6.05.2015

quiet



Road leading to father-in-law's house

Hello, just checking in here.  For the last month we've been living in Utah helping Ls dad. He's 84 and starting to need a little extra help.  His condo has 3 stories so lugging groceries up and trash down is getting harder for him.  



This is the little cluster of homes where he lives.  A couple dozen at most and he is one of about 6 year round residents.  Days and days go by without seeing anyone.  There is only one thing up here and that is a ski resort.  Not a store or any other business at all.  8000 feet of elevation and a little isolated right?!




We have hiked each day in all kinds of weather.







While we rarely see other people we do see tons of wildlife.  We came upon this tiny deer who was without its mother. Poor thing was scared to death.



Our hikes have been spectacular


I've also been working on freshening up our bedroom.  His father moved here 15 years ago and ordered all the oak furniture at one place in one day.  So since we know we will be spending more and more time here, I've been hitting up the thrift store down in town.  I've found some cool things....




Blue and white notebook c/o The Polished Pebble - Thanks Kelley


This little french table was $10. I painted it navy blue and love it. The ginger-jar lamp was $10 and just needed cleaning.  The shade was $2 and I added the black ribbon trim.




This little bookcase was in the garage so I painted it black and drug it upstairs.  I brought the maidenhair fern from the Country Living shoot with me 700 miles.  I just couldn't leave it.  So all in all, even though I miss my house, life here has been very quiet and good.  I've always fantasized about being a hermit and this is as close as I will probably ever come to it.  And I will say...I do like it.



62 comments:

  1. Wow. What a shift! I am so glad you two are in a position to take care of your FIL.

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    1. Yes it is it quite a shift. At home I was always so busy and now I'm wondering what I was so busy with. x

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  2. That is so wonderful of you to be there for your father-in-law. You sure are making the best of the situation as well - sprucing up your room, etc.

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    1. Thank you Jeannine. He's very appreciative. :)

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  3. I would like it too Janet and truly people who are at peace with themselves and the world around them are okay with being hermits! This place just seems so calming and there's something so good in taking care of family isn't there. It looks like you're right where you need to be just now. XOX

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    1. Dani, I remember talking to you and Tabitha about being reclusive. I know you'd both love it here. And I am right where I need to be. :) x

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  4. Those photos make me miss the West.

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    1. Ahhh, the wild west! It is beyond beautiful here. x

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  5. I can imagine how beautiful and life giving the quiet is. I think people live longer who live in such peaceful environments. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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    1. I can't properly describe the relaxed feeling of being here. I hope people who live in these environments do indeed live longer.:) x

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  6. I love quiet. Noise and busyness is okay in small doses but it tires me out. The solitude and tranquility of quiet is what feeds my soul. It looks like a magical spot you've got there. Enjoy.

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    1. Thank you Lilian. The first few days of being here I was in a hurry for everything and now after a month, I've really settled in and am so enjoying the slowness of the days. I think it can only improve from this point on. x

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  7. Where I live isn't as remote as that, but my property is wooded & fairly private...my backyard is trees & a fast running trout stream. I love the outdoors & the gift of nature. My favorite days are just putzing in my yard & down at the creek...it's amazing how many rocks you can find that are the shape of something recognizable. I think I found Idaho the other day! :-)

    Enjoy your time there. It seems as though you are right where you need to be for now...helping a family member, but getting something for yourself in return.

    Anita ~ the cabin on the creek

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    1. Your place sounds so tranquil. There is no gardening here at all. At 8000 ft and hard rocky soil it seems impossible. But the grandeur of the place is a great substitute.:) I've been collecting rocks and using them as soap dishes and logs too for little tables! x

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  8. I do not think I could live like that!!!
    I got your email in my INBOX!!!!!
    Good of you to GO and be with him..............

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    1. Oh I didn't think I could do it either! But I am and it's intoxicating! Glad you are getting the notifications too! x

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  9. Wow, what an experience. I have to say you're one terrific person to roll with this. You're so wise making your bedroom a private space. The setting is beautiful. I can't say I could do it for very long but I don't have a loved one living there. If someone I loved lived there then that would change everything. Obviously this is more about connecting with someone you love than where you're living. It's beautiful....I envy you.

