Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Candy and a Change of Heart


I've always made a lot of candy during the holidays and divinity is my favorite.  I don't do that anymore and last year daughter decided to try her hand at making divinity and I would say she was successful.

My second favorite is date roll candy. I've already placed my order for her to make me some of that.

Bob makes two kinds of candy, toffee and Martha Washington. He's itching to make some but I've forbidden him to do that before Christmas week. We do not need candy in this house for weeks on end.

Daughter will be flying in from Texas on Wednesday and plans to make candy here rather than trying to pack and fly with it. Her daddy is very excited about making candy with her. I'm very excited about eating it.
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I'm doing some serious soul searching. Bob's twin brother died about 18 months ago and I swore after his death we would never give another dime to his wife, never. We've been in the family together 54 years and talk almost daily. I have done a few things for her but never money. I think she's hit bottom and though I believe she's responsible for the financial mess she's in I am beginning to soften. Perhaps she's a product of her roots, perhaps she couldn't do any better. Do I believe that, no. It's better if I don't think too much about it. In spite of all her mistakes it's sad to come to the last years of your life paying rent on an apartment and trying to live on $1,600 a month. That's tight, especially since she owns a car.

This morning I talked to Bob about her situation. We're in agreement on helping her, but is money the best option? We will send a Christmas check this week but it won't be as much as we'd like it to be, but all we dare send at one time.

She suffers from osteoporosis that causes great pain in her back and hip. I sent her a cane, a lumbar cushion, a lower back shaped heating pad, and a back shaped ice pack. That seemed a reasonable thing to do. Before Bob's brother died I tried to work it out with their pharmacy for us to be responsible for paying for their prescriptions but they didn't have a way to set that up and his brother died a few days later. I need to visit that idea again. Paying for her medicine might be a way for us to help.

Families are complicated. I love her dearly but I sure don't trust her with money.

14 comments:

  1. It sounds as if you are extremely compassionate toward your sister-in-law. She's fortunate to have you two in her life. I hope what you do for her helps,... Photos, please, of Bob and your daughter deep into the candy making.

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    1. I will try hard to get photos of the candy making!

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  2. I'm glad bob and your daughter are going to make candy together. Traditions are important. I haven't had homemade divinity in years. Is it hard to make?

    There are lots of ways to help without sending money...gift certificates to places that only sell food or gas or a drug story chain. The gifts you've gotten her were very thoughtful.

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    1. Of all the candy I've made I find divinity the most temperamental. The stars have to be aligned just right. Talked with daughter this afternoon and she's going to send CVS and Kroger gift cards to her aunt. Those will pay for her prescriptions for several months. I think overall gift cards may be the best option. We'll just watch the situation and see what seems right at the time to meet her needs.

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  3. We're never too old for liking candy. You're generous to share with a relative with difficulties.

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    1. It isn't Christmas without homemade candy.

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  4. I am a cookie baker but never a candy maker. I think I have made fudge a time of too. I'm glad there will be candy making in your home again.
    Families are complicated. What I take away from this are your words "I love her dearly" I need to work on my love emotion with several siblings right now.

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    1. We have a lot of candy and very few cookies during the holidays. If we lived closer we could do a swap. We were always very close with Bob's twin & my SIL. Theirs was a totally dysfunctional family. I laid the blame at about 50/50 beteween them. Her 50% was financial. I've had to work through a lot of anger about that. We helped them financially through the years. I'm only now beginning to let some of it go. Anger is very hard to deal with and I doubt it's ever a quick process. What you're dealing with now with your siblings is still very raw emotion and I suspect it's true in many families right now. One of Bob's brothers died not speaking to me over Obama. I know how passionate you were about the election. If your siblings were equally passionate all of you probably have work to do.

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  5. Before my mother's sister died, my sister and I paid for her phone. I now send another aunt money by check, but I usually know what she buys with it because she loves to tell me: "undies," food, oil. Families are complicated. That's for sure, and the same prescription does not fit all sizes.

    Divinity! I love it, but I've never made it. Haven't tasted it in years. There was a place on the way to my father's that sold it. We would stop and buy a box of pecan divinity. Oh, how I loved it. Enjoy your candy making and take pics.

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    1. There are no storybook families that I know of but we have to keep working at it. We don't get to pick family unfortunately. I'm thankful our family has the means to help my SIL. I just have a problem with the reason she's in that financial state. It was all so unnecessary. She has many redeeming qualities. Money management isn't one.

      I can already taste that divinity. Here's hoping for a good batch this year.

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  6. I feel for her. I have about the same income but my home is paid for and so is my car. Don't know how she can manage. You have sent her very useful and comforting gifts. The idea of paying for her meds is a great idea. Too often when budgets get tight, meds and food get left out of the budget which is not good. You are a good SIL.

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    1. Daughter in Texas can buy both CVS and Kroger gift cards and plans to send those from time to time to be used for her prescriptions. I can buy Walmart cards here and will probably do that from time to time. I'm surprised there hasn't been car expense to deal with but that will come. It's important not to do much in cash because she gives it to her children and grandchildren and does without herself.

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  7. Ah, that candy! Those two are favorites from my childhood when we would go to my Aunt Alice's for Christmas! I loved watching her unroll that date nut candy and slice it! I haven't made candy - or at least very much of it - in recent years. Perhaps Christmas week would be a good time to make some. And fudge! I must make fudge!

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    1. Yesterday Susan made 8 double batches of toffee and one batch of divinity! She gifts a lot of candy at Christmas.

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