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Saturday, November 12, 2011

I was talking with my best friend yesterday about "women who constantly move furniture".

His ex-wife re-arranged the furniture almost weekly. He'd come home from work to an entirely different house, quite often.

I lived in my last house for ten years and once I put the furniture in place, I never moved it again until I moved out. I bought my current house four years ago and seem to be following the same pattern.

I'm a neat and tidy person. I move things to clean under and behind them, but I return them to the same place when I'm done.

Women seem to fall into one of two categories - those who DO and those who NEVER re-arrange furniture, lol.

So, is constantly moving furniture a sign of creativity? If so, I don't have a creative bone in my body and I don't really believe that!

I know at least two women who suffer from depression and they both constantly re-arrange all the furniture in their house.

Does never moving furniture mean your Inner Self is calm, whereas the constant need to move everything symbolizes inner turmoil? Or maybe moving everything is a form of adventure in an otherwise ordinary world?

I was never someone who "decorated" my desk and/or office space either. I prefer to think my "charming personality" told people who and what I was, lol. So maybe material space just isn't very important to me? Although I do like a nice, comfortable, clean house. THAT is important to me.

I guess I should research some psychology books to find the answer. But answers from real-world women are much more fun, lol.

So, DO you move the furniture a lot? Or NOT? And what sort of feelings do you get from it?

Inquiring minds want to know.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 12/7/2011 2:22PM

    I've never been asked that question...I used to rearrange furniture quite often, back in my 20's & 30's. In fact, my husband came home one day back then, and said it was a good thing he wasn't blind cause he'd always be running into furniture. Now I don't move furniture very much, but every once in a while, especially in my office. I went through many years of depression, so reading that comment was interesting.

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FISHINGLADY66 11/20/2011 10:01PM

    I'm late here, Karen, but I have been out of town deer hunting. I don't move things in my house except at Christmas to put the tree up. Thanks for the subject to ponder. I never really thought about if it was creative. I love your blogs.
Have a wonderful and thankful Thanksgiving. emoticon

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IFATFIRST77 11/18/2011 7:54AM

    I'm a full fledged rearranger! Could be a Gemini thing..

I often rearrange with the seasons.. ie it's too hot for my computer or tv near the heaters-which are also near my windows. However in the spring, summer, and fall when the heat is not on, I like to have my desk or creative area near a window. I'm a great believer in feng shui and how such things affect our mood and level of creativity.
Sometimes the rearranging has a functional purpose ie. fitting something new into the flow of the room. Sometimes its more of a mental thing, which helps to keep things from becoming- what I feel to be mundane. As a Gemini I do get bored easily and too much sameness I guess you could say; starts to suck the life out of me or leave me feeling stagnant or 'stuck'. A little change can help to spark a bit of creativity and feels like a bit of a renewal or a simple re-energizing thing that is simple to do.

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TBRUGH78 11/16/2011 1:51PM

    The first thought that came to my mind about not moving your furniture is contentment. I would think that moving furniture would be a sign that that person may not be happy with something so instead of making a big change they make small changes. It makes sense that people who are depressed/not happy with things would move things around, however I think there might be people who just like change, like a change in seasons. Even thought there might be general rules about people and their behavior, I think every person is different.

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DGILBRIDE1949 11/16/2011 1:16PM

    I don't move furniture; if it's there--it's there. I may move the ironing board around, the music stand, the easel.....but the book cases or the furniture only to clean. My sister (on the other hand, is always moving and rearranging her house).
Maybe it's an inner peace thing...like nature: I want that mountain to be where it was when I saw it last, or the hills, or trees.....even the empty field by the house. And I get upset when nature gets moved around (by humans).
My cats don't like change either.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUSTJO66 11/15/2011 9:43AM

    Great question.
I am one of the non-movers. I've lived in my house since 1999 and once the furniture is in place...it's there to stay. :o)

My sister-in-law is a mover.

I don't know why people are one way or the other. I just got mine where it works and to me it feels right. Now, I love adventure and travel and seeing new things and sights and I believe " most" people would say I am creative :O). I also think that my inner mind is at peace...that is unless you're talking about night time when it's time to sleep LOL then I can't always turn the old brain off and get some sleep.

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ACIMPEGGY 11/14/2011 7:34PM

    Karen, just like right and wrong...to me the answers to these types of questions all depend on your perspective emoticon

Me? I move furniture...but only once in a while. Like in the living room we have an orange tree. We live in Chicago. In the warm weather Grandpa (his name) sits on the front deck basking in the sunshine. We can move the furniture just a bit (my easy chair and the box of baby toys for Suz's GD) so I can better see the TV and have light to crochet. In the cold weather, Grandpa comes in and crowds me and the toys out. My chair has to be moved over. I sit on the edge to see the entire TV screen or sit back and have a branch of leaves across the upper part from the left to the middle top.

Sigh. That's ok. I'd rather Spark or play TV games than watch tv anyway.

I've moved the furniture in my bedroom twice in about 10 years.

emoticon emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 11/14/2011 3:25PM

    I was originally an interior decorator. I never rearrange furniture either. There is one perfect arrangement only. LOL. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deranged. LOL. emoticon

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BUGLET- 11/13/2011 7:11PM

    When I was younger I loved rearranging things but then I married my husband and he hates things to be moved. Also we have a lot of heavy furniture and I'm much older and not able to move some of it. I was always excited to see how my things looked in a new place, now my things are arranged differently because we have just moved to a different house. It's frustrating because my furniture doesn't fit well in this house even though it's a few feet larger than our other house. When I looked at this house I knew I'd have to adjust but didn't realize that half of the drawers are just made to look like a drawer so I'm getting rid of a lot of things. I guess I just have gotten older and not as active as I used to be.
Raining here..

