Wednesday, November 30, 2005

This is our first wedding

11/30/05 Wednesday
This morning I am running at a six or seven on the Bob scale but am physically tired. Yesterday started out good but by 4:30 things took a turn for the worst. I am completing yesterdays entry at the moment. Last night I had a hard time remembering the day but as is often the case I remember it fine this morning. This is one of the quirks with my brain injury. Different parts of the brain handle the various types of memory. The immediate and short term areas are damaged as evidenced by my not remembering if I washed my hair while showering. To compensate for that I stick with a routine of starting at the top and working my way down.

I am real tired. Just lost a whole bunch of stuff I had just written. Kinda going down hill right now. Spent an hour trying to figure out how to recover what I lost with no luck. Headache coming and just want to go back to bed. The new landlords will be taking pictures of the apartments for insurance so I cleaned things up. Real frustrated right now. I hoped to hear from Larry but as usual he will disappoint me.
I just called Larry. As usual it did not go well. He remembered things the way he wanted to and changed everything we had agreed on. I got upset and he told me that he hasn’t called because that always happens. I said “What am I supposed to do Larry? Jump up for joy because you don’t do what you say? Is there anything you tell me that I can count on?” I told him I covered his ass with the state of Texas for forging Jessica’s signature on the truck. He got onto the coin collection so I reminded him it was Minnie Lee’s. Jessica had taken it to sell for her and just kept it. I told him again that Minnie Lee said she wanted me to have it. He just laughed when I let him know that her statement was in the two hours of recordings we made of her when we visited a year ago. I am done with this and will report him to the state for the forgery. I tried and tried but give up. He broke the law and there is no getting around it but I am sure he will paint me as the bad guy. Maybe when I settle down I will not report him. I don’t know.
Larry called back and apologized for hanging up on me. He said he had lost his job so didn’t have any money. He was in the middle of moving out of his house when I called and I could hear him talking to the guys moving things. I said “I thought you were buying that house” to which he replied “I am. Actually a friend bought it for me and I am just making the payments to him”. Beats me why he is moving out of the house he is buying and making payments on. He did say he had a new job.
He said that I had promised him I would pay him back for the money he spent helping me which he put at $3000.00. I asked him when I made that promise and he said it was while I was in St. Louise. “Larry, I wasn’t all there at the time. I went back and read the resume’s I had been sending out and it was pretty clear I wasn’t to rational. Hell I had a cover letter that started out with something like, I just woke up from a coma so I will make a good employee” (I got copies of all that stuff and now it is hilarious in a sad sort of way)
He said I didn’t appreciate all he had done for me. I told him I did and was grateful because he was the only family member who did anything for me. I reminded him that I had not been keen on his taking me and had told him I would be a big burden on him. Larry’s answer at the time was “That’s no problem, I’ve got plenty of money so you won’t have to worry about anything”. It seems to be his pattern to make big impressive promises that he can’t keep. The mouth is bigger than the ability. Larry told me he had no choice but to get me because they were going to put me in a homeless shelter where I would probably have been killed. “Larry, I’ve been through the homeless shelters and now know that the Salvation Army would have gotten me into the system and gotten me the medical help I needed” I told him. He said he did the best he could and I have to agree with that.
In the course of conversation we covered several areas of the St. Louis time. When I said that he had handed me a phone book and told me to find a job he reminded me that I was the one who was all gung ho to get a job. I stand corrected on that because I was trying real hard not to be a burden and to get back on my feet. I reminded Larry that once he had moved me to the Chippewa residence he did push me to get a job. Not that that was wrong. I just wasn’t capable of holding down a job and had been fired from all three jobs I had gotten once the employer could see I wasn’t all there.
I said something to him about him dumping me at the Chippewa residence to which he said “I didn’t dump you. You’re the one who talked to Gary about moving in there”. That also is true. “Larry, you would bitch every day about how much it cost you to keep me in that hotel. Come on, it was stupid to pay $125.00 a week to put me there so I was trying to do what I could to help with that” I let him know. It was good for me to hear his view of these things. There are always two sides to an issue and then the truth. Both of us saw the same things differently and knowing his side increases my understanding. I won’t tell the state of his theft. At least not now.
He did say he would send me what he had promised long ago and asked that I send him one of the proof coin sets as a memento of Rudy. I am more than happy to do that. I told him I would believe him about sending money as my share of Jessica’s estate when I got it because it is a promise he has made many times and not done. His lack of honesty is frustrating. I wish he would just say what he meant instead of telling me whatever he thinks I want to hear and then not doing what he says.

Now the rest of the day. At 2:00 I went down and picked up the food Fred had for Barb and the mail he always wants me to take to the post office at the first of the month. This is all his bills and he doesn’t trust it to be left in the open box for the outgoing mail of this apartment building.
I scheduled a time to take Wayne to this Nu Vision church so he could get some clothes for winter and planned to drop the stuff off at Barb’s on the way to get him. Barb was doing ok as far as I could tell. As I talked with her I was again aware of how simple she was. Kind of like a 12 hear old. The kittens were running all over the place as usual. She had a Christmas card for Fred and talked about the kittens paw print on it with her laugh. Again I wished I could get her out of her environment and into someplace safe without all the drugs and users but I can’t.
I got Wayne to the church and we met the pastor. He is not at all what one would expect but that was fine with me. I always would rather deal with someone who is real and not putting on airs. He had shaved head and multiple ear rings. Considering the church is in one of the highest crime, drug, and gang banger areas in town a suit wouldn’t get far.
The church is an old one built in the forties and was beautiful despite not having been maintained for years. I think it had been abandoned but don’t know for sure. There was a BIG old pipe organ that he said was still operational. The stained glass windows were perhaps 20 feet tall and intricate with pictures of Jesus and stuff.
The clothes were on the third floor and because Wayne can’t climb stairs I went up and picked out some clothes and brought them down for him to see. I had a nice talk with the pastor and think he has it together. They hold their services downstairs where there are half a dozen couches and a bunch of other easy chairs. He said that the main auditorium was just too big for the number of folks who come. When we got done I helped Wayne get up the eight steps to the door and we left. I took Wayne home and he thanked me again for all the help I have given him.
(Right now as I write this I am having trouble identifying which memories are today’s and which are yesterday. This is not unusual when it comes to recalling events the same day they happened.)
What I did after that I don’t know at the moment but will probably be able to recall it tomorrow. I got home and Cherie fixed dinner. I was and am tired.
I just called my son Bruce and was lucky enough to get him. He will be shipping out to Iraq Monday. I asked if there was anyway I could see him and he said it would be hard with all the preparation and ceremonies before they all ship out. I also asked how Adam was doing and he was rather vague. I explained that I have been trying to get in touch with Adam for quite some time now with no luck and asked Bruce if he could encourage Adam to call me. I sent Bruce an E mail with a picture and asked if I could get a picture of him and Adam. I also told him about the blogs. Not sure what he will think of them. I may be able to E mail Bruce overseas.
It is 10:00 now and I am tired. Cherie just got back from her parents house. She had been over there earlier and learned that her sister Cathy had been gluing her shoes together to keep them going. Cherie had bought a pair of boots for her for Christmas and was thinking of giving them early. “Cherie, take those boots to her right now. We are buying shoes and clothes for others but need to take care of family first”. She had pretty much already decided that but just wanted my support of her decision.
I am tired and done for the day. Good night you guys and God bless.

