Tuesday, February 26, 2008


This is the last painting I did - over 30 years ago, until i started painting again last year. (thank you DJ!) I found it amongst my mothers things when i was cleaning out her house. She used to have it on the fireplace wall in the family room when she lived in San Jose. She loved odd.
I have been working on a tote ala DJ Pettitt, who has been so kind to tutor me. However, it is turning out very similar to a bird painting I did a while back......so much for stepping out of the box! Here are some photos of the project in various stages.

Front images- playing with the layout....
Back image
I've finally finished the art work and am ready to assemble the whole thing.
Here's the finished art work
This is the front This is the back
The bird still needs a pearl sewn on that it will be holding in it's beak) . I will probably coat the whole thing with polymer medium and stick it in the heat press because this will give it a durable sort of washable finish.......
...and this is the lining. The inside will have two compartments and a zippered pocket. I thought I had a lot of zippers around, but I couldn't find any!....so now the project is on hold until i get a 6" zipper. Then it will be sewn together, grommets added for the straps and will have a magnetic closure.
I'm making a second one too. I hope it turns out way different. No birds, no flowers. I'm doing an "under the sea" version.
I have also been working on a very odd project that I just finished, but no pics until I send it to the recipient who would look first if i posted it. THAT'S YOU JOANNE!
..on another note - I am having a real problem painting "free" as in "free form". When I took DJ's painting class, she just paints - you know, slaps the paint anywhere, let's it dry, puts on more paint, builds layers. Her art turns out gorgeous. It is sort of realistic Picasso. You can see immediately the flower is a tulip, but it is done with a minimum of strokes and they are painted boldly and quickly. They are not stuffy or burdened with precision. Yet the look perfect. Even her free motion sewing enhancements again are not exact, but they look great. I'm not trying to imitate DJ, I know I have my own style.....and when i illustrate using colored pencils or ink, or even with collage, i find myself very free and outside the box. but painting - my painting and free motion sewing turns out like i am trying too hard. It is very old lady like and stiff and locked up ...well... i just have a terrible time coloring outside the lines.......
yikes? ..... a carry-over from kindergarten?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

100th Blog Post Winner!

This morning I put all of the comment names in a hat (no, not really, I don't have a hat)....anyway, i put them on tiny pieces of paper, shook them in my cusped hands and let one fall out.
Joanne..... it's you Joanne. I am sending you something very odd and weird and typical me. Nothing practical. Nothing you've seen before. (well, maybe parts of it)....
Thank you everyone for entering and check back often !

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I'M A PINK ARTIST ... Art to find a CURE!

I just joined a way cool project put together by Monica Magness from "girl-gone-thread-wild". She is making a giant doll to be decorated with 2" x 2" squares of art work made by anyone who wants to join.. The doll will be sent to Art Doll Quarterly and then auctioned on Ebay for Susan G Komen for the Cure Breast Cancer Charity. Follow this link for details.


I won!....PLUS-My 100th Blog Giveaway!

The "ONE WORLD,ONE HEART" giveaway was loads of fun, and i'm happy to report I won 2 giveaways!
I won a beautiful "Serenity" plaque from Laura Bray

and a gorgeous wall art/scarf from Janet Nambian of "my thoughts, my reflections"
Thank you Laura and Janet - I am thrilled to have been chosen as your winner!

Today is my 100th blog post......I can hardly believe it! So, in celebration of that fortuitous feat, I am having a GIVEAWAY- if you comment to this post by the 23rd of this month (next week!) i will draw a name on Sunday Feb 24th and you can win a weird- o piece of art from me. Sorry, everything I make is a bit off. If you are the winner I will send you one of the various things I have lying around half finished....but I will finish it!....( think......a heart pendant, an eyeball pin, tooth and nail necklace, lucky in love earrings., moonlit butte notecards......something along those lines....you can make a request......)
This time you have a better chance - far less competition!
Good Luck!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Using the random number picker I picked a winner of for one of my glass pendants.
And the winner is:

Angelina of Angelina's Trinkets!
Thank you to everyone who entered.....I can't wait to do this again next year - it has been great fun!

Monday, February 11, 2008

A MOUNTAIN TOP VIEW...aging continued.....

This was sent to me by my friend Jackie Smith.....how true it is!

