Saturday July 27, 2013 @ 10:03 am
Good morning. We figured we should get started on the writing pretty soon since the morning is almost over! We've been up since about 6 am. I'm kind of embarrassed to say how much time we spend "online" before doing anything more substantial. We can go hours at a time reading down the facebook home page. When you think of it though it is like one's own private community carefully pieced together of the people you really care to have touch your life. I can't remember what the feeling was before you had computer access to people in your life. I've been online now for twenty years. Just realized that. Since we are 54, that means it's been our way of life for 34 years. REALLY amazing. What a super-wow thing ... umm anniversary! Maybe we'll give that some more thought. Next thought is thinking back that far and knowing that if you wante to be connected to computer people you had to pay the bill. AOL used to charge us per minute to be hooked up to the chat rooms. Oh MAN OH MAN! That was expensive!
Life is better now - THOUGH it still costs to have an Internet connection ... we're paying gladly for this. We know we'd choose it over our cable connection. FORTUNATELY, we don't have to make this choice hehehe.
Ok, enough of that. Where are we now? Saturday morning ... we covered that. Rich has been up ALMOST as long as we have and he spent the majority of that time watching fishing shows. He's now working on the housings and has some music on the background. Lite easy stuff. Kitties have taken turns sitting with me this morning. Nothing much past that.
Last night we had a real good night in that we spent time with Carol. In checking our schedule, we'll probably go 5 more weeks in a row seeing each other every Friday night. I think it really works out well for both of us. Last night there may have been more talking then sewing though hehehe. We did get 2 1/2 baby quilts completed, but we should have been able to do 4-5 baby quilts. Eh, it was all good.
Carol has a very interesting life - work and home with some similarities to our life, but she also has things that are interesting to us in leisure time between the quilting and her RVing with other women around the area and by that we might be talking any five states at a time. She's really got my admiration for that one. She is 15 years my senior and not showing any signs of wearing down. She is by far the better story teller and her new exploits with the RV are just riveting!
There isn't anything really exciting going on in our life to be bragging about. We are happy to be meeting quilting goals, finding leisure time with Rich, friends and family and definitely with Dr. Marvin. That's the kind of week it has been this week. Linda was in and out spending Wed-Fri with relatives in Northern WI. I haven't heard anything personal from CS. She's responded on a few of our FB entries. I am hoping she'll be in good shape for the girls day next week. There were a few notes back and forth from the girls and it seems as normal people are excited to be getting together. This last time has seemed a long time and I was grateful for having the twins come down in-between. This next time we should be scheduling in time for the upcoming year. We like to get it down on the hotels calendar as soon as we can book it. I would like to add a few more sessions this next year but in all practicality it is hard to find the extra time - especially around the holidays. I don't know ... maybe there will be new considerations without Ann having a shop/groups to meet other quilters during the month.
I've got to figure out next if anything has happened between now and Monday when it seems we wrote last. We had written the last time over our frustration for mowing the grass. And, when we closed the post we were heading out bravely to face the task. It lasted for about three to four periods of working/sitting. We hadn't had the cold water to take out with us and we'd been off our medicine. Bottom line is that we only did the front side yard, a tiny bit of the front, and then half the back side yard. The neighbor who had mowed for us had taken a leisurely post of sitting in his garage with a tall drink watching us become quickly exhausted, especially in the heat ... it was 90. We ended up the last time turning of the mower, going in the house and in not too long ... we found ourselves collapsed on the bathroom floor next to the air conditioner vent.
We were mad at Rich for suggesting that we should be doing something this hard - and physically/emotionally damaging to us. It took a bit of time to cool down inside and out. Rich got aggravated with us and said he would do it, but he was angry about it. I couldn't figure out how to handle the situation because we were both angry and neither is actually fit enough to do it. So we came up with our next best solution. We told him if he finished the back side yard (no shade), then we would take turns with him in the front yard. I kept our promise. I didn't like the way he was handling the mower with one arm as if he needed the other arm to propel him forward. It just wasn't good form and was taking a better chance of further crippling him so that things would just get worse.
