“Home Alone”…On the mend…

A beautiful lily in the garden at our holiday home in Madeira.

This morning at 8:30, Tom left to go to the Minnesota State Fair to meet up with his kids, Tammy and TJ, to participate in the “Back to the 50’s Car Show,”  as described, “Back to the 50’s Weekend is celebrating their 50th annual event at the fairgrounds! Stop by for classic cars, some fair food favorites, and more!”

TJ has a “classic” car, as shown in the photo below. Tom last attended this event with TJ on June 24, 2017. We wrote about it then in this post here.

TJ’s 1954 Buick Special was next to his canopy at the Back to the ’50s annual event at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

It has rained almost every day since arriving in Minnesota in early May, and today is no exception. He’ll likely return before the next expected rainstorm around 2:00 or 3:00 pm. We’re scheduled to pick up our groceries at the local Cub Foods store when he returns.

We haven’t been scheduling grocery orders at the Cub Foods store in Eden Prairie—the delivery cost here is $8.50 plus a tip, usually around $10. It makes no sense to pay $18.50 in extra charges when the grocery store is less than a mile from here. I place the order to be picked up at a specific time.

We drive up to one of the specific pickup parking spots, text our arrival to the number on the sign, and bring groceries to the car. They put together the order for the designated pickup time, so there is little waiting. It’s worth doing it this way, saving us almost $80 monthly instead of having the groceries delivered.

On another note, I am feeling better each day. My coughing has lessened in the past 48 hours since I started taking the antibiotics and the Prednisone. The only problem is that Predisone has a severe impact on one’s ability to sleep. I’ve slept less than five hours the past two nights, making me sleepy during the day. But I make a point of not napping to possibly aid in sleeping better at night.

Taking the two tablets early in the morning is recommended, but doing so hasn’t helped. I only have to take them two more mornings until my five-day course ends.

As mentioned, we didn’t meet with Tom’s sister at Billy’s. In the afternoon, Tom drove to Chanhassen to pick up an online order for dinner from our favorite Chinese restaurant, Happy Garden. Their food is fresh and not overly processed. I ordered a dish with shrimp, chicken, scallops, veggies with sauce on the side, and pan-fried (not deep-fried) egg foo young, enough to last two nights.

Tom ordered his usual favorite, two orders of sweet and sour pork with fried rice, enough to last for two nights’ dinner. We’ll enjoy the delicious meals again this evening. We had a lovely evening streaming two shows on Apple TV, “Slow Horses,” a British spy MI6 spy thriller, and afterward, on Netflix, season two of Bridgerton, both of which we thoroughly enjoy.

As I continue to recover, we’ll do the same tonight. Hopefully, by tomorrow, I will feel well enough to make plans with family and get out and about. Tom is still coughing but is also considerably better than a week ago. He’s had the virus for two weeks, and it’s been one week for me.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, June 22, 2014:

An unusual type of cactus in Madeira. For more photos, please click here.

We’re back…Sorry for the lapse in posting…First day of summer…

We dined at this little restaurant in Benabbio, Italy. The service by the owner and the food was excellent. After dinner, we were served “comped” Limoncello, a delicious lemon-flavored liquor. Tom drank both his and mine.

Yesterday, we received countless email messages from our readers asking if something was wrong and why we didn’t post. I tried to respond to all of the inquiries. If I didn’t get back to you, I apologize. I know I’ll post again today to update everyone about our absence.

On Wednesday night, my coughing escalated so that I couldn’t sleep. I propped up two pillows under my head to lessen the coughing, to no avail. Not only was I coughing every minute, but I had an awful wheezing in my throat and upper chest. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get it under control.

At 2:00 am, I got up and used the powered nebulizer with prescription medicine, but that only helped for about 20 minutes, and the hacking began again. There are numerous cough medicines I can’t use since they interact with the heart medications. I was a mess. And I was so frustrated to think I’d be posting about more health issues when all of you have heard enough already for so long.

Once up and about, I told Tom I needed to go to urgent care, and we headed to the facility we’d gone to for Tom when he was so sick from COVID-19 in 2022. Once we arrived, we noticed so few cars in the parking lot and knew something was amiss. The clinic was closed permanently.

