Wednesday Update

by CountryThreads on March 28, 2018

The gate is fixed! Thanks to Ryan and River City Fence for coming so quickly after I called. I thought I had probably ruined the gate but luckily Ryan could adjust it again. Remember I said it wasn’t pretty – me moving the snow with the tractor and loader.

So now the snow is melting making loads of mud until the temps drop again for Easter Sunday.

There are many antique lovers who read this blog and some have written that they have already downsized and gotten rid of their things because their kids wanted nothing to do with them. Not having kids I’m going to try to “gift” things to my younger friends over the coming years. All my things keep me company for now. And that brings up another question – if I died next week, is there anybody out there who would help with my animals? Would you give a cat or dog a home? How about farm animals? I would honestly rather have them euthanized than neglected or abused.

Does anyone else think about this scenario?

Rick is doing fine at Concord – the dogs and I visited him this morning after Connie and I met for coffee at Java 18.

Connie is home from her vacation in Florida. Normally she thinks she can start right in on yardwork when they return – that’s not going to happen this year! Piles of snow everywhere!

{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

Janice March 28, 2018 at 2:47 pm

Oh Mary, I hope there’s a better solution than euthanizing any pets. That would be just awful in my humble opinion. But, with the grace of God, you won’t have to worry about that for a long, long time. It is something to think about though. Or at least have it in the back of our minds. Connie looks great and so do you! Jan in MA, waiting for spring to arrive. I’ve got one crocus struggling and budded daffodils. Warmer today but Sunday will be cold again…

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Angie March 28, 2018 at 2:55 pm

You both look so happy. Glad the gate faired better than you thought. I have downsized and I must admit that it was freeing. I lucked out and a young couple had bought their first home and needed to fill it up. My house is now their house along with many chockies. I moved with my dearest things and hope the couple enjoy my things. The things I had collected were only precious to me and the memories came with me and the “stuff” is gone.
Good luck

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Lori March 28, 2018 at 2:57 pm

What a great photo!

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MartyCae March 28, 2018 at 2:58 pm

I do think about this from time to time. Hopefully for all of us it will be a long, long time for need of distribution. I do have a wonderful sister-in-law that will take all my quilting items and put them to good use. She will make sure my completed quilts are distributed correctly. As for my antiques I am the only one who enjoys them so who knows where they will end up.

Spring is a long time in coming – can’t wait to see pictures of all your pets outside! Have a blessed Easter.

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diane matthews March 28, 2018 at 3:01 pm

Here in our neck of the woods (Sacramento, CA) we have a program sponsored by the local shelter that tries to pair old pets from an owner who has passed on with older people who would like a pet but might not have the financial ability to pay the amount the shelter fees to adopt a pet. It seems to be working well. The problem might come with sheep, goats, chickens, etc. If I lived in my old place up by Yosemite, I would definitely take the farm animals because I had 5 acres. But at 80 yrs. old now, things have changed for me…..drat!

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Maryjane in CA March 28, 2018 at 3:05 pm

Oh yes, having dogs I have always worried about outliving them. Single, no children and no relatives I would give a dog to. I have some animal loving friends but they’ve got their own and wouldn’t want to take 2 more. They have to stay together. Nobody will, of course, treat them the way I do. But have talked to a sweet younger lady I’ve known for many years and she has assured me she’d take them and treat them well. Hope I don’t have to do that. Same with my quilts. Not sure where those will end up and I’ve said many times they are not to be sold in a garage sale. But that’s stuff and my dogs are most important. With all the farms there, I’m sure you would find a home for them. Not fun to think of this situation, but we always have to do some planning.

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CountryThreads March 28, 2018 at 3:33 pm

Maryjane – the “farms” around here are huge crop farmers – or huge confinement farmers. Most farmers won’t even let their dogs in their house! And for those farmer friends who read this, how many of you have dogs at all or dogs that have to live outside? I am outspoken about this and will not apologize!

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Teresa March 28, 2018 at 3:23 pm

Always so good to see you and Connie together. What a friendship you’ve shared over the years and I’m glad you’re still collaborating on projects despite ‘retiring’ from the retail business.

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Sue March 28, 2018 at 3:24 pm

What a cute photo of the two of you. Maybe Connie will make another quilt for us to see since she can’t garden yet.
I have trouble thinking about where my chickens would go if we sold our place and moved to town. Mine are getting pretty old now, but seem very healthy. Only one very old girl has stopped laying eggs, but she is precious to me. So, I see where you are coming from. No one really wants old chickens.