I will put this up on occasion. It is the philosophy I live by

11/29/05 Tuesday
This will be a busy day. I am sharp this morning which I am always grateful for. The first thing on my schedule is to take Fred’s car in for the clear coat he purchased with the car. After that I will take Wayne to buy some essentials and then to do his laundry. Then I will take him to the Nu Vision church which is distributing food and clothing to the poor.
Fred just asked me to pick up a hot dog for him when I come home after getting the car done. He said he only had $3.00 to his name (That would be what he had on him) and would pay what he could. I told him not to worry about it. He has had another bad day so I again encouraged him to see the doc. He said he was going to wait till it warmed up to which I retorted “Fred, winters coming. It won’t be getting warmer anytime soon”. In fact we just had a record high temperature yesterday. I know he just doesn’t want to see the doc, perhaps because of finances. When I looked at the schedule I saw that it will be hard for me to get his hot dog but I will. Probably will have to get Wayne to a laundry mat and then run for the hot dog. I hope I remember.
Last night I got upset. While going through the stuff that has been piling up on our dinning table I found a letter from the pain clinic at the VA hospital in Ann Arbor. It was a reminder that I had an appointment on November 15. I missed the appointment and upon looking saw that it had never been entered in either of my calendars. This is not good. The last time I missed an appointment it took months to reschedule. I think that Cherie had opened the letter and either put it on the table for me to see or handed it to me. Odds are it was the latter and I was focused on some other task or got distracted before I could get it in the calendar.
At that point Cherie and I started going through the stuff on the table and I found more and more things I had forgotten to do. I feel bad because it shakes up Cherie when I get upset and as always she puts the blame on herself. I do depend on her to keep me on target but she is working hard and is often exhausted when she gets home. While she did not communicate this appointment effectively I have to be better about these things.
I reviewed with her how to help me get things done. Out of sight is out of mind for me so I explained that it works better if stuff I need to take care of is placed where I can’t miss it. I also asked her to make sure she put appointments in the calendar. With that done I apologized for getting upset.
I got Fred’s car done without any problems. After that I came home and got the shower curtain we bought for Wayne and some laundry soap for his wash. I called Wayne to let him know I was heading his way. He had been asleep so it was a good thing I did. When I got there he started to give me the same “I wish you wouldn’t keep buying stuff for me” that he hands out every time. I reminded him we have had this conversation many times so unless he wants to hear my speech again he better shut up. That worked to my relief. The things we get for him are simple necessities and really don’t cost that much. Besides Cherie is an expert at finding deals so the thirty dollar boots we bought for him only cost $9.99. He had been using an electric blanket in a pillow case for a pillow. When I found it out I told Cherie to keep an eye out for a deal on pillows and that only took one day to happen. Wayne would whine and complain about us helping him every time till it got so old I had to set him down. I think he is starting to understand that for us helping others such as himself is a pleasure for us. It has a reward that exceeds all the simple pleasures of life most spend their money on. While many would think of us as poor because we have little and keep the heat down to save money, I think we are wealthier than many. I don’t see wealth as having lots of money or possessions. There are many who are rich financially but are unhappy or consumed by their desire to always get more. For us wealth is measured by the satisfaction we get from helping, the self worth we have.
Anyway I got Wayne to the laundry mat nest to my apartment and then went across the street to get Fred his hotdogs. When I took them up to him he asked how much he owed me. I said don’t worry about it and he said he wanted to pay his own way. “Fred, you let me drive your Cadillac so let me buy you a hot dog” I told him. That was acceptable to him.
With that done I took Wayne and his laundry home. Then we headed for this New Vision church the Zeph Center had told him about. We drove around where it was supposed to be and had no luck finding it. I asked Wayne if he had the flyer so I could get the address and he said he had left it home so back we went. Getting the flyer and the signed form authorizing Wayne to receive this service we returned to Cherry Street and found the place. Unfortunately all the doors were locked and when I called the number on the flyer I got a recording. I left a message and getting back in the car took a closer look at form. It had “Salvation Army” on it so I suggested we go there. Wayne knew roughly where it was so after driving around a few blocks downtown we found it. Leaving Wayne in the car I found the office and they instructed me where in the building I needed to take Wayne. It was in the basement so after explaining he had to use a walker and couldn’t navigate stairs they unlocked a door so he could access the elevator. When we got downstairs there were about 20 others waiting. We were given a number and settled in to wait our turn. The heat was cranked up and after an hour I went outside to cool of. Unfortunately it was too much hassle to get Wayne upstairs and the heat has a tremendous affect on those with Multiple Sclerosis.
It took two hours for our number to be called and I could tell Wayne was being affected by the heat. I took him into the office and helped him fill out paperwork and carried the grocery bag of food out for him. If I had known that was all he would get I would have gladly taken him to the grocery store and bought it instead of sitting two hours in 90 degrees. As Wayne tried to get in the car his leg gave out and he fell. He tried to get up but couldn’t so I picked him up and helped him get in. Once he was seated he couldn’t even lift his leg to put it in the car so I did that for him.
When I took him home we went through the sack of food. There was a big bag of powdered milk and a box of cornflakes. He already had four bags of the milk and three boxes of corn flakes cause that is what all these agencies get to give so he asked if I would take them. I found that he only had three eggs left so went to the store to pick some up for him. On the way I called Barb to see if she wanted the milk and corn flakes only to learn she too had tons of both items. At the store (Which is in Swain Field, a depressed area in Toledo) I saw a young guy with a cart of groceries evidently waiting for his ride. “Hey! Could you use some powdered milk and corn flakes?” I asked. He looked at me wondering who this crazy white guy is and what is he up too. I told him I get free food for people and had this left over. “It’s new in the box If you don’t need it give it to someone who does” I said to ease his mind. He agreed to take it which is cool cause I don’t like to throw anything away someone could use.
With all that done I headed home, stopping at Kroger to get the groceries on the list Cherie had made. By this time it had been a long day and was about 4:30. As I shopped I started getting that disorientation I often do when surrounded by a myriad of things. It is hard for this brain to sort all this out and gets worse when I have had a long stressful day. Usually it is not bad and goes away when I take a breath and relax. Not this time. It became a struggle and affected everything including the partially paralyzed right leg. By the time I got to the check out I was hanging on to the cart and had to concentrate on what I was doing. I got that done and limped out to the car.
I had broken the belt clasp for my cell phone so went to Verizon to get another one. On the way I remembered I had told Fred I was going to get him some distilled water for his oxygen machine. Of course I didn’t think of it while at Kroger so stopped by Miejer to get it. That was a chore for me at this stage. Getting that done I went to get the belt clasp. Verizon was busy so I waited in line for probably twenty minutes which was fine as it helped me relax.
I was glad to get home. It was nearly 5:30 when I did. I carried the groceries up and when Cherie saw me she told me to go lay down. She fixed the beef stew recipe that was on the stew meat she got at K&J. I had bought cloves because it was in the recipe but they were whole cloves, not ground. I put them in the pepper mill to grind them and ground to much which wasn’t good for the stew. We ate it but didn’t save any.
We had laid down and were watching NCIS when the phone rang. It was Fred and he didn’t sound good. “Bob, I hate to call you but I’m not getting any oxygen from my machine. Could you come down and look at it?” I got dressed and went straight down. I traced his oxygen line from one end to another but found no kinks so I checked the machine. When Fred refilled the humidifier he had screwed the bottle on crooked which allowed the air to escape. I fixed it and talked with him a while. He told me he didn’t know whether to call me or the rescue squad and didn’t want to bother me. “Fred don’t ever hesitate to call me. I’m like State Farm, you know like a good neighbor I am here. You know I like to help you”. He said he would call and thanked me for coming down.

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Love of my life. She is as beautiful inside as she is outside