A police car pulled up in front of an older woman's house, and her husband climbed out. The polite policeman explained that "this elderly gentleman" said that he was lost in the park and couldn't find his way home."How could it happen?" asked his wife. "You've been going to that park for over 30 years! How could you get lost?"Leaning close to her ear so that the policeman couldn't hear, he whispered, "I wasn't lost - I was just too tired to walk home." These bodies become less cooperative as we age. For some, work becomes less fun and fun becomes more work. One older friend commented, "I've reached the age where the warranty has expired on my remaining teeth and internal organs." But I like the spirit of Charles Marowitz. "Old age is like climbing amountain," he says. "The higher you get, the more tired and breathless you become. But your view becomes much more extensive." Atop the mountain, one has a better view of the world. One can see above the differences that divide people. One can better see beyond petty hurts and human fragility. Atop the mountain, one has a longer view of the past and can therefore understand the future with more clarity. Atop the mountain, one looks down on dark clouds of gloom and despair and fear and notices that they are neither as large nor as ominous as those beneath them would believe. It is also clearer that however dark they may appear, they too, are fleeting and will someday pass. George Bernard Shaw said, "Some are younger at seventy than most at seventeen." I think it is because they have a broader outlook. It will take a lifetime to climb the mountain, but, for me, the view will be worth the journey.-- Steve Goodier

I want to discuss hormones. I believe hormones are the key to quality old age. I know, there is a lot of controversy about this. So bear with me, and be forewarned! I'm very opinionated on this! ...and i tend to ramble on and go on sidetrips during my diatribes.
A huge study that came out several years ago indicated that hormone therapy treatment can lead to heart attacks and strokes. So women immediately were taken off of their hormones. But the study was flawed.....no one ever tells you that. They only used synthetic hormones....and no effort was made to balance the hormones according to what each woman was lacking. I have read a lot about this, including medical journals. I even got my doctor to acknowledge that bio identical hormones work differently than synthetic hormones - and that no study will be done because there is no money in it for the pharmaceutical companies. She also told me that because of that study most doctors have to recommend that most women do not take hormones, because if a woman took the hormones on the doctors recommendation , the doctor could be sued later if the woman had a heart attack.
I have 4 sisters and I am the only one taking hormones. I am the guinea pig, i say! But hey, I watched my mom have a quality of life with hormones and a lack of quality of life without them. When I first became peri menopausal, I had hot flashes 20-30- times a day. I was getting no sleep. I tried soy, cohosh, flax seed - you name it, i tried it. some "seemed" to help - then nothing helped. I was working a job and no way could i do my job and not get a good nights sleep. So my doctor recommended effexor - yes, effexor for hot flashes. Effexor is an anti depressant like prozac. I'd never had one before and I have to say - my hot flashes went away - totally - immediately.....and I felt good - nothing, I mean NOTHING bothered me. But when I finished the job I decided I didn't want to be on an antidepressant for hot flashes - it was just covering up the symptoms, not alleviating the source of the problem. (Aah- getting off of Effexor - that was a tough one)
ok I'm going to deviate a bit on the topic.......why should a woman take hormones? well to me, and this is just for me, we have certain "normal levels" of hormones in our bodies. All hormones sustain life - quality life. If you are lacking a major hormone, like insulin, it is immediately life threatening....no one balks about giving you proper amounts of insulin so you won't die. .. and it is BALANCED for each individual for optimum results. But minor hormones, like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone - the levels that are "appropriate" are based on how old you are, based on the average of the amount of that hormone that most women have at that age. If you're not ovulating and are only 30, then so and so is a normal level, when you ovulate certain levels go up, others down. But when you get to menopause, you stop ovulating altogether, and although your body continues to make small levels of the hormones for a while, the hormone levels in your body now drop to the "i'm not ovulating" levels, and this is considered normal for your age, FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE! Huh? Women used to die by the time they were 60 or 65 - but most don't anymore! But the same medical thinking applies to other hormones, like thyroid. It's supposed to be lower as you get old......... Does that mean these levels are ideal for continued quality of life? I THINK NOT! But that's what all the tests say. Hormone levels of next to nothing for estrogen after age 55 - that's pefectly normal. yeah right. who came up wth this? That's the right level because all 55yr olds have that level? This just my opinion, but I think this kind of hormone logic is pure bunk! ... in the garden, you "dead head " plants, because by removing the dead flowers the plant is prolonged into making more flowers and doesn't go to seed. Removing the dead flowers tricks the plant into making more plant hormones that keep the plant ...ALIVE! Lacking sex hormones may not kill you immediately, but it is the beginning of a slow death. Those hormones keep our muscles and skin and brain cells well oiled. ...Menopause is a "normal" part of life. But my mom had a hysterectomy at 36 and was put on hormones and she never went thru typical menopause. Menopause is "normal" because that is just the way IT IS....because that's the way IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN. But women are changing......the average age of menstruation, when I was a teenager, was 14. Now it's 11! ... (is that from fake hormones in milk?...oops, that's another discussion)
I've yet to find a doctor - gynocologist or endocrinologist - who is willing to bring my hormones to the same levels as when I was 30 (although I've read and /or gone to a few of those who said that was their specialty -there are a lot of whacko quackos out there) ......... and quite frankly I don't want my period back and it scares me to experiment that much. But I might try it if I could find a doctor who was willing to monitor me and teach me how to know when my levels were off and balance me and was legit.
I do know that the bio identical hormones I take - biest (estrogen in cream form) from a compounding pharmacy and prometrium (progesterone capsule) have helped my moods, my skin and my hot flashes. I believe they also keep my mind a bit sharper and they keep "dryness" at bay. But I take them basically on my own without much guidance - my doctors - past and present - have only prescribed them because I asked for them. They don't really believe in their usefulness and I find that i am much more well read and informed than they are. (heaven forbid I mention a book on bioidentical hormones written by Suzanne Somers -there goes my credibility!) So i can only say I'm "balancing" my hormones based on how I feel, not on facts. Sometimes if I'm under a lot of stress I take a little more or if I start to have more hotflashes I adjust the amount I am taking. But the amounts are so low they barely show up in lab tests. ....and I will add that all of my doctors have also said that once I reach age 60 I should probably go off of the hormones because I won't need them any more. Hah!
Men start to lose hormone levels too - but ever notice how most men look younger than women the same age? and how about men being fertile until they die? that is definitely not the same as women! Seems to me that medicine is ever changing and what is a fact today isn't tomorrow and then the next day it is "fact" again. They really don't know. How bizaare is that that in 2008 so few studies have been done on women about women?
.....so there you have it....everything you ever wanted to know about my opinion on hormones and me! .............and the great experiment continues.....