I don't like it feeling like the sprier one. I know we've talked about this a bit, and it continued to be a big part of our session with Dr. Marvin on Thursday. More of that later. I thought it was a good solution for the problem. In a sense it was too much for both of us to handle on our own, but together we could do it. When we'd gotten to the front yard Don used that as a reason to stop by. I am thinking he's got hurt feelings for not having us continue to have him do it ... and I'm pretty sure he sees that we are hurting. But, in anyone's eyes to do something utilizing teamwork is a good deal. I was also happy that Rich finally addressed the weeds this week. I'm not sure if he's around the full house yet, but he got some weed killer and then went out with the weed wacker. I haven't been out there to appraise, but I'm sure it looks a thousand times better. I have a harder time with the weedwacker because it has to be lifted and carried. I'm better with the self-propelled mower. Basically though, the important thing was that he realized that we needed to share some responsibilities. He had gotten into thinking that because I was the domestic Goddess I could do anything and everything related to the house and that just can't be. There are obvious differences in us between male and female and some of the tasks are beyond our capability level - especially with the physical disability problems caused by severe arthritis in our neck and lower spine. I know I keep bringing up this problem ... maybe some just to relieve some guilt. I used to do everything that required us to be a "sturdy woman," but we are past that.
I also know that I have to keep trying or it will get worse instead of possibly better. It won't go away, but I could develop stronger leg, back and arm muscles making my life flow more freely. The blender has worked well this week. We've started drinking the Herbalife again and there have been countless snowslushies with water. We got one of the cookbooks and it has some good recipes that would be worth trying. We got into it a little through Pinterest this week too. There are quite a few people out there that have collections of recipes through the Ninja Blender/Processor. You can "pin" their recipes and in that fashion start to form a board of your own Ninja recipes. I'm sure any recipe would work, but until I learn about all the functions - like speed and functions it's best to stick close to the specific recipe books. Then it will be easier to spread out - like the recipes in America's Test Kitchen. I really like having the videos showing me how to do it and what the process and product actually look like. It's like good moral encouragement.
Yes, I was also reminded by Rich that I was spending too much money. I had gotten the birthday books for Austin and me, and then we got the two cookbooks, and a little surprise for Linda. It was small, but between the five items - Rich figured we were on a new crusade to spend and had to slow us down. I've been stopped again, but sometimes it is really hard. I know we got the weekend coming up with the girls in a week and I'm going to want money for that too. I'll need to do the hotel overnight and dinners, AND I still have to do a gift for the twins. Shoot shoot. I forgot that part. Maybe one more spending item to look at. I had been thinking of the rolling bag, but have heard from them since and they said something about having found their missing supplies. Maybe it would be a good time to shop JoAnn! Hehehe brb heading over.
Pswhoo ... that took a while and a lot of frustration. I tried over and over again to use their online devise for checking out, but because they had pretyped US on one side and United States on the other with no way of changing it ... the program kept saying I needed to make both sides identical ... it had one of those check marks that says shipping the same as billing so I know the rest was identical. JUST TOTALLY FRUSTRATING. I didn't want to leave the store because I had a 40% discount saving me $10, but finally did and headed over to Amazon. Amazon NEVER gives me trouble. So I found one of their resellers were selling a new item at the same cost as the discounted item at JoAnns - so I bought that one and darted out of the store. When they say 3-5 delivery it usually means like 2 days. Should have plenty of time before next Saturday morning when I am going to need it.
Pswhoo ... feel real good about the gifts. I wanted to get something different for both the twins. The design board is a table cloth like thing that is vinyl on one side and flannel on the other ... it is like 72" x 60" and has grommets on the top. I haven't used mine at the new place but basically ... you can put a few carefully placed picture names on the top of some door frames like over the closet and the thing hangs on that or you can take it down without using much space. Basically your repurposing the space and then giving it back YAY! The other thing we're giving is a box of threads we'd gotten ourselves before ... These were both things we'd purchased for ourselves so feel free in our gift giving. Each is about 110 yards and there are a lot of bright colors - all ranges. I thought I would need them, but I find now myself using much more of a few beige, black, white or blue colors and that's pretty much it. Thread is thread and I could eventually use it, but I don't think there is enough to fill more than 2-3 bobbins. However, it will be great for the twins, because they can use it for their work with machine embroidery where they really do need a variety of colors. The other thing I find myself using is the super mega loads of threads ... I started getting these at Ann's retreats, and now CS has given me a few too. I'm feeling really blessed there. It really helps with the church sewing.
