Fri. July 9, 2021: Of Rain and Rest

image courtesy of Roman Grac via pixabay.com

Friday, July 9, 2021

New Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune Retrograde

Rainy

It rained almost all day yesterday. I was too tired to do much. I got through a few hundred emails, I updated my resume, I read another script, which means I have two coverages to write up today.

I fought with TD Ameritrade, who hadn’t Fed Ex’d the check on Tuesday as promised, because the $15 wasn’t in the account once they cut the check – even though they were told to DEDUCT the cost of the Fed Ex mailing from the account. Not that they could be bothered to communicate that there was a problem. They simply ignored us.

This is unacceptable. The money is ours. But they won’t give it to us. How is this legal? I hate them so much.

The “broker” promised to take care of everything, get his manager to sign off and waive the $15 Fed Ex fee, and have the check here today. He also promised to call and confirm by 7 PM last night.

Of course, there was no call.

How much do you want to bet there’s no check today?

Because TD Ameritrade is a scum, scam organization.

Time to file with the SEC, The Attorneys General in MA and Nebraska (where their office is located), and Elizabeth Warren’s office.

I am done with them.

If they’re doing this to me, they are doing it to hundreds, possibly thousands of other customers. And that is not acceptable. We’ve been trying to close that account, small as it is, since TD Ameritrade ate up Scottrade, and they’ve always had an excuse not to do so.

It poured with rain most of yesterday. The only time I went out was to get the mail, which was the latest issue of the NEW YORKER, which I read cover to cover.

Not much unpacking was done, because we were exhausted.

Fighting with TD Ameritrade took up most of the day. Because they are slime buckets.

At least I got some sleep last night. I slept until nearly 7 this morning. Now, I’m fighting with TD Ameritrade again. Supposedly, the check went out via Fed Ex yesterday; however, the tracking number is “invalid.” Typical.

The damn check better show up. We’re not in dire straits, thank goodness, but I don’t want them profiting any more off our monies than they have.

I’ll do my script coverage and try to get some more resumes out.

Hurricane Elsa hit my old neighborhood in Westchester yesterday and today; I hear there’s flooding. I hope it’s not bad, and that our old building isn’t under water again. I don’t miss the days of slogging through chest-deep water and being without power for a week or so. It’s supposed to hit the Cape later today. They’re not supposed to get much rain, but a lot of wind.

Hurricanes are going to be an entirely different experience in the mountains than they were on the coast. Time for the learning curve to kick in.

I actually read a book for pleasure last night and this morning, the first time I’ve been able so to do in weeks. Usually, I read three to four books a week.

I have to figure out my new routines, as I settle in to work and writing and research and reading. As we unpack. There’s still a lot of unpacking to do. It’s like putting together the pieces of a puzzle. It’s a lot of fun, but it takes time, and I can’t afford to take time away from billable hours right now. It will take several weeks to get things unpacked.

Once I stop being exhausted all the time, it will help.

I needed yesterday as a day of rest.

Spoke to the “family” in Maine who were shocked, shocked, I tell you, that we found a wonderful place to live, and I hadn’t put my mother in a home, given up all my belongings and the cats, and was living in a one-room hovel somewhere.  They were even more shocked that I have a job I can work remotely that I like. Yeah, “family.”

Whatever.

We are in a new home and starting new routines that will serve this phase of our lives better. I’m going to proceed cautiously, and make decisions slowly; decisions that are best for us, and have nothing to do with pleasing anyone else. I lost too much the last decade by trying to fit in and being a “good sport.” Not going to make those same mistakes here.

What is interesting here is how much quieter this neighborhood, in a city, only a few blocks from downtown, is compared to the neighborhood on Cape. Yeah, you hear people living their lives, but there aren’t the constant sounds of destruction that were constant on Cape. People are living and, even more importantly, laughing. One hears a lot of laughter, and that’s a good thing.

The cats are happy, too, especially Charlotte. Charlotte is delighted by the new place. Willa and Tessa are a little more cautious, but they’re getting there.

New moon, fresh start. Looking forward to it!

Have a great weekend.

Published in: on July 9, 2021 at 8:39 am  Comments (2)  
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Thurs. July 8, 2021: First Full Day at Home

image courtesy of Public Domain Pictures via pixabay.com

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Dark Moon

Pluto, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune Retrograde

Rainy and humid

Yesterday was my first full day home.

My mom wasn’t feeling well; the move has been a lot for her. She is, after all, 96. I left her resting at home while I did a big grocery shop at Stop N Shop. Missing a turn to get there. I think there’s an easier way to get there, which I plan to explore on my next run.

Got everything upstairs and unloaded before the storms started. We worked on unpacking the kitchen some more. There’s still a lot to unpack – everywhere. But we’re doing it slowly, arranging and rearranging.

I did some script coverage, which I will write up today, and read another script today. I’m easing back into it. I want to do good work, and I can’t do it if I’m exhausted. So, instead of overbooking myself and doing low quality work, I’m easing back in and doing good work.

More negotiation with a potential client today. I don’t think I’m right for this assignment. I have to do some more digging. I don’t know if they can afford me, even if I’m right.

Salad for lunch. Scallops sauteed in butter and rosemary with mashed potatoes and spinach for dinner. Figures – I move away from the coast and what do I cook? Scallops. The irony is not lost on me.

I think one of the reasons my mom isn’t feeling well is that she didn’t eat properly while I was down finishing the cleanout.

Trying to catch up on email. We were supposed to receive a check Fed Ex’ed yesterday from TD Ameritrade – where the broker made my mother cry last week when she tried to close the account. Of course, it didn’t get here. What a slimy, awful company.

Rearranged some of the furniture in the living room, and it works much better now.

To bed fairly early. Awakened around 2-ish by thunder and lightning. Sitting in a bowl between mountains, watching the storm roll around, was pretty cool. Especially since we have good, solid windows for protection. Fell asleep again around 4 and slept until nearly 7. I haven’t done that in months.

Staggering around today, feeling disoriented and numb. I was going to go to the library to get a new card and some books about the area, but with the bucketing rain, I think I will stay in and rest. I will unpack a bit, write up script coverage, read the next script, negotiate with the potential new client. Maybe catch up on some email.

I’ve lived in a state of crisis for so long, it’s as though I’ve forgotten how to live an ordinary day. I mean, I have to figure out new routines and schedules to create daily life again, but it’s almost as though I no longer know how.

The best thing I can do is be kind to myself. It’s the dark moon. Time to release what’s no longer working – getting out of the old house is part of that. Tomorrow is the new moon, and time for fresh starts.

I have a feeling today will The Day of Many Naps.

Peace, friends.

Published in: on July 8, 2021 at 8:49 am  Comments (4)  
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Wed. July 7, 2021: Home

image courtesy of Sophie Ilvarinen via pixabay.com

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune Retrograde

Cloudy and humid

I am home.

Aren’t those beautiful words?

I spent the holiday weekend on Cape, finishing the clearing out. Most of what was left over ended up in the dumpster, although I salvaged a enough for 7 carloads that went into storage over the various days.

My lovely neighbors down the street helped me pack the dumpster on Saturday and Sunday. They’re very efficient, dumpster geniuses, and we got it all in. Monday, once I finished the storage runs, was about cleaning.

The cleaning took a lot. The basement, where boxes had gotten damp and stained the walls, needed the most work, but I used a bleach mixture and it’s better. It still needs repainting, but hey, it’s been ten years.

As I cleaned, an alarmed face showed up in the streaks. I should have taken a photo of it. It wasn’t exactly Taco Jesus, but it was interesting. (“Taco Jesus” was the name of a play I stage managed way back in the 80’s at the One Act Theatre Company of San Francisco, with Michael McShane in the lead).

There’s still a lot of processing to do, and I will do that, and decide what I’m comfortable publicly sharing. Lots of emotion involved in all of that. But it was easier to do without my mom underfoot and every toss out becoming an argument.

I was also frustrated cleaning, because I’d clean something, and 5 minutes later it looked worse. I had to clean all the baseboards again in the house. I’d cleaned them the day the movers cleared out the furniture. Here it was, less than two weeks later, in an empty house, and they were filthy again. I don’t get it.

I scrubbed and cleaned all day. Of course, the landlord called me at 5 to see how I was doing. I was ready to go just after 6. The key exchange was nice enough, although, even though he’s keeping the security deposit, he wanted to charge extra for these five days of clearing out. No, honey, that’s what the security deposit is for. Plus, I could have just walked away and left him to deal with it; according to MA state law, he couldn’t just toss everything. He would have had to photograph and inventory everything and store it for 60 days until I claimed it. But I did not do that. I came and dealt with it myself. He gave me the water bill – although he’s paying a portion of it, for the water used for the lawn. Again, that could come out of the security deposit. He’s making noise about charging me above the security deposit, if he finds things cost more.

No. The place needs painting. It hasn’t been painted in 10 years. Most of the paint has held up very well. There’s a little wear and tear, and some damage where I removed the Pennsylvania Dutch Hex Signs we fastened on the walls when we moved in – damage because the hardware store guy sold me an adhesive he promised wouldn’t damage the walls, but, like everything else he told me, that was wrong.  Aside from the staining and some dry wall shrinkage in the basement, and the ding in the wall at the bottom of the stairs caused by the movers, the place is not in bad shape. It needs paint, and it needs a professional scrub. The central vac didn’t have any suction – mostly because the landlord never ordered the special bags it needs (it’s original to the house) and never told me where I could get them. Our vacuum went on the moving truck, so I was using a broom and dustpan, and also using my little hand vac. I Rug Doctored the heck out of the carpets.

What it really needs are bathroom renovations and new windows, but we know that’s not happening coming from them, and I’m not paying for that.

There were plenty of things in the ten years we lived there that the landlord “never got around to.” I’m not paying for those.

Let him jump on the Short Term Rental Greed Train. He’ll find out it’s not as easy as having a year round tenant. When holiday renters are paying top dollar for a property, they don’t want  something that’s original to the house just because it’s Cape Cod – especially since this house is 5 miles from the beach. They want better stuff than they have at home. He can blame me all he wants for not being able to rent out the place by July 4th weekend. But even if we’d gotten out at the end of April, the place wouldn’t be ready.

I was happy to drive out of there without looking back. It was about 6:30 by the time I finally got out of there.

I was practically numb with exhaustion trying to get over the Sagamore Bridge. I’d only had an egg for breakfast and some watermelon for lunch. It took 40 minutes to get over the bridge, and, according to the radio, it kept backing up.

There was another backup around Middleboro, but then it wasn’t too bad.

I managed to get to Sturbridge by 9-ish, to my favorite inn, The Publick House. I stumbled in, begging for a room in the lodge, the section that has all the goofy toile wallpaper and the little balconies.

The lodge was sold out to a special group.

I was ready to cry. I was too tired to go any farther.

But, I’m a regular guest there, sort of. I’m in their system. So they offered me a room in Tillyear House, at a big discount, which only made it about $20 more than staying in the lodge.

I said yes.

It was a lovely room. Enormous, with two queen beds with soft mattress toppers, a huge bathroom with a tiled shower, a reading/writing area, and giant TV.

First thing I did was take a shower, slather on their wonderful bath products, and feel like a human being again.

Of course, I had no real food. I had leftover chips and cookies, and the remnants of the wine I’d bought to wind down in the evenings when I camped in the empty house. So I had chips and wine, and watched Food Network and HGTV for an hour or so, until I was tired enough to fall asleep.

I slept. I woke up around 5, the latest I’ve slept in months. I lounged in bed until about 6:30, then got dressed. I’m so sick of cargo pants I can’t stand them anymore (they made the most sense during the move). Fortunately, I’d thrown some other clothes into my bag, so I put those on. I’d thrown one of my Ipsy bags in my purse, so I even had a little makeup, so I didn’t look like death warmed over.

Hopped next door to the bakery to get my complimentary breakfast of coffee, blueberry muffins, coffeecake squares. Took it back to my room, ate, wrote in my journal. Enjoyed having finished the house.

