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MOVING MIL IN DAY 7

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Yesterday we went over and filled two boxes with stuff, under her sink in the kitchen and bathrooms. I sorted out all her kitchen sink stuff and found her hearing aids that had been missing for 3 years. Who knew! She won't use them anyway. This morning, we went into our own cupboards and unloaded a whole box of coffee cups so we can make room for hers when she arrives. We also cleared a shelf so that we could put all of her medications on it and it is a rotary shelf so easy to look for things. Then I went into the bathroom. We now have enough bandaids to last a lifetime and gauze and 4 bottles of liquid bath cleanser, 4 bottles of peroxide almost full and 10 bars of soap. She doesn't even use soap so that soap is going into personal care kits for Lutheran World Relief. They are in desperate need, I guess because of all the earthquakes and tsunamis in poor countries like Haiti and people need soap. I'm also supposed to include a clean bathtowel so I'll be going through the linen closet next. It doesn't say they have to be new ones and she has some that we can donate. I can make five care kits with the soap so I printed off the other requirements and I'll be off to the dollar store today to retrieve them. Toothbrushes, etc. A bonus find was a package of emery boards. I am desperate for new ones so that was a find. Don't have to buy any.
So its been kind of fun, finding treasures and finding places for them.
Monday is moving day and the movers will bring her stuff over that we are keeping. Some will go to my son who lives nearby and we are simply moving some things around in the house, not getting rid of too much and packing away some things in the shed until such time as we can use them again. I ought to sell all the little knick knacks in my bathroom. There is a new flea market consignment shop opened up here and they will accept things. I made $46 already from some things lying around the house.
She has a small two shelf bookcase that will go into my sewing room to hold fabric! Yea! More organization. So far so good today.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASEYCOFF 9/29/2012 6:08PM

    You'll get there - you're definitely making progress!
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FIFIFRIZZLE 9/29/2012 5:27PM

    Good for you with the organizing. I have made a big mes sin my bedroom, completely forgetting FlyLady's principle that you never pull out more than you can put away in an hour. Dang! Still I should have it sorted and put away before lunch.

All those things that you are finding, isn't it great that you can bless the world with them! I see you having fun with the care packages and hope there is a care package for you in there somewhere. I like what Flylady says about just taking the stuff to the Salvation Army or whatever, and letting them deal with it. You know that the stuff will go to a good home and you don't need to handle it again.
Speaking about handling stuff, I took Flylady's aphorism 'soap is soap' to heart and am using old shampoo as toilet cleaner. Now my hands smell of shampoo that I really don't like.
Good luck for D day, can't wait to find out how it went.
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MOVING MIL IN, DAY 6

Friday, September 28, 2012

Todays Pisces: "You can't change the cards you are dealt, but the way you play today's hand will be nothing short of brilliant." Food for thought.
My best friend called yesterday. How did she know I needed to talk? When she moved here in 2004 with her 80 something mother and her 40 something downs syndrome sister, it was a huge change from New York City and living alone and working in a prominent career. We became fast friends and shared experiences with our mothers and what they were doing, how they were, etc. Her answer to stress was to get out and walk and she dragged me with her. Why we quit doing that I don't know. Her mom died last year and she misses her, even though living with her was a challenge. Now she is sole support of her sister who is digressing into alzheimer's. There is always someone worse off than you. So she understands what I am going through.
After my meltdown Wed night I felt kind of sheepish toward my husband. He's forgiven me of course. I took a box of stuff to Goodwill yesterday and I guess this weekend will see us carting things back and forth. Monday is moving day. It seems I can't get ahead of the mess.
Yesterday, I had a color consult appointment at a local nursing home and what a sad place. It is a non-profit and one of a few that will take medicaid so it is the home where folks go who can't afford anything else. It was a hodgepodge of left over hand me down furniture. When people died, their relatives did not want things back. I had a difficult time at first, trying to pull everything together. They had some beautiful antique furniture and I suggested they swap two sofas and move a chest into the TV room to serve as a TV stand. ANd I selected paint colors for them as that was what I was there for. I charged them a pittance for my time and the lady who had called me in there, actually paid for it from her own pocket as their funds are so tight. If they call me back, I won't charge them again.
There is no way that we would put my mother-in-law into that home. However, I know that folks must go there so maybe I can help in some way. Maybe some of her things that we don't get rid of will end up there. There is a picture with a light attached that is hanging over her sofa. It belongs to us but she has used it for many years as it almost looks like you are looking out a window at the ocean. I never really liked it, we got it free on a cruise once and it is signed by the artist. So I think I am going to donate it to them and hang it over the sofa in the TV room. The one they are moving. It would sure brighten the place up. There is no window in that room and so this would be the window. And I'm going to look through my fabric stash to see what I can offer up. Out of the ashes......

