Select Page

(Like so many pieces of laundry, morning thoughts.)

November 18-25,  2019

Living with Parkinson’s

Phyllis & Sam Turner ©2019

For archives go to

ALOHA: Adult Loss of Hearing Association
APDA: American Parkinson Disease Association
BSC: Bristol Stool Chart
CH: Cynthia Holmes, Ph.D. Neurology
CPAP: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure mask (for Sleep Apnea).
DBS: Deep Brain Stimulation (much improved since Michael J. Fox!)
HEH: Happily Ever After!
HOH: Hard of Hearing
HS: Harvey Stanbrough Pro-writer and mentor (
IBS: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (often associated with PD)
LVST: Lee Silverman Voice Technique) has been an effective way to treat the symptoms of impaired voice and swallowing (a PD problem for some) …
MJFF: Michael J. Fox Foundation
NAMASTE: The Spirit within me honors the Spirit within you.
PD: Parkinson’s Disease
PDSG: Parkinson’s Support Group(s)
PMD: PARKINSON & Movement Disorder Alliance
PSP: Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.
P.J.: Phyllis – my wife: SWOMBO (She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed) A contributor and #1 editor.
PT: Personal trainer Tresha,  including daily in-home exercise assignments for PD
RWA: Romance Writers of America
TAODW: The Art of Dying Well
TCF: The Compassionate Friends (For parents who have experienced the death of a child or sibling.)
WIP: Work in Progress (Awakening) or (32º North) Title undecided. Writing is my vacation!
YISKA: Navajo for Darkness has passed.  (Also the name of a Navajo Border Collie who barks in Navajo!)

11.18.19: 0900: Ready for the Monday Writing Group. Plato and running an Iron Man were some of the subjects.  And the use of NEAT and MARVELOUS as Velcro words that are stumbling blocks to reading a description.


From Len Hill:  I can tell that Parkinson’s hasn’t kept you from being forever star-struck. But you probably never managed to track down the old lady who lives on the moon. She has only one long, jagged front tooth. She uses it to punch the holes in Swiss cheese in order to make a living. And that, Sam, is NOT fake news.

SET: Ah, yes. She was a weaver of stories, I believe. But I have not been able to see her with my binoculars. Have you seen Jack and Jill and the bucket of water?


Loved reading about your astronomy experiences. You and PJ are quite accomplished in that area. I was the type of person who never could remember the names or locations of things in the sky. However it didn’t prevent me from appreciating over the years astronomy by donating yearly to the Keck telescope in Hawaii; getting up in the middle of the night to view meteor shower; lying awake at night while backpacking in the Sierra Nevada backcountry staring at the sky; appreciating movies such as 2001 A Space Odyssey, The Martian, and Interstellar; or reading books by authors such as Isaac Asimov (Robot and Foundation series) and Arthur C. Clarke.

I am overly booked tomorrow with morning PT, afternoon support group, and evening presentation to attend (about several backpacks I did in the Grand Canyon with the presenter, including the Royal Arch Loop, The Escalante Route, and Nankoweap). I hope my energy level is there. I’ll see you and PJ tomorrow if it is.


SET: Yes.  I also read those. We used the Walker Ranch near Sonoita, where they would turn off all lights, and we would stretch out our foam mattresses and watch the Leonid meteor shower until it was almost dawn. Another dark place was the South Rim of Grand Canyon. It was so dark that simple objects like the Big Dipper were hard to find because of all the other stars around. Did you ever get to the Keck?


As always so interesting.  Thank you, Phyllis and Sam!

SET: Glad you enjoyed that.

From Virginia Mann:

Wow, wow, wow! Quite a MM!!!

I try to tell people abt Sam, my friend.

From now on, I’ll hand them this!!!

SET: Glad you enjoyed that.  I hope we can generate this kind of excitement at Gregory School.

From Marilyn Hoover:

 Hi…Life changes…time passes…and we remember the “good old days.”  The night I met my first husband, he pointed out Orion in the Florida sky.  He’s still my favorite constellation!

I have written five of the six stories from the sentences my son, David, gave me while I was visiting him in Indiana in October.  They are just for fun, and it’s enjoyable and relaxing for me.  I’m attaching them for you to read in all your spare time…oh, well, anytime in the next five years will do.  Hugs to both of you, Marilyn Hoover

SET: Thanks, Marilyn.  I’ll read your stories. Her prompt sentences are on page 6.

From Ian:(fellow astronomer who owns a 10-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain scope)(He also built his own Dobsonian out of a water heater and parts of binoculars!)

Thanks much. Hope your scope gets good care.

SET: I’m sure it will. The science department is ecstatic!

PARKINSON’S: From Dr. Cynthia Holmes:

More information about the Tucson event:   Yes, we will go to this.

Even the rain couldn’t stop members from attending. We had 14 in our group. It was there that I got the information from Cynthia about the Davis Phinney presentation, which will be at the Tucson Community Center. This would be an excellent time to use Lyft or Uber transport again.

Much of the meeting time today was spent discussing the pros and cons of some of the Parkinson’s medication. Using carbidopa-levodopa generally requires multiple on-off times of use. Some members did not feel any change. The conclusion was that the remedy is highly individual.

ART class on 11.19.19: It’s been two years since I’ve picked up a paintbrush (watercolor). This is a self-portrait in seven minutes. Can you tell I’ve lost weight? Heh! Heh! I had to get away from the keyboard. Click on the site, and you can get a larger version of this.

