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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Just a Stepping-stone, right?

Saturday, February 22, 2014 @ 3:22 pm

Good afternoon … well late afternoon.  We’re doing this entry as the most productive thing that has happened in the last couple days.  We’ve been feeling under the weather. 

The first thing is that we got a cold, and then the coughing was so bad we lost our voice.  Then we had a return problem with our hyperplasia which meant we were bleeding internally.  So we went to the doctors and they found we ALSO had an infection, and while they were doing all that they discovered that we have diabetes.   So now we are on an anti-biotic, new diabetes medicines and day-time/night-time Vicks.  They wanted to start me on insulin and we said no that we weren’t ready for that.  I would like to get back to my normal doctor and have her confirm that is the only alternative.  We also wanted to see if watching our diet and taking the regular diabetes medications would work.  We’ve got about a month’s window. 

We didn’t like that the doctor (resident) that was subbing for our Dr. Albright was working so hard to gain me as a patient.  Maybe it is something that happens all the time – I seem to recall it before.  We had scheduled to see Dr. Albright and for whatever reason she needed a substitute.  We went in on Tuesday and had to return on Thursday.  We were disappointed because of this extra push … it being a lot to handle, and not getting everything done that was needed.  We had had to get a pap smear which is never fun and we were supposed to get an endometrial biopsy, but because of the high numbers for the diabetes – near 500 with the three month test at 9.6 they AND the infection, they couldn’t take a chance on further infection … because when the numbers are high for diabetes it is harder to fight the infection that might be possible.  It was frustrating because that’s what we’d gone in for and they seemed to be doing everything beside that.  I understood her logic, but the further we got the surer I was about wanting back Dr. Albright.  Beside trying to sell herself, she irritated me in that she didn’t cover all the bases, just the things that were on top of the list … Dr. Albright would see the whole picture and line me up for everything necessary to check everything.  And, I didn’t understand somethings like with this bad a cough why she didn’t use the stethoscope to check out the severity of my cold symptoms – I’d like to rule out we don’t have strep, bronchitis or Pneumonia.  That part is really wearing me down.

I think on Monday, I will want to call Dr. Albright and get a follow-up.  I will arrange for it to be after the first though to give the diabetic medicine and anti-biotic a chance to work, and by another week we’ll be on Medicare officially.  Maybe by then we can arrange to get on Blue Cross – Blue shield for the supplement and Part D.  I will call someone to check things out first from their 800 number.  I had checked with Dr. Marvin on Thursday, and he checked again with his person in billing and it turned out we were no longer on Medicaid – e-care list … so that confirms things of going one direction OVER the other.  I think the bottom line is that we are going to be happier if we can get BCBS instead of the mickmack of Medicaid even though we will pass for Medicaid, between the spenddown and regular cost – the BCBS will be less expensive and we should get more in the bargain.  We’re hoping at least.  This is been going on for a frustrating two years.  We’re almost past the problem area.  I hope

So that’s about it medically.  We are having problems of just wanting to sleep.  We’ve been tired and listless, our body aches and in general it’s just been hard.  Rich is giving me a break as to getting things done around here, but we had been sleeping in the sitting room and heard him walk by to the ironing board.  We said … we’re going to hear about his later, aren’t we?  He was pretty sure we would.  I think what he’s thinking is that in ten days it will be his turn to be served because that’s when he’s going in for his hip surgery.  I wouldn’t blame him for thinking that way.  Just the way we feel this moment, we don’t know how it will be possible.  Then there has been problems with leaking in the bathroom AND in the sunroom so everything has been feeling extra troublesome.  We can’t help and it seems to hurt even in thinking.

This note here is the best we’ve done so far.  Part of it was that Rich left the house for a while.  He wanted to run up to Walmart and stop at his mother’s.  That means Blessed Angels from above … the TV got turned off for a bit NO EXTRA NOISE!  I don’t think of it while he’s here as much as appreciate that when he is gone the only sounds we’re really hearing are the typing keys and the furnace.  I know sometimes we play music, but in this mode everything is too much.

I can’t complain too much about the taking care of us part.  He makes sure we crawl through the shower every day … makes us soup, sandwiches, and hot tea, AND sometimes he brings us Nyquil in the middle of the night when we start coughing.  We’ve been sleeping in separate rooms trying not to get him sick before the operation, and there have not been soooo much in the line of hugging, kissing, or back rubbing.  BELIEVE ME!  That’s starting to get REAL old!  That’s pretty much what we mean when we say … it’s real hard. 

Did I mention he got Vanilla CARAMEL tea??!!  Good Rich.  Lots of fluids *sigh*

There are other good things though that happened.  Before we got really into the cold Austin was here.  It was such a very nice weekend.  He came on Friday and stayed until Mike picked him up on Sunday afternoon.  He’s a GREAT visitor!  We spent as we thought most time talking and then being on the computer.  He used ours for a bit, and during those times we sat at the table next to him and cut fabric.  He was using our computer … I think the big screens are almost always nice.  He slept in both Saturday and Sunday morning, and each night before that he stayed up longer than us, but I’m not sure how late.  We had some really cuddly time.  It reminded me of back in the days that the boys fought to see who sat with us.  So in that respect it felt really nice, and in the other respect by the way he curls up it reminded us that there was a new baby in the house.  Not sure what happens there in a new competitive brother manner.  I think everything was natural and normal for what had been going on for him this last month.  I asked him on the way back to our house after picking him up on Friday about his brother, but he said everything was fine.  I knew there was much more than that, but I didn’t say anything more about it the rest of the weekend, until about the time that Mike was coming.  He called from 15 minutes away.  I told Austin I had figured it best not to ask and he said that’s what smart people do.  I giggled.  Yay on the smart Gramma side!  I know he’ll talk about it when he wants, but something I did or tried to do with the kids was to not ask too many questions if they didn’t want to talk … That way when they did want to talk to me – it was their choice and the conversation really counted for something.  Mostly they’d come to their own resolutions and were just checking base.  I want Austin to be comfortable like that too.  I know having a new sibling must be just an incredible amount of processing.  I know Mike and Laura will do the right thing.  I was really glad they let him come over.

We did get out once while he was here.  We saw the movie the Monuments Men with both Rich and Austin.  He got a pop and so did we and we got the popcorn, AND Rich got the licorice.  No … he didn’t sit by me … that would have put us in a sharing situation Hehehe.  I could tell at times that Austin was getting bored by the movie.  It wasn’t that it was above him, most likely more below him in that the time and space they were covering he probably has had figured out.  I know that at one time while he was here Rich asked from the Olympics where a country was and he was able to pin-it toward the right side of Russia.  Neither Rich or us had known.  Smart kid!

Afterward, we tried out a little local “diner.”  Rich had seen plenty of people coming in and out so he figured it was a good enough place in a very small community.  It was fine.  Both Rich and us had a meatball sandwich and fries, but Austin just shared the fries and didn’t want anything else.  Food was a little goofy.  He did eat Rich’s roast beef – forget the name in “juice”.  He didn’t like the cereal, so the next day we had donuts, and a bag of chips went down between him and Rich.  It was a good cue from his mom – we’d asked and it turned out Mountain Dew and Orange pop were just right.  Probably got him a little sugared up.  It’s hard coming into a situation where there is new food being presented.  Sometimes it’s best to stay with the premade stuff. 

He said he’d like to come back and that’s the part we want to here.  LOVE THAT KID!

It WAS a very special Weekend!

Not sure what else is going on.  I don’t think we had such a good session with Dr. Marvin this week – neither session.  The first one with 20 minutes left to go, we asked if we could go early, because we felt really really slow and boring and had nothing to say, but was concerned over wasting his time.  I think that was the right way to go, but then when we hinted we had nothing to say on Thursday he wasn’t so quick to let us go.  The resident doctor had called us back the day before and told us about the diabetes … we hadn’t picked up the part of needing to get shots of insulin.  But, we were incredibly down.  I think for a good 45 minutes Annemarie was out and we were like sliding in and out of her very dark world where she preferred that we just give up and die.  I know this doesn’t make sense to most people because they aren’t Multiple, but these kinds of drastic changes are very familiar to us.  She’s not as intune to things happening like Austin being her and the system sets it in such a way that he would never see that kind of depression, but on the other hand, there has to be time to let out those kinds of feelings and thoughts too and we’re appreciable to Dr. Marvin for those times. 

Not even Rich has a clue that there’s someone inside that is that depressed.  I think there was just a lot of physical reality that we had to accept this week that was very difficult.  Austin got tucked away in a safe place and it’s just now we’re starting to remember some of the good space we were in with him.  Lot’s of sleeping between then and now. 

There was another LITTLE good thing.  Rich came home a little bit ago before going to his mothers because he’d forgotten her medicine here.  We told him that last week we’d gotten on the scale and had weighed exactly 300.0 lbs.  We didn’t tell him that at the time, but this afternoon right before he got home, we got on the scale and it was 294.7.  This is NOT to say that is a great weight, but to not be in the 300’s is major and it seemed we were going on the way down.  So we’re going to need dealing with that in our reality net too.  The Resident doctor also didn’t check our weight either of the two days we were there.  We guessed 302, but this is a nicer number. 

We’re trying not to be very argumentative with Rich and food.  We did ask after the doctor left for a moment on Thursday to have Rich come in while we were talking to the pharmacist the doctor had set-up.  She talked about both medicine and food and Rich was able to ask questions.  The most I got was that sugar and carbs were no longer our friends.  I like sugar and Rich likes carbs … so new territory has to be carved out.  So now we’re practicing with grapefruits and oranges when we get hungry and he got us some sugar free ice cream sandwiches.  He was concerned about our serving proportions.  It should help …

When she got to the part of talking about the needle/insulin … we found ourselves in a very bad space where we were understanding, but not understanding at the same time.  We were trying to handle the concept of having to take a shot every morning in the stomach … and we just shook our head … she said something about us being responsible, and the next thing said was … no Dr. Marvin and Rich help us be responsible, but it doesn’t come naturally.  We told her about not learning self-regulation when we were two, and we still have problems doing the things we want to or should be doing because it is affecting us at all different ages and levels of responsibility.  I don’t know if she understood it, but she did seem to back down a bit saying we’d give the other medicine a try.  I didn’t think she had too much confidence, but it doesn’t make sense to progress if the “patient” isn’t going to be cooperative.  Again, we’d like to talk to Dr. Albright.  She doesn’t seem to see us often, but we’re more confident with her decisions.  Ok, I know this is a repeat!

