Today is my 63rd birthday.  It’s my first birthday without my beloved Dan since I was 17.

September 21, 2015 at 7:50 PM Leave a comment

Dragon Fly

Look at this beautiful dragon fly I found lying in the grass when I was in the backyard picking up dog poop this afternoon.  He/she looks sort of old…the tips of the wings are worn…so I hope he or she just died of old age.  As always, Mother Nature did a great job with this color combination…blue and brown and the clear area on the wings looks a little like lace.

Dragon Fly

August 23, 2015 at 4:59 PM Leave a comment

What a Pair

The demeanor of this dog and his owner are the same, sort of, “What the heck you lookin’ at?”

Love it.


August 13, 2015 at 5:11 PM Leave a comment

Dan Alan Vowell

My husband for 38 wonderful, wonderful years, Dan Alan Vowell

April 23, 1951 – July 25, 2015

DanDan’s obituary is here.

July 29, 2015 at 8:29 PM 4 comments

Boulder Manor — Stay Away! Do Not Put Your Loved One in Boulder Manor

I will be expanding on this in the days and weeks to come but suffice it to say:

On April 47, my husband of 37 years was transferred from Boulder Foothills Hospital (Boulder, Colorado) to Boulder Manor nursing home for rehabilitation (remember that word) after a fall and a bout with what was first thought to be a UIT, but turned out to be an overall infection.  All in all, he was in the hospital for 10 days.

The doc at the hospital waved goodbye to me and my husband — who then lived at an assisted living place — he said my hubby would return to “his normal” again, after rehabilitation, i.e., be able to dress himself, feed himself, bathe, toilet and feed himself, go on walks, use the telephone, take public transportation (unassisted) to an exercise class at the local YMCA three times a week, go to University of Colorado football games, to Colorado Rockies baseball games, do his own laundry and visit with friends and family.  Yeah, he has/had dementia but you wouldn’t necessarily know it if you ran into him.

Anyway, when he was being discharged from the hospital the nurse asked me which “rehabilitation” facility I’d like my hubby to go to.  I said Boulder Manor because it’s about four miles from my house.  So, off to Boulder Manor he went.  I’ll get into the appalling details soon but suffice it to say, I had a terrible feeling about the place the instant I walked in that April 27th afternoon.  Things have only gone down hill from there and this website I came across today confirms my gut feeling about the so-called treatment he’s getting there.  Check out its ranking of Boulder Manor:

Boulder Manor via

Image via

Overall, one star out of five.

My other option was ManorCare, about seven or eight miles from my house.  It’s rated five of five stars:

ManorCare via

Image via

I wanted to get this post up right away as I was shocked to see that there could be such a difference in the quality of care between two nursing homes in the same town, just miles apart.

Don’t be an idiot like me.  Don’t pick a place to put your loved one in based on how many miles it is from your house!  Even when faced with a nurse who has to make a quick decision, take your time and do some research.  As you’ll hear from me in the coming weeks, a snap decision isn’t worth it.

A place like Boulder Manor has a top down culture.  The nurses and aides aren’t to blame.  They try.  If you care about your loved one, know that Boulder Manor’s management doesn’t.

June 1, 2015 at 6:30 PM 2 comments

A Must See: Nikon Small World Photo Competition

The Ocean Under a Microscope

Take a look at the gorgeous images from the Nikon Small World photomicrography competition.

One — just one — of my faves.  Wow.  Beautiful:

Nikon Small World competititon

Glassy Radiolarian Beauty The shells of radiolarians rank among some of the treasures of the ocean, with their intricate, gorgeous geometry. The shells are made of silica, which protects the single-celled animals as they drift as zooplankton in the ocean. This image, taken at 120x zoom, was an honorable mention in the 2012 Nikon Small World photomicrography competition.  Credit: Ralph Claus Grimm / Nikon Small World

May 14, 2015 at 3:22 PM 1 comment

A Colorado Spring Day in the ICU

My sweet hubby just spent two days in the ICU.  Wednesday morning he fell — for the third time — straight back and split his head open.  This time, for the first time, he had blood in his brain.  It’s a very bad situation but after a bazillion tests over the course of three hospitalizations, no one knows what’s causing the falls other than that he has dementia and his brain “isn’t working right” so maybe it’s kicking out for a second or two here and there.

He was discharged this morning with orders to use a walker and to wear a helmet (like this one, which I just ordered) “any time he isn’t walking on carpeting,” which is pretty much all the time.  (We’re going to “personalize” the helmet with decals to “make it his,” so hopefully he’ll wear it with pride (knock-on-wood — God I hope so!).)

Anyway, this is the view he had from his room:

View from Dan's Hospital Room 4:15

Not bad, huh?

No, the hospital isn’t in the middle of nowhere.  It’s smack dab in the middle of Boulder, Colorado (pop. just over 100,000), but it’s situated on land next to a wildlife area.  A stream runs underneath those Cottonwood trees and birds galore live in the area, as do coyotes.

It was a snowy day today and the Rocky Mountains are partially obscured by clouds but I still think it’s a view that would make me (and hopefully my dear one) be happy to be alive.  (Oh, and I love the contrasting brown of the dried grass from last year.)

April 17, 2015 at 6:07 PM Leave a comment

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