When I was done with packing and donating the books, thought that the worst part of packing is over. How wrong I was!

Today, Vlad and Dylon came and took down everything from the attic! This feels like bringing down another house! I can’t imagine how ai will be able to sort it all! And when I will be able to pack the rest of the stuff… I just have no idea!

My City

The city is alive. Not exactly as pre-pandemic, but so much more than a year ago! My city is alive, and it will live, and it will rebound because this city is meant to live. 

Two pieces of news today almost made me cry. The first one was the Navy Pier reopening with the fireworks each Saturday till Memorial Day – and now I will be able to see them! The first firework will happen on May 1, and it will be dedicated to the health care workers. 

The second one is about the Arts 77 grant – $60 mln to support the local artists. That is unprecedented, and it is such a right thing to do and at the right time.

And one more thing. Do you know what I hate? I hate when people who do not live in the city, do not go to the city, and do not know what’s going on there are trying to give me pieces of advice. Out of the blue, when I mentioned that I am going to meet somebody in the city before heading home, a very well-intended co-worker said: you’d better hurry up and leave the city before it starts. I was: what starts? They are going to announce a verdict for Derek Chauvin, and if he will not be convicted… I was like: firstly, he will be most likely convicted. Second, it’s not like “something” will happen instantaneously. And this “something” is not necessarily going to be violent. 

There was a helicopter in the sky when I was walking towards the train station, that’s true. But boy, I can’t even describe how I feel about people who are still entering the city as if it is a war zone … 

News, Updates, And Random Thoughts

My mortgage is approved, but unfortunately, the closing date was not moved forward. That means that I have only twelve days between closing and moving in, and all of the painting, appliance installation, repairs have to be done within this timeframe.

It’s a challenge, but it also means that I have some certainty. I finalized my decision on the moving company and put in the deposit. Also, my co-worker recommended the painter, and today, he came to my new place to estimate the painting quote. I hope it will be something reasonable!

The sellers’ agent shared some contractors’ contacts with me, and I am going to start calling to have all appliances serviced.

Now I feel less nervous and agitated than I was for the past two weeks because I am done with all mortgage paperwork, and I decided on the major vendors.

On another note, the situation with vaccines looks better and better. Not to mention that now all my close family members are fully vaccinated, I also received two calls about vaccination options. I do not need them anymore, but the fact that they are coming my way tells me that there is more availability now.
I won’t be able to do any volunteering until after my move, but I was delighted to receive two calls to volunteer at the vaccination sites. That also says that more and more options are open.

Now, I started to pay closer attention to the fact that some people do not want to be vaccinated, and these numbers worry me. I thought that this population is smaller and that it mostly consists of uneducated people. But in the last several days, I ran into several internet discussions, which left me horrified. I can’t comprehend how well-educated people can preach such stupid things! How they can seriously think that the vaccination is a plot of (all??) governments against (humanity??)

I am not sure what to do with the potential mom’s trip to Russia. The last time she was in Russia was in September 2019. Then she was planning to go in April 202, but then COVID happened. She wanted to go that September, but I urged her to go earlier because nobody knows whether the current shot’s protection will last longer than six months. If it weren’t for her credit card expiration, I would tell her not to go at all, but they do not reissue credit cards without an in-person visit in Russia. Her Visa expires in September, and without it, she won’t be able to use the money she receives as a pension.

When I told her about six months, she got scared, and now I am unsure whether she wants to go at all. I am fine with her not going, but she might lose access to her money entirely. In any case, nothing is going to happen until the end of June, and after that, we will see how the situation will change.

Deer Grove

There are many things which I will miss in Palatine, and one of them is Deer Grove Forest Preserve and my volunteering there. I am sure that I will be able to find some other nature restoration projects, but I will miss that particular one, both the place and the people.

Last weekend, I went to scout my area. It was it a very decent shape, I found not more than a dozen of garlic mustard plants overall:

and I also enjoyed all the spring ephemerals.

Continue reading “Deer Grove”

Talking To My Neighbor

The other day, I talked to my neighbor about my move. She is European, but she immigrated when she was seven years old, and she didn’t go back there until about three years ago. She does not remember how things are done in the old world (and not only in the old world) so this conversation would turn funny sometimes. 

She asked me about my walk-up, and she said: so you will live there for ten years or so, and then you will have to move? And I was: why? – Because then you won’t be able to climb three flights of stairs. And I was: why not? Boris does not use an elevator in his house. And she was: but he is not on the third floor? And I: yes, he is on the fourth! 

We laughed. She asked me whether I would move to Milwaukee later, and I told her that Anna gave me till I am seventy-five. She was: oh, I just turned seventy-five! And I told her that Boris is turning seventy-one soon, which surprised her. 

Then we talked about my mom’s new place, and I told her that it is very close to the grocery store and close to the L station. And she was: but where would your mom go? I said: to visit me! And she would: but she won’t ride CTA without you! I am: why? she used the subway and buses all her life, t will be easier for her! 

My neighbor is having a hard time imagining how life can look without a car :). 

