The Consonance of Softly Falling Rain

After about three hours’s sleep, I dragged myself to JACC entirely too early this morning to wait in the waiting room for a lab draw (liver enzymes are good, kidney functions are good, hemoglobin is good, white count is good as in I still have enough to do the job, sigh of relief). Then I went across the hall to wait in the waiting room to see my oncologist. Then I went back to the main waiting area to wait for my infusion. I came fully equipped: had my phone, a charge cord for it and the Bluetooth earbuds that are paired to it, two different knitting projects, an 8-inch Kindle with charge cord and earphones, 2 bottles of water, and a PayDay candy bar.

How do I have time to knit? Well, for one thing, instead of playing with my phone while I was sitting in one waiting room or the other for over two hours, I knitted. The pink thing is a round baby blanket (I have strategically retreated from the battle to work out the increases on the hexagon blanket pattern to live and fight another day when I’m not beset by chemo brain and working to a four-month deadline.)

I also brought with me the 5 tablets of prednisone that I’m supposed to take on the day of my chemo infusion, but I wasn’t sure when I was supposed to take them — before? after? — which is one of the things I asked my oncologist when he made his brief appearance. He said it was good I hadn’t already taken them because whether or not I would subsequently get my infusion of chemo was contingent on the results of my labs: If the lab results are bad, the infusion is cancelled. But if they’re good, then I take them while I’m getting hooked up to the IV rig. Also mentioned to him that my pancreas has been randomly elbowing me in the ribs and I wondered if it was attention seeking behavior. He didn’t seem to think so. I also found out it doesn’t matter if I’m fasting or not when they do the lab draws, which simplifies my life. Every little bit helps.

The hospital volunteers run a “snack cart” in the infusion area. They have sandwiches (I had a tuna one today) and various soft drinks, fruit drinks, and assorted munchies. The nurse brought me a blanket from the blanket warmer, I pulled up Soma FM‘s Drone Zone on my phone’s internet radio app, put in my Bluetooth earbuds, reclined the infusion chair and slept through the 2-hour infusion. I was there from 8:20 in the morning to nearly 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and at some point during that time, it apparently rained enthusiastically enough that the valet parking attendants had to relocate farther back under the porte-cochère. It had stopped raining by the time I left to go home, but they weren’t taking any chances. It thankfully had rained enough to pull a lot of the dust in the air left over from yesterday’s little hooley (with gusts up to 70 mph).

The Bradford pear trees that are literally all over town are in bloom again, and my sinuses are not the least bit happy about it. Anything else I have to say on that subject is definitely not G-Rated. In other tree related news, the one outside my window decided to bud yesterday. It may be an Ulmus pumila, but then again, maybe not. Right now, it’s Club Grackle. There’s always a lot of air going someplace else besides here and big tails on a windy day make it hard for you to impress the ladies with your lissome silhouette and your big yaller eyes when the wind keeps trying to jibe your spanker boom. Pairs of squirrels have been spotted scampering through the heretofore bare branches doing the squirrel version of the perennial game of “Tag. I’m it.” (Did you know those little perishers can RUN straight up brick walls?)

I’ve been listening a lot to this YouTube “video” which has the sound of gentle rain (no thunder) behind oldies music from the 1930’s and 1940’s, but I was listening to this music-only one late this evening when I became aware of “ambient rain sounds” from a slow rain dripping off the trees outside my window. That provoked two thoughts: “Oh, good. It’s raining in the real world for a change,” and this one. We only average about 16 inches/41 cm of rain a year (semi-arid has nothing to do with trucks), and we’ll take every drop of it we can get.

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Slowly climbs the snail . . .

That quintessential Japanese haiku about how the snail climbs Mt. Fuji and, by single-minded determination, eventually gets to the top. About how there are times when you just have to put your head down and focus on putting one foot in front of the other.

It’s all you have the attention span for, all you have the energy to manage.

