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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Just finishing up the Retreat Weekend - Happy THANKSGIVING!

Good morning. This is me. We’re up, but have been struggling for consciousness most of this time. We were just going through the wake-up stuff on the computer. We’re thinking that maybe some of this slipping in and out of consciousness has to do with Marie. It’s like we’re sitting here, but then we’re like sleeping, but then not and we keep going back and forth. When we are coming back into awareness we have the sense and fleeting thoughts that we were thinking about other things, but it’s being done on an unconscious basis. We’ll have to give this more thought. I know that our part Marie has always been very elusive. But, we’ve given to her in the past for things just underneath our knowing level. Maybe we can talk to Dr. Marvin about it.

I don’t know if there is too much to catch up from the day before. I think you already have the gist of what was going on with CS. Basically, we had been unhappy because she had been putting a lot of negative sentiments on my mother’s husband that I though were unwarranted, but sounded just like the stuff she had dumped so assuredly over the years on her mother-in-law. We haven’t heard any comment back as to how things had been going with the sister-in-law staying over at her place, but I’ve known in the past she’s also dumped a lot of stuff on her, so now we’re thinking in some relations like the one with our mother, she’s probably dumping a lot of stuff about us. I don’t have proof of that, but we’ll be on the look-out for it.

We were confused as to why our mother would say that CS was asking for money, but CS denying any part of that reality. My good sense about that is that CS has always felt if I had something she should have something to and that it wouldn’t be beyond her to ask for money. I also think that CS is in denial so often that its hard to know what she is and isn’t doing. Not to say my mother or myself don’t have denial problems too, but we’ve worked for many years trying to accept responsibility for our actions. I don’t want to get into a lot of CS thoughts now though because there is so much going on … Hmm, this seems to contradict the last paragraph where I thought not too much happening. Yah, that be the way of a multiple.

I would still like to talk a bit about the weekend. I’m only 1/3-½ through with that conversation, but I wanted to talk about something else first that had happened yesterday. I had been responding to a note that Linda had left on Facebook to CS and ourselves about her losing her job and possibly going back to school. The two brothers that had hired her apparently were cheats in that they had only planned on her working there through the one brother’s chemo and they weren’t very upfront about that. They let her go on Tuesday without any notice. I don’t think she was even making as much as she was on unemployment. They were just idiots and the situation seems to explain them not giving her very much work. They obviously didn’t want her to get used to staying.

Linda and Tony had talked about it and they knew of some kind of Obama plan that if you went back to school under a certain directive you could remain on unemployment until you finished. I think it has to be toward an associates degree and the classes have to be toward something you are going to be looking for in a job. It’s a really good idea actually to help people get back on their feet. I like the idea of retraining and the development of skills.

So, because we are us … and I wanted to be supportive and knowledgeable when we talked to Linda in encouragement, we looked up local schools in the area that would fit the business program in accounting that she’d talked about. We did find a school that was ten minutes away from her that offered that and as well a business management degree. Basically, I thought if you only have an associate level accounting you can never be more than a lightly skilled bookkeeper, but if she took business classes, she could work for herself in owning some kind of quilting business from home. Wow! That made a lot of sense to me and it seemed to fit with our recent ideas on being an entrepreneur.

When we sent the note back to Linda with some information … she seemed appreciative and said that she’ll be checking out things on Monday. She has family visiting now. She said that we were thinking along the line of her and Tony and so that made me feel happy.

But, then I was like all dressed up with no place to go. Well, you can imagine being me that I would soon be looking at school programs too. I spent some time looking at Masters, BA and Associate level courses and in the very end? I decided not to continue any of my formal credit bearing class, but instead … take a series of business classes offered at our local community college. I was like REALLY inspired by the idea. The short story is that I signed up for one class from Morton College (a couple of towns over), but it was an on-line program called ed2go. The class is on creating a successful business plan. I’m so psyched about it … It was much more involved than the one I’d started, but I will use that one as a jumping off place to the next thing.

