Mon. July 19, 2021: Intent for the Week — Purpose

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This week, i’m going to concentrate on “purpose.”

The past few months, my entire reason for existence has centered around getting us moved — finding us a place within our budget where we can be happy and feel at least somewhat secure, getting the logistics of the move done.

Now that we are here, I need to find the purpose in my work again. In the writing. In creating new routines, rituals, and figuring out this next chapter. In the healing that has to take place.

My focus this week will be rredefinint what “purpose” means right now, and coming up with ways to fulfill it.

What are your plans for the week?

Published in: on July 19, 2021 at 6:01 am  Comments (2)  

Fri. July 16, 2021: Getting Back to the Page

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Friday, July 16, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune Retrograde

Partly sunny, hot, humid

Yesterday wound up being a fairly pretty day, although hot. I got some work done in the early morning, and participated in the online meditation group, which was good.

Went to the library to drop off/pick up, stopped at the liquor store. People aren’t in a hurry here, and like to stop and talk, but they do go about their lives without fussing too much. At least so far.

We drove to Pittsfield to pick up a few things at Home Goods, and nipped into the Stop & Shop next door, before heading back.

Got some script coverage done.

Read a book by an author about whose work I have mixed feelings. The writing is beautiful. I loathed the characters, all of them. I thought they were all awful people, and couldn’t believe I spent any time with them. But I couldn’t stop reading.

Participated in one of Creative Capital’s conversations about how the pandemic was a catalyst for using different types of mediums to create. I was only familiar with one of the three participating artists before the session, and am now interested in the work of all of them. They all had commissions and got a lot done during the pandemic, the thought of which just made me tired. I was so unproductive. And the pandemic’s not over yet. But I have to remind myself that I was also sick during that time. I still haven’t processed the surgeries and that whole element/experience yet. One artist focused on the change with her relationship with the audience; another was excited by the new types of collaborations in which she participated; the third talked about the dialogue with the work, and the best format for the work, instead of just trying to make it fit a medium, which really resonated with me.

All three of these artists create and perform their own work, which has been more and more the norm during the pandemic. As someone who does not want to perform my own work, who writes for others to perform, I sometimes wonder if I’m a dinosaur, and if there’s any room for me anymore.

Slept well, although it was uncomfortably hot and sticky. Slept in a bit, wrote in the journal out on the porch in the morning, did my yoga/meditation practice.

And wrote some fiction. Not a lot, not even 1K (a little under). But I played with an idea that’s been tickling for the past few days. It’s both something I want to do, and something focused toward a specific market. Those don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

It felt both weird and good to get back to that type of writing. We will see what happens.

I have a script coverage to write up today, and another to read and then write up, so that I have the weekend free to unpack. It’s supposed to storm again all weekend, so maybe I’ll take a walk around the college at some point today, while it’s still sunny out.

One of these days, I’ll get over to the lake and walk around. It’s supposed to be beautiful.

MassMOCA has a community day tomorrow, where people who live here get in free all day. Part of me wants to go, and part of me doesn’t want to be around that many people yet, even if I’m masked.

Have a good weekend.

Thurs. July 15, 2021: Creating New Routines

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Thursday, July 15, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune Retrograde

Rainy and humid

The rain continues. There was a bit of sunshine yesterday, followed by more thunderstorms.

Got out some LOIs and worked on script coverage yesterday. Participated in Remote Chat, which was fun. I missed everyone there.

Haven’t gotten any unpacking done for a few days, which has to change, but I have to do the work that earns money first, and the unpacking when that is done.

I’ve lost a lot of flexibility through abandoning the yoga practice, so I’m working slowly, slowly to get it back.

Looking at the Topic Workbooks. I need to get back on track with their revisions and re-release. The Topic Workbooks have always sold steadily, and I want each edition to be better than the previous. I’d started the revisions back before I got sick last year, and got sidetracked with, well, being sick.

I also want to revise my Fearless Ink brochure. Once I have it where I want it, I’ll upload a PDF to the website again, and then run off some copies on the laser printer and send them to local businesses with an LOI. The North Adams Chamber hasn’t responded to my outreach (it’s now been two weeks, nearly three), but 1Berkshire, the organization that handles tourism and relocation and business for the whole area, has been more receptive. I’m not ready to attend events yet (it’ll be months before I feel comfortable being in a room with strangers, even though I’m vaccinated).

Starting to make lists: what I need from storage, what I need to replace because I put it in the dumpster and now wish I hadn’t. What I didn’t need at the other place, but need here. I believe trips to Home Goods and Michael’s are in the not-so-distant future. I know where Home Goods is in Pittsfield, but not sure I can find Michael’s.

