Monday, June 29, 2015

A Place for Everything--ALMOST!

I only took one small old TV from Plant City and it is now in my bedroom for watching old video cassettes (which have been downsized considerably after my husband died). I moved in on Wednesday and by Friday I had purchased a 32 inch  "smart" TV and enlisted Comcast to be my cable/internet provider.
The wall unit you see was from a church rummage sale years ago and is only now being used as it was once used by the original owner who built it. I had Pharis drill holes in the back so the chords would not be seen. In addition to the TV, this wall unit has my boombox and DVD player. The bottom cabinets contain movies, and music and other items. The top has lamps that used to be on the fireplace mantel in Plant City. In Plant City the cabinets flanked the walls going from the living room into the family room.

Plant City After Sectional Sold
You see one of those cabinets and barely you can make out the couch that has moved all over the country. It cost $30 from the Salvation Army in California and both of my late husbands have teased me about the $600 I paid to have it reupholstered. Every time it is moved a leg comes off, but not if you leave it alone.

After three visits from Comcast, I finally am able to use my computer A WEEK AND A HALF LATER and make this blog post with pictures. Here is the second bedroom I call my den. The bathroom off of it is used for storage of fabric and craft supplies and sometimes Ziggy likes the tiled floor while I am on my computer at the left.

My late husband knew how to do things in the carpentry field. Now there were items that needed to be secured to the wall by the white thing you put into the wall and the screw to put in that white thing. It turns out, according to Home Depot, that these are called "Anchor Screws".  This could have been a huge grief issue for me, remembering all my late husband could do. My sister-in-law knew how to do it and also to set up my DVD player in the living room and my VCR with the old small TV in the bedroom, not for cable but for viewing videos. Here is a high shelf she put on my kitchen wall by the back door; that shelf used to be in the guest bedroom in Plant City.

Note that I was able to bring my upright freezer from my Plant City utility room and my tall pub table from the Plant City den. My sister-in-law  also helped me as a senior citizen (I turned 71 last week), hang curtains as I didn't want to do this alone and fall and break a hip. I did not have to buy any curtains. The curtains over the kitchen sink used to hang in two small windows on both sides of the fireplace in our Plant City home.

 I know it looks crowded, folks.

So love to look outside
from the kitchen sink

I asked my family what they one day wanted to inherit of my things. They said Swedish things. So with the exception of the  my bedroom and the bathrooms, the rest of this apartment has Swedish items.

In Swedish--"Small words of love spoken every day
spread over your life sunshine and happiness."
This Swedish display in the living room will change at Christmas.

Two Scandinavian Items
in Dining Room

The dining room is spacious and I can have the leaf of the table in it. I look forward to entertaining.

One day Ziggy and I walked up to the apartment office to report a minor plumbing problem. On our way back we met a dog and her owner and chatted. By the time Ziggy and I were back at the apartment, the plumbing problem was solved and with a note that someone had been in the apartment. The repairman had entered the front door and Ziggy and I were on the trail in the back and didn't see someone come.

My bedroom is cozy and I now use a double bed for Ziggy and me. The single bed I left in Plant City for Pharis. Pharis is also getting several other items that he can use. Pharis and others are maintaining the yard until the sale of the house is final.

Ziggy on "our" bed
The bathroom I and guests use is off of this bedroom and both that bathroom floor and the kitchen floor are wooden. Books need to be put away on the shelves in the picture. Alas! I have too many clothes which are on a rack out of the closet. Clothes need to be downsized, and I have two extra lamps.

The apartment complex has 500 units over several acres and I am so happy I got a downstairs apartment. I share a foyer in front and a foyer by the kitchen with three other apartments, two of which are upstairs. Our mail is delivered to the front foyer.  I did buy this wicker chair for my front porch at a yard sale on Saturday as I had gotten rid of all outside furniture in Plant City.  Have a camping chair to bring out if someone comes by to chat.

Hope you will chat by leaving a comment and by "liking" my blog on Facebook at the top right. I am always putting tidbits on that Facebook LIKE page from my iPhone. In July I will start working on the caregiving dissertation.

See my poem/rap "Longing to Chat on the Front Porch With You" that was first published in my book HERE. Chat by leaving a comment below. 


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Getting Settled in the New Apartment

Printer's Drawer for Small Items

I carefully put these small items in envelopes by rows. This had been in the large den in Plant City.  

Now it will go in a corner of the new second bedroom I call my den.

Meanwhile I can post easier from this iPhone 6 than from my computer with my new Internet/cable provider Comcast / Xfinity and it is harder to get pictures on this post. 

What is it like as a 70 year old widow to move? 

* Exhausting! Exhilarating! 

*  In contrast to my church Deacons and members who loaded the van in Plant City, my retired rocket scientist brother hired three young men to unload the van. My new Huntsville friend, L. J., directed these young men where to put the numbered furniture. 

*  My wonderful brother and sister-in-law have helped me unpack. My brother carried many boxes out to the apartment dumpster. This prompted a sign at the back foyer that out of courtesy to others those boxes should be flattened and I wrote OK on that sign. I am slowly unpacking those boxes. 

*  I will remain a member of my FL church for quite some time as my pastor there will be overseeing my seminary counseling dissertation on dementia caregiving from a biblical perspective.   I will listen to his sermons on podcasts. But Sunday at the church I visited I did arrange to have lunch with two other widows later in the month. Also I took note of prayer requests and called J. E. who has Hospice at her home for her husband. Next Sunday I will worship at a different church.

*  Downsizing is such a great idea for a widow. Now my closest family will not have to go to Plant City to put me in a nursing home and sell my house. And I was able to let my late husband live there all his days which was his wish thanks to Hospice.

*  On Saturday at Weight Watchers here in Huntsville I weighed 40 lbs. less than I did at the beginning of 2012. That year I had lost 25 pounds. Then I basically took a caregiving break and gained 10 of those pounds back. However, since my husband's death last June 23, 2014, I have slowly lost 25 pounds. So the total is now 40 lbs. It is great to be able to fit in clothes I couldn't wear for a while. However I still have to unpack my clothes.

*  How is my dog Ziggy doing? He is adjusting fairly well. He is meeting new dogs and noticing rabbits on his walks. Last night in the cool of the evening Ziggy on a leash, my sister-in-law and I took a lovely walk in the neighborhood outside of the apartment complex. 

*  Saturday my sister-in-law,  her three grandkids and I went to the complex pool after I served them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. I discovered that one of them likes only jelly sandwiches, one likes only peanut butter sandwiches, and the third one likes actual peanut butter AND jelly sandwiches. 

So long from Rocket City! 

P. S. This was edited later in the day on my computer when the Internet worked better.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Downsizing to a U-Haul

Roberto at Lakeland's U-Haul
Roberto thought I was a spry senior citizen and not an old fogie because I used an iPhone and had a blog. Little did he know. The U-Haul office was not busy and so I showed him just how spry this senior citizen is--I rapped for him while I reserved a U-Haul.

Now Roberto promised that I would receive a confirmation earlier in the week--found out later it was supposed to be on Wednesday.

Lots on my plate--downsizing and moving to live by family. Months before I cling to Romans 12:12:
  • Hope
  • Patience and endurance with downsizing
  • Constant prayer
Two weeks before I realize I have to focus on one day at a time (and not everything I had to do) and Matthew 6:34 from New Living Translation helps:
So don’t worry about tomorrow, 
for tomorrow will bring its own worries.
Today’s trouble is enough for today.
The house is sold and not longer do I have to maintain it to show. The boxes multiply as I use many days to substitute teach and free time at home to pack.

June 1, my last day substituting, is very special at Tomlin Middle and of course I rap at the end of every class and tell the students who didn't know all about my YouTube legacy of raps. See HERE.

