My Title of Liberty

     "In Memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children." - Alma 46:12    

 

My Year 2006

JANUARY 2006

FEBRUARY 2006

February 1st, 2006 - My friends Robert and Amy, who own the Thai Cafe here, returned from their visit with Amy's family in China. They left there the day after Chinese New Year.

February 14th, 2006 - My friends Albert and Ed and I went to the Oregon Zoo. It was 2-Buck Tuesday at the Zoo, which comes around every 2nd Tuesday of each month. The usual crowds were not crowds. In fact, there were times we seemed to be alone. It may have been the refrigerator weather, or that it was Valentine's Day, I don't know. Not all of the concessions were open. I was hoping to see tigers batting at snowflakes, and I did see a few snowflakes, but the tigers were napping as usual. The hippos were out of the water for a change, but sleeping, and the rhinos were missing. The monkeys were howling (had their cheeks ballooned like croaking frogs), and the anaconda was finally out where I could get a photo of its head.

February 15th, 2006 - A writing group I had been part of last year, began meeting again (now only once a month), and I began getting a fresh perspective on my story, Sam and the Sea, which now has at least ten chapters, and may become two books from The original short story, Sam and the Sea. I have created chapter head illustrations for Book One.

February 17th, 2006 - I have had trouble calling strangers on behalf of someone else, sometimes to the point of making me ill, and often even put off phoning friends for minor reasons. I discovered this has a name, "telephonophobia". I went on the Internet and found others' descriptions of their similar problems. That was comforting (to know it wasn't just me). But since I am not afraid of answering a phone, only making phone calls, I have coined a new word, "telephoningophobia". I got no hits on the Internet on that, so I am claiming it for myself (but anyone can use it). I still don't know what childhood? trauma caused this fear, but I know the way to beat it. I have to ask for specific directions on how to make the calls before I start.

February 23rd, 2006 - I went to my first Book Signing. I had been told it was a presentation followed by a luncheon. The author and lecturer, Marilyn Jordan George, must be in her 90's. She grew up in Iowa, about as far from the ocean as one can get. She met a sailor in college who asked her to join him in Alaska, trolling for salmon. She married him and they went to Alaska. She told how she learned how to do things she had never done before, or seen done. She demonstrated how she changed into fishing clothes with no privacy aboord the boat -- all very modestly. She talked about life on the thirty-one foot fishing boat, the fishing, and raising her children aboard the boat. After the luncheon, I bought her autographed book, "Following the Alaskan Dream". To her signature she added, "To David, Enjoy. 2/23/06".

MARCH 2006

March 6th, 2006 - My friend Ed dropped by and offered to drive Albert and me to Multnomah Falls. We took him up on his offer and before lunch we set off. I couldn't get behind the seat in his pickup cab (though I have before), and the last time Albert tried, he got stuck, so I got into the pickup bed with my wheelchair and Albert rode in the cab with Ed. I managed to stay pretty dry though at times it seemed to be raining, but it was very cold. I had not thought to wear long sleeves or a hat. At some point, I thought to pull my vest over my head and that helped a little. When we arrived, I bought a walking stick, a sweatshirt, and a Multnomah Falls Oregon cap (black with red letters). We had lunch at the Multnomah Falls Restaurant. I had a grilled salmon filet, potato salad, garlic toast, and a diet Coke. Then we went out to look at the falls. It had been raining pretty good while we were eating, but had let up. I hadn't read the entire text on my sweatshirt before I bought it (there were only two that were my size, and they both said the same thing), so I thought I might try getting to the top of the falls to make the shirt true. I made it to the highest viewing level below the bridge, ran into stairs with no ramp, and couldn't go any farther. Therefore, I have taken a laundry pen and crossed out the "6" in "620", so it reads:

On our way home, we stopped at the Vista House on Crown Point. The view was spectacular. It was raining, but I was wearing my poncho. For a while, the Columbia River to the west was half-hidden by the mist. The house itself was closed (until April 14th). We made one more stop at a little store in the town of Corbett on the way home. I tracked the entire trip with my GPS, 57 miles. I created waypoints for the Falls, Vista House, Corbett, and several major intersections on Stark Street. After I got home, I found a plastic cap for the top end of my walking stick, added a bit of indoor-outdoor carpet to the bottom end, and wound/glued a hand grip of white string. It looked pretty good and felt good in the hand.

