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YouTuber Ask A Mortician traveled to the Merchant’s House Museum to demonstrate a typical Victorian home’s funeral needs!

YouTuber Ask A Mortician takes us to Nawlins to explain how they work.


YouTuber Ask A Mortician went so far as to travel there.

YouTuber Ask A Mortician shows how funeral directors can dress up a plain cardboard coffin with pillows, artfully-draped sheets, and mounds of flowers.

Who’s hungry… for historical knowledge? Ask A Mortician tells us the full story, and even travels to the site of the cabins.

Sept. 19th:

Night before last, my mom called to tell me she had 12 hours before being evicted from her condo. I went to her house and we gathered up all the valuables we could fit into my car, and we got out 15 minutes before the 6am deadline. I didn’t want her to suffer the humiliation of having the neighbors watch her being duck-walked out of her home. I’ve got her in a hotel right now. She thought she was having the loan modified, and thought someone told her to stop making payments. She also had some shady lawyer who took $600 and promised to “save” her condo, and she just believed he would magically make it all go away. She was actually not planning on telling me, and thought she could just live out of her car or on her patio. She only told me at the insistence of her friend, who’d she’d also only just confided in.

The worst part is that she stopped paying her mortgage about 2 years ago, and the loan was handed over to a collection agency a year and a half ago. Because she waited so long and let it come all the way to eviction, she has forfeited ANY and ALL of the equity she may have had returned to her after the condo sells and the lender is paid off. They get to keep everything. So now she has $3900 in the bank and a bit of social security coming in every month, and she’s homeless. I have a world of work ahead of me at this point, and am feeling terribly overwhelmed and so, so sorry for her.

I’ve left a message with her primary care doctor, to see if we can get a certificate of incompetency, and I suppose I’ll need two. It’s clear that she can’t manage her own affairs anymore, and hasn’t for some while. There must have been scores of warning notices that she just ignored. The collection agency says they may reconsider their stance on her equity if I send a request in writing and include two doctor’s certificates.

With mom in Alpine, 2005

Sept 22nd:

Took my mom with me to a picnic get-together yesterday at Lake Murray with some of my oldest friends. It was great for her to get out and enjoy some nature, scenery, yummy food, and some of the loveliest people I know. She had a great time.

Today I’m indulging in some self-care. I absolutely had to do my nails today or else, and later we’ll watch a Chargers game while I crack acorns for making acorn meal.

Tomorrow mom and I will see three leads on places she might be able to stay. I have high hopes for one of them. Keep your fingers crossed for her!

Sept. 23rd:

SUCCESS!!! The place I was hoping for has been secured. We’ll move Mom into the room on Wednesday. It’s in Paradise Valley, sort of a boarding house, with 6 private rooms. The (black female) owner was perfectly lovely, and has offered to put in several safety bars for her use. I cannot begin to express how relieved I am. We’ll need to get her some furniture, but not much. There’s a house dog named Red, and the view from her room goes all the way to the ocean.

Sept 25th:

Okay, we got Mom settled into her new place today. We also donated her 20-yr-old car to charity. Tomorrow we get furniture, but she does have a twin bed and a living room chair on loan for tonight.

Yesterday, we found out about another huge bill that had been ignored nearly to the point of collections, and then she decided (after cancelling her car insurance hours before) to go for a spin and got lost a mile from the hotel. Luckily, she pulled over and called me. Being an hour away and with zero idea of where to look for her, I told her to call 911 and explain that she’s elderly and confused and needs help getting home. The (young & gorgeous, I’m told) cop found her within 15 minutes and she got a lighted police escort back to her hotel room. Pretty spectacular final drive, eh? #SadButRelieved

With mom at Lake Cuyamaca, 2004

Sept 26th:

Today Rich & I went to Walmart and got a bunch of stuff for Mom: a twin bedframe and memory foam mattress, a double-drawer dresser with 3 of those smart cloth cubby cubes, a folding table and padded folding chair, plus a number of smaller necessities like a small table lamp, wastebasket, etc. Bless his heart, Rich assembled the dresser in brutally muggy humidity while Mom & I went to Wells Fargo to do banking stuff, which turned out to be a wasted trip, anyway. I set out all of the tchotchkes, photos, and artwork I was able to save during our hurried exodus, and along with a pair of LED candles, a vase of flowers, and some fairy lights, it’ll feel much more homey, I hope. Couldn’t get her on the WiFi, though. I’ll be back on Saturday.

Sept 28th:

First of our weekly Saturday visits with Mom today. Brought groceries, set up her fairy lights, and we ate chicken drumsticks for lunch. One of her housemates had already helped get her WiFi set up. The owner has installed a banister rail for her use to negotiate the one step between her room and the kitchen, and another safety rail is ready to be installed in the shower.

There is a larger room (actually the one we initially picked out) that is still being worked on, but as soon as it’s ready, we’ll be moving her into that room – it’s right next door. Then we’ll hang pictures and get her a larger table.

Then we explored the neighborhood a bit (trying to find this nearby park I can see from her room), then hung out at Starbucks and enjoyed some fresh air and lovely fall clouds scudding over an epic view of nearby Mount Miguel.

Back in her room, I set her up with a new Pandora account and she requested an opera station, and I also showed her how to use the pause/play buttons and how to use the thumbs up or down feature and why. We listened to some beautiful music for a while and chatted.

She is not exactly happy there. These is a roach problem they are working hard to mitigate. There is ongoing construction work being done inside and outside the house, which may have triggered the roach problem. And her housemates are VERY noisy. But really, any place she can get into with her ruined credit is going to be like this – no place will be perfect.

Next week I’ll have a list of nearby restaurants we can visit, and maybe we’ll take a picnic to Lake Murray. She really liked it there.

Oct. 1st:

Some good news. First, it’s been 3 days since mom has seen any bugs, and she spoke with her housemates about excessive noise (they had a party Sat. night) and they were very nice about it and she was very nice as well.

Best of all, she got a call from an agent who represents the REO company (who now owns her condo), who saw that it was filled with a lifetime of memories, and has given us until Oct. 12th to arrange for visits to take out anything we want. I spoke with her and made arrangements for the 11th, when we’ll be out to La Jolla for a doctor’s appointment anyway. She mentioned that Mom’s SS card was laying out on the table. I told her that Marie’s in a small room now, and all we’re going to be taking is a few knickknacks and some clothing. Mom wants a few books (mainly ones she’s written, even tho I told her I have copies of everything). I regretted not grabbing this vintage set of Peter Rabbit books in their original box that I can sell, along with a set of Beatrix Potter porcelain figurines. There’s an impressive souvenir spoon collection. But we can’t do storage, period. So whatever she takes has to fit in her room or be sold.

Also, we managed (after much trouble) to get her direct-deposit SS payments and her late husband’s pension transferred to the new checking account.

Finally, I messaged Meals on Wheels to get her set up with their standard service. They should be contacting me soon.

4 generation s of 1st born women, 1975 (mom & me on the right)

I’ll keep you all updated. I just got caught up on a bunch of work I’ve been neglecting, and when I do have a free moment, I’ve been binge-watching Netflix because I can’t EVEN focus on anything right now.

Pic of the Day – 9/7/19

Man and chicken wreathed in cigarette smoke in Sarawak, Borneo, by photographer Nyik Fui Tai.

“Morning Shift” – If you think your job sucks, at least you aren’t moving barrels of fuel at high tide at the Sitakunda shipwrecking yards of Chittagong, Bangladesh. Photo by Jan Košťál.

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