Little things are already changing.  I don’t get my regular ice cream for dessert, less snacking, and no more treats going to Dr. Marvin’s.  He has a vending machine outside his office.  Things like that – we are just not asking Rich for the $1.  We both know what has to happen there.  The feelings we are having are very sad feelings.  We’ve known for a long time that Annemarie is tied to food … so in this sense there is a feeling that all of us have to help her.  And, it’s not going to be easy.  We’re pretty sure of that.  I’m guessing there will be a lot more anger and depression issues brought up with Dr. Marvin. 

I don’t know how he gets through time with us when we are like we were … very sullen and moody and we say very words.  In-between long pauses, we remain silent and in our own heavy world though most times when Dr. Marvin does interject … he’ll at least get an answer that is very few words.  Or, he might get a shake or nod of the head.  Annemarie doesn’t usually talk to anyone in the outside world including Rich.  Rich has a hard time being with her because he just wants her to feel better … and at that feel better so he doesn’t feel bad.  He’s not a very competent helper at that level.  He’s too impatient.  Dr. Marvin has patience, but it is harder for us too because we have to give Annemarie time which seems deadening to us.  Just long pauses where she is feeling or thinking, but is not being real communicative. 

We know some of the words that get used like dark, quiet and lonely, but we don’t have full images of what she is feeling … we just have a sense of what WE would feel like hearing what she’s feeling.  Like I can worry over her, be more cautious and conscious of her, but I can’t just go in and change the way she feels.  I think that a lot of the sleeping that is happening this week is our best means of taking care of her.  It helps us handle the dark feelings, and then it takes some of the pressure she is feeling off of us so we can negotiate in the world again.  This being able to write right now is a very big thing.  This last couple of days if we’re not sleeping we are checking FB, but that seems to be about it.  We’re not real active in talking to others, but it’s somehow comforting for us to know how others are doing and to add a nice thought here or there – sort of “protecting” our world by adding good thoughts.  I think this is at our own personal level of ability when we’re feeling really depressed.  It feels nice to skim past people who are “making-it” and it feels good to know there are others going through problems and as one of many can add our best wishes and prayers. 

I wish we weren’t as sullen as this … just seems the color of our world right now. 

Hmm had to take a little break.  We had an orange cut into 1/8ths.  It makes us sticky, but according to the plate the pharmacist was saying of the new Food groups – that I could have basically as many fruits and vegetables as we wanted.  Blah!

I was being treated for diabetes before and I liked NOTHING about it!  I’m having a hard time thinking of it as serious.  I know we were better a few moments ago, but I’m not so fine with it now!


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!! So Let's get going :)

Friday, February 14, 2014 @ 9:19 am

Good morning!  This is where it all starts.  Well … at least first – Happy Valentine’s Day!!!  Rich and us ate out yesterday afternoon and then hmm played around J  It was a good day and we were on our best behavior.  We’d been giving him some static in the days leading up to things because we have been in a relationship for twenty years and still are not married.  It usually plays itself out the week of Valentine’s, and then as normal … we just have to get over it and plow ahead.  This is the not funnest part of the year I think … even though we let up on it toward the actual day because we don’t see it coming anywhere down the road, then it’s like Valentine’s Day is ok, but nothing real special. 

Rich had gotten us some flowers back on Super Bowl Sunday, so we didn’t want any new flowers, because then he would think the old flowers should be thrown away, but we get attached to them.  Don’t want to see that happen.  I think that’s pretty much it of our Valentine’s … we did send him a card, but when he opened it he said – that’s not going online, right?  Yes dear L

So the REAL big news of the day is that Austin is coming over today.  We’ve just started to be picking up.  We started the washer and dryer, and took care of the clean and dirty dishes.  We figured that we better do our writing since that seems the best way to carry on through the day with getting things done.  It’s about 9:30 am now … and we’re figuring we SHOULD figure out what’s next to do.  That be the way things get done, right?

I think we’re still on the clutter part.  Things have to be picked up maybe starting with the kitchen table and the area around that.  I have to move the two fans that seem to be blocking things and get them out maybe to the sunroom.  I think I have to move a chair there too.  Thinking also maybe about moving the coat rack into that corner?  Shoot that where the pop is too, BUT it would help to get coats up instead of hanging around on all my chairs … that’s really a big turn-off for us.   Rich is saying that my quilt cutting mat and such should probably come down too, but we’re not as excited about that.  To be fair, I THINK we can move it in one sweep when it is time.  All the fabric can go on top the mat, but I might want something to do as Austin is talking to us.  I DO know we have to clear the table for eating, but that might be one of the later things. 

SOOOO.  I guess the first is to look into all those factors by the table and see what we can do. 

AHA!  Rich might be fixing finally the toilet seat YAY!!!!  We were hoping that that would happen before Austin got here … thinking it’s then a good deal.  The old one had a crack

So far so good.  We stopped to talk to Linda for a few moments, but then went right on to the next thing.  We had done the table, pop cases and the coat hanging rack, and then we folded some clothes and picked up in the sitting room, living room and bedroom.  WooHOO!  Moving along!

Hmm tried to make the bed and figured it was going to need washing too.  Blah!  Don’t think this is all happen before 2:45 pm when we pick-up Austin.  We do have things moving right along.  Still have to finish washing and putting away … probably start the dishwasher when Rich is through with lunch, that’s not too much … make the bed AND vacuum/sweep.  Think that’s really about it … maybe check the bathrooms once more.  Hmm and there is some fabric on the guest bed.  Better move that!  I think also we should have our popcorn before we vacuum this area.  I think we’re doing pretty good … we still have four hours.  YAYY!!! Didn’t do the math but figuring things are happening.  I really much know how to clean … just don’t get to it every day.

I think I got about 15 minutes before we have to do anything?  I think the vacuum isn’t too bad, but do dislike when Rich stops during the day to turn on the damn TV.  HMPF!   That’s what headphones are for though, right?

Haven’t thought too much of anything happening except Austin being here and cleaning.  Well, we did go through our email and a bit of facebook this morning.  Most important thing besides the regular way your friends lives ebb and flow was that Ralph Waite died.  He is known more for being the father on “The Waltons,” but more recently we’ve been watching him as the father to Gibbs on NCIS.  He’s going to be missed.  I know a few others have passed like Shirley Temple, but we were more interested in him. 

Most of the TV viewing we’ve been doing has been watching the Olympics with Rich.  That’s what he finally settled on a few moments ago.  He’s been taping the shows so we could watch at will.  That was a good idea.

We’ve watched figure skating, skiing and snowboarding the most, and we haven’t seen bobsledding yet.  It’s been very exciting as I believe millions and millions of people around the world are saying.  My latest thought is that I appreciate the Russian skating team for bringing bag Gold medals for the Russians … before it had been a dynasty.  This is not to say I don’t cheer for the Americans, just I like to watch the really really good stuff and they have a certain amount of style … Although, I didn’t understand them skating to “Jesus Christ Superstar.” It is just a difference of religiosity.  Last night they had the guys that do Alpine and Nordic skiing as the same sport.  First everyone gets a chance to air jump off wickedly high platform, and then they sail and land.  The farthest at that then gets the better position on the Nordic take-off.  I would have never made, but did feel confusingly close to the Nordic skiers.  They had them winding up and back from a 2.5K track in and out of the stadium – so for the 10 K they were brought in front of big crowds.  It’s a different idea because usually the people are in the woods or golf course or something where they don’t get crowds cheering them on.  I think I would have missed the feeling of winding through the woods.  It’s a very beautiful sport.

Ahh just got done with folding some clothes and vacuuming at least a couple of rooms.  We did the sitting room and the dining area.  Still need to do four more rooms … eh … we got it!  Just gotta build up our back again.  J  We checked pop for Austin with his Mom – Rich had asked so we’re thinking he’s getting ready to go to the store.  He had taken a long nap after his early lunch so hoping he’s up to it ok. 

Good good!  We got our Valentine’s picture up too!  We found the one we like of Rich and us – it was taken at his formal dinner with the fishing guys.  He got us both with very nice smiles J  It’s a couple years old now, but will do the trick.  We gave it a few hearts and a Happy Valentine’s Day Banner, and then left it in Facebook.  I like to share that kind of stuff, but we also like it when we go back through time looking at the pictures, words and stuff that we have something to remember the time with.  I love that part of Facebook – having the timeline.

We also sent it to Rich … he’s like ok deeeear, yes it’s a nice picture …. But, then he might be wondering what is happening with all the silly Valentines thoughts.  It’s not the first card we sent him.  He said I couldn’t put up the first.  *sigh*

Ok, moving along … we did some things for Rich before he left, and we got out the litter box and garbage.  YAYYYY … moving along – companywise!  It’s now 12:45 – so we got two hours left – AND in about an hour we are going to want to take our shower.  We’ll wait for the next load to go through … We actually have one more that SHOULD be in today and one more that COULD be in, but probably isn’t.  The last time I just forgot about taking things out of the washer and dryer so we had to start fresh.  I know … it happens

Just took another run of the place.  Picked up the fabric in Austin’s room, changed bathroom towels and found a few other scattered things to put away … like if Rich buys pants, then SHOULDN’T the labels be deposited in the garbage?  NOOOO… we’re not talking about major things … just getting things handled the way I like them.  Next should be the kitchen floor, and then the sunroom, and then the living room, and THEN the bedroom.  PSWOOH!  Lots to do yet.  Anything else besides moving laundry through?  Dishwasher is started, we said that yes?  Think hard now?  Could bring a duster through the rough spots.  Hmm, can do that now.

There there … seems like the worst spots are where there is electronics.  Must gather there like a magnet?

Moving on … hhhhmmm Medicine … ok, that’s taken … all the little trips leave me too tired for the big trips where we’re vacuuming rooms.  We gotta get a handle on that.  We’ve got to do the laundry room while doing the kitchen, hmm, think we can do the bedroom and LR in one turn … there’s just a small section that really has to get done. 

Do OTHER people get to think of anything different when they have guest coming over?  I guess it doesn’t speak much to - how we live normally.  Really not far from picking it up … Just there is always something to do.  I might want to bring the dust mop through the kitchen too.  That would be if there were REALLY extra time, hmm? 