March 14th, 2006 - Albert and I went to the Zoo. I used my GPS to find the locations of the different sites we visited. The area we covered turned out to be about a quarter mile from north to south and the same from east to west. A lot smaller than I imagined. The place is a lot tighter than the map the Zoo gives you would indicate. It was colder than I anticipated and it rained some, which I did anticipate. I got good pictures of the tigers, peacocks and peahen. There seems to be only one leopard now. They have thinned out the plants in his area, so he is much easier to see. The rhinoceros was standing up for the first time, and the hippos were lying down. I found a second totem pole near the elephants.

March 15th, 2006 - Aron and I were surprised with a new roommate. His name is Mike. He was put in the bed between us. He mumbled in his sleep, but not loud. Aron's TV blaring was probably harder on Mike than the mumbling was on Aron. I know it was so for me.

March 16th, 2006 - At 6:30 am, I showed a nurse my right ankle. The evening before, it began being sore to the touch. She said it was cellulitis, inflamed cells due to an infection, and said they would have to put me on an antibiotic. I was told to keep my foot elevated. Six hours later, I asked if they had heard anything from the doctor and was told they hadn't faxed the information to him yet. It wasn't until the following afternoon, at 3:30 pm, the Doctor finally showed up and looked at my foot. He agreed with the nurse's estimation. The next morning, I was finally given the first of two antibiotics that I took for ten days, twice a day. I stayed in bed most of that time and several days afterward to keep the swelling from fluid retention down in my leg. Then I was provided with "TED stockings" (or support hose) to help with that and I began to get up and around again.

APRIL 2006

April is National Poetry Month - I was nominated by the International Library of Poetry to be a 2006 Poetry Ambassador. I accepted that nomination, and in that spirit, decided to write one poem per day in the month of April 2006.  (see My Poems from April 2006 page)

April 7th, 2006 - I "did" my taxes and discovered I would have to receive four times what I do from Disability to owe any. What a relief!

April 9th, 2006 - On the bus, on my way to Church, I noticed a marquee bar bolted over the head of the aisle just behind the driver's seat. I was showing only the time, but it had much more room on the display. When I asked the driver about it, he didn't know what I was talking about. When I pointed it out to him, he said he hadn't noticed it. He said he heard there were plans for a system to announce the stops and it was probably part of that. Another bus had the same marquee, but was showing only a period (single dot).

April 11th, 2006 - Albert and I took the bus and MAX to the Zoo. I received several requests to visit certain animals with my camera: the polar bears, the monkeys, and the leopard. On our way to the main part of the Zoo, we passed over an area where construction was going on for enclosures for black bears and cougars. I had my GPS with me and intended to check out some areas I hadn't visited with it. So, as we were heading toward Eagle Canyon, we spotted the polar bear entrance. Thinking it was merely a small detour, we entered. I got really good photos of the polar bears in action. The path led to the sun bear enclosure. I got good photos of that, too. Next, was a new exhibit, two warty pigs. When we got back on the main road, the way to the eagles was uphill and far behind. We crossed to the Primate enclosures, but the two large siamangs that were out, quickly joined the other primates inside; so we did, too. Part of the exhibit space was boarded up for remodeling. They are preparing an ocelot exhibit. Because of dirty glass and wire mesh, I had trouble getting clear pictures of the mandrills, but I got some fair pictures of a large chimpanzee. We went through the Amazon Flooded Forest exhibit. The first creature there was a Burmese python, very impressive. The marmoset, that I had never gotten a clear picture of because it had always moved it's head during the exposure, was easier to photograph this time and I got several good photos. The toucans were difficult as they were hopping and flying everywhere. A small caiman was floating near the glass for another set of good shots. We visited the orangutan enclosure. There were three: one up high, one on the ground to the left napping behind a cardboard box, and the third to the right, napping on some brown paper. The largest came down to the window, soon joined by the smaller one from the right. I got a photo of three children face to face with the smaller one through the glass. Because of the remodeling, we had to back track to the primate exhibit to get back to the road. We had lunch at the AfriCafe: hotdogs and a bowl of chili each. We then headed past the concert stage, thinking I knew a shortcut to Tiger Plaza, but found we had to go through the African Savana first. So we past a sleeping rhino and hippos (also sleeping), went on to the zebras and a gazelle, past the African goat pen (one goat), to the Giraffe House. There was a large monkey, a large lizard, and an inflatable tortoise (no really, that's what it's called). The giraffes were outdoors feeding on vegetation at the top of the clifts that surround their enclosure. There were also vultures. When we finally got close to Tiger Plaza, we met one of the peacocks. He was showing off his feathers at their best, but my timing was bad so my pictures of him were not so good. We finally got to the leopard and found it sleeping on a large, flat rock. Then we found a bench where we rested. Albert sat on the bench and I sat in my wheelchair. Shortly, the Zoomer, a golf cart-like vehicle picked us up and returned us to the entrance. I will have to check out Eagle Canyon another time.

