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.

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.

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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Fri. March 12, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 294/MA Vaccine Distribution Fail Day 44 — Pre-registration as Placebo

Friday, March 12, 2021

Dark Moon

Cloudy and cooler

Many thanks to all of those who sent birthday wishes yesterday. It was much appreciated, and cheered up my day. This was my second birthday during the pandemic.

Emotionally, I was up, down, and all over yesterday. Really struggled on various fronts, then felt guilty for struggling, which made me struggle all the more.

I cut myself a break, work-wise. I sent out a few LOIs and had a good video conference with a potential client. Other than that, I read and puttered around the house.

The landlord had contractors poking around outside.

We had birthday cake and a nice dinner.

Knowledge Unicorns sang me “Happy Birthday” — which was fun.

My mother’s bloodwork came back. Her glucose is high, and now they’re worrying about possible diabetes. Something else to worry about.

I just needed to give myself a day off yesterday, but the stress didn’t abate.

Today, I’m doing follow-up from yesterday’s meeting, getting some client work done, some LOIs done, contest entries done, article work done, and getting back to purging boxes.

I will purge boxes all weekend, and make at least one trip to the dump.

I signed up on the pre-registration site for the vaccine. It’s basically a placebo, so you feel like you’ve done something. None of the sites that will send me the sign-up are close enough for me to be able to actually go there and, you know, get vaccinated.

Baker attacking teachers for wanting to be vaccinated in order to teach onsite and claiming they’re “taking away” vaccines from the elderly is just complete b.s. How about he allocates doses where needed? How about he looks at his own data and uses it to make decisions instead of making stuff up in press conferences?

Watched Biden’s speech last night. What a relief to have someone who isn’t a narcissist, and who actually surrounds himself with smart, competent people. Someone who gives a damn beyond himself.

Have a good weekend, friends. Let’s hope next week is better.

Fri. Jan. 29, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 254 — Work at a Steady Pace

image by Karl Eggers via pixabay.com

Friday, January 29, 2021

Last Day of Full Moon

Bitterly Cold

Yesterday’s Zoom meditation group was great yesterday. The leader always introduces us to wonderful techniques and possibilities.

Got an ad done for a client.

Worked on the article, finished it, checked quotes with one source, sent it off. The editor has a few suggestions, so I will turn those around today. I’m glad for them – there were a few problem spots I wasn’t sure how to tackle, and her guidance is a big help.

She also suggested another article, so I’m going to look for some sources and put together a pitch to send her next week.

The first part of the article, “In the Company of (Historical) Women Part I” is up. I want to put together the PDF for the contributors and send them the link, and then I will be promoting the heck out of it!

The landlord and the contractor roamed around the outside of the house in the snow, which seemed counter-intuitive to me, but whatever. The cats did not like it; usually they take a look out the window and then go back to sleep, but they didn’t like this guy.

Got out a bunch of LOIs. Finished reading WICKED AUTUMN, the first of G.M. Malliet’s Max Tudor series and really liked it. I’ve ordered the rest of the series.

Still trying to get my mom her vaccine appointments. One site is still down; the other claims all the appointments are booked. Governor Baker shrugs it off, saying the lack of doses aren’t his fault. Interesting, when the Sociopath from his own party was destroying everything, Baker at least put up the façade of fighting for us. Now that the other party is in charge, he’s happy to pass the buck. Unacceptable.

The short story about the ghost pirate ship was rejected, which made me sad. The letter was very nice – they got over 1400 submissions, and could only take 20. Still, I really love that story. I’ll take a look to see what needs tweaking and improving, and then look for another paying market.

Knowledge Unicorns was good; steady work on assignments. There’s a lot of pressure for the kids to go back to in-person learning, in the places where it’s being done. The parents and I are all united that’s not going to happen until they’re all vaccinated. Some of the kids will remain home-schooled, even when it’s safe to go back. They are doing better in this environment: fewer distractions, less bullying. They’re smart and love to learn, and they CAN do well remotely. The education system was failing them even before the pandemic, because it didn’t have room for their individuality and their intelligence. What I also love is how they have made friends with each other, and are in touch outside of the homework sessions, even though we’re all scattered around the country. And their parents now have each other as a support system, too.

I don’t know if I’m going to be able to get a piece ready for that February 1 submission deadline. I don’t think I’ll have enough time to polish. We’ll see how I feel later today.

