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Saturday, September 29, 2012

It's all about order - AND Google Calendar!



Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 9:18 AM

Good morning.  This is me.  We’ve got a good start of the day, but the trick will be to keep scheduled all day/night.  We’re putting up a picture right away so you can more clearly see what we’re looking at.   AHA!  There you go!

Oh oh … we’re off to a rocky start … JUST STILL starting and it’s already 45 minutes/half way point of our blogging time and just did the first few sentences.  YEEKS!  We stopped to do a few chatting like things though and chase someone’s male around the house.  Eh … it happens!  I don’t want to say this next thing because it will let you know how dense I am, but we were just talking to Vickie and she let us know, but not directly that we’re really a space cadet.  Her daughter is marrying Melissa’s son next weekend in Los Vegas and I didn’t even know they KNEW each other!  Oh Lordy how dense can pea soup get???  Vickie is my favorite Marine Mom friend and then Julie AND THEN Melissa.  Just we do a very horrible job of keeping up with Facebook and that’s been going on for quite a while now – AND that seems to be the place everything happens.  We let Vickie know that we were spinning in our chair.  Rich says he’s happy that I’m happy, but he’s not quite getting the point of how cool would it be to BE in Vickie’s AND/OR Melissa’s family.  It’s like a Marine Mom’s Fairy tale … you know let’s fix-up the kids?  I’m thinking though it means that this is the couple then going to live in CA.  At least I had thought that I’d seen Vickie say that her Granddaughter was moving away.  Sam lives with her now and Sam’s about two … so I think not only losing a daughter – moving out … the feeling is then triplified!  I’m telling you if my head wasn’t screwed on!  

Ok, girls … settle down, settle down.  *sigh*

Maybe we better go back to the part where we were looking over our schedule.  I’m not really sure which day we did it … maybe sometime Tuesday or Wednesday?  Thinking that we left a picture here of the original items as pictured in a program called, “My Study Life.”  And, then from there, we decided that it would be nice to have the calendar on our phone, so we added the dates to the Google Calendar which you see above.  We already had that feeding our phone (it had been transferred recently from our EVO phone).  Did we tell you that part?  We’ve now got a Galaxy S III?  I know, I know … they have been in trouble with the Apple people.  BUT, Apple is just sore because the Galaxy is a better phone!  Better not say that TOO loud … I’m thinking that it would be nice to have an Apple IPad to replace our Netbook, but it is not the same thing.

Hmm, ok, now we’re way out of control.  We’ve found ourselves looking at netbooks and tablets, not knowing what to do with our next purchase, but then we discovered that ASUS has a product called the TF700T 10.1” Infinity tablet which docks to its own keyboard.  I’ve looked at a lot of reviews and such and it seems the way to go if cost were like a moderate problem … It is a tablet and a netbook all in one, but the tablet part cost $500 (32GB) or $600 (62GB) and the docking station w/portfolio case costs $150.  As a tablet it isn’t ranked as high as the Apple iPad, but we’d be able to keep the Android systems moving while it still being a top contender.  The biggest thing though is that it’s got GREAT memory and can handle itself in Tablet form which I’m going to want as we work with Adobe courses and it’s got the do-ability of having the keyboard for the longer trips with Rich, quilting, and other being away from home – plus, if we are outside it’s got a special adaptability to sunlight.  I wish it were cheaper, but I’m asking for a lot in our next mobile devise.  I can’t remember the last time we purchased a desktop, but we’re having absolutely no trouble with ours there – where on the other hand, our netbook is broke and looking to be replaced.

I didn’t think of it at first, but it would be a good compromise as a late Christmas gift from Rich or Rich and our mother, or as a reward for going back to school.  We’ll have to run that past Dr. Marvin, but if we started school again in January, then we’d have a $3400 school loan by February.  I know that we’re going to have to test out our processes to see if we can really do school by that time, but I know too that Dr. Marvin has mentioned a couple times leaving time in our schedule to include school which is why we created the “Academic” time with both reading and learning Adobe now – so that we can have earmarked school hours.  A big consideration for starting school in three months will be the progress made with the reading and Adobe, but if we can stick to the new schedules, then maybe we’ll be then ready for school schedules too.  It doesn’t have to be decided today, but it is good to keep things moving in that adaptable situation.  But, it is NOT bad to have a forward goal – and I really like the idea of gaining in 3-6 months another e-devise.  Only thing is that they could just be getting better.  We’re starting now in advance so should be able to watch the market more clearly.  Good Good.  I think we’re moving in the right direction.  Hmm, that’s not helpful.  I looked at the Apple iPad.  Their 32GB with just wi-fi like the other is like $100 more – but the cost of their wireless keyboard is only $70.  It would cost then $670 compared to $650, but then they add extra like to get the 64GB it would be $770 and to get 32BV WITH connection to the Verizon cellular data network would be $800 for 32GB or $900 for 64 GB which each include the keypad.  I’m thinking though because our Verizon plan has the hot spot for wi-fi connectivity that that would be fine.  Meaning I could get the 32GB (JUST WI-FI) for $600 + $70 = $670 for the iPad W/keyboard. I’d have to go back to Apple Apps though …

I don’t know … I guess I have time, but it does throw things into a new light … I could give up the clamshell connectivity to go with a wireless keyboard.  Just didn’t know the iPad had that, but should have figured it out sooner.  Not too late!  Guess next is to put things in perspective … we can go with 3-6 month window and cut ourselves some slack!

Shhh… need to relax these thoughts a bit.  It’s already 1 pm and we haven’t talked about Dr. Marvin’s at all yet.  We’re having a late lunch now and Rich is in the LR too, though he’s watching fishy shows.  I think that is a healthy balance for him.  Last night we had a long conversation mostly around his mother and Bud.  He is willing to cut them a lot slacker than we are.  His mother was back in the hospital Wednesday night.  She got overly drunk and fell in the bathtub.  She just stayed the night in ER and was released yesterday, but still it pushes the same familiar buttons with both Rich and me.  Rich is focused on alcoholism being an illness with no ability to control, and we’re more like it might be an illness, but if there were no ability to control – then, how come other alcoholics can stop drinking?  In my way of thinking there has to be SOME improvement.  My thought is that if Rich is thinking she’s more lucid when she drinks so that she speaks her mind more easily, then all the thoughts on wanting to be dead are coming at us in her lucid mind.  I can see Rich trying to address the depression through therapist or peer support, but I think that whole series of thoughts added to Bud’s non-complicity are adding up to being needier than Rich can deal with.  Rich doesn’t want to admit that Bud is as much a problem as he is where in our view, he is very abusive and is feeding her desire to be dead.  I think she feels trapped.   I think Bud is very controlling and mean to her.  There is no doubt that she also has anger control issues and most likely a healthy sense of narcissism.  Rich and I both think differently in that he’s willing to give full support undetermined by her lack of effort, where we’re more apt to think she has to work for some respect.

We’re then at an impasse with the knowledge that Rich thinks we’re against his mother where we’re like stating that her behavior is manipulative and something has to be done regardless of her age.  We don’t mean to hurt him or his mother, or for that matter Bud, but the three of them as a bundle or independently all think they are better than we are.  We are really low man on that totem pole.  They all think they are more right or logical.  Of course, we’re here too staying more in the background, because we feel we are more right, but that my assistance is not really needed.  I would hold out for more accountability.  Rich is like that would be at a loss to her freedom.  He thinks because he loves her that he should be “put-out” if that’s what she wants.  For example, after she became more aware of her situation of being in the hospital where Rich needed then to go (after being called again to the scene) Rich was dismissed by her, but then she told him to go check on Bud.  Basically, whether it was his mother OR Bud, taking care of Rich was the one as someone who might have needs – still put him at the bottom of the list. 

The fact that his mother and Bud both depend on Rich to take care of them though giving him any real control over them – it’s just a sad sorry situation.  It’s like they are requiring him to sacrifice his needs for theirs AS a proof of his love AND he is still getting yelled at and kicked.  It just doesn’t add up to me – AND also messes with our own problems of being abused through the alcoholism of my grandfather and father - just way too many triggers.  I can’t think of ANY reason that people get a “bye” on drinking.

Ok, we got way lost here … It is now 8:07 PM.  The whole day has gone past me and I’m not sure where we are or where we’ve been.  We know the last long period of time has been back to looking at LMS (learning management systems).  We’re still at a quandary there … We’ve got some phone calls out and we’re waiting on an email back from another giving us access information.  We’ve been closing windows, so not sure where else we’ve been.  It’s kind of more frustrating to force our mind back over that space, then to be putting down much here as to tracking our time and space.  I think we’ve been keeping up with Twitter, FB, and our email, but since we close them down we’ve lost track.  We did leave up information from our NEWS Blog and the Diigo account, so we know that we’re up to nothinginmynoggin blog entry so that means we’re like up to the blogs entered 1 week ago.  We just did an update so that we know we have three more blogs and then we get to the 6 days ago part.  That means up to this time we have about 65 blogs left to go.  We’re up to the part of there being only 20 blogs we’ve read through.  Oh Lordy does it not pay to get behind.  I think that I might go back to that tonight instead of starting the quilting project.  Rich is still out because it is a football night so that buys us some extra time and we’re about ready to get into something more relaxing.  I’m thinking that we might do about 20 more blogs and then being at the half-way point we’d post up to there and then Get back to the more recent Google search’s and last 45 blogs.  It seems like a good idea – then we might be able to get something posted by tomorrow and not TOTALLY overwhelm the few people that might be reading us.  There’s just so much to do and so little time.  Our minds stay so busy trying to learn things all day.

I do feel good about getting the housework taken care of earlier.  

(5294/685)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Steady ... just have to build up a routine...




Wednesday, September 26, 2012 @ 11:01 am (end)

Good morning.

This is me.  We’re almost at schedule this morning for our “New Deal.”  We woke up about 4:30 – and it’s about 9:10 am now.  So about 4 ½ hours into first organizing the day and then we put 1 ½ hour into social media, and then we put 1 ½ hours into Domestic Goddess and now we’ve got 1 ½ hours to be blogging.  We won’t go into all the intricate details of the week.  Basically the general order is:

4:30 – 6 am         Organization
6 - 7:30 am          Social media
7:30 – 9 am         Domestic Goddess
9 – 10:30 am       Blogging/Director of PPA Social Media
10:30 -11:30 am  Editing/Studying Entry
11:30 - 12:30 pm Miscellaneous (relax)
12:30 – 4:30 pm  News DID/MPD Reading/Blogging
4:30 – 6 pm         Miscellaneous (relax)
6 – 7:30 pm         Academic – primarily reading/notes or studying Adobe for making courses on multiplicity
7:30 – 9 pm         Quilting
9 – 10:30 pm       Rich
10:30 – 4:30 am   Sleeping

And then there is a short task associated with all those categories.  In Total the categories are:
Academic
Blogging
Director of PPA Social Media
Domestic Goddess
Dr. Marvin
Miscellaneous
NEWS Reading/Writing
Organization
Quilting
Rich
Social Media

I’m sure other will be added and we’ll learn to adjust the time, but for the present … most of the majors are in.  We are also using something called the task timer, so that … here, refer to picture up above!