Since the pandemic ended, they likely didn’t get enough business to justify staying open. Looking online, I found another urgent care center in Eden Prairie, which is not far from our hotel. About 15 minutes later, we arrived at Allina Health. I suggested that Tom return to the hotel, and I called him when I was ready to leave.

But, at this location, without an “emergency entrance” sign on the building, I asked him to wait for me until I texted him that they could see me. I asked at the reception desk on the third floor if they took walk-in patients as described on their website. The receptionist said. “Oh, I need to remind our web people again to take “urgent care” off our website. People keep showing up, and we have to turn them away.” Duh?

I texted Tom that I was coming out. Off again, we went to another facility, but this time, I called to be sure they were open and receiving emergency patients. They were and said we could come by right away. By this point, I was even more exhausted and continued to cough.

It made no sense for Tom to come inside and wait for me. With him still coughing, he was vulnerable to catching another virus and didn’t need to be exposed to more germs.

After checking in, the wait “in chairs’ wasn’t too long, and once situated in the room, after two nurses took my vitals and asked questions, a nurse practitioner saw me, not a doctor. I had hoped to see a doctor. But, when I looked online to see the requirements to become a nurse practitioner, I wasn’t so disappointed. It takes quite a bit of education to acquire such a license.

An infographic explains the pathway to becoming an NP, from a bachelor's degree in nursing to passing the NP licensure exam

Knowing I would have an x-ray, which a radiologist off-site would analyze, I felt more at ease. The NP listened thoroughly to my heart and chest sounds to say, without a doubt, that I had a lot of wheezing and chest sounds. The x-ray and radiologist’s diagnosis confirmed I have a raging upper respiratory infection.

Antibiotics and Prednisone were prescribed to be picked up at a nearby Walgreens Pharmacy. Tom arrived shortly after I contacted him, and we were off to the pharmacy. It had been about 45 minutes since the prescriptions were submitted to the pharmacy.

Once we arrived, we waited in the drive-through for a while, but I decided to go inside when the line of cars wasn’t moving. It was a long walk to the pharmacy section in this store. Once there, they told me it would be at least 30 minutes until they were ready. I returned to the car to sit there with Tom and wait. It took 35 minutes until I could go back in to get the order.

After all this commotion, I couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel and get some rest. I took the meds as required and flopped in the bed, desperately needing to take a nap. I slept for over two hours while Tom listened to a podcast, the sound of which didn’t bother me a bit. By the time I awoke, it was dinner time; I didn’t have the energy to do a post so late in the day. Earlier in the day, I’d uploaded the notice that there wouldn’t be a post, anticipating it would be the long day it proved to be.

Today is a better day. After the long nap, I only slept about 5 hours last night, but I feel better. The coughing has lessened considerably in such a short time since I started the meds.

We won’t be going to Billy’s today, fearing that I may still be infectious and not feeling well enough to sit in a bar. Tom just finished washing and drying the laundry, and now I’ll fold it and put it away. There will be no cooking today. We’ll order Chinese takeaway from the fabulous restaurant in our old neighborhood.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, June 21, 2014:

The ocean in Madeira is behind this old vine-covered garage. For more photos, please click here.

Fun lunch date today…..

The craggy shoreline in Madeira, Portugal.

Two of my three grandchildren have driver’s licenses and can pick me up. Today, grandson Miles, 16, and I have a lunch date, just the two of us. I’m flattered that a 16-year-old boy looks forward to lunch with his grandma. I didn’t want Tom to have to drive 20 minutes each way twice to handle my transportation, so this works perfectly. Plus, he is still recovering from the virus, and although not contagious, it’s best he stays in and continues to rest.

Today, while at Champps Bar and Grill with Miles, I’ll order a to-go meal for Tom for tonight’s dinner, which he can reheat later. After the big Cobb salad I always order at Champps, I’ll make myself an omelet for dinner with a green salad on the side.

I am still coughing but feel fine otherwise. But the coughing is outrageous, although it’s not as bad as it was. Hopefully, we’ll both be better in a few days and go to Billy’s on Friday afternoon with Tom’s siblings, whom we haven’t seen in a few weeks since our last buck euchre marathon.

