Monday, January 31, 2005

late night worries

The time is 3:51 AM. Got a big ol' brain buzz going. This next week is going to be stressfull. It's Monday morning. I'll be so glad when I finally crawl into bed next Sunday night.

Today I go to visit my dad's accountant, Harold. My dad is in the early stages of Alzheimer's and we're rushing to get his affairs in order. Actually, it's been coming on for a few years but in the last few months it's gotten much worse. He's been evaluated but we're still waiting for the final report. The wheels at the VA turn very slowly. Anyway...

I don't know what my dad wants to accomplish with this visit but it's probably a good idea for me to meet this guy. Dad is insisting that "when the time comes" Harold is the one he wants to handle everything. This may or may not be the best way to go. Dad is 76 years old and Harold is older than Dad. Dad's been getting a little paranoid lately and he doesn't trust that his five kids will make the right decisions for him. I have to keep reminding him that he raised 5 smart people and we have his best interests at heart. He also thinks that just about any professional we might hire will surely rip him off. Right now we're trying to figure out a way to make this farm profitable so he can have some income. We think (and Dad agrees) that leasing out his big side field would be the best way to go. But getting a realtor up here to look the place over is a frightening prospect for him. As if a realtor could steal the farm or maybe alert the authorities to Dad's questionable farming practices. (Note to reader- It's a Christmastree farm. Don't be alarmed.)

So, we're meeting with Harold today. Dad has been trying to get through the huge pile of papers on his desk looking for the right tax forms. Drew, Stacey and I have been trying to help him and it's been extremely frustrating. Dad keeps every scrap of paper. He has about 5 big file cabinets in his office and a few little ones and they're stuffed full. He won't let us throw anything away. We're talkin' old tool catalogs from 1987, marketing materials, old to-do lists, ANYTHING. He even keeps tools in these file cabinets. So far we've managed to find only one of the forms he needs to get his taxes done.

But at least I'll be able to get a handle on Harold. Maybe he'll be ok and I'll feel like he'll be able to handle the monumental tast of sorting out Dad's finances. Or maybe I'll be on the phone to my sibs as soon as I get home screaming my head off. We'll see.

Worry #2-

Thursday Dad flies to Texas to visit my uncle and aunt. They don't know about his condition so I'm a little concerned about how well he'll be looked after. Never mind, I can't worry about what will happen once he gets there. My job is to worry about the flights there and back. On the first flight he hast to change planes in Phoenix. On the returning flight he stops in Phoenix but he needs to stay on the plane. We tried to explaining that to him several times but he just can't grasp it. Jim printed out instructions for him in big bold letters on bright yellow paper. I taped the paper into his date book that he carries with him at all times. I'm sure he'll notice it as he flips through the book, which he does several times a day. When I take him to the sirport I can sign a form that will allow me to accompany him to the gate. I'll try to get a flight attendant to come out and talk to me so I can tell her that he'll need assistance when he gets to Phoenix. That should take care of his trip there. At some point I'm hoping I can talk to Jeannie and Herbie and tell them to do the same thing when they put him on the flight home.

This will be interesting. Dad hasn't told them about his problem. He wants to tell them sometime during his visit. I've been telling him he needs to tell them right away. This is Mardi Gras time in Galveston and Herbie and Jeannie are very involved in it. They'll be quite busy and might not be able to give Dad the attention and supervision he'll need. Fortunately, there are some other relatives there who can help.

Worry #3-

Sunday is when I sing the Laudate Dominum at Kevin's church. I'm just getting over a cold and I'm sure I'll be fine by Sunday. This week I'll need to practice like crazy. I haven't done this kind of singing in a very long time and I'm not confident I'll do a good job. I really don't want to let Kevin down.

Worry #4-

Not really a worry, just one of those things I'd rather not do. After I sing on Sunday we're going to Jim's cousin's house for a Superbowl party. Jim's aunt is visiting from up north and the whole family is getting together. This is an interesting mix of people and they can be a lot of fun. But they can also be hard to be around. Jim's aunt is the queen of everything. She's a good person, smart and very outspoken. She'll rag on us about not being employed. We're fine. We've started our own business though it hasn't taken off yet. We still have no income but if it comes down to it, we'll get jobs.

Two of the cousins are heavy duty alcoholics. Most of the time they behave but sometimes they get into some pretty big fights. Andf if they don't fight they're certain to get pretty drunk and sloppy. Talking to them is a big fat drag. If they get too weird, I'm going to leave.

Of course we're required to put on a show. One cousin is a good musician and he used to be in a band with Ken. They all used to play together when they were teenagers. It can be fun playing music with Tony but it's totally his show. That's ok, I don't have a problem with that. He's a good guy and it'a always fun doing the family hootnanny thing but after 30-something years, it ain't unique.

I don't know what to expect from the other cousins. Half of them are also alcoholics but they'll just get tipsy and only slightly sloppy. Still, not much fun to be with but I'll put up with it. Aunt June is in her eighties and I'm happy to accomodate her. I'll just be glad when it's over.