It’s bitterly, bitterly cold. I was going to do a library run for curbside pickup; now I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll wait until tomorrow? I’ll see how I feel in a few hours. That pushes a lot onto tomorrow, as far as the dump run and the grocery run. Plus, I need to get more ice melt. I’ll clean ash out of the fireplace later, so we can have the fire going all weekend. Maybe I’ll do some baking, too.

I’m going to do a couple of hours’ worth of work on a client’s website, and turn around the edits on the article. Then, I’ll work on the next article pitch, so I can send it to my editor early next week.

I HAVE to catch up on all the box purging that didn’t get done this week. Most of the weekend will focus on that, along with housework and errands, the book for review, contest entries, and maybe some work on a play.

Have a great weekend, my friends. Stay cozy!

Thurs. Jan. 28, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 253 — The Need for Focus

image courtesy of t mc via pixabay.com

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Full Moon

Snowy and cold

Shoveling wasn’t bad at all yesterday. Never thought the day would come when I’d say that, but there it is. Took about a half hour to shovel the driveway (50 feet), the front walk, and the front step. Put down ice melt, too. I shoveled far enough into the street so that, if and when the plow went by, it wouldn’t block the driveway much. Of course, the plow didn’t come, so it was all good, except actually driving on the street. The main roads were fine; the side streets ignored.

Even better, I didn’t feel like I’d been run over by a truck.

I guess that extra yoga and working on the exercise bike is making a difference.

The latest on the garden is up here.

Went to the client’s yesterday. We all overlapped for a bit. The next week or two will be busy for me, on the computer, getting the new collection up on the website. All good.

The vaccine sites have been announced for Phase 2 here in MA. My mom is eligible for Phase 2, since she is over 75 (she is 96).  The appointments, starting next week, were supposed to open Wednesday morning. I called my mom’s doctor, who sent me to the state and county sites. The state site was useless – blah blah blah, no actual links. The county site had the list of vaccinate sites.

Since one has to have both vaccines at the same site (which makes sense), choosing the site is important. There are two sites that make sense. One site had already crashed by 9:30 in the morning and was “unavailable.” The second site made me sign up, and then, when I tried to book an appointment, kept telling me nothing was available. Ten minutes later, the site had taken down the appointment page and said they don’t have the vaccine dosages yet.

As usual, Governor Baker, a Republican, makes promises on which he can’t deliver. If the sites were to be live on Wednesday, then it was up to his team to give them the support they needed and make sure they were ready to accept appointments, not announce it and then shrug and say, “not our problem anymore.”

Which is pretty much what he did in an interview later that day. Shrugged off the disorganization. How much do you want to be his office just announced a date without even checking with the designated sites?

He’s rolling back restrictions BEFORE we’re vaccinated instead of after, he’s been forcing people to die for their employers for 253 days now, and he’s pulling this crap. He did a decent job in March and April, but by the end of May, he went back to pandering to corporations and not giving a damn about individuals.

Stopped by the liquor store for a pickup. Dropped off a package and envelopes at my post office, since the carrier who covers the office complex ignored the business again. But no one was in there, so it was an easy, no-contact dropoff.

Home, decontaminated, Remote Chat, which was fun.

Then, I was wiped out.

I spent some time on the acupressure mat, then worked on my article a bit. I had a discussion with my editor, and will have it to her by end of day today, and then we’ll discuss the next one.

Didn’t get any boxes purged, so I have to make up for all of that today, after my article is done, and I finish up an ad for a client, and put in a couple of hours getting the new collection on the website.

The landlord and a contractor are going to wander around the property later today. We’re supposed to have snow off and on, so I can’t see it will be useful. But it’s not up to me, so whatever, and I appreciate that he always lets me know.

The snow around the trees on the property has melted, which shows just how lively our trees are!

Had a weird dream last night about someone stealing from me. In the dream, I knew the person, but looking at the dream from the outside, I don’t.

I’m looking forward to the online meditation group this morning. Then, it’s client work and article work for what will hopefully be a productive day.

Hopefully, a productive work day will set me up for a productive few hours of box purging.

I have an idea percolating for a story. I have the setting and the conflict, but not the characters yet. So it goes on the simmer at the back of my head to percolate for a bit, When it comes together, I think it will be fun. Not sure what form it will take – short story or novella, I think.

