Friday, March 31, 2006

horoscope forecast for Thursday, March 30, 2006

Capricorn (December 22-January 19:

"A family member presents an old challenge. Don't react in the same old way and you will find new peace. Be the poster child for kindness and resilience. You deserve the respect you'll get."

...right out of yesterday's "The Olympian"" our local Knight Ridder owned newspaper.

Normally I don't read them. "The wife" does. She reads them in the newspaper at work. She brought this one home.

That was my horoscope for yesterday. In light of what's going on around here how uncanny is that? "The Wife's" and bi-polar brother in law's were just as "on the mark" as mine was regarding what's happening!

They're chillingly accurate!

Maybe there is something to be said about that stuff.


Thursday, March 30, 2006

if anything can go wrong... will go wrong!

Sound familiar? MURPHY'S LAW??!!

Bi-polar brother in law is not doing well. Not well at all. He's in jail. He has no job. He has no transportation. He has a pretty rugged criminal history. And because of that now no one will listen to him or believe him (on the legal end).

He's half Finnish and half Irish... not that that's a bad thing in and of itself... but, he's a MURPHY!

So is "The wife".

Their mother, my mother in law (God bless her soul)... a MURPHY!

So, when bi-polar brother in law called yesterday from the county jail I don't know why I expected better news. You see, I had spent a good portion of the day waiting at his parole officer's office lobby to take possession of bi-polar brother in law's pickup truck keys that he left with her when he was arrested. In the lobby... ignored for over an hour and a half... no returned phone calls... no keys...

No keys to the truck from hell that bi-polar brother in law's wife stole from the parking lot after he was arrested.

Get the picture so far?
NOT lucky. Not lucky at all! Well, I guess it's Murphy type luck... Murphy's law! Simple as that.

So why would I expect anything with a shine on it? A glimmer of hope? Why?

...when he called from the jail.

The phone rang. I answered. The recorded voice on the other end explained to me that the call was being placed from a correctional facility.

I chatted with the recording a bit. I always do that with recordings... argue with them. Interrupt them. Talk rude to them. You know, generally try to trip them up.

I guess one could say that I'm not "recording friendly".

Anyway, I go through the "hoops" of the recording like the good little dog I am and eventually get to bi-polar brother in law... keeping in mind that anything we say is being recorded.

"Hey" I grunt to him.

"Hey" he grunts back.

"What's up?" I had to start somewhere.

"Nothing. Did anyone get my keys?"

"Nope. That place is a friggin' zoo. There's no one there that will talk to me. Do you go through that every time you go to see your parole officer?" He got me going on this now. I was venting.

"Did you have to wait?" I heard the chuckle!

"Wait? Hell, I never got to see anyone!" I was getting animated... loud.

He laughed... bi-polar brother in law laughed! Not a quick, one laugh type of laugh but a long, rolling, fun, happy laugh.

"Why's that funny?" I wasn't laughing.

"'Cuz you're the cop and I'm the bad guy. You got a little taste of my world... the past 30 years of my life."

He had a point.

Every time he gets around "The Wife" and I he takes us a bit further into his little corner of this world. association if no other way.

So then he tells me the news.

It seems he had to go to the doctor. His feet were numb. He filed a "kite" and the corrections folks took him downtown to a doctor that sees inmates. The doc looked him over, did the blood pressure thing, checked his pulse, peeled off his shoes and socks, checked his feet... his toes. Poked them.

"No pulse" Doc told him.

"What?" Bi-polar brother in law asked.

"You have no pulse in your feet and you have gangrene between your toes." Matter of fact, no bedside manner doc said.

"What?" Bi-polar brother in law asked.

"How long have you been smoking?" Doc again.

"40 years" Bi-polar brother in law answered.

"It caught up with you. You're going to lose both of your feet. Your right foot is already dead." He told bi-polar brother in law as he slid his stethascope further up his leg.

"I don't get any pulse on you from mid thigh down. You'll most likely lose both legs."

As bi-polar brother in law was recounting his doctor's visit I was listening in awe. I couldn't believe this crass doctor giving him the news this way.

"Who was the doctor?" I asked him.

Bi-polar brother in law gave me his name.

"Well, before anyone does any cutting you're going to get a second and third opinion. And that's after they try saving what you still have!" I was a bit pissed now.

"Yah. I know. But I'm scared." ...Hell, I'd be too!

I couldn't blame him.

His luck sucked horribly!

He asked me what he was going to do with no legs. He told me he didn't want to live if that happened.

He was definitely in need of a change of luck... good luck... from somewhere, somehow.

He brought most of his life ordeals on himself... his challenges with the police, etc. He knows that and he admits it. He always did admit it but a helluva lot of his "criminal behavior" can be directly attributed to his bi-polar and manic depressive disorders.

"Bill. We'll do what we can. You just keep it together. I'll put together a little shop in the garage and you can have my tools. You can make things. We'll make it work. You make things and I'll take them to the farmers market."

"Yah... Yah. I can do that I guess." He was still uncertain but was talking again.

"Yes, you can. You will. What we have to do is get you out of there. They'll get to the truth. Once they do you'll be released and we'll make things work." I was trying to sound convincing, strong, positive.

But, how do you do that?


I hate luck!

Friday, March 24, 2006

catchin' up... a bit annoying!

It's amazing how some minds move through life. It's a complicated, organized mess.

Normal folks seem to plug along at a somewhat determined pace... other folks trip along at somewhat sedated paces and yet others fly along at those supersonic paces.

Either way, minds move... they think... they wonder... and eventually (if not influenced) they get to the same "general" point.

Life is what "we" make it.

Well. It seems my "bi-polar brother in law" went and got himself into a pretty tight jam.

You remember when I said his "Ex" was "taking him back"? Well she did. All the while I told "bi-polar brother in law" to keep away from "her"... his ex-wife who really is still married to him.

He didn't really heed my advice... which is always an option... and went "back to her".
Which was really NOT the thing to do. She was on the hunt for some "man-blood"!

It was a huge REACH!!!

He had no business going back to her but as he said today... "I had nowhere else to go"... a slap in our faces. He told us this on the phone as he talked to us from jail... after he was arrested for a Domestic Violence and Malicious Mischief charge.

She lit him up. She knew what she was doing. She set him up so damned fine that I don't think he's gonna get out of it. He'll probably spend the rest of his life behind bars. All because he defied her... the woman who hates men... the "she-dog" of Sunwood Lakes. She burned him bad!

I don't like him... bi-polar brother in law. He's not my "friend" by any means but he is "family" and he definitely doesn't deserve what he's about to get.

Now it's time to even things out... a legal sort of way.

Hang on!

I have never...

...been hospitalized overnight in my life!!! Never!!!

Well, save when I was born. I guess that's the only time the hospital... ANY hospital ever kept my butt overnight.

I just don't trust them. I mean, I've been shot at and broke my shoulders (that's a long and humorous story), broke my fingers and toes (another funny one someday), had pneumonia so many times I forgot, had exotic flues, had food poisoning, was bitten by a pretty rugged friggin' spider (it's in the blog... the Hobo spider)... made my flesh fall off and ulcerated my leg like there's no tomorrow, was in a car wreck that killed two other guys and caused the faulty driver of the other car to lose both of his legs, knocked myself out with a tire iron and got a concussion (another story... FUNNY AS HELL!)... a whole buncha crap! My body's a mess but it's my body! That's the trade off for work hard, play hard!

I accept that.

Yesterday I went to my local health provider clinic thingy and asked if they'd take a peek at my swollen knuckles... the arthritic knuckles... those knuckles that hurt but have some annoying "growths" around them.

I went in there and of course they weighed me. Not bad... could have been a bit better but I was okay with it. Then they did the blood pressure thing... THREE times!

What the hell does blood pressure have to do with lumps around my knuckles???

Anyways, the nurse wasn't happy. She was gonna snitch me off to the doctor. She told me I needed to get "moderated" and suggested I call "the wife" (who has no idea what happened) to let her know I was going to be "admitted" to "the hospital" across the street.


As she sauntered off she told me the physician's assistant would be taking care of my knuckles. She also told me she was going to return to do the blood pressure thingy again on me after the PA was done. She said if it hadn't fallen then she was going to bring the doc in... my doc... Mr. Bedside Manner challenged doc... (I guess that's why I stay with him... he tells it like it is) and was going to recommend a "stay" in the hospital.

She left.

Physician's Assistant arrived... looked at my knuckles... ganglion cysts caused by the joints irritable states... no problem... draw off the "fluids"... done. Simple as that. A bit of a pain though but done.

I asked PA... "am I free to go?"

Prisoner?... no!