It is now 4:52. Will getting this out help me to sleep? I doubt it. I'm sure that Dad will call me around 7 (worry #5).

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

New paper!

We picked up the new designs today. They look pretty good. Kindalikeamola is a little dark but still very pretty. I took some samples to Tiggywinkles. The owner is out of town right now but she did tell Kevin that she wants to buy some paper. I'll call her when she gets back. Yeah, baby! Gotta customer!

Today when we brought it home we were going to store it at my dad's in his downstairs room. When I opened the door I noticed that it smelled musty. We've had quite a lot of rain lately and since that room is mostly underground and was originally a garage it isn't exactly waterproof. There was a lot of water on the floor. Jim, Dad and I spent about 2 hours sopping it up. We had to pull up the rug. YUCCH! We put the paper in the kitchenette where it stays pretty dry. We put it up on boards just in case. That's $2,000 worth of wrapping paper. Actually, more than that if you go retail!

Tomorrow I'm not going anywhere. I was going real good on my house cleaning and I want to keep it up. Clean and purge! Thursday I'll get an electrocardiogram and make an appointment for a physical. Then all my health stuff will be set.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

A challenge

Kevin called me today with an interesting offer. He wants me to sing Laudate Dominum from Mozart's Vespers of the Confessor at the church where he directs the choir. We did this 30 years ago when we were in choir at RCC. That's pretty much the last time I did that kind of singing.

I found a website that has free downloads of midi files of all kinds of classical music. The sound is pretty cheesy but at least it's something to practice with. I sang it a few times and was pleasantly surprised that I could actually still do it. I think with some practice and a good warm up I'll be able to pull it off. And hey, it's a paying gig. I didn't ask how much. I'm really doing it for Kevin (and to see if I can still sing like that).

Look, I'm back!

Trying to cultivate good habits. Keep going, don't flake out.

Things are getting cleaned. Vitamins are being ingested. All this stuff is on my mind. It's a start.

We had a great band practice last night! We're making so much progress and songs are getting added at an accelerated rate. Bass player John showed us his guitar skills last night. He has a really nice, laid back, Chet Atkins style. I'm looking forward to doing some mellow guitar and vocal stuff with him.

Our new paper is being printed! We should be able to go pick it up on Monday. Now I gotta sell this stuff. When we went to the printer our guy, Darren, showed us his boss' office. She has Mexican Blanket on her wall and Curioso taped to her table. I guess she's had them there ever since we got them printed last spring. Cool, eh? What's neat about it is this is a pretty high-end printing company. They have cool graphic stuff going through there all the time. They chose MY designs to display on the office wall! That's a confidence booster.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Don't call them resolutions

Just because I'm thinking about this stuff in early January doesn't mean I'm making a bunch of New Year's resolutions. Christmas is over so my brain is freed up. I can think again. I think I want to make some changes. Here's the crap I want to work on.

Keeping a journal- I'm not sure blogging is the way to go with this. I relate to pen and paper a bit better. Maybe with practice I'll like the blog thing, I dunno. Anyway, I haven't kept a journal since I was in highschool. Back then it was all a bunch of teenage ravings about boys. I can probably do better now. Let's see how far I get with this before I flake out.

Getting daily exercise- Jeez, I gotta do something! I used to get lots of exercise before we moved here. Since we don't have any income yet I can't justify spending money on a gym membership. I really can do it at home. I just have to do it, dammit! I'll re-up at Workouts For You (online program).

Taking care of my general health- I've already gotten my mammogram (got the results. I'm cool) and a chest x-ray. This morning I got the blood test. I still need to get the electrocardiogram and the rest of the woman stuff. Then I'll know where I stand. Gonna see about doing Optifast. If I can do that and get the exercise going I oughta be ok. Oh yeah, and the vitamins. I'm usually pretty good about that. Keep it up. FLOSS!!!

Daily housekeeping- Really, this shouldn't be too hard. If I putter around a little every day it should keep the big jobs to a minimum. I love having a clean house. So, why isn't it clean all the time? The eternal question. Even sis-in-law, Sherri, thinks her house is a mess and she's the best housekeeper I know.

Organize- This goes along with the housekeeping. Get rid of stuff. Build those damn shelves. Fix my storage problems.

Pay bills!- Don't let them pile up. If I'm good about the house cleaning I'll always have a clean desk to sit at and pay those suckers. Manage our money better.

Forward Rancho Curioso- Nurture this business. Get it going! The new paper will be in soon. Sell it! Get Jim off his butt.

My appearance- Losing weight will help. I have lots of nice clothes that are just a bit too small for me right now. Get regular haircuts. I always let that go for too long.

Go to bed earlier- Really, 10:00 is when I should be going to bed.

Stay in touch- Call those Northern California folks more often. Ruth, too.

Ok, that oughta do it for now.