Thursday, December 3, 2015

Some assembly required.........................

I've survived the first day of "unpacking".   I use that word very loosely since technically we haven't really unpacked anything  yet.........

Those of you with elderly relatives will appreciate this story. I had noticed that the apartment was a tad on the warm side, yet my Mom is sitting on the sofa with an afghan on her lap.  OK.  I didn't say anything except I've had to take my fleece jacket off every time I enter the apartment.

We're sitting around in the afternoon speculating on where to put stuff.  Mom says that she has a couple of things that need to be hung up.  I can do that. What are they?   A small calendar and a barometer. A barometer?????   Yep - she wants her barometer hung up. Now that was something that everyone had to have many years ago, but with round the clock weather channels - do you really need a barometer?   I asked if she used it in the other house.  Oh yes -  she couldn't get to it to read it, but she used it - I guess because it was hung up - she was using it. Oh boy - the story of her life. Well - does the thing even work????  No idea, but it was a themometer on it - let's check to see if at least that still works.  OH BOY - yep - that part still works - it was 78 in the apartment and Dad checked the thermostat and it was set to 77.  Yes - I think it is a bit hot in that apartment. She doesn't have good circulation so you can see why she needs the temperature set so high and god forbid she put a sweater on.  So the barometer will go up today and I know she will NEVER check it - but she is USING it.

Anyway my first task was to assemble a bookcase that they had purchased.  So handy to have so many friends and neighbours around.  Everyone here has a hand cart for carrying things so we got the bookcase up to the apartment and unpacked.  Actually the quality of the bookcase was great and the bookcase was assembled in pretty short order.  Positioning it was another matter which I won't go into the details but I'm not sure who is worse - kids or parents for being totally unrational. But at last we found the perfect spot for it and another small cabinet. Now the big decision is what to put in it.

I should take some pictures, but you have to envision this - they have been in the apartment for 3 weeks. The kitchen is unpacked, as is most of the other stuff, but you see, my love for hobbies and books came from my parents.  So we have boxes - yes a FEW boxes of craft stuff and there are a few books.  But god forbid that ANY of the stuff already in the apartment and doesn't have a home should go on that bookcase.  No  - there is still stuff at the farm that needs to go on that bookcase.  I'm sure you've all gone through this scenario.

A rational person would say - OK - let's deal with what we have currently and then we can see if there is any more space.  I've come to the conclusion - well I did years ago - my parents, especially my Mom is NOT a rational person.

We all sat around after the bookcase was positioned to see what could be put on top or in it. Then a discussion of how to arrange the other room and it became VERY CLEAR - I was "allowed" to come to deal with the craft stuff, but god forbid that I even offer up suggestions on what to do with the other stuff.  Remember we're NOT  dealing with a rational person here.

But I'm trying.  I think my Mom is pretty ticked off at me for even trying to help.  Well - that's what I'm here for.  Guess what Mom - a couple more days!!!!!!

Dad and I spent the afternoon running around and loving that handicap parking perk.  We went to the five possible stores in town that would carry assembly type shelves and plastic totes.  We took loads of reference pictures with the phone and then back home to chat about our treasure hunting. Back out in the truck to actually make some purchases.

Then after dinner, it was time to do more assembly. One more bookcase was put together - there is one more cabinet to do today and then we need to go and buy one more small cabinet that will be a breeze to put together.  The new clock was powered up and hung on the wall - a couple of chairs were rearranged and then well I had a power tool lesson.  Keep in mind that my Dad isn't allowed to do anything because of his carpal tunnel surgery.

I have a cordless drill at home.  A Black and Decker.  I'm not sure how much I paid for it, but it wasn't an expensive one.  It's the kind the average person would use at home and I've always wondered how professionals can use them as they just aren't that powerful.  Well, my Dad brings out his cordless drill so we can install some shelves.  A nice DeWalt.  OK - I put that first scew in the wall and almost fell off the ladder - Oh - I wasn't on the ladder at that point.  This thing has POWER.  It is an industrial grade cordless drill and WOW - Santa - bring me one.  It was incredible.  I made short work of putting those standards up to hold the shelves.  I get to use it again today as I have more shelves to intall.   I love POWER!!!!!

What's on the agenda today?   Besides doing more assembly, we will at last start putting things away.  I think at this point, Mom is going to have to face reality.  It is one thing to put up shelves and assemble book cases, but she is going to have to realize that there is only a finite amount of space. The thing that is going to frustrate me to no end is that she is OK to have boxes of crap sitting around on the floor.  Let's face it - she is a hoarder.  There is no other way to say that.

