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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Trying to Place Rich's Mother in Perspective

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 @ 6:38AM

Good morning.  It’s just us.  The pictures above were taken about four days ago – after we had written the last blog entry on Saturday.  Saturday night we must have finished up with the immediate ironing that was on our table and we realized that there was just too much fabric in the drawers – NOT to do what we did with the bundling.  There is a certain amount of satisfaction from collecting everything.  The problem is that now it IS four days later and these items still sit on the ironing table blocking any other work being done.  Perhaps we have come to a bit of a standstill.  We still WANT to do the work, but we’re going to need relaxing our mind to do it. 

Ok, now it is not as early as it is before.  The time is now 8:16AM.  I know where did it all go?  We are talking like an hour and a half!  Pretty much whichever one of us gets up with Rich was up … but, maybe there was some switching around because we were like talking to him, and then we looked up something and played around on our smart phone Internet, and then like Rich was up and telling us we should have called Mike about the two tiles that came down in the bathtub area, and then we made the maintenance call, but then we were mad so someone went in and licked Rich.  Yup yup … you can tell obviously how steamed we were.  And then we got a little bratty in that we wanted to put on fresh pajamas so we just left our half a cup of coffee on the bed while he was making it.  It made him come to a stop.  Then we were thinking … someone is certainly pushing her luck around here.  And, so then we went and took our medicine. 

I don’t know if we’ll remember very much about this last time period.  I think it started that someone had left the TV on from the night before … and YES, we know who someone is likely to be.  HMPF!  But Rich was watching it instead of talking to us so we muted it.  But, then he was looking at the picture, so we had to turn the whole thing off so we could get some attention.  We didn’t know why we wanted it … just did.  He might have talked for a bit about work or his mother or something along that line, but then we remembered that Thom was coming home today and that we had talked to him yesterday while he was half way through Ohio.

It was a very nice conversation and we’re so glad we were on his list of people to call.  At least we figure so because it takes a LOT of hours driving in from Washington DC.  I had asked about his Uncle Chris, and Thom said he’d just talked to him.  I know they are both really excited about starting a new business together.  I think I explained that the other day, but Chris and Thom are going to become partners in a Trading business.  Maybe it will be called something like “Garvey’s something,” because they both are.  Ok, probably I don’t know so much about all that … but it is soooo fantastic that Thom’s going to be back in town for a while.

He says there is a chance that he might still be able to work it out with Duyen.  I hope so, but of course we realize that is up to them.  We might get a chance to see Thom toward Sunday, but he couldn’t make any commitments.  He really prefers not to, but then we just have to make clear he needs to call us at least an hour in advance to do picking up around here.  Like I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be interested in the popcorn on the floor.  *Sigh* we try.  Just haven’t gotten the knack of it yet.

We talked a little about his last day of service … I don’t think it was a full day, because he got on the road pretty quick, but he was given some awards for his service and I will look forward to hearing more about them.  He also said that the Commander in Japan was still really interested in getting him there in October.  So that all will have to work itself out.  I do know that if he and Duyen were to work it out, she would come here for a bit after she and her sister finish school this spring.  I think Duyen’s sister is at about her junior year in high school and Duyen is now taking her last class to graduate with her BA in accounting.  YAY!!!  They would all naturally move to Japan if they went that way – and that that is where Thom’s career might lead.  But, then again they might do well and live in the Chicago area and that would be pretty cool too.  I’m not sure what they would think of being transplanted from DC where they’ve most likely adjusted to living, but it would be a good thing if they were closer to home.  Just a lot of stuff to look forward to, but the big thing … THOM IS COMING HOME TODAY!  WooHOO!!!

One of the things that he talked about and we weren’t sure we knew how to handle the conversation, but he said that if things work out, he would like to help us in getting a house.  I’m so proud of him for thinking of something like that.  He would of course work on getting his own place first, and we might be talking a long time down the road, but it just made me feel so proud that he’d consider helping us out like that.  We explained that if he did have money that Rich would most likely want to pay him back, but Thom was like it didn’t have to be that way, but we’re still talking about pipe dreams.  The basic part is that Thom would consider helping us out and that makes a world of difference in how much we feel appreciative that he would want to help take care of us.  I think the other boys might too if they came into big money, but I’m thinking they are more orientated to taking care of their own family needs first.  I’m thinking Thom would too, but he is very good with money and I don’t know … maybe because he had so much money at one time that I could see it happening again.  You know of our last disappointment with Rich’s mother … well maybe not so much there.  We’ll write more of it today, but basically, it was like seeing a rainbow past the clouds.  I’ve got such good sons.  I feel so gosh darn blessed.