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    1. Thank you Kathleen. I'm surprised at myself to be honest. I've never spent more than 2-3 weeks here at a time and I always knew the date I was leaving. With no return date in particular I'm really settling in and it has been so enjoyable. x

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  10. it looks serene and pretty, love your new finds.

    Being a hermit would kill me!

    Good for you helping out L's dad, take care xx

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    1. Oh I know it'd kill you! It's def not for everyone! x

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  11. I'm a bit of a hermit and love it. Bravo for taking care of your FIL. I wouldn't have expected anything less from a stellar woman like you. You're the sort of woman I admire
    xo

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    1. Oh Jennifer you are so sweet. If you have any hermit in you at all I know you'd love it here. :)

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  12. I have a very dear friend who lives in Utah in Salt Lake, it's even that more beautiful in the mountain there with your Father inlaw...My friend finds the beast deals at the thrift shops in Utah. She shop the D.I " Desert Industries thrifts. I am forever shock at the prices for there pieces, I now know why my Calif dealer friends take trucks and and load them down.

    I have a black iron old candelabra in a few of my postings, I pais a lot for mine, she found one at her D.I for $5.00
    And chandeliers for next to nothing.
    If you have the time before you come home, check out the thrifts in the city your going to find some great buys.
    Well as much fun as you are having on your hikes, and the beauty of the mountain we miss you posting your home beauty.

    I bet you feel like a major life weight has lifted from your shoulders living this past month In so much peaceful beauty.
    Enjoy the quite, and bring some home with you.

    Xx
    Dore


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    1. Oh Dore! That is where all my little finds have come from. Close by there is a Deseret Thrift Shop. We also have 2 close by at home in Redlands. It's best to go each day but I'm unable to now b/c of the distance. But if we ever go down to town we try to stop. The deals there are great. I found the prettiest moss green velvet pillow for $1.

      And boy you are right...a major weight has been lifted. x

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    2. Enjoy, the piece, and I too could see myself living right there in all that beauty and quietness. Of course I would have to have some sort of income. I bet you feel like yodeling , or your Heidi off to visit grandfather in the mountains in the clouds. Yet grandfather is father inlaw.

      Xoxo

      Dore

      The pillow sounds wonderful, I feel your excitement the D.I's in Utah beat out any thrifting prices anywhere. Try to stop in on your way home, brings some new finds home to share with us, yet not sure anything could prefect the beauty of your Black bean cottage, it's just as perfect as can be.

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  13. I have a lot of places I'd like to live but I know I have to be practical because I have a lot of health issues which will only get worse as I age; therefore, I need to be where I'm close to doctors and hospitals...any dream of living in a remote location was something I should have done when I was younger and bullet-proof.

    We had quite a time trying to make any modifications to my parents' home when they became challenged in mobility and energy. Fortunately they were in a home on one level only but living in it in their 80s was a lot different from when they'd come to it at age 30. A hillside with a lot of landscaping; narrow doorways which couldn't accommodate a wheelchair or walker; a bathtub too deep to get in and out of; even the step up, then step down into the shower stall was burdensome, not to mention the small, low toilets (difficult to get up from) and laundry in the garage which was three steps down from the raised foundation of the house (hard enough to navigate while holding on to a hand-rail we installed but impossible if you're frail and also trying to hang on to a laundry basket). Trying to reach and bend down to retrieve things out of low cupboards in the kitchen was too hard...I mean, it just went on and on as to how 'unfriendly' their beloved home was when they got old...in which case, this is why senior housing/graduated care facilities are so valuable, since they're designed to help the resident still be on their own but with innovative features for everyday, easier living. But try explaining that to the elderly parent who doesn't want to leave their home where, despite everything, they feel safe and surrounded by their things and their memories. My mother, toward the end, was wheelchair-bound and our next big project was putting in a ramp from the driveway up to the front door. Just so you know in the future, Janet...you can often get good home healthcare equipment (free) from your local hospice; I found that out after I paid full price for most everything to try to make adaptations at home for my folks.