I’m rejoining the online meditation group out of Concord Library this morning. I’ve missed them, and look forward to it. Later, I have to go to the library to pick up a book that came in, drop off a book I’ve finished; then I’ll swing by the liquor store to pick up some more wine. Maybe some vodka. If it’s hot, I might want martinis on the porch or the balcony.

I have more script coverage to do today, and some more work for Llewellyn. I want to get out some more LOIs.

Getting back into the dailiness of yoga and meditation is helping. The morning journal writing is helping me ease back into a creative headspace. Now, I need to rebuild a work schedule that also works for me, while getting the unpacking done. Living in chaos isn’t helping us get over the exhaustion. Once everything’s put away and we’ve decorated a bit, we’ll feel better.

As I said, the feng shui on this place is difficult. But we’ll get there.

The cats are happy (although they got me up before 5 this morning). That’s the most important, isn’t it?

One step at a time, and we’ll build what we need. Patience has never been my virtue (except working with the cats). But I need patience with myself over this summer.

Wed. July 14, 2021: Allowing Myself Ease

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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, and Neptune Retrograde

Rainy and humid

By this weekend, we are on track to have as much rain in the state in half a month as we usually get all summer. I’m glad it hasn’t been beastly hot, but it would be nice to see the sun every now and again.

Yesterday morning, I took the laundry down the street to the laundromat. This is the first time in my life I’ve lived in a building without laundry. There’s nothing wrong with the laundromat – it’s clean, it was mostly empty. But I hated it. I also hated that one of the machines ate my money without working. I will invoice the company for that.

The purchase of a stackable washer/dryer to put on the hookups in the laundry room in the apartment is on my list. It will probably be spring before I can afford it, and I can deal with the laundromat until then, but having my own laundry facilities is important.

When I came back, I was wiped out, for no good reason. I don’t understand why I can’t get my feet back under me. All I want to do is sleep.

So that’s what I did, most of the day. Slept. And re-read Terry Pratchett’s THE FIFTH ELEPHANT, which I’d taken with me to the laundromat.

This puts me behind in my work, and I have to make up for it today. But I needed the rest. I feel a little better today, especially after morning yoga and meditation. I found my zafu; I’m sitting in my bedroom for the moment, although I might set up a mediation space elsewhere.

My eyes are bothering me today, but that’s just too bad for me, because I have a lot of computer work to get done. Hopefully, I can participate in Remote Chat this afternoon. I’ve missed that group.

And maybe get a little unpacking done.

Working with Christina Baldwin’s LIFE’S COMPANION and writing in the journal first thing in the morning is helping, creatively. I can’t believe I’ve lost all my confidence in my ability to create anything. The moving stress knocked the stuffing out of me on multiple levels. The months of feeling like a failure because of obstacles in the moving process carried over into everything else. I have to break down those barricades and get back to my creative self. It exists in there, somewhere. I have to find a way to set it free, to give it space, and to get back to the dailiness of it. All of the projects I worked on pre-move seem so far removed, both physically and psychologically. I’ve never felt so disconnected from my creativity, especially the writing. The writing has always been like breathing to me, and it’s like I’ve forgotten how to breathe.

So I’m working on breath in meditation, and hoping that leads me back to the page. It’s frightening to be in this place, but I can’t focus on the fear, but on the healing.

Patience. I have to be patient with myself. Six months’ worth of stress does not resolve in six days. Patience.

Tues. July 13, 2021: Patient Rebuilding

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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune Retrograde

Rainy and humid

It certainly rains a lot here. At least it keeps the temperature down. And everything is very green.

The weekend was good. The rain let up a bit on Saturday morning, so we headed to Whitney’s Farm over in Cheshire. Bought a few plants and herbs, and some fruits and vegetables. Boy, are their strawberries amazing! Pretty much everything was delicious.

Rested a bit in the afternoon, and worked on the unpacking. It goes slowly. It’s like a puzzle. Do a bit here, then have to adjust something there. It will take a few weeks to figure out how it all fits, and then feng shui it properly. This place is difficult to feng shui. But we will figure it out.

I finished some script coverage on Friday, so I didn’t take on any more over the weekend. At least for the summer, I will try to keep my weekends work free. We will see what the finances demand in the autumn. I do intend to put my head down and work steadily, taking on as much as possible for as much money as possible, although I have to wait until my head clears a bit before so doing. The exhaustion won’t let up.

Six months of stress won’t melt away in six days.

