Thursday, July 31, 2014

the hardest part of all

After the garage sale, my sister decided to stay over so we tried to have a sister night.  Usually for a sister night we'd play a game and talk, we haven't had one of those in it is so hard to find a time when all of us are free and in the same area.  Unfortunately, one couldn't make it this time.  So, my two sisters and I talked for hours laying on my bed. I felt like we were little kids gossiping before bedtime.  We talked about the impending birth of another baby,our parents, tv shows, my move, and both their moves...yeah, that is right, my family is going through major transitions this year!

It was such a wonderful night. I was upset when my eyes started to get heavy and I worried I'd fall asleep and miss the conversation.  We finally had to wrap it up a little after midnight because it was such a long day and none of us stay up that late anymore.

Moving away from my sisters and my parents is going to be the hardest thing for me emotionally.  I've been lucky enough to live within two miles of two sisters and an hour away from the other...and now it is going to be a plane ride away.  Living so close has allowed me to stop over for dinner, spontaneously run errands with one of them, go to their children's games/shows/etc.  I am going to miss them all so much, but I know this is what I need to do, and it will be worth the physical distance I am putting between us.  I'll have to learn to skype or facetime or whatever since (some) of the kids are old enough for phones and iPads and we'll be able to stay connected, which I will desperately need.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

yard sale

Since I moved into my temporary housing, I've spent my evenings and weekends sorting through my stuff trying to decide what to keep, what to sell, and what to throw away.  I have quite a bit of stuff, way too many clothes and shoes and just random things.  When it is all in an apartment or in storage, it doesn't look like a lot, but when it is just sitting is overwhelming.

Since I can't take a lot with me, since when I first get to where ever I am going will be temporary, I am not bringing a lot of items.  Once I settle into a place, then I will have my items shipped or I'll come back for them.

So to lessen the need to move things that will eventually sit in boxes in the new place, I needed to have a garage sale.  9 AM - 4 PM on a Saturday.  Even with getting up at 5:30 AM, it was a struggle to get everything done.  Had to get everything outside, had to finish pricing, had to put signs up locally, responding to a few inquires via reminded me of the last time I did a garage sale and said I probably would never do it again.

My sister surprised me and came over at 7:30 AM to help get ready, and it was a huge help to get it all out because I had quite a bit of early birds stop by.  The morning was very busy.  Next thing I knew my mother said that my other sister was on her way over.  She is in the process of moving, so she brought a car load of stuff to sell (but by the time she got here, it was about 1 PM).  In the mean time my other sister's family came to help/hang out.  I was shocked by how many family members came to help on such a beautiful Saturday.  

The sale was worth it.  Some items I was shocked sold and others I thought would sell didn't.  All together I sold about $650.  I have at least two more big items to sell- a desk for $325 and an elliptical for $240, maybe a fireplace for $400.  Combine that with the scrapbook stuff I sold on eBay last month, that is about $2100+ that I will be able to put towards new furnishings after I move.  Still no where near enough...but at least it will help!

Monday, July 28, 2014

tea leaf reading: take four

Tonight (May 29th) my mother surprised me by making an appointment at Katie's cottage for a tea leaf reading, she knew I wanted to get a reading before I left.

When I sat down, I told her my name and where I was living.  After that she asked me who I was living with that is sick. I told her I am not living with anyone that is sick, but she is probably seeing ManFriend who lived in my apartment.  She told me that the cancer was in a different place the second time, which is why they couldn't treat it, it moved so fast, she said it looked like pancreatic or colon cancer.  She said he went peacefully, that he was ready to go and that he was with a younger person up in heaven and is very much at peace.  She asked about my relationship with his family, which aside from talking to his mother and sending a card is non-existent.  She did reassure me that he loved me very much and he wanted to avoid how hurt and sad I would be with his illness.  He wanted me to remember him how he was (which I do understand).  She asked other questions like what his profession was, where he moved in NJ...but I am not sure what she was trying to figure out because she didn't further those thoughts out loud.

She moved on to where I lived and with whom lived.  I told her I was living with my parents temporarily. She asked if I had a seller for the apartment, which she knew I owned, and I said yes, that we hope to close very soon. She said my living with my parents is temporary and by the end of the summer I will have moved, which is precisely the current plan.  She asked where I was moving and why I selected it.  My responses were not too helpful....where am I going??  I told her to the Rocky Mountain region, location still to be decided.  She asked if it was temporary or permanent, and I responded I'd like it to be permanent, but if I don't like it, I'll go somewhere else or move back.  She told me the move is the best thing for me. That I will love it and my future that I've been waiting for will happen.  She said not to bring all my stuff when I leave the first time (something I've been thinking about for weeks).

