Help for Stupid?

No, there’s not any. People who don’t realize they’re getting phishing emails, the kind that have a different email address than the business they purport to represent… well, shit, be more careful. My mother in law just changed the password on her business website and now I can’t work on it, because she answered a phishing email.

Today I worked on the Dead Mule for hours. Submittable erased all the publication dates and I had to search every entry (over 1600) for the new publications. It was quite an afternoon but it made me happy, in a weird way. I was able to see, to associate, names with pieces, remember all that we’ve published over the last couple of decades.

Life will improve. It’s looking, though, as if gaining $1029 will actually make us lose over $500 in benefits. From EBT (SNAP) benefits to Medicaid, we lose big. So we actually gain little by getting social security disability. I’ll have to go declare it all to social service by the tenth of February. We’ll be over the limit in income for that month. I’m not sure what all we’re going to lose but I think the Part D help will be gone too. It’s automatic, so it will automatically go away, I imagine.

So… there’s that. It’s impossible to create any decent budget when you don’t really know how much money you have but I figure we’ll have around $600 a month for gas, groceries and dog food (etc). Not much. Our SNAP benefits are going away, $353 a month, and that hurts the most. Food. Duh. I doubt I’ll be able to continue going to the therapist, since Medicaid pays for a large portion of that. It’ll be sad to say good bye to her, we’ve been together for years. I don’t know what kind of payment will be due, not even sure if I’ll lose Medicaid — again — can’t budget with unknowns.

I resent it. I really do.

I resent a lot of things. Maybe one day I’ll make a list but then, to what end? Bitterness and anger serve no purpose. It’s best to respond to each day as it comes and not look back. Money is just that, a means to an end. We need so little. I do need a new bathrobe.

Might look on Amazon for a cheap one. This one’s had it.

enough for today. take care, my nonreading public.


Social Security disability

It took 3 years to get disability and we finally did it. That’s redundant, but I’m not feeling particularly grammarly today.

What happens when you get disability? Well, if someone in the household already is on disability, it means a trip to social services to find out what services you’ll lose now that you are AT the poverty level. So strange. We have our income doubled, sounds amazing, eh? And then you realize that double is poverty level. NC has weird rules about what social services you can receive and the bar is set very high for those in need.

This morning on the way to the VA, oh there’s another story. The VA. It took FOUR years for R to get an appointment with a primary care provider. FOUR years, yup, you read that correctly. Anyway, on the way to the VA today, a man with a puppy on a leash and a small boy were crossing the street. Of course, I stopped to let them cross. He waved. I noticed, to my left, a large semi-truck and in the cab a woman was pulling pillows out and putting them away. That’s when I realized this family must live in the cab. We talked about homelessness and how there are tens of thousands of people without shelter. I know the area, around New Bern and Kinston, that got flooded must have many people without shelter, it’s not just a national statistic.

Now we go back to the four years to get an appointment story. The medical facility we are told to go to? It’s here in town and even with an appointment, the average waiting room wait is 2 hours. Imagine that? I don’t understand how this place works but you have to go there, you can’t say “no” to an appointment you’ve waited four years to get. So we’ll be prepared to sit, I’ll charge up my phone so I can play spades and R’s phone will be charged so he can read/watch videos. We’ll be prepared.

I have a dilemma. A friend with no financial wherewithal at this time and no, absolutely no, visible means of support looming in her future has a non-functioning Chromebook. Her life is wrapped up in her Chromebook. Videos, reading, entertainment — she has no other way to entertain or inform herself. A new Chromebook costs around $150 and we could, conceivably, charge one for her. But the questions … I don’t know this woman other than our online friendship. I sent her money earlier this month to buy groceries. She is a shut in up in a northern state. I don’t know her. I feel for her… but as soon as I began to consider buying one for her, my thoughts went to Caroline. If I have $150 it needs to go to Caroline to buy her a new battery for her truck. And I’m going to insist she let us buy her one — so there’s the $150. Not on an unknown, but on a known. Gosh I feel sorry for my internet friend but I can’t help her. I have to think of my own family first. This is tragic for her but I don’t know her except online. How sad is that? She knows I can’t buy it for her.

So that’s sad.

Today I take neighbor Fred to take photos down by the estuary. It’ll be a nice afternoon jaunt and we’ll take some good photos. He wants to take shots of a particular little area down by the museum. I’m hoping to go to the ship’s store afterwards for something sweet, either ice cream or fudge. My treat.

