Keen observers will note the use of a diode in the feed back loop and a momentary OFF switch to isolate the DELAY pin in the timer. when doing the initial programming. Without the diode, the circuit behaved with slightly wrong logic and I have almost no idea why! Without the momentary switch, the DELAY pin in the timer sensed resistance through the MCU and the time interval became badly affected.
So far, as tests continue, the circuit seems to be working even with all the wild array of wires flying about all over the place creating gallons of associated parasitic capacitance. Maybe this circuit is now immune to parasitics?