Tuesday, August 20, 2013

This week in Life.

So this last week was GenCon week. It's where my husband OceanEdge goes east and works for his old company and sets up the convention and surrounding areas for the best four days in gaming. It is normally when I lounge around the house living life as a single woman. But since I would have no built in child care for Little Lion when I would go to work we decided it was time for me to go see what happened to my mom's house, and start the process of getting it emptied and on the market. Well you see they broke into my mother's house in december, and stole things, lots of things. But my brother Sasha, wasn't able to really assess the lost because of the pure disarray, and the emotional stress it was causing. So his best friend and her handy man boarded up the house. It was not fun being up here 1300 miles away from my childhood home, with who knows what missing from the house. Then shortly after this my brother broke his foot, and when I mean broke I mean thank you sir may a have a new one. As a Diabetic he is prone to neuropathy- which leads to a horrible syndrome known as Charcot's. He has been in one hospital or another since March, it started as an ulcer and progressed to the amputation of his right foot.

The only thing my mother left us was the house and her belongings. There was no liquid assets, so as Executor, I've been really anxious about the house as a whole and being able to net my brother and I the most from her belongings. WE didn't sell when the market was at it's best because neither of us were ready to let go. Then I quit my jobs a few years back to clear out the house and it was too much for one person to do. I was able to fill a dumpster, and made a little bit of a dent.

But last monday morning when I stepped into the house for the first time in months- I couldn't tell. It was horrible. There was beer bottles, pizza boxes, along side my mother's belongings. There were things I've never seen before. It was also becoming apparently large chunks of some of the things I considered money makers to be gone. As well as some very precious items. The first and most upsetting was my mother's ashes. She was in a generic brown plastic box, clearly labeled as cremains. My mother's china, her wooden Russian bear collection, her butterflies, and most of her art. My father's chief blanket that he left for me. My brother and mine LEGO collection which was nearly 30 lbs. All gone, or so I thought. Again my brother's best friend and her handy man or what I will now refer to as the worlds best friend or WBF, helped in more ways than I can ever verbalize. They created structure and order then cleared, and sorted. They grabbed the best of my brothers possessions and gave me a sounding board. WBF has a good eye for value and was able to pull stuff from the rubble as the handy man cleared. I trust her with my Brother's life so of course I trust her with our belongings. I gave her whatever she wanted, there is no way I can ever repay her for her love and care of my brother. And I'm happy to know some of my mother's furniture will still be around. So here is one of the big problems my mother's taste was really good, she loved antiques but neither my brother nor I liked the same things. So despite us wanting to keep her memories alive, we didn't want much of her stuff. So in the best sense of the word the break in was a god send. It broke the emotional bond to the material stuff in my mom's house. It was just stuff. So on Saturday when I left the house for the last time as my mother's house I only took 9 boxes, and 3 were full of photos, viewfinders and films.

Rewind to Monday morning. I had arranged for 3 estate dealers to meet me at my mom's house starting on Monday at 11:00am. Well we only got into my mom's house at 10:30- for me to find what I explained above. So when Infinity Sales walked up I was literally in tears. I explained again that I hadn't know the level of disarray, I didn't know if they could help me and that the fact that my mom's ashes were missing. I did invite them in to look around, and asked them for some pointers. Blanca was so kind they did think there was still enough things of value, but it would need a lot of cleaning more than they were able to do. But she told me the tips and tricks and told me to call her back when it was cleaner. They drove away and WBF and I sat outside getting a grip and a plan when she drove back. She talked to a house buyer that flips houses. Since the market is rising he has been looking for new projects. Flipper are used to buying horder's houses and cleaning them out anyway. She she arranged to work with his cleaning crew to clear my mom's house and liquidate what we don't want.  So Handy Man and WBF started working on order and clearing.
Flipper can looked through the house and said he would give me an offer on Tuesday!

Tuesday came, the offer was less than what we would have gotten 6 years ago if we sold before the rats, and the damage the thieves left, but when you take into account I will not have to front ANY money for the sale of the house or the harvesting of the estate sale. I and my Brother considered it fair. I signed papers Wednesday and that would be the day I found my mother. In my bedroom on a table, not in the room I left her. But this was how I started finding things, my sushi plate that I made when I was 8 which was in the dining room was in my mother's bedroom unbroken, on the floor upside down.
My brother's Brownie Hawkeye camera that was in the living room, also in my mom's bedroom. I also found some of her butterflies and one of her russian bears. There are still many things missing but all of her handmade pottery is now at my aunt's house, as well as her handmade beaded flowers and her handmade beaded christmas tree with the base my grandfather made for it. It really is just the small things I will have to remember her by.

Add to this chaos the fact that my in-laws Down syndrome cousin Lorraine died the day before I got to San Diego. Her death is not to mourned, she was 59 years old! She was truly an angel on earth and great soul for all who knew her. We mourn our loss of her.  But we are catholic so there was the traditional novena being held, which I attended 2 or 3 times I honestly don't remember, as well as her funeral on Thursday.

I also ordered a new refrigerator and oven for my Aunt's house, three weeks ago, which was suppose to be delivered on Monday. However the fraud department of my bank had put a hold on it and I cleared it but no one told Sears. So since the kitchen is a 1950's set up the modern fridges don't fit. The fridge had to be special ordered 3 weeks in advance. So I went to the Sears down the street hoping to get one that would fit and have all the amenities I wanted, plus be available for delivery that week. I ordered one and after going home to measure one last time found it would not fit. So a trip Home Depot on wednesday net me a great fridge with water and ice makers! And it could be delivered FRIDAY!!!!
Small glitch this house has never had water to the fridge and the faucet is on the other side of the kitchen. My landscaper that has been on the eternal lawn sprinkler project in clay soil arranged for his friend to come and switch out the outlet to a grounded outlet and install a water line, on Sunday. It took 2 hours for him to install the water line as he had to crawl under the house and see there was no turn off valve and then crawl out turn off water then crawl back install the water line, crawl out install it to fridge and then back under to make sure it wasn't leaking! Oi vey.

Saturday was awesome I was able to drive up to my cousin's new condo in Ramona and spend some time with her and her teenage son and her best friend. I was also able to visit with my brother a little more, he was running a fever so he was napping and was a little loopy but he did remember me coming with his nephew, so that is awesome. OceanEdge's sister, Rio, flew in with her new husband and unloaded and I'm not joking 1/2 a suitcase for Little Lion, he is a well spoiled child, from toys to clothes, to costumes. Rio and her husband absolutely adored Little Lion.

So yesterday was my first and only day off from my vacation.
Little Lion, the in-laws and I went to the playground at shelter island. and then had old town mexican. Then I flew home.

I'm sorry I've been less than communicable this last week as you can see it was a whirlwind, and unexpected cascade of situations. It so far has ended up perfectly but I can't wait to have the house sale finalized.

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