It is like a stopwatch that reminds you when it is time to move on to something else and it also lets you know by the pie graph your percentage of time spent on which tasks.  It’s a pretty simple devise.  We might check to see if it loads on the … nope … don’t see an app for loading it on the Android OR iPhone yet.  It will take some time and I’m sure there are others on it.  We’ll see.  I think we’re going to test it in a minute by putting it on pause while we finish bringing up the load of clothes from downstairs.  So far as the domestic stuff goes - we picked up in the kitchen, filled the dishwasher and washed surfaces, then we of course did the load of clothes and then picked up the living room and vacuumed, plus washed the tables, and then we picked up in the bedroom, and emptied the suitcase that still had stuff in it from the trip to NM.  That’s pretty good for us by 9 am, right?

Good-good.  We’re back.  It’s now 9:51 am and the clothes are all put away – either in drawers or closet, or in the stack to be steamed.  I forgot to add we did the litter box AND took down and out the garbage.  We then earned 5 minutes of Rich time WOOHOO!!!!  That was a good deal.  He’s giving me trouble on putting away the suitcase, but to be fair he is now in the shower so is progressing his day too. I really like that we are both in the house doing our own work.  It wasn’t too bad doing housework while he was here.

Yesterday, with Dr. Marvin, we went into almost a FULL hour on housework.  It was terrible.  I think he gave us a few moments to just mention the girls and quilting, and he got in a few moments at the end with talking about the bill, but not much … pretty much it was a segue to leaving the office.  I think we started off something like … we had during Tuesday done Domestic Goddess things such as we steamed 9 clothes and we went through all the business and personal paperwork and sorted it to accordion files, which cleaned up the areas on top of the horizontal file and drafting table, along with having gone through papers in both file drawers that hadn’t been filed yet.  I think we’d done some pre-sorting, but for the most part it was work since the beginning of the year.  It really had to get done and now we have to spend time going back through it and looking for current bills. 

But, after that we started to talk to Dr. Marvin about the complications of having done what we did.  It seemed there was a big deal of anger in that we didn’t want to do the work while Rich was around, and we didn’t want him telling us what to do, though acknowledging that if he wasn’t there pushing us … we might not be getting the work done.  As we went along … it seemed to get darker and darker.  Dr. Marvin told us afterward that we’d been mad first at Rich, and then Dr. Marvin, but for the majority of the time, we were really mad at our father.

We have to figure it was Annemarie that was out because she was moody and quiet, but as well, Gracie was out in that we got to one position of having our arms held over our head and then we froze there for a long time.  We couldn’t let Dr. Marvin in, but we were in a space where we were trying to hold off our father’s touching us by the internal anger expressed to him without words – just facial which was turned away from him.  There were other things getting to that point in that we’d gone through a quick jump of time from when we were cleaning the rooms (dining room, kitchen twice weekly, and stairway), but at the time we were frozen we were going through the time period where my father had taken over the cleaning and woke us up on Saturday mornings to join him and my siblings.  This is something that felt very invasive of our privacy.  For a while we remember being under the dining room table just to be there and then at another time being under there to clean.  I remember now saying something to Dr. Marvin about not understanding why we had to dust the legs of the table every week.  I don’t remember where we went with that statement though everything seemed to be making us mad.  It was a terrible space.

I think what made it so terrible is going over and over a part that was fuzzy, but was about him touching us and us having to be very still.  I’m not sure at this point, but I’m thinking that the initial requirement to be still came from him, and then held by us through our anger.  We were also having trouble with not only laying on our back with arms held up, but flashbacks of being spanked bare naked and also situations where someone was using an anal thermometer.  Things were coming in and out of each other … so one scene would progress and there we would get stuck or someone would add another element, but in general it was a period of discovery.  I think Dr. Marvin might have tried to talk with us, but whoever was out was not going to talk with him.  I think in the system we wanted to figure out as much as that sense of mood was going to take us. 

I think toward the end somehow we got to a more worrisome part (Casey) who was worried most likely about how to contain the things that had been going on.  I don’t think she has a direct link, but that she was a portal for some of what had been happening.  I remember something about Dr. Marvin saying that we were safe in his office and that that would be a place we could talk about the stuff going on.  I don’t really know what his real words were and it really seemed as if he was on an outer border of what was happening.

Now we are thinking slowly into a part where we can acknowledge that something like this had been happening with Dr. Marvin before the big trip.  I think it had something to do with our father, not sure about the mother part.  Not sure what had gone on with the father part AND Dr. Marvin before, but we might ask if the two parts seemed connected.  We just have a sense that my father has been a big deal of late. 

We really didn’t think much of him over the time we were gone.  Very little time went into anything of our past though I’m sure there were feelings that long night of the wedding when we were just sitting back in a daze watching over the events - just trying to keep our foot in the door.

We had a hard time getting out of the funky space we were in leaving Dr. Marvin’s office.  The drive home was slow and methodical.  We paid attention to the traffic, and about the point of being on the expressway at Kedzie we thought to call Rich.  I don’t remember why.  Oh yeah we were wondering if he had gone to his son’s or not.  It had been an option.  I guess he did see Jon, but did not see Christopher or the baby.  We didn’t hear much back from that except Jon had looked into getting an email for Rich’s business account.  As an aside, we did talk to Rich a little about business this morning.  We went through Linked-in to show him what needed to be done next.  We told him about sections that could be filled-in and the we walked him through adding his 344 some friends who did have LinkedIn (from his AOL account) and then we showed him the list of friends who could get an email from LinkedIn suggesting that they sign-up.  We showed him where to put his skills and accomplishments and his Summary area where we could add a blurb about his business.  Rich is going to need going through his email list and sort through some people.  It’s a good first step.

We also told Rich that we’d worked him into the schedule so that for 6 hours a week (to start), we would be taking care of his social needs as Director of his Social Media campaign.  I figured that on Sunday, Wednesdays, and Friday’s we could blog, and then on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday we could work for him – and all of this would be in the time slot of 9 – 10:30 am.  It might not seem like a lot, but it seems like a lot to me.  He seems to have a grasp on what we’re offering him and he doesn’t have any complaints so far.  Just that we have to balance things out with the largest balance of time going into the NEWS DID/MPD project.  That is our main thing and it seems most of the other stuff is healthy maintenance.

Today, we are pretty close to the set-up schedule, but about a half hour off with the blogging because we stopped to take care of the clothes out of the dryer and then we stopped when Rich brought-up the mail to take care of mailing our medical bills to Medicaid.  We gave Rich yesterday the signed lease for the apartment, and then today we gave him a sealed envelope for Medicaid.  I think they are going to send us a letter saying how much we need to pay UIC, and that will be ok.  I don’t think anything really happened in August.  I forget the last time we received a Medicaid card.  I think someone from their office sent something saying if we wanted the card we had to ask specifically for it.  I think they are cutting down their time and mailing cost, but it makes things more difficult for the user. 

Ok, maybe had a little side-trip there, but going back to Dr. Marvin’s … after we left, we had called Rich as we just stated, but he said dinner wouldn’t be ready for another 20 minutes, so we stopped by at the 7-11 and bought a candy bar which we ate on the way home.  After we got upstairs we may have talked to Rich for a few moments, but mostly we got ourselves comfortable.  Then we had salad left over from the weekend with the girls, and then Rich gave us polish sausage, au gratin potatoes, and soft French bread for dinner.  I think about the time that Rich was finishing – we had already finished – the subject of therapy had come-up.  The system only said that it was a hard time and that we were talking about housekeeping and that we had been very angry.  We sorted out then that he had been a trigger, but not the one we were really angry with.  Rich was in a dismissive mood, so we refused to go further with him.  We explained that anything we said he would dismiss as something in the past and so not relevant.  He has a big breach of understanding in this regard, and we felt very frustrated that he refused to better understand so we could actually talk to him about what was happening.  His idea after dinner was that he would watch TV and that we use the computer, and then in about an hour or so, we would watch the season opener to NCIS.  BUT, we weren’t there in our head.  We were still feeling somewhat sick from the session and the room was way too noisy or distracting.  We were also too distracted to focus on computer work.  So we went into the bedroom and just laid down in the dark.  Rich came in at some point, or two to try to get us out of the room, but the system was having nothing to do with taking care of him.  We needed to take care of ourselves in a parts way which meant settling parts within the system down.  We might have dozed for about ten minutes, but most of the time seemed to be spent hyper-alert.  We were very aware that Chief had come-up to lie next to us, so it didn’t feel like we were by ourselves, but it did feel like the environment where we were younger and were inside our bedroom while the family was downstairs watching a very noisy TV.  Rich’s show had been having serious melodramatic moments where there were heavy duty bomb or gunfire scenes.  It left us feeling a bit overwhelmed.

After a while – probably about 8 pm, we came out and got our medicine and then we laid down for another half hour of not being able to sleep.  Eventually, we came out and watched the NCIS show with Rich with us laying in his lap, but what else happened not sure.  Wait … I think we talked to Linda after for a few moments, but not many … she wanted to go to sleep and we were minutes into following her though to opposite bedrooms.  And, that was pretty much of our night.

I do remember thinking that we’d been in somewhat this kind of space before, maybe more of Dr. Woollcott’s time where we had to be very conscious of holding things together or normalizing until the next appointment.  Things feel a little raw.  Dr. Marvin started something that seemed newer where he wasn’t going to give us any breaks – or if so, not many and far in-between.  I think that means mostly to us that when we try to back out of a direction that is happening, he is holding us to that … and if we’re having faulty logic like exaggerating the importance of something then he is going to nail us with more reality than we might have wanted. 

It feels like we were then brought through the wringer.  I’m thinking that Dr. Marvin does this all the time?  Maybe he’s just getting more direct.  I don’t know … it’s a little fear producing.  Maybe a lot more, but the bottom line is that we do trust him.  Just not sure what’s going to happen next.  It seems that a lot of time is being spent in a regressed state.  The parts are more locked into the past.  And, it seems that a lot of it is being done through feelings.  So when Dr. Marvin pushes us we’re getting stuck with the dreadful feelings from our past and then we live through it again.  I’m not sure what kind of time this is going to take.  If we cover all the years pressed together of negative feelings we were having … it could be a long time.  I’m not thinking Dr. Marvin is giving us too much a break – though more the sessions right before and after the big vacation were an allowance of light time. 

But, by now our timer has gone off and it is time to get started on something else.  Thanks for your patience with us.

5200/636

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Vacation/Wedding Part 2 of 2




We are now just out of the mountain and the time might have changed … not sure …

It says 1257 miles and 20 hours and 43 minutes to go @ 1:18 pm. 

Anyway many pictures later – the rest of Jillian’s wedding was very nice.  We were there early with the cake and cupcakes.  I mostly stuck close to Rich’s mother, except when we were taking pictures.  After a while the ceremony part filled-up.  There was a little mix-up with the chairs because some younger person sat down in the family area in the 3rd row of Jillian's side, but we’d forgotten to think through Jillian’s aunt and uncle being there, so we offered the third row to them and they had the boy move to an inner seat between us and them so Jillian’s Aunt Mary could have her spot on the aisle.  I then sat in the 4th row until Rich’s Aunt and Uncle got there, and then after the ceremony started and Rich came back to his chair, I joined him in the second row.