The weather in Minnesota has been awful since we arrived six weeks ago. Most days, it’s cloudy, rainy, and humid, if not cold and drizzly. We’ve hardly had time to enjoy the outdoors. Yesterday, there were tornado and heavy storm warnings all day and evening.

Is it 66F, 19C, with rain starting at 2:00 pm? Rain is predicted through Saturday, but next week, if accurate so far ahead, is supposed to warm up into the 80s. Hopefully, by the 4th of July, the weather will improve for many outdoor activities planned on this date every year. We have no plans for the 4th, but we shall wait and see what our kids plan for the holiday weekend.

If they have no plans, we’ll be fine, as we’ve been for several years. We can easily entertain ourselves regardless of the occasion. Neither of us is interested in fighting traffic and crowds to watch fireworks unless a family event warrants it. We shall “play it by ear” as always. Our adult kids tend to plan things at the last minute, which is OK with us. But old-timers like us tend to make plans well in advance.

It baffles me why most retirees like us prefer to plan well ahead of any occasion. Then again, Tom and I have always been “planners.” In part, I love the anticipation of an upcoming event. The perfectionist Tom finds comfort in knowing the schedule well in advance.

We all have our unique peculiarities that make us who we are. It is the acceptance of one another’s preferences that provides for harmonious relationships. Tom and I are very different in many ways. We see the world differently but accept these differences as part of how this relationship works.

“They” say “opposites attract,” which is so true in our case. We are often shocked by how our opinions may vary in countless situations, but somehow, over the years, we’ve learned to get along when discussing differences to avoid frequent disharmony. In most relationships that don’t last, each party fails to accept the differing views in many aspects of life, which may sometimes be as insignificant as how to load the dishwasher to such significant issues as managing money.

We both cherish harmony, and with that in mind, we can negotiate or, in some cases, merely agree to disagree.

That’s it for today, folks. I am off to lunch with Miles.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, June 19, 2014:

Judite, our cleaning person in Madeira, told me this morning that this is “pera abacata” which translates to avocado. For more photos, please click here.

Great service by Marriott and others…Tipping in today’s world…

Billowing cloud view from the Madeira house, overlooking the sea.

Yesterday afternoon, I received an email from a Marriott manager asking if we needed anything during our extended 70-night stay at this Residence Inn. If we think of something, we’ll let her know. She also asked why we are staying so long, requiring a lengthy explanation.

It made me realize why we like Marriott hotels so much. After all, we spent ten months in lockdown in Mumbai, India, during the pandemic and have stayed at many other Marriotts worldwide, never disappointed by the facility or the quality of the service. We are members of their rewards program, Marriott Bonvoy, and it was through that program that we got a better price for this current two-month stay.

Overall, we’ve had considerable success with quality service from all the rewards programs we use for credit cards, cars, vacation homes, and hotels. Even as Costco Premium members, we recently received a check for almost $200 for Tom’s upcoming hearing aid purchase.

Another recent example is that we used some reward points on a credit card to pay for the expensive hotel in Milwaukee this past weekend. During those times, it’s easier to digest paying premium rates using rewards points when few other options are available.

Speaking of good service, overall, we’ve found that service in the US has been excellent in most situations. That’s not to say that the service in other countries is inferior. It is not. We’ve had excellent service throughout the world from country to country, but we’ve noticed a variance in the expectation of servers receiving tips.

We have no problem tipping for good service. We consider ourselves good tippers, but we investigate what tipping customs and expectations are before heading to a new country. In Australia, for example, service people are paid a fair wage. Early on, when we embarked on numerous cruises in Australia, Tom attempted to tip the baggage handlers at the cruise terminal. In each case, they refused the tips, saying, “Sir, in our country, we make a living wage and don’t accept service tips.”

We spent two years in the South Pacific and found this true throughout Australia, including Tasmania (part of Australia) and New Zealand. In some tropical islands, the expectation for tips was comparable to the US, especially when wages were low in many island nations. We understood and complied accordingly. Then again, prices were low in many venues, whereas prices are higher overall in Australia.

