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    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2017 edited
    Myrtle, I won't be doing that anymore. I only need the one set.

    Lorrie, I think those that want to wear their ring(s) should wear their rings because they want to. What's the goal if it doesn't include our self expression?

    I have no headstone and therefore no cemetery in my life. Her remains are here with me in the living room on a bureau surrounded by things she loved and group pictures of her friends and family. I pass through the living room but I haven't spent 10 minutes in there for over five years now. I'm sure that means something but I don't really care what.

    I'm writing a story too. It's based on a historical event too. I'm making the main character out of spaghetti. The entire time is taken up trying to get spaghetti man to stand up. Long after the kindest soul still hangs in, there is no sign of anything happening, let alone a plot line of some kind beginning to unfold. Does spaghetti man ever stand up? Order now for the second book in this gripping series.

    I have several narratives running, none of which I can rule out and in no particular order:

    - I've blocked off my real feelings about Dianne and so haven't really grieved
    - I was hurt too much and won't give anyone anything close to trust
    - I was damaged and still have depression and anxiety issues that colors things
    - I'm fearful of letting go and becoming something else
    - Deep down I feel bad about surviving and being ok
    - I'm good at some things; this isn't one of them
    - I'm trying to push the envelope faster than I'm actually recovering
    - I'm fine. All those things are real and take time, but this is fully me now

    It will all sort itself out in time I suppose.
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2017
    Wolf, stop "supposing" for a moment and tell me five things that can make you smile.
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeMay 28th 2017 edited
    Ok Wolf, I will tell you 5 things that make me smile.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeMay 29th 2017
    I'm still thinking. But, it's good to hear something about you. We have cat lovers here. Who is this cat that walked into your life? What part of Australia are you in anyways? Don't forget to not delete that post otherwise we'll get told again. :-D
    Cassie and Wolf

    I love the idea of listing 5 things that make you smile. I have been working on gratitude
    as a part of finding meaning and joy again. And yes it takes work to be happy after our
    painful experiences and loss.

    I would love to hear what makes our members smile please.

    These things made me smile today






    I go to bed each night and think of what I am grateful for that day

    I still miss my husband terribly and he never leaves my thoughts. This is my way of
    trying to live my best life. Sadness and joy can coexist.
    • CommentAuthorBev*
    • CommentTimeMay 29th 2017
    Things that make me smile:

    My grandchildren

    A good book

    My daughter's dog, Sarge

    Watching the birds in my trees

    My neighbors

    And, if I don't cry, thinking about my husband
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeMay 29th 2017 edited
    I really wanted to delete that post, Wolf but I was too scared of what Myrtle would say!
    My cat did literally walk into my life, she came from dreadful neighbours who have a history of animal neglect and abuse.
    She appeared at my backdoor a few months before my husband died.
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeMay 29th 2017
    I liked reading what makes you smile, Lorrie and Bev.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2017
    I'm glad Myrtle said that. I greatly prefer that we don't erase ourselves. Your post of five things is part of the life changing yesterday I had.

    I'm not the only animal helper or animal lover around here. In my books it's one of the many 'tells' about what a person is like compared to how I see things.

    I found something to smile about. Yesterday morning I faced the annual dreaded flower buying expedition. I love plants but I am the reluctant gardener. Every year I'm like a surly teenager told to do this chore. Yesterday morning when I went, part of my mind was still on actually finding five things that make me smile.

    When I got home I checked my phone for some reason and there was a message. It was from my next door neighbour. Did I want to come along on this Sunday with him the way I have a few times in the past. Yes I do. The problem was it was Monday. So I phoned him and said I was sorry I missed that and had no idea how I didn't hear the phone. He told me he didn't go and would I be interested in going now? He sounded a bit strange.

    When we went it came out that his girlfriend was moving out again. I asked if he wanted to talk about it and the trip was about five hours and it came out through numerous stories that she doesn't just appear a bit psychotic - she is. This person and I have now gone on four of these long drives and every time we talk from the first minute to the last on a wide range of subjects.

    He's a friend of motorcycle man across the street where motorcycle man knocked on my door two weeks ago asking how I was. I was right in the middle of three things on the stove all happening right now. I told him to call me and come over for a coffee another time but he hasn't.

    Most people on our court are quite normal. Those two and I am not. We are all a little bit crazy and I told my next door neighbour that I was going to call motorcycle man and get him over for a coffee and a talk. I then explained that what I was really thinking was to have both of them over for dinner. My next door neighbour was very interested in that. Then I told him I had sometimes thought of coming over and throwing a big ribeye steak on his grill when it was on because I'll never own a BBQ again - but once in a while! He laughed and said any time I saw him out there to please come over and throw my steak on.

