Wednesday, May 28, 2008

After a very emotional week I am starting to breath again with a more relaxed rhythm
Told a friend that I wanted things normal again when all I had to worry about was coping with Alzheimer. My friend thought I was loony.

We still do not have the final resting place in order for my daughter in law.
Cremating and sending to a different state seems to be taking time.
I thought this talk about "closure" was bananas but right now we need closure.
All of us do.

So here I am getting again on my soap box.
Please if you read this , listen, no matter how young or old you are, if you are an adult for
heavens sake write down what you would like to be done in case you are no longer here
and can't have a voice in how you want to be buried, and what you want to be done
with what you leave.
Be it about the future of your children.
About your assets even if all you have is a pair of walking shoes.
Your dog , your cat and the vase from Aunt Mabel.
Please , please, make a will, write a will, write down all you think the people left behind should know.
I have been in the estate business for 3 decades, handled dozens of estate sales for lawyers and even the court system.
In all my years I only found one family who did not argue about anything.
One family among dozens.
You may not think anyone would want the old pair of walking shoes but think again as one or two will show up and say "I need to have this for a souvenir of him/her" and the second one will say I am older by one day and should be in line first to get the smelly shoe.
Funny? Do not kid yourself, I have seen battles involving third and fourth cousins who showed up out of nowhere.
Pick a lawyer with better care than you would pick your plastic surgeon, believe me, there are so many crooks out there. I have seen them manage to dwindle down your jewelry collection till all is left is something you bought at Woolworth the dime store.
If you do anything for your future then please bring your affairs in order now and all will be done the way you would like it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Santa Cruz Mountains in trouble

The week has gone by like in a fog.
I did not work until today and was lucky that I could still add figures without
messing up.
The reality of our loss has yet to hit us.
We function to a certain degree.
Make pancakes, walk the dogs, plant some more lobelias and sit in a chair outside just staring at birds and squirrels not really thinking.
I forget about the work needed inside the house.
I forget to write that important insurance check.
I just think about how the people in my life are leaving.
But a young person's loss seems so much harder to take.

Had a call from Santa Cruz, my Paradise from the late sixties, the Santa Cruz Mountains are on fire. I lived there 7 years and how I loved the small villages, Boulder Creek,
Ben Lomond, Brookdale ................
Of all the decades that I lived in the US that part of the world is paradise.
I no longer have my friends there, Mary, Kathy, Georgina, April, all gone to a better place,
two of them had breast cancer.
Where has the time gone when we walked along Highway 9 from village to village.
The house we lived in had been eaten up by fire 3 decades ago and now the mountains
are being eaten up by fire. I think there still is only one road out of there and that is 9
to Felton.
No one to call anymore "Hey are you ok?"
How many of the gorgeous red wood trees will be gone and when will nature take over again and sprout some new ones.?
I do not think I ever worried about a fire back then but had my share of fear of the earth quakes. The slightest rumble made the dishes rattle and before I knew which way to get out of the house it would be over. St Andreas vault.
I dont think I will get back there again.
Paradise has changed , you need to be very wealthy to afford to live there.

Now I wish I could get some sleep, I work this week end but look forward to a flower festival in town. Lets see what plant I absolutely need and a MUST HAVE.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A bad time for us

There is no getting around to loss of a friend which happened a few months ago.
It lingers and lingers, you think of what he had said at a certain time,
you remember funny times and sad times and you feel like you should
get in touch this very minute but ..................he is not longer with us.

So, two days ago, it struck us much closer.
My 32 year old daughter in law , left us , unexpectedly.
Leaving behind a 9 year old and a husband with a broken heart.
Mother and Father having only one child having to face their loneliness

We are all in a shock state.
I keep thinking there is a mistake, someone made a mistake.
She was with us just a couple of days before and she had
to return to Texas where her child goes to a special school.

Funeral arrangements were done today.
Phone calls on 2 phones are going non stop.
She had a master degree in psychology and her specialty was
about children with major problems.
The calls come to us from the many, many parents she had helped.
The nights she stayed with them when a child was sick.
The times she took a baby who was so beaten that she hardly had a
brain left and cared for her and the foster mother for years and years.
We had planned a very low key graveside family funeral but we
had nothing but calls and people telling us:
"do not leave us out, we want to be there, we want to say goodbye to her"
I think in her short life she has done so much good and she became
an advocate for the mentally challenged , went to Raleigh to fight for them.
I think for a long time to come we are going to think about her.
No doubt she is hanging around the angels and may even earn some wings
for herself. Watch out Angels she had a penchant for silver and she may
want silver wings.
Good night girl, you are missed.

