erynn: Gaelic merman image (Sarasvati)
Today was my bill-paying day. I dealt with it before the first for once because the VA check came in Friday. Laundry got done. I had a very quick email exchange with the consulate that cleared up a misunderstanding I had (very minor, a misreading on my part regarding the amount of the filing fee). I sent an email to my brother asking him a couple of questions, though I won't hear back from him for at least a week. I also bought a round trip plane ticket for San Francisco so that I can go to the consulate for my appointment and sent the itinerary to [livejournal.com profile] lwood so she knows when I'll need to be fetched and dispatched. I'll check in with her tomorrow to make sure she got the information. I posted the list of bookshelves for sale to the SeaPagan list and got a note back from a couple of my friends in Everett. I emailed them back but should probably text them tomorrow to see if they got the email. Craigslist ads were renewed for the stuff I currently have listed for sale.

I'm not going to be buying my ticket for Italy until late next week, after I'm sure that BECU has had time to show my account balances before I spend that much money. I know ultimately it doesn't actually make huge amounts of difference there, but still, I will feel better with a larger number on their paperwork. This is why I've been selling all my stuff, so I can afford these expenses.

I've asked [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor for her friend's email address so we can coordinate about project Impress Italian Bureaucrats. It'll be easier to do this with all three of us in email than in text I think. I need to get some passport style photos of myself for the application but I can't do that until I have dealt with the green hair. I'm about due for a hair cut anyway, and that will remove a fair bit of the green, though I don't want to cut it so short that all the green is gone, as that would probably be too short for my October appointment.

[livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor took me out to do the grocery shopping this evening. I was dizzy enough that when I tried to put the grocery bags in the trunk, I though the car was moving. Definitely a very weird sensation, because I knew it was parked and motionless. Very disconcerting. All is well, though, and everything got done that needed doing today.

Tomorrow, Irish class and dealing with more paperwork. Slow progress is still progress. Keep breathing.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Seshat)
Today I got a lot done, starting with making my appointment with the consulate.

I'll be meeting with the visa applications office on October 9th, a Wednesday, at 11:15am. I talked to [livejournal.com profile] lwood and she will make sure I get picked up at the airport, hauled around, and taken to the appointment in time. ([livejournal.com profile] finnchuill, I do intend to at least visit briefly if I'm able while I'm down there.) I will be going down the day before the appointment and returning the day after. This is between the Sherlock Seattle con and SteamCon. I didn't want to put it off until toward the end of the month, as [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor's birthday falls right around then and my brother has a deadline we're working toward.

I talked with my brother on skype for a bit and hammered out some details with him; he needs to make sure my appointment is before November 1st, when his contract with the AF active reserves expires so that it shows best for our financial purposes. Between the two of us, we don't quite hit the $50,000 figure I was quoted in a consulate email, but perhaps with his already being in residence and offering me a place to stay, what we do have will suffice.

As soon as I get a plane ticket (I need to talk with a travel agent to make sure I get a ticket that can be cancelled if the visa is rejected), I can give him the travel date for his letter of invitation form, but I expect it will be around mid-December. I figure if I give it 60-ish days, that should be reasonably sufficient. He's heading off to Austria in the morning for a week for a huge motorcycle rally and will get back to me with more details when he gets home again. We should be able to wrap up the letter of invitation bit by the the middle of the week after he gets home. I am going to ask him to post me the document as well as send me a PDF as I don't want to have them say "you need the original" when I get there, and not be able to provide it.

The contractor came and finished up the bathroom in a few hours, starting a little after noon. The place still smells a bit chemical in here, after the primer and paint. I had to air the place out with both doors and all the windows open for a while today. It'll be a couple of days before it smells normal, more than likely.

I spoke on the phone with BECU; they called me after our email exchange to get specific details about what I need. They apparently have a standard immigration form letter that they can fill out and notarize for me that should meet the consulate's requirements, and can also provide a letter stating that I am a member of the credit union in good standing. The notarized letter costs $18.

Now I have to locate a CPA who can deal with the other bits of this for the second "letter of reference" and to explain in writing why my income is not taxed and that I do not have to file tax returns. I've sent a couple of online inquiries to different offices but not received any response. I suspect I'll have to either bite the bullet and phone someone, or actually walk into an office with papers in hand and ask if they can provide what I need. I should get BECU's letters by late next week and will be able to take them with me when I talk to a CPA to demonstrate what I need. Do any of you local peeps know one that you would recommend?

I did some further research on overseas health insurance and have found something that more than satisfies the consulate's requirements for under $200 a month, so I will get that together closer to the appointment so I can take the documentation with me. This is a better deal, from what I can tell, than one of the places someone suggested to me earlier. They seem to cover more stuff. I am going to fill out the VA document to enroll in their Foreign Medical Program and have them mail the authorization to me c/o my brother at his APO box so that if it takes a while to process, it will get to me anyway.

An email was sent to the regional USDA veterinary office to inquire about vets in the Everett and Seattle area who are qualified to do the paperwork for the DoDC+3 when it becomes necessary. I don't expect a response before the middle of next week due to the holiday. The EU compliant ID chip arrived in today's post. I'll need to make an appointment to have him chipped and redo his rabies vaccine. He needs his nails clipped, too.

I emailed the consulate about the type of plane ticket I need and apparently someone was at their desk because less than half an hour later I received my answer - I need a one-way ticket if I am applying for a residence visa. I sent back an email thanking them for their prompt response. I think this "one question per email" thing is probably the best way to go, given they can provide a one-sentence response and it only takes a minute for them to do it. Seems far more likely to actually get a useful response with this method. Currently, mid-December one-way Seattle to Venice tickets start at just under $900 on a few of the online discount sites. Other sites start at $1200 and go up from there.

