Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's Christmas

I said it is CHRISTMAS! Absolutely my favorite time of year. I love everthing that goes with it and nothing bothers me or ruins my mood. All the complaints about the commercials, the economy, the crowds, the traffic, the weather, etc, etc. Nope none of it can put a blanket on how I feel. My heart swells and beats a bit faster, my smile is bigger and I just can't wait to get at filling all the Christmas wishes of the family. Once the tree goes up and presents start to fill up the space around the tree I have a hard time sleeping in anticipation. Seriously I have to wait as late as I can to put up the tree so I can try to stay as calm inside as possible. Thank goodness my husband finds my child like behavior amusing.
Yes I've had my share of heart ache and some of it has occured during the Christmas season. Like the few Christmas' that my son was not at home or the passing of my father. Heartache and Christmas have gone hand in hand a few times in my life yet I just can't find it in my heart to be sad at Christmas time.
Christmas is what give gives me a reason to smile. It is the Birthday of Christ and the reason there is hope for tomorrow. Because of Christmas I will see all the loved ones who have gone before me someday and  I don't have to worry about tomorrow. Nothing in this world can dampen the hope and promise the season gives to me.
Gotta go now. I have meals to plan, presents to wrap, and of course I have to clean up before the family all gathers at my house for Christmas morning. It won't matter that in minutes you won't be able to see the clean house for the wrapping paper and boxes. Nope the only thing that matters are the smiles, surprises and tears of joy because for me Christmas brings Faith, Hope and Love.
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Birthdays and Blessings

It's one of my best friends and my sisters birthday today which reminds me of how blessed I've been in my life. I met my friend Robin at camp over 40 years ago and she was none to impressed with me. At this camp we were assigned to dorms by age and when I arrived at my dorm she was adamant that I was not old enough to be in HER dorm. The fact that our birthday is the same day and year didn't seem to comfort her any. That week at camp gave me a life long friend that has always been there through the death of my parents, birth of my son and all of my lifes ups and downs. There is no price that can be put on knowing you can reach out any time of day or night and find a soul who truly cares about you. I read somewhere that 5 life long friends is the most anyone ever has....the kind of friend that is there no matter what life brings. I consider my friend Robin one of those blessings.
Technically my sister is my half sister meaning we have the same father and different mothers. Yet I can't imagine how being raised together could have possibly make us any closer. Shortly after our father died she came to live with me and it was an interesting household. My young son, my sister in her twenties and me in my late 30's. Very quickly it meshed and was a family not unlike any other......Ok well not exactly. She worked nights and I worked days.  A notebook in the kitchen was our form of communication. Soon she came to a crossroads in her life and the next thing you know she is in college and building a future.  Now she has a great job and about to marry in the Spring. My world is so much richer having her in my life and I can't imagine it without her.
Then there is my wonderful husband who has stood by me during a year of many changes in my life. He is always there with a smile and an assurance that all will be OK. When we said for better or for worse I had no idea the bulk of the worst would come in the first year of our marriage. Thanks to his determination and unwavying love our marriage is absolutely perfect for me. He is truly the 'better half" of this relationship and for better or worst I will be proud to stand by his side.
When I count the blessings in life my son is always the first one that comes to mind. By the world's standards he has many inabilities yet to me he couldn't be more perfect. He gives love without condition and he is as happy as he can be. The feeling I get when I see him smile is undescribable. I have learned way more from him than he will ever learn from me. Because of him I rarely have a bad day and when I do I just think of him and realize I have nothing but blessings in my life.
Happy Birthday to my Friend Robin and my sister Nicky. Thanks for being one of the many blessings in my life!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

You have an offer on your house that is listed as a short sale..
Now What?

Having an offer is where it all begins. Now your Short Sale Certified Realtor submits the offer to the bank and the process of getting your house sold really begins. Since the bank has all the documents such as your tax returns, bank statements, hardship letter, etc they now look at the offer and decide if it makes sense for them to accept the offer or to deny it. Banks are stating that they are accepting approximately 96% of all short sale offers that are presented to them. Still it is a slow process and can be very frustrating to you the seller or the buyer.
Here are some things you can do to make the time seem less frustrating.
1)  Call your short sale certified Realtor weekly and ask for updates if they are not contacting you. Ask them if they called/emailed the short sale department at the bank that week and if any news at all. Don't be surprised if there is no news but you want to hear that your agent did in fact contact the bank. If you are buying a short sale property make sure your agent is calling the listing agent and getting you updates as to where you are in the process.
2)  Find out if a short sale negotiator has been assigned to your file yet. If so great because now the answer is closer. If not then find out if all your documents have been accepted at the bank and if a BPO has been scheduled. A BPO is when the bank sends out an appraiser to make sure the price your Realtor listed the house at is reasonable based on similiar sales in the area. Once the documents are accepted and BPO is ordered then the short sale negotiator will be assigned.
3)  Ok so now a short sale negotiator has been assigned. On average an approval of the short sale doesn't come for about 90-120 days. Once you have the approval you will need to go to the assigned closing attorney that the bank is paying for and sign over the deed so the new owners can have the house deeded in their names once they close. Start packing and moving as it will close within 30 days maximum and the new owners will be moving in.

So what about all the horror stories you have heard regarding short sales? Just like your national news at 6pm the bad or shocking stories are what make the news. Very little of the good news ever gets told. I can tell you that the more short sale experience your Realtor has the more likely the sale is to close. If your Realtor is a certified short sale agent then they have had training on how to work with and respond to the bank so that the results are as positive and prompt as possible. So far all my short sales have closed and my clients have moved on to more affordable housing but some have been easier than others and have closed quicker than others. There are so many variables like who the bank is, the Realtors training, the offer and the price of the house and all of these and more can make a difference. Short sale closing have happened for folks who have lost their jobs and those who still have their jobs, some have been FHA loans and some were conventional, some were fixed rates and some were interest only loans, some were townhouses and some were single family homes, sometimes the offers were only a few thousand short of payoff and some were over $100,000 + of paying off the mortgage. As you can see the reasons for short sales are many and the conditions can vary so don't assume you can't qualify. Call an experienced Short Sale Realtor and take advantage of this limited time to start you life again.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Vacation without Alice

Recently I was invited to spend a few days at a friend's place on the ocean in South Carolina. Typical working vacation, every morning the kitchen table was filled with laptops and we were all working til after breakfast was served which was usually eaten on the deck overlooking the water. Afternoons were spent on the beach with chair surfing optional. Then back to the house to watch the sunset. After showering and getting dressed dinner was either out to the local stops or we ate in.
As you may know the low country is rather famous for such things as moss hanging from the trees and it's local ghost stories. Well one evening the plan was for us to all go out to dinner and then to visit Alice's Grave. The story (http://www.angelfire.com/sc3/mytrip/alice.html) goes that Alice fell in love with a man that her Mother and brother did not approve of. The young man gave Alice a ring and in order to hide it she wore it around her neck on a ribbon. Eventually the ring was lost and Alice became very sick and died. The story goes that Alice is still looking for her ring and if you go there and Alice wants your ring it will fly off your finger. Or something like that ... just click the link and read the story for yourself.
Now back to my vacation. After dinner one night the girls decided that we would go visit Alice's grave at All Saints Church. I said nothing because I thought this idea would be forgotten once dinner and a few drinks were had. Well I was wrong. After drinks and dinner off to Alice's grave we went. Once the car was parked all got out except for me. Yes they teased me but I wasn't going to walk through a grave site in the dark of night. Sorry but I think somethings should be left alone and the dead is one of them. Off they go across the street and through the iron gate in the stone fence. I proceeded to call my husband on the cell and explain that if the girls didn't come back soon I was going to be the owner of a Volvo station wagon and 3 additional purses. He laughed of course but I was not kidding and was trying to decide what was a respectable time to wait before I left with the car. No sooner had my husband stopped laughing when here came the girls at a rather fast pace back across the street. They jump in the car and took off while beginning to tell me what caused their fast retreat. Seems All Saints Church has put up motion detector lights so as my friends were walking in the dark suddenly the lights come on and they claim all they heard was a continuous clicking sound. That's all it took for my brave friends to retreat back to the car. I got the last laugh!
My vacation was truly wonderful and I hope my host knows how grateful we were for her invitation. She freely gave us the comfort of her wonderful beach home and hospitality. Emma, thanks again for all the fun and laughter. All our batteries are recharged and we will have memories that will last a lifetime!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New Deck!

There is just no describing the feeling when you DIY. It's just a deck and it took us 2 years to complete thanks to the economy but it is still sweet to sit on it in the afternoons and know we did this ourselves. Now there are plenty of mistakes and many things had to be redone and redone again but it is done and strong and looks good, even if I do say so myself! Now that it is all done let me clear and say it had better last the rest of my lifetime because I have no intentions of building one again.
Nope not another deck but the garden boxes are already in progress. Next spring I intend to have 4 garden boxes all ready to grow some fresh vegetables. Each box is 4 x 10 ft x 18" tall. I'm hoping that the boxes are much easier than gardening from ground level. Since I didn't have a garden last year I'm really excited about the possibilities. One main question....How do I keep the many many squirrels that live in our neighborhood out of the garden? Don't want to hurt the little guys but really there must be a way to keep them out. So if there is anyone out here with a suggestion please tell me!!
Oh well so much the 2010 projects for the outdoors. Now it is almost time to begin planning and implementing all the options for the indoors. I'm thinking crown molding and new window molding may be a good idea.

So get out and enjoy the fall weather because it won't be long until the evening are dark and too chilly for the deck.....maybe a firepit next year?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Baseball

Every year for my husbands birthday I give him tickets to a baseball game. The Washington Nationals is his team so once we took some friends and went to see the game. Stayed in DC for the night at the Gaylord Resort and had a great time.
I know the Nats are in last place but they played great and since most of the seats in the stadium were full it is safe to say baseball is still America's past time. Given all the stress most folks are under these days it was nice to see people out and having a good time with family and friends.
So take a break this long Labor Day weekend. Forget about your troubles for a few days and enjoy family and friends. Remember that it is the simple things in life that brings so much pleasure and give you memories to last a lifetime.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Volunteering

Our lives are so busy but are they really? Most of us have thought about volunteering yet we never do. With unemployment so high you would think that organizations that depend on volunteers would be flooded but they are not.
Recently I volunteered some time at the Science Museum's Garden where they are growing vegetables and giving the produce to the food bank. I was surprised to find out that they hadn't seen a volunteer in about a month yet harvest time is when they need so much help. It just takes a few hours on a Saturday morning and you will leave with a smile knowing you helped to feed a few more hungry kids in our area. It only takes one person to make a difference!
I must confess that I only began volunteering this year and the satisfaction of helping is undescribable. 3-4 hours at the Community Kitchen (Division of the Food Bank) is one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. How about you.....when was the last time you did something that paid nothing and had no tangible rewards yet you felt like a million dollars after you did it?
Go to Hands on Greater Richmond at http://www.handsongr.org/ there you will find a calendar with all kinds of opportunities on it. You can click on a project and read about what they are doing and what they need for volunteers to do. Pick something you like such as gardens, animals, food banks, fixing up homes for the elderly the options are many. Individuals can and do make a difference.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

For Sale By Owner aka FSBO

1)  Can't I save alot of money selling my house myself? 
      Absolutely, the question is can you give your house the same exposure that a Realtor can? In my local market when a Realtor lists your house instantly approximately 4000 Realtors know about it. With today's housing market moving at a slow pace the more who know your house is for sale the more likely you are to get it sold.

2)  I have to sell my house myself in order to get enough to pay the mortgage off and there is no money for Realtor fees.
      This is a very common situation in today's market. What most don't realize is that you can have all the advantages of having a Realtor and not have to pay the Realtor fees. Your house no matter what you owe is only going to sell for what the market will currently pay for it. Therefore call a Realtor and they can help you communicate with your bank and get short sale approval. Once it is sold the bank pays all the fees for getting it sold and you can move on with your life.

3)  What about closing costs, termite inspections and the dreaded home inspection repairs?
      Most short sales are sold as is and the home inspection is done for the buyers information only however I have seen the bank pay for some repairs. Closing costs are paid for by the bank as this is a cost of selling the home. Termite inspections are on average $65 and I can tell you that I've paid several of those to help out the home owners who are just trying to get on with their lives by starting over.

These are but a few of the questions that I get calls on weekly. Don't go another month worrying how you are going to keep paying for a house you no longer can afford. Call me and I will be glad to answer your questions.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

SHORT SALE-What is it?

A short sale is when you sell your house for less than you owe on it. Which brings up some questions. Let me see if I can answer a few here.

Q)  If I sell my house for less than I owe won't I have to pay the difference?
A)  NO. The bank forgives the balance and you will NOT get an IRS form #1099 at the end of  the year which means you do not have to pay taxes on the difference either.

Q)  If I can't pay the mortgage how am I supposed to pay Realtor fees?
A)  If you short sale the house the bank pays the Realtor fees and all other fees associated with selling the house.

Q)  If I short sale my house won't I ruin my credit?
A)  Yes your credit will take a hit of approximately 100 to 250 points but you get to start over again with expenses you can afford. Your credit score can/will recover in about 24 months. If you walk away and let the bank foreclose you will be responsible for the money owed the bank plus all expenses. We all know that the bank can add on penalties and interest real quick. Plus your credit score will take a more significant hit of about 300 to 500 points with foreclosure.

Q)  Do I need the banks permission to short sale my house?
A)  If you are late on the payments and have reasons like lost job, sickness or much less income due to the economy then you have valid reason which in banks terms is called a hardship. You will need to call the bank and let them know you can not continue to make the payments and that you are going to sell the house.

Q)  Can any Realtor sell my house as a short sale?
A)  All Realtors have the ability to sell your house for market value. However you will have a much smoother process if the Realtor is short sale certified. Which means they have formal education and experience in dealing with the banks in regard to short sales. Some banks are now requiring that the Realtor be short sale certified in order to sale the house.

Q)  But I have had no luck with my bank working with me, how am I going to talk to them about a short sale?
A)  Once the Realtor lists the house most all of the conversation with the bank is going to be done by your Realtor. The Realtor with your help will gather all the necessary paperwork (not much) and get it to the bank along with market conditions in your neighborhood. This lets the bank know that the list price for the house is all that the market will pay.

Q)  Will the bank let me sell the house myself as a short sale?
A)  No they require a licensed Realtor so that it is all done legally by the state and federal laws governing Real Estate transactions.

Q)  How do I know which Realtors are short sale certified?
A)  If you know a Realtor just ask them and they will let you know if they have experience in short sales or call me and I'll answer your questions.

Please ask questions but don't let your house go into foreclosure. Foreclosure is a nightmare for all conceerned. Short sales are everyones preference and absolutely the best answer for the seller. So stop worrying your life away over house payments you can no longer make. Call me and I'll do my best to answer your questions and calm your fears.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Should I walk away from my house?



How do I know if I should walk away? Although our local market is not as bad as some areas of the country we are still in a declining market in some areas of town. The experts forecast more decline at worst and ever so slight increase at best for the next few years. If this is in fact the case and you are owing more on your home than it is worth you still have options and bleeding money isn't the one to continue with.
Do I vacate the house now? No! Neither the banks or your neighbors want this. Besides even if you leave you still need to keep the utilites on so that no damage occurs as a result of no heat or water. The bank can come at you for damages if you let this happen. First call an experienced certified Short Sale Realtor to walk you thru the process and then you can make an informed decision that is right for you and your family.
Are there advantages to Short Sale versus Foreclosure? Which process you go thru will depend on your situation but in general short sale is better for you and the bank. Again an experienced certified Realtor will sit down with you and go thru the process and how it affects you. As a rule the difference between the sale price and the mortgage owed is forgiven and you do not have to pay taxes on the difference when you do a short sale.
Will my credit be damaged for life? You can recover from this on average in 3 years and be able to obtain another mortgage. To be clear foreclosure has more of an impact on your credit score than a short sale. Either way it makes no sense to carry a burden in a market that won't change in the near future. As with anything in life knowledge is power and enables you to make good decisions. Make sure you find a Realtor who is Short sale & foreclosure certified with experience.
No Money to Sell? With an experienced short sale/foreclosure Realtor you will have no further expenses to sell your home. All Realtor fees will be paid when the house is sold by the bank. Take a minute call me and let me explain the process over the phone to ease your mind a bit.
Bottom line. Don't stay awake at night worrying. Don't get caught up in a scam that can cost you more money by paying someone to "Fix" your problem. Call me today and get on with your life. I'm sure you have many more questions and I'll be glad to help you answer them.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How to Buy a Gas Barbecue Grill

 I promised my husband he could have a new gas grill next year. Well, it's next year and I've begun to look at grills....this is more complicated than I imagined. There are so many designs and sizes and options, not to mention do I want to assemble it or let the store do it. So I did what I always do when there are too many options. I googled how to buy a grill. Love Google! The following simplified it for me ....
Step 1Most gas grills produce considerably less heat than the average charcoal grill, so look for a model with burners placed close to the cooking grate. Plus I don't like to wait for the charcoal to heat up!

Step 2Consider how often and how much you'll be grilling. If you rarely cook for more than two people, you'll want to look into a small, portable model. But if you like to entertain for lots of family and friends, then make sure the grill you're considering will hold at least 10 burgers or chicken breasts at once. My husband will want the biggest grill he can find...I think it is bragging rights.

Step 3Choose a model with wide (not widely-spaced) grill bars. Cast-iron grill bars sear food exceptionally well. Since my husband thinks he is "king of the grill" cast iron is more manly.

Step 4Look for a grill with dual heat control so that you can control the burners separately. You can cook hot dogs and burgers, for example, or grill just one steak on a small area. Good idea then my steak can be in one area while his hamburgers are in another.

Step 5Look for a model with a drip tray to make cleanup easier. Yeah no grease better drip on my deck!

Step 6Pay attention to quality, even if you'll use your grill only on summer holidays or occasional weekends. A cheap grill won't last and will likely be so frustrating to use that you won't even want to light it up. My husband pulls the grill close to the patio doors so he can grill while it is snowing. It's true.

Step 7Drag the floor model around the store to make sure it will be easy to move on your patio or deck. Wrestling with a grill won't bring you much pleasure. Ummmmm...not going to happen.

Step 8Avoid side burners, expensive extras that most people don't often use. Side shelves, however, are very handy for plates and condiments. Good point!

Step 9Think about storage. If your region gets extreme weather, you won't want to leave your grill uncovered in the elements. Make sure the grill will fit in your shed if that's where you plan to store it. I think a grill cover will do nicely.

OK so google gives me answers and I turn them into what works for me. Better go shopping now.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Agents bring Buyers to look....Now what?

QuestionI've had buyers come look at my house but I don't know what they thought?
Answer:  Your Realtor contacts Buyers agents by either email or phone and tries to get feedback. However many times the Buyers Agent just won't respond.

Question:  How do I know if my Realtor is trying to get feedback for me?
Answer:  The best way is to ask them to use one of the many email based feedback sites and that way you will get a copy of the correspondense.

Question:  Why wouldn't a Buyers Agent respond?
Answer:  Most of the time a Buyer's reason for not liking the house  isn't something that can be fixed. For example maybe the Buyer just likes kitchens where the sink is on the left side of the room. It may seem silly but we all have little things we like and don't like.  However you are correct that the Buyers Agent should be professional enough to respond.