In the past five months in the US, we’ve observed that tips are not only expected but often added to the bill with suggestions for the amount of tips based on the bill. But, on bills in some restaurants, we’ve also observed add-ons for the following:

  1. Credit card use fees as much as 3.5% of the total or more
  2. Health insurance and employee welfare as much as 3.5%
  3. Employee retention fees as high as 3.5%
  4. Tips are expected on the tax on top of the the basic food and drink items

We don’t calculate the tip amount on these extras. We only tip a percentage for the food and beverage amount, not these add-ons, nor do we tip on the sales tax or VAT. For instance, when dining in Minneapolis and other cities, there are city taxes, stadium taxes, and others. We don’t tip on top of these amounts. Why pay a percentage twice?

We may seem tightwads, but living on a fixed income that allows very little for cost of living increases with the current inflation rate, we must consider what works best for us. Of course, if one is wealthy and money is no object, they may never question this process.

This is not to say we don’t appreciate excellent service for food and beverage and the hard work of many servers throughout many fields of endeavor. We tip generously when the service is good, but only, as mentioned, for the service, food, and beverages provided to us.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, June 18, 2014:

When we went for a walk in Campanario, Madeira, we took this photo of the back of our holiday home. It was a fantastic home. For more photos, please click here.

We’re back from Milwaukee…Unfortunate situation…Photos from the event…

Sister Beth and Tom at the luncheon on Saturday.

We left for Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for Tom’s Sister Beth’s 70th Jubilee ( since becoming a nun) on Friday morning after we checked out of the Eden Prairie, Minnesota hotel. We booked the Fairfield Inn West hotel for two nights with a plan to participate in all the activities relative to the event.

Tom was recovering from his bad case of the flu with a horrific cough, but it had been over a week since the onset of symptoms, and he was feeling better and unlikely still infectious. I was thrilled a week later when I hadn’t caught this virus from him.

When I awoke on Friday morning, I noticed a little tickle in my throat but dismissed it as dryness due to the aircon in the room at night. But, on the way to Milwaukee in the car, my sore throat worsened, and I developed an awful cough in just a few hours. When we arrived in Milwaukee, I was “down for the count,” too sick to do anything.

Of course, I wouldn’t risk getting Sister Beth sick, as well as the other nuns and three other family members who also drove to the celebration, knowing I was fully contagious at that point. As a result, I spent two miserable days in that hotel room, laying on the sofa with a pillow and blanket, streaming shows to keep my mind occupied while napping off and on.

Sister Beth broke her neck in a car accident and has trouble holding up her head.

Tom attended all the festivities, including a 90-minute mass, a luncheon, and as much time as possible with Sister Beth, expressing my apologies for not being able to join in and be with her. Sister Beth’s health has been failing over the past few years. She spent most of her days sleeping and could not attend the mass and recognition for all of the nuns.

However, she could sit at the table with the four family members, including Tom, nephew Steve, and nieces Jean and Laurie, when a lovely luncheon was served at the nursing home at a special table beautifully set for the occasion. Tom said the nuns had arranged a special lunch with several courses, including a delicious dessert.

He was in awe of how well the activities had been organized, ensuring the family members felt included. I wish I could have been there to partake, but that was not on my agenda, much to my disappointment.

St. Joseph’s Chapel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where Tom and family attended the services on Saturday.

On the return drive, with both of us coughing, we stopped for breakfast at a Denny’s on the outskirts of Milwaukee and had a nice breakfast. When I asked the server what they used to cook omelets, requesting butter for my omelet, she explained they didn’t have butter and cooked their eggs in margarine, which I don’t eat due to its trans fats.

Instead of eggs, I had a salad for breakfast, minus any bottled dressing, and I used sour cream instead. Since it was Father’s Day, the restaurant was packed, but we managed to get seated in no time, and before we knew it, we were back on the road. Road construction and road closures approaching St. Paul created a traffic fiasco that slowed us down by about an hour.

The choir and organ are on this balcony in the church.

Once we arrived back in Eden Prairie, we stopped at a grocery store while I shopped for enough food to get us through the week and last night’s dinner. We purchased roasted chickens since I wasn’t feeling well enough to cook, and we didn’t feel well enough to dine out. We’d made plans with Tammy to go out to dinner for Father’s Day, but we felt bad postponing it until another date.

