Posted by: jeanne | January 7, 2015

8 days

that’s a beatles song.

we leave next wednesday, and it’s tuesday night now.  that’s how it feels, anyway.  i was offered some chill pills and have yet to feel like i can afford to take them.  and yet i’m not rushed.  everything is flowing along as it should.

it’s just that the time for crisis grows short, if it’s going to happen at all before we leave, and i would rather get it done and dealt with.

speaking of crisis, how’s a plop of money that shoots out the door unexpectedly?  there’s the new (used) dryer, there’s the new (new) furnace.  there’s the new patches on the roof.  there’s also new insurance, which required a new paint job on the house.  i know i’m leaving something out.  the car is in serious need of work, but since jim and i are the only transportation for three other adults, it’s going to wait until after we’re gone, as is the new porch roof (which is getting desperate).  all of which means significant funds at the last minute, when all we should have to be worried about is the remainder of the payment for our apartment in venice.  scramble scramble, jim points out that it’s better that it all happened now, while we’re still here to take care of it, rather than a skype call away.

so i’m thinking we’ll make a big hit with our art, and can afford to do this all again next year…….

actually, we’ve been accepted for a three month residency at the venice printmaking studio, for next year or the year following, so we kind of plan to go back even tho we haven’t been there yet.

as an aside, i’m pretty interested to find that my residency in iceland is dovetailing in several ways with my residency to come in venice.  it’s all about water, for one thing.  and i’m continuing my search for spirits there as well – only i think maybe instead of trolls i’ll find sylphs.

our daughter has started packing; her first pack is 20 lbs lighter than the limit and i’m already mentally filling it with our books and our heavy paper.  she’s done her last minute flurry of shopping, all clothes.  the difference between her bags and ours is art supplies.  she’s been making paper and books, and isn’t planning to do that in venice, but to use our art supplies to make art.  which kind of bothers both of us, but we’ll just take more art supplies with us.  plus there are art shops there if she gets interested in, say, oil painting.

i’ve finished the last commission that i was working on (that’s another post on my art blog), and still have to finish sewing jim and connor’s fur collars, waterproofing their cloaks and the raincoats, hemming the several pairs of pants.

i still have to verify that my steamer works properly by test-steaming several production scarves, the long 14×70 silk scarves that i’m going to ship off to iceland to sell.  i tested the design until i finally got a lava scarf that worked, and now i’m going to make two larger ones.  as long as they don’t bleed all over themselves and ruin the design.  if they do, and i was following instructions (which i hadn’t been until this last test scarf), then i can safely pack my steamer and be confident i have a working silk painting studio.  if not, then i have to make do with something weird, as i did in iceland (the steamer tube melted, and kept falling over with boiling water inside).

there’s a lot of hand washing to do, and once that’s done, a lot of regular washing to do.  and then everything gets laid out on the bed and we make the final decisions of what to pack, and that all goes into the suitcase and we wear something else for a few days.

i took an inventory of everything for the first (or was it second) pack, and as things come out of the suitcases i’ll add and adjust.  i’m likely to be way over the limit for this next pack, because i’ve been adding things i want, rather than limiting it to things i need.  i’m still thinking of taking the quilt and flannel sheets, even tho that’s 10 lbs right there.  i’m taking my pillow, i don’t care.

there’s still a shop at costco for huge supplies of toilet paper, dog and cat food, cat litter – everything the houseguests will need and won’t be able to get because we’re their only transportation.

speaking of houseguests, we’ve had a hell of a time finding a solution to who watches our house.  we’ve got 5 dogs and 2 cats, and they need attention and regular walks, and the pee pads have to be changed, and the cat litter has to be sifted.  we arranged for a houseguest – allen – to move in months ago.  he’s having some physical issues, and since he’s part of the family, he’s been here while he gets it all taken care of.  so he’ll walk the dogs if he can, but allen also has to undergo some nasty chemo sessions while we’re gone, and there’ll likely be days he can’t get out of bed.  plus downstairs in the studio we have our baby daddy, who will be there while we’re gone in the same temporary quarters they’ve been in for months, waiting for our paying tenant to pack up and move to california to be a success, so they can take over her apartment and resume arguing that i should be giving them free rent because they’re family.

for some reason that didn’t seem like enough, so jim got the inspiration to invite his brother and sister in law to come and fill the rest of the house (our room).  they’re dog people, too, so that means 2 more dogs in the house, so they have to come over and see if they’ll all get along.  they’re soon to be between houses, and so the timing of our offer was perfect, and they’ll housesit for us like nobody else would.

this means that i have to strip our bedroom bare, not just tidy up.  i have to take down all our personal art objects, which they would object to sleeping in the same room with.  we’ll have to change out the kali and medusa and judith/holofernes paintings at the very least, and replace them with something saccharine, maybe joseph and aron… all the clothes have to leave two dressers and two closets, and all the horizontal space in the house has to be empty.  these relatives, while not apt to be here long enough, tend to hoard things, and so we need to give them lots of space to collect stuff.

i just hope they are ready to leave when we get back.  that would be most awkward.  oh well, we’d just have to go back to venice and leave them to pay us rent.  that might work.

in the meantime, i’ve got my italian sim card, which charges such high rates that i’m ditching it once i get settled.  allison will need a card for her gsm phone as well.  i’ve got a sheet of paper listing all the things i’ll need to know during our travel day (flights, phone numbers of our agent, boat information, etc.)

fast forward with me getting lost in the aforementioned list and forgetting to finish the post.

and then it was 7 days.  today we had the guy come out to give us an estimate on the roof damage we discovered this last heavy rain, and when the boys painted the house so we could get insurance.  another huge chunk of money.

we’ve spent as much on getting ready to go as we’ll spend while we’re away, isn’t that funny.  we might not have had to spend any of it if we hadn’t decided to go.  but that’s just the superstitious type of person i am.

today we went to costco for supplies for the house for three months.  dog food, cat food, cat litter, toilet paper.  the rest the various houseguests can get on their own.

houseguests.  today we interviewed and approved two more houseguests, our brother and sister in law, to stay in our side of the house with their two dogs, making allen responsible for the cat and the dog walks.  omg.

i think the novel of what might be going on in my house while i’m away will be more fun to contemplate than the novel of what might happen in venice.

still another shop needed, and my scarves, and the hemming and mending, the handwash, the packing.

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