I know there are some of you who are here for the knitting content, and there is some. I’m going a little bit more in depth because there are family members who come here for info about how I’m doing. And my dear mom. It’s just so much easier for her to read what I need her to know than for me to call her on that horrible cell phone. Her hearing is problematic; even in person, with your mask off, you still have to repeat things at least once before she gets it. But that cellphone is an exercise in futility. I just don’t have the energy to repeat everything three and four times and maybe make the connection and maybe not over the phone.

I did get the two little boxes unpacked and most of that put away. That was the rest of my tea stash and my Crystal Light, so the two big boxes that remain may just stay packed for a while because it’s all china cabinet stuff and there’s nothing in them I need.

Tuesday, I went in to JACC and got a liter of fluid. That has helped. The itching has worked its way to my forearms. There is still some itching but it’s low-grade and ignorable. The most persistent itching is on my forearms. However, it responds to “stroking” of the skin. I stopped taking the antihistamine Tuesday, and it’s been OK. I’ve been in touch with my oncologist and we’ve decided on a game plan for round 2. A week of premedication with diphenhydramine (Benadryl), one dose of the bendamustine, the Neulasta on the second day, and several days of pushing fluid through a liter at a time.

I spent most of Tuesday and Wednesday in bed sleeping for three or four hours at a stretch. I’d wake up, make a trip, take a big swig of what I’ve been drinking, and go back to sleep. I’ve been putting away gallons of ice water with about a cup of peach juice in it to give it flavor because I had used up all the Crystal Light I had to hand. (Today I found the rest of it, so cool there.) I can have meals delivered to my door, so that’s been wonderful. Because they’re working on the dining facility at the other building and are in the process of relocating the kitchen, they started having dinner as well as lunch here. So, I’ve been able to have a light lunch of fruit, cheese and nuts, and then order a hot supper, which has been ideal.

In the meantime, I have no energy. It was all I could manage to walk down and check mail and get my package from the front desk and walk back. It’s only a round trip of about 100 yards. Still, Tuesday walking down to my car was about as much as I could manage without stopping to rest, and I had to stop and rest between my car and the place upstairs at JACC where I go because I had to walk up about a 10-degree incline for about 50 feet to get up to the building. And this is only the first session.

I did find out that my Dad’s brother’s daughter’s daughter (got that?) is pregnant again and they’re having another little girl.

So, in the knitting news, I got out both sets of my US 6 (4.0 mm) DPNs, and got into that Lion Brand acrylic baby yarn and went hexagonal, using a variant of the Savannah Square pattern. The first two rows are the tricky bits. Six needles is almost like wrestling an octopus.

Like anything you knit in the round, it’s critical to get that first row joined without twisting it. Here’s all you really need to know about the pattern:

Cast on 6 stitches on a single DPN.  
Row 1:	kfb; *on the next needle, kfb; repeat from * to end of row, place marker to mark end of row. (2 stitches per DPN on 6 DPNs, total 12 stitches)
Row 2:	Join to knit in round, being careful not to twist any stitches, *k1, p1, repeat from * to end of row. 
Row 3:	kfb to end of row. 
Row 4:	*k1, p1, repeat from * to end of row.
Row 5:	*kfb, k until 1 stitch remains on needle, kfb, repeat from * for all six needles. 

Repeat rows 4 and 5 until the needles become crowded. Knit off onto a circular needle. 

Row 6:	*k1, p1, to end of the DPN and place marker, repeat from * to end of row, placing the row marker at the end of the sixth needle. 
Row 7:	*kfb, k until 1 stitch before marker, kfb,  repeat from * to end of row.
Row 8:  *k1, p1, repeat from * to end of row.  

Repeat rows 7 and 8 until you reach the size you want. 

For comparison, here is the relevant bit of the Savannah Square pattern.

