email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Sunday, April 14, 2013

When It Rains It Pours.

Dad's move the assisted care house is still on track. Let me get that out of the way fast.  But you would think it was the first Monday after a vacation the way the rest of things poured down. 

First, the electric oven decided to burn itself up.   I turned it on a 4 pm to slow-roast a pork shoulder (aka Boston Butt).  I noticed a bright light inside and when I opened the door to look, I discovered the "W" shaped coil at the bottom was...  melting.  I you have ever seen arc-welding on TV, that's how it looked.  And the hot spot was slowly moving along the coil

After a minute, I decided to shoot it with the all-purpose fire-extinguisher and close the oven door to smother it.  I tried it once, twice, three times and the hot arc melting wouldn't stop!  So I called the fire department for advice.  They said they were on their way.  I told them it was a single story residence, the house wasn't on fire, etc, I just needed to know what to DO about this odd problem. 

I tossed Iza and Marley and Dad out into the back yard and locked Ayla in the computer room (because that's where she ran and hid). then opened the doors and windows.  Well, there was smoke from the burning heater coil and I didn't know what was in the fumes

They arrived in just minutes.  With a hook and ladder truck and a hose truck (really?).  I had asked for an advisor in a car, but I guess its fun to pull out all the heavy equipment and drive the stuff around with the lights flashing and the horns blaring and the 27 8x10 colored glossy photographs (oh wait, that's a different story).  But I wasn't going to let them in the house with a fire house (very messy PLUS it was an electrical problem).

Three guys came in (full gear) to look at the oven.  One had an infrared thermometer and said the insides were 650 F.  I had turned the oven off, of course, but we tripped the circuit breaker too, to be safe.  They pulled the oven out from the wall and examined it.  I mentioned the possible toxic fumes, but none of the guys had the slightest idea what the heater coil was made of.  Since it hadn't killed me, I decided to ignore it.

Their advice was to let the oven cool down and then replace it.  I don't mean to be sarcastic about guys that DO risk their lives, but I couldn't help an "Ooh, you think?" moment.






It took about 1 1/2 hours to clean that damn fire extinguisher powder from the kitchen.  I regret using it, but like the guy who jumped onto the cactus said "It seemed like a good idea at the time".  I mopped the floor, I cleaned behind the pulled-out oven, I washed everything exposed on the counters, then I washed the counters.

You know what Dad said?  "The floor is wet" and "When's dinner"?

So I set about making dinner.  With no stove...  I set about cooking some Italian sausage, corn, kale, and a potato.  Do you have any idea how long that takes using a microwave oven?  I had to cook EVERYTHING separately (its a very small M/V).  THEN I had to reheat everything on Dad's plate, THEN reheat everything on mine.  Dad complained that dinner was late.  I'm not sure he remembers that the oven burned up.  And I'm not going to ask; I just won't have to worry about his memory in 5 days! 

I have my Consumer Reports 2013 Guide out on the dining table to get a new oven...

I got a call from Dad's tax preparers.  They filed an extension for Dad, but he needs to sent a $3,000+ check by their best estimate.

Then Brother called to arrange to pick up Dad Thursday.  The idea he needed to transport Dad's bed and "stuff" was a complete surprise to him (he said).  Sister told me later she had discussed all those details with him.  But the highlight of the telephone call was that he needed $10K for his daughters wedding.  Oops, sorry, I'll help out with medical problems and college and taxes, but celebrations are his problem.  So he asked if Dad would help and I promised to give it my best sales pitch.

So I should mention that the unofficial stepdad of another of Dad's grandkids was looking for help with college tuition for a grandkid last week.  I had said that Dad is too confused these days, but decided to bring up both requests.  I consider college a lot more valuable than wedding ceremonies featuring lobster tails.  But I know that weddings matter too.

I spent 2 hours this evening squatting by Dad's chair and talking to him about the requests.  My knees STILL hurt.  I went in endless circles about who his grandkids were, what they needed, and how much help he felt comfortable providing.  Dad has such a hard time making decisions and keeping track of details.  I try to help (endlessly endlessly, endlessly), but when it comes to checks, he still has to agree to sign them, so he has to agree.  I tell him the requests, I tell him the situations, and offer him simple choices.  

