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Monday, December 30, 2013

Looking for Optimistic



Saturday, December 28, 2013 @ 11:34 am

Good morning, or what’s left of it.  It’s officially been two weeks since we posted and a day longer since writing.  Not sure all of what happened to cause that, but we’re going to suggest that Christmas plans took a lot of time J

Last time we wrote … well in-between now and that, we had typed out the transcripts for two of the group’s podcasts.  The first was Jazz interviewing Jay, and the second time she was interviewing Jim.  The next time she’s supposed to interview Dr. Marvin, but this week has been a bye because of the holiday and people having time off.  I enjoyed the process of transcribing and I really enjoyed that the guys did some editing to make it all good.  We figured things out and found the foot pedal so it made it that much easier.  Yay!

I haven’t been communicating too much with the group this last week, although we’ve seen Jim out and about FB here and there.  He has a big NYE party happening at his place and he and Marcy are keeping very busy with home improvements.  They really are fantastic at what they do.  There’s no reason for being out of touch, except in general we haven’t gotten too involved with computer “business.”  We do seem to keep up with email and facebook, but haven’t gone much further than that.  REALLY Christmas took some time!

The last time we wrote, we had seen Joe and Cari, and since then, we’ve seen the Maury and Nikki and their kids a couple of times.  They were over for Christmas Eve, and then we had a blow-out on Christmas day, so Maury and his came back to help us with some of the leftovers.  Ame and Isa weren’t there, but otherwise things were fine.  On Christmas day we were supposed to have Rich’s brother, his girls, their partners, and his Grandson over.  The Girls time must have been conflicted because they were later than their Dad or we had expected.  Then Mark got upset and told us he couldn’t look at food (1 ½ hours after we were supposed to receive company) and then the girls called looking for their Dad, but Rich had to tell them he stormed off, and although it wasn’t said, the girls then backed out of dinner too.  It was a disappointment after having planned and cooked all day.  It would have been better if they had just called earlier and let us know, but that’s not what happened.  BUT, we can move on from there.  We talked to Mark again the next day and things seemed to be calmed down and he got together with his daughters and their families. 

Most of everything else over the holiday went well.  We really did enjoy working with Rich to get Christmas ready.  By that time we’d had Thanksgiving, and Joe and Cari and Maury’s and we were getting really better at running the vacuum, cleaning, cooking, cleaning and whatever.  Rich spent all his time cooking or baking and we were the helper, putting cookies on the pan, or chopping apples for pies and dressing, and cleaning dishes right after he used them so he always had enough and the place didn’t get so messy.  Neither of us were pushing the other to do stuff so it was relaxed and we enjoyed working together.

After we removed the extra plates from Christmas dinner, rich and us sat down to have a feast in front of the fire.  It was very romantic – OH … and this morning we figured out, in one week Rich and I are going to be celebrating our TWENTIETH anniversary of knowing each other.  We still have to wait for October 27th, for our twentieth KISSING anniversary.  Have to work through the year to build up to that.  In the beginning, it had just been after the holiday break, and Monday, the 3rd of January, 1994, our counselor from JVS called us on the phone to ask why we hadn’t been in and that she had exciting news to tell us – about a job.  We went in on Tuesday, the 4th, and that’s when we met Rich.  Incidentally, we bought a dishwasher on Monday the 3rd, though we were still walking laundry for me and the three boys up and down 3 flights of stairs, and then rolling it 2 blocks down the street to a laundry.  Man oh man – don’t miss those days.  Within a year – we co-purchased a house for me and the three boys WITH laundry and dishwasher, but we were still walking two blocks to the train station.  Rich never saw the old apartment, though I recall he signed a paper as representative of JVS and that I had a steady income and a good character.

We’ll stop there as to memory lane, but the thing was I met him and liked him, but had no idea he had an interest in me until the first day he asked for a kiss later that year at the end of October.  I can honestly say he’s been a preoccupation of our minds ever since.  Twenty years is a long time.  He’s stuck it out though through thick and thin!  God Bless him!

Anyway … back to this last couple of weeks?

The feast was very nice and afterward we both cleaned up and by a little prodding from me, we went directly to bed!  No not that kind … the kind that you find yourself exhausted and unable to move any further.  It was like that for three days in a row, with Maury and his family coming either side of Christmas.  We were so relieved to hear they’d come back on Thursday to help us eat some of that food, and as normal for them, they brought some extra too. 