It’s now about 8:45 AM and I’m thinking we lost some time here.  We did talk to Rich a little in that we were in the bedroom with him.  We’ve been helping him put on socks lately because he has trouble bending that way – especially toward his right leg.  He did do his stretching exercises so I know he’s being conscientious of what needs to be done there, but in general it was nice and maybe a little groping was happening in between time.  Not that I’d say that out loud or anything. *Giggle*

Ok, then what’s next?  Rich is now dressed and is checking out things on the computer.  I think that he doesn’t have a game tonight and chances are that he will end up at his mother’s overnight.  I’m not sure what is happening between now and then, but we know he has to get done with some business too.

I might have to piece together where we are at with all that – speaking of his Mother’s and Bud’s situation.  Somewhere soon after the time that we wrote last and had been talking about Rich’s mother putting the negative on the situation of moving in with us, because she thought she and Bud could work things out … then the next thing that happened – the same night – I believe Saturday, she again drank too much and fell twice breaking her left arm.  Bud too had problems in that they thought it was a blood clot, but in reality he had problems with internal bruising when most likely he stressed a vein which caused bleeding which wasn’t helped by the Coumadin he was taking.  Both Rich’s Mom and Bud ended up in the ER and then were later released, but the bottom line is that they need more help than ever.

Rich has been exchanging time with one of his step-brothers, Mike, to be staying there with them to help them get through things.  Mike has been doing more than Rich, but they are trying to work it out so they can both be supporting their parents.  Mike is laid off right now so he’s in a little better situation to help out, and he’d taken care of his invalid Mother (Bud’s ex-wife) for many years so he is very good with the kind of help they need.  My understanding is that Rich’s Mother needs to be using a bed pan which is just part of the difficulties that are ensuing.

We’re not sure where it is going to go next.  It’s too early to tell.  I think that both Rich and I have figured that we aren’t going to get the place in Joliet on Harbor Drive that we’ve set our sights so high in getting.  Yesterday Rich talked to Charlie and let him know that we weren’t able to get the financing we had hoped.  I think between them they left some contingencies.  I think Rich is still having Charlie look for something that someone else might finance and Charlie might be looking for another investor so that we could take a loan with someone else.  I don’t think that is all going to happen, but in the back of our minds we will hold a trace of hope. 

I didn’t expect Rich’s Mother to deteriorate as quickly as she is.  We’ve been trying to work out in our mind how we would feel with the level of care she’s now demanding.  It might be that they have to really consider a nursing home and that sharing a 10x10’ room is the best that she can hope for.  I don’t know how they can conscientiously place so much demand on Rich and Bud’s kids for taking care of them.  They don’t want assistance, but they demand in their needs for daily care that their kids take care of them even if they are being irresponsible for assuring more independence so their kids can be working to support their own life.

I think we’ve gone through a lot of feelings over the past few days in the part where Rich’s mother said she wanted to continue living with Bud.  Rich says she’s now under the illusion that she’s going to be ok with her broken arm in a day or two.  But, the reality is she is on a bed pan and she requires someone to push her in a wheel chair from her bedroom to the kitchen keeping in mind they live in a trailer home and it really isn’t a far distance.

When Rich first told me for sure that his mother didn’t want to change her living situation, it was very hard.  We found ourselves for several days not being able to really speak.  We’ve now since then let go of most of our dream to have this place that we’d loved so much.  It’s kind of a hard exterior that has glossed over our life and we’re trying hard not to feel the pain.  I think we now need to temperance it with the part that she really is a burden that is going to take a lot of care and we’re not sure how much she would give-up in letting herself go and other people taking care of her.  I feel so badly for Rich primarily because he’s got to contribute his life to be taking care of them in a means that isn’t favorable to his own well-being. 

