From Santa Cruz to Crate & Barrel

I’ve had four of the last six days off. Well, two of those were the weekend, of course, but I took Wednesday and Thursday off to both catch up on some things and to have a fun day off since I haven’t taken much vacation time this year.

Debbi took Wednesday off and we decided to drive down to Santa Cruz and then up the coast. We had breakfast at Stacks in Campbell, and then drove down to Santa Cruz. We passed to small traffic jams on the way, but otherwise it wasn’t too bad.

In Santa Cruz we went to the Museum of Natural History, which is small, but hard to beat for the $4 admission. Plus it’s near a nice beach which you can walk to while your parking pass is still good. Then we went into downtown for lunch, dropped in a couple of stores to shop, and visited The Penny Ice Creamery, which a cow-orker recommended and which was very tasty!

Our drive up the coast was uneventful, other than looking around to stop at the few beaches I wanted to drop in on. I remembered doing this same drive 13 years ago when I got my car, and stopping at several beaches which were clearly visible from Highway 1, and this time we stopped at some other ones. We particularly enjoyed seeing kitesurfers at one beach:

We also stopped at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse and saw a couple of sea lions from a distance, and visited Pebble Beach (no, not the one with the famous golf course).

We should’ve brought some water bottles with us, but otherwise it was a nice drive along the coast seeing some sights we hadn’t seen before.

Debbi went back to work Thursday and I worked on stuff at home, such as mowing the lawn. I also took care of some of my Mom’s affairs – such as cancelling her cell phone contract, since she doesn’t even know where her cell phone is at this point; if she ever needs one again, a prepaid phone will probably be the way to go. I’m constantly surprised at how many details there are to take care of, yet how most of them are not too hard individually – they just add up over time. Managing my own affairs is hard enough!

I ran a couple of errands for my own, and left lunch a little too late, settling on buying stuff for PB&J sandwiches at home.

Friday I had a 1-day work week, and Debbi and I went to Cascal for dinner. Yum!

Over the weekend we worked on some home projects. It started with a trip to the vet with Blackjack, who has been breathing more audibly lately and one of his eyes has been getting gunked up. We got some drops for his eye, and some blood work done (which came back the same as his last tests). We’re always worrying that his next symptoms might be the other shoe dropping, but so far it’s all be pretty little stuff (though the vet visits get expensive). He and Newton have both been doing pretty well this summer.

We went by Crate & Barrel to buy some new drinking glasses, and ended up also buying some wine cabinets, which we’ve needed for a while. (The old Ikea bookcase currently holding our wine is not in great shape.) We also tried to go to Ikea, but couldn’t find a parking space! Or, rather, we could, but only a lo-o-ong way from the front door, so we gave up. We went back Sunday morning and bought some shelving for our dining room, to store knick-knacks and other things that don’t currently have a home. I put it together and then we unpacked two of the last boxes remaining from our move. Almost done! I think we have 3 or 4 boxes in the study yet to unpack, but at least 2 of those are old gaming materials that I can’t quite decide to get rid of.

So a pretty productive weekend all-in-all. We finished it by grilling steak & baked potatoes, and playing a round of lawn bowling.

It was back to work today. Hard to believe fall has arrived already!

Fun With Smoke Detectors

I wrote how two weekends ago we had our smoke detectors go off during a power outage at home. I’m still pretty sure they went off due to steam from the shower (since the vent fan in the bathroom wasn’t working, the power being out and all). Annoying, but it happens.

This morning I was woken up by the smoke alarm going off at 6:10 am. Which is about 40 minutes before my alarm went off. I was not happy.

The strange thing is that the thing only did its three-beep signal once, and then stopped. But I got up anyway because I wondered if it would go off again in 5 minutes or something. But it didn’t.

Our house has 7 smoke detectors, which I believe are connected to the power supply (and have battery backups), 5 upstairs and 2 downstairs, and they’re also connected to each other. When they operate normally they have a green LED which is on constantly, and a red LED which flashes once a minute. (It’s pretty hard to see because it flashes very briefly, and you have to sit for up to a minute watching it.)

I went around to each detector and saw that 6 of them were flashing green, and one (in the downstairs hallway) was not. The instructions say that flashing green indicates that the alarm which is flashing was recently triggered and then the triggering situation went away.

What on earth would trigger six alarms for just a few seconds and then stop, but not the seventh alarm?