There’s a deadline for a magazine coming up, and I might work up a short piece for them. I have an idea for that percolating, too.

While I work on the contracted tangibles – the article, the client work – these stories can form in the back of my consciousness, and then, when they’re ready, I can write them. Although, when I need one for a deadline, I have to prod it sometimes.

Have a good Thursday.

Tues. Jan. 26, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 251 — Handling Each Thing as It Comes

image courtesy of Dzoko Stach via pixabay.com

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Waxing Moon

Flurries/rain mix/cold

If you love encyclopedias as much as I do, or wonder WHY anyone would love an encyclopedia, I have a post about that up over on A Biblio Paradise.

It feels weird to have no retrogrades, but that will end on Saturday. Mercury goes into retrograde, and I’m not looking forward to it. I always dread it, but there’s so much that needs to get done; losing three weeks to a complicated retrograde is worrisome.

I would prefer to stay under the covers for the duration, but that is not an option. So I will shut up as much as possible and keep working on purging the basement.

Got an email early Friday morning about a new editor at a publication for which I recently started writing. Sent the introductory email to her, and then buckled down to finish the article that was due at the end of the day. I got it off at 5:03 – but the editor is in California, so it was still her workday, thank goodness. I hate being one of those people, who sends things just after the workday ends on a Friday.

Anyway, I got a lovely email from her about working together. I mulled over ideas over the weekend, and sent her some pitches yesterday, although with my willingness to be assigned articles as well as pitches.

I actually had a positive experience with a recruiter! Will wonders never cease! It’s for a 7-8 month writing assignment at an excellent rate. We had a good conversation, and I signed the representation agreement for this particular assignment. He actually answered my questions, and we had a conversation ranging along several topics, which gave us a good sense of each other.

An old family friend stopped by (on his way from Foxboro to Provincetown). He’d been cleaning out his basement and found two boxes of books from my grandmother and thought I’d want them. We followed health and safety protocols – especially since he had COVID last month, although he was asymptomatic.

And the books! They include the Daphne du Maurier books (one of the reasons we went to Cornwall back in 1999, because of her books), and books by Tolstoy, and more! I’m so excited. They bring back many happy memories of reading at my grandmother’s house next to the bog and the woods, as a kid.

They’re already packed in boxes. I quarantined them, and then took a look through them. I’m just going to seal and mark the boxes, and they’re ready for the move.

In and around the contest entries I’m reading, I’m reading another book for review, and hope to have the review done and out by tomorrow or Thursday. I also read THE LOST AND FOUND BOOKSHOP by Susan Wiggs, which was recommended by Deborah Blake. Liked it a lot. I’m reading THE ART OF VIOLENCE by SJ Rozan, and enjoying that, too. Very well done.

In the book about the Hemingway-Pfeiffer marriage I read over the weekend, I found a tidbit I didn’t know, but will be useful for a play I’m writing this year. (Not that the play is about either of them). Love when that happens!

Most of the weekend was dedicated to clearing out the basement. I honestly don’t understand how a person can do it in a day. The emotional baggage alone nearly killed me, and I only got ten boxes done. Got another one done yesterday, and want to get at least two done today. If I do a little bit every day, and more on weekends, it won’t be so overwhelming. I’ll have to do a dump run later this week, though, and I have a feeling I’ll be doing so every week or two until we move.

Yesterday, I woke up at 2:48, worrying again, like before. I guess sleeping through the night was only temporary. The cats convinced me to get up and feed them at 5 (they were bothering me since 4:12), and then I curled up on the couch again for about an hour. It wasn’t sleep, but at least I wasn’t up and about.

Masked up, dropped books in the drop box at the library, went into the office. I was there on my own for most of it, but there was a little overlap that shouldn’t have happened. I blame the Governor. He’s rolling back restrictions BEFORE we’re vaccinated, which is costing more lives. We need a Democratic governor in this state. At the beginning, he seemed to be doing a decent job of things, but he’s pro-business to the point of unnecessarily costing lives.

Had to stop by the post office on the way home, because the mail carrier at the office route refuses to pick up packages when the flag is up – even when we’ve put in a request for pickup.  He just drives right by. I’m tired of chasing him down the street, and then he refuses to take the package. Not to mention his refusal to wear a mask. I want the guy back who actually did his job. So I took it with me to MY post office, in MY town, where they actually do their jobs, and are nice about it. Also mailed a package for my mom, a birthday present for a friend of hers.

