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Unknown Speaker 0:02
Good morning and welcome to create with Heidi. I'm Heidi Kaisand, owner of Hen and Chicks studio in Conrad, Iowa, and lover of all things creative. Each week here on create with Heidi, we like to cover topics that educate and inspire you about how people are being creative, whether it's quilting, scrapbooking, food, wool, or just hanging out with others who seem to have their creative Mojo groovin in all the right directions, we are excited to share these things with you. Today, I'd like to start with a quote from Marie Curie. Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood, now is the time to understand more so that we may fear less. And each of us, I know, there's nobody out here that nobody that's listening that does not have this situation. We all know we're getting older. And we may have parents that are aging, and are in situations where they might have to be transitioning from one living situation to another. And, you know, I grew up with a grandmother, who was very much about giving things that she had to those that she loved while she was alive. And I remember vividly one of the first times when I realized that she was, you know, if you want to say use the word downsizing, or eliminating some of those things, and this is gonna be maybe funny, but it was about Christmas ornaments. And she had a crystal, a tree that had all crystal ornaments on it. And she decided she was giving them away to one particular cousin. And it was a real ice breaker for me in realizing that that tree wasn't forever. Those memories I had of that tree were not forever, and how those things can mean like like ornaments can mean different things for different people. The important part was that she was giving them to people to enjoy while she was still alive. And I tell you this story, because today's guest is Tisa Johnson and good morning, Tisa, how are you today? Good morning.

Unknown Speaker 2:40
I'm great. Thanks.

Unknown Speaker 2:42
And Tisa is the owner of sr, transitioning services. And, Tisa, I think that what you do is just an awesome thing to help people in that transition. And I'm sure, as I was telling my story, you were thinking, you probably see this kind of thing a lot where people are trying to figure out how to transition from one stage of life to the next.

Unknown Speaker 3:14
You bet you bet. And I loved your story.

Unknown Speaker 3:18
Yes. And, and so Tisa, I want you to tell us a little bit about what senior transitioning services is about and where you're located.

Unknown Speaker 3:29
Sir, senior transitioning services is a mouthful of a name. But that's probably the reason that it's named that is because it's the best way of describing what we do we help older folks downsize, or right size, and move. So that takes on lots of different forms, because these sorts of transitions, of course, take on lots of different forms, but we help families sort of walk through that process, with everything from helping create and decide what sort of move makes sense and what might come with the move, what things might be sold, donated, shipped, all of those things that was that don't make the move. We packed the whole house in one day and unpacking completely set it up the next day. And there's so many facets to it that are very unique to each individual family, but it's everything from returning their cable equipment boxes, to going through the tool bench, over zoom with the brother in law who can't come from Tennessee. And so we're gonna go through the through the tool, bench over zoom and sip all those tools that he wants to him. So it's really all all those many things that are on a to do list for a family when they are considering making a move. We help with those things. And then also our sort of the emotional support and energy and know how,

Unknown Speaker 4:57
oh and Wow, what a list of services. And I would think that today, maybe you've always had those kinds of experiences where like doing using zoom to go through a tool bench. But today with, with everything that's happening with the pandemic, there are probably times where family members can't, can't get to the location they need to to help a parent or a relative that needs to move, you're probably seeing more of that,

Unknown Speaker 5:27
of course, and it's, of course, a heartbreaking situation. So it's actually maybe some of the most challenging kinds of work that we've done, because we've had to be so creative about what how to manage these things, and how to just manage safety and logistics of doing this during this particular time. But also, some of the most gratifying because we can help families to feel more involved in whatever ways we can. If it doesn't mean they can sit in the living room with us and do it together. You bet.