what do you think?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Things No One Ever Tells You About Getting Old.....

I have decided to do an in depth discussion on my feelings about aging. There are many many parts to this discussion. I hope to eventually cover exercise, skin, hormones, sex -all of it. There is so much that no one talks about and is not written anywhere. Especially for women...and there is soooo little research that has been done on it. I mean, it is 2008 and there are still no answers, no real info, and doctors are dishonest just in case their common sense advise proves wrong and they get sued for malpractice. Doctors would rather err on the accepted side of a controversy that use obvious experience and observation. I will be using myself as an example, and would value your input - so please comment away! I am learning here, too.....
Today I am mainly going to just talk about exercise...although I do ramble into other aspects.
But first a sort of "prelude", cuz that's where my thoughts have gone.....
Having lost my mother a year and a half ago really put aging and mortality into focus for me. I guess she's on my mind because her birthday is coming up - Feb 22nd. That combined with moving my 87 yr old father has brought this topic to center front again for me. I thought about it occasionally before then, but as long as mom was still around, I could still be a little girl. I could fight with my sisters and she would mend the fences, I could call her anytime and tell her my boring and absurd fears or problems and she would listen and tireslessly advise. She would come and visit and take care of me or my family at the drop of a hat. Sheesh - she even came with me as a "nanny" for my boys for 3 months when I went to work in Boston! (boy was that fun!) She was obviously immortal and thus....... so was I. When she was well, before she got sick, I asked her about aging. (Actually, I alsways asked elderly relatives about getting old - as a child I was very curious - but more on that later).
OK. the truth. Aging is inevitable. No where have I found a book that tells me what those white spots are, how come there are hairs on my eyelids., where did those little skin "tags" come from. ...etc. etc. Even the doctors I've gone to have very vague answers. I may feel like I'm 20 (in my mind, that is) but my body knows better. Things ache when I use them. I have a longer recovery time when i work hard. I need more sleep but seem to be getting less.,,,And my brain function is anything anything but sharp as a tack. At least it feels that way sometimes. (I don't know, maybe I was just as scattered when I was younger - LOL-others tell me I was) - but now I notice it. Aging is something I have thought about for a long time. I have read close to every book on the subject - Lee, Northrup, Somers, Posner, Wright, etc ad nauseum. But I am not quoting books here. I am commenting on my own personal observations about ME and my relatives and friends. But mostly ME. Parts of books are interesting, but there is so much controversy and so many theories between books that after reading I am once again left with the truth that there are simply no facts, and no answers. At this point I have to take the parts in books that seem to apply to me and try them out, experiment. I personally am convinced the key here is hormones. But that is a HUGE topic for me, HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and its controversy and all that. I'll cover that topic another day..... maybe tomorrow.
OK. back to exercise. After age 40 give or take a few years, muscle mass starts to turn to fat ( READ: chunky pitted cellulite) whether you like it or not. Exercise can help stave this off tremendously - but we're not talking about the regular exercise you did in your 30's that kept you strong and shapely, we're talking aerobics 5 days a week and a weight work out for over an hour 3-4 times a week. Work- we're talking about real work here! And here's the real kicker - if you undertake a really active work out, like I did, in my late 40's early 50's, when you stop - like I did - for just 8 weeks......all of that muscle mass turns to fat fat fat- jiggly gross fat and cellulite . ....and that old exercise routine just doesn't cut it anymore to get it back to muscle. and now you've