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Sunday Doings - Ramblings

October 4th, 2015 at 05:31 pm

Sorry I can't come up with a more imaginative title, but this post is all over the place....

Today's accomplishments:

Early this morning I brought in the plants from my unheated sunroom and put them in the sunniest room in my house, the southwest facing upstairs bathroom. Not a whole lot of room there, but we'll figure it out. Also took out from the sunroom other things for the winter.

I also cleared away art and other stuff in the family room so that when Make a Home Foundation comes next week for the couch, they can move it straight through the sunroom and outside. Yes, I'm actually giving my furniture away so I can make more room in here! Truth be told, I'd been wanting to get rid of that old couch anyway, but I don't plan to replace it right away becus the cats will just scratch it. And I DO need room for all this art til I have a chance to sell it....

What will I do at the end of October when I most likely will have to take back 31 unsold pieces of art from the spa show? I shudder to think about it. Because I'll essentially be losing all the room in my family room, which I leave unheated all winter as I can close it off and have it on separate heat system. Not sure that would be the best place to store art. Or maybe the heat and humidity is far worse? Don't really know.

So while I'm still tripping over things (art) in the living room and family room, and it will get worse soon, I did tidy up my dining room, where all the yarns are. The dining room is looking MUCH better because I've been slowly selling it and now I can actually see that it's a dining room again. Also, when my handyman and I unloaded the final things of my mother's at my house yesterday, I decided to put the sewing machine cabinet in the dining room and quickly filled its drawers with stuff.

Around 10:30 am, visited with mom for an hour-and-a-half. I pushed her around in her wheelchair up and down the halls, looking at the art, and the big goldfish aquarium. We found one spot in all the hallways that had sunlight beaming through the door, so I pushed my mother right up to the door and lingered there for a while so she could get some Vit. D on her face and hands. So important. Her diet at the rehab place includes white bread, sugary drinks, and other things my mother would NEVER have eaten when she was sane. Now, with dementia, she loves it all. I bring in nuts for her to eat, always a favorite of hers, as they are mine. Another brain food.

I brought her into the dining room for lunch and we sat at a table with an elderly man who clearly did not have dementia. My mother was talking, but she was making no sense, but he was hard of hearing, so between the 2 of them, maybe they enjoyed the rest of their lunch. Sadly, he said he had no family left, and "this is my home, now," he added.

It must be very lonely to live among people who really don't know you, the kind of person you once were or the life you once led.

I finally got around to bringing in a photo of my mother when she was 30 years younger. I left it so the aides who work with her see her as a real person with a real past, not just a troublesome old lady.

After leaving Masonicare, I headed west and stopped in at Maplewood, the assisted living place. I figured I would drop off some warm turtlenecks in anticipation of the day my mother returns there. I took away the summer tops. I spent some time tidying up her room, and I decided to take home the ailing jade plant that my cousin brought her. It was ailing because it was planted in a strange large open shell mounted on a slab of granite, and had at most an inch of soil to cling to.

I'm resigned to the fact that even if my mother stays at rehab longer than anticipated, there's absolutely nothing I can or will do about continuing to pay for her vacant room at Maplewood. I mean, there's nowhere else to bring her, except another assisted living place which will be just as expensive, or a nursing home, which I won't put her in for as long as I'm able to pay for something better.

So if I have to throw away $10,600 to $15,900 for, say 2 or 3 months while she's at rehab (Maplewood is "only" charging $5300/mth which doesn't include the med mgmt of $400/mth since she's not there), nothing I can do about that. We're pretty much stuck. I don't think it will be quite that long, but she was admitted Sept. 12 so it has been 3 weeks already. I'm guessing as long as 2 months but hopefully not beyond that.

Had a talk with my closing attorney. Still hoping it will happen next week. I'll be able to stop the outflow of monies for condo overhead costs, just in time for all of the medical bills to start coming in from my mother's surgery. Well, probably not but one can never be too sure. Medicare should pick up all of it, I'm told, and the rehab too, for at least the 1st 3 weeks.

After finishing up at Maplewood, I headed to the condo, for what will likely be the very last time. When I was there Saturday with handyman moving the final pieces of furniture out, I'd forgotten a small step ladder which I could use in my garage (i now have 3) and I also hadn't had a chance to spackle all the little holes in the wall from shelving and other items pulled out, so I did that.

I looked around at this now completely empty condo where my mother enjoyed 15 of the most productive years of her artistic career. I thought of all the Christmas gatherings we had there, the Thanksgiving dinners, Easter and all our birthdays. It was hard to close the door on all that, and I cried on the drive home. I cried because I know the lifestyle my mother had here is something she'll never have again. Crying is something I do a lot of these days. I know it's part of the process of grieving, and so I don't try to hold back. I just let it happen and no one, except you, now, knows that I do.

From the condo I went on to BJs and spent over $100, enough to finally meet my $3,000 charging goal on my Citi Thank You Premier Card. As soon as i get the points, I'll order $500 in gift cards.

I could use them for Christmas, but I'm really not sure what Christmas will be like this year. I haven't spoken to my sister and I am still so very angry with her. I'm not sure I ever want to talk to her again. I feel what she's done, or more specifically, what she's not done, has caused too big a rift between us. I don't know that I can forgive her. She's never even tried to talk to me about anything. No explanations, no nothing. Could someone care any less???

I could buy some small things for my mother, but nothing too expensive as the price won't really matter. My dad has never exchanged gifts with us because we didn't often see each other on the holiday, though this year is different since he's living up here now in Connecticut.