Because I made the consulate appointment today, I spent a lot of the day in kind of a panic. I called mom and talked with her for a while to let her know what's going on. She sounded a lot better and said the bronchitis had cleared up, much to her relief. Al's doing better as well, so things are going pretty well at her end of the world. I passed my brother's greetings on to her, as I'd told him I was going to call her when I was done texting with him.

I did go with [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor to the party this evening. There were dancers and fire dancing, and there was music. It did help get me out of my stressed out state. I discovered that dark chocolate flavored red wine and blueberry lavender muffins are a godlike combination that must be tasted to be believed. I rode home with [livejournal.com profile] ingvisson because he was ready to go when I was, and [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor was going to stay and play a couple more songs. A couple of dancers from Olympia had just arrived as we were leaving.

I have a road opener candle going on my mantle at the moment. Any and all bureaucracy-smoothing, gate-opening magic/juju will be gratefully welcomed. All good thoughts are appreciated.

*runs screaming into the distance*

This weekend: bill-paying, laundry, more preparation of emails, and further evil plotting and planning.

Next week: Wednesday is shrinkage and Geordie arrives for an overnight visit.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (AAAAAIIIGHH!)
Today was the last day for this session of the spirituality group at the VA. We have a two week break, then back to it for another 10 or 12 weeks. I'd been keeping an eye on twitter while I checked my email in the morning. WSDOT was putting up alerts about a really bad accident right around the West Seattle Bridge that had traffic backed up for about 11 miles. Armed with that information, [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and I left early and went down 99 and around up behind Capitol Hill, but we still arrived about 40 minutes late for my appointment. It took two hours to drive what usually takes only about 45 minutes. There were accidents everywhere along the roads today. I have no idea what was going on, unless people were so messed up by the rain today.

As we were driving south, I got a call from another realtor, who wanted to bring people by. I told her to go ahead and do that. I mentioned the dog in his crate and said I wouldn't be home until evening.

After the VA, we went over to Travelers. I hadn't seen Leon or Allen in a while, and it was good to talk with them. Leon was really sweet to me, and I had a lovely thali before we headed up to the hill. Traffic was still a mess, even northbound (when we were done at Travelers, apparently southbound I-5 was backed up nearly to Lynnwood), so we stopped by Edge to say hi. I hadn't been in there in quite some time, and hadn't actually seen Robert in even longer, as he hadn't been in the last time I visited. He hadn't been aware of my dizziness, or that I was trying to move to Italy, so we talked about that and I picked up some road opener stuff to do a ritual to help move things along through the inevitable bureaucratic tangle.

When I got home, I dropped into skype to hang out with [livejournal.com profile] random_nexus and schmooze about a fic she's working on, then I talked to [livejournal.com profile] lwood for a while. Most of the people I talk to seem to think that my potential move to Italy is a done deal, even though I have tried to be really clear that this is just something I am trying to do. People are all asking me if I've already moved back to Seattle when they see me, not realizing that I can't do that unless and until the condo sells. I can't always remember who I've told what, so I end up having to tell the sordid tale over and over. I worry that I'm being too repetitive or too needy or too something. My friends all tell me that I'm not being burdensome about the whole thing, and I am being assured on a fairly frequent basis that I am loved and appreciated, which is making this whole stressful thing much easier to deal with. I'm still not entirely certain why I haven't collapsed in a whimpering heap yet.

Tomorrow about noon, the contractors are coming by to finish up the bathroom with some texturing and a coat of paint. I'm not sure how long that will take. [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor says there is a party at Michael's place tomorrow evening and that she needs to be there by 6pm. There will be music (their band is playing), and firespinners. We'd have to leave by 5-ish, I imagine. If the painting is done by then (I am pretty sure it will be, but can't be certain until I talk to the contractors), then I'll be happy to go. There may be a hot tub involved...

Her friend Kent says he will help me with the whole "impress the Italian bureaucrats" fashion project. I'm to come up with a budget and he will haul me around and get me into clothes that will be less alterna-goth-steampunk and more mainstream, while still being reasonably comfortable for me as a human being. We shall see how that goes.

Geordie wasn't able to come down today due to a scheduling kerfuffle but, considering the traffic misery, that was probably for the best. He had hoped to come down Saturday with a friend who is driving to Seattle, but there's not enough room in the car. Instead, he'll be coming down next Wednesday and I'll probably pop on the bus and meet him down in Everett. The 510 does run from the park & ride here to the Everett central depot (it's one stop away), so we can hop back on the bus and have maybe a 15-20 minute walk back from the park & ride to my place once I meet him at the Greyhound. I'm hoping it doesn't rain, as at that hour of the night it's going to be a while between busses and we'll have to be waiting outside.

Today was frustrating and tiring, though more for [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor than for me, given she was driving. Still, we got through the chaos. Tomorrow I have emails to write that I didn't get to today.

Breathe.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (tree of life)
Sent out some necessary emails today. The credit union says it can provide one of the letters I need for the visa application, all I have to do is tell them what the consulate wants. Once I figure out exactly what I need to pull from my documentation I can send it to them and see if they can make heads or tails of it. They offered to either mail it to me or to fax it to the consulate, but I need them to send it to me, as it all has to come in as one packet with the visa application.

The people who inquired about the bookshelf last night came today and picked it up. They said it was perfect for what they needed and would fit pretty much exactly into the space they had for it.

Another realtor came by with a couple of clients this evening to look at the place. They were only a few minutes away, so I took a couple of minutes to clean up then took the DoDC+3 out for a short walk to wait for them to come and go. It wasn't necessarily brightly sunny most of the day, but it was warm enough, and pleasant to sit out on the bench at the top of the lot for a little while.

I've listed both an electric coffee grinder that some of my friends have used when visiting, and a hand-painted Thai tea set in the shape of an elephant for sale on craigslist today. So many things that need to go.