She asked me about my current job and what I do, then asked what I planned to do after I move.  Again, I don't really have an answer.  I told her I can stay in my field, maybe go more into event management, or really, whatever will pay the bills and afford me the lifestyle I am looking for.  She asked about sending resumes to headhunters, and I said I did one, but I don't think they really take me seriously until I am out there, and she more or less agreed.  At the end of the reading, she said something good will happen after the second interview I go on.

Elaborating on why the move will be so great, she said I will meet a wonderful man and we'll have a whirlwind romance (and you all know how much I've wanted a whirlwind romance!).  Things will happen quickly and I'll have a small wedding...followed very soon by a baby.  She said the love will last (ie, no divorce).

We also talked about money.  She said I need to be really good and not use any of the money from the sale of the apartment on little things, to forget about it and keep it safe, I'll need it for a down payment on a house with my future husband.  She kept stressing over and over again not to spend it...I know I have a bit of a shopping problem, but in the last few months, knowing I am moving, I've been trying to be really really good about not spending money, to save it because I need a car, money for the move, and to live for a bit if it takes a while to get a job plus pay all the regular monthly bills.

Finally she said in closing that for someone who has been through so much emotionally, the pain, heartache, loss, devastation, that while I may have struggled to handle it at the time, that I came through OK, have a good head. I understand what has happened all around and accept it.  That it made me stronger and smarter.  I know she wasn't just talking about ManFriend...but all the experiences over the last 10-15 years.

Wrapping up she said she was proud of me and the decisions I've made to get where I am now, that great things are coming my way and she wished me all the best and hopes I stop in again when I am visiting family.

The caffeine was something I am not used to, so it took a long time for me to fall asleep, I was still tossing and turning until at least 1:30 am. As I was laying in bed, facing one wall, my room lit up with a glow.  My phone was glowing, it looked like what my phone should look like if I upgraded the operating system...the last time my room lit up was a few days after I found out about ManFriend and I took this as ManFriend reassuring me that everything the lady said was right, so we chatted a few minutes and then by 2:00 I was sleeping.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

the walkthrough

The apartment has been stressing me out.  I've been out of it for about 3 weeks, waiting for a closing.  But I can't let delays get to me, that is all out of my control and even though I have a work trip coming up...I know everything will work out.  So I need to be better about not getting boggled down with it.

With a closing date/time not set, we had the walk-through.  It was just me, the buyer and his real estate agent.  I arrived at the apartment, and as soon as I opened the door, I remembered back to the first time I saw the place.  The apartment was empty (well, mostly) and the light coming through the is a cute little place.  The buyer arrived a few minutes later, so I walked him through so he knew I fixed the holes in the wall, that the fridge worked and how to use the ice maker.  We turned on the stove and microwave, I showed him how to change the thermostat and the drawer full of all the papers from the manuals, remote controls and other things that belong with the apartment.  I was selling him my couch so he checked it out gave me a check.

Everything went smoothly and in 10-15 minutes we were all done.  We walked out together, so I didn't really have last thoughts upon exiting...but I was the furthest thing from sad or emotional.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

a penny saved

Those little piggy banks don't really hold too many coins, but the idea of saving your pennies has been something I've heard since I was little.  Over the years, I've been so broke where I couldn't save anywhere near as much as I wanted to.  Of course things would just come up that you needed to break into your piggy bank/savings and then sometimes I was starting back from zero.

My most recent savings has been about 8 years in the making.  I have a 5 gallon water jug that I would put loose coins in, sometimes if I had a few dollars I'd roll them up and throw them in there too.  Of course, coins are heavy, so I knew I wouldn't be moving this.  It was time to cash it in.

The coins didn't fill the jug, not by a long shot.  It was maybe 1/6th of the way full.  Hard to say.  I poured the coins into smaller containers that I could carry.  It totaled $560 in coins and $35 in bills.  Plus last year, I dumped out some coins into one container and that was about $180.  $775 in about eight years in just 'extra' coins.  Not bad at all considering I don't really use cash!

I am going to bring this large 5 gallon jug with me, and I will continue to throw lose coins in there.  It would be great if I can continue to save about $100 a year in pennies, nickles, dimes and quarters! Although quarters are more rare because of needing them for parking or laundry or something.  It is money I don't even think about.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

weeding pictures

At one point, people were important enough that I took their picture.  Now, I can't tell you their last name.  One of today's (May 25th) projects was to weed out my pictures.  I spent about 90 minutes going through most of the photos from my first 25 years and deciding which to keep and which to throw away.

Back when we had film camera, I had prints that were blurry or bad pictures...ones today that I would never think of ordering, so it was easy to throw away those pictures.  What became difficult was how many and of who/what to keep.  Do I keep photos from elementary school when I don't talk to the girls in the photos with me?  What about high school or college?  I ended up keeping a handful of photos of people that were good friends at the time or ones that I genuinely looked happy or 'big' events like prom.  I think I left a nice variety over a nice stretch of time.  Essentially highlights of my teens.

