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Monday, September 6, 2010

Ann's Multiple World of Personality: Regular No Cream No Sugar

Brought over from 8-23-10

Good morning. This is me … it’s Sunday and we figured that we should get something down. I don’t think we’ve written since we did the podcast last Tuesday. At that time we were getting ready for our meeting and it was a two day meeting. As to that … I think the meeting went fine. I like the teacher and have had him before.

He’s very comforting in his sturdiness. He’d been a cop before and had that kind of confidence. Plus, he was teaching Basic Investigative Skills so he had a nice curiosity in getting to know his audience.

There were several times he had direct conversation with me during the day, but the favorite was on the last day on the last break. Most the people were gone and I was there listening to my iPod. Finally, it had seemed that I’d unconsciously bugged him enough because he said, what are you listening to anyway? He did it in a friendly frustrated way because every time we had a break we’d go back to listening. Maybe he felt competitive with my interest.

So, I smiled and giggled a little and told him we were listing to quilting podcasts. He had guessed music or something. Then I told him that we were a quilting podcaster too and that we listened to the competition. There was a few more minutes chatter. He had asked like what would he hope to learn like was I giving quilting instructions but I said no not too much because I wasn’t very experienced. I told him it was like sharing a journal in some of the common areas, but that we also had the feature part which has been an essay like on creativity and then we have some kind of learning opportunity. He was like ohhh ohhh, I get it. It was very cute.

The meetings were interesting and familiar – we had let our standing slide … he teased us about that. At the last part there was the training where we had to role play. That’s never fun, but we got ourselves through it, but then about 3 pm, just as he was winding up, we got a text from Mark saying that CS had been brought to the hospital and that it didn’t look good. We packed up our stuff, whispered to the teacher what had happened and then we were released.

I’m going to slip in here what we’d put out as to what was happening with CS. Here it is.

Just wanted to let you know what was going on. I didn’t go up to CS today, but I’ve stayed back to take care of the necessary communications. Rich talked me into staying because while she’s in the hospital being cared for there’s nothing ...much to do for her up there right now. I check in with her every 3-4 hours. She doesn’t have her phone or computer – so she doesn’t have other people numbers, which is probably good anyway, she’s pretty out of it. I don't know if it's going to be a short hospital stay or a long one. I'm happy to answer any questions I can. CS is at St. Luke's Hospital in Milwaukee, WI which is supposed to be one of the best WI hospitals. BUT, please do not call her until we check to see if she wants the call.

If anything I recommend an email. Someone will bring to her the plugs she needs for the phone so she can read the email. Please don't go into all your problems or your friends problems, because she has enough on her own.

They are giving her morphine every 15 minutes. She’s got several problems. She’s got regular things like fibromyalgia and arthritis, but she also has problems with her neck and lower spine needing to be re-fused. She went in for severe headaches which haven't stopped yet and that she passed out while at her doctor’s office. Her sugar count was down to an extreme because she hadn’t eaten – so we’re not sure if she’s going to have attached diabetes or hypoglycemia. Also, she was reporting that her face had felt numb, so they had to rule out that she’d had a stroke. She doesn’t appear to have had one. She’s got another situation about that chest problem she’s had for quite some time … she has Mercer so she’s in isolation and there are some limitations with what they will do because of it. She also had her morphine pump changed through surgery within the last couple weeks, so that had it’s own problems, they had to empty it and refill it just to make sure it had sealed correctly. She says they thought if it weren’t connected she would have died. They are over that part now. Just it will take a couple of days for it to get back to a therapeutic level.

She went through one MRI yesterday for her neck and lower spine and they found more to back up the probability she has MS which they've been suspicious of, and as well they had to do a test with her throat, because that seemed to indicate due to its tightness MS. I'll start doing some reading on MS in a little bit. Her lower back showed some kind of lesion - a problem with myelin sheathing over her nerves. Today she will go through an MRI to find if something is going wrong with the connection between the brain and the neck. And, after that she’ll get physical therapy, because she’s having problems with movement and stiffness.