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CAROLEE1945 11/13/2011 9:54AM

    What a great blog topic!!! I love my home, absolutely, I love to be in a peaceful environment, and come home to beauty after a difficult day. I only rearrange furniture when there is a reason, such as having a big holiday dinner. Then, it is rather fun to see how things can look different.

As far as the psychology of it, well, it depends on the person. When my husband just disappeared ten years ago, I was in such mental turmoil that having the house totally neat gave me a sense of order in the inner chaos. Before that, I had been rather sloppy!!! Now I have developed habits that actually are quite good as I have aged. If you put things back in their places, you can find them again.

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DGAIL51 11/12/2011 9:49PM

    I enjoy rearranging a few things occasionally if it makes the space more "functional". i like a good flow into and through a room, but also a cozy, attractive space. I would love to rearrange our bedroom, but things only fit a certain way, which is not as functional as I would like or as attractive. I did rearrange it a bit about a year ago, but I am not sure it was any better, just different. lol.

I have to rearrange the great room for our Christmas tree which is 10 ft. tall and also wide at the base, but that just means I take out my large silk plant and move a chair. Sometimes I get bored with how things look and try to rearrange to create a more attractive room. Once I get things the way I really like them, I rarely change. If I won the big lottery, I would have fun changing furniture and color schemes. LOL! I love playing with color!

So, I guess, no I don't rearrange very often, but I often look for a better way to do almost anything, including the furniture arrangement and I have most things in the best places they can be right now. I have 2 friends who build a house, decorate it, sell and then that all again. I would hate that because of the moving every 2-3 years.

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TUFFYBIRD 11/12/2011 5:39PM

    I don't move furniture either. Sometimes I think I'd like to, just for a change, but our house is laid out in such a way that there really is only one orientation that makes sense. So maybe I'm not creative either ... nah, I don't believe that any more than you do. I think I found the way that looks nicest and why make it look 'not so nice' just for the sake of change? emoticon

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JEANNE229 11/12/2011 12:50PM

    Karen, I never move furniture either. Fact is, there is too much OTHER stuff to do, and if the house is comfortable and not offending anyone, why move it?

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ZEEDRA 11/12/2011 11:51AM

    Great Blog/question!!!

To start: sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. I know women, mostly, who love their homes like it was a human being. They are constantly decorating and redecorating and tend to be what I call fussy. Also, and I'm judging here, they seem to fall on the side of materialistic. I'm not always comfortable having these people in my place as i am quite different in that area. But, as PJSTIME says, it can be an adventure and a way to be creative. Thus, "a cigar is just a cigar".

Then, I know or have known ones who seem to be driven. I could visit one day and say "Gee, everything looks so nice!" and then the next time it looks like a bomb hit it because they have torn everything apart, added new things where it becomes cramped, etc. These people are almost hoarders...constantly shopping for something better or just something...anything. There seems to be no deliberation or planning and the whole process looks quite frantic.

I am like you, Karen, and some others who have commented...with some differences, of course. I can leave everything in place for years. Because I've been moving too much lately, for various reasons, I do have to make these decisions more frequently.

My big difference is: I don't finish the job! I've been here for over a year and I still have pictures leaning against the walls and paid bills piling up waiting to be filed. Also, i find it very difficult to leave a surface empty. I had to laugh at myself recently when I set up a folding end table for my student so she could have her tea while watching TV with me. Afterwards, I caught myself putting a few magazines and ??? on top of the table...even though it had to be put away at some point. I say to myself: Try to leave one surface empty (except for the dust, of course)!

Regarding the idea of depression playing a role here: I would say that it could work both ways. When depressed, for some of us, it's very difficult to get anything accomplished. With the others, maybe it's their way of escaping depression, holding it off...running in place, almost.

I can identify with the feelings of excitement compulsive shoppers and furniture movers experience. I used to experience that when I loaded up with junk food and junk reading for my Friday night mindless drop-outs in my full-time working days.

One other thought: a late friend of mine had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and she was constantly rearranging, painting, sewing, fixing. I mean, I wish I would do more of that but certainly not in an obsessive-compulsive way.

Great topic, Karen.

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MAMABUGAZ 11/12/2011 11:45AM

    Some rooms, at least in my home, simply don't lend themselves to moving furniture. There seems to be just one way that the furniture "fits".

I have lived in the same house for 22 years. I have never moved the furniture in our dining room, or our bedroom (except to replace it, sometimes, but then I put the new stuff where the old stuff was).

However, I do re-arrange my living room furniture, occasionally. Like another one of your posters, I re-arrange it at Christmas to make room for the tree. And, I often put it back the way it was. But, I've had about three different arrangements that, over the past 22 years, I've sometimes vacillated between.

One thing that I have done more re-arrangment in, the past 6 months or so, are my knick-knacks in the LR, DR and BR, and the pictures on the walls. Finally, after many years of clutter, I've been able to keep a cleaner, more clutter-free home, and I've enjoyed changing around where I place the things on my LR bookcase (which I use mostly for display, not books), and some shelves that are inset into my plaster walls, and my BR dressers and nightstands.

I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving, when I'll get out my Christmas things. I have different ideas about how and where to display my Christmas knick-knakcs, now that my bookcase is for display and not just books and clutter.

~ Faith

P.S.: Interesting blog; you've had a lot of comments, and those who post often seem to have a lot to share.