Tuesday through Friday at least four hours per day my friends Sally and Jake come over and help me pack.  Sally would call Jake over to help her seal each box and he would bring those heavy boxes to the proper place. Sally packs breakables with newspapers into my recycled boxes. Sectioned liquor boxes from Walmart and The Winery in Plant City are so helpful with those breakable items. Gradually clothes get packed into large tubs for "seasonal clothes". Summer clothes go in huge boxes to make wrinkles I will deal with at the other end of the move. My winter coats, two mirrors and other items are already in Huntsville at my brother's house.

Friday Panic.  Friday is the day before the volunteers are coming to pack the van. I call Kerry from my church and tell her of my panic and also health news on Kenny. She puts out an email prayer request for the church. She also mentions the virtues of a 24 foot U-Haul instead of a 20 foot one I am supposed to get. I asked "Surrey" on my iPhone to call U-Haul on Florida Avenue in Lakeland, thinking I would get Roberto. I have not received a confirmation call! Where in Plant City do I pick up the U-Haul?

Instead I get Greg at another U-Haul at another Florida Avenue U-Haul location. Greg who sees my reservation on line, is able to switch my reservation to a 24 foot U-Haul. It wouldn't be delivered to Plant City as Roberto had promised, but I could get it that very night for the same price instead of the Saturday morning 20 foot U-Haul. I call Kerry with the good news and she enlists her husband Dave to go with me to get the van at 6:30 pm. Their son, Sam, always my buddy, comes along for the ride. Dave skillfully puts the van by my garage.  I am so glad he figures out where to put that van. I wasn't sure if it should be by the front door or not.

Back to earlier on Friday.  After those important phone calls Friday morning, I go to Bank of America to see Lisa, "my personal banker" I wrote about HERE. I had arranged my 10 am appointment on line and we close my checking account. (Huntsville doesn't have a Bank of America.) Then I go to my dentist for a gum treatment to save me from false teeth. The hygienist reminds me about water picks and flossing--two items I had neglected during the last two hectic caregiving years. On my way home I stop at Staples to turn in printer and copier cartridges to recycle. I happen to see seven small plastic containers on sale for $7 and I purchase them to replace my wicker baskets in the bathroom. See HERE. Those containers are efficient for first aid, etc., and can easily go into a box ready for my new bathroom and take less space than my baskets take were I to pack them.

Sure enough, when I start to pack up the bathroom, I find that water pick and plan to use it in Huntsville. Friday afternoon Sally picks up Jake at the senior center. Then Sally helps me sort through my fabric,  while Jake helps box things up again. I can donate maybe 40% of the fabric for the quilting group at Sally's church where I also went to Grief & Share.  See HERE.

Saturday morning. Kenny gets out of the hospital Friday night and Saturday morning he stops by to see his friends from church. He is too weak to help. He has lost blood and will undergo tests to discover why next week. See HERE. Newly installed Deacons JP and Kevin pray very special prayers for him. Pray for Kenny, folks. 

From 10:30 to 3:00 pm four strong men (Jason, Dave, JP, Kevin), resourceful Amanda, and six energetic youth packed the van. They start with the upright freezer, take a utility room door off, and move it with  a rented U-Haul appliance dolly; this freezer will fit in my eat-in-kitchen in my Huntsville apartment. Next comes my antique couch, reupholstered in the late '70s with the leg that keeps coming off when you move it. In the van they put pillows between four machines on the seats of that couch: small TV, microwave, printer, and copier. Boxes of books are interspersed among numbered furniture items. Those numbers will help placement of furniture at the other end. China and other items marked FRAGILE were put on top of boxes and furniture. All boxes have the name of the room where they should land in the new apartment.

Dog Ziggy. Yes, that is dog Ziggy on my lap in the picture above. You wonder what the canine has been thinking, but he has been staying by my side. Saturday night and Sunday night we get to sleep together in that single bed I got to sleep by the hospital bed. Pharis will get that bed and other items left behind.

Tomorrow morning (Monday) I will pick up my Huntsville brother in Orlando and bring him to that van. We will take Monday and Tuesday to drive to Huntsville with Ziggy and I following in my car. Ziggy has already seen his bed and cage in the back seat of the car. The third seat area and trunk area has miscellaneous items.

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