Monday, August 25, 2014

Another Catchup--NQR*

*Not Quilt Related
So, I've been away from the blog again.  Seems to be an unfortunate pattern!   No sewing has been happening either, for a number of reasons.

Last week I left work midday on Wednesday to meet my husband at the ER where my 95 year old mother in law, Frances, had been taken.  She apparently had another episode of vertigo/dizziness/weakness walking in the hallway of her apartment at the retirement home, but did manage to make it to her bed, where she called out fruitlessly for help, then apparently passed out or fell asleep for a couple of hours. She telephoned for help when she awoke and an ambulance was called by the nursing staff.  No stroke, no abnormalities they could find at the ER, and after a couple of hours she was released home.  We were advised she probably needed more nutrition and more hydration.  While Grant went back to work, I spent the rest of the day taking her to get something to eat since she had missed both breakfast and lunch, and taking her home, where I found her missing hearing aid hidden.  Then I went to the store for snacks and water, Ensure, a prescription for Antivert, and back to her apartment.  Anyway, she seems recovered but is getting very forgetful these days.  She did not remember that we took her to the ER for this same problem several months ago, when they ruled out a stroke.  She sleeps a lot and eats less.  She often says, "I'm ready to go, the good Lord can take me any time". We're checking on her more often now. 
Frances on her 90th birthday, five years ago

And now I've gotten a summer cold, causing me to spend the weekend mostly on the couch or in bed.  Yesterday was the worst, but I didn't think a coughing, nose-blowing medical staff member is quite appreciated, so I stayed home today.  Maybe by tonight my ears will pop so I can hear again!

Meanwhile, I've been making lists of quilting projects and their needs, and also home organizing projects.  Have you heard of the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge?  Well, I hadn't either until I stumbled across it while on Bloglovin.  The idea is related to Spring cleaning, but spread out over essentially the period of Lent.  That challenge period having passed months ago, it is still a good way to systematically go through your house/garage/attic/basement, etc., in a less overwhelming way.  I decided to start in our bedroom, since it has turned into a dumping ground.  Picture frames, magazines, books, linens, blankets, clothes, and things that didn't have a home.  My husband also liked the idea and together we purged a number of bags, for a good start on the 40 bags.  Today I called for the donation truck and hope to have a number of additional bags to add to the constant accumulation of donation items hiding behind a quilt thrown over the upstairs railing :)    Next room is our office (shudder) and then the music room closet (a true catchall). 

My hardest thing to get rid of is family heirloom-type items.  But we have TOO MUCH STUFF, unused and just taking up storage space.  Some tough decisions will have to be made regarding certain items...many of which came to us from my MIL when she sold her home 10 years ago and moved to the retirement home, like these:

Hand painted gold-rimmed bowl, made in Germany, treasured and displayed for many years by my MIL in her home. This may have belonged to her mother before her, as it is quite old.

Gold rimmed and decorated plate, another vintage piece from my MIL.  Lucy the cat is much newer, only two years old :)

Or, especially, several of these:

This mink stole was handed down to my MIL by HER MIL, who was my husband's paternal grandmother.
 Purchased no doubt at the fancy Downtown Los Angeles Bullocks Wilshire many decades ago.

Her name is embroidered in several of the furs we now have.  Grandma Rose was of French blood.  She passed away sometime in the early 1970's so I never met her, though Grant's grandfather lived to be in his mid 90's and met two of our three children.  What do we do with this and several other real furs?  Hard to decide, so there they hang, unused.  I'd appreciate some ideas, should anyone have some!  And now, back to blowing my nose :)


Shay said...

You’re a very thoughtful daughter in law Annie. Sending my best wishes to your mother in law ( who looks incredibly sprightly in that 5 year old photo !)

And now onto you – I hope that cold deserts you soon. Ive had it’s cousin ( winter cold ) hanging on here for about three weeks and its a PITA!

I have an annual purge – not really attached to stuff and find it quite easy to chuck if it hasn’t been used for 12 months ( fabric is the exception of course) You might be able to sell the furs to a fur shop or vintage clothing place? Or donate them to some sort of museum or gallery?

Sherrill said...

After DH's passing 2 yrs ago and then the decision to downsize, getting rid of stuff was a horrific undertaking (went from 3600 sf to under 2000)! My advice is do a lot of it now while you have help and first ask your kids if they want any of it. Then move on to extended family--try to keep heirlooms in the fam but if no one wants it, maybe get it appraised/looked at then sell it. My grandma lived to 93 and was the same way, ready to go. Very little quality of life and they just feel a burden to everyone.

Chantal said...

I have 3 boys and sometimes when I ache all over, I wish I had a daughter. If one of them could marry a wonderful DIL like you, I would be soooo happy. Bless your loving heart. Your MIL is in my prayers tonight. Good luck with the furs. (I live in Canada, I would love to have your problem.) ;^)

Janet O. said...

Oh, Annie, I feel for you! Going through very similar things with my parents and my MIL. They are all three having health issues at once and it is the focus of much of my time!
And it is hard to be the caregiver when you don't feel well yourself!
I think Sherrill gave you very sound advice.

Stephanie said...

Well I hope you get well soon and your MIL has better days. I've not heard of 40 Bags however this weekend the mister and I started to delve deep into the dark corners of the basement, yes too much stuff. Piles to donate to Kidney Services when the call again to pick up, 12+ boxes of books sold at Half Price Books, and the listings have begun on Craig's List. But what to do with the heirlooms of value that take up too much space and are never used but still loved and appreciated? Best of luck with your sort out. Have you tried an antique shop or dealer?

Lorraine said...

Hope you are feeling better soon! That is a lovely pic of your MIL - it is hard to watch someone you love fade away. Hmmmm....the decluttering.....I have moved house many times so don't have a lot of "stuff" having had a good clean out every time I have moved (having said that, after a few years in the one spot I probably need to clean out a few cupboards!) I have a few pieces that have been handed down from grandparents which always come with me - no furs though! I would ask the family if they are interested in any of the items and if not talk to an antique dealer or as Shay suggested a vintage clothing establishment. Vintage clothing is quite sought after I believe. Good luck!

Unknown said...

Hi Annie, definitely feel better soon. Your MIL is a beautiful lady and lucky to have you. As for the vintage items, you might try Ebay or Craigslist. Not just get rid of them prices, see what you can get for them and it will help with her care. Hugs from Colorado

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Sending you hugs for healing and patience as you recover and have to sort out/through your belongings. I have no suggestions as to how you pass along items such as these but I can empathize. I hope your MIL is feeling better too, and getting the care she needs, you're a wonderful daughter-in-law!

Arlene Adams said...

One suggestion before you purge - take a picture of the item. Then you will always be able to go back and look at it even if it is only in a photo; and be sure to write the information on the back of the photo! Forty bags is a great way to clean out - I have been doing it for months (even though my house doesn't look like it.

Paula, the quilter said...

I have 2 fur stoles that I've been holding on to for lack of an idea of what to do with them. I wonder how nanny more people are holding onto furs?

Kate said...

Sorry to hear about your MIL, hopefully she'll do better about the hydration and eating. My MIL is in the same boat, but for the moment is living with my youngest SIL.

Hope you are feeling better. Summer colds are no fun at all.

I'm doing the purge thing as well. I started in our bathroom (it's huge) and have been spending an hour each weekend going through cabinets. Slow going, but it has been paying off.

Quilter Kathy said...

These are really hard decisions. I would ask the kids if they want any of it. Keep your favorite dishes and take photos of things you want to remember but not keep. And the furs could be made into teddy bears for the babies to come in the future.