Monday, November 12, 2018

150 Paper Planes!

We are in the midst of a fun project to help decorate for our granddaughter's 2nd birthday party. She is a great airplane spotter and gets excited when she sees them so the theme is female aviator. 300 paper planes are being made and we are doing half.

Our assignment was tan and red paper which turned into ivory and red due to trouble sourcing in time.

All the planes will be hanging on fish line in the dining room. Something like this but many, many more planes. I'll take pictures!

It is nice to have a distraction from all the events of last week. We are certainly looking forward to her party and then to Thanksgiving at our house.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

S Cal fires

They came very close to our community. We evacuated so we could be sure to get to my FIL funeral and stayed with our son. Home now but cable service is down due to fire so no internet except by phone. Small problems. My heart goes out to all those terribly affected by the fires.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Getting through the week after a death

We are at peace with my FIL's death but exhausted. Here is how the week is shaping up.

- I cancelled all my meetings. Should have kept going to yoga but I am very tired. The time change has not sunk in for the dog and I'm falling asleep way too early as I am so tired. I woke up this morning to find the dog sitting up just staring at me waiting for signs of wakefulness. It was 3:30am. You can really see the stars at that hour lol.

- I processed my clothing and shoe orders that were sitting around. Now have 2 new pairs of loafers for cooler weather and a lovely green cotton sweater. Other items returned.

- On Monday while DH and BIL met with the mortuary and rabbi, I cleaned out my FIL's unit in terms of kitchen/frig, bathroom, leftover medical supplies and finding the rest of paperwork. Gave medical supplies to med techs at assisted living facility, some supplies to Hubby's great aunt who also lives there, and brought 2 large bags of books home which have now been donated to the library. Mostly I just threw stuff away and ignored my preference to recycle containers, etc.

- Helped text and call re: time and location of funeral. Got dog sitter to at least come by to walk dog on day of funeral. Perhaps stay a while too depending on her schedule. Did a little grocery shopping so we could have healthier meals at home.

- Trying to find new homes for furniture as we have until the end of the month to vacate his unit. Since we will be out of town 5 days for granddaughter's 2nd birthday and then there is Thanksgiving it will be a tight timeline. Trying to avoid putting into storage items that will be given away. One day soon we need to pack up all his clothes, linens and so on for donation and bring all the family photos home.

- Our younger son and DIL will be staying with us the night after the funeral (Yeah!). The house is quite dusty, etc. so cleaning, more grocery shopping and laundry are today and tomorrow for me. If it was just us I would wait and clean after the funeral.

- DH has started dealing with the financial details. Thankfully there is a trust that automatically goes to him and my BIL. Still a lot of paperwork as I recall from my Mom's death where there was also a trust involved that went to my brother and me. DH is also fielding the upset family member calls and condolence calls. Hard on him is an understatement.

- I ordered not only a pre-cooked turkey but most of the rest of the meal for Thanksgiving from Whole Foods. Less stress is good.

- If I need stress relief there are always those 150 paper airplanes to fold as my contribution to decorating for Granddaughter's 2nd birthday party. She sees or hears airplanes before anyone else and points them out avidly so female aviator is the party theme.

I know all of this is just a small burden compared with what many experience after a loved one dies. The hard balance is getting everything done, holding loved ones close, taking care of your own well being and mourning at the same time.

Hugs to all who have gone through this before or are preparing to deal with it soon.

Monday, November 5, 2018

We are both orphans now

My father-in-law died yesterday morning at the age of 91. Hospice care was a wonderful thing and my husband feels greatly at peace with how he helped his Dad through his final years.

He was a fighter and found enjoyment in small things until the day before he died. A long and resilient life. After my mother-in-law died 13 years ago at 80 he found a way forward and made a different life for himself.

Both my in-laws were welcoming, kind and generous to me. I distinctly remember the first time I met them. My hubby invited me to go to the family Thanksgiving dinner - about 25 people! - along with my 7 year old son. We were hugged and welcomed and it stayed that way forever.

Now we are the oldest in our family. My father died eight years ago at 88 and my mother 4 years ago at 93.  We come from long lived families and at 69 (me) and just short of 66 (DH) we probably have a long way to go - which is good!

Last night we were talking about how odd it is in your 60s to realize that you are now an "orphan". The people who knew and loved you since you were born are now gone although my husband still has two 90 year old aunts. It is an odd feeling.

