In the Home Stretch

This will probably be the last post before the move as I’ll have to take my computer apart for the move and won’t be able to assemble it back until I finally can move into the apartment (whenever that will be) and unpack my stuff (I have a desktop with two monitors that is set out on a large table on rollers. )

I have yet to hear a date when I’ll be able to move in, but I’m packing a suitcase with five days’ worth of clothes, and bringing a bin with the laundry I’ve accumulated since my washer and dryer went last Wednesday, as well as laundry detergent, dryer sheets, etc., as I will have access to a washer and dryer. I’ll also have the sheets I’m currently using on my bed and my towels. Also in that bin will be medications (mine and mom’s from home) as well as another bin with cleaning supplies (the movers won’t allow any chemicals or aerosols on their trucks).

Mom and I agreed beforehand that I would not be going up to see her until after I got moved, since I’ve just got so much on my plate right now. She has everything she needs. She is being very well looked after at Carillon House and her room is comfortable and so much nicer than her room at the Garrison. It’s so bright and cheery. She has a room to herself now and she is able to receive visits from her friends without worrying about disturbing a room mate (she had one at the Garrison).

I managed to get mom’s phone number moved to the apartment (no, I don’t know who her favorite singer is . . .). I had to go over to her house on Saturday, in the middle of Day 3 of the estate sale, and have the AT&T lady call me on her phone to prove everything was on the level. (As levels of PITA from dealing with foreign call centers go, it was relatively painless.) Because it’s VOIP protocol phone service, you need a modem box, so I was able to get her modem box, too, and will move with it — which is just as well, as my desktop does not do WiFi. (I could get a dongle for it, which I may do since the internet speed is not high through the modem.) My TV is a smart TV with WiFi capability, so that’s OK. Mom’s isn’t and will need to be connected to a cable. Anyway, once we’re in the apartment, mom will be able to use her cordless phone, which she can hear on and knows how to operate, and that will be great for her.

I got a collapsible cart from Amazon to replace the famous little red wagon that went in the estate sale. I will not be making multiple trips to schlep bags of groceries up to the apartment two at a time, thank you very much. It came Wednesday. Having this cart will make life much easier.

I have the carry on bag to pack tonight, as well as my bathroom and the hall cupboard to sort through and a couple of bins to pack. I have to run the dishwasher here in a minute so all my dishes will be clean for when they pack the kitchen tomorrow. I have the under-sink area to sort through and about 10 trash bags of junk to haul to the dumpster. I have to clear off my desk of all the little tchotchkes I have scattered about. (I must have been Victorian in another life, I’m such a clutter magnet!)

Two important things I need to pack are my eye mask and my 10-inch Kindle tablet. (Hopefully, someone will tell me the WiFi password.) (Note to self: Investigate if Nord VPN or SurfShark works with Windows 7.) (!) I think I’ll wait to wash my hair until Tuesday night. I’ll eat in the Carillon dining hall Tuesday evening for the first time. I might even do a load of clothes in the “community” washer and dryer while I’m waiting for my hair to dry. I’ll see what my energy level is like.

Tomorrow, they come to pack me. At 2 pm, the Axis water guy comes to move my RO water unit, and I will load up my fridge stuff and frozen foods and take them over then. I also have three packages to mail to my 1st cousin 2x removed.

I’ll deal with the utilities Wednesday. I’ll have the stupid Suddenlink box to return and pay my final bill with them. I need to call them tomorrow. When I do stop my service, I will lose a (land line) phone number I’ve had since 1981. Sad, but there it is. Oh, well. Onward and upward . . . .

In This Episode . . .

This morning, mom’s nephew-in-law flew out and got an Uber over to meet me at the Garrison to sign over the title to mom’s car. The car is for his daughter and her partner.

She has a baby and her partner couldn’t get off work to come get the car. As I was driving out to meet him at the Garrison, I got a call from Carillon that they were going to come get mom at the Garrison and take her to Carillon House at 3 p.m. Then I drove him over to my place where the car was, turned over the keys, and off he went.