We left in the rain; we came home in the rain. PJ was the sous chef fixing vegetables for the stir fry. She put some frozen chicken in the microwave while I was stirring the onions and celery into my prize stirfry pan.  The added vegetables all came together at the right time. Our son, Joe, would be proud of me. He would’ve done it faster, but I managed to have it ready by the time we watched the news.

11.20.19: 0730: We made it to Desert Sports five minutes early, even in the rain and traffic. The lights were in our favor. I finally admitted to Tresha that my leg pain was the result of improper standing when I shot archery. I’m leaning forward on that left leg instead of balancing. I’ll have to talk to my archery trainer about adjusting my anchor point. When we got home, PJ wanted to take a 45-minute nap before she got ready for her Red Hat meeting. Today, it will be at Millie’s Pancake House. Millie’s moved from their old site practically across the street to a better kitchen facility in Trail Dust Town.

I was planning to get some writing done on my WIP. I had so many responses on the astronomy piece that I spent most of the time answering emails. I fixed wraps for dinner using the leftover stirfry. We watched a couple of episodes of Doc Martin and called it a day (night?).

11.21.19: 0530: We awoke to rain and 58°. By 0800, there is a blue sky in the West but massive dark clouds in the north and east. 0845:  I drove up on the hill north of our house and see if the Catalina Mountains got snow.

1300:  North to Sabino Canyon.  Still socked in. They got six-inches.

1400: Al and I met with the acting President of El Gheko Neighborhood Association and five others, for an interview with K-Gun 9 reporter Natalie about the possibilities of our neighborhood becoming a historic district. The process may take about three years of dedicated work.

Big night tonight: UofA Basketball. We won, 64-71, but it was a sloppy first half.

11.22.19: 0530: Awoke to 50º and clear skies. Another storm is due by Thanksgiving eve.

Swombo just handed me the bill from the Tucson Fire Department for her “little” trip to the hospital two weeks ago.

Only $1237.74!

Was it worth it?

You bet!

Most of it was paid by insurance, which means we don’t have to hock the house this month.


From Harvey:

Great edition of MM, Sam. I shared it with a friend (Dan Baldwin) who also is very much interested in astronomy.  I only write when I’m inspired, so I see to it that I’m inspired every morning at 3 a.m. — my author website — my instructive Daily Journal

SET: Yes. Astronomy can become addictive.Dan may enjoy the Venus transit, below.

I knew I had these: This was June of 2012 with the Venus transit of the Sun. That’s my scope set up in the front yard with Corinna’s right leg and elbow. Helena is about to view the transit. Maureen is behind her, and Carl is assisting. I was focused on the event, not the people.

1100 – 1330: Lunch with Johnson’s catching up on three years of back history. Marilyn was one of the first persons who encouraged me to start writing back many years ago.

Marilyn’s prompt sentences from her son:

  1. He was just a stonemason, a carver, like his father before him, and had been all his life, but THIS he was determined would be his masterpiece.
  2. The moon was full, high, and clear over Bass Lake that night, its majesty accompanied by a chorus of cicadas, crickets, and the occasional thwerp-thwerping bullfrog.
  3. Kathy was reasonably sure she had never seen a hamburger so large and was quite certain she couldn’t finish it.

Three starters, all under 500 words. Want to take the challenge? Try it, just for fun.  None should be over 500 words. Send us what you have.  We’ll put them in an electronic folder and include them in the next (or the one after) Maytag Moments. I’ll add Marilyn’s results with yours. Enjoy!

11.23.19: 0645:

Today is our son, Joe’s Birthday!

Up before Sun to stand in line for POW-WOW and 60lbs. of produce @ $12.00. Note long shadows.  We weren’t as early as usual. Next time, we’ll bring gloves. The line went 20 yards behind where I was standing, made a U-turn to the left and down toward the red jackets; Easily a hundred in line. Got fresh garlic for the first time.  After the pick-up, I took PJ to I-Hop for breakfast.

Too bad, we don’t drink coffee anymore. Today would have been a good day for a cup.  Yes, there’s tea which we drink. But today would be a coffee day.

1330: I had a slight adjustment to my bowstring peep sight that will “force” me to pull my right elbow back rather than “pushing” my left arm (and leg) forward.  I came home and shot twenty arrows center high. I’m putting more weight on my right leg.  We’ll see how that works.

Football tonight. With a loss of 7 to 35 against Utah, I’m glad we watched Doc Martin, instead. I wonder if the powers that be are looking for a new coach?

11.24.19: 0500: We’ll go to the late church service with Joe and his family. Then, out to lunch at a new restaurant (for us): Culinary Dropout, where the old Grant Road Lumber used to be.

Two quick shots of our Birthday group. Starting on the left side is Chris, then Zach. Ethan looking at Grandmother Poe. Back on the right side in the pink shirt is Joe. (His birthday was on the 23, but he was helping the Boy Scouts set up their Christmas Tree lot. Next to Joe is Phyllis, then Jessa (Joe’s wife) and Julie.

 Below: Ethan, Charlotte Poe, and Sabrina.  Across from Sabrina is her mother, Julie, and moving toward PJ is Jessa.

1710: We had a thirty-minute window to see the Venus/Jupiter conjunction starting as soon as the Sun sets. No pictures, sorry. We thought the clouds would block them, but they were about 30ºabove the horizon and 10º above the clouds…

Bright, crisp pins of light in the south-east. Ol’ Eagle Eye Phyllis spotted them first, as usual.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Coming December 8th.

Worldwide Candle Lighting – Compassionate Friends › wcl

The Worldwide Candle lighting Memorial Service is held in honor and remembrance of those who have passed. Search by state to browse available WCL …

%d bloggers like this: