Monday, November 24, 2008

A Mixed Blessing

You may have noticed that I have been rather remiss in posting for several weeks. Well, here's the 'skivvy.' I have been going through the stress of getting new carpeting. (One excuse is as good as another, right?)

Some of you are probably wondering what the heck is the big deal. Well, I want to inform everybody that it's a very big deal when you are 83 years old and have enough collectibles, dust catchers of assorted vintages, and just plain junk to fill a craft shop.

First came the hard part of selecting a carpet in my chosen color and within my limited budget. That out of the way, on a daily basis, I started clearing out the movable stuff . As my living room and front bedroom became more visible, my kitchen and bathrooms became less so. Junk piled up in all of the rooms that were not going to be carpeted. Even the laundry room didn't escape my growing piles of books, papers and nick-knacks.

My aching back and left knee cursed my efforts as I slogged doggedly on limping from room to room carrying what I could manage. Each night found me practically crawling to the bottle of Excedrin Extra Strength for my nightly fix.

By this time I realized that I had lost my head years ago when I went on a cottage buying binge. And where did all of those books come from? And why did I compound my foolish obsession of years past by starting this insane project?

Nonetheless, I soldiered on until the morning when four sturdy guys arrived at my doorstep to begin the transformation process. Oh the stress of watching them carry my furniture out to the back patio was too much to bear. "Please don't scratch it, please don't drop it, please be careful", I thought. I had the good sense to keep these "please" pleas to myself, but I am sure my body language spoke volumes.

Communication was almost impossible. Their English was minimal and their accent maximum. With my hearing loss, we didn't understand each other at all. The result was that they didn't put things where I wanted them and I had to gesture to show them what I wanted. I would say, "Move it to the right about four inches and they would smile and move it to the left. My NO NO NO's finally got through to them and when I pointed the other direction they smilingly moved it so fast that they went beyond where I wanted them to stop. Loud and frantic WHOA's finally got their attention and my furniture ended up somewhere in the general area that I wanted it to be.

I had one day between the day they did the living/dining room, hall and front bedroom before they were to come back to finish my bedroom and den. I spent all of that day schlepping the little cottages back to their home in the finished room. By this time I was wondering if I was going to live long enough to enjoy the new look. Two pain pills and a sleeping tablet prepared me for the last day.

Saturday, after they touched up a few scrapes on some pieces, we wished each other a final, if not fond, farewell .

After a couple of hours letting my Excedrin work it's magic I started toting my stuff back to where it belonged. I have a jewel box that has a revolving gizmo in the top with hooks to hang my chains on. When I picked up the box I noticed that several hooks were empty. Because I have more chains than hooks this was most unusual. Upon investigation I discovered that my two most expensive gold chains were missing. This caused for a further search to see what else was missing. So far I have discovered that three pendants, cameo earrings, and a box of broken jewelery waiting to be repaired has joined the items that are no longer in my possession.

Here's the real mystery: My two digital hearing aids are missing. Why in the world would someone steal hearing aids? Maybe one of the guys was as deaf as I am and needed them. (That would explain the communication problem.) Or maybe he had a relative who could use the help. Or maybe he knew that they cost $2,000 each.

I have not used a hearing aid since getting my cochlear implant so this loss is not as hard for me to bear as a piece of jewelery my son gave me. I find that the theft of hearing aids to be very hard to explain.

I had to call the dealer with my complaint this morning. I really hated doing that, wimp that I am. Because I didn't want to get anyone in trouble until I was absolutely sure that the jewelry left in the pocket of one of the helpers, I spent this whole day searching my entire house to make doubly sure that, in a fit of dementia, I hadn't moved them myself. I am waiting for his return call.
~~~~~~~ To be continued. ~~~~~~~

Notice the top photo. That is the picture I took before daylight on the first day the carpet guys were coming. The second photo taken in the same spot after they finished shows you the new colorful carpet. Photos three and four show just a small part of my cottage collection that had overflowed into other rooms. There were over 100 of the little buggers.

So, was it worth it? Absolutely. Would I do it again? Never, never, never.


Rinkly Rimes said...

I'm so sorry you had such an unfortunate experience. But at least you have a brand new carpet to take your mind off your loss.

Sylvia K said...

I think I'll take two Excedrin -- I'm worn out just reading the carpet adventure! Enjoy! And have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

kenju said...

That's terrible! I hope you find them, or what happened to them.

You did us a service, however. We should be very careful of our treasures when we have strangers coming into our homes for any service.

One Woman's Journey said...

Darlene I know you will enjoy your new carpet. But what an experience. Hopefully you find your jewelry.
I continually fill bags to give away. My dust collectors are slowly disappearing. Want everything at a minimum.

Ms. Fairway said...

It's so sad to think that such a happy thing as new carpeting can be marred by the loss of treasured items. I certainly hope you are able to recover your missing items.

ugich konitari said...

I am so sorry to hear about your carpet troubles. And I know what a pain all this moving of little stuff back and forth can be. But I also worry about the fact that you need to keep taking those excedrins and stuff.

While chains/watches/machines are precious, and yet replacable, health is not. Knees and "chemistry" of the stomach is important. Please take care.....

(maybe I am in "alarm" mode after reading your post about falling down and getting 17 stitches....)

Joy Des Jardins said...

Oh Darlene, we talked about your carpet project in a couple of e-mails. Now that you've written about the whole story...I can see what you mean. Your home looks so lovely...and your cottages, the tiny bit you've shown us, are really beautiful. I can see why you treasure them and collect them.

I'm so sorry for the ordeal you went through with those carpet installers...not only for the problem you had communicating with them...but obviously for what happened afterward. It certainly sounds like they were responsible for your missing jewelry and hearing aids. I feel like you do about reporting them, but what else can you feels very invasive when someone comes into your home as a paid contractor to you....and then steals your property. I've had it happen to a friend of mine too. I truly hope you get down to the bottom of it and get your things back Darlene. I hope this incident hasn't soured you having a nice certainly are are a blessed lady way beyond any material things in life...Much love to you sweetie.... ~Joy

Rain said...

i had some things taken years ago when we had a moving company pack everything, and it made no sense what they took. Just a shame that some would do that and hope the company makes it right. It's good you called as they need to know it is missed or they will do more of it.

Neat that you got the carpeting though

Lydia said...

What a post! I was awed by the fact that you had to move so much of your stuff - then to read of the theft. I'm glad the carpeting met your expectations because the rest of the story is nightmarish!
Happy Thanksgiving, and no falling this year.

Tabor said...

I had some movers still most of my jewelry when I returned t the U.S. a number of years ago. I never replaced any of it because kids came along and I got poor again. So sorry for such a bad experience. If the laborers were bonded, you may have some legal pull.

Tabor said...

Sorry, I am in pre-coffee mode...I meant "steal".

Anonymous said...

Darlene--You may need to, also, file a report with your police department. Unfortunately, in this case, it may be really, really difficult to "prove" anything if the company resists your claim.

Look at all of the shlepping as your physical fitness program for the week. Think of all the muscle you have built. (Sorry! I know it hurt you, but it was probably good for your muscles.)

I hope that you enjoy your new carpeting and your newly cleaned collections.
Cop Car

Kay Dennison said...

Ohhhhh my Darlene!!!!!! What an ordeal! I hope you call the moving company and say something about your losses. They need to know.

Your new carpet is lovely! Now I hope you get some rest and do what is says below in word verification: chill.

It really does say that! LOL

joared said...

Oh, did I need to read this. I'm going through some household messes of my own and have been for a while. In the offing is long overdue interior painting, floor work which may or may not include carpeting, but at least getting rid of what I have. None of this can happen until I get more sorting and organization of items. Likely won't get to it now until after the holidays, then there's income tax. But I am moving ahead some.

I surely hope you get some satisfaction and your hearing aids and jewelry are returned.

I'm having an all day kitchen job done soon and the guy who lives in the community though I've never known him or of him, assured me I could leave him and helper all day in my kitchen if I needed to go out to work for a few hours. After reading your experience I think I'll follow my better judgment and make sure I'm home all day.

Those guys probably don't realize hearing aids are uniquely set up for each individual. Even if they do, there's probably a market out there for them from hard of hearing people willing to use them as best they can.

Yes, one of the frustrations of many older people who have foreign accented caregivers from a variety of nationalities is understanding their helper. Stroke, brain-injured, anyone with communication problems trying to reacquire English can experience extra challenges trying to interpret poor English and accents.

People whose only issue is hearing loss, such as you experience, are especially challenged, as I know from my first had experience trying to help them adjust. Sounds like you know how to compensate for your limitations.

Betty said...

What a terrible experience! I hope the carpet company will do something about it, and I agree that you should report it to the police, not that they will be able to do much. But, it will be on record, in case they get other reports. I also hope the non-English-speaking installers were "legal", or you may not be able to get any cooperation from the company. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you.

Gail Costner said...

Hello to all,
I am Darlene's daughter Gail, and I wanted you all to know that Mom will not be online for a few weeks. She fell last Tuesday night and broke her hip. She has had surgery and is now in a rehabilitation facility. She will most likely be there for the next three weeks. She is doing well - for those of you who may not know, she is one tough cookie and I know she will be feeling fine very soon. She will miss you all and she'll be back soon.

Gary White said...

Sorry to hear about the accident, Darlene. Get well and we'll all be looking for your posts on the Hodgepodge.

Ronni Bennett said...


Thanks so much for letting us know.


I'm so sorry and right on top of your carpeting debacle. I hope you are taking good care, doing all the things they tell you to do, and getting back to the blogospher soon. We miss you.


ugich konitari said...

Darlene, I kept checking your blog, and was about to post asking if you were OK, when I saw the post by Gail.

Very sorry to hear about the fall, and the surgery. Please take care, get well soon, and I look forward some great blog entries from you about your experiences....Great and Heartfelt get well wishes from India...

Tabor said...

It seems inevitable that before the holidays such an accident happens. Here is wishing you a speedy recovery so that you can get back to blogging soon. We miss you!

Kay Dennison said...

Thanks, Gail!!!!!!!

I'll be keeping good thoughts and prayers for her speedy and complete recovery! She will be missed!

Tell your mom that I will be posting one of her groaners to the Friday Groaner. I hope that will make her smile a little.

And give her a big hug for me!!!

Bear Naked said...

All the best Get Well wishes to you.

Bear((( )))

Joy Des Jardins said...

Oh my gosh...I knew something had to have happened. Thank you Gail for letting us know of your mom's fall.

Darlene....I've been stopping by every day wondering what's been up. Now I know. Sweetie...of all the crappy, darn things to happen before the holiday....this takes the cake. I can only hope you heal what you have to do while you're in the rehabilitation facility, and get out and get home soon. I know this was hardly your plan sweetie. I'll be checking here daily to see any updates from Gail on how you're doing. She says 'you're one tough cookie.' Hee, hee.....we already know that. I like that girl of yours.

Rest and rehab well's a broken will heal. I miss you oooooodles!!!! Love, Joy

Rain said...

Thanks for posting the information, Gail. I hope Darlene keeps doing well. What a bummer. I had begun to be concerned and read on Ronni Bennett's blog about the note here where I should have checked but hadn't gotten concerned enough yet to do that. Best wishes for good health and quick healing.

Claire Jean said...

Sorry to hear about your fall.
Hope you take good care and remain positive.

Best regards,
Claire Jean

Nancy said...

Dear Gail,

Thanks for letting us know about your Mom.

I am so sorry to hear that this happened to her.

Please give her my very best wishes for a speedy recovery and tell her I hope she is back home soon.



Mortart said...

Darlene, I was saddened to read about your accident. I wish you a speedy and successful recovery. I will miss the posts on your own blog and your kind comments on mine.

la peregrina said...

Dear Darlene,

I am stopping by after hearing about your accident over at Ronni's website (Time Goes By). Sending get well thoughts your way and hoping to find you up and around very soon.

Alice said...

Darlene, I knew something was missing, and just today (Thursday the 4th, I learned from Ronni about your recent fall). I just hope it had nothing to do with that new carpet, and that you're up and about very soon. I miss you and your nice comments.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I was so sorry to hear about your fall. After going through so much with your carpeting and the loss of your jewelry and hearing aids -

I've been thinking of you and thought, " gee, I would expect Da"rlene would be commenting on my latest post." Hope she's ok."

Well, now I do hope the healing process goes well and you get home soon.


donna said...

Darlene, get better!


Chancy said...

I am so sorry about your fall and broken hip. I sure hope the rehab goes fine and that you are up and well soon.


Betty said...

Thanks for letting us know about your mom, Gail!

Darlene, I hope everything goes well for you, and I'll be watching for your next post.

joared said...

Darlene, sorry you're off your feet, but if I know physical therapy, coupled with your determination and motivation, you'll be up on your feet as soon as medically appropriate. Expect them to have you on your feet 'ere long. Will be thinking of you. Look forward to your return to blogging when you feel up to it. You'll have much about which to write. Thanks, Gail, for letting us know about your Mom.

Rinkly Rimes said...

Have just heard of your accident! Get well soon!

Granny Annie said...

I ache in every joint just from reading your post. We're going to have to carpet soon and I'm thinking we better get a move on. I'm a collector too.

Why must workers take our possessions? Do they believe they are entitled to our stuff for doing their jobs? I had a worker at the car dealership steal my credit card, use it multiple times, was caught on film using it and linked back to the dealership and they did not even terminate him. It was my fault for leaving the credit card in my car.

On the other hand, one of my cars was stolen once and I found myself admitting to the police that I left the keys in the car. The officer said, don't beat yourself up about it. Just because you leave something out doesn't create a thief. They are thieves to start with and simply see an opportunity. It's best not to leave you keys in the car, but you didn't make this person steal.

For some reason you blog will not update on my Roller Blogs. I never know when you post, so I'm going to try to remedy that. Love you blog Darlene!

Granny Annie said...

Oh my goodness, I totally missed out on your broken hip. Take care and get well soon. You'll be back better than before and ready to carpet again. LOL

LadyLuz said...

Get well soon Darlene. I look forward to catching up with you when you're up and blogging again.
Hugs. Pamela.

Grannymar said...

Gail thank you for letting us know about your mom!

Darlene I bring best wishes for a speedy recovery from all your friends in Ireland My Dad used to say that troubles came in threes. You had the carpet, the loss of your jewellery and now a broken hip. That is the end of the bad luck so it is all up, up, up from here!


kenju said...

Darlene, I just learned of your hip from Kay. I am so sorry, and I hope you will recover soon. Keep your spirits up - we are all waiting for your return!

Joy Des Jardins said...

Hi Darlene,

I just sent you an e-mail...and then I thought you may not even get it, so I copied it here to...just in case you see your comments on your blog before you see your e-mails. Thinking of you sweetie....

Hi Darlene,

I don't even know if you'll get this e-mail sweetie; but I just wanted to touch base with you. You have been on my mind so much. I've been checking your blog every day to see if Gail has had any updates on you, but I haven't seen anything so far. I guess I'm just a little impatient wondering how you're feeling Darlene. I just hope you're doing okay and that your rehabilitation is going well. I know it's early into it, but I hope you feel good about things.

Like you...I just can't believe how this happened now. You are in my thoughts....and in my heart sweetie. So many people have left comments on your are one loved lady Darlene.....

Be good over up well....mend well...and come home soon....WE MISS YOU!!!!

Sending you ((((((((((Healing Hugs for the Holidays)))))))))))))))))))))))

Lots of Love,

One Woman's Journey said...

Darlene, keep checking in to see if you are home yet. I miss your emails to me. I called you at the hospital and you could not place me. That is alright.
Just heal quickly.

Darlene said...

Wow! I am overwhelmed. Thank you one and all for commenting on my blog and thank you for your good wishes.

It will be awhile before I blog again. I got home this afternoon and was very tired and weak. I had a medical alert system installed as soon as I left the rehab center. If I have the misfortune to fall again at least I will know help is on the way. I will write more about that later.

Nights are bad. I went to bed at ten pm and couldn't sleep so here I am on my computer at 12:30 and still don't want to go to bed. I still haven't read my e-mail because I had 850 entries to go over.

Gail left the morning after I entered rehab to go back to California. That's why she didn't follow through on keeping you informed.

My son will be here Saturday afternoon to spend a week with me.

I will get around to answering your kind e-mails eventually. I probably won't do much blogging for awhile because I tire very quickly and will spend quality time with my son.

This comment is turning into a post. I never was able to stop writing.

Rain said...

I was glad to hear you are home and know it'll take time to fully recover but you are on the road and that is the main thing. Hope each day is better. It's good your son can be there for awhile

Joy Des Jardins said...

Oh Darlene.....It's SOOOO good to hear from you sweetie. I'm so glad you're home...and in time for Christmas too....Hooray! I can imagine how tired you are, and you know we'll always be here whenever you get back to blogging; but I have to say....I've missed you Darlene. I'm glad your son will be with you for a week....and for Christmas. Have a beautiful visit with him and have a good holiday too sweetie. I'll be thinking of you... Love, Joy