November 30, 2013 | 10:00 am
November 30, 2013 | 10:00 am
Myself and Carolyn of Coast Caregiver’s Resource, an indispensable caregiver’s support and resource organization. I would have struggled so much more frantically with caring for John, if not for Carolyn. We had a conversation for StoryCorps, and it was great! I’m allowed to share excerpts, so when I edit the audio, I’ll post it.
Sharing the details of my caregiving journey (and it IS a journey) really showed me how far I’ve come and what I’ve been through.
That conversation has really helped me to see with clarity my life right now. I’m really on the other side of a lot of obstacles. Yes, the holidays are here, but I don’t have anything I *need* to do; I can have fun and not put any pressure on myself. Planning trips and itineraries are a breeze, for the first time in years, now that John’s in a safe place. The house is sold; I’m about to have a stable home of my own.
There have been quite a few problems and situations I haven’t shared here, things that were really hard this fall, but also have starting resolving. It really feels like my willingness to allow 2013 to be the year of hard work really bore out — yup, it’s been the hardest work ever, and now, at the end of the year, it really is easing off.
And… I’m proud. Proud of myself. And I am emerging out of my complicated cocoon, ready to be a giver, a taker, to be supported and a supporter.
I’m ready for the next steps, let’s go!
November 28, 2013 | 8:21 pm
[sorry for the dearth of blog posts for a couple days; there were connectivity issues then there were a couple days when "blogging" was replaced by "eating" and "having a break" and "making fun with real humans"]
As If I needed to “give myself permission” ever, but I am allowed to to whatever the hell I want this weekend. Sleep late, mosey to SF at my own pace, stop in for bacon at a friend’s parental house, eat at a French restaurant at 8pm, drink until googly-eyed at a very old bar, order pie when already full, flirt with a guy in the truck next to me at the 7/11, tease my friends, marvel at the empty city, marvel (with judgment) at the thanksgiving night line ups in front of stores, cry a little, flirt with a baby, not photograph or write about a damn thing, tell the Frenchman I’m drunk, shirk duties, avoid family, sing loudly to the Talking Heads the whole trip, regale with stories about my very evil 20s, laugh.
Not necessarily in that order.
November 27, 2013 | 12:54 pm
The Elderly Relative counted (sort of) as a roommate, but the arrangement was far from fun nor frolic.
I have lived alone for a good part of my adult life otherwise, so I was curious to know how living with another (albeit non-intensely needy) human was going to be. This apartment is compact, I’m not a tidy person, I can get moods, uh oh was I/she going to regret this?
Oh, not at all, not at all! I love living with Roomie, she with me! These things come to mind, unordered list:
Our time together is brief; she’s moving on in a couple weeks, so we’re ending our roommate relationship while its still in its perfect prime — a good time to make an exit. We’re both in rapidly shifting transition, so, though its sad, it’s also incredibly lucky we got to pause with each other and to laugh, pop the wine and have some quality time, in every sense of the phrase.
Love you, Roomie!
November 25, 2013 | 8:15 pm
I’ve experienced a few meaningful days and things are feeling sort of deep, but I’m not going to blog about THAT right now, no sir. Instead, let’s talk about dishes.
My possessions (AS YOU MAY KNOW BY NOW) have been in storage for years, including my dinnerware set. Unfortunately my tastes have shifted a bit and I am ready for something different, something less rosy.
Not to mention it’s also a huge set. I don’t need such a … landscape of pink plates, saucers, bowls, cups, more plates.
So the hunt is on. Mom had some great dish sets but the one left in the house at the end was the Dansk Bistro Maribo set, which filled me with “almost but not quite,” and also “I’ve served 10,000 baloney sandwiches for John on these.”
I do like blue and white and Scandinavian, so I’ll probably regret the hell out of letting these go, but right now those fussy little details make me fussy.
She did have four of the Dansk Berries pattern:
So cute and Scando and the bowls are knockouts but it would be a hard set to assemble for cheap using eBay. And maybe too berry-y?
Then I lost my mind on Etsy, favorite-ing dozens upon dozens of dish sets, which did nothing to unclutter my mind.
Proper fancy-lady 50′s porcelain? Atomic a-go-go? Seventies sturdy Earth-Shoe-feeling plattters? Simple, complex? WHAT, BRAIN, WHAT DO YOU WANT?
Well, these make me happy. Stonehenge Midwinter set in Sun (yellow), Earth (brown) or Moon (blue).