Geordie won't make it down tomorrow. He'll probably be here Wednesday next week instead. Things came up for him at the last minute that made tomorrow impractical. I should be able to swing next Wednesday somehow. I might have to take a taxi down to get him, given Wednesday both [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and [livejournal.com profile] ingvisson are in Seattle in the evening teaching Irish, but we shall see what can be done. I'll email them both and see if we can arrange something.

I haven't emailed the consulate with any of my other questions yet, but I did a hell of a lot of stuff today, so I don't feel too badly about it. I'm making progress, even when it's hard and I'm tired.

Tomorrow, group at the VA.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Lynx looking)
Today's tit squish went quickly and easily. We were in and out and back home quite quickly; [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor ended up driving instead of [livejournal.com profile] ingvisson, as he wasn't feeling too well today.

I got email back from the consulate about the problem with the scheduling website. I'm now able to log in and will be able to make an appointment. They are available starting in October, though I still have to wait to hear back from the sib before I can actually make an appointment. I also have a couple more questions to ask the consulate visa office, though I will now be asking them one per email in the hope that their short answers will actually have something to do with the question I'm asking. They were quite timely in responding to the query about the scheduling website, though, so that does make me feel a bit better.

I got absolute zero sleep last night. I drank tea with caffeine too late in the day and it kept me from being able to get to sleep at all, though I did rest at least for a couple of hours. I'm hoping to get a little bit tonight.

Later this evening, I got hauled over to McMenamin's for a little dinner. Usually we'd have gone to the AFK, but we felt like trying something else out instead. I had a nice baked mac & cheese made with four cheeses, and a quite nice pomegranate cider. The cider was a little drier than I prefer, but not to the point of tasting off to me, and there was a hint of pomegranate flavor to it on the edge of my tongue that was really quite tasty.

I have an inquiry about the first bookshelf I listed on craigslist. Someone wants to come by tomorrow about 1:30 to get it and to look at some of the ones in the garage to see if they will want any of those, as well. The more stuff I can get out of my garage, the better. As I get stuff out of there, it means I'll have less to worry about moving when the condo sells, or when I leave for Italy, whichever comes first.

Papers got printed out today for the dog's veterinary certificate. I have to email the USDA vet in Tukwila to ask a couple of questions about the forms and how they are supposed to be dealt with. The instructions that came with the packet are mostly clear, but I like to be certain what I'm dealing with when filling out paperwork that will determine whether or not I'll be able to put the dog on the plane when it comes time to move him.

When [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and I were sitting waiting for my tit squish, we talked about figuring out what kind of thing I should wear to the consulate for the appointment. She hit upon one of her friends, who works at a fancy menswear place and has a degree in fashion design or some such. He apparently would be quite happy to help me deal with this sort of quandary. It's just such a different thing than what I usually have to deal with that having some input from somebody with a clue would be really helpful for me.

Looking at the website for the visa application appointment really hit me today. There's a tightness and a hard ball of anxiety in my chest because looking at their calendar suddenly made all of this feel very real. It's no longer in the realm of the abstract, where I'm just collecting pieces of paper. It's a situation where I can see actual dates ahead of me where things have to be finished, deadlines, and a sense that I actually have to do something if I want this to happen. It's not that I didn't feel like things were happening before, but this gives it a certain concrete existence for me, where it felt more theoretical before.

Of course, on the website there was yet a third variant of the list of things needed. This one was slightly more specific, thankfully. And it said that only one person can go to the appointment, so even if the sib were to come to hold my hand through the whole thing, he couldn't go in with me. That'll save us some money, anyway, not buying a plane ticket for him.

The waterfowl begin to align. As long as it isn't the stars doing so, raising great Cthulhu from his aeons-long slumber beneath the waves in R'lyeh, we're probably okay.

I sleep now.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (The Pupulator)
Today I got royalties from Immanion (YAY!) and heard from Mary that the remainder of what she owes me for the books she bought is headed my way. I emailed the contractor to ask about scheduling painting the repaired bathroom ceiling.

I also contacted VA neurology about the MRI and spoke with one of the nurses on the phone. The results returned normal, as I was expecting. This was a relief, but it still leaves me not knowing what's really going on. They are going to set me up a follow-up appointment.

Geordie emailed and says that he can't come tomorrow, but could he come Thursday and head back home Friday. I told him that would be fine with me.

Sadly, I didn't get to the queer Pagan meetup down in Seattle. Neither [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor nor [livejournal.com profile] ingvisson were feeling well enough, though we did get down to Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, where they were meeting with Patrick about a project they are all working on together. I picked up another Italian language study book and a small book of readings in Italian and English in facing page translations, dated from the 13th to the 20th century so as to work on reading comprehension outside of textbook exercises.

I talked to Patrick about my concerns regarding the DoDC+3 and being at my brother's place in Italy with all the animals that are there on the property. He offered to take care of the pupulator for me while I am looking for my own place in Italy. Once I've found it, I can come back to Seattle to collect him and probably will be able to deal with shipping my stuff from storage at the same time. So I spent some time this evening looking for regulations about international travel for pets from the US to Italy, ordered a packet of the required forms, and an EU compatible microchip that a vet can inject. The chip he already has isn't EU compatible; most chips installed in the US are not, unless they're specifically requested. With Patrick offering to take care of Chris for a couple of months while I'm getting myself settled, that takes a huge weight off my mind. I was honestly concerned that I might have to give him up if I couldn't deal with the risk of having him on a farm with a bunch of other animals.

Today I also listed one of my bookshelves and the baker's rack on craigslist. We'll see if there is any interest.

