Nan Mustard's Recovery

This blog is a record of Erin (Nan) Mustard's recovery.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Oh how we miss our sweet Nan

Dear Family and Friends,
They say this will get easier and the people saying it have lost loved ones so I know they are right. However right now the only way it gets easier is to get so busy that for a brief time I just forget.
I've stayed in today trying to clean up a mountain of paperwork that comes with the job of appraising. Since values are so bad right now lenders are suddenly very nervous and really make our job even less fun than usual. Yet I am thankful to have this profession, it has allowed me to care for nan in a way I never could have if I had a normal 8 - 5 job. I could pop around the corner to check on her, rub her feet, get her ice water or just love her for a minute, what other job could have been better. The kindnesses shown by many of our clients are quite amazing. Some were able to attend services, others have sent cards or emails, all have understood what we were coping with over the past few weeks.
We continue to have challenges with getting clients to pay us in a timely manner. Things seem to be tight everywhere and here in our little office is no different. So we have our work cut out for us, work quickly, build a rep for being fast, good and reachable, encourage COD when possible as that keeps cash flow going.
Marilyn made an amazing discovery today. She decided to tackle the box we have which holds all the blue cross statements of what they have paid and not paid for the past year. One caregiver is billing us $2,900 so Marilyn decided to wade into this deep stack of letters from Blue Cross which they send whenever they pay a bill. She had only been into the stack about 5 minutes when she made a great discovery, nearly $500 in two checks from Blue Cross to us that I had missed. That will certainly help with things. Marilyn continues to amaze me, she has some abilities that are just special, she used to work in the governors office filing things. She can find directions, she ran errands today to Tracy and Brentwood, taking the tape of the graveside service to George in Tracy and returning the wheelchair to Brentwood medical supply.
This evening I had sat in the chair working long enough so we dashed into Brentwood to see little Keanna in action in her swimming lesson. Its something Nan and I did often before she was too ill to get in and out of the car. Keanna is doing well with her lessons and is looking forward to seeing green turtles in Hawaii. There is a great snorkeling beach near the time share they will be staying at. Keanna is starting to get anxious about her trip to the big island, she loves the place but its been a couple years since she has been there. Our time share was paid for years ago before they got expensive but comes fully furnished, you just buy groceries and sit on the back lanai and watch the ocean from a distance. You feel the warm breezes, you read, you nap and you rebuild inside.
This weekend I'm taking the dogs and pointing the motorhome toward MBA. Along the way I'll do an appraisal in Pacifica near the ocean and then do another on my way back on Monday. Sunday night I'm going to stop by Art and Connies to show them how to play domino's!! Right like I'm going to teach anyone a game, anyone that knows me knows I really don't do games very well, hate to lose, hate to look silly and I had to invest too much mental energy into a game when I have so little left. On Sunday Jason has me giving a presentation about being an appraiser 5 times in a row, each time to a different group of kids. That will be fun. I'll print up some appraisals showing big houses, little houses and even smaller houses and talk, something I do well at times.
I was happy to learn about a blog today for my friend Laurie Dunston. She is attending graduate school in the east and has a very interesting blog so that will be fun to follow.
This morning when I rose at 5:30, I had back pains too strong to allow me to stay in bed any longer, I came downstairs and built a fire. It slowly raised the room temp from 59 to 68. Boy its cold lately. I'm trying to cover the lemon tree with a sheet to save it, can anyone tell me why putting a blanket or sheet over a tree will keep it warmer? But Nan always had me do it and the tree was saved so I'll keep doing it now.
After we watched Keanna swim we hit a local mex. food place for some decent grub and then home to a cooling house. Marilyn is still busy sorting papers and finding that there are other medical bills that I am paying on that insurance should have paid. She is really helping out with things and soon the office will get tackled. She will have to go home fairly early next week or she will not be able to find any openings as she flies standby thanks to Dana and Tim her son who works for Southwest. I am so glad Marilyn can be with her family at Christmas time, she has provided such wonderful help to Nan and to the rest of us as well. She deserves to enjoy her own family.
Several friends and family have called today to just check up on me and to see how I'm doing. Well I'm functioning, just not enjoying it a lot. Frankly I just miss her so much and can't believe that for some cosmic reason she needed to go.
Our neighbors come home tonight, they were so kind to loan their house for our family while they were gone to the Midwest. Thanks so much Ken and LeAnn. Hope we didn't hurt your house, sheets are all clean thanks to Sharon and family.
Well I guess its time to try to get some sleep again. Nothing seems OK but nothing seems impossible either. Everyone has been so nice to me, to our family and we thank each of you for that kindness.
We send our love to each of you and thank you for the flowers, the cards, the money and mostly for the prayers that have helped us stay sane.

tim and marilyn


  • At 11:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Tim, I know you will do a bang-up job of telling those kids about the appraisal business. I'm glad you are keeping busy in spite of being lonesome for our dear Nanny Goat! Hope Marilyn keeps finding more "errors" to your good. You need some breaks. Tomorrow I'm going to a ladies' luncheon and then in the evening I'm going with Marilyn to her Adventist Health Christmas party. It's always very nice. Cheerio for now. Love, Barbie

  • At 5:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Tim,

    I still follow the blog and hope that you can stay busy enough to help ease the pain and yet not so busy that you get run down.

    It is amazing how "one" has to stay in the main stream of things and the days go forth.

    Guilt must creep in when you enjoy something and then think of Nan. She would want you to enjoy, remember that.

    Hopefully your back pain will go away and you will feel fit for the HOLIDAYS.

    The best to you.

    sue m

  • At 7:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The sheet or light covering on little trees and shrubs will will keep the frost off the plant and help prevent frost damage. I do it with the shrubs and outdoor plants.


  • At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Cindy Lu said…

    Hi Tim, I've been following the blog and this is the first time I've made any comments. You are so blessed to have your work so close to you in your home and your staff so skilled and helpful. I know your family, your friends and your neighbors are glad to see you continuing with your work and hanging on to us all to get you through. The crying bouts will become less with time but they will always be there and grab you when least expected. It's OK to cry for if you don't you'll get headaches and the feeling of bricks on your chest. I'm still trying to get the bricks off my chest... ugh! Nan had such a great way of just keeping on with it all. I'm glad she is resting and we'll see her again, soon . . .
    love ya, Cinda

  • At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    You think you know Art well, not really, until you see him play Mexican Dominoes...just wait until Sunday!

    I can't wait to talk to you one-on-one, you are always so interesting and yes you love to talk. Like I said in the past I lost loved ones and it takes time to deal with it but little by little it does get better - you will NEVER forget and tears can come at any time, yes I still cry for my late husband even though I'm married again. What helped me most was attending grief classes, I had the best group of people there and they continue to be my friends. I also read wonderful books on the subject.

    Can't wait to see you on Sunday.


  • At 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I use small christmas lights on my citrus . Pretty and functional

  • At 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    I have a few words for you. (Thanks goodness he thinks)

    There once was an
    appraiser named Tim
    Who followed directions
    'bout covering the limb.

    He didn't know why the
    sheet to it he must apply
    tied tight to the plant
    less the wind make it fly

    He wished that he knew
    why the frost this would rue
    but the tree it is happy cause
    he did what he was told to!


    ps Ask Marilyn, a girl that can do everything must know everything too!


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