We took a full set of pictures of the mothers, father, Jillian’s wedding party and then Jillian and her father coming down the aisle.  We had avoided coming down the aisle  and the chairs were only four across.  We took pictures throughout the wedding and we’d hoped they weren’t interruptive (sound), but that is what people do at weddings.  During the wedding when Chris was repeating his vows to Jillian, he was having a terrible time not crying and before that Jillian had to remind Rich to come back and giver her a kiss, but them walking down the aisle together was very nice.  Rich said though that Jillian was shaking like a leaf.

Small break here, we stopped for lunch at Subway 24198 odometer @ 12:05 pm. 

We are now about 45 miles to Santa Rosa.  Maybe that is when Rich is going to let me drive?  Oh 30 miles ahead.  He’s now talking to Bob and Bob said he did a “Prykop,” meaning getting no box fish.

Anyway after the wedding was over the families stayed for pictures - Jillian didn’t ask for a picture with Rich and me.  We’re trying to let it go.  She also didn’t ask for a hug like she was doing with most of the others.  I have to remember that we’re close to the family, but am not family.  That was a little hurting too.  But, later half way through the night, I got a quick hug from Jillian.  Jon was worse in that he only came close to me once when he asked Bud - who was sitting next to me, where his father was.  Bud didn’t know, so I told Jon he had went to check on his Grandmother, so then Jon was off.  It was the only encounter of being around him and when he wanted to be with his father, he chose times when Rich wasn’t around us.  Jon did let me take a picture of him reading out in the garden before the service and I was appreciative of that opportunity.  And we got our shoulder patted the last time we saw him at their breakfast.  That was actually a nice thing in saying goodbye.  He didn’t act generously cordial, but at least he’s not being directly mean either.

There was no doubt we were there only in our affiliation with Rich.  I don’t believe it should have been different, but it’s always a surprise when people only talk to one of us when they come over, or maintain distant relationships with us.  I had felt better in Jillian’s company at her house and things seemed more strained at the wedding, and we had to assume it was because her mother would have given her grief for spending time or taking a picture with us.  I didn’t want to start any problems so have been working to take care of our easily bruised feelings. 

I’m more vulnerable to these things because for so many years – about 15, I had known obviously all about the kids, but they didn’t know me, or grew on their side of the relationship between me and them.  We later argued with Rich on the way home, which we hadn’t on the way to Jillian’s.  Mostly it has to do with our familiar feelings of being invisible.  We complained that it was made worse when Rich talked on the phone to people who knew us both or that we were together in space, and that Rich only talked about what he was doing … such as he might say something like “I have a long way to drive home.”  In our way of thinking … we both are in the car and have a long ride home.  Or, when both Rich and I are in the care together and he is talking to Jillian, saying he had a good time, when we think he should say, Ann and I had a good time.  It is probably something very petty, but for thousands of conversations we’d be with him and we were not acknowledged, because I was supposed to be invisible to people.  No one knew of us.  15 years is a long time and to continue the practice just frustrates the dickens out of us.  Rich just doesn't see it as critical.  He's comfortable with the way he does things.

I was fine to sit with Bud and Rich’s mother for the most part, but it limited us from sitting with Bob and Diane, and they had explained sitting with Rich’s ex and her sister and BIL, because these had been family before although they were Rich’s aunt and uncle and not hers.  They couldn’t sit with us because of the disagreement between Rich’s mother and sister.  There was a good amount of time when Rich would sit with us and let me put my hand on his leg, which is more normal for our relating, and he did give us the one dance.  At these kinds of gatherings it’s normal for Rich and us to dance at least one slow dance.  So, that made me feel a little more special – like being his girlfriend wasn’t a bad thing.  Most of the time, we were much more generous in reminding him he WAS the father of the bride.  I wanted not to take those kinds of special feelings from him.  He had had one instant with his ex at the wedding where he and his wife hugged.  That seemed ok, but then when we asked Rich how it went, he said that he said a couple nice things to her like doing well in raising Jillian, but then she pushed away from him saying that “it” was his entire fault.  She didn't elaborate on all she'd blamed him for.  She really spoiled the one moment they had for each other toward Jillian, but it was tempest pot.  I don’t think she sees that she was half the problem in the division or divisiveness of their relationship.

Rich’s ex’ SIL was cooler to me as well, as can be expected, but it was perhaps more noticeable because her husband Tim was being very nice.  He was very giving in that when our paths crossed, he would give us small funny mementos to think of.  Like at one point, he hit Rich in the bottom as both couples passed, but then we made an over-extended dodge from him.  Obviously, he wasn’t going to swat us too, but we teased that we were going to stay out of his way just in case.  When we dodged, we said, “Not me!”  That struck us both as funny.  Don’t think Mary got it though when he tried to explain it to her.  Not sure, didn’t really turn around long enough to figure that all out.  I was happy with our slight interaction.  He caused me to laugh which was welcoming.  There were a few other people who were really nice to us.  Chris’ mother and father were nice, so were H and his wife, and Chris’ boss and his wife, and Judy, Jillian’s boss and her husband Harry.  A nice number of people came to talk to Rich’s mother and then maybe also to Bud, but mostly it was her personality that brought people to her.

The seating at the wedding was informal.  Jillian and Chris had a private table and then everyone else fended for themselves.  Because of the pictures, it took a while to get to the other side, so there wasn’t a table by itself for us as part of Jillian’s family.  Again, there was a table being held by Bob and Diane, but obviously we were going to need sitting by Rich’s Mom and Bud, so Jillian’s mother sat with Bob and Diane, plus Tim and Mary and Jon.  The four of us - Rich and me, and Rich’s mother and Bud sat at the only open table which was on the opposite side of Jillian’s other family half.  But, after a really quiet dinner with the two strangers at our table things took a positive swing.  It happened to be a VERY nice couple who turned out to be Jillian’s boss (Principal) and her husband who is a cowboy and definitely looked the part with a big black hat and handle-bar mustache.   It was the nicest arrangement that could have been made, because it gave us someone to talk to about education which obviously is a big love or ours.  The conversation was long and fulfilling and we listened to things her boss had been talking about with the school in particular and the three day audit her school was going through this week – Tuesday, today and tomorrow.  Jillian had told us about it, but we’d forgotten it.  Judy, Jillian’s principal was smart and interesting.  I was so grateful to have met her.  It really made the night.  I’ve always really loved two-way talking, especially with humor. 

I think Rich’s aunt was having trouble because of the problems with her sister.  Bud talked to them, but the sisters only got as far as being back to back, but not talking.  They both felt that the other should talk first if not apologize, but my only thought with the ex was to avoid any unpleasantness.  There was no illusion that we should talk to the other directly.  As much as I would have rather been talking to Diane and Bob, rather than being talked at by Rich’s Mom and Bud, the circumstances explained earlier dictated that we stay at a close protective distance with Rich’s mother so Bud and Rich could wander a bit.  Chris’ family wasn’t really around as much as had been the night before, but as stated previously people would stop by her to say hello and we listened in to some of it. 

A lot of the time other than eating was spent watching people – especially the lively dancers that were enjoying the night so much.  Chris and Jillian were on the floor a lot and had chosen the music so it was a matter of staying involved with that.  It seemed so fun to see Jillian so happy and having such a good time.  Chris paid close attention to her and they both danced a lot even if it was not with each other directly.  They seemed to know so much about dancing and music.  Jillian confessed she might be a little tipsy toward the end, but was still on her feet and Jillian and the dress were just drop-down gorgeous!  It was like watching a princess – she really flowed with the sparkly night!

I felt bad when her mother invited herself into several 3-way dances because Jillian and Chris were enjoying themselves so much, but I suppose there wasn’t much more to do there and Jillian always seems welcoming.  If the mother had wanted to dance, she’d have to be assertive.  There was one dance that had seemed planned between Jillian, her mother, and her aunt.  Someone had brought just three crowns for the three of them.  I’m thinking it was Jillian's mother who thought to bring the crowns - as a part of being special too – and we wouldn't try taking that away from her because she was the mother of the bride; but it reminded me of when she had wanted to be a princess at an event in her childhood.  Somewhere, we’d just seen another picture of her with this or last years’ “princess.”  Somehow I think it got very etched in her mind to wear an official crown.  To me though it felt exclusive, which unhinged me a second as if people with crowns were better or more special then people without crowns.  Everyone knows the bride is the specialist! I was feeling much better when the crowns were given to some of the little girls.  I think they were dancing to something called the “the Dancing Queens” or something like it?  The older girls did seem to have fun with it. 

I don’t think Jillian played any Beatles songs, but I may have missed something when we were with Rich and his mother in her room.  It was clearly Jillian’s day and one to celebrate!  She did seem to take care of her mother rather than the mother taking care of her, but I understand her mother was really helpful at the end with decorating and arranging flowers and I’m sure that meant a lot to her. I'm thinking that she probably had a great time with me being the only real thorn. Jillian is very intelligent and emotionally open and honest.  I loved her “invisible button saying, “not my problem.”  I think she got that from H.

There were a few really good dancers.  I loved what Jillian and Chris could do especially in enjoyment of each other and having a balance of moves.  I loved watching H and his wife.  He had a very nice set of more technical moves.  He was doing dances the right and formal way.  He was dancing more by the book and looked smooth doing it.  The most fun to watch though was Tim, Jillian’s Uncle.  He was very fluid and moved like warm butter.  He was so attuned to his self and his body, he was magnetizing on the dance floor.  It was also fun to see H’s wife and Mary with their husbands, but the talent ran deeper on the male side.  There was also a young woman with a colorful zigzag short dress, but she was more interesting to watch individually.  I think she had some dancing partners, but she was pretty high energy for them.  Jillian and Chris, H and his wife, and then Tim and Mary we’re definitely the three best couples.  This is what people do just sitting on the sidelines all night *sigh.*

And, the DJ had one section of dancing where he had married couples come out to dance and by years married - stepped off the dance floor going from shortest years to longest years married.  Each couple was dismissed until it was only Chris’ mother and father and Rich’s Aunt Diane and Uncle Bob, but Bob and Diane won at like 58 years of marriage.  I was so proud of them.  They had done really well.  They also had earlier talked seriously about Rich and me coming out to the Carolina’s for their 60th wedding anniversary in a year and a half.  We thought that was a great idea!

We had a lot of hand-holding/lap touching things going on with Rich and us and the conversations were soft and loving.  I kept checking in with Rich to assure he was doing ok.  He thought he might be short of giving Jillian up to the $4,000 mark he had planned, but this morning picking up his mother and Bud, Spencer the caretaker reminded him of wedding debt left to be paid, so Rich finished paying the bill and it seemed ok because he wanted to be good on the commitment made to his daughter.  Rich didn’t count the little extras during the week, but he said that was the plan - just him doing fatherly things :)  Rich is just a great and protective father, especially to his daughter and its very touching to witness.