My best guess is that there was some sort of power surge or outage. Either that or one alarm was triggered by something but for some reason five others went into that flashing mode.

Another possibility is that I need to clean the detectors, which the instructions recommend doing and which we’ve never done. And another possibility is that one or more detectors is failing. So I should test them.

The cats were pretty funny after the alarm went off. Roulette was all wound up, running around and meowing. Newton was sitting in the downstairs hallway, and then was a bit restless, walking upstairs (which he doesn’t often do since his hospital stay last spring) and joining me for my shower. Blackjack was snoozing with me when the alarm went off, came down for breakfast while I was reading the instructions, and then went up to sleep in the study, which he doesn’t often do. Newton and Rou I assume were disturbed by the beeping, but Blackjack is deaf so I think my getting up early just threw him off.

Anyway, I went around the house and reset the six flashing detectors, and nothing else happened with them this morning.

Hopefully this was just a fluke.

Weekend with Friends

We had a busy Labor Day weekend, seeing different friends every day. That sure made it go quickly! Not that it was a bad time, not at all.

Friday night we swung by Sports Basement so Debbi could pick up her registration packet for the 5K she was running the next day. While she was there we decided to buy a bocci ball set to play in our back yard.

Then Saturday morning her friend Rachana met us at our place and we drove down to the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds for their Color Me Rad 5K race, which is more about getting sprayed with color corn starch than about setting a good time in the race. I just watched them go, and hung out while they were doing the run, watching the color-splashed people cross the finish line (and getting out of the way of the occasion cloud of blue or red corn starch that wafted across the area). The two of them got thoroughly covered and had a great time! Most of it came out in the shower at home, and then we all went to Hobees for brunch.

We ran several errands in the afternoon, and then went over to Susan and Subrata’s place for dinner and gaming in the evening. Subrata and I played a round of Magic, doing a Winchester draft of Innistrad/Dark Ascension/Avacyn Restored, after which he thoroughly crushed me, winning 4 out of 5 games. Sigh.

Sunday we woke up to our 8:30 alarm, and just as we were sitting up to start the day… the power went out.

Debbi went to shower, and I checked on my phone to find that the power was projected to be restored within 2 hours. Still, I was sad because Debbi was going to make me sausage biscuits for breakfast, and I’d been looking forward to it.

Then, as I got ready to go shower myself… the smoke detectors went off.

Bleary-eyed, I stumbled around to find the instructions for the alarm. I believe our alarms are all interconnected, and hooked into our electricity, with battery back-ups. This is the first time they’d gone off, but I eventually realized that the alarm was probably triggered by the one in our bedroom, by the steam from the shower. I got the ladder and went up to reset it, and it worked!

But then, 10 minutes after resetting it, it went off again. So I reset it again.

Then the power came back on, an hour earlier than expected. Woo-hoo?

Debbi went to make breakfast, while I waited to see if the alarm would go off again. It didn’t, so I showered and went down for breakfast. Not a good start to the day. But the sausage biscuits were yummy. Later in the day I made some coffee chocolate chip ice cream for us to enjoy later in the week.

In the afternoon we went to visit Chad & Camille, to try to wear out their 3-year-old twins in advance of their trip to Hawaii. Their boy, Dash, was full of energy and trouble-making; I wonder if he was anxious about the trip and was acting out. Who knows. But we had a good time in their swimming pool, and Chad grilled dinner. We brought dessert (from Nothing Bundt Cakes).

On the way home Debbi asked me what I wanted to do that evening, and I said, “I want to watch the new Doctor Who episode.” So we did that. “Asylum of the Daleks” was very good. I had a few nitpicks, but I have a few nitpicks about almost every Doctor Who episode; it’s actually one of Moffat’s stronger Matt Smith stories, and was effectively creepy in its twists and turns. I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of the season. (I’ve read some fan reviews on-line which really hate the episode, which has me shaking my head. I guess a lot of the vitriol is about the handling of Amy and Rory’s relationship, but I thought it was pretty well done, although perhaps not explored in as much depth as it deserved. Some fans just overthink things, I think. [Not that I’m ever guilty of that!])

Monday we spent the morning cleaning – and Debbi preparing some food – as in the afternoon we had neighbors over for a barbecue. Unfortunately it was quite hot out so we weren’t able to sit on the porch, and ate in the dining room instead (I ventured out onto the porch to grill bison burgers, and the delicious marinated chicken that one couple brought). We ended up with more food as we usually do at these gatherings, but that’s not exactly a bad thing!