Sunday was about unpacking. Most of the kitchen is now unpacked. I was rather horrified by how dirty the pieces that were inside a glass-fronted cabinet had gotten. Granted, last year, when I was sick, I didn’t do the all-out spring and fall cleanings we usually do, but still, things shouldn’t be that filthy after a year. Inside a closed cabinet. It’s an indication of how the pollution has increased on Cape since we’ve moved there – with the constant chainsaws and mowers and leaf blowers and other tools, there’s no clean air any more. One used to smell the salt air of the sea; no more.

We are only a few blocks from downtown in the new neighborhood, but we are surrounded by trees and greenery. There’s the occasional mower or leaf blower for 10 or 15 minutes once a week or so, during business hours. It’s not the constant cacophony of destruction it was on Cape.

Read a book on the Kindle for the first time since I moved here. Bought something on a whim, that sounded fun. It was. Fun and didn’t strain my brain too much. Not brilliant, not terrible, just decent brain candy. Sometimes, we need brain candy.

Grabbed a couple of scripts to cover on Monday. Slid back into sending out LOIs, trying to catch up on emails. Paid some bills. The check arrived from TD Ameritrade on Friday afternoon – by UPS, not Fed Ex, so no wonder I couldn’t track it. Because, you know, it would be too much to expect them to know the difference between two different companies.

Also got a lovely housewarming gift from friends who live in Kentucky, from a company called Grandma’s Chicken Soup: chicken soup, mac and cheese, challah bread, chocolate cake. Yummy!

The food from the farm was so delicious. What a taste bouquet!

Mixed feelings about the Branson “space” flight over the weekend. On the one hand, I’m of the generation who adored the Apollo missions; however, there’s plenty the billionaires should be doing to help THIS planet before feeding their space egos. Like paying taxes, for one. Yes, I want more space exploration. No, I don’t want it by billionaires.

I have to get to work on the Llewellyn pieces – I have 25 short pieces due in October, so I’m going to do 3-4/week over the summer.

Monday, I also re-started my yoga practice, after weeks away from it. I may have gained some strength, but I’ve lost flexibility. So I will work, daily, to get it back. It’s a shame that years of building strength and flexibility were all lost over a couple of months, but time to build back up.

My meditation practice suffered, although I did at least a few minutes every day. I want to figure out where I can set up a meditation space and get back into longer daily meditations. Maybe I can rejoin the online group in Concord on Thursday mornings.

Got some work done in the morning. I feel as though I’ve lost all my creative skills. The tank is empty, and everything is a struggle. I feel horribly uncreative and untalented. The reality is exhaustion and warped perception, and I have to be kind to myself as I ease back in. I’d hoped to jump in, but don’t have the resources.

At ten, we headed to the library to get our new library cards. I’m a little disappointed that we’re on a sort of probation for three months, and can only take out two books at a time, before we are considered full library patrons. From someone who regularly checked out 50 books at a time, it’s a difficult adjustment. But I got out a book on local history, and the reference librarian is eager to help me find more, so I will go back and do some research in the lovely room.

Swung by the post office to drop off letters and bills.

My Ipsy bag arrived (it’s lovely, as always), along with Goddess Provisions, and the Chewy order.

Got started on the pieces for Llewellyn. Amazing how writing even one short piece helped.

Tessa got me up early this morning, because the cats were hungry. I can ignore Willa and Charlotte when they are a pain, but then they bring in Tessa, the Big Gun. Tessa is She Who Will Not Be Ignored.

I started re-reading Christina Baldwin’s LIFE’S COMPANION, about journal writing. I’m using my personal, handwritten journal, first thing in the morning (after I feed the cats) to try to reconnect with my own creativity, so I can get back to my daily 1K first thing in the morning again.

My bad shoulder hurts today (the one that was dislocated and has rotator cuff problems). This morning, I have to take the laundry down the street to the laundromat. That should be an adventure. I’ve never lived anywhere that didn’t have laundry in the building before. I’m taking work with me. More script coverage, more LOIs, more short pieces for the almanac. Slowly, slowly, building back my creative life.

Slowly, slowly, figure things out. Make sure it works for life as it is now, not doing things because it’s the way I did them before. I don’t want to get stuck, the way I did before.

Onward.

Mon. July 12, 2021: Intent for the Week — Start to Heal

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Monday, July 12, 2021

Waxing Moon

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune Retrograde

Rainy and mild

A week ago today, I was doing my last runs to storage and frantically trying to clean the house, dumping way too many things I wanted to keep, but for which I didn’t have room. I was already shaking with exhaustion when I started the day at 4 AM.