I was a little disappointed that Rich didn’t give a speech he’d been working on, but apparently given the option, he chose not to.   Instead he’s going to put his words together in a special card to the happy couple.  He did read it to us and we cried knowing how affected he was in his relationship to his daughter and her husband.  He really spent good Dad time with it and we were really proud of his ability to put his heart on paper and love Jillian like no other.  I think Jillian has that same ability and that she got it from Rich.  It was very touching – love that guy to pieces! Jillian saw the pictures of him writing before the wedding and then reading it to me and now she’s asked her Dad about it.  I know Rich is still excited about the project and he asked if I had the original to type tomorrow – which we do.  He said that he will do all the editing though, because I think he wants to add to it.  No problem there … it is a special one that he cares deeply about. 

There was obviously drinking – only rum and coke for hard drinks and then there was beer, wine, water and pop.  I had one glass of wine, but mostly drank the small bottles of water.  We took our medicine pretty close to time, but by the time we got home, we were way too tired and lost time to younger parts.  Someone wanted sweets because we weren't getting the normal home bedtime ice cream sandwich, then Rich complained and then a couple known of our younger parts went into sugar-hell-shock-meltdown and never recovered.  They refused to get off the room’s couch and didn’t want to take off their special clothing.  They were very good about not being out during the wedding.  They were out a little after discovering that Rich’s mother had scooped-up all the table candy and bubbles.  Not happy with that at all, but Rich made the best of it and shared a flower from the centerpiece with them instead, and then helped them get undressed and into bed.  He teased one for pressing her eyes shut asking her if she could press them (feign sleeping) any tighter to which the answer was a triumphant “Yes!”  She could and did then press them tighter.  But, pretty sure we had fallen asleep before Rich got to bed.

That pretty much finished up the night.  Jillian was the most beautiful bride and the groom was very proud.  H. had given a nice speech that was and was intended to be funny and he added a part including Rich’s mother that made her very happy and proud to be there.  She and Bud and her sister and Bob were easily the oldest there and than perhaps Ray and Sugar.  Afterward Natty gave a couple of words.  Rich had coached him before as I’m sure others, but he became very emotional afterward and had trouble catching his breath.  He and his father are so much alike in honest sincerity.  It is such a pleasure to have met them.

The quilt was mentioned a few times, and Jillian and Chris seemed to appreciate it, but we’re sure that it was competing with many other wonderful gifts in their mind.  Probably the most touching was appreciation of the artistry by Sugar and even Ray.  Sugar, Chris and Natty were the most important newcomers to me.  I wanted to share respect with Sugar because of equally caring natures.  I’m sure Sugar is much more holistically "becoming" as a woman than me.  She has done a wonderful job with her family.  I still have a lot of rough edges and the mental illness with dissociation is sometimes wearing.  We also can still carry anger and be spiteful.  Sugar doesn’t seem able to do things like getting angry for too long.  She’s got a lot of love in her face.  When she said it was a good quilt, I felt it because she speaks so well with her eyes.

I think that pretty much covers the wedding without over stressing things.  I did want to add a few words on this morning.  Rich woke up before me and he showered so he could meet his uncle Bob for coffee, but the ball players staying at the hotel were already there.  They did talk and agree to say goodbyes around 8:15 am.  That gave Rich and us a chance to talk about general things over coffee and while he’d been gone, we’d taken our shower, steamed cloths, gotten dressed and packed most of the room.  After a while, Rich came back and helped finish the packing.  We packed things into just a corner of the room.  We then went to his aunt and uncles room and said our goodbyes.  Bob seemed effervescent as normal though the last couple of days, he’s had a bruise on his face, so we wondered to ourselves if he had fallen.  Diane seemed a lot more tired than her husband.  She was still getting packed and made-up for the day when we came in.  I didn’t mean to rush her.  We all talked for a few moments, but we started to nudge Rich when he started telling longer stories.  I think everyone had appreciated the time, but was willing to move on.  They’ve got some traveling coming up including a 15 day cruise out of California.  They are like major go-getters!

We drove with Rich then to the Hacienda we found Jill and Chris, Rich’s Mom and Bud, Tim and Mary, H and his wife, and Jon at an early breakfast.  Rich was in and out and baggage was packed from his Mom’s, and Hacienda bills were finalized.  I sat on the outside … again, feeling estranged and intimidated by Jon's no response response.  After a while, Rich’s mother realized that we were sitting outside the group and challenged us to pull up a chair closer to her.  Rich had been out, and then Mary and Jillian were a little flustered because of the awkwardness involved.  I felt comfortable where we had been more than pulled-up and then they might have had a little embarrassment for not having pulled me in earlier.  I was embarrassed because it all of a sudden became a big to-do while I had adjusted to being more outside the circle.

There is probably a story that could be written on Spencer the owner of the Hacienda.  Some of the boundaries are mixed, for example, they allowed a dog in the kitchen and he had made a todo about cleaning Bud’s chair and floor while guests were still at the table.  That was a little rude and seemed to cause the bride to worry – because she is always feeling responsibility for those around her.  She’s just such a wonderful kid.  I can see why Rich is so proud of her.  Spencer seemed a little dry like Harry the cowboy, but you can also see them smiling sometimes underneath.  He’s really got a great place and was a personality all to himself. 

We eventually got ready to go.  I held back on the hugs because people were gathering around Rich’s mother naturally and I didn’t want to take away from there exuberance over her having been there.  But, just before we headed out Jillian and a few others included me in hugs and we felt appreciative.  I wish my feelings weren’t so easily bruised or that I didn't feel lesser to these people, but we still feel vulnerable to being the “other woman” for 18 years and just living in the family through Rich’s stories of him being with or talking to the others.  We’ve been having bad feelings of being invisible.  I think Jillian more than anyone has put out the most time, energy, and inspiration for trying to make her larger family work and in equal respect; we have tried to give her many opportunities of being out of the way so she could spend time with her father – one-on-one.  It’s an awkward position.  I think in general Tim also went way out of his way to include me even though he is Rich’s ex’ BIL.  He’s got such a sense of humor and is attuned to his environment probably almost anywhere he is at.  He’s just got a quick sense of humor and he’s got a pleasant personality, and is magnetic and fun.  I felt him to be earnest.

Still Sunday, September 17th, 2012  Odometer 24337 Past Tucumcari 75 miles from Amarillo 1101 miles and 17 hours and 16 minutes to go.

Rich is planning to get into Elk City in about 210 miles or 7:30 pm.  That’s most likely where we will be staying for dinner and then would leave 900 miles to be driving Monday – a long day ahead, but we’ll leave early.  Rich is talking now about hotels, dining and sunset, so it is a good mental break.  We took scenery pictures of hills, horses, and a windmill and talked to Rich.  He said he’s now past his hard spell of 2-4 pm.  Time jumped us to 5:13 pm instead of 4:13 pm.  He’s thinking of stopping in Elk City just for dinner and going 100 miles further to Oklahoma City.

I’m trying to finish … whoops Rich says 2 ½ more hours at sunset (7:42 pm) will put us back in Elk city for the night.  He said we could stop in about 40 minutes (6:10 pm) for a washroom/gas break – YAY!  Hmm, horses and cows seem to get along in the same pasture. 

Ok, you!  Finish-up. 

Well … let’s see, Rich’s mother and Bud got in the car after saying goodbyes at the Hacienda.  We listened to cranky Bud all the way to the airport.  His mother seemed more impervious to it this time. 

27 miles officially to Amarillo with lots of windmills again – there are a lot of rubber tires on the road too.

We went back and forth a little in that we think he now has TWO grandsons.  Our point was if he is introducing Bud as his father instead of his stepfather, then Natty would be his grandson instead of his step-grandson, but Rich doesn’t want to insert himself into that position out of respect for Natty’s actual grandparents that have been around his entire life.  I just wanted him to include Natty in the closest family way possible - the connection is good for Rich.  Natty is really a great kid.  He is someone to be very proud of.  I feel that including Jade and Jasmine as my granddaughters instead of labeling them as step-grandchildren we are much more likely to treat all four girls equally, as well and as often including events for the with or without our actual grandchildren.  Plus, it is something to be proud of that our oldest son has now through marriage FOUR girls.  We love it!  It seems to be mostly a matter of positive perspective.

Well last leg of the story.  We dropped Rich with his mother and Bud at the airport on Sunday.  We parked for free due to the disability and he walked them through the airport so there wouldn’t be any complaining. 

We just mentally walked through their schedule and they should be landing in Chicago about now.  Rich says about 1 ½ - 2 hours they will be home from the airport.  He will call then or wait for Karen’s report.  I think Andrew is well enough now to help pick them up.  Enough of that - basically, after dropping Rich off, we parked and ate the quarter-sized bag of leftover not so good popcorn Rich’s mother had left.  Rich’s mother had not wanted to waste it by leaving it behind, but Bud didn’t want to bother with it on the airplane.  After those connections were all made, Rich and I drove to our Inn for the last time and picked up our bags that wouldn’t fit with the passenger seats down for his mother and Bud.

After we got everything to the car, we went to watch Natty play ball.  Rich said we could only watch for an inning, but I think we already stated this at the beginning of the story some 20 pages ago.  We were really proud of him and are aware of how much he has accomplished in his short life and with the strong family relationships he has.  We couldn’t be more pleased with how Jillian, Chris, and Natty have become an especially close family. 

I guess now just a summary of the trip so far.  There were many highlights on being in New Mexico.  Jillian and Chris had danced so happily at the wedding and that says it all.  We took about 625 pictures since emptying the camera last Monday after being on the mountain.  That would be Monday to Sunday – like 6 days later J 

Yikes McDonald’s at 5:47 pm odometer 24398 with 1041 miles or 16 hours and 22 minutes to go

Now we’re at odometer 24499 at 7:19 pm with 943 miles to go and 14 hours and 51 minutes. 

We are at Shamrock, TX at an economy Sleep Inn and Suite, but it is $124 and Rich is not going to go for that.  So we drove over to a Western Motel, not Best Western, but real western.  It has railings as in being in the real “out west."  It is on Historic Route 66.  Rich is taking longer here.  It has long parking slots for semi’s and a couple of kids are playing ball in the parking lot.  There’s another car in the drop-off port.  Maybe Rich is taking a turn.  We didn’t discourage Rich because it is in the West., so we figured we'd do as the Westerners might ... well at least the least wealthiest of us hehehe.

Monday, September 17, 2012 @ 6:55 am odometer 24498 944 miles to go or 14 hours and 48 minutes

We’re leaving the motel and we stopped and took a few pictures before leaving town

Now we have 923 miles to go or 14 hours and 26 minutes and we’ve just passed into Oklahoma.

It’s very foggy out.  We just got done with filling up gas at a Chevron.  We took a few pictures and Rich talked to a local who said the old Chevron gas station across from our motel was in the movie, “Cars.”  Rich thought they probably photographed it and then turned it into a cartoon.  Rich is telling me about fog.  He said it is 51 degrees out and fog happens when the air is cooler than the ground.  He’s got tail lights in front of him now. 

It is 7:36 am.  Sunrise was at 7:25 am, but it isn’t visible.  Rich said it is loosening up though the sky is still gray.  We’re at mile marker 17.  We had on our lower seatbelt, but Rich made us put on the upper part too.  L  There is like 140 miles to Oklahoma City. 