    I have a friend who's been having a lot of complications trying to make things right for her mom. She had moved her in with her but the mom broke a knee and couldn't climb the stairs to the second-floor bedrooms. They've got a pull-out sofa bed in the family room but the only bathroom on the first floor is a half bath with no tub or shower, just a sink and a toilet. So far, my friend is resistant to putting in one of those motorized chair attachments to the stair rail but I don't think she's going to have a choice as her mom has no proper way to bathe. I've thought to myself, 'if you ever end up in a 2-story house, Vicki, make sure there's one bedroom and one full bathroom downstairs.'

    How long can you do this, Janet? Is it feasible your father-in-law will come to be nearer to you in Redlands? It's not like he's just around the corner...you're a long way from home. I'm glad you're okay with everything and doing well. Maybe you can arrange to have someone help him, even a day or two a week, when you return to SoCal. You've got the opportunity to get that in place before you leave. I'm just worried for you. Maybe if he could live closer to you, he could rent out his Utah place; it would give him rental income to help with expenses. My in-laws moved from the Midwest to be closer to their daughter when they couldn't shovel snow any longer and the winters just became too rough on them.

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    1. Well Vicki you are so right about living here as he ages. This is not a great place for the sick or v old. There are no close medical services at all. It's 3 stories and v harsh weather conditions....but guess what? He loves it here. He never plans to leave. Did I mention he is stubborn?! lol I wouldn't want to leave my home either. This next few months will be interesting to see just how this all shakes out. And I guess I will do this as long as I need to. Wish me luck. x

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    2. Well, you know of course that I definitely DO/always wish you all the best. Your father-in-law is lucky to have you and Larry. Are you going to miss the birth of your grandchild? I'm sure this took a lot of planning and I guess Alex is looking after the gardener's cottage. With me and family caregiving (my parents), it was immediate crisis. One day my life was my own; the next day and then for the successive 6 years, it was not. It takes a toll. We all want to do what's right for our parents. It's about love and honoring them. But you can't let your own health and well-being suffer either. It's a very difficult juggle, and really there was no one else to pitch in, in my particular situation; it was just me and my husband. I think we're still reeling from the commitment, frankly. You don't come off of that kind of drastic change in lifestyle so easily. So take good care, Janet. Get outside help for him before you burn out. Start out small so that it's not such a big adjustment for him. Maybe a high school kid could come in once a week and do his laundry, or do some cleaning. I had a high school girl who lived across the street who wanted to come in and cook for Mom, two mornings a week (she was a blossoming chef!); also make up some freezer meals. I offered to pay for it...it also meant I could stay at my own home for those two mornings, for the first time in a long time...but Mom would have none of it. Stubborn, as you say; and I think not wanting to feel obligated is maybe part of the difficulty with the senior person. Anyway, post again when you can and/or if you need hugs from your readers. You're a good woman.

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    3. vicki we will go home when grandchild arrives. we already have plans set for that. :)
      it is a difficult juggle but we are making the best of it. his dad is v appreciative and the peace and quiet has been really nice. we just take it one day at a time b/c otherwise we'd drive ourselves crazy as to what to do. there is no way anyone would come up here to cook or clean for him. we set up a cleaning service last year and they showed up twice and then just quit coming. it's really out of the way and unless you are coming here to hike or ski, no one wants to make the trek up the steep hill. so really it is up to us. we are taking care of ourselves with lots of hiking, fresh air and good food. larry can work anywhere so that is good. i'm on leave and who knows how that will work out. hopefully my clients will come back to me when i return. :) you are a good woman too! x

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  14. Well done Janet! I am sure it is a challenge, but you always have the right attitude, which is an inspiration to many of us!

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  15. Looks beautiful! that sweet little deer! I have been very upset finding baby deer alone during the day before! Luckily it's very normal that the mothers leave the babies for the day and come back around dusk. I learned this as I once frantically called my poor friend's husband who works at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources :) your outpost bedroom is looking so "you"! I wonder how long before this condo is totally gardener's cottage'd...
    My brother is currently en route to Utah for a six week field study. Sounds like hell to me but he is very excited. I love nature but not willing to sacrifice a memory foam mattress and blowdryer. Can you imagine me on "the trail" with my Le Creusets filling my backpack? With like a monogrammed crocodile Dundee hat.