"Sure" he said. "They're going to come back though... the cysts"

"Okay. Thanks. I'll check back in when they do" and I make a beeline for the door!

When I got home the nurse called. I beat "the wife" home...

"Mr. H. You left before I could get back to you with Doctor B about your 'condition'."

"Oh. 'Condition'? What would that be?"

She went off on a thousand different things. I needed to be hospitalized, I needed this, I needed that, CRAP!

All I know is I'm doing fine now.

And I'm not going to be hospitalized overnight until I'm ready to check out.

That's appropriate... hospitalized when you check in to this world... hospitalized when you check out.

The knuckles "filled back up" an hour after I got home.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

here today...

...gone tomorrow!

This pic's from my car window outside of Ellensburg, WA of a snow squall... the last blue sky I'll be seeing for awhile.

I've been gone from the blog 5 days? FIVE DAYS???!!!

I didn't know.

I had to go to Colville... the far northeast corner of this state. Not the most out of here corner but the far northeast corner that has well... some semblance of a population base. Beyond Colville... farther northeast is Ione and places like that.

I travelled to Spokane where I've taken a motel room for a couple of nights. Not that Colville doesn't have any motels... they do... two. It's just that as I get a bit older I like to have my "toys" with me... laptop, wireless internet access, etc. That way "the wife" and I can keep in touch and, well... never mind.

I'm driving to Spokane on Interstate 90... Heading roughly towards DG! God help me!

You see, DG's in that "state to the right of us"... Idaho. Towards the right of this picture. Kinda "uphill" from here (even though the picture suggests downhill).

Anyways, this I-90 freeway goes quite aways but all I need to know is that I travel 400 plus miles to Spokane, Washington and hang a left on Highway 395 then travel 68 miles north until I run into a mountain... that's Colville. Well, not really. Colville's kinda at the base of the mountain so if you run into the mountain then you actually drove through Colville... and probably damaged your car. I chose to do the 'round trip to Colville from Spokane each day rather than stay in Colville. Nothing against Colville... I just did it that way. Personal. Nothing more. Okay!

So, when I got up this morning at the motel in Spokane I noticed there was a light dusting of snow... about 3 inches on the company truck. Spokane's weather is a bit different than Ellensburg's and oh-so-much different than Olympia's (We be on the "west side"... the "milder" side).

As I headed north on highway 395 things seemed to get a bit more... intense... I guess that's the word. Patches of snow, ice and slush mixed with bare and wet 60 miles per hour pavement. That can always make for a sucking seat cushion type of ride. Those types of rides where you truly don't need a seat belt because your butt is securely fastened by suction to the seat cushion of the drivers seat... stains and all. I've actually seen people who've had to wait for days until the suction is released and they can get out of their car... usually after really, really, really close calls. Trust me!

I had a couple this morning. Very few this afternoon... it "warmed up" to the high 30's and the snow on the road melted a bit.

Now I know DG's thinking "You baby! You whiner!" because I'm complaining about the weather and the road conditions but that's really not the problem. I'm trying to get 68 miles north from my location to a meeting. The speed limit is 60. I leave the motel at 07:30 a.m. to allow for the two lane, 68 mile commute for a 09:00 a.m. meeting. 12 miles north of Spokane the traffic is doing 45 miles per hour on a 2 lane road. You do the math... I'm gonna be late.

Worse yet, from the looks of things that picture shows the better road conditions and that dude in front of me still did 45 miles per hour! 35 degrees, wet road, 45 mph!

As I get closer to Colville the weather takes a turn. Things get a tad bit icier, roads get a bit funner... like amusement rides at some shopping mall carnival... and this isn't really a bad, snowy day. It's one of those days where you just can't seem to decide how you're going to drive because the weather is so damned different from one hill to the next.

All that I know is I've been driving for over an hour and still haven't reached Colville... 68 miles north of Spokane. I'm still 21 miles south! On a two lane Highway... cars doing 45 miles per hour (in kilometers that's still slow Ed and Sue!)... already late for a meeting.

A meeting to discuss wildland fires.

To discuss the puzzles surrounding how they started in 2005 in this very, very fire rich portion of the state. A meeting in late winter to discuss fires from April through October of 2005.

I do it every year. I go out and recap with each of our state's 6 regions the wildland fires they had to suppress the year prior... and discuss how we're going to train for those we're preparing for in the years to come. At least on the cause and origin part of things. How'd they start and where'd they start... puzzles.

