Community Magazine

Let's Try February?

By Aynetal3 @aynetal3
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 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 in managing the program, and specialized in the program’s accreditation.  We then became overwhelmed with the work; people and stress involved in the “outside” world and had one of many physical and mental breakdowns.  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 a house as a “Domestic Goddess,” blogging about our life, work with 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 body years old who then 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 9-11 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 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 borderline personality disorder.  Both our father and Grandfather were alcoholics.  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, so with our birth and having left us with her father for periods of our first year and a half, cemented her “safety from him,” but also created a very jealous, hateful and competitive "mother" relationship to us.  It’s complicated.  Each of us within the system has been created to meet certain “personal” needs or 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.  For example, 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 ...  Our three sons are better at picking-up cues.  They’ve known anything they’ve asked questions about and more.  We are very public. At one point, we realized that they were teasing the Casies who were younger at the time and 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.  Certain things like that WILL often jar out an instance of younger parts, but mostly it’s an adult or middle aged person fronting.  We’ve learned from very serious past mistakes, that outsiders or externals aren’t trusted out alone with a younger more vulnerable person within us without older internal supports.  We are not always able to control things like who will get time to play piano or quilt, or those who want to switch activities with available time for writing or wanting to impress Rich as Domestic Goddess.  It can be frustrating and forces us to leave projects for periods of time before “we” are “back in control.”  One doctor told us it’s like someone is always at the wheel, but not always able to control the ship.  I think it has to do with satisfaction … if you’ve done well in your time out and feel somewhat accomplished, you are more apt to – turn over the ship.
~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 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-maker” of 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. Recently, Sarah, Lissa and the Casies are working on the piano.  It is like different people have different responsibilities, strengths and challenges.  Everyone knows each other, but sometimes you hear things claimed like from the Casies, such as saying “that it is the fault of the “big people” that they might not get to have or do something.”  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 facade.  We try to maintain a “presence” that is easier for them to understand which often takes pressure off ourselves in being known to others from traditional self-view of being invisible.  There is another circle of external people at a secondary level that we’re close to – and at that level, people know about the Multiplicity and some connection to our younger, middle, or older people.  These externals have some kind of understandable about our thought processes, curiousness, or detail-mindedness, and our other general behaviors/idiosyncrasies.  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.
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 - this is again done periodically through the day in "checking in."  We’d 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 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 go into the sewing room and work on our quilting for a couple of hours and then 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

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