I learned to day that a friend of mine died and I didn’t even know it until her husband died and she was mentioned in the obituary. I feel just awful. It’s just the knowing that we need to feel, not always the attending of the funeral but I would have sent a card, made some acknowledgment if I’d known she died. And now he’s dead. At 75, not really old in today’s terms. Maybe living without his wife of 50 years just proved too difficult because it says he died suddenly.
Dying suddenly is the way to go now. I notice the obituary didn’t say “passed away” a sorry euphemism for death in the south. We don’t die, we pass. It’s silly. I don’t say it any more, and that’s difficult — to say “died” sounds harsh in my head but it’s even worse to say “passed” so I have changed my vocabulary to fit the occasion.
I never remember to put only one “s” in occasion, and am so thankful for spellcheck in this day and age. I grew up in the 1960s-1970s when we used typewriters, not even electric ones, in typing class. I learned to type quickly and accurately but my quickness is often blighted by typos. Thanks be to spellcheck because teh and the never seem to come out right. True that, eh?
Today is Sears appliance repair day. The Sears guy (I assume it’s a guy, no slight meant to women here but I don’t think I’ve ever had a woman repair person in my 63 years on this earth, so guy seems appropriate) is coming some time this afternoon. Sears has the wrong phone number for me, so I’m hoping they’re not calling to confirm because it’s not happening. I received a n/a text message this morning which I’m sure was a Sears confirmation text, hope the answer to wasn’t necessary to facilitate the appointment. I can’t wait until I get a smart phone that actually functions.
My phone is basically a flip phone, no camera, no receiving anything but standard text. I can check the internet but it’s 2004 on the phone. Oddly enough, I check my horoscope every day online on the phone because it’s a splendid horoscope. Don’t know who does it but it’s usually spot-on and very detailed. Today is says my brain is working really well and I need to get down to tasks — so I’m remembering this blog and adding to it — knowing full well no one will ever read it and my words are safe here.
If you’ve found this blog and are reading it, good for you. I have a lot to say but most of it is trivial and relates to my family and me.
We are in year 3 of waiting for VA compensation for my Air Force husband who was raped while in the service of his country. It’s a horrid story, just mind-numbing and he deserves to be compensated for the assault. We have a slam-dunk case, supported by more than three psychiatrists and VA as well as independent analysis of his inability to function (schizo-affective disorder, OCD, general anxiety disorder and more to go with this PTSD he suffers from) His madness is held in check by proper medications –which is apparent by his years of inaction before the meds. He tried to commit suicide by taking too many drugs, he wasn’t even aware he was doing it, back in Sept when he was hospitalized for a week.
We are now entering the RAMP phase of discovery, the final step in his disability claim. He also has an August hearing for social security disability for his mental illness. We don’t know where but we do know when and we have an attorney conversation in July to prep him for the appointment. He comes across as ok to me, it’s when I try to view him through the eyes of others, I see the dysfunction
gotta’ let the dogs out, back later. ok, that was easy. on with my stream of consciousness reflections here. We live on less than $750 a month now. It’s like a bad dream coming true. We were able to convince the mortgage holder on our house to take half a payment until this is resolved and he’s allowed it for almost a year. I await his pronouncement, his need for more cash and Rob having to beg him to hang on for a little longer. The RAMP decision, according to Carol Ponton, our attorney, can happen in as little as 3 months. So we’ve got that plus Individual Unemployability claim coming up … as I said before, and perhaps he (the mortgage holder) will be happy until then.
Living in such poverty is strange. We buy nothing extra except toilet paper and dog food. Luckily, the dogs do well on Purina One and it costs less than $15 a month for a bag of food. I don’t know how I’m going to afford flea spray for them this summer but I do still have some flea shampoo left over from last year that will help. Giving them a bath is a legendary experience. They certainly don’t like it.