So anyway feeling really good about the choices this year. I think that all the ladies at the sewing group know that I tend to repurpose things, but if I do find things that I like and think someone could benefit from ... I'm all for sharing. I was able to stay in a reasonable $10 per budget (this week) so that really suited my needs AND Rich's needs. It was SOOO economical, I could even tell him about it before he saw it on my bank account. hehehehe
Let's just call this being a good Ann :)
Next ... It's already 12:40 pm and we haven't done much but write and shop this morning AND look at FB :) This be the life of a ... hmm lets be nice here ... This be the life of a dream! Yup yup ... this is our life EXCEPT when we have to mow the lawn on a day NOT by our choice and planning.
Let's see how far have we gotten?
Monday wrote, Tuesday drove into the city with Rich. We did something something I forget ... oh HE did something something. He went to his mothers' place to do their bills and then went to his mothers nursing home. THEN we drove to UIC. I stopped at the pharmacy and had another couple of bad experiences. First they wouldn't give me the medicine because the NEW person didn't recognize me ... we'll call her idiot for short, and then they forgot to fill one of the 7 prescriptions, And THEN, they tried to overcharge me by $50. BLAH I hate this pharmacy ... and through all this they are ridiculously arrogant. BLAH!
After that or between sessions, we were at Dr. Marvin's going really off-the-wall. I'd been without medicine for three days (one of them, but an important one emotionally) and we couldn't very well function with Dr. Marvin. There was mostly periods of regressing from one to another til we were sitting on the edge of the couch wanting to rip out our hair. He said we were going through withdrawal of the medicine. Fine, but how does that help us get from one place to another. Fortunately Rich had brought us in so we didn't have to worry about driving, but we were REALLY frustrated and feeling incapacated for reasons mentioned above. So, basically We ended up stopping the session 20 minutes early, and then Dr. Marvin walked us over and stayed with us until everything was taken care of. It was at a high level of difficulty and the regressed parts were cross, angry and grouchlike. BLAH!
Rich must have sensed this as a problem because he was prepared with cookies and then took us to lunch in Brookfield where we used to get half-price hamburgers. That was a problem though too ... First the waitress was slow in getting there, and then she only brought my drink and Rich had to ask a couple times for his drink. No telling if he got diet or regular coke. Then she had to come back and ask a second time what kind of soup we wanted, and then when our sandwiches got there she brought me a tuna fish instead of a chicken salad sandwich, and she'd switched out both Rich and my waffle fries with french fries without asking us what else we would like ... she said they were out, but we didn't believe her. By this time we were starting to laugh out loud with her ability to follow directions and blame others. She gave us the bill, but then asked if we wanted to order dessert. We had already told her we wouldn't pay for the sandwich and we had her take it back. I said your not doing really well, but I'll take just a small rice pudding, W/O whip cream ... you got it so then the rice pudding came with whip cream. It was worst ability-rated waitress I ever saw. You almost have to feel sorry for her because she must be doing this to all her customers. It's really sad in all reallity.
After that we went to the bank with Rich. He had to take care of his second loan so we just waited out in the car for about 1 1/2 hours. He might have gotten stuck with the same when we went to Dr. Marvins, but he had to drop off goods at one of his shops close to Dr. Marvin's so did that when we were busy. It was really ok though, because were perfectly entertained with computer in an air conditioned car :) After the bank, we went to Bass Pro and we again stayed in the car ... lunch was late so it was no problem stopping also at Walmart, and then I went up with Rich to visit his mother. That turned out pretty good.
There are still problems in that Rich's mother wants to come home yet and although she's being helped to dress, wash, use the bathroom, she still thinks she can do things by herself. She can't even bend over to reach something on the ground and certainly not past the first cupboard level. She can't lift pans, but still has the illusion she can cook. She seems to forget that Bud used to be called in to move the pans around. She then says something like all I need is soup. And its like see mother, this is why you can't take care of yourself. You are unrealistic. And, then of course is the alcohol talk. She's done better with that in the nursing home and can verbally say she doesn't need it, but then there is the reality that she does need it. She's still under the illusion that Rich is sitting at home (not working) and is happy to come over as many times during the day as she needs something ... like for example turn on the air for me. Rich is trying to convince her she'd need 24 hour care if she was home, but doesn't have that kind of money. Before the help he'd arranged for her was only 4 hours a day which was too much cost for her to be ok with it.