We do think about downsizing all the time. My husband will be 80 next month and I will be 79 in June and everything gets harder as the years go by. Diane says Drats!… and so do I. We really don’t want to move. ( I think the move itself would do me under.)

So, now comes the part about my treasures. Some I have given to kids and grandkids, but most don’t want ‘things’ and many live far away. So….I have been selling things in my online shop one by one. Small things, though, because the shipping for large items is horrendous. Because they do sell, I can’t believe antique and vintage are as bad as some would have us believe. Just a though for the day.

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Diane March 28, 2018 at 3:46 pm

Mary, I am hoping that will be a LONG time from now. But, if I am able to get there, I’d drive from Central Ohio to Iowa to get a kitty or two to keep Squeak company.

I have made a list of who gets what quilt. I am two years younger than you, but I do want them to go to the right people and who knows what could happen. We have a daughter and son in law who love old things and our son would be happy for some of them, too. We also have four grandchildren who have grown up appreciating old things. I hope they take what they want and auction off the rest, but not my undies!! My mom went to an auction in the 50’s where they auctioned the lady’s girdle. We did NOT auction my mom’s things!!

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Linda Kosfeld March 28, 2018 at 3:49 pm

Regarding your animals: Research sanctuaries that take farm and small animals and see if they would be able to take your animals in the future. I know there are sanctuaries like that in Minnesota so I would think there would be some in Iowa. If you can provide a donation when they take an animal, that might be helpful.

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CountryThreads March 28, 2018 at 3:52 pm

Linda – research? What kind of research?

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CountryThreads March 28, 2018 at 8:31 pm

Linda – Ahh – research as a verb not an adjective! I am so sorry I read it wrong!

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Sherrill March 28, 2018 at 4:01 pm

I think about that same scenario often–especially since my DH was diagnosed with glioblastoma, had 4 surgeries, was home on hospice and died all within a year. I had to pack up the house, get rid of lots of his stuff and mine and downsize. My kids would CROAK if I died tomorrow and they were left with all my stuff!! So I’m donating TONS of fabric to the church quilt group, offloading some stuff to my niece (probably the only one who’d care about some family ‘heirlooms’, etc. She wants the grandfather clock my dad built for me from a kit and she already has my piano that was my mother’s.

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Arlene March 28, 2018 at 4:02 pm

My children don’t want many of the larger items, but love the smaller things like my Mom’s wedding prayer book, my first communion prayer book, the bottle my mom sprinkled laundry with, etc. There were a few of my mom’s things that I regret not saving, but there is only so much space and I don’t want to spend time dusting! LOL

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Susan March 28, 2018 at 4:12 pm

Mary, glad your gate was an easy fix. My cousin’s daughter ran into her garage door this morning with the car. It happens. I’m with you in thinking about what will happen to my pets if I go before they do. I most certainly would take a friend’s pet if it would be comfortable in my home. I have decided not to get anymore new pets because I don’t want to out live them. Perhaps fostering may be an option for me or adopting a senior pet.

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Sue Davis, Argyle, Texas March 28, 2018 at 4:46 pm

Oh Mary
This problem plagues me, because I don’t know what we would do either. I know Gary would continue to care for them just like I do as he loves them so. How can you ask anyone to let them sleep in their bed as we do. This is a huge dilemma. If you come up with an answer please share. Got a text from Kelly who has my lambs and Ellie our girl had twin baby boys this spring. Kelly said she is a good momma. As much as I miss my lambs I’m so happy they are at their birth home and that will be forever.
But we are strong gals so today we don’t need to have those thoughts. 🐩 thoughts and prayers, sue Davis, argyle, tx

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sandy March 28, 2018 at 4:50 pm

What a wonderful photo of You & Connie…..you look so happy 🙂

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Jane March 28, 2018 at 5:29 pm

My kids don’t want my stuff either. I already took Mom’s crystal and some silver plate pieces from the early 40’s to a resale shop. Next goes my great aunt’s china. The silverware I’m keeping. Got to keep looking for more things to get rid of.

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Linda l March 28, 2018 at 5:40 pm

Oh my, some of us do think alike or have similar circumstances. I also wonder about my two dogs, one of which is a difficult terrier. My husband passed away in January and I don’t have family that would be able to take both dogs. I keep taking my terrier to training and hope I would meet someone who could rehome them if I couldn’t care for them. If I do outlive them, I think my next rescue will be from this situation.

