Sunday, May 9, 2010

Week 19 - Ready to Go

This week was all about getting ready for my trip. Now here it is 6:00 a.m. on Sunday morning and my to do list is pretty much done. At times this week, I thought I’d crack before I got to this point.

Packing wasn’t the issue. I can pack like a pro and had a mental list of what I would bring ages ago. It was all the prep work for painting, which I had thought wouldn’t take long. Take down a few pictures, take down the curtains – easy! Well, not as easy as it sounds.

The woman who lived here before me must have been a vampire because every window had 4 layers of protection from the sunlight – blinds, sheers, drapes and valances. I kept it simple withjust blinds and put up valances to hide all the curtain hardware. Since I’m finally having the woodwork painted white, this was my chance to take everything down so Elizabeth (the painter) could spackle the holes and I could start over from scratch. Do you know how long it takes to remove curtain hardware with just a screwdriver? A LONG time! Each bracket had at least 2 screws and she used LONG ones to make sure those suckers stayed up.

After spending all Wednesday night working and still only having 2 rooms done, I started stressing. I didn’t sleep well and woke up feeling awful. Dizzy, shaky and tired. I spent some time on WebMD, fighting the hypochondriac tendencies I inherited from my mother but still looking up heart attack signs in woman. I ended up going home just after lunch and even stopped at the clinic on the way home for a blood pressure check (the wait was too long thought so I left.) After lying down for 2 hours (with interruptions from a neighbor and a door-to-door salesman – sheesh!), I felt no better.

Only when I stopped to think about it rationally did I realize I was just plain old stressed. I only had 2 more days and lots more to do. What was my solution? Hmmm….. So I did something I hate to do – I picked up the phone and called Nancy to ask for help. As soon as she agreed to come over Saturday morning, I felt like a new woman. I still felt crappy physically but my symptoms started to ebb. By the end of the evening, I was doing dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. Life was good!

I went to work Friday feeling great. I had a few things to finish up and had to pack my office. Because not only will I be returning to a freshly painted albeit discombobulated house, but our new office furniture will come in while I’m gone so I’ll be coming back to my new office, back upstairs on the fourth floor. The best part is I’ll have a window again – yay!

I did more on Friday night and realized when I got up on Saturday that I really didn’t need Nancy’s help but decided not to call and cancel. One of my concerns has been my knee going out while I’m away so I figured if all Nancy did was the stuff that required getting up and down the step stool or stairs, that’d still be helpful. So she did exactly that and in less than 2 hours we had everything done. The plants I had all over the house were outside in a wading pool (for ease of watering), the art was all in the basement and the breakables that might fall when the furniture gets moved were packed up. So we went to the Wigwam for lunch, ran a few errands and I was back home by early afternoon.

I had a few things left on my list – packing, mowing, setting up extra litter boxes, and a ton of little things. I worked steadily on and off all day and saw that it was 9:00 when I finally stopped. I sat down to email last minute instructions to the painter and Lorri, who will check on the cats and water plants on the weekend. I went to bed just after 10:00, looking forward to a good night’s sleep since everything was done so I had nothing to worry about. Yeah, right.

I had trouble falling asleep and was awake many times over the night so am bleary eyed while typing this. But as I said to Lorri, if nothing dies while I’m gone, I’ll have done my job. The sun is coming up and in 2 hours I’ll be on my way to the airport. My sister is going to drive to Newark and whisk us away for a early supper at a diner (you gotta love Jersey diners!) so our 5-1/2 hour layover won’t be so bad. I’ve packed stretchy pants and a t-shirt to change into before the overnight flight and have some old ambien to take so I can sleep on the flight. We have a full day scheduled for Monday, complete with a lecture before a late dinner (what were the tour people thinking?) so I’m hoping I won’t be too exhausted. Since I can’t charge the battery, I’m not bringing my laptop so it’d doubtful I’ll be blogging next weekend. But I have an 8 gig memory card in my camera(borrowed from my friend Anne) so when I do, they’ll be lots of pics to go with my post. Until then, take care everyone and know I’m having a blast in jolly old England.

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