I think somewhere in there Rich is really angry, but more so he feels that his Mother needs to be taken care of no matter what and he’s going to be there for her as much as she recklessly demands.  I just don’t see the give and take, in that she considers only her own world and isn’t taking others’ life in consideration.  If Rich is staying overnight and day with them for more than a half week, then granted we are not being together as a couple, but more than that he’s not getting a chance to be working on his business which puts our income at risk.  Somehow Rich needs to be able to work and it is a major loss to our own situation for him not to be bringing in an income.  This doesn’t seem to affect his mother in holding up the money she’s not really using.  I know that she gets a couple hundred of dollars interest, but the amount is minor in comparison to what Rich is losing.  Plus there is the back and forth part.  Rich spends about $12-16 every time he goes out there in gas.  It’s just not making sense to her and her selfishness in taking her son from his life line is just the most hurtful thing a mother could do to her son. 

Mark has been sick and we’re thinking he’s to the point of saying … well there’s nothing he can do.  There is some bliss to being out of the area and not needing to be the caregiver.  I don’t mean this negatively against Mark, because he’s got his own life and does work out on the road and he does live in WI.  He shouldn’t be faulted for that, but it does put a lot of pressure on Rich.

I’m not blind also to the part where Rich being out of the house affects us.  But more than his physical absence I think it is more his mental status I worry about.  I think he’s feeling very helpless in being able to take care of both his Mother and Bud, and him and me.  He’s always going to go toward the area he needs to be first as to emergency care needs given, but I see the anger, frustration and hurt from him and we just want to cry.  I know that the best thing we can do is to be able to rely on us taking care of ourselves.  Rich is still making dinners and trying to have one meal with us, but we have to let him go to doing anything he feels is needed at a moment’s notice. 

In this area, I am happy to say that we’ve been pretty good about not being overly lonely while he’s gone.  Part of that this week has been that we’ve been working very hard on the second book.  We’ve got the first two chapters edited to the first degree.  That means we’re pretty comfortable with it … at least enough to go onto the next chapter, but we still realize that we’d read the whole of the book as we start to gather chapters together.  I know that my punctuation is pretty terrible, but we’re going to need going with the part that we make up the punctuation inserts as to how we’re feeling at the moment.  For example, we often use the ellipses as we are leaping from one thought to another without completing whole thoughts.  We also use a good number of dashes and smiley faces.  It seems whichever way we feel completes our thoughts is the way that we are going to go.  We also do our fair share of exaggeration the number of letters in some of our expressions and we do capitalizing liberally as needed to emphasize our points.  Eh, it’s just our style.

We are going through things like trying to complete paragraphs so they make coherent sense.  We don’t really do too much editing of thoughts placed in writing, instead we might add a word or phrase or too to make whatever thought written more coherent to the reader.  On occasion a thought might be placed that is so abstract from the context of the others, that we might eliminate it.  But by far and away … what was originally written stays.

We have had some thoughts and feelings about re-reading over what we had written so long ago.  It is now January 2013, and the book we are writing about is September 2004 to August 2005, so in general eight to nine years ago.  It is funny how much we remember as we read thought it is totally surprising what kinds of things that we were talking about.  I’m sure as we go along there will be places that remind us that there are certain tracks in our life that keep repeating.  I’m glad to say at this point, that the St. Rose Center and Sr. Theresa problems we were having have finally been dissipated.  It is not that the work was all bad, but in just the two chapters we’ve edited so far, we’ve remembered how far behind we were with such little support and that we would take mental breaks to cope with the situation in our dissociative manner.  The first chapter we had gone imaginatively to China with V, and then the second month we had disregarded the daily chore work to be working through a paper on self-esteem from work we had done surveying the clients. 

Those were the main two things.  I think we give the reader a pretty good idea in the first two chapters about where we live, about the kids and Rich a little, and about being at home in general just trying to relax between one work session and the other.  There is some on the multiplicity, but not too much in-depth at that time.  People would know that we are seeing someone named Dr. M. but there is more information from the home front and just coping.  At that point, we are 2-3 years from Rich coming to live with us so there is almost more on the kitties then with Rich.  At that time we were concerned in keeping his identity private because he was still married and we were publishing out loud.  It was back in the day though that we were using the AOL Journal instead of Blogger that would happen in the third book.  When AOL cut-off that service they did allow for migrating over to Blogger so people would not lose their writing, but the pictures didn’t transfer.  I’m sorry about that because there was so much going on, but it is of course secondary to the writing. 