I was tired enough to want to go back to bed, but I got my act together and was back on the road by 9. The woman at the desk and I had a lovely talk, and she encouraged me to come back for my birthday weekend in March. If the weather’s not bad, I just might book myself in there for a weekend of reading, writing, and spa time, in Tillyear house. Much as I love the funky little lodge, it was nice to indulge in one of the fancier rooms.

Traffic wasn’t too bad, although once I left the Pike at Lee, the last hour to home took a little longer because there was more traffic than at 7 AM when I usually breezed through. But I got home around 11:30. Mom and cats happy to see me.

It took awhile to unload the car, because it was full of weird bits and pieces from the clearing out. I took breaks in between, due to the humidity. But I got it all done. Then I fell asleep on the couch for a few hours.

Got up, made dinner, and went to bed early.

The cats woke me a little before 5 this morning, demanding breakfast. Tessa marched out of her bastion near the front porch, all the way down the long hall to the kitchen, demanding to speak to the manager, because breakfast was late, and That Will Not Do.

A client contacted me yesterday about a possible steady writing gig. I was too incoherent to respond, but I will do so today, and we’ll see if that works out. I will start up again with the script coverage work today, and also let my book review editor know I’m ready for the next book.

There’s a lot of unpacking to do; we will do so slowly, and figure out where we want things. Shift and re-shift things around a bit. We need to do a good grocery shop.

Hopefully, I can re-read some of my own writing later in the day; I want to get back to my first 1K of the day early on in the next few days.

I need to ease in, instead of jump in, due to exhaustion. I have to prioritize the paying work, because I’ve lost three weeks’ of work due to the move and clearing out. Bills are already starting to come in, and I want to make sure everything is paid on time.

I have to process the emotions of the move, and of the friction between the life I thought I wanted on Cape Cod and the reality of life on Cape Cod. That will take time. I have to create new, sustainable routines for life here, and explore my new area.

While I need to work steadily to earn a living, I also want a balance. I need rest, and I want to enjoy my life. I am going to be much more cautious about getting involved with any local groups or organizations here – it will take me some time to recover from the burnout from the organizations on Cape Cod. I don’t care about being a good sport or fitting in anymore – I’m going to figure out how to craft the life I want, and people can either accept those boundaries or fuck right off.

I’m beyond tired, but I’m also relieved that the move is done, and I’m looking forward to building a positive next act here in the Berkshires.

Thank you so much to all of you who cheerleaded (cheerled?) and contributed to the GoFundMe, and, in general, supported me through a difficult time. I am filled with gratitude.

Mon. June 14, 2021: Out of Options

(image courtesy of Clker-Free Vector Images via pixabay.com)

Monday, June 14, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Saturn Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde

Cloudy and cool

Instead of an intent, I’m just trying for basic survival.

We had a good run to storage Friday morning, and then went back to packing/sorting. I did a dump run – a huge amount of recycling, and 5 bags of garbage. I also had nearly a half carload full of clothes that I donated, which felt good. Wrote and sent off my review.

 I lost most of Friday afternoon dealing with agencies who claim to help in situations like this, especially seniors – going through hours of paperwork and process only, at the end, to be told we won’t be helped because we’re moving off Cape.

They could have told us that at the beginning, when I upfront said to where we were moving, and not wasted my time.

But that’s Cape Cod – insular, arrogant, and greedy.

Had to do the script coverage work, too. Since I can’t work much the next two weeks, I have to push hard right now.

I was wiped out and discouraged by Friday night.

Saturday, we did a storage run in the rain. A shelving unit I planned to make use of in the storage facility fell apart in the car, and I couldn’t get it back together in the rain on the pavement. So I brought it back, and it will go to the dump.

Checked with friends who offered to help me move things into storage, and they confirmed they would/could help. Booked a rental truck for this morning, pretty much the only truck left this month on Cape.

During the course of the morning, all of the people who promised to help backed out.

Thought I’d hired a couple of guys to help, but they got a better offer from a rich waterfront property in Osterville, and cancelled on me. At least they cancelled, rather than just not showing up. Can’t get anyone else in my price range.

So, this morning, I pick up a rental truck and I load as much as I can by myself, and then maybe beg the neighbors to help me load the last few items I can’t lift, and maybe someone will come and help me unload.

The truck HAS to be back by 4 PM, and I don’t see how that’s possible. I don’t think I can get it back until 5.

I’m so discouraged.

I can’t physically DO everything myself. It’s not possible. And the people I can afford to hire are booked; the ones available have jacked up their rates for the summer.

I don’t know what to do.

These agencies who claim to send people to help seniors? They help them change a lightbulb. They have phone conversations once a week. They refer you to a “senior relocation manager” who charges a hefty fee to handle the movers from whom she gets a kickback.

That’s not help.

Anyway, Saturday was a good day for purging the basement. Tossed a lot of stuff, organized the boxes for today. I’m trying to keep them now to something that I can lift and maneuver, since I have to do it all myself.

Pluto Retrograde Revelation (what’s hidden is revealed): People’s true natures.

Saturn Retrograde Revelation (life lessons): Can’t count on anybody.

Mercury Retrograde Revelation: I’m fucked (but then, I knew that going into doing a move during Mercury Retrograde, that it would be more difficult).

One of the things that bothers me about not being able to count on people here is that, in the past decade, I have invested thousands of volunteer hours in various organizations within the community. For one organization alone, one year, I did over 1000 hours. Another organization got in-kind donations of professional services for five years, that, had I billed, even at a nonprofit rate, was valued at $150,000 total.

And yet, when I’m the one who needs help, crickets.

Logically, I know that’s not the way it works; volunteer hours are just that, volunteer. You give without expecting anything in return. But it would be nice to know that I banked some good karma from it and could get some help.

I’m tired of being punished because I’m not rich, and, since early on in our tenure here, that’s been the norm. When we arrived, people were friendly and welcoming until they found out we weren’t going to be an ATM.

The only time I’ve felt more isolated and abandoned was the year I lived in Seattle, back in the mid-80’s.

Got some more packing done in my room, too, and we’re sorting what we need to take up to the new place starting tomorrow.

To note how the neighborhood has devolved: By 9 PM Saturday night, one jerk was running a chainsaw; another moron did his nightly leaf blowing; an idiot was shooting at the coyotes (too poor a shot to hit them, and they’re too smart, but I was worried he’d hit the car or the house – or us); another numbnut was setting off illegal fireworks in the street.

I’m sick of it.

Slept Saturday into Sunday out of sheer exhaustion. Did another major dump run Sunday morning – only 2 bags of garbage, but the rest of the car filled with recycling.

Worked on script coverage. Signed my contract with Llewellyn for 2023.

Did a big dump run early in the morning; not that much garbage, lots of recycling. Spent the day working to clear out the storage room; tossing a lot, staged a lot of boxes in the garage so I can load the truck. I still have to get some of the heavy boxes up from the basement, because they have to go first.

And people giving me the self-care lecture and don’t work too hard – I HAVE NO FUCKING CHOICE BECAUSE NO ONE WILL HELP ME!!!!

Stop the self-indulgent, elitist bullshit. I am doing as much as I can, but I HAVE NO OPTIONS.

The plan for this morning is to pick up the truck, load in as much as I can, and hopefully the neighbors who promised to help this afternoon won’t bail on me, too. Otherwise, I’m lost. And if I can’t work out a way to get the truck/keys back after hours, I’m lost there, too.

I’m feeling pretty lost anyway. I broke down and cried often yesterday.

But I am looking forward to taking the first carload of stuff up tomorrow to North Adams, getting the keys, and getting that part of the move into gear.

Peace friends, and please, hold a good thought for me.

Published in: on June 14, 2021 at 3:47 am  Comments Off on Mon. June 14, 2021: Out of Options  

Wed. June 9, 2021: Transition Day 14 — Mounting Stress

imagimage

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Dark Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Saturn Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde

Sunny and hot

The above image is by Gerd Altmann via Pixabay. WP isn’t letting me put in captions anymore.

Another hellish day.

I thought I had the dumpster all sorted out. Booked, payment information, “guaranteed flat rate.” Then, the confirmation sheet comes through with “additional per piece charges” for the things I wanted the dumpster for in the first place. Which are double if I hauled them to the dump myself or hired a guy with a truck and rode shotgun to pay at the dump.

I wasted yet more hours trying to get quotes on dumpsters and haulers, losing precious packing time. One guy gave me a ridiculous quote, plus add-ons, and when I questioned them, smirked and said, “That’s what you get for not being smart enough to land a husband.”

Asshole. Typical Cape Cod.

I’d use Rent-A-Husband to negotiate, but there’s no franchise around here, and I’d have to negotiate with them to get them to negotiate.

I’ve contacted every agency that’s supposed to help with seniors and with housing and with budget limitations, and nothing. Most of the time, not even a response. I’m at my wit’s end. I’m already overwhelmed with what has to be done, and now there are more and more and more financial demands.

When we moved here, EVERY DAY, guys would knock on the door, begging to be hired to clean or do yard work or fix something or do a dump run at a flat, low fee.  I mean, I’m glad people are working and getting paid, so they don’t have to go door-to-door, but this piecemeal, add-on, faux-rate stuff is awful.

We’re purging like crazy, and can’t even afford to throw out the trash, because of the way the fees are structured. I looked into buying a year sticker at the dump, thinking it would be cheaper – but I’m limited to 8 bags a week. It used to be a sticker meant unlimited bags.

The landlord was here before 7:30 in the morning, sanding and making noise (he’d said it would be 8:30). I have to say, it makes me nervous to see him with one foot on the ladder, and one knee on the deck’s roof. He’s in his 70’s.

NONE of this needs to be done right now. It can wait until we’re gone.

We ran a load of stuff to storage in the morning. We didn’t get on the road until 8, so it was busier and took longer than if we’d left at 7:30. Came back, handled the  quote issues, lost more packing time, packed more, cried a lot, requested more quotes, put in more help requests to agencies who are supposed to help seniors with stuff like this, tried to get some work done, packed even more, loaded up the car again and took another load to storage.

There’s finally a dent in the storage room, and that makes me feel better, and there’s even clear space in my room (which Tessa thoroughly enjoys).

Worked on clearing the garage and rearranging areas in the garage – one for stuff that I need help moving into storage, one for stuff that’s going on the dump run/into dumpster/or I’m running to the dump myself.

It feels good to get rid of stuff.

I don’t know what to do with my old LPs. They’re not in great shape. I have 5 crates of them. It’s not a particularly impressive collection, so I’m thinking of just tossing them, although I’ve kept my record player.

Then, there are the boxes that a neighbor left with me in NYC in 1995. He was very, very sick, estranged from his family, and a friend moved him to Texas. He was going to tell me when he was ready for me to ship the boxes, and I never heard from him again. I’m pretty sure he’s dead, although I haven’t found an obituary, and no one responds from the address he gave me. I’ve carted those boxes through every move since, stored them, and never opened them. I don’t know what to do with them. Twitter pals suggest opening them and either tossing or donating.

Oh, and THAT – no one is picking up donations, so if I want to donate, I have to take it to the designated shacks at the dump – AND PAY TO DO SO. I’m paying to donate items. Which is wrong on so many levels, but typical Cape Cod.

I had to stop at one point and do some script coverage. I’ve had to take on extra work, because I will lose most of the last two weeks of this month – when I desperately need money coming in.

National Grid is being a pill about winding up my gas account here, although I did manage to get the new apartment’s electricity account in my name. Berkshire Gas was delightful. The woman with whom I set up the account was delightful, and told me I have “the best landlord around” which was nice to hear. I have to contact Eversource today about winding up the electricity here. The address change went in at the post office. I contacted the North Adams library about protocols and getting a new card when we get there and got the nicest response ever from them, with the steps, the hours, their safety protocols, and they said they can’t wait to meet me.

We are going to a really good place for us IF WE CAN DAMN GET THERE.

I collapsed from exhaustion and actually slept last night (the previous night, I fell asleep at 8:30 and was awake by 11:30). My mom hasn’t been sleeping at all, and suffering from leg cramps. She’s 96. I’m worried the move is killing her, and she’s worried I’ll collapse from the stress of all the assholes.

On top of all of that, I have to bring the car in to be repaired today. If that’s a big bill, I’m really up a creek.