Best get myself ready to go… Fred’s going to be looking for me soon.




My brother shot himself in the head on May 5, 1975. He was 22 years old. Back in those days, we didn’t have Prozac or other anti-depressants to bring people out of the depths. He couldn’t see past his problems.

That’s what causes suicide. The inability to see past the right now.


today is brown …

… and it smells. A doctor told me that, back in 1974, when I worked at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The origin of the sentence isn’t important at all, the fact that I remember it, from 1974, seems significant. Dr. Moore. He wrote a really nice recommendation letter for me when Bimbo and I left WRMC for Flagstaff, AZ and Northern Arizona University a few months later.

We lived in Flagstaff for a very short time, less than a year. We weren’t as tough as we thought we were but the reality was, we were trying to live out some hippie fantasy life and neither one of us was cut out for it. Sylvia kept tight reins over the money situation so we were always having problems. My job as EKG technician didn’t pay much and my hours were awful. The working conditions were deplorable but I was young and didn’t know how to adapt, how to make everything ok. There was a philandering doctor there  who spoke to me too often and my boss, who was having an affair with him (he was married, wife back in India, not with him) my boss was jealous of me and I was so young and so naive, I didn’t understand. I just thought he was chatty and liked to have lunch with me, little did I know how wrong this was. Doctors don’t eat meals in the hospital cafeteria with EKG technicians, at least not usually… Geesh, I was stupid.

I’ve had several occasions where I was totally blameless, my only crime being my youth. That was one of them. It’s so weird to me how often men misread me. I never considered having an affair and I naively believed that if that was how I felt, then everyone would automatically know that and not be superstitious of me. Hell, even Bimbo thought I had an affair with Tom (who was gay, btw, and Weyerhaeuser didn’t know it, back in the day when it mattered, but I didn’t tell anyone) ANYWAY, I am the most loyal moral person I know — it never occurred to me to have an affair. So naive.

We were escaping my brother’s death, suicide. I suppose I left AR on purpose, to get away from everything that reminded me of John but I didn’t admit it.

Well, today Neighbor Fred is on his way over to deliver radishes and squash. He wanted to gift me with collards but I told him I didn’t do collards. He seemed quite surprise. The food comes from the weekly box Dorcas gets and Dorcas is out of town. So Gene spread the bounty, Jean being Dorcas’s ex-husband. It gets complicated in a small town with neighborhoods like ours. Jean is the Snake Man, called upon for critter removals of all sorts. Not real sure about his relationship with Dorcas but it seems amicable.

Refusing collards. Hardly the Southern thing to do.

Today’s not really so bad. It’s just gray outside and inside seems gloomy because Rob’s having a “moment” that’s not especially cheerful. I should get upbeat, realizing it’s grocery day and pharmacy day — it implies propriety and purpose. Places to go, people to see and all that.

My stomach is working rather well lately. Not filled with the sharp piercing pain I used to have from my throat down to my stomach. It curious, how much pain I used to be in, curious to have it lifted because I took action, sought out medical assistance — when I don’t, as a habit of lately, do that. I rarely see a physician. Just often enough to keep my prescriptions current. That could be every six months but for the Tramadol, which now requires every 4 months because of its place on the drug schedule. Been taking Protonix and it worked like a charm. Had a endoscopy and they found damage, now it’s fixed.

Protonix sounds like a 90’s band. I can even “see” them …

Today is not longer brown, nor does it smell. Rob was approved for social security disability today. It took 3.5 years to get it, but it’s finally done. Fully Favorable — that’s what the judge said. Shit. I got so excited I ordered a pizza and a pasta bowl from Dominoes and went to get it. Now I’m waiting for C4 to arrive, so she can read the letter and rejoice along with us.

Send copy to attorney, post haste, and she agreed that the Social Security determination could affect the VA appeal — for the better! If the VA goes through, we have a new lifestyle. With the Social Security going through, we are able to live as we are used to living… we can pay out way, occasionally eat out at Dominoes, buy underwear when we need it, not much more than that. We will continue to pay our mortgage, maybe be able to buy insurance on house, but I doubt it.

I need to contact Geico and get a quote on household insurance, if they do it. We have our auto with them and everyone says they suck if you have a wreck but I haven’t had one, so I don’t know. I pay around $600 for liability for the car, we can’t get comprehensive because it’s so old, 11 years. It’s a solid Volvo, probably keep running another 11 years. It has less than 130K miles on it. We’ll get new brakes now that we’re going to have some money coming in. That’s a good thing

ok, so it’s not brown and it doesn’t smell. No one’s reading this so it doesn’t matter but it makes me feel better to type what’s on my mind and my friends certainly don’t want to hear all this.