Sun and Earth are plentiful, Moon is scarce, but no matter the availability I’m looking at some cash output to assemble a decent set. Shipping costs for dishes holy cow.
So, of course, a-thrifting I am going.
Spotted today: Bob van Allen for Mikasa, four dinner plates, four cups, one creamer, all a buck each. Hmm! I kind of like. Produced between 1978 and 1981. Not cheap online, but maybe I just get what’s in the thrift store and make do? Enjoy them for a while then throw them back OR make a minor investment to expand the collection?
I just need to be patient, I know. Dish sets are all over the damn place, even Craigslist has coughed up some interesting possibilities. It’s me. I need to settle for a pattern. But it has to be Miss Right Pattern.
November 22, 2013 | 11:39 am
Today (in case you don’t have US History at your brain’s fingertips or do not access the internet or are part of the conspiracy) is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
And there we have a start of a major avalanche of 50th markers — just think about next year, holy cow. The Beatles, Cold War ramp ups, Vietnam, start of major student protests — the 60s started in ’64 and it won’t stop there. The rest of this decade will be such an easy one for the media — they’ll just search free image archives for newspaper front pages from whatever event (Woodstock! Man on Moon! All the dead people in ’68!) and write some trite timeline pulled from Wikipedia.
I do have to allow that the JFK coverage has been varied and mostly interesting. However, being steeped in decades of cynicism and distrust of my government, all the swirling conspiracy theories about the shooting interest me not at all. Sure, it could’ve been an inside job, why not? My adorable government has done a heck of a lot worse in the intervening years. In my humble opinion! Please, theorist-crackpots, do not find my blog and get all crazy on it.
I’m actually not complaining about any kind of half-century remembrance. I remember when everything WWII started hitting the 50-years-after (starting with Pearl Harbor anniversary in ’91) and it was a very useful method to get my elders to talk about what they were doing, where they were, what they were thinking, when the shit went down. A 50th anniversary is a good time to seek out eyewitnesses to whatever event and get the lowdown. This is it! Starting next year, find every aging Beatlemaniac you can find and ask to see their scrapbooks and ticket stubs.
Next year I’ll be too busy for that, though. I will be otherwise engaged celebrating 50th birthdays from the start to the finish of 2014. Last year of the Baby Boom, and those babies are booming.
November 21, 2013 | 5:49 pm
Amazon cart shows evidence of my impending move.
No matter that my househunty plans are on hold, or that the landmine field called the holidays are here, I’m completely stoked about my apartment.
I’m not moving in for three weeks but I’m crushing hard, imagining our cozy little lives together, running through fields of daisies, hand in hand. I’m also feeling lust in my soul, thinking of the four (FOUR) huge closets, oh you sexy storage. This place is just right, not fancy nor shabby, full of character (icebox intact!), location almost perfect.
3.5 years of living in a sprawling dump-ish house, 6 years before that in an okay apartment in a blah part of town — now, this. Now I get this! I deserve this!
I am excited to enter the new year — freshly single, be-homed, full of plans for the future, near and far.
November 19, 2013 | 2:40 pm
I just got word that the apartment for which I’m lusting after is mine, all mine, in mid-December. Never mind that there’s a week of free-fall during which I will be homeless, whatever, don’t forget I just made room in my storage space.
Sidenote: I am grateful, so grateful for my improv skills. This property management agency has gotten burned by some terrible tenants recently (inside info I was happy to exploit), so I played up the things I know they would like — middleaged/employed/quiet/etc, but also exuded enthusiasm and friendliness. I also carefully and pseudo-casually threw in my pure selfness goodness (caregiver! works with children!) to get them on my side. However, I pulled back the moment I sensed I was pushing it — ass-kissing ultimately does not go that far. All stuff I’ve practiced on stage for years — basically, figuring out the best way for someone to like/respect — or at least, listen to — me. Not to mention being ready with whatever cash they asked for.
After visiting John yesterday I was not far from my former home — you know the one, the one that I purged of possessions and put on the market this summer? Have I not mentioned that? More than 12 million times?
So, with a weird waking/dreaming feeling, I drove by the house. My nighttime dreams are full of scenarios in which I’ve forgotten to move out and OMG the owners are walking in the door, etc. So I was skittish as I slowed down and passed by. They were there! The garage door was open and a mountain of boxes were inside. They were obviously right in the middle of it all. I emitted an alarmed squeak and sped away.