Unknown Speaker 6:01
Well, Tisa, we're off to a great start, we're going to take a quick commercial break, and we'll be back right after this. This is Heidi Kaisand, from hen and chicks studio in Conrad. Here's a page with her story of quilting at hen and chicks studio,

Unknown Speaker 6:14
I have done quite a few retreats up there, she has a great space, I love going up there because especially when I'm cutting fabric, and if you're cool to your own, just stand this, it's a pyre so you're not bending over. And she has these display mounts so we can, you can put it up there and reorganize rather than having to lay on the floor. It's a it's a great space up there. Friends, my mom and my sister, we all go together my aunt actually a lot of us do it together. And a lot of time we work on the same quilt together. So there's one person cutting one person sewing one person ironing, we can whip out a quote in a few hours, depending on the size hen and chick studio at one

Unknown Speaker 6:53
on one North Main Street and Conrad, schedule a retreat with friends and family today and come make some memories with us online at Hen and chicks

Unknown Speaker 7:08
Welcome back to create with Heidi, I'm Heidi Kaisand, with my guest Tisha Johnson, from a senior transitioning services out of Des Moines correct Tisha.

Unknown Speaker 7:19
Yes, although we serve all of Central Iowa, and we've moved people out of state into the state all different sorts of scenarios.

Unknown Speaker 7:27
I say, I bet you have, I bet you have a lot of experiences in this. And Tisa, one of the things I was thinking about asking you today was, you know, I have parents that are in their upper 70s, they're healthy, you know, as healthy as can be at 79. Living in their own home, I have no immediate plans or thoughts of moving out of that home. And if we even talked about how, how they could transition the house itself, to living in it longer, if needed, if circumstances changed, but my mom and I are always always talking about, you know, what items, we want to keep what items should go. Even my own daughters have said, Mom, how am I gonna know what quilts are important someday? And what kind of advice do you have for us as whether we're in you know, upper 70s whether we're in the 50s you know, how, what kind of advice do you have for helping determine, or, I would say clean out, but you know, you know, pare down, clean out whatever those words are, to get to the things that are important and make it easier in those times of transition.

Unknown Speaker 8:52
Oh, you've hit the nail on the head Heidi about so many things, and I it makes my heart happy to hear some of the things that you just talked about. I'll mention two sort of things to point out from there. One is, you've said you and your mom you discuss what are different ways we could if we want to stay in our home for as long as possible and forever what are some things we could do in our home etc. I'd like to there's kind of a trendy new term that takes the down out of the word downsizing and that's that sort of this notion of right sizing so we are good plan to stay in our home we don't need downsizing sounds like such a downer, right sizing sounds like an opportunity to embrace the kind of life that you want to live. And that might mean if you are staying in your own home which I am fully you know in support of it might be let's do some of that finding the treasures like you talked about what are the most important things where are they etc.

Unknown Speaker 9:51
Oh, you mentioned your grandma's Christmas ornaments.

Unknown Speaker 9:56
If if the thought The very thought of moving sends chills down your spine, because there's a basement full of things that you know, haven't been gone through in years and isn't sorted out, maybe an act of right sizing might be to tackle that basement, and to tame it. And then sort of to reduce that anxiety, like if something happened or something changed, the basement sort of taken care of our favorite Christmas stuff is, is labeled. And if we had to pick it up and move it tomorrow, we sort of have already sorted out the Christmas, if we knew that these quilts would not come with us to a new place, if we had to move, well, they're already sort of labeled and organized. And everyone can sort of rest and enjoy our home a little easier. Because we know some of these things, if something had to change our you know, a urine easier ship to turn, should life with life with blow you a different direction. And then the second thing I would say is I've told you, we do all kinds of moves, and all kinds of situations. But if I were to generalize, the most quote unquote successful moves the moves that where people thrive during the process, and afterwards, tend to be the ones where people are getting to call their own shots. So starting a little earlier, talking about it with their family members doing it at a time when they can make their own decisions, fat, make some choices that they might get excited about, and embrace it. Those folks and families tend to thrive through this very challenging, you know, process a little easier, or much easier than the ones who have sort of just really had a hard time thinking ahead and planning. And sometimes then life happens. And that's the worst kind of move where it's me and the daughter in law from California standing in the mother's kitchen wondering which of these coffee mugs do you think are her favorite? Because Oh, yeah, is unable maybe to be there or to participate? And those kinds of moves out of the pits for everyone, you know, involved?

