little_tristan: (Kitten Oxygen)
It's not exactly like the sun coming out. It's more like looking at the clock and realizing that it will come up in a few hours.

I'm still sad. But it's not anyone's fault. It's just me. The dreams are getting weird. That's when I know for sure something is wrong. I asked Steve when it started. When I started to go crazy this time. He refused to answer on the grounds that it could be used against him later, but the rest of the family agrees it was about three weeks ago. I didn't tell them right away about the fake memories. Even when I know I've lost touch with reality, it's scary to admit. Bad for my credibility. But there are too many memories in my head that logic tells me didn't happen.

It's good to still have logic.

Steve's going with me to the doctor as soon as I can get an appointment. He doesn't want too much responsibility for keeping me together, but he's promised to help me sort out what's real and what isn't until we get this thing under control. It's good to be able to trust the family. They won't mess with my mind when it's hanging by a thread.

Yesterday Heather and I emptied Mom's storage unit. It was too expensive and too far away to keep dealing with. We were going to put most of it in another unit here in town, but it got late and started raining so we left it in the van. Except for the cheap cat litter that Mom used when the roads were bad. Steve helped me put that into effect in my new front porch ashtray project. And we found a really old plastic milk crate that Heather washed off and helped me fill with all the new books I bought this summer. We got Willow a new dog crate at a yard sale last week. It's as tall as my desk, so I'm stacking milk crates on top to make more bookshelves. More dusting for Steve.

This morning the boys took the van load of stuff over to our rented shop and stacked it in a corner there under a tarp. That's better than renting another unit. We have a one year lease so it's safe through next March. It's also three blocks away and I have a key. That makes me feel better.

We found the quilts that Dad's mother gave my parents as a wedding present. Grandma made quilts for everyone, the way Mom's mother crocheted afghans. I think I got the last quilt ever given a grandchild, because she died when I was not quite 3. Heather got the pieces for hers and finished it herself a few years ago. Mom thought the quilts were gone, probably stolen when her last unit was broken into. There was a lot of stuff from Dad's store that I expected to find and didn't. I guess that actually was stolen. It's weird getting to the end of the stuff and knowing there should be more. I wish I could ask her about it. And more than that, that I could tell her we still have the quilts.
little_tristan: (Christina's World)
The good news is I sold some books! I gave a box to Cousin Heather to take to a craft/rummage type sale she's doing this weekend where people rent a table and sell whatever they want. But before she could get there, a friend of hers who'd read The Bedlam Boys asked if she could get him more so his book club could read it. He bought the whole box and I had to send another with the boys so she'd have some for the sale. (Their work is close to her house, so she can sneak over there and take things from their truck during the day.:) I doubt she'll sell any more, but it's still pretty cool. And if it's not raining, they want me to come speak at the club meeting. Only in good weather, though, as I won't be able to get into the house. Of course I've no idea what speakers do at these things, so I'd love advice from anyone who has experience. Or just good ideas.

I also think I've finally lost some weight, as today I was able to cross my legs for the first time in about 4 years. That was exciting.:)
Cut for depressing shit that no one wants to read )

Oh, and the boys put up a higher door between the kitchen and dining room so Willow can't even see over it, let alone jump it. The a-n still teases her over the door until she leaps for him, but she can't get to him so he can't complain. And the latch is way easier for me to work.
little_tristan: (Noam Chomsky)
But yesterday I was flipping through the On Demand menu for a series to watch and felt drawn to A&E's (that's Arts & Entertainment's) Hoarders. Without commercial interruption, even. Four episodes were available and I just finished the last one. It's a good show. It made me feel connected to other sad people who feel the need to fill their lives with things, with a stern warning about letting it go too far. Also, I hadn't known that there are mental health professionals who specialize in hoarding and know how to help a person let go without destroying what's left of their fragile sanity. Because I worry about that. Other people's sanity.

Most of the hoarding folks I saw came out okay. The therapists kept the families from pressuring or frightening their hoarders, although a couple times a sad spouse was used to push someone into admitting that other people were being hurt, too. It was calm and controlled, no one flipped out, and no dead or sick animals were found in any of the homes. One woman's home unexpectedly had to be condemned partway through the project, but the cleaners, who also specialize in this sort of thing, did a great job of recovering the valuable parts of her past for her. Photo albums and her mom's jewelry. The things people need. The program was very soothing to me. Seemingly insurmountable problems were cut down to size and calmly handled by competent professionals. I could have watched it all week.
For a few minutes I thought I had this reality tv thing all wrong. )
little_tristan: (Ranger)
And already I'm having a mild anxiety attack over the idea of Ranger spending the night at the vet. I know she'll be okay. She likes everyone there and they're all very nice people. She'll have her evening meds before she goes and I'll pack her supper and her morning meds for tomorrow. And Harvey, the big orange cat who lives in the office, will keep her company. Ray loves Harvey, and sometimes he's kind enough to acknowledge her.
Probably not Oddmonster safe... )
little_tristan: (Daria: Jane)
When I was a little kid, July 4th was a huge holiday. My favorite uncle and his family always came up, and Mom started buying fireworks the day they appeared in stores. We'd stay up all night lighting them in the driveway, and occasionally setting fire to the wheat field across the road. It was Mom's holiday, the way Christmas was Dad's.