I do have empathy for her, because the time she thinks of being in the house is just tucked into her tiny kitchen the size of a wheel chair. She has there the stove, the sink, her drink, her smokes and her small tv. That's what she's dreaming of going back too, but how the rest of her life works, she just doesn't see it although EVERY other step needs assistance. I think sympathetically what could be done is that she be allowed to go home for two hours a day WITHOUT alcohol and she could sit in her spot. But, afterward, she would have to be taken back to the nursing home. Maybe not everyday, but at least 3-4 days a week.
Now we're back again ... it is about 2 pm and we've just gotten done talking to Rich again. He's done pretty good and been more conscientious of the negative ... he allowed me some time to plan with him on an optimistic note. We talked about his mother and his business and his need to get ready for fishing in two weeks, and even his computer which is having problems recharging because the battery is loose. We walked through the dropbox so he could see what's still on the cloud ... he hadn't kept it up, but he could do his work ... likely at three times the speed until he built up, but we are a three computer family and we will be able to take care if necessary. Basically, though we won't be able to get to his computer until the computer people are back on Tuesday. Anyway the gist of it was that we spent enough time to get down to a bottom line that he is just plain tired. I think it comes from being overwhelmed, and although he was up late today he did go to bed late last night. So we did the most obvious thing in reminding him he used to say "give me 30 minutes." This means he lays down closes his eyes and sleeps until we wake him up. That is what has just happened. He will then spend 10 minutes on the roses, and then be at his mother's at 3 pm. I think then he wants to come home to make dinner. He will then adjust his time to give me some time and/or do some more piece parts. That's a good schedule. We had already covered if there was anything else he wanted to do to get himself ahead today.
I like this new turn of events. We had problem getting him through the conversation on lists. His thinking is just too muddied ... he seems to have some lists, but they are multiple and some things are on the computer. He isn't using the priority system so he loses the actual work that has to get done (Outlook) for the 90 calls he would like to be making. I'll show him how to improve that system when he gets his computer back. We explained carefully it is not that we don't want to talk to him about all his troubles, but we need to see resolution too ... like how do we carry forward any of his problems to the next step. And, then put everything else out of your mind to get to the bottom line. He's definitely sleeping now and that always makes me feel better. I think boys no matter what age look like angels when they are sleeping and it does me good to hear his gentle breathing. Good Rich!
Hmm, time to go back though ... think we got through the majority of Tuesday. I don't know if I can do anything with Wednesday. I think we finished cutting the fabric from my grandmother, and then we started putting it in baby quilt order. We still are most enamored with the simple diagonal blocks. The quilts are 6" x 6" blocks put 7 x 7 (rows/columns). We continued the work over the next several days and now we have completed putting all the baby quilt "kits" together - there was in total 22 quilts. Yay!!! I think when I bring them in, we're going to bring in my grandmothers stack of white sheets she'd given to us too ... that had come over with the first trip to my mothers. We hadn't done anything with them, but I think it is time. I'm going to ask the church if they find them useful to dedicate them to the 22 baby quilts project. I'm thinking they will be fine for backs, but we'll have to see ... It seems that the nice cool older sheets will be a good match/weight for the flannel. I don't think there are three layers on baby quilts, but I'm not sure. Maybe ...