When C4 gets here, I’ll have a celebratory cigarette. I can’t wait, I want one so bad. It’s awful, wanting cigarettes and not smoking. I wonder what we’ll need with the social security lump sum distribution. Fix the toilet downstairs, get the brakes worked on, order a new back light for the Volvo and have Andy install it. I’ll get them to show me how to find the replacement online, or if they weasel out of it, as they are prone to do, I’ll go to the auto body shop here in town and have them order/install it, or I’ll go to Volvo dealer in New Bern and have them install it. One way or another. Pugh’s for the brakes, I think they do it and then the Volvo dealer for the car, see what we need to do to keep it running … I think it’s worth it. Solid car, less than 140K, 130K miles on it so it’s not really worn out at all for 11 years.

Wow, I’m excited. I can’t seem to stop typing about our good fortune. It changes the whole world when you know you’ll have money to life off of. It changes everything. I can hear Rob in the other room laughing … he’s watching Bobby Lee videos from Mad TV days. Good for him. He’s playing with the dogs and just feeling good. What a change in his demeanor. After C4 comes to see us, we’ll go for a walk, but wait… I need to go to grocery store and Medical Park pharmacy. Will do that instead.

enough. more tomorrow. I wonder who reads this, certainly not the MIL, who we’ll keep this news from, according to Rob. She doesn’t deserve to know and she’ll be curious as to amount, etc and we don’t want to tell her. We owe her money, not that she’ll ever “call us out on it” but she could if she wanted to. Make us start making payments on the equity note she gave us about 6 years ago. It would be a small payment, maybe $100 a month, and that’s not that bad but we’re really not going to have that much money… we see to paying her back from the VA ruling, when that appeal goes through. I think it will — but’ll be in 2019.

I emailed the social security letter to the head attorney in the law firm we employ. She responded right away with a positive note, like, can’t guarantee the VA will use this filing but they sure do pay attention to such filings — message. If the VA goes through, that’s the real money. The social security money is living money. The VA is beyond, the moon and beyond. And they do owe him. Wow, I’m really just rambling around now. Put CBD oil on my neck, got a jar of it thanks to C4.

I ordered 3 long sleeve t-shirts for myself, two sweater vests, and a hoodie and for Rob new underwear and a pair of pants, the Wranglers I buy him at Walmart, got them on Amazon, same price, delivered, as in, I don’t have to go into that horrid store. I hate Walmart. It’s too loud and bright and filled with crap I don’t need. Fred came by today with radishes and such but the point I wanted to make was that he got lidocaine patches at Dollar General! Last place I would have looked for them. Said they were under $2 each. I should try them sometime on my lower back, it’s been giving me fits lately.

I wish C4 would get here so I could go to pharmacy and Food Lion. I am hyper from the news, the disability news and the trip to the store would help negate some of this extra energy. It’s good energy, it’s just a lot of it.


Jane’s watching Live PD all afternoon, she says it’s addicting.

Nervous much?

So we wait for Tuesday’s Social Security Disability hearing, with the judge from Raleigh coming in on video and the attorney from Orlando coming in on the plane. It’s nervous time here. Even my horoscope registers that I’ll be nervous today. Wow. The astral plane knows my anxiety?

Today is Oliver’s 14th birthday. The family is coming here to celebrate in about 2 and a half hours. I’ve cleaned up the kitchen a bit and Rob’s promised to clear off the coffee table. It currently holds his weights but he’s not working out any more. He’s exchanged that restlessness for picking on his cuticles. One OCD behavior replaces another. I notice he’s not ticking as much since he started picking on his cuticles. I wonder if it is a neuron pathway thing. I don’t say much to him about it. Figure he doesn’t need his behaviors pointed out to him.

Every conversation returns to the VA or disability … every sentence points to our eventual reality. I don’t allow myself to think negatively about it, as Melanie says, Only Positive Thoughts. We make our reality. We can make it good or we can make it negative. I choose the good pathway and don’t have any alternative plans if things are sorry. I just don’t acknowledge that they can be.