My intent for this week is to start the healing process.

There’s a lot to heal: the physical and mental exhaustion of the move; along with how my desire for a life on the Cape was so far removed from the reality. That will all take time.

I’m frustrated that the exhaustion won’t let up. I suspect the anemia’s come roaring back, and might go back on iron supplements for a bit.

Unpacking goes slowly. It’s like a puzzle; not putting things “where they’ve always been” but putting them where they work best here. I do a bit, and then I have to work on a different area, because until that’s sorted, I can’t go any further in the other bit.

But I’m going to use the gentle Cancer new moon healing energy to do just that – heal.

I don’t know if I’ll keep doing weekly intentions on Monday, but this week, at least, it makes sense.

Published in: on July 12, 2021 at 7:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Fri. July 9, 2021: Of Rain and Rest

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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

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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

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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.

Fri. July 2, 2021: Feeling Like A Failure

image courtesy of FoundryCo via pixabay.com

Friday, July 2, 2021

Waning Moon

Pluto Retrograde

Saturn Retrograde

Jupiter Retrograde

Neptune Retrograde

Rainy and mild

It’s been the week from hell.

The trip back down last Monday was fine. We got back into the house and started packing/purging, etc. Still so much to do, and it was overwhelming. The heat and humidity didn’t help. We worked in the empty house, with no fans, and only some screens (because the landlord had removed other screens to sand/paint the windows).

The dumpster arrived in the afternoon, a beautiful thing.

Packed mostly boxes that had to go to storage on Tuesday. Wound up renting an additional storage unit for the stuff we want to come back down for in the autumn; hopefully, we can clean that unit out by October, and only carry the additional cost for a few months.

Tuesday was another hot/humid day. Did dump runs, more donations, more packing, more purging, started to organize the dumpster. The guys I hired arrived at 1, loaded up the two sets of things I’d sorted, we took them over to storage. The whole thing took only an hour and a half. They were great.

Came back, did more packing/purging/dumpster stuff. It’s still overwhelming.

Wednesday morning, our neighbors came over and helped pack the dumpster and clean out the garage. I need another dumpster. I couldn’t get it all done.

I called the landlord. He was, understandably, upset. But screaming at me that he could have rented that house next week for $10,000 was simply unrealistic. First of all, we’ve lived in it for 10 years. It needs more work than could be done over the holiday weekend. Especially considering all the stuff he never got around to doing that was promised over the past 10 years. Second, with those old bathrooms from Bathfitters and Formica counters in the kitchen, old fridge on its last legs – people are not going to pay top dollar for that. Yes, he could rent per week for several thousand dollars; but, even if we were out of the house on the 30th, it wouldn’t be by next week.

He also yanked out the bush that was Che Guevara Chipmunk’s home.

On the one hand, he’s angry that the house isn’t ready, and he can’t make weekly rental fees (something he used to say he didn’t want). On the other hand, he keeps saying how he can’t find anyone to hire, and has to do the work himself. He’s been working on the outside of the house this past month – an hour or two a day. He can’t physically get it all done by himself in a few days any more than I could physically get everything out by myself by the 30th.

Yes, I am definitely at fault here for not getting out on time; his anger and frustration are justified, and I am just as angry and frustrated with myself. But there is only so much I can do. I lost precious time trying to get us help from the organizations that were supposed to help us with the move; I lost more time because so much has to be done on other people’s schedules and takes so much damn time. Also, paying in order to make donations, and no one coming to pick them up has taken out a big chunk of my working time.

Also, we’ve lived there ten years. He’s made more than $100,000 on rent from us. The place hasn’t been painted since we moved in. There is some damage to the walls, where we hung things, but most of them are still in very good shape. We’ve lived with leaky windows that cost us a lot of extra cash in the winter to keep warm. The chimney’s never been cleaned in 10 years; we’ve never had the annual pest control we should have had; the back of the house was never painted when he had the front painted a few years back (and now, suddenly, that’s our fault? We told him the painters never came back).  When the one old fridge died, it was swapped out for the fridge that was original to the house, which is on its last legs; the carpets are 40+ years old, and while I will shampoo them because we have cats, they also need replacing.  We struggled for three years with a failing furnace until we got a new one, and that was done during a pandemic, with people traipsing in and out for estimates, etc., putting us at risk. So it’s not like everything that needs to be done that wasn’t done for the last ten years is our fault. We put in requests and things weren’t gotten around to until they were urgent. Most of the time, it was fine; stuff we could live with. But I’m not going to take the blame for it now.