Austin hasn’t been here like for 3 months.  We always want to put out a good impression.  Yup yup … good thinking!
Still have about ten minutes.  Is there anything actually to write about?  I don’t know if I said it, but we had Dr. Marvin yesterday like normal.  Rich is still bringing us in which is a very big relief.  We should be getting our driver’s license very soon though because he has an operation date.  He’s going to have a right hip replacement on March 4th.  We just found out a couple of days ago.  I don’t think he’s close to processing it all.  We’ll let those thoughts go to his own pace, but I hope he starts calling a few people who might worry about him to talk it out … think that’s part of the getting ready process as well as trying to put together things to run without you.  It will mean major shopping before he goes, but even at that, the local Arts Grocery store delivers.  He’s going to have to stay home pretty much, but they say the recovery part is just using the movements for everyday life.  I don’t think they want his knees higher than his lap when sitting, and I think he’s going to need a grounded walker for a while.  Thinking recovery now days is like 3-4 weeks.  We know our sweetheart … he’s going to need LOTS of babying J

One of the subjects that came up this week – most likely because it’s Valentines is the question of not being married after 20 years.  We had to concede that buying a house together is a very big piece of that picture, but not quite carrying the slope.  Rich tends to think if we talk about marriage it is like persecuting him.  He generally doesn’t jump to things until pushed, but he’s a long ways from wanting another wife.  He loves our relationship and thinks negative things about being married.  I have to respect his wishes, but still it’s a long toll on a girl – not to be “taken.”  *sigh*  Maybe it will be better after we play with my princess Barbie dolls over the weekend? OK … letting that one go too.

I think we had wrote and then left a link as to what we’d worked on over the weekend.  I haven’t gotten back to finish some of our thoughts there after people had responded, so don’t know where that is, but we knew today would be busy – and that we’d be unable to focus on it just yet.  Maybe tomorrow or Sunday when Austin is working on his computer.  Oh yeah – teenager?  OH SURE Hehehe the computer is coming!  When he’s here at the house … and it was the same for the girls, I always feel like we are sharing that experience, because as much as they are on their computers or phones, we’re doing the same.  Makes the talking time special, but that part is too.

Ok, another run.  We got the kitchen and laundry room floor done – well vacuumed … still gotta mop specially through the parts by the ledge.  I’m thinking someone dropped ice cream on the floor!??

Ok, like Rich doesn’t really eat too much ice cream, but maybe the cats?  They like licking the bowl!

Just ten minutes this time … then the sun room.  I know tired list, right?

Hey!  It looks like the group has it’s next podcast up!  This is the one Bluejay Young from Astraea’s is interviewing another Multiple of the group named Klio from the Rhymers.  I will listen to it after the shower.  Just trying to stay fairly calm.  I know that Rich is going to come home tired with groceries.  Trying to plan time to help him, just we’re saving ourselves for what we’ve already got to do.  It might mean that I should clear off some of the clothes off the counter.  Just don’t want to do that until we get the vacuuming done and progressed the net load of clothes.  The dryer is colored and the washer is blanket and sheets.  THEN one more short colored load.  That will probably be started before we leave and finished after we get back.  It probably means that the bed linen isn’t going to get made before we go for Austin, but worse things have happened.  Right?

We’re doing pretty good on the piano this week, though we haven’t played yet today.  Maybe later … It would be really neat to see if Austin had any interest on the piano, but otherwise, we might have to take some time with it … like in the morning when he’s still sleeping.  We can put it on very low.  Hehehe – not so sure he has Rich’s tolerance to listen for long periods of repeating.  You know?!!

Good good … got the sunroom vacuumed …  AND, we got the next load folded.  This means theoretically, we could get the blanket/sheets dried AND get the last load of colors in the dryer … BUT, we’re going to have to work harder if we’re getting all those clothes put away.  That’s going to be a chore.  Not sure There will be enough time with shower and vacuuming one more.  Maybe we’ll get things put away, except the pieces that get hung up.  Running down on time and we want a few moments to stabilize before getting in the shower.  Breathe, Breathe …  Don’t want to be caught up in Rich stuff before jumping in the shower, AND we really want to do the last vacuuming too.  But, it would mean better chance of getting in car with wet hair.  Hmm, gotta think clearly.  How do people do all this? 

Well except the people that have maids.  Not thinking we’re ready for that yet.  We kinda like putzing around OUR OWN home!  We should be looking for dates now … think we’re close to one year anniversary dates for the house.  AHA!  Our bid was accepted February 10th and today is a year later February 14th.  We closed on March 1, 2013 and we moved in formally on March 25th.  What a whirlwind all that was … not only closing, but moving stuff AND our minds to be living in a new home.  This is where we’re at …

Little less by a lot of standards, but for us – it meant OWNING a home W/O a mortgage.  We still pay $440 a month to rent the land, but we’re pretty happy with that too.  At least we have everything we need here in utilities, neighbors and yard.  Happy happy.  Good day to see it now too!  BECAUSE … all the picking up is done … we finished the vacuuming of the bedroom and living room including cat fur on the couches. 

Better get in the shower, now, right?  Don’t you think we need a lot of confirming to get from one place to another?  I really do like this kind of day when we do it … mostly because the house being in good shape makes us feel better, but also because it means that in a few hours we’re going to get to see Austin.  Not sure if he’s into Olympics – guessing not, but we’ll see how things turn out after we get him!!!!!  WooHOO!

Just now we have to do laundry and shower, right?  Was there anything else?

AHA!  We’re moving along!  We put most the clothes away, but still need to hang up the shirts.  BUT, everything else was put away AND we got our shower done.  It’s 2:30 pm now and Rich is saying that it will only take an hour, so we’re going to leave 15 minutes earlier at 3 pm.  Hmm, good timing … dryer stopped and the washed load was ready … I asked Rich if he could help us in 15 minutes to make the bed.  He only got enough groceries for the weekend – so he put them away while I finished the clothes.  Well except the load in the dryer.  Just need some time to rest again.  It is a process.  Hmm, the dryer is thumping … we put in our slippers with the rubber bottoms … I think it will work.  The upper is fabric sturdy enough for washer and dryer.  I think the dishes are dry by now too, but we’ll wait on that … too much … just gotta get ready make the bed get FORMALLY dressed WITH shoes and then I think we’re going to be ready.  Might want to bring our backpack with us too.  Austin knows I usually travel with the computer.  Plus now we’re traveling with our music.  Just never know when it will be on the top of the list to study!

Rich was a LITTLE presumptuous.  He said that after he dies he’s coming back as my Grandson, because then he’ll always have a clean house.  BLAH!  Ok, Mister … takes two to tangle!  I really get frustrated with the clutter.  Not always Rich, but sometimes people just have to get in the habit of putting things away!  You know!  Hmm, looking at my Spreadsheet project still sitting on my desk and the fabric I’m cutting still on the dining room table.  Can’t complain ALWAYS about just what Rich is doing.  It is a REALLY nice feeling though having things caught up.  I think I’d still like to wash the kitchen floor if we get a chance, but that was a project that was too demanding in the time we had available.  I don’t think many people really study the kitchen floor, but I KNOW it needs it!  Ok, girls – lets move on??

Anything else to say with this last few moments before the next run? 


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Trifecta - with the kids!

Monday, February 10, 2014 @ 10:54 am

Good morning.  This is just us.  We’ve been pretty fluttery up to this time s
o we’re going to try concentrating a bit more with the writing while squeaking in some housework and maybe even other things?  Wouldn’t be the strangest thing?    We turned on Adele … we’ll see if she can do the trick. 

We watched like millions of people last night the Beatles show – for their 50 years anniversary of being on the Ed Sullivan show.  It was pretty good, but we were listening for the woman who kept saying how much time before the Paul and Ringo reunited.  I just wanted to hear them sing.  There were a few others I liked, but mostly I just wanted to hear “The Beatles.”  I very much liked that part.  Of course we watched it with Rich in bed and that sweetened the deal J

We’ve had a VERY good weekend we’re calling the Trifecta.  We saw or experienced all three of the boys or their family.  We didn’t actually spend time with Maury because he was at work, but felt delighted to be spending time with Nikki, Jade and Jasmine.  I feel so at home with them.  But, that’s where it was ending, not starting.

It started with a call from Thom – in Japan.  Pswhoo!  Whatta way to wake up!  We talked a little about what he was doing as to be in the office now and when he’d be in the states for more training.  There was a little relationship talk, but mostly we talked about the house he got and the situations around there including money to be getting along in his new country.  He had been there once before while WITH the Marines – so now it is like jumping into his niche already.  It was a nice long talk and it was super crazy good!

Then we met Joe and Cari at their house, and we went to Flattop.  It is a restaurant where you put together your own food – meat and vegetables and then they cook it on a big flattop grill and bring it to you.  It was good, but not as good as the company.  We tried to get caught up with some of the things they are doing too.  A lot has to do with all the things that keep their schedules so busy.  It was a present for Joe’s birthday … and just gosh darn fun!

AND THEN… we went to Nikki and Maury’s.  We had asked if we could help with the cookies.  They had thousands of boxes to deal with.  OMG don’t know how they moved all those boxes.  They had already pulled out the boxes from Saturday to Sunday morning that were going to the other Brownies in Isa’s troop, and then we helped with Isa’s order.  She had sold HUNDREDS of cookies!  Lucky Maury and Nikki got extras, because we saw the results after their dog Lady checked out the cookies too!  Hehehe not enough to get sick, but be pretty happy!  I know they will take care of it … but in the meantime, it was a VERY nice day.  Nikki made grilled cheese sandwiches and soup for everyone and we got to sit down at the table and talk to everyone.  Rich came with this time, so that was really helpful.  It didn’t take too long to get the cookies done and it was just plain fun! 

And, to top things off?  We get to see Austin this weekend.  He’s going to be staying over the weekend and we’re planning on loving that to pieces too.  Just LOVE LOVE LOVE having family!  REALLY NICE!

That’s pretty much the weekend.  I know there was time in-between so other things were happening, but those were the most fun.  We did watch the Olympics with Rich in the evenings.

One of the other things that had gotten done last weekend was that we’d written the “Interview” that was posted on the last blog entry.  Now that it is that much later, we’re thinking it didn’t make the cut.  One of the Multiples told the other Multiples through the board that it wasn’t right.  Not in those words though.  I think she thought of it being better not getting into the details and length we wrote in and that she didn’t seem to like that we’d been based in another system – trauma-based.  We took it to bed with us and have decided to pull the contribution.  We don’t feel as if we want to truncate it or change our message.  Pretty much it is OUR message and if that conflicts with group thoughts, then we’re much more interested in pulling it back than having it switched to be more accommodating.  It isn’t that we didn’t know too that it was long, but that’s the kind of people we are.  Often times when we write and particularly edit many parts contribute to fill in the blank spots.  We’ve always known about our detail-mindedness.  I’d sat on the Interview for about a week and tweaked it so it was how we wanted it. 

