8/4/08-Mon.-Though less dramatic than recently, there has continued to be some improvement in my throat symptoms over the past several days.
While at the acupuncturist's office this morning, it occurred to me Fran might get help from him with her hip discomfort, which she attributes to possible displasia though she's not yet had it medically checked and diagnosed. The Chinese medicine doctor said acupuncture could relieve her pain symptoms, but he advised first it would be best to get a diagnosis and x-ray, etc. from her physician, to be sure nothing serious is occurring that needs western medicine treatment, and also to help him know which acupuncture points would be most beneficial to use.
Am leaving tomorrow morning for Waco, for a combination visit with Mom (who has broken her left foot) and meditation retreat, aiming for at least five hours of meditation a day.
Austin is still a "cool" city, but it is having growing pains. Besides serious traffic hassles and sprawl issues, gangs and vandalism are becoming a greater problem. The latter concerns are significant enough that our twenty-two library branches will be closing one extra day a week so that, with the savings in staff costs, they can employ security guards and pay for needed repairs and other upgrades, to offset increased destruction of library property.
8/5/08-Tues.-We are on track, despite the bear market in stocks, for gross assets of $1,000,000 or more by the end of the year and total equity book or intrinsic value of at least $600,000 by 12/31/08 as well.
Have begun my retreat. Plan to meditate for 30 hours over the next week.
By now, I ought to know what I need for progress in the meditation endeavor. I have plenty of professional training and experience for good insight, gained as an undergrad and then a counseling masters degree candidate. I have been in esoteric growth and awareness groups of one sort or another since the mid-1960s. Have been conscientiously meditating since 1970. Have garnered enhanced intuition through dream groups over the last couple years. And introspective self-expression has been a hobby for as long as I can remember. I have few of the householder's typical distractions, since Fran and I have no kids, and so also no grandchildren. And she and I, for better or worse and for whatever reasons, seem to test the limits for how disengaged we can be and still remain together as a viable couple, thus allowing, if I really wish to have it, potentially good focus instead on "the master game."
Indeed, in several ways this would be also the ideal time for me to pursue progress on an inner path with heart. I am retired, with adequate financial resources. I currently have no close friends to distract from such efforts. My health, though a nuisance in some respects, is relatively good. I have several hobbies but none so consuming that they need interfere. Moreover, I realize that the duration of this almost ideal set of circumstances is not likely to be long. All too soon, physical and mental deterioration, or death itself, will take inevitable tolls, bringing further strides to a halt.
I arrived at Mom's place about half past noon. The car was quickly unloaded. We said our "Hellos" and chatted briefly. Then it was time to commence the meditation for today.
8/9/08-Sat.-The meditation regimen has gone well generally over the last few days, but with both ups and downs. I likely will have meditated 25-30 hours by the time this retreat has ended.
During this period, Mom was disrupted by a suggestion by one of my brothers that she change her will to make him her executor, but she decided to leave me in that role, not that I am especially pleased with this, as it would of course be far less trouble for me if someone else would take care of things after she dies.
Have taken a walk each afternoon or evening while here, in the process hearing a close great horned owl and a screech owl, seeing a nearby roadrunner, and spotting 14 rabbits. The sunsets over Lake Waco were also fine.
Tonight, had a neat dinner hosted by Horace and Leila, along with Mom, Tess, Roger, Carol, Virginia, Abel, Charley, and Keith. Besides good company and vittles, they showed us on their huge TV a tape of the new Olympic Games opening ceremonies, absolutely awesome.
It seems I hurt my back yesterday when I was digging up or carrying the dirt for filling in a hole in Mom's yard that caused her to fall the other day. Fortunately, no serious new harm was done to her foot. My back, however, may need special care for a few days.
8/11/08-Mon.-Have stopped for a gas refill, break, and snack in Salado, TX, on my way back to Austin. For the whole week, my meditation tally is just over 30 hours, but it has been harder than I had expected. I have been quite tired over the weekend and more easily bothered by minor frictions with or frustrations of my mom, back and leg pains, and drowsiness during the sitting sessions.
8/21/08-Thurs.-Here in central TX this year, we have had well over 40 days so far of 100°F or higher temperatures, but thankfully in the past week there has been a cool period, with overcast skies much of the time and frequent rain. Altogether, we have received nearly two inches of precipitation, besides two to three inches received in the prior few weeks. And the forecast is for temperatures to still remain below normal over the next several days.
We have just learned that our nine-year-old nephew in WI, Fran's sister's son, has been diagnosed with an osteosarcoma in one knee. He's due to start chemotherapy in the next few days. What a thing to happen! He has a decent chance if it was caught soon enough. I shall offer to go up there and help out awhile if I would not be in the way.
My acupuncture treatments have ended for awhile. I shall see if my throat problems at least do not get any worse without them. I believe the difficulties have been reduced by around 50% or so from when they were at their worst, but now there has been little further improvement, despite acupuncture, for several weeks.
The library volunteer work had ceased some weeks ago, and I am now also less involved with dream groups than I had been for quite awhile. So, starting next month, I should have the freedom to either go on a longer solo vacation again (solo, that is, assuming Fran does not want to go as well or if she has a music gig conflict, such as the next opera performance) or head up to WI, to assist some with things if I am needed there.
We have just completed another family newsletter issue.
8/29/08-Fri.-We have started our trip and holiday for a celebration of my brother Horace's 50th birthday. It is being held in Plano and Murphy, TX, as these are more convenient locations for the participation of some of Horace's kids and their spouses, even if less convenient for several others. Great cost is involved for Mom, who is footing the bill for a number to fly in plus lots of expensive hotel rooms. Yet the tribute to Horace itself will only be for about three hours, limited by his wife who loves control and throwing sand in Mom's face.
Later. We were making good time on our trip today till, just south of Waxahachie, after we had stopped for gasoline, the car would not start, the battery completely dead. There had been no warning. Happily, someone offered us a jump. We rolled back south, figuring we would be that much closer to home if we had the same problem again. Then we stopped in Hillsboro and got Wal-Mart to install a new battery. Our fingers are crossed, but we made it to our luxurious Plano hotel for the family reunion by about 5 PM, and so far have had no further problems. Hopefully, the difficulty was just that our old battery could no longer hold a charge.
I visited for about an hour with Alice this evening.