Yes, not being able to get out on time is on me. I accept responsibility that I am a failure. No one is beating myself up about this more strongly than I am. But this is reality, and I have to deal with what’s in front of me and make it right. That’s what I’m trying to do.

I had hoped he’d take the next dumpster out of the security deposit, but I have to pay out of pocket. Another unexpected expense. So I’m keeping the GoFundMe fundraiser open again for a few more days to pay for that. We won’t be getting back any portion of our deposit, no matter how clean I leave the place.

Made arrangements for the dumpster swap, cleaned and packed more, got another load of stuff over to storage. My mom is fading and exhausted. She’s also creating more work for me, because she wants to help. I give her simple tasks that need to be done that aren’t taxing; she says she does them, but gets distracted and does something else (that has to be redone), and then there’s more work for me.

I’m also worried, because I haven’t been able to take on any work for two weeks, and now it will be three weeks. That’s a huge financial hit, and we have bills coming up.

Packed the car. We got a little bit of sleep, and were on the road just before 4 AM. The trip up was smooth, and we were home by 8 AM. The cats were fine and happy to see us (the arrangements we’d made for them in our absence worked).  Unloaded the car, and collapsed.

We unpacked part of the kitchen; we really need to do that in order to set up our kitchen table and give us some working room, so we can get going on the rest of the unpacking.

But we unpacked a bit, we rested; repeat.

The cats were happy to have it. It cooled down and started raining.

The postman stopped by with packages I’d mailed from the Cape. He then offered to drive back to the post office and pick up the packages we weren’t here to accept, and that’s what he did. How kind is that?

Turns out I had to dash down to the post office to mail the rent, because I couldn’t find our stamps that we bought just before coming up (bought for rent and bills). They are very nice there, but short staffed and every transaction was slow. But that’s okay; I wasn’t on a schedule.

I met a painter and a musician while waiting in line, and we discussed August Wilson, the playwright, because I bought the commemorative stamps. It was nice to talk about art. I want to be optimistic here; this seems like a place that’s more art-and-artist-oriented than the Cape. But then I remember how excited and delighted I was by everything when I first moved to the Cape, and it makes me tired. And jaded. I’m going to be cautiously optimistic, and not get caught up in things quite so fast, the way I jumped into doing things when we moved to the Cape.

That is fodder for another post in upcoming weeks.

Went to bed early; woke up early, feeling sick and exhausted. Everything hurts. I need to go to the grocery store to get my mom set up for the weekend. I head back down to Cape tomorrow morning. I have to stop at storage on my way in (losing more time) because I can’t get into my account to pay the bill that’s due tomorrow, and suddenly, they’re charging more for the second unit than they promised. Then, I’ll pick up the rug shampooer on my way in, and start the rug shampooing and that can dry while I work on the storage area. I plan to purge most of what’s left in the place; maybe salvage a few things. It’ll mean giving up lots and lots and lots of books, which breaks my heart, but that’s the reality.

It all has to be done by Monday night, so I can get the hell out of dodge by Tuesday morning. I won’t look back once I go over that bridge; I don’t want to turn into a pillar of salt.

I want to be able to return to visit, and to pick up stuff, with joy, not with sorrow or anger.

But first, I have to get this done.

Please hold a good thought for me, even though I probably don’t deserve it.

See you on the other side.

Published in: on July 2, 2021 at 8:17 am  Comments Off on Fri. July 2, 2021: Feeling Like A Failure  

Thurs. July 1, 2021: Where Are We?

(image courtesy of Arek Socha via pixabay.com)

Did we get it done? If you’ve followed me on Twitter, you’ll know. Are we back up to start our new life yet, or still scrambling?

I don’t know, since this is scheduled to post.

Let’s hope we’re done, and resting.

Published in: on July 1, 2021 at 5:15 am  Comments Off on Thurs. July 1, 2021: Where Are We?  

Wed. June 30, 2021: Deadline Today

image courtesy of Steve Buissinne via pixabay.com

Today is it. We have to be out of the house, whether we’ve gotten it all done or not. Hold a good thought for us, please.

Published in: on June 30, 2021 at 5:12 am  Comments Off on Wed. June 30, 2021: Deadline Today  

Tues. June 29, 2021: Life in DumpsterLand

image courtesy of christian via pexels.com

If all went to plan, the dumpster arrived yesterday afternoon and is getting a workout.

At 1 PM today, the guys arrive to cart the rest of our stuff to storage. Let’s hope I have it all sorted and packed.

Yesterday and today will be very long days.

Published in: on June 29, 2021 at 5:08 am  Comments Off on Tues. June 29, 2021: Life in DumpsterLand