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

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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.