I’m trying to keep CS connected to those relatives and friends that will be supportive of her, so she doesn’t get down. Mark’s having a hard time too because of all the work he’s doing - he's overloaded, but Nathan and his wife are helping him. I understand not being able to live her life for her, but I can at least help with the communications for the moment. It's taken a couple days just to find the bulk of her problems.

And then this one …

Thank you for your prayers today ... I think something must be happening right. I just got off the phone with CS and the first thing she said is that she doesn't have MS - they ruled it out. She went through 2 1/2 hours of an MRI this aft...ernoon which really took a toll on her. They changed her to a pump with some kind of medicine that's supposed to be 5 x stronger than Morphine, so I can't imagine what that is. She's got more control over it, but it's paced.

She says that she is now hooked up to oxygen because she's been having breathing and they are monitoring her heart because of low blood pressure. She says that that the tests show that her two disks neck and lower spine are going to need being fused, but she says more information is going to be needed in deciding if this is going to happen faster or slower. It's pretty major.

She says the area where her spine and skull connect is swollen and enlarged, but there doesn't seem to be any other problem in her brain ... which is one of the best news for the day. She says that it is in part due to aggravation of the fibro. They said they can't tell yet when she'll be released, but she won't be going anywhere for a couple of days at least.

She had two good visits today one from her friend Carol, and another from Mark. Dani was going too, but by then she'd been spent out - maybe tomorrow. BUT, she DOES have her phone cord and the phone and Internet are charged! She's still having problems with her vision and she has to lay straight on her back. I've sent her a copy of all the notes that get emailed to me when a prayer goes out. I really want to thank you for that. CS says every news that's good is GREAT! Well something like that. She appreciates your support. And I APPRECIATE your support of her ... THANKS!

The second note was about Friday I think. We only talked to her once on Saturday and once on Sunday. It seems that everything was fairly smooth. CS didn’t seem to have the big problems that we’d worried about, with the exception of the neck and back having to be fused again which meant surgery, but there is no idea at this point how soon, they might have to get better before they do something. They did change her medicine which she said was 5 times more than the morphine she was being given. She says that the fibromyalgia is affecting the swelling in her neck where the skull and spine connect so they are trying to get that part normalized. She complains that she has to lay straight on her back and that she needs the heart monitoring and oxygen and IV drip. This at least is what we were hearing about last night. She’s also not going all the way to the bathroom, she’s got a commode on the side of her bed.

I think she has some dependency issues because she was pretty upset about the thought that they might send her home as soon as today. She didn’t feel she could stably across the floor to the washroom. But, that seemed to tell me that it was then what she should be working on. She says she’s ready to go home, but she’s worried about being able to get by without the special care. When she gets home, she will be all on her own and she’s going to have to contend with the dogs.

There were a couple conversations we’ve had with her the last couple of days that centered on just a couple thoughts. First was that she was going to have to do something with the dogs in that they jump on her, the bed, lay across the walkway, and get on her when she’s trying to eat. I said that she was going to need training them not to be having people privileges. She’s got no borders with them.

She started to blame Mark because he hadn’t trained them and we explained that they weren’t doing these things with Mark, they respected his space … they were however riding over her authority. She did then what I was afraid of. I heard from Mark that he was blamed for not training them. I said NO, that’s not what I said, and then I repeated what I’d just said. It was HER that had to do the training. CS is such a people pleaser that she doesn’t want to be tough on them. If they jump at her dishes, then she just throws them the food and with the one dog risks that her fingers are going to get snapped if she’s not quick enough.

The second problem had to do with Mark’s hours. CS did everything within her power to say that she wasn’t going to be able to help Mark at the church. I knew she’d overdone things which was some of the problem … instead of doing just a few things, she was putting 4 hours into vacuuming with then the obvious affect that unconsciously she might have been looking for. What we were telling her was that we’d talked to Mark he was way overwhelmed and not knowing how he was going to manage just the next bit of work. He’d taken on 52 hours with one job and 35 hours with another. It’s the second job that he was looking for help at. Nobody can or should be working 87 hours a week. And, then it was pre-loaded so that some days there was little break between things and the odd days he’d be trying to catch up on sleep. It’s not a very attractive life style.

