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Hot hot hot & a change in mindset

July 19th, 2015 at 01:54 pm

Several good friends have told me I'm worrying too much about taking care of my mother. All the what ifs, and what i still feel is worst case scenario, what if we run out of money in 3 years and i have to put her in a nursing home.

It's been pointed out to me that, assuming she's still alive in 3 years (she's only 81 now but she does have AZ), that a nursing home will be inevitable, so all the angst and stress I feel saving a few dollars here or there, or not reimbursing myself for the hundreds out of pocket spent on her each month, is really all for naught. Because once her assets are spent down to $1600, the state will take care of all her needs. So my friends both said go ahead and reimburse yourself for legitimate mom expenses.

Intellectually, I know this to be true, though of course when it's your mother, you can't stand the thought of moving her from the oh-so-comfortable Maplewood with its locally grown food and private room and bath to a shared room with institutional gray walls and absolutely no privacy.

But I need to stop imagining what will happen 3 years from now and just Let. It. Be. Otherwise, I'll just worry myself sick.

So I'm trying to do just that, even while I plan to pursue 2 cost-saving options for my mother: VA benefits if I can document she was married to my father, a vet, for 10 years (I have to call the county courthouse in NJ) and a possible roommate situation in a so-called "lifestyle suite" at Maplewood where i believe you still have a private bedroom but the bath is shared.

In the meantime, I was absolutely SHELLSHOCKED to get a monthly bill Friday from Maplewood for $8,000, not the $5300 I'm used to paying. I have to call them tomorrow; I DO hope this was a mistake.

Looking at the big picture, these could be the best days my mother has left. I don't know how quickly she will deteriorate, but she seems to be in much better shape than many other residents at her place. She still dresses with care, always thinking to put on a colorful scarf (AC on at her place) or chunky beaded jewelery to throw a look together, and she always looks casually elegant. Smile

I have been taking her on occasional little trips now that the condo is mostly emptied out and the place is listed. She enjoyed the trip to a local garden nursery, especially petting the cat lounging on the counter. She also enjoyed the ice cream cone at Friendly's, our trip to Target and the trip up to a local gallery where she is very friendly with the owner. There is a Japanese garden I took her to years ago, I think, that I would like to visit again, but it's better to go on a weekday. Anything related to music, art or animals is a sure hit with her.

Otherwise, progress in selling her art, yarns and weaver accessories is excruciatingly slow, becus I'm basically inviting select interested weavers/knitters over to the house, one at a time, when I find them.

My big plan to have several weavers stop by here on their way home from a regional weavers conference in Mass. was a big bust; nobody responded to the flyer they put up for me there.

Today a knitter from the office stopped by and wound up buying $165 worth of yarns, a warping board and an old weaving book. I was delighted she was in a such a spendy mood. And she gave me a few inches of square space back in my living room. So I believe she was the 3rd yarn buyer here.


My office friend bought this jute, with the basket, for just $40. I love the colors.







She even also expressed interest in buying one of my mother's smaller pieces. I wasn't sure about the price but then told her $50. She didn't have that much more cash anyway so she couldn't buy it, so I sure hope her desire to buy it doesn't fade away once she gets home. In hindsight, so as not to lose the sale, I should have urged her to take it home and pay me for it at the office. DARN.

There's another potential weaver/buyer in CT, but a good 2 hours away, but her son's wedding next month comes first. She may be able to stop by on the way home. Another woman from the same weaving group is also interested, but is going to the Cape for all of August. (Green envy)

I've been talking to my friend about a quickie 2 night getaway, maybe to Rockport, Mass. We wanted to go in August, as I already planned a week off then, but most places are already booked. We started talking about this way too late. However, there are plenty of rooms at this one oceanfront motel in early September, so I may push back my vacation yet again.

I called my vet and he said it would be okay if Waldo had to go without his meds for 2 days...but not any longer. I can probably get my neighbor to come feed them, but she won't be able to administer the meds.

The wineberries have finally ripened. I only picked a quarter cup 2 nights ago but I plan to go out in a little while. It's just so blasted hot out there. It's 82 inside my house despite all the shade and curtain closing and fans going. My AC is in the attic, where it's probably over 100, and it's just so heavy I don't relish dragging it down.

The good news is that the cats will only have to tough it out alone tomorrow. I will be working from home Tuesday and can monitor things here and then the weather will moderate after that. In fact, I saw no days with temps over 82 through the rest of August. Of course, all that can change.

Someone's looking at the condo today. I've had a fair amount of traffic but not a single offer yet. It was listed mid-June and I lowered the price by $5K 10 days ago. A lot of people are probably on vacation.

After my office friend left here with her yarns, my handyman Bill came by and cut and then attached the new vinyl stair treads I got for my basement stairs (last winter) using contact cement. Unfortunately, I could see after he left that the edges of it where the treads meet the risers were curling up. He had put a bunch of bricks on the stair treads to weigh them down, but I went outside and brought in 8 or 10 more. He may have to come back and use nails so nothing's sticking up. This is annoying. The manufacturer had recommended NOT using nails becus over time they will tear into the stair treads.

The contact cement was very stinky so I had a big fan running down there and blocked off the cat door so the cats wouldn't go down there. It did seem to dry quickly though so now they can down to their litter boxes.

I made granola in the big oven; probably not the best day given the heat, but i was completely out of it. Also picked up about $40 worth of groceries, mostly fresh produce and almond milk, from Big Y.

Those are probably all the chores I will get done for the remainder of this exceptionally uncomfortable Sunday. I MAY just have to get the AC down here so I can sleep tonight.

4 Responses to “Hot hot hot & a change in mindset”

  1. CB in the City Says:

    Your little trips with your mother put me in mind of the times I spent with my mother in her last years. This can be a sweet time in both your lives. Try to stay in the moment.

    I was going to make granola today, but decided not to turn on the oven. Granola can wait till the temperature cools down!

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    I'd be interested in your granola recipe (yours too, CB). I think your friends are right, not to stress about it too much.

  3. snafu Says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFyPJm70ZUw

    I wondered if Liquid Nail [adhesive] would solve the stair tread problem. I hope the procedure to get marriage verification/documentation is a quick and straight forward procedure. Would your mom have kept the marriage license with other papers relating to that relationship? Are forms available on-line?

    Do you think your friend would be willing to review possible openings in Rockport for Air bnb accommodation? Holidays help a lot when so much is happening.

    What feedback is your realtor getting from the agents showing the apartment? What are potential buyers saying?
    Your outings with mom sound enjoyable. I wondered if Maplewood permits brief fur baby visits. If one of your cats doesn't mind car travel, would your mom find a visit soothing?

    While it's slower than you wish but it's great that yarn is being sold. When knitting and weaver guilds get back to routine in September, there will likely be more interest.

  4. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    The yarn colors are gorgeous. My grandma tried to teach me how to knit several times, but I never could get the hang of it.

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