April 16th, 2006 - I came down with a fever (at least 104 degrees). It turned out to be a new bout of cellulitis. I had to keep my right leg elevated. The doctor put me on a new antibiotic (by injection - you don't need to know where). I missed four days of my promised poems, since I meant one each day, not "I'll catch up, if I miss a day".

MAY 2006

May 1st & 2nd, 2006 - Because there was so much controversy about the book, I finally decided to read The Da Vinci Code. I enjoyed it. It was a good story, and obviously fiction. I don't think the Catholic Church or Opus Dei should suffer much from the book, though some of what is being said about what the book says may cause harm. I found the book quite similar in nature to the movie, "National Treasure", which I also enjoyed. The story draws together ideas that have been around for centuries into an intriguing mystery, with well-developed fictional characters that enhance the plot. I have always enjoyed cryptograms and codes, and the book is full of that sort of thing. I actually solved three of them before the characters did. I enjoyed the descriptive tours of famous places that I may never see in person. I planned to see the movie based on the book. I doubted it could be as good as the book, though I thought Tom Hanks' acting might save it for me.

I learned that due to being transferred from Medicaid (which has been paying my room and board for the last two years) to Medicare, my Social Security Disability would soon be used to pay my room and board and I would be left with only $30 discretionary money each month. This would mean some changes in how I do things. I would have to do without a land-line phone and go back to using my Yahoo! e-mail address (elmosawyer@yahoo.com). I expected to be taking the MAX (light rail) to the Airport as I had done before to use the Internet via their free Wi-Fi connection. I would also have to find some means to supplement that income as well, otherwise I would lose my mytitleofliberty.com site. *** I also added a wallpaper collage of 25 of my best animal photos to My Zoo Photos page that you are welcome to use and enjoy. *** My friend Albert and I went to see the movie, The Da Vinci Code (see my review).

On Sunday, May 28th, 2006, Aron Cann,my roommate died. He is missed.

JUNE 2006

June 2nd, 2006 - I began re-designing my website in preparation for moving it to my son's webspace, giving it a new look, but retaining the red, white, and blue theme.

June 6th, 2006 - I finished converting all my web files to the new design, tested them, and copied them to the server. I added a text counter to the sidebar under the Navigation links on the Home Page. The new website was only 9.5 MB instead of its former 27 MB, and still had everything it had before and more. I went ahead and replaced my online pages with the new pages.
I learned that Thai Cafe was sold and is now Chai Thai Cuisine. I talked with the new CEO and then redesigned the diner's web page. I copied it to the server.

June 7th, 2006 - I passed the dreaded day 6-6-6 without harm. In fact, I got started on a new diet and exercise therapy here at Evergreen and I successfully moved my new web to mytitleofliberty.ottershome.net.