Then back I go to the Garrison to get mom packed up for the move. Since my washer and dryer went into the estate sale Wednesday morning, they’ve been doing her laundry at the Garrison, and we had an errant top from one set and bottom from another. They were found and packed.

Then I went to Carillon House with mom’s COVID vaccination record for them to copy, and to sign paperwork to admit her. I also talked to the lady who handles getting apartments ready to raise a couple of concerns — the frozen food in my refrigerator which needs to be moved, and the reverse osmosis water guy who’s coming at 2 oclock Monday to move my RO unit from the duplex to the apartment at Carillon. I think I’ll be packing frozen food while he’s taking the unit out that I have in the duplex, and drive it over when I go over with him to install the RO unit in the apartment. Monday morning is when the movers come to pack me.

Now I go back to the Garrison. As I’m walking back through to mom’s room at the Garrison, here’s mom in the hall walking with a walker with the rehab lady! She walked a good fifteen feet on her own, with only the walker for support. At 3 o’clock, here comes the van from Carillon to get mom. I follow behind in the car and get her stuff sorted out and put away in her new room at Carillon House. It’s a very nice room with carpeting, a nicely upholstered chair and a nice en suite bathroom. By now it’s sneaking up on 5 o’clock.

I call ahead and make arrangements with the lady who’s lived across the street from mom for a number of years to get the mail she’s been getting out of mom’s mailbox and keeping for us since mom went into the hospital in June.

I have to pull into her driveway because there’s nowhere to park anywhere near mom’s house. The estate sale started at 4 o’clock and ran to eight o’clock this evening. People started collecting at 2 o’clock to be first in line for the estate sale!

(The estate sale lady texted me later that they had done a couple thousand of dollars worth of business in just those four hours!)

I was eating supper when my cousin texted me that my cousin-in-law had made it safely back to Richardson, but that the air conditioner on mom’s car had malfunctioned, and my cousin-in-law had had to drive all the way from here to Richardson with no air conditioning! The fan works, but the air never gets cold! They’re going to take the car to the mechanic to see what’s the matter.

In the meantime, I still have not met with the IT person to see about porting telephone numbers. I have to go back to Carillon house to finish the admission paperwork for mom. I’ve got bills to pay (mine), utilities to sort out, internet service to get disconnected and equipment returned to their respective companies. I have to finish getting ready for the movers, pack a bag, pack my house. . . . and four days to do it in.

Still Too Far To Go

19 July was when we had to call 911 and have mom taken to the hospital by ambulance. We dealt with that crisis. We got her to the Garrison on 25 July. On 31 July, she decided she wanted to sell her house and for us both to go to Carillon, which would involve having an estate sale to clear out the accumulation of 60 years of living in that house, as well as thinning my herd of stuff down to something that would fit into my part of 908 square feet. So, for the whole month of August, I have been dealing with those issues. Carillon has paperwork they want, which meant dealing with the VA, but we got all the Carillon paperwork submitted and approved last Tuesday (17th)

The big stumbling block in the middle of all this has been Merill Lynch. The durable power of attorney we already had was not good enough for them and we had to line up a notary public and get a “non-ML” power of attorney form signed and notarized. Then Carillon needed proof that I was in fact the beneficiary on her accounts, so we had to get a Transfer on Death form filled out to suit Merill Lynch and Carillon. Then, last Thursday, the Merill Lynch board decided they still didn’t like the POA paperwork. When I finally found out what it was they didn’t like, I got it fixed Monday. However, apparently, the board only meets on Thursdays so they haven’t passed judgement on whether they are satisfied with my POA yet. In the meantime, our Carillon paperwork was approved and we needed the rest of the buy-in money so we can get mom out of the Garrison and into Carillon House as soon as possible.

Because the POA issue was not resolved, Friday afternoon, mom phoned her Merill Lynch guy and told him to sell stock to get the money. So now we can get the money, right? Nope. When Merill Lynch sells your stock, you have to wait two days before they will let you have your money.