I said that he and CS were going to have to come up with a figure for the amount of work he should be doing that was sane. And then, he’d have to write down the number and refuse to go over it with his comfort keeping job. He was so close to quitting the whole thing, because they are really taking advantage of him. I explained that CS was having trouble saying no to the dogs, and he was having problems saying no to his bosses. Mark could see that point, but he seems to keep going – most likely out of fear for loss of income. It’s very hard to see him go through it. I told them that I couldn’t tell what his magic number was, but that it was closer to 60 than 90. That is a lot of difference.

I think I got the most frustrated with CS. I told her that just because she had taken herself out of the helping equation; it didn’t mean the couple’s problems were solved. She would have to work with Mark to make things safer for him. She has in mind that she’s doing a lot by getting him ready in the morning, but I’ve seen that … it means she turns on the coffee, pours the juice and puts peanut butter on his toast. Then she goes back to bed. She is doing some of the laundry … maybe most of it, but laundry is a small item when it’s right next to the kitchen. I know she does other housekeeping, but not so much she’s going crazy with it. I can see that she’s going to have Mark pick up more of the work, though he’s still going to be working long hours. He already does the shopping and cooking which is very much like Rich – so I should be complaining, but the fact is that Rich has much more expendable time then me and that I’m still working 40 hours.

CS was going to need helping Mark cut down his hours, but what she was trying to say instead is that Mark likes to work and that if he didn’t work he wouldn’t have anything to do. This has just got to be wrong thinking. Maybe this is why his boat was sold. He had too much work to do. I just can’t believe anyone wants to work 90 hours a week. It’s like slave trading.

Well, that’s pretty much my take on all that. I’m probably way over involved already. Maybe it’s the nature of being family. There are certain things that balance out the way Rich and us do things. First is that he doesn’t have to work 40 hour days at the center so he takes off during the day to do things like shopping. And, then secondly, he may be working during the evening on his games, but he’s still getting or taking the opportunity each week to be golfing, fishing, card playing, watching TV and visiting his friends and family – so in that respect I can’t be over-indulging his efforts too much. Plus, we have those golden hours for our dates, where he is soaking up the massages. Then as to the housework, we’ve got responsibilities like picking up, dusting, bathroom, folding clothes and dishes. It’s a little more balanced, or more than anything else, I see that as long as I’m discussing someone else’s situation I need to look at my glass house.

We work hard not to over stress our own systems. Though through all this, please don’t think I work or play as hard as Rich. Our compensating time is that we like to do the writing, quilting and now podcasting.

I really like what’s happening in our life in all these respects. But, you gotta keep looking at the balance to make sure things are going ok. If one person or the other in a relationship feels overwhelmed there has to be more negotiating going on. If you can’t resolve things internally, then you have to look at external resources.

So, what else has been happening?

One of the things that happened Friday after we got home from work was that we got a call from a lady named Natalie from a publishing company called Friesen Press based in the Western part of Canada near the state of Washington. This has been pretty exciting … I will have to spell things out slowly because there’s a lot involved. Most of Friday night and yesterday was taking care of all of that and dreaming that I was going to have several hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend, and then Rich made it worse by thinking that we should trade in our car for lower payments while he might also switch over his car to something less expensive.

Well, you can tell this is going to be a lot already and my mother is also involved. Basically first comes first. I had come home by 2:30 pm Friday and had already eaten and had been drowsing around a bit. Natalie called, and it was like listening to a few things before I remembered that I had looked at a publishing something online and filled in some information like name, email and phone. She had sent me an email the Friday before, but I’d just skimmed it, filed it in my saved envelope and thought not much more about it. It would be expensive to self-publish and even though I thought their costs lower than most and I liked their service … it was still money that I didn’t have. Plus there was the business of podcast, to meetings, to CS so my mind had been otherwise occupied.

I was glad I hadn’t insulted the lady by throwing away her email. In the meantime, she seemed like a really nice lady – the kind you don’t have to be intimidated by.

She was just doing her business of trying to sign authors up to their program. She gave me a lot of information and she answered the questions that we could come up with. It seemed to be making a lot of sense and there was the part that we were already ready to publish in that we had edited as much as we wanted the first book. To make a long story short, we asked her how we would know if our book was worthy of reading and she said she’d make an honest appraisal of it if we gave her some small snippets of each of the chapters. That’s what we then did that night.