After the barbecue we played with our new bocci ball set, and I called my Mom to see how she was doing, and ask her a couple of questions about some mail I’d received for her. But mostly just to chat. She’s still quite happy in her new place, which is a very good thing.

We finally collapsed and spent the evening watching TV and reading. Hard to believe the weekend just flew by, but that’s what happens when you keep busy for most of it!

A Very Long Trip

I’m back from my trip east to take over my Mom’s financial affairs. It was a very long trip, though I got a lot done. I was constantly split between the financial affairs and helping Mom with stuff, which made for two weeks of a lot of running around.

It felt like progress was slow, but I did make progress. I applied Power of Attorney to her bank account and it cleared by early in the second week. And I worked on getting access to her investment accounts, which was straightforward for some of them and difficult for others. The variety of processes was a bit surprising to me, I’d have expected more standardization. But I did make progress on all of those. While the procedures are somewhat annoying, I appreciate them because I certainly wouldn’t want someone else to come in and fraudulently take over her accounts (or anyone else’s, such as mine!).

In hindsight I should have started on changes-of-address for her bills sooner, but I was reluctant to get them moved over to coming to me until I had the ability to write checks on her account. Once I knuckled down, though, I got the most important ones moved over. The hardest one to deal with was Comcast, which I had to handle by bringing my POA form to a service center, but I got that done on Saturday morning before I left. Unfortunately many utility companies have pretty pathetic facilities for doing these sorts of things on-line, so I spent a lot of time on the phone. The time I called places while visiting Mom was very productive, since they could talk to her right there to confirm what we were doing.

Going to the house was often hard, knowing that we’re winding things down on the place where I grew up. On the bright side, I did get to meet a couple of sons of a neighbor who’s been in the neighborhood even longer than I have. I remembered the sons from when I was a kid, and it was interesting to meet them as an adult. We probably haven’t seen each other in 25 years, but we all remembered each other pretty well.

I didn’t get many breaks, as I was running around much of every day, and was making phone calls or faxing or mailing things, or organizing Mom’s documents much of the rest of the time. I did have meals with Dad (and sometimes Mom) most days, went out for evening walks in Dad’s neighborhood, and even went down to visit Debbi’s family on Sunday of the middle weekend. But I didn’t get to see my other friends in the area, or do any reading or much else. It was busy and stressful, so much so that I went to bed late because I had trouble making myself go to bed since that meant having to get up to face a new day of stuff I didn’t want to do.

It was fun seeing Mom and Dad and Debbi’s family, but most of the rest of the trip was no fun.

But I think I got the important stuff done, though I’ll work my way through more stuff in the coming weeks. I may have to go back again this year, but hopefully that trip will be less crazy.

I flew back yesterday afternoon, watched The Avengers on the plane (it holds up pretty well, though it’s still no Captain America, nor The Dark Knight Rises), and got most of the way through a novel.

And was very, very happy to get home to Debbi.

The Dark Knight Rises

Critics gushed over The Dark Knight, I think not entirely justifiably. While Heath Ledger’s performance was a revelation, the script was a little weak, full of gimmicks and with a disappointing climax. On reflection, I think it fundamentally suffers because its theme – the one imparted by its antagonist, the Joker – is one of nihilism. While nihilism can be used effectively as a contrast to the protagonist, The Dark Knight left me feeling a bit like the Joker had won. Contrast this with Batman Begins, which is all about the protagonist finding the meaning in his life, and which has an entirely satisfying conclusion.

The Dark Knight Rises concludes the trilogy, but its opening sequences seem to push The Dark Knight even more to the side: Rather than Batman (Christian Bale) continuing to work against crime from outside the system, he’s retired, and Bruce Wayne has become a recluse. Harvey Dent’s death and Batman’s sacrifice (taking the rap for Dent’s death) lead to a golden age in Gotham City, as the Dent Act puts criminals away for years, at only the cost of Commissioner Gordon’s soul (Gary Oldman), maintaining the lie. Truly, it seems the Joker beat Batman (because why would the Joker care of a bunch of criminals get put away?).

Eight years after the events of the previous film, cat burglar Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) breaks into the private wing of Wayne Manor, setting in motion events which turn Gotham upside-down. The mysterious criminal Bane (Tom Hardy) has his sights set on the city, bringing Batman out of retirement for a showdown.