stretched skin that has lost it's elasticity and doesn't bounce back taut, so you have sagging knees? yuck! ....I can lightly pull the top of my thigh and presto! the cellulite seems to disappear.... would that be a thigh lift? same thing on my arms, my face, my butt! (I can't believe how much my jaws have "fallen" in the last year....) I thought - I'll exercise more and harder. But it doesn't seem to work like it did before. ...and I had to be careful or I'd pull a muscle easier. ..and it was tiring...and it was boring and I just don't feel like doing it! I no longer can go on a that favorite fast diet and lose those extra 5 lbs that turned to 10 that turned to 15. My bodies simply doesn't metabolize and work the same as it did before. No one ever ever mentioned to me that I would need to INCREASE my exercise as I got older...and from my experience even this is no guaranty you will even begin to maintain your body muscle and tautness. I'm sure it's from the change in hormones that wreak havok with my mood, my energy, my skin, my mind!....my ability to maintain muscle. My childbearing days our over, and like a plant, I am going to seed!........and eventually that means I am going ...to....die.
Several years ago Jamie Lee Curtis, the actress, did a photo spread in Vanity Fair where she showed her body as it was. It was a very brave and vulnerable thing to do. Up to this point she had been an active exerciser and her body was always in super taut shape. But after she turned 50, her priorities changed....as have mine. She didn't want to spend hours exercising everyday when she could spend time with her family, her hobbies, her work. In my case it was spending time with my art. And so she stopped. She continued to do enough exercise to keep her heart and bones strong, but she gave up on carving out a perfect body. ....and her body became rounder, softer.
It has taken me a while to come to grips with all of these changes. The floppy crepey skin everywhere really appalls me. Oh well. Yes, I do accept the changes of aging. I've never had a perfect body, never stressed about having one. My body weight has always varied, and I have dieted off and on. But my skin was always pretty taut, the floppy fat not too bad. But things have changed. Not just the "it's harder to lose weight" thing. .... all of a sudden everything has "dropped"....and I am not doing anything different. Should I? I mean maybe I should - just for the experiment of it! I have searched and searched for pictures of elderly women who are in shape. I've found some Jack Lalane type men, but no women. Is it possible for any woman to keep good muscle mass after age 55? and if she is in good shape, does she still have crepey skin? and do the women who are taking hormones have better musclemass? I do know that my mother took high doses of estrogen (no progesterone, premarin only) until she was 79, whereupon she got breast cancer and they took her off the estrogen. Within 3 months my sexually active, tight skinned, robust and active happy mother turned into a dried up depressed no interest in sex and confused, very very old woman. Did you know that if you were to lie in bed for a month (or is it 2 weeks? anyway, it's not a long time!) you would lose 25% of your muscle mass? That's a lot of muscle!
Exercise makes me feel good. It keeps my bones strong, it gives me flexibilty, it gives me stamina. And it really elevates my mood. So I think it is important. It is the INTENSITY of that exercise that I am questioning here. Is it worth it? Am I using this as an excuse to be lazy? To relax? Are there any studies on it? How different can exercise change the appearance of the elderly body? What do you think? How are you dealing with aging? What bugs you the most? What are your results - pro or con?
Please do not think I am obsessed by this. I am not. My body right now is a bit overweight and out of shape. I haven't exercised in over a month. For my own personal well being and state of mind I need to get back to my routine. But I've just been thinking about it alot and I think it is a topic that is never covered totally honestly. It's not just about vanity. It is so much than that.
As I type this my DH just took a picture of me. My nose is drooping. MY NOSE! My cute naturally tiny little nose - now the tip is...droopey. Gross!