The class is six weeks long and there is 12 sessions. The new materials are put out on Wednesdays and Fridays. You can have up to two weeks to get the lessons in, but we’d be trying everything in our power to stay caught up. But, the thing is that that part had to be built in toward our disability in that sometimes we do get behind. Being on-line there are similarities of it toward our last education experience. Basically, there is a virtual classroom and you have a teacher and peers. You get a pre-quiz and a small quiz you can take over and over again until you get it right after each lesson. There were like 5 lessons in each day’s lesson. I’m not sure of the terminology yet. I think the courses are fairly easy to learn like you might read up to a couple dozen pages instead of 100, but they have supplementary material through links on-line that could deepen your experience and you can put as much or as little as you want into the assignments. More is better obviously. I think the material is more toward freshman college than masters, but the thing is … it is going to go over business principles with me for the things I want.

I’m very excited that there are only six weeks to a course, and that between every new course there is two weeks. You can start a new course every month if you want to overlap, but I think the idea is to supplement our thinking toward our new business rather than exhausting ourselves or our time. It is tough in that there are so many classes to choose from. One of the programs I had looked at before deciding was the program at DeVry. One class there cost $712. So in that regard, I could take 7 classes in business programs I was interested between now and the end of next year for the same amount of money. The ed2go program is only $99 per each course. I also liked it in that there was an option of CS or Linda doing the same program - though CS is probably not motivated and Linda will need to take something from the Obama plan to support her on unemployment. She’s going to have a lot of work to-do in a normal 15-18 credit course. I hope she understands the amount of work that is going to be on her. I think she is a very determined person and smart though so if she chose that line, she’d be able to do it. We’ll wait and see. I think our goals may or may not be the same.

The school had an example of a couple of courses being taught. As I was saying there are quizzes and then there is a final test. That one is the only one that counts toward your final in a sense where if you pass the test you get a letter of completion on the course. I think that could be handy on a resume, but again I want to learn stuff just to improve our own business.

The school gives you a discussion area to talk about session to session. It’s kind of interesting thinking that the people I’m going to be meeting are most likely going to be local too. Morton is just too small a school to be on everyone’s radar. I really appreciate it being around. I could I guess look at other community colleges like Triton which is north of here - we’d gone there before when we were looking at court reporting. But, the thing is that this school had a perfect opportunity toward what we were looking for.

Hmm, thought I should look up Triton for the hell-of-it, but they only had a certificate program in Business administration that was like 5-6 classes, and then the classes weren’t loading. It wasn’t the same flexibility that I was getting at Morton. AND, I think that they might have been bricks and mortar programs. I didn’t want to get locked into that kind of deal. We’re trying to put together something to help us through the problems that we had last time. I like it that if we get really busy we can start and stop when we want - each 6 week cycle. No one is saying when or when not we have to complete classes AND the ARE flexible in that there are hundreds of courses.

Ok, we’re back we were just over at the site again … there are so many courses I want to be taking for business and they also include software. I would like to understand Access better plus project and visio. I like too that there are classes in project management … between my business and CARF at St. Rose, I would like better experience with this. There are all kinds of customer relations and an entire section on sales and marketing. I just love it!

I have talked about it to CS and Linda … both are more wrapped up in it being Thanksgiving. I won’t be seeing the boys and so I’m like it’s not a big deal. I think we’ll leave in a couple of hours to go out with Rich and his mother and Bud. He is saying that she wants to go back to the house, but I’m thinking she’s going to drink out at the restaurant and back at the house and I don’t really want to go through that. It’s different having one or two drinks out to keeping them going steadfast. She’s going to short-circuit herself by just repeating the same patterns. Bud had found a glass with liquid in it when she’d gotten up that night she fell and broke her hip. It’s very angering. She had looked and sounded so good at the nursing home for her birthday without the alcohol. She was looking strong and sounding positive. It’s all going to disappear. I don’t want to be so negative, but I don’t see any going around it.

Ok, we’ll get off that subject. I will take a shower in about 45 minutes. I had been in the living room, but I came back to the back room when Rich turned on the Thanksgiving Parade … I know he wanted to do something good with that, but I wanted to be able to concentrate more. I did turn on the Christmas music, but it’s different getting the visuals and nauseating commercials. Those shows are trying to pull your attention toward them where this other stuff is like background noise. It reminds you of the time of the year - and holiday season, but it doesn’t preoccupy.