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    1. So good to know about the deer Stephen. It is stunning here but the place itself could use a little refresh. He's lived here for 15 years and you know things are looking a little shabby. He talks about fixing it up and he knows I'm the woman for that job. :)

      I cannot imagine you on the actual trail. I can though picture you in a RL camping setting with all the props of a proper RL photo shoot. x

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  16. My Inner Hermit is so jealous. And blessings on you for doing this. While it's always difficult to be away from home, home is, after all, where the heart is.

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  17. Sorry but i don't think you can "drug a bookcase upstairs" can you ????

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  18. Wow your FIL looks like he lives on the top of the world! What an amazing location...he must be very resourceful and content. I think it takes a special kind of person to live like a hermit. My uncle and aunt were lighthouse keepers here on the west coast and they loved the isolation.
    Your thrift shop finds and gift for making spaces beautiful never cease to amaze and inspire me...just lovely Janet.

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    1. Leslie it is a feeling of being on top of the world. When storm clouds move in, which is almost every day, it's like we are right in the clouds. It's so pretty. And I think about you whenever I'm hiking and see deer and wonder what it must be like to have them in your suburban setting...eating your roses!

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  19. What an incredible place to live. I must admit that the remoteness would terrify me not being a driver but it certainly is beautiufl.
    Hope your Dad's okay. xxx

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  20. What great family you are to your aging father in law. I like your attitude, making the most of your new adventure. Who is watering your yard while you are gone? I love your California house.
    Hope all goes well.
    Karen

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    1. thank you karen. we have a caretaker looking after our place. x

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  21. I've been wondering where you've been...I should've known you were off doing something great. It's hard watching our parents get old, isn't it? I hate every minute of it, but it must be comforting to him that you and Larry are doing everything you can to let him be right where he wants to be. That's always the problem I think, we take them away from their homes and their lives too early. So enjoy your time there. ♥

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    1. thanks sarah. yes, it is hard but we are doing what needs to be done. x

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  22. Beautiful place! And so is your soul!

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  23. Janet,

    I must say how admirable it is to be doing what you and Larry are doing. I know firsthand it's not easy...I actually feel a little guilty at the moment. I know I've mentioned before that we are dealing with the aging parent issue too and since you have a little time on your hands at the moment let me explain...

    Life as we know it changed over 5 years ago when my MIL broke her hip. My husband started going over to their house every Sunday for half a day on the weekend to help out. About a year later I started going with my husband to help out with chores and give my MIL a shower and I would stop by a day during the week to check in. Dementia had also been slowly starting as well, with both of them. 2 years ago my MIL had two hospitalizations due to a fall, the 2nd fall she broke her other hip so since then they have had care givers 10 hrs. a day. It was hell to begin with, my FIL was furious that strangers were in their home and blamed my husband and I for everything. He would call 7 or 8 times a day, if he got the answering machine he would leave nasty messages. Luckily as time has gone on they have become accustomed to having the two girls in their home. I still do their grocery shopping and coordinate all their medical care, which in itself is not a big deal.

    The biggest bone of contention with me is that my in-laws also own a restaurant in downtown San Diego. His sister used to manage it but made a huge mess of the finances so my husband had to take over all the paperwork aspects of running it about 3 years ago. Payroll, bank deposits, bills,staffing issues, etc. He stops by there after work 3 days a week for a couple hours and on the weekends he does paperwork and goes to his parents house for a couple hours every Sat.

    My FIL has gotten offers on the restaurant property (he owns it) but refuses to sell because he thinks the value will increase. My husband can't take a vacation because he can't leave for more than a couple days. (we also don't get any help from his siblings with anything unless it's a dire emergency) I find lately I've been getting a little depressed and resentful and I guess last night it came to a head and I couldn't stop crying for an hour. It seems like there is no end in sight. Like Vicki said in her comment above, it is a difficult juggle. Up until now I have not complained much but it seems to just go on and on and on... we aren't getting any younger and I worry about what this is doing to my husband's health. He is the type of person that keeps everything bottled up, he hardly ever complains.