    I should explain that I've lived on this court for over ten years now but I have almost never come outside or joined in anything. I've always explained it's me and not them and they all know my story so no one is surprised. I've been invited by both of these guys (aged 46 and 51) to join them numerous times and have always either declined or reluctantly made an appearance.

    So. What made me smile is that facing something I don't like doing (getting the flowers and I have to put them in today), and thinking about what could make me smile - life took me for a ride yesterday and that's when I broke through after so many years from reluctance around all people to being the instigator of spending time with people.

    This is a breakthrough for me. It's the next morning and I have no buyers remorse. I'm going to phone motorcycle man and get him over here and talk to him about how best to get the two of them over for dinner. That's not going to be hard. When he knocked on my door he commented how good it smelled in here where dinner was on the stove.

    Those eight lines I put in my post are real and some of those lines should ring with most people that read here. But all things connect. And in some ways because Myrtle spoke up and because your post stayed, what makes me smile was in the back of my mind as something to address.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeMay 30th 2017

    I had also been reading an essay entitled Grief Taboo In American Literature. She was taking a psychiatrist's view on Mark Twain and some others and used the psychiatrist rule of thumb that you must mourn through to get over. That book is the first one I noticed talk about an aspect of grief I have no connection to. She called it 'anniversary revival' where a date is made the authorization to revive painful things we're still working through accepting. That made me come up with a name for what my widow friend does. She calls on what would have been MY anniversary and (apparently) displays 'anniversary revival transference'. I would never want to be a therapist. Getting paid to solve theory of emotional state just has to do things to you over time.

    My niece wrote yesterday too. She's the daughter of my widow friend. She's trying to crowd fund publishing a children's book she has written. My one friend left I still talk to regularly told me the story of them going to the carribean last month where her son Dan finally got married to his partner Dan (this makes me smile). The other Dan (see?) is Jewish and his parents resisted him marrying a gentile, but he finally went ahead anyway. On the way down, my widow friend announced it was so terribly sad that her husband, their father, couldn't be here seeing all this today and apparently all of them jumped on her that, for God's sakes, get over it! He died over five years ago now. She's going to phone me on August 01 anyway. I'll let you know.

    Thank you Cassie for putting that idea in my head. It will always be part of my story of the day that I broke through and didn't just want to want my life - but saddled her up and got on.

    I'm sorry about your sister.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2017
    Five things that make me smile:

    1. My cat, when she does something silly.

    I can't think of anything else.
    That's a start Myrtle. Sounds like your cat must be good company.
    • CommentTimeJun 1st 2017
    Could your house support 4 more cats in the style they would expect?
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2017
    HaHaHa! My house might be able to but I sure can't. As it is, I am working my fingers to the bone just to support one cat in the style that she expects and, in fact, demands.
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2017 edited
    Cats I have known and served:
    I seemed to inherit all the old and ailing cats of friends and relatives. Poops is memorable. She was well-named. It was her instant response to any excitement. She came under my care when I married my husband, and he had raised her and her sister since birth. Her sister Tabby was a well-nourished gray-and-white sleek matron who bullied Poops and probably always had.
    When Tabby died of old age (she must have had a heart attack and fell down a recessed area over a basement window) Poops began to come into her own. Her mange had left patches of stiff black hair,; she was still prone to accidents. I did not find her a cuddly cat. She was still skittish and peeked around corners, but craved affection, specifically from me, though my husband was the cat person in the household.
    Poops’ time came two years later. The last few days of her life, she wanted to be with me all the time. She died one morning in the spring sunlight as we sat together on the back step under the clothesline. I felt awfully glad I could be there for her.
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2017
    I love that story, Mary and serve them, we certainly do!.
    And they really do cost a fortune, Myrtle.
    I just spent $600 at the vets for a U.T.I and then there is the ongoing cost of medication for stress related hair loss
    and of course only the highest quality food is acceptable!
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJun 3rd 2017 edited
    Cats I have known and served:

    Tom, huge male grey tabby with a head like a small lion. His only sound was like a peeved Jimmy Cagney. "Maw!" See?

    Lucy and Linus. European grey and tabby again but two females. Formerly my sister's cats Greaseball and Monkey, part of a litter we adopted. Lucy passed away from massive kidney failure while I was in Montreal. I came back and could only find Linus and called Dianne who broke down at work telling me. She was 14. Linus, I reluctantly agreed with the vet should be put down at 15 and she went instantly in my arms.