My mom wants to pack. I asked her several times not to, but then I gave up because she would be way more nervous if she won’t. I recalled how my granddaughter Nadia was packing her things before they moved and realized that this is one more occasion when mom acts like a child. 

She seemed OK when I visited her today, but later, she again seemed nervous when we talked over the phone. I am talking myself into being as patient as possible 🙂

Packing Books

Where did all these books come from?! I didn’t buy any paper books for years!!! Most of the bookshelves were half-empty. Why are there so many boxes?!

Vlad and Dylon took two large boxes of books to the library. It was a blessing that the library started to accept donations again.

Igor spent more than four hours in my house today sorting books. He took two suitcases and one backpack of books with him. He also threw away tons of stuff. After he was done, I filled another four boxes with donation books and three more boxes to take to Fargo. And I am not done yet! There are several boxes worth of books in the library; I only packed a small fraction so far – one bookcase out of four.
I have every hour of my Saturday scheduled (and I know that I won’t have enough time to do all I need:))

State Of Mind

I had one conversation at work today, which didn’t go well. I know why I started this conversation – I wanted to make sure that I tried everything that was in my power to remedy the situation. If I don’t start this conversation, I would always think that it was a lost opportunity. Now, twelve hours after this conversation, I am going through it in my mind again and replay the parts that went particularly bad. I almost want this conversation not happened, but I would then think that I didn’t try hard.

The worst part is that, in part, because of that conversation, I completed less than I could. This week was particularly bad in terms of the number of emergencies, and almost every day, I was putting up fires instead of doing project work.

At the same time, we had a minor crisis at my side job. And at the same time, I need to move ahead with all the processes related to my move. I feel like there are too many threads that I need to keep in control. Multiple papers related to my new mortgage, I feel like I am signing ten of them every day. Documents related to my house sale. Mom’s apartment and what we need to buy there. Painting. Appliances purchase and repair. My and mom’s dentist appointments.

Objectively, things are moving. But sometimes, it’s just too much :).

Junk Removal

Yesterday, I had my first experience with the junk removal service. Several very old pieces of furniture, which I could not even donate, had to be recycled. It is not cheap, but I had to do something fast because I needed these pieces to be out of the way. It took close to two hours for two people to remove this junk: two old beds, one big dresser, two desks, a table, an old vacuum cleaner, and an old steamer. 

Vlad and Dylon came midday to take some Vlad’s stuff and throw away lots of other things. They helped me a lot, but I am frightened to observe that the work volume decreased insignificantly. I still have o idea how I will finish all I need to finish in time!

Moving Progress: Mom’s New Apartment

Once again, not “too many things are happening at once,” but way too many! 

I was not posting anything for several days, and now that I carved ten minutes, I do not even know where to start.

On the positive side: we finally secured an apartment for mom. It was real teamwork; Vlad picked several places and went to see them. He asked the manager to send us videos, and we all watched them. All of us (Vlad, Igor, and I ) had the same favorite; the challenge was to explain to my mom that that would be the best location for her. It took us a while, and I am not sure whether we convinced her or she just gave up:) But honestly, if my house would be at the same location as her apartment, I would like it more :).

It took a lot of back and forths to finalize the process. My biggest accomplishment was that this time mom is a renter, not just a tenant. I still had to be her co-signer, but her name is on the lease.

One big hurdle was the fact that since I am in the process of getting my mortgage, I could not have my credit report pulled, and that would be required for the lease.

My loan officer emailed me a recent copy of my credit report. First, the leasing company didn’t even want to look at it, and Anna volunteered to co-sign with mom. But when they saw the actual report, they called me and said it was almost too much information :). 

And the last challenge was to have my mom sign the lease over the DocuSign. I had to come to her place and help her, but now we are all set!

That was one of the big items I crossed off my list. 

A Weight Loss Problem

It is a problem for me, because I do not have that many pounds, and I need them all;). plus-minus one is fine, but losing more is not good. I used to tell Boris that I lose weight after arguing with him, but we do not argue fr more than a year now:).

Here is last week’s sequence of events. My microwave broke on Sunday, and it was on the manufacturer warranty. That meant that I could have it fixed for free, but the repair was complex, and they had to order parts, so I was without the microwave for the whole week.

Then, I had a tooth extraction on Wednesday, and the dentist told me that I could not eat nuts for two weeks. Well, he mentioned other foods as well, but nuts are my single concern. I eat a lot of them, and they are my primary source of protein. He said – not even on the other side because the small parts can get to the wound. Also, I could not eat the bread crust.

Then, the first-floor painting started, and it included the kitchen. I could not get there for extended periods. Even making coffee had become a juggling act since I had to take everything upstairs.
When the painters left on Thursday, they asked whether it’s OK if they leave all the coverings on. I said – yes, but I didn’t realize that it meant everything in the kitchen as well 🙂

Or, and also – I m packing, or at least trying:), so sometimes I do not have time to eat:).
This morning, it came to minus 3.5 pounds in four days, so I am pretty much at my weight after my horrible 2014 surgery, And I need to stop today before it gets worse. I hope that taking my co-worker out for lunch today will help 🙂