Told the staff I didn't care how long it takes - just clean every single fiber of that thing.
I switched round the carpets in Okaasan's room, so the central area just has carpet underpart. It's enough for a few weeks.
Huge relief. Strange thing to be happy about.
But I feel it's a cleaning out - getting her and her surroundings ready for the long, snowy months...with me in charge.
While she was in the bath this morning I swooped in to her room: did the carpets, vacuumed, wiped down surfaces, hunted down rotting stuff - generally had a good old clean. Tossed three more bags up into the bag museum....top of the closet, where Okaasan can't reach or see....all the bags she has either bought or got as magazine-give-aways over the past five years. Japan is obsessed with bags - and as Okaasan buys at least two magazines a month that include a free bag, she has more than she will ever, ever require.
I started the bag museum collection a year or two ago, when I realized that she was putting a few bits and pieces (tissues/a little purse/some candies) in EACH bag - and then hunting desperately for something really important: subway card or house keys.
I knew I had to step in and hide away as many bags as possible, so that her searching could be limited to a few bags within reach.
I have a vague plan to sell them at a Flea Market - for a ridiculous low price - just to get rid of them. I think there are about 50 bags...one day one day...
Thankyou SO MUCH for the comments recently! I am still amazed that I sit here writing this and people all over the world read it.
A lot of food-for-thought recently.
* The Nishi-exercise regime : Okaasan is reading the book. Has bookmarked pages. Is keeping it with the rheumatism book I gave her a few weeks ago. All good.
I haven't actually seen her DOING any of the exercises.
But I have a plan.
If want to buy the exercise DVD from the bookshop.
I want to set up a DVD player in Okaasan's room.
But .... if we start playing the DVD - will she eventually start to exercise with it?
Will she just say:"I know about this already." And just watch it. Or worse, get annoyed with us for playing her a DVD of stuff she knows...trying to force her into action.
In an ideal world I'd get down on the newly cleaned carpet with her and do the exercises together. But I'm not a housewife - Monday to Friday I am out of here to work by 9.30 am and often not home until 7 pm.....
In the early mornings Okaasan is usually dozing in front of the TV - not in exercise mood at all.
She may be doing the exercises while we are are away - but I doubt it. I'm 99% sure she sits and looks at the TV/newspaper/magazine/shopping receipts. Or sleeps. All day.
So. My cunning plan.
Get a DVD player with a timer. Set it to play the Nishi exercises about 10 am three times a week.
Okaasan will probably just think it is another TV program and should be happy that her old favorite Nishi-sensei is on the Tv. Might - hopefully - start DOING the exercises along with the Tv teaching.
My inspiration for this is the "Not the Nine O'Clock News" chapter/case in And Still The Music Plays, a dementia book by Graham Stokes.
This is about a man with Alzheimer's, who gets stressy if his wife is out of the room for even a moment. He follows her everywhere. Stokes' idea to get the man to settle calmly is to key into his love of the evening BBC news program. He makes a videotape of 11 BBC news programs, back to back with 3 minutes of break between each.
They play it for the client.
The client LOVES it. watches it intently, heads for the TV as soon as he hears the familiar opening opening credit chimes of Big Ben - sits thru the same broadcasts for hours at end. Happy.
And his wife gets some time to herself.
So. This is my inspiration for Okaasan and this Nishi-sensei exercise DVD.
To just get it switching on and appearing on her TV screen as she sits there. A little at first. Get it into a routine. I am sure seeing and hearing people doing the exercises will be more motivating than just reading about them.
How aware will she be that we are manipulating her? Pretty aware at the start I think. If the Tv program she is watching suddenly cuts out and the DVD player whirs into action. I think she will notice. But after a few minutes she will just look at the images on the TV and probably believe they are a TV program.
And start to follow along? I hope so.
And if I have time - I will try to get down on the carpet and do the with her! Show an interest in her interest. Bond.
First. Must check out the wonders of a Japanese electronics shop and hope that somehow in this day and age there is a machine with a timer we can set to play. If Xmas lights and pet feeders are on times, I don't imagine there should be a problem with a DVD player!
So. There is the plan.
Oh shoot. S#]*!!!!
I just casually thought: I wonder how many bags there ARE in the bag museum? Oh, Okaasan's out now. I'll pop downstairs and open up the top closet. Have a look. Count.
That would be: 176 bags and purses !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How? Are these all from magazines she buys? She sometimes buys bags too. Japanese shops also give customers free bags with the purchases.
I think I'd better have that flea market stall in the spring.
The closet is only so big.
What a way to spend my Saturday afternoon. Counting bags and photographing them....
I need to get a life.