The two days were up today. But first on the agenda for this morning, the estate sale muscle were coming over between 8:30 and 9:00 to get my washer, dryer and microwave as the estate sale begins tomorrow. They were gone by 9:00. I jumped in the shower, got dressed and just before I walked out the door, I called Merill Lynch to tell them I was coming, was assured I could get a check cut for the requisite amount and I could just pick it up.

Nope. I’m in the car, driving down Indiana, halfway to their offices when the ML guy calls and says, no, I can’t just get the check. Because of the POA issues, I have to get written permission from mom for them to cut the check to Carillon, and for me to pick it up. So I reroute over to the Garrison, get a sheet of copy paper from the receptionist, call ML again to get the ML guy to dictate what they want in the letter, write it out and get mom to sign it. I get to ML, I’m sitting in the guy’s office. I hand him the letter. The secretary comes in and says, no the letter is not good enough. She needs to call my mom on the ML phone so she can record mom saying that I can have the money! For tax purposes or something, mumble mumble.

Well, the way mom holds her cellphone, she has a tendency to press the volume buttons, which are right on the edge of the phone where she puts her fingers, and she had turned the volume of her phone completely off, so she didn’t hear it ring the three times we tried to call her. So the secretary says, she can sign yet another form and that will work. At least the ML guy offered to drive me BACK over to the Garrison in his ginormous pickup. I run in, get the form signed, run back out and we go back to the ML offices and FINALLY get the check cut. Mind you, I left the house at 9:30 this morning. Now it’s sneaking up on noon.

I text the Carillon guy that I’m on my way with the money clutched in my little hot hand, and when I get there, nobody is there. He’s having lunch with another prospective resident. Frankly, by this time, I don’t mind sitting in the nice comfy chair in the lobby in the coolth and quiet. I was probably sitting there for maybe 20 minutes, and here comes the lady who handles getting the apartments ready.

Since the first of August, I’ve been going pedal to the metal trying to sell a house (we close on 9/13), get stuff together for a combined two-household estate sale (26th, 27th and 28th), sell a car (he comes to get it tomorrow), assemble all the Carillon paperwork (approved on the 18th), and futz with Merill Lynch. I wrangled and negotiated to get a packing date of the 30th and a move date of the 31st so I can get out of the duplex before the 1st, the guy I’m expecting to meet to give him a check for a breathtaking amount of money isn’t there, and the Carillon lady tells me the apartment won’t be ready by the 31st, can I get the move-in date changed?

To be fair, it’s not Carillon’s fault. They buy the floor covering from a local store, who’s having a hard time getting it from their supplier because COVID, and scheduling an installer, but flooring is available in Dallas, though . . . . So, now what? No problem. They’ll put me up in a guest room, and stash my stuff in a vacant apartment until ours is ready. Mom will still be in rehab in Carillon House (if we can ever get the paperwork sorted to get her over there!), so that’s not a problem. But apparently, I’ll spend my first few days at Carillon living out of a suitcase waiting for flooring.

Monday I met with the Garrison guy to start the referral paperwork to refer her to Carillon. I reminded him about it yesterday. While I was at Carillon, I did meet with the Carillon House guy about getting mom transferred over. They still haven’t seen any paperwork from the Garrison. I went back over to the Garrison. The guy I needed to see was gone. I got his cell number. Yes, he’s waiting on this paperwork thing and that paperwork thing and he will get the paperwork faxed over as soon as he gets this thing and that thing. . . .

It was closing in on 2 pm by this time, and I was just so thoroughly bummed by then that I just went home. It all just came piling down on me. Too many nights with 5-6 hours sleep, too much running around all over town and not having a whole heck of a lot to show for it. Too much still left to do and not enough time to do it. And then that finish line I’ve been working so hard to cross — that was getting so close! — got moved further away again.

Mom continues to rehab and is making slow but steady progress. This has been a difficult transition for her, but she’s handled it a lot better than most people would. It’s been hard, but she’s tried to remain upbeat through it all.

Things like visits from friends and a visit from a grand niece and great grand niece (!) last week keep her cheerful.

There is a lady who does patients’ hair at the Garrison. She was supposed to do mom’s last week, but didn’t. She finally managed to get to mom yesterday and give her a wash, set, and comb-out. Having her hair done lifted mom’s mood.