There was the other part too as far as money. I know these days that its customary to self-publish and then be picked if you’d been successful by higher publishing companies. I liked the package she was offering in that it sounded like we would get some books back – small number like 10, but that we would be registered with a copy writes and that we could be published in Amazon, Barnes and Noble and others … plus we could get one of those features where you can look inside and also you could be published to eBooks including Amazon’s Kindle. Man – you about then sold us there!

We talked about then the prices of their packages and that she said we could break down the price by 3-4 months, but that they couldn’t start the publishing work until the complete cost was paid. We started to worry, because we had decided that the second $1000 package was the one we would be able to get by with, but that that would mean four months of saving more money than we can typically save. So then the thought went to wondering if my mother would cover the cost – even if it meant paying her back. After we talked to Natalie we thought about it for a while and then decided to call my mother.

There was something else in the conversation in that we needed to make sure she knew about CS. We had emailed her, but since she hadn’t responded, we figured that we should make sure she knew. The conversation about CS went fine, but we found that like us there was some doubt as to how much of CS problem had been self-initiated – especially because she didn’t want to be cleaning or vacuuming with Mark. There’s no doubt she has an injury, but as Dr. Marvin said, most likely it’s psychosomatic.

After we talked about that some, we listened for a bit about how John was doing with his medical and dental problems, but not too much after we brought up the second part of our conversation that we’d alluded to at the start of the conversation.

It was probably one of the best conversations we’d had with my mother. We talked about our writing, some about the quilting, and we talked about her writing, in that I’d thought that quilting had come from my Grandmother, but in truth writing had probably come from my mother. I felt like I was tying into that part in that other than Christmases and birthdays we’d never received anything from her cash-wise that we could remember. If she was going to invest anything in my regard, writing is where I wanted to put it. I had asked once before for money back when we were looking at the houses, but obviously they didn’t have so much that they could afford what I’d wanted. They had said they could put a couple thousand forward, but that wasn’t nearly what we needed.

I did tell her that after we figured out the new house wasn’t going to happen we started looking at our own space. I hadn’t realized it, but she said we hadn’t told her about the quilting room with the bedroom in back. I told her about getting the $1000 from Sister for CARF and that we’d put money into making that room work including the ironing board, steamer, sewing tables, shelving, fabric for table skirts and curtains and so forth.

I did appreciate that she seemed to be listening and happy with the conversation. I knew that she’d have to talk things over with John and that seemed as it should.

In the meantime, I was thinking was this particular book something that she could advocate. The part that was messing me up was that there were some parts where we talked about my grandfather’s abuse and there were some parts – though not much on either side where we talked about her physical abuse of us. The most surprising thing there was apparently one of us had told her about those things already.

So with that part clear and her not falling over directly, we breathed some sigh.

We figured that whether or not she would fund the project that we would send her a copy of the book we’d put together for Rich and the boys and doctors. I think there were 8 copies, but I’m not sure if I hadn’t given them all away. These were the copies I’d printed for these people back not this Christmas, but the one before.

I read and skipped around in the book before I mailed it on Saturday thinking how would she take it or understand it. I’m thinking that she’s going to appreciate the book more than not, but I don’t want to get our hopes up. I have to separate it as there is a difference between her evaluating me and my life opposed to thinking is this a book worthy of publishing and that could be purchased.

The one hope I have there is that just the odds would rule that most likely some of the books would sell even if I didn’t make enough money to purchase my dream house. That would take like 120,000-140,000 books if we sold them at Amazon prices. The way it works with them is that we only get 10%, 35% goes to their publisher, 10% goes to Friesen and the rest goes to Amazon. If we sell the books through Friesen, we get 55% of the profit, they still get 10% and then 35% goes to THEIR printers. She was suggesting that the book go for about $25.

My logic was sounding more or less of our accomplishments in podcasting.

