Friday, May 27, 2011

I'm Surpised That Friday Wasn't the 13th

No, nothing terrible happened. It was just one of those days where the timing of everything -- and I mean EVERYTHING -- was seriously messed up. I woke up with the luxury of being able to make a balanced list of tasks I needed to do and tasks I wanted to do. After two straight months of not being able to do much of anything for myself, I really needed at least half a "me" day.

However, the phone rang first thing in the morning from someone who was informing me that she would be sending me a form through the email that I needed to print, fill out, scan, and email back to her. Of course, the form had to be in legalize language, so I had to read it four times to get the gist of what it was saying before actually filling it in. I need to research this Plain Language Act I've been hearing about, because now that I am serving as Trustee to my mother's estate, I am beyond frustrated with not being able to understand most of what I am signing, and at $250 to $300 an hour, I can't afford to consult one of my two lawyers every time someone hands me another form.

I recently screwed up a form, because it requested the "descendant's name".  I thought they meant my name, because I am a descendant or I descended from my mother, but it turned out that they meant they wanted my mother's name.  I figured that out once I reached the box where I needed to fill in the date of death.  I think between my mother and I, we've been labelled with at least a dozen new titles since her passing and I get confused as to which title belongs to which one of us.  I actually did have to meet with one of my lawyers to discuss which titles he held and which titles I held.

I have eight years of higher education and a decent I.Q., so if I'm struggling with understanding all these forms, just imagine how hard it must be for the average Joe. Also, I'm sick of having to wear a pair of reading glasses plus holding up a magnifying glass to be able to even see the small print. There has to be something illegal about the way in which legal forms are written, especially since by the time most people need to sign such forms they are old enough that half their eyesight is gone as is.

Anyway, after completing the form and emailing it back, I had to ask if I filled it in correctly. I wrote my intentions of what I meant to say on the form in the email. That email led to several other emails with requests for me to obtain more copies of death certificates, and for me to scan and email a bunch of documents that will be mailed to me over the next few weeks. Of course, the first few of those documents arrived today, and for me to scan each page will take hours, possibly days of my time because my scanner is very slow. I don't really care to drive into town and stand in line to fax the stuff for a fee either. I pay enough to Notary Publics every time I sign something that requires their signatures.

The other day I had to photocopy the Trust document, and there were so many pages, that it broke our copy machine. I thought we were going to have to go buy a new one, but my husband banged the old one around, unplugged it, and reset it, so it should work a little longer for us.

Anyway, once I did all I could do for that person for the day, I then had to provide a list of all my business assets to the County Assessor's Office. I tried emailing it, but the message failed, so I had to make copies and mail the forms the old fashioned way. The whole time I was griping about how the only work I've done for my photography business in the past year has been to fill in government forms for tax purposes. When you consider that I still haven't made my first dollar, owning a small business is a lot of work with very little profit. In my case, the profit is zilch.

It got to be about 1:00 PM and I realized I was shaking all over due to low blood sugar. I had only had a cup of coffee at 6:30 AM and had to get something to eat. I made a sandwich, but of course, I was not able to eat it in one sitting because the dryer buzzed because the laundry was ready to be hung, and the dogs kept pestering me to let them in and out, and the phone kept ringing, etc.

I was trying to put away laundry containing a lot of nylon socks and whatnot, and somehow managed to break three fingernails in the process, and the jagged nails ripped the nylon. I had to keep running back and forth between my manicure kit and the laundry. It literally took me seven hours to get all the loads of laundry washed, dried, and put away because of all the interruptions.

My son came home from school and I helped him solve his latest problems. By then I was shaking all over again from not having enough food in my system, so I poured myself a bowl of cereal in hopes that I could eat it before the next interruption.

But no, I couldn't. The phone rang. My son came running out of the bathroom to ask why I wasn't answering it. I said with my mouth full of cereal, "Because I'm sick of people calling every time I try to eat something!"

He let the answering machine pick up. It was the real estate agent giving me an update. I couldn't hear what he was saying, so I played the message back when I was done eating. Of course, while I was listening to the message, my mobile phone started ringing. I screamed an expletive. There was no way I could run across the house to the room that the mobile phone was in and be able to get it out of its pouch and push the right combination of buttons to answer before the voice mail picked up.

I had to listen to the answering machine message a second time, because the interruption of the other phone made me miss the end of the message. Then I ran to my mobile phone and listened to the voice mail. It was from one of my attorneys wanting to know about the status of a bill. That was the last straw. I decided it was late on a Friday afternoon before a three-day weekend and I didn't need all this stress. I decided that anyone else who called could just leave a message and wait for me to get back to them next week.