Home, decontaminated, lunch. The landlord had a guy come by to give an estimate for a new septic system (this one is original to the house, which was built in 1962). But they were outside and I was not, so it wasn’t an issue. Plus, they followed masking protocols.

Heard from my new editor, who liked the article I submitted on Friday, and wants the material I had to cut for word count as a “Part 2” so I’m going to do that today, along with getting some stuff done for a client, and getting out more LOIs. And getting two more boxes purged from the basement.

My seeds arrived yesterday, from both Territorial and Kitchen Garden seeds. I was going to order some more from Johnny’s today, but maybe I’ll skip it. I might just make do with what I have, at least until we know where we’re moving and get settled there. Then, I can look around and see what we need.

Once I know WHERE we’re moving, I can get everything else organized pretty quickly. It will be stressful, but it’s do-able. It’s getting the finances in place FOR the move, which will dictate so much of it, that is the main challenge.

Busy day ahead, especially with Mercury Retrograde looming.

Peace, friends.

Published in: on January 26, 2021 at 6:24 am  Comments Off on Tues. Jan. 26, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 251 — Handling Each Thing as It Comes  
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Fri. Jan. 22, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 247 — Governor Just Wants Us to Keep Dying

image by Karolina Grabowska via pixabay.com

Friday, January 22, 2021

Waxing Moon

Still dark out

Yesterday was a frustrating mish-mash.

Governor Baker is rolling back COVID restrictions, in spite of the fact that there were over 4000 new cases in the last 24 hours. Our numbers are higher than when we were on Stay-at-Home last spring, but, hey, keep people dying, why not? The curfew will be lifted Monday night. It’s not like it’s been enforced around here anyway; people started ignoring it as of New Year’s Eve.

Meditation was great, as always.

The landlord and a contractor were walking around the outside of the house, discussing the work that needs to be done – I’m hoping they wait until we’ve moved out, but I somehow doubt it, especially since I heard him say “whoever buys it” – which means he plans to sell it, as I suspected. That makes the move suddenly much more real. And ratchets up my anxiety as to where we will land.

I put together a portfolio package of B2B and B2C examples. I will polish it today, and then it’s ready to use.

Got out some LOIs.

Worked on the article. I need to stop leaving space for the last two quotes for which I’d hoped and just finish it without them. I have plenty of material.

Finished a mystery by a Swedish author that I enjoyed. SNOWDRIFT, by Helene Tursten, translated by Marlaine Delargy. It’s so interesting how differently non-English/American books are structured. Which details and backstory and tangents they use. I enjoyed the book for itself, and I learned something, as a writer.

Read another novel, by a different author, that angered me because it tried to justify sexual exploitation. Not just in the themes, but in the actual words on the page. It was okay for the protagonist to exploit this character because she was an awful person. Um, no.

But it also illuminated a piece of mine that I put aside because I couldn’t figure out a way to explore particular sex and power dynamics without being exploitative. Perhaps the answer is that those dynamics ARE exploitative, and ethical characters struggle and falter, but, ultimately, it is up to them to make the right choices in the end, or grow into them, or they aren’t worthy protagonists. Apologia for exploitation only cheapens any genuine love relationships, and why should the reader trust any of it? “It’s okay in this context because it’s a fantasy world” isn’t cutting it, so tear it apart and really explore the dynamics and the struggles.

In spite of being frustrated and angry with the book I read, at least it taught me something about how to rewrite a book I’ve struggled with. I’m grateful for that.

McConnell & Company are already being assholes. The Democrats need to crush them. Compromise now, and lose everything.

We really need to bring back the medieval cobradors to stand and serve as conscience to these asshats. Yeah, I know, they don’t actually have consciences or hearts or ethics or souls, but maybe it would at least make them uncomfortable.

And if you’re a Congress person carrying a weapon into the building, you should be thrown on the floor, cuffed, and thrown into a cell. Period.

Stop letting them get away with everything.

Knowledge Unicorns session was mostly about the inauguration last night, and the kids getting excited about poetry and song again. They’re going off to read more poetry; some of them want to try writing some poetry, some of them want to try writing songs.