The kitchen sink has become the only sink the downstairs of the house. We didn’t have enough money to repair the one in the downstairs bathroom/utility room so I put in shelves in front of where it belongs. There are no closets in this 100 year old house so everything is on shelves and out in the open. I’m used to it but I’m sure it’s overwhelming to anyone who’s ever come into the kitchen or who looks at our living room. We don’t hoard, we have objects we love and they are on display. Upstairs is another story.
Back to the kitchen sink. So we brush out teeth there, rather than go upstairs to the bathroom sink that’s available. I think this is lazy in one sense but necessary in another since my climbing stairs can result in real damage to my physical self. We moved the bedroom downstairs a couple years ago because our aging Jack Russell couldn’t climb the stairs any more. We took the bed apart and put the mattress/box springs on the floor for him. We had a really nice bedroom upstairs and it was the only room with a closet.
but we’ll do anything for our dogs. Thompson died last year, along with Roxanne, a Shar-Pei/Rottweiler mix. She was only 7, Thompson, the man, was 17. He was blind and needed Roxie to show him where to go and we think her dying sped up his process …
something just went BANG and the electricity went out for a second. Everything is rebooting, including the internet router, so this isn’t being saved. I suppose it will all be ok in a few minutes. The BANG came from nearby so I expect city trucks to arrive to check it out eventually. I got a warning from the AirPort router, saying it had no DNS server, which means Suddenlink (our service provider) was affected by the big bang. so this still isn’t being saved and yet I type on. I have faith in the system… it will fix itself soon, I hope. I think the reboot takes about 4 or 5 minutes to completely cycle back on.
It’s all back. Good job, Suddenlink. Good job, airPort router. You have been plugging along for a long time and we salute you. We pay the extra buck or two to Suddenlink so we don’t have to pay for router problems or cable problems when they make a house call. It seems a smart thing to do. The internet/cable bill is about the same as the utility bill for our house but we don’t really need cable, it’s just something that comes with the internet. I lowered the bill by lowering our data transfer rate and we don’t even notice it’s slower.
wow, I’m really just emptying my mind. This is like the Three Pages the artist workbook recommended. Everything just dumps out and then, the exhaustion of telling it all completes the cycle. Like my therapist days, with Melanie, where I spend an hour just exhausting myself talking about the same things, every week for over a year. How I’m anxious and nervous, how the boys are doing, what Jane and Andy are up to and how Caroline is ill but I don’t really talk about Caroline as much as I see her and think about her. I just realized that. And she is so very on my mind. When the money is here, we can make her life better.
It’s hard to imagine living on $6K a month and how it will change our lives. I don’t think I’d be doing anything different than what I’m doing now if I had the money. I might be in a more comfortable chair, although this one is pretty damn just right for me but I am wearing it out, but I’d still be typing away, dumping my thoughts at noon on a Thursday while I await the Sears Man.
Caroline had EDS, Ehlos-Daners syndrome and it occupies her mind as well as her physical self. She can’t find a physician to help her manage it and it consumes her, the quest. She seemed actually surprised that no one local knows anything about it, the local orthopedist refused to make an appointment with her, recommended she call eastern Ortho in Greenville but suggested her quest would likely be fulfilled by visiting a doctor in Raleigh or the Triangle area that specializes in the syndrome. She is depressed, fatigued all the time and only rarely shows that zest for life that she used to display. Money problems plague her, make her insane and cause much of her discontent. I think it’s more than finding a doctor that will help her, I think it’s our eventually $1K a month (which we plan to give her) and the new roof we’ll put on their house that will change her life. I think the mildew in the house probably contributes to her ill health and a new roof will fix that.
Rob wants to do something really big for Dave when the money comes in. I suggested a new roof and he likes that. If we get a new car, we’ll get the AC fixed on the Volvo and other fixes and give it to C4, I think. I’m not sure. Jane and Andy have dreams of it being Oliver’s high school car and it would make a really good, heavy, safe one, so maybe we just pay to get everything fixed on C4’s truck and offer to make repay some of Dave’s debt so he can afford a car payment — that will probably be the best idea — and save our Volvo for Oliver.