So, the stresses mount. If I can just get us OUT of here, we’ll be fine.

Hold a good thought, please.

Two weeks from today, we SHOULD wake up in the new place, if we can get the hell out of here.

Tues. June 8, 2021: Transition Day 13 — Getting it Sorted

(image courtesy of D1 The One via pixabay.com)

June 8, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Saturn Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde

Sunny and warm

The stress keeps building, although some things are getting focused.

Friday was a day of many tears. Got lost going to the storage unit, and then the unit was, from the first moment, not going to work. Too small, upstairs, down a bunch of corridors. I upgraded to a drive-up unit that’s twice the size and will work if I keep purging a lot.

We unloaded, came back. The traffic was already terrible, and the facility is close to the Bourne Bridge, so we knew that was it for the day.

Signed lease off, dealing with mover negotiations, trying to get help from the agencies who claim they provide this kind of help around here. But, since we’re going off Cape, I get shrugs and “good luck.”

Home, had to do some work on the computer.

Then, packed in my office (someday the office will be done) and mostly fuffed around fretting and feeling overwhelmed. That won’t solve anything. I need to focus and get each thing done, then move on to the next thing.

What’s frustrating is that I have all this stuff to donate, but none of the facilities are picking up. They cite COVID – even though ALL restrictions have been lifted in the state of MA. I mean, on the one hand, I understand, it’s best to be safe. On the other, it makes things harder. I can drop them off at “donation centers” at the dump, but I have to pay so to do.

What did I think would happen, moving during retrogrades?

There was a ton of paperwork to do for this, that, the other, and that, of course, takes time that should be spent packing.

After my packing session, I took a shower, because I reeked, and then sat down to do two script coverages. I typed up the notes and sent them off on Saturday morning. A writer for whom I covered a script was pleased with my notes and had more questions, which I also turned around on Saturday.

Friday night, we took down our curtains, washed them, and packed them.

Neither of us could sleep Friday into Saturday – we kept getting up to talk about logistics.

This level of stress is unsustainable. I start each day still exhausted by the previous day. I’m nauseated all the time. I’m forcing myself to eat, but would be just as happy not to.

Up early Saturday morning. We’re getting into a heat wave, yet can’t have the doors to the deck open for a breeze because the landlord took the screens. Passive aggressive and just mean on his part. There’s a lot he didn’t get done around this house for 10 years. He took care of the big things, but the little things? Not so much. But, of course, now it’s our fault – either for not doing it ourselves or not fussing at him enough. Yup, time to go.

Heard from some of my friends – we will actually be able to visit back and forth once we’re in the Berkshires. Much closer, and much easier to get to.

Leaf blowers and chain saws going in the neighborhood all damn day. More destruction. When we first moved here, one could smell the sea. Now, except for a few days when we could smell the lilacs in bloom, all one smells is the gas/oil from power tools. The leaf blowers go well past 9 PM, which shouldn’t be allowed. EVERY single day, especially Sundays and holidays. Again, when we moved here, there was a high quality of life. Look back at my posts from late November 2010 when we moved here into 2011 or even 2012. Our new landlord’s family used to own a house in Chatham, but they sold it in 2005, because they felt the Cape was taking a turn for the worse. It definitely has during the decade we’ve been here.

Financially, this will be the Cape’s best season in years, because, as we open up after the pandemic, this is a place they want to come. Next season might even be good. But it can’t sustain. There’s a housing crisis causing a worker shortage, and a wage shortage causing both. People can’t sustain multiple jobs that don’t keep their heads above water. The people who CAN afford to live here expect low wage workers to keep things running.

We’re moving to an area where a particular individual has a vision to help a neighborhood turn vital by bringing back a sense of safety and community. We are very, very lucky to have found this place.

Anyway, we loaded up the car and a load to storage. Traffic wasn’t too bad – we were early enough to avoid the worst of it. It’s great that I made the change, and we have a drive-up unit. It’s worth the money.

Drive back wasn’t bad; stopped to get more boxes from U-Haul and some gelato. By then, it was lunch time; quick salad, and worked on packing/purging the Still Room downstairs. We managed to fill three crates with empty glass jars. Because we re-use so much, we’d just kept washing out glass jars from various grocery items and sticking them downstairs.

It’s all a little overwhelming, especially the amount we have to purge.

I decided to get rid of 4 of my large bookcases. I can’t take many books with me anyway (most are going into storage). Those bookcases won’t fit properly in the new space. They’d loom. I’m taking one of the big bookcases and all the smaller ones. But it means I have to photograph them, purge the big bookcases in the basement, and get them up on craigslist.

I put up the mowers, weed whacker, and electric shovel on craigslist (for free) and they were picked up by a guy from Marstons Mills within 15 minutes. He’ll refurbish them and sell them. Good for him. I just wanted them gone.

Left a note for gardening neighbors to come and take whichever ones of our big plants they’d like.

Negotiating with movers. I think I got a better deal with a local mover.

Did my script coverage notes and read two more scripts. I have to keep reading/covering, although it cuts into packing time. We need the money, because the days around the move and until we get the internet hooked up will be intense. Also, we are taking a few carloads of stuff up to North Adams next week, and that will cut into reading/notes time.

At least I slept Saturday night into Sunday. I’d planned to take a sleeping pill (which I hardly ever do), but I didn’t need it.

Up early Sunday morning, typing up script coverage. Took another load to storage. Drive there and back was smooth.

The movers are messing with me. Dragging their feet on setting the “not more than” quote to try to force me into a higher price in order to for me to get the date. I’m so, so angry. If I was a man, they wouldn’t be pulling this crap. It’s completely sexist. Set the quote to which we agreed, when we negotiated what had to change in order to meet my budget. I’m so upset.

I sent out a bunch of other quote requests. One of them came in at 3x what the best quotes came in at, and then asked why I said no, thanks. She wanted to know how it compared to the other quotes, because “we like to stay competitive.” So I told her. Crickets.

I decided to get a dumpster. These dump runs and then having to hire someone to take the last pieces over is going to cost too much. I got permission from the landlord.