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Carrolyn V March 28, 2018 at 5:51 pm

Thee return of a smiling friend is better than a spring thaw! At least friends you can count on!!!!!

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Mary Cooper March 28, 2018 at 6:06 pm

When my elderly neighbors died it took their daughter and son-in-law six months to get the house emptied and ready to sell. They told us “Don’t ever do this to your children.” Now that we are downsizing we are amazed at how much “stuff” we are getting rid of. We remind our children that we are doing this for them!

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Joanne March 28, 2018 at 6:10 pm

I have four daughter in laws that want nothing but I love all my antiques. THe grandchildren love coming here and seeing all the old things. MAybe that includes Grampy and Grammy 😄😄.Enjoy your antiques. I love everything you show and how you decorate. ENjoy your animals. I love reading about them. You know God will provide and take care . Happy Easter

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Maryjane in CA March 28, 2018 at 6:42 pm

I think Linda Kosfeld meant for you to research sanctuaries and see what is available.

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CountryThreads March 28, 2018 at 8:30 pm

Maryjane – Ahhhh! My mistake! Sorry, Linda –

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Kate March 28, 2018 at 6:53 pm

I do think about what will happen to my animals when I die. I have asked my daughter and son-in-law to take the dogs. I want another puppy, but it would outlive me probably, but I still want one.

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Kate March 28, 2018 at 6:56 pm

Oh, and I read somewhere that in one of the Scandinavian countries they do what they call “death cleaning,” where after the age of 50 they start cleaning out their stuff so their kids won’t have to. I am trying to do that, but I still have a lot of stuff. I just tell my kids to take what they want and sell the rest at an auction. How did I accumulate so much stuff?

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Kathy March 28, 2018 at 7:09 pm

my things are mine until i die, and then my kids will sell, donate, or give away, i’m sure they will take care of my animals, that’s all i care about to.

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Susan the Farm Quilter March 28, 2018 at 7:55 pm

As my name states, I live on a farm and have 1 dog, 2 barn cats and 3 horses. The only animals I can guarantee you do not come in the house are the horses. The barn cats are outside most of the time, but when it gets below freezing they are brought into the house. The dog, well, she is sleeping between my legs on the recliner right now (5 pounds worth) so she doesn’t even get to go outside alone! Even when I had big dogs – labs, shepherds – I would bring them in the house at night and sometimes during the day too!! They are pets and family. Now, if I could figure out how to get my horses in the house, I’d be happy to have them as well, but they would have to be house trained! I think they are happier outside in their pasture or barn. I’m grateful to have 3 daughters who will take my animals and my quilting stuff…the rest, not so sure!

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another Mary March 28, 2018 at 8:03 pm

A friend has agreed to be the guardian for our pets after our deaths. DH and I have written this into our will/estate plan, and included a set amount of money to go with each pet.

My aunt had several cats at the time of her death. Her favorite was elderly, had terrible allergies that were never really successfully treated completely, and the cat missed my aunt terribly. The vet agreed euthanizing the cat was probably the best thing we could do for her, so we had the vet put her down.

The rest of them were indoor/outdoor cats, and they lived out their days on the farm and visiting my parents next door.

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Betty Klosterman March 28, 2018 at 8:17 pm

My mother, and her mother NEVER threw anything away. When Mom died, I already knew what I wanted then we had an auction. The auctioneer started the auction saying “I’ll answer everybody’s question. Yes, this all came from Nellie’s house.” I knew it would be a job and never gave it a thought. We just started on top. It was like a scavenger hunt–a lot of junk and then a great find.
I kept a Hoosier cupboard from the farm and a small sewing chest of drawers that came from an old neighbor.
Now for mine. All my sewing stuff, yarn, etc. will go to our Project Warmth group at the quilt guild. I’ve told the lady she will need a medium size truck, 2 men and a large boy and maybe they might make 1 trip. Oh, I have a better pile of stuff than Mom had! The Project Warmth ladies will do a wonderful job making quilts out of everything.

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CountryThreads March 28, 2018 at 8:24 pm

Betty – how wonderful – I loved your story!

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Becky from TX March 28, 2018 at 8:47 pm

I’m glad Rick is doing good at Concord and it’s so nice that they let puppies come visit. They allowed dogs to come visit at the nursing home is Osage where my mom was. I think it’s a small town thing.
I worry about my pets all the time if something would happen to me. My husband is still living so it’s not that much of a concern. We do a lot of traveling together that part concerns me so I don’t know what to do?????