The boys have always humored me in that a little, so far as setting off a few fiery fountains and such in our driveway, but now that we go to bed at six-thirty, there's not much point. Maybe we'll be able to again when the 4th falls on a Friday or Saturday, but that won't be for a few years, and I've noticed that once they manage to wrench a lifelong tradition from my clenched and bleeding fingers, I never get it back. So I spent most of the weekend crying, and Herr spent most of it being angry at me because he's tired of it. Everyone here is tired of everything. We've gotten to this point where we might actually die if we don't just take a break (11 years without a whole day off, y'all), but Herr thinks that the only way to manage an unmanageable situation is to, you know, work harder. Even though it means he doesn't really get anything done, and everyone is stressed out and unhappy all the time.

He used to have plans for vacations. There were things we were going to do when we had X amount of money. When we could afford it. But all these years later, we have three and four times the amounts he said we needed, yet it's not enough. I don't think it'll ever be enough. But God help me if I ever bring that up. Not that I will. I'm too fucking tired.
little_tristan: (BtVS Spike Misery)
Yesterday I got more legal stuff in the mail. It seemed unnecessarily complicated, so this morning I called the lawyer to ask about one minor detail. And it turns out that that detail is actually irrelevant right now. It will become relevant later, after I've ponied up several thousand dollars of my own money to secure an insurance bond to protect the estate which, and I can't stress this enough, I'm not getting any of. So that's what I'm doing today.

My point? Dying without a will is the worst thing you can do to your family. Okay, I can't say flat out that it's worse than dying, but for the love of puppies, don't do one without the other.
little_tristan: (Catloaf Blue-Eyed Kitten)
I'm tempted to generalize and say that this is everyone's experience, that it will happen to all of you, too, but I won't. It might not be true, and even if it is, many of you won't believe me until it happens, and in the meantime, you'll be pissed at me. So I'm going to try to limit it to my own experience, YMMV, and try not to come off like I think I'm somehow older and wiser than everyone else. If I do anyway, I'm sorry.
Long-ass ramble behind the cut )
little_tristan: (BtVS Spike Misery)
I thought it would just be me figuring out what papers to collect and where to find them. And then when I met the lawyer, she made it sound pretty cut and dried. Long, but not terribly expensive or torturous. She even came up with some stuff that my sister can spend her share on so the state can't take it. (Apparently she'd have 30 days to get rid of it, and a lot of useful stuff is exempt.) And then I happened to mention, just in passing, that my dad died in the same situation that Sister's in now, with Medicaid and all.

So--it turns out that while there were loopholes to protect Mom when Dad died, she was able to keep the house and such, Medicaid can and will make a claim against her estate now for his debt. So the bank account with the actual money in it, the one with no beneficiary or POD, could very well go to the State without ever pausing to be divided between us. The lawyer says there's a small hope based on the fact that Dad's been gone 14 years and Mom only got the money a year and a half ago--an inheritance from her sister. But she also said that we have to fight it in the county where Mom lived, which is a much harder one to win these things in than our county. When we were on the way home, I remembered that Mom filed bankruptcy in 2006 or '07, so I called her back to ask if that would help. Maybe the State released its claims against her then. She told me to bring everything I could find on the inheritance and the bankruptcy, so I get to do that this afternoon, after I see the accountant about my (and her) taxes.

One thing is sure: I'm not going to feel the least bit bad about collecting my representative fee. I think I'm going to earn it.

Oh, and one more thing. POD means Pay on Death. Pick someone out, go to the bank, and put that name on your account. It doesn't make it joint, they can't spend your money while you're alive, and it can't be attached by that person's creditors. It DOES avoid probate by passing the money directly to the chosen person, and not even your creditors can take it from them. Seriously. It's quick, it's easy, and they'll thank you when you're dead.
little_tristan: (No Icon)
I'd always wondered about that, how they differed from regular headaches. But it started Monday morning, after I requested a police welfare check on my mom. First it was just a pain in the base of my neck, and then it traveled up to my skull, and gradually over the top to where it set up camp and began drilling for oil in my left eye socket. I wake up with it every morning now, that stiffness in my neck and the pain in my head, but every day it travels a little more. Yesterday it got around the front to my left collar bone, and today it's setting up another rig to drill in my right eye. I don't have the slightest idea what to do about it. None of my drugs are working. Yesterday I found actual pure morphine in Mom's apartment. I need to do some research first, but I expect I'll be trying that before this is over.

I wonder if the tension would go away if I cried. So far, I haven't done that for more than a minute or two at a time, because I suspect that when I really start, it could last for hours and right now I just don't have the time. Maybe I can schedule it for Sunday.