By the time we arrived back at the hotel, having to check in all over again, it had taken a while to get situated, considering we had everything we owned with us, including the groceries. The hotel staff delivered our three stored bags to the room, and Tom carried in the balance, including non-perishable foodstuffs we’d saved.

We’re fairly organized at this point. This room has four good-sized drawers we can use for folded clothes and has two closets for our hang-up clothes, unlike the last room. I still have a little unpacking, but there is nothing I can’t complete in a short time.

Whew! It’s good to be back here; hopefully, we’ll both feel well soon.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, June 17, 2014:

In Minnesota, these were called begonias, a flower that grew well in shady areas. For more photos, please click here.

No post today…Here’s why…

Well, Tom’s illness got me one week after his symptoms started. I am too sick to do a post today or attend any of the events for Sister Beth. I certainly don’t want to infect any of the sisters or their family members.

Most likely, since we’re returning to Minnesota tomorrow I won’t do a post until Monday. Thanks for your understanding!

Packing day…

Angel’s Trumpet flowers…Brugmansia is a genus of seven flowering plants in the nightshade family Solanaceae. They are woody trees or shrubs with pendulous flowers and have no spines on their fruit. All parts of Angel’s Trumpets are considered poisonous and contain the alkaloids atropine, scopolamine, and hyoscyamine. Ingestion of the plants can cause disturbing hallucinations, paralysis, tachycardia, and memory loss and can be fatal.

The laundry and half the packing are done, as I write here now. I do it in short spurts. We picked up luggage tags from the front desk and will use them on the three bags we’re leaving behind. The only reason we have so much stuff is in preparation for the many months we’ll stay in Cleveland for many months. Once we’re ready to fly again, we’ll have used or will unload the excess “stuff.”

Also, over time, I’ll dispose of some old clothes but keep them to wear here and then in the coming months. Right now, getting new clothes is unimportant to me. I have enough to get me through. As mentioned, once I know the surgery date, I’ll order some items to get me through the recovery period.

We just returned from breakfast in the hotel, which is marginal at best, and fortunately, yesterday, I made a batch of chicken salad, which we’ll have for tonight’s dinner. Easy is of the utmost importance at this point. We’ll most likely have breakfast here tomorrow morning before we leave so we can get on the road and not be concerned about stopping except for restroom breaks and refueling the car.

The distance to the hotel is 344 miles and should take about five hours of driving time. We plan to be on our way by 9:00 or 10:00 am, arriving in plenty of time to see the other family, four of whom are also staying at the same hotel. Most likely, we’ll all have dinner together tomorrow evening. Then, on Saturday, the Jubilee festivities, mass, and luncheon will transpire throughout the day.

The four family members will be leaving to return to Minneapolis on Saturday afternoon, but we’ll be staying overnight on Saturday to spend time with Sister Beth on Sunday morning for a few more hours. It will be good to spend time with her. She’s fragile with health issues and will appreciate any time we can spend with her.

Years ago, Sister Beth was in a horrible auto accident while in the car with three other nuns. Two of the nuns were killed in the accident, and Sister Beth suffered severe injuries, including a broken neck, which significantly impacted the quality of her life today.

However, typical of the Lyman family, they don’t complain or feel sorry for themselves. They all forge ahead with smiles on their faces. Seeing their strength, determination, and resolve inspires everyone who has the privilege of knowing this fine family.

It’s time for me to get back to packing. Most likely, there won’t be a post tomorrow. We’ll take photos of the festivities and post the story and photos of Sister Beth’s 70th Jubilee, 70 years since she became a nun. Numerous nuns are honored this weekend, including 14 other nuns celebrating 70 years, like Sister Beth, four nuns celebrating 75 years, four nuns celebrating 80 years, and two nuns celebrating 85 years. That’s amazing!

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, June 13, 2014:

Last night’s view of the moon and the lights from our veranda over Campanario, Madeira. For more photos, please click here.