Tonight, I’ve got to do a walk-through for the estate sale people, get mom’s mail and, since I currently have no microwave, I think I’m going to make a big bowl of tuna salad to last me till Monday. Then I’ve got a filing cabinet to go through. Tomorrow my cousin-in-law comes to get the car . . .

Like Pulling Off a Band-Aid All At Once.

According to the KonMari de-cluttering consultants, you are supposed to consider each of your possessions and determine if it sparks joy; if it does not, you remove it from your life. Judging from what the estate sale people schlepped out of my house this morning, there was a lot of stuff in my life that did not spark joy.

Downsizing is hard. You keep the things you need, and try to decide which things gladden your spirit the most, and you have to let the rest go. I confess, I left a lot of it till the last minute, then scrambled frantically to sort things into “stay” and “go.” Rather like ripping a Band-Aid off instead of pulling it off slowly. It hurts more, but it’s over quicker.

I don’t even want to think about the accumulated remembrances of a long lifetime that my mom is giving up,

A bedroom suite and dining room suite she’s had since the first year of her married life, treasures brought back from world travels, family heirlooms, quite a gallery of family pictures, a legendary souvenir spoon collection, a house that has been her home for 60 years (since December of 1961) .

I’m trying to hold the mindset that all these things we are having to let go of are like the chrysalis the butterfly leaves behind, but it’s hard. The Dan Fogelberg song “Souvenirs” keeps coming to mind.

I had to let go of a good 3/4ths of my yarn stash. A knitting friend came over to lend moral support, help out, and give some of it a new home. (Her husband couldn’t see why such a drastic stash cull was such a big deal until she pointed out that it would be like his having to pare down his fishing tackle to only one tackle box and one fishing rod. Now he gets it!) Parting with so much of my yarn stash was a spiritual owie.

This was a knife through the heart! Exeunt two and a half whole bookshelves of books. Only two and a half bookshelves of my library are left now of the five from the last move, and the seven from the move before that.

All the paperwork for Carillon was completed Monday, and Wednesday I learned we were both approved. It’s practically a done deal. The To Do list is getting shorter: Paying the remainder of the Carillon buy-in fee. Getting mom moved. Getting me moved. Sell mom’s car. Close on the house.

The flooring for the apartment has been ordered through a local business. It’s just whenever they get it and they can schedule installers. I’ll be notified when the apartment is move-in ready. Mom might be able to move to Carillon House as early as next week to finish her rehab there.

I talked to the recommended movers. Scheduling is tight, but it looks like I’ll be moving the 31st. (My landlady is sad to see me go, but she lost her husband two years ago and her daughter is urging her to move to where they live in Oklahoma. She’s thinking that as hot as the real estate market is at the moment, now might be a good time to sell the duplex as well as her own home — especially after I told her how fast mom’s house sold.)

I need to call the people I lease my under-sink reverse osmosis water unit from and see if they do installations at Carillon. If not, I’ll find out who does. I also need to talk to the Carillon IT people about porting mom’s land line number to the apartment. She has been using her cell phone, but the little flip phone she has doesn’t have much oomph and she has difficulty hearing it. She can hear on her cordless phone when she puts it on speaker (so can I — both sides of the conversation from across the room . . . ! ) and as socially connected as she is, that seems the better solution.

We’ll have to do the change of address dance — making sure all the important stuff like bank statements, insurance, etc., comes to the new address.

When we stop her internet service, she will lose the email address she’s had for 20 years. I’ve gotten her a Gmail address and set it up to come to my computer. The email program I use is one she’s already familiar with, so she can check her email again. I downloaded her address book to my email program and BCC’d the whole lot about her new email address. She’s got quite a lot of emails to catch up on. As much as I hate Facebook, I will put her a link to it on my computer.

I’ve still got my hanging clothes to go through and cull. I still need to set up her files in my filing cabinet and get shredded what needs to be shredded. I’ve still got knitting accouterments to go through and organize. I’m selling my washer and dryer, microwave and my printer table in the estate sale, but they’re not coming to get them until the day before the estate sale because I’ve been picking up mom’s clothes to wash when I visit her, and I have this eating habit . . .