We do want to say one more thought that is occurring to us now and it goes back to the situation with Rich’s Mother.  We had had on Saturday through the last blog entry notations that were leading to Rich’s mother not living with us, but then I think it was the next day that we called Charlie to say that we were having troubles financially securing a loan from family and that we needed a couple of days to put it together.  Hmm, maybe we’d gotten further than that.  I do remember Rich (through our pushing) calling his mother to among other things check for any signs of hope.  But, at that time and again later this week, she became positive of not wanting to move out of her disabling situation for all of us.  The point we are trying to get back to is the reaction that Rich and us had.

At the point where both of us understood it wasn’t going to happen there were very few words said.  Basically, our minds went into a lock-down and both Rich and I became silent in regard to what had happened.  I didn’t burst into tears or some other devastating release of feelings or thoughts because I seemed to know that Rich also had to go through his own space without me just dumping on him.  We didn’t feel as devastated as we felt grateful to have Rich in our life with or without this particular house.  Rich wanted at that time to go into thoughts of some other place, but we did not want to go there … it was too fresh in our mind that we were losing another dream home and we knew to process more of it would be too much for our internal system of parts.  We did focus some good energy on making sure that Rich knew how much I still love him.  None of this was his fault.  He had done everything possible in working through finding the place, and then figuring the finances, and then in dealing with his family.  I will still go back to trying to make a deal with an alcoholic and two emotional abusive and neglectful family members were destined to come under complications. 

Just now in real time … Rich just called his Mother to say that he’d probably be out there today after he got some work done.  Naturally she doesn’t ask about him, but she told him that her arm hurts like hell.  I know I shouldn’t have, but the first response from me to Rich was to say, “Good!”  Then we quickly apologized.  I know there are angry feelings within us and although Rich’s Mother is doing what she needs to for her illogical thoughts, it was still a mighty mark against us.  She had no concept though of what having that house meant to me.  Nor, did she have any concept of the “dis” it did me to have her thinking that we couldn’t have provided a better mental space for her to be.  One of the things she came up with in explanation of her not moving is that Rich wouldn’t let her move her bedroom the way she wanted.  Another thing was that she didn’t think I could take care of her.  So, then somewhere in her mind she implanted the thought that if she just stays put … She’ll get her place AND Rich to take care of her.  It just infuriates me.  Having me in the picture – although admittedly I didn’t think we’d be to bedpans this soon, it still would have given Rich the reprieve in me caring for his mother. 

I think we’ve thought over the situation of why we couldn’t just relieve him now and spend time over at her place instead of Rich being there.

This is probably a complicated thought, but the home base seems to make a difference.  I could somehow handle her being in MY home, but we cannot handle being in her home.  Part of that is because if she was in my environment, I would not have to give up my writing and sewing to be spending time with her.  I would have those things around me, plus the comfort of my own home AND if necessary even the bedroom to go take breaks from her.  If I were to be at her place, I would only have her dining room table to sit at without quilting and without writing and only her to be paying attention too.  There are some other hard things like the smoking and being in a very uncomfortable circumstance due to her temperatures and bad habits.  I would need the distractions of my own life around me.  I think that is something that has been discussed already.  Rich’s Mother thinks that she is the center of the Universe and even in this last bout only thought of herself and not how the change would affect Rich and me.  Her life consists of moving from her bedroom to the kitchen where she can turn on her TV.  We could have duplicated that part, but have given her so much more.  True only sometimes undivided attention, but sometimes divided which would have been the recognition between us that Ann has her own life that includes people, but primarily includes her writing and sewing and all that comes between it including being with our kids and grandchildren whom she still would like to think of as being invisible.

Another part that she did not give much consideration to was how difficult it would be for Rich and I to accommodate her in our relationship in a day to day manner.  I don’t think she wanted to share Rich with me, she primarily sees just Rich and her when he goes out there, so in a sense has phased me out of the picture.  Even with Rich coming and going now from our place to hers, there is a loss of him.  I do good because as mentioned before I have other interests, but to say I don’t miss Rich would be an understatement.  She would have had to handle that Rich and our life sometimes would have priority over her and Rich’s life.  I think though that we’re now in a very bad cycle in that she’s hurt herself badly enough to be getting Rich’s near-full attention.  I think maybe not consciously, but still the same, I really think that part of her self-abuse … like getting drunk, falling AGAIN, and breaking her arm so she needs someone to do everything for her including toileting … well I just think that’s part of her alcoholic impression of life. 