Tomorrow: tit squish.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (autumn maple leaves)
Today mostly consisted of some cooking (I roasted a chicken) and Irish class. There was a little dishwashing, and a lot of online researchy stuff for Italy, but not a lot of physical activity.

Mostly right now I'm feeling a bit downhearted. It's not serious, just the current limbo, and concerns about dealing with the DoDC+3 in Italy. My brother lives in a tiny apartment on a farm with a bunch of other animals and I'm really concerned about how my poor little guy is going to deal with that. I worry that I might have to give him up, though my brother says it's okay to bring him. I would hate to bring Chris over and then have something go badly wrong when I get there, considering how aggressive he is around other animals.

Tomorrow I might go down to Seattle for the queer Pagan meetup. It sounds like [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and [livejournal.com profile] ingvisson are up for it, and there might be a stop at Galway Traders.

Right now, though, I just want to curl up in a little stress ball in a corner somewhere. Not useful.

A list

Aug. 24th, 2013 11:45 pm
erynn: Gaelic merman image (writy pooped)
Too tired for an entry thus a list:

The bathroom ceiling is done except the painting. That should happen by next Saturday latest. I was not looking forward to three Saturdays in a row when I had to get up at 8am so tomorrow I'm emailing the contractor's office to see if I can get an afternoon at some point.

Three boxes of glassware and teaware packed and taken out to the garage.

Went to the birthday part of one of [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor's bandmates and had a lovely time at what is apparently one of Seattle's hottest nightclubs, though it didn't seem very interesting to me. I suppose I'm too much of a weirdo for a place like that.

Tomorrow: Irish class.

Now: collapse.

Next week: Tuesday = tit squish. Thursday = last day of group, then two weeks off. I think Geordie is supposed to come visit briefly next week as well, to pick up his books.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (red knot)
The visit from [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht didn't happen due to circumstances beyond anyone's control. That meant I didn't have to haul myself out of bed earlier than I'd wanted to, though I do rather wish I could have seen my friend at least in passing.

Instead, I dealt with a few things here then took the bus to downtown Seattle, where I did a fair bit of walking, and a bunch of elevator-riding at the federal building. I got a letter from the VA (actually three identical letters, because the amount I am getting didn't change until this January, for the first time in several years) stating the amount of my monthly benefit. I was a little puzzled by the building directory and went to the wrong IRS office the first time but found my way to the proper place eventually.

The IRS provided me with official stamped letters saying that I did not file tax returns for past years and providing information on social security, but their note didn't include the VA benefits, so having everything together is good. I suspect I am still going to have to go to an accountant and have them type up a quick letter citing the federal tax code that states I don't have to pay taxes (basically I don't want the Italian consulate thinking I'm not paying taxes because I don't feel like it, but to realize that I do not legally have to file a return because I have no taxable income). I think that would probably go over better than a letter just from me stating why I had no tax returns.

After dealing with the offices in the federal building, I wandered down toward the main Metro office and replaced my old photo ID bus pass for the disabled rate for a new orca card that pays the proper amount for the disabled rate and also has a photo ID on it. This one I can add money to online so that I don't have to go somewhere to buy a bus pass every month. Seems quite a bit more convenient, though it does have a chip that tracks your public transit use when paid with the card, so for people who value privacy, maybe not the best choice. Anyway, it's taken care of and now I won't have to sling cash in exact change if I take the bus anywhere.

I've got the contractor coming tomorrow to finish dealing with the bathroom ceiling. There's another person coming to view the condo tomorrow about noon. I got a call while I was down in Seattle from someone who wanted to see the place. I said I wasn't home, but that he could stop by and have a look. He paused for a minute and said "I need a realtor for that, don't I?" Yeah, buddy, you need a realtor to use the lock box. I guess I had thought he was one calling to bring a client by, but no. It's not that I'm unwilling to have my realtor entertain an offer from someone without a realtor, but I don't really want somebody in my place without a realtor with them if I'm not going to be hovering over them making sure nobody's making off with the laptop.

While I was downtown, I stopped and grabbed a little Thai food for a late lunch. It had been a while and I was feeling a bit of a peanut sauce craving. I took the bus home again and by the time I got back, I was feeling pretty exhausted. I spent some time sorting through the papers I'd been given today and putting them in order for the visa application, so that each year's papers are clipped together in separate little piles.

The consulate wants "original" papers from the credit union regarding my accounts, which I suspect means I can't just print my statement record from online. I have no idea if they want something with a signature on it or what, but I will try sometime next week to go and speak to someone at the BECU down at 99 and 112th. I find myself frequently wishing I had some guidance on this rather than just some confusingly-worded requirements from the consulate's email. I'm also still awaiting a response from my brother to my email. I'm guessing he's been busy at work for the most part.

Because I have to be up to let the contractor in at 9am, I'm going to try crawling off and getting some sleep. My head is kind of achy and I'm tired from everything I was doing today. So many things to do and not nearly enough spoons for all of them. feh.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Orpheus I see...)
I called and left a voice message for the neurology clinic asking about the MRI. No response yet.

Group was today, and [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor took me down to Seattle for it. I had two different people come to see the place today. I emailed my realtor, who said that I could in fact sell the place from anywhere, and that I could have one of the people in his office have a power of attorney to sell the place for me if I preferred. I emailed my brother to ask him about some details.

I'm trying to figure out how long in advance I would need to make an appointment at the San Francisco consulate. They have a website for making appointments and I've registered for it but haven't got the confirmation email back from them yet.

I've been having trouble with incoming mail on the phone today, and this evening with out going mail on the desktop. I'm not sure what all is going on, but it's making things slightly difficult. Whatever it is will probably clear itself up by tomorrow.

Winged ants have been invading again for the past couple of days. It's that time of year but I'm not entirely certain where they're coming from. I've lined the outside of the lanai door with diatomaceous earth and tucked a little under the edges of the floor molding near the door where I've seen a few of them lurking. We'll see if that stops the incursion.