Comment edited on: 11/12/2011 11:46:15 AM

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BELTONWALKER67 11/12/2011 10:46AM

    The living room gets rearranged once a year at Christmas Time to make room for the tree. My bedroom gets rearranged when the mood strikes, usually about twice a year. Today, the plans are to rearrange the garage to make room for the car. The rest of the house pretty much stays the same. As far as neat & organized, that is a constant battle. Family members say I'm a former neat freak who has mellowed with age.

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GABY1948 11/12/2011 9:32AM

    Karen, I HAVE BEEN BOTH...but you give me so much to think about...I believe IN MY CASE, lest someone chastise me...the constantly moving furniture was insecurity and trying to always make things "better". That was my "old life". In my new life with this dh, I never feel the need to move furniture...which I never really thought much about until this blog emoticon but I have to think it has some truth in what you say just because I know many people that are like I was in "my old life" including one of my own sons and that seems to be the truth in them! Thanks for a VERY thought provoking blog! emoticon

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JKURJACK1944 11/12/2011 8:53AM

    I never rearrange my furniture. Once it was in place the way I wanted it meant that I made the right choice the first time. If I ever get new furniture to replace something that is old or broken, I normally buy something that will fit in the existing furnitures place. I don't know what this means, but I do keep everything tidy, clean and organized.

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DDESERTDDAWN 11/12/2011 8:51AM

    Ha I rearrange until I've found THE place. THEN that is where it lives until it dies. When entertaining i have a hard time rearranging for that-- i want people to see things the way they are 'supposed't to be. Silly methinks.

Wish i were neat and tidy. I'm horrible at organizing-i think because i think there should be a perfect answer and I get myself going round in circles finding THE right way.

Big question- are your cupboards organized? Beans with beans, etc? That is the one funny thing my living room can be quite messsy, but look in my cupboard and a different story. My answer for my quandary? Housekeepers who 'pick up and put away'=not easy to find in the USA. Especially on my new salary. Sigh.

Good fun questions.
dDawn emoticon

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KAYYVAUGHN 11/12/2011 7:08AM

    I don't move furniture around unless I'm rearranging a room. That doesn't happen often.
When we have about 20 family members over for a holiday dinner; then I will do plenty of rearranging.
Today, I start cleaning the study, so it will be such a touch up.

I wish I had a neat and tidy house all the time, but the back of the house lacks that attention.

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PJSTIME 11/12/2011 7:02AM

    I used to move furniture around (about 1 or 2 times a year) but now I don't not because I don't want to there just isn't anyway to rearrange in this house. So when I painted the walls this time I rearranged what I had on the walls instead. What does that mean?

I prefer to think of moving things like that as an adventure and a way to get or try something new. Is that the same as being creative - I don't know. emoticon

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Update on The Troubles

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My mother really wants to be 60 again, with the freedom that good health, good vision, and driving where you want when you want gives you. None of us can grant her wish.

So she’s stuck with being 89, legally blind, needing more and more help from others. She fights ferociously against anyone who tries to help her deal with her limitations. It’s as if when you try to help her with her limitations, you assume the responsibility of causing those limitations.

Since I have been the Number One helper, I’m Public Enemy Number One. The more my sons step in to help – both me and her – the higher they get on that Public Enemy list.

God and the Universe have sent us a remarkable Home Health Care Nurse who has been able to talk her way in the door. She has hit upon the management method of giving my mother CHOICES in her care, to address her fear of losing control. So they have reached an agreement that Home Health care can visit twice a week. They observe while they are there and gradually try to be allowed to do a little more each time.

I’m doing all the behind-the-scenes paperwork, talking to doctors, pharmacists, filling out Medicaid re-certifications, etc. etc. The nurse is working on my mother constantly changing doctors because “that doctor” caused all her problems. No one can convince her she did not even meet “that doctor” until she began having those problems.

My son told my mother, in plain simple language, that if she didn’t let her family help her the State would step in and decide where and how she would live, instead of people who love her. It didn’t seem to sink in at the time, but maybe she is slowly allowing that thought to take hold.

What upsets me the most, are the horrible things she’s said to my sons. They have been the most wonderful grandsons she could have. Almost everything she owns was given to her by them: two a/c window units, ceiling fans, flat screen tvs, washing machine, dinette set. A year and ago they both took off work for a week to get her moved in here. One owns his own business and the other is a federal agent who flew here to Texas from Denver to help move her. She’s never had to pay a cable bill or a phone bill, either. They won’t even tell me what she’s said because they say it would “make you ill, Mom.”

The last time I saw her, I thought she would hit me, so I left. I mean, what do you do when an 89 year old woman strikes you? So my sons and I have decided that I will no longer have ANY contact with her. And it’s really upsetting her. She NEEDS someone to abuse, to yell at, to humiliate in public, and I’ve resigned. She’s having her neighbors call me now, telling me what she “wants”. I’m thanking them and then ignoring it all.

If she needs contact from us, my son will go. I think it’s pretty frustrating for her not to be able to tell me what she’s unhappy about, or how I’m the cause of all her ills.

During this time since her fall, I’ve hand-fed her when she couldn’t feed herself, helped her dress, made all the arrangements I could so her stay in the hospital (4 days) and the nursing home (10 days) and her return home, would be as nice as possible. I had her apartment cleaned, too. Rotten food in the fridge and pantry. Dead gnats in the fridge and freezer. (How does THAT happen?) Enough to get her evicted. And continued with all the paperwork, etc, I’ve always done.

And she hates me more than anyone.

It's not that I miss the wonderful, loving mother she once was, because she has always been the way she is now, except that now she is even worse.