Podcasting is much less known than book reading, but enough people throughout the world including Australia and Europe and even Russia were listening to the podcast so that we’ve gotten like 2125 people who have subscribed. If we sold that many books through Amazon, we would make $5312. That would be enough money to pay for better publishing, pay off my mother and start a collection for the house. It’s just that odd is with you that if you publish a specialty book that others might buy it. I think the book grammatically and contextually will be good enough for people to justify reading it. I think that it’s alluring too that there are so many subsections in the book so that when people look at the table of contents, they are going to be happy and interested in reading more. I think it’s even more alluring that those people and others could buy more books of the same if they were interested enough in the story.

It wasn’t until last night that I started to worry again about mentioning people or stories in the book. Where I’ve never talked about any one specific client, I do tell general things about what is happening at work and with things like being mad at my boss or co-workers. I don’t know how they would feel about all that. We’d have to decide whether or not there would have to be a pen name, but then there was so much of me on the Internet that ties us to this sort of thing, I don’t know if it would work. I’m pretty sure though that I’m not going to sell 120,000 books, but if it were true one day and I could do something incredible with the money then chances are that we’d get over the situation with characters and places that things have taken place. Probably though I should be talking to the publisher about this and then maybe down the line talking to a lawyer. We’d have to see.

Right now one thing at a time – I don’t know whether or not my mother will pay for the book or whether I’m going to need saving for the next 5-6 months to pay for the book. I don’t see any ready money coming in … there are going to be gifts going out for Maury’s birthday and Christmas, so the next real time I could be collecting money might be through the tax money, but then again that wasn’t a whole lot last year and the federal government is trying to figure out whether or not taxes are going up. We’ll just have to see. The one thing for sure is that there are options, just one might take longer than another.

Hmm, maybe I only have to sell $100,000 books and then pay $250,000 toward the basic house and then maybe refinance another $100,000 to get all the extra house and furniture extras, or then for that second part I’d need to sell 40,000 more books. Hehehe right now though to be serious I’m thinking be nice to sell a couple thousand – If not one hundred! Hmm, maybe place our first real marker at selling 400 books, and then we could pay back my mother … that is a good deal! At that point I could say the books were then going to make a profit.

We went over the original letter from Natalie and realized that she’d asked some questions that we hadn’t answered yet. There we left the original letter and snippets on its own blog page. That should keep up from getting to lengthy and out of context with this post. I read through the whole thing again as people have been doing over the last three days.

We really had to get past what others might think of the writing in that as stated, we sent a copy to my mother yesterday.

I’m really not sure how she’s going to take it. I think we’ve been here already though so we’re going to let that part go. I’m thinking here it’s going to continue being the sore tooth until we can get some kind of response from it. I’m thinking it will be fine … just gotta take it easy. I think we know how judgmental she and John can be. They will get an idea in their mind and then they will stick with it. Most likely if they said no, they can’t do the $1000, I would try to publish it anyway, it just take the 5-6 months to save or to wait for the tax season. It won’t kill me, just be much harder. There’s benefits to going both ways just gotta see which card comes up next.

I figured that since they hadn’t called me in the morning, they might not have come to a decision or it might be a negative response. We made an executive decision that we’d get over the one stumbling block one way or another and that would be in making ourselves more vulnerable by having our mother know some of our thoughts – a lot of our thoughts. This hasn’t taken place our entire life, and I admit that even though we are 50 years old, we run into problems of being on the “kid” younger side when dealing with her. This isn’t necessarily her problem; it is us not being able to hold our space. There are a lot of feelings of trepidation of her. So many feelings not figured out.

I think it’s going to be most interesting for Dr. Marvin. For the last year and a half or so, we’ve been letting more of CS into our life, now we are challenging our worst fears. I don’t know what is going to happen with these kinds of communications. It does seem like she is getting stronger in that she is putting more of herself into “Our lives” and the lives of CS. I’m worried because is so critical of CS, but we’re thinking she’s nice to her face, and I’m thinking that the same goes to her relationship to me. She’s going to be nice, but critical off to the side, but then we realize that we are doing the same thing. We often spend more times distrusting her than trusting her. This is really a big deal - might have to cool it here a bit though … I don’t want to be overwhelmed with it.

