Posted by: jeanne | December 29, 2014

it’s so close it hurts

you know that place, when you’re getting ready to make a big move, like getting married, like actually moving house, like whatever big life changing thing you can actually prepare for – that place where you are definitely behind on your list of to-do items, and then suddenly you realize there was a whole nother phase of preparedness you hadn’t even considered, and that absolutely must get done before day zero.

i’ve hit that place.

i realized how much cleaning and organizing i have to do before i leave.  both from the perspective of having an orderly environment to return to, and because of my fear of having things broken or stolen or burned down while i can’t do anything about it.  the shit happens part that you can only do so much to minimize.  i have to empty the bedrooms of work stuff (my bedroom is my studio), order away all the nicknacks, create space for three months of cat and dog food, as well as cat litter and pee pads, laundry detergent and other things the houseguest can’t go out and get because he doesn’t have a car, and isn’t going to be using ours.

so i woke up overwhelmed this morning, threw up my coffee, and got as far as the door with the dogs, when the houseguest magically appeared and took the dogs from my hands, whereupon i went back to bed and slept solidly for the next four hours, then sat in bed reading about venice for the duration of two cups of coffee.  after which the light was shot for painting, but i did manage to cut out the fur collars for the boys’ costumes and am ready to sew them on and attach them.

the dogs.  we had arranged with a neighbor who has watched our core dog team before; she was going to watch them again for the whole three months, which would only leave the three other dogs for our houseguest to manage.  but today she told me that her horrible landlord threatened her the last time she watched them, and things at her place have gone from bad to war with the landlord.  so that option is out.

the houseguest.  the reason we have a houseguest is because one of our pseudo sons has come on hard times and bad health, and he’s staying with us while he gets the help he needs, because he can’t work enough to afford rent and had to leave his apartment, and was staying with people who were stealing all his pain meds, etc.  he’s very diligent, when he can be, but he’s not all together, and he’s got these medical things that’re happening, some of which will involve chemo, and so he’s pretty guaranteed to be useless for awhile during the time we’re gone.  so he won’t be physically able to take the dogs around the block three times a day.  so we’ve tried to get a second houseguest in, someone who wants a free place to live for three months in exchange for dogsitting.  that’s not going so well; one person who came by to think about it was blanched and shaken by the time she left, and we haven’t heard from a second candidate.  so we may have to hire a dog sitter to come around.  3 times a day for 5 dogs for 3 months is a million dollars.  but we may have no choice.

the house.  we’re trying to up our house insurance, which hasn’t been done in 30 years, and which wouldn’t enable us to start over if we were to suffer a catastrophic loss, which you never know with houseguests.  so the agent offered us a surprisingly good rate, and sent the guy around to have a look at the house.  and he was very nice, and said that he was totally willing to insure us, but we had to paint the house first.  which i thought was an interesting condition, but okay.  so we called in the son and the houseguest, and the daughter and the boyfriend, and whatever other strapping youths we could find, and we’ve all been scraping and caulking and priming, all around the house, each doing what we can.  i can’t do ladders anymore because i get vertigo, and jim’s already broken his leg falling off of stuff, so no.  it will be done by the time we leave, but this is a monumental task to take on unexpectedly right before we go, and it adds to my stress.

the good part is that we only have three weeks before we leave, and it will soon be time to pack for real (another stressful ordeal, however).  there is only one more amazon order to be made, and if it doesn’t arrive in time we will survive without it.  we have to make that costco run for dog and cat supplies, to get a big thing of toilet paper, laundry detergent, etc.  i’ve got three of four paintings done, and have made good progress on the fourth.  when i’m finished i will be in fighting form for making paintings in venice.  allison has made a whole bunch of paper to take with us, jim has made a dozen or so more pastels to take, we’ve been reading all we can find on venice and art, i’ve got all my research done, and my computer backed up, and the music we want to listen to copied to disk.  i have some dyeing yet to do, some hemming and mending to finish, a bunch of woollens to handwash.

and then packing.  gulp.

17 days to go.

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