I think the group has every right and responsibility to attend to their ideals, but I represented more me than their group though because I thought it was that kind of invitation.  It wasn’t though what they were apparently looking for me.  There is some hurt feelings, but nothing over wrought.  It’s sorta like a “yes/no” question.  Yes, you want it AS IT IS, or No you don’t.  They didn’t direct their criticism of the piece directly, but yes I have access to the group posts so could read between the lines.  I don’t want to make this a big issue … we’ll try other ways of supporting the group, but not that one.  I’ve been lazy and had put aside publishing the written copy of Dr. Marvin’s talk – it seemed to have taken a lot out of me.  After this week we’ll try to get back into it.  We will be zooming through this week with Dr.  Marvin appointments and with Austin coming. 

So that’s pretty much there.  I hope no one thinks we’re less friendly for it … just an artistic difference.  Still love the group and people within it.

It’s now 3:44 pm and we’re back.

We wrote a long note that included the people that were having their conversations in the group, so people saw what we were responding too.  It took a bit like everything we do, and then we posted it in the group … basically, took our medicine and then took a LONG nap.  We just got up.  There was a response note, but at this moment we have to move over to some other things.  Sometimes we take things personally and this time we’re trying not to.  Just time to move on.

I wish I could tell you of other things happening in the day, but I think you pretty much have it.  Rich is in the sitting room on the phone, but we have the earphones on … we changed the music from Adele to “Music for Hope.”  It’s something we like to hear in helping us be calmer. 

One of the reasons why the nap was so nice … was well one, because we woke up and had felt calmer because of the medicine, and for two we took the nap in our bedroom.  Over the weekend, Rich put up one of the curtains in the bedroom.  It really does open the window … as we stated all along most of the curtain is on the outer 2/3rds of the space the window/wall takes, so the middle third is completely open to the sun.  We’ve been noticing that our kitties have been position themselves for napping around where the sunbeam is hitting the bed.  I love it.  There is a much warmer feeling of the room because it’s better tied together and is peaceful to our minds.  I love it when things come together!

It was hard waiting for the curtain to be put-up, but was so grateful that Rich took the initiative to do it himself.  He still has one more window to go, but I really have to sit back and wait until it happens … same with a broken toilet seat.  It’s under mock repair now, but we asked only that it be done before our Grandson gets here.  He has been taking weeks with it, but we’re really hoping that it happens … he has the new seat … just has to make the magic happen J

Yesterday was another poor day for his mother, and today he wouldn’t even talk about it.  The brief story is that she’s making too many calls where she just calls people – especially family and yells and screams about things that aren’t true.  Every time she does it, I think she makes it more true in her head, but doesn’t change the reality for anyone else.  They are becoming nuisance calls though and her step-children decided to respond by calling the police.  Really nothing more that Rich could do about it … There has to be some way she’s held responsible for her choices.  So the police were out there again last night.  At the end it was just another night of frustration.  She yelled and yelled, refused to go to the hospital, and the hospital wouldn’t take her because the police told them she wasn’t eating.  Apparently, it’s ok not to do that.  This time she didn’t threaten suicide, so maybe she learned something from the last time the police were out.  Don’t know.  One way or another it’s a very poor situation.  Eventually, she will outdo herself and have to be taken care of, but on the other side of that what she is fighting for most is being able to be with her husband.  She feels the other side of the family is taking him away from her and doesn’t understand they are taking care of him – and probably keeping him from some of her craziness.  She’s lonely and although most often is yelling that she’s throwing him out of the house with belongings on the yard … she hasn’t actually done that yet.  The thing will move along at her pace. 

We don’t like what is happening all around, but our biggest task is just to support Rich.  He’s been very frustrated and this has been going on for about 8-9 months.  It’s just day-to-day.  As to Rich he’s feeling all the frustration around him and holds tight to what is practical … he can’t change his mother, but he tries to be installing the situation so that she understands her actions.  I can’t say its working … at this stage she’s only concerned with the things in her mind.  She’s not interested in the reality of others.  So I guess here too it’s time to move on.

Hmm, feeling better!  We posted a picture that’s at the top of our page with the words “Trifecta!”  It’s the good feelings we’re getting from having been with family over the weekend.  We wrote on FB –

Just wanted to say something before I lose the spell of the weekend ... I wanted to say Thanks to all my sons and their families. I got to talk to Thom in Japan on Friday morning, then we went out with Joe and Cari for his birthday lunch in the afternoon, and then Maury arranged with us to be at his place helping Nikki with girl scout cookies on Sunday and we got a wonderful lunch from it between grilled cheese, soup and GRANDDAUGHTERS! To make it better we're seeing Austin this weekend (Grandson). It's such a happy time for us. Thank you for making all this possible! Absolutely LOVE family!!!    

It was such a good time … crazy lucky in life!  If I were really lucky now Austin might be interested in seeing his cousins, but we’re going to play that low key.  We would love to have All four granddaughers and their parents out on Saturday, but it is more Austin’s time and with all his changes, we want things to be good for him here and last time it was too much for him.  Think he wanted more time with his Dad alone and it wasn’t going that way so I don’t want to bring back those memories.  I think the first time he met the girls was one of the best because they were all sidetracked with Maury and Mikes anticas playing poker something that they could all do.  It’s been harder matching their interests.  Maybe down the line?  Right now we just want to make the absolute most of the weekend time with him.

There’s not much better having kids – OTHER THAN GRANDCHILDREN!!!!!

I hope we never lose the magic feelings we have when we are with them.  You know?  Ok, going to get teary-eyed here.  Better be moving on – do want to say one thing in particular though – Jade – keep thinking about what you want to do – try out everything and FIND the perfect match!!!!  She’s looking at school and career moves as a high school freshman and I LOVE it! 

*sigh* all is well again! 

Hmm, maybe not as well as if we cleaned up the kitchen for Rich?  Are we finally to that point of relaxation enough so that we’re willing to do something more physical?  Ok, let’s not rush that, but we’re thinking of that ok?  It’s just after 4:30.  What would we do?  Maybe hmm, thinking we left close where we shouldn’t, BUT on the bright side, Rich got a new pair of pants, AND some underthings!  It was something started with one of his sons at Christmas, but he had to exchange sizes.  Ok, like that only took?  Hmm, YAY only 47 days!  It could have been much worse *giggle*  It was hard because I had like 6-7 days before he ran out of the essential stuff.  I’d like to think I’d wash clothes more than that, but really you wait until the laundry baskets are full, right?  ANYWAY … good news there!

AND, did you hear that girl scout cookies came in?  OMG are they great stuff.  I have a lot of appreciation over Isa and her family with what they made of the sale.  She’s going to learn being a super saleswoman.  AND, it’s not over … there were many hundred extra boxes purchased because they had no doubt they could sell the packages and it benefited the troop and the GS in general.  It takes a lot of effort to be that motivated, and I can’t help but appreciate there all effort.  GOOD STUFF!!!

Ahh there … finally did a “good Ann!”  I cleaned up the kitchen.  It took a bit of the day to get me there, but am happy that it actually still happened.  We did a few extra things in that Rich is working to cleaning the coffee pot – because of our water sediments it gets clogged up even using the filtered water.  That’s a little scary.  And, we cleaned out the ice tray.  About 4/5 had gotten connected and some of the ice was old, so we dumped all that out.  A couple more “little” extras and we’ll be on our way J

We did listen to Linda this morning, but she said that she’s got her sewing girls this evening so we’re thinking that she’s gone for that.  She also had an excellent weekend because it was her birthday and she spent time with her kids and grandchildren.  Must have been that kind of a week!

We haven’t gotten to the part of practicing too much for piano, but maybe with the nap we took today, we can do that a little after dinner.  Rich has been in the sitting room most of the day.  He did see his mother and do some grocery shopping.  She isn’t claiming to have remembered what happened and still on her same tired argument … I think she needs a magic fairy, because she essentially only gets one or two ideas and until she makes that happen she gets stuck – no matter all the wrong things she does to get there.  *sigh another story, but we’re thinking we’re done with that one for the day.

Maybe in our own way we’re not much different.  Like until we get the dishes washed and clothes cleaned and such … we have to go back and back again until we can rightfully be moving on. 

We’re thinking we’d like to do a little bit more with the writing to get us better regulated.  The same kinds of thoughts came up

Uh oh … she on her thing again … she’s mad because her step-daughter blocked the calls.  AND, it sounds like from Karen Bud was at the surgeons again as part of the skin grafting process.  I hope he’s doing better, but doesn’t change the feeling of being of victim by Rich’s Mom.  I’m saying she’s feeling a victim, because they are putting their foot down on her harassment of the household.  But, also Rich stated to them he would like Bud – staying at Karen’s to call his wife, and then he told her she can’t yell at him.  Pretty sure that’s going to be a muck too.  Just seems in life you have to follow common decency rules where people don’t get by yelling and screaming and making threats.  Her thing today has been that she’s going to get rid of him and rent out his room so she has company.  I guess that’s her idea of ending her marriage.  It’s a very confusing thing to have her want and then hate him so badly – or, his family.  They are probably not the best communicators in that they’ve blocked themselves emotionally from her too – don’t seem to care what happens to her, but she does not make it easy for them.  Rich seems like a middle-man now.  He’s had Karen calling to yell at him and he’s complained back to her.  Just a vicious circle/cycle.

Rich is making dinner now … giving him time to calm down again.  We’ll probably go though and just sit with him.  I think he’s working with Turkey leftovers.  He’s got a hard life L


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Let's try February?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 @ 10:31 AM

Good morning.  It has been a while AGAIN since writing and we’re trying to balance that out, but it seems there is so much to be doing most days that we’re still fighting time to be THE one to be writing.  I know, I know … other things too.  I think our main things are writing, sewing, Multiples, piano, Domestic Goddess and Facebook – not in any particular order.  We’ve been working on a few projects.  We will include here our piece on Interviewing for Multiplicity 101.  Ready?  It takes a few moments to read.  Sorry about that.  Just you know … we write long J

Interview with the Ann’s

~What is your education like?”  When we were a body age of 18, we worked on a degree in Human Development from St. Mary’s University of MN.  We completed the first three years which included a term in Norway at the University of Oslo.  We then got married and had our three boys.  And then, when we were at the body age of about 40, we went back to the University in MN and completed our BA in Psychology. At about 50 we went back twice to an online University to get our Masters in Adult Educational Psychology specializing in e-learning, technology and design.  We weren’t able to complete the Masters due to challenges we were having handling time, responsibility and stress.  We have a body age now of 54.