One of the things we’ve been thinking about since is that we don’t want to go out there anymore.  I have to add at this point, because it is now that I’m still very angry with her.  I was grateful that when the boot connected that we could still look at Rich and say it wasn’t his fault.  Soon after we’d found out, I stayed at our couch, but Rich went to the kitchen.  I think he was frustrated for what he’d lost, but also what we lost.  I then went into the kitchen and although we still at that point couldn’t really talk, we did hold him for a few moments and remind if that no matter what … having him was the most important thing in my life.  We were able to say it sincerely with all the love that we are capable of holding.  There wasn’t an ounce of doubt of it in our minds. 

Since then, we’ve had the reactions from a few people.  We still haven’t talked to Dr. Marvin, but most the ones we have talked to including Linda and the boys have centered on the part where she is an alcoholic and that we deserved a better life than that.  I have to agree, but it is still hurtful that Rich is being placed in such a compromising position - again, as to us going out there?  I think she would be somewhere laughing at us in her own private victory that she can keep her illusion of a life wrapped around that damn bottle over any priority in my own life.  I don’t think we could forgive her for what she has done nor forgive her for the wear and tear on Rich.  I know that he will always help her and I do believe that is one of the reasons that I do love him is that he loves entirely, but to see her trash that in her unrelenting needs – because of her alcoholism and the thoughts that produces in only understanding part of reality … well, we just are very unhappy about that.  For now, until I can dissipate some of that anger, I will not go out there.  I think it is really what she wants in that she has Rich’s attention and comfort of having him sleeping over there.  It’s so frustrating that Rich is unable to make a sane decision as to putting her in a nursing home, having her live with us, or getting care for her in her own home.  She simply has to say no, and then the only remaining choice is that Rich gives up his own home, lifestyle and income to keep her drunk and safe in her own place.

Ok, ok … we’ve got to stop this.  It seems that most the time these kinds of thoughts are just seeping in, and for the most part we’ve been trying to keep them out.  I will say though and I said it in Thom’s presence that it is impossible to relate squarely to a drunk.  I know that he and us talk about his own alcoholism and he thinks it will be different, but I’m sure that his drinking has had a negative effect on his marriage, and to think less would be a stupid thought.  I’m so angry with it all.  I just can’t believe the damage in this world that it causes.  We might have to then soon look at it as to what it means to have so many alcoholics in this world hurting themselves and others.  I would never give up my life to figuring it out as a main objective because it is so infuriating.  Just I know that when we see Dr. Marvin we’ll have to go over it again.  Basically, what the fuck is going on with all that.

I guess because we’re now a little wound-up it would be a good time to mention another blip on our radar.  A couple of days ago, we got a note through FB message from Rich’s ex.  This is what she said:

“YOU ruined our family and I don't know HOW any decent woman could feel good about that or even BRAG about that as you had done so with my daughter. How 'cool' it was that Rich and you could be a 'secret' for so long! Disgusting! YOU can HAVE Rich ... but ... YOU CANNOT HAVE my children OR grandchildren! KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF!”

We then, wrote a note to Jillian and Rich and stated:

Hi Jillian and Rich ... just wanted to let you know that we received this note from Sharon in a private message written at 2:35 AM this morning. As in the past ... I will let the two of you handle it. It's my choice not to deal or engage with her. She might be responding to a note I'd left (positive as to Jillian) back in December that Sharon most likely just recently found. Sorry to pass negative stuff on. She's more a problem to herself than me.”

We then sent the above to Dr. Marvin with our concerns and to discuss levels of danger due to her instability, but that will just be another thing that gets discussed with Dr. Marvin.

I don’t think I really want to justify more of a response than in our behavior with connecting to our safeties.  She’s going to hurt herself and if she wants to do it in front of me, then I suppose it’s what is going to happen.  I see it at this moment the same as with Rich’s mother.  They have depended personalities and think that life revolve around them, but the reality is that we all have our own life’s and just because they are surrounded by unbridled anger and negativity … we can see this is another issue of not having personal boundaries or sense of responsibility.  I can than choose to work on my own boundaries and responsibility.    This means as stated to Jillian and Rich I chose not to engage with her, I feel sorry for those that feel they have to, but it’s really none of my concern unless she gets more physical than just being emotionally abusive … here talking about Rich’s ex.  Just don’t need it. 