Photographed some stuff to put up on craigslist. Cleaned out two giant bookcases from the basement; almost everything in them is being donated. Packed up the downstairs bathroom. Threw out quite a bit of old stuff. Packed up some miscellaneous stuff here and there. Packed up my altar and special things in my room (there’s still more to go, but, hey).

Since we had to tidy up in order not to get screwed by the movers when they stopped by to “take a look”, we lost valuable packing time. How the fuck are we supposed to pack when everyone interrupts and expects us to jump to their schedule?

I’m so tired of being punished because I’m not some rich twat from Osterville who never worked a day in her life and only married for money. If I had a bigger budget, NONE of this would be an issue.

Worked on some script coverage; I got more “writer satisfaction” bonuses, which is nice. In 6 days, I’ve already more than doubled what I was making working for the local client. Finished reading the book for review. Wrote the review early Monday, sent it off, and requested my next assignment. One more review, and I can invoice this last batch, and then I won’t take on any more assignments until after the move, at least from this editor. I have to keep the script coverage going steadily – it’s decent money, and I’ll be stretched thin by the end of the month, because I can’t work much the days we take carloads of stuff up, and the days of the actual move.

If I could just lock in the damn movers!

Up early on Monday. Charlotte threw up all over the living room. She’s getting stressed by all the upheaval. I cleaned it up, and settled with her on the couch for a bit.

Worked on script coverage and got that turned around. We ran a load of stuff over to storage around 7:30, and were back just before 9. Not too bad. Packed a few boxes while I waited for the mover to show up and give an estimate. He didn’t, I contacted them to ask why, and they were total dicks. Unfortunately, I have no other options at this point, because everyone else is booked. Which is exactly why they put me in this position.

The landlord is putting around, painting the outside window frames, because the painter who was supposed to come and do it has backed out. NONE of this has to happen until we’re out of here. But he’s puttering. Whatever. We’re ignoring him and doing what we do.

They came in the afternoon. The guy who did the inventory was very nice, we got through it fast, and we can fit more on the truck than the office guy figured, because few of our pieces are big. The estimate is within budget, but not binding; I have a feeling they’re going to try to screw us. But I have no other options at this point. I signed the contract, put down the deposit.

That’s done. This morning, I have to book the dumpster and start hunting for a couple of inexpensive guys with a truck to run the few remaining big pieces and some boxes over to storage.

Today’s all about the packing, and rearranging. We’re using the garage as a staging area, one area for dumpster stuff, one for stuff going to storage, one for donations.

Tomorrow, I get the car serviced. We will be screwed if there’s a major repair. Hold a good thought for us.

One week from today, we pick up our keys and run the first carload of stuff to the new place.

Two weeks from today, we will be unloading there.

All the prosperity and smooth travels and good energy you can send is greatly appreciated.

Fri. June 4, 2021: Transition Day 9 — The Hunt for Storage

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Friday, June 4, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Saturn Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde

Rainy and warm

Yesterday had a lot of tears and frustration. The storage unit I thought I’d booked online turned out to be for vehicle parking, not a storage unit. Which wasn’t clear on the online booking. I did that twice, at two different locations. The managers got in touch and cancelled the reservations – but there were no storage units around here. I mean, come on! That’s insane. I finally found one in Bourne, a 10 X 10, which is smaller than I wanted, but all I can afford. We start moving in tomorrow, and will take 1-2 carloads of boxes over every day until I book a couple of guys with a truck to take over the furniture pieces.

I negotiated with movers down to 1 truck, which means we are leaving more down here than we originally planned. But it’s what we can afford, so it’s what will happen. The guy is coming to take a look at what’s actually going on Monday, so we can get a firm quote. But at least we can get our day and get the most important things up.

We’ll come back down in September and October for more carloads of stuff, or maybe, we’ll be able to move the whole damn thing up to storage close by. Although that will probably happen in spring.

But there were tears of frustration before I found this place, as I contacted company after company. It makes sense: people throw their stuff into storage all summer to rent their houses.

Until the contract is signed with the mover, I will still be nervous. But at least it looks like we can get there.

I lost most of my packing time, although I packed up my writing books. I will have to leave most of them in storage, at least initially.

Now, of course, I’m worried about the car. It’s an old car, and the dealer who’s always finding something wrong with it has me paranoid. But I’m getting it serviced next week by the mechanic I trust, so, fingers crossed.

The lease came through; we’re signing this morning and sending it back. It’s a very fair lease, and the terms are within the way we live anyway.

Read two scripts for coverage, and will type up my notes and send them off this morning. Started reading the next book for review, which is interesting.

The physical and mental stress under which I am living is unsustainable, but I have to sustain it for another two weeks and change. I have to work hard to keep both my physical and mental health intact. Once we’ve arrived in North Adams, I’ve built in recovery time.

But I have to be able to sustain the stress and the exhaustion for the next couple of weeks WHILE being productive as far as packing WHILE still working enough to get money in so that we have enough to get up there and start, and we have enough for July’s rent, which is coming up very quickly once we get there.

When we moved here ten years ago, there was enough of a financial cushion not to worry about any of that. While I’ve worked hard to put together the money for this move, there’s not the same kind of cushion, and that puts more pressure on me, at a time when I’m still trying to get back on my feet after being sick for almost a year during a pandemic. Plus, I’m ten years older, and my body can’t do what it did ten years ago. Most of my neighbors and friends here aren’t in the physical shape to give me the kind of help I need, nor would I ask them to as we’re coming out of a pandemic.

Eventually, once we’re settled, I will have to deal with the psychological fallout. Not just from the pandemic, although there’s plenty of that; but that my dream of living the rest of my life on Cape Cod, which had been my fantasy since I was a child, did not convert into a sustainable reality. There are psychological repercussions for that, and I will have to deal with them once we’re moved, even though they’re nibbling away at the edges of me every day.

I’m moving (literally and emotionally) to something better, so it’s a good move and the right move. But dealing with what feels like a failure on my part (but is, actually, a type of growth and change, just not the kind I anticipated), will take time and work. I don’t have that time and work until we’re moved, and that’s causing tension.

Anyway, I’m off to write up my script coverage and send it off. We’ll pack the car in a couple of hours and take the first load of stuff to storage when the office opens. Not sure if we’ll make another trip this afternoon – bridge traffic will be bad, and it’s near the Bourne Bridge. I hope to do another trip today, at least 1 trip tomorrow and Sunday, and, during the week, 2 trips/day. 