~What type of work do you do or have done?  For the first 15 years of raising the kids we did volunteer work through their school district, managed real estate that we owned, and we did office management for our husband’s Victorian house painting business.  When we had to work through our divorce agreement, we had to be rehabilitated to work in the work force.  We eventually became the production coordinator for a disabled workshop of about 100 individuals as well as taking care of payroll for about 300 people.  After we left that position and had finished the degree in psychology, we worked for twelve years as a “Qualified Human Service Professional” (QHSP) for an Adult Day Training Program that served those with intellectual disabilities.  We did counseling and social work for about 24 adults with intellectual disabilities, trained staff, helped to manage the program, and specialized in the program’s accreditation.  We then became overwhelmed with the work; people and stress involved in the “outside” world.  We had a series of physical and mental breakdowns, but also insight.  For the last two years we’ve been on disability.  We now work on balancing our life through our interpersonal relationship with Rich and family, taking care of our home as a “Domestic Goddess,” blogging about our life, learning about Multiplicity and figuring out how to best support the community, as well as relaxing through quilting and piano.

~How did you get your name? It depends though most of the naming was done between us – no externals.  Sarah, for example, was named after our best girlfriend from 8-10 years old who had died.  I (Corey) was named from a Harry Chapin song that was sad and lonely. (like me after the original Sarah’s death) It was called, “Corey’s Coming.”  Many of us have taken different aspects of our given Christian name such as variations of Mimi, Annemarie, Anna, Marie, Anniemi, Ann, Ayn and believe it or not “Henry.”  When people used to yell for us as teenagers that we had a phone call (prior to cell phones) it sounded to callers as "Henry" (Ann Marie, became Amry, which finally became Henry).  Henry is the only male in a female system.  Other names are “Crystal, Gracie, Lissa, Kelsie, Jamie, Kate and Jessie.”  Most of these latter names were names that were in our thoughts frequently enough to be claimed by one of us – so it was possible that different individuals created their own names.   Oh two last people, we can’t forget – the twins (have aged to about 10 years old).  The one is Casie, and the second is KC.  Collectively, they are known as the “Casies.”

~What kind of system do you have?  I think we have a traditional “trauma-based” system.  Our Grandfather was sexually abusive from near our birth to seven years old.  Our Mother and father were physically and emotionally abusive, and in particular my parents were very neglectful and centered on their own issues.  She is a narcissist and he had problems “under his alcoholism” like depression.  Both our father and Grandfather were alcoholics and were very dominating.  There are twenty of us in our system - though one, Annemarie, is considered our “core/soul” and we carry the belief of having lost one of our very first of us at birth.  Her name was Embry.  She was the only part to “leave.”  All our people were created from birth to 18 years of body age.  At that time we left the family house and stopped the unconscious process of creating parts.  We had survived childhood!  We believed that our mother was also sexually abused by her father.  She left us with her father to shop with my Grandmother while my Grandfather recuperated from a fall – he ran a business that cleaned the glass from skyscrapers.  There was a bitter/sweet relationship between Grandfather, Mother and daughter.  Our mother was very hateful and competitive.  It’s complicated.  Each of us within the system has been created to meet certain “personal” needs or survival goals.  And, now in general, we believe that the more time each has out in “real-time” – the better an opportunity to age through regular processes of growth or development – maturation – AND Trust!

~How do people work out the sharing of one body?  I think the priority of being out is in part centered on meeting expectations of ourselves, or the expectations of others around us.  We have trouble balancing time, and then for example with someone else like Rich - there might be an argument between (the expectant) Rich and a younger part – in that he might strongly suggest they can’t be out to confuse our five grandchildren aged 8-14. Most of the Grandchildren intellectually know we consider ourselves “multiple,” but none of the grandchildren really understand it yet because we are normal to them.  We will await their questions as they mature. There is always someone “sneaking-out,” but not at the conscious level of the external person, but yes sometimes there is a “jar…”  Our three sons are better at picking-up cues as to “body sharing.”  They’ve known anything they’ve asked questions about and more.  At one point, we realized they were teasing the Casies who were younger at the time.  The Casies would become upset or cry because one of the boys (others egging him on) would do things like put our favorite stuffed animal on top of a door where we couldn’t reach. Most often there is an adult or middle aged person fronting when younger people are out.  We’ve learned from very serious past mistakes, that outsiders or externals shouldn’t be trusted out alone with a younger more vulnerable person without someone responsible for “systemic” decisions. 

Safety trumps everything, but for the general things we do, we are not always able to control things like getting equal time for the piano players, the writers, those who want to impress Rich as Domestic Goddess, or more.  It can be frustrating and forces us to leave projects for periods of time before “we” are “back in control” of our own particular interests.  One doctor told us it’s like someone is always at the wheel, but not always able to control the ship.  Sometimes satisfaction or the feeling of having accomplished something will allow people to share turns with our body … if you’ve done well in your time out and feel somewhat accomplished, you are more apt to – turn over the ship.  Confusion, crankiness or feeling down will sometimes affect decision-making too.  Bottom line is that have to work with feelings, thoughts and behaviors with only one system equilibrium that needs to balance our sense of freedom as individuals and as a group.

~How do we communicate with one another? Most times it is a matter of an ongoing internal communication of talking to each other, making statements, and asking questions.  Such as “What would I like to do next?”  Anyone listening to the question can answer and pursue their wishes – and sometimes there is NOone that wants to answer the question.”  For example, “Who wants to clean the litter box?” NOONE!!!??  Sometimes there is a caveat like – anybody can do what they want (one thing at a time), BUT you have to get the litter box emptied first.  Time out can be sort of a hot potato.  We have been blogging (sending messages both internally and externally) pretty steadily for about eleven years - so we have a running account of the kinds of things the group have thought, felt or done.  If people internally are being quiet, then writing doesn’t get done.  I (Corey) do most of our blog writing and “question/answering” like through this interview, but if no one is providing me answers and being TOO individualistic, I get a little grouchy, and then it’s like “skip-it!”  

Marie (her age is timeless) and the elders Ann, Kate, Ayn and Jessie each help take leadership responsibility for the system.  Ann is the actual ex-wife and mother to three adult sons and now sews with Anniemi.  Kate leads over things like the Business of “Us,” Ayn is best at the psychology and “sense-making” of both us and external others, and Jessie is the ultimate boss and final decision maker in a tie – though she may not be out during common thought processes – she likes to surf the Internet and otherwise dream.  Jamie, Sarah and Henry take most responsibility for the internal kids, and the Kelsie/Lissa team does some of our best collective online/research work. Kate and Jamie do most of the editing work, and recently, Sarah, Lissa and the Casies are working on learning piano playing.  It is like different people have different responsibilities, strengths and challenges.  Everyone knows each other, but sometimes you hear things from the Casies, such as saying “that it is the fault of the “big people.”  It happens when they are not getting or doing something they want.  Usually, things get decided by group consensus and Kate generally holds the line with internal votes (sensed not counted).  She does more of the practical part of leadership where Jessie holds the more wistful, lofty goal-making skills and is more into the transitive processes of our selves through making choices available, and encouraging decision-making (with consequences), alongside training ourselves to be more self-regulating – something that was not constructive during childhood.

~How is it decided which one is fronting? I wish we knew the answer to this.  We have one person in the system we have considered the “old-fashioned” self-helper, Marie.  We think she is critical to our switching patterns, consciousness and reflective history.  Around, the more formal external world, we just try to maintain an adult (more observational/interactive) facade.  We try to maintain a “presence” that is easier for others around us to understand which often takes pressure off ourselves as being known by them which is individually “riskier.”  We are very adaptable to others, but when one is in “public” others are hiding under a cloak of invisibility as one of our previously-learned survival mechanisms.  There is another circle of external people at a secondary level that we’re close to – and at that level, people know about Multiplicity and might have some connection to our younger, middle, or older people.  At a secondary level, these externals might have some kind of understanding about our thought processes, curiousness, detail-mindedness, or our general behaviors/idiosyncrasies.  The variety of our people fronting is greater to the secondary group and they are given a wider berth in meeting more of ourselves.   There are always tests of “trust” and “safe barriers.”  And, then there is a final level that is known only to Rich, our partner or our psychiatrist Dr. Marvin.  We’ve spent most of the last 30 years with a psychiatrist or psychologist, particularly two psychiatrists.  They have had access to all parts other than Marie and have been extremely supportive and trustworthy.  Rich and us have been together for the last twenty years, and although not married – Very much best friends and partners.  With these particular two people we are able to work with needs of talking about our internal selves knowing others, but also have help with individual needs of anyone who might need or desire time out front.

No one responds to being “called-out to the front.”  Sometimes one person might be out, and at other times two or more.  We’ve never had all parts out at one time – and by out I mean engaged in the outgoing conversation or projects.  We consider the process as being on a stage with external people being in the audience.  Our front part – would be sitting on a tall stool talking, but she/he might have one or more others standing around her on the stage who can also be listening or interacting in the outgoing dialogue, or may remain silent.  Each on stage is picking-up direct information and responding to it mentally at their level of understanding the world.  It’s very normal in our system to listen and ask reflective questions.  So, knowing 3D-others happens more than them knowing us, unless we’re blogging about “our world," and then it is mostly all about us.  We can be very much an open book if others are inquisitive.  Actually, we turned one year of blogging into a published book. We still do a lot of fast skipping between parts – where people don’t “see the Multiplicity,” or understand what is happening to us internally, or how they are affecting us as “many” individuals.  The people closest to us usually call all of us Ann.  It's ok ... mostly.

~And, lastly - What is a typical day in your system?  It is hard to say.  We don’t go out to work and we enjoy most being inside our home.  Most days – seven days a week, we’d like to start about 5 am by checking in on our computer especially through email or Facebook – “checking-in” is also done periodically through the day.  We’d would like to practice the piano for about an hour or maybe a little more.  Then we would like to work through our blogging and being a Domestic Goddess.  It works really well for example to be blog writing and in-between use the washer and dryer, washing machine, or do vacuuming and such.  We can only stand/walk for about 8-9 minutes at a time, so there is a lot of resting/writing between tasks. Those two projects would ideally last until about 12-1 pm.  And, then we’d like to use the afternoon to be working on things we do with Multiplicity online.  Most important right now is to continue Dissociative Identity work utilizing an interactive Mindmap on dissociation through a program called, “The Brain.”  There is more information on that through our blog at - no spaces.  About 4:30 pm we like to take our shower and practice piano again for about 30-45 minutes before our Sweetie gets to making dinner.  He works from home, but is in and out – and we have to give him time without distractions so he can focus on his own business.  But, when it is time for dinner-making, we have a chance to actually be with him.  Then we’d eat, continue talking, or watch TV with him until 7-7:30 pm.  After that we’d be having a really great day if we could go into the sewing room and work on our quilting for a couple of hours.  About 9-9:30 pm we’d join our sweetie again and settle down – we specialize in giving 1 – 1 ½ hour back rubs :)  And, then last, he usually tucks us in because we usually fall asleep before he does – about 10:30 pm.   This is the general schedule – wish we could do it better and more consistently all the time - again self-regulation.  In addition, Tuesday afternoon and Thursday mornings, we make a 120 mile round trip into the city of Chicago to meet with our psychiatrist, Dr. Marvin, and Wednesday afternoons we receive piano lessons.  We’re closer to Three Blind Mice than Fur Elise!

