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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Saturday - Day Spent Well ... Good Summary of the Week - with lots coming UP!

Saturday, August 31, 2013 @ 4:17 pm

Hi hi ... Just us.  We seem to have taken most the day off other than the work we have been doing with the mind map "next activities" for both Rich and us.  The last act was to include the recent activities I need to do on the bottom of this blog.  I figured that Rich would have to work off his own list.  I did figure out how to print out the Mind map "plex" and how to take a picture of it ... look at the previous two entries.  It didn't turn out well there because the writing was so small that I had to figure out the next way to communicate check the list.

I have to sort out my needs for printing the list through the mind map - on it's own site (both computers) or printing it on my blog page, paper, etc.  There are advantages all around, though we couldn't say the best advantage is to keep us from having to work!  BLAH!

I am pretty satisfied with the list as it sits, but we're going to work on it tomorrow.  Today we've given ourselves time off now to be writing in the blog - although it is already late afternoon, and we will give ourselves permission to do whatever comes to mind tonight with either Rich after dinner, or after dinner working with the mind map again.  Right now we are concentrating on notes through Dell and O'Neil's book on Dissociation.

We're not sure whether we are going to be continuing that although as it is being done and after another section is added, we are very happy with it.  Basically, we have in mind to incorporate the entire book into our mind map.  But, like the Allen book on GTD, we are adding it privately, so others cannot read the material.  I figure that it is ok for us to use it because we purchased the book, but we did not want to get in trouble showing it publicly because of copyright.  We have liberally added credits to each line that we are typing through the thought labels.

WooHOOO!!!!  Guess what?!! Guess What??!!!  This JUST HAPPENED!

Michael
Hi Ann, Laura and I wanted to see if you and Rich would like to have Austin the weekend of September 14th. He's been asking when he would be seeing you again. We are attending a wedding that Saturday so we figured it might be a good fit.
How has your summer been?

4:27pm
Ann
That would be GREAT Michael!!!!  How would you like to arrange travel and when would you like the time to be (picking-up and dropping-off)?  We've had a great summer ... doing a lot of work studying multiples especially through mind mapping.  Having the greatest time!  Hows being married?

4:27pm
Michael
If Sept 14th doesn't fit, we can obviously plan for another weekend that works for you.

4:28pm
Ann
naw it's perfect ... Rich is going out next weekend fishing so he'll be back that weekend
(and it's not a quilting weekend  )
we could do one of the pick-ups if you would like to do the other

4:31pm
Michael
I don't mind driving either or both. I'm flexible. Would you like Austin for both Friday and Saturday night? Of is one night  saturday better?

4:32pm
Ann
If you think he could do it ... WE CAN do it!  Especially if it would help with your wedding plans ... LOVE IT - it would be an honor to do two nights!  Have to send homework
We'll have you bring him out ... and then we can bring him home - really liked the conversations driving with him in the car
It was nice closure

4:34pm
Michael
Austin's on board with two nights. I can dive him down Friday night. I would figure arriving at your house at 7:00pm-ish.

4:34pm
Ann
GREAT!
*big WIDE smile*
If you make sure he has dinner we'll have a snack - and then return him about 1-3 pm if that is good with you

4:35pm
Michael
You can then bring him home Sunday afternoon so you can have driving convo time

4:35pm
Ann
(we'll take care of Sunday brunch/lunch)

4:35pm
Michael
Sounds great
Okay. It's a date.

4:36pm
Ann
LOVE IT!  Have a terrific night!  You've made ours!

4:37pm
Michael
We are excited. He had a great time last visit.
Have a great Labor Day weekend. Let us know of any questions and we will be in touch in the mean time.

4:39pm
Ann
You too!! And congrats to Mr. & MRS!  We're good!

4:44pm
Michael
Oh, to answer your question...being married is great! The wedding turned out beautiful. It couldn't have been a better day. And now that we are married we can focus on everyday living and growing as a family. It's wonderful.

4:48pm
Ann
Happy feet!

Oh MAN OH MAN!!!!  So cool!

Jasmine will be here tomorrow for an overnight and then we'll be meeting with Maury's family on Labor Day.  We'll pick Jasmine up on Sunday about 1-3 pm.  With Jasmine coming that means that all the Grandchildren have been here once and we can really start going to the next round - AND I LOVE IT that AUSTIN is coming back - AND for TWO nights!

So far everyone has enjoyed themselves except it will be Jasmine's first time.  I hope we don't disappoint her.  It SHOULD be fun!