Which is so silly. From all reports these owners are the salt of the earth and probably would’ve been delighted to meet me. But maybe not? Maybe just making friends with your new house might not be the time that the Ghost of Owner Past shows up to say boo? Maybe I’ll show up in the new year with a plant and a “hey”.
Or maybe I should learn from my dreams and secretly live there during the one-week homeless phase next month?
BAM, BLOG FULL CIRCLE ACHIEVED. +10
November 18, 2013 | 8:44 pm
When going through the large amounts of possessions this summer, I (as well as anyone who jumped into the fray with me) got desensitized to potential sentimental and/or valuable finds. I almost made people cry describing the piles of cigar boxes, the Hudson Bay blanket, the old tools, the vintage holiday stuff … all or most of which went to the pile destined for thrift land. I know. I would’ve been one of those weepers if I hadn’t been the one having to wrangle the endless parade of stuff stuff stuff.
One of the things that gave me pause was a sweet little Cross pen that belongs to John. It was tossed in with a million other things (as was everything), and I’m sure he hasn’t thought of it in many years.
I monkeyed around with it and determined that the pivot mechanism was broken. I was about to toss it into the thrift pile when my softer heart took over and I took a look at the little enclosed brochure. Cross has a lifetime warranty! They are classy old school, all right (since 1846!):
Headquartered in beautiful Lincoln, Rhode Island, just outside Providence, A. T. Cross is proud to still be a part of the community we helped build. And we still make products unsurpassed in quality and value, one at a time and by hand, just as Richard Cross did.
Well then. Into the mail it went, all the way to Lincoln. And here it came back, all fixed and sweet and shiny.
A nice little transaction, from another time and another world.
November 17, 2013 | 8:47 pm
It was a productive day. I signed a whole lot of forms on behalf of Elderly Relative, hopefully enabling him to cease being tortured by hospital (or other institutional) personnel and get him to a quiet, happy environment. Starting tomorrow!
I ate a beer and a hamburger for my only outside recreational outing since Thursday, then decided, perhaps inspired by yesterday’s post, to tackle my #$(#*@ storage space.
My two storage rooms are on the same floor but down the hall and around the corner from each other. The last few loads delivered to both of the rooms were done haphazardly, really adding to A. crazy hoarder lady vibe, and B. the illusion that both the rooms were full to capacity.
No. No! I spent almost three hours and many emotional stages toiling in the dark and the messy. I was aghast at how many boxes I have. I was pleased to uncover my beautiful easy chair and ottoman, in which I sat and dozed. I was elated at a phone call received while in said chair, from two dear friends that want to purchase my bedroom set! I was completely freaked out when I got trapped in one of the rooms by a large cabinet. I felt like a Sim.
I must downsize, this is clear. But at least I made a little more space and organization. Hopefully by December 9 I will be able to move everything out and stop paying for these spaces. And unpack for real? Maybe?
(my home purchase plans are on hold for at least two months, so I’m happily ready to be a renter and very much need to have a home of my own, no matter if it’s mortgage or rent.)
Some day, “Space Ideas” Pinterest board. Some day.
November 9, 2013 | 3:34 pm
Despite feeling achy and fluey as a result of my heartbreak (why does it have the ability to resemble flu*? so weird) and despite looking at my bank balance and feeling panic at all the expenditures hitting/about to hit me big time, and despite the fact that, in the complex I’m staying, the Christmas decorations are already up and bleating at me…
…I am managing to have a nice time, really. Family friend JoAnn is treating me like a visiting dignitary, complete with an itinerary full of nap breaks.
I went thrifting. Same issues as in my area — there’s less cool kitsch in the stores and more practical but boring items so that poor people can buy things. The class gap is huge here, this town took a hit in the recession and ain’t bouncing back too fast.
But take a look at this backgammon board, lovingly needlepointed by rlh in 1975.
And hello, oldtimer. Is that me?
Mildly amusing businesses spotted: “Animal Dermatology” and “Lingerie Superstore”.
I took home a teak salad bowl with original Scandinavian sticker, for a quarter. That is an old school score, and befits my fears (real and otherwise) that I am, or am soon to be, a poor, poor person**.
*Except with more tears. Two and a half years was a long time to be in a committed and loving relationship, no matter how correct the outcome was.
** So much freefloating anxiety! Dreams are full of loved ones acting like monsters, appearances by extremely toxic ex-men from my past, of lost ways and confusing swirls. Yikes. Werk it out, subconscious.