 ~End of Interview

Ok, this is us again.  I know it gets a little busy, but again … that would be us.  AND, we’re not likely to be changing most of it.  We gave a good amount of time to the project earlier in the week – maybe Sunday, so we figured we need to put it down and be moving on.  I don’t think anyone really saw it in the group, but we asked Jazz in an email, and then she said she was going to go back and look for it.  Not sure if it’s acceptable and what stages it will go through next.  I think that Jazz is still doing the interviews, so it might be a matter of sketching out the intro and conclusion, and then setting-up a time to go over it on video through Skype.  Let’s hope it is that easy.  We’re really leery about being interviewed, but mostly due to the differences in speaking while recording and reading script trying to sound spontaneous.  I think it’s a common problem to anyone who has done it or thinks of doing it.  Even Dr. Marvin was challenged by it.  And, he is USED to talking in front of people.

Hmm, it seems that we’re never going to get going straight ahead.  Rich has been back and forth … to be fair he’s packing up a job he’s taking to a workshop so that has been a fair amount of movement and then there was the regular business of being Ann and getting the music stabilized and such.  I know big deal *sigh*  Just trying to relax.  I’d like to be in our own little world for a while.  Yes, it’s been a long time since writing.  There has to be a bit of a groove found … like how did we used to do things?  Focus?  Concentrate?  We’ll see. 

Maybe we are just getting clearance.  As soon as we know Rich is gone … it will be ICE CREAM!  Ok, yes we’re the one that just posted the picture of summer fruit, but one can catch the moment … and at this time of the year sweets best picked from the freezer!

Maybe we should move along here.  Usually … or at least lately we’ve been trying to do the clean-ups with the writing, but I’d like to establish ourselves as writing first before we get into something else because this feels like such a fragile connection so far.  Our mind is a little jumpy.  Looking ahead at the day we have the piano lesson coming up later in the afternoon.  We’re on our fifth lesson so far.  We’ll have to talk to Rich about signing up for the next six week period.  We don’t want to get behind and we’ve got a few costs coming up with Music books too.  Just don’t know if it is this week.  Maybe we should check our bank accounts again.  Hmm.  $4,080.40.  That includes the savings of about $1,600, and then $2,270 in the checking and $210 in the petty cash account.  That’s it … my whole financial future.  That reminds me we were doing some other stuff yesterday that we might have to get back into again today.  YEEKS!  Are we going there?

Basically, we’ve gotten Medicare through our disability that is going to be starting March 1, 2014.  So, we’ve been going through everything possible to figure those accounts.  It’s somewhere between we may or may not have Medicaid, and we may or may not need a Supplement insurance and Part D for Drugs.  The best notice of the last couple of weeks was that Dr. Marvin said that the account is so confused at UIC, that they had – or chose to wipe out our account and start from scratch.  We don’t know how that goes though with some of the money UIC sent to credit agencies because they’d gotten the account messed up.  For example, we gave them a check and though someone at UIC cashed it, it has NEVER gotten written up as paid on any of their accounts for us.  Dr. Marvin wrote out a cash receipt and we have that, but its about all.  I would like to tell them to give that back or fix our credit!  I know it doesn’t sound grateful.  He said the woman said that it would take them more in man hours than the value they would get collected from us *sigh*

One way or another, we still have to know what’s happening to our Medicaid account.  Right now Juliana the woman who was just hired and cleared our account says that in our “e-care” account – something to do with Medicaid, and or Medicare, it shows that we have both services.  BUT, Medicaid said we were canceled at the end of May, and Medicare says we don’t start until March 1.  SOMEONE is reading things wrong or they have computer banks with disagreeing information.  He said that she said we wouldn’t have to worry about money that it would get charged to Medicare, and then what they didn’t pay – 20% would go to Medicaid.  Even if they didn’t pay, she said it would get written off our records.  Just something or some way they do business?  I don’t really trust the system yet and have to worry about how other UIC billing gets handled for regular medical care and how I would pay at other medical facilities … I’m thinking I’m going to lose the period to enroll and then not have the right kind of insurance covering my needs.  Part of the confusion is that we qualify for Medicaid, but have a high spenddown of like $450.  We know that if we got Supplementary Insurance and Part D, we would be covered for less money.  But, we don’t know if they will take us because we qualify for needing help.  And then some of the other “need help” accounts through Medicare say we can use their services if we Qualify for Medicaid, but I don’t know if you have to be on it, or just have the low numbers.  And some people are counting our disability income as income and some are not, which confused the kind of help we are supposed to be getting.

We read most of the Medicare handbook yesterday, but we still have stuff to go.  Just have to find the real life person who can magically answer all our questions.  It seems like each of the people we talk to only have certain pieces of the pie. 

Rich just left – for real this time … maybe I can find our concentration then.  Every time he came to the door it was do this … do that … because he didn’t want to come in with shoes, but it meant a lot of up and down while we were just trying to think through with the writing.  OK< OK< … you called an thinking wasn’t it going to be ice cream time soon?  He has a couple of business stops to do delivering or picking-up work, and then he has a poker game scheduled tonight.  It’s about 12:15 pm now.  So, we won’t see him for about 12 hours.  Pswhoo… We needed that kind of break.  WooHOO … let our hair loose!   Oh yeah, we’ve got piano lessons soon.  Wow!  Lucky I didn’t get the ice cream … he’s back again.

This time before we sat down we got the ice cream and it doesn’t matter if he DOES come back in again!  He got into the car and the realized he forgot his computer bag.  It’s like his desk and usually goes wherever he’s going especially for being out of the house so long.  We got up and got that for him, but REALLY REALLY looking forward to some quiet time.  We took of the music of Adele and put on Georg Winston who plays piano – like to the song of the Velveteen Rabbit.  Yes … Just simple piano music.  Lets see how long this goes before we need a change.

Slowing down … slowing down. 

Ok, girls … what’s next?  Maybe we should figure out what we left off on so we know what kinds of things we’ve been doing in that defined space.  It looks like last note went out on Friday January 17.  That was then like almost 3 weeks ago.  *sigh*  I know better than this don’t I?  I know I know just sometimes we get crabby … yes I heard me saying that too L

I don’t know what’s happened in three weeks of Dr. Marvin visits.  We might have missed like one o them due to snow.  There’s been a lot of snow in our area – west of Chicago.  Between last night and today, we were supposed to get another 5-8” of it, and there’s going to be another snow day this week.  Think we’re breaking records of snow.  As long as I don’t have to deal with it … we just go on as to it being pretty.  You know?!

We’ve been trying to focus lately with Dr. Marvin of being able to hold things in balance, so that we don’t feel like too much is getting away.  Maybe it is a nervous habit, but we’re thinking a lot that were missing things, so as soon as we slow down and follow one project, it seems that others are slipping away and sometimes these patterns happen weeks and weeks at a time.   Case in point for the last three weeks we haven’t blogged or done anything with Multiplicity including Plural Activism.  We have been able to work on some sewing and we’ve been working on the piano.  On another side and we have to look at this seriously, some stuff including reading has been bumped by Facebook and keeping up with emails.  Obviously, there is something here that is catching someone or we wouldn’t keep repeating it. 

The other day when we were writing the Interview, we’d thought maybe it is Jesse that is spending so much time on line pulling in information, but on nothing in particular than about how the world, our world, is turning.  It seems to follow suite.  People seem to be of interest although they are the “group of people” held at arm’s length, meaning this time a “keyboard away.”  We’ve been interested in keeping up within a day or two of at least something that has our interest, or in going down a long feed of peoples’ messages, we’ll find little things we’d like to pass on.  If I looked at this now … Hmm, had to shut down and open up the Chrome thingie …  Our last “general topics” were that we’d seen a summer fruit idea that made a watermelon into a BBQ grill, we posted a movie that Facebook had just put out and was all the rage, we’d posted a picture of a mama cat cuddling her kitten who was dreaming, we’d posted another video showing a cat pushing out the mail the mailman was trying to push in the door slot, and we had another picture of a GREAT BIG shaggy dog standing on the shoulders of it’s owner suggesting that he wanted to dance?

I’m thinking that a lot of our pictures have some animal thing or two on them.  We also posted the note, we’d written above on the interview, and we posted a picture of our dining area working on cutting fabrics in front of the fire place.  Nothing very formal about our site, but we do like to keep it going with things that catch our eye AND contribute some idea as to the general “taint” of the day.  The time before it was a picture of the new curtain between the upper cabinet and top of the washer/dryer and before that there were picture of the new curtains we made for the three windows, shower curtains, and seat cushion.  It all turned out fine, but two of the windows aren’t formally up yet.  Rich has a few other critical projects, but that would be one of them.  We wouldn’t be able to do the physical task of standing long enough to mark and screw them in – especially lifting arms in the air.  I think he can do all that, it’s just that he doesn’t enjoy doing things like that.  So we wait and try to be patient.  So far we’ve been waiting a week and a half, but as to the curtains in our Brookfield Bedroom – it was a couple of years and we moved before they ever got up.  Push come to shove we might ask Maury to do it when he comes over with the girls.  I don’t want to insult Rich, just he leaves his anchor in the down position.  Most often he’s just trying to relax, especially between his job and mother.

Rich’s job is going pretty well, but it has a lot of scrinkles keeping everything together and on track.  This morning the workshop guy for his biggest job called to say something about changing prices or talking to the customer.  I could her Rich yelling in the other room.  He needs to have the controlling hand on the wheel and the guy had mucked it up which threatened Rich’s livelihood.  AND, the same guy is giving Rich a lot of trouble as to putting a machine Rich needs to run in his shop.  We’re hoping that Rich puts it in a different place, because this guy gives him so much grief.  It is a BIG contract, and it is Rich who would need to take out the loan to purchase the $10,000 machine.  I wish like everything it would go through finally, before Rich gets turned the other way.