I’ve decided to be an advocate for mySELF now. So I’m resigning my position as an advocate for her.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMMIESMOM13 11/1/2011 9:33AM

    Karen, My mom has alzheimers. We have bouts of this sort of thing so I can feel a bit of your pain that way. She hit and spit at my daughter a couple of weeks ago when she was trying to bathe her - normally there are 2 of us, but I've been ill. I've had that sort of thing from her, but for her to do it to my daughter whom she adored is just total sadness for us all. My mother was also not the easiest person to live with, and in some ways has gotten easier to deal with (amazing!). But it seems life just seems to give us sadness as we get older. Where are those "golden" years you hear about?
I'll send up some prayers for you and yours sons. Bless them, they are good fellows. Just like my 2 daughters. We are lucky women to have them. Focus on the good, it will help. Hugs, Carol

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ZEEDRA 10/31/2011 4:21PM

    Karen: Congratulations on a sound and sane decision. All bases are covered. You have earned your freedom. I wish you all the peace and joy possible. Some get it in a gift box; yours was found in the trenches. Welcome back to your best life!

Please do a search for the poem by Derek Walcott, "Love after Love". I don't think we're allowed to quote a whole poem...???

When I first discovered this poem, I made several copies, laminated them, and gave them to friends. It's especially good for seniors (young seniors?). This is my way of giving it to you.

Hugs, Sandra

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SILLYHP1953 10/28/2011 3:17PM

    I am glad your sons are able to deal with the verbal abuse, and I am REALLY glad you have stopped accepting it. I only had to deal with emotional abuse from my step-father from the age of 6 to when I moved out at 18...and I know how much it has affected my life. I can only imagine the wounds you are healing when the abuse comes from your mother.

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IFATFIRST77 10/28/2011 2:57PM


I'm sorry Karen, you did good xoxox

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JUSTJO66 10/28/2011 12:10PM

    Karen, I am so sorry to hear all this has befallen you.
My heart goes out to you and your boys. You and they do
not deserve anything that has happened. I am sorry.

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DARLENEK04 10/27/2011 3:12PM

  I am so sorry for what you are going thru. You have been a
champ sticking in there as long as you did. If she has been
hateful all your life, then things will only get worse as she
gets worse. I am sorry your sons are having to deal with her
rage tho, but they must be good boys to put everything on hold
and go help her.
Stay strong, and stay away for your own peace of mind.
Let the Home health care deal with her...she is probably nicer to them than you.


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BUGLET- 10/27/2011 2:41PM

    I feel your pain. I tried to help my brother and it has given me nothing but frustrations and sorrow. Not from him, bless him, but his alcoholic wife. She's trying to sue me now. Hang tight and try not to dwell on it. I think it's the right decision to cut contact. Don't sacrifice yourself and your sons when it doesn't help any of you. God bless you for your efforts. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FISHINGLADY66 10/26/2011 10:34PM

    This is a tough time for you and your family, I am so sorry for all the things you have to go through. Your blog brought back memories of when my mother was that way. I hope you can feel the Love and support coming to you from all your Spark Friends.
Bless your sons for being there for you and their grandmother. Their reward will come someday.
Your in my thoughts and prayers.
emoticon emoticon

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TUFFYBIRD 10/26/2011 9:15PM

    I once took a geriatrics course in which the one most important message was "people don't mellow as they get older, they just become 'more so'". In my experience that is absolutely true.

My situation was similar to yours and (like you) I needed to take a step back in order to maintain my own sanity. I too worked 'behind the scenes' but I wasn't so available as a repository for my mother's anxiety and anger. I don't have any answers but I can say "I've been there - done that - you are SO not alone". And I have several SP friends dealing with exactly the same issues.

Hang in there and take care of yourself; you're of no help to anyone if you get sick.

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MADAMES 10/26/2011 7:44PM

    Dealing with aging parents is a trial that many of us face... Yes, this is hard, but you have the knowledge that you are doing the right thing, honoring your mother even when she hasn't always honored you. Hug your sons and take care of yourself. Spark Friends are here to support you any way we can!

emoticon emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/26/2011 4:59PM

    Oh no!! I hate to hear it but I can relate. Dad doesn't abuse me but he makes statements that make me feel really bad for him. He will complain about something being broken and I will tell him that my husband will come and fix it and he will say he doesn't want THAT - we have enough to do. He will complain that he has no one to take care of him and we will offer to move him up where we live and help take care of him. No he doesn't want THAT!! He wants my brother to do it and Jeff won't. I have to listen to dad state basically that if he can't manage to do what he wants then he wants to die. You can't satisfy them because you can't give them back their health. You can't take it personally but is makes it no less upsetting. Take care of yourself. emoticon

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DGAIL51 10/26/2011 4:37PM

    Karen, I am so sorry for all the things you have endured from your mom. I had no idea how bad it was. My mom can be cantankerous and grouchy, but nothing even close to what you are going through. She is usually sorry later and tries to be sweet then. I would be crushed to have her do the things your mom has done and I have to say, I would have been "out of there" a long time ago. I commend you for sticking with her so long. Your patience and kindness in the face of such rejection and meanness is to be admired and aspired to. I am afraid I would fall way short in comparison.

May God bless you richly Karen. You really do have to step back for your own well being and I am glad to hear you have. You have extremely remarkable sons, which is a testament to their mother. Hang in there and stick to your guns. You are doing the right thing.
Donna emoticon Put your cat in your lap & have some peace!

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LILYGAL 10/26/2011 3:32PM

    You don't know me but I am you! My mom is now 100 yo and until June of this year lived alone with my help but I am the one who lied to her, caused her problems, etc. I have 3 other sisters and 2 brothers. One other sister got the same treatment as I did but no one else. She is now in assisted living as I could not take care of her any more. When I was there last week with my 2 other sisters, she lit into all of us. Awful! All I can say is that I will pray for you and your family. I know this is the hardest thing ever for you. Hang in there!!!