Unknown Speaker 12:02
Absolutely. And, you know, it is, was it I don't even know, a year ago that Marie Kondo, you know, kind of came came out in the full force of people, you know, you know, does this bring you joy movement that we were seeing there for a while, but even this spring slash summer, I was, you know, having been home or you know, if you want to say not out and about a lot, we took a one day a week for about five weeks, and sort of did a deep cleaning in just one room and in one area. And then in that process, said, okay, you know, this is something I bought cheap on the fly doesn't have any meaning I'm not using it. Why am I dusting it and keeping it when instead, this piece, I have a story to tell about it. You know, I bought it, I know more about it. It's an artist piece, you know, if we could come up with all sorts of scenarios. And boy, did it feel good to get rid of the junk and the stuff that meant nothing. And to know that I had maybe had fewer things, but the fewer items that I'm enjoying are highlighted and I get to enjoy them more.

Unknown Speaker 13:31
Oh, the key thing I think I heard and that is that enjoyment. One thing that I've learned over five years of doing this that just reiterated me all the time is exactly what you're talking about. And that is that treasures do not live in a box. If it's a real treasure or a family heirlooms that is dear then it probably doesn't belong in some tote in the basement where you can't, you know, with your hands, lay your hands on it. And there's a reality TV star Peter Walsh, he's done lots of you know, decluttering shows etc. And I think of him often he says, to display your treasures in your home in such a way that every time you see them your heart soar. And that's exactly I think what you are getting at when you are able to identify those treasures and then enjoy them as opposed to stowing them somewhere.

Unknown Speaker 14:22
That's exactly right. That's exactly right. And, and, you know, to my daughter's comment, because my grandmother made quilts. Those quilts are really important to me. But the quilts I've purchased at an antique shows or from antique dealers or because I happen to have a job at a quilting magazine I bought, you know, I bought I got access to things. Those don't have any significance to them to my children and only, you know only to me and so you You know, trying to make sure that I that I do have those. The quotes that gramma made out and about are much more important to me then than having the antique quotes out. The other things

Unknown Speaker 15:11

Unknown Speaker 15:12
Yes, yes. Well, we're gonna we're just having fun chatting here. You've got so much information. We're gonna take a quick commercial break, and we'll be back right after this. This is Heidi Kaisand from hen and chicks studio in Conrad. Here's page with our story of making a life event quilt,

Unknown Speaker 15:28
I made a quilt or our guestbook, it has our engagement photos on it, our guest book attendants move the quilt around to make sure it was all signed and it was made quilted and completely done. By the time our wedding came around. I use Tennant check studio to get all of my fabric for it, as well as the fabric paper to print our pictures on she was very helpful. She helped me design it helped me lay it out figure out exactly what I needed. As well as ordered in the specific amount of fabric paper I would need. It's really something special for us. It has everyone's signatures, my nieces even signed it themselves when they were younger, so I can tell how old they were spent on our wall since we were married in 2012. And I don't have any plans to take it down headed

Unknown Speaker 16:15
Hen and chicks studio and Conrad, schedule your quality retreat at hidden chick Welcome back to create with Heidi. I'm Heidi Kaisand. And I'm with my guest, Tisa Johnson, and Tisa own senior transitioning services, that web address is Sr And we'll be sure to put a link in our show notes about that, we'll go directly to her a little bit more information about where she's located and stuff, obviously, she services Central Iowa. Now, Tisha, we've been talking about, you know, enjoying the things that we have, and, you know, talking about what is important to our family members, so that when the time for transition happens, whether it's planned or unplanned, that there's more knowledge there No, as my quote earlier said, no fear, less fear, I think that sometimes we we, it can be very scary for people to have to deal with this thing, these things. But I do know, you have some experience dealing with quilters. And, and quilters tend to, I joke around a lot about we have fabric stashes and we have patterns, because there's always something creative to be making. And stamp collectors do not lick their stamps and use them on envelopes. And coin collectors do not spend their coins. So you know, I think that gives quilters complete reason to not have to use every single piece of fabric that we buy, we can simply collect it. But that also can become a burden candidate for for in that move in that transition.

Unknown Speaker 18:17
Oh, Heidi, I have learned a lot from quilters in the time that I'm doing this and I didn't grow up with nothing. So I didn't know even a lot of the terminology. I've learned just a ton from my clients. But one of my first clients was a quilter. And she I vividly remember her saying to me now You know, dear, she who dies with the biggest stash wins.