While also a long film, I felt that Rises moves right along with few slow periods (few times that I was willing to go to the bathroom, for instance). It’s got secrets (who is Bane? Why is he gunning for Gotham?), humor (especially in Batman getting back in the saddle), some tense fights, and characters set low and then fighting to their catharsis. It’s properly a sequel to the first film, with the second just being set-up, and the story is, ultimately, better than either of its predecessors. It ought to hold up on re-watching, too.

More after the cut, but here there being spoilers:

Continue reading “The Dark Knight Rises”

Passing the First Two Barriers

I’m currently in Massachusetts, staying with my Dad, and taking care of business for my Mom. Literally business: I’m taking over her finances, paying her bills, and eventually getting her taxes done. Mom is still doing well, recovering from knee replacement surgery, but assessments of her indicated that someone else needed to shoulder this responsibility, and it fell to me.

So, here I am back across the country again 3 weeks after I returned from my previous trip here.

In the large, it has been reasonably successful, but it has also been very stressful for me. Monday we went to meet with an attorney to have power of attorney documents signed so I can have access to her financial accounts. Tuesday we went to her bank to apply the POA, and were partially successful: It was applied to her checking and savings accounts, but not to her IRAs, as the POA didn’t specifically call out those sorts of accounts. They might still accept it, but their legal department will review it. Today we went back to the attorney to get some other documents signed, and I got a new POA which calls out those items. (The lawyer said she’d never heard of someone questioning it in that detail before.) So tomorrow I’ll go back to the bank.

Those are the things I’d planned on doing the first half of this week, but as with the last trip, everything has taken longer than planned. So I passed the first barrier (the attorney), and sort-of passed the second barrier (the bank).

Other stuff:

I took the red-eye flight out Friday night. I managed to get a few hours of fitful sleep on the plane. On the bright side, my flight got in half an hour early rather than 2-1/2 hour late like last time. However, this meant I got to my Dad’s house by 6 am, so I grabbed some Dunkin Donuts and a muffin and hung out for 45 minutes.

We drove out to Mom’s house to collect her mail, and found a notice from the city with some other details I’d have to attend to. Plus Dad had tried to get Mom’s car inspected for the Massachusetts inspection requirements and its had failed, so since I wanted to use it while I was there I’d have to get it repaired. (Mom is not driving anymore since her surgery.) So I took it in to get it repaired, and it was a moderately expensive repair. Then I had to drive it for 50-100 miles before I could get it inspected again. I passed 100 miles today, so I’ll get it inspected again this week.

Dad and I did get out Sunday afternoon to see The Dark Knight Rises, for which I need to write a review. Short version: It’s the best of Christopher Nolan’s three Batman films, and if you liked the first one better than the second one (as I did), then you should like this one, as it’s more directly a sequel to the first one – and more thematically rewarding than the second one.

I’ve done a lot of running around with Mom, and have been running errands on her behalf: Picking up things for her cat, and other things I think she’ll need. It’s nice spending time with her, but all of these things add up in the time department, and I feel like I’m constantly running late.

But mostly I need to make phone calls and deal with people on a business basis, all things I really hate doing, and the uncertainty of when I’ll be able to use the POA just drives me crazy. No doubt it will all get worked out, but it seems like there’s a lot at stake and only a limited amount I can do. And still a lot of work to do that amount.

So it’s been an exhausting trip, and I’m only 1/4 of the way through it (assuming I don’t have to extend it).

Fortunately, I got some good news in that the notice that we picked up on Saturday turned out to be something that the city would take care of and just wanted permission to do so. So that was a big relief, as I had no idea how big a project it would be! I can honestly say that that chance encounter with the fellow who left the notice made my afternoon.

More later, assuming my head doesn’t explode from anxiety.

Fifteen Years!

Just realized (two days after the fact) that August 6 marked 15 years for me of on-line journalling/webjournalling/blogging/running at the mouth/whatever-the-kids-are-calling-it-these-days!

My reflections on the experience haven’t changed much in the last few years (since whenever the last time I marked the date was): It’s been fun, I enjoy having this space to scribble in (though Facebook and Twitter have given me outlets for other sorts of scribbling), but it’s hard to keep coming up with new content on a consistent basis. Hard for me, anyway. So my posting gradually gets more sporadic, but I’m still here.

If you care, you can still go back and start reading from the beginning. (And I really gotta move all those old posts over into this site someday. In my copious spare time…)

One Cat, Two Cat

Saturday we took Blackjack and Newton in to the vet.