    Peaches and Patches. Peaches was orange with a touch of tabby. Dumb as a bag of hammers. Patches was half tuxedo half tabby. If we started packing to go away for the weekend, at the very first bag to come out Patches would avoid us while Peaches, up until the very last minute, always wondered what was going on. They both went at 17 after a long and happy life. Both had that last hour in the grass in the sun before I took them to the vet within months of each other.

    Bandit and Tahia. Tahia was a rescue. Bandit was a kitten. Bandit is the smartest cat I've ever met. She has specific sounds that say "hey moron! it's past feeding time." or "is it time to eat yet?" or "hi. I'm just passing through." I never have to tell her anything twice. She likes sleeping with me but only so she can bite me. "I didn't know you were a biter!" I yelled at her the second time I got a half inch gash on my wrist. I have a small collection of them like paint testing stripes on a highway.

    Just a year ago Tahia got sick for while and it really hurt me. I remember crying "don't you leave me too!" It was just a year after Dianne passed and it was where I realized I wasn't just alone and old - my cats were already old. Where was everybody?? Alzheimers.

    I get now that I can do this. I'm not happy or full of life, but I feel that the months are moving me towards more stability these days and my thoughts and feelings don't race to defence only. I can own the responsibility again.

    My heart goes out to Ol Don, who very much wants to have a dog again but can't bring himself to because of his age. He can't do that to his dog. I don't know what I will do. I won't get kittens, but I hope that I will rescue one or two that have few other prospects and we'll be a motley crew together until the wheels come off. I hope that will be true.

    The days I put my cats down were the worst memories of my life. They aren't anymore. I'm going to be loving these and hurting just as much; but, I've been places now that some wouldn't believe and I'm not the same. If I had gone to Greece and become a welder, I wouldn't be the same either. I say that partly because I don't know a Greek welder from Adam any more than I know who I am now.

    Luckily, I don't have to know who I am now; I just have to know how to be. I've misplaced that still but I'm sure it's around here somewhere.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeJun 3rd 2017
    Wolf, In an earlier post you mentioned giving cream to your cats. I would like to do this but have read that doing so will make cats sick because they are lactose intolerant. What is your experience?
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJun 3rd 2017
    Myrtle, I've never had any trouble with cream. There's no difference in them that I can spot and they always have a water dish.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeJun 3rd 2017
    Thanks. I think I'll try it.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeJun 3rd 2017 edited
    Cats I have served:

    My first cat joined us when I offered to let my recently widowed sister-in-law live with us after she sold her house and could not find another house in time. The cat had really belonged to her late husband. She told me that it was an outdoor cat, a "real hunter, not a lap cat." I knew nothing about cats. Within one week the cat was on my lap. When my sister-in-law left after 6 months, the cat stayed. She died about 3 years later at about age 19. She already had a name but I called her myrtle. (I don't know why.) She was a long haired blonde. Very floppy.

    My next cats were a pair of orange boys. Felix was short-haired, nervous, and a comedian. Oscar was long-haired and lazy. They were 1 when we got them and almost 16 when they left us. My husband was crazy about them, but by the time they died he did not even notice they were gone. He went into LTC a few months later, so there I was alone.