Cast on 8 stitches onto a single DPN. You will work these stitches off two at a time onto a succession of DPN needles until all four DPNs have been brought into play. 
Row 1:	 Kfb, kfb.  
On the next needle, kfb, kfb.  
On the next needle, kfb, kfb.  
On the next needle, kfb, kfb. (16 sts)  
You should now have four DPNs in play with 4 stitches on each needle (16 sts total).  
Attach a row marker to the work. 
Join work to knit in round, being careful not to twist any stitches. 
Row 2:	 Knitting in round, *k1, p1, repeat from * to end of row. (16 sts, 4 per DPN)
Row 3:	 *Kfb, k2, kfb, repeat from * to end of row.  (24 sts, 6 per DPN)
Row 4:	 *k1, p1, repeat from * to end of row. (24 sts, 6 per DPN)

Row 5:	  *(kfb, knit until one stitch remains on the needle, kfb), repeat from * four times.  
Row 6:	  *k1, p1, repeat from * to end of row

Repeat rows 5 and 6 until the double pointed needles become crowded with stitches.  Knit off onto the 16-inch circular needle.  Each time you knit all the stitches off a DPN, place a marker, placing the row marker after you’ve knitted all the stitches off the fourth DPN. 

Have fun.

Twas the Night Before the Night Before . . .

Which would make it Christmas Eve eve. OK.

@shoreacres, of the eye-worthy sites Lagniappe and The Task at Hand (linked here for your reading and viewing pleasure), has called to my attention that the burrowing owl (!) has been named the American Birding Association’s “Bird of the Year” for 2022. Athene cunicularia, as it is known by the scientific set, is a bird of the wide open spaces and has its digs here in the flatlands, among other places. Formerly classed in the genus Speotyto, DNA evidence has caused it to be reclassified in the genus Athene which gets its name from the Greek goddess Athena because Athene noctua was frequently found about the Acropolis and was associated with the goddess. I have adopted Athene cunicularia — an owl that lives in a burrow in the ground — as my spirit animal, since I’m born on the cusp of Taurus (an earth sign) and Gemini (an air sign) , and live on the flatlands at the edge of the Great Plains, which is prime burrowing owl habitat.

I’m currently sitting at my new computer desk, 63 inches of steel and pressboard magnificence, which is long enough to accommodate my tower as well as my printer. The wherewithall to acquire same was my Xmas present from mom. She asked for and has got, but not yet received, three new tops that are less “sporty” (i.e., not sweatshirts). She’ll get them when I go over to Carillon House to bring her over for Xmas dinner at Pointe Plaza. I have to sew name tags on and write her room number in them so (touch wood!) she’ll get them back from the laundry. The predicted high for Xmas day is 73 F/22.7 C, which is ridiculous, but since I have to wheel mom outside to get her to Pointe Plaza, works out OK.

Yesterday, KC, a long-time knitting friend, came by for lunch and we sat and knitted for a while. It was very calm and sane and lovely. Also much-needed.

KC showed me this pattern, which I promptly bought, and now I’ve been thinking which of the new yarn I just got would do it the most justice. It’s a simple garter stitch semicircular shawl with the three-stitch upper border set off by yarn-overs, and a knitted on edging. It’s very similar to this one that I’ve already done, but it was done in worsted-weight acrylic yarn. I want this new one to be done in “proper” yarn — like Malabrigo sock. However, I need to go on a “finish it” tear and finish some WIPs. I think next week I’m going to block some acrylic shawls I’ve been needing to block for quite a while. I need to free up some drawer space in my stash bin. I also need to WIP it and finish some of my languishing projects.

At the moment, I’m listening to a Mozart playlist on YouTube, as I type, and am quaffing Stash Tea’s “Breakfast in Paris” blend hot with a blop of vanilla almond milk in it. (How civilized!) Knitting to Mozart is just so calming and restful. Soma FM‘s Drone Zone channel for the tricky knitting and Mozart for the meditative bits. The soundtracks of my life.

For those new to this blog, I do bits of creative writing, which I publish here: There’s a new post up, featuring a certain mustachioed person and a certain dog as supporting characters. It’s in a somewhat lighter vein than previous posts.

Look Through Any Window

This whole apartment building is shaped like an asterisk * except with a large central area (lobby, dining rooms, common areas) in between the southern three wings and the northern three wings. We live in the southern part of the asterisk, and ours is the middle wing of that triad. In the triangular areas between the wings, they have very nicely landscaped grounds with grass, trees and walkways for the apartments to look down on. Our apartment has a lovely view of one of these that has a little concrete patio with seating. The ground floor of our building houses the apartments designated as assisted living units, and some of the residents of those units like to sit out in these areas at various times of the day. They’re quiet, sheltered from the wind, shaded by trees, out in the fresh air, and quite lovely.