June 15th, 2006 - I finished converting all of my HTML files to use frames for the header bar and the navigation bar so that I could change them for all pages at once instead of editing each page.

June 17th, 2006 - I soon discovered that there could be problems when someone should locate a page without entering through my Home Page even though I added a link to my Home Page on each page (apart from the Navigation Bar). So I rewrote each page (112) with IFrames for the Heading and Navigation Frames. I also added to the Navigation Bar.

June 24th, 2006 - I attended my 40-year High School reunion thanks to Dan Jaffe who drove me down to Albany, Oregon, and all those behind the scenes who moved the gears to make that happen. Regie DeVries was the Prime Mover. Linda and Royal Harger provided lots of good food and a wonderful place for us to meet and get reacquainted, even better than the space provided by Willamette Valley Vinyards where we had the dinner. There was not too much room to walk around but we made good use of the space available. I know I didn't meet everyone who came. One mistake I made in high school was not making more friends while I was there. One of my classmates who, graduated from a different school, remembered me from an earlier year but I didn't remember who she was, although her face was familiar. I only got the one yearbook (the one from my graduating year) so I don't remember much of the first two years. Keeping memorabilia is important. My memories are keyed to photos and writings that I still have.

JULY 2006

July 4th, 2006 - Albert and Ed and I went to my Ward's (in combination with another Ward using the same building) Flag Raising. Our folding chairs were set up outside facing the flagpole. I took lots of photos. The scouts performed the flag raising itself a little after 8 AM. Following that the Star Spangled Banner was performed by a vocal duet, Sister Spencer read a talk about our patriotic hymns and songs, and we sang America the Beautiful and My Country Tis of Thee as a congregation. Then we took our chairs indoors and set them at tables in the multi-purpose room. Breakfast was served cafeteria-style. We had pancakes (with the usual toppings), several kinds of sausage, grits (which I had for the first time), scrambled eggs, strawberries, and milk. We visited as we ate and afterward.

July 5th, 2006 - I went to a nephrologist (kidney doctor) and after consulting with my primary care doctor, my meds were changed, two reduced or eliminated and one increased. Having rhe clonidine, first reduced for a week, then eliminated, I was soon able to stay awake during the day. When it was increased from 0.1 mg to 0.2 mg, I had problems keeping my eyes open, and even staying awake.

AUGUST 2006

In August of 2006, Albert and I were approached by a case worker from Aging and Disability Services. She told us that we were considered qualified to live in a less intensive care situation. We would also have $136/month available to us instead of the $30 we currently received. We thought that if we moved, we would do so together. We were told of a place about a mile and a half north of Evergreen. After a few days, we decided to go check it out. We found it very nice and liked the people in charge, but one of the rooms had already been let out. They referred us to another Adult Foster Care home where they knew there were two openings. We told the case worker we were interested in checking it out and arranged to go there and look at it. We decided we would go there. But as moving day approached, it was clear there was opposition at Evergreen to Albert's leaving.

Floor Plan of Home

When the time came, September 11th, his paperwork, etc., was not ready. So I was moved by myself. The case worker arranged for two movers to move my things, which were considerable for someone in my situation. The move probably took no more than an hour. It took me the rest of the afternoon, that evening, and the next morning to get everything into my room. I had to use part of my large closet for the big black filing cabinet that my television sits on, but I had planned for that.

The first evening, I discovered that they hadn't transferred my medications to the new place. When I phoned Evergreen, I was told that they never send meds with people when they leave. The next day I took a bus and the MAX to the Zoo and met a group from Evergreen on an outing, including Albert. I went around with them until lunch time. While I was with them, I got a phone call from the case worker who told me that she had talked to Evergreen and they had my medications packaged up and waiting for me at the Nurses' Station and all I had to do was go there and pick them up. So after I ate the sack lunch I had brought with me, I took the MAX and a bus to Evergreen. When I got there, I was told they had returned my meds to the pharmacy. So I returned to my new home. It was two and a half days after I moved before My new care taker was able to get me re-started on my medications.