Hopefully, Connie will be back this week and we can talk to her about the project. I don't know if its fair to pull resources together in order other than whatever they see fit, but we'd be really excited that my grandmother's quilts go through as holistically as possible. We just run like that. Hehehe
Last night btw while we were at Carols ... hmm, think we already told you. We got started on 2 1/2 of the 22 quilts. :) Feeling that could use some time today so when Rich goes to his mothers at 3 pm, we're going to finish up the writing, get our sewing room back together, and start on that project. I think Rich was basically looking also for about 2 or 3 hours tonight to work on his piece parts. That works for me and we get the time he's making dinner too. I think we are going to put the ingredients for a tomato sauce on his shopping list so the first thing we'll make will be some kind of spaghetti. I'll try to do that too. We need to advance the cause of cooking. Hehehe - well maybe we'll also put something on with frozen food. Will want to test out making ice cream. I could probably make a couple of lemonade margaritas tonight too ... Rich got the mix and its been sitting a couple of days without attention. Operation Party later tonight *silly grin*
Hmm, anything else for Wednesday? I think it was Thursday that we watched the couple of movies. That was interesting. We watched a few moments of some silly movie because we wanted to be on the right channel at the right time. They were doing the movie "The Prime of Ms Jean Brodie." This had been a favored book as a child and we were interested in seeing the movie version, and then they did "Dead Poet's Society." So we stayed and watched that. Rich was at a fishy meeting so it turned out to be good time. We might be blaming the full moon with our tiredness, but we found ourselves not being able to do much else but watch tv. It was another later night. Rich came home at the end of the second movie and we watched it together before crawling into bed. They also had "The Trouble with Angels," which was another loved movie, but we didn't think quickly enough to DVR it. I probably have it memorized. Must have been something about School teacher Divas. *sigh*
The other thing that happened with Thursday was going into Dr. Marvin's. We drove ourselves this time ... basically, seemed to be getting back to reality with our medicine levels. We talked about the part of younger parts being out to start and there seems to have been some in and out thinking of whatever concerns at a lower level, but we got older parts eventually and seemed to have spent the next half hour talking about issues with Rich, and especially our own feelings of being overwhelmed with "taking care of him." I think the most angering is that he keeps "forgetting" or scheduling during impossible time frames to be taking care of his medical. We're trying to explain to Rich that unless he does something for his knee/hip then everything else is going to be magnified in causing him problems. He just keeps avoiding. I can't say this is a brand new concept in this house says the person who still doesn't have her driver's licence. BUT, the point is that Rich's physical problems are affecting every other aspect of his life. AND it has to be dealt with ...
He seems to think that he's tried all the options, but what he is doing is running the options through his mind and without having concrete solutions he's concluding things as not working. And, because of the families infamous stubborness, he convinces him things are impossible where in fact he's not really tested out reality. Like he says he's done all he can about his mother, but when pushed will admit that no he hasn't paid to talk to a lawyer, so he doesn't know the real options. He's also feeling right now as if he has no control over what his mother does, it's like black or white, instead of working through the gray. Like why does it have to be 100% care or 100% on her own ... what's the problem of trying 6-7 hours a week. Of course then he thinks of all the little problems, but because he's not concluding any problems (they're all running around in his head) eVERYTHING becomes impossible.
Good good Rich is up... 9 times out of 10 he wakes himself up without a clock at the exact time he was going to get up. It's a lot of years of napping before a ball game when everything is on schedule. He looks better. He now only has to do ten minutes of yardwork :) That shouldn't hard press things.
He said that he's going to have to go in to Algonquin tomorrow so that his ex can sign papers. That's a non-fun thing, but by that time my writing for a spell will be done and we can spend time sewing. I think sometime in the afternoon when he gets back, he wants to take his mother and me out to a restaurant we'd just been to and liked. We'll see how that goes. There's been talk that there is not supposed to be alcohol. But, we'll see.
As to Dr. Marvin though ... that half hour talking about Rich and my relationship only for parts talked directly about Rich and how his mood was affecting us and all his negativity. We talked about him being overwhelmed particularly physically and in caregiving for his mother. We felt more optimistic in what we could or could not do. WE were adamant of not wanting to start the piece parts with him. We can see his time stretched out, but the way we figure it ... if we make $17,000 and he makes $20,000 after he pays his wife $36,000 then it would be like I was working for her and that's something I'm not willing to do. We've talked on and on about her income. She has a monthly income of $4,600 where Rich and I together are at about $3,000. The alimony was set back when he had a salary of $150,000. From what I see she's bleeding him dry. I'm comfortable with paying for the house and utilities and my own medical and such, but I can't make myself do Rich's job to pay his ex. I know we should work as a team, but I can't do the things he is choosing. Still holding to the part where we worked very hard to stabilize after crashing with St. Rose. There is only so much threat we can handle before we're overwhelmed. We do pretty good at staying on top of things with Dr. Marvin, but Rich is really draining our resourceability without really understanding what he is doing because of the impractical way he's handling money, medical, work and his mother. The part of our own household is the best run parts of our life. I don't have a problem with most things are under my care there, I mean I don't mind washing dirty socks, underwear, vacuuming, taking garbage out etc. Just don't want to pay her bills. One of the things we keep impressing on others is boundaries, so as long as I maintain the difference between me and Rich then I should be able to handle feelings that are otherwise overwhelming. I do mean to help him, but as it goes during an airplane emergency, the adult is told to put the mask over his/her face first so he/she can help the other. If I fall apart, then I'm useless to Rich.