His mother is going on as expected.  There are more medical problems with her husband Bud.  He’s gone through a couple small strokes, has fallen, has had surgery for both eyes, has had problems moving with his arthritis, Coumadin, and has had a couple surgeries for skin cancer on the top of his head which isn’t healing.  The problem?  Rich’s mom things although she can’t take care of her own eating or medicine, that Bud should come home and she’d take care of him.  She still has aides coming in to help her dress, clean-up and eat, but she’s giving everyone trouble.  She’s called Bud’s doctor and told him that Bud’s daughter was keeping him away from her (kidnapping) and she’s called the police to do pretty much the same.  This is the same woman who left the house a couple weeks ago against ANY direction, stating that although she’s blind and deaf was going to drive herself to the liquor for alcohol.  She’s angry within 15 seconds of talking to her and she argues and yells trying to convince people of the reality she’s cooked up, and she thinks now people are against her instead of acknowledging that her behaviors are angering people.  She’s making a lot of phone calls to threaten or upset people and then hanging up angrily on them.  Rich got called this week once at 11 pm and another time at 1 am.  She’s yelling crazy stuff like she’s throwing Bud’s stuff out on the lawn.  Then the next moment she’s screaming that she wants to be taken to him.

To be fair, I think she’s going through an adjustment due to his physical problems.  She wouldn’t say it, but she’s scared I think she’s going to lose Bud.  She might, but is doing nothing to help him or the situation between them.  As far as she’s concerned people like Bud’s daughter and Rich – they people helping the most are actually the most to blame for all her problems.  Something like her killing the messenger.  I give Rich a lot of credit.  This week because of all the calls she was making to her step daughter, and then the step-daughter called and complained and complained to Rich. Rich’s step-brother is also dealing with the problems between families, especially Rich’s Mom and step-dad.  When she called the police the call was given over to him, because he’s the chief of police in the town they all live.  He can keep pretty calm about things, but there’s nothing being done here that’s fair. The other night she was trying to drive the van – police were called and they had an ambulance come in.  She threatened to kill herself, so they wanted to take her in.  And, then there was a problem over jurisdiction about which agency had to deal with her.  Rich calmed down the situation and has been trying to talk with doctors and such about the need for a long evaluation and about the things that his mother is doing incorrectly, like after she drank, fell and broke her neck, she waited so long, refused the 1 ½ hour trip back to the doctors and just took off the brace herself.  There’s nobody that wants to take responsibility over that and Rich’s got the short straw.  God Bless him.

So that’s what’s up in general about that.  

We’ve been handling the change to our medicine with an extra half a dose of the Ritalin at 5 pm.  We aren’t remembering to take it every night, but we’re trying and hoping that it has something to do with the grouchiness we are feeling in the evening.  Dr. Marvin said it was a side effect of not having and effective dose.  We are working on it.  We feel in general disappointed or depressed that we can’t get everything in on a normal day.  We depend on being able to be productive for a couple hours into the night, and when that doesn’t happen we feel very slovenly.  Hmm, just thinking now maybe that is a left over feeling from childhood.  I remember thinking we needed to do our homework, but people didn’t help us with that sort of thing, so we’d just watched TV with the family, until it was too late, and then we’d be yelled at or made fun of in front of the class at school.  Sometimes we did other things wrong to deflect the problems we were having at being too overwhelmed to do the classwork.  Hmm, should probably be telling this to Dr. Marvin. 

We knew in general for a very long time my mother had stuck us in the playpen around 5 pm when our father was supposed to be getting in.  She said that we wrecked up her clean house so no matter how it made us feel, that’s where we were left.  I know that’s a very long time ago, but we can relate to the feelings of being trapped.  Basically, we didn’t have opportunities to express ourselves, or even ask for help.  That kind of thing wasn’t being done, and the affect that leaves on a person is a life-long scar. 

Yesterday … we talked to Rich about it I guess in the car coming home from Dr. Marvin’s … I don’t remember what was said, but about 7 pm, the time we should be getting up to take our evening medicine, Rich said, “Would you like to play the piano now?”  KC was out and scrunched her eyes, but nodded her head yes.  Then Rich said, if you want you can do that right now.  Casey asked how he knew what they wanted to do and he told them someone had talked to him about it.  It was like an amazing moment, but they did take the medicine without having to be told, and they did practice the piano well.  I guess the long end of the story is that sometimes we just need a little encouragement especially in doing things that we want to do, but might be held up from others inside us.  It’s a big deal for someone to hear that we have a lot of unmet needs with the piano practicing and that it can be done well and supportively.  I think it is a big deal for the younger parts to practice when Rich is around, because they want him to know they are trying hard and appreciate a good old fashioned “Job well done!”  Again – nothing that was heard through childhood. 

I don’t think it’s about blaming parents, it is more like recognizing the needs that weren’t met and that can be corrected by making proper choices as an adult.  It’s not the proper choice just to point out how bad a parenting job someone did, but to recognize that you have the skills to re-parent yourself the way you would have liked to see things done.  It’s up to us to see our own negative boundaries and fix them.  Not saying that it’s always fun … but it does help to have a doctor on your side.  Sometimes I don’t know if I really had it that rough to justify a longstanding Dr. Marvin in our corner, and its hard for me to imagine other lives that were done so well, they didn’t need that kind of person in their life.  I guess though because we are feeling his attention, we’ll just be happy with how its turned out for us. 

Especially though, because of all the good attention we are back to thinking that we have to be doing something with our lives to make good use of our fortunes. 

Ahh, we did just take a moment though to recognize we were on a schedule.  It’s 1:45 pm now, we have taken our afternoon medicine, and we just got dressed.  We are supposed to meet Linda online about 2 pm, and we told her we were leaving about 2:40 pm.

Hmm, we just took a few more minutes.  It’s now about 2 pm.  We played over the sheet music that we were given.  I’m not sure if its all the right songs, but it’s the 4-5 we consider the hardest.  One in particular we think she’s going to ask us to play.  I know that we have to play ALL of the music, but we’re really trying hard.  This last time was the first time she pointed out which music she’d ask us to play.  We’re terrible about playing for her.  We ALWAYS make mistakes, so we figure that we have nowhere to go, but up.  She’s doing really nice about not getting upset or anything.  She’s says we’re just where we’re supposed to be … she probably says that to all her students, but it WOULD be equally as truthful.

Hmm, Linda is not signed on yet, so we went in and got the music to slip in the traveling envelope and came across the CD that came with the harder piano book.  We’re just trying the first song “Follow Me.”  It’s very hard for us … we can almost do both hands on their own, but we’re not getting the music together on one two hands at the same time.  We’re using My Rhapsody to play the songs, but there are 22.  It sounds like they are playing them randomly and it sounds like an electronic keyboard.  Because there are other things on the recording other than piano – like drums and violins … no vocals though.  Maybe it is the background music and they are waiting for us to play the piano part?  Wouldn’t be surprised.  Or, maybe they have a copy with AND without piano … thought there was more music than I’d read.  Now it’s playing guitar and harp.  Yup yup e-keyboard.  Well, we’ll hear it all through … well half of it at least … looks like 52 minutes of music.  Most of the songs are in the two minute area … just one under four minutes.  It sounds nice and slow on the recording of the song.  Not sure how to get both sounds close to one another.  I think the new piano has a USB to do music, but not this one.  It’s too low level.  I’m not ready to play with orchestra anyway *sigh.

We’ve got about another 20 minutes.  We’ll use the washroom before we go, but otherwise, I don’t think there is anything left to do.  I wonder if we should bring the checkbook.  We could pay at the park office and pay for the books – hmm, there was like $200 in the account, hmm?  Maybe that’s what we’ll do … we’ll bring the $20 cash on the counter – maybe for books, and then pay the next 6 weeks with a check.  I’d rather leave it up to Rich, but right now the biggest thing is having it done so I don’t have to worry about it.

This last song has the piano part, but the bass is buzzing, don’t like that.  The piano is tinny too. L  I think she’s got another music book for us today.  Can’t tell you why this kind of thing is so exciting to us, but it really is.  This is the kind of flutter you here so close to a lesson.  In a half hour we’ll be there and within another half hour – we’ll be done, but there will be more to be excited with.  I think we’re going to leave the first two piano books with her thought.  They are the first Christmas ones we got and the basic one.  WoohOO moving up!  Let’s see if she agrees.  I think she was ready to collect them last week, but this week we’re feeling very comfortable to be moving on.  I wonder what’s going to happen?!!

Ok, girls you have to calm down. 

What else can we say in 15 minutes?  Maybe we should think of what to do when we get back?  Maybe a good idea – to do some late housework?  Rich won’t be home until midnight anyway.  Hmm, just heard the song I’ve been practicing … It was pretty slow … didn’t like the way they played it … kind of droopy, but might be why we’re not mixing it real good between the hands.  Our teacher, Michelle, doesn’t like Hal Leonard.  We’ll get a better feeling for that maybe today.  It’s different though hearing all the background sounds added to the music.  Pretty sure its fancier machinery than we have … like they are now play bass strings with violin … know that is a separation between the keyboards. 

Hmm, caught Linda up … tie then I guess to get moving.  Think we’re doing pretty good leaving now at 2:40 pm getting the car warmed by 2:45 … to the lesson five minutes to the hour … Yup yup excited!!!

Thursday, February 06, 2014 @ 6:02 am

Good morning!  This is the day after our piano lesson.  At least it feels like that now.  We have been up for about an hour and made coffee, then did the normal up stuff.  Rich just woke up to his alarm and asked us to wake him up in another half hour.  He’s really tired after being out with the guys.  My little lamb Hehehe.  He also said when asked that we’d be leaving here at 9 am, so it sounds like we’ll be doing a run straight through to Dr. Marvin’s this morning.  Whoops his alarm just went off again hopefully this time he won’t leave it on snooze.  He’s still got 25 more EXTRA minutes!

We took a few moments to write to Linda.  She seems to have had a good day yesterday and looking forward to some family time this weekend.  Hmm, know for SURE Rich isn’t going to be able to do tomorrow … Hmm, well we made an appointment with Joe for lunch at noon.  I forgot Rich is going to be south, and then going to a “show” somewhere where he’s helping to set up for his fishing club.  Just once or twice a year they have to do volunteer work and this is Rich’s time.  He might have volunteer work for the next day too – on Saturday – don’t remember.  Hmm, it’s going to be like that then, hmm?  We’re not going to remember anything?  Please don’t tell us this is so!  Ok, girl calm down … they’ll help, right?  RIGHT!??