Question: My house has been on the market for some time and although we are getting showings there have been no offers. Why?
Answer:  In today's market Buyers are looking at many many houses and they have no sense of urgency. With the uncertainty regarding jobs, the economy, etc the general public is very cautious about buying anything. The one thing we do know is that there are houses bought and sold every day and sellers just have to be patient. 

Question: After my house has been on the market for an extended time should I consider changing Realtors?
Answer:  Go over the marketing plan you and your Realtor agreed to when the house was listed. Discuss if there is anything else that can be done to refresh the marketing. Then you have to have confidence that your Realtor is doing all that can be done in this market.  

Under current market conditions it is very tough on both Buyers and Sellers. Buyers are wondering if they are getting the best deal. Will the price go lower next month? Will I still have a job next month?  Sellers are wondering if their houses will ever sell. How long will it be a price based market? Would another Realtor do a better job?

No matter whether you are a Buyer or Seller be comfortable with the Realtor you hire. It's tough out there and a good Realtor can help ease the process and calm the fears.

Good Luck and help the economy by buying or selling a house today!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Container Gardening Is Fun

You don't need a plot of land to grow fresh vegetables. Many vegetables are perfect for container gardening. Vegetables that take up little space, such as carrots, radishes and lettuce, or crops that bear fruits over a long period of time, such as tomatoes and peppers, are perfect for container vegetable gardens.


What you can grow in a container vegetable garden is limited only by the size of the container and your imagination. How about a Summer Salad container? Plant a tomato, a cucumber and some parsley or chives all in a large (24-30") container. They grow well together and have the same water and sun requirements. By late summer they might not be very pretty, but they'll keep producing into the fall. 

Containers and Pots for Vegetable Gardens

Containers for your vegetable gardens can be almost anything: flower pots, pails, buckets, wire baskets, bushel baskets, wooden boxes, nursery flats, window planters, washtubs, plastic bags, large food cans, etc.

Drainage: No matter what kind of container you choose for your vegetable garden, it should have holes at the base or in the bottom to permit drainage of excess water.

Color Considerations: You should be careful when using dark colored containers because they absorb heat which could possibly damage the plant roots. If you do use dark colored pots, try painting them a lighter color or shading just the container.

Size: The size of the container is important. For larger vegetables like tomatoes and eggplants, you should use a five gallon container for each plant. You can grow these plants in two gallon containers, however you need to give the plants considerably more attention.

Soil and Fertilizer

You can use soil in your container vegetable garden, but the synthetic mixes are much better. Peat-based mixes, containing peat and vermiculite, are excellent. They are relatively sterile and pH adjusted. They also allow the plants to get enough air and water. Mixing in one part compost to two parts planting mix will improve fertility.

Using a slow release or complete organic fertilizer at planting will keep your vegetables fed for the whole growing season.

Watering

Pots and containers always require more frequent watering than plants in the ground. As the season progresses and your plants mature, their root system will expand and require even more water. Don't wait until you see the plants wilting. Check your containers daily to judge the need for water.
 
Fun
 
No matter what you plant ... have FUN! I promise whatever you grow will taste better than anything you have ever bought in the store. Pluse tending to your garden is relaxing and we can all use some down time these days.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Question: Why do I want to pay for a Home Warranty while my home is listed for sale?

Answer: There are several home warranties on the market so ask your Realtor which will benefit you and your home best but there are several reasons to buy a home warranty.
              1)  A home warranty gives the buyer some assurance that if an appliance or other item breaks within the first year of ownership they can simply call the warranty company and pay a small  fee and a repair man will come out and repair if possible or replace if necessary the broken item.
              2)  There is an option for the seller to be covered while the house is on the market and if during
                   the listing period something breaks it is covered with the home warranty
              3)  The cost of the warranty comes out of closing so there is no cash up front to pay for this
                   peace of mind.
              4)  Although no warranty pays for everything they can make a significant difference it what
                   it costs to repair/replace an item in your home. For example, the well pump goes out and
                   without the home warranty the bill was $450 to repair. With the home warranty the $60
                  fee you pay for the repair call is a savings of $390...that's alot!
              5)  If buyers see there is a Home Warranty on the house they can be sure that the seller
                  isn't trying to hide some defect.
These are just a few of the reasons to consider having a Home Warranty on the house you are selling.
So sellers talk with your Realtor and see which warranty is best for you. Don't forget this is a plus for
the buyers and can make a difference if it is your house they choose or another one.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

To Mom and Dad with Love

When we are very young our parents are heros and know everything but most importantly they are always there to protect and love us no matter what. How safe they make us feel.