I'm supposed to have [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht drop by briefly tomorrow, probably sometime between 10:30 and 11am to pick up a couple of things. I am going to try to get down to Seattle tomorrow myself, on the bus, to go to the VA regional office for some papers that I need toward the visa application. I'm hoping I feel up to dealing with it, though I'm really not right now. At least the 510 goes directly downtown within a few blocks of the federal building. I just am feeling brain burnt tonight and part of me can't cope with the idea of getting on the bus tomorrow to deal with a bureaucracy.

When I got back from Seattle today, I finally baked the beets and made a big batch of borscht and gave a large bowl to [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor to take home. We'd stopped for Indian food on the way home, then walked over to Central Market from there because there were a few things that I needed that I couldn't get at the Safeway down the street here.

Before I left today I also hauled a couple more things I'm getting rid of out to the garage. So, stuff accomplished today: moved things to the garage, called neurology, group, grocery shopping, email to my brother, email exchange with my realtor, initial inquiry toward a consulate appointment, two people seeing the condo, attempting to deal with ants, cooking.

No wonder I'm tired.

Oh, also, Storm sent me a note saying that people have reviewed my ogam book over on Smashwords. Yay for people saying nice things about my work!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Holmes & Watson)
Thanks to the wonderful and awesome [livejournal.com profile] stolen_tea and his roommate, I have now got a place to stay on the hill within walking distance of the con! I really appreciate it, and thank you both for your willingness to give me a little space and make my life a bit easier!

Irish class went pretty well for me today, which was a pleasant change from how things have been lately, what with the exhaustion and my inability to focus much. I spent a fair bit of the day considering more stuff for the visa application and thinking about what to say in my letter to my brother. Beyond that, I didn't do much. It was nice to have a day where I wasn't really doing anything physical, or too emotionally draining. I'm thinking my next project for thinning things out will be going through the glassware in my cabinets - I have about a bazillion vases and really only use a couple of them regularly, so I need to sort them and put the ones I'm not keeping out in the garage for sale or some other method of disposal.

Dealing with the kitchen cabinets is going to be a bit of a challenge. It's not that there are a lot of them, but deciding what I need to keep and what to get rid of is going to be a bit of a challenge. Some things I've used a lot, but not very recently. I'm not entirely certain if I should get rid of them or not, though I will probably err more toward the "get rid of" end of the equation. If I'm in a studio or a small one bedroom in Capitol Hill, I'm unlikely to be inviting ten people over and making a whole turkey dinner again anytime soon. That narrows down the amount of stuff I actually need to keep.

Then there's the "yes, I'm keeping these, but should I pack them or should I leave them out because I might need them again before I have to move?" issue. You wouldn't think sorting through kitchenware would be such a complicated issue.

Anyway, exhaustion. It is eating my brain. As are the insomnigrackles. I need to slay a few and try to get some sleep.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (05 nin)
I finally got a call from the contractor about the bathroom. They will be here tomorrow morning at 9am, then again next Saturday morning at 9. They will do the ceiling and the bit of wall that need to be replaced, and then they will paint everything, and it won't cost me a penny, as the HOA takes care of this kind of thing. While I am not keen on being up and dressed by 9am for the contractors, at least it will be done in the next eight days. Armed with that information, I updated the realtor and got an acknowledgement back from the office.

I wrote to my correspondent who'd been to Italy (let's call her S for the sake of ease) and talked more about specifics and answered her questions. Composing the email took me an hour or so. This evening late she wrote back with more thoughts and advice, including information on which airlines have good reputations dealing with pets, and which (Air Italia, she is looking at you) are likely to leave you entirely and permanently petless. I hadn't known quite where to start looking for this information, so I was very grateful to hear about this.

From what she says, it would probably be a good idea when presenting my visa application to have the facial piercings removed for the day and get them put back in once I'm out of the consulate, and to over-dye my hair to my natural color, so as to present a somewhat more conservative (or at least mundane) appearance for the sake of the bureaucrats who will be in charge of my ability to get to Italy. While I am not keen on hiding who I am, I'm also reasonably practical. A little thing like a temporary removal of jewelry and a likewise temporary change in hair color is harmless and can be restored very quickly.

S also noted that there is a possibility that, since my money comes from federal government disability pensions, the consulate might not be quite so strict about the $50,000 requirement, which is looking more and more like it is "$50,000 in your accounts right now" rather than "have you had a total of at least $50,000 in your accounts over the past six months." Anyway, regardless of their requirement, it won't hurt to prepare with everything else they require and hope that this is not a non-negotiable issue.

I spent a goodly chunk of the rest of the day reading the blog of a woman who went with her husband and three kids to Italy for a year, living in Umbria. They had some difficulties and their first attempt was turned down; they reapplied at a different consulate after a relocation to a different state, apparently, and were eventually granted a visa. Now that's a blog I have been learning a lot of stuff from, both in regards to how and why their attempts failed, how they succeeded, and how they dealt with the bureaucracy. They also took two cats to Italy with them. I think they have recently returned to the US, but I haven't read their most recent entries yet and am not sure exactly when they got back. It might have been last month or earlier this month.

My next door neighbor got back from Costa Rica last night, where she'd been for the last week. I was out with the DoDC+3 when she got back, so I helped her haul her bags back into her place. I saw her this evening out with Tater (the dog of one of our neighbors) and she was on the phone. I waved and she came over to tell me that her little dog Rinnie had died today of a serious acute diabetic episode. What a horrible thing to have happen when you come home from vacation. A horrible thing to have happen ever, for that matter. It's so hard when you know it's coming, and something sudden like that is such a shock. I feel so awful for her, particularly as I'd nearly lost Chris a couple of years back after Steamcon when the veterinary boarding screwed up and he broke all those ribs. You've had this great holiday and suddenly everything just goes bad, and there's nothing that can be done about it. I would have given her a hug, but Tater and Chris sometimes are okay together and sometimes get snippy, and I didn't want to have a sudden dog fight break out in the middle of a hug. She said that was okay, she'd get one from me later.