    I got Lucy about a year later. I've had her for 2 years. She is 6 now. An long-haired orange girl. (Most orange cats are boys.)
    • CommentAuthorAliM
    • CommentTimeJun 6th 2017
    Well, here I am meandering along in life at the sixth month mark after my AD caregiving world ceased. Have not been able to go back to pre AD good memories yet. The thing that still bugs me the most is the professional worlds lack of knowledge about caregiving. In the present I have been trying to get rid of some of the clutter that has accumulated in the past twelve to fourteen years. I used to think that if I had not used something in a year I didn't need it so out it would go. I got sidetracked along the way and cleaning up now is a pain and painful. The memories are painful and hauling off the clutter 2-3 bags at a time in my little vehicle is a pain. Still trying to decide if I want to stay in this house where I have lived for 33 years. Still don't have the marker in place just promise after promise. I can't take my business elsewhere since they already have the money. Patience has never been a virtue I possessed.
    Thanks to all of you (Cassie, Wolf, Mim, Myrtle, Marche) and all posters who understand and even make me smile. I appreciate all of you more than words could ever express.
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeJun 6th 2017
    AliM, be kind to yourself and slow down a little.
    It has only been such a short time and you are doing so much and planning great changes.
    Don't do anything too drastic just yet and that includes chucking out "clutter." You may regret doing that later!
    Keep after them about the marker, it will give you some peace when that is in place.
    Take care and all the very best as you go forward.
    • CommentAuthorAliM
    • CommentTimeJun 6th 2017
    Cassie, Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I am still having a difficult time believing that DH has left this earthly world and I am still here. Always assumed I would go first since my motto was always to live hard, die young and have beautiful memories. DH was always the highly educated health nut and firmly believed in being active physically, mentally and socially. He did all the things his entire life that the experts tell us to do to keep from getting AD. That was firm proof for me that we are never completely in charge of anything. I would not want him to be back here and suffering. Did not mean to rant. I will give you a big "shout out" when the marker is placed. This hot weather has slowed me down with my decluttering project for now so I am going take time to soul search about whether to stay or go. Take care," Down Under".
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeJun 6th 2017 edited
    Truer words were never spoken AliM, we really are, "never completely in charge of anything!"
    Hope some beautiful memories come back to you soon.
    Ps; edited, not to delete anything but to correct punctuation, my skills in that area seem to have left the building!
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2017 edited
    Tangent, a cat I did not serve well:
    Part One: (From a plea published in the Vancouver Sun Newspaper in 1978 titled "Tangent come home, you wandering sailor.")
    This is a mystery story. The mystery is: Whatever possessed us to take our cat on a 10-day-sailing trip? And where is she now?
    That I am a novice sailor must be admitted at once. That the name of the rented sailboat was Sheer Madness seems appropriate. That the motor would not start and that we were then soaked by a cloudburst was ominous.
    The cat wisely hid in the furthest point of the fo’c’sle, only her eyes showing among the duffle bags. She stayed there the whole time it took us to sail to Snug Cove, Bowen Island.
    The cat had had an adventurous past. Formerly a member of a commune on Vancouver Island, she came to us when the commune broke up. We surmise that she had been the particular pet of a buxom young woman for her favorite resting place was between two pillows where she almost smothered. She had a fixation for those billowy promontories.
    My kids must think that I have more maternal feelings that is actually so. They are always bringing home friends who are to be fed, housed and cleaned up. I was a natural target for an abandoned kitten.
    We named her Tangent because of her habit of running on an angle.
    She turned out to be in heat. In our visit to the vet’s for a hasty spaying we must have attracted every tomcat within a 10-mile radius. A costly series of shots later and we were the owners of a cat.
    Or more precisely, the cat owned us. There is no more touching sight that that of a cat training her humans. For a model of sheer perseverance and unwavering principle, a cat that wants to be fed is a prime example. To turn unconcern to an almost robot response is the cat’s chief aim and she winds herself around feet, blocks traffic everywhere — except to her bowl — then graciously accepts the offer.
    We grew to appreciate her. There was at first a grudging respect for her singlemindedness, than an admiration of her insistence to be exactly what she was. She offered no apologies or excuses. She had no identity crisis. She was a cat that was a cat.
    The only time I saw her not in control was when a stray male kitten wandered in and out of the house. This took place over the period of a week. Tangent’s disposition deteriorated rapidly. She was jealous and she was spiteful.
    She would not eat. She hissed and swiped at the kitten every time he dared walk past her. She threw glances over her left shoulder at me that were hateful and savage. I know it was only a matter of time before she packed her bags and left.
    Fortunately, the stray’s owner had posted signs throughout the neighborhood. We were able to move the intruder on and just in time.
    It took a few days for Tangent to forgive us for that lapse.
    I have avoided the question. What on earth did make me take the cat on a sailboat? Simply: I thought the kids, left at home, wouldn’t take care of her as well as I could.
    It seemed as though it would work out. We tied up at the float, had supper, fed the cat. The litter box was handy. We sat at the stern with our coffee.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2017
    You've got my attention but I have an uneasy feeling that this story is not going to end well.
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2017 edited
    Part Two:
    We tied up at the float, had supper, fed the cat. The litter box was handy. We sat at the stern with our coffee, at peace with the world.
    Tangent had a problem. She didn’t want to use the litter box. The green woods were handy and that was where she wanted to attend to increasingly urgent affairs. The last I saw of her was when she headed up the ramp, tail straight up, her eyes directed to the needle-covered forest floor.
    She wasn’t back by the time we went to bed. It began to rain. I have waited with less concern for my children to come home at night.
    No cat in the morning. We spent hours calling her. We rattled her favorite toy mouse (the one with the bell around its neck and its stuffing mostly catnip.) We stopped people to ask, “Have you seen a very larger greyish-brown tabby cat?”
    If you must lose a cat, I suggest Bowen Island as the best place. Everyone there seems to be a cat-lover. But we didn’t find Tangent.
    We reluctantly left for Plumper Cove that night.
    Calling back at Snug Cove on our return, we received news.
    She had apparently returned to the float shortly after we left, after attending to whatever cats attend to on warm summer evenings. Perhaps she was hunting robins. Perhaps because of the rain, she got slightly confused.
    She entered the porthole of the water taxi Cabrina, tied nearby. The porthole led into the head and she left that for a cabin by way of the floorboards. When the owner came down a day later he could hear her mewing.
    But she wouldn’t leave when he freed her. She stayed there and he took her home with him. The next day he had a trip to make and he left her in the locked house. She was gone when he returned. He had left a window open.
    She went back to the float where our sailboat had been tied. The Henry Bell was there and she was seen to jump on deck. The Henry Bell was a 32-foot motor sailor. Tangent had good taste.
    We had to accept the possibility that she was on her way north for the summer. Or maybe an illegal feline emigrant to the United States.
    I learned a great deal last summer about the cost of ship-to-shore telephone calls. I found out the Coast Guard is very helpful, that marina operators are courteous and that yacht club secretaries go out of their way to assist. I also learned that “Lost” ads are expensive. But I didn’t learn where Tangent was.
    She must have jumped back off the Henry Bell because they didn’t have her. So she was last seen in Snug Cove on July 10 and is still missing. And I miss her.
    We have tracked down every possible lead but without success. I am about to give away her cat food and return her favorite cushion to general household use. This is the last try.
    LOST: July 10 at Snug Cove, Bowen
    island. Very large greyish brown tabby
    cat with black stripes. Female, spayed,
    about two year sold. One brown spot on
    left eye, which is otherwise green. Does
    not come when called but name is Tangent.
    Has anyone seen this sailor?
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2017
    This is heartbreaking. She was trying to find you. It is also troubling, as a harness and lead (mentioned by cassie on another thread) could have prevented it. I am dreading the next installment.
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2017 edited
    This happened almost 40 years ago, in 1978. I don't think we had cat harnesses and leads back then. If we did, I didn't know about them.
    Cats are great survivors, and I've always felt that Tangent lived out her nine lives in comfort somewhere along the Coast, maybe one of the Gulf Islands.
    The Vancouver Sun newspaper had (has) a wide readership throughout British Columbia, and to my surprise and gratitude, my story was placed one Page 5, the Opinion Page. It was a popular page in the first section of the paper.
    I think that Tangent endeared herself to a new owner. In any case, there was never any response to my plea. Tangent, R.I.P.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2017
    Mart, I was joking (sort of) about the harnesses. I can't picture walking a cat with one in the woods. A good story, though. It certainly got me out of my doldrums.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2017
    AliM, My husband was like that about food, too. He avoided unhealthful foods, got lots of exercise, and was outgoing and mentally active. My father, while having a different personality, was also careful about what he ate, got lots of exercise, and after retiring did volunteer accounting work for charities. He, too, died of Alzheimer's. My mother, on the other hand, ate lots of baked goods, salted her food heavily, and disliked exercise. She died at age 98 with all her marbles. When I think of my husband's​ attention to his health, I could cry because he was 19 years older than I was and I know he wanted to stay active so he could be with me. He was healthy except for the Alzheimer's. I can accept that he died at 88 ( a long life) but resent that we lost so many years to this disease.