We can see the other side of the road now.  I plugged in Rich’s phone; because he started thinking he might receive work calls because it was a Monday morning.  We turned the car from colder to a warmer 70 degrees.  We’d still been at 60 where we’d placed it on Saturday from picking up the cake.

Aha!  Rich picked up speed again to 70 and is drinking coffee without his hands being clenched.  Last night when we'd gotten into the Shamrock Western Motel, I had thought it smelled like men’s after shave – over much – maybe it was cleaning stuff, but I didn’t like it.  Why am I thinking this?

Now we can see vehicle shapes and not just lights – good deal.  Anyway, the motel room didn’t make a good first impression although; it looked fairly modern given 20-30 years.  Now it says Elk City 12 miles – Oklahoma City 124 miles.  Sometimes we just are looking out and sometimes taking pictures of our progress.

It took a while to adjust to being in the room, but hunger won out.  Rich wanted to have a big Texas steak and we’d seen signs for a steakhouse called, “Big Vern’s.”  The restaurant was kind of dumpy, but it was a moderate size.  The exterior was the sheet metal and the window blinds were down.  It was an L-shaped building with a badly painted cement floor.  The tables were coated in plastic and the chairs were inexpensive.  It did have nice red cloth napkins.

The sun can be seen now and the temperature has risen to 58 degrees.  Rich is appreciative that the sun is up and we’re in Elk City so seeing most of the road.  It’s like waking up to the Poseidon when they got the outside of the ship and saw light.  Yay!  Now the fog is all the way gone and the sun is up.  It’s 8:06 am and Rich had a coffee fill and is eating his share of the chocolate Hostess Donettes.  Mine seemed to be eaten back at the gas station while waiting for Rich.  Maury called to tell us what had been happening to the cats and was asking how close we were to being home.  He seemed a little bogged down. 

I can’t say how appreciative we were for him helping us out.  We didn’t worry in the least.  Maury’s been very responsible and it was just the nicest relief not to be worried.  Chances are we will have cats on our lap tonight.  Looks like it will be about 8-9 pm before getting in.  We are back in the fog.  No more seeing cows and horses and burned-out barns – and we must have passed an oil refinery, because Rich said what we were smelling strongly was oil.   

Hmm, now skunk smells.  Must be the west!  Just passing now a couple of trucks that had been side-by-side for a couple of miles.  Hard to see with the sun now up again and the fog AGAIN has lifted.  Rich reminded us of putting down the visor and that seemed to take down some of the intensity.

Rich’s step-sister, Karen, and Andrew both called last night.  Rich thinks that they had troubles getting to Bud and his Mother.  Someone said something about starting from one end of the airport to the next looking for Bud and Mom.  I'm thinking Bud wandered off.  We’re not sure why they wouldn’t be waiting at the appropriate gate. 

It seemed to give Bud another reason to complain and then they ended up at Karen’s place in Romeoville to eat out, but it was then another delay in getting home.  It wasn’t until 9 pm before they got settled.  There was something about trading cars and Bud apparently had insisted that Karen drive his van to the airport, so then he had to drive Karen home and then drive himself back to the house.  Rich said he wouldn’t put up with that … and most likely he was covering things so Mom could smoke in the car and not here her complain about how hard it is to get in other peoples cars - especially Rich's.  Bud had gotten testy too with Rich about lighters or something.  It is hard to handle sometimes the problems they present, because they get confused, stubborn, and angry and attack aggressively each other or anyone else in their way.  They don’t want to acknowledge change or that they might see something in a different view than their own if they were more open.  Pretty much their world is small and everything revolves around them.  For example, they wouldn’t consider twice thanking Karen, Andrew, Rich or me for getting them back and forth to airports.  They just assume because they need assistance that others then owe it to them.  There's no gratitude involved and if you told that to Bud, he'd most likely say, "So what?  You had a car didn't you?"  

I really did appreciate at the wedding that although we sat with them the entire time, we could also sit a few feet distance enough to take a few pictures or hold hands with Rich.  Those times were ESPECIALLY appreciative.

Oklahoma City is now 60 miles away at 8:38 am.  Rich is starting to talk about fishing, so maybe he’s relaxing some.  Yes, I did see his $4,000 boat/fishing shopping list.  Hehehe.  His eyes are bigger than his wallet.

We forgot to complete the steak dinner part from last night.  I had an 8 oz. sirloin steak for $16 and Rich had a 16 oz. rib eye steak for $27.  He said it would have been $11 at the store, but it was an extremely good meat and we had had one of the best sides ever.  It had been a cheesy potato casserole and it was just fantastic!  Rich had fries – lots!  We ate almost everything, but a couple oz of steak and Rich finished that up too.  We also had a spicy Bloody Mary to his diet Pepsi.  Very good, but we were way out of it coming out of the restaurant.  Our stomach hurt and our head was dizzy and we were way past exhaustion.  We were just really uncomfortable.  We got to the room a couple of blocks away and first undressed and then lay on the bed as if the room was spinning.  We had only had one drink.  Rich came up and made sure we got tucked in.  It wasn’t late, but we were still disorientated.

Rich said, he got up after falling asleep for an hour and continued to read, but we had been down for the count.  We woke up 2 hours earlier than we had woke up Rich.  We were up at 4 am.  We made coffee and took our shower and then spent the next 1 ½ hours on the computer loading pictures onto Rich’s computer and then to Facebook.  We loaded successfully 597 pictures from the last time we had taken sunrise pictures about one week previously.  I hadn’t realized we’d stored them up.  This group of pictures has Jillian’s entire wedding.  There was a glitch in the camera the night before, so Rich recommended we stop taking pictures until we could get all the important ones saved proper.  Things worked out and we only lost one picture and the pictures included as well Natty’s ball game - YAY!!

We’re still coming in and out of the fog.  We’re coming into El Reno.  First real construction zone where there are real workers on the side of the road and we are down to one lane.  There was a couple little orange flag guys on Rich’s computer map and we are also coming up to a cattle stockyard.  We hare leaving the Cherokee – Arapaho nation and just out of Oklahoma City by about a half hour.  We’re now up to 3 lanes coming into another city.  There is not a lot of traffic for being 9:10 am on a Monday morning.  The speed is back to 70.  Two more wind propellers traveled past us on the other side of the road.  Rich says we passed a big city rush hour and it was no problem.  Now his goal is to get past St. Louis rush hour this evening without getting stuck.  St Louis to Brookfield is four hours.  Rich says maybe we’d stop at a BBQ outside of St. Louis.  Now we’re passing the crossing the Chisholm Trail and are looking at bumpy roads.  9:25 am exit 44 east to Tulsa.

Odometer is at 25219 @ 6:09 ppm with 231 miles to go or 3 hours and 42 minutes.   We stopped in Litchfield for gas and KFC. 

Ok, this is where the paper trail ends.  We’d been writing up to now in the travel journal – pen and paper, and we did record the trip had ended with an odometer reading of 25444 which meant that Rich put on his car 3234 miles round trip.  I think we got home just before 10 pm.  Pswhoo!  We had a problem after dinner and I’m not sure what the problem was.  It was in general based on a part's switch that was majorly depressed and tired - so thinking it was Annemarie.  She was very negative and although we were all considering the trip to be very happy and simply a joy.  She was coming at it from a different viewpoint of taking any of the really small negatives and blowing them up to really big negatives with a conclusion that she wasn’t loved or wanted by anyone including Rich.  I think what had happened is that Rich had taken a few phone calls and had not referred to any of us sharing the same experience.  So was making statements like he was driving home not that Ann and he were driving home. 

Probably, the most bothersome thing we go through is the feelings of being invisible.  So when we are more aware of not being “important” directly to anyone, we get very moody and depressed.  It’s not the other one’s fault and with any other part, we might tease ourselves out of the situation, but we were tired and hadn’t taken our medicine.  It’s a lousy excuse, but that’s basically what happened.  We had been really outside our norms and Annemarie rarely leaves the apartment.  Rich and us must have had words, because at about 3 hours left to go, both of us stopped talking to the other and we got suicidal for a few hours wishing that we’d be dead – though not Rich.  Rich hadn't been given any clues so did not know where we were, and we couldn't get back to Rich to check on him. I’m not going to chase down that rabbit hole, but it was extremely defeating.  I know better though that after a long trip – even a wonderful long trip there is transference of being on vacation to being suddenly at home where nothing seems as fun or interesting.  I think that was affecting us too.

We feel very guilty for not giving Rich support those last tiresome hours.  During many parts it was raining and dark so the driving would have been more difficult for him.  We could tell that the parts had switched major, but we couldn’t get ourselves out of it.  15 years being separate from the world as far as Rich was concerned has taken a heavy toll on us because it adds to the other feelings of being invisible growing up where it seemed the only time people talked with us was to yell at us or otherwise abuse.  Again, we had been overly tired and really had needed our medicine, but neither Rich or us had come up with that idea.  Our system tends to withdraw into ourselves and implode.  Rich most likely didn’t do anything real bad … just we got triggered and we couldn’t get ourselves out.  We’re much more likely to say a few things probably bad, and then withdraw into stony silence – this time for the rest of the night.

We got home and packed the few electronics that were around us and we took Rich’s computer briefcase and our hand-written journal and we went to the backdoor and stood until Rich opened it for us.  We had given our keys to Maury.  We went upstairs, put the things down and crawled into bed.  We don’t have any recall; though now know that Rich had unpacked the car.  We were sleeping before he finished what would have been like 3 or more trips.  It’s a lousy feeling to be us sometimes, because we are no help to ourselves or Rich. 

The next morning – Tuesday we had been up before Rich and were doing something at the computer.  I know when he got up, he just stood quietly about 1 ½ feet away from us.  We looked up and then started to cry placing our arms around his middle.  Why he stays with us through these kinds of upsets I’ll never know.  But, at that point it was over – whatever had happened from the long night before. 

I think Jillian has talked to her Dad a couple of times since then.  When she had called that night, we’d been too out of it to ask how she was doing or to ask later after Rich had been off the phone.  At the time it seemed to “prove” how nobody had cared because neither father nor daughter had made a comment of us being there.  We intellectually know better and we certainly aren’t family, so it would seem understandable not to be a part of the father/daughter conversation, but again … we’ve still got obvious problems with feeling invisible.  It’s much more our problem then Rich and certainly shouldn’t be a Jillian problem.  She was really ideal this last week with Rich and us.  It was truly a dream vacation.

Tuesday and half of yesterday (Wednesday) we didn’t do anything much other than to sleep.  Yesterday then sometime during the day we began to type this two-part blog entry.  Not much has been done beside that.  It’s at this point a 27 page document that we’ll split in parts one and two.  While we’ve been sleeping, Rich has been back to work and even went shopping and of course has cooked.  We are not very good at keeping up with him.  He’s in the kitchen now on the work phone and it’s about 11 am, Thursday, September 20, 2012.  He said he would start the laundry, and then we’ll finish it.  Not even that has gotten done in the past couple of days.