Hmm, Rich’s snooze alarm is going off again.  He’s not getting through it.  His extra sleep … grrr.  Hmm, just took the alarm from his table …  he needs those extra moments to sleep. 

Damn now the cat is in there meowing at him.  Things are all out of sorts this morning BLAH!

Shhh.  Just slow down … you don’t have to go here … it was a perfectly fine morning a few moments ago, right?  I know I know.  Just feel grouchy all of a sudden.  Nope still 45 minutes from taking medicine.  It can’t be that!  Just need to get our bearings that’s all.

Where were we? 

I’m not sure if we officially said, but it was Joe’s birthday yesterday.  Did we mention that?  Maybe so because I think I said something about the drive in.  Rereading…

Hmm maybe not.  Maybe we just mentioned it to Linda.  WELL … ANYWAY … yup yup it was “the kids” birthday.  He turned the magic 30 so now officially ALL my kids are out of their 20’s and the are all safe and sound and doing well … and just well Lord thank you for all this and more. 

Ok, not getting mushy here, but it is a mile marker not only for Joe, but for me.  We will so much enjoy talking to him tomorrow, because the conversations are always good.  Love those kids to pieces! It’s been a while since we’ve caught up – at least back to just before Christmas.  Thinking then almost been two months?  Yup yup … missing some mom-time!

What else happened yesterday?  Hmm, we DID have the piano lesson – and THAT was great stuff!  I felt bad because I was pretty sure that we were going over time in the lesson, but Michele never broke off the lesson.  The clock is in back of me so we trust that she’s seeing what’s happening and there wasn’t a student outside the door.  Maybe that young girl that comes in only comes in every other week, or was sick or something.  I REALLY got to take advantage there, but felt guilty because we’re so attuned to not overdoing our time with Dr. Marvin.  I really appreciate that Michele is doing piano teaching for income so we don’t want to take advantage.  After we left and saw the time were like a gasp!  We’d gone over 50 minutes.  Oh man oh man …

But, on the better part – Michele was doing most the talking and most of it was about the piano.  She was working through with me issues like loosening up to have fun with the practicing.  Most the time we do, but we really also think we should be learning something each time we sit down.  Our way of learning and hers seems to match-up pretty well.  And, I would definitely say that a good part of the practice is erasing boundaries that we’re putting up … like negative messages.  I don’t think she went into that exactly, just one of the messages that we were reading about our own practice time as she was speaking.  We need to keep clear of our own self-imposed barriers.  Michele talks a lot about doing piano the natural way which is like exploring all that’s there in front of you.  I love the way she talks about music, and she was able to answer questions we were having as we told for example we’re having trouble going from the bass “G” to “B” at the same time as the treble “E” to “G”.  Then the left goes to “C” where the right goes to “A”.  It’s just an awkward movement for our hands and she helped us through it.

One of the main lessons she had for us was watching how the keys went and not being so particular about reading all the little notes in between.  She said we have to make it easy, because later down the line it is really going to be a lot more notes.  She’s teaching us to read more of the page so that we catch things that are similar or different – like patterns.  The biggest patterns are the notes going “up” or “Down” or “Close-together” or “Farther apart.”  It is a different way to look at music than we’ve had before.  Basically, what she seems to be doing is that she’ll note the bottom letter and at that maybe not the letter per say, but whether it’s on a line or space.  Then she’ll notice whether it is a third, fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh.  She also has to know of course the timing – what the notes are doing and other stuff, but she’s basically, then clearing most of her head from details and she’s at a level definitely, like we are with the keyboard where our fingers go where our mind tells them to do and we never have to think where is such and such key, nor do we need to look down to see where things are at.  We’re always reading the screen like we would read the music book.

Yesterday, she showed us this really cool piece of music … well showed meaning that she played it and it was fantasmic!  She said she learned the piece when she was 14 and ever sense she just plays it without thinking.  It’s REALLY cool!  Maybe someday.  I don’t know what will happen with whatever ability we do have because we didn’t start young, but I am grateful now for working on the clarinet for about 7-8 years.  At least I have a sense of music and some of that is coming back to me – not a lot granted, but enough to make me feel comfortable in the music world.  Of course most of the musicians a person sees are on the TV or in movies or such so you think that everyone is just sailing a long – never having to look at music, but we’ve got to take that out of our mind as something that most people playing can do.  We need to remember those are stars and it’s ok that we’re different, in that we’re just at the beginning.  I don’t have the aspiration to be a star of concert pianist … I just want to have fun and it seems making music is very pleasant to our ears and disposition.  That be like a GREAT thing!

Hmm … took a break and know Missy is on top our space.  She’s frustrated because we’ve left so many lose papers on the back of the couch.  I think that’s mostly from the work we were doing on Monday in getting the spreadsheet done … More about that in a bit.  BUT, we were up … and we got Rich woke up, took him his computer, his coffee and his glasses, then made ourselves a shake and got some extra coffee as well as using the bathroom.  Yup yup it was a full service effort!  It’s now about 6:45 am YAY!!!

 Yesterday, we handed in the two books that we’ve already outgrown – it is the first books on teaching about “Middle C” and such.  It was a tough thing to commit too, but I knew she was going in that direction and that I’d have to move on – using my practice time for things that were more challenging.  She does say that the sheet music that she’s giving us is the in-between stuff from low level lesson books to being able to read the kind of music in the really “FUN – HARDER” music.  I love that she’s teaching us how to break it down and help us through our intimidation of it.

Yesterday also, she gave me one more book.  Well not GAVE me the books.  Basically, she gave us last time two NEW books, and this time a book and we paid $27 for all three.  She’s only charging us the cost that’s printed on the book, so it’s a good deal.  The new book is as exciting as the first “song” book she gave us.  The third one is on learning the thirds, fourths, etc.  At some point we asked her and she responded to our question that we’d learn how to do what we were asking for by going through and PLAYING the notes that we were working on with that book.  I think she puts a lot into learning through the … I’m not sure … Is it chords?  AHA!  We just cheated and looked … what she’s giving us in “notespellers” is “intervals.”  We will have to remember that. 

I remember from the old days that both Becky and Mr. Melting and Mr. Campbell the band teacher had us practicing in interval work.   We knew it was important, but never understood to the degree that any of them knew, but it was still marked as something we could be practicing too.  I loved to the part about her showing us the reading of the music by the range of fingering – I suppose then by showing us which scale we were using.  Still not sure of the terminology, but something like …

Here for the right hand, I would look at it as being  an “E-third” with first and third fingers, and then with second and fourth fingers playing the “G-third.  I think she would say the first bar goes up and that the first and second bar might be a “G” position because that’s what both bars start with though an octave apart.  I think in the second part she might see a 6th, 5th, 3rd, and 6th all quarter notes, and then third octave she might see 4 – B flat 5ths, and then quick E-flat third, and then back to the B flat 5th.  Except she’d see those things in an instant of reading the music … she sees things like the 2nd bar being up and down and the third bar as being pretty much the same.  I know she was talking about seeing a LOT of things in the music but then really trying to simplify it.  Again … looking for patterns in the Bass … like the 9 note sets in the first two bars are one octave apart and then come together in  B flat – 5th which is played the same for 4 notes.

Lordy who would this be looked at later after even another month of playing?  It’s going to be such a wonderful drive!  Note, not RIDE – DRIVE!  By the way?  The three measures is from the “Bugler’s Dream” which is the Olympic’s Fanfare AND by the way … the Winter Olympics in Sochi today!!!  Let the games begin!

 Ok, maybe we are late for our medicine.  Time right?  Might as well get in a quick shower too!  We can do it … BRB, k?

BACK!!!  It’s about 7:37 am now … we DID take our shower and got dressed so am feeling pretty good about that.  Still have almost 1 ½ hours before we have to go so we’re thinking before Rich gets on the phone too much we should look at the piano … we’ll let you know how that goes J

Good good … we just practiced a half hour.  I asked Linda if we could talk later, because we wanted to try and get this note closer along.  I’d like to say finish, but I always hesitate to end too soon when there is so much not written about.  You go through almost three weeks and you just know you have to give it more time to clear your mind in remembering other things that were happening.  Like we had several doctor appointments, we went to see the quilt group in WI and had some very successful birthdays between CS, Linda and Emily.   All in all it was a very good time.  We worked on CS quilt kit called, “Wedding March.”  It has a lot of duplicate patterns, but there is a LOT of it, and the pieces are very small.  I will be cutting on it for a while to come.  I was noticing that we’re behind again on the housework. 

I think we got caught up this time because the clean dishes in the dishwasher didn’t get all cleaned so it wasn’t a simple matter of zipping through it.  We knew we’d have to inspect it closely.  There might be some stuff on the bottom and then maybe we could start it all over again?  Hmm, let me look at that.

There did a couple of good Ann’s.  We started the dishwasher again after scraping away some of the stuff that had collected at the bottom.  Not really a lot, but enough to think GROSS!!!  I don’t think it’s handling the grinding process very well.  It’s not a very good dishwasher.  BooHIISSS… But, while we were in that neighborhood, we cleaned up the kitty area and got the garbage out.  There is only a half hour before we go so there won’t be too much more done, but it felt good to get a start … right? Sigh now the part about Rich is out of the shower and he’s talking in-between my thoughts.  Like “There’s enough in the account, right?”  He is to be fair referring to my paying for books and lessons yesterday.  I had looked before spending and knew with a couple hundred that there would be enough, but I then had to look again.  Which I suppose is fine in that he’s doing me the favor by making sure my account has enough

Now he’s out in the car and we’re down to our last twelve minutes.  Bathroom is done, stuff in backpack EXCEPT the popping pop corn.  Hmm think we’re down a couple water bottles too … we’ll do that in a sec.  We brushed our hair AND brought in the coat to warm up.  Think we’re moving as to schedule.  Rich was going to warm up the car, BUT he said he’s coming back in again because there was time.  I think we need to do gas though too.  Ok, everything is in the bag.  I don’t like the sense of panic I feel leaving the house.  I did have to backtrack though when we got up for the shower we’d forgotten the medicine so might be some of our funkier feelings of being grouchy and confused.  Hmm, Rich is back his cheeks look FROSTY!  Brrrr…

Hmm, think a couple of videos will help?  Hehehe  Ok, the odd video of some animal or another and a mother son dance … go figure she taught dance!  Some reason for that then.  The video of the animal this time was a Husky who was talking with the baby and reminded us of Maury and Tuffy … she was very protective of him too.  Fun stuff to watch.  Taking down stress J 

Might as well post … and see how things go from there J