Ok, ok ... have to calm ourselves down again.  Maybe we should figure out where we were just a few moments ago?

Hmm, ok, just skimmed back.  We were talking about incorporating the dissociation book into our life plan.  That's something that came out of sessions with Dr. Marvin this week.  It was pretty splendorous!  We had reserved time for it on Tuesday.  The first half was on the regular business of Ann, but then there was an allowance of time given to be searching out the bigger questions.  I think the way Dr. Marvin helped us frame it after talking at length about what excites us is that we can write into our plan that we hope to contribute to the understanding, communication and insights of/with multiplicity.  We're very satisfied with that.  I don't know how much of that was figured before, but somehow on Tuesday our brain felt like we had permission to do this, and that it didn't matter if it took the rest of our life, and we're pretty sure it will.

Another big part of the meeting was that we talked about how it would happen.  We know that the mind map is essential to the turning of this new found prosperity of thought.  Basically, it was discussed that I had a lot going for us being a multiple, being in the blogging community of multiples, AND having been in 28 some years of therapy.  AND, the turning point??? Basically, it is going to hing on connecting our thoughts and that of those we get to know through the blogs and map WITH Dell's book which is something that has excited us to pieces, but we didn't have it pulled together until after talking to Dr. Marvin.  Basically, how we are storing it now in our head is that Dell's work will be a bit of a framework.  I know that so far we've squared off with a framework that is basically on the multiple side of "mainstream culture, multiples who blog, self, and significant trusted others."  But, this might be just an inkling of what we are going to be able to do through good hard work.

It impelled us forward to not only understand Allen - as to general order, but to be understanding the multiple part.

There is still a lot of room for discovery how the parts of us as a person/multiple is going to mix with the thoughts of professionals and other multiples.  It's just so huge I can barely get my head around it.  I'm feeling so exceptionally happy with these latest turns of events.  It's like carving out your own career - and it's a perfect match!

One of the notations to Dr. Marvin on Thursday was that we'd come to some point with it so that we were able to say to ourselves, patience, this is going to take the rest of our life ... it doesn't have to get all the way done tonight and it's ok to go to bed on time (10 pm).  Tomorrow is another day.

Because we have incorporated the mind map with our daily GTD life, we are feeling very good about things being "integrated" in that form and function.  We still like tonight have to get past that we are begging time with Peter to pay Paul.  Basically, there is only so much time we can go on without making notations in our blog.  That is a key feature to staying in check with all of this.  I do know that my Granddaughter is coming tomorrow and that we have just so much time and then we are really going to need picking up.  BUT, for the night we are running fast and furious!  I think that tomorrow Rich will be out in the sunroom - or doing something so that I can have my space I personally need to clean, but we're a little excited about that too.  We have a list through the map and we're going to go down the list systematically.  Part of that is that we get to take time now to write - that which would normally be our preference on a Sunday morning.  Tomorrow we'll start from scratch with taking our shower, doing our other morning tasks, and then just working down the list.  Again, we hope that Rich can "stay out of our way" *giggle*.  I'm thinking he's going to want to watch his morning show, but he knows he has to put some time in too if he's going to go fishing this week.  He's scheduled to be out of town from Thursday morning to Sunday night.

AND, if we were being a real good Ann we would include some extra time for mowing the grass.  Rich has almost all of it done.  He did the back-side yard and the front-side yard.  All there is to do is the front!  :)  Feeling good about that.  I think that a good part of his time will be spent on settling his mother.  There was a chance she was going to go back to the nursing home tomorrow, but she's had a chance - for a few moments, to talk with Bud.  I'm not sure if that makes any difference in her plans.  I also know that it is being worked out that she gets a chance to see the lawyer.  Rich will be taking her and it was planned that she use the lawyer for her own self-advocacy. I think it's a good deal.  Rich is over there now making dinner.  She had a nurses aide come in during the week and Rich had planned to be there for her this weekend.  Something will need to be arranged before he leaves town on Thursday.  Rich had thought she'd almost be in tomorrow so we're hoping if that's what she decides that it will be done rather quickly.  Rich really then needs to talk with the other side of the family to see what their recommendations are for Bud.  THEN, obviously it will be a concern as to what happens to their house, as would one or the other live in it, they both get back together and live in, or they both sell it and divide assets.

