Sleep Talking

Pancreatitis was the beginning of the avalanche. Up until then, we had both believed that Jeff’s health would improve. A little weight loss, a bit of exercise, a healthier eating plan should have, could have, might have worked. But, we never got around to it.

And, I do mean ‘we.’ I nagged occasionally, but I enjoyed the wonderful meals Jeff created. I enjoyed going out to dinner, and breakfast and lunch on the weekends. We’d get on track, get off track, restart. All the while, my weight was going up, too.

After Pancreatitis, everything changed. Because, at that point, the trouble Jeff was in became permanent. I nagged a lot more, about everything. Medications, money, meals, sales and purchases for the store. But I didn’t take my own advice, either.  

Pancreatitis takes the body on a downward journey. Everything you do can help, and everything you do could just not matter, either. Jeff never gave up hope. He simply accepted his new reality and went on with his life. I didn’t fare so well in that department. I’d had hope, then was left with nothing to cling to.

The pain and balancing pain medications were a losing battle, as well. Some caused auditory hallucinations – not creepy voices, but the continual sound of a low playing radio just outside your reach. They occasionally caused situational hallucinations.

Following one particular subsequent pain-related hospital stay, the doctors added two more medications to his regime. Methadone and morphine were prescribed for continual long-term use. As I’ve mentioned earlier, Jeff could fall asleep anywhere. So, the added drugs only increased that possibility.

Even pre-opiates, though, Jeff and I had some interesting conversations, some serious confusion and one horribly harrowing incident which led me to always double check if I was speaking with an awake or sleeping-talking Jeff.

Quote for the Week:

2018 03 13 just because you can see through the snow jakorte 


In the few days before lease signing, we checked to see if there was another hot sauce store anywhere in our vicinity. There wasn’t. That was good.

We needed a license, but first we needed a name. I thought there was an advantage to having a Tecumseh store address and that Tecumseh should part of the name.

Tecumseh Hot Sauce Company and Tecumseh Hot House were contenders, but boring. We tried to find something that rhymed with our last name and made sense with what we would be trying to sell. That didn’t go well. It was impossible.

Jeff suggested Jeff & Jodi’s Joint. I debated whether or not that could be misconstrued for a bar or a head-shop. It also didn’t say anything about what we were trying to sell. For example, The Chocolate Vault in Tecumseh obviously sold chocolate. They sold other stuff too, of course, but at least it was specific enough.

We decided to keep working on the name game, after dinner. Over Jeff’s homemade tomato sauce and pasta, we dream-talked about what would make our store wonderful. A frequent buyer card, taste testing, grand opening mailing list, a good variety of product.

It was also important to get a solid idea of what kind of up-front cash we would need.

In retrospect, I don’t suppose it matters what type of retail space you have, if it’s only 10 x 10.

There are many advantages to limited size: cheap rent, not a lot of room for fixtures, limited stock space, and one person can cover the whole store by themselves. I know some of these don’t seem like good things, but when you have small, your expenses are small.

Sure, only 2-3 other people could fit in there at a time, but that was good for conversation, which Jeff was very good at. Because I’d worked in retail in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York City, I happily declared that this would prevent shop-lifting stock loss.

“But,” Jeff tsk-ed.,“…this… is… Tecumseh…” he finished with obvious hometown pride.

Clearing the table, I pitched another possible store name. “Hey, how about Jeff & Jodi’s Hot Spot?” I proposed. “Boy,” he exclaimed on a burst of laughter, “I don’t think of hot sauce when I hear that …. sounds like you’re talkin’ ’bout your lady parts!”

“Eek!” I giggled. “Fine,” I volleyed back. “How about just Jeff’s Hot Spot, then?”

“Nah,” Jeff said. “I don’t like that. We’re doing this together.”

Quote for the Week:

2017 10 10 where you come from effects how you feel about where you are

Enjoy This Week’s Discovery Links:

Choosing a Business Name: Don’t

Choosing a Business Name: Do

Choosing a Business Name: Licensing