    Anyway, after reading your post today I feel a little guilty for getting upset last night. Here YOU are, hundreds of miles away, took leave from work to go help care for your FIL. And making the best of it...even made your room beautiful! You are an amazing woman Janet, I'm sure Larry knows how lucky he is.

    Thanks for giving me the wake up call I needed. Maybe I need to be a little more grateful. :/

    Linda
    xo

    P.S. Can I run away to Utah? :) I am getting away in August to visit my sister in Idaho for 6 days. Can't wait!

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    1. oh linda i feel so bad for you. and i can relate to every single word. judging by the comments here most think i'm some sort of saint for coming up here to help but i am NOT. i'm doing what has to be done and if i let it, the fear of the future can really scare the hell out of me. we are 700 miles away from a home i love but how do we leave him? like your FIL he is set in his ways and will have nothing to do with any sort of help. sadly, it is not going to get any better. i'm just venting at the moment too. :) don't even get me started on his finances!

      please do not feel guilty. you are doing an amazing job. i've gone through this with my mom who had alzheimers for 12 yrs so i have that experience to draw from. and fixing up our little room is nothing...the whole house needs attention but we dont want to disrupt his daily life.

      we ALL need to be a little more grateful for what we have right?! thank you for sharing with all of us. it's not easy but it can be done, one day at a time. xoxo enjoy idaho. you won't be far away from me.

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    2. Thanks for your sweet reply Janet. I know things could be way worse. Thank God my in-laws have the money to cover the care givers...it's 7k a month! And luckily we only live 3 miles away.

      What part of Utah are you in? How far is the closest town to where you can get groceries?

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    3. I'm in Northern Utah, not far from the Idaho border. The closest small town is 10 miles down a steep road. The only things there are a small grocery store, bank, post office, an assortment of small businesses. If you go another 20 miles there is a larger town so we go there once a week for groceries, etc.

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  24. I really like your warm heart,your sensitivity and your ability to make the best in any situation.I envy your ability to transform your space with simple finds!And a question:Are your husband and father in law vegans too?What are you cooking these days?Efi from Greece.

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    1. such a great question efstathia. no my FIL is not vegan and larry isn't really either. L has always eaten and enjoyed what i've cooked but up here i am cooking meat!!! shocking right? meals are prob my FIL's greatest joy in his day and he was not eating well before we came. he had been existing on box type meals, anything easy. but now he is eating really fresh food daily and that is helping him. soooooo, should i post what i've been cooking? i've been making things i love to eat with a side of meat for them. it hasn't been that hard to do. so maybe i'll start posting on that bc lets face it there isn't much else going on up here! lol x

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  25. What a lovely thing you're doing and such an amazing place! You're an inspiration to me as you make the best of every situation. I'm envious of the remote locale ... our home is at the edge of a small town hat is now becoming crowded. You never used to be able to hear traffic beyond the occasional emergency siren and now there is a constant hum of white noise from the outside world. We look at each other and discuss moving ... I think that day is coming.

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    1. oh wendy that is so sad to hear that the noise of traffic is ruining your peace and quiet. that must be so frustrating. best of luck to you! xo

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  26. One more thing Janet...who is tending to your yard?? With the summer months approaching too...That is the one drawback with our house. We have a huge yard, I'd have to hire someone just to come water it if I was gone for that long.

    Linda

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    1. linda we have hired a caretaker to look after the house and garden. x

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  27. Bless you for helping him. Are your roses alright at home? Also, any baby news? Praying for all of you! Enjoy the peace.

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  28. Sorry...you may not find this funny..but for some reason when I started reading your post, the first thing that popped into my head was "The Shining"! Isolated old resort..no one around...eek!!

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  29. I am a city girl, through and through, but this environment is what I love too, and someday we hope to have a second home just like this! Enjoy every peaceful moment , and your FIL is so lucky you are able and willing to be there for him.

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  30. Wow, I missed this. Here you go again proving the kindness indeed never does go out of style

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kindness is never out of style.