The highlight of the first event was some fun with handing out the few presents we had, but more than anything, we had the greatest fun working on Christmas stockings with Nikki and the kids.  Adrian was there too, so that was fun as well.  He and Jade stay pretty close, so it is fun to be around them.  The stockings turned out GREAT!  We’ll leave a picture on the front of this entry.  They hung them up on our fireplace to take a picture, but then they were brought home with them naturally.  I’m pretty darn sure Santa filled them.  They’ve all been very good this year.  Well we’re still not pleased with all the teasing Maury does, but not much to be said for that … he’s a husband now and in other relationships where he has to learn new rules … It will all balance out in the end.  I hope he doesn’t lose the girls’ respect in the meantime.  Nikki says, he’s nicer at home, so we’re hoping that is true. 

Nikki did most the sewing work, and we worked through creating the design and nature of the socks and each of their family picked out one or two fabrics they wanted to work with.  We had some batting that worked out fine.  Nikki sewed on both front and back panels a 1 ½ - 2” “lip” at the top of the socks.  Then both front and back were put together backwards – and three sides sewn – except of course the top.  Then it was turned right side, and Nikki sewed on the loops for the hooks to hang.  They were very professional.  We loved that each of them – 7 total were able to find something in our fabric they liked and they had brought flannel for the girls so that worked out too.  The flannel was for the lip.

The next time they came, there was more talking than anything.  Jade is a mastermind in keeping conversations flowing in a particular direction Hehehe.  They’ve got some really special girls. 

The bad part of the evening was just as they were leaving, Jasmine wanted to go in the master bath where we have the big mirrors to take a couple selfies.  The room was dark and the doors shut because of the cats and all, so we rushed in to turn on the main light for her in the middle of the room, and we stubbed our left toes against the blue hassock in front of our bed – where Missy gets up on the bed.  Oh man oh man did it hurt.  Everyone was at the door and everyone had their hugs, so we kinda collapsed on the couch.  Rich said we told people we were there for the night and to have a safe drive home, or something close to that.  YEEKS.  So much for manners.  Just it had taken us down.  It had been 4-5 days of cleaning and arranging and being busy with people and it had just exhausted us.  I’m embarrassed about our physical condition, but at that point was just grateful for Rich.  After everyone left, he brought over the ice and put a pillow under my aching legs.  He brought us a couple extra pain pills and we cried for a bit. 

We’d worked so hard to stay “stable” while people were here, but it had gotten pretty overwhelming.  I’m soooooo glad that the events happened and we’ll be charmed with our memories for a long time to come, but … sometimes people get tired and the best thing to do is rest.  Pretty much that’s what’s happened the last couple of days.

Ahh.  We’re back.  Talk about rest … we went and laid down for an hour and a half nap in the bedroom with the kitties.  That’s serious napping.  And, then we got up and looked at emails and facebook again.  Somehow what just happened with the holidays is being etched somewhere in my mind.  We’ve enjoyed immensely all the pictures of people being together and seeing family.  It doesn’t seem to matter whose family … any happy family is just that a Happy family and a joy to look at.  I guess it’s a little bit of a voyeur in me.

It is about 3 pm now and Rich has just finished working in the back.  He could have worked in the sunroom it seems to be such a nice day out there.  Ahh just looked … that’s odd.  It is 48 degrees out there.  Where did that kind of temperature come from?  By Monday it will be back down to 7 degrees, but it’s nice while its here.

Not really being a very dynamic writer yet.  I think we were talking about the holidays and I know there was a lot more to happen over the last two weeks.  Don’t seem to have much of an anchor.  I guess since it is the holidays, we could re-start by saying what a wonderful week we’ve had with Rich home and coming up to this last week.  I really enjoyed working with him to have people over.  That’s been a big highlight.  We also had a VERY Christmas morning which was our special time together. 

I don’t remember much of the day before … I think we were very tired and there was no fighting about getting us in bed.  There was all kinds of Christmas magic happening.  And, I think we woke up at 1 pm, AND we found that Santa Clause had been here.  We thought we better not wake Rich up, AND we remembered that we hadn’t wrapped his gift.  We got him AND my mother kindles.  I felt very bad though in that while I had one really nice gift, he had given me about 8-10 gifts.  It just didn’t seem fair.  I had to really push to get him to release as much money as I did from the checking account.  Usually, he only puts in there what we really need – it’s like a petty cash account for a couple hundred regular dollars.  Every $15 or $25 or whatever I take out of the account he questions.  We had figured out the kids gifts because my mother had given us enough to cover gifts this year.  We paid for our kids and grandchildren and their partners and just a few extra.  Then the rest went to Rich and my mother.  I felt good that I was able to do what we did.  It’s hard being on a fixed income.