Add to this the fact that we moved to our current location to be near my FIL when we would have gone near our granddaughter otherwise. Our granddaughter turns 2 on November 20th and the next generation is happy and growing. Perhaps we can still head to N Cal to attend her party.

There won't be any swift decisions as there is a lot to do and a lot to process but once again we are facing a time of potential great change ahead. Right now it is time for sharing good memories, doing the tasks that have to be done and keeping our own little family healthy and happy.

Friday, November 2, 2018

One month down - 11 goals for 11 months


I have some things to accomplish before I turn 70 on September 1, 2019 - 11 goals for 11 months

October saw some progress.

HEALTH: Get off my butt - or at least off the computer!
4 yoga & 2 stretch sessions
·       Stretch DVD - 10/2, 6
·       Yoga class – 10/12, 16, 22, 29

GROW ME: More experiences!
·       Volunteering more is not turning out as planned. No one else would take on being the President of the Pet Club so I said I would do it for the rest of the year. Now need to find someone to take over 3 officer roles and go back to being Treasurer only.
·       Brainstorming vacation options: We decided to plan a trip to Santa Fe/Taos.
·       Live theater - “Into the Woods”.
·       Movie – “A Star is Born”
·       Agreed to research selling women’s club piano to help fund AC for building.

LOVE: Love and be loved!
·       Had dinner w. FIL & great aunt 2x; lunch w. FIL, BIL, nieces, nephew; lunch/wedding photo viewing with son & DIL, agreed to host Thanksgiving dinner
·       Spent time with friends at book discussion group, Women’s Club meeting, lunch with friends,

JUST DO IT: Get more done!
·       Made a monthly chart of irregular medical & vet appointments, car servicing, bills, etc.
·       Bought a down comforter to replace one that no longer is in good shape. Still trying to figure out what to do with the old unusable one.
·       Bought a cushion for the car passenger seat to help avoid pain on long trips.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

October wrap up

So here in S. California fall is just a little cooler than late summer. I'm determined to get in the fall mindset though. Here is what it looks like from our tiny patio some days - early morning and late afternoon.

I've joined up with Leslie and other bloggers to keep track of the month with a sentence (or more) a day. There's a link up below if you'd like to see what others have done or join in.

Week 1: Not only is it National Pumpkin month but the 1st was National Pumpkin Spice Day. I celebrated with a pumpkin spice latte to get me through a Pet Club board meeting and stocked up on Trader Joe's low cost canned pumpkin for future pumpkin bread.

Started 2 1/2 weeks of cat sitting for a neighbor who is insisting on paying me despite my protests.

Great clouds this week, made the best chicken noodle soup yet, and had a lovely time at my book discussion group.

Week 2: Saw "A Star Is Born" while avoiding our house during a scheduled power outage and it was such a sad ending but Bradley Cooper did such a great acting job and of course Lady Gaga's singing was amazing.

Ended the week with my women's club monthly meeting which was interesting and fun as usual, a local candidates forum, yoga class and then lunch with my son & DIL to see wedding pictures!!!

Week 3: Love this quote: “A party without dessert is just a meeting” ~Julia Child

Tried a new hairdresser and am quite happy with the result. 

It was mid-summer hot again plus very windy.

Did stuff - Yoga class, paid our property taxes, proposed Thanksgiving gathering at our house, helped Hubby pick out the color of his tooth implant (miniscule differences!). 

Offered a small patio table we aren't using to our son with new house. He wants it and we will take up in November.

Week 4: It looks like I can step back and just be Treasurer of the club that was without leadership. We have recruited candidates for the other offices and that makes me happy.

But for another group I have agreed to try to sell a 1932 parlor grand player piano with 30 rolls. It is supposed to be quite valuable. Any ideas? We need contacts in S. California or anywhere if they might know of a buyer.

And I felt very French (ok, very Californian) taking my tote bag to the organic farmer's market this Saturday morning. Even have the poodle to fit in although she stayed home. Lots of goodies including an apple tart to have with my coffee when I got home.

Final 4 Days: Sunday afternoon we went to see a performance of "Into the Woods" at our local small theater and it was great although a much darker story that we expected.

Finally figured out where to get our kitchen knives sharpened: a mobile service that is at the local Joanne Fabric store every other month.


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Good Morning from Pleasant Valley

And, yes, this valley we live in is really named that! Our home is on the site of the former dairy barn and pastures of Camarillo Ranch and a route for the coyotes that roam the mountains and hills nearby.