He decided that equal help to both grand-daughters was best.  $2700 to each.  So then I had to call the Dead Sister's SO who is taking care of her kids (not his) AND Brother who is looking for wedding money for his dearest eldest daughter. 

I've sure had better days...  And, BTW, Dead Sister's SO said "Oh thank your Dad SO much for helping out"  Brother declined the check for his daughter's wedding saying he would "work on Dad
on the drive to the assisted care house...

Guess who I like better?

Its not about me.  Yeah, the past year feels like to push string all the time, but I can handle that.  It's almost just like another day at my old office.  Problems to solve, difficult people to talk into doing what is needed, etc. 

I know some other people have worse days; cancer, divorce, death, etc.

But I sure will be happy Thursday!

9 comments:

Katnip Lounge said...

YIKES!!!

That's a hard day to top.

I have a Maytag Gemini oven, and I love it! The smaller Top oven is the best dang thing, ever.

Derby, Ducky said...

I know some fire fighters. You call you get the whole ball of wax. It may be small when you call in, but things sometimes get out of hand and turn into larger problems. They don't want to not send enough equipment to take care of things.

I hope the ride for your Dad to the ELF doesn't turn into a strong arm to get $ from him. If he has POA document, what do you need to activate it so the designate makes the decisions and signs checks?

Even when my Dad had all of his mental capacity, it was, no $ spent for anything other than my care. No birthday money or donations to charity. We conserved his assets for his use until the time he was gone and no longer had any need for them.

Thumper said...

First, I'm glad your oven didn't blow up..because electric ovens do that all the time. Srsly. At least that's what I would have been worrying about. We have gas, so I suppose it is a possibility here.

Who asks for money from a parent on a fixed income? Obviously people do...I don't get it, though. It's not like our parents are in a position to get a job if they need more money. What they have needs to last...

Andrea and the Celestial Kitties said...

Goodness, you've had quite a week! Yikes! I hope things go smoother in these last few days for you.. I know that's asking a lot because of everything that's going on, but wow, I hope it doesn't get any worse anyway!
Is it wrong of me to think brother needs a good smack to the back of the head?

Megan said...

I hope you're thinking about something lovely to do for yourself later in the week Mark: something indulgent, something relaxing, something restorative.

Megan
Sydney, Australia

The Cat From Hell said...

What a horrible, no good, very rotten day!
I have to tell you, I LOVE my Gas Oven and Stove more and more everyday! My electric oven did the same thing 2 years ago (except ours is a volunteer fire department, Walt came over with HIS fire extinguisher). For 2 weeks I cooked everything on the BarBeQue. I'd picked out the oven I wanted and we headed off to Home Depot and when I got there, all my planning and reading was for naught as they had the most excellent Gas Oven on sale because somebody had ordered it and did not want it when it got there. They had it on their show floor for a year and I offered them 50% and they took it!

Shaggy and Scout said...

How can a Shoulder be a Butt?

Yeah, those fire boys like to go all out don't they? Talk about overkill!
Of course they don't know what to expect when they get there so I suppose like boy scouts they like to be prepared. Yeah.
I agree wholeheartedly with Megan and her comment about doing something relaxing and restorative for yourself.

Mariodacatsmom said...

YIKES - Now I'm almost afraid to turn my oven on. I have one of those self-clean things that scares me so much when you clean it because it gets so hot. I would never buy another one of those, as much as I hate to clean an oven. How old should one get before they stop hitting on the parent for $$! Seems to be when you are old enough to move out of the house, you are old enough to stand on you own two feet financially. You have had one rotten day! Go ahead and fix yourself a nice drink, sit down, and relax.

ScottinVictoria said...

Wow, I think I just watched my first soap opera - on a blog! You pack a lot in a day Mark!

The firefighters were just being prepared, like boy scouts I suppose. Think about the calls they get from some people - "Um, my stove is on fire, I think it is an electrical problem...", forgetting to mention that it is on fire because the diapers they were drying, started it and forgetting to mention that they threw them on the back deck, which of course is now on fire...

;)

3 more sleeps...

Scott