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIZCATHI 9/28/2012 8:20PM

    Wonderful thoughts and gestures. My mother is moving to my neighborhood from FL in Nov. I don't want her to go to a nursing home but she has end stage COPD and quite mean too much of the time. In the end we want her to have hospice care. My brother cares for her and they are moving to a lovely senior care apartment complex 2 miles from my home. Big adjustments all around.

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LKWQUILTER 9/28/2012 7:28PM

    You are making me think Carol. You are certainly making lemonade from lemons. ((HUGS))

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FIFIFRIZZLE 9/28/2012 6:15PM

    What a kind thought. This MIL thing is making you dig deep, and look what gems you are coming up with!
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KASEYCOFF 9/28/2012 5:57PM

    The ocean picture is a brilliant idea - and yes, you are so right: it's a blessing that your m-i-l doesn't have to go to the cheapest place. She's very lucky to have a son and d-i-l who are willing to share their home with her. It would be wonderful if she can donate some of her 'excess' to that nursing home, a way of being grateful that she is in your house, instead of an unfamiliar place, surrounded by strangers.

I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying your series!
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DIET_FRIEND 9/28/2012 9:32AM

    The Flylady says you will be blessed yourself when you bless others with your donated suplus belongings. I believe it's true. I have donated mountains of stuff to the Salvation Army. I hope to donate my surplus furniture to Habitat for Humanity ReSale if/when I move.

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MOVING MIL IN, DAY 5

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Yesterday I had a melt down. I havent' spoken to my husband in 3 days. I'm completely depressed and stressed but after a decent nights sleep, I'm feeling some better. There is so much to do and honestly, I feel that most of the burden of taking care of MIL will fall to me. Maybe its the mother in me that makes me feel that way. My husband does help a lot, he'll do most anything I ask and we do share responsibility of her its just that being a woman, I feel responsible for the home. This is my home and my realm and its being messed with.
Trouble is, I dont' ask for help, I just assume that I have to do it all. Dont trust him to do it right I guess.
I will have to be the chief cook and shopper to make sure we have all the food and supplies we need. Now my husband does go to the grocery, I will say that. I would put it off until I'm desperate with nothing in the house. But I have to make the list or it doesn't get bought. Or gets bought twice. I have to fix her pills every week. He picks up the scrips but he wont fix them. I have to take her for a haircut and she complains everytime because it costs so much and if it isn't done right, she complains. So fussy about her hair. I guess I am too. I took her yesterday and made an appmt for 4 weeks for both of us but I realized that the stylist did not cut enough off and she will start complaining in 2 weeks about it. My husband will take her to the hairdresser if he isn't working but I have to make the arrangements.
In order to accomodate her stuff, I have to clean out all the closets and find places for whats in them. He will help but I won't let him make the decision as to where to put things or what to get rid of. Guess I am a control freak. You would think I am detailed and organized but my desk is a pile of papers and my sewing room is stacked full. Mostly I"m avoiding. And I'm just throwing my clothes in a pile instead of putting them away. I just don't want to deal with it.
This is good getting it out. I hold things in until I explode.
I am home a lot and my space is being invaded. So I get irritated at her for keeping things she will never use but look at me. I'm not much better. I'm up at 4:00 a.m. Could not sleep anymore.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENNY888 9/27/2012 6:51PM

    Having others move into your space is always difficult and there are so many adjustments to be made. I went through this myself. I had to give up the control of how things were done if someone else was doing it. Each person should be able to do things the way they wish. That took me a long time to realize and when I did things were much better.

Things should get a little better with time as you work things out. I really feel for what you are going through in the meanwhile though.

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QUILTINGB52 9/27/2012 5:57PM

    Guess I can be thankful that my parents ABSOLUTELY refused to move in with ANY of us kids!!! As we all age, we begin to lose control over many things and sometimes you just have to stop and say, "LET ME DO IT MYSELF".

Don't take ALL that control away from your hubby or your MIL - even if you could do a task quicker, sometimes you have to just step back and let them muddle through it themselves.