I'm thinking that still the best way I can help is to help him process thoughts. Well of course that and the massaging etc. certainly help! But, we're likely to say that's a co-sharing thing :)
The last ten to fifteen minutes with Dr. Marvin was taken over by another part or two. It seems that we were done with the Rich and Ann part and we were dealing with something different, but I couldn't say what that is now. Maybe something more pleasant? I think we felt sturdier.
Hmm, it's 2:50 pm now ... Rich just leaned in to say that he was going, so we asked him going to do the rose dusting or his mothers. He said to his mothers. We said what about the ten minute chore ... he said that it took him too long to get dressed. This is definitely going to need reworking as to his processing time. You can't say its right or wrong in him needing that time to get ready, but realistically it should be accounted for so that we can both appreciate what really can and cannot be done. I'd like to think the bottom line is that we're helping each other not by doing the others' work, but in not being mean and short-tempered with the other. Think that happens under pressure so that if we release some of the pressure we'll be stronger as a pair.
So, in saying that have we almost finished up the week? Maybe not so much in the line of glorious, but certainly a solid week in getting things accomplished as they fell into play. I felt good that we got done with our regular things, and still had time for Dr. appointments, friends, some family through FB, and SEWING! That's our rubric.
Trying to figure out now if there's something that can be said as to a summary before moving onto the project of putting the sewing room together and getting the blankets started up again. I am looking forward to doing those things ... we will say that we've got the church group on Monday and Tuesday, but the part that we wanted to get done by then with the 42 bags is complete. I won't bring in any of the baby quilts. I will check to see if all the big quilts went out, but I'm pretty sure that happened. I would like to send my mother the pictures of the quilts made from my grandmother's fabric, but I will probably wait until they are completed (tops). My next goal is to have them all completed by the end of our Saturday sewing coming up in one week.
CS said something about maybe coming back, but she's not followed through on those thoughts, or giving any indication if her health has changed much within two weeks to make things possible. Every time we plan something with her her medical gets in the way and plans fall to the wayside. I'm trying not to build too much excitement then toward that. It's kind of depressing. Maybe that is the way most of her days go - up and down according to how she feels and when the next nap is coming. There's still a lot to be worried about as to her drug issues. She seems to be in pain quite a bit and rectifies that with the drugs. It really closes in on her ability to be in a social life. Maybe in time this will get better, but CS still is under the idea that she doesn't need any psychological help with her problems. I know that it works for me and doesn't then necessarily have to be her solution, but honestly, without some kind of support it will most like never occur and she'll be trapped by things like personal feelings of worth, money management, family boundaries, and perhaps her own sense of loneliness. We feel like we're more out here in a healthy space ... you can come out and join me, but I'm not going into your world for more than a few hours at a time. I think she has so much to give particularly with her quilting interests, but the rest seems to take her low to the ground. I guess we can hope, but like Rich ... I can't or won't take care of another's problems ... I can point to solutions, but if they don't see fit to carry through with those ideas or that of others, or even self - if tested out honestly ... well nothing more can really be done.
I don't mean to end on a negative note. Maybe realistic, but I think we're going to have to come up with a fun thought to help bring ourselves forward. It is great that it is going to be a full sewing week! I will want to get the house picked up by tomorrow - maybe when Rich leaves for his ex so that we can be clear for the next week. I think I should also plan to do the grass tomorrow. Hoping the weather holds nice and that it won't be too much problem. I want things set so I don't have to worrry about household until Wednesday. Thursday will be in with Dr. Marvin, Friday we'll be at Carol's, and Saturday we'll be with our own quilting group. WoOOHOOOO! Definitely looking forward.
So then now is Next! Use the washroom, get your machine, tune into tv or music, and start sewing again ... time then flies!
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