Since this blog contains my inner-most feelings, it seems strange. What’s strange? Talking to the world while talking to no one. If anyone ever finds their way to this blog, read it and know I am ok. The internet is acting up today, messages aren’t going through to Jane… then suddenly one will. I’ve told her about it. She and Andy came by today to bring Oliver’s presents so it would be easier to just arrive with food in a while. The big surprise should be here by 4:30 and it’s Anthony. C4 is coming at 4 but Anthony’s not due in Raleigh until 2, so he might be here around 5 or so. We’ll see how long we can keep everyone here, maybe just have Ollie stick around for some made-up reason if Anthony doesn’t show up in time.

Anthony is his best friend, has been living in OK and is returning to live with his Dad and C4 today and going to school here. School starts tomorrow, so he’ll have zero time to get ready for it. I betcha it’s a hassle … Dave tried to get him enrolled but the high school here is so slack, I doubt they’ve done anything about it. The high school in Enid OK is apparently a really good one but it has no ROTC and that’s what Anthony wants. He’s been talking to Ollie about his mom, so there are few secrets around here. She’s quite the piece of work, or should I say “trash”?

She was arrested for making a false “rape” charge against her ex last fourth of July. Her mugshot was on the front page of the Enid paper. It’s a good thing to get Anthony out of there, I can’t imagine going to school with that hanging over your head would be very pleasant. No one knows him here… it’s all ok … fresh start and all that. It’s a real tribute to Dave’s parenting that Anthony hasn’t gotten in trouble with the police. Most other kids would have acted out horribly. I hope he hasn’t saved up his bad for being here, but he’s a good kid, doubt that’s going to happen.

Jane just messaged me about her bringing paper plates, cups and iced tea. Yay. It’s all going to be fine, I’m just wiling away my time, typing useless junk in this blog. We’ve been asked to keep Maggie and Linus for 4 days in 2 weeks. The O’s are going to Ocracoke, they’ve rented a house, are taking the big dogs and we are tasked with the little dogs and the cats. It’ll be easier if they stay in the house over there, even though the O’s asked if we wanted them to come here. I told them we’d try keeping them at home, they’ll be lonely but they’ll know where they are. Moving those old dogs to a new house will probably really upset them, plus I don’t want them poohing in my house. I’d rather clean up theirs.

It’s a big inconvenience to do it, but how to say no? You just can’t. We are helpless against the tide of Ocracoke. Vacation land. God forbid they ask us to go there, I just realized that. We’re tasked with looking after their house and animals while they invite the whole world out there. Jennifer, neighbors, babies, Norm … everyone but us. How odd, I think. They didn’t even say we should drive out there. Selfish much? It does hurt my feelings, but it doesn’t surprise me. I’ll talk to C4 about it and we’ll trash the O’s and I’ll feel better in my odd way. I get over things quickly. I don’t allow the moods and whims of others to set my mood. Unless it’s Rob, if he’s out of sorts, schizo-affectively, I get ramped up. Of course I do. Much like when Mom used to lose it, as she got 90, she did suffer from depression — now I think she was dehydrated and underfed but I didn’t know it at the time because she insisted on being in charge of her own cooking etc. I fed her every evening.

Speaking of that, I’ve got to get into cooking again. I think Rob’s not caring about what he eats plays havoc on my motivation. I know how to cook, I just don’t do it. We have lots of pre-fab food but it’s frozen veggies — some frozen chicken breasts — not really that bad and no sodium in the frozen veggies and rice mixes, very little anyway. We don’t eat beef any more, just the occasional hamburger for burritos and spaghetti sauce. We splurged and bought Dominos yesterday. Interestingly enough, they undercharged us by $6 or more. Only $24 to have 2 pizzas, garlic bites and cinnamon nugget things plus a liter of Coke — delivered. Apparently I got some kind of coupon. Mark was here and enjoyed a lot of the food, especially the cinnamon things. I finished them off last night while watching TV. Speaking of a void — TV on Saturday night is a vast wasteland.

I was hoping for some mysteries on PBS but Doc Martin, et al, were replaced by fund raiser music videos and conversation. I hate watching music on tv, can’t explain it, I used to enjoy shows like Austin City Limits but not any more.

P is home with her family. That is one messed up bunch. I feel sorry for her sometimes but you get what you get. She tries to care for them but her 80 years are starting to show on her. Grandkids, great-grandkids … and M is home from prison, living next door to family and he wasn’t supposed to return at all. It’s a recipe for disaster and drugs … he’s addicted to ?? and finds it however he can. He’s 34 and has no future. He’ll end up in jail again if he keeps up his old habits. Sad.