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DGILBRIDE1949 10/26/2011 2:38PM

    That sounds like what we went through when Mom was ill last year. My sister was the one who was the enemy, and was standing in Mom's way.
It's a tough time for you and your family, and I pray for you always. Keep your family close and love them.

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GOALIEGRANDMA3 10/26/2011 12:03PM

    I am so sorry you are going through this. We have to remember this sort of thing for when we get "old". I for sure do not want to end up living with my children. I don't want to be that cantankerous old woman, and I don't want to end up feeling mistreated.

It is the illness and the old age that is talking, not really your mom. Try to remember the good days, and please don't let it get you off track or stop living your life to the fullest.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEMETERSCO 10/26/2011 11:36AM

    I hope you can feel the caring and support coming at you from this forum. Aging parents is an issue so many of us on the Over 60s team are dealing with. Bless your sons for being there for your mother and for protecting you. You were a great Mom to raise such wonderful men!
My Mom's mother turned into a mean old witchy woman as dementia took hold - chasing grandchildren with a stick in her hand, cursing them and threatening to kill them. So sad...
Thoughts and prayers are with you, Karen, and with your sons.

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JUDY1676 10/26/2011 11:14AM

    Hang in there. You are so lucky to have sons who are willing and able to help you and your Mom out. Prayers for you and your family.

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OZARKMARY 10/26/2011 10:24AM

    emoticonStay strong Karen. You have done more than required. God sees all. You just continue to do the "behind the scenes" work. Your sanity and life are at stake. What a miserable life she must have had as a child. Something has caused her to think she needs to be this nasty. I pray for you, your boys and your mom.

Please just keep blogging and understand how many care about you. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PJSTIME 10/26/2011 10:06AM

    Karen my heart goes out to you, but I think your sons are correct in making you stay completely away from her. Your job now is to do what can and needs done in the background and that is no small job in it self. I hope the nurse can still make progress little by little.

You are a wonderful person and you have wonderful sons even if MOM doesn't recognize that.


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JEANNE229 10/26/2011 9:36AM

    Karen, I have been exactly where you are. My wonderful, loving mother turned mean, ordered me out of her home and told me never to come back. I was shocked and hurt, but of course later realized it was her advancing age and the early onset of dimentia. It is SO hard, though, to see the face of someone you love so much without the warm and caring feelings on it for those who get so hurt from not only the aging, but from the hurtful words and actions. My mother stopped speaking to me as a daughter (and like you I worked in the background with a broken heart), but later she simply stopped speaking and lived somewhere in her mind. THAT was actually worse than the mean-spirited woman I tried to help.

We did ultimately have to put her in a nursing home as she needed 24-hour care to keep her from hurting herself or someone else. My GREATEST fear in this life is that I may one day become what she was.

Heartbreaking! You are a wonderful, wonderful person to continue to try to care so much.

Comment edited on: 10/26/2011 9:38:50 AM

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GABY1948 10/26/2011 8:33AM

    My heart goes out to you! I was in the same situation practically at the end of my mother's life. She wasn't quite as bad because she KNEW without me and my wonderful dh and sons she had NO ONE! What is it about old age that does that to people? They are either grinches like your mother and mine or as sweet as pie. You seem to have the right attitude in such a WRONG situation though...God bless you! emoticon

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BELTONWALKER67 10/26/2011 8:33AM

    Hang in there, kid. This too will pass. I'm so glad you have a home health nurse to help with your Mom and that you & your sons need to rest easy knowing you have done all you can do. Take care of yourself & know that we are all thinking of you and praying you continue to have the strength to get through these stressful times. emoticon

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MISSPEACHES3 10/26/2011 8:08AM

    Hi Kren,
I am so sorry that you, your Mother and family are having to go through this. I know that you do not need the mental stress of all of this.

I feel sorry for your Mom, because of the stress she is having. I know that she must be in very unfamiliar territory as she struggles to deal with the loss of so much. I know that my Mother has had some of the same problems, especially, giving over control of things to someone else.

My nerves go so bad when my Mom first went into the nursing home, I thought I would have a nervous breakdown. Thank God that did not happen.

I am a very stubborn person and don't easily give up. Even though I had to do the same as you, I had to back off for a while, for my own sanity.

Please know that this situation will get better. It will take time, but things will change.

May the Lord give you peace at this time.

Blessings, today and always,

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JESSYVIRGINY 10/26/2011 7:52AM

    I'm so sorry to heard this. I understand how you may be feeling. I to had the same responsibility toward someone and it can be heart crushing at times.
I hope everything works out for you. emoticon

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“The Troubles” or “To be Happy or Safe?”

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thank you all again for the many good thoughts and words of kindness during the Troubles with my Mother, after her fall, which I now believe was due to her blood pressure dropping drastically and causing her to pass out. The same thing happened the next two days in a row, but I was there to catch her and call 911. (See my previous blog about that.)

She finally agreed to a two week stay in a nursing home so her medication could be changed and evaluated and so she could get some physical therapy and instruction on how to prevent falls, etc.

Of course, she changes her mind about that every day or so and tries to walk out. She does that because – she wants some chicken soup and doesn’t get it fast enough, she doesn’t have the right clothes, she doesn’t like her bed, a noise woke her in the night, someone stole her suitcase with all her clothes, etc. etc. etc. (We found the suitcase where she had left it after she rolled it down the hall and hid it behind a sofa.)