Friday, May 16, 2008

On my soap box

I was answering some question on the WOW.COM about Alzheimer and the cost of it.
Some unknown person answered me that my husband AND I could possibly be eligible
for a pension from the VA.
Now we have been to the VA several times and I spoke to a social worker several times,
all what was offered us are a couple of mornings in a program for A but 20 miles away from us.
Since I do not drive this is not much of a solution.
I was dumbfounded that someone suggestion a pension.
I thought this to be impossible.
Went to the site
Indeed there it was in black and white.
Not only does my husband qualify for a pension due to his service in WW2 but so would I
should he pass on.
I had to read it all several times to believe it.
He was eligible when he turned 65 , that is almost 17 years ago.
The VA does not try to make this a priority in fact a lot of politics involved to
seemingly keep it quiet. (according to the site and others I now have been reading)
Not only that, there are companies who go around telling senior groups of this
pension but then charge as much as 1200 $ to do the paper work.
It took me 1 hour to do the paperwork and probably 2 hours to dig up
marriage certificate and his discharge papers.
Mailed it all priority mail the next day.

There are abour 24% of vets who are now taking advantage of this program,
there is additional pensions for your medical expenses or for your spouse's
medical expenses.
I read some getting as little as 96.00 a month and as much as 1200.00 a month
depending on your income and circumstances.
Nothing has to be service related such as a disease.

I wrote about this in Yahoo Question and Answers and 5 people wrote me back within an hour and said they too qualified and had never heard about it. They were elated.
So I am doing my best to let every one know. will make a difference for us, if you are a vet from whatever war and have a honorable discharge then do check it out.
I will keep you up to date with this.

Time expected before we get anything is 4 to 6 months and someone told me 1 year.
HOWEVER the benefits will start from the day the VA receives your application.

Here in part taken from the site:


The Veterans' Administration offers a Special Pension with Aid and Attendance (A&A) benefit that is largely unknown. This Special Pension (part of the VA Improved Pension program) allows for Veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in eating, bathing, dressing, undressing or taking care of the needs of nature to receive additional monetary benefits. It also includes individuals who are blind or a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity. Assisted care in an assisted living facility also qualifies.

This most important benefit is overlooked by many families with Veterans or surviving spouses who need additional monies to help care for ailing parents or loved ones. This is a "pension benefit" and is not dependent upon service-related injuries for compensation. Most Veterans who are in need of assistance qualify for this pension. Aid and Attendance can help pay for care in the home, nursing home or assisted living facility. A Veteran is eligible for up to $1,519 per month, while a surviving spouse is eligible for up to $976 per month. A couple is eligible for up to $1,801 per month*.

The Aid and Attendance Benefit is considered to be the third tier of a VA program called Improved Pension. The other two tiers are Basic and Housebound. Each tier has its own level of benefits and qualifications. While the objective of this site is to disseminate information about the Aid and Attendance Benefit, we urge you to read an important document prepared by the American Veterans Institute that clearly explains the Improved Pension program, its levels of benefits and the qualifications for each. If you or your loved one does not qualify for Aid and Attendance, you may want to check to see if you qualify for another level of the Pension.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Garden time

I have been busy , hence, no new messages.
Old Bob doing pretty much the same.
Young Bob stuck with a near deaf mother so has to repeat all the time
and a father who does not know him.
Life is not easy for him right now.
As for myself I am hanging on to the job but it is with less and less hours.
Which is fine one way or the other, gives me time to work in the garden.
I am having things pop up and surprise me.
Old Bob had planted some grapes when he was still feeling half way decent.
He planted 4 and 1 survived and to mu surprise today I see oodles and oodles
of grapes growing on the vine. How neat!!!!
I did not think we would get fruit on them , I thought the plant would look nice
on the arbor , but here they were tiny little grapes.
The cherry tree has 4x what we used to have, I am guessing that draught agrees
with this tree. The trick will be to keep them on there, last year Bob went nuts
and picked all the green cherries and put them in the fridge to ripen.
He was lucky to be alive that evening.
I voted yesterday for Hillary Clinton, I saw her in person last Friday.
But NC did not give her the vote she needed.
I did my duty.
Tired of the hoopla , we will vote Democrat in November to the winner of this
race. I just do not want to hear about it anymore.