Then it came to the two men I dated.  I was surprised to find that I had  more photos of them then I realized in albums and smiled that I did have something left of them.  Since there were prints, not digital, I figured I had to keep a handful of each of them too.  I am not sure why...but they were very important people to me in my 20s and again, I looked so happy in them. I was selective; keeping only about 10 or less of each.

Family pictures were tough.  I love my family.  Many photos were similar so I tried to keep a variety of age ranges and styles/looks over the years.  As our family grew, the more pictures I'd have to keep, and I love looking at pictures of the nieces/nephews as little kids and seeing how different they look now.

When digital pictures became the norm, I'd take several pictures of the exact same thing, because I could.  When I would scrapbook, I tried to be selective and chose some of the best pictures...but some times the trips or events would have so many photos and I wouldn't have enough room on the pages.  Storing digital photos is easy of course, but I'd print a lot out to use for scrapbooking...sorting through those will be a project for another day.

Monday, July 21, 2014

perhaps what I'll miss the most

It is nights like tonight's (May 25th) that I will miss the most after I move.  I went to dinner at my sister's house and then the kids and I hung out/played.  We played What Time is it Mr. Fox, Red Light Green Light 123, Kickball, Simon Says, Duck Duck Goose and then to finish the night we played Go to the Head of the Class. Since I have no children, my nieces and nephews mean so much to me.  I have tried to be involved in their lives by going to games, school shows, help with homework/projects, sleepovers, baking, crafts, answering questions, etc.  I hope they remember that I was a fun aunt at times.  I am going to miss stopping over for an impromptu meal or game and just hanging out with them.  They are a great bunch of kids.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

coming to terms

Just days ago, my mother asked if I really wanted to move.  Fast forward to temporary moving day and she has been completely on board.  She is suggesting items to pack, items to sell, and ways to start organizing.  It is like a total transformation.  I think the trip we took really helped her accept that I am doing this.  Mission accomplished.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

the sorting begins

What an exhausting weekend.  I am all out of the apartment, I cleaned it and brought everything to my temporary living quarters.  Then it became overwhelming.  Where to start?  I decided to break it down into smaller bits.  I started with bathroom beauty, so I found all my boxes and bags with that stuff, removed things I wouldn't use and the consolidated into its final boxes for moving.

Next up was clothes.  I went through about 75% of my clothing and sorted through items I would sell or donate and have more than two heaping Ikea bags (with more to come).  Then I took winter clothing and put them into those vacuum bags - to be sealed another time. I still have way too many clothes, but the rest I'll try on and then donate or keep as needed.

Finally, I found books and movies and put those into two piles, one for me, one to sell/donate.

Next was kitchen...I have way too many kitchen items.  Plates, servers, utensils, gadgets, you name it, I probably have it...but then again, I love cooking and baking and use most of this stuff, so it is hard to part with any of it.

The next few weeks will be more sorting.  I have about 6 weeks left (minus 10 days business + pleasure trip).  If I keep up this pace, I will be really happy!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

isn't as traumatizing

This morning I spent a few hours packing the last of the items at the apartment and giving it a good scrubbing for the new owner.  The last time I scrubbed the apartment this good was after ManFriend moved out last April/May.  That time I was crying and cleaning.  I missed him and knew that his moving would be the end of our relationship, even though we kept saying it wouldn't be.

This time, it hasn't been as sad.  I have thought about him constantly as I am emptying the place that the one thing we had in common is almost no more.  Everything about the apartment reminds me of ManFriend and it is bittersweet to have that end.  It will be nice to give my brain a break and I know that he will stay with me in memories and I continue to thank him for watching over me - making the move happen.  So this isn't as traumatizing; I am very happy with the decision and I am looking forward to the uncertainty ahead.

And when I closed the apartment door for the second to last time, I took a moment to think about how far I came in the last 6 years.

It wasn't until I picked up my mom at a restaurant that I got teary eyed, it was the place ManFriend and I went for drinks the night he told me he wanted our relationship to progress, and when we got back home he told me he loved me.  Amazing that a restaurant brought more water to my eyes than vacating the apartment...then again, I had four months of watery eyes in the apartment.  At least now when I get emotional and shed a few tears, it ends quickly and then I am OK again.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

sitting among chaos

Today (May 17) was moving day.  Well, not THE moving day...but moving out of my apartment and into my temporary accommodations.  A month ago, I started to bring things over little by little.  But the problem with having half my stuff at the apartment and the other half (or really 3/4) in my parents basement, made this move more confusing. I didn't really pack too much, but brought a lot over in bags.  The next month I am going to have to really take inventory of what I have, what I will use, what I won't use and re-pack most of the stuff because I can't take it all with me....or I can, but do I really want to?  It is a little overwhelming.  Not the move - no, I've moved about 9 times in 13 years (yikes), but rather the decluttering.