So far so good though it is interesting that there are very new thoughts to very old spaces happening and this seems to be the real hard stuff that Dr. Marvin never gets to the bottom of because we’ve been so shaky over so many years of acknowledging her. Sure would be nice to get to the bottom of it. I couldn’t say quite yet if I want to trust there would be a relationship. It would be the first of its kind in my entire life. I think there was so much of a lack of boundaries that we couldn’t be ourselves around her – we didn’t know at which point we were going to get struck either emotionally or physically. I think it’s going to be much like CS in that there will be natural deficiencies that we’re not going to get over so that we shouldn’t set out those kind of expectations. This is where the hurt comes in from over a life time of feeling that this person isn’t capable of love, or that we could admit to ourselves that we might have needed it. It’s much too vulnerable of a thought to think we might need it now. If she behaves the way she has over the last 30 years then there’s really not too much sense of it. I’m not very interested in the people she knows. I hear stuff like we took care of them, but not anything about why you are doing it or what does it mean. Is this because you are afraid no one is going to take care of you?

That’s probably a rough question, but things need to be thought through their conclusions and we’ve gone now particularly this last week in that we are very analytical. I’m thinking at this point so is she, so that there’s that thought too of competitiveness – though in their relationship I’m being double tagged. I guess I could see Rich as my partner, but he’s so down on the whole situation I think it would be something that frustrates him incredibly just out of fear of me losing it. He sees me already losing work time with CS. This other could be crippling or more severe. But, if we keep thinking we are going to be dead or hospitalized if we go into the hard stuff, then we’re never going to progress. Yes, I know you’ve heard it. We’ve always been most concerned about wanting to progress. It’s just that we want to be the best we can become and part of that means being open and honest with our writing. That would just stand to make sense, right?

It’s kind of a funny thought to think that after 26 years of psychiatry that we could finally be coming to a place in our minds that we could talk about our mother. That would seem to be confusion in roles between what didn’t happen, and what does happen with Dr. Marvin. I would never ever want to substitute a “mothering” type relationship if I had to give up him to get the other and I’m thinking here that my mother is or has been smart enough to know that he gives challenge to our relationship. She doesn’t or might not want to realize it that he’s been the safety that she’s always neglected. Even in this simple act of dissecting everything between her and John is threatening in that she wants a relationship but it has to be to the two of them.

I can still hear John in the background saying things to her and listening to her conversation. It’s a part of the lack of boundaries that we’ve been discussing.

There’s nothing between them where his and hers is separate although … she’s now the one in the front being able to ask questions. This is a lot different than their need to be talking over the speakerphone. And, she doesn’t cut off so much to be not talking while he’s adding input. They are already in the process of judging before hanging up the phone, but she’s getting more courageous in herself presentation. She’s not hiding as much between the relationships that are hers.

It’s like why would she want to hear anything about my peers at work. Yes, they are in my life, but they are not relative to the relationship between us.

I can understand John being important to her life, but there should be a point where she can have her own thoughts without them being raked over. It is much different in a psychiatric relationship where there is only an hour a week so you have to pull together the best of yourself in presenting the top most important things, even if you didn’t think but are feeling through the session. For whatever reason that becomes the most important thing and you have to be ok with that to get you to the next sighting.

It was kind of funny in that … I knew and worked hard to get to the post office with the book box before it closed at noon yesterday. My mother and John hadn’t been immediately present so we ran into a bit of a panic not being able to find the address. Fortunately, it had been available in directory assistance. I had put a couple of calls in concerning the address and box and then she called back when they got home. I think there was some busy talk, but then it was like, ok … what do you think? Do you have the $1000 you want to invest in us? That’s when she said she’d have to look at the book first.

So, then there was a sigh. Ok, we had thought of that too as being one of her alternatives, but then it was like, can you say you are going to read the thing nearest and dearest to my heart and then subjectively say that it isn’t good enough, or that I wasn’t worth the investment? I had purposely decided that I wouldn’t ask for the next package up – the main one at $1500. I knew that if we were going to have this as the “emotional test” case that it was, that I was going to need keeping the money down reasonably. They had offered $2000 before and this was half. John also talked quite a bit about how much money they give away in donations. I’d been led to believe that they were giving out $500 scholarships, so then it was like, ok … put your money where your mouth is … I’m going to sacrifice all the secrets of who I am for a lifetime are you willing to meet me?