Yes, she’s spoiled. When you have an 89 year old, almost blind Mother/Grandmother who was never a good communicator anyway, and who throws a tantrum if she doesn’t get her way, you tend to do what she wants ASAP to keep her from getting so upset she hurts herself. When she’s in a hospital or facility, she thinks they will all grant her every wish instantly, too, and when it doesn’t happen, she gets very difficult, to put it nicely. My son has taken all the night time calls from the nursing home. I get the day shift.

Finally, they have put her in Lockdown, which sounds ominous, but is actually just another wing of the facility, just as nice, even more spacious, but all the outer doors are locked, so no one can “walk to the store to get her own soup.” It’s sort of an Alternative School for Seniors, lol.

I’ve spent days, literally, on the phone trying to straighten out a mix up in Ortho appointments for her broken wrist. Finally, I have a list of her new medication so we can adjust what she has when she returns home. She still moans and rolls her eyes when I mention Home Health care returning, and NO ONE has told her we had her apartment cleaned, because none of us are brave enough, yet.

The Bottom Line – She is physically safe in the nursing home but not happy. If she is not happy – NO ONE IS HAPPY – I guarantee it! She is happy at home, but not always so safe and resents and refuses help. Those are our options.

Her family medicine doctor told me yesterday that many people with elderly parents find themselves in this same situation. He said “You can only do the best you can and stand-by and pray for the best.” My own doctor told me the same thing but added “And when the worst happens, remember not to blame yourself.”

So those are our choices during the Troubles, which are sure to continue the rest of her life. Neither choice makes me feel good or happy or confident I’m doing the right thing.

The worst part of it all, for me, is her verbal abuse of me, (which is nothing new) and my sons and certainly any staff that tries to help her. I have to tell you now, my mother has always been difficult and I was fortunate to have been raised by many aunts, uncles and grandmas in my youth. Still, she is my mother. I am her only child. We are stuck with each other. I give thanks daily for my two wonderful sons who help me, and her, so much!

And also for my Spark Friends!

God Bless the Caregivers.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZEEDRA 10/21/2011 10:10PM

    Karen, you have my sympathy. Your story is dramatic though I think that it's just the tip of the iceberg of what you live with. Love and commitment can be strange things. I've witnessed enough to know that sometimes the people who least deserve it get the finest kind of faithfulness and love. Also, unlike you, we have people who exaggerate their struggles in the caregiving field. I'm somewhere in between. I ask myself: "Would it have killed you to do more?" but now it's too late.
Much love, Sandra

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IFATFIRST77 10/19/2011 10:07PM

    She might not like things this way Karen, but there will be no doubt in her mind, despite her words- that she is loved. You and your kids have done a wonderful job.
Don't forget to step back when you need a break. emoticon

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JUSTJO66 10/19/2011 12:04PM

    I think everyone here has said it so much better than I can. Just know that "this too will pass" and you have nothing to feel bad about. You are doing what you can for your mother and even though she does not see or understand it. God does. We're here it/when you need us.


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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/18/2011 4:52PM

    ROFLMBO!! Oh my gosh, GF. You have your hands full!! But she sounds at least amusing for a pain in the rear. I could have written this blog as it describes my mom and my relationship perfectly. Mom didn't listen to me at all. I remember being in a car with a GF and we were picking up lunches for work at Hardees. We saw this old woman on an electric cart heading out of the drive through lane out into the middle of the busiest 4 lane road in town dodging and weaving in and out of traffic and June said, "Oh my God. Look at that old lady!! I hope she doesn't get hit!" I covered my eyes and said, " I can't watch! It's my mother!! Tell me if she makes it" June laughed and said, "God love her. " They drive you nuts and you can't do anything with them. Whatever you do will be wrong so don't worry too much. LOL. I tend to think this will be me when I'm old because it's already me.

Comment edited on: 10/18/2011 4:54:07 PM

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SILLYHP1953 10/18/2011 3:58PM

    I'm not sure verbal abuse is much better than physical abuse. Having experienced both I can make that statement. I'm really sorry you are going through this and hope you can keep your energy/emotional shield up so her hurtful words don't send their daggers through.

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DGAIL51 10/18/2011 12:49PM

    Karen, you have remained in my thoughts and prayers. What a hard situation. Obviously, you are going beyond the call of duty & your mother is blessed to have you as a daughter whether she ever realizes it or not. You have no reason to feel guilty no matter the outcome. That thought can at least sustain you, I hope.
I had a friend who did so much for her mother that it was nearly consuming her the last year of her mother's life. Unfortunately, her mother never came around & died with her bitter spirit unrepentant of her attitude & actions & unappreciative of all that was sacrificed for her. But, Alice was able to have peace within herself because she knew she did all she could do, more than almost anyone else would have done. I am not sure I could have tolerated it myself.
Bless you my friend

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FISHINGLADY66 10/18/2011 10:35AM

    My heart goes out to you. I went through some of the same things with my mother before she passed away. It's hard on us to see how they are thinking and we always want to do the best for them, even tho they don't seem to understand. Thank the good Lord for your wonderful helpful sons. You will make it through this Karen. Stay Strong. My prayers are with you and I think of you often. Blessings my sweet friend. emoticon

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CAROLEE1945 10/18/2011 8:50AM

    Oh, my, how well you have written this. I have been EXACTLY where you are at, but you have expressed it so well. You captured the dilemma we over 60's have now with our aging parents. My mother fell, broke one hip, was home 3 days after a horrendous hospitalization and rehab, complete with accusing the doctors of trying to rape her, and was stabilized and then fell and broke the other hip. In the rehab facility, she would stare at me and say, "why are you doing this to me?" in the most accusing, awful tone of voice. Reasoning never worked.