While I was getting my things set up the first night, I learned that Standard Cable was provided. For the first time in two and a half years, I was able to take a tub bath, my favorite. My window looks out on the covered and shaded section of the deck. The three ladies, ranging in age from 54 to 86, who already lived here are friendly. The food is good and nutritious. The place is quieter than Evergreen, and I have no problem sleeping through the night. The wireless connection to the Internet, so far at least, has been available but unreliable, but the Ethernet connection is good enough for important connections and available in the dining room.

I began to update my web pages with changes I had made over the previous three months.

September 29th - We got a new House Manager named Winda. Turns out she has at least two sisters with their own Adult Foster Care homes within a block of this one.

OCTOBER 2006

September 30th - October 1st - I watched my Church's semi-annual General Conference broadcast from Salt Lake City on cable channel 11. There were two two-hour sessions both Saturday and Sunday, plus a two-hour session for the men that wasn't on cable, for which I got offers for a ride to three different Stake Centers. I accepted the first, from my former Home Teacher. I taped the cable-broadcast sessions on VHS and wrote notes into my journal on all of them. I made a decision to repeat last year's challenge to read the Book of Mormon through by the end of the year. It helped a lot last year. I also decided to read through the entire Standard Works (Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price) by the end of 2007.

October 2nd - I saw my new doctor, John Hobson, M.D., for the first time. He discontinued one of my diabetic medicines and will wean me from another medication for neuropathic pain. He said he would hook me up with an osteopathic doctor for my knees and a podiatrist for my feet.

October 3rd - Pay Day. I renewed my Norton anti-viral subscription that expired the end of November and found I already had a virus that uses your computer to dial out. The newly revived program fixed it. Luckily, my computer had no direct access to a phone. I also filled out my Voter Registration Card and got it ready to mail.

October 5th - I wheeled my wheelchair down to Fred Meyer by a shortcut I heard about from one of the other residents. I also saw it in a satellite photo on Google Earth. I live less than one and a half lengths of the Fred Meyer building from the store. I got twenty bus tickets, replacement ink cartridges for my printer, some cocoa mix, and microwave popcorn. The whole trip took one and a half hours.

October 7th - I bused to Evergreen to visit with Albert and others. Belinda came and read chapters 33 and 34 of "All Things Bright and Beautiful". I had lunch there, then bused home.

NOVEMBER 2006

On November 8th, 2006 Deborah moved out and relocated in a fourth floor apartment. She has nice views to the north and east.

November 22nd to 24th, 2006 I took the Greyhound bus to Salem, Oregon for Thanksgiving. My family enjoyed Thanksgiving Dinner at Hometown Buffet on Lancaster and spent the rest of the day playing games and visiting.

On November 25th, 2006 At 5 am, I noticed a soreness in my left thigh. I remembered it from 29 years ago, thrombophlebitis. I remembered the doctor recommended keeping my leg elevated and applying hot compresses. I began keeping my feet elevated.

On November 27th, 2006 We had our first snowfall of the season. It didn't stick at first, but before I went to sleep, the grass filled with the white stuff. We had more snow showers until the following noon.

November 28th-30th, 2006, I discovered a soreness on my left ankle and then a swelling like a pimple. It was an abcess like the supposed "spider bite" from a year and a half earlier. On the 30th, the clinic at ElderPlace checked it out and prescribed an anti-biotic. Even after the antibiotic was started, the abcess continued to grow until it broke through the skin. Until it did, it had been very painful to put my weight on that leg.

DECEMBER 2006

On December 5th, I got my flu shot at Elderplace while I was there to have the abcess checked out. On the 6th, I was taken to Providence Medical Center where a surgeon cleaned out the abcess on my leg and took a culture. The germ was a staphococcus strain that was resistant to some antibiotics, but they were confident that I am on the right one. On the 7th, on my regular visit to Elderplace, I was given a flu shot and an electrocardiogram. They drew blood for some tests.