A great example of this....when my dad retired, he wanted to help mom in the kitchen. She gave him the task of cleaning carrots. She set out everything he needed to accomplish the task, told him what was needed and went out to lunch with her cousins. It took him the ENTIRE afternoon to clean those carrots...LOL

Sometimes you just have to let them feel like they are needed! It will most likely make YOU crazy....but it will provide them with a bit of self-worth.

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FIFIFRIZZLE 9/27/2012 5:00PM

    Big change, I'm glad I don't have to go through this Carol. Today I will begin going through my drawers and cleaning stuff out to show Spark solidarity from NZ!

Now here is some advice coming so stop reading now if you like, specially the second bit because it is somewhat stern.
You have got a lot on your plate, so it,s natural to be planning ahead. But there is a lot that you can leave to work out with MIL. She will like to be involved in decisions about her own life, it will leave her with some feeling of control, and it will help you to work things through together.

And #2: you will need to give up some of the control. It is no fun being bossed around and DH probably won't want to stand for too much of this. Let him do some stuff all by himself, and if he gets it wrong, suck it up, Carol. He is your DH and you need to create an environment where he can support you, because you are going to need to cooperate and support each other while MIL is with you both. That is more important than winning a power struggle, no matter how important it seems to you in this moment.
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BABACHAN 9/27/2012 12:30PM

    Carol, you are so over whelmed and change is always difficult, especially when your nest is being disrupted. I agree, you will have to ask for your dh to help out. I make "honey-do" list. Sometimes I hate to ask my dh, but if I give him his list, he goes about doing those things without question.

Try to make a plan for each day and try to stay on tasks, that way you will feel like things are getting done.

But, mostly, make time for yourself each day. Have some alone, down time with a cup of tea or a good book, or better yet, a nice walk around the neighborhood.

You are doing such a great job, taking care of you mil; don't let the negative comments get to you......they aren't directed to you; they are just "banter".

Keep up the great work! emoticon

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LKWQUILTER 9/27/2012 11:00AM

    Don't beat yourself up Carol, but do learn to ask for help--let dh do more. I had my mil for 2 weeks after she broke her leg and had to have surgery. Thankfully, my sil helped after that. She was diabetic, pre-dialyasis and did not want to stay on her prescribed diet and I had to cook sodium free food for her. Praying that things all work out. ((HUGS))

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MOVING MIL, DAY 4

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

When you are moving a 93 year old MIL into your home, you must first go through your drawers, closets and cupboards and get rid of your own hoard before you can replace it with her hoard. We went over last night and cleaned out a bookcase full of cookbooks and misc. It now fills the trunk of hubby's car and so today I have to go and bring in a load and go through it and repeat as necessary. We had a really good box I was using to transport things and hubby elected to take it to a neighbor so now we are boxless.
I will say though, as I was putting some things away, I found a piece of tupperware that I forgot I had that is perfect to use to store 2.5 inch squares of fabric! Can't remember when I've been so excited about tupperware. We used this container while stationed in England in the 70's. It was the perfect size to house a slab of English butter, doesn't get any better than that! English butter that is.
She has a small bathroom sink, single size, that is so packed full of stuff, it falls out when you open the door. So I went into our own bathroom to inspect our sink cabinet and found some containers I can use for fabric! Wow, who knew I had this stuff? So I guess there are positives. Later.

  
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BABACHAN 9/27/2012 12:19PM

    emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 9/26/2012 12:26PM

    The fun of rediscovering stuff you forgot you had, lol...
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MOVING MIL IN, DAY 3

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Well, I thought we were going to get a divorce yesterday, arguing in front of the sales help at Lowes, trying to find hooks to hang a pole. I already have it in my mind how we are going to move her and set up her furniture. After all, I'm an interior designer and I do this same thing for my clients and make money doing it. So I told my husband last night, leave the decorating up to me. I will hang all of her pictures and place all the furniture and orchestrate the move, just like I do for my deliveries.
I figure it will cost about $2000 just to move her from a small apartment to our house, what with all the preparations and details. Now, I'm thinking I need to put window treatments on the 3 french doors in the family room. We rarely sit in there at night and we have a protected court yard so for us, it isn't necessary. But this is where MIL will have her TV and recliner and I feel that when we have to go out at night, she will feel insecure with all that glass uncovered.
My husband goes out every Thursday for Barbershop practice and I go out on the second Thursday for quilt guild so I think I need to order some shades by then. Maybe she will feel more at home by then. I'll have to cage the dogs so she doesn't trip over them.
Hubby brought home a closet full of coats that are now hanging in our shed. We won't throw anything out unless she decides to get rid of it. We live in Florida of course and she has 2 raincoats, at least 3 overcoats, some wool jackets, sweaters, etc. Now, the time for us to wear a coat around here is pretty slim. It has to get real cold and that doesn't happen often. I have my own set of 3 coats in the closet that don't get worn much. Sigh, I've already been through that closet but I guess I can part with at least one of them. I have a cape that I made with wool I purchased in Scotland and wore when I was pregant with my second child. That cape got me through the English winters in 1977/78 so I can't throw that out. I can still wear it and do sometimes. And my husband has an equal # of coats as well. They are nice to have when it does get cold but 3 or 4 apiece, well. And its a small closet. Oh, well, tomorrow will come too.

