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more updates from the past few days – wed. thurs. sat. sun. (i wrote about fri. in the entry below this one)

March 13, 2011

A little family background first..

My mom was born and grew up in the Chicago suburbs. My dad is from a small California town near the larger city where I was born much later.

They met in the Midwest, in Michigan, at a Christian college. They moved to California in 1968. I was born several years later.

My mom’s parents moved out to California, in the same city where I lived, and were there for a few years, until my parents decided we (mom, dad, little brother – who is two and a half years younger than I am, and myself) would move to Chicago, so my dad could go to seminary there – undertake a Master’s of Divinity program. This is the sort of education pastors and hospital chaplains receive. My family was Protestant. Catholic priests, regardless of where they serve, have a longer seminary education than Protestants do.. they have a lot more to learn.. but I digress.

My grandparents on my mom’s side eventually moved back to Arizona, where they had relocated to from the Chicago area once my grandpa retired.

My mom has two sisters. One of them moved out to CA shortly after my mom did, and stayed there until she moved to Northern Ireland, and lived there for 7 years, and then moved back to CA. She moved with us to Idaho, where we have been living since early December. She shares a house with us. She is the middle sister.

My mom’s youngest sister (no boys in their family, just 3 girls) stayed in the Midwest, married a man from there, and has lived in Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan, where she and her husband have resided for several years.

My aunt from MI and my uncle came out to visit us here in ID this past Sunday, and left yesterday (Sat.) very early in the morning. They are smart folks, who know about business, real estate, and how to fix things. This is all stuff the rest of us don’t know much about.

We had them along on some house hunting trips and they joined my mom in talking with the realtor. We got a better realtor – hired the one who’s selling the house we like best.

On this past Wednesday, (3/9/11), my dad, mom, uncle and aunt went to Twin Falls, ID, to go visit my brother and his family. My aunt, who was beyond exhaustion due to going through the rigors of getting a new job, taking care of my grandma (grandpa passed in ’08 – cancer – he lived a long time – died at age 92), dealing with realtors, house hunting, and etc. stayed home to rest. So did I. I didn’t do much at all. Which was a pretty good thing. Sometimes it is important to rest. So that is what I did most of the day.

Thursday was busy again. I did not get enough sleep.. when my dreams end while I sleep.. it’s like a movie is over.. when the show is over, I wake up, and often cannot get back to sleep. That is what happened. I don’t keep track of what I dream because I am not into Jungian dream analysis, nor am I a “spiritual” person who believes that dreams are rather mystical things. I think sometimes dreams do give us insight, but also tend to think of dreams as just healthy things our minds need to do to keep us sane. One person put it rather crudely… “Our dreams are our minds taking a dump.” ..Something like that..

Most of Wed., while laying in bed, I was studying the Idaho driver’s manual to prepare for my written test to get my Idaho driver’s license. I was studying and I was worrying about failing the test. It was hard to study the book.. mind kept wandering, and since driving makes me anxious (although I am getting much better about this as long as I don’t drive on the freeway or busy downtown areas) reading about driving made me anxious too.

I watched a film Wed. to take a break. It was called “Morning Glory” – and was about an overly perky producer of a morning show, and the crazy staff she had to work with. Film turned out to be rather good. I didn’t do much else on Wed. besides study…

During the night.. I even had an uneasy dream of sorts about taking the written test.. woke up Thursday morning at about 5:30. Took awhile to get back to sleep. But I did, and felt better upon waking a second time.

I didn’t bother to shower, because I was thinking of going to the gym after the test. I headed out to the DMV – at least a twenty minute drive – and spent an hour or so there.. took a number, waited, paid for the test, took the test.. done on a computer touch screen.. which caused me some stress, not because the test was particularly hard.. I almost missed one question, and most of the test was easy.. but because the touchscreen wasn’t functioning properly, and I had to tap each answer vigorously with my thumb or fingers on average of 14 times to get the machine to accept the answer. Not fun.

I then went back to the window where I’d paid for the test (which only cost 3 bucks to take) and paid 55 dollars for a license good for 8 years. Then, lastly, went to the section of the DMV where I had my picture taken, and got my license.

After the DMV, I headed home, took a shower (did not go to the gym) and drove my dad and uncle out to the house we had seen .. earlier.. but this time, met with a realtor, and she took us inside.

I had first found the house several weeks ago online. Our first realtor was extraordinarily lazy and/or preoccupied with other clients or other aspects of her life, and never found any interesting houses for us.. none that would meet our needs, even though we told her several times what we were looking for.

I am the one who spent many many many many (is that enough “many’s”?) hours online searching and searching for houses.. for the one that would become our home. Or plan, even before we moved from CA was to rent first and take our time looking for a house. None of us had even been to this area of Idaho before.. and we figured we’d need time to explore and look for homes.

It turned out that my brother’s brother in law owns a house up here, and it had been vacant for awhile, so here is where we have been living.

Whenever I found a house even remotely worth looking at, I would tell my relatives, and we’d check it out online.

I was the one who found the house we are wanting to buy. We looked at many houses before this one with two different realtors, and took a look at a few by ourselves.

2 weeks ago, or something like that, on separate occasions, I, and then the rest of the family went over to look at the house, this particular one.. a tri-level. We walked through the backyard, since the house has been unoccupied for awhile, peaked through the windows, etc.

When I had gone by myself, and just looked at the outside and in through the windows, I was feeling really lousy, and didn’t like the place.. don’t know why.

But, this Thursday, I really liked the place! It is the best house by far we have found online or been in in person. My relatives also all liked it quite a bit.

We then looked at several other properties..just to compare.. I thought this was a waste of time, since we found the right one.. seemed to me.. but my uncle and the realtor said it was best to look at more to make sure.