I better get back into the retreat if I’m going to remember any more of it. The parts missing were that I had been going around the room and I only got about 2/5ths through it. There were a few people I didn’t get to know enough to leave a remark. There was one name Debby that I would have liked to get to know better, but she seemed shy and new and I didn’t want to scare her. She stayed over on the side of Linda and Ann. Linda and Ann were partners. You know Ann because she is the shop owner, but Linda was one of her closest friends. She used to do classes with Ann back in the old days Linda used to live in WI.

Linda turned out to be the new person I wanted to know the most about. She was really nice, but sometimes a little shy. She was confident though. She knows a lot about quilting … she’s probably up there at about the same level as Ann. Where I really got to know who she was was that there was stuff going around about how hard she works and that she stays up late at night. I think we went to bed earlier the first night, but the rest of the nights we stayed up to be with her. I just loved her. She had a very subtle sense of humor and we seemed to be understanding each other without too much trouble without saying too many words. The words were used minimally, but when they were they were dead on.

I think the reason I liked her so much was because she was thinking so closely to me, but she’s the older more experienced version. And, where others just one side of her in helping Ann, we saw parts where she was being most likely overused by Ann. She wanted to be working on her own projects and relaxing, but Ann kept her busy. I think internally she’s stronger, but in relationship to Ann, she is the recessive one. She couldn’t say no to Ann. I think she’d been staying with Ann for about a month or more. Ann had her at her house for a bit, but then moved her over to the apartment above Ann’s store. I guess the apartment is full of store stuff, but its where Ann’s people stay when they visit her - more toward sales reps and such.

I wish I could have gotten to know her better. She’s going to be staying here until December 3rd and then she’s going back to Nevada. She’s the only new one that I think we will stay in touch with. She took our business card with email on it and said we should write to one another as projects got completed. I thought that was a great idea. I think we’ll write to one another too when big writing or school projects get done. She’s the kind of person that could understand that kind of thing.

I think she’s married, but didn’t talk about that too much. I don’t really know a lot about her, except she has a sewing studio and she was very helpful to Ann. One of the first nights, I saw her clean up in the kitchen and then the next night I helped her clean up the kitchen while she was packing some of Ann and her stuff. She was also the one that helped Ann pack up the car, especially with all the food and store items. I gave her a lot of credit. You could tell her knees were hurting, but she kept going. She’s probably a little obsessive as me. We tried not to talk to her so much that she couldn’t get her work done and I think that’s why we worked well together too is because we didn’t become depended on each other. I liked being with her though …she became like an older sister figure. Loved her!

I also loved being around the twins. The twins are just plain good people. The are so much fun to be around we just laughed and laughed with them. There were also more serious times like when we were downstairs watching Janet cutting fabric. Sooner then later one will join the other and then you are back to being floored with how well they work and live together. They put as much effort into sewing as any of the other, but it seems more studied. They are able to switch back and forth projects too so that is cool.

I don’t know if I could explain why I like them so much. Maybe it’s just that they seem to be on our level of thinking and they are able to communicate so well. The things they are interested in are interesting to me. I think that Janet is a little more introverted then Jean and I really worked on trying to get to know them separately … still as a team, but to their own right. I felt perfectly comfortable with them talking to each other in their getting to know me. It wasn’t something overt, but you just had to know they were going to share experiences pretty closely. With the twins … I’m pretty sure they are both more outgoing then we are and probably not as elusive. They are definitely straight shooters. In general, I think it is their acceptance of other people that makes them so unique. They could watch people from the inside out and it’s a pretty cool thing. I’d have to say they are intuitive.

Like we said there were others there, but these were the people that we got to know the best. There was Ann of course, and I thought she did very well with the group. She was up early an available all day. She went to bed early, but another Ann, Linda or Karen were up to represent the store. She made sure after the first night that there were learning sessions, but she did not see through that people like ME couldn’t stand around to watch them. I didn’t like that part of her planning.

