Silver Hells: December Minirants

I have a cold. I hate having a cold. It drains me of energy, my head aches, my nose is stopped up, my throat is raw, my ribs hurt from coughing, my stomach is upset because of all the snot draining into it, and the cats don’t give a damn so I don’t get coddled at all.

My poor, pitiful empty-nested self put up the Christmas tree today. It felt like a funeral. Once I got the lights turned on. I felt some better. I made hot chocolate added exactly 1/2 shot of whiskey* to it. I felt more better.
I wrapped some presents I got for the lil’wrekker and my grandbabies. Now I feel okay, not great, but okay.

  • I never drink.

@ firstworldproblems:

In 2017 the FCC auctioned off all of the OTA TV channels above 36. Last week the great frequency swap occurred. The channel that was on 40 moved to 16. The channel that had been occupying 16 moved to 27. The channel formerly known as 42 moved to 35 and the channel that was on 44 moved to 21. It was fun on a bun rescanning my tuner to the new channels and reprogramming my DVR to record all of the shows I want to.

Last night I looked at my mother’s checking account. She’s old and I like to keep an eye on things. (I’m a co-signer on the account.) I saw that she had written over $100 in $5 checks to various charities in the last month. I’ve talked to her about this before. But this is the most I’ve seen her do.

I visited her today and told her she has to stop doing this. She has five local charities that she supports and I told her she has to stick to them. And I got the same excuses: but they send me all this stuff - I have to give them something; but I feel so sorry for the children, veterans, sick people. Again, I explained to her that this is exactly what they want her to feel. And the more you respond, the more your name gets sold to other charities and the more stuff she will get.

And then as I was leaving, I saw a stack of mail to go out. I looked through it and there were ten more! I told her to void all those checks and stop this now. She wouldn’t do it and promised she would not send any more. I told her if she did, I would take her checks and only give her enough to pay her bills each month.

I hate to have to be mean about it but, damn, she lives on Social Security and she can’t afford to do this. I believe that charity is a good thing but I’m pissed that she is being taken advantage of. Even the ones that are legit like St. Jude (one of the locals she supports) send her stuff almost every week!

I guess I need to find a way to get her off these mailing lists. I have a feeling this is not the end of it.

Good luck.

I mean that sincerely. Those “charities” are the most pernicious bastards, I guess the fact that they pass some of the money on for good works makes them feel it’s okay to take advantage of elderly people. (You know Guideposts? That Christian feel good magazine? They kept sending my mother renewal notices, and she always sent them a check. At the time of her death, she had over eight years of prepaid subscription…and they were still sending those renewal notices!)

I don’t know what you and your mother’s situation is. How close together you live, how often you can visit her, and most important, how competent she is to handle her affairs. One thing I did, after her forgetfulness/vulnerability to this sort of stuff got bad, was rent a post office box in her town and send in Change of Address forms to all the charities that contacted her. I was able to visit her several times a week, and just added a stop at the Post Office. The appeals still flooded in, but I at least had no qualms about tossing those ‘valuable’ keychains and whatnot without even opening the envelopes, much less donating.

We have an appointment to take the cat to the vet to be put to sleep in the morning. I can’t seem to stop crying.

My family did the Great Charity Split. There are charities we’d all support but hey, 5 people sending $5 each means 5x the work and overhead of one person sending $25, right? So, we split them. It worked well, now Mom knows who she’s given to, who to nag about receipts (they’re deductible and by Juno Moneta she is deducting them, as my brother is in Finance!), and FinanceBro knows what names to look for in her bank account (the transfers themselves are acceptable to our local Treasury, so long as the receiving charity is correctly identified).

And we even get to tell volunteers on the street “oh, you’re my brother’s!”
Maybe you can have her hand those over to you, and you’ll reorganize the giving so it’s more traceable for tax purposes. Or something like that. I haven’t said anything about how exactly will you organize them.

Oh, and after the 5K€ mattress (which got returned, and a fancy one with no add-ons of a huge Bible, a miraculous magnet and other crap, bought for less than 1K), now FinanceBro has finally gotten around to creating a “secret piggybank account”, which had previously been agreed on but not created. My mother gets nervous if she sees more than 3 figures in her balance.

You have my sympathies. Putting a pet to sleep is never an easy thing to do. Just comfort yourself that your cat had a good life with you and you are doing the best thing for your kitty.

Hugs to you. I had to do that in March; even though he was very sick and already near death, it was still very painful.

Some people think those charitable solicitations are actually bills. No, they’re not.

After the 2004 tsunami, I sent $500 to Doctors Without Borders (just minutes before midnight on 12/31/04, so I could deduct it) and started getting big, flashy packages from them, of course with a request for more money. After the 3rd or 4th such package, I wrote to them and asked them not to send me any more of these, and to my surprise, they didn’t. These were things that you’d use in a presentation to a church or civic group, that kind of thing. Sorry, those resources need to go to people who will benefit from them.

Thanks so much for your reply! And, yes, I do know Guideposts. She subscribes to that. They send her books and I’ve told her to just put “return to sender” and give them back to the mail carrier. I need to go back over her account to see if she is constantly renewing the magazine, though.

I like the idea of forwarding all the charity mail. I’ll try to get the addresses and have it all sent to me.

So far she is still handling her money pretty well. She pays all of her bills on time and only shops with her best friend or me since she doesn’t drive. Thanks goodness she doesn’t have a credit card so I don’t have to worry about phone scams! She did give out her bank info to a phone scammer a few years ago. I put the fear of god into her about that after we had to go to the bank and close that account and reopen another one. I don’t think she will ever do that again. This is the only issue I’m having and can’t seem to get through to her about it. She just doesn’t see it as a scam like all the phone calls I’ve drilled into her head to hang up on.

Actually, I was thinking earlier that I should sign her up for all the animal charities. She hates animals. Maybe that would turn her off to it all. :smiley:

I haven’t seen a doctor (yet) but I’m pretty sure I have carpal tunnel syndrome, and guess what exacerbates it? Knitting, one of my favorite leisure activities. :mad: Just around the time I think I can go back to it, this thing rears its ugly head, so I’m not going to do it for a while, in addition to wearing a wrist brace, and see what happens.

And this is perfect knitting weather. :smack:

I came down with diverticulitis (again) and the day before yesterday it felt like someone was sticking a knife into my stomach. The whole day. I went in and got some antibiotics and I’m slowly improving–but I’m still avoiding bending over as much as I can. :frowning:

I know that pain. I’m so sorry.

He’s gone. His breathing was getting very labored and he couldn’t stand on his own, so we took him to the emergency vet and had them put him to sleep. They were very nice, and his end was peaceful. But it was so hard to do. This is the first time I’ve ever had to put a pet down.

Any time I’ve had a dog put to sleep, the veterinary staff have always been compassionate and professional. They’ve always been there to help me with my grief and to make the process as painless for the pet as possible. They truly do their work out of their love for animals.

So sorry about your cat. Feel better. I am thinking of you.:frowning:
ETA makes me feeling sorry for myself about the Christmas tree very petty.

It’s one of the hardest things in life. You did the right thing. You knew it was time and didn’t want him to suffer. And you were with him to say goodbye. I won’t lie. It’s going to hurt for a long time. I wish I could give you a hug.

I’m so very sorry about your kitty, ENugent. It’s so hard. :frowning:

Sending hugs to you ENugent(and giving my kitters extra cuddles today). This is the hardest and the kindest thing you will ever do for your pets.

I’m so sorry, ENugent. It’s one of the hardest things to do, even if it’s for the right reason.