I know that Rich is happy with his gift and I’m hoping my mother will be too.  We had it shipped here and it got here on Monday night.  We wanted to get it started, and we wanted to get some books loaded on there for her.  I’m thinking of it as Rich, my mother and myself are all in a book club.  I didn’t think my mother would put her credit card online, and we do all the time, so we are just using our account for her, AND the books we put on for her were a lot of history and romance … I think that’s her favorite, but they were all free.  She’s used to getting her books from some kind of trading place – so she never picks out books she wants, just takes what she gets.  I thought we could bring her up to the 21st century by starting her out with some free stuff.  We’ll talk more to her when she gets it.  It went out yesterday morning, so we’ll give her a call Monday or Tuesday.  We talked to her on Christmas day to let her know they were coming late.  They originally weren’t going to be here until the 31rst, so we were happy they got here when they did.  I’m a little unsure if she has wi-fi, but she has a laptop and a home computer – though very old … maybe windows 98.  One thing at a time - if we can get her to look at it that will be half the battle … she just got a cell phone … one of the terrible kind, but she’s made then some improvements.  She’s 73 years old and reads a lot, so we’re hoping it works out.  I’m thinking her friend Jane or her minister friend Peg have kids and know how to use those kinds of things.  We’ll see.

Rich’s gifts were in part practical, but this year there was some fun in them too.  He got me primarily the curtain fabric.  Later though he said after we complained of having so many gifts to his one that the fabric gift was like for both of us because we share the bedroom.  I know what he means, but all total it seemed like a lot of money.  The fabric turned out to be 18 yards for $300.25.  it was a good price for the fabric at $10.50 a yard, but still a big piece of money.  The first gifts he had me open were the stockings … there we got sugar-free candy and some marshmallows and a package of cookies.  He couldn’t have gone wrong there!  Then he gave us three separate night gowns that were similar to each other but different.  They are like cotton “granny” nightgowns and are very pretty with just a bit of lace or crochet at the tops.  He’s saying that I’m supposed to throw out anything that is paper thin or with holes which isn’t something I like to do because we get so used to what we have.  He does know that if I’m not expecting to go out … I LOVE to wear pjs all day.  I know a funny eccentricity, but that’s the way we are most comfortable.

The next gift we got – well actually from both Rich and Nikki and Maury and the girls, but we got a half dozen towel sets that all miraculously coordinate in creams or browns.  I LOVED IT!  I guess Rich knew how shreddy my towels had become – had once got a dozen and they all seemed to go downhill at the same time.  AND, thank you thank you Nikki!  Apparently, sometimes my blog entries are read!  *giggling*  She definitely figured out what we needed … There was such a happy surprise to get what was needed.

The other part of Rich’s gift – well there was two things.  The one was that he got us a necklace … not the expensive type, but the nice type.  It had an “infinity” symbol.  I think he was working at our desire to have more of a commitment.  I know that buying a house together is a pretty strong commitment as is his promise to stay my partner forever, but it’s awkward in our mind not to ever plan on being married.  I think that’s something most girls just hope for.  As stated earlier, we are one week away from our 20 years anniversary.  We’ve only lived together the last 6-7 years, but it’s a long time of wanting to be married and not getting it.  I try to look at it as financially, I’m still a liability.  It would make things better to at least finalize our financial future.  This year was a big deal though with the house.  This way at least we both have a place if something happened to the other.  After that if something happened to the both of us, the intent is to sell everything and split it evenly between the six kids.  There is not much there, but it is better than nothing.  BUT, now we’re going into a little bit of morose.  Don’t mean to do that either. 

The other gift that he gave was a series of things that went with my little houses.  He got from the same person, but one of the Winter collections which is fine.  The pieces are still the same scale as what we had.  There was a newspaper building, a newspaper truck and newsperson, then there was a fountain, and then there was an ice skating rink.  I thought whoa!  WAY too much gifts, but then he said that he’d shopped at Kohl’s and the pieces were 50% off, and then he said he got a Kohl’s card and got another 30% off. Pshwoo!!!!!  Then I didn’t feel so bad, and it IS a very nice gift.  After we moved, we didn’t have anything to put in the glass cabinets under the TV, but now we do.  He said I don’t have to put them away and just look at them in the winter, and that made me feel REALLY good.  I think two of the buildings have lights, and the cabinet in general should have lights, but we’ll have to do something creative.  I know we have a COUPLE of light strings left over that didn’t go on the Christmas tree and I think I can do something with that.  I’m thinking of lining the inside “box” part of the interior cabinets.  Rich doesn’t really want Christmas lights, but it will be our job to make it pretty enough he won’t mind.  Yay!!!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013 @ 11:34 am

Wow!  Just checked that’s the exact same time I signed on yesterday J  Cool – cool.  Maybe today I can be more productive.  Just made it to page six yesterday, and even at that it is not the quantity, but the quality.  Just seems I’m not adapted yet to sitting at the keyboard and typing.  I’m also though not interested for the moment of typing from my chrome book, because of losing stuff the last few times. It’s happening too when we attempt to manipulate the big computer documents … so just trying to be regular careful today and just type.  I don’t know how we lost contact with our typing from yesterday … maybe I should look over a couple of paragraphs.