A had to move her office to Wake Forest. It was a revenge move made by angry bosses who can’t stand her. She’s actively seeking other employment but at 50, sometimes that’s hard to do, I think she’s stuck in her current job. I just hope she gets her 20 years in with the state and can retire early. She and M really want me to come up for a visit, they’ve fixed up the guest room, they say just for me. I’ll go up there and spend the night soon. Gotta’ make sure the car is ok and make sure Rob is ok. I can do it, but it terrifies me to think about leaving the house, even going to the grocery store is weird. This is just the waiting and once the waiting is over, I think I’ll get my confidence back. Yup, I know I will. This knot in my stomach will go away and be replaced by a joyous demeanor.

Smoke a cig with Os and we talked about all the garbage E left in their attic … they’ve cleaned it out, two trailer loads and they still have more to go… O’s old mattress and a chest of drawers. I’m glad it’s all finally cleared out of their attic. I can’t imagine what a mess it was, kudos to the Os for getting it done. I imagine Oboy had a lot to do with moving it, although Little E is a good worker and stronger than he looks.

“For the love of God, get me out of this fern.” E classic line. I told A and he really laughed at that one. So dramatic.

Time to move on, this is getting to 1500 words so anyone who’s hung in there this long gets a prize. Here! Prize! Words! only 6 more to 1500.

There done. I’ve written enough.

Sept. 9, 2018

That’s the date on the VA website. The date by which we will know the conclusion of our filing for Rob’s VA disability due to PTSD, his schizo-affective disorder, his OCD and other ailments. We’ll know about his Individual Unemployability and it will all be over. We’ve filed for RAMP, meaning Rapid Appeals Modernization Program. According to the Fact Sheet, this is the new VA system, just begun and filed by invitation only. Our attorney has advised that we use this system, so she filed on our behalf back in May, I believe. The VA says, in its acceptance letter, that results are conveyed within 126 days, so the Sept. 9th date makes sense.

Rob and I have both had an Ativan. The news sent me spiraling into the bathroom with diarrhea and Rob out to the porch to chain smoke. I’ll have to go buy him some more cigarettes later today, he’s on his last pack. My my, but I certainly do write some run-on sentences. Excuse me for not zealously editing today, I’m pretty freaked out.

The “what if’s” are huge in this. What if it happens and they pay Rob his back amount due? What if they say “no” and nothing comes of it. I can’t imagine that happening. We have independent psychological findings, two separate doctors, one hired by the VA and one hired by Carol Ponton, that find his disability is “more likely than not” caused by his trauma. Those are the magic words. “More likely than not”. Rob’s been through the mill with this and is justifiably freaking out.

I’ve been on the phone with Network Solutions all morning, trying to get the website to redirect. Finally got someone on the phone that knew what he was doing. I needed to clear my history (my cache) on my browser and start over. Then the correct settings came up on the screen. Now I don’t have a whole lot of faith in this working but I am cautiously optimistic. I signed Jeannette up for something called a SSL certificate which means her website will come up as “secure” when someone goes to it. It costs about $10 a month but she can pay it, I put it on her credit card. I started to make a website for her on GoDaddy but called to cancel it. Dealing with GoDaddy vs. Network Solutions is night and day. No 42 minute holds for GoDaddy, they just answer the phone. NS disconnects, transfers calls, doesn’t have answers and everything takes 24-48 hours to take effect.

Rob’s on the phone to his mom. Maybe she can help calm him down, he’s doing a lot of talking so maybe so. It’s a coin toss with her — she’s probably already had a couple glasses of wine so she should be gregarious. I just hope it’s in his favor. She and John and Aidan went out on the Black (?) River yesterday, at her niece Char’s house where they went out on what Jeannette called a “skiff”. Not sure what she means by that? What kind of boat is a “skiff”? I see that as a jon boat type small boat but she’s probably meaning something Jandy’s Boston Whaler, the small one.