Bud talking to her earlier today or yesterday was a big deal in coming to some resolution that suits all around.  It will be very gratifying to see this come to a new conclusion and then we'll all learn to go on from there.  I think that I will eventually need to give more of my time, but I'm not feeling good about loosening boundaries between us.  Rich's mother is very needy and doesn't give back much in return.  At least not when she's under the spell of her addictions of drinking and smoking.  She does obviously need more care then can be given at her own home.  I think she knows this, but it is another matter to say she's permanently moving into the nursing home.  It will mean the difference of being upstairs with other temps, and moving downstairs.  I think she'll still need to share a room, but it should be better and she'd get more in a routine.  Staying clean and fed has been difficult, and she fears falling down.  Lastly, there's another big portion of the pie in being sociable.  She needs people to see, talk to and help her if necessary.  Friends would be the whip cream on the top and she does have those capabilities.

So that is that portion of things.  I think if she stayed sober tonight and tomorrow it would be a major deal to Rich, because he could talk seriously about what she wants to do.  He wasn't quick enough to get a bottle that was in the house out this week, and somehow or another, probably a grocery service, she had booze at her disposal.  This left for drunken nights, problems with bowel activity/disposal, and caustic screaming and yelling.  She also had problems this week in that she called everyone on her direct dial buttons and pleaded for time, attention and more booze.  This of course, all then came back to Rich because most people know he is handling her situation.  It meant throwing away some booze and disconnecting the fast dial.  I was also very disappointed to know that she had told Bud, to tell Rich she needed some more depends.  It is against all grain of my body to think she's going to get used to having Bud and her in a relationship that is going to be viral again.  As far as I feel - after 3 months of dissociating from her and abandoning her, he has no more rights left.  But, of course, we're the bystander, just looking in.  The real merit of the relationship will be settled by them and Rich - who is the one who picks up the pieces.

Ok, ... that's probably about enough of that.  Every week it is something.

We're working on a few other issues with Dr. Marvin.  He is helping us to deal with UIC on billing which is a Godsend.  He's holding the envelope we gave him to send on to Medicaid, because UIC PSYCH is still trying to trace down a few things like who billed us $500 in services for not servicing us - We haven't been served other than Dr. Marvin since 2011, but they billed us in April, 2013 and the psych department wasn't able to locate the account they specified.  We will be calling the number on the bill on Tuesday when we go in to see Dr. Marvin.  He does and the Psych department does have record we paid $500 and that was supposed to have gone to the psych bills.  That is the record that Medicaid needs, but Dr. Marvin says the hospital's system of dealing with Medicaid is goofed up - temporarily. At least, I know that whatever is going on wasn't my fault.  If they can't figure out the paperwork, we've been recorded as paying them, and because they can't figure things out, Medicaid isn't getting their paperwork, so the hospital can't write things off to Medicaid.  I should probably be angry, but I know things to be a system so just one thing at a time.

Rich is home now ... he is making dinner.  There was a little relaying of information with his mother.  The talk between Bud and Rich's mother was short.  He said he was coming home in two weeks.  He didn't say if he is expecting the house to be all his or shared.  Rich ran into more bowel messing problems with his mother and it is likely she has another bladder infection.  She thinks she still needs to go back to the nursing home.  She feels sick and she's not eating again.  The worst part is the open thought now that she'll want to go home in two weeks when Bud is there, and that will start the flare-up of emotions.  She will expect Bud to take care of her, and that he is able.  He will not be allowed to lift, and he's not being allowed to drive.  I don't know how they expect him not to do work of taking care of the house.  They won't want it, but it will be hard for them to stop it.  The worst thing is that the drinking and smoking will continue, there will be more unhappiness through the arguments and screaming and it just be a whole bad scene all over again.  Rich cleaned up his mother, but she obviously needs nursing care and stability.  She had that at the nursing home ... it would be a pipe dream to think they could make it, but maybe that too has to play itself off.  I don't see that the other family is going to want to put Bud through the hell they share together - and of course they blame totally on her.  But, he's as stubborn as hell AND that's part of the problem and not minor.  The alcohol is probably still the worst affect, but relationship wise neither of them is sound of mind.

So that's the update.  We're going to take a break in short order ... Rich says ten minutes to salad time.

Maybe a few more thoughts on Dr. Marvin.  I'm not sure I have the majority of what happened.  I think part of Thursday - at least half the time went to tracing back thoughts in our head of alcohol and drug use of our own selves and our ex-husband back in the days that our kids were small.  We had been out to see Nikki on Wednesday and the conversation was fueled and we'd been having guilt feelings which Dr. Marvin wanted to get to right away.  We had to be conscious of what we did and did not do for our kids.  I think in the long run we came out ok, but it was of no favor to the boys.  We still maintained house, household and relationships - mostly drugs were from the period of after nursing Joe to just after getting to the River Grove apartment.  We worked 1 1/2 years and spent many visits to the mental hospital during the time.  Much isn't probably known about time. We through all the drug paraphernalia and bad habits away in 1993.  Oh my gosh ... could it have been in our life for 7-8 years?  Hadn't thought of that ...