Saturday morning, I was pottering in the kitchen, glanced down out of the window and saw there were piles of cedar lumber on the grass, and several guys setting up equipment. There were power drill noises and nail-gun noises off and on in a rather low-key way all day — nothing obnoxious, just random sounds of construction activity. By the end of the day they had attached post-brackets to the concrete patio area, set up a ring of posts, and set a row of lintels atop them. As the sun set and the security lights came on, we were left with the titillating question: Pergola or gazebo? It could go either way.

Sunday, there was only one guy working by himself. (Evidently, it’s a weekend project because nobody came to work on it today.) But by Sunday evening, the indications were clear. Pergola.

What a perfect place for a blooming vine. (Why doesn’t “wisteria” have a “y”? -“wysteria” just looks so much more correct than “wisteria.”) (Don’t think it’s sunny enough there for a bougainvillea. Pity.) (Jasmine? Clematis?) Don’t think they’ll plant anything to trellis on it, though. They have enough of a slip hazard with dropped leaves from the trees, without more dropped leaves and flower petals from a vine. However, some of the residents on the ground floor (assisted living) have bird feeders strategically placed outside their windows. From time to time, I catch a flash of brilliant blue from a jay — a pleasant diversion from the ubiquitous dove buff and oily grackle black.

Speaking of windows, we’re not supposed to put anything in our windows that will detract from the appearance of the building from the outside. I put up some sun catchers. I’m the only one on my “wedge” with suncatchers in the windows, but the maintenance guy who hung my big pictures said he’s seen other people with sun catchers in their windows. Of course, if I’m told to take them down, I will. But, in the meantime, I’ll enjoy the light shining through colored glass. I’ll leave you with this thought from my River of Stones blog:

“Stained glass is a song of color written for a choir of light.” ~ WOL

©2020 The Owl Underground

This End Is Up.

I’ve got all the boxes unpacked, everything put away. Still a little zhuzhing to do, but pretty much settled in. Drapes were hung in my bedroom. (I are so happy!) A towel ring was hung by the kitchen sink for a hand towel. (Paper towels are for messes, not for drying hands — that’s wasteful.)

My furniture did not make it through unscathed what was essentially a two-stage move by two different moving companies.

The sideboard I’m using for a TV stand got pulled apart at the bottom to the point that there was a half inch gap in the bottom of the cabinet where the legs had been pulled apart from the carcass. The minute I saw it, I thought, “Wood glue and a ratchet strap.” I forgot where I was and asked somebody if maintenance had a ratchet strap, and got a very blank look. Tried to explain what I needed it for, and got an even blanker look. Sigh. Ended up ordering one off Amazon. *

The joint had been pulled apart so far that the cabinet door was crooked. (What’s more, they’d set my 55-inch TV on top of the sideboard before I realized the sideboard was damaged, and it was too heavy for me to lift down by myself.)

For those who don’t know, that yellow thing (below) is a ratchet strap, with an old, very paisley towel stuck behind it to keep the metal parts from damaging the wood

It has a gizmo on one end of it that works by means of a ratchet to tighten/shorten the strap. It’s a sort of manual winch. Very useful little piece of kit.

If you ran your car off into a ditch, and there was a stout tree nearby, you could hook one end of this ratchet strap to the undercarriage of the car, and wrap the other end around the tree and (eventually) haul your car out of the ditch by working that little handle back and forth. Or you could squirt wood glue into the pulled-apart joints of a piece of furniture, wrap the strap around it and ratchet the joints back together again. Voila.

Until I got those joints (both sides!) glued back and the glue was dried, I wasn’t about to try to hook up the DVD player to the TV because I would have to move the sideboard away from the wall to get to the back of the TV and I wasn’t going to risk the thing coming completely apart and dumping my TV into the floor.

Anyway, got that done. Now I just need to take the strap off and hook up the DVD player. Still don’t have any TV yet.