December 14th-15th, 2006, I went to Elderplace for my regular visit. While there, I got a pneumonia shot. We had a big wind storm. I wrote a poem, Oregon Storms, just before the power went out here (9:30 pm). Only my laptop stayed on because of the battery. Winda came with a candle and got a light from me and I lit my own candle. I also had two flashlights and gave one to Willy. I wrote another poem, The Prowling Wind, on my Pocket PC before going to sleep. I had expected the outage to last only an hour or two and figured I would be awakened when the power came back on, but wasn't. I had to sleep practically sitting up because the head of my bed was in the upright position so I could use my computer while keeping my legs elevated. The control for that is electric, so I couldn't lower it.
For Breakfast yesterday we had cornflakes, French toast sliced bread (it comes out of the bag that way), juice, and a banana by candlelight. A section of decorative covering for the south fence blew down in the storm, but mostly we weathered the storm well. I slept part of the morning. For lunch, we had soup, sandwich, and potato salad. Mr. Kim had come with a camp stove. After lunch, I began to get "antsy". Willy told me about a radio/tape player on sale at Fred Meyer. We couldn't use the TV for news, and I didn't even have a battery-operated radio. Nor did I have anything with which to play my audio tapes (I have only a large handfull of those). So finally, I decided to make a shopping trip in my wheelchair. I wheeled down to Fred Meyer and bought one of the radios, then I went to the US Bank and cashed a check.

The sky was getting darker and on my way to Dollar Tree I began seeing snowflakes coming down, though not many. I went into Dollar Tree and bought a few presents and body wash, hand sanitizer, more popcorn, and candles for me. When I came out of the store, the ground was covered with snow, and perhaps hail, too, but everything was white. I had missed the whole thing while I was inside. The hard part of the trip was the half a mile of backing my wheelchair up the slopes to home again. In total, I traveled about a mile in about two and a half hours. The power was still not on. We shared a pizza for supper. Kim brought a propane space heater and a new battery-powered LED lantern. When the pizza arrived, we ate it by candlelight at the dining room table. Then we gathered in the living room to warm ourselves with the heater and enjoy the candles. We had just gotten settled, when the lights suddenly came on (at 5:00 pm). Our power had been off for 19-1/2 hours. That's the longest outage I can remember. Whether it is because I now live farther from "civilization" or because the storm did more damage than any since 1962 (Columbus Day storm), I don't know.
It turns out the only things that needed resetting were my microwave clock and the tuning for my TV/DVD player. My alarm clock came back on with the correct time (must have a battery backup for that).

On December 18th, 2006 I marked the 34th anniversary of the passing of my first wife from this mortal world while sharing the greif and hope of the families who waited to know the fate of their loved ones lost on Mount Hood.

On December 20th, 2006 I got a dental checkup at Elderplace. On the 21st, I went to Providence Hospital for an ultrasound of my legs to check for blood clots - none were found. Then I went to Elderplace for my regular Thursday visit and was given two pair of support hose and was told I should wear them again.

On December 23rd, 2006 Ed came over to visit. He took me down to Fred Meyer in the morning. He returned in the afternoon and we went to the Stark St. Cinema and saw the movie Night in the Museum. It was good.

The residents here opened our gifts after breakfast on Christmas morning. From "Santa" I got a new pair of sweat pants, very comfortable and 3 inches too long. I got two boxes of chocolate and some slipper-socks.

On the morning of December 27th, 2006, I was taken to the Troutdale Vision Clinic for my eyeglasses. They will regrind my lenses so I can read with them. In the afternoon, I was seen by a podiatrist. He wants me to have orthpedic shoes. On the 28th, I went to Elderplace as usual. The nurse flushed the wax out of my ears. I can now tell what direction sounds are coming from. On the 29th, I was taken to the Echo Lab at Providence Hospital for an echocardiogram of my heart. On the 30th, I visited Albert at Evergreen.

On December 31st, I went to church for the first time in a month. It was good. I learned we would get a new Bishop the next Sunday and that the schedule would change from 11 am to 2 pm to 1 pm to 4 pm, which will fit my meal schedule better.