I told Dr. Marvin about the last time we got drunk which was also 1993.  Nice to say it was then now twenty years ago.  That's also about the time Dr. Woollcott came on board :).

But, salad is ready.  Hopefully, I will be back later after dinner.

Back again ... not sure how far we'll get.  We're sitting with Rich out in the sun room.  It smells sorta like fishy worms and other oily plastics.  He's been working out here all day.  We helped him a "SMALL" bit by writing down in our mind map the extra plastic lures he has in a secondary storage container.  Then we went inside and made it pretty, and then printed out a copy so that when he gets empty of something he can look at the list to see if he has it or needs to buy fresh.  Eh, it was his idea.  I love that we can work on something together.  It makes me feel good.

Haven't done much other than just eat.  We had smoked sausage and fries for dinner.  We finished watching "Last Man Standing" and then neither of us were real interested in the NCIS repeat that was showing.  So, we came out here with him and since have of course gotten our chromebook back to the page for writing.

Ahh Meowy Missy is joining us.  I hope he doesn't take too long because now we are feeling a little warm and muggy.  I REALLY like the air conditioning in the house :)

So anyway ... maybe we need to focus and look back at where we were before.  I think we'd been talking about Dr. Marvin's, but I'm not sure if we finished.  I'll have to go back and peek at that for a second.

I just read Rich the section about Austin coming ... it made him smile too!  He knows he is proud to have the Grandchildren here and me getting time with them.

Ok, now we're back inside.  :)  I also have a kitty on my arm chair.  We're in the sitting room on our recliner.  Missy had gone out, just because she was snoopy ... she didn't have anyplace to really sit because me and Rich were in her chairs and the third had fishy stuff on it.  Rich had everything packed up, but he needed to make several trips from the sunroom to the garage to get everything out of there.  Well that's how we look at it.  It really smells like plastics/oils.  Blah!  I know it will air out.  I reminded him first priority was sewing out there, then his business, then fishy-stuff.  I always want the privilege of calling it mine again at any time ... but, we both now I can't do the warmer temps like he can.

I asked him his plans for the rest of the night.  I think he's going over to his mother's first thing to make her an egg.  He's trying to get her to eat again.  He still might watch an hour or so of fishing on TV, but we made it clear we clean W/O him in the middle of our house!  When he settles in we'll make him a margarita, he'll watch some TV, then read, then we'll both go to bed, and I'm thinking in our extra time, we're really going to need more time to write.  OHHH yeah ... showers are going to happen!  Especially him after doing his mother's washroom problems, the fishy stuff, AND the yard work.  BLAH!

He said he'll wait for his margarita until after he showers.  I think his smells are even bothering him hehehhe.

He'll be ready for his jammas!

Should probably think here a couple of minutes as to what else might have happened at Dr. Marvin's.  I do know my sister came up again.  We talked over a few things we'd heard from my mother, especially that CS is trying a second CONCRETE time of asking my mother to take care of Nathan.  That just isn't happening.  Due to many years of conversation as things come up, and the present situation, Dr. Marvin said that it appears she's still looking for a mother figure to take care of her (all the medical/financial needs and imposed guilt, and even her son (she'd receive mothering through her mother's relationship to son).  Basically, my mother says she' raised her family and she's not going to do it again.  I'm not sure why CS is trying so hard, but thinking Nathan must be looking for a break too.  I don't think CS would push things if Nathan wasn't already for the idea.  Who knows?  My mother talks very little about my siblings and that's the way it probably should be.  Just think she needed a little support there in that her making her own boundary between her and CS needs was a good thing.  I respect her decision there.

That's enough of sister talk ... I just have to assure that my own boundaries are firm.  My sister needs to be responsible for her life, and I have to be responsible for my life.  Same goes for Linda in the relationship.  We're trying to back down from any conversation about my sister to her so she can have her own relationship and not have me in the middle, or for her to have me in the middle.  I did mention that Dr. Marvin thought she was looking for a mother figure, and Linda answered quickly she didn't see it.  I stopped, backpedaled and got out of there.  I'd gone too far and she isn't a Dr. Marvin.  I'd crossed by own boundary and really had to stop.  Don't want things to be fuzzy including my notes here.  I know that sometimes we're read ... I will be responsible for having said this much.  But, in the same vein, it's time to move on.  Not intending to challenge anyone, just been writing out our thoughts and feelings on things for a long time.