We really miss also seeing Dr. Marvin.  We will see him tomorrow at 4:30 pm and we’re going to be REALLY grateful.  There is a lot that has occurred some of which has been written about and some has not.  Of course, it is always a problem when we get the suicidal ideation even though it only lasted for a couple of hours.  It has not reoccurred since we’ve been home.  We have gotten a couple of chances to talk to Linda and we responded to a few IM’s.  We also got a chance to talk to Maury yesterday and we gave our special gifts to him to pass on to his girls.  Rich asked why we hadn’t saved them to do ourselves, but I know that Maury likes giving things to the girls too – so it would be extra special that he would do it.  He knows our thoughts behind the small gifts.  I hope they like them.  When we see Dr. Marvin, we’ll probably ask him to read through this long entry – hoping that he can read fairly fast.  We are going to want him to share as much of our trip with us as his time can afford. 

Other than that, we are going to next take on the challenge of going back to the Multiple bloggers.  We have a lot of reading to catch up on.  We’re torn on whether to just hit the last article people wrote (one week or less) or to look at each of the entries written since the last time we read on September 7th.  We’d rather do the latter, but not sure how much material is out there and how long it would take.  I have strong feelings of not wanting to miss so many things in being gone.  Hopefully, between today and tomorrow we can get a good jump on it and finish it no later than Monday or Tuesday next week.  It be ideal to do it in one long day, but that won’t happen if we read the longer parts. 

Saturday and Sunday we’ll be up in Wisconsin for a quilting weekend with the girls.  Everyone will be there and we’ve invited my sister Connie Sue to stay overnight with us on Saturday.  We’re figuring by then she’ll need a break.  She’s going through some pretty hard things with her house, family, and dog.  Curly was just diagnosed with cancer.  We’ll see.  She’s said yes, but we’ll play it by ear.  We just reserved the room so everything should be good there.  We reserved it with Rich’s credit card, but will pay for it with the extra money we didn’t spend on our trip.  Other than the girls’ gifts and quilt stuff, we didn't look for or get anything. 

I can hardly wait to see the girls.  We’ll talk some about the trip, of course, but too you get caught-up with their lives too.  We’ll bring the Chevron quilt and Linda is going to help us use either her Chevron ruler or perhaps learn from one of the girls how to use our log cabin ruler.  It be nice if our first pottery quilt got here.  It was supposed to have left Tuesday, but would need to be here today or tomorrow.  We’ll see.  Linda is back online now and we’re still waiting on clothes from the washer.  I think we’ll get this posted now because we are more excited about reading the blogs.  Part of me is fitting into our life as we’ve established.  Have we mentioned enough how glad we will be to see Dr. Marvin?

Vacation/Wedding Part 1 of 2




Good morning.  This is going to be a long one and perhaps divided into several posts because it is SOOO long!  This entry is about our trip to New Mexico for Rich’s Daughter’s wedding on September 15th.  We start here …

September 8, 2012 @ 6:23 am @ odometer 22210 miles leaving Brookfield with a destination for the day of 517 miles to go

September 8, 2012 @ 10:26 am @ odometer 22479 miles destination 344 miles to go

We are coming up to St. Louis.  We had taken a small half hour nap after a long GREAT conversation with Rich, especially weighted in ideals of multiple focus though became distracted after he emphasized funding our program (writing and publishing).

We picked up our Design book.  Rich was talking of little lakes like Horseshoe where he could fish. 

We are going through St. Louis and took several pictures of the arch.  We have got 200 miles to go west on 44 to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

10:39 am We are before Kansas City, listening to Rich’s music station and am taking a mental note that today’s baseball game is between KC and Chicago White Sox.  The last song we listened to was “Last Kiss.”  We are listening to the 50’s Chanel. 

We are on the design book p. 11 (left side) and it said that students should pick out their own objectives in their learning program.  We thought of our structure for the NEWS DID/MPD Syntopicon and that the categories or section headers could become optional courses in an inclusive manner that students could choose as jumping-in points and the courses would be structured taking in consideration of the bloggers feeding information into those sections as study modules – and then tested to analyze data and then ask the students to make new conclusions and to match title of section – if their title of section – if this title then, “I think”, or “they think…” and within that frame, we can consider a), b), c), d), & etc.

12:09 pm, odometer 22564, 260 miles left or four hours and 16 minutes.  We stopped in Elk Grove, MO and had Subway roast beef and cookies and also stopped for gas and washroom.  Rich is getting like 21.8 mpg, gas is about $3.79 and at about 16 gallons cost is way over $50 .

L Saw dead dog on road

We’re on page 20 of the book and on I-44 West.  We changed the car computer map to an accurate address of Outrigger Motel our first overnight destination.  There are 245 miles left or 3 hours and 53 minutes to go.  We have 123 miles before we get to the next change of direction.  We saw Emu’s on a farm for that purpose.  And, we passed the Evinrude Boat/Motor dealer we had stopped at before with Rich on our first Missouri trip to Bronson several years ago.  The music playing now is, “Rain on the Roof.”

22818 odometer at 3:46 pm, arrive at the Outrigger Motel, 10603 Hwy 59 N, Grove, Oklahoma

It seems sunny and there were a lot of cows and we were very cranky when we got to the motel, but then Rich checked us in and let us eat a leftover cookie from lunch and that seemed to make us feel a little better.

He said we couldn’t say negative things about the houses being small and “ugly” because they were peoples’ homes and then he unrolled our window to give us something to be cranky about.  We like much better air conditioning and we met some flies.  We thought things looked raggedly.  Rich says there was a lot of grass, so they could have a lot of cows and horses.  We noticed that a lot of houses were made of one-story sheet metal frames and lots of them had gates with names on them, but Rich wouldn’t let us name our apartment.  They also had a turnpike.  We had to go over a bridge to get to the small town of Grove.  It was a peninsula.  There was a place to rent boats and Rich said in February, he and some of the guys would be coming to this town/lake for a week, but he’s not going to take us with L.  He couldn’t tell us if people talked differently.  I don’t want to be the only one with a Chicago accent.  He took a long time to check-in.

The hotel is in a L-shape and includes rooms, pop, ice and candy machines, and office and attached swimming.  The motel looks very empty, but one woman was sitting outside of a room watching us and one kid maybe about 14 or so was standing by the pool fence reading rules.  Rich said we have to get dressed and we are going to see the lake and then go out to dinner.  It’s a little scary being in a strange place.  Rich has been inside for 15 minutes, but is now coming out and we’re still a little whiney.  The time is now …

4 pm and Rich is headed toward Lake Road Resort and going around the south side of the lake.

At 5:37 pm, we started smiling again because we got rid of the frustrating paper map and picked up a camera and pen/paper to take pictures of cows and fences by the lake and to take notes.  But, then we had to work our way around the lake.

10 to 127 W.
5 – 565 S. Ranch
245 toward Lakeman Shore
28 W.
Cross River
82 N
85 E then
85 N
S 317 Rd
310 Road

Returned to Harbor View Yacht Harbor to the west side of bridge about third cove west and to the north side

September 9, 2012 at 22896 odometer @ 7:37 am leaving motel 742 miles to go 11 hours and 43 minutes to drive to destination – Rio Rancho, New Mexico where Jillian and Chris live.

We had a great day and night last night.  We were slow to warm-up to the room and Oklahoma, but we did it by dinner.  After checking into the motel, we did a lot of checking out the lake and different roads and eventually we wound around the south side of the lake and went to eat at a yacht club that was very nice.  It was out doors, and we had all you can eat fajitas.  We had two and Rich had five!  It was on a long dock outside facing the Marina water.  We saw fish jumping and the weather was excellent.  We had one Bloody Mary and our medicine about then, so we were feeling fine.  We afterward stopped to fill the thermos with coffee for the next morning and get some wine coolers and then we had a VERY nice time with Rich *Giggle*.  The bed seemed fine after taking off the bedspread.

We remember the shower head being low, but it was quick to heat up.  After that it was fine.  We packed-up after Rich took his medicine and his turn in the shower.  It was fast and easy.  It seemed to take longer than expected to get to Jillian’s because of the extra miles.  Rich had stopped earlier than half way so he could check out the fishing lake for February.  Rich came out of the gas station with more coffee refills and cookies and we left the city at 7:46 am.  Rich stated that the only thing that was important was learning where to fish and he ran into a couple semi-pros who gave him some good clues.  There were a lot of bass boats at the convenient store.

8:02 on turnpike and saw llama farm WITH llamas!

11:02 pm @ an odometer reading of 23127

We just left Oklahoma City.  Rich has seen oil rigs, but we haven’t captured one on our camera yet.  They are sneaky!  Rich talked to Jillian and Bob on the phone.  Jillian is going in for her last fitting.  We shared cookies and yesterday’s sandwich with Rich.  We never saw downtown Oklahoma City.  Around the area they were selling Bermuda Grass.

492 miles left for the day or 7 hours and 42 minutes.

We stopped at Loves and emptied the coffees and Rich got the windows because we were complaining about all the slimy-type bugs.  We had had the computer up and we checked a little on Twitter and re-started the course on gamification, but we had to stop on lesson 1.5 and 1.6 because of all the buffering problems we were having loading the video on Rich’s laptop.  He said he normally has problems with videos.

Odometer reading of 23191 @ 12:02 pm

We were looking for lunch.  2 exits up will be a McDonald’s with 444 miles to go or 7 hours left.

Odometer reading of 23431 @ 2:29 pm.

We just crossed into New Mexico by San Jan.  Rich kept waking me up to see things.  He explained about the big gully’s he was calling arroyo’s and then later the mesas.  We saw two small deer too by one of the roadside fences.  

Jill called @ 2:30 pm and we had 197 miles to go in 3 hours and 13 minutes.

We noted Jill’s address and then we noted the address at the Inn at Rio Rancho where we would be staying (1456 Rio Rancho Blvd SE, Rio Rancho, NM).

Odometer 2364 @ 5:47 pm

We had gone through the beautiful mountains and had taken a ton of pictures.   We are at the Inn and Rich said we have a room on the second floor which brought complaints.

Monday, September 10, 2012 @ odometer 23648 @ 11:46 am with 15 miles to drive or 27 minutes to go.

Rich got oil this morning and he washed car windows.  He had taken the first shower and then went for sweet rolls and coffee while we took our shower.  He spent time on his computer, then us.  We had too much trouble on our netbook because it is not recognizing certain letters and I couldn't connect to our phone hot spot without entering code (with those missing letters).  When Rich went out, we uploaded pictures from his computer and then placed them on Facebook with just one short note.  Now we are on our way to take a tram to the top of the mountain

It has been a very good morning and it was nice to get to the Inn and Jillian’s the night before.  We stopped at the Inn first.  The room is extra large.  Rich and I both brought stuff up, but of course he brought much more and heavier stuff.  We are on the 2nd floor overlooking the beautiful courtyard and we are faced toward the mountain.  Rich just reminded us that we forgot to take our coats, because it was going to be cold on the mountain.  Oh well.