Friday, February 08, 2008

UHU Review

This is a more in depth review of UHU 2 part epoxy. I used the epoxy to hold the bails on my pendants. I used the epoxy on my first glass pendants back on Nov. 28th. Yesterday i pulled on one of these bails and it came off easily. But this is not the epoxy's fault.... my BAIL i had made was inferior and the receiving glass had not been sanded to allow a proper receiving edge, as in the instructions. (lesson - DO NOT CUT CORNERS!) I had made bails out of pmc paper. This time I used aanraku ready made bails that were much heavier and also had a well to hold the glue. I roughed up the back of the glass where the bail was to go with a bit of sand paper. i also CAREFULLY measured the proportions of the 2 part epoxy. I applied the epoxy thickly and clamped the bail to the pendant with a small paper clamp. I cleaned up excess wet epoxy with nail polish remover. I allowed this to dry for 24 hrs. After unclamping the next day, the pendants were very stinky. After three days, the epoxy smell was gone! Three weeks later I pulled on a bail HARD and it would not come off. If you would like to receive full size samples of UHU adhesives, please follow this link! http://www.mariafilosa.com/
I don't usually use any glue to hold my glass/metal componets together, so this was quite an experiment for me. I gave 2 of the pendants to my sisters, who are actively wearing them so if the bails have any problems I will have the feedback. So far, so good! UHU 2 part epoxy was simple to use and appears quite strong!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Aaaack. I was away helping move my dad into a retirement village and I lost internet access. I didn't realize I would be without it, so i wasn't able to let you know in advance that new posts would not be forthcoming. I was really enjoying posting "Gratitude for a Month", and Lord knows I have plenty to be grateful for, but now that i am back online....I'm just not in the mood. How pathetic is that? I'm tired and crabby and totally beaten up ...my frame of mind, that is.
OK, on to something a bit more cheery.

These are pics of the finished glass pendants I was making for the pendant swap. These are the new and improved ones. Yeah! I finally posted them! I made a few extras, so.......
I love the One World, One Heart event that I read about on Angie and the Kelly and then Shirley's blogs, so I thought I would do it too. Go to this link to read all about it and either sign up to have your own drawing and/or get links other blogs you can check out and maybe win there too!: http://oneworldevent.blogspot.com/2008/01/this-years-event-information.html
All you have to do is comment to this post and on Feb. 14th I will have a drawing for one of the pendants. Please do not comment anonymously, because it is too hard to track you down to get your address if you are the winner. But if you do, you'll have 3 days to send me your info or I'll pick a new winner! Good luck!

Moving My Dad... VERY LONG! ...and no pics...what kind of bonehead takes no pictures?

OK. This is a whine session. Read at your own risk.

