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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Stop the world, I want to get off!

I've been on a wild roller coaster ride of life the last couple of days.  I've decided, I really want to get off this crazy thing and have a slower, less hectic life.   You ever play those "I wish" and "If only" games?  You know those games when you keep saying "I wish I had this (or that) and my life would be much nicer" or "If only I could do this (or that) my life would be happier" kind of games. 

Several months ago I wished I could get another serger to replace the one I had given to a Hurricane Katrina survivor so she could earn a living again.  I was reading Dora's blog a few days ago about her new old treadle machine.  I was happy for Dora but envious too because I've been wishing I owned a treadle machine for a number of years.  My grandmother has been on my mind a lot lately.  I especially remember the two of us sewing quilts using the treadle machine.  Being with my grandmother is the happiest of my childhood memories.  I had also been wishing for a knitting machine.  I have a couple of other wishes like a spinning wheel and a harness loom too.  Yeah.... like I'm ever gonna have any of the wishes come true.   

Hmm.... I've gotten off track haven't I?  I was telling you how I wanted the roller coaster world to stop so I could get off. 
Ok, it started innocently enough.  I had some appointments to take care of on Thursday.  Not a problem for those.  No problem getting there or getting home except I left some important papers at home.  The judge did grant me the request for no more $10,000 insurance bond because my mother doesn't have anything.  No property and no money.  It was silly to require me to carry insurance when there is nothing to insure.  I was on a high of happiness after court.

Friday more appointments.  These were at home appointments for estimates on getting repairs done to the outside of my house.  On the high end $20,000 and on the low end $14,500.  Oh my! I start feeling really down.  How am I gonna get that kind of money?  Would I even want to put that much money into a house only worth $6,000 with a mortgage still owed of $12,000?  My son has told me to just walk away and let the mortgage company have it.  But son, where would I go?  I barely handle the expenses here so how could I handle higher rent as well as expenses someplace else?  I wish I knew a handyman to do some patch work to get me by for a little while.  There's that wishing thing again.  Sigh.  I'm feeling down again.

Saturday I get up early because I want to can some apples a neighbor has given me.  I think instead of dehydrating or freezing these I'll make pie filling. That means I need to wash the jars and put them in the oven to sterilize before peeling the apples.  I start pulling out canning jars from the spot I store them beside the freezer in the kitchen. 

When I spotted these guys.  Eeeeek!  Fiddler spiders!  Also known as brown recluse spiders.  Very toxic like a black widow spider.  Geeze..... they are not alone.  There's two more of them back there.  I hit the loose ones with a fly swatter and spray a killer on the ones in the jar.  Creepy!  Ok, forget the apples, I need to do some cleaning!  If there were 4 spiders in one tiny spot, how many more are running around my house?  Oooo.... horrors, how many may be around my bed?  Shudder.  Hmm... I've killed a couple in the bathroom and another one disappeared down the furnace vent a few days ago.  I get started cleaning.  I clean the area where the jars sit and move to another area to clean.  I move the microwave so I can clean the area where it sits.

When I spot this.  Eeeek!  Mouse poo!  So it's true, what the guy on the news said, the mice follow the spiders.  I start really feeling the pressure to get this place clean, clean, clean!  Ok, right about then I'm feeling really anxious and even farther down in the dumps.  How am I going to accomplish all this cleaning AND keep on a quilting schedule? 

I get a phone call from Mrs. Santa Claus disguised as Miriam.  Miriam asked me if I wanted a serger that she isn't using.  Are you kidding? I'd love to have it!  She says she'll bring it to me one day next week.  I go back to cleaning.  The phone rings and it's Miriam again.  She has an old treadle machine.  Would I be interested?  Oh my!  Another wish about to come true.  Yes, absolutely, I want it.  That's not all.  Miriam has a knitting machine if I want it.  Sent to her many years ago and still in the box.  My heart is racing with delight.  Three wishes granted in one day.  I'm in heaven.  She's gonna bring them right over instead of next week.  Hmm.... maybe Miriam is really a genie who's granted me three wishes instead of being Mrs. Claus.  I'm on the high side again.

Miriam brings me the new toys and we are having a really nice conversation.  As happens sometimes, a person with whom I really get into talking with..... I'm reluctant for them to leave.  We are talking and having a good time when the phone rings.  It's the nursing home.  My mother is acting up again so they need to send her to the hospital.  She was just at University hospital yesterday but they sent her back to the nursing home last night.  Miriam decided to leave so I could deal with my mother.  I wish she could have stayed a little longer but I did need to call the hospital in Indiana to give permission for mom to be sent there.