My ear infection is still bothering me (especially dizziness/balance issues). My mother wasn’t feeling well last night, which, at her age, is always a worry.

I have to put my head down and push through a lot of work today, the article, client work, etc., and do a curbside pickup at the library.

The weekend has to be built around purging the basement. Have a good one.

Published in: on January 22, 2021 at 7:07 am  Comments Off on Fri. Jan. 22, 2021: Die For Your Employer Day 247 — Governor Just Wants Us to Keep Dying  
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Thurs. Dec. 10, 2020: Die For Your Employer Day 204/Isolation Day 5 into Quarantine — Preparations

image courtesy of pixabay.com

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Waning Moon

Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and cold

We had a little more snow yesterday evening. It was lovely – just enough to be pretty, not enough to shovel.

I had a strong creative day. I wrote the entire first draft of the Isabella Goodwin play, “Family Layers” in the morning. It’s only 20 pages, but it’s a good piece. It still needs some work, but it holds together, and it’s flowing well, so there we are. I’m happy with it, and I will be even happier when I do another few drafts over the weekend and early next week, and send it off.

Two short plays written in two days. That feels good. That makes me feel more like myself again.

I also got a bit of client work done – the big marketing proposal is polished and out. One client refuses to make the decisions she needs to make in order for me to plan the campaigns she needs to generate income. That’s on her, not me. Got some LOIs out. Remote chat was fun, using photo prompts.

I got an acceptance for the flash fiction piece I wrote for the WEIRD CHRISTMAS anthology about the Icelandic Yule Cat. I’m pleased. It’s a goofy little piece, but the editor said it made him laugh, which was the point.

The hospital called to set my COVID test for today – 7:45 this morning. As soon as I post this, I have to go get dressed and head out. It’s over at the hospital, not up at the college, although the scheduler said they’ll be moving the site in the next few days to accommodate more people. But, for today, I go to the hospital where they have drive-through testing set up in the parking lot.

Then, I got a text message from the hospital about Friday with the time – later than I’d like, but too bad for me. Unfortunately, they had it down as the wrong procedure. I called the pre-op nurse, and we got it sorted.

I go in later than I’d like, which means I’ll be home later than I’d like, which means today and tomorrow will be very long, stressful days. One step at a time, that’s all I can do.

I hope to come back from the test and decontaminate this morning in time to join the Zoom meditation, but who knows? Then I’m in full quarantine, even from other household members (except the cats) until I walk into the hospital. We set up the fold out couch for me to use today and tomorrow. Charlotte is delighted. It will be nice to recover sleeping next to the Yule tree.

One step at a time.

I was on a restricted diet yesterday, and I’m on a liquid diet today, and then the medication starting this evening, which means I’ll be up and miserable all night. And tomorrow will be a long morning until I get into the hospital.  But I really want to get it over with before they shut surgeries down in the state tomorrow.

My landlord let me know that the rent check turned up yesterday – the one that was supposedly lost – AFTER I ran another check up to his house. Of course it did. Heaven forbid he miss a chance to pile on more stress whenever I have a medical procedure coming up. Remember in March, when I had to have the “assessment” done on the day of my follow-up from the first surgery, and then, later, he admitted it wasn’t even necessary? I’m so sick of this.

I hope to get back to tackling Lockesley again this afternoon. If I can get enough work on it, and sign off, I won’t have to worry about it while I’m recovering, and can turn my attention to the Nina Bell pieces.

The best thing I can also do for myself in the next few days is limit my time on social media. I just can’t take the emotional labor right now. There are plenty of people with whom I interact who are a joy, but too many morons push their way into positive interactions in order to poison them, and I can’t handle it right now. It’s bad enough that I am the ONLY one on my street who ever wears a mask.

I have some books to read to get me through the next few days, including the book for review, and Yasmine Galenorn’s new release, Starlight Web, along with a stack of magazines on which I need to catch up.

I need to do whatever I need to do in order to get through the next few days. I should have been baking this week, but I didn’t have the physical or emotional energy to do so. I will start over the weekend, I hope, and then deliver cookies next week. Fewer than usual, but they will get done.

Peace, friends, have a good weekend, and I’ll catch up with you on the other side. If you can spare a positive thought for me today and tomorrow, I could use it. The results of the surgery could go either way. Thanks.

Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020: Preparation

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Waning Moon
Mercury Retrograde

Yup, Mercury’s gone retrograde just before I have surgery. On the one hand, it’s not a good time for surgery; on the other hand, Mercury retrograde is about resolving issues hanging on and preventing one from moving forward, and that’s a good definition for what I’m going through, so I’ll work with it. Plus, it’s happening just a few days before the dark moon, so that’s going to help with the blood loss. (The closer to the full moon, the heavier any bleeding, because blood is our interior tide).

Friday morning, as I stated in Friday’s post, I had my pre-op, got some stuff done at the library. I told my book review editor I’d have the other book review for her on Monday, and what was going on; she was very supportive. Even getting in the review yesterday, it was early. Sent off the big article, and told that editor what was going on, and that I could turn edits around early in the week, but otherwise it would have to wait until next week. Haven’t heard anything from her. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt, that she took Friday as well as Monday as part of the long holiday weekend, but I’ve gotten the article to her FIVE DAYS EARLY. If she comes at me tomorrow to turn it around — no. It’s the day before my surgery. If I get it today, I could turn it around tonight and send it off tomorrow, but if it comes tomorrow, it has to wait until next week. I busted my ass and used up most of my energy to get it in to her early. (Update: she’s being lovely and supportive, so my worries are for naught — details in tomorrow’s post).

I’ve been working with my book editors on new deadlines — I can’t be in galleys and final revisions right now. We have to adjust. They’re 100% supportive. We’re also talking about whether and/or how to handle the Corona virus in The Nautical Namaste Series. There are several different routes we could take, although I doubt any of them will show up in DAVY JONES DHARMA at this point. We are discussing how what I’m going through now will add some depth to one of the subplots in BALTHAZAAR TREASURE.

Went in to my client’s late Friday morning, and we finished the designs for the 2021 collections and sent them to Thailand. She goes next week.

Came home around 1 PM and hit the wall. I slept most of the afternoon, and even the most basic tasks were just too much work.

Ate — I’m making sure I eat, whether I feel like it or not. Watched the last of THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW. Went to bed early.

Had trouble sleeping. Up on Saturday. Had my mom drive to us to the grocery store, so we got a few additional things for the coming week. Made apricot/honey/almond/orange bread. Researched iron-rich foods. Taking too much of the iron supplement makes me sick, so I’m taking slightly less supplement, with more iron-rich foods. Turns out I like a lot of them, and have been craving them anyway.

Worked on the book for review. Napped in the afternoon (and people who know me know I am not a napper). Tessa purred beside me.

Made the sardine/fennel pasta from Dorie Greenspan’s book. It’s yummy. Felt better about a half hour after eating it.

Wasn’t up to watching DVDs, so read instead.

Charlotte and Willa are both worried. They lost their original human to illness, so every time they smell hospital or medicine on me, they worry.

The arm the CT port/IV technician hurt on Wednesday looks AWFUL, is still horribly bruised, and I have trouble using my right arm.

Slept so-so. Didn’t feel up to making the whole wheat bread. The medication I’m on for the moment has side effects, which are starting to get to me, the worst being absolutely ridiculous mood swings. I have to keep reminding myself I’ve lost perspective, and not make long-term decisions until I can think clearly and review all the evidence. I levelled out slightly on Sunday and Monday.

But I was still angry at the paperwork that arrived from the hospital on Saturday, about pre-op prep. I’m responsible for keeping track of my things WHILE I AM UNDER ANESTHESIA IN THE OR or else I should expect everything stolen. Because this hospital is too fucking cheap to have security. There isn’t any. There are signs claiming there are cameras, but no security. Anyone can wander anywhere they want in the hospital at any hour unchallenged. It’s one of the things that has made me uncomfortable every time I’ve had to go there.

I’ll be lucky to have my clothes to return home in.

They can bite me.

I have follow-up tests on the afternoon of the day my landlord wants to have the “home energy assessment.” I told him they can come first thing in the morning, and have to be out of here by 1 PM, or it has to be rescheduled. We HAD this done already. To make us go through a bunch of jackasses stomping through the house again right now is ridiculous. Nothing has changed in the intervening years; everything’s just gotten older. Probably that’s why the landlord is getting it again — because he didn’t do any improvements based on the last one, and is going to pretend it didn’t happen.