Moving my dad to a retirement village was an exhausting experience - both physically and emotionally. I thought I would just show up, pack his personal belongings, call the movers and move him. But it was so much more than that. He is 87 years old and the move was his idea. Originally he was getting all new furniture, except for his bedroom set - but he changed his mind and cancelled the furniture delivery before he moved, so the move became a lot more work. He had said he didn't want to bring his old equipment etc, but at the last minute he wanted to take everything - including tons of sentimental "junk". So we packed it all up and let the movers move it all. Poor dad! He had a stroke about 6 years ago and walks slowly with a cane and needs to sit a lot and the movers moved all the furniture and he had to be banished to an old sofa. Of course, I never thought to arrange for him to stay with one of my sisters so that he wouldn't be there, underfoot, as we tried to pack him up and then set up his new apartment. It would have been terrific for him to have just been brought to his new apartment with all of the "bugs" already worked out. Oh, did I mention he has hearing aids and even with them on is almost completely deaf? You have to be sure he is looking at you and sort of yell, and he still gets the communication wrong. Very frustrating for him and others. So moving was excruciating for dad. He seemed to have no concept of time and everything was taking too long. He tried to help and it was all we could do to be understanding and patient. Exasperating is a word that comes to mind.
Anyway, my dad moved to Fairfield, Ca, to "Paradise Valley Estates" - a retirement village for retired military officers and their spouses. The average age here is 80. The complex has homes, apartments, assisted living apatments and full care facilities. I had never seen anything like this! There is a gym, a 24hr a day staffed wellness and health center, a pool, gated staffed security gate, tons of organized clubs and outings. They have emergency pull cords everywhere, they wear those emergency alert pendants in case of an accident and they are required to press a flashing button before noon everyday or else security comes to check on them and make sure they are all right. They provide transportation to doctor appointments and shopping, Travis Air Force base as well as plays, the opera, etc. It is a HUGE place - lots of staff, full maintenance crew to help out and no tipping allowed. The main dining room is a 5 star restaurant with wait staff, full menu and incredible gourmet food. there's also a cafe with home cooked style meals and a "lounge". A theatre, meeting rooms....it goes on and on. You can walk to the main complex or be picked up by bus. And it is beautifully maintained to boot!I wish my dad had moved there when my mother was alive...she would have loved it! As one resident told me "no one ever leaves here willingly".
So the move, although chaotic, went fine. My dad has a 5 foot 700 lb safe that was stuffed with his coin collection and papers, old pics etc. The movers were to move the safe too, so I had to empty it. B ut dad couldn't exactly remember how to open it. We had the combination, but not the turning sequence. After many many tries and a call to the safe company we finally got it open. As it turned out, the safe was bolted down and the bolts had to be cut to move it, so they couldn't move it, so I had to RELOAD all of the items back into the safe to keep them safe. Then we had to arrange for the safe company to come and move it and reinstall it the following Monday. Unload, reload, unload, reload. Unpacking everything after the move and reconnecting computers, TV's, phones, etc was a nightmare - especially since we didn't bring his old ugly heavy desk - it was too big for his new apartment - and had to buy a new one, which meant we couldn't set up his beloved "office" right away. My sister Gina came down from Washington to help me - we hadn't realized how much help my dad would need once he moved in. YEAH GINA! The telephone connections didn't work, the safety handlebars in the bathroom were set at the wrong angles for him, he needed a new handicapped "higher" toilet installed, his parking spot did not allow for him to open his drivers side door all the way to get out of the car(yes-he still drives- he actually passed the driving part of the license renewal test), his storage area was on the 2nd floor, he needed to be taught how to use the new appliances in the apartment, the kitchen floor was too slippery for him, he had to be shown over and over again where eveything was in his apartment as well as in the complex itself. He needed everything to be virtually the same set up he had had for 20 years at the old house - heaven forbid he had to sleep on "mom's side" of the bed....so his bedroom set had to be reversed after it had been set up by the movers-he didn't realize the set up he chose put him on the wrong side to get to the bathroom quickly (we're talking a huge heavy Calif king bed, 3 matching 7 ft bookcases, a dresser with 2 mirrors, a chair and a large standing dresser) This also meant the cable for the TV as well as the telephone jack was on the wrong side of the room, and nothing could be connected until we had bought 40 foot cables to accommodate the change. Now my dad lives for his TV, so being TV less for a day did not sit