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Jo's Country Junction March 28, 2018 at 9:32 pm

I love seeing you and Connie together!! Great picture. You are both aging gracefully!!

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CountryThreads March 28, 2018 at 10:08 pm

Jo – I am always shocked to see how Gray my hair is!

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Beverly Lockmiller March 28, 2018 at 10:24 pm

I would take acat and a Dog. I could give my son the chickens. and I would take all the antiques you would give me. expectly sewing stuff. But you are not going any where for a long long time, we would miss your blog too much.

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Felicia Hamlin March 28, 2018 at 10:45 pm

The things we think, but sometimes is good to do that. I have thought that as much as I love my dogs and cats, I probably will not get any more. I know people who treat their animals in a way that I can’t. My dogs stay in, except to go out for their potty needs, I couldn’t keep my dogs out and they are loved. For my things, my kids probably won’t want my things. You and Connie look great. Glad to know your husband is getting better and that the dogs can go visit.

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Colleen March 28, 2018 at 11:57 pm

So glad the gate was an easy fix
We currently have one old cat she can to us when we had other cats and dogs she made it clear from the beginning that she would prefer to be the only animal in our hearts and home. We made a deal that we would not add any animals into our home until she passed on. Now that cat is our only she is happy we are happy ….. I do see other animals I would like to open my home to but I made a deal and that cat loved us when her life was difficult with the other animals so we will keep our word.
After she is gone we will most likely take a break then decide on what animal we will bring into our lives. Most likely a rescue and older, might be awhile this kitty is very happy being in charge of her humans. She tells us she wants to be brushed or feed or outside or inside. She is 95% indoor but enjoys laying outside in the sunshine. We are pretty well trained humans I think

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CountryThreads March 29, 2018 at 11:29 am

Colleen – loved your ONLY cat story!!

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Sandy Kolarik March 29, 2018 at 1:58 am

I’m like you regarding my dogs, I love the company and house is a home with them. My husband recently passed away and they comfort me. I always wonder if I should get another dog. When they pass I would consider on getting an older one.. Glad Rick is feeling better and fence got fixed before he got home.

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CountryThreads March 29, 2018 at 11:27 am

Sandy – fostering senior dogs is my plan!

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Ann Barlament March 29, 2018 at 6:52 am

I’m at that cross road now…too young to give up my independence and too stubborn at having to give up my most treasured things. If I didn’t own a split level home, I would be adapting my house to be wheelchair accessible. The nursing home provides wound care and therapy, but not much else.

One friend took my plethora of green houseplants but not my 50+ year old cactus plants. My nieces want none of my household items. There are others that are waiting, like vultures, to sweep in to take possession of fabric, tools and quilts.

I can only hope the next owners will come to love these things as I have.

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CountryThreads March 29, 2018 at 11:24 am

Ann – I like the idea of giving while living so I might pursue that – another reader reminded us that these “precious ” treasures belonged to someone else at one time. That was very helpful to me!

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Darla March 29, 2018 at 8:46 am

I think you have a barn cat named Darla. I would take her in since we share the same name…and also one or two of the other barn cats.

Your blog is so enjoyable to read. I love hearing about your life and your many interests.

Don’t be distressed about the gate. Most women wouldn’t even have attempted to operate the machinery.
You go, girl!

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CountryThreads March 29, 2018 at 11:21 am

Darla – YES! I do have a Darla in the barn with her sister Danielle. Send me your address via email if you’re serious. What if I died next week? I’d know my two girls would be loved.

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Darla March 30, 2018 at 8:31 am

Mary, I have replied to email.

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Michelle March 29, 2018 at 9:31 am

What a nice photo!! It’s great to have such a good friend!! Glad to hear the fence is OK. Speedy recovery for Rick!!!

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Marie March 29, 2018 at 9:32 am

Not knowing if you are as old as me or not but it’s never too early to make arrangements for our animals. I’m 83 years old and made them for my little dog, have even written an addendum to my will for her. The couple who have kindly consented to loving her, now take her the odd day for a visit and she loves them and their animals so my mind is at peace as far as my wonderful companion is concerned. As far as the antiques and collectibles, I don’t care what happens to them when I go, if my family doesn’t want them, sell them and keep the money!!! No worries here in B.C.!!!

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Tanya March 29, 2018 at 9:35 am

My husband’s great aunt Georgine lived to almost 100 in California. Whenever someone would visit her, she would show you around and watch to see when your eyes lit on something. Then she would say, “Would you like that someday?” If you responded positively, she would take a pen and paper and write your name. She then put the little slip of paper inside the piece of glassware or taped it on the bottom of the clock or whatever. After she died years later, we got a box from the cousins who were her executors with everything she wanted us to have…and that WE wanted! What a smart woman! It made her happy to know that we would love and remember her always and take care of her things.

