And we’re off…!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated. There really hasn’t been much going on. Packing, unpacking, repacking, rinse, lather, repeat. I think I got everything packed for this first leg of the journey. Probably going to have all of it stolen, but not much I can do about it, really. I can’t carry it on, so it has to be packed. I plan to get to the airport early so that I can have TSA check it and hope that it gets past all the baggage handlers. Still, I am resigned to losing most of the electronics, anyway. Sigh.

Mom fell while in Ireland and she’s home early. At least I’ve been able to spend time with her, even though it’s been with her on the couch. 🙂 But she’s doing much better, and getting around. This morning, Mark and Howard took the support boards off her bed to lower it so she can get in and out on her own. I feel like I should stay longer, but unfortunately, there are no Award seats available for First Class through October. I’ll be back in ten weeks though.

I’m going to miss everyone so much. I hope Shiva is well-behaved while I am gone. She’s been doing good while I’m here, so I hope she keeps it up.

Getting ready to head to the airport. I’ll have a nice long wait once I get through, but better to get through security and be done with it. It’s all in the hands of the baggage handlers from that point on.

See you all on the flip side!

Been busy…

Been in NC for a couple of weeks now, getting to know the place. I’m house-sitting for my sister and mom, and playing mom (again) to my two nephews, ten and twelve. It’s been an experience, having to cart them to school, cook them breakfast and dinners, make lunches, trek them to various after school things, ride them about homework and housework, etc. Wow, now I know why I made my kids grow up and leave home! 🙂 Seriously, it’s not been too bad. Been watching the herd of hounds, too. Five total — Dana the great Dane, Dougal and Ted who are two terrier-type mixes, Shiva (my baby) and Mimi, my mother’s Schnauzer rescue. Pictures should be below. That last one is the nephews begging for cats. 🙂

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My sister, her husband, and my mom are all in Europe, for a wedding and doing various visits. My mom is currently in Ireland, while my sister and her husband were honeymooning in London. I think today they are heading for Ireland, and then my mom will head to Germany in a few days.

I’ll try to update more often. But it’s actually been kinda quiet, without a lot happening. Especially packing. Not much of that going on. I need to wait until family gets back with the big bags so I can fill them. Right now, I just have stuff piled on my bed. That will have to do for now!


Got the apartment walk-through done — no damages noted! Yay! So I should get getting my deposit back. Realized later that I had not given them a forwarding address, so rectified that by email this morning.

Took off from work to go see the ortho. He said the knee looked to be healing well, if a bit slow. But he fitted me with a brace and said that should help with the pain. I am glad that I’ll be seeing another ortho, as I think this one tends to blow me off, but it’s nothing I can put my finger on, just a ‘feeling’, Oh well.

The manicotti ‘Big Brother’ dinner party went well Thursday night. Fixed enough manicotti for a small army, but everyone raved about it, and there are left overs until the cows come home. 🙂 Feels really good to pull that off. I might try my rigatoni cake as a finale dinner. Yes, everyone is probably tired of pasta by then, but what the heck, that’s all I can cook!

Repacked my car a bit this morning. I think I can fit everything in it now. The front end is loose, so I need to find time to run by Nissan and see if they can do anything with it, or else it might be ‘bungee cord repair’ time. Really look like a homeless person living out of my car.


Superhero Minion Nails! – by Tia at Bella Nails

Got my nails done! They are done like superhero/Avenger Minions. Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Iron Man and Batman (just because he looked so cute).

Living like a vagabond

The Nissan Versa is packed up still. Things are shifting around, though I can’t get to my clothes. There are somewhere (!!) in the middle of the pile, I think. Every night, there’s been a thunderstorm, so I can’t be bothered to go out in the wet and dig for them. I’ve got a pair of khakis and a pair of jeans. I guess I’ll just switch out wearing them. And three shirts. I can make all sorts of combinations! 🙂

I went to see my neuro yesterday. He prescribed me a low dose of Lexapro to handle my anxiety. He said he could tell I was nervous and stressed when I walked in the door. Didn’t realize it showed so much. He also gave me my last medical summary and a prescription for the service dog (yay, Shiva!). So that’s all taken care of. I scanned all that in so that I have it in the Cloud, and if (when?) I manage to misplace the originals, I still have access to them.

In response to the obvious stress that I’m under, I’ve booked myself a hot stone massage at Stone Creek Spa this afternoon, courtesy of my youngest daughter’s win at Project Graduation. It became my Mother’s Day gift and now it’s being put to good use. I have one more massage certificate from Star PT, which I will be using just prior to my apartment walk through tomorrow.

In more medical news, I have a meeting with my ortho on Friday. I feel like my knee is really tightening up and it hurts all the time. I hope it’s nothing serious. I’ve stopped PT given how my schedule is, so maybe I just need to do some exercises on my own. I will also need a medical summary from him.

Called Nissan about the replacement radio – they said it was on back order and might not be here for a couple of weeks. So now Natasha is in charge of that. They said it takes a couple of hours to install, so maybe she can just schedule it and take a prolonged lunch some day.

Making myself a list. Called my primary care doctor and left a message about getting a medical summary and maybe another blood test done before I leave. Just to have the latest numbers to hand over to whomever my new doctor is going to be. Might as well do it since my insurance is paying everything at 100% right now.

I called about my jewelery yesterday. Apparently it had been put in the ‘Finished’ bin when it actually wasn’t. So they said they would get that done today. I hope. Need to call and follow it up.