well -OH NO! no "Wheel of Fortune". We hadn't found a new desk for him, and so his office wasn't set up yet and tus he didn't have everhything handy to pay his bills and make his phone calls....and all of this disoriented him terribly. All those little things and adjustments that are no big deal to you and me but are huge in the eyes of the elderly. He was miserable. He had lost his routine and was confused. We just didn't realize how difficult all of this change would be on him. My sister found him in his new walk-in closet .....crying ..... he didn't think he would fit in and he missed his old friends and all of the "new" was overwhelming to him. Where would he go if he didn't like it here? On that 1st saturday after moving my sister Lori and my brother Al came up to help out. Lori spent the night and helped empty boxes and set up dad's clothes in his dresser organize his belongings. Thank you thank you Lori! (and Al!)
....and to think, we all thought we could move him one day, spend a day or two with him to get him acquainted with his new surroundings, and then leave. HAH! WHAT WERE WE THINKING?
Dad bought a new computer since his was an obsolete, slow, awful 1999 model.... my brother-in- law Mark tried to set it up (thank you God, for St. Mark) but the stupid computer, right out of the box, did not work! He worked with Compaq customer service, but it turns out it had a harddrive problem, so we took it back. In between all of this, we had to find new doctors and take him to meet them , show him where banks, stores, etc, were and buy him a new wardrobe. The restaurant at "Paradise Valley Estates" requires you to dress up for dinner. We bought him new underewear, new tee shirts, dinner jackets, shirts, dress pants and dress jackets. They didn't fit. He is not the size he says he is. So we took everything back and had him try everything on. He did look gorgeous though when we were done. We'd also forgotten all of the basics he would need when one sets up a new apartment - new wastebaskets, drinking glasses, dishes, hampers, new linens, bathroom rugs, etc. ...and what about basics like, uh, putting in for change of address with banks, credit cards, utilities, etc. ...all things we'd forgotten to take care of in advance!
It was not fun. Too much to do, too little time. When the new desk arrived I tried to put it together. Hah! What a joke! All I had was a regular screwdriver. Was I crazy? I got as far as 2 screws and then paid 2 men who took 4 hrs with power tools to put it together. We never got all of his framed pictures put up - he had about 40 to go all over his office. (Next time we visited, we promised).
On the following saturday my sister Gina had to go home (she'd been there 10 days!), so we went over everything one last time with dad and my brother Al came to spend the day with him while my sister and I went back to the old house where my son had arrived with his truck and a friend to pack up a bedroom set. We took my sister to the airport and then i bought 2 small bookcases for his office to put more of his papers and equipment on and I also bought a longer printer cable, and a telephone splitter cable. We then drove back to my dad's new apt in Fairfield (45 miles) and Sky and his friend assembled the book cases for me and I was able to get his computer, fax, printer and and telephone line up and running ...ME....Electronically challenged ME! It was pouring rain and I was so tired and grateful for Sky to be doing all the driving. Oh - did I mention it rained EVERY day I was in there, including move day?
We said our goodbyes to my dad and Sky, his friend and I went back to the old house and began cleaning it and packing up the stuff my dad didn't take with him. Tons of old papers, momentos, pictures and knick knacks - all of those priceless things not really of any value to anyone except those who knew where the object came from and the memories behind them. It was very very difficult to make the decisions of what to box up and what to keep. I had a 6:45 am flight to come home on monday morning and the real estate agent had arranged for painters to paint the inside of the house after I left, and it was a DISASTER from all the moving. I had hoped to get back to the old house on Thursday, but my dad was so needy it just didn't turn out that way. On Sunday my youngest sister Teresa came over with her son and her fiancee and they all slaved away helping empty my moms china cabinet, etc so that the furniture my dad couldn't fit would be empty when the painters had to move it around so they could paint. Again, thank you God for all of her help! When the shuttle came to pick me up a 4:30 am the next morning, the house was finally back in order - mopped, scrubbed, vacuumed and packed.

So it is done. We hadn't intended to have to pack up so much after dad moved, but I guess it is all good because when the house sells there will be a lot less to do and empty. It was a grueling experience and I wish we had thought it out more and planned for it better. But hindsight is always....20/20. When I talked to Dad he had attended a reception held in his honor to introduce him his neighbors. ..... he had a blast! (not only that, on a previous night he went to dinner with his old friend Clete, who also lives in the compound, and 2 "ladies" - one "very pretty" - had sat down and joined them for dinner) ....

whew! this may just work out..........