Caroline is deeply in debt so we’ll pay that all off, her credit cards and her current $$ problems, paying the accountant and paying for her renter’s insurance policy, also her taxes, the business ones, if any are due. If this mess would just be resolved, it will have such a trickle down effect on so many people. Even the company we hire to paint the outside of the house. That means employment, so it even helps. It’s such a relief to know we don’t have to help Jane and her family. Knowing they are financially stable creates a sense of well-being I didn’t know existed. Their inheritance will secure them, make them able to have decent retirement $$, make them able to afford what the boys need, and as an added bonus, they’ll spend money on the house, fixing it up and making it a showplace. I’m really excited about that… the kitchen remodel and the exterior paint. Although, Jane seems to want to paint the house barn red, which sounds so awful to me, with black and white trim, I just can’t imagine it. It’s the same color scheme she’s using in her kitchen but I don’t think it will work on a Victorian house. We shall see. It might be the greatest thing since sliced bread.
I’m up to over 2000 words now and still it spills out. No one reading this helps, and knowing it exists, just for me, makes me happy inside. I just ate some cottage cheese, something to tide me over until I can go to grocery store. Today, the SNAP card reloads and we have our monthly food budget. It lasts us, it sustains us. Without it, we couldn’t survive. I can feed us on $75 a week, I just have to be careful. We don’t buy Oreos or a lot of processed food, aside from frozen chicken nuggets, frozen burritos, and the occasional brownie mix (which costs around a buck, so it’s not a real splurge) Sometimes I buy nabs at 2 for $5 for Rob to eat at night before bed. yes I could buy cheese, cut it up, use Ritz cracker (store brand) but I think it would cost more in the long run to do that. And so I splurge on the most insignificant of things.
Back to Fluffy dying. He was a kind and funny man. Worked at Weyerhauser in the safety department for, I think, decades. Carol, his wife, was a school teacher. They lived in Washington for around 25 years, must have come here just after I did. I’ve been here for 30 years now and that is hard to wrap my head around. Remembering the beginning years here is a pleasant remembering, and you’d think I’d be bitter but I’m not in the least. The halcyon days of little kids needing attention, fixing up everything so mom could live here, then moving Ann here and her boys. Everyone is scattered to the winds except my girls — or dead, like Annie and Mom. Her sons are in Raleigh, CT and Brooklyn. they seem to be doing well, if the little info I can get be trusted. They each have 2 kids, Matt is wealthy, Forrest is a hard working guy and Alex is in some form of banking or trust or something. I don’t feel the need to know more but if they ever extended the hand of friendship — I’d grab on and never let go. Especially Matt. I do miss him and I know I could open up the doors to a relationship if I wanted to. Some day we’ll see him again…
We see Doug sporadically and he’s always friendly and smiling. Some day … we’ll talk of Annie and it will be a good thing. I couldn’t be here for her funeral and I know it was awful for them for me to not be here (with C4 and Rob) but we had just driven to Pittsburgh and couldn’t drive right back, we had Caroline’s divorce to finish, we had to capture a moment with Jamie and get the divorce settlement done. Without us being there, she’d never have rec’d the house, the tuition money to finish her final semester of school or even the car. He didn’t have to “give” her anything, according to Penn. law. How could we leave her, trying to deal with all that and him threatening to leave for St Martin any moment? Some day I’ll tell Doug all about it. The conversation will be for me, not for him.
I think I’m about tapped out for now and it’s time to prepare for the repair guy, time to feed the dogs, time to clean up the house a bit for Amanda’s eventual arrival. I can’t wait to see her, she’ll have photos of her house, they’re redecorating, new floors, new furniture, new TV. Gotta’ go. Will write more to myself soon.