Then we grow in height a bit and think they are still smart but becoming more and more restrictive for no reason whatsoever. Dad is so strong and Mom can fix anything. Suddenly all these rules. Still we feel loved and protected.

At adolescence they are more like prison guards and not heros at all. They keep telling us they are doing all they do because they love us. Yeah right! We are constantly in trouble but it always ends with how much they love us.

As teenagers we realize that they are not smart at all and in fact we wonder how they got to this stage in life which quite honestly seems rather boring. They don't have a clue about how hard and restrictive they are making our lives. They are old and out of touch. They keep telling us they are protecting us from the bad in the world.

As young adults we can't wait to make our own rules, live in our own houses and most importantly come and go as we please. We are not sure when BASIC needs like cable, cars, food and entertainment got sooooo expensive. Our parents are stuck on old saying and they just keep smiling at us when we are complaining like they know something we don't.

With young families of our own we strive to do it better and certainly differently than our parents did. We will stay young and be best friends with our children. Although this all seems much harder now than it appeared when we were younger. The good news is Mom and Dad are great babysitters.

Now our children are teenagers and we realize what our parents tried so hard to tell us was true. Still they had it much easier because times were less complicated and the world was much simplier. Our lives are so busy we just don't have time to spent with Mom and Dad.

Our children are out on their own now....finally time for us. Seems Mom and Dad need more help now and we've heard those old stories a thousand times. When will it all slow down a bit so there is time for us.

Suddenly Dad is gone. Why didn't I take more time to listen to his stories?  Holidays were so much fun when we were all together. Why did we only get together on Holidays? Life goes by so fast. He's been gone so long and yet it seems like yesterday. I remember so much with smiles and tears. He really was strong and so smart. I miss you Dad.

Now Mom's gone...so unexpectedly! So many times I could have called but just too busy. Didn't visit nearly as much as I should have. Life is so short. Plenty of memories that will bring smiles and tears. I'm so grateful for the time we spent together. Our differences didn't seem to matter any more. Nothing seemed more important than taking care of Mom. She was so pretty and always found a way to fix things.

Guess it's time for me to be strong and smart and fix things just like they taught me to do. How lucky I was to have loving parents.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Where are the Instructions?

Mom Update... Luckily there was a one floor townhouse available in the same gated community so moving was much easier than anticipated. She finished rehab at the clinic and came home. Adjustments were being made and seemed to be settling down. After 4 weeks I came home to Virginia and called her to make sure all was going well. It was... well maybe a few hiccups but nothing serious. Last week my brother went out for a visit to check on everything and he was helping with errands, Doctor visits etc and all was going fine.
My phone rang and it was Mom's physical therapist saying she called the house to set up Mom's next appointment and my Stepfather says there is no need as Mom fell again and was taken to the hospital. Frantically I call my brother who had just left Mom's so they could rest and sure enough she had fallen. Off to the hospital he goes. Results were a fractured displaced femur! "Can you believe this" Mom says.
Last update was surgery planned for Monday. Don't know yet how long the hospital stay or rehab will take this time but we do know that this will not go as quickly or easily as the hip replacement.
Just spent a month out there and I can't go back right now therefore I am constantly worrying about what is going on and if she needs anything.
Going from being the child to being the caregiver is another thing in life that there is no way to prepare for. Ever notice that the most important things in life don't come with an instruction book? Children, marriage, growing older, taking care of parents all topics for a higher power than ourselves. We just have to keep believing in the power of prayer. Many times in life I've seen the results and now is one of those times in life when I'll be asking for help.
If anyone is reading this please remember my Mom in your prayers.