Anyway, back to my Sunday. Brought all the groceries home and decided while there was still sunlight I should go outside and try to do something about the large mulch pile in my driveway. Don't really want it sitting there all winter as it will be in the way, but I don't have time to weed, which i need to do before mulching.

I shoveled some in a small trash can, anyway. Then I began trying to plant the HUNDRED or so small bulbs I'd dug up before the masons rebuilt my front walkway back in June. I planted many in pots and don't know if they'll survive since some were small and some were larger, like tulip bulbs, and i just mixed them all in together, but at different depths. So I have like 6 large pots of bulbs now in the back of the garage.

Replenished the hummer water but saw that the old sugar water was seemingly untouched. No doubt they have already left for southern destinations and I really do hope they didn't run into all the hurricane weather in the Carolinas. I refilled the feeder one last time anyway, as I always do, just to be sure any stragglers have something to feed on. They'll need all the energy they can get for the long flight.

I also switched out some summer clothes with winter clothes, basically taking some and moving to another closet. I do this every year.

I also changed the bedsheets.

Tonight I was finally going to teach myself how to use the Jumbl slide scanner I bought on Amazon for $99 over a month ago (?) after someone here told me there was such a thing (to convert old slides or film negatives to digital images) but I realized I have to wait til I get the memory card for it (which I just ordered tonight). Once I get the hang of it, this will be a somewhat mindless task that will take quite some time as my mother had thousands of slides of all her art, each with its own name which I will want to chronicle before feeling able to throw away the slides. But I WANT dispose of those slides becus like everything else, they're taking up space in my house and I NEED to make some order in here. Right now there are boxes sitting in the basement, simply becus THERE'S NOWHERE ELSE TO PUT THEM.

I've been living with mom's stuff EVERYWHERE since May..hard to believe as I do NOT like clutter at all.

Oh, when I was carrying a fairly heavy headboard down my mother's double flight of stairs with the handyman yesterday, I managed to wrench my knee pretty bad. It was my bad knee. Amazingly, it felt fine today.

The move with handyman didn't take too long, as we just had that headboard, the bed and the sewing machine cabinet, plus he trashed the particleboard cabinet so we could just put it in the dumpster. But it was a cold and wet day and it was drizzling out. He was coming down with a cold. We unloaded at my house and then unloaded the mattress/boxspring for recycling at the landfill. Yes, they recycle them now.

I paid him $60, which I knew was more than I needed to pay him (his rate is $25/hour) but i figured he'd earned it. And I noticed he never cashed a $35 check I wrote him months ago. I'm guessing he misplaced the check, or maybe he chose not to cash it because he tried to refuse payment from me more than once when helping me with my mother's stuff.

He's a nice guy, about 5 years younger than me, but I'm fairly certain most people get the wrong impression about him based on his appearance. His favorite color is black, and that's all I've seen him wear. His hair is longer than mine and he wears it in a ponytail. He used to ride a motorcycle until years ago he was in a very bad accident with his young daughter (divorced) sitting behind him. He broke a lot of bones in his body. He gave up the motorcycle and used the $$ from the settlement as a down payment on the very small, 400-sq-foot cottage he'd been renting. But for many years he struggled each winter when work slowed down; at one point he thought he was going to lose his house becus he couldn't pay the property taxes on it. Now he's overloaded with work, and he's trying to finish redoing his bathroom. I'm happy for him because I think the reason why he's always struggling financially is lack of self-esteem.

Meaning, he doesn't charge enough money for his work because I don't think he thinks he's good enough. $25/hr is very cheap, and he does just about everything, electrical, plumbing, carpentry tilework, etc. But he's not licensed.

His brother, on the other hand, does gutter work, and he didn't hesitate to charge me $125 when I noticed weeds growing out of my gutter, due to blocked gutter. He was here less than an hour.

Anyway, after moving just a few items, handyman dropped me off home and I just felt pooped the rest of the day. Don't know why, but I did.

Is anyone doing their own "no heat" challenge? I'm not. I figure heating oil is so cheap this year and I don't feel like living in a freezing cold house. So my heat is on.

Although the stock market is really messing up my retirement savings plan, I did notice with some satisfaction that I've already accumulated $28,000 in my 401k since becoming eligible for it in July 2014. It's a Roth 401k, so I will never pay taxes on this money again. I'm trying to even out the imbalance between my traditional IRA monies, which I saved for a much long period of time, and my Roth IRAs and 401k, which represents a much smaller nugget.

5 Responses to “Sunday Doings - Ramblings”

  1. Bluebird Says:

    Wow, Patient Saver, you certainly did accomplish a lot. I hope things calm down a bit for you after the condo sale closes. I'm sorry that you're going through this very rough time. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers {{HUGS}}. I turned my heat on last week when we had a few really cold and rainy days Smile

  2. SecretarySaving Says:

    Maybe get your mom a doll for Christmas. I heard that they are great for people with memory loss. You do accomplish so many tasks every weekend.

  3. My English Castle Says:

    I think you're doing a great job handling all of this. I used to sit in my car for about 20 minutes after leaving my mom at her memory care facility just to breathe and regain my bearings. I've got the heat on too; I'm ill and it's cold.

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    You are quite impressive! I can't imagine getting all that done alone, and dealing with the grieving at the same time.

    This was the first year I could have joined the heating challenge, having control of my own heating supply. (I mean, I could have resisted turning the heater on in the condo but the boilers would already have been on and it wouldn't have saved any money.) But I'm a wuss; we turned it on Friday.

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I think I know why you were pooped! You were one busy lady!!

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