she took a nap, something I might have thought she didn’t need.

After dinner, I found a YouTube video of the 10th Anniversary concert of Les Miserables and played it. While this video was not nearly as good as the 25th the music was the same, and Kate enjoyed it just as much as the one we had watched before. At my suggestion, she went to bed a little earlier than she has been doing. I thought she needed the sleep.

The big surprise yesterday was that it was just as difficult to get her up as the day before. Both days I played music and kept going back to the room to wake her. She didn’t want to get up either day. She finally consented but didn’t want to get up. We saved time yesterday since she didn’t take a shower. Still, it was almost 1:00 before leaving for lunch and almost 2:30 when we headed back home. That shortens our day quite a bit.

Despite her sleeping late, she was in a cheerful mood both days. That doesn’t mean there was any improvement in memory or lessening in her confusion. When I went to check on her yesterday, I immediately noticed that she was still in her night gown. Then I saw that she was wearing her pants as well as her shoes and socks. I quickly realized this was a replay of something she did last week. She thought her gown was the top she was to wear for the day. When I gave her the top I had shown her earlier, she said, “Can’t I just wear this one (her gown)?” I told her that was her gown. She looked a little sheepish and said, “Oops, sorry.”

We went directly to lunch at Andriana’s. Our server was unusually eager to see us. I must have neglected to let her know that we were not going to be there last week. She was worried. Then when we were late yesterday, she became even more concerned. It was nice to know that we were missed. We had a good lunch topped off with an enormous slice of a 5-layer cinnamon spice cake with a heavy butter cream icing on top and between the layers. So much for weight control.

From there we went back home where we relaxed about an hour and a half before leaving for a neighborhood association meeting and get together. This is an annual celebration in connection with Halloween and includes a short parade around the neighborhood. She was somewhat reluctant to go, but she enjoyed herself. We were talking with one of our neighbors who mentioned a new puppy that someone had brought. She and Kate walked over to two or three others who were looking at it. At the same time, I became engaged in a conversation with two other neighbors. I looked over to see that Kate was also talking with the group around the puppy. That was good to see.

A few minutes later as we started to walk back to the house, she said, “That’s a nice church.” I said, “What church is that?” She said, “The one we were just visiting.” She was obviously confused. I agreed. Then she asked me the name of our church. As we walked along the street, she commented about the neighborhood and houses along our street. She liked both. It wasn’t surprising that she also commented on the trees. She loves them almost as much as she loves music. As we approached our house, I said, “I like this white house.” She didn’t give any indication that she knew it was our house. She said she liked it as well, especially the contrast of the white with the green of the shrubbery and trees. When we entered the house, she turned very naturally to her right to enter the bathroom off of our laundry room. She wasn’t confused about that.

A few minutes later, we went to dinner. When we returned, I watched the end of the Cowboys/Redskins game while she worked on her iPad. After a while, I pulled up a series of YouTube videos of The Three Tenors for Kate while I took a shower. She was taken with the music and put her iPad down. We watched together for another hour after I got out of the shower. Then we were off to bed. Except for the slow start, it was a good day.