Hmm, don’t want to go over it really carefully.  Would rather move on.  I think we talked out Christmas presents – I got that part.  I think somewhere around 3 pm, Rich signed off from his workroom work, but he’s there again today.  I am thinking he’s thinking that this is now day three and I should start working around the house again, but that’s really not what we’re thinking.  However, yes … I seem to realize we may be pretty close to out on the silverware.  *sigh*  Some of that is that there is a dishwasher full of clean stuff that hasn’t been put away yet.  No … no that’s not happening right now either.  We just got back to the typing we want to make a go of it. 

Hmm, probably should have used the washroom first, brb

Ok, back … found some loose cranberries too.  Good deal … Rich just got a call from Bud … they are having trouble with the medicine.  She lost her nursing aid and some of the therapists this week because she was showing them no progress.  Bud, seems to have lost a concept of how the pill box works even if someone is filling for them.  Like he’s not understanding that Rich isn’t filling up Saturday on Sunday because its empty … rather than Rich has all the way till the following week to fill it.  Who knows what other problems.  Rich is still having problems with his mother.  She thinks Rich is controlling her and made a decision to keep the night aid (instead of regular aids – at night), and since this is the aid that is getting Rich’s mother alcohol – AND, did so before she broke her neck, Rich is refusing to do all but the minimum. 

On the other side, Bud’s family and he think Bud’s doing more for his wife now that he’s back and they want to let go of most the caregivers all together, because of expense.  That’s a valid point, but so is the fact that just alone Rich’s mother and Bud get very argumentative and when Bud doesn’t feel like taking care of her or talking to her, he just disappears outside, and then his mother is left with no care and all the anger that goes with it.  I also think he’s pushy and we’d stretch that term to abusive, but she is verbally abusive back – so that might mute out points.  Just know he behaves better when there is someone else doing the work for her, since she’s not making the moves to take care of herself better.

BLAH!  On all that.  My job is to stay out of it, because it’s obviously not our mother.  Soooo, what would I know.

Ok, well something like that.  Makes us feel grouchy where I don’t really need to go there … It’s not enough our business.  We talk to Rich and try to put some sanity back in, but that’s about as far as we go.  Just as often we are not helpful, just in that we disagree with Rich. BUT, we’re no expert at handling “old people.”  Ok, girls let it go.

This morning I think we slept in and then fell back to sleep on the chair after we got up, so we weren’t officially up WITH medicine until about 8:30 am.  Then we got up and did a lot of poking around on the computer, and we had some time to talk to Linda.  I don’t think we really did much other in the line of corresponding.  My FB and emails are clear – and we read pretty far down with the FB home page.  It seems a little sadder today in that people who were visiting others for Christmas seem to be going or have gone home by now.  It’s also the last day of the week – for those of us who think the week begins on Monday.  Tuesday, will be New Year’s Eve, so we’re thinking that maybe a lot of people still have off Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday.  I think we are back to Dr. Marvin’s on Tuesday, so that officially ends our “holiday.” 

By this time of the year we are bending our ear toward how to improve the next year.  I know same as millions of people.  This brings me to mind of our mind map – guess that is as good a place to start as any.  Hmm, maybe we should first make a quick sweep to finish off the year … Here are some key points

Had visitors and visited people – GREAT time
Took pretty good care of our home, AND Rich and I did some minimal decorating
Rich is still working on his @home projects

There is officially $208.79 left in my checking account – cash account, but there is $200 of checks written out not cashed.  Should probably bring that to Rich’s attention.  There is $782.54 left in my regular checking account AND it seems the rent and car insurance has been paid AND we will be getting another big check in  five days.  So all that’s good.  Should take a couple hundred though and put it back in our cash account.  And, it looks like in the savings account there is $1600.  $500 was a balance after Rich took out money for his taxes, and then $1,100 was put back in from insurance to fix small things on the roof.  That means I’m worth almost $2600 WOOHOO!!!!  Still need to transfer $200 from our checking to our cash account.  Just don’t want to bounce anything, hmm?