Now, all I want to do is go home...

That'll happen tomorrow... after I make another trip to Colville and back... back... 482 miles back to home! Home and "The Wife".

Yah... I'm whining now.

Friday, March 10, 2006

sometimes life...

...can be so simply complicated.

At times I get philosophical. It's my nature. I apologize in advance to those whom I'm about to bore.

"The wife" and I love to try new things. We love to explore... reach out... experiment... test.

During our 29 years together (I'm counting our one year of dating too) we've learned that if we always do what we always did we'll always get what we've always got... which, in many ways isn't necessarily bad. But if you don't try something new you'll never know what might be better.

So we do... we try new things. Things that may lead to better experiences...
memories... life. Or things that may not.

Either way if we get the urge, if we have the desire, the energy, the want... feel the need. If we decide we're tempted to try... we will.

We will try in earnest! We have always done that... together... as husband and wife, as best friends, as lovers, as a team!

Up here in the Pacific Northwest we're blessed with a great, huge outdoor playground of sorts. Together we've experienced this playground in many, many ways. We raised our children to play, to test, to experiment... to try. To respect and protect... to use wisely... delicately. To cherish their environment... to have fun!

We've shared with them our belief that life... as short as it is should be fun... in a balanced sort of way.

And they realize and appreciate this. They do. With us, with their families, with others. They enjoy their lives as much as J and I enjoy ours.

So why am I sharing this with you? This family quest of sorts. Our own personal legacy of life... of family.

What purpose does it serve? Why does it need to serve any purpose?

Aren't we simply blessed with what we have and shouldn't we be thankful for what we get?

Isn't that a rule? A rule of life written in a book. Etched in granite... marble somewhere?

Do we need to push... to test... to experiment... to go beyond what we accept as fine... okay... comfortable in life. Why isn't a good life today not necessarily such a good life tomorrow?

What gives us the drive to press on? To explore... experiment... test? To try new things... to reach out? Why do we do this?

Perhaps it's because I bought a 'yak recently and have one helluva lotta mountain lakes, quiet bays and out of the way, slow moving rivers to get to in the next ten, maybe twenty years.

I know there's some fish out there waiting to bolster our spirits! I know J and I will be paddling our little 'yaks around these little pools for years to come!

I know I simply wanted to share with you... our friends... that we've bought a couple of kayaks and we're going to have a bit more fun... in many, many more ways.

Perhaps I went through all of this thought... this drivel simply to say...

"We're not done! Not nearly done! We're not through experimenting... playing! We're going to have fun and we're going to keep on keeping on! ...even if it kills us!"

Besides, we've bought these bloody things so now we have to use them.

...i guess sore fingers, aching bones, insane brother in laws tend to drive people to doing stuff like this... buying kayaks...

...they'll just make us a bit more remote... more difficult to find.

Ah yeah... our 'yaks, our dog, a remote mountain lake... a nice summer's day. What else can there be...

...I'd better not post my answer to that question on this blog.

unsolicited advice...

This picture is from The Holland Sentinel

Yesterday I was advised to "Never hire a veteran. Veterans are dishonest, untrustworthy, lazy and rarely show up on time. They're uneducated, lack ingenuity, have little if any common sense, have no integrity and usually have a drug or alcohol problem."

A direct quote from a person who was giving me his unsolicited "advice". I don't know him... certainly don't care to know him now.

I did the right thing though. I "walked away". I "walked away" after my brief but rather candid reply.

He knows a bit about me now... just a bit. He knows I'm a veteran as my father is, as my son is, as two of my brothers are, as my grandfather was, as my great grandfather was.

Yep. He damn sure knows I'm a veteran!

And he knows a bit about how I "appreciated" his advice.

After taking a bit of time to calm myself I moved on.

I wanted something... I needed something...

I searched for a poem of sorts that was sent to me when I was "serving the country" in '72. An anonymous sender who cared.

For those who don't know or don't remember public sentiment for people in the military back then, well... let's just say it wasn't all that favorable.

To counter the public's growing disdain a few bold, courageous, well intended individuals took it upon themseles to "reach out"... to attempt to "brighten things up" for the troops. Anonymously, they would send us words of encouragement.

Sent to us as poems, letters, short stories, cards... however they could.

Words of encouragement. Sometimes so simple, quite often so needed.