Meeting with Stasia on Friday to do the Change of Ownership on the Sprint account. We figure it has to be more efficient to do in person, rather than through the internet. Hopefully. She and Sam are going to take over the account (since we have a very good plan that is no longer offered). Natasha is going to branch off on her own, and I will set up automatic transfers to pay for Victoria’s phone. I’ll set my phone to vacation mode for part of September/October/November, and then return it to Sprint when I come to the US at Thanksgiving. Oy.

I think things are winding down a bit. I expect to be mostly done by the end of this week.

Mom posted some pictures of Shiva. She’s hanging out and doing well. Apparently, she was very well-behaved on the trip to the groomer. My sister even said, “She’s a great dog.” which is high praise coming from my sister, and I’m so proud to hear it.Shiva outside Shiva couch

Change of plans…

Decided to go with Plan B. My sister is going to keep Shiva until Thanksgiving. We’ve booked all AA/BA flights originating in the States and connecting through LHR, so Shiva can travel in-cabin with us. And she’ll have two sets of feet to lay across.

Plus, I got the estimate from the pet moves (my Plan C). While I am sure they do a very good job, I just can’t justify $4,995.00 for a one-way move. I just about choked on the phone. But I was very nice and thanked her for her time. Wow.

So, now to just get everything else done so *I* can move. Have a few people coming to pick things up this afternoon. I might actually be able to get everything packed up for my sister to pick up at the end of the month! I have 11 days until she gets here…countdown!2014-07-13 06.26.21 Shiva says, “Get to work!”

Sell, sell, sell!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Today was a productive day! I didn’t get anything done pet-transport-wise (mentioning that since it has pretty much consumed my thoughts), but I did get a lot done clean-the-apartment-wise. 🙂

Got the youngest’s bedroom mostly cleaned out and sold a bunch of bigger stuff on the local Facebook sites, which makes me feel like progress is being made. Cleaned up a corner of the dining room and have started to stack up packed boxes there in anticipation of my sister’s arrival at the end of the month.

I have a friend set to go with me to pick up the trailer the day before my sister arrives, and tentative commitments from the daughters’ boyfriends to help load it with the furniture stuff, so she and I just have to load boxes. Slowly, slowly, it’s starting to come together. And it’s not even the last minute yet!

Tomorrow’s goal is to fold up and better organize this first wave of garage sale stuff from my closet so that it isn’t dangerously tilting over (and I might even try to sell some of the better stuff via the local Facebook pages), and also be able to add to it as I clean things out. I’ll let you know how successful I am at that. I also have a vision appointment and nail appointment tomorrow, so I will be pressed for time.

My toe, by the way, is swollen, black and blue, and still hurts like a mofo. I am hoping that it has simmered down by tomorrow, because anything other than sneakers is going to hurt pretty bad.

I packed a box!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I managed to pack a box today. One whole box! And I sold my cat tower. For more than what was paid for it, so that goes in to the travel fund. Everything I sell on Facebook will go into the travel fund, to be converted to Euros. Exciting when I think about it like that.

So let’s talk about transporting Shiva, since that’s the major hiccup so far. After talking to American and the rep telling me that I have to call Finnair, I decided to pursue whether or not I could rebook my flights to keep me in the US and/or flying AA planes. Unfortunately, even though she checked flights from September 7 to September 30, there was nothing available in First Class Award travel for those dates. So, back on the phone to Finnair to see if I might get a different answer than what I got yesterday. I spent an hour on hold listening to Finnair music before the call was answered.

The short answer is that she cannot fly in the cabin of the airplane. No way, no how. Don’t allow it. If you have a service dog of any sort and you want to fly — book a different route/different airline. Or put your pooch in the cargo hold.

So at this point, I figure I am going to have to bite the bullet and ship her through cargo. I hate the thought of it, but hundreds, if not thousands, of pets go cargo safely. It’s just those few that don’t that we hear about. I just don’t want her to be that rare statistic. But I ask anyway. Up to 50kg, and that weight has to include the carrier, the cost is $400. That’s just the Finnair portion. Goodness knows what the USAirways portion will be. And they don’t rent the crates, I need to buy one. Those are around $70 on Amazon, so not too outrageous.

I’ve also emailed a couple of companies that specialize in transporting pets, to get a quote for their services. Probably three times as expensive, but at least I will have something to compare everything else to. Why does this have to be so complicated?? *whine*

Now on to some triumph. I managed to pack one box to go to North Carolina. It’s a mix-up of stuff, but I’ll deal with it when I get to NC. Mostly stuff to go to Finland (assuming I can fit it in one suitcase, which I can’t, but a gal can dream…), so I even marked the box “NC-FIN” so I would know.

I am so organized.

I find that I want to organize/pack useless things. Like pantry food. Or bathroom supplies. I need to really get after the big stuff, but I let myself get distracted by things like the kitchen junk drawer. The dishes. WTF? Of course, any little thing I do is something I don’t have to do later, but I still realize that it is terribly inefficient. Ellen is coming over tomorrow, and maybe she can set me straight. I think my plan for tomorrow is to take pictures of the things I need to sell on Facebook. The more stuff I sell, the less I have to move around. Yes, that sounds like such a great idea.

Anyway, time to go to sleep soon. I need to quit going to bed at 6pm because then I wake up at 3am…and not pack. And stress about not packing. And play Farm Heroes while trying to convince myself to pack. Grrrr, such a vicious cycle.


P.S. I told a friend that I was writing a blog in diary-style and he made a comment that made me reply that it would be like “Today I saw Henry Jenkins. He’s sooooo cute. Someday I am going to marry him. Mrs. Henry Jenkins. Swoon.” He told me that has to go in my blog. So here it is.