Took it easy Sunday. Made arrangements with a friend to pick me up from surgery on Thursday. She’s making it easy-peasy, no drama, which is how it should be. I also specifically asked her because she won’t let the hospital admin bully me on the way out when I’m still trying to get re-oriented after anesthesia, and, based on the pattern of this past week, that’s EXACTLY what they’ll try to do.

Again: bite me.

I was making arrangements with the library the other day, letting them know what was going on, and making sure I get anything back that has holds on it, and extend whatever I need to extend. The librarians wee lovely.

Unfortunately, some random patron eavesdropped and commented, “I can’t stand being around people who are sick. I don’t do sick.”

I turned around and said, “I don’t do assholes, and you aren’t part of my life anyway, so back off.”

Again, since the 2016 Election, people are encourages to be their worst selves. There was no reason that individual had to make ANY comment. The person could have kept her mouth shut or walked away. But no, she had to make a comment, knowing it was inappropriate and hurtful. She deliberately set out to cause harm.

Leaning into my meditation and yoga practices doesn’t mean I’m going to allow people to be deliberately hurtful.

Finished the book for review. Sent off my review yesterday. The next set of books has arrived, and I’m excited to dig into them.

I have a ridiculous amount of books stacked near my recovery area. I ordered more, which I hope will come in by Wednesday — Helene Hanff’s books, which are charming and fun.

Rested and read a lot on Sunday. Roasted a chicken. Noodled with some ideas, but didn’t do any real writing. Got a different, more potent iron supplement that’s already showing me improvement. CVS was selling 30 of the pills for nearly $15. Target had the same one but 180 pills, for $6. Considering I have to take 4 pills/day right now for the next three months, I got it at Target.

Tried to clean up some of the branches that fell from the last storm, but didn’t get too far. Just didn’t have the energy.

Charlotte managed to climb to the top of the big bookcases in my writing room and run around along them. She’s very proud of herself.

Started watching MURDERLAND. The acting is wonderful, but I don’t like the fractured storytelling and repetition from different angles. A little bit is great, but this is too much. From the two points of view? Great. But the same scene from the two points of view repeated six times? No, thanks. Structurally, the storytelling doesn’t work for me.

Woke up about 4:30 on Monday. Didn’t feel too bad. My injured arm is still in bad shape.

Went in to work with my client for a few hours. I can’t afford to miss work. I don’t work, I don’t get paid, and I need money coming in right now.

If I hear one more news “report” about the lack of skilled workers, I will scream. There are plenty of skilled workers. It’s HR that’s useless, only interested in running resumes through algorithms & treating people badly in interviews. They want skilled workers? Don’t insult them with stupid tests and demands for unpaid labor. Want to retain your workers? Pay them fairly and treat them like human beings. It’s not that hard.

I’m playing each work day by ear right now. Working until I get tired, then stopping. Doing a little writing, but not much. A friend sent a draft of her screenplay to read while I recover — can’t wait.

Planning on going in to work with a client for a bit today. Will swing by the library to drop off/pick up books. When I go home, we’re going to vacuum the house and mop floors, so everything is clean. Tomorrow, when I come home, we will set up the living room as my recovery room.

I won’t know when I’m going in on Thursday until late Wednesday.

I have some placeholder posts scheduled, but I don’t expect to post much until sometimes next week (I’ll have something go live tomorrow).

I just have to survive each day, before I worry about the next one.

Published in: on February 18, 2020 at 7:10 am  Comments Off on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020: Preparation  
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Wed. Dec. 4, 2019: Definitely Winter

Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Waxing Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Wintry weather mix

Hop on over to Ink-Dipped Advice for my post on updating my contract and raising my rates.

Monday’s weather was awful. I wound up cancelling an afternoon appointment after my first client. I swung by the library to drop off and pick up, and then had another meeting run long, so I missed meditation group.

I’d contacted the landlord about the continuing leak in the downstairs bathroom. He called a different plumber, and made an appointment for them to come by late yesterday morning. Since I am scheduling this to post, I won’t have an update on whether or not it worked until tomorrow!

The rain switched over to freezing rain overnight Monday. Tuesday, it didn’t switch to snow until 7 AM, and it started accumulating quickly. That made my day a bit more complicated, although I tried to keep it simple. I knew I could make it to the first client (with a stop at the post office), and then play it by ear from there.