I remember getting the "poem" back then... from someone I didn't know... from some anonymous individual who really made this young G.I.'s life get so much brighter.

I remember reading it for the first time. The overwhelming feeling of pride... of having a purpose. Hurt and pain momentarily lifted. Fear and anger was pushed aside.

I remember the simple note that accompanied the poem. A handwritten "Thank you!"... that's it. Nothing more. I don't know who penned it... the note or the poem. I don't know when the poem was written. I don't really care.

But, I do want to thank that anonymous person who sent it to me...


As I have so many times already... as I will so many more times I'm sure.

I'm sharing this with you because I was inspired to do so yesterday by the unsolicited "advice" I received! Little does he know, his advice helped... not as he had intended, not as he had hoped... but it helped. I read the poem that I haven't read for oh-so-long...

...and I feel better.

Here's the poem.


I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o'beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:

O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's ``Thank you, Mister Atkins,'' when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's ``Thank you, Mr. Atkins,'' when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.

Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy how's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;

While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees

...thank you!

Ed or Sue, any idea who penned this and when?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

the weather's a changing...

...and I've been remiss about posting lately.

It's not that I don't have anything to write about it's just that my arthritic fingers, wrists, elbows and shoulders are screaming at me! Screaming because of some barometric pressure changes going on around here. Two pretty good northeast Pacific Storms blew through here in the past couple of days... pretty good ones. And I like a good storm. It's a lot like my personality, I've been told.

The problem is I'm not sure if this is a good thing anymore...

Anyways, I haven't posted. I haven't posted because I'm hurting a bit and there isn't enough Aleve in the bottle to make the aches go away when that weather makes these drastic changes.

DG, we're sending another system your way. You should have got our last one yesterday... unless it pushed a bit north and missed your butt. This system today is fixing to dump about 2 feet of snow in the mountain passes so in your cooler climate it might warrant a Winter Storm Warning notice... then again, maybe not. All I can say is that I have two brothers who live east of you, in Great Falls, Montana and they're getting quite the weather... from us... from our coast... and from our wonderful neighbors to the north.

I just thought I'd let folks know "the wife" and I are still around... bi-polar brother in law hasn't done anything to us. I just haven't posted lately... too sore.

...a bit of Wild Turkey, lemon juice, water and ice...

nothing like that to wash down the Aleve!

Quite the masking cocktail.

cheers all.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

trazodone, the little let you sleep pill...


At least NOT for bi-polar brother in law. Not at all. Kept him up for hours... days... hell, weeks it did!

When he "left" last week he was in total disarray mentally and physically. We kept trying to get him to see his doctor but he wouldn't. "The Wife" even had a doctor's appointment for him on the fateful morning that he parted company with us. Actually, his refusal to go to the doctor is what really hastened his departure. We both felt we couldn't help him anymore if he wouldn't help himself so we suggested he find someone else to drive nuts for a bit... adding that if he did see his doctor we'd surely work with him to make things right... or at least as right as can be for his pretty messed up mind.

He still opted to not go to the doctor. So, the last J saw of him was him driving away in the beast, loaded with all of his worldly possessions... and a bit more.

The little sleeping pills that he was supposed to be taking... the trazodone just didn't seem to work... at least to J and I the pills didn't seem to work on him. I would ask him if he'd taken his pills every morning after he woke me up at 03:00 a.m. with his tinkering and chatting to himself... every morning I'd ask and every morning he'd answer "yes". J even counted them and determined by her count that he must have either been taking them as prescribed or was flushing them. Either way, the proper amount of pills were missing from the bottle.

So, why am I talking about them? Well, first off they didn't seem to be doing him any good. You see, I don't like taking medicines... especially mind altering medicines because I'm not sure just what the medicine is doing to me over the long haul. I'm just that way. But there are times when people need medicine... mind altering medicine... medicine that will strike some sort of chemical compromise with the brain that allows the person to function on a somewhat normal plane.

In bi-polar brother in law's case the medicine was about all that kept him... normal. Well, as normal as he could be given all of his mental ailments.

At least, that's what we thought. And that's what the doctors thought too.

Little did we know but bi-polar brother in law was really having a reaction to the trazodone he was taking. A pretty hefty reaction. His legs were swelling up and his skin was about to burst. His legs were red and hot and very sore. His mind was going 400 miles per hour, 24 hours a day. His appetite was virtually non-existent. He had to keep busy... had to constantly tinker... couldn't sleep... didn't want to sleep.