The result of the discharge planning meeting is that we have set a target date of October 18th for mom to come to the apartment. Her room is all ready, with a brand new adjustable bed and memory foam mattress, new sheets, four pillows, and all the equipment she needs. They are still working with her to build up her strength and teach her safe transfer techniques and wheelchair skills. The wheelchair we have was father’s. It is a transport chair and is intended to be folded up and put in a car trunk or back seat. Consequently, it does not have the big wheels you can turn with your hands to propel yourself. I’ve ordered her one like that (you’ll never guess where from), and it will be here Monday. I need to alert the front desk that a very big package will be coming. (And figure out how to get it up to the apartment to unpack and put together.)

Next week, I get to do the Don Quixote thing and go up against two government bureaucracies. The first one is the VA which has rejected a claim for a consultation that they scheduled! I’m not even going to try to call them until Tuesday, and even then I’ll get transferred two or three times and have to hold for at least half an hour to get to talk to anybody who might be able to tell me what the deal is. The other one is the DMV. Mom’s driver’s license expires Thursday and she needs to get it converted to a picture ID, and I’ll bet you money they’re going to insist she has to show up in person with eleven proofs of identity, which means we’re going to have to get the wheel-chair van to take us down there and then wait for it to come pick us up. (There’s no way she’s going to be able to get in and out of my car safely.) I’m going to go talk to the same guy I talked to about getting the discharge planning meeting set up and see if he has any ideas.

Oh, and mom has lost her pink hair brush. She has no idea where it is. Rather than wander all over town trying to find the kind she wants, I’ve ordered her some off Amazon. They’ll be here Monday, too. I’ve taken her a comb that will have to do in the meantime.

*Help! I’ve been mistaken for June Cleaver and I’m trapped in a 50’s sitcom!

In This Episode . . .

This morning, mom’s nephew-in-law flew out and got an Uber over to meet me at the Garrison to sign over the title to mom’s car. The car is for his daughter and her partner.

She has a baby and her partner couldn’t get off work to come get the car. As I was driving out to meet him at the Garrison, I got a call from Carillon that they were going to come get mom at the Garrison and take her to Carillon House at 3 p.m. Then I drove him over to my place where the car was, turned over the keys, and off he went.

Then back I go to the Garrison to get mom packed up for the move. Since my washer and dryer went into the estate sale Wednesday morning, they’ve been doing her laundry at the Garrison, and we had an errant top from one set and bottom from another. They were found and packed.

Then I went to Carillon House with mom’s COVID vaccination record for them to copy, and to sign paperwork to admit her. I also talked to the lady who handles getting apartments ready to raise a couple of concerns — the frozen food in my refrigerator which needs to be moved, and the reverse osmosis water guy who’s coming at 2 oclock Monday to move my RO unit from the duplex to the apartment at Carillon. I think I’ll be packing frozen food while he’s taking the unit out that I have in the duplex, and drive it over when I go over with him to install the RO unit in the apartment. Monday morning is when the movers come to pack me.

Now I go back to the Garrison. As I’m walking back through to mom’s room at the Garrison, here’s mom in the hall walking with a walker with the rehab lady! She walked a good fifteen feet on her own, with only the walker for support. At 3 o’clock, here comes the van from Carillon to get mom. I follow behind in the car and get her stuff sorted out and put away in her new room at Carillon House. It’s a very nice room with carpeting, a nicely upholstered chair and a nice en suite bathroom. By now it’s sneaking up on 5 o’clock.

I call ahead and make arrangements with the lady who’s lived across the street from mom for a number of years to get the mail she’s been getting out of mom’s mailbox and keeping for us since mom went into the hospital in June.

I have to pull into her driveway because there’s nowhere to park anywhere near mom’s house. The estate sale started at 4 o’clock and ran to eight o’clock this evening. People started collecting at 2 o’clock to be first in line for the estate sale!

(The estate sale lady texted me later that they had done a couple thousand of dollars worth of business in just those four hours!)

I was eating supper when my cousin texted me that my cousin-in-law had made it safely back to Richardson, but that the air conditioner on mom’s car had malfunctioned, and my cousin-in-law had had to drive all the way from here to Richardson with no air conditioning! The fan works, but the air never gets cold! They’re going to take the car to the mechanic to see what’s the matter.