Went to Oliver’s regatta last Saturday. Rode with Molly and Don (her dad) and we had a great time. Stephen came in a 3 way tie for fourth but Oliver got 3rd and received a medal. He acted like it was no big deal but he’s secretly very proud of it. Last year he was dead last so this is a good deal for him. Yesterday we unloaded the beds from Uncle Dave’s house in VA Beach. They  inherited the house and all its contents, so Oliver and Emmett got new beds. Really nice mattresses. Ollie’s bed is a really good one, won’t ever need a new one. He’s pretty pleased, especially since he’s been sleeping on the floor for the last two years. It really caused a lot of unresolved anger on his part and I did a lot of Nana counseling to get him through it. He couldn’t understand why his parents wouldn’t buy him a bed. Well, now he finally has a really nice one, has drawers under it and everything, so he can feel better about his parents. It was a real piece of work to get upstairs… poor Rob and Andy had quite a time of it. Ollie tried pushing but they didn’t give him any credit for helping.

Jane’s in Raleigh today with Stacy, picking out countertops. I hope the third time is the charm for her. She’s had a hell of a time finding them. She has to be picky, there’s such a huge expanse of countertop, it has to be just right.

Andy was a total asshole throughout the whole move to the boys, especially Ollie. He has the meanest voice when he deals with them. Never speaks to them in a normal tone, ever. He always blurts out angry orders to them, never listens to them, and is totally unpleasant to them while talking all polite and kind to other people in the room. It’s the oddest thing. Jane has spoken to him so many times about it. Uh oh, here’s Stephen. Rob’s not in the kind of head space to talk to him right now. It worked out fine, Emmett just showed up for Nana first aid, which I happily applied to his “sting” or whatever bite it was. He and Stephen then rode off together, both of them bored, both in need of companionship. Good. Stephen can behave, it’s just a matter of “will he?” Emmett is in need of a riding companion.

I have to drive down River Road to go buy cigs in a bit. I’m hoping that Rob is sufficiently calmed down in a while so he can ride along. I’m not in any kind of shape to go yet, but the Ativan will kick in soon. He’ll need lots of cigs to get through the Sept. 9 news. C4 said she was “here” if we needed her but so far I haven’t heard back from her today. Her life is in turmoil, so I don’t mind her being busy. Nothing more to say about that right now.

My friend VA put me on the the shelf for a few days last week. She wants to move here, back to NC, and wants to live with us but Rob is too damn odd for that to happen. That’s what we’re saying … and there’s just not enough room in this house for another person, even if we did know her. We don’t know her at all. She’s been a very good internet friend for years and I remember when she was homeless and Phoebe and I talked about her, about who could take her in and we decided neither of us could. I can’t support another emotionally fragile human being while taking care of Rob. It just won’t work. Besides, she is, in her own words “morbidly obese” so living upstairs would not work for her. I understand her plight and won’t go into it here but I can’t help her. We have decided to support her, financially, when the money is here. Just like we plan on slipping Ollie money when he’s in college. He doesn’t need money now, he wants for nothing — he’s got clothing, he’s getting a new Mac for his birthday, he finally has a decent bed, life is good. I promised VA I would send her some cigs towards the end of the month, so I might as well buy 6 packs and send her some. The things I get myself into. I’d said that we would send her $20 but she didn’t want it, wanted cigs instead. Damn it. Now I have to go to the post office rather than just mailing a $20 bill. This is who she is, a complicator.

Life is filled with complicators. Oh good, Mark is here! This is who Rob needs!

I’ll sign off and go speak with him.

