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Saturday, February 19, 2000

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Dad's Birthday

After making my bread run and stopping for coffee at our great bakery, I spent most of the morning reading email and waiting for my father. His birthday was yesterday, February 18th, and he turned 86 years old. Not bad! I always take him out to eat and he wanted a vegetarian restaurant so I decided to take him to a little place in town.

They try to use only organic food and mark whether something has dairy products in it which is good since Dad can't eat dairy products. It turned out to be a very eastern religion, 60s place. The food was good but far from imaginative. I'm not that imaginative at cooking but when I pay a good price for it I expect a little more. They have a small buffet and I tried several things, all of which were good, but not great. It was what I call "serious" vegetarian food.

We then went to see Mom and on the way Dad said that they had called for permission to restrain her while they put in an intravenous tube for antibiotics as she had pneumonia again. When we arrived at the nursing home she was in bed and the tube was still in her arm. The nurse said it wasn't pneumonia but a septic infection in her blood stream. They were also using the tube to give her more nutrients and water as she had been badly dehydrated.

It was so sad to see her that way. She had good color and Dad said she looked better that when he had been there a week ago so I guess it's working. It's so hard to know how far to go with intervention and when to let her go, but it would be hard for me to know she was just starving to death. I would rather she died of something else.

What worries me more is that Dad seems to becoming more confused about what is going on but he always comes through. Actually he isn't more confused than I've always been, he just forgets more than he used to and it worries me since he's always been so on top of things, in his own slightly off kilter way.

I spent the afternoon trying to get some pictures scanned and getting very frustrated. My simple little graphics program has messed up, rather the disks have messed up and I can't find what I want which is something that is nice and simple. Now I'm using various programs that I download and use for the 20 to 30 day evaluation period. They all have so much on them that I find them cumbersome to use. I tried downloading the 3.1 version of my program but it isn't even like my old one.

I read, reread, "Death at the Bar" by Ngaio Marsh. I reread her every few years as she writes so well and has such a good detective, Allleyn, and her mysteries are always so mannered and class conscious. Why is it that americans find class so interesting. So many americans went absolutely gaga over Princess Diana and read so much about the royal family. No one ever fantasizes about being adopted and that their real family is a lower management couple, deep in debt, who live in a split level in a boring suburb.

"Death at the Bar" is about a death at a seaside pub and the murder weapon seems to be a dart. The suspects are the bar owner, his left leaning son and his fellow travelers, the beautiful farmer's daughter, and a stranger who had joined their little political group, the victim's cousin, a famous actor, and best friend, a painter. A very nice mixture of famous, infamous and both upper and lower class, a classic Marsh mystery. She mixes them up so well though and you end up with satisfying ending.

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Biked - 4 miles

(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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