I don't think there was too much said about Maury and the kids.  Dr. Marvin knows Jasmine is sleeping over and he knows that I intended to break some ties with Carol.  This is the note we left.  It has not been responded to.


Ann

Carol, I'm sorry, but I have to make this decision for the time being.  But, I am going to cancel out on coming for awhile until we can reset our priorities properly.

This has nothing to do with anything you did wrong.  It's part and parcel of being a multiple.  As you know we've been working with the writing aspects of our time more and less with the sewing.  I have to see what happens there.  We are doing the things with family and doctors, but am arguing out within us other time out of that close radius.  Right now we're dealing with parts having trouble leaving the house.  Rich went to the Dr.s with us twice this week for which we were very grateful.  I also had rescheduled but made it to my sons and DIL.  One of my grandchildren will be sleeping over this weekend ... so we're not totally out of it, but we're struggling.  Everything seems to competing with getting time online for the reading and writing.

I also need some time to adjust by just getting the sewing machine back to the sewing room.  Seems its been in the car for quite a while and so when there are small chances of me getting something done on the machine, it is not set-up because of the argument of having to take it out again right away.

I don't mean to hurt or upset you ... and I don't know if when we could carry on a good relationship again with you, if you will be equally motivated by you.  I know that I've enjoyed spending time with you especially in your great room and times talking or just sewing quietly with you.  I'm embarrassed that as a part of being a multiple I'm not more responsible in our relationship with you.

I'm the one in the wrong here and for that I'm very sorry.
Please call if you wish ***-***-****

Our best,
Ann

I tried to be as honest as I could.  There are other feelings/thoughts that may not be accounted for yet.  But, in general, these were the problems that we've been discussing with Dr. Marvin.  Again, think that Linda may be out of sorts here too - or with my quilting time in general, but it would be of no fault of her own.  She's the only one who really sees me coming in and out of things in oour life, and holds strongly to our quilters.  But, she'd be the first one to say you have to do whatever is best for you.  Sometimes it still feels we're disappointing her.  I think my reading/writing/mapping is hard for most in my life to understand or carry any great empathy toward.

I think if for nothing else - this is the kind of thing that we really appreciate Dr. Marvin for.  He's always held out a strong core bond in that we work on our avocations and passions - especially in a studied approach.  I think he knows more than anything that I would never be satisfied with JUST being a domestic or lawn Goddess.  I'm pretty sure he sees all that like we're trying in that it is a good way for us to keep grounded.  BUT, as an avocation it is severely lacking.

I think that we've gone back and forth between looking at quilting as more or less as our most prominent skill to build.  I think that it fits our creative side, but it doesn't do as much for our intellectual sides.  I love to quilt ... just figure as far as my life legacy, it isn't as important as the writing/reading/mapping.  I do think that the mapping has taken out some of the energy that we've put into online education.  We've dabbled in that once more in reconnecting to Twitter and some of the emails, but as to now - most times it is very hard for us to look at.  I would at some point like to get back into a few things that we've left to the side.  I like the Learnist program, which is the avenue we took in putting out our public fallacies through the Google searches.  That has a far way to go, but we left a marker from looking at it so far.  We also like the social media "Scoop-it."  It was a good space for leaving online markers for things we were interested in like the news, but it was just a picture format of things that we were picking up in our NEWS and Ann's Multiple Blogs - especially, in tying an interest to other multiples blogs.

The best thing we'd found while out there was the work through - WOW took a long time to find a cue to it through our email, but the program was "Canvas" - it was a means to write e-learning courses.  Want to take a look at that now.  I had really appreciated the program.

Looking at the Canvas program now it seems that we'd gone through the effort of building two "courses."  One was more on multiplicity through the Google stuff - more like telling what Multiplicity was all about, and then the second course was trying to make sense of the outline that is now the mainstay of the web pages.  It looks like we last worked with canvas about October/November, 2012 ... so that was way back about 10 months ago.  It always makes me wonder what happens to all the time between one thing and another.  This was the furthest I'd gotten with e-learning and I'm pretty sure it was after we left the school program.  Looking back through emails now it seems that it was really fuzzy if we were a student at Jones University for the 6 month period between March and September, 2012.  I guess that is something we had to trace back to as well.