If they say no – then I will let it be. I’ll walk away and never ask again for anything. It’s just got to be that way, because now I’m like any starving artist I’ve written my soul away for a six pence in order that it not defeat me - we’ve got to just let it go. I’ve got what’s left of my humanly pride.

Hmm, maybe we should take a break here in that. Feeling a little anger here and we don’t want to make it like that. Basically, you give your book to anyone for them to read and you ask that they pay its worth. To my mother the cost is much more than $25. The cost is going to be $1000. Thinking here of Honor Balzac as he made his financial deals. I’m thinking here that what’s on the table is prophetic. I think she wants to show or play the upper hand. But it’s not about the competition for power. My side doesn’t need to be the most powerful; I’ve just got to be the safest one.

Ok, now on to some other business. I am going to want to get to some sewing today. Hmm, that was a funny thing … when we said something about something she wanted to remind me not to basically waste my time because I would need to get to the writing or sewing. I had told her fairly honestly that I’ve seen fit to include both in my life and that of the podcast which I tried to explain to her. I think she was concerned that I balance my time with Rich. I’m not sure if she thought I was spending too much time with him, or too little time with him, but she was putting it out there anyway. We told her that we have enough time and work with it fairly hard when we do have it, so that if we aren’t having an experience directly to the importance of us being ok – even if it were to take a nap, that we would most likely be writing or sewing. I don’t want to allow it to become that we are doing something because she wants it done, though we realize she may have caught a little of what it means to be “producing” in the funding of the adventure. We might have to see that the initial $1000 really goes back if we can’t trust even the most basic things with her.

The mere thought of her taking some command over my life as had happened in youth would be so absolutely devastating there would be no way that Dr. Marvin could pull me back. But, then maybe this is why we’ve paid him the big bananas over the course of years is to think that we know and trust him enough that he’s not going to let us sink in the mire of this relationship.

Because of the relationship I hold with Dr. Marvin though … he’s never taken even a director’s role. He’s more like the film’s consultant. He shapes and molds, but does not write, act or direct. If I thought of our relationship like that it would have never survived all these years, because I would think that my life was more his life. I think that is the importance of for so many years him letting me choose my own direction. The most directive he becomes is if he has to show me a document to sign or to let me know when he’s going to be off-duty. Other than that the agenda is mine.

Ok, ok … are we having trouble getting off the beaten path?

Maybe we should write a couple of notes on Rich’s Mom and Bud who we saw last night. We also saw Mark, Rich’s brother. I think to start the day before Rich disappeared – he had a football game or two and then had officiating meetings and dinner with his partners and I believe he saw Doug. After that we were going to have a fish fry with Bob, but that didn’t happen and instead Mark called to say that he was in town and that he’d like for Rich to see him over at his Mom’s.

I think that Rich was hesitant in asking, but nonetheless he did and I agreed to go without any complaint with the exception he might want to treat me special afterward. I had spent the day on the computer and by 7 pm when he stopped by to pick me up, I was ready to get out a bit. Unfortunately, I hadn’t thought things through in that the original plan was to eat dinner out there and that wasn’t going to happen because Rich was about an hour late. He had gotten a sandwich and I took a few bites from it, but for the most part I thought I was going to get something down the line. Then at some point we realized that we were only going to be sharing dessert. I got a little panicky there, but we made our way through it.

We had to wait for Rich’s Mom to get out of bed first. Rich said, that she’d said, that if Annie was coming that she’d want to get some rest first so she wouldn’t be as tired. I figured with all that male testosterone that she was going to need a woman who would listen to her a bit. I was right. Most times the three males seem to jump her in conversation like for example Rich was on her because he didn’t want her or Mark to be swearing so much, Bud was on her because he seemed to think nothing she said was important enough, and Mark seems to think somewhat like Rich that their mother isn’t smart enough … they seem to lay waste to her. But, she’s a pretty tough woman. They don’t want to hear that she’s having a rough time. It’s my objective to listen to her complaints and further than that we scolded Rich for not giving her enough time to talk about the funeral she was just at for a relative in WI. I think he got our point. They like to steal the show from one another so it takes a lot of determination to get one’s points across.