  
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FIFIFRIZZLE 9/27/2012 4:46PM

    Hats off to you, I am thinking of having a declutter in sympathy with you. One thing flylady suggests about decluttering is to take photographs of the things that have meaning for us but yet we don't really want to have around. Then we can look at the photograph and enjoy the memories and associations and let the object go. I suppose one could do that and put the digital images in a digital photframe to enjoy as a changing display.
I wonder if this would work for your MIL, or whether it would be just another thing to do to add to your burden.
Keep up the good work, you will get through it!
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JIBBIE49 9/26/2012 7:16PM

    hugs emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 9/25/2012 11:57AM

    This is a really good idea, to keep a log of the move - the life changes all of you are going thru are important, and I think it's always good later to be able to reflect on where you were and what you went thru and what you thought at the time and so on.

Re the excessive number of coats: I admit, the first thing I thought was - is she always cold? When I was in my early-to-mid twenties, my grandfather was 80-ish, and by then he was keeping the house pretty warm, in winter with the central heating (felt like it was jacked up to about 100, lol) and in summer by keeping the windows closed, rather than putting in the screens as he did when I was a kid. I almost dreaded going to his house, because it was so stuffy and hot, and if we convinced him to go out with us, he would always bundle up in thick sweaters, even in mid-summer. I remember going to the lake one time in July - our kids were 6 and 8, and went swimming. It was roasting on the sand - but Grampa was wearing a long-sleeved shirt, a cardigan, and a wool cap.

The reason I mention this - I am not-quite-60... and I am ALWAYS cold! Always. Just absolutely freezing. I always have at least a t-shirt and a thicker shirt on, and usually a sweater or sweatshirt over that. At night, I have extra blankets on my side of the bed, plus a hot-water bottle for my feet. As I'm typing, I have a space heater on max down by my feet, and I'm wearing my heaviest sweatshirt and a thick knit cardigan. I'm sort-of tolerable, not very, but just. The battles we have over the temperature in the car are unreal. (And it's in the 50s today.)

So what I'm thinking about your m-i-l is... if I was her, I'd not only be hanging on to the coats and sweaters, I'd probably be layering two or three just about all the time, lol. Check and see over the next few weeks how she seems to be in terms of room temperature and so forth; that might give you a clue as to whether or not she'd be amenable to letting go of some of the heavier items.

Re the window treatments on the French doors: I'm with you on this one. While it might be fairly private given the enclosed courtyard, I'd think she might feel more comfortable with something available to cover the glass. Even if the shades or curtains are left open most of the time, it might be a good to give her the option of closing them should she want privacy.
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p.s. And your DH needs to learn to trust your judgment when it comes to interior decorating, LOL!

Comment edited on: 9/25/2012 11:58:56 AM

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SANDYW1945 9/25/2012 11:42AM

    You are doing a great job of this. Very organized. I know you will work this out.

My parents are in Florida (Ocala) and now that I'm retiring, I'll be moving there after official close of my office. Parents are 90 and 87 right now so even though they are healthy, I'm better off close to them geographically. Have a brother in Jacksonville, but his health isn't all that good.

Sandy

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LKWQUILTER 9/25/2012 8:33AM

    I can only imagine what you are dealing with. When our older dd moved back in it got pretty hairy around here and with a MIL-- emoticon . Try to remember to take care of yourself too. ((HUGS))

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GARDENCHRIS 9/25/2012 7:42AM

    sounds like everyone is going to be stressed for awhile...

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DUKEFAN86 9/25/2012 7:42AM

    Wow, big job, moving MIL in! Hope everything's smoother sailing from here on out!

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