Yup. Every little ailment that trazodone was supposed to help with... every little quirk was intensified to the Nth. degree instead of "compromised". Bi-polar brother in law was a walking time bomb about to go off in forty thousand different directions... physically and mentally. This bad reaction coupled with the "other" medications he was taking for his disorders really wasn't doing him any good at all... it wasn't his fault... that delicate chemical balance just wasn't there.

Yet through all of his bi-polar, manic depressed, attention deficient and compulsive, obsessive haze he finally sensed that something just wasn't quite right with him. A couple of days after driving the beast away from our house he decided to check himself in to the Emergency Room at our local hospital here.

They still have him. He called. Sounded much better. He's been sleeping. He's been eating. They kept him because he had a near fatal reaction to the trazodone. His brain was shutting portions of his body down... a chemical compromise happened... it just happened in reverse.

He should be released sometime today if they can get his legs to "go down". He's back with his lunatic wife... she's on about the same plane as he is but she copes with it better. Their marriage is certainly not one of those where opposites attract... certainly not... I can only imagine the conversations the two of them have.

Anyway, she visited him in the hospital and told him she wanted him to "come home"... a sigh from both of us, though we would have brought him back here if he had nowhere else to go. After all, he did see the doctor... that's all we wanted him to do... simply wanted him to help us help him.

...we still have his lamp table project waiting for him out in the garage. It's in need of completion.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

stormy weather... happens. Storms can blow in from anywhere at anytime. Normally they're predicted, have advance warnings, forewarn those in their paths but sometimes... sometimes they just happen... a tempest from nowhere!

That's what happened three nights ago.

Bi-polar brother in law was not doing well at all... mentally. He was really, really getting oh-so-much worse and "The Wife" and I had nowhere to turn for help. We just did what we could to ensure he didn't hurt himself... or others. And we tried our best to keep him on some level of sanity.

After the desk he'd started a new project... a lamp table of sorts. We'd given him $40.00 to use for gas and to buy cigarettes with earlier in the day. He left our house in his pickup that we dubbed the "Beast" to do just that... left fairly early in the day by his standards... left around 12:00 noon. That's not saying he's sleeping in until then! Absolutely not. That's just saying his body's finally caught up with his mind long enough for him to get a rational thought in... as fleeting as it may be.

Anyway, he left. Drove off. Got in the beast and headed outta the driveway... backfiring and all.

Seven hours later he returned. He smelled like gas... a helluva lot like gas. I asked him what was up with the gas smell. He told me he ran out of gas and someone stopped to help him. He had to siphon some from their truck... enough to get to a station "down the road".

"Thought you had money for gas?" I asked him.

"I did"... he never really, fully explains himself.

"Annnddd???" I asked, getting a bit anxious. Not sure I wanted to know the answer.

"And what?" he was fumbling with something in the bed of the beast. A flat, round piece of plywood with three wooden, dowelling type legs jutting down from the plywood's base.

"Look!" He plopped the 3 legged plywood circle onto the driveway. "I'm going to make a lamp table."

It was going on 8:00 p.m. I was hoping he'd be sleeping a bit tonight because he'd finished his "desk lamp" project. You know... kind of give everyone a break and catch up on sleep... re-energize.

"Not tonight Bill. Not tonight." I told him as I walked back into the house. "How much did you have to pay for that?"

"$30.00" he answered "Not bad, huh?"

I shook my head as I went into the house. J was waiting for me.

"Well?" she asked. "Where was he and what'd he do?"

I shrugged my shoulders, walked past her and sat down at the laptop to finish the report I was writing. She followed me. She does that when I don't answer... follows and stares. No offense but I think that's a gender thing. I've noticed my daughter and daughter in law do it too. Follow "son in law" and "son" around, stare at them when the guys would have no words, when they couldn't think of anything they could say that would help explain the situation at hand... much like what was happening to me.

"He'll be in here in a minute. Ask him." I wouldn't look up. I just stared at the computer screen as I answered her.

Almost as if "on queue" he walked through the door, this $30.00 plywood contraption in tow. "The Wife" turned towards him, away from me... key words towards him, away from me. He was the focus... the entire focus of her attention. I couldn't see her face... but damn I wanted to. I could see his though. I could see the color in his face drain. I could see his eyes lose their luster, their bright, insanity type look... you know, that bright twinkle in the eye's corner much like the twinkle in an Appaloosa's eyes... that half-baked, gonna go nuts any second twinkle.