11/28/05 Monday
It is 2:00 in the morning. I have been awake for an hour and couldn’t get back to sleep. I couldn’t get my brother Larry out of my mind. I am still struggling with what I should do about him. I think I will send him an E-mail. He had told Aunt Virginia that now that he had a job he would pay me what we had agreed on concerning my mothers estate. He said that he would finally get me off his ass about it. That’s funny. (Not really). I guess I will add this to the list of lies he has told. It is getting long.
Larry has been a conundrum. He was the only family who helped me when I woke from my coma but even that was rough. I have to wonder what he has told my family about me but will probably never know. Regardless he stole from me, taking everything of value from my mothers estate when she died. He never told me she died until I confronted him an it. His excuse was that I was living under a bridge so he felt he couldn’t do anything for me. I am sure he has latched onto this story and will tell it to anyone to justify his actions. Fact is he knew where I was living and it wasn’t under a bridge. After much wrangling he agreed to pay me $1500 as my “Half” of the inheritance but never sent me a dime. I am torn by this. He is my brother and he did help me but he has lied and stolen from me. How should I handle this? I sent him an E mail. Probably should have waited till I was settled down but I didn’t.
This morning I am doing better. Yesterday was rough. I was slow all day, which hasn’t happened in a while, but the migraine was the ending of a bad day. It was one of those close the blinds and turn off the TV migraines. I took two of the migraine pills and that seemed to help a little. This morning I still have that light headed feeling and the strange thing is I am extremely hungry. It is unusual for me to feel hunger and this time it is like I have been starved. I guess that indicates that portion of the brain is active this morning.
Right now I am at Ed Schmidt Chevy to get Fred’s car looked at. Cherie had called me from work this morning and told me she had forgotten her phone and time cards. She asked me to bring them to her which I am more than glad to do. I called her as I was driving up so she could come out to get them. When she did I teased her by saying “You’ll do anything to get a kiss”. She laughed and kissed me and I gave her the stuff. I told her I love it when she laughs and that she is beautiful. “Have a good day honey. I’ll see you when you get home” I said and drove off to come to Ed Schmidt.
I need to take my seizure prescriptions to the VA clinic on Glendale to have them filled. I should have done that earlier but of course forgot. I only have enough to last another week and the refill slip says it take two weeks to get. I still have some of the smaller doses left so that should tide me over.
If I remember I will stop by Wayne’s to visit and pick up the vacuum cleaner we had given him. I felt bad about asking for it back and wouldn’t have if I didn’t find out he has another one sitting there. That little thing Cherie bought has a high pitched whine that hurts the ears and generally sucks but not in the way it’s supposed to. I had looked at the prices of vacuums at a store and was surprised at how much they cost. We tried cheap but you get what you pay for so will keep her old one running best we can.
As I waited in the lounge for them to get done with Fred’s Caddy I got into a conversation with a lady who was also waiting. It started when Dr. Phil came on the TV. I told her about how the show on schizophrenia, how it helped me understand a little what Dixie goes through. From there it went to my wreck, coma, memory loss, living on the street, and getting back with Cherie. As always when I talk about Cherie I get teary eyed. She asked me if I was a Christian or more specifically if Jesus is my Lord. I said yes though I am no longer sure about that stuff.
It was about 80 degrees in the lounge and the TV noise made it hard for me to think so I found an isolated chair in a corner of the showroom. I did remember that Fred had been talked into getting a protective coating for the front end of the Caddy that was added to the loan so I am inquiring when that can be done. The salesman is busy right now so I will wait to catch him. Hope I remember.
It is amazingly warm out side and the wind is whipping. I took off the flannel shirt to cool off. Don’t worry, I have a long sleeve T shirt on underneath so it’s not like I am stripping down and shocking others with my fat hairy belly. Gee, maybe I should take a picture of it so my readers can get disgusted. Nah, that wouldn’t work out to good. All two of the people who read this would abandon ship.
I am home now. It is 2:55. They found the problem an Fred’s car. It was a loose ground wire. When I caught up with the sales man he looked at me as if waiting for me to get upset again. He was relieved to learn I just needed to set up a time to get Fred’s car clear coated. He said the guy was going to call Fred so I let him know he had to call me cause I am the only one driving the car. He got a hold of the guy and we set up a time tomorrow morning to get it done.
I had forgotten about the prescription until I saw the pill bottle when I got the calendar out to write down the clear coat time. I had been planning to go straight to Wayne’s at that moment. That’s normal for me and I am good at compensating for the memory problem, putting things where I can see them and remember. I know some will think that short term memory loss means the memories don’t exist in my mind. That is absolutely not true. The memories are there, just my ability to access them is hampered.
Medical science recognizes three kinds of memory. There is immediate memory, short term memory, and long term memory. I was just reading in Scientific American about a study at the University of Leicester in England on how the brain’s memory works. They tested eight epileptics who had 64 tiny electrodes implanted in their brains before epilepsy surgery. These were used to pinpoint the source of their seizures. They would show the patients pictures of movie stars and found that specific neurons would fire for each individual shown. Seven different pictures of Halle Berry all triggered the same neuron. This is facial recognition which uses a particular part of the brain. Other memories use different areas of the brain. I can remember talking to someone, remember what was said, but if I saw the person the next day I would not recognize their face. This is one of the things that throws folks off. There have been several times that some had figured I would forget so they tried to take advantage of that. Doesn’t work that way. I forget little details such as faces and dates but remember things like what was said, especially if it bothered me. All my memories are there, just my ability to access them is hampered. I compensate for this by keeping this journal as I was taught to do at the Brain Injury Institute in St. Louis. It acts like a key, helping me unlock the memories.
I have been feeling strangely weak all day in addition to being hungry all day despite stopping at McDonalds for breakfast. I just whipped up some scrambled eggs and still feel hungry. Who knows what that means. Perhaps that part of the brain has rewired itself and is working better. We will see.
I had a revelation as I sat on the toilette. I have been feeling urpie since yesterday and as I was taking care of business I could hear my stomach groaning and bubbling like crazy. Last night the stomach was having me burp prodigiously and I had a mild diarrhea which has amplified itself today. The brain interprets signals from the body and thus we feel pain, pleasure, and fatigue. Because the part that tells me I am hungry does not work well I have to wonder if this brain is interpreting an upset stomach as hunger. Who knows. I just know that I can’t put too much stock in toilette revelations.
I went to Wayne’s and we talked for a while about things like housing and the Christmas party. I was getting tired so excused myself. Still tired and will probably take my afternoon nap. I was told this is a normal thing with TBI.
Checked my E mail hoping that Larry responded but there was nothing. I suppose he will continue to hope I will just go away and let him get away with ripping off his kin. Not likely.
Cherie came home tired and when she got out some stew meat to start cooking I said “Let’s go out and eat”. She said we couldn’t afford it so I told her we could go someplace not expensive. It took a bit but I talked her into going to Bob Evans. While we were eating there she looked at me and thanked me for doing this. We enjoyed each other’s company and came home. Cherie fell asleep in my arms and is still sleeping as I write. It is good to be in love. I told her earlier that I haven’t smiled and laughed this much in 25 years. (Since we married the first time) Neither has she. It is 7:30 now and I think I will end this entry and publish this.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

112705 Sunday

11/27/05 Sunday
     I have been working for two or more hours on getting these pictures published on the blog. I finally figured out how to place them where I want in the text. Before they just showed up at the front or I would have to load them as separate entries, you know individual posts. I learned how to identify the HTML code that went with a picture and then to copy and paste it to the spot I wanted. It was hard and Cherie let me concentrate on this as any distraction would make me forget where and what I was doing. As you can see from the blog the pictures are a bit helter skelter but they are there. Later, as I practice and relearn this several times, it will stay and I will get better. I am proud I stuck with this and didn’t give up despite the frustration. I really would like to go to school and learn more of this stuff instead of figuring it out myself the hard way. Working on this slowed me down as stress always does.
     Yesterday I had a headache that wouldn’t quit despite the migraine meds. I called Allen to see if he survived Thanksgiving. He had been invited over to Steve’s and they gave him lots of leftovers. That was good because depression is always amplified during the holidays, especially when you are not with family. His family is in Maryland. Mine just doesn’t want to hear from me or talk with me so I know how lonely he must be. I will try to E mail my sister, who at least replied to two of my E mails. I told Cherie that I would like to at least send cards to my family whether they wanted them or not.  
     I am pretty slow right now. I have to wonder if me not taking that herbal stuff contributes to this. Don’t know. It is almost 1:00 and I went back to bed. I am typing this in slow motion. I hate these times.
     I took one of the migraine pills. Hope it works. Got the blinds closed and everything off so it is quiet. Frustrating to not be up and doing things. Cherie went shopping or something. She told me but I don’t remember. Battery is getting low so I must put this laptop on the charger.
     It is 4:55 now. I haven’t had a day this bad for a while. Brain function is slow and I am wandering around kind of lost, always having to remember what I was about to do. Cherie came home and whipped up a nice dinner. I may be fighting something off as the stomach has been unsettled. The headache is still there. Medication did little to stop it. I was going to write about something but can’t remember now.
     I am not motivated at all. Just want to go to sleep and wake up better.

112605 Saturday

11/26/05 Saturday     
     Cherie was up and out the door fairly early to do more of the shopping thing so I slept in. When she came back she was worn out and didn’t understand why. “You been going at it full tilt for two days, of course your tired.” I told her and suggested she take a break. While I watched the news I could hear her in the kitchen cooking. Soon after I could smell whatever it was and then Cherie came in and said “I cooked breakfast and your going to eat it.” in her “I’m being the stern mom” voice. She was working hard to suppress a giggle as she said it.
     Fact is I seldom eat breakfast anymore and often forget about lunch too. I don’t feel the sensation of hunger and just forget to eat. Dinner happens cause that is always a shared meal with us but if I was out and about I would forget. She knows this and tries to make sure I eat. We are so good for each other.
     It is 12:41 now and the clouds we had this morning are gone. Cherie and I were talking about what we will do with this day. I would like to go to the park and get some pictures of our first snow. It will warm up to about 37 degrees today and that will melt the snow plus I think it is supposed to rain tonight.
     Cherie just came home. I am not feeling real good. Kinda like my skin is hot and I can feel my brow knotting up. Maybe a headache coming.
     It’s a slow down. Haven’t had too many lately, at least not as often as before. I don’t know. Will have to go through this journal to see cause don’t remember. I was telling Cherie about not feeling too well and could hear the slow down in my voice. So could Cherie. I was going to go to the park to take pictures but don’t think I will for now.
     I ended up going to the park because I didn’t want to miss taking pictures of the first snow. It was as good a day as you could ask for. There was no wind and the temperature was just freezing. I was warm in my quilted flannel shirt and a light jacket. Cherie was in the middle of doing stuff so she asked if I would mind her not going to the park with me. Of course I don’t but she is always too careful about making sure she is doing what I want. I keep telling her not to do that. I say “Cherie, you’ve got to quit submitting your will like that. Tell me what you want to do instead of asking me what I want you to do.” She is getting better at asserting herself but it is hard for her to overcome a lifetime of abuse.
     When I got to the park it was beautiful and as I walked admiring nature it wasn’t the same without Cherie to share it with. I called her and said I would take pictures of all our favorite places.  I took tons of pictures some of which I will share.

This one I call “Ripples”

You can barely see the two ducks in the middle. Click on the pictures and they will get big.

You can see the ice forming on this gently moving section of Swan Creek.