Rich’s mother really needs someone to listen to her even if expressing things that are scary. She’s very bold on thinking the most out of situations and even if she doesn’t or no one asks me how we’re doing I realize I’m picking up a bit of a role in that I’m the one everyone wants to listen as their story is being told. They will say things like, wait, wait … that’s not all now hear my point of view. I think that Bud was the closest on listening in that he saw me yawn and knew then that I was tired, although he was putting out that we’d come late so we should stay late. Rich has his own deadlines though and he wanted to be home by 10 pm.

So there was all that. Naturally, there were the parts of both Mark and Mom smoking too much for a trailer, that it was overly warm, and that there was a lot of hacking and coughing going on. Those were normal aggravators but not deal breakers. It’s why though when Rich wants me to go out that its harder to get me out the door, because they become stumbling blocks. I feel better too when we go out and it’s just dessert in that I’m never sure who’s been touching what between things. I’m afraid to say, but both the older people touch a lot of their itchy scabs in stuff and I’m always worried about some kind of bacterial contamination.

It’s just a small problem I have … or like when I see his Mom playing in the ashtray arranging her butts on one side or another, and then she’s sticking her finger in a cup to measure it out.

I think Rich says something from his grandmother that you have to eat a certain amount of dirt before you die, it’s just that when I think of things like that it tends to creep me out. I don’t think they mean to be so absent-minded on the sanitary parts, but it might be a case of getting old.

Shoot … there was a whole long couple of paragraph’s here that got erased when my computer mysteriously closed down. I’m very thankful though that the other 13 pages were saved. I know I tend to write on.

Mostly what we were going to say is that Rich’s friend Doug has been now taking care of 90 year old folks who no longer can care for themselves. In the process he had to hire someone who would be with them 13 out of 14 days. Rich told a funny frolicking story of how the Mr. liked being bathed. Rich said they’d seen this as a good sign because he or she hadn’t taken a bath in 3 weeks. And then Rich told the story of his Grandfather taking baths in the sink and having never seen him in the bath or shower. I guess this kind of thing gets passable when you are old, but as to the story previous … it makes you worry about what is being touched and how clean people are in taking care between things.

Ok, old story … as to the rest of the night … it was a good drive home. Rich and us talked about the night and didn’t disagree much. We also got into other conversations that included a talk about car purchasing. He’d called midday yesterday between games and he said that he had stopped by and was looking at a car purchase – he was looking at the Honda Pilot and Odyssey as a trade for his Toyota Highlander. He also talked about trading in my CR-V for something less expensive on car payments.

That had then taken me the next 5-6 hours to car shop online. We read tons and tons of things about new cars. I didn’t know how big the Honda Insight was, but if it weren’t too small I really wanted to consider getting one mostly because we could get one for $18,400 which didn’t sound overly expensive and we could get much better gas mileage. People were saying they were getting 50 miles per gallon. I would think that my car got at least half as little as that. I’m scrambling for 19 mpg – the actual figures looking like my car does 63% less or is 63% more expensive in gas cost and waste.

Rich didn’t like that I didn’t like his Honda so much because it was rated so low 7.1 and 8.4,

CR-V 8.0 and 8.8 /16.8 and then Insight 8.0 and 9.0 /17.0 and then Highlander 7.9 and 9.3 /17.2 and then Odyssey 8.5 and 8.1 /16.6 and then Pilot 7.1 and 8.4/15.5 … the numbers represent first the editor and then the consumer rating, and then last adding the two together.

So in ranking it’s the

Highlander – 17.2
Insight -17.0
CR-V – 16.8
Odyssey – 16.6
Pilot – 15.5

83.1 – average 16.6 so that everything was above average other than the Pilot

To end this part of the story … we’re just saying that Rich and us watched the tails of cars all the way home, because I wanted to figure out if the Insight was big enough for me and if not the Toyota Prius, but then that cost $3,000 more. So, like everything else it’s a matter of checking it out.

The last thing I wanted to say is that … I really hope the book situation works out and even if my mother doesn’t want to do it that I get a chance to publish. I can’t help thinking this immediate thing that I have to sell 100,000 copies. Hmm, maybe we should figure out some stuff about other authors writing autobiographies or memoirs? Be back in a bit.

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