Ok, like wow ... that was too much.  It seems our old emails go back to about April, 2011.  There's just so much information there, it would take a serious effort to put some of the more valuable pieces through the reference section in the mind map.  Just that's not going to happen soon ... the work of Allen and Dell/O'Neil is WAY in front of that ... but, someday maybe too it will happen ;)

Pswhoo.  Just warmed-up a bit.  I hadn't realized Rich was out of the shower already, so we asked, and then got him his Margarita.  There wasn't enough mix for two so we just made ourselves an icy cold lemonade :)  AND, we took our medicine which is a good thing because we were like two hours late BLAH!  AND, then while we were up we fed the kitties, and then cleaned up the kitchen and started the dishwasher.  That should give us a nice jump in the morning.  Rich is still watching a show.  It's one with the lawyer, firm, and the kid who didn't really become a lawyer before he signed on ... Maybe "Suits?"  I think that's it.  He seems engrossed, but thinking after the show is over he will read a book before scheduling himself for another hour of TV.  He worked hard today doing his mom, the yard, AND the fishyworld.  We'll give him credit for that.  ALSO because he seemed to appreciate that we had so much on his mind map.  Tomorrow we'll sit down where he can look at it all together on paper.  We tried to have him do that today, but he couldn't concentrate.  He was on his way out the door.  He wanted to get more worm boxes, some things for his Mom, and then make dinner for her.  He did good Rich-stuff today :)

I did want to say that I had a great time with Nikki this week and look forward to seeing them again tomorrow when we pick up Jasmine and on Monday when she, Jade and Maury join us for Labor Day.  They won't come out until after Maury is done with work, so he is thinking about 4-5 pm.  It's ok ... wish he could have been out more/sooner, but he's doing some holiday time which is extra money in the bank for them.  I do have to get a few things on the grocery list for Rich.  He says he's going out in the morning.  I think he is going to pick-up his boat on the way back from Jasmine's and then spend time out there with that, packing - if I can get the jeans off of him to wash, and then over to his mother's.  It whould be a nice day after we get going first thing in the morning.

I think we'll jump in the shower, get dressed, make the bed, do the laundry, kitty stuff, garbage, dishes put away, etc. of the regular morning chores, and then get going on the list we've saved ourselves.  Thinking we're going to do fine.  I'm not sure when Rich is going to leave, but it will be somewhere between 11-1 pm, so we have to be ready for that :)

Oh, I know something I didn't write about.  We worked on our main blog page today.  AND we got a new background.  We also got a new format for the actual blog part.  I'm really pleased with it.  When it loads it starts of with a darker peach print of hummingbirds and flowers, then it lightens like its doing a silhouette, and then you get a solid pink/red/salmon (my favorite sewing machine curtain color) print with mostly nicely shaped medium-small flowers.  I really like it.  The woman putting out the designs is called, "ShabbyBlogs."  i found her through looking at another multiple's site that I'd reconnected to on Twitter.  Life is really funny how it gets around like that.  Oh one more small connection on the day.  Cody puts in all kinds of interesting things in Facebook, but today he had a little sign that just stated, "Think, Do, Love, Live ... Different." GREAT words of wisdom and it kind of explains where I am in our multiple project.

Oh yeah, we were though noting about our new-do on Ann's Multiple.  Ok, you got the background.  The main face picture is the same - it has a Word tangle, the title of our blog, our face, and Dr. Marvin in his office.  The background color in this center area between either side of the salmon flower print has become a lighter beige, and the tabs are either the salmon or a muted rust/orange.  There's some light blue in the titles to the entry and across the top ... maybe this is considered a contrasting color - really light though.  I like the lettering very much.  It is a light, clear whimsical script.  And, it seems the main body spacing and the right side column has each spread out a little.  It just seems more generous.  I really like how it centers the entry's the pictures and statements in the right column and how it just nests nicely the other bloggers blog links.  Then I think I started it a while ago - noting here that we added our map chores in a list at the bottom on the page.  It is very clear and seems to lighten the intensity of actual work needed to be done.

Some how the "Recent Post" section didn't carry through the transition, so we updated that with something we found on the Internet.  I like it.  It is done by MadTomato.  The script was written in HTML so it allowed us to fiddle with the number of recent post entries - we added it up to 10, and then it allowed us to make the number of characters longer as to the description (first couple of lines).  We stopped at about 160 characters.  It carries the entries title of course, and since we start most our entries with day, date and time, it includes that with again the few first lines.  I like it a lot and decided to put it even above the "Ad-free" Owl sign which usually starts our right column.  I wanted at this point for people to jump right to finding other types of things we write about.  I think because the right margin is wider - it doesn't seem so cramped.  It is a more gracious letting-out of all the small things our mind thought about in building the blog.  I was really happy with the output today and we're figuring its going to take a lot of ogling before we settle with it as being really good enough to let go.