    As for the experts, their advice would have done nothing for my family members, for they were already doing these things. For years we have been told that the medical experts are just around the corner from figuring out this disease but in reality they still have no clue.
    • CommentAuthorAliM
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2017
    myrtle, I agree with you 100 percent. DH never went for any testing except the most simple to confirm what we already knew. We never care to know the specifics of which kind he had. During the five and half yrs of NH visits I saw so many families anguishing in distress over no improvement with each drug, test, and specialist their loved was subjected to. Still breaks my heart. Just wish that until the "may" help is changed to "will" help, with all of the money grabbing procedures, that doctors would just admit that they don't have a clue. I do hope research continues and a definite cure or preventative med will be developed. IMHO for over 100 years since it was first diagnosed as plaque on the brain all other info has given false hope and outrageous expense for AD family members. I also understand that many will do whatever it takes to try to stop the monster. That is why it is such a cruel disease. Maybe someday............................................
    Cassie, Visited the cemetery today and the marker was placed yesterday. I was pleased with it but now it feels like there is a new layer of finality after seeing his name and dates of birth and death and age 72 of AD.
    • CommentAuthorAliM
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2017
    Please don't send the grammar police after me. That last and should have been 'at' age 72. I am slow at tech stuff so I thought that if I attempted to edit I would lose everything. (LOL)
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2017
    AliM, I know what you mean about the finality of the marker but it is good that it is no longer an unmarked grave.
    I am already in hiding from the grammar police so I wouldn't be sending them after anyone!
    Dementia is just like a wild animal, it always catches whatever prey it sets its' sights upon no matter how healthy or fast they are.
    And I think that doctors should have to take exams each year, to keep their knowledge up to date!
    Mary, I love your posts and I read part 1 but I am not going to read part 2. In my mind you all sailed happily home!
    Well-written story, Mary and I enjoyed it. "I have waited with less concern for my children to come home at night." was a clever and amusing turn. The story is a case study in the independent nature of cats who can take care of themselves and have their own sense of time. She obviously regretted catting around for such a long time and desired to re-establish residence with you. The story could be a parable or fairy tale of what happens when you make people wait for you.