Keeping Eyes on the Prize

We have a buyer for the house. I accepted the offer Saturday. We close on September 13th — if the Good Lord’s willing and the creeks don’t rise . . . The car will be sold next Monday.

We jumped through all the Merill Lynch hoops and got those papers completed, notarized and everybody has gotten their copies. One of the notaries public from Carillon met mom and I at the Garrison and notarized everything — a very nice lady.

As of 4 o’clock today, I have submitted every scrap of paperwork to Carillon that they have asked for. (Hallelujah!) Ironically, it was a piece of my paperwork — but all those ducks are finally in a row!

The estate sale lady has the key to mom’s house and they have already started in on it. I have until Thursday to get my stuff separated into sell and keep, but I have a CT scan tomorrow morning, and relatives coming in tomorrow afternoon. It’s the daughter of my dad’s youngest brother, and her husband, daughter and grandchild. They are coming to get the mantel that my dad carved. The listing stated we are not selling the mantel with the house, and the buyers are cool with that.

We are getting closer and closer to where we hope to be. All that’s left now is to get our paperwork approved and get Merill Lynch to cut us a check for the buy-in fee. And move in. My landlady is going to pitch a hissy fit. She doesn’t know I’m moving yet. Knock wood I’ll be out by the 31st.

It’s Tuesday now. Had my scan. Things are going to have to go on pause until Friday, because I need to sort my stuff into “sell” and “keep.” and I’ve got what’s left of today and Wednesday to do it, and relatives due any minute to get daddy’s mantel. I’m going to try to get all the keepers except furniture into my bedroom. The estate sale people come Thursday to take my sellables over to mom’s house and bring her two keepers (lift chair and TV) over here. I’m going to get more exercise than sleep these next three days. Please, please let there not be any fires I have to put out until Friday!

Ticking Things Off the List

Wednesday I got up at ye gadz o’clock and hauled it across town to the new VA clinic to be seen about the muscle I pulled in my calf Saturday. I knew exactly what I’d done, but nobody would take my word for it. I had to blow an hour and a half so that my PCP at the VA could say, “Yep. That’s what you’ve done, alright.” She prescribed an Ace wrap. The VA pharmacy is mailing it to me. From Dallas. Thursday (the 5th), I got a letter from the VA telling me I had an appointment Wednesday (the 4th).

Kinda the story of my week. I’ve been cripping my little hamster legs off.

There is one street I go up and down at least twice a day, and one intersection on that street is key to me getting easily and quickly to The Garrison and the VA clinic. Guess which intersection the city decided to tear up? They had the area coned off yesterday. Today they had the two middle northbound lanes blocked off and a Bobcat with a jackhammer attachment was busily jackhammering a big hole in the pavement. (*&^%$#@!)

We signed the paperwork today, this past Thursday I ran to the bank to get them to cut a check for our deposit to hold the apartment we want at Carillon. Now we’re awaiting medical clearance for mom that she can be “independent” with my help (I think she can, I think she can. . . ). The guy at Carillon who does the assessment to see if you have all your marbles has already done mine (this afternoon)(I passed) (whew!). He will be going over to the Garrison to count mom’s marbles Monday. We need medical records to “prove” we don’t have any of the pre-existing medical conditions that would disqualify us for this particular deal, which neither of us do. That’s on the TO DO list for me to work in Monday around my appointment with the oncologist. One more hurdle to go. Wednesday, I got a letter from the VA informing me that the CT scan I should have had before I see the oncologist is scheduled for the 17th.

I met with the estate sale lady Thursday at mom’s house for a walk through. She seemed pretty sanguine that her crew could take on mom’s accumulation (every cupboard, every closet, every drawer . . . She lived in that house since 1962) Mom loved to entertain. She liked having parties, bridge club afternoons, luncheons, gatherings, celebrations, and she has all the accouterments — card tables and chairs, table cloths, napkins, serving pans, flatware and dishes. And tchotchkes — mom is the tsarina of tchotchkes. She and daddy traveled all over the world — and souvenirs were bought. (Her extensive collection of souvenir spoons is legendary.) The estate sale lady (brave soul? glutton for punishment?) met me at my house today. She is going to take care of my accumulation at the same time. I’ve downsized twice already. This time is going to sting a bit. But, such is life.