My boy Norman and his family have returned to our old holiday home in the bush!…Girl’s lunch today…

Louise took this photo of Norman last night when he came to visit. He’s wearing a branch hat.

When Louise sent me the above photo of Norman wearing a branch hat, my heart skipped a beat. Over the past many months, Norman had been wandering another area, nowhere near the house we’d been renting over the past several years. I was hoping by the time we return, he’ll still be in the area, and we’ll be able to interact with him and his family. What a pleasant thought!

Over the next many months, I must keep the prospect of returning to Marloth Park in the forefront of my mind instead of thinking about what I’m facing. Every day, I remind myself to dismiss any worrisome thoughts that come my way and replace them with my usual dreams of Africa. It helps.

Tom is still coughing a lot, especially at night, but hopefully, that will improve each day. This morning, I noticed a bit of congestion in my head, and I have my fingers crossed it’s not the same as what Tom had when he first got the virus. Good grief, we’re leaving for Milwaukee in 48 hours. I better not get sick!

This morning, I made a batch of chicken salad using the last of our eggs to boil and celery, red onion, and sour cream for the dressing, which I use instead of mayonnaise, typically made with oils we don’t consume. Last night, I made a batch of shrimp salad while Tom finished the pork chops and rice.

After tonight’s dinner, we’ll know if we need to eat out tomorrow, depending on how much salad we have left. We’ll most likely have enough to get us through one more dinner. At that point, we’ll have used everything perishable in the freezer and most of the items in the refrigerator.

At noon, Greg’s girlfriend Heather and her adult daughter Hannah are picking me up for a girl’s lunch. I don’t know where we’re going, but wherever they choose will be fine with me. I can always find something in most restaurants. I’m sure Tom will enjoy some time on his own, and it will feel good to get out after several days hunkered down, except for our visit to Maisie yesterday afternoon.

We brought her a fun get-well gift, which she loves, and it was great to see her doing so well after her short hospital stay last weekend. We had a great chat and then headed back to the hotel after the hour-long visit so that Tom could rest and recuperate further. He didn’t hug Maisie and stayed far across the room.

The remainder of the evening was quiet and uneventful. We finished the fabulous series on Netflix, “Anne with an E,” which we highly recommend. It’s suitable for all ages, and we loved every moment. Tonight and tomorrow night, we’ll stay in again, allowing Tom more time to rest. Fortunately, the drive to Milwaukee is only a little over five hours.

We’ll do laundry and pack tomorrow, storing some bags with the hotel so we can take very little with us for the two-night stay. Before we know it, we’ll return to this hotel and settle in for two more months until our departure on August 25.

That’s it for today, folks. We hope you have a good “hump day” if you are still working and another good midweek day if you are retired.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, June 12, 2014:

These tall flowers grow wild in Madeira, often blue and occasionally white. For more photos, please click here.

Birthday party last night…Heading to see granddaughter at 11:30…

Time was winding down as we prepared to leave Madeira to sail to Australia and the South Pacific, where we’d stay for several months.

Again, I am rushing this morning to leave for Chaska to go see Maisie. With Tom feeling better and no longer contagious, we feel confident visiting her and seeing Miles and Madighan. Most likely, Greg will be working, but we won’t see him. I’m glad Tom will drive there after my driving experience to Target on Sunday for cough medicine for Tom. I am not a good driver, and it’s best I don’t get behind the wheel.

Last night, we headed to Champlin for DIL Tracy’s 60th birthday party at a festive bar and grill, where 11 of us sat at a big table and had a good time. Tom wasn’t feeling 100% yet but could interact and enjoy the few hours with everyone. The limited meal options made it tricky to find something I could eat.

I ordered a relatively plain diced chicken salad when I’d left out some ingredients I don’t eat, such as tortilla strips and bottled dressing. It was okay, but I was still hungry when we got back to the hotel, and I had a big bowl of Fage plain Greek yogurt with added frozen berries, my go-to snack when I’m hungry at night.

Tom insisted on sleeping on the sofa last night, although I pressed him to let me sleep there while he had the bed. It’s a queen size, and if he’s facing me, he could end up coughing in my face, so we knew we’d have to sleep separately until his coughing is gone.