    Tell us again what the title of your book is that you recently had published.
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2017 edited
    It isn't published yet. I just got my first draft back from the line-editor 15 mins. ago. It will take at least a week before I've made the corrections, and then I'll send it out to a publisher. I won't hear back from the publisher for about 3 months. If they want it, it will be around a year before it's published. It's a "hurry up and wait" game. In the meantime, I do have another book that I want to try to have an agent place in England.
    Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed meetingTangent.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2017
    Good story well told but I'm with Cassie. I didn't read the second part - I just skimmed through it. Some may think that's too sensitive but when something real is happening right now, I'm the guy that faces it and doesn't panic or run away - not them. I can listen to what people go through. I can't listen to what animals go through.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJun 12th 2017
    This month has so much going on, I've tried four times to talk about it and every time I got frustrated and stopped. Now I have two more things to add and even though these two are just about dreaming, they're both major changes and both happened last night.

    I've talked about always looking for my car in my dreams. I've been tired of that for years already because I've always known where I parked and where my car is in real life. What I haven't talked about is that I'm always moving around in some city trying to get to somewhere. I'm never rushed or frustrated in my dreams about either of those. It's like I accept that those are the things I do.

    Last night I was driving my car - not looking for it. I told myself several months ago I was tired of looking for my car even though I don't want to upset dreams I don't understand. Last night is the first time I can remember that I hadn't just found it - I was using it. It was first person perspective. I was looking through the windshield and I know I was shifting gears so it was the manual transmission I still prefer. Whatever happens next in dreams - I finally appear to have found my car. Still no idea what car because I can't recall what it looked like.

    The second thing is that while I was walking down the street trying to get to the place I was going which I never know - I told myself in the dream to check into the hotel where I was trying to be instead of just walking around - and lo and behold, there I was handing over the credit card and arriving somewhere. No idea where that was either.

    I looked for my car in my dreams long before AD entered our lives. I talked about it with a perfectly clear Dianne. Sometimes over that time I have driven in my dream and this might be just one of those times. It's odd to me though that I changed behaviour in a second dream on the same night. That scene I have a much clearer memory of. I stopped walking and told myself to solve the issue by checking in where I was trying to be and walked over, entered the downtown hotel lobby, and checked in. I even remember handing over the credit card to get that done.

    In telling this, I realize I've never had a dream I can remember where I was anywhere familiar and known. Instead, people I know in real life and people I don't have always seemed fine with being somewhere different every dream. I wrote all my dreams down one year and compiled them into a book for someone who told me they'd never remembered a single dream. In that year I had been a squirrel in a tree watching a nineteenth century parade, I had gotten into a brand new model A ford and driven it, and I escaped a bear chasing me into the top of a very tall tree by twirling my beany hat and slowly lifting up above the trees. That bear got one of my sneakers off with his last desperate reach at my heels and then I was looking around down at the forest as I continued to slowly rise into the air.

    I don't time travel. I have a developed sense of history and my mind uses that when it does whatever dreaming is, I believe. I've read a number of books about dreaming and I've read what some bright minds have to say about dreaming; but, I've never heard a satisfactory explanation of either sleep or dreaming. The conservation of energy is obvious but the need for our minds to do that regularly is still unknown in my opinion. It's not just animals that must sleep and dream. All kinds of creatures need to do it. Even trees.

    I've paused here for a bit. I've just hunted down the Circadian rhythm or cycle. It may be some deep relic of originating on this 24 hour day and night planet. I may pursue another new word that opens up which is chronobiology. First I'd better finish this post.