I walked over to see [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor shortly afterwards, as I'd forgotten to give her something last night, and I was feeling very downhearted after hearing Sally's sad news. I figured she would want to know, and I rather needed a hug myself.

I'm still waiting to hear from Geordie, who should be back in Vancouver now after his year in Spain. I have a box of books waiting for him. He's probably going to sleep for a week.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Orpheus I see...)
So today was group at the VA. We have two more weeks, I think, before this series is over, then a week or two break and back to it. I woke way too early today, but at least got some email and stuff out of the way before I had to leave for Seattle for the day.

[livejournal.com profile] ingvisson came by to pick me up and we were off. After group, we hied ourselves over to Woodland Park Zoo for the Loreena McKennitt concert; I had never been to the zoo, or to Woodland Park, but I would like to go to actually see the critters at some point. Apparently one of their giraffes just had a baby recently. All six feet of it. Yikes.

[livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and her friends had got there much earlier than we did. I hadn't realized gates opened at 5pm or I would have skipped the travel office this week. She met us at the gate with my ticket and then took us over to where everyone was sitting. The concert was nice. It had been drizzling earlier in the day, but the rain held off for the music, which was very pleasant. I was kind of not in a great mood, though, and the zoo apparently has a height restriction for folding chairs - they can't be any taller than two feet. Which meant that partway through the concert they came and told me and [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor that we had to fold ours up. Which left me with horribly creaking hips and feeling crampy sitting on a nearly nothing chair that was probably not even as good as sitting on the ground. During the intermission I hauled my chair down to the handicapped accessible area and set up there, where she joined me, because I was not going to be able to take another 45 minutes all cramped up like that.

My mood got slightly better when I was no longer in agony, unsurprisingly.

In the mail today, I got a royalty check for my poetry book. It was a whole $8.98. I was amused but pleased. Actual royalties from poetry! I am a professional, hear me roar! The mail also brought the annual balancing of the books for the escrow account attached to my mortgage. This meant I got a much more substantial check than I was expecting, which got immediately tossed into my savings account. I also got the last payment on Garuda from [livejournal.com profile] ingvisson, which also went into savings. That account is looking fairly healthy, but I have a ways to go yet to deal with the financial numbers that the Italian consulate seems to want to see according to their list of requirements they sent me a while back. They said something about wanting to see $50,000 over a six month period in all of my various financial accounts combined. I'm not sure how I'm going to accomplish that. I'd contemplate a loan to be paid back in full pretty much immediately after the visa application was approved, but I would have nothing to use for any security on a loan, without a car or a house. Anyway, I can but try.

I got an email back from a gal who had moved to Italy and had to come back due to timing issues. She said the financial stuff might be the hardest hurdle, but also that there was likely to be a fair bit of sexist asshattery against middle aged women attempting to move to Italy from the middle aged men who are generally the ones approving or denying the visas at the consulates. She said she took her very pretty young adult daughter with her the second time she went to the consulate (Houston) and got far better treatment than the first time, when she'd gone alone to make some inquiries. I am hoping that I will have a different experience, but I can't say as I'm expecting to. It's not like I have a hot young daughter to distract the bureaucrat with. *headdesk*

She says she's heard this kind of thing about most of the consulates, and that apparently different consulates have different sets of requirements. Houston apparently didn't require a criminal records check? Wow. Anyway, I just got the email from her this evening and I'm going to email her back tomorrow with some further questions; she's been very helpful and supportive in her response to my initial email.

And now, Tired Erynn is going to crawl off and attempt to get sleeps.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Caracal cat)
The contractor came this morning and replaced the heater in the living room, and he took away the old unit for recycling. It took about 15 minutes, as I expected. The unit was tested and works fine. I cleaned the grates on the other heater units as best I could, but I wasn't able to get all the black off some of the bars.

My guts acted up a bit earlier today. I'm assuming it was just stress getting to me, as it's been a while since I've had stressy IBS symptoms. I suppose I was due. Thankfully, I seem to be okay now. I had a little bit of sushi next door later in the day and that was very nice. It had been a little while.

Late this afternoon somebody came by and bought the 2-drawer filing cabinet. I sorted through one of the drawers in the kitchen and got rid of some things I didn't need. Soon, I'm going to be sorting through the cookware and dishes to thin things down a bit. I also need to deal with all the various and sundry vases. I really only use one or two of them when I have flowers, and I don't need the rest. Speaking of which, it's time to get new flowers for the table, as the old ones were starting to shed. I figure it's nice to keep some on the table for when people come to view the place.

I was called by a real estate agent and asked if the place qualifies for an FHA loan. The answer is, no it doesn't. Apparently the condo complex doesn't take them. This is also apparently in the agent notes in the listing, which he apparently didn't read. I had emailed my real estate agency to ask, just in case anyone else asked me.

Still no new people through to see the place. After three people on the first day, I'd hoped that meant maybe I would see people through more often. I mean it doesn't matter if anyone comes or not, the place still has to be ready for them just in case. That bit is emotionally exhausting. I'm wondering if they are going to set up an open house at some point. When the realtor gets back into town next week, I'm going to email him and ask about that, considering it's been about a week now and only three visits. I'm not sure if that is good or really bad. *sigh*

[livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor should be coming by when she's done in Seattle tonight (that's about three hours from now, if things work as they usually do) and will run me by the bank to make a deposit. We're going to pack the chairs and the blankets in the back of the car as well, for tomorrow's concert. It was overcast and rainy today, so I'm not sure what the weather in Seattle is supposed to be like tomorrow evening. I'm guessing much like today.