Last night after Jillian’s, we had a couple of wine coolers in the dark on the extra-wide balcony and we took that opportunity to talk over a few things, but we were both tired.  We slept until 8:30 am.  We’re not going to say too much about Jillian’s because we want to preserve that privacy, but we are just 10 minutes from her and we went over for late dinner last night.  We met Chris her fiance and talked and talked.  She has a very nice house.  It is of course styled in south western with extra height built into some Adobe-styled arches.  Jillian made dinner and it was so nice to talk with her.  She showed us some things for the wedding and it was just a real nice time.  So happy to be here!

Odometer 23678 @ 4:59 pm.

We had such a good trip on the mountain, “Sandia” for the early afternoon.  The tram ride-up was very fun and terribly scenic. The tram ride was two miles/15 minutes to the top. It jumped a couple parts near the connection posts.  We took a LOT of pictures.  Rich had me bring the walker which was a great idea.  It also allowed us to board first, so we could be tucked out-of-the-way.  We got a good area in the tram.  Most people had to stand-up.

At the top, we were timid coming up to the edge of the mountain top even though they had good metal railings.  It was just that it was so deep and rocky.  They had a long zigzag path for walkers and wheelchairs and I liked that although we stopped for a couple of breaks going back up to the tram.  After a little bit of looking, we stopped at the restaurant on top of the mountain.  It was a reasonable cost and had window views that really were something.  Rich had a cheese-bacon burger and a diet coke and fries, and we had a hot ham sandwich with onion rings and a medium-sized Margarita.

We sat outside after lunch and rested in the sun out of the wind.  Rich and us talked during dinner, but we were kind of quiet.  We were doing a lot of looking and just feeling being there.  It was so unique.  I can count like no trips to sitting on the top of a big mountain.  It was very romantic and fulfilling.  It was just so huge it was hard to put a scope on it.

After we rode the tram down to the base (Rich was comfortably standing behind me), Rich let us stop in the small gift store.  We liked best the small earrings.  We were thinking of our girls, but just got items for the Chicago group of DILs and Granddaughters.  The gifts were mostly earrings, but we got a bracelet for Isa.  It was so much fun picking up the gifts and choosing.  Rich helped too!  One set was a little more expensive, but it was my favorite.  It was real turquoise and delicate sterling silver.

On the trip back to the Inn – about 20-30 minutes, we talked some to Rich about the experience, but mostly we went with a couple of rounds at looking at the jewelry.  I don’t really have much jewelry, so it was a very big deal.  We haven’t decided what to get Maury yet.  Rich said a hat, but Maury is picky about that kind of thing.  I’d like to get him a little more for watching the house and kitties.  Rich suggested a small gift with some cash – which is always good.  I would like to pick-up Joe some leather to work with.  I think that would be fun (OK that didn't happen :( ).  Rich says that tomorrow we can shop a little more.  He gave us some shopping money and it might as well have been a million bucks because it seems so much fun and out of normal to be getting tiny extravagant gifts.

After we went back to the Inn for about 1 ½ hours, then we went to do a little shopping for Jillian (food/liquor).  During the middle, we sat outdoors with Rich and he napped, and then we worked on the quilt getting about 3/5’s done.  It was so pleasant on the sunny, but breezy side of the building.  After we steamed a shirt for Rich, but now Rich is here and we’re 5 minutes away from Jillian’s.  Pizza and a game tonight!  Rich said he doesn’t have anything to add, but I know he is very happy.  We need to look at the scenery now!  J

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at odometer

57113 – Stone Face Tavern?  Don't remember this reference.

We saved these next addresses though for the quilting places we'd visit

Quilt Bugs 505-994-0269 3301 Southern Blvd. SE Rio Rancho
Mountain Sky Quilting 505-896-6856  409 9th St. NE
Quilting by Monique 505-994-2803  901 Tiffiin Meadows Drive NE
Creative Stitches by Shirley 505-891-4792  650 Lakeview Circle SE
Touch of Class 505-792-8664  2614 Comino Cordoba SE

023758 @ 4:43 pm

This is us at the grocery store again.  Rich is picking up a few things for dumplings.  It’s been another nice day.  We spent time on the computer including an hour talking to Linda, finishing the quilt, took a shower, saw sunrise with Rich, and then Rich cooked dinner in a crock pot at the Inn.  And, THEN, we went out shopping and looked at about 5-7 locations.  We were looking for quilting shops, but almost all the locations turned out to be private houses.  We then stopped for lunch at Chili’s.  I had a tostada and Rich had a burger and we had a Margarita, and he had a diet coke. 

We were close to the quilting store named “Southwest Decorations.”  We had called ahead.  Rich’s car map had taken us in the wrong direction (NE instead of NW).  Also, Rich seemed sluggish and missed a few stops.  He stayed out in the car and read his fishing maps when we got to the store and we went in.  I took the walker with me again, so I could browse slowly and rest while looking.  I had two very good store assistants.  I was pulled in with colors, especially rich golds, reds, turquois, etc.  We found one we liked right away, but knew it was too expensive, and after talking to the sales lady, we looked at other quilts up on the wall.  There was a good amount of space and a lot of visually attractive patterns.  I really liked the Southwest patterns and colors right away.  The first sales lady went to the second though, and they arranged for us to do the beautiful quilt we had liked the most as a block of the month (BOM).  It would cost $29 a month, plus $5 shipping each time. Block of the month means they ship one square (15" x 15") at a time. It was a Navajo Native American quilt and this group seemed to be mostly in the New Mexico and Arizona regions.  It was very fine applique with small zigzag stitching detailing the quilt.  Then we got a $79 Chevron pattern to hold us over.  The Chevron was more a regular-pieced quilt instead of an applique and the pattern was repeating so much easier to handle.

After we got home (it rained), we looked at the fabrics in our Chevron quilt kit and then showed Rich a picture of the pottery quilt on the computer.  Then we took a nap while he read, and then we got up and did the computer while he napped.  We spent most of the time looking at the Southwest Quilt shop web site.

After that, Rich got food ready and we both loaded up for Jillian’s.  We have the quilt too for Jillian and Chris.  This is the one we'd made and were giving as our wedding gift.  The stupid part was that Rich fell on the last step, but saved the dinner, and then we rushed to check him, and then we also fell on the last step.  We were both feeling pretty silly and so took pictures of each other.  Rich had already fallen earlier this morning while outside to watch the sunrise together.  His chair had gone out from under him.

Now we’re both safely in the car.  Rich says we have more rain and dust storms coming and indeed the wind was picking up.  He had cooked pork and then he will be making sauerkraut, dumplings and gravy which is a favored food of Jillian’s, but new to Chris.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 Odometer 23774 @ 2:11 pm

We’re back at the grocery store.  Rich just filled out the super saver card at Smith’s Grocery because we’ve been here so often, he thought he could save some money with the card.  We just got back from getting both me and Rich’s hair trimmed, and we’ll leave our Inn at about 4:30 pm for Jillian’s.  I think we’re having some kind of Chili tonight because Chris’ son is coming home from college and it is a favorite of his.

Last night, we were wound up leaving Jillian’s because it startled us more than her that she hadn’t finished making plans for the week (Thursday and Friday) with people all coming over.  After, she stated she was all good.  I didn’t mean to push into her business - we were just making sure she was using the time wisely – especially if she wanted her father to pick up a few things which we had figured would make things easier for her.  We were stressing that it was important that they could enjoy their friends and family while they were there.  I knew though that because Jillian is Jillian it is like singing to the choir.  She’s very organized.  More like my bad :(

Friday, September 14, 2012 Odometer 23897 @ 2:07 pm

Afternoon, we are back at Smith’s.  Rich gets whatever he needs while we stay out in the car and catch-up on our writing.  By now Rich is very familiar with the store, but we are in a rush today if he’s going to make it back to the hacienda by 3 pm.  He has to get all of Jillian’s stuff within 30 minutes.  It will then take 23 minutes to drive in time for the rehearsal.  We just had a quick stopover at our room at the Inn.  Rich needed to get the cooler, lawn chairs, and his mother’s suitcase and clothes.  They were being pushy, but Rich and I hadn't realized they'd packed his mother's liquor in the bag for us to take in Rich's SUV.  Before that we’d been at the Hacienda trying to settle in his Mom and Bud.  Bud was getting ornery in thinking that he’d have to do things for himself instead of waiting for Rich who was trying to coordinate his tasks - politely.  So, Bud got out of the car and started pulling things from the back and he got Mom out before Rich could find out where their room was and the room was about a block away over gravel.  So Rich had to reload the car and put his mother back in the seat which was hard, because he was having to lift her and Bud didn't want to be patient.  Rich drove to the room at the Hacienda bed and breakfast  which was also where the wedding rehearsal and wedding was going to be.  It took a bit of time which made Jillian nervous about her Dad's timing.

Jillian’s Uncle Tim was the nicest.  He came over and introduced himself while the three of us were in the car (without Rich) and then after Bud had gotten out, Tim sat in the back seat with me and fooled around in a nice manner.  He had met Rich’s Mom and Bud before.  It was a nice period of getting introduced to him.  He seemed really nice.  His wife Mary was more aloof.  Jon also came out and over to the car, and he gave his grandmother a kiss, but he did not say hi or acknowledge me, which fell a little flat.  They said that Rich’s ex was in her room and we did meet Jillian at the parking space.  She had traveled to the Hacienda early to bring vases and to get her mother coffee.  We still don’t know how that is going to work out, but we will stay at a distance and not say anything to her unless asked.  I’m thinking she is going to say something mean, so we have to be prepared for that.  I think we’ll just smile back and acknowledge that we heard her, but have nothing to add … like ok, I hear you, but as Jillian has been fervently repeating, “it is not my problem.”

The trip to the airport for Rich’s mother was fine and we arranged with Rich that I would drop him at the curb and then wait in the cell phone waiting area.  To my surprise, Rich let me practice drive HIS car around the Circle twice.  That was nice.  And, we felt pretty comfortable, but stayed quiet so Rich wouldn’t worry so much. He didn't seem to have any problem inside the airport getting his Mom and Bud.

He is back now loading the car with grocery items and paper goods for the rehearsal dinner after the practice.  It is going to be at Jillian's house.  Rich got help from the store and it is now 2:23 pm so 7 minutes to spare, and we'll get there on time.  He is moving efficiently.  His mother and Bud complained most the way to the Hacienda, but we were quiet and watched out the window until our bad mood with listening to them passed.  Again, not our problem.

Yesterday was a very good day with Rich’s Aunt and Uncle.  They came to our room to meet us Wednesday night and his aunt started the hugs – Yay!!  We spent time with them next at the bar at the Inn for a drink and then everyone went back to their rooms for sleep.  They had flown from the Carolina’s to Denver and then had driven 5-6 hours to New Mexico in the rain.

The next morning, we were ready before Rich when his Aunt Diane stopped by to pick-up the salad which we had held at our fridge.  We made arrangements to pick them up for breakfast/lunch and then the four of us went to Jillian’s and had a nice time.  We then also met Chris’ parents who seemed really nice.  They brought some food and happiness with them.  The mother’s name is Sugar and the father is Ray.  Ray led a very intelligent welcoming conversation so all that was good.  But the party broke up when Jillian had to leave to pick-up her mother and brother at the train station.  We understood later that the mother had come in at a mood and reclused herself at her laptop while others to to know each other – including Tim and Mary Jillian’s Aunt and Uncle.  Rich said that it is normal for Mary to upstage her sister (his ex) by being a little more active and welcoming of others.