Sometimes I pause and wonder if I'm having a stroke.

I can't really remember when I last ate. Caffeine helps a little.

My cousin and her friends did a great job cleaning up at Mom's. It was only a little bit awful taking her brother over there. He actually got there first, before I'd even left home, but the manager couldn't let him, because apparently I'm in charge. The legal machine has taken over, and the law, in its infinite bizarreness, puts children ahead of siblings. But he lives far away and can't stay long, so I guess it's just as well. I don't know. Yesterday I signed the cremation order, which had to be initialed in about nine places, and at least 4 of them were to certify that there isn't anyone else with greater authority to sign it. Basically, it was 4 different ways of saying, It's all on you, kid. That was when the headache reached my clavicle. I'm so afraid of fucking up.

I did fuck up, though, because between the cleaning and the funeral home and trying to get her mail from the PO, I never had time to go to my sister's. As it was, I didn't get home until long after Herr went to bed. I was working hard and a lot of important stuff got done, but she needs me and I couldn't be there. I can't be everywhere, and that just sounds so lame. I sent Uncle Harold to visit with her while we cleaned up the worst of the mess (sort of a twofer), but it's not the same. He's not in charge, so he can't tell her what's going to happen. I'm going to try and reach Harold today and see if he'll drive me out there.

There was a message on Mom's answering machine from a woman in Colorado who was apparently a close friend. She sounded worried. I have to call her, but the idea makes my jaw hurt.

When I got home, there were flowers on the porch from the boys' bosses. They were very surprised. Even at their age, they still don't understand death protocol.

The footprint is still on her door.

At least the vomiting has stopped. For now.
little_tristan: (Daria: Mr. D)
WARNING: Triggering accounts of rape, child abuse, victim-blaming, and rage-inciting insensitivity on the part of some white dude who gets paid to be a dick in the big-city paper.

First, the New York Times article, here. (If they take it down, let me know. I have it saved as a Word doc and will happily forward.)

If you can't see what's wrong with it, click here to have it explained.

And, finally, click here to point out to the aforementioned white dude that he's being a dick right in front of God and everyone. In case he also needs it explained.

Sigh

Feb. 24th, 2011 05:24 am
little_tristan: (Daria: Jane)
The snow came, but came too late. There's a couple inches on the ground, and it's expected to snow off and on all day, but it's just not piled up like they promised. So all that happened was the boys put the chains on the truck last night while the ground was clear and then left extra early this morning.

For what it's worth, tomorrow is fully expected to break the day-time low temperature record for that date, and today might. So we still have that.
little_tristan: (BtVS Spike Misery)
Herr just left for work, after one of the worst weekends we've ever endured together. Over the last few months, he's been degenerating into a fanfic character--one who spins around in an endless panic, not eating or sleeping and living on caffeine and fear. The middle of last week, he started throwing up a lot, whether there was anything in his stomach or not, and he finally collapsed in the factory on Friday. Even then, he wouldn't see a doctor. He's scary that way--the lengths he'll go to to avoid losing control. Instead, he clocked out and slept in the truck until Bruder finished up and brought him home. He slept on the sofa all evening, refused his supper, and for the first time in months, slept through the night.

Ever since, we've been trying to get small bits of food into him, or even water if that's the best we can do, and he's developed a tolerance for my liquid food. (He drinks the high calorie stuff; I stick to the sugar free.) But we couldn't keep him home today. He may be a walking skeleton on whom Victoria's Secret extra small yoga pants hang loose (he wears them for underwear, not having any body fat whatsoever), but he's by-God going to work. The only sign that he's at all sane is that he is planning to spend most of the work-day sleeping in the van. He hasn't decided if he's going to clock in, or tell them he's taking a sick day while being on call for the things only he can do. It's sort of a toss-up between sleeping on their time or working on his. Either way, he gets paid and the work gets done. Unless he collapses again.

You'd think someone that writes these scenarios as often as I do would have some clue as how to handle the situation. But I don't. Actual men are just a whole different story, and I'm not being allowed to dictate the ending.
little_tristan: (No Icon)
Doodle passed away last night in her sleep. Whatever it was, she fought it hard. But she was just a little dog...
little_tristan: (Ray & Kenny)
Our little Doodle dog is sick, possibly dying, and since I can't do anything for her (she's at the vet's house receiving the most intensive, personal care that a pet can in this town), I'm posting all my favorite pics so you can join me in sending good thoughts her way. The vet says she can give supportive treatment, but Doodle has to heal herself; there's nothing they can really do directly. So enjoy the pics and pray for my puppy. Okay, she's 5 years old, but she's still a puppy at heart and was planning on being one for another 10 years or so.


Doodle's first bath
More doggy cute this way )

Spirit Day

Oct. 2nd, 2010 07:51 pm
little_tristan: (Sam on a Mission)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] neo_prodigy at Spirit Day
 


It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes at at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.

RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)

REBLOG to spread a message of love, unity and peace.


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