I think I'm going to curl up and read for a bit.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Earth: where I keep my stuff!)
I sorted the tool basket and part of the laundry closet, and the junk drawer in the kitchen. Things are pared down a bit. Also a little stuff from the cabinets in the living room bookshelves. I sold the KitchenAid mixer today, so more money went into the moving fund. The couch might go tomorrow; I'm more optimistic about this one than the last inquiries.

Laundry got done. [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor took me over to the credit union to deposit some cash. A mammogram was scheduled, and the heater in the living room will be replaced Wednesday morning at 10am.

The day bed is a little harder than I usually like, but easier on me than sleeping on the floor, so that's good. The DoDC+3 has been sleeping on the couch in the bedroom, what with the tiny space we'd have to share. I may end up putting a couple of pillows on the floor for him once the couch is out of there, if he doesn't want to sleep on the bed with me, it being so small.

Still doing more research on living in Italy and all that. Consensus among the people I'm talking with on the Fodors travel forum is that I'm preparing pretty well and have been thinking it all through pretty thoroughly. I know I have a ton of things to learn, but I'm definitely willing to ask questions and follow up with research and discussion.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (d'oh!)
The person came by this morning to look at the couch. She hadn't brought anyone to help her move it, and she thought for some idiotic reason that it would fit in her mid-sized hatchback that was already full of shit. Um, no. Needless to say, she did not leave with the hide-a-bed.

Nobody came to see the condo today, but I got sorting and packing done. I brought in a box full of notebooks (got rid of almost all of them, as they weren't actually filled with anything currently or futurely useful), and then sorted through the two-drawer filing cabinet and got that emptied and out to the garage. I packed one box of papers and records (VA and financial) and hauled that back out to the garage.

[livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor came by for a while today, and I gave her some things I'd been holding for her. We talked about her moving her bike from my garage at some point. We also went for a walk around the lake while the weather was nice. It got all cloudy toward the end and we thought it was going to rain but it hasn't yet. There was also some dish washing and floor sweeping, which has to be kept up with in case someone drops by with ten minutes' notice or something.

I talked to the sib today on Skype and he's on his way out of the country on his motorcycle tomorrow for a few days. He said next week he would talk to a friend of his at the town hall and ask her what he needed to say for the formal invitation letter, as the Questura hasn't got back to him yet; as with so many bureaucracies, people only want to do the bare minimum to get by and then go home for the day. At least in his friend's case, they'll be more inclined to actually be helpful.

Yesterday I signed up for the Fodor's travel forums and am now talking to a woman from the UK who moved to Venice last year with her husband. I've been reading his blog and it's been lovely and actually quite useful in terms of things I might expect as I go through the process, though of course they are from the EU and so their move was considerably less complicated than mine will be, and they are working over there now.

No word yet from Qi about when tomorrow she might be over with the bed she's loaning me. I did email her an inquiry today but haven't heard back. I'll try calling her tomorrow after I'm up and about and see if I can get hold of her.

Overall, a busy and productive day, even though (as usual) I feel like I've got not nearly enough done. I know I don't have to kill myself on this, but I still feel like every minute not spend Doing Something is an egregious sin against my progress in getting out of here.

Ah, well.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Airmed)
Nobody by to see the condo today, but that's okay because I was out much of the day. It was great to catch up with [livejournal.com profile] lakmiseiru, though [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor wasn't feeling too well today (though she did drive us). Things went pretty smoothly at the VA, and purty pikchurz were taken of my brain. I haven't seen them yet. I'll call neurology next week to see when they can let me know how things look. I'm still waiting to hear back from the women's clinic about scheduling an appointment for the annual tit squish. Gigi should call me Monday, I think.

I have someone else allegedly coming sometime between 10-10:30 tomorrow morning for the hide-a-bed sofa. We shall see if that actually pans out.

When I had the jewelry reinstalled today, the eyebrow piercing had shrunk down and had to be rather painfully stretched back out for the jewelry. The nose was similar but not quite so painful. Right now my nose is fine, but the eyebrow still stings. I've poulticed it a little with some hot salt water. It'll probably be fine by the time I get up tomorrow. I traded in three of the captive bead rings for endless rings, which look better and I don't have to worry about losing the beads. I kept the one I'd been using a garnet bead for, as I liked that. I'm really really glad I had a professional do this whole thing for me. It would have been way too painful to cope with if I'd done it myself.

Aside from someone allegedly coming to get the sofa tomorrow, there's nothing specific on my agenda. I think I need a little down time and will probably spend at least a little of the day sorting through a box of notebooks and maybe one of the filing cabinet drawers in order to pack another box or two of papers.

With any luck, I'll have more people come through to look at the place this weekend.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Bydand)
The photographer came over today and took a bunch of photos. I should get the link for the house listing tomorrow in email. He was pretty impressed by the condition of the place; I assume he ends up taking photos of places that are either appallingly decorated or the victims of enthusiastic hoarding a lot of the time.

I sorted through a large box of papers and stuff and turned it into a small box of packed papers and stuff then hauled that out to the garage. I also got the tv stand out of here, though a little later than I was expecting. The guy did call, so it wasn't problematic. I hadn't been sure I'd be able to go to the steampunk social this evening, but I did make it out there, and Qi has offered to loan me a small day bed to save my back from the evil that is the fold-out couch with an air mattress on it. The air mattress is fine, it's just the couch has a huge dip in it that is not doing me any favors. I'm very grateful, and she will probably be by Saturday or Sunday with the bed.