This is the last picture. I don’t have a clue what kind of tree this is but I was struck by how the bright red berries stood out in contrast to the browns and grays of winter.
     It is now Sunday as I work on putting this together. All the snow is now gone, washed away by the rain and rising temperature. It won’t be long and the snow will be staying and the rivers will freeze up. I will try to put this on the blog but suspect I will have problems getting the pictures to load correctly. It is a constant struggle for me to figure this stuff out, when I learn how to do something I quickly forget. Anyway, enough of my whining.

Friday, November 25, 2005

here's Wayne. Took a bit to get him here

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My brother Larry


Here is my brothers usual smile.
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Mama Weenie


This is her good side. Posted by Picasa


This is Fred on his birthday. The other picture is my grandmother who will be one hundred years old in February. I have other pictures but as always must relearn how to post them. just these two took about an hour to post.
11/25/05 Friday
It is 9:00 in the morning. Cherie has been long gone doing the early morning Black Friday shopping thing. I was going to stay in bed till Fred called. He is still sick and on a liquid diet and asked me to get him some chicken noodle soup. He said he would leave five bucks on the kitchen table and to just walk in and get it. Right now I have the Caddy warming up now that I figured out I could lock it with it running and still be able to get back in with the valet key. It’s got a security system and stuff I am not sure about. It does me little good to read the manual cause I forget it anyway.

Right now I am at Eileen’s. It is 11:11 right now. Anyway I finally made it. Been wanting to make down here for a while.
I need to fix the blog to make it easier to comment. Also E mail Weenie so she can get my address.

It is now 7:35 PM. Cherie had a wonderful day shopping. For her this is an activity that puts a bounce in her step. She came home just ecstatic with the deals she found. She always feels guilty when she does something she likes and starts out conversations with “I hope you don’t mind”. I told her that anything that makes her this happy is not only just fine with me but I encourage it. We are so in love.
Eileen had some good points for me. I was showing her all the pictures on this laptop and they include some of the characters I write about. She said it was good to put a face to the names. She also scolded me for not keeping up with my entries. “Come on Bob, what am I going to read tonight. I get a lot of entertainment from the blog” she said. Well Mama Weenie (Eileen’s nickname) here it is, incomplete as usual. I do fine till the end of the day, which for me is around 5:00 or 6:00. I will put a bunch of pictures on this time including the one that shows your “Good side”.
11/24/05 Thursday
Happy thanksgiving all. This is a brisk morning with just a few puffy clouds floating on the blue sky. There is a good three inches of snow on the ground though it has pretty much melted on the pavements. It was 24 degrees when we got up but will be getting steadily colder, down to 16 or so. I am not too speedy this morning but not bad. About a 7.
We never did get the stove fixed. The guy came by and looked at it. He didn’t have the part with him so he said he would go back to the shop to get it. A little later I get a call to set up a time Friday or so to have the stove fixed. I told the lady that this sure blows the hell out of baking for Thanksgiving. “We’ll be there between 1:00 and 3:00.” She cheerily said. “Whoopee” was my response.
I fixed a big breakfast starting with cinnamon rolls I baked in the toaster oven. I followed that with scrambled eggs, bacon, and potatoes cut into little squares and fried. I am sure there is a name for potatoes cooked or cut like that but I don’t know what that is. I used to but that is one of the anomalies of this tbi. When I woke up from the coma I could remember my home phone number but not my address.
It is 12:00 now and we are getting ready to go over to the in-laws at 1:00 or so. We went to Sam’s Club and bought a pecan pie. It was huge and cost something like $8.50. I hope it is as good as it looks. Cherie is trying to do something with sweet potatoes on the stove top as the oven is not an option.
I called Fred to see how he was doing. He said he had a rough night and that he had called Cathy next door so she could help him breath. I asked if the humidifier I put on his oxygen helped and he said it did. (That was one of the things I did yesterday which of course didn’t get recorded in this journal) Fred said I could use his Caddy to go over to Cherie’s parents for Thanksgiving. I will go warm it up in about twenty minutes.

112305 Wednesday

11/23/05 Wednesday
     As you can see I did not finish the journal entries for two days and most of yesterdays entry was my recollection of Monday. This is one of those paradoxes with my memory loss. I can go downstairs, get in the car, and drive away but when I get to the corner I no longer remember where I am going so I just turn right and try to remember as I drive. I always figure it out but it is a moment of disorientation that is regular. I have a hard time with an hour ago but can sometimes remember yesterday clearly. This really throws folks of and some think I am faking or using memory loss as an excuse for something
     It is 8:21 this morning. I am scheduled to take Barb to the Trilby church for food and then Fred asked me to take her to cash in cans so she could have some money for Thanks giving. Fred was apologetic when he asked that knowing I did not like doing it. I don’t have a problem with that but now we are supposed to get one to three inches of snow starting at 10:00. I may not want to go out at all. Fred’s tires are not the kind that are good on snow and his anti lock brakes and traction control are acting up. We’ll see how it plays out.
     I need to get up and cleaned up for the day. Really don’t want to get out from under the covers. We haven’t turned the heat on this winter except one time. Here it is 22 degrees out, but it’s not too bad in here, at least not to me. I would guess 55 to 60 degrees. The girl downstairs is from New Mexico so I am sure she has her heat cranked up and some of that bleeds up here. This works out well as I don’t feel the cold as much as most because of the injury and when Cherie has her hot flashes she loves the cold. And we save money too.
     Our stove burned out yesterday. Cherie was baking a bean dish and was preparing to make banana bread when we heard the stove loudly ZaaP. I opened it up and saw that the red hot element had broken and kind of welded itself. Anyway we don’t have a stove for Thanksgiving. I was supposed to bake a pie and Cherie was going to make the sweet potato dish for diabetics we discovered for Wayne. I will call Gerdinic Realty (Our landlord) but have little hope it will get fixed today.
     I took Barb to the Trilby Church and then to cash in her cans. I asked her where the usual crowd was. She said Dawn wasn’t up yet and Dixie didn’t want to go anywhere. I asked Barb how Dixie was doing and she told me “Dixie’s being weird”. After watching Dr. Phil’s show on Schizophrenia I have a better understanding of what Dixie is going through.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

112105 Monday

11/21/05 Monday
     I will have to go back and try to fill in the rest of yesterdays entry. It is 9:33 AM. An overcast day with a cold front coming in. They are talking snow maybe tomorrow but for sure on Wednesday. I am doing very well this morning. My typing is much better and faster. This is one of the things I can use to gauge my brain activity. I’d say I am at a strong 8 on the Bob scale.
     It is good that I am sharp because I get to take Fred’s car back to the dealership today and get some answers about it. After that I am to take Fred to change his insurance. Better get going.

