News, updates, and happenings with the Kragnes family: Phil, our Seeing Eye Dogs, and (me) Rebecca.

First a quick update on Zane. He’s done with the anti-nausea pills, and there have been no more incidents. We’ll finish the pupcid in his food, and the vet says if the regurgitating doesn’t start again (which I don’t think it will) we can go on with life off of the medication.

Phil has been back at work this week and went to the hand specialist on Tuesday. There is no infection, and it just needs time to heal. Unfortunately, he still keeps bumping it, and despite the band aids, it still throbs — especially when he’s lying down for some weird reason.

The last few days have included a couple of cool events. First, Phil’s new supervisor (the job for which he applied) was announced. You wouldn’t think that would be good news, but Phil told me almost from the start if he didn’t get the position, there was a particular person in his office with whom he felt he could work very well as a supervisee. That person got the job. I’ve actually heard Phil talk very respectfully about Scott from almost the time Scott started. Scott has more managerial experience, and he told Phil the interview was very intensive on managerial skills. Meanwhile, Phil had his final performance review with his retiring supervisor Peggy, and they seemed to agree on almost everything included in the pretty glowing review. Her goodbye gathering is this coming week, and Phil has had some involvement with part of its planning.

Phil got his new hearing aids this past week. The first day one of them stopped working, which really bummed him out. It turns out there was some wax build-up on it. When that happened in the other ear a few days later, he did his best to get the wax off, and it worked again. Before hearing aids, I had to yell across the house if he was in another room. Our house is not that big, but I thought this was par for the course. I don’t have to yell across rooms and actually find I can speak at a lower volume to him when we are in the same room than I have in a while. He has been telling me when he hears subtle noises the dogs make which were absent before his hearing aids. There were many times before hearing aids that I’d ask if he heard something, and he said no. I don’t think either of us realized how much he was missing. He has a way of plugging the hearing aids into his iPhone and a little chord to use with his hearing aids at ATM machines with speech.

Then for the second weekend in a row, Phil went to dialysis in the early morning, and we had an event in the afternoon. He loves getting dialysis out of the way in the mornings, and we both hope for more of these opportunities. It’s unusual for us to have Saturday events, because of dialysis. Phil’s most frequent tandem bike pilot in the past year named Nickolai is going for military training in Texas for the summer and early fall. Originally, we were supposed to have Nickolai and another friend of his over to our place for a cookout Friday the 11, but that was one of the days Phil wasn’t feeling well. A couple weeks ago, Nickolai extended an invitation for a going-away party his parents were having for him today. Originally, it was slated to be at a park, and I wasn’t very sure about attending. I’m not an outdoors person as most people probably know. The grilled food would have been good, but morning rain might have put a crimp in the setup. Then it was moved to his parents’ home, and an indoor event made me a lot less leery. Things started a little late, and in typical Metro Mobility fashion when things are running late, we arrived early. They had a delicious mid-day meal of sandwiches, chips and salsa, salads, fruit and yummy desserts.

Nickolai’s mom Deb is a classical piano teacher, and his dad Jim plays harmonica and violin. Jim plays classically with sheet music but also does other styles like blue grass, country, and good old rock and roll both with lead sheets and by ear. You probably know where this is going. Jim and I had a jam session I wish had been able to go on much longer. Deb’s piano was tuned so well, and we discovered we use the same piano tuner. Oh the music! We did some Stevie Wonder and some Elton John. He improvises very well and can carry the melody easily when he knows the song. I wish we’d had more time, but I had to play for church. The cantor felt she needed a lot of practice time with me, so we had to leave right at four. Jim had to play for a wedding and was leaving about the same time. I friended Jim on Facebook, and I’m hoping perhaps we can get together for fun and something might develop professionally. I met a singer at the Malt Shop last weekend who took my business card, because he needs accompanists who play the same pop stuff I do. . It’s fun to make these connections and frankly just to interact in person more than I have most of the winter.

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