Here is the serger.  There's no instruction book but I may be able to find one online.  Anyone know where I can get a copy of the instruction book for this?

Here's the singer treadle machine.  Miriam took it out of the base to make it lighter for moving.

Here's the base.  Everything looks fine.  A few loose screws is all.  I'm sure it works but I believe I'll get the sewing machine guy to do a maintenance tune up on the inner workings.  I'll work on the cabinet to get it in tip top shape while he does the machine.  When it comes back I'll do a good cleaning of the writing etc.  Oooo, I'm gonna have so much fun with this baby!  I can see me machine quilting already.

Here's the original book for the machine.  It's dated 1920.  Oh what a treasure I've got!  My grandmother's machine was a 1920 too.  Her's was a wedding gift from her parents.  Her parents ran a small river boat along Kentucky rivers carrying furniture and groceries to very remote towns.  Can you tell how excited I am? 

Here's the knitting machine still in the shipping boxes.  I got excited about the wood shipping box too.  It's all old "hard" wood that's rare to find these days.  The top is put on with screws so it will be easy to open.  I wanted to open it right away but decided to wait.  Too many other things to do first.

These are the original pattern books too.  They are in Dutch I think.  I'll need a translation of just a few words then I can pretty much figure the patterns out.  For example the word for needles or yarn will be repeated in the patterns.  Once I know those and a couple of other words I believe I can figure out the rest.  Anyone know how to read Dutch?  Anyone have a kitting machine that will sell me a copy of your instruction books?  Knitting machines should be like sewing machines.  Learn to use one and they all work pretty much the same.

Inside the instruction manual, the first book, I found the original receipt.  Dated October 1957.  Wow, this just keeps getting better and better.  I can hardly wait until I get time to play with the new toys.

Look! Look!  I can knit socks.

Oh my goodness!  I can knit little girl's dresses.  I found patterns for knitting men's long johns and ladies bras & undies in the books too.  There's even a pattern for baby soakers to cover cloth diapers.

Hmm... maybe I'll call Gary to see when he can pick up the singer to do a maintenance on it.  Hmm... what's this?  What do I spot when looking for Gary's card?  A business card for a carpenter.  How did that get there?  I don't remember putting it there.  You think he might be willing to do some patch work on my house?  I don't know but I'll ask him.  It might be one more wish granted.  Ya never know.

Right about now you must be thinking I'm on top of the world.  Yes, I'm am on the high side.  Feeling absolutely great with all the treasures Mrs. Claus brought me.  Oops, I forgot to call the hospital.  Only about 15 minutes had gone by since Miriam left so it wasn't too long. 

I call the hospital in Indiana to give permission for my mother be transported there.  I'm told they won't accept her anymore.  Huh?  Why not?  Because the nursing home is going to evict mom and the hospital doesn't want to be stuck with her.  I haven't been told that yet.  Also, mom has exhausted all her Medicare and Medicaid hospital funds for this year.  It's going to be the same thing at every other hospital here in Louisville.  No one will take her because they don't want to be stuck with her.  Her behavior problems are too much to handle in a normal nursing home or hospital setting. 

My mother's mental health issues are not the regular kind we see today.  My mother has exhausted all medications for her type illness.  Over the years she has also been a street drug addict which only compounded her mental problems and weakened the effect of normal medications.  Several years of shock treatments in the 50s and 60s didn't help the mental health situation either. She is a diabetic and has altzeimers.  What's to be done with her now?  I haven't a clue.  

I have to start calling facilities out of state that are better equipped to handle her.  If she were not so violent it wouldn't be such a problem.  She hurts the other patients.  Yesterday she was hitting the other patients with something.  I believe it was a bud vase.  Today she was using her hand to slap people.  Even bed ridden patients are not safe from her violence. 

Mom also tries to have sex with other patients.  She sneaks into the rooms and removes her clothes then tries to sneak into the bed.  Which wakes the patient who starts hollering for the nurses.  Then mom fights with the nurses.  In her mind mom believes she is about to have sex with her husband and the nurses are trying to stop her. 

She also calls the FBI, the CIA, the Governor, the senators, the sheriff office, the police department, the fire department,...... you name it and mom calls them.  She's telling everyone that she's being held hostage and needs help.  Well of course those people must check out her story but then wind up calling me to "DO SOMETHING WITH YOUR MOTHER!