11/22/05 Tuesday
     I had a slow down yesterday and am not to speedy this morning. It was a real busy day that kept me from getting to this journal and when things slowed enough so I could sit down at this computer I slowed down. Right now I couldn’t tell you what time that happened and the rest of the evening is fuzzy to me but I remember what I did that morning.
     I took Fred’s car to Ed Schmidt (Is that how it’s spelled?) so they could get a front plate on it. This had been a Michigan car because they don’t use a license plate in front so there was a panel in place to smooth out the bumper. I also planned on getting upset about where the fender was flared out.
     When I got there I wasn’t sure if I should pull up to the big overhead doors that were marked in big red letters “SERVICE ENTRANCE” or needed to park and walk in. I erred on the safe side and parked. I went in to find someone in charge who would take care of all this. Yeah I should of just pulled up to the doors and they would have been opened but I didn’t know.
     I told the guy what I needed and it took some detailed explanation to get him to understand why I couldn’t just slap on the plate. That done I asked if the salesmen were in yet because I needed to talk to mine. He asked me what my salesman looked like. I told him it was a tall bald guy cause that was what rose up in this mind. He looked puzzled and said “Bring the car in and I’ll get someone to take care of your plate”. I brought the car in and got out to look at it as I waited. Whoever slapped the paint on this baby sure did a shit job. It was chipped and had bumps in it from dust that had settled while the paint was wet.
     As I was doing this I noticed a guy getting a pop out of the machine and walking away. His gait looked familiar so,“Hey”, I yelled just loud enough for him to hear me. He turned and looked at me closely, trying to recognize me. I too looked at him to see if it was the salesman and if he recognized me. I sure didn’t recognize this guys face and he was tall but not even thinking about being bald.
     To my great relief I saw a smile come his face as he recognized me and came forward with his hand out to shake mine. “How are you doing?” he asked and I told him I was here to get the license plate thing fixed “But come here. I want to show you something.”. He dutifully followed me as I explained “Now I know this car has been in a wreck and they just painted it but {pointing to the panel we had just walked up to} this won’t do!”. He just looked at this obvious problem and sat there as he processed this and eventually said pretty much nothing, “Well…yeah…that isn’t right…”. “Fred isn’t happy about this and you don’t want him to get upset or you’ll eat this car” I told him. His reply was that he’ll do something but he hemmed and hawed with it. “You’re going to fix it.” I stated flatly. With this he said he had to talk to his boss and left.
     He was gone quite a while so I found a coffee machine and sat down to wait. Eventually I saw him walking briskly back with a smile on his face. “Let me run this over to the body shop and have them look at it.” he stated. Worked for me so I had some coffee and looked at brochures for a while.
     Eventually the salesman came in and said the car was fixed. He said “I told you I will always take care of you. That’s because I want you to come back. It’s good business.”. Well he did and I am happy but hope the car doesn’t have too many hidden problems.
     With that done I came back home. I had taken the manual out to the car so that I could try to figure things out like programming the features. I read the book up in the apartment and study it but then when I get in the car it is gone. It’s that short term memory thing. So I sat out in the car with the manual open working on figuring things out. The cell rang and it was Fred saying he would be right out, after a while. I put the manual away and pulled the car up to the door so Fred wouldn’t have to walk too far. I waited and waited, enjoying the Bose stereo in Fred’s Cadillac. I happened to look up and saw Fred hanging out the door without his jacket on trying to get my attention.
     I rolled the passenger window down so I could hear him. He asked me to come in and talk to this guy he had on the phone cause he couldn’t understand a word he was saying. I parked the car and went in. Getting on the phone I asked the guy who he was and what was going on. He is Indian and I am sure is calling from one of the huge call centers in India that have taken so many jobs in the US. He tried to remain on his script but I didn’t have time for that. “What company are you calling for” I asked. Come to find out Fred was paying either a credit card bill or buying something that required money to be charged on the card. Anyway I got it fixed so we left. I took Fred to State Farm so he could get the insurance switched from the Lincoln to his Caddy. That didn’t take very long.
     After that I took Fred back home. I am not sure of some things. I don’t know if Cherie came home for lunch or not. I know I went shopping for groceries, stopped at Sam’s to check on gas prices and look at cookware. (To replace the pot I destroyed when I forgot I left the burner on), called Wayne to see how he was doing, went over there and took him to Kroger, saw the “Service Stability System” light come on again and stay on, took the Caddy in to be looked at. I just don’t know in what order I did these things.  
     When I called Wayne he complained of being in pain and stuff. He wasn’t to anxious to have company but I could hear the depression so I told him I wanted to come by and see if his walker will fit in the trunk of this car. He said he would put some coffee on.
     Wayne looked rough and I could tell he didn’t get much sleep. He said that some kids knocked on his door at 2:00 in the morning with the “secret” knock they use at the drug dealer’s next door. A girl with them looked about fourteen to Wayne. They came back at 4:00 knocking again and again. Wayne just sat there hoping they would go away.
     We talked about things and I asked Wayne how his food situation was. He said he didn’t have any canned vegetables or fruit but that was OK. He had plenty meat in the freezer. I asked him about this phone number he got from Jill, the lady he met at the MS luncheon, that was a lady who could help with getting Wayne some safe housing.

It is 11:11 right now. I am writing the Monday recount at the moment and took a break to tell of my morning. I don’t have anything scheduled till 2:00 when I go see Allen. I am not too fast this morning but not bad. About a 7.
     As I write the Monday recount I am having to refer to earlier journal entries because while I can remember things my mind doesn’t put a time stamp on them so it is easy to get confused. I remembered things like taking Fred to Barb’s so he could show off his new used car but didn’t know if it was today or yesterday or the day before. It was yesterday.
     Back to this morning. I am showered and shaved have not eaten yet. I didn’t eat all day yesterday till I fixed dinner (I couldn’t remember fixing dinner till just now. Stuff just pops up when it feels like it.) It is amazing I am getting fat when I forget to eat and seldom feel the sensation of hunger. I am tired now but that’s tough. Will keep going.

Monday, November 21, 2005

11/20/05 Sunday
This will probably be the last warm day we will see in a while. They say it will go up to 54 degrees. I know you guys in Texas don’t think of 54 as being warm but it was just down to 22 degrees a few days ago. There isn’t a cloud in the sky.
Cherie has to work today so I’m sitting here thinking of what I should do. I called Fred and told him this would be the last good day for a bit. “Cherie’s at work and I don’t have anything scheduled Fred, so this would be a good time to get out if you want.” I told him. Fred said he didn’t have any place to go. I told him to let me know if he changed his mind.
I really want to visit Eileen and check in on Allen. Cherie said she might get back home pretty early and I want to spend the day with her…. Maybe we can both go visit Eileen. Oh yeah, that’s right, Eileen wants to see Cherie anyway. Now I have a plan just don’t know when it will happen.
There is much on my mind this morning. Yesterday I got a letter from the EPA. It seems there are twelve 55 gallon drums with chemicals such as solvents and stuff at the building I housed my companies in. I really don’t have a clue where those drums came from and regardless there is nothing I can do about it. I have no money, the companies no longer exist, and besides that these guys ripped me off. While I was in a coma they took and sold everything they could. Of course on the other side of the coin I was a nutcase towards the end of that life.
I guess it is time for a lawyer now. I need to get all the issues I have before me written down in a clear way because I won’t be able to verbalize well when under stress. I write much better than I talk. Have time to think it through. I know the lawyer I will go to. Because I am now publishing this I will refrain from using his name but just keep up with this journal and you will probably see his name cause I will forget this.
There are so many things I need to do I have a hard time sorting it out and nothing seems to happen anyway. I can’t keep up. Brain damage sucks. One thing at a time Bob. Pick something and focus on it.

Thats as far as I got yesterday. I do remember that we went shopping for dress shoes.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

11/19/05 Saturday
It is a bright cloudless morning and the temperature may actually get up to 50. Cherie has gone to work now. She didn’t have to be there till 9:00 and that helped make things more relaxed as she got ready. I already showered and shaved this morning. Off to a good start.
Fred may have me take him to Ed Schmidt Chevy (or some dealership) to look at a Cadillac. His mechanic, Jeff at Firestone, had told Fred he should get another car because the Lincoln is worn out. Fred would complain every time he had to pay for a repair and I would just say “Your car is old and worn out Fred. It’s just going to be a money pit.”. “Do you think I should buy a new car?” Fred would ask. We talked about that and I told him that he could make car payments with what he paid for repairs. As we talked and he went back and forth whether or not to buy I said “Fred, your getting old and you only have so many years left. Treat yourself and enjoy what you can. It’s your money. You can’t take it with you.” or something like that. That was a month or so ago. (Could have been last week, I really don’t know. I can remember things but not be able to put a time stamp on it. It’s weird to be me.)
I am fairly clear this morning. Running at an 8. I think I should call Fred and see if he is up to going today and if so schedule a time so I can plan a day.

Called Fred and went through the traditional “How you doing” exercise. Fred asked why I called so I asked him if he still wanted to go to the car place. He thought I was talking about going right now so I said I wasn’t in a hurry and wasn’t ready anyway. We will leave at 11:30.
I’ve opened the windows to get some fresh air into this apartment. It’s chilly and that motivated me to get dressed. I had decided to put my timeline on the blog probably a month or so but needed to edit it. Of course I have forgotten to do this every time I remember I need to. I know that sounds strange but here’s how it works with me. I am doing whatever and I remember I had a timeline and then that I wanted to edit and publish it. Then I would say to myself “I’ll do that today”. Moments later I’m doing something else and it’s gone, floating away to be remembered at some other time.
So with that said I will pull it up and it will show on the bottom bar so I can see and remember.