The library is going to take most of the new books I’m giving away as donations. I have to swing by the Goodwill store in Hyannis to see if I can drop off the rest of the books and the clothes, or if I have to drive even further to a “donation center”.

I’m going to do a dump run tomorrow. We’re going to take the giant kitty condo apart and rebox it, so we can take it with us on the first or second trip out to the new place on the 15th.

Later this morning, I’m going to contact the utility companies, to make sure everything is switched over to our name by the 15th in the new place, and, where it’s the same company, that it’s in our name until about the 25th, just to give some overlap.

So, there’s a lot to do and time is running out. I’m exhausted and overwhelmed, but just trying to push through. Hold a good thought for me, please.

Published in: on June 4, 2021 at 4:52 am  Comments Off on Fri. June 4, 2021: Transition Day 9 — The Hunt for Storage  
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Thurs. June 3, 2021: Transition Day 8 — Stress

image courtesy of 1388843 via pixabay.com

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Saturn Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde

As I feared, getting the movers is difficult. And the prices are high. Which, people deserve to be paid for their work; but I also have to stay within my budget. So I’m looking at other options. I wish I felt confident enough to drive a truck; I’d rent from Penske, get a few guys to load here and unload there, and drive it myself. But I’m old and exhausted; if I was even in my 40s, I could; now, not so much.

Exhausting days; sleepless nights; lots of worrying. Feeling overwhelmed by what has to be done in zero time.

And then the landlord came puttering around yesterday, and took away the screens from all the back doors. So we’re about to move into a heat wave, and we can’t open the doors for a breeze the way we usually do.

Stressed, worried, and in moving hell. Could use some moving mojo.

Peace.

Published in: on June 3, 2021 at 3:58 am  Comments (1)  

Wed. June 2, 2021: Transition Day 7 — Packing

image courtesy of David Nisley via pixabay.com

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Saturn Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde

Sunny and pleasant

Well, we’re percolating along here, but it feels like wading through molasses. The box inventory estimate is staggering, and I’m terrified to submit it to the movers, but I need to know the possibilities and then adjust from there. I’ve come up with Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, depending on the estimates. We’ll see which plan works with the budget.

Simply “getting rid” of the library and the things I’ve spent decades building, the way so many are gleefully telling me is my “only” choice – nope. I AM getting rid of a lot, and it feels good. It feels very, very good. But the library I’ve spent decades building, which I actually USE on a regular basis – I will figure out a way to get it into storage that I can afford.

Picked up boxes from U-Haul – will have to pick up more book boxes today, and some tape from Staples. Staples LOST my order of bubble wrap – it went onto the truck on the 30th for delivery supposedly yesterday, and they have no idea where it is. So, REPLACE IT, YOU IDIOTS. Don’t tell me I have to “apply” for a refund and then reorder. REPLACE WHAT YOU LOST AND GET IT TO ME.

Idiots.

Mercury Retrograde. Deep breath, deal, move on.

There’s finally progress in my office. I’m hoping we can finish packing it today. I’m throwing out a lot, and the garage is doubling as a staging area. Next week, I will take a lot of stuff, especially books and clothes, for donation.

Still didn’t get the photos up on craigslist – have to do that today. I have some plants to get down and put on the deck, so they can be taken.

Started packing my clothes and stacking those boxes. Found a lot of stuff that can be given away; it doesn’t fit and/or I don’t like it. So I’ve been washing what needs to be washed and packing the clothes, which will get donated, along with the books, next week.

Got the appointment to have the car checked out; let’s hope they don’t find anything major. Every last cent left will have to go to the move, at this point.

Was paid by the script reading job. That feels good. But I have to keep on pace or pick up the pace, so that we have money coming in all month.

The landlord got the insurance company to back off, so that’s a breath. Boundaries are a good thing.

We’re supposed to move into a heat wave this week; I hope it takes longer to get down to Cape Cod. I don’t do well in hot weather.

Read two scripts for coverage in the afternoon, once I’d packed my fill. I look back at when we moved here, and I was packing 50 boxes/day – but I had the luxury of being able to take off work at that point, and just pack. Plus, we were driving back and forth every day for a month, which we can’t do in this case.

Plus, I was ten years younger.

My knees and hip sockets are screaming most of the time.

Do what you have to, though, right?

Doing the script coverage, typing up the furniture inventory, and gathering quotes.

Busy day. From now until we arrive at the new destination, it will be like this, flat out. I just have to deal with each task as it comes.

The other thing I’m forcing myself to do is rest when I’m tired, rather than work until I collapse. Resting, recharging, and going back to it helps.

The lease hasn’t arrived yet, which makes me nervous.

Peace, friends, and any positive Moving Mojo you can send me is appreciated.

Published in: on June 2, 2021 at 4:21 am  Comments (4)  
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Tuesday, June 1, 2021: Transition Day 6: Transitions, Packing, Working, Stress

image courtesy of Garoch via pixabay.com

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Saturn Retrograde

Mercury Retrograde

Still dark out; it’s been raining all weekend, so maybe some sun?

Busy, busy, busy.

I was wiped out on Friday, but managed to turn around a quick coverage that came in and needed to be done right away. That threw the rest of the day out of whack, although I managed to get a Trader Joe’s run and a Lambert’s run in.

The tourist hordes have already descended, and they are more disgusting than ever. They’re nastier than ever. I intervened three different times at Trader Joe’s when tourists were rude to staff. They have NO RIGHT to this behavior. As I said to one, who threatened to leave and never return to Cape Cod, “Go. There are enough decent human beings who want to visit to keep the economy going. We don’t need YOU.”

The staff at Trader Joe’s has gone above and beyond since the pandemic started. I will not stand by and see them abused by twatty tourists who can’t behave with basic human decency.

On top of that, all these tourists in their Lexus and BMW and Mercedes are driving around tossing trash out of their windows onto people’s lawns. Absolutely disgusting.

The rain came pounding in on Friday night, and I’m petty enough to be pleased.