    My life is fundamentally changing this month. So are my dreams.
    • CommentAuthorAliM
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2017
    Wolf, All of my dreams that I remember are about things I have seen or discussed the day before. The one recurring dream I have is about moving from one location to another. I attribute this to moving from one house to another often while growing up and moving from state to state while DH was in the USAF. Guess I am either a boring person or just a shallow thinker. My 57 year old brother has absolutely horrible dreams. He has always been a gentle soul so it is hard to understand where and how such dreams originate in his mind. Your posts are always interesting. Best wishes for your dreams.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2017
    Alim, I'm quite sure it doesn't mean you're either boring or a shallow thinker. What it does likely mean is that those are the ideas your mind is using when it puts up what we call dreams. I know a couple of people that usually don't have visual dreams, they dream in patterns or some form of rhythms. One of those was a lawyer and is quite bright. The friend I wrote the book for is very bright and he doesn't have any memory of dreaming ever. Also, nothing I read spoke in any way about what we dream being about anything like that. It was more that we are a coincidental tourist of some play which our brain seems to be putting on, but which is actually a series of processes the brain runs through while we sleep, including differences in what sleep state we're in. Our brain is doing other things and showing us dreams isn't on it's agenda. Instead, our conscious state seems to become aware at times while sleeping and, if it does, the conscious state sees the processing as though it were reality. If that makes us wake up, that shuts down the mind's processing in sleep and shifts it into providing us the data of our actual surroundings. Usually in our dark bedroom perfect for sleeping and we roll over and get back to what we were doing. Sleeping and dreaming are strange things. I don't believe we understand these things that thoroughly yet and I'm certain that I don't. I wonder what other people dream or think about dreams.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2017
    Wolf, In what way is your life fundamentally changing this month? Also, is this change reflected in your dreams or is it the dreams that are affecting your life?
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2017
    I think the change may be reflected in the dreams to some extent. The date it started was May 29 but that's where willingness met opportunity for the first time I think. I believe dreams have little predictive value partly because it's random which dreams we become aware of and which dreams we remember. If I stop looking for my car and instead do other things in dreams over the next months, I'll be more inclined to believe it's triggered by having a talk with myself about it for the first time in my life a few months ago.
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2017
    Have you had the neighbours over for that dinner yet, Wolf?
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2017 edited
    I had motorcycle man over for a long talk and coffee. He's also interested in coming for dinner. Two days ago my next door neighbour (the other invitee) watched his girlfriend of a couple of years move out. So I went over there to listen to him rant wild-eyed about all the things that had happened for a while. The day before that my friend who always phones accepted my invitation to visit and we had a long talk about everything.

    Unlike the two animals I'm having over for ribs, my long time friend is very reserved and hadn't wanted to intrude on me. I told him he was always welcome and he almost showed a hint of emotion there. Being next to the person next to someone having an emotion is usually as close as he gets. His idea of a big hug is leaning in towards you like one of those armless punching bag toys with the weight in the bottom and then bobbing back away to compensate for the intensity of the moment. He's cool as a cucumber under fire though. I know because I worked for him for a couple of years in the fourty one years I've known him.

    The last new friend I made was in 1975. The thing is I made 22 new friends in that one single year and every one of them we were still friends with when Dianne got AD. One couple, one foursome, and sixteen from basketball. My best friend came out of that basketball group, this friend came out of there, and another lifelong close couple friendship came from that basketball group.

    I did meet one person I thought I could be friends with when I worked at my friends company. He wasn't interested. But guess what? He did become friends with my friend and now I have the distinct pleasure of hearing he bought a winery in Portugal. In other words I get regular updates on the person who turned me down twenty years ago.

    I'm not looking for friendship or new friends. I might be lucky but I don't see life that way and I think that English fails miserably at giving useful words to the many kinds of 'friends' we make. What's the next down from friend? Acquaintance? Really?

    The fundamental change this month is latitude. Healing, need, desire, and opportunity finally did all intersect and the instant it did, I acted and seized the moment. I did that because I owned the latitude again to do so. Latitude defined as scope for freedom of action or thought.

    I enjoyed all those little plays over all those decades of all the times our friends got together with us. I enjoyed it because I had plenty of latitude with which to ignore some things and let other things slide.

    I know now that one of the first things to go and one of the last things to come back is the nuances of our own personalities. Those nuances become very intricate things which is partly why it takes time to notice that your partner is losing them. I lost them over the years I was taught to be nothing in order to survive.

    After ten years on this court barely coming out of the house except for chores and the nursing home, I finally want to initiate and engage. I have only one expectation. I work at it. Like all other things I'm different now. I don't just have some latitude back I'm willing to put in. I have knowing latitude and that is a different thing.

    I'm going to go all over the map in this local threesome. They're both wild, crazy, and full of life. I look like Ted the accountant, but I'm not. I'm not that interested in chit chats and set pieces. These two are as unbounded as they are interesting and it's the perfect place to start because I'm long welcomed and I belong on this court already.

    There is no change in feelings or outlook. I've long stopped struggling with AD and have been struggling with rehabilitating me which is a seamless experience that tastes exactly the same. I've passed an important marker though which I never visualized as a goal.