For Newton it was a 3-month blood test, to see how he’s been doing on his range of medications. The outcome was that all his numbers are basically the same as last time, no better no worse, which is good news, I guess. Except that his white blood cell count was elevated, which probably indicates some kind of infection. So he’s on a round of antibiotics (yay, another twice-daily medication to give him) for a week and a half, and then we’ll have him retested. On the bright side, he’s up to 7-1/2 pounds, from a low of 5-1/2 when he was hospitalized.

For Blackjack, Debbi wanted him to get a physical since he hasn’t been getting the full work-up at his clinic for his cancer treatments. Our regular vet looked him and said he looks really good. He’s at around 13-1/2 pounds, which is a pretty good weight for him. His Horner’s syndrome receded as quickly as it arrived, and he’s jumping around more than six months ago. So maybe he’ll be with us a while yet.

The unfortunate punctuation to this trip is that Newton peed in the carrier on the way home, getting himself all wet. Plus he’s been having problems staying in the litter box when he pees. It’s a vexing problem. I have a couple other ideas of things to try, if our latest trick (puppy training pads) doesn’t work.

Unfortunately I wonder whether Newton is reaching the point where he’s living too long. It’s nice having him around, but he’s gradually becoming no-longer-the-same-cat-I’ve-known, and I wonder if he’s really still happy. But he’s still eating, he still prowls around the house at night, and he’s been enjoying the brushing I’ve been giving him recently. So it’s not time yet.

No news about Roulette this time around. I think she just slept on the couch the whole time the four of us were gone. I imagine she briefly cackled “The whole house is mi-i-ine!” after we left – and then fell asleep.

Choosing an RSS Reader

Ever since the Safari browser for Mac OS X added support for viewing syndication feeds (e.g. RSS and Atom) I’ve been a voracious user of the feature. I follow literally dozens of blogs via feeds, and dozens of webcomics as well.

Sadly, syndication support is going away in Safari 6.0 (which is the version that comes with OS X Mountain Lion), and that means following feeds will require turning to a third-party app. So I’ve been looking into various apps to decide which one works best for me.

(Apparently the Firefox browser also supports syndication, but I didn’t really want to switch to another browser. Also, since syndication support was IMO the killer feature in Safari, I’ll be more open to considering other browsers in the future once it’s gone. I used to use Camino from time to time, but pretty much stopped once Safari gained syndication support. On the other hand, bookmark syncing is also very important to me, so maybe I won’t switch.)

I started out with a fairly specific set of requirements. For example, I wanted not to use Google Reader, mainly because I limit my use of Google products since I don’t really trust them to use data they collect from me responsibly. (I am pretty suspicious of any large company which is mainly supported by advertising, actually.) But my requirements morphed as I looked around, and what I ended up with doesn’t entirely resemble what I started out looking for. For instance, the synchronization ability of Google Reader (to keep my feeds synchronized on multiple machines) was just too good to pass up, so I ended up going with that, as it has become a de facto standard.

(I had originally hoped I could find an app which would sync via Dropbox, e.g. by keeping its data file in Dropbox, but I couldn’t find an app that would support that. So Google Reader it is.)

My ultimate requirements were as follows:

  1. I wanted an OS X client, as I consume most of my web content on that platform. An iOS client would be nice, but was not required. Indeed, I haven’t even looked at iOS clients so far.
  2. I wanted to be able to organize my feeds hierarchically in the manner that I prefer.
  3. I wanted a reasonably robust UI experience, and of course an app that would work and not crash frequently.

This last one was the trick, because it seems like most of the syndication readers for OS X basically suck. Many of them have pretty dire reviews in the Mac App Store regarding stability and features. I didn’t want to spend $5 here and $7 there trying out various readers which didn’t seem reasonably promising to start with.

I ended up trying three: NetNewsWire, Reeder, and Cappuccino.

And the winner was… NetNewsWire.

Without going into detail, the big reason for choosing that app was that its UI was just much more robust and configurable than the others. Both Reeder and Cappuccino were limited in allowing me to organize my feeds, to configure their UI, and even just to make fonts smaller. Their workflows (where to click, how to mark articles as already-read, etc.) also didn’t quite work for me. Now, Reeder in particular seems to be quite popular, so perhaps I’m in the minority there, but overall I liked NetNewsWire the best. (Some folks have told me that Reeder seems better suited for use on iOS, so if I ever decide to start consuming feeds there I’ll give it a try.)

