Posted by: jeanne | December 20, 2014

25 days to go

yes, i’ve made a xmas calendar, of sorts.  i’ve got a stack of stickies stuck to the fridge, each with a day on it, counting down to the day we leave for italy.  all the appointments on all of the days are written in.  i’ve got the day of the week in one corner, and how many weeks each time one more rolls around.  i’ll rip one sticky off per day, and that way it’ll last longer.

because no matter how much luxuriating you do to prolong the interval between planning and executing that plan, it arrives too soon, and then it’s over, and you’re back to your normal life again, and it’s as if it never happened.  except for the souvenirs, the scars, the work you completed – however you want to label the remains of the experience.

i’m still feverishly trying to learn italian using duolingo, whenever i remember.  i skip whole days and only think about it once or twice.  then i do a level all at once, and then i forget about it again.  i will never know enough to speak at this rate, but it will help a lot.  the church music latin i know, the high school french i know, my recent attempt to learn icelandic grammar, all make me think i recognize whole sentences.  but i know from experience that i’m just thinking i know it because i recognize it.  and i actually freeze right up when i hear it live, or have to make a response.  i won’t have to pretend to be an ignorant tourist, so i might as well get over it.

there are still odds and ends coming in the mail.  i just ordered my italian sim card, and it’s such a lousy deal that i’m going to use it only until i can get a sim card somewhere in venice.  the only reason i need a working phone when i get off the airplane is so that i can contact the rental agent who has the keys to our apartment.

i have to reread all the notes i’ve been taking while researching the idea of going to venice.  there is much important information that i must have at the tip of my tongue when we get there.  funnily, i’ve been sending essential links to allison, who’s coming with us for a month, and she just doesn’t bother opening her email, as if she wants mom to do it all for her.  she insists on packing for connor, who is remaining with us after she leaves.  i’m encouraging her to pack for him, of course, and she’ll do a thorough job, but i will close all the suitcases (but hers) myself, and make sure everything is in there.  and in fact i’m going to be using much of connor’s suitcase for art supplies.

at the moment, i’m trying to back up all my external hard drives – i have a bunch – onto my new terabyte storage drive, and for some reason right in the middle of this process the drive turns into a read only drive, and i can’t copy any more data to it.  which probably means i have to format the fricking drive and start again…

also, my internet is intermittently hosed, and the first solution was to swap out the old cable modem for a new wireless modem, but the problem persists.  the guy said something about using more than the 25mg limit, and i don’t know if that means my account is being throttled because of all the movies the kids watch.  i don’t know because they never answer a question directly, preferring to make something up to thrash me with my own ignorance.  anyway, i tried to log on to my account and forgot the password, and then they said they had to talk to me first, and then the chat dialog was buggy so i couldn’t complete it, so they wouldn’t connect me, blah blah blah.

the storage drive is working again.  gremlins.

we’re trying to get new insurance for the house before we leave, and the company has asked us to paint the house, so we’re in emergency mode here, calling in favors and sons and in laws and putting on jackets and scraping walls and caulking and priming and painting. rush rush because we have a big house and only 25 days.  also, the furnace downstairs has been off and on and is threatening to quit.  which is awful, because it was installed in 1991 and you’d think those things would last forever.  ditto the dryer, which can only take a very light load before squealing, and takes forever to dry.  i’ve ordered a duct cleaning brush, and have identified what the squeak must be in an internet video.

i’m almost done with one painting, finished with another, and have scanned the relevant photos for the third.  there’s some clothes dyeing to be done, mainly of white leggings, with a couple of costume pieces for connor which may or may not be worn.

i still have all my art supplies to organize.  i’m waiting for my pigments to be shipped to me, am still using my tubed watercolors, and have yet to measure out and package my dyestuff.  i’ve ordered 2 dozen long scarves and will throw in whatever else i have left over,

i need to run another batch of scarves, production ones of the volcano in iceland, that i might as well ship off when i’m finished.  i need to make sure my steamer is adequate to the task.  so i’m still proofing my materials less than a month to go.

xmas is immediately upon us, with several doctor appointments and a few fetching of family very long drives.  when it’s over i’ll settle right in to finish the painting and wrestle with packing.

when i leave here, the place will be clean and spartan, with all the stuff packed away.  we’d rent it out but that would be too much trouble.

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