She had an excellent store situation. She did it so that there was a notebook for everyone to write their name and just continue it as an open account that was squared at the end of the weekend. She brought way too much stuff, but that was what made it work so well. I found things there like the inner stuffing - CS said I should get 4 yards of it. I have extra, but will use it up eventually. I also got a layer cake … that’s like a collection of fabrics - about 42 pieces that are 10 x 10”. I really loved the set I got. I had come across one of the designs - the one for September and I didn’t like what they offered at all, so I had found instead the fall colors I did like. I enjoyed matching things up to fit just right. I like that there is so much fabric left over too. I used about 10-12 pieces. Then we got some embroidery thread and Linda taught me how to do it and we got some embroidery needles. I think we got something else … maybe … Oh, I know what else. We found a piece of Halloween fabric to complete the one wall hanging we had started with, but that didn’t have a back and binding again.

As to the projects … you pretty much saw them. It took about a day to finish each. I was working on a cycle that had me finishing about 8-10 P.M. and then I would start cutting out the appliqué for the next day. At first the projects seemed very complicated, but after a bit it was like natural. Each of the designs taught me something which is very familiar to me in this quilting manner we’ve been going about things. I liked the projects I was working on and I liked that they were relatively short so it looked like I was advancing them in some way.

By the time it was time to go I was zooming trying to finish the backing for the October piece. I had pre-packed with the Nevada Linda the night before leaving out only what I was going to be needing. We had skipped several meals, because it wasn’t worth the effort, nor was that part real fun. They had about 150 junior high kids there all day Saturday and Sunday morning. I didn’t want too much of that. The one meal I had gone to with them, they had us sitting 15-20 minutes trying to finish up the food so one of their leaders was telling a story. I wasn’t entertained with that at all. It wasn’t what I signed up for. There was so much snacks back at home base we just did that instead. One of the ladies Angie, brought this heavenly dessert that was some kind of pumpkin crunch stuff. It was fantastic. My new favorite dessert!

There’s one more thing I wanted to say. I really really had a good time with Linda there. “MY” Linda. She was the perfect partner between working and talking and helping and just being darn right fun. I like her conversations and to think about the things that are important to her. I think she really does have a good view point on light. She was also good for others in that she was such an easy person for people to talk to. We talked to her at the end of maybe sharing a room next year if she comes back. She shared a room this time with Karen the lady who works at the store. I thin that worked out for her, but wouldn’t be the same as having each other. She gets a long with Karen, but are not necessarily close friends.

I don’t know who Emily paired up with or why she and Linda didn’t go in together, but I was looking at the prices and thinking that I would like to go on my own dime next year to avoid those problems and I would like trying a double room because it would save $125. For all that I was in the room, I really didn’t need to sleep by myself. I would use Linda’s nose strips to keep from snoring too badly, but I think its an evolutional move.

I feel close enough to Linda to know that we’d be good for one another. I really did have a good time this year. I remember going from one smile to another and one volley of laughter to another. The one night being up with the twins and Linda when they were calling me a socialist I was laughing so hard I was crying. You just don’t find these kinds of friends just anywhere. And, ALMOST everyone was very productive when it came time to sewing. CS was the only one having real problems and I knew she was trying. She did finish her borders for the group quilt. That was a good thing.

CS missed out on Saturday night when everyone showed off their pieces. I think I was on the lower end of productivity, but on a higher end of detail-mindedness. There were some exceptional quilts though … I really liked the blue one behind us, and I liked the bunny rabbit one and then Ann finished up one from her last retreat that was in pinks and browns that I liked a lot though CS did not. Most of the quilting though merges in together with one another. It was so much to behold all that all these women could produce. I think I mentioned the other day that one of the retreat people from the camp said it looked like a sweat shop … in a sense it did, but there was all this privatization going on with the projects. Throughout the people encouraged each other as in when people stopped one project it was often held up and then all would be able to make their exclamations. Plus the chatting was just phenomenal.

But, It’s now 11:20 A.M. and we’re out of the shower, but Rich just came in to say that his mother is at the restaurant already an hour and a half early. They said they had been bored and just wanted to get out, so we’ve got to pick up the speed. I think Bud was afraid of it closing before they got there, and I’m thinking Mom’s going to be drunk before we get there. Shoot. Well, nonetheless … it is Thanksgiving and its then time to go.

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