    Some would see this as wanting to be with people again and it is. I've wanted to be with people all the way through though and quite strongly. The truth, as I see it, is that enough things have resolved and mended and enough things have receded and dimmed so that desire, and need, and healing, and opportunity finally intersected and the best thing about that is seeing I grabbed it.
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2017
    Wolf, it was a joy to read that post. XX
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2017 edited
    Yes, that was a great post, Wolf. These two guys sound like a lot of fun.

    Elizabeth, Are you still here?
    Present and accounted for, ma'am. I read everything--am thinking about posting on "Journeys Somewhere Else" in the near future.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2017 edited
    Well, I just walked back into the house after talking to my neighbour for a while and dinner is on. I asked him to talk to motorcycle man and it sounds like it's going to be on friday night. He's going to phone me back some time to let me know what the two of them settled on. One works and the other is attending college so they have to agree on when.

    I don't feel any different. In so many ways I'm watching myself doing these things. I'm on side though and I believe this will be like everything else has been after the 14 months of aftermath and the 8 months of struggling in an emerging world that still packed hefty oppressive power. This year where the exact month is indistinct unlike April 2016, it's a different world. It's not a happy world or a rewarding world, but it feels more ordinary where problems seem more proportional to the problems and my own weirdness and limitation feels familiar. My limitations are a problem and one day I'll have to address that right after I stop fondling all over them.

    I believe taking that 'vacation' in December had something to do with this. I authorized myself to stop worrying for a while, stop struggling and trying for a while, and just take a break. I'm STILL playing that space game which has been beyond expectations. I seemed to be able to drop the burdens somewhat by reminding myself all the time that I was on vacation and was supposed to get away from the grind for a while. I don't know that but I do think it played a role.

    Two years ago I wouldn't have touched either of these guys with a ten foot pole. I wouldn't have touched anyone I believe because I was so hurt and wounded that saw only the problems, the threats, and the foreignness. Thinking about that brought me to the word latitude where my scope of willingness seems to be expanding in the safety of enough distance and recovery from those years. That wasn't enough. I have to act, and it's watching myself do that which shows me that I'm ready to have some people back in my life. I had almost no contact with live other people for years and I knew that was unhealthy in the long run. Ultimately, there's no way not to see this as a good step in my so called life.

    Wolf's back ribs:

    Heat the oven to 350 degrees and make sure the grate is in the middle of the stove. Slice and trim a rack of back ribs. Place tinfoil over a cookie sheet. Try and have as may ribs as possible standing up on the curved bone because they cook more evenly. Bake for one hour checking once or twice as you get close. My oven tends to be a bit low so you might be 45 minutes to an hour.

    Shut off the oven and if there's a lot of fat drain most of it off. If that's too tricky forget that part. Just flip the ones on their sides because what's in contact with the tinfoil and in the oil cooks faster. Slather your favourite BBQ sauce on it with a brush. I use DIana's Chicken & Rib sauce but you might like something else. Turn the broiler on low and place the ribs back in. Don't go far because you have to watch now. The sauce will caramelize and bond to the meat. That may take 5 to 10 minutes.

    Take the ribs out and flip them over. If there's too much fat don't turn them over, just slather them again. If you turned them over slather the other side. Place back in under the broiler on low. This side is likely to caramelize a bit faster than the first side. Remove the ribs, let them sit for a couple of minutes, and serve.

    Wolf's candied carrots:

    Boil baby carrots. Drain them and leave them in the pot. Add between a teaspoon to a tablespoon of butter or margarine. Add a tablespoon of brown sugar. Optionally add some parsley flakes. Mix making sure the sugar melts fully. Serve.

    Wolf's summer salad:

    - iceberg lettuce
    - optional shaved carrots (washed carrot trimmed lengthwise with a potato peeler)
    - optional tomato diced
    - optional cucumber diced

    Mix oil and cider vinegar to taste. I use a vegetable oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Add a large tablespoon of white granulated sugar. Optional to add dillweed. Mix well with a fork until it comes together and the sugar is virtually all dissolved. Pour over the salad and mix.


    That with some white rice is the menu.

    edit - I think in my case all the things have long delayed reactions. I may not feel anything about this but it will change things going down the road. That's the way everything seems to have been so far.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeJun 21st 2017 edited
    Wolf, I know what you mean about the delay in reacting to events. Sometimes it's not even clear that the event is the cause of the reaction. If nothing else, I hope you guys have a good time. The menu sounds great. I hope they will remember to bring the beer.

    Elizabeth, I'm glad you're still here. I look forward to reading your comments.