I sat down to do some deep breathing exercises and the phone rang again. This time it was this dang carpet cleaning service that has been illegally calling me twice a week -- something they are not supposed to do, because I am on the National No Call List and I have never done business with them before. I took down their phone number so that I can report them to Consumer Affairs and call them back and give them hell for interrupting me all the time. I wish I had the time to call them twice a day with my complaints just to let them get a taste of their own medicine. Hopefully, they would learn that telemarketing cold calls are not the best way to do business, but are the best way to piss people off. I'd just have to make sure they connect me with the owner of the business, so that I'm not harassing some poor innocent employee who has no control over the situation.

Despite telling myself I was done for the day (put a fork in me ; ), I then remembered that I had to pick up the mail.  Big mistake.  I instantly had another week's worth of legal documents to decipher and forms to fill out. 

Sadly, I have only been able to shovel manure every other day before the sun sets, because I've been so busy. Also, a friend phoned me as I was packing to leave on my last trip, and I didn't have the time to talk to her, so we agreed I would call her back when I returned. Well, I've been back for a week now and haven't had a moment to myself during respectable phone calling hours. If she suffered from insomnia like I do, I could call her in the middle of the night or in the wee hours of the morning. That's the best I can offer right now. That's when I do most of my blogging. Either then or while I eat my meals, assuming I get a meal.

Needless to say, nothing on my "want" list got done, none-the-less the majority of items I needed and planned to do. I know no one can call me about business over the holiday weekend, but still my favorite "me" activities will be limited by lousy weather and a gazillion Californians who are visiting neighbors and taking over the neighborhood. The only way holidays really work out for me is if I leave town and invade someone else's space since so many people choose to vacation where I live. Maybe I should do what my neighbor does and run a bed and breakfast, but out of my barn. The horses prefer to be out at night in the summer months anyway. I could charge some tourists $200 a night to sleep there, and if they ask about toilets, I can just tell them to learn from the horses.  Consider it a form of camping, but no bonfires allowed.

On a brighter note, my husband came home from work, took one look at me and knew I was completely worn out and frazzled. He said, "What can I do to help you?"

I smiled my devilish smile and jokingly said, "You can go to the market and buy everything they have available in chocolate. Chocolate cake, brownies, chocolate ice cream... whatever you can get your hands on."

I was kidding, but he went anyway and now I've got enough chocolate to keep me buzzing from a sugar high for the next couple of months.  Looks like I'll be needing a bigger saddle.  


Mikey said...

Oh girl, lol. Love that husband of yours. That's a keeper :)
I'm sorry it's been one of those days. I know exactly what you mean and I had to giggle when you're trying to hear one message and the phone is ringing, you're cussin. Ohhh, I know.
I think you're doing right. Just let it all go and take care of yourself first. You're doing all you can and then some. Let the calls go to VM. I know how hard that is. I was in the closet today putting away an armful of clothes when I heard the phone going off. Couldn't get to it! Took a deep breath and just let it go. But deep down I STILL wanted to answer the dang phone and deal with whatever it was.
Can you leave with your horses over the weekend? Of course, wherever you went, you'd probably find quads and dirt bikes and camping tourists. Wish I had a solution for you! All I can say is I will be thinking of you!!

Cheryl Ann said...

Nuzz, when I was in charge of my mom, her psychiatrist suggested a book, "The 25 hour day", for caregivers. Yes. It is important that YOU take some time for YOU! Please don't get sick over all of this. Take the weekend off, enjoy your horses, don't answer another phone message or bill! (((BIG HUG)))

Tammy said...

I'm thinking the first thing on your "me" list should be Unplug and turn off the phone! LOL!

I sure can relate to days like that! Talk about frustrating. Hope you have a good, long weekend!

TeresaA said...

oh what a terrible day!!! I've had days like that and know how you feel. I agree that the fall out from death is beyond ridiculous!! I can never understand how one company needs multiple copies of the same thing!!!

deep breaths.
Reading this blog is getting me thinking that I need to plan my death so my children don't go through this!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Awww, I'm sorry the day was so frustrating for you. Do feed yourself more regularly; it will help with the stress levels. Of course, a little chocolate never hurts, right?

Dreaming said...

What a wonderful hubby!
Ya know, sometimes we can make all sorts of plans and life just gets in the way! We had a similar day yesterday - didn't get a darn thing accomplished and felt frustrated about that!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

You should just load up and come visit me for a few days. ;-) I actually like my neighbors, it's quiet, got horses to ride and there are lots of areas to go where you might run into a few other people, but they are looking for solitude as well and leave you alone.

Of course, I would have to discuss it with the squirrel, but I'm sure he wouldn't mind giving up his playroom for a few days. LOL

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Hooray for thoughtful husbands who want to fix anything they can to make us happy again. Chocolate is the perfect quick fix, too!

I had to laugh at your oxymoron about how legal forms should be illegal because of all the small print. Illegal legal forms! lol!

It's the truth though.

achieve1dream said...

Aww your husband is so sweet. :) Wow I really hope things settle down for you soon. It sucks having to deal with all of that crap and all of those stupid people. Try to make taking care of yourself (and eating) and higher priority because we all worry about you.