On my second trip to Carillon today, GP the Carillon guy took me back up to the apartment we hope will be ours. He had his laser measuring gizmo and very kindly and patiently measured wall segments for me.

I’m trying to work out what furniture I can keep, and where it will fit. Like I say, this downsizing is going to sting.

Mom has slowly but surely been making progress. She has another two to three weeks to go in rehab, which works out fine. They took the carpet out of the apartment at Carillon after the previous tenant vacated it. They’ve got to replace it with something, and I opted for vinyl plank flooring. There are also some other little odd jobs that need doing. The lady who showed me samples estimated two to three weeks to get it ready. The timing works out just fine.

I meet with Rusty the realtor this coming Tuesday to sign the paperwork to list the house. He asked me how old the roof was. Mom wasn’t sure. I got into the famous filing cabinet and discovered that she had not only had the insurance claim paperwork, she had the roofing contractor paperwork. Filed under “R” for “roof.” (duh!)

We found the polka dotted house coat and the blue gown! They had gotten sucked into the laundry system at The Garrison almost two weeks ago (the day after she got there). We had not seen hide nor hair of them since. I was picking up mom’s dirty clothes this afternoon to take home to wash and discovered that the pink track suit was also missing. (Her therapist suggested getting her some track suits as they are easy to get off and on, and more comfortable for therapy. ) I had gotten her two, and she loves them. She was wearing one, and I was going to wash the other (pink) one, and couldn’t find it. The nurse’s aid went on the hunt for it and we finally tracked it down (clean!) in the laundry. The laundry lady recognized the name and produced the errant house coat and gown. Mom was so relieved. She worried and worried about that house coat.

This weekend they are supposed to move mom out of the quarantine section and over to the other side where she can have visitors. She will love that. We’ve got my dad’s niece and her family coming in this Tuesday from Richardson, TX. We need to get everything we intend to keep out of the house before the 16th when the estate people come. What she and I want out of it will end up in my bedroom for the duration. There’s some pictures mom wants. There are also some personal documents I need to secure. I’m meeting my bro at mom’s house Sunday afternoon so he can get what he wants from the house. The yard man is supposed to come then, too, and I’ll be able to let him into the back yard to mow . Busy. Busy.

No News Is Good News

Apologies for not posting for over a week, but I have been very nearly trampling myself coming and going trying to get done all the things I need to get done.

An estate sale firm has been chosen and the contract signed. They will have the sale at mom’s but they will also come over and get the things I’m selling and take them to her house, and bring the things she’s keeping to my house. That way, the movers will only have to come to one place. Preparation for the estate sale starts the 16th, by which time I have to make sure I’ve removed everything we’re keeping from the house. In the meantime, I have to get my own things separated between keep and sell, too, but I won’t have a crew coming in to do it for me and I’m the one running all over town trying to get stuff done. I’ve used two full tanks of gas in four weeks — and that’s at 30 mpg!

We are going to go into Carillon, one way or the other, but getting both of us in under the same deal now depends upon getting this one piece of paper and a very large check (!). Getting that one piece of paper apparently entails my getting a special Merill Lynch power of attorney (everybody else — the realtor, Carillon, the bank — likes the one I already have, I don’t know why ML doesn’t — go figure!) — which if they are going to insist on me getting, I will need to have anyway for the future. I find out tomorrow what other hoops I will have to jump through to get that. Since it would be very hard on my mom to wheel her into a van, be jostling her about while schlepping her across town in 90+ F (32+ C) heat to a notary public, one of the Carillon notaries offered to come to The Garrison. Now if we can just get the power of attorney paper, the ML guy, the Carillon notary and me to rendezvous at The Garrison and “execute the instrument,” hunky doryness will ensue.