The flowers on the background remind me of a pretty Japanese print.  Which is a roundabout way of bringing you to the next thoughts.  Yesterday we went through a little conversation with Duyen.  It's been a long while.  And, I don't know why it is the right time when it is, but it seemed to be that way yesterday.  Duyen had put out a general note about going to California next Thursday.  This is the rest of that conversation.

Cari Beth Garvey and 2 others like this.

Ann Ludford Garvey Is Thom going too?
August 29 at 9:30pm · Like

Dn Vu Hi Ann, good to hear from you!!! No, he doesnt want to go with me  All by myself on this lonely trip
August 29 at 9:31pm via mobile · Like

Dn Vu Thanks for the LIKE, Cari!!! How have you been?
August 29 at 9:32pm via mobile · Like

Ann Ludford Garvey Maybe you could help us by asking Thom to call. It's been a long time.
August 29 at 9:33pm · Like

Cari Beth Garvey doing pretty awesome how about you?!
August 29 at 9:33pm · Like

Dn Vu I will do RIGHT NOW
August 29 at 9:34pm via mobile · Like

Ann Ludford Garvey
August 29 at 9:34pm · Like

Dn Vu What is ur phone number, he asks?
August 29 at 9:34pm via mobile · Like

Ann Ludford Garvey ill private message you
August 29 at 9:34pm · Like

Dn Vu Sure
August 29 at 9:35pm via mobile · Like

Dn Vu I am doing great, Cari!!! Thankssss!!!
August 29 at 9:38pm via mobile · Like

Isabel Huerta Fun ...missed ur call. Let's talk soon
August 29 at 10:23pm via mobile · Like

Son Luong I am :))
Yesterday at 4:19am via mobile · Like

Dn Vu You are!!!! To be honest I will be able to see you-Son cuz I stay there in a very short time and have to be immobilize the whole time.  Tell you the secret later..LOL
Yesterday at 8:01pm · Like

Dn Vu I meant...NOT be able to meet up****
Yesterday at 8:01pm · Like

Thursday

9:35pm
Ann Ludford Garvey
***-***-****

9:39pm
Dn Vu
I just let him know. He will call u in few mins

9:40pm
Ann Ludford Garvey
thank you very much - AND have a good trip!

9:42pm
Dn Vu
He saidbhe cant call you....your cell is busy forbsome reason

9:43pm
Ann Ludford Garvey
its not busy can you give me his number?

9:43pm
Dn Vu
***-***-****

9:44pm
Ann Ludford Garvey
Seen Thu 9:44pm

After that series of messages, we called and Thom answered.  I felt so absolutely blessed to be hearing from him again.  It was a nice conversation and we seemed to have a pretty good line.  I think most of the time he talked while Duyen was in the bedroom, but she may have come in and out of the conversation.  I had not intended to hide, but sometimes I worry about what Thom says out loud, because I think it would embarrass Duyen and I DON'T want to do that.  He did state early on that the trip to CA was for Duyen to go through facial reconstruction and that he was strongly against it.  I do need to catch-up in all my mothering ability.

It sounds like their marriage isn't going to last and that they may be separating very soon.  Thom says they will stay married formally, until Duyen has her green card.  I think he said next summer.  Thom still wants to have the job in Japan.  It isn't posted yet, but he's connected to a few people and it sounds like the interview will be in NY very soon.  They want a body in the position by October 1, 2013.  Thom doesn't know what kind of competition there will be for the post, but his plans center on it.  In the meantime he has a few options.  He could stay with Duyen, her sister, and her uncle.  That seems to be the lowest option on his list.  He could also come back to Chicago if he found he was going to be leaving soon for Japan.  That's a viable option, but he wouldn't know of the potential until down the line, and it seems he wants to leave the DC area sooner than that - unless, he has to stay there for a physical interview rather than a phone interview.  The last option which he seems most orientated to is going to Houston, TX where he would rent an apartment with his cousin Manuel.  Thom, Joe, Manuel, and two other cousins, Nick and Pat play a lot of games together yet and that seems to be what Thom is doing in his spare time.