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Ruth March 31, 2018 at 8:02 am

My husband’s grandmother had names on masking tape stuck to everything in her home. Then a flood came and washed all the name tags off. The family had a hard time remembering who was supposed to get what at that point.

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CountryThreads March 31, 2018 at 9:36 am

Ruth – oh how tragic! I’m reminded of that old saying – we make plans, God changes them.

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Susan-AZ March 29, 2018 at 10:20 am

Glad Rick is doing well and that your gate was fixed easily and promptly! Two cuties in the photo-who cares about the gray hair!! Planning ahead for your animals and all your things is a wise thing to do and will give you some piece of mind. Something we all should do while in good health. Not sure if my 3 boys will want my quilts etc so I have told them to donate them to the quilters guild or give them to someone who will appreciate them. The boys are also getting a little booklet regarding the care of quilts. I know many of us have treasures from our local thrift shops. If no one had donated these items, we wouldn’t have them. It’s a good way to help churches/charities in your area! Mary, thanks for bring up this issue! Hope some Spring flowers are growing soon!

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Mary Ellen March 29, 2018 at 10:40 am

Wow! What a great looking picture!!! Two special friends…..a great looking couple of dinosaurs!!!!
Happy cold Easter from sunny 75 degree Atlanta!!!!

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CountryThreads March 29, 2018 at 11:17 am

Mary Ellen – Happy Easter to a fellow dinosaur!

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Tina W in Oregon March 29, 2018 at 11:03 am

I have a friend who is slowly but surely downsizing. She always says “giving while you’re living is knowing where it’s going”! It’s so difficult to let go of the things we have but I honestly can’t recall anything I’ve parted with that I truly miss! With that said – back to sorting!
Glad the gate was an easy fix and that your hubby is healing up nicely!

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Linda Baker March 29, 2018 at 7:28 pm

We animal lovers do think about these things, don’t we? My old cat will be either 20 or 21 next month. I’ve had her since she was about 7 months old, and she’s always been an indoor cat. It’s hard to see her so thin and scruffy looking in her old age, but she keeps on going. We usually have two cats sleeping in bed with us every night. My husband “hated” cats when I met him, but now he’s known as the cat-man.
When we had our two big dogs, they went every where with us, on vacations, in the boat, fishing, we never left them home. They were in the house too, and at least one of them slept with us.
As for all my stuff, I’m hanging on to it til the day I die, and I’m enjoying it. Then, the daughter and the step-kids can deal with it. It’s my revenge for their disinterest in us while we’re alive, LOL!

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Sharon B. March 30, 2018 at 8:17 am

Congrats on getting the fence fixed so quickly!
You brought up a good question! It was only the recent few months that we thought about adopting a kitten. (We’ve been without a pet for far too long). And, every time we went to give it a try, we were “turned off” by all of the questions that adoption centers ask. One was about them being able to visit with the kitten every few months to see if we were taking care of it. (really?) But, most interesting was a question like you asked “Who would take care of the cat if you died?”. You know, we always assume that we are going to outlive our pets, or that there is always “someone” (friend or family) that would automatically continue taking care of our pet. But, sometimes that is just not the case. Who knew pets have gotten so complicated over the years… lol! Anyways, we figure this type of adoption process is just a NJ thing…and maybe a little more casual when we move out of this horrid state…THEN we will adopt!

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Annie March 30, 2018 at 11:34 am

Mary, Like many of our generation, fewer of us had children and the likelihood is that more of us will outlive our friends’ abilities to take our beloved pets. We need to think more about who will take care of our needs, including our pets, when we get to the point when we can no longer manage day to day tasks – while we are living! The odds are we will live a year or more at that point. Look into guardianship. Talk with the lawyer who drew up your will and ask about providing for someone to care for and make decisions on your behalf when you aren’t able to do so. Varies state by state. Finding the appropriate younger person to take on that role is the biggest challenge. I’m still at that stage.

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Diane M March 30, 2018 at 3:58 pm

Glad you have the gate fixed already. The picture of Hazel with Rick is wonderful. Don’t animals know how to make us feel better? I know my daughter would take our four cats. I, too, am trying to clean out spaces. We have some of my mother’s antiques and other things. Have stuff is really a quandary when one has to think about the future.

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