Eighteen Boxes

My co-worker who stopped by today to pick up some of my giveaways told me that he was amazed how much I have done already. I told him: A lot, but not enough!

Eighteen boxes, and I think I will need to pack a hundred. Yes, the first floor is the most difficult one, lots of glass, dishes, small fragile decorations, but still – I should pack faster.

Still do not know who will do my walls painting, but hope to figure things out by the end of the week.

A Week Ago

I can’t believe it was just a week ago! Eight days, to be exact, but still. Our real estate agent sent us a list of four potential properties. Vlad and I looked through them. First, I didn’t think I liked either of them too much but thought that a couple of them is worth looking at just for the sake of looking. 

When we went over the list with Vlad, I told him about the second property on the list: this one is not going to work, there are only two bedrooms. Vlad replied: Mom, you should look at that house! Remember my old house which you liked so much? I did remember. I liked the place which Vlad rented with two roommates so much that I thought about buying something like that. And I agreed with him that we should take a look. 

We decide to look at two listed properties: that house at Jarvis station and another close by. 

We entered a courtyard and saw outdoor furniture and balconies, which seemed to be a vital part of the community life. Then we entered the apartment. It was huge but in severe need of painting and cleaning. We walked through, looking at all the details and the condition of all appliances.Β 

Then, we walked to the next house, and o the way there, Vlad and I realized that we didn’t check the fitness center and the bike storage. So after seeing the second house (which we didn’t like), we asked our agent whether we can come back one more time to see all these facilities. He said – yes, and after we looked, he asked whether we want to come upstairs and see the apartment one more time.

So we went in one more time, and when we were walking down the stairs, we saw a lady unlocking the door one floor below. We asked her: how long do you live here? And she said – from the very beginning, from 2005. And then we asked her: how do you like here? And she replied: I will never move anywhere else! And she went on telling us what a wonderful community it is and how people are together and supporting each other. 

And the way she took time to tell us about the community and the people was that last decisive factor :). I thought that I am going to move to the right place πŸ™‚

A Palace In A Very Bad Shape

We had a house inspection yesterday. I thought we already knew everything wrong with that house:), but it turned out there is much more.

I forwarded the inspector’s report to Boris yesterday, and he asked whether there is anything in the house that is not broken :).

 I’d say the walls and the roof. Although the floor is somewhat not even:). 

There are tons of things which has to be done before I can move in, and it will cost a fortune. However, I am excited. Unlike when I moved to that house twenty-three years ago, I know what is not working before I am moving in and will be able to replace or fix the things. 

The cost of painting concerns me the most because it’s a lot of square footage, and it might be the most expensive project of all I am doing in May. Another concern is that for each appliance installation cost, the fee for climbing three flights of stairs will be added.  

The good part is that all is fixable, and I still love the place, its look and feel. I am thinking about all the things I will be able to do now, which I could not do before, like the fireworks at the Navy Pier, and the things I stopped doing a long time ago, like going to Ravinia.

We Are Moving Again, My Friends!

Today, I gave the news to Katia and Misha. I hugged them tight and moved them upstairs into my bedroom. I am getting the first floor ready to be painted, and I need to remove all the small objects. Of course, Katia and Misha are not objects, but the painters don’t know.

When I picked them up to take them upstairs, I realized that I didn’t tell them that they would move to the fourth home in their long lives.

They feel so real, especially Katia. I do not know how a real cub would feel in my arms, so I can’t be sure about Misha. But when you hold Katia, you have a complete feel of holding a baby. She is as real as she could be. I touched her nose with mine and then kissed her on her cheek. We are up for another adventure, friends!

Christmas In Spring

How would you feel if you would receive a Christmas card which was sent four months ago? Yes, this season, the mail was erratic, to put it mildly. And even though it was three months after Christmas, it touched me. The card is beautiful, and the greetings are thoughtful, and I feel that somebody on the other side of the world was thinking about me.


I told mom about the move and about everything I know so far about the house and the neighborhood. I told her that she would feel better there because there will be sidewalks and people on the streets and parks with benches. However, she kept saying: all that matters is that I will be close to you. It feels really sad. She is saying that she is my fourth child now, and that’s pretty close to reality. I was trying to tell her that all I want for her is to live a happy and peaceful life. But wherever the conversation goes, it comes to the point that she can’t be away from me, just like a small child. The only thing she worried about with our timeline was how long she would have to stay in Palatine after I move.

Nothing I can do about it, but it makes me think that there is a sad irony in this situation. When I was a child, she did everything she could to cultivate my unhealthy attachment to her so that I could not be happy when she was away. And now she feels the same way. And I know that I could even yell at her, and she won’t protest. It does not make me happy. I wish she won’t be such a controlling personality when I was a child and that she would be a happier person now. But it is what it is.

“Be The Change”

I acted according to this statement multiple times in the past couple of weeks. I posted this photo on the instagram today and steered some discussion. Luckily, i have enough supporters πŸ™‚ I am so tired of all this “but it is impossible to wear mask all the time!”

Yes, it is possible to workout in a mask! I purposely chose the hardest on your breath machine for this photo – the stair-climber.

Spring 1996

I am trying to figure out the exact time these pictures were taken and can’t figure it out. I know that the year is 1966, but as I’ve already mentioned, I could easily wear the same clothes outside for six months in a row, because that was all I had.

In winter 1965/66 I got a fur coat made of black rabbits fur. That was the most common fur for the children’s winter coats. But it looks like I wore it almost until summer.

The pictures with my mom and I following my father to the tram stop with his skies must be taken in March. In March, there was usually a lot of snow to the north of Leningrad. My father is carrying a rucksack, so he must be going for a multi-day ski trip. All sort of “tourism” or rather hiking was very popular in the 1960s in the Soviet Union, and my mom would complain later that my father would always disappear when she needed his help.

Continue reading “Spring 1996”