take care cher

A single woman's journey as a caregiver to an elderly parent, 5 dogs, a house….and most importantly myself

The Money Pit Revisited

I know everyone doesn’t live in the house they grew up in, but I do, and the older the house gets, the more things pop-up that have to be dealt with. Many of you out there live in older homes though, so this all applies.  I feel like I’m going to be paying for the repairs and upkeep that I’ve had to do in the last year for the rest of my life.  My situation has begun to remind me of the hilarious Tom Hanks movie “The Money Pit”, where he and his girlfriend beg, borrow and steal to buy what they think is the home of their dreams, only to find it crumbling under their feet the minute the check clears.  I don’t have contractors with “I’ve Gotta Be Me” blaring on their stereo as they tear out of my driveway with my last dollar in their pocket, but I’ve forked out quite a bit this summer alone because my aging A/C system just couldn’t seem to keep up with the 100+ degree Florida Summer heat.  The last time my air guy came out, he basically told me that I needed to be prepared for the fact that the day was coming when I was going to have to replace the whole enchilada.  When I asked him how much THIS was gonna cost, he said $5,000….and then I don’t remember a whole lot after that.  Everything sort of went into slow motion and I started thinking about selling everything and going to live on the beach and covering up with sand at night.  Then the reality that my Mom and dogs wouldn’t go for that hit and I came back to consciousness.

Now I’m sure some of you don’t think this is earth shattering, but it is if you just got a new roof nine months ago that set me back $9,000!! Actually, since the house is still in my Mom’s name till she passes away, we both had to go down to the credit union and sign both our names over and over and over again to get a home equity line of credit, because I don’t know about you, but I don’t generally have $9k laying around.  I didn’t get a huge amount because our home isn’t worth what it used to be in the good old days, but it has left me with a small cushion to fall back on when things get tight… like last weekend when the oil and lube on my car turned into a new set of tires, total alignment and balancing, etc.  That purse I had been ogling in Dillards became a pipe dream and my grocery money was wiped out.  If it weren’t for that line of credit in times of extreme poverty due to unexpected repairs of the car, house, vet bills…you name it, then I think I WOULD be living on the beach.  I know someone out there is saying “why don’t you just sell and get something newer and in better shape?”  The bottom line is, when the home owner is an elderly person on Medicaid, they cannot touch your home, BUT, they CAN insist that if you sell, you owe them every penny unless you turn around and sink everything you made into another home.  But, I am here with my Mom because I don’t want her to spend the rest of her life in assisted living or nursing.  I want her to be in an environment that hopefully she remembers despite the dementia she suffers from, because she’s lived here 55 years.  One day at a time…

If you’re in a vaguely similar situation, especially with people that depend on you to bare the brunt of the financial responsibility, TRUST ME!!!  At least investigate getting a home equity line of credit so you have something to fall back on when the repairs/disasters keep coming and you just cannot seem to get ahead!

-Cher

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To Pee Or Not To Pee……WHO Is The Question!

Good Day To You!

Having to take care of an entire home and yard by myself (with a little help from the guy I pay to mow), is daunting at best. In the past year I’ve had to put a new roof on the house…can you say $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$?  And just a week ago, my A/C company told me the day was coming when I would have to replace my entire A/C system to the tune of $5,000.00!!!!  Let’s take a moment of silence to pray for me…….amen!!  So obviously, I have enough stress keeping up my house, without other fun things happening that make keeping the house clean difficult at best.  After using voluminous amounts of paper towels, and mopping constantly, it’s time to take a stand and deduce WHO IS PEEING ANOTHER LAKE MICHIGAN (or here in Florida, that would be Lake Okeechobee) ON MY FLOOR WHEN I’M NOT LOOKING??? The other day, no sooner had I cleaned up one deluge, then someone else came along and did it again….IN THE SAME SPOT!!!!  Did I mention I was trying to get ready for work???  Aaarrrggghhh!!

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Star, modeling the newest fashion for male doggies, the Dingleydang Prison, or more precisely, the male diaper!

I have five dogs and I have whittled it down to two suspects.  Even though my Min Pin Bruiser likes to mark, he has a bladder the size of a grape, so him being responsible is physically impossible and my blind Cocker has never had an accident in the house.  So, I went to Petsmart yesterday, and yes I did!!!  I bought a DOGGIE DIAPER!!  It’s a drastic step, but I just cannot take it anymore and I’ve got to do something before my insurance company demands I purchase flood insurance!!!!!  I have started the wearing of the diaper with the first suspect, and I am thinking that if we can all go a week without a major deluge, my beautiful black Cocker Star is the culprit.  Star is the one that is always fighting with Bruiser, who has little man syndrome and thinks HE rules the roost…all 10 lbs. of him, and Star is also always trying to hump his brother Angel…both of which are signs of trying to establish dominance.

When I moved into my childhood home to be with my Mom, me and my Xacto knife tore up all the nasty carpet that my Dad never vacuumed, shampooed….nothing, which revealed hardwood underneath.  If you’re a caregiver to an elderly person, trust me, this is a wise move because my Mom’s hands shake and she spills everything; that’s why I serve all of her drinks in sippy cups. There have been “other” accident types by Mom that I won’t explain in detail, but suffice it to say, carpet would have made it a bigger disaster.  Also, I had ceramic tile installed in the kitchen and dining room.  If I didn’t have this type of flooring with an unstable adult and five dogs, I think I’d have to go work for Stanley Steemer!   More fun and games to come.  Until next time!

-Cher

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