Well, I saw that twinkle fade when he locked eyes with J. I almost felt sorry for him. He knew she was a bit annoyed and he knew he was the cause. For once, someone else! YES!!!

I watched... with a huge grin I watched.

"Look at this" he tried to distract her... showing her his... plywood thing.

"What is it Bill?" She didn't take her eyes off of his.

"Look at it" he said as he shook it. "It's a lamp table. I bought it for you. I'm going to work on it. I'll make it look Italian so you can put it in your living room."

He was rambling. I was laughing... inside but still laughing. Laughing hard, very hard.

"Ask him how he got it" I couldn't let it end.

"How'd you get it?" she asked.

"I got it at an antique store" Not a good answer.

She winced. A visible, very pronounced wince.

"How much?"... left hand moving to her temple now... not good!

"He wanted $40.00 for it." one of his incomplete answers.

"How much?"... she's a master at this. Damn! I was in awe. Normally it was me on the receiving end. Now I could watch her at work. An artist.

"He wanted $40.00 but I got him down to $30.00" his gaze was falling towards the floor now, the plywood thingy placed on the floor next to him. She had won the first round.

"Do you have cigarettes?"

"I have five left" Oh, he wasn't even bothering to look up now.

"And why do you smell like gasoline?"

Oh this was good. I still couldn't see her face but when he raised his head, raised his eyes to look into J's I saw a totally defeated human being. He wouldn't answer. He just gathered his plywood thing and went out into the garage.

J turned to me.

"What are we going to do?"

"He has to go in... has to see the doctor. I'm going to be gone all day tomorrow but he has to get in somehow" I told her. I really did have to leave for a remote part of the state the next day to help out some region folks. I'd put it off for two weeks and couldn't put it off another day. She knew that.

"Call his doctor first thing in the morning and see if you can't get him in. He needs some quality time with the folks over at that psych ward" I suggested.

J was at wit's end. I was beyond. I was actually numb. She wasn't there yet.

We've been operating on 3 hrs. sleep every night for the past two... three weeks.

The next day I left early in the morning, around 04:00 a.m. to that meeting I'd been planning and canceling for the past several weeks. Bi-polar brother in law was in the garage working on the table when I went to bed at 11:30 p.m. and he was still out there working on it when I left for the region at 04:00 a.m.

J called me while I was still enroute... at around 08:00 a.m. and told me his doctor wanted to see him immediately. The doctor was very concerned he was relapsing. She (doctor) felt he should be admitted for a 30-90 day period so she and her colleagues could "study" him to determine what he needs.

We were both elated!!! Finally!!! Finally we were going to get some help with him!!! Finally we had someone notice!!!

"Have you told him yet?" I asked.

"No. He's out in the garage working on the table. I'm going to tell him in a minute. I just got off of the phone with his doctor" she said.

We said "good-bye", "I love you" to each other and hung up.

An hour later J calls and told me she sent bi-polar brother in law "on his way"... sent him away. It seems bi-polar brother in law called her everything but nice things, accused her and I of plotting to do GAWD KNOWS WHAT to him and stormed out of the house, refusing to go to his doctor.

J told him to stay away. Told him that if he "didn't want to do anything to help himself then we couldn't do it for him."

The last she saw of his pickup was it's tailgate as he drove it away.

I turned my vehicle around. I called the region folks, re-scheduled for another day and turned around... headed back home. Awhile later "the wife" called and told me bi-polar brother in law's crazy wife called her and told her that she's still in love with bi-polar brother in law... she's going to take care of him.

Like a storm... out of nowhere!

A tempest... swift, powerful and confusing!

J and I have peace again... except for the occasional phone call from bi-polar brother in law telling me to finish the lamp table in the garage.

What a ride... like a wild ride on a half baked Appaloosa.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

i had to do it...

Take the quiz:
What alcoholic beverage are you?

Jose Cuervo
You're there for the party, and you ain't leaving till they throw you out. Just there to have fun, that's what its all about.

Quizzes by -- the World's Biggest Yearbook!

Just an FYI... There's a lot of truth to this. "The Wife" will not let me drink Tequila... well, won't let me indulge in this wonderful mood (and human) altering liquor except on RARE very RARE occasions... I can not be held responsible...

I got this from Loopy Libertarian's blog.