We went to two other properties and didn’t like either of them. I then headed to a class in the evening.. a community ed. class that was an informational meeting about volunteer opportunities in the area. I didn’t learn a whole lot, but hopefully the two main websites they gave out will be great resources. One is for the United Way, and the other is called volunteermatch.org.

I did not take my anti-anxiety medication earlier, and by the time I was getting near class, I was quite anxious, as well as hungry. I stopped at a convenience store and bought a large hotdog, fritos chips, and a pint of beer.

I parked in a neighborhood across from the school – the class was held at a Jr. High, ate my food, drank part of a beer. I know it’s illegal to sit in a car and drink an alcoholic beverage, but I was having some pretty bad anxiety problems, and usually beer helps – at least for a little while.

However, I was too worried about getting caught and people in class smelling it on my breath, so I could not relax.

As I mentioned, the class was mostly of not much help.

After (the author pauses as Suzie cat walks across desk, wanting to be petted) the class, I went home.

While I was at class during Thursday evening, the realtor came over, discussed things with my relatives, and my relatives put in a reasonable bid.

Ok..moving on to Friday.. I wrote about that in the previous post, so if you want to read about Friday, feel free to skip down for a bit of time to that one..

On to Saturday (yesterday).

Uncle and aunt left early from their hotel.. early in the morning for a 6 am flight. I said goodbye to them the night before.

At just before 11:30 am, my brother arrived in the unreliable Kia minivan (I suggest not buying one of those), with wife and 3 children.. ages 10, (boy), 8, (girl), and 6, (boy).

The kids are undisciplined, and often quite difficult and stressful to have over. And yesterday was no different. My niece was not difficult during this visit, but the two boys were. The younger one was coming down with a cold, and pretty much always gets hyper when he is getting sick. The older boy is just a generally difficult child and so often tough to deal with. But we managed..

We met the realtor one last time for a tour of the place.. mom, aunt, and brother, sister in law, and the 2 younger kids.. the oldest one having an attitude problem and didn’t want to spend time with us, so he stayed home and screwed up some stuff on my computer (nothing major, but he’s not allowed on here anymore), while my dad watched TV.

My brother and sister in law liked the place quite a bit too. They have done their share of house hunting in the past, and know a good, practical, well-built and pleasant place when they see one.

My mom went to stop in at my grandma’s. My aunt (the one who lives with us) joined myself, my brother.. and co. at a restaurant that .. let’s say I was rather underwhelmed by.

After we ate, we all went home. Hung out here for many hours.

I went up to do some stuff on the computer.. ordered yet more stuff from Amazon.com – some jojoba oil, which I put on my head after shaving it, a bass strap that is hopefully LOTs more padding.. bass had not sold on ebay.. so am trying one more time to play it.. bought a 2 ft. cable to go between my effects unit and the little amp, and a reggae bass instruction book. I really wold like to learn some reggae bass grooves. I like the band “The Police” quite a bit, and one of the reviewers of the reggae bass instructional book said going through this book helped him play Police tunes. Cool. The book covers reggae, ska, dub, rocksteady (I don’t know what “rocksteady” sounds like).. covers all the Jamaican genres.. looking forward to getting the book.

Once I was done on the computer, I played the mandolin a little while, without using a pick, and re-tuned one of my aunt’s guitars so it could be played using a slide. My brother had mentioned months ago that he was interested in playing slide guitar. I let him play the mandolin for awhile while I re-tuned and tried out the guitar with the slide. My brother put the mandolin down, and I let him try the guitar awhile. He decided not to ask my aunt if he could borrow it. He just doesn’t have much time to work on an instrument these days.

After that, my brother and I headed out to get some good pizzas, and some Rolling Rock beer.. my favorite beer, and by far the best of the cheap brews. I like Rolling Rock better than the much more expensive microbrews even..

We ate, drank.. felt better. The kids amused themselves well enough. Then brother and co. went to their motel, except for my older nephew who wanted to sleep here, so he did.

Which brings me to today.. Sunday.

Mom and I had one of our rare conversations on religion, spirituality etc. We have these conversations on occasion. My mom is a nice, good-hearted person (she has her faults of course) and we get along well, so our discussions on these topics have never been contentious or unpleasant.

Then, I headed upstairs, laid down on my bed for awhile, and listened to my favorite radio show, called “To the Best of Our Knowledge.” (Called TTBOOK for short. Website is ttbook.org) Almost always a variety of interesting topics. I only heard part of the show.. One of the topics near the beginning of the show was something I did not find interesting, so for awhile I played part of the audiobook “Tuesdays with Morrie,” which so far has turned out not to be as inspirational as I expected. This was a much hyped audiobook! So far.. it’s ok.. but I’m QUITE glad I bought it at a thrift store, and only paid a few bucks for it.

Got tired of the audiobook, went back to TTBOOK. I am very glad I went back to this program.. MUCH more intersting!

One story was about the LSD experiments performed at Harvard Univ. in the early ’60’s. I knew Timothy Leary was one of the main dudes, and the guy named Richard Alpert, who became a guru of sorts, and changed his name to Ram Dass. I did NOT know that the most popular holistic health teacher of the past decade or more… Andrew Weill, was also part of these experiences.. interesting!

Other topics I learned about were cyber-crimes and govt. surveilience .. sorry but I cannot spell that word correctly.. and a little about cyber-librarians..

And, for awhile now, I have been typing this entry.

Less than a half hour ago, while I was typing, my mom received a phone call from our realtor (the good one.. my aunt sent an email to the bad one a few days ago) and heard some very good news! Our bid was accepted, and now we can move on with the process of buying the house!

Very good news indeed!

Well.. more of the day to go.. more things to do.. so on that positive note, I shall end this entry.

Thank you for reading.

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