So, that is where we start off the New Year.  One thing we noticed is that we paid $130 on gas and in the old days Rich used to cover our gas.  Guess that’s not happening.  We had some extra expenses – the Christmas ones were budgeted from my mother’s Christmas gift.  Extras might have then been the angels, Herbalife, the $15 necklace and the shears for the bedroom.  I’m a bit worried and will have to ask Rich because I don’t see the normal things like electric, cable, furniture payment, etc.  We’ll go over it in a day or two … Just have to have both of us functional and not under deadlines at the same time.   I think the gas was high because it was back when Thom was here and extra trips were being taken.  Not sure right now if there is gas in the car, it has been a while since we’ve driven.  Certainly not this week and prior to that Rich drove the last couple of times to Dr. Marvin’s.

Ok, so then, back to our updates … Christmas is over and we’ve got New Years on the horizon.  I think that we have to be at Bob and Linda’s by about 7 pm on New Year’s Eve.   We’ll have to plan to get something before that, but we will try and push Rich again if there is nothing in his vehicle to get the dishwasher to Joe and Cari.  I think they are going to be out the following weekend, so I’d like to have it taken care of.  For them it would be a nice thing to start their year.

Not much to say about Dr. Marvin’s this far down the line.  I’m not sure what we were talking about – though on Tuesday we might have discussed his written part for the group.  I think at that point he had to make another fix-it change to the last paragraph, and we’d gone over some of the group’s questions and had discussed that he’d sift to the bottom of it and write formal questions they could ask to get to the responses he is going to give.  Obviously, there will be room for the group to add their literal questions, but this thing had to progress, and they hadn’t been able to consolidate their own questions.  Dr. Marvin said he’d be able to finish it over the break.  He had had students to interview at our regular Thursday appointment, so we met Wednesday.  The only part of that we’re remembering is that someone shook his hand.  Our once in a year thing … and it was expected AND turned out to be too tight so we told him to be softer or he’d break our fingers. 

Otherwise I don’t know what happened that week.  I don’t know if we were regular or regressed regular, just don’t know.

One thing that we’ve been watching is that Jim is on FB and periodically, we’ve been talking back and forth with him and keeping up on his profile page.  We knew he and Marcy are planning a New Year’s Eve party for about 30 people, but that’s about it.  Ohhh, and we were talking and listening a little back and forth with music.  We’d created a playlist of some of the musicians he listens too, and most importantly we discovered we liked Rhonda’s taste with Sarah McLachlan.  We’ve been listening to her a lot.  There … we just put her on again.  We’ve heard some of her music before, but had not connected the dots. 

We’re talking to Linda more and we agreed to meet her and the girls in WI on Saturday the 11th.  Linda said she talked to one of the twins on the phone, but I hadn’t heard from anyone by email.  I don’t know if they are reading their emails, or just not responding.  I sent another note just now saying that I hadn’t heard from anyone but Linda, but had rented a room at LaQuinta.  I went through Hotwire like I had before.  The room was $55, but with tax it came to $69.20.  I hope it turns out alright.

Moving on. 

Anything else?  Hmm, might want to just move on as to the past … One thing though, we did order the fabric for our Christmas gift from Rich, and it came in yesterday.  That was very nice.  It’s a bit intimidating right now.  I checked it vaguely for colors against the flowers and it seems to work.  I’m thinking it will be fine.  Just have to get a grip on it.  I think basically the two long curtains – 3 panels are all 84” or 7’.  That matches up to the sheers, and the short double curtains are 54” or 4.5’.  That will be measured again by that, but pretty sure that is the only sewing project I would be bringing … Hmm, have to test the shower curtains too … those will be double and maybe 72” or 6’.  We’ll see.  It be a great deal to have the cushion by then too, but we might be pushing it.  Rich didn’t want me ordering it because he thought he could get a better price, but haven’t seen much effort or attention going to that project.

Might be hard to drive to WI.  Hmm.  I know I keep talking about it rather than doing it, but I hope to have Cari’s quilt finished by then too, if not will bring it with if I want to stay until Noon Sunday and work on it.  Hard to tell what I’m going to feel like by then.  We’ll see.

Just saw Rich walk by so I reminded him to check because his card expires in two days.  Little thing, but important none-the-less.

Hmm, already past medicine … have to do a few things like medicine again, brb

Back.  Had an encounter with Rich … while I was sneaking a simple sweet hug …. He was like done here, going to check on my mother’s medicines, and you should clean-up the kitchen and living room.  DRAT!  I hate that when it happens!  Yes, yes … got my medicine too, but we were saying whatever you want NO, NO.  Dear … whimpering.  I’m still on vacation!  HMPF!

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