It’s hard to believe I didn’t catch what he had. He is often the one to start with a cough or flu, and I catch it from him. But his symptoms started a week ago, and so far, I’m OK. Most likely, this time, I dodged a bullet. This is a big relief since we’re leaving in three days to head to Milwaukee for Sister Beth’s 70th Jubilee celebration. Five of us from the Lyman family will attend the mass and celebratory luncheon prepared by the nuns.

We’ll all spend time with Sister Beth, but her health has been challenging, and she can only visit for short periods without becoming exhausted. That’s why we planned to spend two nights in Milwaukee, enabling us to visit with her over two days. The others are staying one night; we can be with her again on Sunday.

We’ll return to this same hotel but most likely will be staying in a different room.  We didn’t want to pay for two hotels simultaneously, so we’re checking out on Friday and back in on Sunday. The hotel will keep our excess luggage so we don’t have to leave it in the car while staying in the Milwaukee hotel.

As a result, on Thursday, we’ll do laundry again and then pack the one bag we’re taking with us and store the rest in the storage area in the hotel. We’re glad we’ll get a different room when we return since there are some problems with the TV for streaming shows, and there’s an issue closing the door. Maintenance has been here twice for each issue but hasn’t been able to resolve them. We haven’t pressed it since we figured out workarounds, as we often do.

That’s it for today, folks. Again, thanks for all Tom’s well wishes. He surely appreciated all the kind and thoughtful comments.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, June 11, 2014:

Tom’s photo is at dusk, as we spent our last night in Madeira, Portugal. For more photos, please click here.

He’s doing better! Whew! What a relief!!!…Back to our busy schedule…

As we drove around Campanario, Madeira, we encountered these blue stalks. We stopped the car, and I got out and zoomed in to get a closer view of these beautiful flowers. See the photo below.

I hoped he was on the mend when I didn’t hear Tom coughing much during the night. When he got up, he said he was feeling much better, so much so that perhaps we could go to Tracy’s birthday party tonight at a restaurant in Champlin (35 minutes from here) at 5:15.

We wouldn’t have gone out tonight if he weren’t so much better. As we discussed this morning at breakfast, the virus began about a week ago when he noticed a fullness in his ears, and his nose ran a lot. We assumed those symptoms were due to an allergic reaction to all the pollen flying around Minnesota this time of year.

But when the awful cough began, we knew it was more than an allergy, and he was down for the count for the entire weekend. It’s quite a relief that he’s back to being his usual cheerful self, although the cough continues to a much lesser degree.

Usually, when he gets sick, I follow suit a few days later. I am hoping that this time, I dodged a bullet. So far, I feel fine, for which I am very grateful. In the meanwhile, we’ve had to stay away from our granddaughter, who had surgery on Friday, who we’ll visit tomorrow, hoping enough time has passed since the onset of Tom’s symptoms.

It was a long weekend. On Saturday, when Tom was coughing badly and had a fever, I drove the rental car to the closest Target store to get him Day/Night Nyquil. I’d ordered Nyquil on Amazon, but there wasn’t same-day delivery available for that product. I hadn’t driven a car in a long time but decided I could make it one mile to the Target store.

Up close and zoomed in, we were shocked by what we saw the above stalks. Quite lovely.

Driving like an “old lady,” I made it up and back to Target without incident and other drivers honking at me. While driving, it was easy to tell how diminished my reflexes are right now, most likely due to my current heart condition. I am hoping that this will improve after I have surgery.

Tom didn’t eat much on Saturday, but finally, he ate half of his dinner last night. This morning, he had a small breakfast of scrambled eggs and sausage. I was happy to be able to take care of him while he was so sick, as he has done for me in the past. Soon enough, he’ll be busy taking care of me.

We’ll see how he does during the day today to determine if we can go to the party tonight, if only for a few hours. Right now, he is napping while our usual favorite podcasts are playing in the background. Sleep can be curative when under the weather for one reason or another.

That’s it for today, dear readers. Tom, thanks to you for all the get-well messages and our readers for their continued readership during this quiet time in our lives.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, June 10, 2014:

Tom enjoyed taking these sunset photos while in Madeira, Portugal. For more photos, please click here.