OK I’m driving a Cadillac now. We just got back from Ed Schmidt with the car Fred bought. Going over Fred had declared how he was not going to get bamboozled and “I’m not in a hurry. I can walk out anytime I want to. I don’t have to buy a car today”. “That’s right Fred” I assured him. Getting into the dealership from Dussel road was tricky. Had to drive through the service lot and wind through the rows of cars to get to the front. Once there I couldn’t figure out where the used car section was. Fred pointed down the lot exclaiming “The Cadillac’s down there Bob. This is all new cars.”. We are moving past used cars as he said this and there were new trucks where he wanted to go. I know Fred hasn’t been here to know where the car was and that he can’t see what he’s talking about so I parked at the main showroom to go in and find someone to talk to.
Now Fred gets anxious as he points to a small building that had a big sign saying “Leasing – Renting”. “That’s where you go Bob. That’s where the office is” he tells me “Go over there”. I dutifully obeyed and drove over there, parked, and got out. I looked around as Fred held on to the car because he didn’t know where to go.
A sales man came over and asked if we were looking for leasing - renting. I am sure he has seen folks make that mistake before because years ago the building was where the used cars were handled. Anyway he saw us coming and was on it. He told us to just go back and park where I had just been and he would get with us.
I got Fred back in the car and returned to the parking space we had just been in. As soon as I got out the car a guy coming out the door started up a conversation with me. When he learned Fred was looking for a Cadillac he said “I send a salesman out to you”. Whoever the first guy we talked to was he never had a chance to “get back with us”. We were welcomed like water in the desert, they were glad to see us.
The guy sent out to us was a little goofy. He would answer every question Fred had with a question. At first he would talk to me and I would tell him to talk to Fred cause he is the one buying the car. He would look at Fred and then start talking to me again. “Hey, he’s the one to talk to. I’m just the driver.” I let him know. With this he started talking to Fred but would always come back to me.
“How much are you going to give me for my car?” Fred asked. “What do you want? No don’t worry about that. I’m here to help you” the salesman replied. After this kind of back and forth he told Fred that he would have the Cadillac Fred was interested in brought up.
It was a black Cadillac that was called something I can’t remember. Not a model I was familiar with. It was small. Not much to it size wise. Fred started looking through it telling me it was nice until he saw it had a sunroof and that was it. “I don’t like this” he said “I don’t want this car”.
The sales man, seeing this sale vanishing, spoke up “I’ve got another Cadillac”. Fred was inclined to go home so I told him to at least look at it. “What kind of Cadillac is it?” Fred asked. The salesman told him it was a Seville. “Nope, I had a Seville. They’re no good” Fred said. I asked Fred what year his Seville was. “It was a 78” he answered. “Fred they make them allot better now” I told him and the salesman went on a discourse about the North Star engine. Fred agreed to look at the car so it was brought up.
This looked more like a Cadillac. Allot bigger than the first one. I could tell it had been repainted which is an indicator it has been in a wreck. Fred opened the door and began looking around. He liked it and started asking the salesman questions. Now begins again the dance. “How much do you want for this one?” Fred asked. “That depends. How much do you want to give?” Joe Slick salesman retorted. I was getting tired of this so started kind of directing things rephrasing Fred’s questions to the salesman and requiring him to respond. Many of Fred’s questions couldn’t be answered till the dealership appraised his car but Joe Slick kept trying to get a commitment.
Finally I told Joe Slick to go in and get the numbers so Fred could get a handle on this because Fred was just getting confused. The first proposal he brought was ridiculous so Fred got upset and sent the guy back to try again. He came back with payments that were in the range Fred wanted. After all his talk I expected Fred to go home and think on it but he surprised me by telling Joe Slick he’d buy it.
We unloaded the garbage from the Lincoln and transferred it to the Caddy though I would like to throw some of it out. Then I drove it home. Fred needed to get on his breathing machine so we agreed to come out later to go through the garbage from the Lincoln.
Right when we started Cherie called. She was just getting off work so I told Fred we should wait for Cherie so she could ride in the car. We did and Fred wanted to go show the car to Barb so that’s where we went. Fred had to bang on the door for a while to get Barb to answer. When she did she would not come out to look at the car so Fred came back and I took him home.
Cherie and I went to the park for our walk. It is always great to spend time with her and today we walked farther that I think we ever have before. We would come to areas that were completely new to me and Cherie would tell me we have been here before. That’s life with tbi and short term memory loss. I get to enjoy things for the first time again and again till it sticks. We saw some bucks for the first time. They were skittish and ran. I think I got a picture of him but will have to download them to see if they came out.
They came out pretty good considering I don’t know what I am doing. I got lucky on the buck as I shot the picture literally from the hip, hoping he was in the frame. It worked.

It is 8:32 PM right now and I am at St. Ann’s Emergency room. Cherie and I had just finished dinner and I had destroyed one of her pots by forgetting I had turned the burner on high to quickly make the water inside to evaporate. I got distracted and it wasn’t until I smelt the burning pan. I rushed in and picked up the pan. The copper bottom remained on the burner. Shit.
Anyway we were just settling down to relax in bed to the soothing sounds of the TV when the phone rang. It was Barb asking if I could take her to the emergency room. She said her jaw was infected and swollen up and when I had taken her in for this before they told her that if the infection spread it would be dangerous.
I got dressed and Cherie decided that she would go to Jo Ann Fabrics. I grabbed this laptop and Fred’s caddy and left. I picked up Barb and she was talkative. I got her to the emergency room and when I could see her in the light her jaw was ratcheting back and forth it was amazing she could talk. Her cheeks were blotchy red and she was giggly. I’m no doctor but I been around. It sure looks like crack cocaine but who knows, I can’t say for sure. She just called me to tell me they will be giving her a shot for this like the last time. Beats me.
Barb just called again. I’m pretty sure she’s high. There is nothing I can do about it. Dixie is freaking out and calling Barb every few minutes. She wants bleach to clean and asked Barb to find some and then for me to go get some. I told Barb no because this is part of Dixie’s mental illness. She will clean till her hands are raw from the bleach and bleeding. She obsesses about germs and is in constant fear of them.
I took Barb home and she was buzzing all the way there without stopping for breath. She told me proudly that she got a script for some pain pills. I have to wonder if that is why she went. I’m tired so will get this published and turn in for the night.

Friday, November 18, 2005

11/18/05 Friday
It is 9:58 in the cold morning and I am just now getting to this journal. I looked at yesterdays entry to see what I did. Right now I am trying to remember the rest of the day. You may have noticed that many of my entries don’t finish out the day. There are several reasons for this. On top of the list is that when Cherie comes home I forget all about journaling and enjoy being with her. Plus that is when we are doing things like fixing dinner and watching TV. We or at least I watch too much TV as it is. Real time waster that seldom offers something other than escaping into something that is not reality. I think it can be compared to wandering off into a drug haze that makes you feel good and then is gone. I know that is an extreme example but you get the idea.

It is a half hour later and I am watching Dr. Phil. After the previous discourse on the evils of television I had better justify this by saying that Dr. Phil is an intelligent show that I get allot out of. It gives me a greater ability to understand the issues of others and how to help them. It also helps me as I’m still working on my social skills that had been lost or damaged with the brain injury.
Right now he has a mother and her two daughters on. The mom is real upfront, loud, vulgar, and opinionated. As I listened to her talk with the F you’s and things bleeped out I found her conversation to be normal to me. The culture I am from find this to be normal conversation, just a way to talk and relate. We have no problem telling some one “kiss my ass”. I kind of liked this lady because if nothing else she is honest and says what she thinks. I watched and realized how this affected most of the audience and have to wonder if I affect others the same way. I really don’t cuss like that unless I am with friends who just talk that way.
I would love to see a church open on the east side that has a preacher who cussed. “Why?” you might ask. Think about it. Missionaries learn the language of the people they are going to minister to so those people can understand the message. Why shouldn’t a preacher speak in a way those of us in the “Lower” echelons of society speak.

It is 11:12 now. I turned off the TV after the Dr. Phil show before I could see what was on next and become a TV zombie again. You know the TV is like the full moon to a werewolf, it just stops us Zombies in our tracks.
I better tell of this morning before it vanishes. I met Jeff for our Friday breakfast tradition. It is always good to meet with him, nice to have a friend. We talked of things in our lives and didn’t get into Bible stuff though I did ask him how the home group was doing. He told me that many there were new and let me know about a few things happening with some of those we knew. Jim has a new job and Doug and his wife’s business was still operated out of their home. As Jeff told me these things I felt a sadness that Cherie and I were no longer in touch with them. We had both forayed out to find friends and become a part of a group and thought we would find it at church. Instead we got a soft kick in the ass out the door. Hey they disguised it to make them not look bad so they won’t feel bad.
After that I picked up Cherie’s check and went to Kroger to pick up some milk for Fred. I checked out through the do it yourself isle and headed to the Post Office to mail the large envelop with the letter and picture for Mee Maw. I went up to the counter and gave the envelope to the lady saying “I want to mail this”. She weighed it and said “sixty cents”. I reached for my wallet and said “Shit”. She looked at me so I explained that I didn’t have my wallet. She told me I could just put two stamps on it and that would be fine so I took off.
I was thinking I had left the wallet at home when I headed out to meet Jeff so wasn’t to worried though I kept trying to remember. Right when I was getting close to the apartment I remembered that I had to have my wallet because I had to get it out at Kroger. “Damn, I left it at Kroger” I thought and made a U turn on Heatherdowns giving it the gas as I rushed back to Kroger. I am thinking about what was in it, what do I have to replace, calling the bank about the debit credit card, and everything else. I drive faster and faster, hoping to get there before someone finds it but knowing the odds were stacked against me. I’m beating myself for getting distracted and forgetting. Pissed at this brain injury that contributes to this. Then I check myself. I know that getting upset changes nothing. What will be will be so why get all upset?
I got to Kroger and rushed in. I went straight to the checkout I had used and asked an employee if she had seen a wallet. She said they had found it right after I left and it was at the front desk or whatever you call the area where they take returns and cash checks. I was glad to hear that and when I got the wallet all of the $8.00 I had
was still there. I remember when that was more money than I had in my name.
Cherie came home to pick up her check and deposit it. It was a quick five minutes and we laughed and loved and I told her to be careful going back to work. We may go to the VFW fish fry on the East Side where Bernie is. Will play that by ear.
It is 26 or so degrees outside. We turned the heat on for the first time this year last night. Cherie turned it off this morning and it remains off. I just dress warm keeping on the insulated shirt I wore when I went out this morning. I guess the days of me lounging around naked cause I’m too lazy to get dressed are gone for a while. I might have to put another pair of socks on or my shoes cause the feet are cold.
Well I just poured some dishwater and was getting ready to clean up the kitchen when guess what. Fred called and wants to go get a new heater for Barb and a turkey for her also. I’m more than happy to do that cause she needs this especially for Thanksgiving.