Dr. Marvin’s response was:

That sounds very unsettling. She seems very angry still. That's unfortunate. Things are changed now. The world is moving on. Staying stuck in anger is just going to make her life unhappy. And to focus it all on you is unfair as well.  That's a bummer. You have the right to life your life free of harassment.  Stay safe.”

I will always believe in Dr. Marvin.  He’s still my champion.  And, at that … we’re moving on.

Rich is making calls right now to some of his sport’s friends.  One of the guys on his football team – the leader died this week.  His name is Elroy and he and Rich have worked together for about twenty years.  It’s a very credible thing that Elroy was 85 years old and at that he was still the head of his officiating team.  I’m not sure what the official name is for them.  Maybe it’s something like “a crew.”  But, one way or another Rich really loved the guy and had utilized him mentally many hundreds of time in thinking if Elroy can do this [hard physical work] then so could he.  Elroy was then a hero in our life through our many conversations with Rich.  God Bless him.  Rich is saying that the wake will be Friday and the funeral on Saturday.  I think Rich has games in there, but he will do his best to be there in sake of Elroy.  Elroy was known by a lot of people … I’m guessing it will be a large wake.  Again … God Bless.

Hmm, so that is that.  It’s now about 10:30AM and we’re up to about page twelve.  I would still like to write … maybe up to noon, and then I would like to go back to the editing.  I’m thinking that I have to do some picking-up too because we had called this morning that maintenance guy for the shower.  Not as enthusiastic about that.  We seem to be having problems wanting to leave our place to do the laundry which should come next.  Maybe though if we just turn around … we could advance this situation somewhere, somehow?

Ok, good-good.  We made some progress with the house.  Rich had already made the bed, but we emptied the dishwasher (had started it this morning about 5:30AM), did the kitty litter and garbage, washed off the surfaces and picked up anything loose in the living room along with picking up our completed bundles pictured on the top of this post. 

If I were to really progress the situation, I would do a load of clothes, but our back is already in bad shape for the day.  I will try to do the vacuuming after it calms down again in about 15 minutes, and then in maybe another 15 minutes, we can consider bringing the laundry down.  Rich is still here working in the back, though we heard something about Kevin Van Damns (KVD) reals and poles being on sale.  We had put off (Rich and us) getting his Christmas gift until he saw something he liked on sale.  I think the set is like $100 – so he should get two sets that would include this year’s gift and last years.  He still has $95 on the fishy card we’d given him last year.  I think he’d lost it for a while and then recently found it … so MAYBE a trip to fishy world is soon in order.  I’m not sure if he’d include it today like in a trip to his Mother’s, but maybe soon.  I’m pretty sure he’s going to be doing an overnight with her today.

Ok … we’re back just for a moment … it is now 5:15PM.  Rich is just finishing making our dinner so we’re going to do that in a few.  BUT, he IS going to be staying home with me tomorrow.  Instead though he had to make arrangements to be at his mother’s on Thursday and Saturday which means we miss the annual fishy dinner with him on Saturday.  He does have Friday off which is nice because then he can go to the wake for his friend Elroy.  I’ve heard him planning through the day so he might be going with other members of his crew.  That’s a good thing.  Better make sure tomorrow he has clothes ready to go. 

Looking back now … it looks like we’ve been missing for about 7 hours.  Oh man oh man … not sure how we’re going to account for those kinds of hours.  We did take a nap and we did book our hotel for the night we stay out with the girls in WI.  We decided to go to a hotel like 18 minutes away from the hotel we’re quilting in.  I feel good about that so instead of costing $127 it will cost only $52 WITH Tax.  It’s just a Days Inn, but most the time we’re sleeping anyway – most likely won’t get in until after midnight.  It’s in Oak Creek near the airport just off the expressway … it’s on our way home so that made it a super good deal.

AHA!  Dinner!



  1. Hey i have DID to and just made a blog can you please try to help and look at it at

    thanks mary catherine

  2. I don't know if you actually, really consider your textile art as "art therapy", but you sincerely are my art therapy hero...

    Do you have any "art therapy"-type resources to share? You seem to know sooooo much about so many other things...

    -- SynthGirl