As to the couch, it is probably better that I just get rid of it. At this point, the bed isn't at all comfortable (I had suspected that would be the case) and just use the air mattress on the floor when I move, until I know if I'm going to be in Seattle permanently or whether I'll be moving to Italy.

I did get the FBI criminal check back (clean as expected) in the mail yesterday, finally. It's tucked in the file with the other papers for the Italian visa application.

Now that the photos are taken, I can relax a little and go through the papers and other materials still to sort in a somewhat more leisurely fashion. I still have to make sure to do a little bit nearly every day, but it's not the frantic rush to get everything done before the photos, as the past week and a half were.

Since I got the tv stand out, I've moved the long couch and then relocated the DoDC+3's crate to the space next to the computer. It's surrounded on three sides by walls and desk, and is right next to me, so he should get used to that much more easily than where it was hidden behind the long couch against the far wall. Poor little guy is coping as best he can, but it's all stressful for him.

Does anyone know what to do with a couch that has a not so great folding bed in it? I'm not sure I could sell it. Maybe I can give it away.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Ganesha)
I cleared out the library closet today except for the packing materials and a few other items that need to remain there. That meant sorting through the various stacks of Pagan papers and moving what's being donated out to the garage. Dishes got washed and the kitchen counters cleaned. I also hauled a few other things to be got rid of out to the garage, then brought in a stack of framed pictures and prints to put into a box with other things, and brought in a box of other things to be sorted through and packed. A couple of small tables were also taken out to the garage.

Irish class was this evening but focusing through the dizziness - which tends to intensify when I have over-exerted myself - was really difficult. After class, [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and [livejournal.com profile] ingvisson stayed for a bit. I fed him some spaghetti with pesto (she can't eat it) and then they helped me take down the surround sound system that I had hooked up to the tv. The blank walls look better without the speakers and the trailing wires. I'll see if I can sell the sound system. It's perfectly functional and sounds pretty good. Unlike dvd players (which are going over to blu-ray more and more these days), sound systems remain rather similar for a longer time.

Tomorrow, more sorting and packing, then washing the floors tomorrow evening for photos Tuesday. The real estate attorney is supposed to be here tomorrow probably late morning. He's coming after court, where he has a 10:30 appointment.

So, Monday, attorney. Tuesday, real estate photos. Wednesday, shrink. Thursday, glass replacement for the fireplace and group. Friday, MRI. It's a way too full week, but none of this can be put off or avoided. In between all of this, I have to deal with more packing, more cleaning, and keeping the place in presentable condition for total strangers to come in and look at it no matter how I am feeling physically. I'm doing my best for coping, but it's hard. I'm just really glad I have supportive friends.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (all your books!)
After not having heard back from the guy at the New Alexandrian Library after I sent the tapes to him, I emailed Macha today about the issue and he emailed; apparently his emails got lost in the aether somewhere. Anyway, he says to send things along, which means that my issues of Pagan APA and APA Tarot will have a new home, I suspect, along with a bunch of various issues of Pagan magazines. I don't have the collection I used to. Over the years I've got rid of a lot of things or given them to other people, but there's a fair collection of them here, and tapes and videos of presentations I've given or have been at. He'd said he couldn't guarantee they would keep all of them, but that they would at least try to find homes for whatever they didn't need. I'm good with that. When I have access to a vehicle, I'll haul things over and they will pay the FedEx fees for me to send them things.

Huge amounts of taking things off the walls in the living room, sorting through things, packing my bronzes from India and Tibet, and moving a little stuff out to the garage got done today. I got a call back from the storage place on Capitol Hill and have arranged a ride to get down there Wednesday to sign for the unit and take the first load of boxes over there. I have to inventory the boxes first so I have a running list of everything that goes into the unit for when I do move to Italy (if I get there).

It was an emotionally really hard day; the more stuff comes down, the less this place feels like my home anymore. It's becoming a hollow shell of what it once was. It's going to be hard being here during the transitional period, between listing the condo and actually moving away, when most of my things are in storage and my life has been pared down materially to a shadow of itself. I have a candle burning tonight for my Brigid flamekeeping shift, but the most recent candles I bought for it are absolute crap and won't stay lit.

I got a call from the VA today to schedule the MRI. I need to be there an hour ahead of time for some kind of contrast medium IV, and I need some lab work before I do the appointment for some kind of baseline; that I will probably try to do on Thursday, if there's enough time after my weekly group. The MRI is scheduled for Friday, August 9th. I'll need to get a couple of my piercings removed over at Laughing Buddha before then, as I can't get them out (and probably not back in, either) by myself. Most of them are fine and easily doable, but the nose piercing and one of my ear piercings are just painful to try to deal with. I haven't tried doing the eyebrow piercing myself, but we'll see how that goes. I'll get them put back in again afterwards, as well. Worth the money to get a pro to do it if doing it myself is going to hurt me.

Tomorrow, Patrick is supposed to come by to help me do things for a few hours. I'm going to have to get more packing peanuts before I can pack more books. I used the rest of them packing the bronze statues in one box. I have a few things I could wrap in some bubble wrap and put in small boxes, but for the most part, I need the peanuts for filling in the edges around books in boxes so they won't bend each other too much. The mailing outlet down the street can be walked to, and they do have peanuts, though we may have to make a couple of trips. Patrick doesn't have a car, so it'll be walking and carrying things; peanuts are light but pretty bulky, and it needs to get done. There will probably also be some cleaning done, and perhaps photos of my bicycle so that I can list it on craigslist.

[livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor might come by tomorrow as well. We shall see - she wasn't feeling too well today, so didn't come, even though she'd hoped to. She's also got a lot to do at her own place at the moment.

And now, since I'm expecting Patrick sometime around noonish, I should ought to crawl off to bed. I didn't sleep well at all last night and am hoping to do a little better tonight.

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