He is also drinking and doing some exercise, but we're thinking more drinking than exercising.  We got a little heated in a conversation about Austin.  Thom's point of view is that he is toxic for Austin, my point of view is that he has to be responsible for making it the best relationship possible.  There were no conclusions, but we did tell him that we'd seen Austin in May and July.  We didn't know we were going to get him mid-September, which is definitely on the bonus plan.  He seemed to really appreciate hearing about Austin and our thoughts which might have validated some of his thoughts - mostly on the way Austin can carry a conversation while intellectualizing the point he is working on whether it is culture, world, animation, etc.  I know Thom misses him, but also that he doesn't feel worthy of Austin.  He did know that Laura and Mike had gotten married.  He was interested to know if Austin was reading the book we told him we sent.  I'm thinking the wedding excitement might have put that off, but I won't know how he filed the book until we see him again.  I would hope Thom come to his senses and contact Austin, but I don't know if he would.  I made an implored case for Austin, but knew I could only take it so far.  This was my first time talking to Thom since he'd been here about March.

If Thom ends up in Texas for the short or long term, he will most likely get an apartment as stated, if he ends up going to japan, he said he might be earning enough to pay Manuel his continued half of the rent which might only be $400-500, or he would have the place to stay if he didn't go to Japan.  I see that he is hedging his bet carefully.  If he ends up staying and not going to japan, he will get a simple job like at a best buy and I think Manuel is doing the same.  Manuel is already in college and Thom is almost done with his Associate degree, so both boys would continue that.  I think also that both boys have just broken up with their women.  AND, unfortunately, he says that both of them are drinking - though he says he would hope to work his way out of it with his cousin.  Right now the cousin is living with his father.  His mother and father are divorced, and his mother is Thom's father's sister and she's remarried, has a daughter through the second marriage, and was last reported to be an elementary school principal.  I don't know how strong positive or negative all the relationships are down there.  I can respect somethings about Mary Fran, mostly not though - think she's scary.  I have always liked Sergio Manuel's father and from the brief time I knew Manuel when he was younger, I liked him.

So, that pretty much catches us up to all that.  I was pretty close to tears at the natural end of the conversation.  I don't think we talked much about me except the time I spent with Austin.  I made sure he knew that even though he was having problems being a good husband or father - especially from his estimation, we still respect and love the hell out of him as our son.  I told him that we were very used to his long absences, but was very glad to hear from him again.  I also let him know that we had a spare room here, if he ever needed a place to stay temporarily though we discussed a little of his father having a place too.  I think his father spent $350,000-400,000 for his house in Bolingbrook compared to our $52,000 in Sandwich.  Pretty sure if I were Thom - I'd want to stay there too.  BUT, if he were in the Chicago area, we know we'd get him for at least a small time.  AND, we'd probably still cry when he left.  I really miss him in my life.  I don't know what it would actually be like to have him actively around.  But, I miss him.

Ok, shhh.  That's enough Mom.  Gotta get a grip on it.  I actually want him to go to Japan, because it would be the better life, but I know how far and long away that would be.  It leaves me unhappy, with the exception I know that's where he wants to be.

It's gotten itself to about 10 pm now.  I'm starting to think we got most of the stuff down we could think of during an evening.  I don't know ... it always seems like I leave so much out, but so much is still being said.  I've got Chief here beside me now which means he thinks I should go to bed.  I can see in the background Rich stayed up a little later to watch a fishy show.  That's a good Rich.  I know he needs to relax and I really seen him putting effort over the last few days on getting ready to get out on this trip.  The dishwasher is running its final rinse cycle and I'm eager to look at what got written one last time as I post it to the new blog.

I do want to say that I've got some time coming up too!  When Rich leaves, I get a bit of a break and I always want to hope that we're going to make the best of it.  We're a bit of a wanderer in our own home.  I think Dr. Marvin is going to be out for a day each in two weeks, and then four weeks from now.  We should be able to handle it.  There are no real crises happening.  During the third week in September (September is now just an hour away) we will have the quilting group with the church.  Tomorrow will be Jasmine and Austin will be in two weeks.  Maybe either the third or fourth weekend we can have one or two of the other girls.  We will have to check schedules on Monday with Nikki.  I think though that Rich might also be fishing the last weekend in September, and it is really my preference to have the kids over when he is home.  AND, then of course the first weekend of October will be time spent with the girls quilting.  Busy times coming up.

I think for the most part Rich being gone means that we'll do the best of our habits, but we won't let them get in the way of our activities whether it is sewing, writing, reading or mapping.  Chances are heavier into the mapping.  Never know what's coming up next and then next again.  Just looking forward.  I like my time alone now.  AND, it's going to stretch from getting home Thursday from Dr. Marvin through to Friday, Saturday and late Sunday.  WooHOO!!!  Girls night IN!

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