Charlotte was upset by the storm, so at about 3:30, I went down to the couch. She settled in, purring, and we dozed for a bit; then I was up and doing a furniture inventory so that I can give some actual information to the moving companies from whom I’m getting quotes. It will be difficult to estimate the boxes. I’m going to do a rough inventory of those by the end of the weekend, and then try to figure how many more I have to pack.

I packed all day Saturday, and felt I got nowhere. It was so frustrating. This while getting the laundry done and trying to finish a book for review and send out LOIs. It was raining like crazy, so at least I didn’t have to worry about the yard.

I also donated about 3 cases of wet cat food to the MSPCA down the street. None of these cats like wet food; I’ve tried all kinds. It makes more sense to donate it somewhere it will be used, either for the shelter cats, or as part of the shelter’s pet pantry program for people who are struggling.

My big fear now is that I’ll run out of boxes. But I’ll pack whatever I have and then see what I still need.

I’m so exhausted, and I’m just accepting the fact that I will live in a state of perpetual exhaustion until we are all moved.

I hope the lease comes through today or tomorrow. I’m going to be nervous until then. Because if something goes wonky and we don’t get this apartment, we are in real trouble.

Early Sunday morning (around 5:30), I was on the computer, working on LOIs, when movement outside the window caught my eye. A large coyote trotted through the yard, holding a dead turkey in his mouth. He looked both ways before crossing the street, and off he went, down around the corner. It’s the first coyote I’ve seen all season. He was gorgeous. I wonder if it’s one of the ones who was raised in our yard a few years back?

It was still a little disconcerting.

Sunday was an all-out packing day. I worked in my office all morning, and it was so discouraging, because it looks and felt like nothing got done. The afternoon was spent upstairs in the storage room; while there is still a lot to do, it’s showing how much we got done, and that feels better.

The landlord is pressuring us to have his home insurance inspector come in on the 10th of June to “look at the inside of the house.” That’s ridiculous. The inspector hasn’t been in for 49 years. He can wait another 15 days, until we’re out. There’s no way we can have the place in any shape by the 10th of June for a reasonable inspection. This poke-poke-poke that he does is really annoying. It brings to mind last year, when he forced us to agree to the energy assessment the same day I had my post-op medical appointment, the day everything started shutting down for the pandemic, and then didn’t follow through on anything that was offered. It’s unnecessary and unfair pressure and no, just no. Legally, he can ask for it. But I’m damn well pushing back.

I turned around a script on Sunday afternoon, and wrote up/sent off the coverage on Monday. I need to read a lot in the next two weeks, so I have a good chunk of change around the days of the actual move.

Sunday night, we got the formal offer for the apartment. Hopefully, the lease paperwork arrives today, and we can get that completed. What a relief! We have a new home.

I will talk publicly more about the details once the lease is signed. I’m always nervous until all the paperwork is done. Yes, one shouldn’t sign contracts during Mercury Retrograde, but this is necessary. And, using the retrograde energy, this signage is about resolving unresolved issues.

And I can’t be held hostage by the planets. Things have to happen when they have to happen; you use the stars for guidance, but can’t be paralyzed out of fear. Does moving during the retrograde(s) mean this will be temporary? Well, I seriously doubt we will stay ten years, like we did with this place. It’s a terrific space, and a year-round community where people live their lives instead of groveling before tourists all the time, and it gives us a chance to catch our breaths and regroup.

Will things be slower and more frustrating during the retrogrades? Of course they will. I’m on edge, worried that there will be a major car repair in there, or that the move will be more than we can afford.

But this is necessary and feels right, as far as where we’re going.

Somehow, somehow, I have to make like a hockey player and dig deeper to get it all done. My mother is 96 – she can’t do as much as she used to, and I don’t want this move to kill her. She’s delighted we got the space (as am I). I am completely indebted to my friend Rebecca for finding the listing for us, and getting us all hooked up. Now, I have to come up with the resources to get it all done.

I will drop a note off to our neighbors down the street, inviting them to come by and see which plants they want. I have a bunch of stuff to upload to craigslist. Part of today is taking photos.

Monday, I packed, focusing on my office It finally looks like something’s getting done there. I ran out of boxes; I’m picking up more boxes this morning from U-Haul, both for misc. stuff/clothes and for books. Then, I will spend most of the day packing.

I turned In a script coverage, then read the one I will turn in today, and claimed two more. One of them was a project for which I was requested – the writer liked my feedback, did rewrites to the suggestions, and wants me to look at it again. I need to do at least 2 scripts a day between now and when we move, so that we have money coming in, and I also want to make sure I can give them my full attention when I’m reading them, so that I give them the best coverage possible.

Today is the first time in over a year I didn’t have to prepare to Die For My Employer. It felt both good and weird to wake up and know I didn’t have to do anything for the onsite client. I didn’t have to log in to the social media accounts, create direct responses, find inspirational quotes, or create a new email blast. The new person starts tomorrow, and I wish them all well. I think that configuration of people and talent is exactly what they need for this next cycle. This change is good for all of us.

Today is about packing, starting the conversation with the movers, booking my time with the mechanic, and script coverage work. I hope that the lease comes through today; then I can start dealing with the utility companies and get that all sorted.

Hopefully, the landlord will back off and give me the breathing room I need to get everything done. 20 days (hopefully) until we load the truck – I hope to book it for the 21st.

Fingers crossed I can stay on track, and that my physical and mental health holds up. Once we are in the new space, I’ve booked some recovery time. It’s the packing/loading/getting there that worries me, especially when it comes to cost.

Speaking of mental health, what’s happening to Naomi Osaka at the French Open is awful. She has the right to refuse those stupid press conferences while her attention needs to be on her work – playing tennis. If she needs to step back from the press during the Open, that is a valid choice. This attitude that she doesn’t have the right to set boundaries so she can do her best work is disgusting.

I hope there’s a huge backlash against the tournament organizers, and that sponsors pull out. They won’t, because they don’t support mental health, either, but I wish that’s what would happen.

Anyway, hold a good thought for me for the next few days.

Published in: on June 1, 2021 at 4:09 am  Comments Off on Tuesday, June 1, 2021: Transition Day 6: Transitions, Packing, Working, Stress  
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