In the meantime, I still have not met with the IT person to see about porting telephone numbers. I have to go back to Carillon house to finish the admission paperwork for mom. I’ve got bills to pay (mine), utilities to sort out, internet service to get disconnected and equipment returned to their respective companies. I have to finish getting ready for the movers, pack a bag, pack my house. . . . and four days to do it in.

Still Too Far To Go

19 July was when we had to call 911 and have mom taken to the hospital by ambulance. We dealt with that crisis. We got her to the Garrison on 25 July. On 31 July, she decided she wanted to sell her house and for us both to go to Carillon, which would involve having an estate sale to clear out the accumulation of 60 years of living in that house, as well as thinning my herd of stuff down to something that would fit into my part of 908 square feet. So, for the whole month of August, I have been dealing with those issues. Carillon has paperwork they want, which meant dealing with the VA, but we got all the Carillon paperwork submitted and approved last Tuesday (17th)

The big stumbling block in the middle of all this has been Merill Lynch. The durable power of attorney we already had was not good enough for them and we had to line up a notary public and get a “non-ML” power of attorney form signed and notarized. Then Carillon needed proof that I was in fact the beneficiary on her accounts, so we had to get a Transfer on Death form filled out to suit Merill Lynch and Carillon. Then, last Thursday, the Merill Lynch board decided they still didn’t like the POA paperwork. When I finally found out what it was they didn’t like, I got it fixed Monday. However, apparently, the board only meets on Thursdays so they haven’t passed judgement on whether they are satisfied with my POA yet. In the meantime, our Carillon paperwork was approved and we needed the rest of the buy-in money so we can get mom out of the Garrison and into Carillon House as soon as possible.

Because the POA issue was not resolved, Friday afternoon, mom phoned her Merill Lynch guy and told him to sell stock to get the money. So now we can get the money, right? Nope. When Merill Lynch sells your stock, you have to wait two days before they will let you have your money.

The two days were up today. But first on the agenda for this morning, the estate sale muscle were coming over between 8:30 and 9:00 to get my washer, dryer and microwave as the estate sale begins tomorrow. They were gone by 9:00. I jumped in the shower, got dressed and just before I walked out the door, I called Merill Lynch to tell them I was coming, was assured I could get a check cut for the requisite amount and I could just pick it up.

Nope. I’m in the car, driving down Indiana, halfway to their offices when the ML guy calls and says, no, I can’t just get the check. Because of the POA issues, I have to get written permission from mom for them to cut the check to Carillon, and for me to pick it up. So I reroute over to the Garrison, get a sheet of copy paper from the receptionist, call ML again to get the ML guy to dictate what they want in the letter, write it out and get mom to sign it. I get to ML, I’m sitting in the guy’s office. I hand him the letter. The secretary comes in and says, no the letter is not good enough. She needs to call my mom on the ML phone so she can record mom saying that I can have the money! For tax purposes or something, mumble mumble.

Well, the way mom holds her cellphone, she has a tendency to press the volume buttons, which are right on the edge of the phone where she puts her fingers, and she had turned the volume of her phone completely off, so she didn’t hear it ring the three times we tried to call her. So the secretary says, she can sign yet another form and that will work. At least the ML guy offered to drive me BACK over to the Garrison in his ginormous pickup. I run in, get the form signed, run back out and we go back to the ML offices and FINALLY get the check cut. Mind you, I left the house at 9:30 this morning. Now it’s sneaking up on noon.

I text the Carillon guy that I’m on my way with the money clutched in my little hot hand, and when I get there, nobody is there. He’s having lunch with another prospective resident. Frankly, by this time, I don’t mind sitting in the nice comfy chair in the lobby in the coolth and quiet. I was probably sitting there for maybe 20 minutes, and here comes the lady who handles getting the apartments ready.