3:59 PM. I am back. Made it alive. That was fun. Not really. Everyone was on the road, this is a precursor to the mayhem we will see after Thanksgiving when the Christmas idiot disease begins to run rampant. I took Fred first to Wal-Mart where I helped him pick out a room heater. I talked him into getting a nice unit with remote control that blew air instead of the oil radiator thing like he bought Barb last time. I figure if it didn’t last then it won’t be any better now.
Then we went to Aldi’s so Fred could get a turkey. I got to hand it to the old guy, he goes through all the ads with his monster lighted and magnifying reader and finds the best deal, or at least a good one. I grabbed one of the last two left and we were done there.
Instead of going straight over to Barb’s I told Fred we needed to go home first so I could assemble the heater. “Fred, Barb can’t put things together and you’ve seen what those yo yo’s around her can do” I argued and he agreed. Back at the house I unpacked the heater and put it together. It is really nice and I think I will talk to Cherie about getting one.
(Actually the odds are I won’t remember to talk to her about it but that’s why I have this journal. When she comes home and asks me what I did all day I just tell her to read the journal, especially on the days I am slow.)
Anyway I got it together and after Fred called her we went to Barb’s. Barb was waiting and I carried the turkey and heater in. I showed her how to operate the heater and gave her the remote control. She will have to play with it a while to figure it out. Fred joked that she would lose the remote and sure enough she already did. Fred just called and asked if I had accidentally brought it home. I laughed and said “Nah Fred, I don’t have it. That didn’t take long did it?”. He chuckled at that and I told him the remote was somewhere in Barb’s place, she would just have to find it.
Now that I am back home I guess I should pour out the cold dishwater and start that over again. I wonder if the dishes will get washed this time.

It is now 8:22. We just got back from the Outback steakhouse. It was ok but I can’t say much more than that. We are tired so will call it a day. Cherie has to work this weekend. Good night
11/17/05 Thursday
It is 23 degrees this morning so I suppose I should wear my sweats today. I am running at about an 8 this morning. It should be a good day to write as my mind has been composing different parts of the story. I have been remembering different events going back to when I was a teenager. At this moment I can’t recall what I remembered. That is why I need to write these things down when they come up. I bought a small hand held digital recorder then a better recorder and this laptop with the idea of catching these thoughts. It hasn’t worked well with the recorders but this laptop has a little.
I called Wayne at 10:00 to make sure he was up for the MS luncheon. He sounded groggy when he answered and told me his leg has been hurting and he didn’t feel like going. I tried to convince him it was worth the discomfort to attend the luncheon because he would be around others with MS. “No Bob, not this time” was his reply. I am contemplating going without him to learn better how to help and find more resources.
Now I have a day without plans so I must schedule things so something might actually be accomplished. I think I will pass on the luncheon but if I don’t go anywhere Fred might get upset. This is because I had Barb reschedule her dental appointment so I could take Wayne to the luncheon. I called Barb as soon as I got done talking to Wayne to see if she rescheduled the appointment because I now could take her today or needed to get it in my calendar. She had rescheduled and her case worker was going to take her. Works for me.
Do I go to the luncheon? Do I call Allen to see how he is doing? Do I visit Eileen? Do I stay home and try to write or carve? Wish I had some dice to roll. It’s cold out. Windy and it might make it up to 33 degrees which feels like 15 in this wind. I think I will stay home. Besides that going somewhere to make Fred think I am taking Wayne is deception and I have vowed to live as honestly as possible. That is hard to do in a world where deception is the norm. I am sure some will argue about that but it is a fact. Then there are the gray areas as there always are. Do you tell a child she did a wonderful job on something dear to her heart or do you tell the truth “That was crappy”.
So define honesty. Absolute honesty which includes not hiding what you think would be an affront to all you meet. Imagine walking in a court house. You are surrounded by every part of humanity and as you walk past them you can’t help but say what you think. “Yes, I have some spare change but I’m not giving it to you cause you’ll just buy booze!!! Besides that you smell!!! Damn girl, you’re ugly!!! Hey lady…You always treat your kids like dogs!!! No your honor I think your decision sucks!!!” How long before you think I would be thrown in jail??? So define honesty. As with the whole universe balance is what needs to be established in this.
Now I am writing. Hope it keeps up but I think I will carve while the morning light is coming in. The sun has come out.

I did carve and will probably go back to it after I write a letter to my grandmother. Cherie came home for lunch and reminded me I needed to get that done so she will get it by Thanksgiving. I know Thanksgiving is coming but have no idea when it is. It’s another one of those things I lost from the memory and despite having three or four thanksgiving under my belt since I woke up those are forgotten. Nah I can remember them with clues, little reminders like pictures or something else that stirs this mind and unlocks the memory.

Right now it is snowing outside. Not much, just a few flakes blowing in the wind one moment and then a beam of light claws through the clouds. The snow flakes were large light floaters and when the sun hit them it was like a swirl of pure white butterflies. Now there’s nothing but a fast moving dark cloud receding out the window now and it’s back to looking cold out.

Writing the letter to Mee Maw, my grandmother was more than I bargained for. I made the letter with real big letters she can read and kept the sentences short. Then I thought I ought to go through the pictures I have from my mother and Mee Maw that I scanned in to this computer. Going through the pictures brought out all kinds of emotion. There is my father holding me as a newborn. There is Mee Maw holding me also. There’s my mom, again and again. Who were they? My father and mother. They are strangers to me. I really don’t know much about them. I know some basics like my dad was a fighter pilot, my mom was a Playboy bunny in Chicago and later was the first woman to hold a chair at the commodities exchange. Beyond that they are strangers to me. Mom’s dead and dad won’t talk to me so I guess I won’t get to know them.
Anyway you can see how I was thinking. Hard to be happy at these times. I look forward to Cherie coming home because she always makes me feel good and laugh.
11/16/05 Wednesday
I was fixing breakfast this morning when I had a horrible realization. I had forgotten about my youngest son Adam’s birthday the 13th. This settled on me like a ton of lead. I love him and have tried to restore a relationship. I haven’t been real successful for several reasons. I don’t call his home much because he is seldom there and the strong emotions connected with that house. Barb has only answered once but her boyfriend, the one I caught her having sex with would usually answer. Other than that I just leave a message for Adam asking him to call. Adam is now working two jobs making it harder to talk to him.
I think another big factor in this is his mom is bitter to no end and apparently doesn’t miss an opportunity to express that. These words just make it harder for Adam to think good of me. I will leave him an E mail with the hope we can talk.
What upsets me also in this is the role my brain injury plays in this. I had written down and learned both Bruce and Adam’s birthdays. I put them in my computer calendar to insure I would not forget. I have looked at that calendar and knew the birthday was coming, thought about what I would get him, and tried to set up a time to meet him and learn what he might want for his birthday. But I have been using my handwritten calendar more than my computer one. Fell out of the routine I had. Today is three days after his birthday and I just realized it. I guess I am lucky to even do that. I am depressed now. I hope it didn’t hurt Adam to not hear from me on his birthday but I know it must have hurt some. I am sure that my ex found ample fodder in this to launch another tirade about how evil I am. It drives me nuts to forget all the time and now it hurts not just me but others.
Cherie just called to remind me to do something. I don’t remember what it was already but will figure it out. I don’t want to go out, just crawl under the covers and hide, but I have to get Wayne some food. He ran out of stuff. At least I am running at a 6 instead of being real slow. Hope it stays that good.
I just noticed that I again poured dishwater and forgot about it. The water is cold now so I will repour it. It is 11:49 now. I got showered and brushed these morning breath teeth. It is hard for me not to think about Adam. Feel like shit about it.
Cherie just came home for lunch. She was going to stay at work but changed her mind. When she called earlier she could tell I was down and came home to cheer me up. She was a light in the darkness, a smile in despair. I know I wasn’t that bad but you get the idea. I held her and told her how she brightened me up. She just looked up at me and said “That’s my job, I’m your wife and I love you”. With that my eyes began to fill up with tears as they so often do at these times and of course Cherie’s did also. I am blessed.
It’s time for me to go take Wayne to the store.
As I headed out I see there is another sink full of dishwater I had poured and forgotten again. It’s hard to get things done when you forget about it. One distraction and it’s gone. Gotta go.
I got Wayne to the grocery store and pushed the cart while he picked what he needed. He talked non stop as he does and this time I was better able to follow his conversation. I told Wayne what I have said before, that he needs to do more stuff for himself instead of relying on others to take care of things for him.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