NetNewsWire was originally developed by Brent Simmons, whose blog by coincidence I’ve been reading for a while anyway, though it’s now owned by Black Pixel (which also has an interesting blog,).

Some things I like about NetNewsWire:

  1. It uses a clever hack to support hierarchical folders. I wish it didn’t have to use a clever hack, but I infer (from my experience with other readers) that Google Reader doesn’t natively support hierarchical folders.
  2. I can sort the items in the folders chronologically, so I can read them from oldest-to-newest. (I don’t think Safari supported this, actually. Or maybe I never discovered it.)
  3. It supports several configurations of the main window: Three-column master-detail (“Widescreen View”, common in other readers), master-detail with the article list above the main reading view (“Traditional View”, but since vertical real estate is more valuable than horizontal real estate, not my choice), and a simple master-detail with feeds on the left, and when you select a folder all the articles for all feeds appear on the right (“Combined View”).

    The Combined View was actually the killer feature that made me choose NNW. The other two readers didn’t seem to support it.

Traditional View

Widescreen View

Combined View

Choosing the Combined View

The thing I miss the most moving from Safari so far is that NetNewsWire (unsurprisingly) doesn’t support the Safari AdBlock extension, which means that feeds that contain ads show those ads when I’m viewing them. That’s a bummer, but not a backbreaker. I did set NetNewsWire to “Open Links in Default Web Browser” so I don’t have to view the ads when going to pages from a feed.

The other thing I miss is that in Safari I was able to mix feed bookmarks with web page bookmarks, which was useful for reading webcomics since some of them don’t have feeds (such as Blip, whose feed has always been broken, and newspaper comics from Comics Kingdom). This isn’t a failing of NNW specifically, but rather is the nature of syndication reader generally – they don’t replace web browsers.

I also find that NNW is a little light on shortcut keys (for example, renaming an item in my feed list requires choosing a menu item, which is annoying cumbersome). I could probably wire up additional shortcuts in System Preferences, but haven’t looked at doing so yet.

Overall I think NetNewsWire will be a pretty good solution. NetNewsWire is free-but-ad-supported, but I’ll probably purchase it (it costs $14.95) in order to support the developers (and because I really hate ads).

By the way, if you don’t want to use Google Reader, then NNW doesn’t force you to do so (many other readers seem to require a Google Reader account). How you sync your feed lists among your devices in that case is an exercise left to the reader, however (I haven’t looked at how it might be done, but I imagine it involved some import/export magic to something like Dropbox).

Oh, if it looks good to you, then you will need to download it from the web site as it isn’t available in the Mac App Store (at time of writing, anyway). It appears to have an auto-update facility, though, which is nice because I have a terrible track record at updating apps that don’t tell me when a new version is available!

Life-Changing Events

Since my last entry, a lot has happened.

After I came home, my sister Katy substituted for me taking care of Mom. She went to a meeting they had at the rehab center the Tuesday after I left to discuss Mom’s future. There was concern that she shouldn’t be living at home by herself – especially in the large, multi-story house she has – and so Katy spent a good chunk of the next week finding a senior living center for her to move to, and then getting her there.

Katy and I kept in touch pretty regularly during this week, and she did a fantastic job (probably a better one than I would have). She and her boyfriend brought some furniture over to Mom’s new place, then she brought Mom over this past Tuesday, and the next day brought her cat Maggie over to join her. Then on Thursday she went home, completely exhausted, I think.

My part in all this is that I’m going to be taking over responsibility for managing Mom’s finances, mainly for paying her bills. Consequently, I’m going to be flying back again next month to get a handle on all that. I imagine it will involve a lot of phone calls, driving around with Mom to (for instance) get me added to her bank account, and so on. But hopefully I can knock most or all of it out in my planned trip.

On the bright side, Mom is fully on board with all of these changes. I think her house really had become just too big for her, and she looked forward to moving somewhere new and somewhere with people around for her to see daily. The facility sounds really nice, and I look forward to seeing it. Plus, Mom’s recovery from her knee replacement surgery sounds like it’s proceeding normally, with no surprises along the way.

There are many questions we have yet to tackle, but we’re focused on getting the urgent items finished first (well, I am – Katy’s already done her part), and then we’ll think about everything else.

I wish there had been more warning about all this, but it is what it is.