About today

Yeah, it’s all starting to get to me. Rob sleeping, the waiting … even caring for Rob 24/7 can get to me. I went to pottery last night, I don’t go for the clay, I go to get out of the house for 3 hours. I have my pottery, and then I have Wednesdays when I go to the therapist and then spend a few hours with Caroline. Aside from the grocery store, these are the only times I leave the house. I started taking Rob for rides a while back and I still do that, we go down river road and end up, after about 5 miles, at the cigarette store. It’s something …
Intellectually, I know that Rob is ill and requires care. But emotionally? I sometimes think he just needs to get moving. But I squelch that feeling.
Then there’s Carolyn who is facing Danny’s death spiral and I think — who am I to complain?
Danny’s going to need dialysis 3X a week. He went in to get his “shunt” (?) placed today so he can do the dialysis. I’ve told Carolyn that I will drive him so that she can continue taking care of her mom, Alice, who’s 93 and failing mentally. Carolyn makes her money off selling her pottery, so if she can’t be in the studio making art, she can’t make any money. She also makes money off her classes on Mondays and Tuesdays. Her future is so much grimmer than mine, it’s set me into a tail spin.
When they die, it will leave her with only her social security for income alongside her art/classes. I remember when Mom went into RiverWalk and her social security went to paying for that. We lost $1700 a month, that’s when Rob got fired/quit from BCDC so we got behind in everything very quickly. The situation was dire, believe me. I somehow managed to keep us from losing the house, don’t know how I did it… paid our bills and used up what we had in savings.
This was before Rob was diagnosed, so I was just angry for a few years. Why didn’t he get a job? Why wouldn’t he save us? It was the VA that stepped in and helped. It may be taking years for a resolution but the most important thing the VA did was provide psychiatrists and diagnoses. Odd… it’s a love/hate relationship.
So I think of all these things today. I fear for Carolyn, I know what her future holds and so does she. I always leave last from pottery “class” so that we clean up the studio and talk alone for a few minutes. Last night was brutal.
I keep remembering and then I think of the right now and the only thing I can do is to love my family unconditionally. To reach out to friends, like you, who help make this bearable. Real flesh and blood family and friends. Not online unknowns and for that I am also grateful… I realize, because I have a friend in this condition, that some people only have online friends and they’re virtual shut-ins.
Today I’m concentrating on the positive. Staying away from the dark pit. I’m grateful for the A/C units in my windows. I’m grateful for this wonderful falling down house, it continues to function despite its age. Maybe it knows we’re going to spruce it up as soon as we can. I’m grateful, oh so grateful, for the Volvo, long may she run. I may not solve any of my problems today but I’m also not going to sit here and meditate upon them.
Sounds like one of those positive affirmation exercises people do, but I’ve been sitting on the front porch, channeling my inner-Ruth and knowing she’s here, somewhere, in my psyche and if I can just pull her and Dad out of brain, I can do this. I didn’t sign on to care for a mentally ill spouse. He could just as easily be Danny and the end result would be death in a few months. I need to look at caring for him in a bright light, not a negative hole.
Oliver’s doing well in sailing school. I told you he’s been volunteering down there all summer. It’s right near their house, they owe so much to Caroline for that house, not that they’ll EVER in a MILLION YEARS admit it. Those boys personalities, their where-with-all is deeply tied to living next to downtown. Ollie came by yesterday, Jane dragged him down here, because I did his laundry for him. Such is the Nana mode I exist in. He had over a dozen pairs of shorts, a dozen t-shirt and no underwear in his laundry basket! What a boy… he’s such a teenager, it hurts! ha.
Emmett is a little firecracker. Every time we see him, he makes us laugh. He came over every day that Jeannette was here, kept talking to her, it was like he was taking care of Rob, I suspect he was, actually.
Jeannette sent us $250 for the website and has promised $250 more. This is 2 months of house payments. I don’t see an “end” to our financial problems, I just figure they could go on forever and that keeps my spending in check. We need stuff like clippers for yard, etc but we keep using the old dull ones because there’s no need to spend money we might need. I’ve managed to save almost $1000 since selling the car and paying off Visas, slowly. I know I can make 4 hour payments out of that, so we’re good through December. I even splurged and ordered a  $7.99 t-shirt that was a lightning deal on Amazon. Made me feel almost normal! And I ordered $17 windshield sunshield things — saved me from going to walmart.
Now if I can just get the website to load. I keep telling her to concentrate on the alternate site I built, it gets more traffic, but hey, as long as she’s happy and sends more money, I don’t care what website she looks at.
Will find out about SNAP (food stamps) this week. I always get nervous when I have to re-up for benefits, every 6 months, but it’s the same form with the same numbers every time — we couldn’t have survived this past year without the $350 month we get from our EBT card. I remember buying the bruised/old veggies/fruit from Pig before we got the card. One morning, I looked at the kitchen and realized there was NO food in the house and I had no money. It was unbelievable, you can imagine it — total panic. That night, Monday, I went to pottery and told them how I had no food. I wasn’t complaining or asking for anything, I just was telling them about it and we all kept on talking.
The next day, Carolyn and then another friend, brought bags of groceries. All of Carolyn’s classes took up money to buy us food. They all know me. Talk about a humbling moment. They continued to bring groceries for the rest of the money until the food stamps were approved. They even brought me homemade preserves/jams/tomato sauces.
When I have time, I’ll get more political, when this is over … get more into making my voice heard about the VA, food stamps and more. Right now I’ve got to take care of Rob. I’ll try to volunteer, like at the nearby Blind Center or something.
wow, long email. Thanks again for being there to talk to — it really helps. When I type this all out, it stops spinning around in my head and fucking me up.