111505 Tuesday

11/15/05 Tuesday
     It’s rainy out. Kinda miserable. I feel like the weather, drab and overcast. Getting lost easy this morning. Just went to my Blog E mail address to send an E mail to a lady who I think is named Linda. She is another survivor of traumatic brain injury and we met through the blog. Anyway, to get back on track I went to my E mail address and read the one message there and forgot about E mailing Linda. I hope to get clearer. Some days I just wander around forgetting what I was going to do. The saying “Out of sight, out of mind” is particularly true for me. In fact what I do and have Cherie do is leave things out in places for me to see, thus reminding me of a task. With that and a written schedule I do just fine. Some days the memory seems much better
     Fred called me yesterday and asked if I could take him to the funeral home because his last cousin just died. At 87 he has outlived all his relatives. Last year his sister died. I will dress up a little for this.
     I already took my shower and just realized I forgot to shave when my hand felt the beard as I was moving into my “Thinker” pose. Better go do that and brush my  teeth (Which I also forgot) now before I forget again.
     Alright Bob, you did it. (Hey there’s no one hear to give me an Attaboy so I gave myself one. Nothing like patting yourself on the back). I put my sweats on as it is getting cold. We have not turned the heat on yet and won’t till we have to. The budgets tight enough with out cranking it up with our electric heat, especially in Toledo which has something like the third highest electricity in the country.
     I fixed a good breakfast and took all my pills. I am tired but should keep going. The ears are ringing now and the beginnings of a headache seem to be forming. The VA gave me something for the migraines. I like having something you just take when the problem is bad instead of constantly like the pain stuff I get which is basically on par with Tylenol or Ibuprofen. I don’t like feeding this body drugs because I am sure there are long term issues like liver or kidney problems. I’ve been toughing it out since I woke up because of my fear of addictive medications stemming from the addiction to Oxycontin that had much to do with my downfall.
     It is 11:18 now. I was thinking it was around 10:00 so time is moving fast for me. I watched Dr. Phil and it was on women who had no self esteem. This touched a cord for it is one of the problems Cherie has. Cherie has the worlds quickest “I’m sorry” and often uses it unconsciously in her sentences. This morning it was something like “It’s raining outside, I’m sorry”. I asked her why she said sorry and her reply was “Did I say I’m sorry?”. I work constantly to teach Cherie how to assert herself and express how she feels about things. If I ask “Would you like to go out to eat?” her answer would be “Do you want to go out to eat?” as she would try to align her answer with whatever I wanted. She is getting better and recognizes when she does this. I have to be careful also as she can interpret anything as pointing out a fault in her. Something else she can feel guilty about.
     Wayne just called. He asked “Could you do me a favor?”. I said that I didn’t know because I am taking Fred to the funeral home. “What do you need Wayne?” I asked after explaining my day. He said he needed bread and coffee. Right then the phone gives me that someone is calling beep so I told Wayne I would see what I could do. The other caller was Cherie and she asked if I was going to wear the black pants we just bought. Of course I don’t have a clue about the pants and don’t even remember buying any pants recently.
     I told her I hadn’t thought about what I was going to wear and was just going to look in the closet for something. With that she said she didn’t know if the black pants fit and then said she would run to Value City to buy some pants during lunch. She was trying to hard to be the perfect wife and not fail in anyway. “Cherie I’m fine. We’re not going to buy a pair of pants so I can wear them one time at a funeral home where I don’t know anyone, not even the deceased. Just relax, it’s ok.” I assured her knowing she had been dwelling on this all morning, working it up in her mind.
     OK! It’s official, I’m fat. Just went into the closet to get something to wear to the funeral home and there no longer remains anything nice I can fit in other than two pair of jeans. That and a dark shirt with my worn dress shoes will have to do. I probably will stay out in the car and wait. I’ve seen enough death.
     I called Barb to let her know she needs to reschedule her dentist’s appointment. She let me know that her check came in and that it is raining so she would get wet if she walked to cash it. It’s burning a hole in her pocket. I know Basil will be home because he doesn’t lay brick when it rains. I’m sure he is pushing her to get the check cashed so it can go down the drain that sucks in all their cash. I think that drain is crack and alcohol but couldn’t say for sure, just know there’s something there.
     I got Fred to the funeral home. He kept telling me he was just going to run in, pay his respects, and run out. I knew he is likely to meet family he has not seen before so I told him to take as long as he wanted because I had nothing else to do. I laid the seat back and turned up the Bach, Beethoven, or whatever was on the PBS station. It was a symphony (I don’t even know the correct term) that featured a violin in the lead. Anyway it was cool and I cranked it up. Some of those walking in the funeral home gave me some curious looks.
     It has been steadily raining all day. I wore the dress shoes Larry had given me and the sole has come loose on the toe so that shoe was leaking. I didn’t even get out of the car at the funeral home but Fred wanted to go shopping so I had no choice but to plog through puddles. The rain made it particularly hard for Fred to breath but he pushed through and bought allot, for him. He was getting impatient as I would list the things in the shelf he was looking at. Fred would grab a box and look at it, guessing at what it was. Then I would have to tell him so he would grab another box. It got rough after a little bit and he just started pointing at things faster than I could tell him what it was. I was glad when we were done.
     After I took Fred home and carried his food up I called Barb to see if she still needed her check cashed. I figured she already got it cashed and sure enough she did. It will probably be gone before it gets dark.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

11/14/05 Monday

11/14/05 Monday
Cherie’s gone to work this sunny morning. It was 33 degrees out at 7:00 and will go up to 50 or so. I am lucid and moving already. Showered and stuff. Running about a 7 on the Bob scale. I hope to get much done today. There is nothing scheduled but you know how long that will last. I was tempted to not turn on the cell phone but that’s not right. There are some who depend on me.

Carman Kitty stalking

It is 11:24 now. I fixed pancakes and chowed them down. It took me forever to publish yesterdays entry. Got pretty confused when I tried to put in more than one picture. Eventually I figured something out but won’t remember next time. After I figure the same thing out a few times it stays.
At the moment I am thinking about my family. I keep telling myself to E mail my sister Robin but it never gets done. Soon as I turn around the thought vanishes. I think I am also afraid of rejection. I wonder how my dad is doing and daydream of talking with him, getting things straightened out. It will probably never happen.
I just remembered to take my pill. Kinda depressed. Think I will lay down. Cherie should be home for lunch soon.
Allen called after Cherie went back to work and asked if I could give him some help because he threw his back out. I really didn’t want to go but I had wanted to talk to him about his problem with pain killers. Allen was in bad shape and had a hard time standing up straight. I helped with the lifting he could not do. He wasn’t willing to hear anything regarding his problem so I left it be.
Cherie made some chicken casserole that was great. I whipped up some tapioca for dessert. Right now I think we are done for the day.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Now I am learning how to play with these pictures. Just have to figure how to get the journal entry placed here.
11/13/05 Sunday
That’s as far as I got yesterday and right now it is all I remember of the day. Later I am sure I will get a reminder that will bring yesterdays memories to the surface. We just got back from church. I pretty much just sat and watched, thinking of religions in general, how the human animal gets in sync with others through communal activities. Music and dancing are universal and speak of a deep primal instincts, heralding to the day our ancestors had to work as a team while hunting and fighting.
Sound was one of the means of communicating though nature shows many other ways species have of communicating. There is the use of odors and pheromones, body configurations such as facial expressions, and who knows how many other things that we don’t have a clue about. As I observed the people in church achieving varying degrees of ecstasy I consider how common this is in religions and cultures around the world. This same emotions and greater are worked up in many ways with groups joining with a rhythm, be it the beat of music, of voices, and of movement. I’ve experienced this in church, large rock concerts, martial arts, and even with a quartet practicing. There is a shared energy that increases as the number of participants increase.
So this is the kind of stuff going through my head at church. I am not comfortable with the dancing and prophesy stuff and suspect this too is a product of an excited imagination. Everyone wants to be important and spiritual and after a good musical workup they lined up to give their “Word from the Lord”. There were the regulars and maybe some new ones. I have become quite cynical these days.
They talked on “Community”. I could tell it was a packaged teaching, possibly purchased, that came complete with posters and maybe promotional materials as well. It is a good teaching and the series should make an impact. We are not too keen on opening up to others, it is safer to keep our world small.
We went shopping for socks, underwear, and something else that I don’t remember after church. I remembered Wayne had mentioned he needed stuff like this so I called him from K-Mart. We picked up some stuff for Wayne and forgot to buy one of the things on our list.
Later Cherie went to buy an iron and ironing board cover. I don’t know what I did other than wash the dishes. We went walking in the park and took some pictures. I’ll pick one or two to publish.
Can you see the deer?? She's right in the middle.