We left with Bob and Diane, Rich’s Uncle and Aunt, and went back to Chili’s to eat.  It was nice that different people drank or didn’t drink in balance throughout the day.  I might have been the tipsiest though later that night, but at lunch we were fine.  The group had decided to go together to one of the local casinos, because Diane likes to do the penny slots and she was willing to show me how to do it.  It was a good time at the casino and the game I played was called, “Double Happiness,” which was a penny slot.  We lost $30 in total and then stopped.  Rich and his uncle watched the first half of the Bears/Packer game, and then I sat with Diane at another game.  She had lost $70 before when I’d lost the $30 and had put $20 more in and came out of the game with $37.  She stopped while she was up. 

We didn’t have ID with us so we couldn't go up to where the guys were sitting at the bar with the big screen TV, but Diane went and got them.  It made me feel pretty young.  Bob and Diane turned out to be really nice people.  This morning they stopped at our room and we ran through plans.  They didn’t want to go to the rehearsal, but they agreed to meet at Jillian’s afterward.  They didn’t have problems being on their own for the first part of the day while we did errands and got Rich’s Mother and Bud.

Well 6 minutes to go before we get there.  Let’s hope everyone behaves nice!  Right?!

Saturday, September 15, 2012 at 11:05 am  odometer 23988

We’re back!  We’re waiting for Rich to pick-up chairs at Jillian’s and then we will be going back to the hotel. 

We just finished eating with Rich’s Aunt and Uncle.  We had a nice time, but Rich did more than his fair share of talking.  I think Bob and Diane were eager to go.  They were going to the casino again before the wedding.  We ate at the same place as the other day (Weks), which was across the street from the Inn.  The meals were normal.  We had omelets and Rich had some kind of breaded meat with gravy and fries.  It was nice catching up with everyone about the night before.

The night before turned out not as bad as feared by us - we got to the Hacienda and stayed out on the porch with Rich’s Mother for a while and then the party moved to the center of the buildings where the wedding would be held.  Everyone was there and then Jon went back to get his mother.  She had sunglasses and seemed quiet and reserved.  We felt comfortable in that we met everyone else before and by then we were working with our camera.  The practice went well and didn’t take too long.  Bud and Mary took a few pictures, but we seemed to take the most, so we put them up this morning on Rich's and Jillian’s site.  Rich told us that Jillian had checked her facebook and found them and seemed ok with me leaving them there.  Chris’ sister had also seen them and posted that she liked them.  Chris’ family for whatever reason wasn’t at the rehearsal. 

We didn’t talk to Rich’s ex naturally, and we both probably watched each other periodically, but seemed careful to avoid direct eye contact.  She stayed close to Jon and that was pretty much it.  We had heard Mary (the sister) talk negatively of Rich and most likely me as well.  I think at that time it was more Mary.  She said something about how do you put up with him being here.  I think consciously or unconsciously, she was trying to start trouble.  I just faded out.  I didn’t want to be hearing negative thoughts on Rich or myself.  That was probably the worst of everything happening.

Afterward, we went over to Jillian’s place.  She had had her Dad pick-up some things and Rich asked me to get Chris to help carry stuff in.  Chris came out and picked-up a few more guys on the way which seemed fine.  We saw a couple of younger gals on the couch, but followed out to the backyard where the party was really at.  We sat by ourselves for a few minutes up on the step/ledge.  Rich’s mom had commanded a lot of early attention and Chris’ family were there to take her humorously.  They gave her a very wide berth and seemed to honor her for her age and spirit.  We then met up with Rich and sat with him mostly and listened for a while to Rich, Tim and Mary, and Chris’s Dad, Ray.  Then after a while, Rich’s Aunt and Uncle joined the group.  Diane and Rich’s mom (the two angry sisters) did not communicate, but we’re next to each other back to back.  Bud and Bob communicated, but no one needed to push Diane and Rich’s mother any more than they would want to accept.  Both of them took positions that they wouldn’t be the first to communicate.

Rich’s ex came to the house, much after things had gotten started (after the pizza was served and most had eaten).  She and Jillian were doing something together – I heard maybe getting the wedding dress pressed.  Again, we stayed in separate talking groups and avoided eye contact.  About 8 pm or so, Rich’s mother indicated to me that she was ready to leave so that we should let Rich know.  Rich and us then brought her and Bud back to the Hacienda and then Rich and us went back to the party at Jillian and Chris’.  Rich and us had agreed before going into the party that we’d just stay for just 45 minutes because we were both tired and not big party-goers.  Rich talked ball with some of Chris’ friends from an umpires’ perspective to a coach's perspective and we were happy that Sugar invited us over to talk to her and Chris’ boss’ wife.  That was a really warm and inviting experience.  I was grateful and happy to get time with her.

After we left the party, Rich got us a small fish sandwich and a vanilla shake for us and we went back to the room.  It didn’t take long before we were back in bed for the night.  The next morning we woke up before Rich again and showered before he got up.  We had been sick probably from too much sugar.  We posted Jillian’s rehearsal pictures on Facebook and by then Rich had gotten up and gone for coffee and was back to use the computer.  We kept reminding him “Father of the bride” and tried to assure he got plenty of good attention!  J

Odometer 23994 @ Saturday, September 15, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

Rich is just getting back with the cupcakes and now has to go back into Walmart for the cake and then he is going to need getting safety pins, smokes and lighter from Walgreens.  He said the cupcakes are heat sensitive, so he turned the air in back to 60 and then after he went back for the cake, we turned the two front thermometers to 60 as well.  It was sunny and warm and we wanted to keep Jillian’s bakery goods VERY cool!  The sun is knocking on the windows so we can’t be too careful or too cold.  Jillian might appreciate this one day as an afterward story on the making of her wedding day so we took a picture J.
               
I put all my extra change and pens in Rich’s car carrier and put my ID, phone, pen and camera things in the blue cloth pouch that Linda made.  I decided that I was going to carry my Kindle with us too.  It will help to keep us grounded.  Whoops Rich is back and we have to now go to Walgreens.  AHA!  He’s gone again.  He made me turn-up the air to warmer so when he got out, we turned-it back down to 60.  No cupcakes or cake is going to melt on MY shift!

Rich and us are a little edgy – we still are taking our own view of precautions to make sure everything goes well and neither of our minds are being super flexible.  I think down deep Rich is happy, but on the outside he is a tad grumpier than us.  I think he wants everything to go smoothly specially in consideration of his baby girl getting married.  That has got to weigh on a Father of the Bride.  He said he would ask where the safety pins were so he wouldn’t spend too much time, but, we should be ok.  It is now 1 pm, he’s got the cake, it only takes ½ an hour to drive and that would put him at 2 pm getting to the Hacienda and the wedding doesn’t start until 3 pm.  Pretty sure he won’t take that long, but he’s driving super careful so the cake doesn’t slide.

Rich looks real nice in his black shirt and pants.  This is the shirt his daughter got for him and she also gave him a deep purple tie, that is ready for him to put on.  It matches the groom's father.  I approve heartily of his appearance.  His hair has been trimmed too.  He and I were wavering as to it being necessary, but Jillian was REALLY sure it needed trimming - so whether or not to cut it stopped becoming an issue.  I asked him if we could write down any words for the day, and Rich said, no, and that he would remember the whole day forever.  He’s so cool!

We’re now done with the shopping and headed toward the wedding.  It is now 1:14 pm and the computer says 15 miles, 20 minutes.  I just checked with Rich and he said he wasn’t thinking, but would start thinking.  He hasn’t put together his fatherly words yet about what he would like to say to the bride and groom.  So we told him we could be quiet.

The pins were to help us with our dress.  We wanted our shirt pinned to the underneath thing so it wouldn’t show.  Rich says I look pretty.  I’m not so sure because of our size and style of dress, but I still like it and it is comfortable – I’m hoping that I don’t look like a big plum and embarrass Jillian.  Jillian’s colors are purple so I’m thinking I will fit in.  I hope that we get a picture of Rich and me with the bride and groom.  I snuck in my new gray shoes instead of the more formal shoes because they are more comfortable and the black ones are too high to be wearing on pebbles and grass.  It was mostly a safety move.  No one wants to detract from the bride on her special day.

We’re feeling good now and Rich seems to be dreamily looking at the beautiful houses on top of the hills.  Things are worrisome though in that Rich turned his side of the car back up to 70, UGH!  I took my medicine and the smell of the cake is sweet.  I haven’t seen the cake yet, but the cupcakes are all baseballs.  Rich convinced me to not bring with me the blue bag, but leave it at his mother’s room or in the car.  Hopefully, the car will be right outside her door.  We’re hoping the chairs get right outside their door also and they are there earlier than the cake.  One of the brothers is supposed to bring them because we’d left them at Jillian’s and Chris’ the night before and no one was home when we stopped to pick them up.  No problem.  We’re probably repeating ourselves now … maybe we’ll finish the last 10 minutes looking out the window at pretty.  Good luck Jill and Chris!

Sunday, September 16 2012 @ 10:56 am  odometer 24083

We dropped off Rich’s mother and Bud at the airport

12:36 pm 24017

We left Natty’s ball game with 1294 miles to drive @ 21 hour and 23 minutes to get home.

We were feeling a little sad, but nice too.  We like our place and it’s been a long time not thinking about it.  We have a bit to write about though now too.

We’ll start with the last thing first.  We stopped by at the high school ball park where Natty’s college team was playing.  Jillian met Rich and us at the parking lot.  We found Chris’ parents at the top of the covered bleachers.  We sat down in Chris’ row and Rich and Jillian got hot dogs or chips and pop.  That might be the last thing Dad paid for Jillian’s most wonderful weekend.

Rich said we could only stay to see Natty bat once.  We watched him a few times out in left field.  He plays center, left and pitcher.  We got lots of pictures of him batting.  On a full count, Natty got a walk and then he got to second but then his teammate struck out.  Jillian said the team was 0-3 in the game.  Rich said it was probably about the 4th or 5th inning and because they were tournaments, they probably were only 7 inning games.  We said goodbye again after the one time at bat.  We had gotten to take a few more pictures, but not many.  It felt kind of deflating, but again nice to head home and have Rich all to ourselves on the long ride home.  Rich said we might get a Slurpee too!  That will always get us moving.  I think we are stopping near the mountain top for lunch in about an hour.

We told Jillian today about her mother saying that we couldn’t take pictures.  She said we could stop taking pictures at the wedding.  I had been sitting at my dinner chair/table and taking pictures of Jillian and Chris dancing their first real dance, and then Rich's ex-came and stood directly between the kids and us and then after came over to my chair and made her statement at not taking pictures, and then she walked quickly back to her chair.  I took a picture of her walking back to her space.  That and Jillian having trouble buttoning up her train were the worst things about the wedding – though the buttoning was worse for Jillian and not me and for me the comments her aunt had said were less nice.  I continued to take pictures throughout the time and now.  I think Dr. Marvin will be proud of me.  I miss him … a LOT!  Especially, when I pause to write.  Mostly when I write I imagine talking to him and telling him what is happening.