What can I do?  I have her in a nursing home, what else is there?  No!  Absolutely not!  I cannot take care of my mother in my home.  I'm not a skilled care nurse.  If mom were here I would eventually hurt her very bad then I'd be the one in serious trouble.  Everyone else in my family refuses to even discuss her with me.  Too many years of dealing with her has turned the whole family away.  This includes Mom's brother and sister and my own brother and sister.  I'm the only one who has held out this long to do what I could for her.

What am I gonna do?  What on earth am I going to do with my mother?  I want to tell them to open the doors and let her go.  Whatever happens.... happens.  At least I wouldn't be accused of putting her in prison anymore and I wouldn't be getting phone calls from the FBI in the middle of the night. 

So now I'm really down in the dumps again.  I simply don't want to deal with it all anymore.  I want a calm even life.  No up and down stress levels.  I can't think.  I can't clean.  I can't quilt. I don't want to eat.  I dread tomorrow when I must start making phone calls.  I've unplugged the phone for a little while so I can mindlessly type-talk with my friends.  Later I'll plug up the phone just in case the nursing home needs to reach me for an emergency.  I'll let the answering machine pick up in case it's her.

I know things look pretty stresssssss ful right now but tomorrow is another day.  A fresh start.  The quilt customers will be a little disappointed because I must put off work for a couple more days.  First things first though.  Phone calls are first.  Spider and mouse hunts are next.  Putting away the new toys until another day is after that.  Apples will go into the freezer instead of getting canned.  Then back to the quilting if possible.  Hmm.... eating has to happen in there somewhere.  Crock pot time!  As my friend Dawn always said.... "Anita when a bolder is in your path, you always seem to side step around it and keep going."  Starting tomorrow I'll do the side step shuffle to get around some really big bolders.

Thanks for read-listening to all my woes and and happiness stories.  I'm so glad to know you are there.


Dora, the Quilter said...

Oh, wow, Anita. If it's any comfort, you're feeling very normal for being in an abnormal situation.
First the sewing machine. It *is* a Singer 66. You could let the sewing machine guy work on it, but he won't be able to do anything that you couldn't do (probably better)yourself. The folks on Treadle-On would be glad to give you advice. I, myself, would start cleaning it very gently with sewing machine oil or olive oil, cotton make-up pads (or small scraps of 100% cotton batting).
I hope you will be able to find a place that will take her--if you bring her into your home, you will not be safe, and she'll never be able to get back into the custody of a nursing home. It's a really horrible position for you to be in. I'm so sorry this has happened--and hope it will soon work out as well as your hoped for "3 wishes".

Sue said...

'Santa Claus' is granting some of your wishes, maybe those are the easier ones, and the ones regarding your mother will be answered soon. I hope so.

Quiltin' LibraryLady said...

Oh Anita, I wish I had the answers for you regarding your mother. She seems to be a tough old bird, that's for sure. Maybe your relatives have the right idea....wash your hands of the whole business. Anyway, hugs from NE.

lw said...

Anita-- I am out here thinking about you and worrying about your situation (brown recluse spiders??) and with your mom and her problems. I sure hope social services has some idea of what to do next. I'll be praying for you.

jwolf458872000 said...

Anita, I'm so happy for you that some of your wishes have been answered and you find time to enjoy your new treasurers.

I'm also sorry for your troubles with your Mother. I hope you find a solution that will give you peace.

Thinking of you and praying you can find some assistance.

Judy in MO

Anonymous said...

Anita keep looking up my thoughts and prayers are with you. My mother passed away in May. She was only sick for around two and a half weeks. I miss her so much.

Anonymous said...

A serger, sewing machine and knitting machine in one day! WOW you deserve it for sure! And you thought you were busy before these wishes came true...lol I lost my mom in July and it still doesn't seem real but I can't imagine being in your situation with your mom. I think you've done everything you possibly can for her and now it's up to others to step up and help be it family or the state. There has to be something they can do. She needs proper care, it's not her fault but you deserve a peaceful life as well. I think about you everyday as I apply many of your sewing, kitchen, shopping, and organizing hints in my life. Anxious to see your first pair of socks, if they are anything like the fabric you chose for that bra you made, those socks will give us a chuckle and also envy we don't have a pair just like them! Stay positive! N