As I say, the power of attorney I already have was good enough for the realtor. I signed the contract and Mom’s house went on the market at noon today. It has a sign in the yard as of this morning, pictures on line, and it already has a showing scheduled. We’re asking high knowing that we probably won’t get it (that kitchen!), but it gives us room to come down some if we get a serious offer.

Mom’s neighbor wants to buy her car (a RED 2009 Mazda 3 sedan with less than 38,000 miles on it). I looked it up in the Blue Book to see what it was valued at, and that’s what we’re asking. I just texted him that mom wants to sell it to him. We’ll see how that plays out.

I had a good doctor visit. My labs were all normal! I still have to get another CT scan, (Doc wants neck, chest, and abdomen. I’ve had the neck one) but so far, so good.

The Carillon guy we have been working with (and who has been so helpful!) gave mom a copy of their residents’ directory. I swear mom already knows at least half of them. (Give her a couple of weeks and I’d bet she’ll know the other half!) She will do so much better in an environment where she can socialize more easily and comfortably.

(And where she will have ready access to a beauty saloon!)

Mom so very much wants to finally get settled into Carillon. This has been a difficult transition for mom from being totally independent and having what she wants when she wants it because she can do it for herself, to having to depend on others for help (and having to share her caregivers!). The abruptness of it all has made it even harder. She turns 97 this September. We have been so blessed that this degenerative scoliosis and slipped disk business is the first major health concern she has ever had. She has been working hard in rehab to try to gain back ground she lost being in the hospital. Hopefully, we can get her moved to Carillon soon and get her into a more settled and structured environment. (And I can catch up on my sleep and my knitting!)

Brass Tacks Time

I spent Monday on the phone: Finding an estate sale business that was not booked up until October, getting in touch with the Carillon guy, making an appointment with the realtor (the husband of one of the secretaries mom worked with at the law firm), talking to the VA about the muscle I pulled in my calf last Saturday that hurts like a son of a gun if I try to walk normally, and trying to rest my leg as much as I could. I was able to stay off it somewhat.

Today, I met the Carillon guy at The Garrison and we suited up and went in to mom’s room so the three of us could get down to brass tacks. A lot depends on getting mom qualified for this one level, and getting the financial ducks in a row. I knew what papers I needed to get, and I got most of them when I met with Rusty the realtor later for him to look over the house. I forgot one, but I’ll get it tomorrow when I meet my cousin JP and his wife there. Mom has some family heirlooms that she wants to go to his daughter and granddaughter, and they are going to take them and send them on. Rusty the Realtor looked over the house and I answered his questions as best I could. We’re supposed to have a seller’s market. I hope the house sells fast and that we can get a good price. Much rides on it. He’s going to get together with me next Tuesday so we can get down to brass tacks about the house.

I stayed with mom a little while after we met with the Carillon guy and helped them move her. She’s holding up fairly well, but I’m afraid she’s getting a little disheartened. She feels very isolated — but that’s because she is. None of her friends can come see her as long as she is in isolation. Her “niece” CK and her husband are going to their cabin for a week, and that’s hard. She derives a good deal of emotional support from CK.

I have to get up at ouch:30 in the morning to get to the VA as soon as it opens. I expect I’ll be hiking over to the other side of the building on my bum leg to get an x-ray of my bum leg to find out why it hurts. (It hurts because I pulled a muscle!) Then after I hike all the way back on my bum leg, she’ll tell me I need to stay off it! Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to stay off it. I’ve got too much to do. I’m just going to have to crip along as best I can. Argh!

I’m going to see if I can meet with the Carillon guy Thursday morning and get down to brass tacks with him, too. Thursday afternoon I meet with the estate sales lady. My plan is to sign on with her. They can’t start on the house til the 16th, and the sale may not take place until the end of the month. I went with her because she has connections to the antiques market, and mom has some nice pieces they got on their travels. They are full service — they throw out what can’t be donated or sold, sell what will sell, and donate the rest. They supposedly leave you with an empty house and clean up the house afterward, all for a percentage of the profits. After she does mom’s house, somebody’s going to have to do mine.