She is not very mobile these days and so the only way she can hoard is if we enable her. However my Mom has run the roost with an iron hand for many years and she still intimiates the crap out of everyone.  It's time to stand up to her.  She is going to be rude, she is going to be upset, and she is going to upset us all, but oh so gently - we have to get this issue figured out.

In the meantime - we're making a trip to the farm today to get more stuff.  BUT - we're only picking up the stuff with monetary value that shouldn't have been left there in the first place - oh - but it was so packed behind rows of boxes that there was no getting to it. And we are picking up ONE small thing that I want and didn't have the nerve to take before but I'm going to now. Enough is enough. And there are a couple of other things that need to be found like the quilt I gave Mom years ago that she never used and now she wants it.  And we have to find a gun.  Yes - get the guns out of the house in the event something happens.  Yea - a gun runner. I've even got a gun case in the car ready.  Oh yes - my family is very resourceful.

The TIME of day is weird here.   You see, Saskatchewan does NOT change their clocks when the rest of Canada does.  So here it is, almost eight o'clock in the morning and it's still dark outside.  Yes - it is very weird.

Now if you are a quilter - and you've read the above - what are you going to do?????   I feel guilty as heck about that fabric that I bought the other day.  Can I take it back?????   NO!!!!!!!    But this scenario makes me think very seriously about my stash.  So -  I can't use all that fabric myself, I do NOT want to sell it or just give it away.  I bought each and every piece to bring me joy and happiness and now I have to find a creative way to make that happen so it will at least get used up faster than I can use it.   I want to have fun with that stash.  But before I get to use up my stash, I have two or three boxes of excellent quality stuff that people gave me to use for charity quilts.  I think I'll be looking for takers to make up quilts for those that are less fortunate.  I know - I could donate that stuff, but I don't want to.  But I bet in two days or less, we could have fun and make some awesome quilts for someone.  Any takers?????   Must schedule a day for that.

My biggest problem is time.   So somehow, I have to carve out and schedule days to make this fun stuff happen.  The cleaner and clearer the room - the easier it is to get stuff done.

On that note - I'm sitting in my "usual" spot at Tim's, warming my hands by the fire and watching the usual group of people come and go.  Hey - I'm getting smiles from people and I would bet that I went to school with MANY of them or their parents - we just don't know each other in our more mature state.  That is sad in a way. But that is what happens when you move away - NOT that I regret that decision.

OK - I've rambled on enough.  Think about your stash today - the problem is that if we sell it or give it away, we have just made an isue for someone else.  NO - we have to find creative and fun ways to actually USE it up.  I've got my thinking cap on.  You know it has happened in the past and it was a blast - just wait for it.

Have an awesome day!!!!!!!!



  1. Welcome to Sask. Enjoy your blogs.Spiritwood has a lovely quilt shop.Went yest with friends. Heck 11/2 hour drive from Christopher Lake is nothing to drive to a quilt shop!

    1. Hey Marg - thanks for letting me know. I already hit three in and near Saskatoon. Since I am here to declutter parents home - I best not set a bad example and buy more fabric. Next summer !!!!! Elaine

  2. I hear you, girlfriend. I have the same problem with my mom. There were some divorce worthy words spoken on my Father's part. He yelled at me for bringing more stuff to the apartment. He's legally blind so he couldn't help sort or unpack. I told mom I wasn't going back to the apartment until they were at dinner because I had another carload to take in and I didn't want to take any more crap from him. When I got there later that day I was met at the door by a family friend who quietly told me my mom had left because dad said something unforgivable and his wife was in trying to reason with my dad.

    Now mom's talking about having to move to a one bedroom apartment when dad dies or goes into a nursing home. I keep pointing out to her that she can't take ANYTHING but her clothes because there is no storage space in them. I know - I stay in one of them when I visit. She hasn't processed that limitation yet. They've been in the apartment 3 years and she still has boxes of stuff sitting around.

    I tried to get her to purge before they moved. She refused. For example, she wouldn't get rid of clothes that were too small because she might get cancer and lose weight.

    I just hope nothing happens to me before I get my own stuff under control. But, I'd much rather sew than clean house and there's no one here to make me do it.

  3. Barbara - we are not quite at that stage yet, but I can envision boxes and boxes of stuff sitting in the apartment. I will have no problem siccing the fire department or the superindentent on her door step to make sure stuff stays clean. The clothes thing - well she never said cancer, but there is stuff that is older than the hills. Ah - the fun and games of parents. I just hope I get a handle on my stuff before I have to down size. It's only quilting stuff that will cause problems. Thanks for your story - I love it!!!! By the way - get a cleaning lady - best investment ever!!!!