Since the first of August, I’ve been going pedal to the metal trying to sell a house (we close on 9/13), get stuff together for a combined two-household estate sale (26th, 27th and 28th), sell a car (he comes to get it tomorrow), assemble all the Carillon paperwork (approved on the 18th), and futz with Merill Lynch. I wrangled and negotiated to get a packing date of the 30th and a move date of the 31st so I can get out of the duplex before the 1st, the guy I’m expecting to meet to give him a check for a breathtaking amount of money isn’t there, and the Carillon lady tells me the apartment won’t be ready by the 31st, can I get the move-in date changed?

To be fair, it’s not Carillon’s fault. They buy the floor covering from a local store, who’s having a hard time getting it from their supplier because COVID, and scheduling an installer, but flooring is available in Dallas, though . . . . So, now what? No problem. They’ll put me up in a guest room, and stash my stuff in a vacant apartment until ours is ready. Mom will still be in rehab in Carillon House (if we can ever get the paperwork sorted to get her over there!), so that’s not a problem. But apparently, I’ll spend my first few days at Carillon living out of a suitcase waiting for flooring.

Monday I met with the Garrison guy to start the referral paperwork to refer her to Carillon. I reminded him about it yesterday. While I was at Carillon, I did meet with the Carillon House guy about getting mom transferred over. They still haven’t seen any paperwork from the Garrison. I went back over to the Garrison. The guy I needed to see was gone. I got his cell number. Yes, he’s waiting on this paperwork thing and that paperwork thing and he will get the paperwork faxed over as soon as he gets this thing and that thing. . . .

It was closing in on 2 pm by this time, and I was just so thoroughly bummed by then that I just went home. It all just came piling down on me. Too many nights with 5-6 hours sleep, too much running around all over town and not having a whole heck of a lot to show for it. Too much still left to do and not enough time to do it. And then that finish line I’ve been working so hard to cross — that was getting so close! — got moved further away again.

Mom continues to rehab and is making slow but steady progress. This has been a difficult transition for her, but she’s handled it a lot better than most people would. It’s been hard, but she’s tried to remain upbeat through it all.

Things like visits from friends and a visit from a grand niece and great grand niece (!) last week keep her cheerful.

There is a lady who does patients’ hair at the Garrison. She was supposed to do mom’s last week, but didn’t. She finally managed to get to mom yesterday and give her a wash, set, and comb-out. Having her hair done lifted mom’s mood.

Tonight, I’ve got to do a walk-through for the estate sale people, get mom’s mail and, since I currently have no microwave, I think I’m going to make a big bowl of tuna salad to last me till Monday. Then I’ve got a filing cabinet to go through. Tomorrow my cousin-in-law comes to get the car . . .

Like Pulling Off a Band-Aid All At Once.

According to the KonMari de-cluttering consultants, you are supposed to consider each of your possessions and determine if it sparks joy; if it does not, you remove it from your life. Judging from what the estate sale people schlepped out of my house this morning, there was a lot of stuff in my life that did not spark joy.

Downsizing is hard. You keep the things you need, and try to decide which things gladden your spirit the most, and you have to let the rest go. I confess, I left a lot of it till the last minute, then scrambled frantically to sort things into “stay” and “go.” Rather like ripping a Band-Aid off instead of pulling it off slowly. It hurts more, but it’s over quicker.

I don’t even want to think about the accumulated remembrances of a long lifetime that my mom is giving up,

A bedroom suite and dining room suite she’s had since the first year of her married life, treasures brought back from world travels, family heirlooms, quite a gallery of family pictures, a legendary souvenir spoon collection, a house that has been her home for 60 years (since December of 1961) .

I’m trying to hold the mindset that all these things we are having to let go of are like the chrysalis the butterfly leaves behind, but it’s hard. The Dan Fogelberg song “Souvenirs” keeps coming to mind.

I had to let go of a good 3/4ths of my yarn stash. A knitting friend came over to lend moral support, help out, and give some of it a new home. (Her husband couldn’t see why such a drastic stash cull was such a big deal until she pointed out that it would be like his having to pare down his fishing tackle to only one tackle box and one fishing rod. Now he gets it!) Parting with so much of my yarn stash was a spiritual owie.