Your writing here has helped me. I especially like you calling it "The Troubles". I like that because it makes it seem like it is indeed temporary when at times I think it is just going to go on and on.

Comment edited on: 10/18/2011 8:53:48 AM

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PJSTIME 10/18/2011 7:13AM

    Put on your coat of armor and try and let things roll off. I know it is very difficult right now but we are here to listen and encourage you.

I hope it won't go on too long.

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Living on adrenaline.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Thank you all for your concerns about my mother and myself. This blog is for everyone I haven’t had time to answer.

Wednesday, my mother fell while crossing the street by her apartment, going to the Senior Center for exercise. My mother will be 89 October 26. She needed stitches in her face, which looks like someone beat her with a 2 x 4, and has a broken right wrist. Yes, she’s right handed. She’s also legally blind and has all the usual issues you have when you’re that old – high BP, diabetic, irregular heart beat and mild heart problems.

I spent 8 hrs in the ER with her, watching her being sewed up and having her wrist bone set. (Don’t ever watch a bone being set if you can avoid it.) She refused to be admitted. She NEVER needs any help – just ask her. The ER doc talked her into spending one night and then the hospital wouldn’t admit her because they didn’t think she needed 24 hour observation. I would love to post a photo of her taken in the ER but I think it would be too upsetting for many people to see her face.

I took her home with me. Checked on her every 30 min or so all night. Still, I missed her slide to the floor, where I found her at 3 am. She couldn’t get on her hands and knees to pull up because of her broken arm. (And she’s looking up at me saying “I don’t need any help.”) I put my back brace on and gave one try and stopped and called my son who was there in 20 min. He got her up and spent 2 hrs talking to her about learning to ACCEPT HELP in order to continue living independently.

About 9:30 am she was sitting on my sofa while I put her things in my car so we could go back to her apartment and meet the Home Health Care R.N. When I came back in she was slumped over and limp and could barely speak, but she was saying “I’m OK”. I called 911. Her BP was 70/55. She refused transport. Her BP came back up and she was herself again. They told me to take her to her doctor. I did. Change in BP meds and the doctor ORDERED her to have home health come in and monitor her daily. Long argument about that, again.

She did spend the night in her apartment. I was there until late, her friend came over at 7 am and Home Health came in at 9. I showed up at 9:30 with groceries, etc. She was talking to me and to the nurse, BP was good, nurse walked out the door. Then my mother slumped over like the day before. I ran out to the street and called the nurse back. She saw mother and told me to call 911 and tell them her BP was 50/30. Back to the ER and this time she couldn’t resist because she was unconscious and then she was admitted.

Lack of sleep was the thing that weakened me most and made my body hurt. Bad back and bad hip like to be in their own comfortable environment or they complain. A day in the ER is hard. But she’s feeling just fine in between these episodes. The second time I did see one side of her face twitching and reported that to the ER. Testing continues.

I had promised to feed cats for a friend while she went on vacation, so I’m trying to work that in every day. My son, an investigator, is in court every day. Also, Joe, usually my backup and first line support, hurt his back and is walking bent over, his truck was in the shop and I had to help him get back and pick it up. He said he was happy I could work him in, lol. Life’s been a little busy lately.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ESHTEMOA 10/25/2011 8:52PM

    Karen sorry to hear about your mom,it must be physically and emotionally stressful for you as well.Hope she settles down and accept her situation.Do wish her happy birthday from me .
Stay Blessed!

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DEMETERSCO 10/17/2011 1:04PM

    Stubborn Moms (mine is 87, too) and bad back and hips - I hear you on both issues and you have my prayers - for strength, for healing, for all of it!

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JPR-ARTIST 10/12/2011 7:00PM

    Where's a good CLONNING Machine when you need one, Eh?!!
I'm praying for you and Yours....
Lord send Angels to Minister to all their needs!

Love Jill

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JUSTJO66 10/12/2011 2:12PM

    Karen, I am so sorry to hear you are going thru such an ordeal. My prayers will be sent up for you and your mother.
Hang in, things will get better.

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SILLYHP1953 10/11/2011 4:02PM

    Oh my, I'm so sorry about all this, and sure hope everything gets worked out for your mom and you.

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FISHINGLADY66 10/10/2011 9:44PM

    You have been thru a lot. This has been a difficult time for you both. I am so sorry to hear how much you had to go thru. You and your mom (and Joe) are all in my prayers. Bless you sweetie. emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/10/2011 4:03PM

    Oh, GF, what a nightmare. You must be exhausted. You certainly have your hands full. My mom was similar to your mom and my dad is the same. It makes it difficult to care for them. I'm sending prayers for your mom, you, and your entire family.

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IFATFIRST77 10/9/2011 9:48AM

    Sounds very stressful, I am sorry Karen this is not an easy time.
I will keep you both in my prayers. Take one day at a time, and please stop to rest when you can.

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SOUPY18 10/8/2011 10:40PM

I know from where you are coming. My mom was extremely stubborn and refused any help except from her 2 daughters -- we both lived over 1000 miles away , and since she would not live with either of us we spent every other week-end travelling to check up on her. No complaints though. She was our mom and neither of us regret what we needed to do.
Hope your mom feels better soon, and you are able to also stay healthy.
Sue emoticon

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CHARLOTTE1947 10/8/2011 7:54PM


My father refused all help too. One day he keeled over backwards like a redwood falling in a forest. It happened so fast I couldn't get to him to stop the fall. I will never get over the guilt or the sadness.

My mother passed at age 87 from a stroke and I spent 3 weeks with her in the hospital ER, the hospital and finally hospice. No other family lives within 1500 miles. I really, really sympathize. God bless.