Unknown Speaker 18:41
We've heard that many times.

Unknown Speaker 18:42
Yes. So I'm sure that's a familiar quilting adage. But it was new to me but and in her case, it was not maybe the most healthy thing because the choice she made in the end was that the stash went into the garage and she in her 80s parked outside in the snow etc. So that that would not be assigning example, but I do have a signing example of one of my just favorite client experiences, was a very committed quilter named Meredith and she was getting more ill and had some neurological issues that meant she was just simply not going to be able to continue quilting and that was very painful. And she knew it it was you know progressing. And what we ultimately landed on for her was we made they were moving to a much smaller apartment she was not probably even going to bring her machine. So we made an under the bed box. And it we put some quilting tools like rotary cutters and patterns and fabrics. So that that piece of her life when she wanted to access it. She didn't have to say well I don't even have a rotary cutter you know anymore. When she wanted to. She could pull that box out, go through the patterns, touch the fabric, you know connect with that part of herself. That was still Important. And then we had arranged to take many of her materials to a quilt quilting auction here in Des Moines. And some others to a local high school had agreed to take some of her things. But the whole thing was just more than she could, you know, bear thinking about. So what we did is her friend came to pick her up for lunch one day, we had this very well planned out with pulled out what she wanted to keep what club she was saving for grandchildren, etc. and her friend took her out to lunch. And I snuck over and I picked up all of the quilting stuff in one day, and took it all away in one day. And when she came home, her quilting room had kind of been converted into the kind of reading space that she wanted it to be, and all the quilting stuff was gone. But she didn't I'm sure it was terribly painful for her. But she was so glad that she did not have to see it, do it herself, you know, etc. And she knew it was being done with care, you know, and love and respect for, you know, the piece of her that she was physically losing?

Unknown Speaker 21:06
Absolutely. And you know, and when, and I can't imagine what a big job that was. And for you to be able to undertake that and make that transition smoother for her. You know, when it was I mean, obviously, she wasn't dealing with just Oh, I can't quote anymore. If she was dealing with other, you know, medical issues. That certainly had to be a very tough time. And you made that easier? And I'm sure, I'm sure you do that in lots of transitioning situations. And I have to ask, Tisha, how did you how did you get into this? Because, you know, we talked about the fact that, that I talked about everything creative. And I think, I think this is a very creative job, because no one situation is ever going to be just like the next one. And so you have to be on your toes and creative all the time. You know, what drew you to wanting to do this?

Unknown Speaker 22:03
Sir? Well, my background actually is in social work. And this work seems to me to be very social working, not in the clinical sense, but in the sense of, there's all these things that create so much overwhelm and anxiety for folks. And there are things that we can do to help, you know, manage that walk with them through it, etc. It's kind of a new industry. And growing up 10 years from now, many people will know what this sort of work is, it's technically called senior move management. I hardly ever use that with anyone for one because not many people know what that means. And second of all, my approach is very much a social work. One, this is your move your things, you are the boss, I'm not the belongings, police are the judge and jury, you know about how someone should live. And so my clients are not projects to manage. But my dad actually started out doing this, he was the director of a large senior living community in Cedar Rapids. And he would see folks come in all the time, who would say, I guess I could sort of see myself here, and then they go home to the home they've lived in for 10 or 20 or 60 years and think, well, how in the world would I actually get from here to there. And so he started to do it. And I sort of he kind of taught me the ropes and, and I, you know, found myself opening this morning, what was then the domain brands of the same business and is now the only one he has since fully retired. And has just been very fortunate that in this five years, we've, you know, grown to a team of 10 we run, you know, 30 or more clients at a time, we do several news a week. And it's just my dream job to tell you the truth. Being with people and hearing their stories and being of service is like the best way to spend my days.

Unknown Speaker 23:55
Well, that is awesome, Tisa, and having met with met you in person worked with you. On some other projects, I know that your heart would fully be in the right place. And so I love having this opportunity to chat with you. Thank you for being on crate with Heidi, and to everybody else. I hope you'll come and see us at hidden chicks studio in Conrad, and until next week, be creative

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