This was a knife through the heart! Exeunt two and a half whole bookshelves of books. Only two and a half bookshelves of my library are left now of the five from the last move, and the seven from the move before that.

All the paperwork for Carillon was completed Monday, and Wednesday I learned we were both approved. It’s practically a done deal. The To Do list is getting shorter: Paying the remainder of the Carillon buy-in fee. Getting mom moved. Getting me moved. Sell mom’s car. Close on the house.

The flooring for the apartment has been ordered through a local business. It’s just whenever they get it and they can schedule installers. I’ll be notified when the apartment is move-in ready. Mom might be able to move to Carillon House as early as next week to finish her rehab there.

I talked to the recommended movers. Scheduling is tight, but it looks like I’ll be moving the 31st. (My landlady is sad to see me go, but she lost her husband two years ago and her daughter is urging her to move to where they live in Oklahoma. She’s thinking that as hot as the real estate market is at the moment, now might be a good time to sell the duplex as well as her own home — especially after I told her how fast mom’s house sold.)

I need to call the people I lease my under-sink reverse osmosis water unit from and see if they do installations at Carillon. If not, I’ll find out who does. I also need to talk to the Carillon IT people about porting mom’s land line number to the apartment. She has been using her cell phone, but the little flip phone she has doesn’t have much oomph and she has difficulty hearing it. She can hear on her cordless phone when she puts it on speaker (so can I — both sides of the conversation from across the room . . . ! ) and as socially connected as she is, that seems the better solution.

We’ll have to do the change of address dance — making sure all the important stuff like bank statements, insurance, etc., comes to the new address.

When we stop her internet service, she will lose the email address she’s had for 20 years. I’ve gotten her a Gmail address and set it up to come to my computer. The email program I use is one she’s already familiar with, so she can check her email again. I downloaded her address book to my email program and BCC’d the whole lot about her new email address. She’s got quite a lot of emails to catch up on. As much as I hate Facebook, I will put her a link to it on my computer.

I’ve still got my hanging clothes to go through and cull. I still need to set up her files in my filing cabinet and get shredded what needs to be shredded. I’ve still got knitting accouterments to go through and organize. I’m selling my washer and dryer, microwave and my printer table in the estate sale, but they’re not coming to get them until the day before the estate sale because I’ve been picking up mom’s clothes to wash when I visit her, and I have this eating habit . . .

Keeping Eyes on the Prize

We have a buyer for the house. I accepted the offer Saturday. We close on September 13th — if the Good Lord’s willing and the creeks don’t rise . . . The car will be sold next Monday.

We jumped through all the Merill Lynch hoops and got those papers completed, notarized and everybody has gotten their copies. One of the notaries public from Carillon met mom and I at the Garrison and notarized everything — a very nice lady.

As of 4 o’clock today, I have submitted every scrap of paperwork to Carillon that they have asked for. (Hallelujah!) Ironically, it was a piece of my paperwork — but all those ducks are finally in a row!

The estate sale lady has the key to mom’s house and they have already started in on it. I have until Thursday to get my stuff separated into sell and keep, but I have a CT scan tomorrow morning, and relatives coming in tomorrow afternoon. It’s the daughter of my dad’s youngest brother, and her husband, daughter and grandchild. They are coming to get the mantel that my dad carved. The listing stated we are not selling the mantel with the house, and the buyers are cool with that.

We are getting closer and closer to where we hope to be. All that’s left now is to get our paperwork approved and get Merill Lynch to cut us a check for the buy-in fee. And move in. My landlady is going to pitch a hissy fit. She doesn’t know I’m moving yet. Knock wood I’ll be out by the 31st.

It’s Tuesday now. Had my scan. Things are going to have to go on pause until Friday, because I need to sort my stuff into “sell” and “keep.” and I’ve got what’s left of today and Wednesday to do it, and relatives due any minute to get daddy’s mantel. I’m going to try to get all the keepers except furniture into my bedroom. The estate sale people come Thursday to take my sellables over to mom’s house and bring her two keepers (lift chair and TV) over here. I’m going to get more exercise than sleep these next three days. Please, please let there not be any fires I have to put out until Friday!