Saturday morning I woke up expecting I’d be doing my normal routine of drinking two cups of coffee while reading and replying to comments on my latest blog post. But that didn’t happen because what I discovered (by subscribing to my own blog) is that Mailchimp didn’t send email notices out to any of my subscribers that I had something new posted, thus I only had one comment from someone who wandered in from another source. Long story short the company has recently changed or started enforcing a policy for their free accounts and I’ll either have to start forking over $156 a year or comply with the limitation of sending only 1,000 notices out per month. That translates into me writing six blogs per month instead of the eight I usually do, But it was a choice to make on another day because Sunday I had guests coming which meant I had sinks and floors to clean and party stuff to get ready.
The party was for my brother who is getting harder and harder to take out to restaurants because it takes two of us to walk him in---one to make sure his walker isn’t getting hung up on sidewalk cracks or chair legs and the another person to hold doors open and thank people who step out of the way when he’s about to run into them. So I offered to have my brother’s kids, their spouses and his girlfriend come down to my apartment to a birthday celebration. We only live one building apart, a half a block ride in the courtesy wheelchair. It gave Jerry a change of scenery and us more privacy than doing a gathering in the dinning area in the building where he lives. It’s a common practice with couples on campus where one spouse is living in Assisted Living or Memory Care and the other one is Independent Living. The party worked out perfect; I have ten chairs and I entertained nine people. My building does have a private space with a kitchen that residents can rent for bigger family parties and we can even get parties catered by our restaurant crew.
One of the biggest stress points my brother’s dementia causes for himself and the family is he’s always worried and arguing about not having any money to carry around. But the problem with giving him some is he either losses it, hides it or it gets stolen or a combination of all three. When my dad was in Hospice a night shift worker was stealing money from his wallet that he kept under his pillow each night until I got wise and filled the wallet up with Monopoly money. Dad didn't know the difference. He'd just see the edges of the bills and was at peace that he had plenty of "walking around money" and I wasn't going broke on a daily basis when Dad asked to bum some cash from me.
For my brother’s birthday one of my nieces found some ‘theater money’ online that looks like the real thing---it fooled me. She told me afterward that it says ‘copy’ on them but with the bills under $20 it’s written in a small font and she doesn’t think her dad will notice. At the party she gave him a wallet with enough “cash” to make him happy. The day after the party I talked to my brother on the phone and he said, “One of the bills doesn’t look right,” and I thought, “Well, that didn’t last long.” But he went on to explain that on one side it says $1 and the other side says $5. I let out the breath I was holding and I told him new money like that sticks together and if that’s not what’s happening it’s a rare error bill like my husband used to collect and I told him I’d look at the next day.
But the next day when I go there the entire wallet was gone and all the theater money along with it. My niece called the building manager and Jerry’s room got a thorough search and I even patted him down in case he had it in a forgotten pocket. I can only hope if someone did steal it that they get caught trying to spend fake money and they’d have to try to explain to the police where they got it. If they did figure out it wasn’t real money the chances of the wallet showing back up again are pretty high. Stay tuned.
And now for the my decision on what I’m doing about this blog. I like to think I’d write posts even if no one is reading them but that would be a lie. Not having a way to let subscribers know when I publish something new cuts down on my pleasure in keeping a blog and paying to get a subscriber’s list sent out is not going to happen. So, I’ve decided to cut back to posting every Wednesday (4 or 5 posts a month)---drop the Saturday posts. I may experiment with making the Wednesday posts longer in content and/or throwing one or two extra posts out during each month if something special is going on. (I can do six without having to pay to have notices sent to subscribers.) Working out a new rhythm to my life is going to take time but Mailchimp’s curve ball just brought to the surface something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while now. Next Wednesday I’ll tell you all about the painting class I started this week. ©
Edit to add: Yes, I know this email notice went out on Thursday which was Mailchimp's doing not mine. (It actually got published on time.) But I'm delighted none the less because now I know the day of the month when they roll me over to a batch of 1,000 email notices.