Monday night, we watched the musical movie version of GIGI. Leslie Caron was delightful, but the entire piece I found creepy and misogynist. She was raised to be a courtesan, kept by men. I don’t believe for one minute that Gaston was actually in love with her. He just knew he needed to marry her to get what he wanted. I loved the costumes, but the piece itself creeped me out. Now, I want to go back and read Colette’s actual novel by the same name. I’m sure it was watered down and any social commentary/satire was removed by Hollywood — which made it even creepier, because it came across like this was all a good thing, and this behavior was okay.

Writing a bit, but not enough. Never enough. Working on THE QUALITY OF LIGHT, working on the promotional materials for GRAVE REACH’S release, and, to relieve stress, working on the winter holiday romance piece. This isn’t one to go into the newsletter; it’s a novel that I’m writing, here and there, because I want to. I always want to write about Thanksgiving and the Winter Holiday during them, although I can edit at any time.

I should have started working on the holiday cards Monday night, but I was too tired, so I started, instead, on Tuesday.

Washed out the cookie storage tins yesterday. Did a bit more decorating.

This afternoon, when I finish my work for the day, I’m going to bake the tollhouse cookies for the cookie platters, and then write more cards. Tomorrow morning, first thing, I’m going to get the rest of what I need for the baking, and then it’s all baking, all the time for the next few days, so I can start delivering the platters on the weekend.

The Crystal Bar soap order arrived, so I can wrap those gifts, too.

I’m trying to do as much as possible early in the month, so I can actually enjoy the holiday.

Looking forward to the Remote Chat today.

Hope everyone has a lovely Wednesday!

Published in: on December 4, 2019 at 6:57 am  Comments Off on Wed. Dec. 4, 2019: Definitely Winter  
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Thurs. Nov. 14, 2019: Writing, Changes, Planning

Thursday, November 14, 2019
Waning Moon
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Partly cloudy and cold

We have a bit of snow Tuesday night. Just a dusting. Charlotte was fascinated by the snowflakes. Willa ran away. Tessa was unimpressed.

Hop on over to Gratitude and Growth, to see the latest in the garden.

Hop on over to the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site, where I’ve put up the questions for 2020. The approach is a little different this year. I hope you enjoy them, and that they are helpful as you figure out how to start the New Year — and the new decade. They will also live permanently on this page.

Impeachment hearings started yesterday. About damn time.

Had a good editing session in the morning yesterday. Then went on-site with a client. Remote Chat was fun, as it always is.

I’m trying to be smarter about using LinkedIn, but every time I sign in, I remember why I hate it so much. It wants to limit me.

I resent being forced to be on both LinkedIn and GoodReads. They don’t serve me. They get in my way.

I’m frustrated with A2 because they won’t fix a problem on the Fearless Ink site. Or do anything about the hacking and the threats I’ve been receiving. I need to move hosts. Which probably means rebuilding everything from scratch when I do so. SiteGround, so far, is the top contender. They’re pricier than A2, but it looks like they actually offer support when something goes wrong. And security. A2 used to offer both. Now, they just don’t give a damn.

Stopped at the store on my way home. Wednesday night has evolved into pizza night here, so that was fun.

Charlotte and Willa race to greet me when I come home. It’s so cute. Tessa was out and about a bit, but there’s still a lot of tension between her and the other two. We need to do some more work. I don’t believe that Feliway Diffuser has done a damn thing. Glad I got it on sale.

The landlord arranged for the septic tank to be pumped on Tuesday. Later in the week, he’s coming over with he heating guy to see about replacing the furnace. That means, this weekend, I have to do a serious purge of the basement around the bulkhead doors, because that’s how the new furnace will have to come in, and the old one will have to go out. That throws a monkey wrench in my weekend, but I’m grateful that he’s willing to replace it when the furnace people suggest it, rather than waiting until it breaks down in the middle of a blizzard.

Writing and editing sessions this morning, then off to the library for a bit. Back home for more writing, some raking, some basement purging. Writing session was okay; editing session was excellent.

I finished the book for review, and sent off the review to the editor. Told her I’m ready for the next one.

I plan to read my friend’s book this weekend, too. I finally feel I earned it!

 

Published in: on November 14, 2019 at 10:20 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Nov. 14, 2019: Writing, Changes, Planning  
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