So now I am sitting among chaos. I am normally a fairly neat person, but I fear for the next few weeks, I am going to live with things all over the place.

I am glad that it worked out that I have about 6-7 weeks, it gives me time to go through things kind of slowly, make piles, repack, try to sell items, perhaps hold a moving sale, figure out how many boxes/bins I will need to move, and what I'll give away to family and friends.

Friday, July 11, 2014

finishing up

Tonight I sit in my almost empty apartment.  I probably won't close for another week, but moving the big furniture takes a little more effort and coordination with schedules, so I'll be vacating about 9 days prior to closing.  After I finish moving everything out, it will be easier to clean for the buyer and they can do the walk through and it will be ready to go.

Surprisingly, I am handling it really well.  I haven't shed a tear or seem sad in anyway.  It must be a sign that I know this is a good thing for me.  If anything, I am more sad that the apartment is the one thing I have that reminds me of ManFriend.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

becoming reality

Little by little the apartment is looking emptier and emptier, but it wasn't until today (May 4th) when it really sunk it that I am moving out of this place I've called home for the last 6 years.  It is both exciting and a little scary not knowing what the next few months will bring, but I suppose that is part of the appeal as well.

A complete new beginning.  Something I've been talking about for so long is becoming a reality.  And most importantly my family has adjusted to knowing I am leaving.  They still aren't thrilled about my future absence, but they are all extremely supportive and hope I find the happiness I am looking for.

Monday, July 7, 2014

forgo a mortgage

Excellent news.  I heard that the buyer is going to forgo the mortgage and provide cash.  A cash deal is faster and easier, with less people to schedule at the closing.  They want to close 'sooner rather than later'.  Mind you, I've been asking for a 'sooner' closing as I have big plans.  I need to close before June, before I go away for a work trip because I don't want to keep paying for something I am not living in.

Now, I'll have to begin moving out when I come back from my will be a very busy few days to get this done quickly...but if it means I can close memorial day weekend or right after I would be thrilled.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

research with parents

I went to the state I am thinking about moving to so I could drive around the city and smaller towns to see if I'd like it there.  More of a confirmation really that what I've been thinking about for months is really where I want to go.

My parents, while supportive, do not travel and I think my mother was envisioning me living in the mountains living off the land.  I asked them if they would like to come with my for my 'research' and I was shocked they said yes.

My mother kept saying how much she loved it; for her it was 100% new. The idea of seeing mountains, some of the delicious breakfasts, the few activities we did...she was happy the whole time.  But the last morning there at breakfast she asks if I've considered Vermont, Maine, Delaware...she still doesn't want me far away.

My father seemed to have a rougher time adjusting on the trip.  Starting probably with the altitude.  He is out of shape.  He is stubborn.  He has vertigo.  All three of those things came into play the few days we were away.  I couldn't tell if he was enjoying himself or liked the area; he was hard to read.  Although he was impressed with two of the apartment complexes we looked at.  He didn't try to talk me out of it...if anything I think he realized that I did like it and he is coming to terms with me leaving and he'll miss me, the daughter he probably spends the most time with.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

take it or leave it

Moving states away can be expensive.  Not knowing what my living situation will be, I have been deciding what to move and what not to.  My goal will be to rent someplace first until I get a good idea about the location, I don't want to rush into anything just for the sake of having a place to live.  So the first few months I'll be living quite minimally.

I have quite a bit of things, some boxes of which I haven't opened in 8-10 years.  Do I really 'need' that stuff?  Other items I spent a lot of time selecting and they are practical or homey, do I want to sell it for cheap or bring it along?

First I tackled selling some of my hobby supplies, and made $700 on ebay in a week (minus ~10% fees).  Then I sold my couch to the buyer and joined a Facebook tag sale group where I hope to sell some items that I'd rather part with.  My almost new living room furniture will be given to my sister and that leaves me with a few big items like my bed, and elliptical machine and kayaks.  My bed was very expensive and I can't justify selling it for almost nothing.  If I can't take it, I will encourage my parents to make a guest room.  TV will go to my grandmother. The kayaks I can probably sell on Craigslist.  And the list goes on and on and on.

Deciding what to do with all this stuff is time consuming.  Even the 'everyday' items add up fast with how much space they take up (clothes, bathroom essentials, kitchen items).  Then there is the opening of boxes you haven't seen in years and spending time sorting through, it is almost like Christmas morning when you get so excited that you forgot you had these things.

Trying to estimate how much I will end up moving rolls into the how to get there dilemma...just a car, car with a trailer, uhaul?  All those choices then effect how long I can be on the road for the long journey...and I wanted to take it slow and experience areas I have not yet seen.

I have a eleven weeks to go...we'll see how successful I am at selling items and convincing other people to take stuff.