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ANNE2002 10/8/2011 12:16PM

    Karen, sorry to hear about your Mom. Will be praying she gets well quickly. Hang in there yourself!


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ZEEDRA 10/8/2011 10:33AM

Again, I'm awfully sorry. You've got a double whammy there with all the "I'm okay and I don't need help." situations. I've been through many Emergencies with my Mom and older brother but I see now that in some ways I was lucky because I didn't have any health issues myself, though Angina came into it.
Lord, I guess I'm blessed with a short memory. Actually, when I was getting 33 radiation treatments to my right jaw area, my brother was going through one of his terrible times.
I'm not asking for Alzheimer's but a short memory doesn't hurt.
And now these two people are gone from my life.
I just hope you are able to stay strong through this (but not too strong to ask for help!) and it's good you have your son and husband near.
Thinking of you,

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JKURJACK1944 10/8/2011 9:01AM

    Karen, This is a very difficult time for you and your Mom. Your going to stress yourself out worrying about her and she is going to be stubborn and not admit any need. Make sure you get satisfactory answers regarding the blood pressure drops. That is the most worrisome thing about the whole situation. Remember when our Mom's used to say, "It's for your own good". Try not to say it to her. She will resent it as much as we did when we were young. I went through this with my Mom. Lots of experience with going through role reversal. Praying that your Mom heals as quickly as possible so that she can continue to take care of herself. Be sure not to forget your needs. You can't be there for her if you are incapacitated. Good luck and God bless.

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TUFFYBIRD 10/8/2011 8:54AM

    What a stressful few days! And I'm sorry to hear about your mom; I have a couple other SparkFriends who are going through very similar things with aging parents. It's sure not easy!

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MTPOETNH 10/8/2011 8:26AM

    Karen , so sorry to hear about your mother- you certainly must be "living on adrenalin".
I am with Donna and hope I will be able to gracefully accept help when I need it at that age... I am very independent ( and HATE to ask for help).. so I anticipate it will be difficult for me just like it is for your Mom now. God Bless you for being there for her , it is a tough job .

Make sure you take time to take care of yourself during this stressful time- you are going to be no help to her if you get sick. Sounds like your body is already stressed with lack of sleep..Here's hoping that you will be able to get some good restful sleep at your own home soon to help your hip and back. emoticon Peggy

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PJSTIME 10/8/2011 7:26AM

    Oh Karen I am so sorry to hear about your mom. I had been wondering about you and her. She is one stubborn lady. LOL I do hope they can find out the real issue with her BP dropping like that. In all this turmoil please remember to take care of yourself. Remember you are #1.

Hugs to you friend. PJ

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DGAIL51 10/8/2011 7:08AM

    Karen, thank you for sharing all that has been going on. I am trying to do some catching up today & just caught your feed first. What a difficult situation you are in. Caring for older parents is not easy to say the least. I hope I will not be one of those stubborn parents, but with my independent nature I fear I definitely have the potential. At 89 it is amazing that your mother is as independent as she has been, especially with her other health problems. I never used to understand why older folks would refuse help, but the older I get the more I "get it".

I am so sorry it was her right wrist on top of everything else. Take care my friend.

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KAYYVAUGHN 10/8/2011 6:49AM

I am so sorry about your situation with your mother. I have missed all of this somehow. I really understand how independent our elderly mothers want to be. They don't realize that we want help for their own good.
You and your mother will be in my prayers. Please take care of yourself also.


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Tiny Little Daydream

Monday, September 26, 2011

I've been wanting to do this for at least ten years -

I want to have a large Post-It pad printed up with the same thing on every sticky little page:

PARKING FOR DUMMIES available at your local library!
Try to act like you aren't the ONLY person on earth, just for today, OK?


Have you seen any windshields you'd like to stick THAT on?



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILLYHP1953 10/11/2011 3:59PM

    I'll buy some!!

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MTPOETNH 10/8/2011 8:31AM

    Karen , this is very cool..you should market them !! Also loved Zeedra's . emoticon Peggy

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DGAIL51 10/8/2011 6:55AM

    Karen, that is a good one. I got a laugh out of Zeedra's too! I am afraid I would not have the nerve to use it. emoticon

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KAYYVAUGHN 10/6/2011 2:51PM

    That is so true and happens so often. We try to do the best we can, and it's easy to get frustrated at those that just don't care about others.

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ZEEDRA 9/27/2011 6:46PM

    Yes! I've many theories, one being that the more you pay for a car, the more space you can take up, including taking up two whole spaces by parking in the middle (sorry to all you polite rich people).

I've been wanting a bumper sticker that says: "Pass, you Ass, I'm Savin' Gas" for the tailgaters who try to force you to speed up. That's my creation...if you use it, send me the copyright $'s. Ha!

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FISHINGLADY66 9/27/2011 6:03PM

    Oh yes I have. emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/26/2011 10:48PM

    LOL. I could tell you a story about road rage that happened to me that would leave you speechless. LOL.

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PJSTIME 9/26/2011 4:25PM

    Oh yes I have. And those that use Handicap spaces that don't need them (or someone is handicapped in their family but not with them at the time) but use them anyway.

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SUEO451 9/26/2011 3:09PM


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JKURJACK1944 9/26/2011 1:41PM

    I try to think that maybe they are blind and know not what they do.

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VINGRAM 9/26/2011 1:21PM

    Yes I have! vista

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LINOVER 9/26/2011 12:50PM

    I can definitely agree with wanting to do this also!

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TUFFYBIRD 9/26/2011 12:44PM

    emoticon Windshields and other places emoticon emoticon

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